LEADERSHIP 3.0: Seven Steps to Transform Yourself into a Holistic Leader



What is the Return on Holistic Leadership

in the Third Millennium?

Martin Lerchner, MBA

Mobile: +65 8321 1559

Email: [email protected]


1 Fullerton Road

#02-01 OneFullerton

Singapore 049213

Web: www.synedrion.com

Singapore, January 18, 2014


You create your own reality





1. Definition of the Whole


1.1. Body


1.2. Soul


1.3. Spirit


1.4. Summary – Holistic Leadership Consciousness


2. Holistic Transformation


2.1. Sevenfold


2.2. Seven Centers of Consciousness in the Indian Chakra



2.3. Spiral Dynamics


2.4. Summary – Seven Levels of Holistic Leadership



3. Ascent Into Visionary Leadership


3.1. The Stages of Higher Knowledge by Rudolf Steiner 104

3.2. Five Higher Levels of Spiritual Mind by Aurobindo


3.3. Summary – Visionary Leadership by Intuition



4. Meditation, Accelerator in Holistic Leadership



4.1. How to Meditate


5. Summary




List of Figures


List of Tables







This book is a marketed version of my MBA master

thesis entitled, “Holistic Leadership and

Transformation” which I wrote in 2009.

This book explains aspects which business leaders will

need to consider in the future and it describes a map

for transformation, which is based on the map of

natural evolution.

To envision and create the future of a business is a

quality which leaders need to learn these days.1 A

century ago, a man dreamed about a technique of using

electromagnetic radiation. His vision became reality and

today, there is a radio and television in every


I see humanity developing into a stage where

communication via telepathy will be possible. The

dreams of beaming (de-materializing and materializing)

1 Cf. (Unternehmen Chance, 2009, S. Profil der Führungskraft


2 Cf. (Hill, Denke nach und werde Reich, 2005, pp. 15,16)


human beings like in the TV movies of Starship

Enterprise may become true within a few centuries.

Whether the forecasted events happen or not, I am

convinced that it is an important strategy for leaders to

envision life a century from today. This will trigger

creative impulses for successful business

developments within the timeframe of the next five to

twenty years.


The intention of this book is to explore the whole of

existence. This definition of the whole, in scientific

terms, is a holistic approach and hence, a paramount

base. This foundation, which is a consciousness

approach, is furthermore being shown how it is focused

or expressed in the discipline of leadership. It is a book

which is intimately connected with my whole

personality. I am a management consultant by

profession and a holistic researcher by my higher

aspirations. The definition of the whole follows a map of

transformation, which is displayed with various levels of

progress. It is a ladder with rungs derived from and


compared with different holistic development systems.

The main difference from other systems of growth is the

inclusion of spiritual levels. Society and science, in

general, is exclusively focused on the material world

and rational thinking. At an ordinary scientific stance,

the whole gamut of feelings, thoughts and visions are

only a by-product of material evolution. This book gives

other aspects of human life a separate, yet

interconnected standpoint. Thus, to develop into such a

spiritual standpoint and to enhance one’s leadership

paradigm is the USP3 of this concept. The super-

sensible dimensions are the ones that evolution longs

for. Sustained business development needs to move in

this direction. The exclusive cardinal material focus will

be abolished, a paradigm shift will happen and human

business will balance. This concept may be of deep

interest to only a few designated leaders who strive for

global service along with business profits. It is this

leader who aspires in his career to become a holistic

leader. This is a pioneer leader who appreciates the

practice of meditation.

3 Unique Selling Proposition



I was born on January 15, 1976 in a small town called

Tamsweg in the midst of the Central Eastern Alps in

Austria. After earning my degree in Business

Administration,4 I moved to Munich to engage myself in

software development, my passion since childhood. At

the age of twenty-five, I set up a private limited

company5 in partnership, where I was employed as a

senior software developer to execute projects focused

in the financial sector (banks and insurance). Within the

first year of operation, my company made a turnover of

about one million Deutsche Marks.

In 2003, I sold my shares of the company and moved

into the world to pursue my quest for the essence of

life. I found myself incisively attracted to India. My first

station was as a volunteer in Mother Theresa’s Dying

House6 in Kolkata.

4 In German: Matura Handelsakademie

5 In German: Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung

6 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Kalighat Home for the



I came to practice meditation and roamed around the

world as monk, staying in monasteries and practicing

meditation up to ten hours per day.

I retreated to the Himalayan Mountains to realize the

essence of life in the mystical experience of

enlightenment (Satori7). I spent a few winters in the

Golden Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert8

to explore the spiritual dimension and to clarify my

fundamental mission and identity.


My mission is to bridge the gap between material

existence and spiritual truth.

My aim is to support the individual in life-fulfillment.

This means a realization of one’s inner nature and its

conscious outward expression.9

As a mentor, I help as many people as possible to move

towards fulfillment (within the context of business).10

7 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Satori)

8 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Thar Desert)

9 My written statement, version October 18, 2004




This book’s first chapter is structured in order to

define the whole of existence with its three major

aspects of body, soul and spirit. This is the base rooted

in ancient wisdom.


The second chapter suggests a transformation

with seven steps from matter to spirit in order to

execute a full-spectrum transformation. It is the body of

this book.


The third chapter provides the reader with the

idea of growing into the upper levels, the hidden future

potential for humankind. This is the heart of the book.


In the fourth and last chapter, the essential

method of realizing a full consciousness is described.


This book describes how holistic consciousness is being

elaborated and shows how it is expressed or focused in

the area of leadership.

10 Berlin, July 1, 2009


This book is based and focused on my personal

experience. The spectrum and vision of my model is

vast and spans a few millennia in time.

It is not an output of a merely intellectual dissection. I

only claim material emerging out of and matching with

my own awareness.

In that sense, I ask you to make your own decision of

what you believe is truth. This approach requires a total

openness and keen observation of your own thoughts

and feelings which will come up from time to time to

exercise judgment.

I will address you, the reader, using both sexes – female

and male. In regard to actually receiving a holistic view

and transformation, I will also refer to you as a


This content links between:


Ancient wisdom and my spiritual experience,


Psychological models of human development by

renowned researchers,

11 The student of a mentor



The material business world in the context of


I invite you to create your own ideas and see what in

this book resonates within your soul. The assumption is

that every individual has his unique way to bring about

innovative solutions and to conquer challenges. There is

more than one right way.

The main key is to listen to the voice within. Ideas are

perceived by the outside and evoke thoughts and

feelings within you. These are genuine ideas, the only

ones that you should follow.

Holistic leadership may be compared by the term

“spiritual capital” from Danah Zohar, which is a new

paradigm. It requires that we radically change our

mindset about the philosophical foundations and the

practice of business. It is not anti-capitalist – or even

non-capitalist but it requires the addition of moral and

social dimensions to capitalism. Spiritual capital itself is

not monetary wealth but it argues the possibility of

making a profit – perhaps even more of a profit – by

doing business in a wider context of meaning and value.


It can generate profit that both draws on and adds to

the wealth of the human spirit and to general well-



A leader is one who creates his destiny and evolution.

Followers are the ones who are surprised by future

events. The holistic leader knows that she co-creates

her destiny with her fellow man.

Napoleon Hill, who has studied highly successful

business leaders, reminds us that our state of mind is

the one and only thing over which we have a complete,

unchallenged right of control. It is highly significant that

none of us has control over anything except the power

to shape our own thoughts and the privilege of fitting

them to any pattern of our choice.13 Likewise, there are

Rudolf Steiner quotes referring to man’s steady center

within the ebbing and flowing tide of life around him,

“He has himself always in hand.”14

12 (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 31)

13 (Hill, The Master-Key to Riches, 2004, p. 11)

14 (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 17)


You create your own reality, there are no exceptions!15

15 Cf. (Roberts, Die Natur den persönlichen Realität, 2002, p.

16ff), excerpted and translated



Definition of the Whole

The basis for this book lies in the definition of the

whole. The term “holistic”16 is used as a catchword and

as a scientific discipline. The term “wholistic” would be

more appropriate but is uncommon and unpopular.

A holistic leadership consciousness is a state of being

and secondarily, a mental concept. What is the

difference between the feeling of wholeness and its

description? Take into consideration that the

description of wholeness or of holistic leadership

consciousness is only a mental reflection, a shadow of

its awareness.

How do we define a full human being? For this

paramount task, many sources have been studied and

the results are descriptions of different holistic systems.

From early Plotinus17 to Ken Wilber18, al of their

research is profound with a varying amount of planes in

16 (from “holos,” a Greek word meaning all, entire, total,


17 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Plotinus)

18 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Ken Wilber)


a holistic system. The notion of a great chain of being19

is one model used to define the whole of existence:

Reality is composed of several different but continuous

dimensions. Manifest reality consists of different grades

or levels, reaching from the lowest, the most dense and

least conscious to the highest, the most subtle and

most conscious. At one end of this continuum of being

or spectrum of consciousness, is what we in the West

would call “matter” […] and at the other end is “spirit.”20

“Matter” on one side and “spirit” on the other always

defines the whole of existence. Sometimes, the great

chain of being appears only with three levels, other

versions have seven and still others give a very detailed

description of continuous dimensions.

What researchers share is the idea of existence divided

into three major blocks and a development from matter

to spirit. It is the threefold structure which I believe to

be the most adequate to solve this fundamental task of

defining whole reality and a full human being. Check out

19 (Wilber, The Eye of Spirit, 2001, p. 35)

20 (Wilber, The Eye of Spirit, 2001, p. 35)


the circle, which itself is a universal symbol of

wholeness and completion.21 What is the one figure

closely related to Pi or π?

The triune reality is the signature of the holistic

consciousness. It is the divine pattern.22

In psychology, we use the terms “superconscious,”

“conscious” and “subconscious.”. In religion, the Holy

Trinity consists of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Some

scientists see energy, matter and ether. Some

philosophers say that something is not true until it is

true in thought, word and deed. In concepts of time,

there are only three times: past, present and future.

