Concrete, Subtle, and Causal Tiers
The Concrete Tier
In the Concrete Tier, people focus on concrete objects, such as what they do, see, hear, and touch, and 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 these 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 subtle 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 subtle stages (2.0 and 2.5) one becomes aware of and focuses on others and the groups they are in, rules, and conventions.
Transitioning to the next tier
New insights occur when an individual begins to see that there is an idea coming to them that one can't easily make a realistic picture of such as a complex psychological system. Using their internal senses to receive a subtle object such as this is a leap of consciousness from the concrete tier, where one learns to sense concrete objects, to a subtle tier, where one learn to internally sense subtle objects.
The Subtle Tier
In the Subtle Tier, people focus on what we call subtle objects that one can't easily represent by drawing a picture or making a movie, such as a complex psychological processes such as depression, anxiety, assumptions and complex adaptive systems. At the earliest of these stages these subtle objects can be individually experienced, visualized with subtle symbols that represent them, with an emphasis on focusing attention on these subtle interior objects (complex thoughts, emotions, and so on). In later stages these subtle objects can be brought to one's awareness. People typically enter the Subtle Tier in their late teens or early 20's.
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 as a personality and identity, one's complex thinking feeling, and one's sense of the interior physical body functioning, and so on. In the later subtle stages (4.0 and 4.5) one becomes aware of and focuses on the subtle collective, which includes inner and outer contexts, assumptions, cultural conditioning, systems and projections. Much of the modern education system focuses on third-person stage capacities and this is where the majority of the adult population ranges, from 2.0 Rule oriented through 4.5 Strategist.
Transitioning to the next tier
Multiple objects are always entering our consciousness but generally we aren't aware of them all. Something profound begins to happen when an individual is visited by the experience of knowing they are aware in the moment; a flood of ideas may come all at once, which one is fully aware of in the moment, even as they are speaking.
Knowing we are aware brings a leap from the subtle tier with subtle objects, to a MetAware tier where people learn to shift their awareness from concrete and subtle objects to seeing their own awareness. This gradually turns into the capacity of being aware of their own awareness consistently.
As the person steps into the MetAware tier, the subtle is now gradually being transcended, as one begins to see one's own awareness, which begins to settle into the person as their new identity. The nature of this tier change is to experience time and space in a fundamentally different way.
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 that emerges as ordinary experience in this tier, gives rise to awareness of MetAware content, including more fluid, integral, and subtle perceptions and conceptions of one's concrete and subtle experience, as well as the underlying structures of mind that give rise to that experience, through language and distinction making, and awareness itself.
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 the MetAware self, or Awareness itself, the individual sense of a universal 'I'. Stage 5.0 is receptive and Stage 5.5 is active.
The second two stages are collective stages (about we), but in the Causal Tier the collective is beyond and includes all human concrete groups or subtle systems. It is the Kosmos itself, all manifestation, including the concrete, subtle and causal worlds. Stage 6.0 is reciprocal and stage 6.5 is interpenetrative.
To read more about individual stages in each of these tiers, click on the stage name to the right.