(now with brackets around "5", Feb-15)
Adult Spirituality Chart (ASC)
"WE'RE GOING TO EVOLVE INTO, LIKE, JESUS. WHEN WE'RE ON TARGET, WE'RE LIKE HIM."
Interviews with 11 new age/new age supporters
IV = Mature level
III = Mature neurotic level
II = Borderline level
I = Psychotic level
(5 = Supraparadoxal level)
4 = Paradoxical level
3 = Subparadoxal level
2 = Polar level
1 = Subpolar level
· This model is detailed. Basically, however, there are two axes: one that has to do with the maturity of personality, based on psychodynamic theory; Another one that has to do with the level of spirituality. When reading Fowler, for example, there are things that cannot be explained. Firstly, how an individual can go "backwards" in spiritual terms or perform at a lower level than would be normal.
· The prefixes "sub" and "supra" mean "under/hitom" and "over/beyond" respectively. These have been preferred to "pre" and "post" that would suggest a temporal? relationship that is not intended.
· Level I-IV is linked to the conventional psychodynamic/self-psychological theory, which in turn is in a certain relationship with the (very young) child's, adolescen individence, the adult, and the older individual's functional level respectively.
· The P-axis has received small Latin numbers because otherwise could be missed for I-type
· Also connects to things like coping strategies and level of defense mechanisms (DSM-4)
· The model is a considerable simplification of reality, but the intention is mostly to present a proposal for a way of thinking about the religiosity or spirituality of adult individuals that would be based on psychodynamic theory and experience.
· It has certain advantages over, for example, James Fowler's model, as it can illustrate how it is actually possible to "go backwards" in spiritual terms, as well as how an individual can function at a lower level than would actually be natural for him or her.
· Level 5 is a completely hypothetical level, but follows a kind of tradition in these kinds of models, where a highest, almost "saintly" level is postulated, which has virtually no representatives.
· Key concepts are "regression" and "tolerance of ambigiuty"
· A-I would then constitute different kinds of spiritualities (with a higher and a lower variant of them all).
· Why are these different "types" not eighteen in number
· What motivates them to be arranged vertically and not horizontally?
· Between the levels of the P and S axis there is a natural, "normal" connection: the i-level corresponds to level 1, ii level against Level 2, etc.
· Based on psychodynamic theory and experience, it goes without saying that all individuals have all these levels (I-IV) within them. They are never completely overcome. We have continued through life, at best, access to all of them.
· In situations or stages of life when we are subjected to trials, it is natural that we retreat to a lower stage, which in a way means an easier way to categorize and relate to the environment.
· On the same basis, the lower stages exert a kind of constant allure on us.
· The waveform of the respective "types" forms a kind of flow up to the upper left corner
· Based on Fowler's theory, it could be said that as the individual grows older, develops up along an imagined oblique axis from the lower higher, towards the upper left corner. However, ASC is only about the religiosity or spirituality of the adult individual, and then it is the "child" and the "adolescen individual", etc., in each that, if anything, is meant.
· According to Fowler, most individuals make a level 3-4 content in his model, which is presumably represented in ASC by the middle-lower parts of type F and D?
· The present model grew out of a dissatisfaction with Fowler's theory to describe "new age/newness". For example, it was difficult to understand how a spiritual imagination itself can entail a greater regression pressure and/or trait, which will cause the individual to function at a lower level than is his natural. For example, an individual has a way of thinking about life, himself and fellow human beings, which can be characterized as "Level 2", even though the person in maturity is at "Level III" along the psychological axis.
· Fowler's theory tends to "overestimate" things like individualism and the independence of an assembly. Such individualism exists at both lower and higher levels.
· Under the influence of charismatic leadership and/or strong peer pressure and isolation, spirituality may rather be considered "Level 1-2". Although the person's normal level of function is, for example, "II-III".
· Drug abuse can similarly primitive an individual, making him or her function well below their normal level.
· Similarly, the individual can, with the help of a certain spiritual context, function stable at a higher level than would be natural for him or her, e.g. "F" instead of "E"
· "Ambiguity tolerance" is the criterion.
· It can be postulated that great similarities could exist between a spirituality at "Level 4-5" and a spirituality at "Level 2"
· This is what Ken Wilber calls "pre/trans fallacy"
· The direction of the P-axis is irreversible (ref). The level of maturity attained by the individual cannot be undone. In this model, you have to imagine regression to previous levels along the S-axis. It is a way of illustrating these movements. Regressive (or progressive) movements may have different scope and duration. What is the focus of this model are regressive (or progressive) movements that last slightly longer.
· The P-axis stands for the maturity that normally occurs over the course of a life. In this model, however, it is the adult individual who is in focus. Here, the P-axis stands for the achieved degree of maturity in adulthood. Normally, the individual makes the move from level (ii) to (iii) sometime in early adulthood. Ideally, she also reaches (iv), although (iii) may be considered the level at which most people are.
· Examples of what can be illustrated in the model (hypothetically):
· An adult with a relatively low level of function can become the central figure for a cult or sect. This sect may have a political or religious purpose. This person then has a spiritual type within the CA cluster. This may attract younger individuals who are still, naturally at the level (ii), i.e. who are naturally resident in the AC cluster.
· As the individual gets older, in most cases levels 1-2 are abandoned. This is what happens in different types of idealistic or revolutionary movements. This is what is captured by the saying "he who is not red in his youth has no heart, he who does not turn blue as an elder has no brain (Churchill). Some remain, by external or internal circumstances that they cannot handle.
· An adult who has achieved (iii) on the P-axis can be dragged along and then will function at levels 1-2. This is what is observed in sect research. A person can "wake up" and with the help of information and contact with the outside world restore their inner balance. Her approach to ideological, religious or political, etc. issues will then be at levels 3-4
· An adult who has not reached the iii level of the P-axis may, in adulthood, make this movement or maturity. This can be done within the framework of a certain spirituality, or with the support of one's surroundings. An example of this is what in attachment theory is called "acquired security"? (Granqvist & Kirkpatrick, ref). Such maturity can also be done with the help of psychotherapy.
· Here you can imagine two scenarios: first, a level of maturity maintained with the support of an assembly or good role model, or a more profound change. In the first case, the movement, under the good impact of the environment, is "horizontal", e.g. from type C to E. This is something that is maintained by factors in the environment. In the event of a more profound personality change, movements from e.g. C to F
· This movement from ii- to iii level (e.g. C-F) sometimes also occurs naturally with increasing age, often then in middle age.