My personal view of integral life

Lost In Translation

Developmental Psychology: Assignment #10 – Lost In Translation

After getting deeper into this course and leaning the developmental modes and stages many things have come so much clearer to me. This week’s assignment brought up into my consciousness Sofia Coppola’s movie “Lost In translation”, which seems to beautifully describe the proficient and deficient modes of translation possibly at 3rd or 4th order. Reading S. Cook-Greuter was so much fun that I’ve completely ignored my both final papers, but I was rather analyzing the SCT answers and their variations. What particularly stood up from the readings was this: “I am-finally, in the long run, mostly unfathomable, but I enjoy the process of trying to fathom.” That is not a 4th order claim but rather 5/6 realization of the permanent self as an illusion. But let us concentrate on the Metal Ego identification of the 4th order consciousness.

It is an interesting finding that was described by Wilber (1980) that “…one remains at a given stage as long as translation is possible, as long as Eros outweighs Thanatos.” So are we translating our experiences all the time on the basis of our order of consciousness at the particular stage and never growing “upwards”? Well, that question was a bit of a rhetoric one since growing or transformation to a higher level occurs, but that seems to be RARE. “When translation is no longer possible, when “Thanatos outweighs Eros”, only then does the organism move to the next level of development “ (Cook-Greuter, 1994, p. 74). And this is to say that people are fairly fixed to the developmental stage they’re at not really recognizing it. And the anxiety that often comes up seems to be the fear of death for the translating self moving towards a higher stage, when there is nothing more to be translated. Their once valuable dignity actually turns into disaster when going through this inevitable fight of the fading translation. “The dark night of the soul” attacks their mental-ego while the self is desperately trying to do the translation not realizing that it is actually on the verge of a transformation.

4th order is the last one of the personal levels or stages and the translation of this stage seems to be particularly either rewarding or horrible. At this stage the “self characteristics recede into the background and become an object of reflection” (Cook-Greuter, p. 81). At this stage one of the main translations is the integration of one’s past into one’s deeper self (or proximal self). I would see the deficient mode of this stage described as such: “When individuals become conscious of phenomena that do not fit their already existing maps of reality, they often screen them out by selective inattention (Sullivan, 1953) or defense mechanisms” (C-G, p.120). At 4th order this usually means the negation towards spirituality or awakening, turning down all of the possibilities of a higher self or a world spirit but still knowing that something is seriously lacking without really knowing what that is. The proficient mode on the other hand would perhaps lead to a spiritual awakening (which can of course happen at lower stages but would be interpreted differently) if the translation is not anymore taking the mental-ego anywhere. When previously everything seemed to make sense – which is obvious to a person at 4th order – it might not suddenly do that anymore. This is something I have noticed in quite a bunch of my friends, lost in translation, but not yet really realizing the trans-personal realm of the ego.

I will conclude this assignment to a quote by Jack Engler (1986): “You have to be somebody before you can be nobody.” I think that is what the translation and being lost in it at 4th order is all about.


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Categorised in: Development, Integral, Psychology

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