Reaching Kegan Level 4

What skills to learn, what tools to get
daylen
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by daylen » Fri May 24, 2019 2:49 pm

Here are some charts I made to capture the essence of all this (in theory :P). The utility for others largely depends on how they define or make sense of such key words. I will try to explain how they build on each other.

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I find it is useful to think of all the levels as overlapping feedback loops. Jacob linked an article discussing this in one of the old personality threads.

Kegan0 is a sensorium. There entire existence is all one thing (or nothing). Atomic senses do not yet exist because they have not reduced their sensorium into parts yet.

Kegan1 reduces the whole sensorium into parts or "patterns of sensation". Some of existence is now classified as "signal" and the rest is "noise". Perception is simply how this is done. At this stage the sensations are both inputs and outputs, or from another perspective, there is no function yet (hence Kegan1 is dependent).

Kegan2 is a function that inputs perceptions and outputs sensations. The sensations are classified and used as feedback to identify different perceptions. At this level, the agent does not have control over what perceptions they have, but they do gradually start to recognize and distinguish such perceptions. They are a disposition that attempts to control what sensations they experience. In other words, they have a preference.

Kegan3 ..... [the logic is similar to that of Kegan3.. input -> control .. function -> input] ..... at this level the new function is an abstraction. By that I mean a way of representing the lower levels (senses, perceptions, dispositions). It is a way of communicating what an agent wants. Kegan3 learns how to communicate through social interaction that links experiences (sensations, perceptions, dispositions) to language.

Kegan4 ....... " " " " " " " ..... at this level the new function is an abstract system that makes deductions about specific sensations, perceptions, and dispositions based on general principles. The system itself keeps track of what assumptions are being made, and the conclusions or deductions follow from such assumptions. This level is capable of solving problems that have not been encountered before. The precise terminology used to signal different sensations, perceptions, and dispositions is not as important, because the system tracks the relations/operations/transformations between abstractions and not the abstractions themselves.

Kegan5 ..... " " " " " " " ...... is a dialectic that inputs ideologies and outputs abstractions for various sensations, perceptions, and dispositions. The abstractions are being controlled for [presumably to ease ideological polarization]. Old ideologies are being reconstructed into new ideologies to be employed based on more specific conditions. Note that Kegan5 is still built on the underlying functions or feedback loops, so there is always bias to navigate.
Last edited by daylen on Fri May 24, 2019 11:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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jennypenny
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by jennypenny » Fri May 24, 2019 2:50 pm

I'm way out of my league here but ... I thought a K5 wouldn't identify and solve issues but would realize most issues were unsolvable or not worth solving. I kinda thought that K5s viewed the world (and their place in it) in a way that removed most friction? Isn't enhanced contextualizing the hallmark of K5s?

Quadalupe
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by Quadalupe » Fri May 24, 2019 3:01 pm

Do you/we know any examples for people who are/were Kegan level 1,2,3,4,5? That might help with making the discussion a little bit less abstract.

Take Marcus Aurelius or Jesus for example. Were they Kegan 3, 4 or 5?
Last edited by Quadalupe on Fri May 24, 2019 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daylen
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by daylen » Fri May 24, 2019 3:19 pm

Level 1: Fresh born babies.. until they start responding or displaying basic emotions?
Level 2: Repeat offenders of violent crimes in absence of a "gang". Reality is a zero-sum game between them and everything else.
Level 3: Gang members (perhaps not leaders). Sport fanatics that structure their lives around the performance of their "team". The "Joneses" of the neighborhood that follow all the latest trends. Most Teenagers and young adults.
Level 4: An academic that explicitly states everyone should view life through their particular lens of understanding (I am hesitant to name any because you can never really know for sure if they are using a meta-narrative for a particular context)... cough Sam cough Harris.
Level 5: Not sure asides from Bateson.

