Concrete, Subtle, and MetAware Tiers
The Concrete Tier
In the Concrete Tier, people focus on concrete objects, such as what they do, see, hear, and touch and also on concrete objects that they have or want, such as toys, food, car, family, marriage, and so on. At the earliest of the concrete stages, these objects can be touched, tasted, smelled, seen and heard. In later concrete stages, concrete objects can be remembered in visualizations, internal sounds, and feelings. These stages begin in infancy and can continue through adulthood.
The concrete tier is comprised of four developmental levels of 1.0 (early first person perspective); 1.5 (late first person perspective); 2.0 (early second person perspective); 2.5 (late second person perspective). The first two concrete stages (1.0 and 1.5) are individual-focused (more about me), where the person is aware of and focuses on their own concrete self and needs primarily. In the later concrete stages (2.0 and 2.5) one becomes aware of and focuses on others and the groups they are in, rules, and conventions. Most leaders at this tier fall into the 2.5 level (Conformist).
Transitioning to the next tier
Something profound begins to happen when an individual begins to see that an abstract idea, such as a strategic plan coming to them is different from something you can make a representational picture of in your mind. They see that this idea might have merit even though their peers may not see its value. Being able to create and then analyze one's own complex idea is a very large leap for an individual—it is the leap from the concrete tier with materialistic yearnings, to a subtle tier where they learn to work with subtle ideas, plans, and the complex adaptive systems.
The Subtle Tier
In the Subtle Tier, Leaders focus on what we call subtle objects, such as complex analytical thinking, micro distinctions in feelings, and their strategic goals, the contextual and complex adaptive systems. At the earliest of these stages, these subtle capacities can be individually felt, visualized, and thought about linearly, with an emphasis on focusing their attention. In later stages, these subtle objects can be brought to one's awareness. People typically enter the Subtle Tier in their 20's but can as early as the adolescent years.
The first two subtle stages (3.0 and 3.5) are individual-focused (more about me). In the third-person perspective stages, the focus is on the subtle individual - one's interior self, reflecting on thinking, feeling, and objectivity, In the later subtle stages (4.0 and 4.5) one becomes aware of and focuses on contexts, assumptions, cultural conditioning, and systems. Most leaders fall into this tier.
Transitioning to the next tier
Multiple objects are always entering our consciousness but generally we aren't aware of them all. It can be somewhat disorienting when an individual is visited by the state of awareness of being aware in the moment; a flood of ideas may come all at once which one is fully aware of, even as they are speaking.
Witnessing one's awareness brings a leap from the subtle tier with subtle objects, to a "MetAware" tier where they learn to shift their awareness from concrete and subtle objects to awareness of awareness. This advanced capacity of awareness becomes the source of their knowledge.
As the person steps into the MetAware tier, the subtle tier objects are now gradually transcended yet included as the witness begins to see its own awareness, and begins to settle in as their new identity. The nature of a tier change is to experience time and space in a fundamentally different way and to find a new identity.
This transition is particularly significant because it is not only a stage change, but also a tier transformation, and on the other side of that line there are very few others who have landed there, so it is sometimes difficult to find a community of peers who can see this person, support and help.
The MetAware Tier
The MetAware self and its witnessing awareness in this tier, gives rise to fluid, integral, and subtle perceptions and conceptions of one's experience. This includes awareness of constructed definitions and boundaries.
The MetAware Tier is comprised of four developmental levels of 5.0 (early fifth person perspective); 5.5 (late fifth person perspective); 6.0 (early sixth person perspective); 6.5 (late sixth person perspective). As with the earlier tiers, the first two stages are focused on the I but the 'I' here is Awareness itself.
The second two stages are collective stages (about we), but in this tier the collective includes all of manifestation
To read more about individual stages in each of these tiers, click on the stage name to the right.