Also, there are three moments in perception: before,

now and after. In spatial relationships, whether

considering the points in the universe or various points

in one’s own room, one recognizes here, there and the

space in between.23

21 (Sweet & Williams, 2009)

22 (Walsch, Conversations with God Book 1, 1995, p. 30)

23 Cf. (Walsch, Conversations with God Book 1, 1995, p. 31)


Holistic consciousness looks

through a triangle – like the eye

of providence24 – into the world.

Austrian anthroposophist Rudolf

Steiner25 defines in his major

book “Theosophy,” the threefold Figure 1: Eye of Providence

structure as body, soul and

spirit.26 He originates his definition on an analysis of

Goethe’s writings to describe the threefold structure of

man.27 Steiner summarizes,

“Thus as human beings, we are citizens of three worlds.

In body, we both belong to and perceive the outer world;

in soul, we build up our own inner world; and in spirit, a

third world that is higher than both of the others reveals

itself to us.”28

24 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Eye of Providence)

25 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Rudolf Steiner)

26 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, p. 24)

27 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, pp. 21-23)

28 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, p. 25)


In his major work “The Synthesis of Yoga,” the

philosopher and yogi Sri Aurobindo29 writes, “Nature,

then, is an evolution […], with three successive forms as

her three steps of ascent. And we have consequently as

the condition of all our activities, these three mutually

interdependent possibilities, the bodily life, mental

existence and the veiled spiritual being which is in

involution the cause of the others and in the evolution

their result.”30

Both Steiner and Aurobindo label the first block “body,”

the second is called “soul” by Steiner and “the mind” by

Aurobindo, the third is called “spirit” by both of them.

In this book, the whole is defined as body, soul and


29 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Sri Aurobindo)

30 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 20)


To explain the whole

symbolically, the I refer to the

analogy of the anatomical

human body. The extremities

(arms and legs) are the first

aspect of the body and are

Figure 2: Holistic Consciousness

used to move on the earth, to act and form material


The trunk is the second aspect of the soul and is

commonly associated with emotions in the gut and

feelings in the heart.

The head is the third aspect of the spirit and is

associated with thinking.

You can achieve a clear understanding of the threefold

structure by separately looking into each of its blocks.


1.1. Body

The body and material world is perceived by the five

senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. The body

includes the life force, the energy to build and move the


We learn about the human body by means of our bodily

senses, and our mode of observation can be no

different than if we were to learn about other sense-

perceptible things.31

Beside the human being, three other forms of existence

are attributed to the material existence: minerals,

plants and animals.

We can observe the human being in the same way that

we observe minerals, plants and animals, and as

human beings, we are related to these three other

forms of existence.32

31 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, pp. 26-27)

32 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, p. 26)


Sri Aurobindo sees in physical nature a progression

from type to type, from the vegetable to the animal,

from the animal to man […].33

Like minerals, we build up our bodies out of natural

substances; like plants, we grow and reproduce; like

animals, we perceive objects around us and develop

inner experiences based on the impressions they make

upon us.34

But once a type is physically marked off, the chief

immediate preoccupation of the terrestrial mother

seems to be to maintain a constant state of

reproduction. Further, Aurobindo states that,“Life

always seeks immortality; but since individual form is

impermanent and only the idea of a form is permanent

in the consciousness that creates the universe – for

there it does not perish – such constant reproduction is

the only possible material immortality.”35

33 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 21)

34 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, p. 26)

35 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 21)


Both Aurobindo and Steiner state reproduction to be a

primal quality of bodily life.

Steiner divides the body into three aspects: the physical

body, ether or life body and the astral body.36

The physical body is the only one that is accessible to

our senses and our sense-based intellect.37 Within the

manifest world, the physical human body is the part of

the human being that is the same as in the mineral

world. In contrast, everything that differentiates us from

minerals cannot be considered part of the physical

body.38 The physical body of the human being shares

the inorganic nature with the mineral kingdom. Steiner

relates to the inorganic nature as death always


Having an ether body is common to plants and human

beings in the same way that having a physical body is

common to humans and minerals. Every living thing has

36 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, pp. 56-58)

37 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, p. 30)

38 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 31-32)

39 Cf. (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 30-32)


its own ether body.40 The ether or life body which

human beings have in common with plants, Steiner

relates with sleep or life.41

In the same sense that having a physical body is

something we share with minerals and the ether body

being something we share with plants, with respect to

our astral body, we are of the same nature as

animals.42 The astral body, soul body or sentient body in

human beings is shared with the animals and is related

with forgetting or consciousness.43

Both Steiner and Aurobindo distinguish levels within the

body. The first level and bottom plane of existence,

characterized by minerals, is called material body

(matter); the second level, characterized by plants /

vegetables, is called the etheric body; and the third

level, characterized by animals, is called astral body.44

40 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, p. 36)

41 Cf. (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 32-36)

42 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, p. 37)

43 Cf. (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 36-38)

44 Cf. (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, pp. 57-61)


Sri Aurobindo describes that the characteristic energy of

bodily life is not so much in progress as in persistence,

not so much in individual self-enlargement as in self-


Self-preservation, self-repetition, self-multiplication are

then the predominant instincts of all material existence.

Material life always seems to move in a fixed cycle.45

Steiner uses the term “body” to describe the aspects of

human existence that endure for a single lifetime. The

physical body is the most obvious of these. Permeating

our physical existence are the forces of life, growth and

metamorphoses that maintain and develop the physical

body; as it is an aspect of a lifetime that falls away after

death, Steiner called this the “life” or “etheric body.”

Steiner called that which receives sensory impressions

the “body of consciousness” or the “sentient body.”46

Again, the body is a creation out of consciousness.

Human consciousness is bestowed with the idea of

45 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 21)

46 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Anthroposophical View of

the Human Being)


form and thus creates it. The same has been stated by

Albert Einstein’s47 formulae e = mc2 and is scientifically

proven by quantum mechanics.48

1.2. Soul

The soul is the aspect which essentially feels. The soul

is the store of emotion. As souls, we share and love. In

many philosophies, the soul is a synonym for the mind.

Steiner states, “As an individual private inner world,

soul nature is different from bodily nature. Its intrinsic

privateness becomes apparent as soon as we turn our

attention to the simplest act of sensing. We cannot

know whether or not others experience this simple

sensation in exactly the same way.”

He gives us a practical idea with the example of a color-

blind person. The physical object perceived by the eyes,

either half or full color-blind, is the same. But the image

and experience is different and belongs to the person’s

inner world.

47 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Albert Einstein)

48 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Quantum Mechanics)


With my bodily senses, I can perceive the same red

table that someone else perceives but I cannot perceive

that person’s sensation of red. Therefore, we must

describe this sensation as belonging to the soul. Once

we are quite clear about this, we will stop looking at

inner experiences as mere brain processes or

something of that sort.49

Steiner draws an exact line to separate the body and

the soul. “At the point when an outer object is perceived

and a feeling arises, it arises in the soul. Also the

memory, for example, when one perceives an object,

then turns away from it and reawakens a mental image

of it, is part of the soul.”50

Aurobindo defines this second aspect of the whole as

mind and defines change as characteristic energy of

pure mind. The more our mentality acquires elevation

and organization, the more this law of mind assumes

the aspect of a continual enlargement, improvement

and a better arrangement of its gains, and so of a

49 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, pp. 28-29)

50 Cf. (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 43-44)


continual passage from a smaller and simpler to a

larger and more complex perfection.51 Also, the aspects

of feelings and emotions are part of Aurobindo’s mind.

The vital mind is the part which seems to only have the

function to give form to our impulses, our feelings and

our desires.52 This is the part of the soul which is

connected with the body and manifests from inside out.

He also distinguishes a heart mind, which has the true

function of love. The superficial heart of emotion is

overborne by the conflicting appearances of the world

and suffers many reactions of grief, fear, depression,

passion, short-lived and partial joy.53

Steiner`s first element in the soul is called “sentient

soul.” It is like Aurobindo’s vital mind, the direct

connector with the body. Steiner declares that it is the

birth of the “I” and the element which animals no longer

possess. The animal’s action or sensation lies, whether

within its body or outside of it. Human beings can

51 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 21)

52 Cf. (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 79)

53 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 737)


produce wishes and desires that are not adequately

accounted for by causes either within or outside of our

bodies. This element appears when we retain an

awareness of our pleasure on a previous occasion when

our hunger was satisfied, so that our desire for food is

driven by past experience, as well as by our current

experience of hunger.54

“Intellectual soul” or “mind soul” is Steiner’s second

soul element. The intellect analyzes the object received

from the sentient soul. It is characteristic of both the

sentient and mind souls that they work with what they

receive through impressions of objects perceived by the

senses and then retained in memory.55 Sri Aurobindo’s

related aspect is the ordinary, rational or reasoning

mind which, seen from a spiritual stance, grows from a

smaller and simpler to a larger and more complex


54 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 38-39)

55 Cf. (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 44-45)

56 Cf. (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, pp. 201-202)

57 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 21)


Steiner’s third soul element transcends the ongoing two

levels and is called “consciousness soul.” Just as the

sentient and mind souls dwel in the outer world, a third

soul element immerses itself in the divine when the

soul achieves perception of its own being.58 It is what

Aurobindo calls the “higher mind” and is already the

first step towards the spiritual aspect of the whole.59

Aurobindo gives an indication of the mind’s infinity. For

mind, unlike bodily life, is infinite in its field, elastic in its expansion, easily variable in its formations. Change,

then, self-enlargement and self-improvement are its

proper instincts. Mind, too, moves in cycles but these

are ever-enlarging spirals, its faith is perfectibility, its

watchword is progress.60

Aurobindo defines describes a vital mind which, in

turn, is Steiner’s first aspect of the sentient soul. The

second aspect, intellectual soul, is what Aurobindo calls

58 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, p. 46)

59 Cf. (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, pp. 198-202)

60 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 21)


“reasoning mind” or “ordinary mind.”61 The

consciousness soul is equated by Aurobindo with the

higher mind.62

1.3. Spirit

The word spiritual originally came from the Latin

“spiritus,” which means “that which gives life or vitality

to a system.”63

My clearest experience of the spirit was in the moment

of enlightenment. As I remember during periods of

intense meditation, I felt a force constantly moving

along my spine from the bottom to the top, sometimes

resting at the heart-level, sometimes resulting in an

itching pain at the throat level and sometimes at the

stomach level, associated with a strong connection of

vital life. During long retreats, I was able to raise this

force (called Kundalini in Indian yoga systems) upwards

into my head. This triggered all sorts of grimaces and

61 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of Consciousness,

2000, p. 79)

62 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of Consciousness,

2000, pp. 198-211)

63 (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 43)


opened my eyes. Suddenly, this force opened the last

felt blockage on the top of the back of my head, which

resulted in powerful images coming up and dissolved

with my eyes wide open into all eternity. There was only

flux and flow, only energy. I was no longer my body, my

mind or in my mind; I was all and nothing, I experienced

eternity.64 This was a mystical experience beyond the

process of time and beyond the doubting mind. Zen

attributes to it the name “the void,” Buddhists refer to it

as “Nirvana,” Christians call it “the kingdom of God”

and quantum science talks of “pure energy.”