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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by jacob » Fri May 24, 2019 3:40 pm

I once made the following mapping to well-known people in the WH administration based on their public behavior. As you can tell from the names, this was some time ago, so maybe it needs to be updated: Trump=2, Kelly=3, Ryan=4, and Bannon=5.

Adding some more, Pence=3, Sanders=3, and Conway=4. And from the Democrat side, Hillary=4, Obama=4, Biden=3, AOC=3, and Pelosi=5.

In general, most politicians (especially from competitive realms) need to be[come] a 4 to succeed knowing the different things to say to different constituencies to make a career out of it. If you only have one constituency or your constituency is locked in, it's a lot easier.

(Politics = Potentially inflammatory, so lets just leave it at that. Maybe PM me if you think I'm really wrong and I'll update it here. I fear using politicians could derail this very interesting thread, but OTOH, everyone is at least somewhat familiar with them and they're somewhat contemporary.)

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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by anesde » Sun May 26, 2019 11:35 am

I love the irony inherent in Jacob’s footnote. Discussing Keagan levels and the (apparent) desire to “rise up the ladder”, yet the fear of derailment when applied to politics persists.

Perhaps one’s desire to derail is the best indication of one’s Kegan level?

daylen
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by daylen » Sun May 26, 2019 12:56 pm

Seems like the desire is more implicit in Kegan4 thinking; the process of bringing a perceptive into the light necessarily pushes others away. It is much easier to deconstruct or overshadow an argument than it is to make it better (reconstruction). Kegan5 is often trying to balance this effect with idea that deconstruction precedes innovation. For a forest to shelter new life, it must first be burned, but often the new life is functionally equivalent. One question that seems to pop up is something like.. what should be considered as sacred? .. and when should apparently more functional solutions replace the sacred? The answer seems to require contextualization as Jenny mentioned.
Last edited by daylen on Mon May 27, 2019 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jason
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by Jason » Sun May 26, 2019 1:12 pm

Can one have a Kegan Level 5 understanding that they are well below a Kegan Level 5? Because my certainty that I don't understand of any this shit is through the roof.

daylen
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by daylen » Sun May 26, 2019 1:22 pm

@Jason Sure, you could find a paradox in any model that has been presented. Just as any theory or literary work can be "debunked". The utility of such models is dependent on how the user links it to their "bottom-line".

A mathematical or physical theory from one angle is just a way of manipulating symbols. It is only "objective" in the sense that anyone who understands the symbols and how they link to experiments will have gained a confidence in the theory. When the theory predicts a particular outcome they have not tested, they will take it seriously. In some sense, it is a way of directing attention.

daylen
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by daylen » Sun May 26, 2019 4:45 pm

Going along with the perception that this is a tool to be used only in particular ways.. when and how should it be used?

It could be used as a way to put people in boxes, and each box could be associated to different conditions of interaction. Perhaps that could help an individual manage their social life, or perhaps it could backfire and lead to resentment. People typically push back against confinement.

It could be used as a map to navigate some territory. The question then concerns the territorial boundaries. Perhaps it could serve as a model for generating arguments that combat overconfidence.(*)

In opposition to some other ranking system like IQ, this can actually be changed [significantly] with time. To what extent should it be treated like a trophy for a sport competition or spelling bee? On the other hand, the Kegan scale seems to correspond to a transferable skill.

Maybe it could serve as a way to defend against overconfident Kegan4 behavior that attempts to force a partial perspective onto others. Ironically, trying to help people with a Kegan4 meta-narrative can amplify polarization. Some people (namely young Kegan3's) are highly susceptible to propaganda and will obey whatever meta-narrative is being thrown at them. Many other people become more confident with their own system by attending to flaws in another system they dislike (especially if that system is viral like new atheism).

