Your capacities are trembling to be born.
One may measure the growth of the body and mind by many yardsticks, and each of the various spiritual and psychological development models is useful in its own way. The Hindu system of chakras defined seven levels of consciousness, associating different parts of the body with those spiritual centers. The names of the chakras and their locations are:
· muladhara, at the base of the spine
· svadisthana, a few inches farther up the spine
· manipura, at the level of the navel
· anahata, at the level of the heart
· vishuddha, in the throat area
· ajna, between the eyebrows
· sahasrara, at the top of the head.
The anthropologist Jean Gebser, on the other hand, narrowed spiritual development into five stages: archaic, magic, mythic, rational, and integral.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow agreed with Gebser on the number of levels—five—but he believed the concept of self-actualization depended on a different “hierarchy of needs”: physiological satisfaction, security, love and a sense of belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. Any one of these analyses provides guidance for the growth of our essential intelligences; it all depends on how one gauges progress.
Here’s a simple example using the hierarchy of needs: my partner Jim and I are about to become grandparents. Jim’s only daughter will give birth to a baby girl around July Fourth (If I have my way, she’ll be the best-dressed baby girl in Baton Rouge). But regardless of her wardrobe, we recognize that:
· As an infant, our granddaughter’s basic physical needs of food, sleep, warmth and touch must be provided first.
· The unquestioned satisfaction of those needs allows the baby to recognize the stability and order of her life, and, as she becomes a toddler, to feel secure in her position and ready to test her limits.
· With our granddaughter’s basic physical and safety needs continually met, she’ll reach the third stage of healthy growth: love and belonging. A child by now, she will start to look beyond her parents to her extended family and to her friends around the neighborhood and at school for affirmation of her “self.”
· Once she thrives at this third stage of growth she will be ready for the fourth stage: the development of her self esteem through self-respect and recognition by her peers. By this time our granddaughter will be a young lady (and definitely choosing her own clothes).
· Finally, our granddaughter—surrounded by love and support and possessed with a positive sense of self, all her previous needs met—will be ready to satisfy her need for “self-actualization,” wherein she can confidently develop her innate talents and discover that joining with others enriches her own potential.
What is consistent in each of these models, in addition to mapping progress through the stages of growth, is the idea that once a level of development is achieved, it must remain achieved to ensure the success of each new rung climbed on the development ladder. Our higher growth rests squarely upon the solid foundation of lower-level accomplishment.
Love your way,
Alan Davidson, founder of
and author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital
Watch the Body Brilliance Movie
Dedicated to our healthy, happy, and prosperous world through the full enlightenment of every human being.
Through Your Body
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Houston, TX 77019