General Stage 2.0

2.0 Stage of Development (Rule Oriented)

Concrete. Collective. Reciprocal.

This stage primarily arises in children. At this level they can see reciprocally; that is, that other people can see what they see and perhaps what they can’t see. This results in the realization that others also have an independent concrete self with their own capacity to see, hear and feel just like "I" do. A new approach to communication arises, because now the child can talk with others rather than one-way talking at them, for others can know things that they may not. They learn from others, ask questions of them and make agreements with them. A concrete form of both/and reciprocity arises as one becomes engaged collectively with others. At this stage, the child tends to be very much in the moment, engaging reciprocally with friends and others, which form their experience of community. This concrete collective is foregrounded over the individual self.Imaginary playmates or spirits "grow up." For example, Santa Claus can now see me when I’m not looking as well. These others, seen or unseen, are ones who have human sensory emotions like "I" do, with whom one can also have reciprocity. This early mythic view of reality is also a period of intense creativity and imagination.

At this stage, the internal senses of visualization, interior hearing and feeling become stronger so there is a beginning memory of the past. They can now remember in the "mind’s eye" what happened earlier, and hear the words of authority figures or others internally. This gives them the capacity to learn from the their past. They also begin to learn that the rules keep them safe—so they can accept edicts from others in authority. The most difficult part for them is remembering the rules; this aspect of their internal auditory capacities is still developing. Also they can’t prioritize rules so may want to punish a simple transgression the same as a major one.

Adults at this stage have enough capacities to manage well if they have enough structure around them, and are greatly supported by many of our religious institutions and other concrete communities, which help them remember ethical rules and in general, "goodness", that serves their happiness and prevents them from the kind of trouble they likely encountered as an adult at the 1.5 stage. While these adults have all of the mythic qualities of a child at this level, they have more experience, which supports them in making a living, having families and fitting into day-to-day life, however compromised. Most adults, however, move beyond this stage.

People experiencing this stage

  • See a concrete form of both/and reciprocity: from "Its all about me" to "Its all about we"!
  • Reciprocity may go both ways, "You and me" and "an eye for an eye".
  • Know that others can see and know things you don’t.
  • See others "seeing you back" in a concrete sense
  • Understand that in order to learn what others see, you need to communicate, and so want to make friends
  • Exist in the "now". Memory that supports good decisions often fades in the moment.
  • Can make agreements with others but are often unable to remember them consistently.
  • Have a beginning sense of trust and of fairness.
  • Experience that we can love and care for each other.
  • Struggle between doing what one wants, and wanting to be told what to do.
  • Accept feedback by making comparisons, self to other, other to self.