Share Your Experience: Teal / Yellow / Centaur From The Inside

Hi all,

I’ve read and written a lot about the levels of consciousness, and there seems to be a gap in how writers and teachers approach this topic.

We seem to describe these stages from the outside – we identify them in other people or operating in groups of people, while often failing to identify the inner changes that occur.
I want to create a series of videos for my YT channel describing these stages from the inside, starting with Yellow/Teal/Centaur. I’m aiming for a comprehensive account of this stage, so I’m reaching out to people so they can share their own experiences.

What for you are the defining features of this stage in your life? What are the most important changes you’ve seen as you’ve moved into this level of consciousness?

I’m looking forward to this, and I hope we can create a really useful resource for those interested in personal growth.

Ross Edwards, founder of The Great Updraft


Guess I’ll go first. Be warned that I am happy being a political Conservative and practicing Christian that’s likely read more than the average of KWs writings. KWs work has been transformative in my life, but from outside since it has actually strengthened my beliefs many claim that by very definition I’m stuck in a magical Literal Mythic stunted development.
From my perspective, much of Integral Theorys altitudes are synonomous with emotional maturity. My “experience” is one of peace with, freedom from reaction to life.

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Sounds like you have a fascinating journey. The experience of peace and freedom from reaction you speak of is an effect I can definitely resonate with. Thanks for your contribution.

I’m going with a hunch here, but I reckon the higher altitudes must be active in you in one or more of the lines, as Wilber would put it. From my (largely remote) experience of Mythic-dominated Christians, I suspect many of them would only reach page 3 or 4 of a Wilber book before branding it as heresy or the work of the devil, never mind reading his entire works.

What do you mean by “remote experience of”? Lack of direct experience?

Ooooh, this sounds like fun. Off the top of my head:

Crossing from first tier into Teal, the first stage of second tier, I’d say my own experience has been the visceral recognition that all of the six stages of first tier have a necessary function. That each stage specializes in a specific subset of the human potential. That as we have grown through each stage, we have brought certain potential capacities online (so to speak). And that each stage has certain limits, and certain typical ways in which it can go toxic. Ken Wilber has done our hard work for us defining all this. But at Teal, this becomes a lived experience, not just a lovely theory. We actually start to see for ourselves the essential, indispensable value-added of each of the stages we’ve come up through. That allows us to start becoming less judgmental about the people who populate the first tier stages. We begin to respect those fellow humans who are hard at work at these other levels that are not better or worse and are equally vital to the human experiment. We seek to understand how those at other stages understand things, not to judge them, but with respect, and with a wish to find common ground.

Also, IMHO, we begin to have an experienced sense of just how interconnected everything is with everything, at all levels, all the time. Again, with Teal this begins to be a lived experience, not just a lovely idea. I suspect that this insight grows and deepens as we go up the stages of second tier. Maybe this ends, eventually, in the Buddha’s radical insight that we do not exist as separate beings; that all experience of “separateness” is ultimately an illusion. That’s still ahead, but the process maybe begins here.

A natural outgrowth of the above two capacities is a lessening of the automatic leap to judgement, blame and resentment on encountering something we don’t like or understand. These “unenlightened” reactions begin to transmute into sympathy, compassion, and a sincere wish to understand the suffering that must be driving the people we see doing harm. Which, in turn, begins to awaken insight into ways to handle difficult situations more skillfully. Again, this is just the start of a process that I suspect deepens and matures as we go on up through the stages of second tier.

Okay, that’s what I have for now. I hope that this becomes an ongoing discussion. I’d love to be part of the process :smile:


Well, I’m Scottish and have lived in Britain for my whole life. The “God and country” phenomenon doesn’t really exist here. And “God and guns”, well, that’s completely non-existent.

By and large traditional religion is absent from British society now, and even openly religious people are less extreme than in America I would say.

Hence my lack of direct contact with religious fundamentalism!

Beautiful ksv, just beautiful! Thanks for your contribution.

Have you had any direct experience with any religions?

Depends what you mean by religion.

Hi @rosssedwards, here is an episode of Daily Evolver you might enjoy:

Thanks again for your contributions. I’m glad to say the video is now live! Listen up for your names, I do mention you all… and feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section.


Beautiful discussion Ross. That’s for sharing, and more importantly thanks for actually taking inputs :slight_smile:

The strong opinions shared here by users like @corey-devos @raybennett and @FermentedAgave I see them all in common. They each articulate what they see very well.

My thing is spirituality and here is my share with you @rosssedwards as requested in you excellent video presentation.

The bible says, “In the multitude of counselors there is wisdom.”

The following is quoted from the spiritual quest book, reflecting, dare I say, a advanced spiritual way of thinking.

"To get beyond our blockages with reference to the arguments of the day, or the historical patterns of the left and the right, the religious or the non-religious, we do well to embrace the duality of anything; while exercising extreme caution at not judging anything as good or bad within our spiritual comprehension.

Whenever there are two contrasting points of view, called the duality, there are always two sides, positive and negative, left and right, up and down, forward and backward. Nevertheless, both of these polarities have a stark similarity, which is the spiritual connection between the two points, this is the wholeness and the oneness that one discovers on their spiritual quest."

“If you are finding these ideas overly simplistic or nervously unsettling, welcome to the spiritual quest. There are no answers here for you until you can discover your own questions and dare to dive deep into the contradictions, because the fact of the matter is that the truth is in the whole and the whole is in you.”

In conclusion … the expression “think outside the box” means getting outside or beyond yourself. The spiral dynamic in flow thinking might be better stated as “there is no box”. ~ Peace :slight_smile:

I learned TM 51 years ago. After 51 years with my mantra, it now rides me, I no longer ride it. I am my mantra. Sometimes my mantra appears during my active times, as if it lives in the world – which Vedic cosmology says it does.