Aurobindo describes the characteristic law of spirit as

self-existent perfection and immutable infinity. It

possesses, always and in its own right, the immortality

which is the aim of life and the perfection which is the

goal of mind.65

Steiner refers to this pure spirit as “kernels-of-life,”

found in the seventh and last region of the spirit.66

64 My personal experiences from the years 2003-2005

65 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, pp. 21-22)

66 Cf. (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, p. 146)


These are descriptions of the spirit in its purest form,

aloof from the material plane. Rudolf Steiner shows in

his esoteric teachings a down-to-earth way. He hints at

the spirit, to give an idea, remaining stable on the

rational ground, “We do not wander aimlessly and

without direction from one sense impression to another,

nor do we respond to every random stimulus that acts

on us from outside or through our bodily processes.

Instead, we think about our sensations and our

actions.” He points to a guiding principle which is

connected with thinking but not coming from outside

stimuli. By thinking about our sensations, we come to

an understanding of things; by thinking about our

actions, we create a rational coherence in our lives. And

we know that we are only worthily fulfil ing our tasks as

human beings when we let ourselves be guided by the

right thoughts, both in knowing and in acting. He brings

in the notion of right thoughts. Therefore, the human

soul faces a dual necessity. Out of natural necessity, it

is governed by the laws of the body but because it freely

recognizes their necessity, it also allows itself to be

governed by the laws that lead to correct thinking.


Nature subjects us to the laws of metabolism but as

human beings, we subject ourselves to the laws of


Steiner hints to the so-called eternal laws which govern

and lead our thinking mind. It is upon us to consciously

align our mind and soul with these higher laws.

He describes a process through which we make

ourselves members of a higher order than the one we

belong to through the body. This is the spiritual order.

Soul is different from spirit, as different as it is from

body. He again distinguishes body and soul, “As long as

we simply speak of the particles of carbon, hydrogen,

oxygen and nitrogen moving around in our body, we do

not have the soul in view. The life of the soul begins

only at the point where sensation arises within such

movement, where we taste something sweet or feel

pleasure.” And he differentiates the spirit, “We do not

have the spirit in view as long as we only consider the

inner experiences that pass through us when we give

ourselves completely to the outer world and to the life

67 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, pp. 29-30)


of the body. Rather, this soul existence is the basis for

the spiritual, just as bodily existence is the basis for

soul existence.”

Through the spirit, the outer world is revealed to us in a

higher way.6869

Sri Aurobindo states, “The attainment of the eternal and

the realization of that which is the same in all things

and beyond al things, equally blissful in the universe

and outside of it, untouched by the imperfections and

limitations of the forms and activities in which it dwells,

is the glory of the spiritual life.70

Steiner divides the spirit into three levels.

The first he calls the “spirit self” which is connected

with the astral body. The spirit self constitutes a higher

element of our human makeup, one that is present in

its embryonic form, as it were, and emerges more and

more in the course of working on ourselves.71 He refers

68 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, p. 25)

69 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, pp. 21-22)

70 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 50-51)

71 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, p. 54)


to intellectual development and the extent to which we

purify and ennoble our displays of feeling and will as the

measures of our transformation of the astral body into

the spirit self. Aurobindo refers to an illumined mind

and an intuitive mind.72

The second aspect Steiner defines as “life spirit” and

relates with the etheric body. He refers to religious and

other related experiences which leave an imprint on our

ether body and turn it into the life spirit.73 Aurobindo

researched and penetrated these higher levels of

existence his entire life. He distinguishes between an

overmind and supermind74 and describes the

conception of the supermind as a vastness beyond the

ordinary firmaments of our consciousness in which the

truth of being is luminously one with all that expresses it

and inevitably assures the truth of visions, formulations,

arrangements, words, acts and movements; and

therefore, truth also of the result of movements, actions

72 (F. description in later chapter)

73 (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 54-55)

74 (F. description in later chapter)


and expressions, infallible ordinances or laws.75 The

third and last level of the full human being is called by

Steiner the “spirit body.” Thus with the discovery of the

spirit body, human beings are able to transform matter

– to close the circle and become full.76 Aurobindo

describes it thus, “There must take place as the

crowning movement the ascent into the supermind and

the transforming descent of the supramental

consciousness into our entire being and nature.”77 The

spirit may be subdivided into three different levels: First

is the spirit self, which is unified with the consciousness

soul and distinguished by Sri Aurobindo with the levels

from the higher to the intuitive mind. The second level is

called the life spirit, referred to as supermind by

Aurobindo and the third is the spirit man or body for

super materialization.

75 (Aurobindo, The Life Drive, 1970, pp. 124-125)

76 Cf. (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 55-56)

77 (Aurobindo, The Life Drive, 1970, p. 891)


1.4. Summary – Holistic Leadership Consciousness

Developing a wholistic view – a full spectrum of what is

– can only be done with a completely open mind. If you

exclude any quality of life or being whatsoever, you

cannot arrive at a holistic picture.

The holistic consciousness described is a principle

which is based on a threefold structure which is the

most adequate to solve this quest to define a full

human being. Furthermore, this concept of a triple man

is compared with different forms of research by experts

in this field. My basic sources are constructs by the

Austrian anthroposophist Dr. Rudolf Steiner who lived

about a century ago and whom I compare with another

renowned integral thinker, Sri Aurobindo Gosh. The

labels may be different but the basic structure remains

body – mind – soul, or body – soul – spirit to explain the

balanced triune nature of a full human being.

Steiner says, “The natural scientist (biologist) deals with

the body, the soul scientist (psychologist) with the soul,


and the spiritual scientist with spirit.”78 Neale Donald

Walsch’s79 conversational partner God says:


“When you live as a single-faceted creature, you

become deeply mired in matters of the body: Money.

Sex. Power. Possessions. Physical stimulations and

satisfactions. Security. Fame. Financial gain.


“When you live as a dual-faceted creature, you

broaden your concerns to include matters of the mind

(soul). Companionships, creativity, stimulation of new

thoughts, new ideas, creation of new goals, new

challenges, personal growth.


“When you live as a three-part being, you come

at last into balance with yourself. Your concerns include

matters of the soul (spirit): spiritual identity, life

purpose, relationship to God, path of evolution, spiritual

growth, ultimate destiny.”80

78 (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, pp. 29-30)

79 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Neale Donald Walsch)

80 (Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 2, 1997, p. 100)


Danah Zohar81, a management educator who lectures

global y to large corporations, foundations and

educational organizations, discusses in her book three

kinds of capital: material capital, social capital and

spiritual capital.


Material capital is the capital most familiar in

present capitalist society. It means money and the

things that money can buy – money to spend, money to

invest, money with which to buy material advantage,

power and influence. This kind of capital is pursued with

rational intelligence (IQ). IQ is the intelligence with

which we think. This part of the holistic consciousness

is focused on the body.


Social capital is the wealth that makes

communities and organizations function effectively for

the common good. Social capital is reflected in the

kinds of relationships we build in our families,

communities and organizations, the amount we trust

one another, the extent to which we fulfill our

responsibilities to one another and the community, the

81 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Danah Zohar)


amounts of health and literacy we achieve through our

common efforts […]. Emotional intelligence is the ability

to understand and feel for other people and to behave

or respond appropriately. EQ is the intelligence with

which we feel. This part of the holistic consciousness is

focused on the soul.


Spiritual capital adds the dimension of shared

meanings, values and ultimate purposes. It addresses

those concerns we have about what it means to be

human and the ultimate meaning and purpose of

human life. It is the cultivation and sharing of truly

ultimate concerns that acts as the real glue of society.

Spiritual capital is built by using spiritual intelligence.

SQ is the intelligence with which we are. This part of the

holistic consciousness is focused on the spirit.82

The three major styles of leadership are related to the

threefold description of body, soul and spirit. These are

authoritarian, cooperative and visionary leadership:


Under the autocratic (authoritarian) leadership

styles, al decision-making powers are centralized in the

82 (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 6)


leader. This leader does not entertain any suggestions

or initiative from subordinates. Autocratic management

has been successful as it provides strong motivation to

the manager. It permits quick decision-making as only

one person decides for the whole group. An autocratic

leader does not trust anybody.


The cooperative or democratic (participative)

leadership style favors decision-making by the whole

group. He can win the cooperation of his group and can

motivate them effectively and positively. The decisions

of the democratic leader are not unilateral as with the

autocrat because they arise from consultation with and

participation by the group members.


The visionary or free rein (delegative) leader

allows the team (or individual) to make the decision.

Free rein leaders turn over virtually all authority and

control to the group. Leadership is provided to the

group through inspiration. Group members are

presented with a task to perform and are given free rein

to figure out how to perform it best. The leader does not

get involved unless requested. Team members are

allowed al the freedom they want as long as they do


not violate policy. The free-rein leader delegates

completely.83 84

A holistic leader is able to juggle with all three major

leadership styles in given situations.

