The 5.0 Stage of Development (Construct Aware)
This receptive 5,0 stage is the entry to the MetAwareTier, where the thrust is to become acquainted with a new self: an Aware self which begins to identify with Awareness of awareness as you in your every day life. You become Aware of the multitude of thoughts, ideas, feelings, visions that incessantly rain into your awareness in the moment, and you are Aware of being aware that this is happening. As the entry to the MetAwareTier, the thrust of this stage is to become acquainted with a new self: a Metawarel self. As you enter this transition, you may feel confused and alone, for the self you are used to living in has gradually disappeared and you don't yet know the new self you are becoming. There are so few people at this stage that there may be no others around you to reflect with you and to help you make sense of your experience.
You marinate receptively in this stage, so you may seem to appear to be less active. You may deemphasize development, comparisons, or anything that has a trajectory or prioritization, as you foreground the apprehension of your new individual MetAware identity, watching your awareness in the moment in ordinary, every day existence. At first you may experience spells of Awareness in the moment with extreme sensitivity to concrete and subtle objects riding on top of the sea of awareness. These objects are fore-grounded and at first they are experienced all at once, perhaps as if you are participating in multiple telephone conversations, each one having delayed a feedback loop reverberating a second after speaking. This may interrupt your stream of thinking and your speech, so your speech may, at times, be broken or halted. It may appear to others that you can't quite get a sentence out of your mouth. Also, you may begin to see a looping pattern related to perspectives for the first time, and how everything becomes more complex with each perspective taken. It is common to make the assumption that this back-off into complexity will continue for ever, so you may find your processes looping around, taking perspectives on perspectives on perspectives. For example at this stage one may say something like, "I am caught in projections on people who are caught by projecting on people who are projecting on me when I am caught in my projections on them". As you gradually gain control of all of this you begin to foreground a beautiful experience of zest, with fullness riding on your awareness—fullness being an amalgamation of mind, body and spirit.
Once this fullness has matured sufficiently, you begin to see your Awareness. Awareness itself is empty, so the concrete and subtle images, words, maps and symbols arising within awareness become deemphasized, and appear empty, an illusion, constructed, made up, as you watch them through the filter of awareness. Indeed your very life can be seen as a series of made-up stories each of which may have held you hostage until a new story emerges. The realization of the emptiness and illusory nature of words and boundaries manifests practically in the exploration of word definitions and boundaries, which you can see as constructed and made up by the mind. Knowing that words can mean anything, it is common at the later part of this stage to insist on clear definitions around what a word means—realizing that words and labels themselves make a difference in experience and judgment. Concrete and subtle boundaries that are typically experienced as unwavering in earlier levels, become pliable, amorphous, unstable, and negotiable.
The ground of your prior existence, the concrete and the subtle, which you have counted on for stability, seems to morph spontaneously and fluidly. You may lose track of time and yet because you can see so much—historic patterns through time, mind-body-spirit bound inseparably into immanence, and the constructed nature of words and boundaries—you may feel quite out of your skin and want to make abrupt changes in your life. This may move you to shift relationships, leave work positions or move residence, and sometimes all three at once. Some choose to not work at all for some time, and just float on this tenuous appearing sea until they can refine their Awareness of awareness and bring a semblance of ordinariness to this experience.
Entering into this later, empty part of this stage can bring existential angst or dark night experiences that can be disorienting and painful; speaking about the emptiness, and constructed nature of objects can be very disconcerting to families and friends who have never experienced this process—indeed some people at this level have explored psychological care, concerned that they might be disturbed because of feedback from people they know and love. Thus if you find someone who has been in this stage you may gladly seek their support and modeling, and you may feel great relief by simply understanding that this is the ordinary experience of someone in this stage. Also balancing fullness with the emptiness brings a helpful steadiness to life.
People experiencing this stage
- Are learning the contours of their MetAware body: who is this Awareness of awareness?
- May have early flashes of the causal interior of others until they can clearly see it.
- Operate in a time frame that is historic but tend be grounded to be in the moment.
- Move in a space that includes all concrete and subtle phenomena.
- See options for action as infinite, including no action.
- Are Aware of awareness, which brings causal expertise with the constructed nature of experience.
- Has flashes of recognition of the subtle ego, so worries about hubris.
- May dismiss feedback from non-causal people; but doesn't yet know who the causal experts may be.
- Receives dozens of constructions, stories, illusionary recognitions but can't prioritize amongst them
- May be unaware of the effects of their insightful knowledge upon the whole system.
- Focus on interior and causal, letting go and recognizing this new place, so their exterior work may suffer.
- May feel isolated, lonely and disoriented because few others experience the world as they do.
- May feel ecstatically liberated with a sense that all is made up.
- May feel cynical and stuck if they have concentrated on emptiness/transcendence to the extreme without incorporating compassion and tenderness in relationship/immanence.
- May feel lost about how to function in society because they see through conventional beliefs, systems and structures and find them meaningless.
- Can be helped by integrating body, mind, heart and spirit, by finding others/guides who have gone through this passage and can normalize it, by giving themselves time (months or years) to process this new way of being and seeing.
- Anxiety may arise around the loss of grounding which can arise in the transition into the MetAware Tier.
- Can confuse the experience of transpersonal energies as self causing inflation and then deflation as the state wanes.
- Important to reconcile the dark in themselves and humanity for greater wholeness. Important to face inter-personal dynamics that might have been avoided or ignored up till this point in development allowing a deeper opening to the "other" in all forms.