Transcript – Why we are the way we are

Why we are the way we are

If you have just opened this video without watching the ‘Introduction Video’, it would be best to go back there and watch it as this video will make little sense to you if you haven’t.
Have a look again at the ‘An Overview of Development Stages of Consciousness’(1) : and see where you think you are and ask yourself why some people, even family members, are lower than you, and why some are above you, in your own level of consciousness?
Again – I’m going to stop talking so you can go over the Stages for deeper understanding…….

Stage 6. Sensitivity to others and the environment; feelings and caring (in response to the cold rationality of Stage 5); harmony and equality; reconciliation, consensus, dialogue, participation, relationships and networking; human development, bonding and spirituality; diversity and multiculturalism; relativism and pluralism; freeing the human spirit from greed, dogma, and divisiveness; distributing the earth’s resources and opportunities equally among all.

Stage 5. Progress, prosperity, optimism, and self-reliance; strategy, risk-taking, and competitiveness; goals, leverage, professional development, and mastery; rationality, objectivism, demonstrated results, technology, and the power of science; use of the earth’s resources to spread the abundant “good life”; advance by learning nature’s secrets and seeking the best solutions.

Stage 4. Sacrificing self for a transcendent Cause, (secular or religious) Truth, Mission, future reward; laws, regulations, and rules; discipline, character, duty, honour, justice, and moral fibre; righteous living; controlling impulsivity through guilt; following absolutistic principles of right and wrong, black and white; being faithful, maintaining order and harmony; one right way to think/do; convention, conformity

Stage 3. Power, spontaneity, heroism, immediate gratification; standing tall, calling the shots, receiving respect, and getting attention; being daring, impulsive, and enjoying oneself without regret; conquering, outsmarting, dominating.

Stage 2. Allegiance to chief, elders, ancestors, and the clan; obeying the desires of spirit beings and mystical signs; preserving sacred objects, places, events, and memories; rites of passage, seasonal cycles, and tribal customs; kinship and lineage.

Stage 1. Food, water, warmth, sex, and safety; the use of habits and instincts for survival.

I don’t know who said it but the following statement: ‘If a theory cannot be proved in the world of practical living, then it is of no value except in theory’, which epitomises the importance of any material that we might read and we need to ask: ‘Is it logical’?

The problem we have with logic is that anything logical in the realm of understanding ourselves can only be seen as logical from someone’s stage of consciousness. If someone is at Stage 2 for example, and looks up at the behaviours of someone at Stage 6 they will not be able to understand why they behave the way they do – so for example they would think ‘why an earth would someone want to be freeing the human spirit from greed, dogma, and divisiveness?’ It would be illogical in their world for someone to do that. And if someone at Stage 6 were to ask a Stage 2 to take on such values it would be almost impossible for them to do so. Hence the importance and value of acceptance of others lower down the scale beliefs, and why we need to be non-judgemental.
So if this site can be of any help it will be in the form of giving, hopefully, a bit more meaning to questions that haven’t fully formulated in your mind or, if they have formulated, hopefully provide a deeper insight than you are presently sitting with.
Moving upwards from Stage One and encompassing the drives within it, is a natural progression towards Actualization. Have a read of the following – it might be a good idea to stop the video here and think about the following:

Each of these stages “transcends and includes” its predecessor, which is the generic drive or Eros of evolution itself, the drive to self organization through self-transcendence. Thus, paraphrasing Hegel, no perspective is privileged because each new emergent stage of evolution produces greater and greater perspective capacity; hence, each stage is adequate, each higher stage is more adequate: each stage is true, but each higher stage is “more true,” or contains more perspectives that themselves disclose more truths. This again is why the virtues of a genealogical or evolutionary/developmental view is so powerful (2) .

So simply, as we move up the stages of consciousness you are becoming more you! Because each iota of learning gives more consciousness, which adds more meaning to your growth process which means greater being. So if you are at Stage 4, each iota of truth will move you, inclusive of any existing truth, to more truth – towards Stage 6 and above.
Naturally, whatever drive in any particular stage you are moving into for e.g. harmony and equality; it’s not going to happen overnight! You cannot force yourself into a higher stage or drive – it has to unfold naturally. And this is very important to understand when it comes to looking at why we are where we are on the scale of consciousness. Consciousness has nothing to do with the family we were brought up in or the area we are born into. People from the poorest backgrounds make their mark on the world because of their empathy and compassion which has to do with their stage of consciousness, while the richest, like certain presidents, prime ministers and CEOs do nothing but try to take humanity back into the dark ages. So where we were born or what family we were born into has nothing to do with our place on the consciousness scale. Also nobody can give us consciousness – we earn it from learning through life experience, which then adds meaning, and if you look at the Stages again you will see it would be impossible to move up from the bottom to the top in one lifetime.

So this still begs an answer to the question ‘why are we at our own individual level of consciousness’ and there is only one logical answer. And maybe you need to fasten your seatbelt here………… That we have lived many, many, many lives that have brought us to the present level of consciousness we are now at.
For a lot of people schooled into the idea of a ‘one life’ this idea of living over and over again can be a big shock and is instantly rejected as it smacks into the comfort of their present beliefs, and upsets the idea of heaven, where we supposedly live in peaceful bliss for the rest of eternity. But before you discount the idea I would like to point out that even people who do believe in past lives have many false beliefs about them. Listen to my video ‘misconceptions about past lives’. Perhaps it might be an idea to stop this video now and think about the logic of past lives………….bearing in mind that 1.1 billion believe in them, so it’s not a flash in the pan idea!

