Ten Stages of Human Consciousness

I’ve outlined above a holarchy of all ten stages of consciousness, or shapes of mind, that have evolved to date (including data drawn from population-level studies of adults in western Europe and the United States). The shape of your mind is the geometry that defines how your mind takes external input from the world and combines it with 1) pre-existing knowledge (or knowledge gaps) and 2) emotional patterning, in order to generate new thought, skills, emotions and behavior. It is your current “map” of the world, helping you to navigate your experience. But unlike a flat, paper-based map, this map is better thought of as topographical (which is why I like the term “shape of mind”). As your mental geometry becomes more complex, the topography of your map becomes more complex and multi-dimensional. (It can also be thought of as a mental ecosystem because it obeys ecosystem-like rules: massive variability amongst its parts, interdependent relationships, non-linear development, creativity, and decay.)



Opportunist (Self-Centric)

Diplomat (Group-Centric)

Expert (Skill-Centric)

Achiever (Self-Determining)

Relativist (Self-Questioning)

Strategist (Self-Actualizing)

Alchemist (Construct-Aware)