If you read my previous blog post, you know that I am deeply concerned about declining birth rates and the lack of co-creation in healthy love relationships among people at higher levels of consciousness development.
Some of my friends and most commentators on recent articles about falling birthrates in the NY Times and Washington Post below argue that not having children is the responsible choice to slow down climate change and depletion of resources
However, as the authors and I argue, the real problem is no longer world population growth (which is coming to an end and decline soon) but overconsumption. According to Oxfam, 1% of the world's richest people produce twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half. 10% of the world population causes 52% of global emissions.
Image above: Greenhouse gas emissions per person and country
A second problem is that most women in developed countries cannot have the number of children they would like to have (in the US 2.6 on average.)
Image above: Average fertility gap
The solution to these challenges is threefold.
1. We need to lower consumption by sharing resources in healthy love relationships and more people at higher levels of consciousness to procreate so that we have future generations who vote for, develop, produce, adopt, and export solutions and know-how to emerging economies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and solve the many other problems that humanity is facing.
2. For this to happen, we need to create and adopt better socioeconomic systems (as proposed in the Biden administration's American Families Plan, and similar plans by other governments around the world) to close the so-called fertility gap; the number of children that women would like to have (in the US 2.6 on average) but don't (1.6) because of financial limitations, lack of suitable partners (where are all the good men/fathers???), lack of affordable childcare, adverse career and work conditions for mothers, national instabilities, infertility, etc.
3. In addition to the "lower right quadrant" technical and socioeconomic solutions above, we need an integral approach to educate women and men in high-schools and colleges how to co-create healthy, sustainable love relationships, and more adults who role-model and support such relationships (hence our integral relationship trainings and workshops below.)
To be very clear; I am not suggesting any form of Eugenics here. If people don't want to have children, that must be their personal choice.
If desired results, such as lowering CO2 emissions, closing the fertility gap, and co-creating healthy love relationships are not produced, I always ask myself if people don't know:
What to do or be?
Be in a healthy love relationship and, if possible and desired, raise conscious children or support others in doing so.
Why to do or be?
Because we need future generations at higher levels of consciousness to solve the significant problems that were created at previous levels (see Hegel, Einstein, Habermas, Wilber, etc.)
Want to do or be?
Research shows that people in healthy love relationships who live their biological, transformational, and transcendental purpose are happier, healthier, and live longer, and contribute more to a better world.
How to do or be?
Become integrally informed and practice how to co-create healthy sustainable love relationships in the 21. Century (see 14 Essential Elements below).
When to do or be?
When you identified your life purpose (biological, transformational, and/or transcendental) and found or attracted an equal and opposite partner who shares it in a healthy love relationship.
Image above: What, want, why, when, how to be or do
A crucial element to understand what I am arguing for above are levels of consciousness development.
In Sessions 2 of our 26-week Integral Relationship Trainings and Live Workshops we cover the first three of eight levels of consciousness development.
We use a modified version of Ken Wilber's metaphor of a ladder and a self that evolves in consciousness by integrating the capacities for each potential rung.
Image above: Consciousness development
Everyone starts out at birth at the Archaic level by slowly developing the capacities of the first rung, which are associated with survival. When the limits of integration at the first rung are reached by hitting the side-rails of the ladder, transformation to the Magic level takes place as the second rung is developed through learning and experiences to find safety and belonging. Once this level is developed, growth to the Egocentric level of power and independence takes place. As the self evolves, basic capacities are included (retained), and limited views are transcended. This never works in perfect ways, as illustrated below.
Image above: Consciousness ladders and attraction
The holes or missing parts of each rung represent undeveloped or repressed capacities. These are then projected onto a complementary partner who developed and integrated these parts and who we feel strangely attracted to, as he or she "completes" us.
To find out which rungs of the developmental ladder you and your partner/date have reached and integrated and what holes you project, you may share with him or her in an autobiographical way how you grew through the first three stages below.