83 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Leadership)

84 Cf. (Addis Ababa, 2008, S. Reference Material on

Introduction to Leadership)


Heart on Fire by Alex Grey


Holistic Transformation

There are many systems for personal and organizational

development, and many maps for transformation. Most

of them are not holistic and are limited by rationality,

limited by the view of the map maker. It is modern

science which only regards and takes into account what

it actually observes objectively in the material world. It

has not always been like this and in ancient times,

wisdom that was “felt” was much more integrated into

science. It is important to realize that a holistic picture

must include the outer and the inner reality. As a

mentee, you need to observe the things in the material

world and to watch the objects of the inner world which

include, for instance, feelings, emotions, thoughts and

visions. In other words, the full range of the planes of

existence expresses the past – what has been so far,

the present – what actually is – and the future – which

will be. The whole spectrum is demonstrated in the first


Taking this holistic definition of body, soul and spirit into

account, there are only a few systems left. I base my

development of a holistic transformation map on a


sevenfold structure derived from anthroposophy and

relates it with the seven centers of consciousness from

the Indian chakra system. At last, I draw the connection

with the well-studied and researched system of spiraled

dynamics, extended by integral thinker Ken Wilber.

This transformation map with seven stages brings about

a full (holistic) transformation. A full transformation is

an individually balanced consciousness of these seven

centers of awareness.85

Danah Zohar states that getting from business-as-usual

to business-as-it-could-be is no simple matter. A little

talk about corporate social responsibility, some

discussion of “vision and values,” and giving employees

little plastic “values” cards to carry around in their

wallets are not going to change very much. What is

required is a whole new business paradigm, a paradigm

shift that embraces our basic concepts of wealth and

capital themselves, and that brings on board a new,

85 Consciousness


living understanding of what a business system is, and

how such systems can be managed intelligently.86

A holistic transformation is a radical change of

consciousness and the change of consciousness is the

root of every transformation, which results in the

change of behavior, thinking, etc.

1.1. Sevenfold

The founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner, described the sevenfold holistic make up of a full human being, in

the successive sequence of development and explains

how each coincides with each other.

Anthroposophic name

1 Physical body

2 Ether or life body

3 Astral body

4 Ego or I

86 (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 29)


5 Spirit self

6 Life spirit

7 Spirit man

Table 1: Anthroposophic Sevenfold Man

Physical body

First is the “physical body” of man, which is the oldest

part of man since it was the first to evolve. This

“physical body” is of the inorganic nature, which makes

up its composition. It is the mineral world, in which

death is always inherent. It is the only one observable

with the physical senses.

Ether or life body

Penetrating the “physical body” is the “etheric body,”

the second part of man. The “etheric body” man shares

a commonality with the plant. The “etheric body” holds

things together by giving them their shapes and forms.

It is also called the “life body” since during life, it

prevents the destruction of the “physical body.”


Astral body

Just as the “etheric body” gives life to the “physical

body,” the “astral body,” the third part of man, gives life

to the “etheric body.” The “astral body” makes man

able to possess motion. Without this “astral body,” the

“etheric body” would be in a state of continual

unconsciousness or sleep.

Ego or I

The fourth part or component of man is the “ego,”

which furnishes the “astral body.” The “ego” is the seat

of consciousness within man. It differentiates him from

his fellow creatures in the animal world. Without the

“ego,” man would possess no permanency. He would

act upon a thing only once and forget the experience.

Each time he met the same situation, he would need to

learn how to react to it again. With the “ego,” there

comes a degree of permanency in man. Without the

“ego,” there would be no memory of, for instance,

hunger and thirst.

Steiner describes memory as “soul” developing at

various stages and identified by different terms. The

first aspect is called “sentient soul,” able to reawaken a


mental image. With this aspect, man is able to visualize

an object without its actual presence.

The second stage of the “soul” is the “intellectual” or

“mind soul,” with the ability to rationally analyze the

perceived object.

When the “ego” becomes aware of itself, it has the

capability to rise above the “sentient” and “intellectual

soul” into the “consciousness soul.” It becomes aware

itself as “I” and it is the “I” which observes the images that the “ego” manufactures itself, or the personal

thoughts of the soul. The “ego” becomes aware of the

soul and consciousness of the soul begins.

Just as the person had to direct the activity of the ego to

view itself through self-contemplation, so also he must

direct the spirituality of the soul. The “consciousness

soul” is united with the spirit. When this is done, the

higher stages of the human being are developed. The

person who achieves this has ennobled or spiritualized

the soul out of his ego. The ego is now the master of the

soul life, which can be continued so far that no desire or


enjoyment can gain entrance into the soul without the

ego or “I” possessing the power to grant the entrance.

Spirit self

With further endeavor, this power can be extended to

the “astral body.” The ego takes possession of the

“astral body” by uniting itself with its hidden nature.

When the “astral body” is overcome and transformed by

the “ego,” it becomes the “spirit self.” The “spirit self”

begins only as a germ but increasingly develops as it

actively works upon itself. Steiner refers to a noble

idealist, who withdraws from certain base inclinations

and turns toward higher ones. This can be taken to the

point where no desire or craving can find a place into

the soul.

Life spirit

Just as the “ego” conquers the “astral body” by

penetrating its hidden forces, the identical process can

occur in the etheric body. The work of the “ego” upon

the etheric is more intense than on the “astral body”

because more factors are involved and the results are

manifested more slowly. As Steiner suggests, certain

human soul qualities develop and change through the


passage of time as the “ego” works on them. There are

multiple factors that produce gradual changes in a

person such as education, religion, art, literature and

imitation. One of the best means by which change is

produced is through repetition of an act or experiencing

a feeling. When these changes result within the etheric

body, the human being has acquired a second spiritual

member, which is called the “life spirit.” This term “life

spirit” draws upon the same forces within the “etheric

body” which is called the “life body” before the “ego”

worked on them.

Spirit man

After working on the “astral” and “etheric bodies,” the

work of the “ego” or “I” is extended into the “physical

body.” The work is continued as the “ego” unites with

the hidden forces in the “physical body.” Steiner

explains that what appears as the gross matter of the

“physical body” is just the manifested part of it. Behind

this manifested part lie the hidden forces of its being,

which are of spiritual nature. These are the invisible

forces that bring the “physical body” into existence and


allow it to decay. It is upon these invisible forces that

the ego works and in ordinary life, this work is done

instinctively. Consequently, a holistic consciousness

arises when man, under the influence of supersensible

knowledge, takes an active control of this inner working

of the ego. When this occurs, a third spiritual member

of man emerges, which is called the “spirit man” which

is in contrast to “physical man.”

In summary, according to Steiner, in occult science,

man is viewed as being composed of various members.

Those of a corporal nature are the “physical body,”

“etheric body” and “astral body.” Those belonging to the

soul are the “sentient soul,” “intellectual soul,” and

“consciousness soul.” The “I,” the “ego,” spread out its

light in the soul. The members possessing a spiritual

nature are the “spirit self,” “spirit life” and “spirit man.”

The “sentient soul” and the “astral body” are closely

united and in a certain respect, form a whole. In like

manner, “consciousness soul” and “spirit self” form a


whole and shine their rays through other members of

human nature.87 88

1.2. Seven Centers of Consciousness in the Indian

Chakra System

The sevenfold structure of transformation is related

with the Indian chakra system. Chakras are energy

centers along the spine located at major branchings of

the human nervous system, beginning at the base of

the spinal column and moving upward to the top of the

skull. Chakras are considered to be a point or nexus of

biophysical energy or prana of the human body.89 90

The next table shows the name of the chakra and its




1 Base (Root)

Survival, stability, material

87 Cf. (Steiner, Theosophy, 1994, p. 58)

88 Cf. (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Science, 1997, pp. 30-58)

89 Cf. (Anodea, 2009)

90 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Chakra)


2 Sacral

Sex, reproduction, basic

emotional needs, vital

3 Solar Plexus

Power, will, action

4 Heart

Love, compassion

5 Throat

Communication, creativity,


6 Brow (Third Eye) Intuition, imagination

7 Crown

Wisdom, bliss, spirit

Table 2: Levels of consciousness in Indian chakra system


This center is located at the base of the spine (between

the genitals and the anus).

The base or root chakra represents the element earth,

and is therefore related to our survival instincts,

security, sense of grounding, stillness, basic human

potentiality and connection to our bodies, and the

physical plane. This chakra forms our foundation.


Ideally, this chakra brings us health, prosperity, security

and dynamic presence.

Although no endocrine organ is placed here, it is said to

relate to the gonads and the adrenal medulla,

responsible for the fight-or-flight response when survival

is under threat. There is a muscle located in this region

that controls ejaculation in the sexual act of the human

male. A parallel is charted between the sperm cell, the

ovum where the genetic code lies coiled and the


Despite its being on the lowest rung of the chakra

system, the root chakra is upheld to be very relevant.

Containing the primary eight cells with the knowledge of

creation and being the only cells that have remain

unchanged in our lifetime, it has the capacity to

transform the kundalini from crude existence to one of

a fully transformed human being. The sperm cell where

the genetic code lies coiled and the ovum, the

legendary kundalini, prepared to express itself as a fully

91 An unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force


developed human being, is both deemed to be of equal


The root chakra is symbolized by a lotus with four petals

and the color red. Key issues involve sexuality, lust and


Physically, this chakra governs sexuality; mentally, it

governs stability; emotionally, it governs sensuality and

spiritually, it governs a sense of security.


This center is located just beneath the navel in the

sacrum and represents the water element. It is related

to sexuality, relationships, violence, addictions, basic

emotional needs and pleasure. It connects us to others

through feeling, desire, sensation and movement. It is

the place where we experience that childlike wonder

and excitement of things around us. A sense of

innocence and wonder which we sometimes lose

because of the blockages put on this chakra by taboos

toward sexuality. Blockage manifests as emotional

problems or sexual guilt. Ideally, this chakra brings us


fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfil ment

and the ability to accept change.

It is considered to correspond to the testes or the

ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved

in the reproductive cycle. This chakra is also considered

to be more generally related to the genitourinary system

and the adrenals.

The sacral chakra is symbolized by a lotus with six

petals and corresponds to the color orange.

