What seperates quadrants from stages? Can we smash state stage and quadrants into superstages?


The free-mason symbol is a compass and a straight edge, because with those two tools, you can create all geometry. With those two tools alone, the cathedrals can be designed.

You start with a point

1st dimension
Connect a string and a pen to the end of that point and you have a circle.

2nd dimension
Draw a circle from the edge of the first, and you have a vesica. Two things interacting, and the beginning of complexity.

3rd dimension.
What is it? And why isn’t it the same as 2D? We immediately think of 3D as “space” and Not “flat”, ignoring “flat” doesn’t actually exist except in our minds. 3D is objectivity. 3D Is physicality. Before 3D there exists only I you we, until there is a “they”, until there is conflict, until there is an it. In a way 3D consciousness comes when we grow up to the fact that God is real, and that you have free will to run away from the snake if you want. That mom and my tribe do not make my ultimate fate. “This” Is space. This conflict, this sense of there being objective nature.

So, is there any way that we can test for the differences between 3rd and 2nd consciousness? I would argue that the pre-frontal cortex allows for 3rd dimensional perspective. But How would this be tested? How could it be defined… quantified? How can we say definitively that humans perceive a whole layer of perspective over monkeys? Could this type of perception be shown as a brainwave? as a complexity of neural circuitry? What are the scientific pointers that show this difference definitively, numerically. Could this difference be shown mathematically? Other than just showing that yes it is more complex, are there ways of showing these exponential increase plateaus?

If indeed these stages or states are real then they should correlate in this manner, across math, logic, psychology etc. All these disciplines should show that it is true, and so it should shine through the disciplines. Else we are just intellectually masturbating and going nowhere.

4th Dimension
4th dimension, commonly referred to as time, is what integral is all about. It shows that growth happens, that there is dynamism. Things aren’t “just” existing, they are changing, they are “going” somewhere, they are in flux. This may be experienced as seeing that going against “destiny” or “your dharma” or accruing “bad karma” leads to entropy, and that listening to this inner knowing speeds up time, and increases probabilistic control and favorable outcomes. 4d begins to recognize a “self” that is beyond the objective universe. the “dynamic self”. the “flux self” or “soul self”, where 3d is the “static self”.

For any one of these to be meaningful though, I want to see symmetry. That the math and the psychology correlate. That the Brain data and the math correlate. etc.

Stages seem to be higher orders of consciousness just as these dimensions are (except there are more of them), but stages also go through 1st 2nd 3rd perspectives, and to me it seems that there is some redundancy with the quadrants and the stages. That this could be collapsed into a superstage, that may correlate to the mathematical concept of dimensions.


Hi Kensho,
Quite a bit to unpack here. Thoughtful, thought provoking, made me pause to think about if I might have much to offer here. So here is my attempt.

I believe the main question you are asking is whether or not the two aspects of integral, the quadrants and the stages can be condensed. In a way, they way they show up in our perspectives is that they do collapse, since they are all happening at the same time. So, yes, it is my understanding that these two components are partially and it is fair to state that they do combine into the present moment, the here and the now, as is your question, I believe. I would also point out that you are including states in your description as well. Again due to the fact that they are all arising in the present moment, they would most certainly appear together as one, because they are.

However, these aspects have been identified as separate in that this is what they break down into. They are irreducible. I believe this is an important distinction that we need to hold in our minds and take into account. The quadrants are looking at the four ways in which we can identify and interface with reality (and the stages and states do show up within the framework, the framework is composed of states and stages - as well as types and lines) but the stages and states can stand on their own when being looked at individually. The 4quads help us see how these elements link and work together. We need to be aware of one so that we do not attempt to reduce and then generalize as if the concept is THE concept (say it is all states, all stages, or all types). They are all partially true. This is one of the reasons why such distinctions are so important.

I hope this answer was useful to you. I hope i heard your voice well.


Yeah it’s true that states Are indeed different then stages, i mean, if a 20 year old nazi at an ethnocentric stage takes dmt, he’s probably going to be shot into the stars like everyone else. So i can see how it’s important to seperate them. But it does seem that the higher the stage you are the more Likely you are to enter into a higher state, almost like, in order to percieve those stages, the brainwaves must change. So, are they Really seperate?