How did your views and life change in each of the four dimensions of your being as you evolved? What was transcended (limited views), what was included (basic capacities)? How does each stage impact your love relationships today? What attracts you to your/a partner? What needs do you project onto your/a partner? When do you regress (in relationships) and become defensive (fight, flight, freeze)? What do you want to co-create at each of the three levels?
1. Rung - Archaic—dead or alive
Instinctive. Concerns basic survival needs: Food, shelter, warmth, and sex. Behavior is guided by instincts and impulses for physical well-being. Fight, flight, and freeze reactions. Primal jealousy. World is primarily perceived through the senses.
Limited views: No conscious awareness of interior, past or future. Fusion with the environment (called a-duality) is sometimes confused with higher stages of non-duality.
As Couple: We need each other to survive and to procreate.
2. Rung - Magic—safe or unsafe
Obeys desires of spirit beings. Shows allegiance to elders, custom, clan. Preserves sacred places, objects, rituals. Bonds together with family, group, or tribe to endure and find safety. Lives in an enchanted, magical village/world. Seeks harmony with nature's rhythms. Is full of wonder about the world.
Limited views: Very limited or no individuality, sense of past and future, and awareness of other "tribes/cultures". False beliefs in magic. Childish. Believes in pre-rational (versus transrational) magical fairy tales, law of attraction, karma, synchronicities, astrology, energy-healing, everything happens for a reason, etc. New-Age narcissism. Is superstitious, irrational, and often confuses cause and effect.
As Couple: We need each other to create a magical fairytale relationship and feel safe in a hostile and dangerous world.
3. Rung - Egocentric—good or bad
Selfish. Power, independence, spontaneity, uninhibited, carefree, alive, authentic, expressive, refreshingly open. Escape domination by others and nature. Avoid shame, feel no guilt, demand respect, set close boundaries.
Limited views: Express self, to hell with others. Aggressive or passive aggressive. Wants it all and wants it now without concern for future consequences. Fight to gain control at any cost. Gratify impulses and senses immediately. Ignoring the past and future brings bliss.
As Couple: We need the other to feel good about ourselves and get respect, no matter what.
In our trainings and workshops (and upcoming newsletters) we explore how to:
1. Co-create in all four dimensions of your being as the foundation of a healthy love relationship (covered in last week's newsletter).
2. Identify levels 1-3 (this newsletter), 4-5, 6, and 7-8 of consciousness development and how to learn, heal, and grow together with an equal and opposite partner.
3. Communicate with your partner at his or her level of consciousness so that you are both heard and understood and get your needs met.
4. Understand biological and gender differences to avoid going down the infamous Fear-Shame spiral and to return to love.
5. Balance and harmonize healthy feminine and masculine polarities to create synergy and sexual passion.
6. Awaken together through the five state-stages of spiritual development.
7. Co-create a healthy and rewarding sex-life by healing and growing towards sacred and tantric sexuality.
8. Understand the Anima-Animus complex so that you can co-create a healthy love relationships at stage three or five.
9. Become aware of personality types to understand the essential needs, preferences, and qualities of yourself and your partner.
10. Move towards earned secure attachment through practice and creating a coherent narrative.
11. Own your emotional reactions to heal five forms of the unconscious instead of blaming your partner.
12. Create compassion and healthy boundaries when you feel attracted to or are in love with a complex partner who is highly seductive and challenging because of a personality disorder.
13. Understand your biological, transformational, and transcendental purpose that makes the world a better place and how to identify a soulmate who shares your purpose.
14. Co-create a deep love relationship with your soulmate through intimacy, passion, and commitment in all four dimensions of your being at the level of all seven chakras by balancing and harmonizing healthy feminine and masculine polarities.
Image above: The 14 essential parts for an Integral Relationship.
The exploration of the 14 elements leads us to the image below in which equal and opposite partners realize their fullest human potentials through ongoing learning, healing, growing, and awakening in the four dimensions of their being by balancing and harmonizing healthy feminine and masculine polarities and sharing their biological, transformational, and transcendental purpose at the level of all seven chakras to make the world a better place through co-creating more goodness, truth, beauty, and functioning.
Image above: Couple co-creating at the level of all seven chakras