Since the last revisions "Update on Classification of Stages" and "Brief further Update" on my overall model of development (made in 2008), I have been operating with 7 major bands (each containing 3 major levels).
However I have come to realise that in recent work, I have in fact been making extensive use of a distinctive band - what I refer to as - Band 5, which was not included in the original account.
So with this extra addition, this now gives 8 bands in my overall model (with 24 major levels).
And in the the context of the holistic mathematical approach these can all be scientifically encoded in a dynamic binary digital manner, representing unique configurations with respect to both differentiated and integral aspects of development respectively.
So perhaps in the light of this latest revision, it would be instructive to outline briefly the 8 major bands.
Band 1 starts from a state of total confusion where differentiation and integration have not yet taken place. And the first major task is to achieve substantial differentiation with respect to the structures that then gradually emerge in childhood experience.
So we have Level 1 sensori-motor activity in the differentiation of the diagonal polarities of form and emptiness. When successfully completed this leads to the emergence of a distinctive body-self.
Level 2 is initially associated with magical experience representing the confusion of the vertical polarities of whole and part, i.e. where the (holistic) unconscious is confused with (specific) conscious phenomena. However when successfully negotiated this leads to the corresponding emergence of a distinctive emotional self.
Level 3 is then associated with mythical type understanding due to remaining confusion with respect to the horizontal polarities of external and internal. However once again when successfully negotiated a child will now be able to substantially distinguish the (psychological) self from the (physical) environment.
Though successful integration should accompany the differentiation of each stage, in practice - especially in Western culture - it is of a somewhat reduced nature that is largely geared to supporting the functioning of more dominant differentiated structures.
Band 2 is then heavily geared to increasing linear specialisation of these conscious structures, especially with respect to the rational cognitive mode that so defines modern technological society.
Scientific specialisation with respect to the horizontal polarities is associated with a concrete stage (in the amassing of "objective" data). This is Level 1.
Corresponding specialisation with respect to the vertical polarities (where the whole can be increasingly separated from the parts) is then associated with a formal stage of pure theory.
Then in practice these two stages are often combined, where empirical research is wedded to testable hypotheses. And this constitutes Level 2.
When the two-way interplay of fact and theory is especially dynamic, rational understanding (of form) can then itself become fuelled with creative insight (spiritual emptiness). And this represents the vision stage (Level 3).
Though much has indeed been achieved in our world through the increasing specialisation of consciousness with respect to the cognitive mode, unfortunately it is also hugely unbalanced (where in scientific and mathematical terms the unconscious aspect of true qualitative type appreciation is reduced in a merely conscious manner).
Not surprisingly therefore, psychological development in modern culture significantly plateaus at Band 2 (with access to both the "higher" super-conscious and "lower" sub-conscious aspects of personality greatly impeded).
However there are always exceptions with some individuals remaining especially sensitive to unconscious promptings from an early age.
In such cases a major existential conflict is likely to emerge in late teenage (or early adult) life. Then if successfully resolved through a commitment to seek authentic meaning (irrespective of social pressures), this can lead to the significant unfolding of more advanced spiritual stages of development.
Band 3 is then associated with the continual refinement of a new intuitive mode of nondual contemplative type awareness. However this generally requires - for long periods - substantial erosion with respect to conventional dualistic type understanding.
Level 1 (Circular) is based on growing interdependence of conscious type phenomena with respect to external and internal polarities.
Then, as the rigid dualistic distinction between such phenomena fades, holistic intuitive awareness of a nondual unconscious kind emerges. However indirectly this is expressed in a conscious manner through the medium of circular i.e. paradoxical, logic.
A key emphasis in my own approach is the necessity to appropriately balance both states and structures with respect to development. So each newly refined state of intuitive awareness should then be appropriately balanced through a corresponding structure based on a refined circular type of paradoxical expression.
Thus there are many "dimensions" corresponding to these increasingly refined dynamic structures of form, which then can be given a precise circular numerical expression in holistic mathematical terms. And though - because of this scientific emphasis - I generally emphasise cognitive structures, there are also corresponding indirect ways of translating paradoxical appreciation with respect to affective and volitional structures.
So another key emphasis of my approach is to need to achieve appropriate integration as between cognitive, affective and volitional understanding throughout development, as these constitute the primary modes of understanding!
