Psychological types, however one defines them and whatever model one refers to, are only one aspect of the human ontological repertoire. Integral theory reminds us that the human psyche, like anything else in the universe, is a developmental process. The human psyche emerges manifesting different types, each of which develops through a procession of stages. Types and stages combined (along with lines and states, which we will save for another discussion) account for most of the psychological diversity that we observe among our peers and within ourselves.
Integral theory posits that types and stages are fundamentally different. At the same time, one can hardly ignore that some type descriptions strangely resemble stage descriptions. Often the likeness is so great that they are given the exact same names, for example:
• the Diplomat is Action Logic stage 2, Spiral Dynamics Blue, but also Enneagram type 9)
• the Expert is AL stage 3, SD Orange, but also Enneagram type 5)
• the Achiever is AL stage 4, SD Orange, but also Enneagram type 3)
• the Individualist is AL stage 5, SD Green, but also Enneagram type 4)
Are those coincidences meaningful and should integral thinkers take them into account? If they are meaningful, this automatically leads us to ask many other questions: Are types and stages based on the same repertoire of human qualities? Do types and stages reflect two different modalities (horizontal for types and vertical for stages) by which those basic psychic “elementary particles” manifest in human life? Do stages recapitulate types, which would explain why highly integrated individuals seem able either to embody multiple types or not to exhibit a particular one? Alternatively, are those coincidences simply fortuitous or, instead, fallacious? Are they the result of our inability to grasp the human psyche other than by using the same limited pool of archetypal standards? Is this why we confuse types and stages so often? But perhaps the truth is somewhere in between and perhaps the paradox isn't really a paradox.
The leadership team of Integral New York invites you on Monday Oct 15, 2012, to investigate the mysterious connection between types and stages. Bring on your perspective, share your insights, and leave the conversation with an understanding of this issue that is wider, deeper, and richer than the one you had when joining it.
Our salon will begin with a short we-space practice, please arrive on time