How Does The Ten Terrains Model Relate to Ken Wilbur's Integral Map?
We are NOT experts in Ken Wilber's work or in Integral Theory, so it is best left up to students of that work to analyse in detail how the Ten Terrains Model fits into Wilbur's grand theory of everything. So we will keep our comments brief.
From our limited perusal of Wilbur's work, we acknowledge that he is a brilliant pioneering thinker who has developed a very detailed way to understand and map all aspects of human development. He has studied many different systems, ideologies, sciences, theologies, histories, spiritual teachings, and academic fields, comparing and contrasting them to find the common threads.
Out of this intensive research over decades, Wilbur has comprehensively mapped the various states, stages, lines and types that make up human experience and growth. It is a complex and extremely thorough map of humanity.
Wilbur's map includes within it both 'horizontal' systems, such as personality typing models, and 'vertical' systems such as developmental models, along with other things like the temporary states of consciousness that happen in peak spiritual experiences.
The Ten Terrains Model does not attempt to be a theory of everything, like Wilbur's work does. It is a map of human spiritual evolution. It would fit well into Wilbur's AQUAL Map you see above, alongside his vertical model known as the 'Stages Of Development'.
Based in Spiral Dynamics, the 'Stages Of Development' model sets out the different stages of human thought and behaviour that emerge as individuals and cultures evolve. From our perspective, this vertical model is an anthropomorphic (ego-centric / local) view of human development coming from the Reflection-Based Terrain (Diamond).
From the perspective of Integral Theory, the Ten Terrains could also be considered to be a vertical model (although, strictly speaking, it is a holographic model, in that it explains that everyone is exactly where they are meant to be for their own higher learning, based on the sum total of charge force carried in their field.)
However, The Ten Terrains Model is much more. It is a vertical ‘Infinite Consciousness-centric’ / non-local model coming from the Unity-Based Terrain (Infinity.) It does not map stages of thought or behaviour, rather it maps the stages of our relationship to Infinite Consciousness and our perceptions of separation from our one Infinite Self.
The Ten Terrains is a spiritual model, not a psychological, behavioural or sociological one. It sees the non-local, Self-aware universe of Consciousness as an indivisible Being (cause) from which we co-arise—like waves on the ocean—rather than seeing consciousness as a local brain/chemical created effect. The Terrains each represent different degrees of filtering from the Oneness that we all are. The Ten Terrains Model maps the stages of spiritual evolution as a person/group returns home to their own Infinite nature.
Because the Ten Terrains Model is coming from a different Terrain than is Integral Theory, its arrival onto the planet came about quite differently. The Ten Terrains did not emerge from years of mental deductive research and analysis, but was received by inductive intuition.
Being an intuitive inductive model, The Ten Terrains is simple and elegant, rather than complex or complicated. Most people 'get it' intuitively, without having to go into complex cerebral processes. When people sit with it, with their Heart open, they generally find that it resonates with their experience of the world.
We would hope that if the Ten Terrains had existed at the time that Ken Wilbur was researching his map, he would have reviewed it as another vertical system, alongside Spiral Dynamics. Had he done so, perhaps he would have included the Continuum of Terrains as yet another way in which a person, group or civilization could evolve, alongside his Stages Of Development, the Developmental Altitudes and the different Tiers.
Both Ken Wilbur's work and the Ten Terrains are immensely helpful contributions to human understanding, they just have a different focus and are seeing human evolution through different filters, because they are coming from different Terrains.
Listen to this 5 minute audio: "How is the Ten Terrains different from Spiral Dynamics?
This is an excerpt from a longer interview with Ben Fuchs of 'The Bright Side' on 30 Sept 2020