4th and 5th person perspective

I am a bit confused on what Ken means by this 4th person perspective, specifically when it comes to language.
1st person: I, we
2nd person: you, y’all (my fave)
3rd person: him, her, them etc

So, I assume he is not creating another 4th person language element. If that is the case, then how does this manifest itself? In Integral Life Practice they attach 4th person to green (“multi-worldcentric; all human and other beings, pluralistically”) Which compared to their 3rd person example is: Worldcentric, Orange and “all human beings, universally”.
Does this seem like a stretch? How does this create a 4th person perspective? Is it because I am able to see it from not just by view, but their view as well?
Now, for the 5th. They label it as Kosmocentric, Teal and beyond and “all sentient beings in the world”. So, just because my center of gravity might be at Teal I can say I am seeing things from a 5th person perspective because I understand spiral dynamics, levels of development, etc.?


Perspectives all the way down and all the way up. Thanks Michael. Some of that still is confusing to me. So a 4th person perspective can have a perspective on the third person’s perspective (green level). And a 5th person perspective can have a perspective on the green level’s perspective?
I guess I get that point. I think the using the identical language of grammar is adding some slipperiness to my grasping of the idea. Good share.

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Hi Ixvythrs, Here’s another explanation that might be helpful, from The Religion of Tomorrow, pgs. 51-52–

“Humans, for example, evolved from simple Archaic, to 1st-person Magic, to 2nd-person Mythic, to 3rd-person Rational, to 4th-person Pluralistic, to 5th-person and higher Integral. These ordinal numbers refer to the number of overall perspectives an individual can simultaneously keep in mind. A 1st-person perspective can be aware only of the individual’s own personal perspective,or “I” (as with egocentric Magic). A 2nd-person perspective can “take the role of other” and thus add a 2nd-person perspective–a “you” that added to an “I” becomes a “we” or “us” (as with ethnocentric Mythic). A 3rd-person perspective adds a perspective that can objectively be aware of both a 1st- and 2nd-person perspective, or “all of us,” and thus also discover objective, universal, 3rd-person truths (as the modern sciences do–modern physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and so forth–as with worldcentric Rational). A 4th-person perspective can keep in mind a 3rd-person view of a 2nd-person view of a 1st-person view (and hence comment on and criticize previous views, as postmodernism does with modern ideas; thus the postmodern Pluralistic and “deconstructive” view). Likewise, a 5th-person Integral perspective, transcending and including previous perspectives, thus becomes even more and more holistic and integrative–the synthesizing Integral, and so on. …Developmentalists have traced stages up to a 7th-person and even higher perspectives (Super-Integral). The point is that each of these major stages of human development and evolution adds a new perspective, a new and larger degree of consciousness…”


Thank you for that reference LaWanna.

So the 5th perspective can keep in mind a 4th person view, etc and hence what?
My grievance, I suppose I should say, are the limits of the language structure. It is a nice tree at the moment to refer to singlular and plural, 1st-3rd person.
There is no language equivalent at the moment for 4th person perspective other than you are stage 6-green. Correct?
I like the image of adding perspectives on top of each other, holon upon holon, turtle atop of turtle …etc. That is already known though if you are familiar with the growth hierarchy.
I suppose it starts a red level because the self had yet to emerge from the previous levels?

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The 4th person perspective, or green altitude, is usually called “Pluralistic,” and is associated with postmodernism, as orange-rational is associated with modernism, and mythic, magic, egocentric, and archaic with pre-modernity. And yes, perspectivism starts at red-egocentric/magic for the reason you stated.

I don’t really understand what you mean in your second sentence–"…and hence what?" Want to rephrase?

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The issue I have/had (I believe) is semantics:

There is no 4th person in language.

I can follow this logic:

But it gets dicey when (in my own mind) we are connecting it to language (because as far as I know) there are only 1st, 2nd, 3rd person singular and plural perspectives.

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I agree with your point, but I prefer to put it in terms of pronouns: thus far in the English language, we have pronouns for only 3 perspectives. Should Integral invent new ones for all the perspectives above 3-p?


I’ve had similar concerns. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

  1. Perhaps the English language pronouns relate to a particular developmental sequence but not to all developmental sequences. For instance, the sequences involving how a individual human relates to its world is important and the first few stages may correspond with common pronouns. However, there may be other developmental sequencies, like say those that occur in the bottom right-hand quadrant, for which these pronouns do not neatly apply. There could also be later stages in the development of how an individual human relates to it’s environment, for which we do not have a set of English language pronouns.