I also got my undergraduate degree in Transpersonal Psychology, and my doctorate was a research project validating social constructionism and indicting individualism = a turn that is definitely teal. So I even ended up seeing the interconnectedness of everyone even in some of psychology’s siloed, backward theories.

More powerful than all this, my life in Teal now brings experiences that are somewhat trippy. The world of forms sometimes becomes translucent. Sometimes I see shimmering columns in those forms, reminiscent of The Matrix.

10 years ago I realized that a tree and a lightning bolt not only have the same shape (inverted) but they are also the same thing: one is composed of energy and has a 1 second lifespan before collapsing back into the cloud, and the other is composed of carbon compounds and has a 100 year lifespan before collapsing back into the terrasphere.

Much more recently, I have begun to see that EVERYTHING EFFERVESCES. No surfaces are fixed and unmoving. Your skin effervesces, metals effervesce, tires effervesce as they shed rubber marks into the roadway. Of course anything in sunlight is effervescing molecules, and by that rule, same goes for moonlight and starlight, just at a subtler level. If any of you can tell me of anything that does not effervesce, I would welcome hearing about it. Til then, I’m sticking with this as a corrollary of the theory of Holons espoused by Ken.


All the quadrants, colors, stages, levels, attainments and discoveries none are fixed none are superior one a top the other; it’s all perspective?

I want to see beyond The Matrix, should I try?

I think I see it. I still have obligations, deadlines and maintenance that call for my attention and that I would love nothing more to ignore but I’ve tried and it blew up in my face.

It is impossible to escape responsibilities in life completely. The body requires some degree of nourishment, water and a range of temperature and without at least these basic physical requirements being met the body will cease to function and one will transcend involuntarily (aka die).

Beyond those three basic needs everything else is a choice.

Who is higher in spirituality? The monk who spends 1 hour meditating or the monk who spends 1 hour in the same temple sweeping the floor? Is Meditating “Teal” and sweeping the floor “Orange”?
One can sweep the floor with a Teal level of awareness and also one can meditate in an Orange level of awareness.
Behavior does not define the Tier
One can kill another human and still be Ultraviolet (Krishna was a fierce warrior) and one can also establish a charity from crimson motivations.

Avoidance of obligations, deadlines and maintenance for a time may allow one to learn some Teal, Violet or Ultraviolet skills in a controlled environment. Living in isolation may solidify that way of existing.
But eventually, the “true” path must lead one through the duties of sweeping a floor while in whatever state one chooses to be in.

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Your reply should start an ongoing discussion. I just shared it with my spiritual reading group (outside Integral Life) because it describes the Tier 1/Tier 2 transition so well! Separate from that group, I’m in a religious community that is stuck in “mean green” and only a few are getting an inkling of the possibility that “those at different levels are not better or worse.” I’ve been outed for asking questions about progressive absolutism and can’t seem to find a way back in. :frowning_face:

I do need to remember that green is still dualistic and by nature unable to see that all stages “have a necessary function” as epitomized in the suggestion “if you don’t like it you can leave.” At times I can see and even feel the promised land of Tier 2, but these glimpses go poof when that statement replays in my mind.

Thank you for your beautifully articulated description of what, in my quiet moments, I’m striving for!

Referring to the original question from @rossedwards, I decided to share some personal experiences simply as data for others to consider in light of Integral Theory, Spiral Dynamics, or any other framework of interest.

The most specific thing that led me to this community was a work-related problem that came up for me last summer. We were hiring a technical specialist needing a generally orangish skill set, but the organization as a whole is burning with social justice passion, making it culturally a shade I would like to designate as “flaming green”. Not really mean. No one is mean. Just a very single-pointed focus on equity and the historically marginalized. So we are out to decolonize various STEM fields, among other things.

Several decades ago, I took two history degrees. In my heart of hearts, I’m probably a modernist, longing for a master narrative I can really believe in. Or maybe pre-modernist, wanting a myth I can celebrate literally. Too bad. Wrong time period. I turned away from human sciences back when Derrida was on the rise, because I saw no future in it, not for me anyway. But then last summer it all came rushing back. You can run to a technical organization to get away from postmodernism, but in the end postmodernism is knocking on the door anyway, because to paraphrase Trotsky, you may not be interested in the Culture Wars, but the Culture Wars are interested in you.

So anyway, I did a deep dive into anti-racism, decolonization, CRT, gender studies, critical theory, etc. in the vain hope I might rationally resolve the tension between decolonization activism and the scientific/technical culture I would prefer to keep living in. Turns out, that problem is in effect, a koan, because on the level of pure reason, there really are no answers. (But I like that Habermas is at least trying!)

Over several months of intellectually wrestling with this modern-postmodern tension I also started to spiritually seek a bit, realizing that mind alone was not going to give me answers and a more wholistic approach might help. Like @corey-devos my first encounter with the works of KW was twenty years ago in the New Age section of a store like Borders. That placement is probably what kept me away from Integral for a long time. I’ve been drawn to East-West cultural fusion for half a century now, but in my limited lifeworld horizon, there are not a lot of credible representatives of Eastern perspectives. So for me, it’s been about reading, not so much about doing.

Long story short, I experienced a bit of a spiritual breakthrough. No angelic visions or anything. Just the sudden removal of writer’s block, lots of primary process gushing into essays, and the realization that I was entering a new stage of life, with a new mission I don’t quite understand, and that I’m fine with not understanding it.

Feel free to color that what you will!