Wednesday, May 16, 2018

theories of consciousness and self development, stage of consciousness, stage of self development

stages of consciousness or self development underlying all other aspects of development, cognitive, affective, moral

ps: Prerepresentational level: unable to use symbolic (semiotic) processes, eg., sensori-motor

Postformal hierarchical stages of self development that are based in Representational (conceptual) process

  • the self can only be known indirectly as an object of abstract thought process (the me)
  • the self is still constructed through the abstract thought process/operations
1. Souvaine, Lahey, Kegan
  • qualitative changes in the subject-object relationship that underlie growth across several developmental domains
  • equilibrations of the self
  • "deep structure" underlying cognitive, moral and ego development = sequential equilibria of the "living" subject-object relationship
  • distinction between (1) the self's principle of organization (the self's way of knowing), the subject if embedded within and identified with the organizing principle (the cognitive structure)(2) that which gets organized (the object is that which gets organized)
  • a new stage arises when the subjective pole undergoes differentiation through de-embedding the self from the organizing structure ---  the self, standing outside the cognitive structure, can systematically organize these cognitive structures and render them as objects
  • the basic mechanism of development is the resolution of crises of meaning through a de-embedded process
  • formal operations arise when the self acts through hypothetico-deductive structure
  • institutional self: the self is the administrator of a closed system of self-defined and self-regulated goals ---- the self is a sealed system and can't reflect upon and alter its self-selected values and purposes
  • a transition in the self-object balance begins as the self, through extensive social interaction, recognizes the limitations of the institutional self ---- a highly equilibrated interindividual self can be attained 
2. Pascual-Leone
  • further enrich our understanding of the self by drawing upon the insights of the existential-phenomenological tradition of western philosophy--- Max Scheler (existential phenomenology and creative-spiritual intelligence/personal spirit) and Karl Jaspers (existential self development, stages of existential awareness)
  • higher stages of consciousness in which an inherent (not constructed) underlying self can be directly experienced (as the I of awareness) without conceptual mediation 
  • schematic structure will be transformed only when resistances are encountered that necessitate expenditure of effort in the direction of new accommodation
  •  adult self development is not based on increase in mental capacities, but on the degeneration of mental capacities---- serve as a major resistance that can stimulate structural remodeling
  • transitions in adulthood can be partially explained as reactions to progressive difficulty in mobilizing mental energy
  • the main structural changes in adulthood occur through mental effort and "mental macro-decentrations"--- through such decentration, adult can develop higher modes of consiousness, each associated with a higher level of ego development
  • Ego strutures are developed by means of mental effort and as a result of encompassing mental macro-decentrations (attentional expansions from the present/here and now toward both the relevant future and past, so as to recall the complex and time-deep structures that are relevant to the knowing of the current situation)
  • three main categories of ego structure: self strucure, other structure (represent other perons), world structure (which code the environment in terms of objects that are important to the self)
  • other and world structure create or constitute the ego-milieu (the subject's conscious life-world)
  • ego-cognitive structure: subordinate ego structure that interrelate self structure with world structure
  • conscious collective strucure: interrelate self strucure with other structure and with the world
  • the higher ego are optional, for most people, the ordinary adult ego structure remains unchanged---the phenomenological ego, the product of interpersonal interaction
  • transcendental ego (ultraself) that some adults develop is structured solely in terms of internal interactions  (e.g., coping with internal conflicts)
  • the ultraself (transcendental ego structure) has four successive levels, four ultral-self modes of control or forms of existential awareness or mode of processing
  1. Late-formal or exisential-self stage: empirical existence (modes of control or forms of existential awareness), arise in the late formal period, age 17-25
  2. Predialectical or duality-self stage: conceputal existence (mode of processing), develop between 25-35, in response to growing awareness of both intra- and interpersonal interaction
  3. Dialectical or Trinity-self stage: temporal existence (mode of processing) (35-40): a new prcessing mode arises becasue (1) not enough mental energy to sustain the current usage of the conceputal mode, (2) conceutal models now appear too idealized and static in light of the dynamic texture of reality;   Dialectical, apprehend pattterns of contradictory interacting theories, yielding appreciaton of totalities in evolution; incommensurable and pragmatically contradictory with the preceding three, thus a nonintegrated coordination of three "partial ultraselves"
  4. Transcendental or Quaternity-self: after age 55 or 60, realized self (quaternity self, transcendental self): transcendental operations, mediative thining (in which dialectical operations are performed upon dialectical operations), meditative existence (mode of processing)

Vedic psychology, post-representational higher stages of consciousness to hierarchically integrate all prior representational processes

