General Stage 4.0

4.0 Stage of Development (Pluralist)

Subtle. Collective. Reciprocal

In the 4.0 stage, the emphasis is on the collective, but now collectives are no longer seen as concrete situations or single circumstances, but rather as contexts, which are subtler. You may experience how contexts, which are socially constructed, shape your growth, development and identity, and that of others. The belief in the social construction of reality as a worldview is common at this stage and experiencing directly how you yourself are constructed by your context is an ongoing exploration. All events depend on their particular context and thus, are relative. This includes the effect of culture, family norms, and educational containers. A fascination often develops with exploring multiple contexts that are different from the ones you are familiar with.

Thus in this stage you often see that the goal seeking of the previous stage can easily go awry because of a lack of appreciation of context, which makes each plan dependent on particular circumstances, which in truth are continually changing. No amount of meticulous planning, scientific measurement and refined reasoning can make you immune to the biases and particularities of context.

These multiple, changing insights about interior and exterior contexts can be difficult to prioritize at this early fourth-person perspective, so you may tend to foreground horizontal approaches and background hierarchy and prioritization. You may find yourself wanting to be in the moment, rather than thinking about the future and appreciate process and the extraordinary experience of being in the moment. These experiences are so valuable for they help form the basis for the next stage.

The developing awareness allows you to notice that others are seeing you on a subtle level, as you can see others in return. You can recognize a subtle reciprocity between you and others, including the recognition that others may be able to apprehend and distinguish subtle qualities in you that you can't see, and they can share their interiors with you in a way that will help you find your true self. Indeed, you probably can't find your authentic self without others because they are capable of seeing parts of you that you can't. Thus you may move toward collaborative approaches that support everyone to speak their voice, including decision-making, and by doing so, this allows each person to look within themselves to see if that voice rings true for them. Assumptions, interpretations, judgments, projections, paradox - subtle interior contexts - are all in play in these conversations.

The greater sensitivity and awareness may bring forth experiences of subtle energies, intuitions, dreams, subtle mind, emotions, somatic feelings, synchronicity, and a plethora of internal voices. At times you may experience this as a voice from the beyond, or the universe speaking subtly to you. Similar to the 2.0 rule-oriented stage, but in a more subtle mythic way, you may not be able to discern the difference between these interior subtle experiences and exterior subtle experiences. This, along with a subtle adaptability to what everyone says in the moment, may put you on an inside experience within a complex adaptive system, like a bird in a flock. You may find yourself engaging with others within the sea of collective subtle ideas, thoughts, assumptions, etc., individually adapting momentarily to the whole of the context of your collective. This may bring up experiences of synchronicity-for people can experience ideas, thoughts and feelings coming up simultaneously in the group, which can sometimes be experienced as a collective intelligence with its own persona.

The sensitivity to context and sense of embeddedness and reciprocity gives rise to an appreciation of all of life, beyond that of humans. Rights may be championed for plants and animals. The planet itself may be seen as an alive being, so awareness of and care for the environmental ecosystem takes on a new role. Your beliefs extend beyond world centric, the honoring human rights, to sentient centric, honoring the rights of all living things.

People experiencing this stage

  • Experience subtle both/and understandings. You and me, and I will foreground "we."
  • Can see others seeing you, with subtle awareness. Talk "with" others on subtle levels rather than "at."
  • Sees how self and others are socially constructed by their contexts, and thus all ideas and knowledge are relative.
  • Are situated in a time frame that includes parent and children's lifetime; 10+ years forward and back, yet oriented to the "now."
  • Operates in space and embraces all sentient life. Context awareness may lead you to protect environment.
  • Aware of assumptions, interpretations, ambiguity, paradoxes, judgments, intuitions, internal voices, subtle energies, which may take on a life of their own.
  • Can't easily prioritize contexts and values pluralism and diversity of viewpoint.
  • Find that process is foregrounded to goal orientation.
  • Welcome feedback as necessary for self-knowledge and to uncover aspects of your subtle self which others can see and share.
  • Seek to discover and be your authentic self: challenge assumptions, expectations, and societal conventions.
  • Want everyone to be free of judgments, ism's, etc, but tend to not see your own projections on those who don't believe what you do.