The developmental model of Ken Wilber uses the concept of fulcrums. A fulcrum is basically “a fork in the road of human development”, where we leave the old way of seeing the world behind. He identifies nine main Fulcrums or milestones. We’ll cover them all in other posts. But first, here’s a short introduction.
Development isn’t rigidly linear, but a process of embedding a worldview, integrating it with what we’ve developed so far, and then transcending the old ways of meaning making for something new that includes all the old but adds a new capacity. There are times when we see things in old ways, and there are tantalizing glimpses of a deeper and broader view that may seem fleeting. But as we grow, the next level becomes more reliably present for us, until the next level is our ground of being; it becomes embedded, and that’s largely the way we see the world now.
One analogy is learning to run. First we walk, wobbly and without confidence. We fall down often, remain back at the ’sitting and crawling’ stage until we are moved to try to walk again. Eventually we walk competently. Then we try running, and persist until we can do that well. We can still walk (and we can still sit and still crawl), but now we can also run: we have transcended walking, but walking is included for the rest of our lives.
Here are Wilber’s 9 Fulcrums:
F1 – physical self. Usually up to about 5-9 months.
F2 – emotional self. Usually up to about 15-24 months.
F3 – self concept. Usually up to about age 7.
F4 – role self. Usually up to about age 11-14.
F5 – formal-reflexive or mature ego. Most people develop at least to this stage, but some don’t. Most people who develop to this level remain here for the rest of their lives. But some people develop further.
F6 – centaur or vision logic, integrative
F7 – psychic
F8 – subtle
F9 – causal
I’ll cover all of these fulcrums in other posts. We’ll spend more time on F4-F6, because these are the levels we are likely to encounter in the people we work with every day.