UnbornTao

Is Stage Theory BS? - Nora Bateson's Critique

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Nora Bateson criticized stage theory a few years ago. This article attempts to answer the question: Is stage theory BS?

https://www.sloww.co/stage-theory-nora-bateson/

Nora made a comment at the end that may also be worth a read. 

Interesting topic.

Edited by UnbornTao

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Spiral Dynamics certainly is over-simplified and has it's problems. But the 9 Stages Of Ego Development is really phenomenally accurate as far as individual development stages go.


You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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If you dont like stage theory you must be stage green ?(joke)

I read some of it and she clearly has some interesting points, but her main point is to dismiss these models on the grounds that they limit people and put people into boxs, shes ranting over the limits of these models, but ya they have limits that does not make them useless, just keep there limits in mind and move on. If you intersect models with other models you get some interesting details that pop up, also obviously dont use them in a naive dogmatic way.

Women also develop very asymmetrically and dont neatly move up these levels the way men are more likely to do. 

The structure of her experience is still observable. She is trying to denie that because of epistemological biases we cant accurately measure structures.

Well then observe structures from many epistemological perspectives then derive general patterns from does perspectives! 

Edited by integral

How is this post just me acting out my ego in the usual ways? Is this post just me venting and justifying my selfishness? Are the things you are posting in alignment with principles of higher consciousness and higher stages of ego development? Are you acting in a mature or immature way? Are you being selfish or selfless in your communication? Are you acting like a monkey or like a God-like being?

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When she uses the word “colonial”, what I see is stage Green anti-hierarchical thinking.


"Not believing your own thoughts, you’re free from the primal desire: the thought that reality should be different than it is. You realise the wordless, the unthinkable. You understand that any mystery is only what you yourself have created. In fact, there’s no mystery. Everything is as clear as day. It’s simple, because there really isn’t anything. There’s only the story appearing now. And not even that.” — Byron Katie

 

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Here's the thing: if stage models are BS, how come they do such a good job at predicting how humans behave? Especially in political matters. You can use these models to predict humans like zombies. It only starts to break down at Tier 2. Tier 1 is super predictable though. So it is for this reason that I taught these models. Even my some of my sharpest critics say that my Spiral Dynamics videos were genuinely helpful to them. The model is so useful it would be negligent not to teach it.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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Seems like a classic post-structuralist critique: "White men forcing their values on the rest of the world."

Kind of a strawman argument though. The point of developmental psychology is to reveal the principles and "stages" of development that are common to all human beings. Piaget's developmental theory has been validated cross culturally (and I'm sure many more models have).

To me the problem starts at the "higher stages" like "Turquoise," "Tier 3" or some other bogus. This is the biggest group think imaginable - especially with people like Ken Wilber explicitly labeling his followers and telling them how to become more "Turquoise" aka. "read more books, meditate more, give up your individality and become just like me (although you will never become as great as me)."

Nora Bateson is very involved with Integral and adjacent communities and I can only imagine the circle jerk going on there...

Nietzsche already identified this problem in Hegel. Hegel talked about phylogenetic and ontogenetic development as Spirit coming to self-knowledge, by developing through a series of developmental challenges (contradictions) to higher order resolutions. While these challenges were/are/will be acted out on the stage of world history, in personal development they are purely conceptual and so all development/spirituality was confined to sitting in a library all day.

Nietzsche didn't throw out the baby with the bathwater and came up with his own developmental model, the "Metamorphoses of the Spirit." For Nietzsche, development was all about becoming more of an individual (an overman), not some teleological equalizer.


“We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.” - Heraclitus

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Ken Wilber has done amazing work though. He's one of the few philosophers who have a clue what reality is.

Anyone who would dismiss the insane value in Ken Wilber's work is not serous.

You just have to never forget that all models are limited. As far as explaining general human behavior we have no better models as far as I have seen. So really the burden is on any critic to provide a better model.

If you think Spiral Dynamics is bad, you tell us a model that's better, or pipe down with your whining.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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Just now, Leo Gura said:

Ken Wilber has done amazing work though. He's one of the few philosophers who have a clue what reality is.

