Are you curious to know how evolved your consciousness is and how complex your mind is? Some time ago I read about research by Robert Kegan that showed that as adults there are three stages in mental complexity. It opened my eyes to seeing people in a completely new light – including my colleagues, friends and family.
The work was oriented towards leadership in the workplace, but it can be applied to our growth as conscious human beings. This is a longer post than usual. If this topic interests you, hang in there!
I expect that most of us growing up, thought that once we were adults our minds were pretty much set. We could learn new skills, but basically our thinking would remain the same…..
Turns out it wasn’t so. Dealing with the highs and the lows of life contributes to an increased mental complexity and different perspective on how we see others and the world. As adults our minds continue to grow and expand based on our experiences and how we engage our brains.
Challenges are good for us! I see the world differently and think differently from my 24 year old self.
Here are the Three Levels of Adult Mental development as I would describe them:
The Socialized Mind
- We are shaped by our environment and the expectations of others.
- We align our selves to others and are strongly influenced by what we think others want us to do or say.
- We are highly sensitive to others and what they think of us. Most of all we want to fit in and be accepted.
The Self Authoring Mind
- We are able to step back from the social environment and make our own judgments, evaluations and choices.
- We align ourselves to our own belief system or personal code.
- We are self directed, independent, take a stand on issues, and have strategies for our success.
The Self Transforming Mind
- We are able to step back from and reflect on our own beliefs, thoughts and actions.
- We are friendlier towards contradiction and differences.
- We seek wholeness or completeness, and align ourselves with multiple perspectives rather than opposing poles.
- We appreciate the interconnectedness with others and are interdependent.
Here’s the data:
The Socialized Mind …. 27% of adults
In between this level and the next …. 32%
The Self Authoring Mind …. 34%
In between this level and the next .… 6%
The Self Transforming Mind …. 1%
This is what comes to my mind:
* We are all capable of growing our mindset and increasing our minds complexity. (Now confirmed in neuroscience research into neuroplasticity)
* Most adults appear to be becoming more independent in their thinking and more “self” oriented. (Is there a correlation between this group and increased stress levels I also wonder)
* Going through each stage is a part of the journey. Remember, the levels relate to the complexity of the mind, there is no better or worse.
* The Self Transforming Mind is aligned with mindfulness, spiritual development, and the growth of our own consciousness.
* This study comes from 1994. If the research were to be done today I wonder what would the results show. Would there be more self oriented people or more people awakening to the connectivity of us all?
* Now take a moment and imagine the impact on the planet if humanity was to transcend into the Self Transforming Mind. … There would be inner peace and external peace. Everyone would be living from their Middle Ground.
* That’s something special to help bring about. And yes – I believe it would be a better world to live in!
I feel so much gratitude for being able to share my insights here. Thank you.
What comes to your mind? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.