Stage 5’s Environment Part Deux

As mentioned back in this post, each of the Kegan stages has something that the person is subject to, it is the water they swim in, their “subjective ground”, and something which was formerly their subjective ground, but has now become an object to work with.

In stage 3, the person is subject to emotional bonds/relationships, this is their holding environment. When moving to stage 4, relationships become object, they are something which can be worked with, but they are no longer subject to them, rather they are now subject to a self-authored structural identity.

In that old post, I questioned what Stage 5’s subjective ground might be. Now that structures and systems have become an object of operations, what is the subject? Elsewhere I think I’ve written about the skill of “judging”, the method of deciding which structure is good for what situation. Many people like to say that meta-systemic skill is “merely” or “must be” just a structure itself, or a set of rules, but on the meta-level. (And as such, not a new subject or environment at all). I belive this is wrong.

The meta-systemic skill has no need to be rational, like a stage 4 structure does, and so it is more akin to aesthetics (in the common sense of “taste”) than it is with rules. It can based on a feeling or intuition rather than (or as well as) a system with rules.

In addition, a stage 5 operation with system(s) relies on context. In ethical operations, for example, in real situations a context is always present, because reality is where we live. Stage 5 recognises that context is always present, and is always unique, and based on that context a stage 5 person uses “judgement” within context to reach a satisfying conclusion. Therefore, context, and the ability to perceive and work with it, is the subjective ground for stage 5.


2 responses to “Stage 5’s Environment Part Deux”

  1. Elo says:

    The groundless ground. When I first glimpsed it, I was in a dizzyness and falling but not going anywhere.

    Later when I came back I recognised the lack of attachment, nothing to lean on other than what is in the present moment and the way I relate to it. Especially with more meditative work, each moment is a skilful relationship with the present moment, with no attachment to what was, and a willingness to go with what is.

    When challenged or attacked, I don’t ever find myself guarded. Instead I find myself working with the qualities of the approach and building on that.

    “context” for a concept for the groundless ground is a good theory but context is ever deepening as one becomes deeper into themselves and the truth of the journey that put them where they are, “I” am a greater fraction of the context of each moment, and each moment is changing and without self.