Physically, this chakra governs reproduction; mentally, it

governs creativity; emotionally, it governs joy and

spiritually, it governs enthusiasm.

Solar Plexus

This center is located in the solar plexus and represents

the fire element. It involves issues of personal power,

fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion and

transition from simple or base emotions to complex.

This chakra is known as the power chakra. It rules our

personal power, will and autonomy, as well as our

metabolism. Our ability to connect, belong and make


long term intimate associations; the love of one’s home

or one’s being loved as well as feelings of contentment

and trust are all associated with this chakra. Blockage

manifests as anger or a sense of victimization. When

healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness,

spontaneity and non-dominating power.

This chakra is related to the metabolic and digestive

systems. It is believed to correspond to a group of cells

in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and

the adrenal cortex. These play a valuable role in

digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for

the body.

It is symbolized by a lotus with ten petals. The color that

corresponds to this center is yellow.

Physically, it governs digestion; mentally, it governs

personal power; emotionally, it governs expansiveness

and spiritually, al matters of growth.


This center is located in the chest (from the area of the

collar bones to a point about two fingers above the


solar plexus) represents the air element. It is related

with complex emotions, equilibrium, rejection and high

feelings such as compassion, love and tenderness. The

heart center is the regulator of a person’s emotional life.

If it is blocked in any way, then emotions will be

distorted. Blockage can manifest as immune system or

heart problems, or a lack of compassion.

As the middle chakra in the system of seven, it

integrates and balances the realms of matter and spirit.

Heart center – seat of the soul in the hourglass of time -

zero point.

It is related to the thymus, an element of the immune

system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It

is the site of maturation for the T cells responsible for

fending off disease and may be adversely affected by


This center is symbolized by a lotus flower with twelve

petals and is related to the colors green or pink. Green

is considered a healing color.


Physically, this chakra governs circulation; emotionally,

it governs unconditional love for the self and others;

mentally, it governs passion and spiritually, it governs



This center is located in the throat (from the collar

bones to the nose) and represents sound.

It may be understood as relating to communication,

creativity and growth through expression. Here we

experience the world symbolically through vibration,

such as the vibration of sound representing language. It

feels pressure when you are not communicating your

emotions properly. By activating this chakra, the person

becomes aware for the first time that the internal

worlds are real worlds. In addition, the throat chakra

controls facial expression and the non-verbal. It gives a

person the confidence to say no, to disagree in a

reasoned way. Fear is transmuted so that one is not

afraid to express himself fully in all situations.


This chakra is parallel to the thyroid, a gland that is also

in the throat and which produces the thyroid hormone,

responsible for growth and maturation.

Symbolized by a lotus with sixteen petals, it is

characterized by the color light or pale blue, or


Physically, this chakra governs communication;

emotionally, it governs independence; mentally, it

governs fluent thought and spiritually, it governs a

sense of security.

Third Eye

This chakra is also called the brow chakra and

represents light and sight.

It relates to the act of seeing, both outer and inner

objects. The key issues and competencies are intuition,

imagination, dreaming, envisioning, clairvoyance and

psychic capabilities. As such, it opens our psychic

faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. In

this center, a person harmonizes the opposing energies

and balances the yin and yang. A person experiences


himself in the fullness of the “I Am,” the union of the

selves. Also, through the power of a person’s mind, he

can create new realities for himself on the physical

plane. The person activating the third chakra would be

concerned with things beyond earthly goals, which

divert many people from fulfilling their dharma. When

healthy, it allows us to see clearly, in effect, letting us

see the big picture.

The chakra is linked to the pineal gland which may

inform a model of its envisioning. The pineal gland is a

light sensitive gland that produces the hormone

melatonin which regulates sleep and waking up.

This center is symbolized by a lotus with two petals and

corresponds to the color white, indigo or deep blue.

Emotionally, this chakra deals with clarity on an intuitive



This center is located at the top of the head (the crown)

and represents thoughts, belief systems, convictions

and paradigms.


This chakra is generally considered to be the chakra of

pure consciousness. It is concerned – like the root

chakra with the material connection – with the spiritual.

It connects with pure conscious awareness and

universal consciousness. It is our connection to the

greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of

all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings us

knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual

connection and bliss.

Its role may be envisioned somewhat similarly to that of

the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to

communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and

also connects to the central nervous system via the

hypothalamus. The thalamus is thought to have a key

role in the physical basis of consciousness.

Symbolized by a lotus with one thousand petals, it is

located at the crown of the head.

This chakra is represented by the color violet and it

involves such issues as inner wisdom and the death of

the body. Its inner aspect deals with the release of

karma, physical action with meditation, mental action


with universal consciousness and unity, and emotional

action with being.92 93 94 95 96 97

The holistic transformation is completed from matter to

spirit through seven levels with the culmination in the

opening of the seventh center. Reaching this level in

transformation, the operator experiences


1.3. Spiral Dynamics

In his famous book entitled “A Theory of Everything,”

Ken Wilber refers to a model cal ed spiral dynamics,

based on the pioneering work of Clare Graves. Graves

proposed a profound and elegant system of human

development, which subsequent research has validated

and refined. He developed a psychology of the mature

human being as an unfolding, emergent, oscillating

92 Cf. (Ellie Crystal, 2009)

93 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Chakra)

94 Cf. (Wilber, A Theory of Everything, 2000, p. 178, 199)

95 Cf. (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, pp. 65-66)

96 Cf. ([email protected], 2009)

97 Cf. (Sacred Centers, 2009)


spiraling process. This process is marked by progressive

subordination of older, lower-order behavior systems to

newer, higher-order systems as an individual’s

existential problems change. Each successive stage,

wave or level of existence is a state through which

people pass on their way to other states of being. When

the human is centralized in one stage of existence, he

or she has a psychology which is particular to that

stage. One’s feelings, motivations, ethics and values,

biochemistry, degree of neurological activation, learning

system, belief systems, conception of mental health,

ideas as to what mental illness is and how it should be

treated, conceptions of and preferences for

management, education, economics, and political

theory and practice are all appropriate to that stage.98

The next table shows the holistic transformation

structure of spiral dynamics99 extended by Ken Wilber,

which is called holarchy100 101:

98 (Wilber, A Theory of Everything, 2000, pp. 4-5)

99 (NVC Consulting, 2006)

100 (Wilber, A Theory of Everything, 2000, pp. 43-45)

101 (Wilber, The Integral Vision, 2007, pp. 112-113)





1 Instinctive/


Survival; biogenic needs satisfaction;

Survivalistic; (AN)

reproduction; satisfy instinctive urges.

2 Magical/ Animistic; Purple

Placate spirit realm; honor ancestors;


protection from harm; family bonds.

3 Impulsive/


Power/action; asserting self to dominate

Egocentric; (CP)

others; control; sensory pleasure.

4 Purposeful/


Stability/order; obedience to earn reward later;

Authoritarian; (DQ).

meaning; purpose; certainty.

5 Achievist/


Opportunity/success; competing to achieve

Strategic; (ER)

results; influence; autonomy.

6 Communitarian/


Harmony/love; joining together for mutual

Egalitarian; (FS)

growth; awareness; belonging.

7 Integrative; (GT)


Independence/self-worth; fitting a living

system; knowing; good questions.

8 Holistic; (HU)

Turquoise Global community/life force; survival of life on

Earth; consciousness.

9 Psychic


Beginning of the transpersonal, supra-

individual, or spiritual realms.

10 Subtle


Directly cognized and ontologically real forms

of ones own divinity.

11 Causal

Ultraviolet Ground or essence of all the archetypal

manifestations; total and utter transcendence;

formless consciousness, boundless radiance.

12 Nondual


Home of integral or non-dual mysticism

Table 3: Ken Wilber’s holarchy based on the Graves / Spiral Dynamic memes

Graves outlines eight major levels or waves of human

existence and Ken Wilber extends them with three

more.102 103 104 105 106

102 Cf. (Wilber, A Theory of Everything, 2000, pp. 9-13)

103 Cf. (Wilber, One Taste, 2000, p. 109)

104 Cf. (Wilber, The Atman Project, 1996, p. 53, 73, 83)



It is the color beige and also called survival or archaic-

instinctual. The level of basic survival; food, water,

warmth, sex and safety have priority. Habits and

instincts are used just to survive. A distinct self is barely

awakened or sustained. Survival bands are formed to

perpetuate life. It lives “off the land” much as other


It is seen in first human societies, newborn infants, the

senile elderly, late-stage Alzheimer’s victims, mentally ill

street people, starving masses and those suffering shell


The basic theme: Do what you must just to stay alive.

It started 100,000 years ago and covers 0.1% of the

adult population, 0% power.


It is the color purple and also cal ed KinSpirits. Thinking

is animistic; magical spirits, good and bad, swarm the

105 Cf. (Beck, 2009, S. The Never Ending Upward Quest)

106 Cf. (Wilber, The Integral Vision, 2007, p. 113)


earth leaving blessings, curses and spells that

determine events. It forms into ethnic tribes. The spirits

exist in their ancestors and bond the tribe. Kinship and

lineage establish political links. It obeys the desires of

the spirit being and mystical signs. It shows al egiance

to the chief, elders, ancestors and the clan. Individuals

are subsumed in the group. It preserves sacred objects,

places, events and memories. It observes rites of

passage, seasonal cycles and tribal customs.

It is found in belief in voodoo-like curses, blood oaths,

ancient grudges, good luck charms, family rituals,

magical ethnic beliefs and superstitions; it is strong in

third-world settings, gangs, athletic teams and

corporate “tribes.”

The basic theme: Keep the spirits happy and the tribe’s

nest warm and safe. It started 50,000 years ago and

covers 10% of the population, 1% of the power.


It is the color red and also cal ed PowerGods. It is first

emergence of a self-distinct from the tribe; powerful,

impulsive, egocentric, heroic. Mythic spirits, dragons,

beasts and powerful people. Feudal lords protect


underlings in exchange for obedience and labor. It is the

basis of feudal empires – power and glory. Its world is a

jungle full of threats and predators. It conquers,

outfoxes, and dominates other aggressive characters; it

enjoys itself to the fullest without regret or remorse. It

breaks free from any domination or constraint to please

itself as it desires. It stands tall, expects attention,

demands respect and calls the shots.

