Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Big Love Integral Relationship Models Compared

In the work I'm doing developing and presenting my new workshop, Big Love Integral, Conscious Romantic Relationship in an Integral Context, I've developed a chart to compare six different relationship models so we can see how they compare to each other.

Like most models of consciousness from developmental psychologists, this chart clearly shows that different people measure different things, yet all are important, and all have a piece of the puzzle. And, as Ken Wilber says, no one has the whole truth. This is consciousness wrapped up in relationship, and when it comes to exposing where we need work, either as individuals. couples, or societies, nothing kicks our ass like love and relationship.

Relationship exposes every childhood wound, every shadow, every shortcoming, every fear, every thing. And the more conscious we are, the more we can see it. Fortunately, the good news is, once we see it, we have an opportunity to make friends with what we see. It isn't easy, but seeing and getting these shadows, wounds, etc., in a cognitive manner -- Again, as Wilber says, the cognitive leads -- is the first step in turning the subjective into the objective, or lessening their hold on us and our relationship.

My own fears of abandonment from my core wounds are still there, but now I can see them for what they are when they come up for me. Instead of fearing my partner is pulling back, I can now see my own role, realizing it's my issue, not hers. In doing this, I also free her from her core wounds of engulfment, or feeling smothered.

All of the models shown on the chart, with the exception of Spiral Dynamics, are about individuals and couples in relationship. Spiral Dynamics, is about values in relationship, and the various stages that both people and societies move through. In the United States, where I live, our societal center of gravity centers around Blue and Orange, hence, our natural tendencies toward rule of law, divine authority, absolutism (blue), achievement, merit, and materialism (orange). Over the last 50 years, we've seen the effect of relativistic post-modernism (green) upon relationship. Most has been good (being equal is better than male domination or partners as status symbols), some bad (50% divorce rate). Not all would agree post-modernism has been good, and again, they would be partially right. But personally, I'd rather live in later stage consciousness even with it's problems.

Spiral Dynamics -- as a relationship model -- in Module 2 was the largest, and by far, most interesting of the models. Since only a small part of American culture has reached Green, it may still be too early to tell what effect this post-modernism may ultimately have on relationship.

One thing is clear, Integral relationship, or relationship at the integral stage of consciousness, is still only a blip on the horizon.

Graphic and Comparison Model copyright 2007 Gary Stamper and may only be used with credit and a link back to the Big Love Integral website

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