Frontiers of Consciousness:

Unfolding Four Metaware Stages

with Terri O’Fallon PhD

Frontiers of Consciousness:

Unfolding Four Metaware Stages

with Terri O’Fallon PhD

Explore the possibilities beyond your current stage of development…

Gain a sense of the view and the territory of the most advanced stages yet known to us…

Understand how the highest levels of development intersect with the most profound spiritual insights…

Registration is now closed.

At some point in your life you realized…

“I am a work in progress (and so is everyone else).” Whether this realization came in a flash or gathered over a period of time, the sense that came with it is that your life is a process unfolding through stages. And as soon as you had this realization, you immediately became intensely interested in what lies ahead … and you began looking for maps that could help.

Some maps are better than others. All of the great wisdom traditions have maps that claim to lead from the ordinary to magical. Yet as anyone who has tried to follow them knows, they don’t always line up well with the territory of our lives. The last 100 years have seen the creation of data-driven maps that measure how individuals and collectives evolve, with new insights into the nature of evolutionary human development.
Post-conventional developmental stages are one of the most important yet under-researched areas… Terri O’Fallon is one of the very few researchers exploring this crucial topic.
Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of psychiatry, philosophy, anthropology, and religious studies at University of California, Irvine

STAGES is rooted in rigorous research. STAGES emerged from a rich lineage of developmental theory that goes back to Jean Piaget and includes Jane Lovinger, Suzanne Cook-Greuter, Lawrence Kohlberg, and many others. In STAGES, these developmental theories are integrated into Ken Wilber’s integral theory to produce an integrally-informed model of development. STAGES is rooted in the rigorous research that Terri has been conducting for over 10 years, and that continues to evolve.

The precision of this map is shifting developmental theory from theoretical to applicable. One of the most important discoveries from Terri’s research is the repeating stage patterns in each tier. These patterns have emerged from the data which puts new structural definitions around what constitutes a “stage”.  The later four stages, for instance, in-part reflect descriptions of the stages recognized by the great wisdom traditions, and address difficult-to-verbalize experiences such as timelessness and boundlessness.

The Frontiers of Consciousness course includes spiritual experiences. MetAware is the third and highest tier in STAGES for which there is sufficient research to support. The MetAware tier contains four stages:

5.0: Construct Aware
5.5: Transpersonal
6.0: Higher Mind
6.5: Illumined Mind

Click to enlarge

This course addresses major questions not answered elsewhere:
Frontiers describes the research underpinning the highest stages yet known to us, and the triangulation of the research that supports them. We will explore the difference between states and stages in these levels, and the unfolding of the descriptions of qualities we see emerging at these four later levels of development.

We will explore these questions:

1. If we’re developing, we’re headed somewhere. But where? And how do we get there?
2. Higher stages and higher states are profoundly misunderstood, even among those of us who spend lots of time talking about them. What are the characteristics of the highest levels of human development?

This course is for those who:

  • Would like a roadmap for their own developmental trajectory into the later stages
  • Are curious about the difference between stages of ego development and the states of spiritual unfolding
  • Want to understand how things like the timeless, the nondual, and the boundless fit into development at the later stages
  • Have studied one of the great wisdom traditions but would like to inquire as to how this path relates to the developmental spectrum
  • Are skeptical about later level stages, and would like to see the evidence of their existence
  • Want to integrate other developmental models with the insights of STAGES

Watch the Q&A about this course.

On Wednesday, September 25, Terri took questions about the 4 Metaware stages, and how those relate to our personal growth, intimate relationships, spiritual states, and much more.

There were excellent submitted and live questions, and it was a lively and educational 45 minutes.  

Watch the Q&A about this course, from September 25, 2019.

Registration is now closed.

Course Sessions Schedule

November 12

10 am – noon

Mountain Time Zone – US

My Timezone

November 19

10 am – noon

Mountain Time Zone – US

My Timezone

November 26

10 am – noon

Mountain Time Zone – US

My Timezone

December 3

10 am – noon

Mountain Time Zone – US

My Timezone

Course Structure

The course consists of four 2-hour sessions with Terri O’Fallon in live video on the Zoom video conference platform. All sessions will begin at 10 am MT (Mountain Time) and will be on these dates (all Tuesdays):

  • November 12
  • November 19
  • November 26
  • December 3

All sessions will be in live video on the Zoom teleconference platform. Each session will consist of teaching along with live Q&A with participants.

