Anxiety, fatigue and emerging levels (simplified and updated question)

(Simplified question in comment below! :slight_smile:

Hello everyone,
its the first time posting on this forum, I apologise if I may inaccurately explain my thought but I hope this reflection may be of interests and that you can share your feedback about it.

My analysis is related to the idea that anxiety and avoidance, may be at times be caused by of emerging of a new LEVEL/structure.

When experiencing anxiety and the inability to have strenght and energy to accomplish all my “duties” and work, I addessed the issue with the following interpretation:

  • the result of shadow (either related to the people involved or the immagined self who may accomplish a certain outcome)
  • or lack of equanimity in the here and now or for past events which may be correlated
  • or lack of compassion and understanding for the perspective of the people involved in stressors.
  • or lack of integration of body
  • or hyper identification with the traditional Level of development which is more identified with duty

While these strategies have value Ive been reflecting about the idea that such conditions may also result from allergy towards emergent LEVELS.
As KW highlights we not only become “allergic” to previous LEVELS but to new ones who are currently emerging which we do not recognise just yet.

In this case my idea is that anxiety and avoidance may be linked to the emergence of a new level, that of INTUITION, which transcends but includes rationality.

Anxiety and avoidance may be cause by the fact that while the tasks at hand make sense to the traditional and rational, they do not to the “new” intuitive mind.

The two previous minds no longer needed to factor complex “intuitive/probabilistic” information which was adaptive for earlier minds, active in periods of hunting and gathering.

The “new” mind instead is able to combine a lot more information and to produce a result that seems irrational to the rational mind and “wrong” tot he traditional one. Such result may lead to either not doing something, or simply not doing it until the wisdom of this new level is listened to.

The listening intuition seems potentially a good example of integrated thinking, as it has to include all the “sensations” coming from pre-rational parts of the self, all the previously alienated levels (mithical for example) as well as rationality. An intuition that does not make sense, and which is in conflict with other parts of the self, is often impossible to put into action!

In practice, witnessing all sintomatologies of anxiety, fatigue and avoidance, while trying to understand the yet undoscovered intuition may help spur an new level of thought which integrates rationality and previous stages.

The additionally interesting thing is that when meditating in such way (trying to “merge” all the available sensations about a stressful matter to identify the “hidden” intuition) feels quite similar to the effects of EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) as i notice eye movement becoming activated as a result of the process of “navigating” a large amount of information.
This offers a possible link between emergin levels and a corresponding state of consciousness.

I hope the idea is not too out there, and I’m curious to hear your opinion about it. I also made a podcast about this idea which Id be happy to share if anyone wants to explore it more.



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Found a way to simplify the question:

  • How does one distinguish emerging shadow/structure from represses shadow/structure?
  • How does one differently manage emerging structure shadow?
  • Is intuition an emergent structure and how does it present itself when emerging but alienated?

It is interesting how much anxiety is caused by juggling the past and future. I would think there is absolutely an anxiety experienced with the emergence of a new level. I’m thinking back to one of the calls with Dr. Keith Witt where he was talking about how suicide could well be related to a struggle to move to the next level, and that change is too painful at times. You see this in the perennial battle between conservatives and progressives.

Personally I definitely see this in my own inner experience. Different parts fighting for prominence or harmony at times. With phases of development swinging me one way, then another, eventually forming a stronger more integrated unity at the top of the spiral. For example adult and inner child is an obvious back and forth.

My hunch would be, and curious if Ken has said any of this - that the more stable and healthy the lower levels are, the less anxiety and more attraction there will be to the higher. More stable orange will give an easier evolution to green etc. I think this works just as well for repressed, i.e. past shadow. There is a resistance to the present based on an inability to adapt, but personally I think the term ‘shadow’ itself often has a bias to the UL. As though all anxiety or resistance is induced by a lack of capacity of the person being anxious. For example, if I walk in a jungle butt naked and my anxiety levels go through the roof when I see a lion, calling it shadow of the lion to me makes no sense. Maybe I have other needs to make this situation less anxiety inducing. Peers, my fellow tribe (LL), perhaps equipped with some spears (UR) and RR is always my weakeness lol but I dunno, a society system for dealing with tigers.