Level 1 is comprised of many relatively distinct stages. For example, we can have an initial holistic illumination stage with respect to sensory symbols followed by a corresponding purgative stage (of dualistic erosion) before a new deeper intellectual illumination stage unfolds. Then a major purgation ("dark night") can occur leading to the substantial erosion of all conscious phenomena culminating in an extremely oppressive volitional stage (of pure passive contemplation).
Though a belief persists during the illumination stages that one has now progressed to "higher" super-conscious type awareness, during purgation one can then become plunged deep in "lower" sub-conscious stages becoming prey to every human weakness.
Thus another key aspect of development that I emphasise is the need to successfully balance "higher" super-conscious with "lower" sub-conscious development. And this is extraordinarily difficult to properly attain!
There is generally a very pronounced transcendent emphasis to Level 1. To some extent this is rectified with Level 2 (Point). For a while one becomes deeply attuned to holistic affective awareness of an immanent kind, where once more one feels grounded in a stable spiritual reality. However rather like a mountaineer that takes a temporary rest to acclimatise when ascending Mount Everest, one soon becomes involved in seeking an even more refined level of transcendent type awareness.
Level 2 is then largely associated with the "imaginary" aspect of consciousness (both in super-conscious and sub-conscious terms) through the indirect conscious projection of phenomena that directly speak of a deeply holistic unconscious origin.
And once again one journeys through illumination phases of a highly passive dim light, where one becomes attuned to holistic understanding of a universal nature and purgative phases where substantial erosion of such imaginary phenomena takes place. However both extremes can now be experienced with more equanimity.
Whereas Level 1 becomes associated with a prolonged form of intellectual withdrawal (or negation), Level 2 now relates more directly to corresponding emotional withdrawal whereby one can derive very little sensible consolation from phenomena that increasingly are of a fleeting virtual nature (as indirectly expressive in conscious terms of what properly is of a a holistic unconscious nature).. However deep within, one becomes habitually attuned to a permanent form of awareness of the spiritual present.
And the direct clash as between "higher" super-conscious and "lower" sub-conscious regions of personality becomes much more pronounced at this stage.
Level 3 (Null Level) is then associated with the final assault as it were on the transcendent summit. Here development relates more directly to the volitional aspect as one keeps striving to attain a pure transcendent form of awareness (free of inordinate phenomenal attachment of a conscious or unconscious kind).
However this leads to the deepest psycho-physical type of stress as spirit and nature come directly in conflict with each other. So rather like the mountaineer approaching the summit of Everest, one becomes greatly fatigued suffering a debt of oxygen, likewise one now feels extremely stretched in psychological terms with scarcely any inspiration remaining to carry out conscious tasks.
Therefore though sincerely attempting to balance the "lower" physical aspects of personality with the "higher" spiritual aspects, there are inevitable limitations in achieving complete success at this stage.
It is my contention that the most difficult task of all in psychological development is fully coming to terms with the primitive instinctive aspects of behaviour.
And so far in the attempt to achieve pure transcendence, the "higher" cognitive tends to dominate the "lower" affective side of personality. Thus primitive feelings still remain unwittingly repressed preventing true integration.
Therefore though in one sense the culmination of Level 3 marks the completion of the ascent in the attainment of the transcendent spiritual quest, it is achieved at a considerable price. Due to the severe conflict of a psycho-physical nature, one is now likely to become especially vulnerable to some debilitating form of illness.
Just as Band 2 is designed to represent the specialisation of dualistic (linear) type understanding, Band 4 is likewise designed to represent the corresponding specialisation of nondual (circular) type awareness.
This in turn can be associated with three relatively distinctive levels.
Level 1 (Transcendent) represents the transcendent extreme in a holistic contemplative awareness that is beyond all phenomenal symbols. However when not properly balanced by the corresponding immanent aspect, this leads to a subtle aversion to form at the "lower" instinctive levels, causing involuntary projections of primitive repressed phenomena into consciousness.
Level 2 (Immanent) represents the complementary extreme in a holistic type awareness of individual uniqueness that is already embodied in all specific phenomena as their spiritual source of being.
Level 3 (Transcendent/Immanent) represents the subsequent balancing of both contemplative extremes in a refined awareness, where Form and Emptiness are experienced as two indispensable sides of the same coin. So transcendence in an experience of (spiritual) emptiness as beyond all form is necessary to support immanence in the complementary experience of emptiness that is already inherent in all form and vice versa.
However it may take a considerable time for these two spiritual poles of transcendence and immanence respectively to become properly harmonised in experience. Thus before this task is completed we are likely to see the emergence of Band 5 in development.