Grow Up, Wake Up, etc. vs Lines of Development


Does anybody get (or understand) how Ken Wilber’s Grow Up, Wake Up, Clean Up, Show Up, Open Up - and perhaps there is a sixth nowadays - relate to the lines of development?


Hi @gary.niemen. Somebody probably understands … to me it’s more of an open question. My teeth sunk deeply into the chew toy that was your other question about the 1st-tier to 2nd-tier transition, I’m going to circle back to that topic for a moment.

Namely - can you get to 2nd tier just by “growing up”? Or is there a necessary component of “waking up”? And if they are both necessary, do they need to coordinate in a process we might call “synching up”?

My answer to your question about what motivates the 1st-tier to 2nd-tier transition depends quite a bit on how folks view the issue of growing up vs waking up vs synching up for 2nd-tier transition.


Yeah I took a stab at this correlation, although I came up with a system that is pretty complicated. The basic pattern involves a fractal quadrants within the upper left and then different forms of knowing (based on Vervaeke’s 4 P’s) within each of the sub-quadrants. And then I tried to correlate the maturation “Up” categories with lines of development. Here is what I came up with:

• Clean Up: Associated most closely with intra-personal shadow work and the process of integrating it and becoming more internally tranquil and harmonious.
My thoughts: I would correlate this with the existential depth line that Hanzi Freinacht identified and explained in The Listening Society. I’m not aware of any of Ken’s books including a similar concept.

• Wake Up: To awaken to higher spiritual states, which can lead to a profound sense of connection with nature, and can develop one’s will to transcendence.
My thoughts: I would correlate this would intrapersonal awareness, which I think I have seen on some psychographs.

• Show Up: To identify one’s unique gifts, to fulfill one’s unique obligation, and to serve humanity in the world.
My thoughts: I would correlate this with the moral line, which often appears on psychographs.

• Open Up: To embody the fullness of presence in one’s unashamed and committed context for love and sensuality and the full range of emotion to express itself.
My thoughts: I would correlate this with cultural code, which is another line that Hanzi Freinacht identified and described in The Listening Society. Lene Rachel Andersen provided much of the theoretical basis for this line as well.

• Grow Up: To grow to higher levels of consciousness, especially emotional consciousness.
My thoughts: this one seems to be more of a composite of other lines, I suppose, rather than a core line.

Here is the link to my correlations document, if anyone is interested:


That’s quite a spreadsheet you’ve got there @EnlightenedWorldview


@EnlightenedWorldview - thanks for putting me on the scent of this -

Wow! Immediately entering my canon of essential education theory. Here is a teaser for the integral community:

'Danish adults have striven to close “the yawning abyss
between life and enlightenment." ’ (p 14)


I was listening to some of the Ken Wilber interviews on the Future Thinkers podcast and Ken described how he came up with Show Up. It was when he was writing Sex, Ecology, Spirituality. It was when he came up with the quadrants. He talked about Grow Up, Wake Up, and Clean Up being more about the interior, whereas Show Up is more about the Exterior. Not sure about Open Up - he didn’t mention it in that particular interview. Anyway, bringing together all this and thinking about Ken Wilber’s various phases, 1 through 4 - I am wondering if Grow Up, Wake Up, Clean Up, Show Up, Open Up is simply part of a later phase and doesn’t necessarily relate to the Lines of Development. It’s just another part of the overall Integral Theory - separate but part of the overall framework. And also it’s a nice catchy way to talk about human development - something that many will grasp quite quickly. So - in summary - I am trying to answer my own question and what I come up with is that there is not necessarily a neat relationship between the Ups and the Lines of Development - and there doesn’t need to be. Any thoughts?


Hi @gary.niemen. IMO, Ken Wilber leans heavily on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory for the “lines of development” idea -

Is every performance it’s own “intelligence”? This can be pushed to the edge of absurdity - do basketball, football, tennis, and golf all for example require different “intelligences”? Serious people would prefer to limit the number of “intelligences” (and by extension, “lines of development”) to a more focused number. Sub-divisions might better be called “skills”, “abilities”, “crafts”, “talents”, etc.

That being said, Ken Wilber has written much and made many videos about the distinction between spiritual intelligence and spiritual experience. Spiritual intelligence is about growing up. Spiritual experience is about waking up. There is no necessary “synching up”. An accomplished theologian can have a very routine and dogmatic spiritual practice. Likewise,a spiritual adept can preach a primative and culturally naive doctrine. Cultural altitude, spiritual growing up, and spiritual waking up may not correlate in any systematic way at all. Source of many problems …


Thanks both for your perspectives.


I myself view tranquility and harmony to be half of Green. Off the top of my head, I would add in the need to integrate clean anger, facing conflict, standing up against wrongful acts, protecting and / or nurturing the weak, etc. Not turning away from sadness or anger but accepting them as core to the human experience. Then extrapolate it from the internal to the external and from the individual to the collective.
Show Up - I use this term show up also as a kind of Jedi “Do or do not”. If we start something, do it properly or conversely if we decide not to do something, go all in with not doing it at all. Here also there are the Quadrants.
Open Up - for me this is part of and included in wake up.
On your document I see a few others that I would also include as subsets: Build Up is part of Show Up, different quadrants. Sych Up can be Grow up or it can also be part of wake up or clean up.