Life-span model of develpment of conciousness

*Physiological development and corresponding hierarchical (vertical) cognitive advancement typically appear to freeze by age 25, new life experiences continue "horizontally" across the life span. This accruing of experience may result in  an increase in "wisdom" later in the life cycle

*the active knower (ego), process of knowing (levels of mind), known (objects of experience)

*Postrepresentational development resolve the fundamental epistemological and ontological constraint of the abstract reasoning (formal operational): the reflective knower can't directly know himself, the knower can't simultaneously be both observer and the observed (epistemological problem), knower does the observing, thus he can't directly observe himself
* knower, known, process of knowing are fully integrated

Vedic science’s theory of human development
Maharishi's Vedic psychology
Nature laws are the organizing principles that underlie and orchestrate orderly growth throughout the infinite diversity of the universe

7 states of human consciousness
  • 1-3 are familiar experiences of every individual 
  • 4-7 are higher states
  • the 4th,  tanscendental consciousness, is central because repeated experience of it cultures the   physiology and gives rise to the subsequent states
  • Human developement is a U-shaped funtion, first developing inwardly until transcendental consciousness in reaching, then developing outwardly as it brings the qualities of transcendental consciousness into all levels of mind and activity.

1. Deep sleep state: no experience of self or environment, no self-referral
2. Dreaming state: illusory exerience of self or environment, very limited self-referral
3. Waking state

  • experience of excited levels of mental acticity and the surface value of the environment
  • The true nature of the self as tanscendental consciousness is obscured by the active levels of thought and percepton. 
  • Self-referral awareness is fragmental and experienced as knower, known, and process of knowing. 
  • Awareness becomes localized or conditioned by the active processes of mind and corresponding stuctures of the nervous system. 
  • The knower perceives objects of experience as external and separate from himself. 
  • The individual self is experienced as localized or bound in time and space. 
  • The self/the knower is experienced as localized in time and space and separated from the known by active processes of knowing (perceptions, thoughts, feelings) which filter or qualify one's experience of self and world.
  • The subject of experience is  never able to directly know itself (knowledge of the slef, like knowledge of any other object, is mediated by the active process of knowing. All one actually knows are thoughts, perceptions, and feelings about oneself as an object, but one  lacks immediate, direct experience of one's own inner self. 

  • The field of psychology that studies the self, personality psychology, focus on understanding the  self as an object to be known (the me), as a self-concept or self image----this doesn't focus on the self as the subject (the I), who is the locus or source of human consciousness, Who is this "I" that is asking what is this "me"?----solution to this problem is offered by Maharishi Vedic Psychology through transcending the division between subject and object, between knower and known, and experience an underlying unbroken wholeness of awareness in which consciousness is fully awake to itself 
  • post-formal stage= waking consciousness

  • The status of the self experienced is the small or lower self
  • Lower self is that aspects of the personality which deals only with the relative aspect of existence. 
  • It comprises the mind that thinks, the intellect that decides, the ego that experiences. This lower self functions only in the relative states of existence, waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.  
  • The knower knows himself only directly through the active states of feeling, thinking, and perceiving.
  • Lower self= individual pshche the feels, thinks, perceives, and acts

Higher states of consciousness
4. Transcendental consciousness (=Self):  

  • the least excited state of mental activity, least excitation of consciousness, pure consciousness, the source of thought, the simplest form of awareness; Thought and perception are transcended. 
  • Knower,  known, and process of knowing converge into  one wholeness of pure consciousness. Devoid of difference, beyond the division of subject and object. 
  • Transcendental consciousness is the most basic ground state of mental activity, not bound by any thoughts or perceptions. 
  • A state of clear inner wakefulness in which the knower, process of knowing, and known are experienced as one undifferentiated, unified field of consciousness
  • The Self is realized as an unbounded unified field or pure consciousness at the basis of the       individual psyche.  
  • The higher Self is that aspects of the personality which never changes, absolute being (pure consciousness), the very basis of the entire field of relativity, including the lower self.
  • Transcendental consciousness= a unified field of consciousness, field of pure consciousness; transcendental consciousness, the cosmic psyche, at the basis of the individual psyche. 
  • Knower=Self= the ultimate status of the knower is the cosmic psyche; underlying unified      field of consciousness, the cosmic psyche
  • tanscendental field of consciousness=cosmic psyche= at the basis of individual thoughts and feelings; cosmis psych=higher self
  • it is not possible to experience the silent source of thought while remaining in active thinking processes (eg., introspection), by transcending mental activity a person can experience the comsic psyche at the source of all mental processes; pure consciousness at the source of thought; 
  • cosmic psyche=the knower   