Is there any other possible, logical way we could accumulate the wisdom and consciousness that goes with each stage without having lived many, many lives to do this?
Whether you believe you are you a body or a mind or a soul when you die something leaves, which religion calls soul, or You. Going back to the question above – why you are at your present Stage of awareness – is through learning. But by learning in this case I don’t mean school or university learning but of growth of wisdom – for example the wisdom of harmony and equality, of reconciliation, of relationships, of freeing the human spirit from greed, dogma, and divisiveness and so on.

Just as a child doesn’t learn his whole school education in a day we haven’t acquired our wisdom in one lifetime.

Bear with me and I will attempt to present a more plausible concept of our journey that will hopefully appeal to your inherent wisdom.
As humans, our soul, in its dimmest form started its journey from almost complete unawareness, and at the end of each lifetime took that wisdom with it forward into the next lifetime. And you have done this, over and over, to where you are reading this with your present awareness.
I said in the Introduction that if a theory cannot be proved in the world of practical living, then it is of no value except in theory. Can past lives be proved in the world of practical living along with logic? Yes, if we are prepared to put aside our own beliefs – but in order to do this we first have to test that our own beliefs can stand up to logical or scientific testing – do they? And this is really important. But before we get into this let me tell you about an experience of mine as to how I became aware of past lives.

I started sailing on dinghies when I was 12 and no matter how strong the wind was or how rough the seas were I was totally happy experiencing those conditions. I suppose it was because I was a good swimmer and knew that if anything went wrong on the boat I could swim my way out of danger back to land. My problem started when we went out of sight of land. The moment the land disappeared over the horizon and it was stormy or rough, a slow debilitating fear crept through me, which more or less paralyzed me.
The consequence of this was I shied totally away from deep sea sailing. In my late teens and early twenties my friends were participating in long distance ocean racing or sailing around the world and wimp here always had an excuse – I was way too ashamed to tell them the truth.

If you have read my ‘About Colin’ page you will see that I became a counsellor at the age of 22 and in that training I had a lot of counselling myself and one of the issues that came up was my terror of sailing out of the sight of land. I spent a good few months working with my counsellor, and while the focus had intended to be on the paralyzing fear of the ocean, other stuff came up. And then in one session something really ‘dramatic’ happened. My counsellor was getting me to put my attention and feelings on times when I had been paralyzed with fear while sailing, going earlier and earlier, from the age of 20 to when I first experienced the terror when I was about 12. When I recalled fully what had happened at 12 he asked me if there was an earlier time and so I said no. He asked just to focus on the feelings. Suddenly I was gripped in sheer panic and with that panic was a holographic image of a big 17th century sailing ship in a huge storm and me being blown off the mast into the sea while trying to manhandle the sails. The ship disappeared into the distance…….
Reliving or re-experiencing the terror and panic of that death was unbelievable but slowly I was able to get a grip as the panic subsided. By seeing that death of me being blown off the mast and drowning released the stuck terror of the emotions connected to the death and I was now free of them –free from that terror of being in the ocean, on a yacht, out of sight of land. And to prove it to myself I have sailed thousands of miles beyond the sight of land.

My experience of overcoming unconscious fears or terrors by contacting a past life isn’t uncommon. There are many books written that document the successes of healing ‘incurable’ psychosomatic illness and physical problems –which hi-light the importance of accepting past lives as a truth in this field. Just Google them and choose a book that looks interesting.
One might argue that the mind can conjure up anything you want it to if you believe it badly enough, but the point is that if it is a fantasy how could a lifelong terror or psychosomatic illness just dissolve? If imagining was all there was to it we could just wish away all our ‘issues’ and fears and psychosomatic ills. My realization about overcoming my fear is an example of ‘proving something in the world of practical living’ – that finding the source of a this life problem in an earlier life can help healing and understanding.
Did Maslow know about past lives? As far as I know he never wrote about them and it’s likely that had he mentioned them it would not have gone down well given the Christian beliefs of the West at the time. Wilber, co author of the Stages of Consciousness, embraces this truth completely – just read his book ‘The Atman Project’.
Perhaps the above has been sufficient to allow you to see how our intelligence and awareness can only be what it is because of our learning over many lifetimes, but if you still are in doubt look at some of the beliefs of other religions and see whether they could stand up to the idea of ‘If a theory cannot be proved in the world of practical living, then it is of no value except in theory’. Compare what I have presented todays and the logic associated with it other religions and their beliefs.

Accepting the idea of past lives explains why we have the consciousness we have and why we are here. – To learn – and we have seen we cannot learn everything in one lifetime – but to what end is this learning taking us? The question seems unanswerable except until a person has what is called a Peak Experience which gives them a huge insight as to where we are going on our journey – which is on the next video called Peak Experiences.

Naturally there is the psychological side of why we are the way we are and I cover these on the video Socialization and parenting.
Thank you for watching

1) Wilber 2000a, Beck and Cowan 1996, Kegan 1982 (
2) Wilber.