I agree.

That doesn't mean there aren't other philosophers who understand reality as deeply, but come to different conclusions on what to do about it.


“We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.” - Heraclitus

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14 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

You just have to never forget that all models are limited. As far as explaining general human behavior we have no better models as far as I have seen. So really the burden is on any critic to provide a better model.

I propose Friedrich Nietzsche and Carl Jung.

Wouldn't it be silly, if there was only one viable way to interpret the world? 

Both Hegel/Wilber and Nietzsche/Jung offer a comprehensive explanation of the world. For the former God is the unattainable goal of life and for the latter God is a turning point in life, after which you are finally free to create your own meaning in life.

This is more of an aesthetic choice than a matter of one person being right and the other being wrong.

Edited by Nilsi

“We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.” - Heraclitus

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37 minutes ago, Nilsi said:

I agree.

That doesn't mean there aren't other philosophers who understand reality as deeply, but come to different conclusions on what to do about it.

Off the top of my head I cannot think of any philosopher who understands reality better than Ken Wilber other than me.

26 minutes ago, Nilsi said:

I propose Friedrich Nietzsche and Carl Jung.

Wouldn't it be silly, if there was only one viable way to interpret the world?

No one has suggested you only use one model. There's room for dozens of models. But I have not seen anything within Nietzche or Jung that is remotely as accurate and useful as Spiral Dynamics.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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Just now, Leo Gura said:

No one has suggested you only use one model. There's room for dozens of models. But I have not seen anything within Nietzche or Jung that is remotely as accurate and useful as Spiral Dynamics.

The problem is that Nietzsche and Jung are incredibly nuanced thinkers and presuppose massive understanding. Which is why sources like Wikipedia and silly YouTubers like "Eternalised" and "Academy of Ideas" butcher their ideas and miss the point entirely.

It would be impossible to condense their work into something as elegant and easily digestible as Spiral Dynamics.

If you were to engage with their work deeply, you would begin to see the wisdom in it.


“We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.” - Heraclitus

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2 minutes ago, Nilsi said:

If you were to engage with their work deeply, you would begin to see the wisdom in it.

I do see wisdom in it, especially Jung. It's just not relevant to this topic.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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4 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

I do see wisdom in it, especially Jung. It's just not relevant to this topic.

How is it not relevant?

I brought it up as an alternative to basing your worldview on some teleological stage theory.


“We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.” - Heraclitus

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I don't know of any Jung model that is better than Spiral Dynamics.


You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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Just now, Leo Gura said:

I don't know of any Jung model that is better than Spiral Dynamics.

Jungs "model" of Individuation and Nietzsche's idea of the Overman are viable alternatives to Spiral Dynamics.

Maybe we should start color coding their ideas, so it's not too hard on the brain.


“We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.” - Heraclitus

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Jung is the founding father of modern psychology. It is unfair to compare him to his modern counterparts. 

Edited by StarStruck

In Tate we trust

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It's also a very classic gender oriented review, where it's evident that it's only a girls perspective, irregardless of who wrote the article if it was the guy who created the website, the critique is has a strong feminine perspective. I would not call this a serious review, yet bias towards girls in communities and women perspective about stuff, where it's clearly evident for me that she and the author possibly can't even see her own ethnocentrism and fundamentally lacks later development, but would admit stuff like this possibly. (I am presuming this) Cook-Greuter does an excellent job of explaining this with a holistic gender perspective, calling this hierachcical etc. is a classic regressive green rhetoric and most likely just an attempt for power and to flatten a hierachy that is holarchy, and most likely she never really contemplated it. Calling it colonial and then dating and supporting the white men who caused it I find this a classic sign of lack of 100% integrity, and then beign in denial of stages just shows me why I dislike green. I could see her deeply "racist perspective" and how disgusting it is and how she basically creates this fetishes by her liberal desire, I say this as a liberal. Just watching a brief interview, she's great, but it's extremely difficult to uplift masses of people. Deconstructing everything without proper evidence is quiet immature, and why social science imo currently sucks without better data. It's just opinion. I can see where she is coming from, yet it's an immature academic stage green immature, vanity & hatred driven path and rhetoric. Where this all comes from stage red, with a green perspective. 

