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Parent nodes: Intersubjective Stages of Transformation | Moral Spheres

Intersubjective Stages of Transformation
"Worldcentric"/ Pluralistic/Holistic

The "Ethnocentric"/Dualistic stage

The "Ethnocentric" or "Dualistic" stage (I'm not really happy with these terms, but are only usintg them for want of a better label) of evolution of consciousness represents the baseline consciousness that needs to be Transformed. It includes both individual physical, emotional, and mental consciousness and religious, ethnic, national, and other groups, society and culture on Earth today, as well as interactions among other species. It is however inferior to the diversity of life on Earth, never mind the holistic and synergetic wisdom of the worlking of the cycles of the Earth as a whole. These might be metaphorically said to correspond instead to the Reformist/Pluralistic/Worldcentric/(R)Evolutionary and Holistic/Systems/New Paradigm/Integral stages respectively. In other words, the mass of humanity at present represents a sort of fallen state" between the pure consciousness of the nature kingdoms (and of small children whose innocense has not yet been lost) and the spiirtual and empathic indicvidual who is able to live in harmony with nature, does not have a need or compulsion to exploit the Earth and other people, murder animals for food, etc

Socially, collectively, this corresponds to what David Korten calls Socialized Consciousness - "Good citizens" who live in their small world, play by the rules of their identity group and expect a fair reward.

This is still superior to the egocentric attitude, because there is for the first time some empathy and altruism, even if it is within the limited sphere of one's own group. I originally referred to this as the dualistic stage, but "ethnocentric" is perhaps better, as long as it is understiood that what is meant is not etrhnicity as such, but any particular identifying factor or common interest. The following description by Ken Wilber of the ethnocentric stage is as good as any, and deserves to be quoted here:

"Stage 2 is the "mind" stage, where identity expands from the isolated gross body and starts to share relationships with many others, based perhaps on shared values, mutual interests, common ideals, or shared dreams. Because I can use the mind to take the role of others—to put myself in their shoes and feel what it is like to be them—my identity expands from "me" to "us" (the move from egocentric to ethnocentric)."
Ken Wilber - Stages or Levels of Development (Integral Life)

"Ethnocentric" is used here in a very generic and informal context of considering one's own race, culture, religion, neighbourhood, subculture, interests, hobby, ideology, country, gender, species (if anthropocentrism), etc is superior, or more important, hence a dualistic attitude of us and them. I notice this on the TV news a lot, where local news is reported in great detail, even if banal, wheras world news gets much less mention. Also if there is a disaster in a foreign country, the locals are not considered as important or newsworthy as any Australians (well, I'm in Australia, but just say I was from America I would say Americans) or choose your own nationality and insert here.

The "ethnocentric" / dualistic stage is in a sense midway between negative and positive, between adverse/devolutionary and spiritual/evolutionary. Speaking as a generalisation (because there are no absolutes in these classifications, and also light and dark, truth and falsehood, are always mixed in this world) those stages "below" (more selfish and non-empathetic than) the "Ethnocentric"/Dualistic are completely negative, while those above are positive or spiritual. So there is a mixture of higher and adverse forces; although the adverse is dominant. This leads to the necessity of the Divine Plan, the Divine Victory which will transmute all this base negativity into spiritual Light.

The reason the dualistic stage is superior to the purely selfish and delusional stages, because there is still some element of spiritual Light, the behind the scenes working of the indwelling Divine principle, which is responsible for all the love and all the good and positivity and principles and values in the world.

Also the Dualistic stage corresponds, I suppose you could say, to entropy in physics; the universe follows its laws and rules, but ultimately it is running down (heat death), just as current mainstream society is ecologically unsustainable, and leading to an eco-death, rather than a progressive state.

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 2 December 2009, last modified 9 December 2007