It's lonely at the top


Hi Karen
I agreed with Ryan that we would put out our email addresses and ask everybody who wants to participate to send us their email addresses so that we can send out reminders.
Mine is

I guess we are planning for next Saturday at the same time, but we might also send out another Doodle, Ryan will set up an extra thread for the zoom meetings.


Think I got confused with the “5pm UTC +1 (Central Europe)”, I took that to be 5pm UTC which is now ish.
Sent myemail anyway Heidi.


Thank you for your response! You said the key word, “relationship!” The entire world is one big relationship that exists in different states and structures. What is our edge and how does it relate to the whole of things and the individuals we encounter is a question we must ask and reflect upon regularly.

Obviously, that kind of question is a second tier thing. Earlier stages of interpretation haven’t developed their understanding of relationships to more expansive contexts and tend to think it’s silly to ask such a question and that focusing on fulfilling individual or group desires and needs is what matters even though it’s all part of it. The universe keeps expanding, inside and out!

One important element of growth that many tend to be uncomfortable with is shadow content. “Cleaning up” is very important if we are going to “build bridges.” I’ve done shadow work for many years and will often reach out to “the other” despite them projection their shadow material on to me. This is not an easy thing to do but I’ve had an opportunity to see how powerful it is when “I” and “other” move beyond our individual projections and build the “bridge of relationship.”

Peace & love,


Hi guys, lets try again to meet on Zoom: next Sunday February 3rd at 8pm CET, 2 pm Eastern time, 7pm UK.
If you send us the email, you will get a reminder, otherwise put it down in your calendar and come in here:


Relationship indeed, gets pretty dam complex :), I find it gets even more so around the emotions and intimate ways of relating, or perhaps I’m particularly inspired by the thread’s theme. Knowing how you can and can’t form healthy relationships with various people. Edge, shadow as you say, and I would also add to that, sometimes the flip side to shadow talk I see which is just healthy boundaries or push back against any dysfunction no matter the stage, is a hard thing to juggle.

Lately I’m definitely struggling with my own edge, frustrated often by green and in dire need of someone holding my more complex perceptionsl. An example is very strong boundaries and the primal. Green does much to get in touch with the body and feelings, but it seems to focus on inner child and reconnecting with this, being kind of maternal in having everyone get along and be equal, but it’s not so great at protecting or taking a stand. With the relativism rife at green, whittling away a strong stance on anything objective there seems to be for them, less reason to be annoyed as truth and depth just aren’t cared about to the degree, but also this real blurring of safety/ calling out pathology as one’s own project shadow. Anything that ruffles feathers or calls out pathology, which would say this is higher and this is lower, just seems to be a no man’s land at green. Greens can grock in a peak state but I’m often frustrated by the lack of being able to deal with laying powerful boundaries, dealing with pathology, even evil at times I dare say which is a larger topic for the therapy world but I feel valid. If anger shows up, it’s more ‘my anger’ which tends to be more like a teenagers that wants there way, which can be valid, but it’s not about calling right or wrong, especially if it relates to group pathology as they seem far less aware of bias or group blindspot, or just don’t care as much with the agenda to have everyone be equal.

With this I see this overvaluing of simple emotions of the inner child. There is this cliched phrase of ‘you are too in your head’, and it often amuses me cause I want to say the opposite, ‘you are too much in the body’ where it can get histrionic, unstable/ triggered and unable to understand the higher meaning of any emotion or relational perception. As though any and all emotional expression is always wholesome, or a really strong desire to just have it stay in raw child emotions, because it sort of feels good, enmeshed and close for everyone. I find this personally challenging because I have a fair amount of trauma myself, there are times I’m not in touch with my feelings, and integrate more green than I’m aware of, and be with my inner child etc. But it’s hard to sit with when you also have integral perceptions, because I trust greens less because of the above, feel like I have to be very wary of their limits, or I’m left alone to deal with things they can’t carry, or worse I rub up against some sort of green bias and it gets messy. As I say I feel this has occurred with therapists even, which is hard to sit with. Relativism, a seeming lack of regard for what the facts are, or the world that’s actually there outside of my head, and a fair amount of what I list above has been quite the struggle to bump up against. That’s been a tough journey cause I certainly was not validating my own point or of high self esteem enough to think I was perhaps seeing things from a higher vantage. But I have started to muse that I think certain emotional expressions only click in at integral.

Would be curious of other’s take or struggles with green, or any other level for that matter.


My mom can’t stand my lectures. There is a power in the words. There instead is a call to bring the rest of my being into this lighter play. A joy emerges. No one needs to know, but they will just in being around that energy. Turn it around.


One thing I can say for sure is that some of the darkest times in my life was my years of conflict with green, internally and externally especially when I became at odds with my social peer group. I felt alienated from the world and when I realized that I was riddled with contradictions I beat myself up badly. I gave up on any form of growth and entered in to a dangerous time in which I was tremendously nihilistic. Years of destructive behavior and depression later I stumbled upon Integral philosophy and Ken’s work and managed to crawl out of a deep hole. Things started to make sense and a handful of years later there has been growth.

It’s still challenging to go out in the world and interact with people day to day. No one that I’m aware of is interpreting reality from an Integral level. This has basically forced me to learn how to be more accepting and less judgmental of others and interact from their level. I still have moments in which I loose my cool and wonder why the hell I’m on the planet! I’ve become a better listener and surprisingly I’ve had people actually say to me that they heard me saying something that helped them or peaked there interest. The more I let them be themselves the more open they are to listening to what arises within myself.


Appreciate that share Brian, feel like each time I am less ‘lonely at the top’ after hearing yorus and others shares. Yours certainly sounds like a significant struggle. It makes me think of a recent talk between Keith Witt on suicide, not to be morbid but the existential crisis of each level up the spiral. A battle for meaning particularly, or peer group, I know I’ve battled fair bit of loneliness, depression, bouncing between inspiration and jadedness.

The call I went on last week was particularly helpful. I said this on it and am pretty sure this is true. That it’s alot easier to be inclusive and accepting when you have your growth edge met. I definitely find that with greens, if I can tlak to some integral folks I’ll be more mellow and appreciate greens for what they are. If not they are always going to drive me crazy.

One of the biggest things for me I see of late is integral types really seem to want to be engaged in the world, have alot of worth to say that would be of use, which involves collaborating with the lower levels, but at times also battling them, both can be had to do alone. With me that tends to result in being more introspective but also unfortunately solitary in that.


I would be interested in joining up with you all when possible if you would have me.




Hello @Tschmenk!

You can join us here on Zoom:

We will meet tomorrow at 7:00 AM PST (looks like 10:00 your time). We will be discussing the Purple Stage of development.

Looking forward to meeting you!


Sounds like a good topic! I will see what I can do, but I may not be able to join you this time due to other obligations. I teach dance lessons at 11am. Depends on how much preparation is required with my wife (and dance/teaching partner).

How often do you meet? If not this one, definitely a future one.

Also - thanks for responding so quickly! Unexpected.



We meet every Sunday at the same time. But if you can’t make this time, not to worry - we are planning on starting another group sometime mid week. If you send me an email at, we will send you updates/info.



Will do! Glad we connected! Mornings during the week tend to work better. I am usually free until noon, Wednesdays are especially good. Now that I know I can warn my partner that I will be jumping on to talk with you all. Tomorrow, well, that may not land so well with her. Playing with the wheel of fortune there.

Talk soon.

Thanks again for the quick response.



Hey Ryan, let me know if you start another mid week group!


Yes. Let me know as well. Right now I don’t see an opening on Sunday due to an obligation at 11am until June.