On reintegrating earlier stages…

One of the things that I liked about Tim Leary’s [8-circuit model of consciousness](http://deoxy.org/8circuit.htm) as a developmental theory was the emphasis he placed on the imprinting stage – the idea that the experiences you had when that new mind lit up were formative. Some folks had positive experiences, some had negative and that kind of determined how you dealt with the life issues from that stage thereafter.

In my case, (using Leary’s model) I don’t think I got a very positive imprint on the “emotional-territorial circuit” the stage in which you learn to do basic mammal stuff like win and lose territory, be dominant, be submissive and so on.

Leary had his own kind of [second tier](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_dynamics#Second_tier_vMemes) he called the latter four circuits “post-terrestrial” and he implied that as these later minds started to light up, you would develop the ability to return and re-imprint your terrestrial circuits.

Inspired by some recent posts by [Chris](http://indistinctunion.blogspot.com), I’ve found myself thinking about the notion that the felt, phenomenological aspect of the shift to an integral perspective is the gradual process of recovery of those earlier developmental stages. They come swimming back into your awareness and you start to recall what it was to be “at” those earlier stages. The need to deny those aspects of the self starts to drop away.

There’s all sorts of dimensions to that recovery, but one I want to dwell on is that maybe (and I say this as a kind of cocktail party theory, based on my own experience, rather than something for which I have any data) one of the curiosities of this process of recovery is that we become transfixed by the stages which got imprinted most weakly – which might look to onlookers like a kind of regression.

So, in my case, if I’d kind of skimmed lightly over that territorial stuff (which, we might speculate, lines roughly up with red altitude in Wilber-V for the I-I faithful, or the red vMeme, for those of you kickin’ it SDi style) – you might notice that I rather suddenly developed an odd interest in martial arts, watching boxing, even paying attention to football for the first time. I’ll leave it to my friends to embarrass me in the comments forum on that matter.

If someone else had skimmed lightly over that rational, scientific stuff (say on their way to a career in the arts), then their unfolding into integral might be characterized by an insistence on evidence and proof, on rational argumentation, on quality of rhetoric. Reintegrating the orange vMeme, perhaps…

Other folk might suddenly get all misty over rules and traditions, and so on. If this stuff is ringing bells for anyone else, I’d love to hear about it.

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