  2. To eliminate some of this confusion, I would propose that we use a different terminology than “N’th Persona Perspective”. Perhaps we should talk about “N’th Stage Perspective” for a particular developmental sequence with a particular set of stages. So, 4’th Stage Perspective would be green and not have an common English language pronoun to apply to it. It could perhaps be thought of as a Stage Perspective from which one sees that there are a large number of possible decompositions of reality that one could apply common English language pronouns to. Traditional orange modernism may have its own tendencies about which parts of the phenomenal world to separate into an “independent” entity that should be considered an “it” or an “I” or a “you” for the purpose of making sense of the world. Perhaps at green (4th Stage Perspective in some developmental sequences) we become aware of many ways to decompose the phenomenal world into these pronoun categories.

  3. Perhaps at Integral stage (5th Stage Perspective for some developmental sequences) we become aware of how a particular developmental sequence has a set of stages that must occur in a particular sequence and as a result we seek to facilitate the coexistence of individuals at each of these different stages and encourage the successful transition of individuals between these stages that we can observe to exist.

  4. Perhaps at Super-Integral (6th or Higher Stage Perspective for some developmental sequences) we become aware of how to deliberately design a set of dependent stages for individuals to pass through in a new developmental sequence we design.

I hope you find this helpful!

Thanks Jason. Those are some good ideas.

The other day I started reading Transformations: Understanding the three levels of masculine consciousness by Robert Johnson. In a simple summary, the three levels he describes as two (simple) dimensional, three (complex) dimensional and four (enlightened) dimensional. He takes a literary character to explore each dimension: simple-Don Quixote; Complex-Hamlet; and Enlightened-Faust. Not saying that it totally relates to this thread but I saw some similarities, as far as levels go.

Interestingly I am reading more and getting to the discussion of Faust. In it he discusses the “evolution of three to four”. He references Jung (and de Chardin and Aurobindo) about how all discussed a new consciousness and new world order. Jung “saw the number three represented a consciousness that was time-dominated, devoted to acting, doing, processing, accomplishing…The number four, though, denotes being, eternity, peace and contemplation.” How does one make this evolution? They need to “make the necessary evolution within themselves”.

To me the language thing s a none issue… I can handle Wilber talking about allergies as a tendency to ngatively project I can handle him talking about perspectives as 2. and 3. does fir beautifully and a 4th main narrative critique based on the fourth value/equality discernment. And then I see talk about 4th perspective in time that must mean how as integrally aware we dont use fisrt tier values to judge other first tier values… we dont criticise Homo Habillis for not adhearing to safe spaces and we dont critizise the vikings for raping and pillaging… Before blue rape just was… however what about 5th perspective. Whats nown about it? Im seeing it medtioned with the term cross historical would 5th perspective be the natural consequence of a kosmic centered view were evolution as it is would be something to uphold? its the final step in to the process leaving the egoes behind… Now we bliss out in the union with gaia? either way I see it mentioned as cross historical not sure what that means though…

Finding examples helps me more than trying to wrap my head around all of the concepts, so here is my way of getting my head around it. Please let me know if I am way off here as I didn’t feel that I got it before exploring it this way. Thanks.

1st. I think I should cut the grass Billy says to Susan, as it may rain.
2nd. Billy thinks he should cut the grass and I can see that he may be right as it may rain, but I think it is ok for a few days yet, says Susan to Jane.
3rd. Susan isn’t so sure that Billy is right when he thinks that he needs to cut the grass today and I can see her point as well as his as I think that it’s not too bad yet even if it does rain, says Jane to Robert.
4th. Robert then tells David that Jane is not sure who is right, Billy or Susan when the try to decide whether to cut the grass or not. She can see both of their points and has offered her own opinion on the matter. As for myself, I think he would be as well to do it and that’s it done.
5th. David gives all of this some consideration and upon checking the weather forecast informs Billy that there is rain coming and that he agrees that he may be wise to cut the grass today as it seems that Susan and Jane may be wrong to leave it if there is a lot of rain and he then can’t cut it for a several days. Going on to say, ‘as David say’s at least that’s it done’.

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