I think it mostly depends on if the desire is for a more streamlined and compact model that is more useful to most people or a more complicated and bulky model that becomes increasingly difficult to cognitively track and as a result increasingly useless for more and more people until only a few academic elite are able to even track it.
If we looks at the main three (think up, clean up wake up) - then add the primary 4 quadrants, then the primary 6 levels - that’s 72 parts of a model when the human mind is only able to focus on 6-12 data points at a time. If we add in complexity with Corey’s expanded 12 quadrants, 8 types of practice, and expand to 12 or more sub levels - that’s 1,152 data points before even drilling down into the second level of the models - and honestly I think this many data points blows the fuses on even people with Master’s and PhD’s who are used to complex models and thus becomes increasingly useless as a model.


Just a few words about the relationship in general between lines of development and growing up.

The lines refer to different aspects of an individuals development–cognitive, emotional, values, interpersonal, moral, aesthetics, sexual, self-identity, spiritual, to name some of them. Each line of development has sequential levels, with each higher (or more mature) level building on the previous one. For example, egocentric morality precedes ethnocentric morality which precedes worldcentric morality which precedes kosmocentric morality.

The lines are relatively independent from one another, so one can be at different levels of development in different lines. To progress through the levels of any line is a kind of “growing up” or maturation in that particular line.

“Growing up” as mainly used in IT as one of the UPs refers to the overall process of an individual’s development across all these different lines.

Vertical development can (does) happen in the individual lines, but we’re most accustomed to using the term to speak of growing up through the main worldview stages: archaic, magical, mythic, rational, pluralistic, integral. These stages of individual and cultural development represent different types/levels/stations of complexity and integration across multiple lines of development and are an overall representation of the way we perceive the world, interact with others, and make meaning of our experiences. In IT, they also point to the number of perspectives we can take and hold. Stages of vertical development are sometimes called “waves” to emphasize they are not rigidly boundaried.


Yeah you can see the way I have these Up’s structured is that some align with the upper quadrants and some with the lower. Some are more individual focused and some socially focused. I guess I was thinking that each of them can be seen to transcend the interior/exterior dichotomy. And the Vervaekean stacking of forms of knowing provides a way for there to be pairs of Up’s for each of these levels, one for the individual and one for the social. So I have Clean Up at the individual paired with Open Up at the collective/social. These involve an integration of states and working toward harmony and thus I identify them at the participatory knowing level. Then Wake Up at the individual is paired with Show Up at the collective/social and they both involve broadening perspectives so naturally that seems to correlate with perspectival knowing. And so the pattern continues. I’ll admit that your formulation of the Up’s might be closer to what Ken has in Integral Mediation and what I have is more complicated. That said, what I’m offering isn’t extremely complicated and it might have utility and it might even be more intuitive to some people.

Also in the attached document, the graphic there is based on a fractal model of the quadrants, which is intended as an improvement over the 8 zone model. I don’t know enough about this 12 quadrant model. Do you have a link where I can read about that?

(Note: I made a couple typos in this post and I noticed this and corrected it a day later. I had Open Up twice and participatory knowing twice. This has been corrected to have Wake Up paired with Show Up and also correlating these two with perspectival knowing. Sorry guys I have covid and my brain is sometimes a mess these days)


@LaWanna When you say “vertical development can (does) happen in the individual lines…” - can you describe what you mean by “vertical development”. Do you mean that somebody could, in some cases, push forward a lot in one line without progressing at all in the others. Does this relate to the last sentence about stages of vertical development being sometimes called “waves”? I’ve not heard the term “waves” used before. Overall I agree when you say that: “Growing up as mainly used in IT as one of the UPs refers to the overall process of an individual’s development across all these different lines.”


Hi @gary.niemen. My take on lines of development is they are relatively specialized. For example, a prima ballerina works on athletic and artistic skill sets. This may have spiritual or cultural ripple effects for her. But she will not be granted a PhD for turning in a great performance of Swan Lake. If she wants a doctorate in the theory of choreography, that’s a different matter entirely, requiring different skills, practices and performances. Vertical development in either her dance career or her academic career simply means getting better at whatever that specific discipline is.


Both “vertical development” and “horizontal development” are terms used in Wilber’s IT. Vertical development applies to “growing up” and to the structure-stages of development; it refers to the process basically of ascending through various levels and stages. Sometimes “rungs of a ladder” is used as metaphor (and graphic) to reference vertical development. Vertical development occurs through the process of “transcending and including” (also sometimes referred to as “differentiation and integration”).

Horizontal development applies to “waking up” and states of consciousness. It is the process of expanding from gross/physical states to subtle states to causal to witness-consciousness to non-dual realization. Horizontal development is sometimes also used to describe things such as expanding one’s skillsets and competencies, for instance. It is used this way in business and organizations, and also in the integral community, so it’s important to define how the term is being used. The main application of the term horizontal development in Integral is to refer to the waking up process.

Yes, that’s what I mean. Someone could be relatively ‘advanced’ in the cognitive line, say, but be at a lower level in the moral line, or psychosexual line, etc. If you think about it, it helps to make sense out of a lot of the seeming contradictions or ‘oddities’ in personalities, including one’s own.

“Waves” is a term from Spiral Dynamics I believe, to refer to SD stages of development, but the wave-like nature of stages is emphasized in IT too.

Although I’m not sure that any of these terms appear on it, you might want to check out the integral glossary at Helpful stuff.