It is seen in rebellious youth, frontier mentalities, feudal

kingdoms, epic heroes, James Bond villains, soldiers of

fortune, wild rock stars, Atilla the Hun, Lord of the


The basic theme: Be what you are and do what you

want, regardless. It started 10,000 years ago and

covers 20% of the population, 5% of the power.


It is the color blue and also cal ed Conformist Rule or

TruthForce. Life has meaning, direction and purpose,

107 Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel by Nobel Prize-

winning author William Golding. It discusses how culture

created by man fails, using as an example, a group of British

schoolboys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern

themselves but with disastrous results.


with outcomes determined by an all-powerful other or

order. This righteous order enforces a code of conduct

based on absolutist and unvarying principles of “right”

and “wrong.” Violating the code or rules has severe,

perhaps everlasting repercussions. Following the code

yields rewards for the faithful. It is the basis of ancient

nations. These are rigid social hierarchies; paternalistic,

there is one right way and only one right way to think

about everything. Law and order, impulsivity controlled

through guilt, concrete-literal and fundamentalist

beliefs, obedience to the rule of order. One sacrifices

oneself to the transcendent cause, truth, or righteous

pathway. The order enforces a code of conduct based

on eternal, absolute principles. Righteous living

produces stability now and guarantees future reward.

Impulsivity is controlled through guilt. Everybody has

their proper place. Laws, regulations and discipline

build character and moral fiber.

It is seen in Puritan America, Confucian China,

Dickensian England, Singaporean discipline, codes of

chivalry and honor, charitable good deeds, religious


fundamentalism (e.g., Christian and Islamic), Boy and

Girl Scouts, the “moral majority,” patriotism.

Basic theme: Life has meaning, direction, and purpose

with predetermined outcomes.

It started 5,000 years ago and covers 40% of the

population, 30% of the power.


It is the color orange and also cal ed Scientific

Achievement or StriveDrive. At this wave, the self

escapes from the herd mentality. It seeks truth and

meaning in experimental, objective, mechanistic,

operational and scientific terms. Its world is a rational

and well-oiled machine with natural laws that can be

learned, mastered and manipulated for one’s own

purposes. Highly achievement oriented, especially (in

America) toward materialistic gains. The laws of science

rule politics, the economy and human events. The world

is a chessboard on which games are played as winners

gain preeminence and perks over losers. Marketplace

alliances; manipulate Earth’s resources for one’s

strategic gains. It is the basis of corporate states.


Change and advancement are inherent within the

scheme of things. Progresses by learning nature’s

secrets and seeking out best solutions. Manipulates

Earth’s resources to create and spread the abundant

good life. Optimistic, risk-taking and self-reliant people

deserve success. Societies prosper through strategy,

technology and competitiveness.

It is seen in the emerging middle classes around the

world, materialism, liberal self-interest, Wall Street, the

cosmetics industry, trophy hunting, the fashion industry,

colonialism, the Cold War, Ayn Rand’s “Atlas


The basic theme: Act in your own self-interest by playing

the game to win.

It started 300 years ago and covers 30% of the

population, 50% of the power.

108 A novel by Ayn Rand which explores a dystopian United

States where leading innovators, ranging from industrialists to

artists, refuse to be exploited by society.



It is the color green and also called Sensitive Self or

HumanBond. Keywords are communitarian, human

bonding, ecological sensitivity and networking. It

believes the human spirit must be freed from greed,

dogma and divisiveness. Feelings and caring supersede

cold rationality. Cherishing of the earth, Gaia, life.

Against hierarchy, establishes lateral bonding and

linking. It is permeable self, relational self, group

intermeshing. Its emphasis is on dialogue and

relationships. It is the basis of values communes109 and

reaches decisions through reconciliation and

consensus. Refreshes spirituality, brings harmony, and

enriches human potential. Strongly egalitarian, anti-

hierarchy, pluralistic values, social construction of

reality, diversity, multiculturalism, relativistic value

systems. This worldview is often called pluralistic

relativism. Subjective, nonlinear thinking and shows a

greater degree of affective warmth, sensitivity and

caring for earth and all its inhabitants. Spreads the

Earth’s resources and opportunities equally among all.

109 freely chosen affiliations based on shared sentiments


It is seen in humanistic psychology, liberation theology,

cooperative inquiry, The World Council of Churches,

Greenpeace, animal rights, ecofeminism, deep ecology,

postmodernism, Netherlands idealism, Rogerian

counseling, Canadian health care, post-colonialism,

Foucault/Derrida, political correctness, diversity

movements, human rights issues and ecopsychology.

The basic theme: Seek peace within the inner self and

explore with others the caring dimensions of


It started 150 years ago and covers 10% of the

population, 15% of the power.


It is the color yellow and also called FlexFlow. Life is a

kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies (holarchies),

systems and forms. Flexibility, spontaneity and

functionality have the highest priority. Differences and

pluralities can be integrated into interdependent,

natural flows. Egalitarianism is complemented with

natural degrees of excellence where appropriate.

Knowledge and competency should supersede rank,


power, status or group. The prevailing world order is the

result of the existence of different levels of reality

(memes) and the inevitable patterns of movement up

and down the dynamic spiral. Good governance

facilitates the emergence of entities through the levels

of increasing complexity (nested hierarchy). The

magnificence of existence is valued over material

possessions. Differences can be integrated into

interdependent, natural flows. It understands that

chaos and change are natural.

The basic theme: Live fully and responsibly as what you

are and learn to become. It started fifty years ago.


It is the color turquoise and also called GlobalView.

Universal holistic system, holons/waves of integrative

energies; unites feeling with knowledge (centaur),

multiple levels interwoven into one conscious system.

Universal order but in a living, conscious fashion, not

based on external rules or group bonds. It may involve

the emergence of a new spirituality as a meshwork of

all existence. Thinking at this stage uses the entire

spiral, sees multiple levels of interaction, detects


harmonics, the mystical forces and the pervasive flow-

states that permeate any organization.

The world is a single, dynamic organism with its own

collective mind. Self is both distinct and a blended part

of a larger, compassionate whole. Everything connects

to everything else in ecological alignments. Energy and

information permeate the Earth’s total environment.

Holistic, intuitive thinking and cooperative actions are to

be expected.

The basic theme: Experience the wholeness of

existence through mind and spirit.

It started thirty years ago and the last two levels

together cover only 1% of the population, 5% of the



It is the color indigo. This is the beginning of the

transpersonal, supra-individual or spiritual realms.This

level is often marked by an intense mystical union with

the entire gross realm – the realm of nature, Gaia, the

world soul. It is the home of nature mysticism.


Ken Wilber refers also to this level as the mature

centaur, the point that higher energies begin to rush

into the organism, even transfiguring it physiologically. It

is a cognitive process of intuition, intentionality and

vision image. In the higher realms, it is of

transcendence and integration.

The ability to live fully in the present is a prime

characteristic of the centaur. The whole abstract world

of linear time – now that it has served its purpose –

collapses into the intensity of the present. In this level,

one has spontaneous will or intentionality. It is the point

where body and ego begin to go into trans-

differentiation and high-order integration.

Only a very few people have reached this level as a

permanent stage, although many people had an

experience of this level as an altered state.


It is the color violet. The subtle realm proper is the

home of directly cognized, vividly intense and

ontologically real forms of one’s own divinity, instead of

gross-realm mythological god and goddess figures


focused on the ego. It is the home of genuine deity


In the subtle realm – and especially in the high-subtle –

a very high-order differentiation and transcendence is

occurring. Mediated through high-archetypal symbolic

forms – the deity forms, il uminative or audible –

consciousness is following a path of transformation

upward which leads quite beyond the gross body mind.

Ken Wilber states that one consciously meets and

becomes oneself in its archetypal and eternal nature.

Such, then, is one form of true transformation or

development into the subtle realm, the discovery or

remembrance of a higher-order unity that is now

approaching Unity – that enters the transpersonal

sphere of superconsciousness and discloses only

archetypal essence.

Only a very few people have reached this level as a

permanent stage, although many people had an

experience of this level as an altered state.



It is the color ultraviolet. This is the causal realm per se,

the formless unmanifest, nirvikalpa, nirvana, pure

emptiness, the abyss, ayn. The root of the witness. The

home of formless mysticism.

Ken Wilber divides the causal into the low-causal and

the high-causal.

In the low-causal that archetypes from the subtle

realms dissolve into final-God, which is here seen as an

extraordinarily subtle audible-light. Final-God is the

ground or essence of all the archetypal manifestations

which were evoked in the subtle realms. In the low-

causal, all of these archetypal forms simply reduce to

their source in final-God and one’s own self is here

shown to be that final-God, and consciousness itself

thus transforms upward into a higher-order identity with

that radiance.

In the high-causal, all manifest forms are radically

transcended that they no longer even appear or arise in

consciousness. This is total and utter transcendence

and release into formless consciousness, boundless


radiance. Here there is no self, no God, no final-God, no

subjects and nothingness, apart from or other that

consciousness as such.

In this stage, the self is realized into formlessness as

the transcendent witness. The cognition is of unknowing

or perfectly divine ignorance in cessation.

Only a very few people have reached this level as a

permanent stage, although many people had an

experience of this level as an altered state.


It is the color clear light. This is both the highest goal of

all stages, and the ever-present ground of all stages. It

is the union of emptiness and form, spirit and world,

Nirvana and Samsara – One Taste, sahajasamadhi,

turiyatita. It is the home of integral or non-dual


Ken Wilber states, “Passing through nirvikalpasamadi

(causal), consciousness totally awakens as its original

condition and suchness which is, at the same time, the

condition and suchness of all that is, gross subtle or


causal. That which witnesses, and that which is

witnessed, are only one and the same. The entire world

process then arises, moment to moment, as one’s own

being, outside of which and prior to which, nothing

exists. That being is totally beyond and prior to anything

that arises and yet, no part of that being is other than

what arises.”

