what is the 2nd tier?

In my previous blog, I talked about the evolution of human consciousness through 6 stages of ‘the 1st tier’. At the last FS stage, we find ourselves in a world that has never been wealthier, with many humans having never lived such long, productive and healthy lives. We have seemingly conquered the challenges of our subsistence on this planet.

But at what cost?

Today, we face an accumulation of some of the deepest and most intractable challenges we’ve ever faced as a species, such as:

  • wealth inequality
  • artificial intelligence
  • genetic engineering
  • environmental pollution
  • nationalism vs. globalism

Such challenges cannot and will not be solved by the 1st tier consciousness that created them, and will require a tremendous change in thinking in order to solve them. According to psychologist Clare W Graves, this will force the most dramatic change in human consciousness that has yet occurred in humankind’s history – a ‘momentous leap’ from 1st tier to the 2nd tier:

The hallmarks of 2nd tier consciousness include:

  • moving from a fear-based ego mindset to an empowered ego mindset with a corresponding reduction in the need to defend one’s ego needs
  • a greatly expanded capacity to see the importance of all previous 1st tier stages

2nd tier problem solvers do not behave in a redundant fashion. They try a solution to a problem; accept if the evidence suggests it didn’t work; discard it; and go off and try another one. They are not afraid that they might have made a mistake in throwing out an attempted solution. They have the confidence that they did not make a mistake, so they just throw it out. They are not afraid of working from first principles – trying a solution that others wouldn’t try, due to tradition or the currently accepted ways of doing things. They go ahead and attempt it anyway.

At the 2nd tier, people are flexible and not rigid in their views – they see many means to the same end and are ready to change means whenever necessary. They value new ways and new structures for life, not just the ways of tradition. They accept and live with the fact that they are relating to others who are different, and thus show readiness to live with differences.

At the 2nd tier, people think in terms of what is best for the survival of life; their own life, others’ lives, and all of life. Graves writes, “What is best for me or thee does not have to be best for she or them. My way does not have to be yours, nor yours mine; yet I have very strong convictions about what my way is, but never such about yours.

2nd tier values come not from selfish interest but from the recognition of the magnificence of existence and from the desire to see that it shall continue to be.

It’s time to transcend our mere subsistence on this planet, to our being on this planet. It’s time for the ‘momentous leap’ from 1st tier to the 2nd tier.

Here’s a nice overview from the inimitable Ken Wilber – ‘The Momentous Leap from 1st tier to 2nd tier Consciousness’:

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