Have you ever felt the load of important existential questions piling up at the back of your mind, when all of a sudden you find yourself stood in pause watching the answers one after another crop up in front of your eyes? I felt that way today as I was staring at the wall with a bunch of posters at ICF Lithuania Conference in Vilnius.
This was a presentation about working on values by Colleen Slaughter, and the mentioned posters were depicting Richard Barrett’s Seven Levels of Consciousness Model.
It was an interactive moment and we were asked to intuitively find our way to a poster which represents where we are now. Oddly I found myself stuck. I was unable to get away from the first three no matter how hard I tried to reason why I should. The first three posters denote Survival, Relationship and Self-Esteem. They show up as the lower levels of development.
People have called me a wise person in the past and quoted my thoughts with inspiration. Some consider I’ve got a great purpose in life and I’m making a difference in the world by my selfless service. And there I was – staring at the basic levels of human development with a strong feeling that there was plenty to learn over there!
It is true that I’ve spent over a decade questioning this world as I was concentrating immensely on my own personal growth in lengthy silent retreats, and I was putting great effort to serving others and making a positive difference in the world. What I realized today though was that growth in life is not linear but rather a dynamic organism. Chunks of personal evolution may turn up as a stretch we feel we should’ve gone past long ago. It can be as basic as a need for self-esteem, for love and belonging or one of the survival needs. And this period of learning may be there to reinforce us in what we do.
The brilliance of this model lies in its versatility. As you can see it works wonders on the personal level, but it’s as effective on the professional level. It helps determine the growth of an organisation and stands as a holistic tool for individual and self-coaching.