Also the devil is in the details with evolution. When I read your passage my own levels of development are sparked. You say ‘duty’ I feel blue, as you say, traditional. I could take the equanimity in the present moment, or compassion and understanding people as green or integral, same with the integration of the body. To me there is a certain flavour of it, and there’s also something to be said for sharing takes. Like the nitty gritty of your experience could be this or that level, or all sorts.

I’ll also say this, intuition that transcends but includes rationality is probably something I also struggle with. Emotion is an intuition, and physical sensation, something I feel to a large extent green deals with very well. Relativistive, relational, seeing that one piece is affected by another. But with integral the complexity of that really seems to be something, many many different factors in play. Not sure if that’s going on for you but is the certain vibe I pick up. Interesting to talk about anyway I imagine :). Working out one’s evolution, the stumbling blocks of that etc.

I found myself slightly disorientated by your post, and also wonderfully intrigued :). Much like I do with myself when trying to work out what on earth I’m intuiting.


Damiano and LionLamb, just wanted to add a note here that if either of you has access to Wilber’s book The Religion of Tomorrow, there is some useful information on intuition on pages 225-227, in the section on 3rd Tier Violet Meta-Mind. While Aurobindo called this the “intuitive mind” or “intuitive stage,” Wilber points out that:

“…intuition per se is simply an immediate apprehension, and thus intuition itself can be experienced at many lower levels…(that is, there is physical intuition, emotional intuition, mental intuition, spiritual intuition). The type available at the meta-mind is a variety of spiritual intuition. But “intuition” itself simply means a direct, immediate perceiving or feeling; all phenomena on all levels of consciousness–structures and states–are known first by intuition, whether they are images, symbols, concepts, rules, metarules, vision-logic, or vision. The various phenomena simply present themselves, immediately, to awareness, no matter what complex preconscious processes went into presenting them. Then, depending on the level and its type of cognition, secondary processes swing into gear that are deductive, inductive, representative, iconic, and so forth, and are generally “nonintuitive,” or “mediate.” But all knowing is, in its initial conscious stage, intuitive; it is simply “given,” even though that “givenness” is almost always a preconscious 4-quadrant production. In short, Awareness itself is initially and primarily intuitive: it simply and immediately (“without mediation”) sees the given phenomenon; it doesn’t perceive a phenomenon, then reason about it, think about it, and name it before it then actually sees the object. It sees the object first, immediately and intimately, and then it may or may not reason about it, think about it, label it, and so on.”

Hope this is helpful; it cleared some things up for me when I first read it.


That is clarifying LaWanna, I was thinking that as I made my post but Ken articulated it way better than my fumblings. I was thinking, yeah what intuition is available at each stage of development, and how is that different to what comes in at yellow or turquoise. I’ve also been thinking about whether spiritual intuition or practice is mandatory at integral. ‘Meta-mind’ sounds right, this grand map of relationships and growth in reality. I’ve been wondering if some of that is perceived on a subtle energetic level, that the vision part of ‘vision-logic’ is visionary in the spiritual sense of the word. When I listen to integral folk or think about integral subjects, I do often feel an almost third eye and energetic activation that feels unique to it. Very much like there is a heightened awareness of kundalini energetically, and with that, a deep and vast mental awareness of so many systems that have evolved and are evolving, or to quote spiral dynamics on one of the core values of integral is ‘emergent.’

With that seems this real need for spaciousness and meditative objectivity, to be able to handle a heightened sense of activation, both evolutionary and to deal with shadow and the unintegrated.

I notice myself really wanting to grock vision logic, from Integral Life -

"The cognitive stage necessary to support integral consciousness. Typically subdivided into early, middle, and late vision-logic. Early vision-logic differentiates reality into relativistic systems, while middle and late vision-logic add up and integrate those perspectives into systems of systems. Vision-logic is often referred to as the first “postformal” stage of cognitive development since it is immediately beyond or “after” formal operational cognition. However, it is not yet “transrational,” but rather the limit of rational thought. Vision-logic is, in a sense, the bridge between the mental and the transmental. "

This almost sounds like the growth from late green at high relativism, systematic in yellow and transmental at turquoise.

In my searches online I found this useful -

" vision-logic

Vision-Logic is the personal, post-formal form of thinking. That means that the individual is incorporating and approximating transpersonal pattern-recognition into their conventional human personality. This involves the symbolic integration of “left brain” and “right brain” modalities – in which intuitive, visionary glipses and rationality are used ambidextrously. It is a form of thinking which articulates dynamic patterns which are seen operating across diverse languages and perspectives.