The point is she has most likely a lot of correct points with the "white patriarchal" perspective of teaching at universities and sciences etc. It lacks proper yin energy even in girls, and a lot of "diverse" boys are disrupting a higher balance for billions of biases. They could include these models similar to maslow and teach more like this, with more healthy yin feminine energy and appreciation of it, the point is it's more a sexuality type topic and creation/creative perspective that is missing. I would not waste my life listening to critique of her. 

It's a lack of moderate perspectives for sure there could be things done to heal colonialism and it's damage culturally etc.
It's such an immature polarizing comment, Sorry but it has to go. Great way to go about your business. Lack of responsibility. I dunno old person I don't care about her, and they f*ed up creating a multiple proper perspectives and let young kids either run into orange and/or green. The few ones who go higher and are good academically, land in academia and are the leading edge to some extend in a research field. I bet she underestimates how big of a task this is, and does not appreciate the "mastery&expertise" of the lower stages, as they often cognitively agree. The issue is green arrogance in culture, as they define power differently and neutral yellow is the best you can do, besides maybe coming from indigo, yet that is to high of a stage. It's more an issue of power. 

Tier 1 is hierachy, Tier 2 is holarchy. She seems to be missing and conflating stuff. Even healthy stage orange would agree on this, with proper evidence...

Edited by ValiantSalvatore

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6 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

But I have not seen anything within Nietzche or Jung that is remotely as accurate and useful as Spiral Dynamics.

Jung's concept of individuation is infinitely more accurate and useful than SD.  

A lot of SD is ego development/polishing the old ego.

The problem with Wilber is that he's only partially enlightened, so he places a lot of value on systems and intellectual development.  He merely assumes that SD is somehow superior to being fully enlightened if the fully enlightened person is some ignorant rustic monk in Tibet or something.

The fundamental paradox is that stage development is pointless until you're fully enlightened and unnecessary if you are.  Wilber DOES NOT KNOW THIS.

So even though I'm not a big fan of the "colonialism" argument, it is a very CLASSIST argument in the very least.  A lot of being in Stage Green is really accounted for by the more basic socioeconomic and cultural factors, or an IQ differential vs. your parents perhaps. (I'm not even mentioning not being straight or things of that sort.)

So the basic problem with stage development is that it is highly CONTEXT-DEPENDENT.  If I drop you off in Africa tomorrow to live with forest people, your Green goes out the window.

State of consciousness isn't.  It is fully portable.

Edited by SeaMonster

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7 hours ago, SeaMonster said:

The fundamental paradox is that stage development is pointless until you're fully enlightened and unnecessary if you are.  Wilber DOES NOT KNOW THIS.

His point is simply that - let's say a stage blue nondual awakening is not as full as a turquoise one. You can't awaken to a "reality" you are not yet conscious of - it just flies over your head. How is this pointless?

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Hardly the most nuanced view that its 'BS' lmao.

Edit: I read the rest of the article. I think she makes some valid points. What I think she is saying at least in part is that the socio-historical context of the developers of the model means that they make certain distinctions. However, if they were from a different socio-historical context they would make different distinctions. 

And further, in part, development simply occurs differently in different socio-historical contexts anyhow. So, any stage model could only really ever apply to one socio-historical context. And, there are so many different socio-historical contexts even within members of one school class, i.e. poor kid v rich kid, that any stage theory is doomed to to be misleading and unuseful.

I sort of struggled to understand what she was arguing but I think that is part of it. 

But I think you could rebut that by arguing that you just need studies in various different cultures, and then do a meta analysis of studies, and draw patterns. Then also make sure the research methodology isn't biased too.

But to conclude that it makes stage theories 'bs' is not a very helpful conclusion I think. But hey its twitter i guess.

Edited by Ulax

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