For anyone that is mathematically inclined, I invite them to study the incompleteness theorems(**). Consider that millions of people can agree on something as abstract and predictive as the general theory of relativity which is built on a few basic assumptions about counting... then one day someone makes a [very] convincing argument to this population that the same assumptions leading to computer and satellite technologies [and generally the way our lives are structured today] are actually incomplete (or potentially inconsistent). One of the most trusted ways of making sense of anything is probably incomplete, and it can never prove its own consistency. It is not too far-fetched to then believe that any universal system for making sense of reality is either not accounting for something or does not make sense (two or more statements generated with the theory cannot all be true).

(*) This is interesting to me, because I often present myself as being confident when most of the time my thought process is flooded with self-doubt. Sometimes I tell myself that being direct and assertive when writing decreases "fluff", but signaling self-doubt can actually increase the readers trust. Not sure if I will ever figure this out.

(**) A somewhat more accessible case study is the limitations of Euclidean geometry.

mathiverse
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by mathiverse » Tue May 28, 2019 5:43 pm

How did you know you were Kegan 4 (or 5) for those who feel they are?

My guess for me is that I'll know I'm Kegan 4 when I stop feeling guilty for doing my own thing and I'll generally be clear on what "my own thing" is in most situations rather than having to parse through noise all the time like I have to now.

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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue May 28, 2019 6:02 pm

mathiverse wrote:How did you know you were Kegan 4 (or 5) for those who feel they are?
When the warp of the world consistently transcends the weft that was your narrative.

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jennypenny
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by jennypenny » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:02 am

new interview with Kegan

He summarizes his work including the different stages for those who are looking for an overview from Kegan himself.

J_
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by J_ » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:10 am

@Jennypenny: Thanks . Kegan expresses himself so insightful that it helped me to understand his practical findings much better. And at the end of this talk he gives a glimp of how it would be possible to get a better human reaction to how the climatic crisis can be steared to some more sustainable direction.

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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by Clarice » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:45 am

@jennypenny:
Thank you very much for the link! Enlightening... :) Now I am late to work. :evil:

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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by subgard » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:53 am

It's a looped continuum. K6 is the same as K0.

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by AnalyticalEngine » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:56 pm

Does anyone have any insight on encouraging someone who is level 3 to develop to level 4?

wolf
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by wolf » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:53 am

Trigger his/her intrinsic motivation.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:05 am

I think each level up harkens back to previous level transcended. So, if level 2 is subjective self-interest then level 3 calls for objective self-interest. IOW, "put on your own oxygen mask first" would be a Level 3 towards 4 encouragement. The "first" is what stamps this expression as not to be interpreted as advice to regress to Level 2.

I found what Kegan had to say in the video about moral relativity and rejection of any system of hierarchy interesting. It seems to me this has something to do with the ability to recognize other moral systems as different yet equally complex. For instance, a poorly behaved 9 year old child I was supervising recently, responded to my remark "You know what you are supposed to do when another child hits you." with "Yeah, I am supposed to tell a teacher, but my parents told me that I should hit back if somebody hits me, and I am going to do what my parents told me." There are 9 year old children who are capable of reasoning forward towards value of education or other benefits received if willing to offer adults other than parents trust and respect, but they are few and far between. "An eye for an eye..." is generally a pretty easy sell at the third grade level.

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Re: Reaching Kegan Level 4

Post by jacob » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:23 am

I would approach it the way I approach moral growth. Always challenge the person at exactly +1 level of their current one. Interestingly Paul Wheaton figured out the same with permaculture which led to the development of Wheaton levels---I didn't really figure it out for ERE until the past several years. Anyway, this means that if you're dealing with a perp or a 6 year old who mainly thinks in morals in terms what they can get away with (Kohlberg2), then lectures about democracy (Kolhberg5) is not going to work. What you want to engage them on is a concern for being nice to other people (Kohlberg3). After that you can talk about the importance of all of us following the rules (Kohlberg4) leading to democracy and how we agree on the rules (Kohlberg5)---and ultimately whether some rules are special (Kohlberg6).

If you want a specific motivating factor then career development is a good one. The difference between 3 and 4 is material.

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