Ken Wilber describes it as the ultimate unity towards

which all human and cosmic evolution drives. Cosmic

evolution is completed in and as human evolution,

which itself reaches ultimate unity consciousness and

so completes that absolute gestalt towards which all

manifestation moves.

This non-dual level is regarded as the result of the

holistic transformation and not as a separate stage.

In the next table, the structure of the Indian chakra

system is compared and related with Ken Wilber’s



Chakra name

Holarchy name

Base (Root)

Instinctive/ Survivalistic


Magical / Animistic

Impulsive / Egocentric

Purposeful / Authoritarian

Solar Plexus

Achievist / Strategic


Communitarian/ Egalitarian





Brow (Third Eye)




Table 4: Chakra – Meme Relationship

1.4.Summary – Seven Levels of Holistic Leadership


We arrive at a holistic transformation structure with

seven levels.

The first base for this conclusion is the clairvoyant

perception of Dr. Rudolf Steiner and his anthroposophic


teaching of occult science a century ago. I perceive the

teachings of Rudolf Steiner to be very precise and I

sympathize with its highly exact structured nature.

The second base as demonstrated is the widespread

and ancient chakra concept, with its seven major

centers of consciousness. Many sources of wisdom are

available especially for this base.

The third and last base for my holistic transformation

concept is the system of spiral dynamics founded by Dr.

Clare Graves and extended by the actual leading

transpersonal psychologist Ken Wilber. This source is

the youngest but also the most studied and tested

system. It is a system which is already well-known in

America and used in organizational restructuring,

cultural transformation, change management, executive

development, team building and communication with

people with different values and worldviews.110

It is my intention to create a transformation map which

can be viewed all at once. Psychology states that an

110 Cf. (NVC Consulting, 2006, S. SD in Action)


ordinary being is able to capture seven chunks at once.

Some are able to keep up to nine digits easily in mind

and a few others prefer only a display of five digits, to

keep it simple.

The holistic leader has her seven centers of awareness

constantly in her consciousness. She is able either to

direct her focus to one center at will or observes the

current center of awareness that she is working on.

Actual studies of evolution show that human beings (in

general) are moving from level three to level four. This

book addresses the business leader on level three and

fosters transformation to a multidimensional seven-

stage-leader. This is important to understand, because

a leader on level five may rightly criticize the linearity of

the concept. Linear development is characteristic of

level three and spiral development is characteristic of

level five.

I define the seven stages of development as holistic

leadership consciousness. These are the same centers

of awareness to juggle with.



The first need for an organization is financial survival.

Leaders on this level understand the importance of

profit and shareholder returns. They meticulously

manage their budgets. They look after the safety of their

employees. They promote a culture of compliance. One

of the most important attributes of these leaders is the

ability to handle crises. When the survival of the

organization is threatened, they know how to take

control. They are calm in the midst of chaos and

decisive in the midst of danger. Dealing with difficult,

urgent situations often forces leaders to behave like

authoritarians. Very often, the reason leaders use a

dictatorial style to get what they want is because they

find it difficult to relate to people in an open and

effective way. This coercive leadership style should be

used with caution because it’s based on the concept of

“command and control,” which usually causes a

decrease in motivation among those interacting with

this type of manager. The coercive leader is most

effective in situations where the company or group

requires a complete turnaround. Authoritarians are not


used to asking for things; they are more comfortable

giving orders. They are afraid to let go of the reins of

power because they have difficulty trusting others. The

greater their existential fears, the more risk-averse they

become. They are quick to anger and are unable to

discuss emotions. If they have insecurities around

money, they will exploit others for their own ends. They

are greedy in the midst of plenty and enough is never

enough. Fear-driven authoritarians create unhealthy

climates in which to work.


The second need for an organization is interpersonal

relationships and good communications. Leaders on

this stage handle conflicts easily and invest a lot of time

in building harmonious working relationships. They do

not run away from or hide from their emotions. They use

their relationship skills to handle difficult interpersonal

issues. They are actively involved with customers and

give priority to customer satisfaction. They deliver good

news and bad news to all staff. They believe in open

communication. They acknowledge and praise staff for

a job well done. They are accessible to their employees


and are not stingy with their time. When leaders at this

stage are afraid to deal with their own or others’

emotions, they are less than truthful in their

interpersonal communications. Or when these leaders

have fears about being liked, they avoid conflicts and

resort to manipulation to get what they want. They

protect themselves by blaming others when things go

wrong. Relationship managers are often protective of

their people but demand loyalty, discipline and

obedience in return. They readily embrace tradition and

often operate as paternalists. Paternalists find it

difficult to trust people who are not part of the family.

They are secretive and engage in Mafia politics. The

paternalistic leaders’ lack of trust in outsiders can

severely limit the pool of talent that the organization

can draw upon. Because paternalists demand

obedience, they tend to crush the entrepreneurial spirit

of employees. Paternalism frequently shows up in

family-run businesses.


At this level, self-esteem shows up in organizations as

best practices and high ambitions. These leaders are


managers and bring logic and science to their work.

They use metrics to manage performance. They build

systems and processes that create order, efficiency,

and enhance productivity. They are logical and rational

in making decisions. They have strong analytical skills.

They think strategically and move quickly to capitalize

on opportunities. Inwardly-focused managers are good

at organizing information and monitoring results.

Outwardly-focused managers anticipate workflow

problems and get things done. They plan and prioritize

their work and provide stability and continuity. They

create schedules and enjoy being in control. They are

focused on their careers and are willing to learn new

skills if it will help them in their professional growth.

They want to learn the latest management techniques

so they can drive towards quality and excellence. They

want to be successful and want to be the best. When

managers’ needs for self-esteem are driven by

subconscious fears, they become hungry for power,

authority, recognition, or all three. They build empires to

display their power. They build bureaucracies and

hierarchies to demonstrate their authority. They


compete with their colleagues to gain recognition. Their

need for self-esteem can lead them to work long hours

and to neglect their families. Image is important to

them and they will play office politics to get what they



The principal focus at this level is innovation in the

sense of shifting the organization’s belief system from

self-interest to the common good. Leaders on this level

seek advice, build consensus and empower their staff.

They recognize that they do not have to have all the

answers. They give people responsible freedom, making

them accountable for outcomes and results. They

research and develop new ideas. They consistently

evaluate risks before embarking on new ventures. They

resist the temptation to micromanage the work of their

direct reports. They promote participation, equality and

diversity. They ignore or remove hierarchy. They are

adaptable and flexible. They embrace continuous

learning. They actively engage in their own personal

development and encourage their staff to participate in

programs that promote personal growth. They are


looking to find balance in their lives through personal

alignment. Balance leads to detachment and

independence, and allows them to become objective

about their strengths and weaknesses. They learn to

release their fears so they can move from being outer-

directed to being inner-directed. As they let go of the

need for outer approval, they begin to discover who they

really are. They become enablers of others, encouraging

them to express themselves and to share their ideas.

They encourage innovation. They focus on team

building. They enjoy challenges and are courageous and

fearless in their approach to life.


At this level, the focus is internal integration and

connectedness. This leader builds a vision and

mission for the organization that inspires employees

and customers alike. They promote a shared set of

values and demonstrate congruent behaviors that guide

decision-making throughout the organization. They are


living examples of values-based leadership. They build

cohesion and focus by bringing values alignment and

mission alignment to the whole company. In doing so,

they enhance the company’s capacity for collective

action. They exploit opportunities for collaboration. By

creating an environment of openness, fairness and

transparency, they build trust and commitment among

their people. The culture they create unleashes

enthusiasm, passion and creativity at all levels of the

organization. They are more concerned about getting

the best result for everyone rather than their own self-

interest. They are focused on the common good. They

walk their talk. They are creative problem solvers. They

view problems from a systems perspective, seeing

beyond the narrow boundaries of cause and effect.

They are honest and truthful, and display integrity in

all they do. They feel confident in handling any situation.

This confidence and openness allows them to reclassify

problems as opportunities. They clarify priorities by

referring to the vision and mission. They display

emotional intelligence as well as intellectual




These rare leaders are motivated by the need to make a

difference in the world. They are true servant leaders.

They create mutually beneficial partnerships and

strategic alliances with other individuals or groups who

share the same goals. They collaborate with customers

and suppliers to create win-win situations. They are

active in the local community, building relationships

that create goodwill. They recognize the importance of

environmental stewardship and will go beyond the

needs of compliance in making their operations

environmentally friendly. They display empathy. They

care about their people, seeking ways to help

employees find personal fulfil ment through their work.

They create an environment where people can excel.

They are active in building a pool of talent for the

organization by mentoring and coaching their

subordinates. They are intuitive decision-makers. They

are inclusive. They are on top of their game.


The primary focus of organizations at this level is

service to humanity and the planet. These visionary


leaders are motivated by the need to serve the world.

Their vision is a global, unified one. They are focused on

the questions, “How can I help?” and “What can I do?”

They are concerned about the state of the world. They

also care about the legacy we are leaving for future

generations. They are not prepared to compromise long-

term outcomes for short-term gains. They use their

influence to create a better world. They see their own

mission and that of their organization from a larger,

societal perspective. They are committed to social

responsibility. For them, the world is a complex web of

interconnectedness and they know and understand

their role. They act with humility and compassion. They

are generous in spirit, patient and forgiving by nature.

They are at ease with uncertainty and can tolerate

ambiguity. They enjoy solitude and can be reclusive and

reflective. These leaders are admired for their wisdom

and vision.111 112 113

111 Cf. (Richard Barett & Associates LLC, 2009)

112 Cf. (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, pp. 71-90)

113 Cf. (Leadership Styles by Daniel Coleman in Connection

with his Theory of Emotional Intelligence)


Author unknown


Ascent Into Visionary Leadership

In the business world, the task of shifting culture will

fall to a critical mass of enlightened leaders and the

infrastructure they can create in order to enable the

shift. These infrastructures will include the methods,

style and content of human resources programs and

perhaps the intervention of consultants. The goal is to

create a whole new field of meaning from which the

majority of individuals can draw in attempting to shift

their own behavior.114

This quotation from Danah Zohar shows that shifting

culture requires a new leadership consciousness. In this

chapter, I will show the steps and stages of how to

become a holistic leader in order to transform culture.

