My old friend Rob McNamara dropped by yesterday to talk about his new book, The Elegant Self: A Radical Approach to Personal Evolution for Greater Influence in Life. I loved the book because it so successfully ponders one of my favorite topics: what is it like to grow?  What do the higher stages of human development look like and feel like?  How do we endeavor to bring forth the next higher dimensions of our own consciousness?

Elegance is a gorgeous word. That’s what we should be calling integral consciousness — it’s something like elegance. So The Elegant Self is really like a rigorous developmental injection of integral consciousness into the world. ~Rob McNamara

Rob has been teaching human development at Naropa University for several years, and has studied with well-known Harvard development expert Susanne Cook-Greuter. They both work with a developmental system created by Harvard psychologist Robert Kegan and elucidated in his book, The Evolving Self.  In this dialog you will here Rob and me speak of:

  • 3rd Order: The Socialized Mind
  • 4th Order: The Self-Authoring Mind
  • 5th Order: The Self-Transforming Mind

These three stages roughly correlate with Ken Wilber’s altitudes from Amber through Orange, Green and Teal/Turquoise.

As in many of the  discussions you’ll find on this blog, the goal is to map the emerging territories of thinking and functioning that evolution is unfolding in the human being. The key idea is that once we realize we are indeed evolving creatures in an evolving cosmos, the imperative arises to participate with emergence in consciously creating our next self. I trust you’ll find Rob McNamara to be a worthy and inspiring guide in your own evolution.

Hey everyone ~ Rob has a new audio course out called Commanding Influence. Rob’s work  focuses on the intersection of integral practice, adult development, and human performance. He’s a Boulder treasure. Check out the course here. ~Brett

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