This form of thinking relies upon an ability to conceptualize and compare different viewpoints – entering into foreign perspectives, discovering validity zones which can be used to orient it alongside other validated viewpoints and then grasping meta-structures which seem to operate across or within both systems.

EXAMPLE#1 - “I don’t know anything about computer programming but when I heard him discussing it I just saw in a flash how it was the same as some things I understood about the art of painting.”

EXAMPLE#2 - “Before complaining I took some time to see why her perspective might be correct. I still think I’m right but I’ve modified my position a little to adapt to the “shape” of her concerns and now I feel like I’ve evolved in a bigger, more responsible context.”

EXAMPLE#3 - “When I smoke cannabis or meditate deeply I “see” these bit of living architecture that seem to be simultaneously expressible as a verbal concept, emotional mood or intuitive image. Somehow those are all the same thing…”

quote from Wilber:

Vision Logic, thinking wholes, feels just like thinking. What anyone would recognize when they think about thinking. But it thinks holistically. It thinks from one whole to the next. It doesn’t see individual ideas, but networked ideas, holistic ideas, big pictures, things that are hooked together intrinsically. And it still has a type of gross orientation to some degree. Nonetheless it is opening itself up as well into third-tier or more transpersonal aspects. But it is essentially thinking whole and in terms of wholes.!

[Sorry if the posts are too long or derailed your thoughts Damiano].


Thanks for sharing the citations on vision-logic LionLamb; hopefully others who also want or need greater clarity on it will find them here.

Re: your comment about wondering “… if the vision part of ‘vision-logic’ is visionary in the spiritual sense of the word.” – my understanding is that, as stated in the last Wilber quote you provided, 2nd tier vision-logic can glimpse or open itself to the transpersonal and 3rd tier, but it is at indigo para-mind (the first or lowest 3rd tier stage) that “…wholes are delivered primarily by the next cognitive stage up from vision-logic, which is, namely, not vision-logic but pure vision (what Aurobindo called “the illumined mind”).” (Wilber in "The Religion…book, pg. 222).

Do you think spiritual practice is ‘mandatory’ at Integral? It sort of sounds like it, for you anyway. Maybe others might choose to pause or stop at teal, with or without any spirituality, making that level their station in life, even if they have had glimpses into transpersonal states/realms. I don’t remember the source right now, but I’ve read studies that reported the majority of people surveyed claimed to have had at least one profound spiritual experience, but the vast majority of them also said they had no interest in any further experiences of that kind. Go figure; to each, their own, of course.

(I notice my circle-L icon is not appearing; I think I accidentally hit some key while typing my last post that deleted it. Do you have any idea how I can get it back? Just asking, just in case you do. Thanks.)

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I observe immense anxiety within each time I outgrow a situation and the new has not yet crystallised, or when relationships (particularly friendships that were based on a common mindset) begin to change because one grows. The anxiety is caused by the changes of leaving the old and familiar, but it also seems to be an active force squeezing me into the new at the same time. Don’t know if I worded this with enough clarity or if my comment is off topic. Hope I understood rightly.

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Interesting that is kind of my take of late, I have this musing that integral tends to be more the intellectual appreciation of wholeness and then the later above gets a hell of alot more embodied flavour of it. Also possibly a shfit from 2nd tier, appreciation loads of complexity, seeing it but still finding it somewhat disorientating and then as that gets engrained, realised, there is a sort of experience of simplicity, it’s in your bones as it were and becomes more lived and effortless than the brain power of prior. That’s a very loose definition based on my experience though,

I do wonder, the more I think of it it kind of does seem to be to me. At the very least are certain states of increasing wholeness, 7th chakra is how it feels to me to actually be able to intuit a grand map or some thread or framework to hold many different parts. I also have this musing that very primal impulses come online at integral. You have the embodiment of green, but combined with a growing care and appreciation of the objective world. Something with more clout and aggression than the touchy feely of green, which needs some strong mindfulness. The solution to green not being to handle ‘triggering’ as it were, hopefully integrating greens compassion but making it capable of being tough also again.

I also have seen quite alot of testimony about very physical symptoms to do with the subtle body, which I myself battle/ fascinated with at times and have been wondering if this also grows.

I think you should be able to just reupload it to your profile icon :).