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Ken Wilber, to his credit, has pulled together many of these different developmental approaches and has pointed out the many parallels between them.Over time we’ll visit a number of different developmental approaches, and hopefully you’ll begin to get a feeling for the different names and how they correspond to each other.As our environment changes, and as we change, our way of responding to the world and making sense of it changes.Piaget’s work on development is particularly important because it has been closely scrutinized over three decades of cross-cultural research.Not every person moves through all the levels, however (just as not every person moves from kindergarden all the way through grade school, high school, college, and graduate school).Some people move through a few developmental levels and then stop, while a smaller number move to the highest levels.Once we develop the ability to step back and observe that which we’ve been immersed in (in other words, once we begin to be aware of it), we shift from an idea of who you are.In each case, having it gives you some amount of intentional control, whether of your body, your emotions, your mind, or your sense of who you are.
In this discussion I’ll also use some of the stage names used by Jean Gebser and Ken Wilber: archaic (similar to sensorimotor), magic (similar to early preoperational), magic-mythic (late preoperational), mythic (early concrete operational), mythic-rational (late concrete operational), and rational (formal operational). In the sensorimotor stage, the infant uses to understand the world, beginning at first with reflexes and eventually using complex combinations of sensorimotor skills.Sensorimotor, Piaget’s first stage (the stage before preoperational), is sometimes referred to as (cognitive, moral, ego, emotional, etc.) is being studied.This is partly because these researchers were often working independently, without knowing much if anything about each other’s work, each creating his or her own terminology.You could also say that what we are immersed in is .The infant bites his thumb and it hurts; it bites it’s rattle, and it doesn’t hurt, and in doing so he learns the difference between self and environment.
For instance, fewer individuals in any culture reach Piaget’s highest level, formal operations, or formop, and even fewer reach the transpersonal levels beyond that.