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Wilber IV - Developmental Levels

The Sensorimotor Worldspace

The Sensorimotor Level or "worldspace" combines the Pleromatic and Uroboric stages of the Link to Amazon com Atman Project (Wilber II - the Pre Trans Cycle). The term "Sensorimotor", like a number of others Wilber uses here, is from external link Piaget, who's work was clearly a major influence on Ken's thought. But the use in this broader more spiritual (and hence by implication Wikipedia link spiritual evolution) sense also reminds me a lot of the first or Physical of Da's "Seven Stages of Life", which in turn is equivalent to (and derived from?) Rudolph Steiner's developmental stages (the first seven years being those in which only the physical is active, the higher bodies not having fully incarnated). As far as I know it retains the confusion of mythopoeic involution and developmental ontogeny (if I am mistaken here, please contact me, as I want this material to be as accurate as possible)

The following is a light hearted 'phenomenological' description of Wilber's "Sensorimotor", which, because of its numerous often incompatable correspondences is very different from Piaget's:

Yearning, yearning.
Hunger, thirst, hunger here.
Swallowing, to swallow.
Must have, must have, must have.
Move toward, run away.
Fear, fear, fear, here.
Anger, rage, explode, swallow, grasping hard, terror.
Amazon com One Taste; p.142.

the above quote and more (including a large number of correspondences) is at external link Sensorimotor texts

Ken Wilber - the Sensorimotor Realm

The following page is from a research notes page by external link Allan Combs which is no longer on line (original url ). I have kept the quotations, which are interesting, but left out the correspondences Of Wilber's Sensorimotor Realm with other systems, as I feel these are - like the tables in the back of Wilber's Integral Psychology - rather forced. - MAK



Wilber Correlations


Correlative Basic Structures: Matter (-subatomic, molecular, polymer), Sensation, Perception, Exocept


'The infantile fusion state is indeed a type of  paradise as we will see, but it is one of prepersonal ignorance not transpersonal awakening. The true nature of the prepersonal, infantile fusion state did not actually dawn on me until I ran across Piaget's description of it " The self at this stage is material, so to speak…..'297 And material union is , as we will see the lowest unity of all, there is nothing metaphysically 'high' about it; the fact that it is a unity structure, prior to subject-object differentiation, erroneously  invites its identification with the truly higher unity structures which are trans-subject/object.  Amazon com Atman Project Preface xvii


General Self-sense: material self

"Pleromatic Self

cognitive style- adualism; objectless, spaceless, protoplasmic

affective atmosphere- total oceanic, unconditional omnipotence, pleromatic paradise

conative or motivational factors- rudimentary, instinctual

temporal mode- timeless as pretemporal (not transtemporal)

mode of self- oceanic, protoplasmic, pleromatic, materia prima"

Amazon com Atman Project pg8


"Uroboric Self

cognitive style- first subject-object differentiation; acasuality; prototaxic mode; hallucinatory wish fulfillment; uroboric forms (early sensorimotor)

affective atmosphere- oceanic-euphoria, primordial fear

motivational of conative factors- primitive urge to survival (of uroboric self), physiological needs (hunger)

temporal mode- pretemporal

mode of self- uroboric, archaic, prepersonal, reptilian, reflex, alimentary: Amazon com Atman Project pg11


Specific aspects: pleromatic,  uroboric, axial-body


'The self is "pleromatic", as the alchemists and gnostics would put it, which essentially means that the self and the material cosmos are undifferentiated…The self is embedded in the materia prima, which is both the primal chaos of physical matter and the maternal matrix or Prakriti from whence all creation was fashioned." Amazon com Atman Project pg.7

A light hearted 'phenomenological' description::

Yearning, yearning.

Hunger, thirst, hunger here.

Swallowing, to swallow.

Must have, must have, must have.

Move toward, run away.

Fear, fear, fear, here.

Anger, rage, explode, swallow, grasping hard, terror.    Amazon com One Taste; p.142.

'There is no real space for the neonate in the sense that there is ni=o gap, distance or seperation between the pleromatic self and the environment. And likewise, there is no sense of time, since a succession of objects in space cannot be realized. The neonate's awareness is spaceless, timeless, objectless (but not eventless)" Amazon com Atman Project pg.8

Defenses: distortion, delusional projections, hallucination, wish fulfillment

Possible Pathology: Psychosis

Fulcrum: BPM: F-0, F-1 physical self

Treatment: F-0-intensive regressive therapies, F-1 pacification (Gedo-pacification)

Moral Span: autistic, symbolic, self-only

Affect: reactivity, sensations, physiostates: touch, temperature, pleasure, pain

" The uroboric self of the infant begins to sense the oppressive and primal mood of fear for the simple reason that it is now recognizes an other- the uroboric other. We might note that the Jungians, the Freudians and the Kleinians all agree that this primal fear is best interpreted as an oral one- that  is, the primal fear of being swallowed, engulfed and annihilated by the uroboric other." Atman pg 11

Levels of Food: material exchange- food -labor

Gender identity: morphological genetic givens, undifferentiated

Worldview name1: Archaic-

Worldview characteristics1: undifferentiated, pleromatic,

Worldview name2: archaic-magical

Worldview characteristics2: hallucinatory wish fulfillment, subject object fusions, selfobjects

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 8 July 2004, last modified 8 December 2005