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Stages of Human Development

Human development proceeds through three major stages:-

  • Prepersonal (preconventional)
  • Personal (conventional)
  • Transpersonal (post conventional)

Human beings are born at the prepersonal (preconvention) stage without any sense of self, or sense of ourselves as people nor any knowledge of social conventions. But we are born into a society framed and regulated by social conventions. Gradually we are conditioned through family interaction, education and society into developing an identity or ego.

Societal ego gradually hypnotises us into how to perceive our life and experience of life, our underlying assumptions assume our cultural beliefs, values and morals are valid, and we expect its worldview, our mental model of the Universe and ourselves as “reality”.  As we mature from prepersonal (preconvention) to personal stage (convention) stage we firmly accept this view of reality. While maturity up to conventional stage has advantages, it still has clouded awareness and is inauthentic, presenting a distorted view of reality, also known as maya or illusion in Eastern wisdom traditions, and veiled vision according to Western wisdom traditions. All major disciplines of psychology, religion and philosophy conclude that we are only half-awake, like sleep walkers operating in a collective shared hypnotic state.

Post convention or transpersonal stage provides us with a great opportunity for profound growth and development. The Symran course provides us with understanding and methods to use the conventional stage as a stepping stone into post conventional and transpersonal growth. 

Those who mature to the post conventional or transpersonal stage enjoy a far greater satisfaction and happiness in their lives including relationships, love, friendship, play, etc then those who remain at the conventional or personal stage. 

Society, education and religions all offer support at the pre-conventional and conventional stages of development by offering comfort, community, code of conduct, a belief system to help develop a world-view. (The relationship between you and Universe) but fail to address the increasing need of post-conventional (transpersonal) growth. For transpersonal growth there is need to understanding the new emerging world-view through spiritual discipline and set of practices to nurture growth.