  • All course sessions will be recorded and participants will have access the following day to video and audio versions of the recordings for playing and downloading.
  • Each session will be transcribed and a compilation transcript of the course will be provided in PDF format shortly after the course ends.
  • The course will be hosted in an online learning platform.

Registration is now closed.



Session 1: The Underpinning of the Four Later Stages : Research and the MetAware Tier

  • Brief review the STAGES model, its tiers, person perspectives and repeating patterns, and how these patterns manifest in four later stages
  • What is the MetAware tier and how is it different from the Concrete and the Subtle Tier?
  • Discover the parameters holding the qualities of each later level stage
  • What research is available to support these four later stages?


Session 2 ⁠— 5.0: The Early Fifth Person Perspective: Deconception

  • What are the qualities of transformation into this tier and this stage?
  • What objects does this level perceive?
  • Where is this level looking from?
  • Qualities of the conceiving mind in its fullness and emptiness
  • What is it like to be at this stage? (Portrait paintings of people who may reside in the space of this stage)
  • Exercises that point to this stage


Session 3 ⁠— 5.5: The Late Fifth Person Perspective: Transpersonal

  • What are the qualities of transformation into this stage?
  • What objects does this level activate, see, hear, feel?
  • Where is this level looking from?
  • How the qualities of the conceiving mind is used to create in its fullness
  • Deactivating and letting go
  • What is it like to be at this stage? (Portrait paintings of people who may reside in the space of this stage)


Session 4 ⁠— 6.0 and 6.5: The Early and Late Sixth Person Perspectives: Higher Mind and Illumined Mind

  • What are the qualities of transformation into these two stages?
  • What objects do these level experience in reciprocity and interpenetration?
  • Where are these levels looking from?
  • What are the realizations we get at these stages that is different from the state stages?
  • What is the relationship between the developmental stages and the state stages that seem to come up at these levels?
  • What is it like to be at this stage? (Portrait paintings of people who may reside in the space of this stage)
  • The Unified Tier: Speculations based on earlier tiers and repeating patterns

Registration is now closed.

Recommended prerequisite: The course will focus mainly on the MetAware tier of STAGES. It assumes that course participants have a working knowledge of the STAGES model, including the Concrete and Subtle tiers that precede the MetAware. If you’ve taken any STAGES training or in-person workshop in the last three years, you meet this requirement.

If you have not taken any of our STAGES courses or workshops, you are still welcome to join the course, but we’ll ask you to read a few articles about STAGES before the first course session.

Terms and Conditions

By registering for this course you affirm that you meet the recommended prerequisites and that you agree to these terms and conditions.


If you have questions about the course or need assistance registering, please contact us at

About Terri

Terri O’Fallon, PhD is an Integral scholar whose research spans 40 years, including eleven research studies conducted in various colleges, public schools, and private research venues. Her most recent theory, and the culmination of a lifetime of work, is the STAGES model of human development. From this model a new theory is evolving around the interpenetration of states and stages. STAGES integrates several developmental models and is informed by Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and Terri’s own research, to form a robust and predictive map that is being used by numerous scholars, practitioners, and leaders throughout the world.

Terri’s theory and research interests are founded in a passionate practice of auspicious curiosity, learning, and marinating in life. Teaching has been a theme throughout Terri’s life. Beginning as a preschool and first-grade teacher, she has taught every grade, including special education and the gifted. She has held the role of elementary school principal and public school-district superintendent and taught in seven colleges and universities, with over fifty years experience in teaching from pre-kindergarten through post-doctorate studies.

Her interest in life span development naturally arose from her experience in the field of education. She has a PhD in Integral Studies with a concentration in Learning and Change in Human Systems, and masters degrees in Spiritual Direction and Special Education. These embodied experiences inform her primary theory, research, and teaching theme: growing up is waking up throughout the lifespan.

Ordinariness has been the trajectory of Terri’s life. She is the eldest of seven siblings, parent of two adult children, and grandparent of two granddaughters. Steeped in philosophy, research, teaching, and a myriad of spiritual practices, her path continues to bring her solidly home to the practical living, breathing appreciation of the simple things in life.

We wake up every morning. We grow up, quite naturally. We live through joys and sorrows, and face our family, friends, and neighbors every day. We grow old and watch our life approach its end as we apprehend the birth of our grandchildren. With the gifts of so many experiences, the highs and lows of being, what seems to always remain, is what we were advised to value from birth: listening, gratitude, compassion, love, forgiveness, generosity, light-heartedness—lifelong lessons that never seem to end.