Quadrants however, i don’t understand why we must stop at 4 and how they aren’t actually stages. In a way, quadrants are added dimensions of perspective, except the 4th is not.
And, the stages are also added dimensions of perspective.
Can a todler see Anything from the upper right quadrant before he has grown past the rational stage? And can you see the upper right world without developing that cognition? In essence the “outside world” is inside before it can be cognized as outside. And then someone has an enlightenment experience and says the ”rock and I are one”. So after enlightenment, are there new “quadrants” a “being” quadrant?
Why stop at four quadrants?
I like how you say that in the present moment they all one. That’s not exactly what I meant but it’s almost as if you are saying the map is not the territory.
Integral theory, it needs to be robust, it needs to be smashed around and sculpted because there is obviously reality to it’s idea of growth. If you think about it, all other ideas of growth are individual lines, limited. So, we do need a map, better than the contenplative traditions and better than the developmental theorists.
If aliens, 2 groups, from starsystem a and b came here and spoke to us, would there be a map of growth independently reached by those two species? I believe there would be. Maybe that’s my problem. But if there is reality to these ideas then they would be agreed upon by alien A and alien B. They would be universal ideas.
How can integral theory be proven universal understanding?
Anyways i may have strayed there but I wanted to explain the reasons for wanting to collapse the quadrants and states. The reason is to find those universal stages.
… I’m so confused.
I think im going to look solely at “the territory” for now.


Ok. i think I am following you… consider this:

Quadrants are simply the four aspects of identifiable reality. Internal/external of Individual/collective. You could also stack the four quads upon themselves via states similar to the Wilber/Combs Matrix. Gross, subtle, causal, non-dual. Things become hazy here - since even attempting to identify “non-dual” automatically creates a state of “not non-dual”. Hope this makes sense. I have found it best, since I am constantly applying this both in my personal as well as professional/clinical life, to use it as a data gathering point, an anchoring point, and a starting point. There is also an inner and outer for each quadrant, as well as perspectives beyond those two. Go to far and the map becomes far to detailed and complex to be useful (at least in my experience and opinion). We do not need to stop at 4, but a map with to much detail then becomes less useful when your trying to read it while driving (driving being life/time)

As for the toddler seeing anything from the upper right quadrant, I would argue that the toddler would see all of it, but would interpret it from the stage of development (physiological, cognitive and consciousness) that the toddler is at.

Enlightenment is a whole other can of worms and one that moves away from a representation defined within the four quadrants (which would naturally tetra-arise) and I think moves away from the concept of four quadrants and more into lines of development and stages.
What is enlightenment but simply moving from (transcend and integrate) one stage to the next - so there is no final state of “enlightenment” that can be achieved, given the understanding of how conspicuousness unfolds right? Also - enlightenment on which LINE of development? How many would need to be considered before “enlightenment” could be awarded? I personally, don’t think this is a useful term, or perhaps is simply a value like strength, knowledge or wisdom. The concept of enlightenment gives us a direction, but like strength, knowledge or wisdom, can never be achieved. Right? Better yet, we could use our word growth - I think your using it as a value - can you ever achieve growth? I don’t believe so, but you can use it as a direction to set goals so that you can know that you are moving in the desired direction. None of this which accounts for places at any of the stages or lines of development where there has been shadow development. Schemas, developmental trauma, unconscious rules, tools, and beliefs that are running the show with us being completely unaware.

As for being proven - well - there is research which all tends to show us trends which unfold in each line of development (often illustrated in the four quadrants) and denote stages. This has occurred and been documented long enough and strong enough that it appears to provide a strong correlation. 100% proof that this is all true? not at all, which falls back on the notion that no one can be 100% wrong all the time and therefore not 100% right all the time. That is the beauty of the unfolding process and the dialectic process, gather data, observe, and adjust.

Again, I hope I am hearing you correctly and that I have given you something worth pondering. I know I am walking away with a few things to think about myself. I loved the notion of alien races coming here and what they might “stage” they might be operating within and would they agree with the integral model. I suspect the would, but I will have to mull that over in my mind further.



Aw, crumbs, I’m seeing Star Trek everywhere now. Star Trek has been looking at alien cultures, their developmental lines, their stages, their states, what impact they might have on our culture.
I seem to remember somewhere a discussion about what would be integral art. The initial idea was to put all quadrants into the art, banging in the states and stages. It ended up an unholy mess. It did clarify - for me anyway - that Integral is about perspectives and that trying to put every perspective into any aspect of your life creates an unholy mess. I think if anyone had some kind of overmind that allowed it to perceive all perspectives, you would still need to drill down into the detail for it to be of any value in your day to day life. So it appeared to me that you make your art and then you look at it from the perspective that is of value/interest to you and then tweak remodel or whatever from the info that provides.

Which brings me back to Star Trek. There is some wonderful stuff you can access here about the integral values of Star Trek. I’m sure Corey would be able to give a link to them. (please?)


Which episode are you thinking of, and from what series?

You know, I understand the need for lines. I understand the need for stages. I understand the need for states. Quadrants, a bit confusing why those are necessary. All things are all four at the same time though, sure. I mean it all makes sense. I guess practically speaking, “state-stages” seem to be concrete steps in development, and that the “enlightenment experience”, seems to be a graduation point in development. And I just wonder if the Tiers perhaps could be represented as more holistic than simply interpretive models, because often with the changes in these higher stages, there comes a sea change in state as well, and they seem to be connected, and so I wonder if there is some truth to that. I have heard wilber say that supermind is a statestage, which speaks to this hypothesis.