  • cosmic psyche= the knower, the Self= fundamental, transcendental reality underlying the individual psyche, the state of transcendental consciousness
  • cosmic psyche, transcendental consciousness, can be produced during practice of the transcendental meditation technique
  • a state of restful alterness
  • transcendental consciousness provide the foundation for development of cosmic consciousness
  • Being= cosmic psyche
  • pure or transcendenal consciousness provide the basis for advances in adolescent-adult growth

5. Cosmic consciousness: the self is permanently maintained along with the changing states of 
     waking,  dreaming, and deep sleep. Pure consciousness, the self, silently witnesses daily activity.          (postrepresentation, self-referral mode of knowing) 
  • the knower can know himself directly, rather than indirectly through thoughts and feelings about himself
  • the knower becomes identified solely with pure consciousness, the essential nature of the self, a self-referral field fully awake to itself
6. Refined cosmic consciousness  (postrepresentation, self-referral mode of knowing)

7. Unity consciousness

  • complete unificaiton betwee Self and environment, 
  • conservation of  underlying unity across all its manifestations 

self-referral state: transcendental consciousness and higher states of consciousness

self-referral means that the Self is fully awake with itself

Levels of minds (process of knowing)

  • mental processes through which  one can know the self and the world
  • hierarchy of discrete levels of cognitive functioning
  • Hierarchy of levels of subjectivity, levels of mind, begins with the most fundamental self-referral 
  • level of the comsic psyche and extends to expressed levels of thought, physioloigical  functioning, and behavior
  • more expressed levels are guided by more fundamental levels
  • life-span model: levels of mind account for the ordinary phases of development and for growth to higher stages of consciousness

  • the structural and functional relationships between consciousness and sensory, cognitive, and affective processes
  • Vedic psychology postpulates that the mind (mental functioning) is hierarchically strctured in layers from gross to subtle, from highly active to settle, from concrete to abstract/subtle, from diversified to unified, from dynamic expressed activity to complete inner silence; human mind as having a hierarchical structure with levels of depth of functioning from gross to subtle to the transcendental foundation of individual mind, the unified field of consciousness
  • Underlying the subtlest level of the individual knower and transcendetal to it is the Self, an abstract, silent, completely unified field of consciousness, identified as the self-sufficient source of all mental processes
  • the ultimate status of the knower (I) is alwayes pure consciousness
  • Human development is the progression of the dominant level of awareness to successively deeper levels of mind. from 1 to 6

Prerepresentation (sensorimotor mode of knowing)
1. sense and action (sensorimotor stage), most expressive level, experience results when the senses come into contact with their objects

Representation (symbolic mode of knowing)

2. desire (preoperational stage): direct attention to the objects of sensation; desire motivates the flow of attention and connects the mind through the senses with the environment

3. active thinking mind (concrete operatonal stage): like an open opera that accepts all sensory impressions, considers possibilities and relations among them, and engages in thinking

4. discriminating intellect (formal operational stage): discriminates and decides, it filters the information which comes to it through the mind; useful things are accepted, useless things are rejected; the intellect guides the mind and directs the senses to those aspects of life that are most useful and enjoyable

5. feeling (intuition) (early post formal, postconventional stage)

6. individual ego (late post formal, postconventional stage): integrated function of individuality; the active experiencer in individual life that synthesizes information gained through the other levels of mind

  • underlying these levels of the individual psyche is pure consciousness, the cosmic psyche
  • direct experience  of the cosmic psyche, the most fundamental level of life, nourishes simultaneously all the more expressed levels of the mind constituting the individul psyche
  • contact with the cosmic psyche through practice of the transcendental meditation enhances all levels of the mind
  • mental processes and brain processes are expressions of the self-referral functioning of the cosmic psyche

Higher states of consciousness
. Transcendental consciousness (=Self)-- Nonrepresentational (Transcendental consciousness doesn't "represent" anything outside of itself; rather, it is the direct experience of pure consciousness, self-referral, in contrast to object-referral awareness)

 Postrepresentation (self-referral mode of knowing): Cosmic consciousness + Refined cosmic 
. Cosmic consciousness
. Refined cosmic consciousness
. Unity consciousness

life-span model of consciousness development

  • human development is seen as the advance of the "dominant level of awareness" to successively deeper levels of mind
  • the dominant level of awareness advances from Action and Sense (sensory-motor age)→Desire (early representation stage)→ Mind (concrete thinking stage) → Intellect (abstract reasoning stage)→ Feeling/Intuition→Ego (advanced development of affect and ego stage)
  • each developmental period is characterized by the "dominance" of a given mental faculty in the conscious awareness of the knower. 

Develomental period
1. Dominance of faculties of action and sensation: the sensorimotor period
2. Dominance of simple representation and desire: the early representational period (symbolic function)


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