Materials and Practices for Developing Higher Psychological Capacities
outlined in Evolution's Arrow and The Evolutionary
Manifesto, humanity must develop higher psychological capacities if we
are to move successfully to a sustainable, unified and highly evolvable
planetary society. In particular, two new capacities are needed:
1) The ability to free ourselves from the
dictates of our conditioning, habitual thinking, emotional responses and
feelings. When we achieve this freedom, we can act more wisely and
intelligently. Instead of pursuing wants and desires established in us by past
evolution and by our cultural conditioning, we will be able to find motivation
in pursuing whatever goals are useful for our future evolution.
Individuals with this capacity are self-evolving beings -
individuals who can move at right angles to the dictates
of their evolutionary and cultural past and who can adapt in
whatever ways are necessary to contribute to the future evolutionary success of
2) The cognitive ability to understand and
deal with complexity. This higher form of cognition is referred to here
as meta-systemic or dialectical thinking. It is the cognitive
capacity to understand complex systems and processes, and to use this understanding
to manage complexity effectively. Our current level of
analytical/rational thought is unable to do this. It can represent
mentally only those limited aspects of reality that are relatively mechanistic.
Analytical/rational thinking is largely incapable of representing complex
patterns and processes, transforming systems, emergence and complex
relationships. It is therefore manifestly incapable of solving the
complex environmental, social, economic and political problems that are
besetting the planet.
As a key
element of my strategies for intentionally stimulating the development of
these higher capacities, I co-organized the First Planning Meeting for the
Second Enlightenment which was held in San Francisco in September 2011 Details
about the meeting, including the agenda, background notes and
participants, are here.
issues that were addressed by the meeting were: what new ways of thinking
will enable humanity to understand and manage the complex challenges that we
are facing? Is it possible to train people in these new ways of
thinking? If it is, what strategies will spread the higher forms of
thinking to sufficient people across the planet in time to make a real difference
before global crises undermine human civilization?
the Planning Meeting, I worked with Victoria Wilding of Symplicitus
to develop a 10 week program designed to equip individuals with the tools they
need to work on themsleves to develop these higher capacities.
description of the program written from the perspective of a
participant was published in the January/February 2014 Integral
Leadership Review. The article written by Mark Roddam can be
online teleseminar organized by Otto Laske that provides a succinct
overview of the program was conducted on 26 February 2014.
The slides of the presentation made to
the teleseminar are available online. The presentation
provides a conceptual outline of the key elements of the program, and a
discussion with Otto Laske about central issues in the training of
meta-systemic/dialectical cognition. The PowerPoint slides for the presentation are here.
webpage provides links to the basic materials and resources that were used in
this program (note that these materials are very limited. The emphasis in
the program is on participants working on themselves, not on intellectual
descriptions of how the higher capacities can be developed):
Overview of the Program is here
A to the Overview which outlines the basic steps that individuals need to take
to develop a Higher Self and to use it to remake themselves is here
B to the Overview which outlines the basic steps needed to develop
meta-systemic cognition is here
C to the Overview which contain additional notes on meta-systemic cognition is here
on how to use Kleopatra Ormos' CD of practices to begin the development a
Higher Self is here
of practices (Induction to Meditation) can be purchased here