Humanity is actually mainly focused on the rational,

materialistic mind.

For Steiner, the rational level of mind is the first stage

of cognition, the one man occupies in ordinary life in the

world of the senses. Even in what is called science, we

have to do only with this first stage of knowledge, for

114 (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 186)


science merely elaborates ordinary cognition more

minutely and in a disciplined way. Aided by instruments

— the microscope, the telescope, and so forth — the

senses examine their surroundings with greater

exactness than they could without these aids. Yet,

human beings remain at the same stage of cognition

whether they see large things with the naked eye or

observe small objects and phenomena with the aid of a

microscope. Also, in the application of thinking to facts

and things, this science remains in the realm of

everyday life. One arranges the objects, describes and

compares them, seeks to picture their variations and so

forth. In this respect, the keenest scientist does

nothing fundamentally but develop the methods of

observing everyday life to a fine art. His knowledge

embraces a wider range, becomes more complex and

more logical but he does not proceed to any other mode

of cognition.115 This level of mind is focused upon the

material realm, the world which is observable on the


115 (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 3)


Seth116 calls this level the rational approach and says

that it works quite well in certain situations, such as the

mass production of goods or in certain kinds of

scientific measurements – but all in all, the rational

method, as it is understood and used, does not work as

an overall approach to life or to solve problems that

involve subjective rather than objective measurements

or calculations.117

He also states that it works least of all for any form of

art. He refers to a magical approach which has a far

greater weight, if you use it and al ow yourselves to

operate in that fashion, for it has the weight of your

basic natural orientation.118

The intellect is brilliant but on its own, it is indeed, in

its way, isolated both in time and in space, in a way that

other portions of the personality are not. One’s

rationality can become frightened or paranoid when it is

overly stressed, because it cannot really perceive

116 Name for the psychic entity channeled by Jane Roberts

117 (Roberts, The Magical Approach, 1995, p. 9)

118 (Roberts, The Magical Approach, 1995, p. 9)


events until they have already occurred. It does not

know what will happen tomorrow and since it is overly

stressed, its paranoid tendencies can only fear the

worst. Seth refers to the rational approach to life as a

highly pessimistic one.119

Aurobindo says that the ordinary mind of man is

capable of reflection and a coordinated investigation

and understanding of itself and its basis and

surroundings. He observes that this mind arrives at

truth but against a background of original ignorance,

which is a truth distressed by a constant surrounding

mist of incertitude and error. Its certitudes are relative

and for the most part, precarious certainties are the

assured fragmentary certitudes only of an imperfect,

incomplete and inessential experience.

The ordinary mind makes discovery after discovery, gets

idea after idea. It adds experience to experience and

experiment to experiment. But it loses, rejects, forgets

and has to recover much as it proceeds. It tries to

establish a relation between all that it knows by setting

119 (Roberts, The Magical Approach, 1995, p. 13)


up logical and other sequences, a series of principles

and their dependences, generalizations and their

applications. It makes out of its devices a structure in

which mentally it can live, move, act, enjoy and labor.

Aurobindo refers to mental knowledge always being

limited in extent and states that the mind even sets up

other willed barriers, because its mental device of

opinion admits certain parts of truth and excludes all

the rest. If it gave free admission and play to al ideas, it

would lose itself in an unreconciled variety. It would be

unable to act and proceed to practical consequences

and effective creations.

Even when it is widest and most complete, mental

knowing is still an indirect knowledge. It is knowledge

not of the thing in itself but of its figures, a system of

representations and a scheme of indices. An exception

is when in certain movements, it goes beyond itself,

beyond the mental idea to spiritual identity. It finds it

extremely difficult to go here beyond a few isolated and

intense spiritual realizations or to draw, work out or


organize the right practical consequences of these

rare identities of knowledge.

He says that a greater power than the reason is needed

for the spiritual comprehension and effectuation of this

deepest knowledge.120

Seth describes the thin and cold rational mind as a fake

veneer, covering a far deeper spontaneous rationality

and it is the existence of that magical rationality that

provides the basis for the intellect to begin with. The

rationality that one accepts is but one small clue as to

the spontaneous inner rationality that is a part of each

natural person.121

When one understands that intellectually, then the

intellect can take it for granted that its own information

is not all the information you possess. It can realize that

its own knowledge represents the tip of the iceberg. As

you apply that realization to your life, you begin to

realize furthermore that in practical terms, you are

indeed supported by a greater body of knowledge than

120 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, pp. 789-790)

121 (Roberts, The Magical Approach, 1995, p. 15)


you consciously realize and by the magical,

spontaneous fountain of action that forms your

existence. The intellect can then realize that it does not

have to go it all alone: Everything does not have to be

reasoned out, even to be understood.122

1.1. The Stages of Higher Knowledge by Rudolf Steiner

Steiner described three stages of visionary or spiritual







Intuition123 124


Ordinary knowledge in a healthy individual does not

create images and concepts when it is not confronted

with an object by the outer senses. The ego remains

inactive and whoever forms images of which the

122 (Roberts, The Magical Approach, 1995, p. 16)

123 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of HIgher Knowledge, 1967)

124 Cf. (Steiner, An Outline of Esoteric Knowledge, 1997, p.



corresponding sensory objects actually do not exist lives

in fantasy, according to Steiner.

But to learn imagination, you, the mentee, need to

acquire this very faculty of forming images without the

stimulus of external sensory objects. You must be able

to form images even without an object touching your


At this stage, images will appear to you in exactly the

same way as if a sensory object were making an

impression upon you. They are as vivid and true as

sensory images, yet they are not of material but of soul-

spirit origin. The senses remain entirely inactive and

Steiner stresses that you must first acquire this faculty

of forming meaningful images without sense

impressions. This is accomplished through meditation

and exercises of contemplation.

John Pater describes that this image actually consists of

objectively refined feelings by which the spiritual world

is able to manifest itself by clothing itself in these


images. These are not visualizations as experienced by

us in the physical sense world.125

The man confined to the sense world lives only among

images that have reached him through the senses. The

imaginative man has a world of images that he has

received from a higher source. Careful training is

necessary to distinguish illusion from reality in this

higher image world. He points out that when such

images first enter a man’s soul, he tends to evaluate it

as only fancy; a mere outflow of his life of thoughts.

Man is, at present, accustomed to regard as “real” only

what is given to him on the sure foundation of the

evidence of his senses. He must first accustom himself

to accept as “real” things that originate from a different


First of all, viewed entirely outwardly, the whole

imaginative world consists of hallucinations and


125 Cf. (Pater, 2009, S. Studies in Consciousness)

126 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 67)


As an example, Steiner describes that by focusing the

consciousness on a seed or a dying plant, certain forms

are conjured up before the soul. The “flame formation,”

spoken of as appearing in the soul through observation

of a plant or the like and that, after a time, completely

separates itself from the plant is, outwardly viewed, to

be regarded on the same level as a hallucination. It is

the same in occult training when the imaginative world

is entered.127

It is recommended to train the imagination to start first

with self-induced hallucinations. After some time, they

acquire a life of their own and what was customarily

regarded as the object’s properties like colors, sounds,

odors, etc., start to float free in space. Perceptions

break loose from all outer things and swim free in

space, or fly around in it. It is known that the outer

things before us have not brought forth these

perceptions but rather, that they are self-induced. One

may think that he has lost the ground under his feet

and in ordinary life in the physical world, this inner

127 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 26)


picturing which does not proceed from outer things

must be guarded against and is to be regarded as

without ground or foundation. But to call forth

imaginative knowledge, the prime essential is to have

colors, sounds, odors, etc., fully torn loose from all

things, “floating free in space.”128 John Pater puts it

simplistically, “We see blue in the physical world but in

the stage of imagination, we have the experience of

blue without the external object.”129

You, the mentee, need to find a new ground and

foundation for the picturing that is thus torn loose. This

must occur in that new non-physical dimension which is

now about to be revealed. New inner entities take

possessions of these inner pictures. Steiner explains

that like in the physical world, the color red remains

with an object; likewise in the imaginative world, it must

not remain free floating. Whereas it floats unattached

at first, it will stream towards some being and become

its expression. The free-floating picturing gathers

around definite centers.

128 (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 26)

129 (Pater, 2009, S. Studies in Consciousness)


As a mentee, you will start to observe that beings are

speaking through their properties and expressions. It is

as in the physical world, there are corporeal things and

beings to which colors, sounds, odors and so forth are

attached or from which they are derived, so spiritual

beings now speak out through them. Steiner points out

that these spiritual beings are, in fact, always there and

hover continually around human beings. But they

cannot reveal themselves to them if the occasion is not

given to them to do so. They are given this opportunity

when one calls forth the capacity to let sounds, colors

and so forth arise before one’s soul, even when they are

not occasioned by any physical object.130


In the second stage of cognition, images no longer

appear. The human being has now to deal only with

“concept” and “ego.”

Whereas at the first stage, a world of images still

surrounded one, at this stage, not even such images

130 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 27)


are present. The human being lives wholly in a purely

spiritual world. Steiner refers that one accustomed to

hold strictly to the senses will be tempted to believe this

world is pale and ghostly. But that is not the case at all.

Neither has the second stage world of images anything

pale or shadowy about it. So are the images that remain

in memory after the outer objects are no longer there.

He points out that the pictures of imagination have

vivacity and comprehensiveness, not to be compared

with the memory pictures, even from the glittering and

ephemeral physical. This, too, is but a shadow

compared to the realm of imagination.

Nothing in the sensory world can even suggest the

wealth and abundance of the second stage. Here,

inspiration gives impressions and the ego forms

concepts. Steiner points us to the sound and tone

opened up by the sense of hearing, which can be

compared with this world of inspiration. But not as the

tones of earthly music are concerned, instead, as purely

spiritual tones. One begins to “hear” what is going on at

the heart of things. The stone, the plant and so forth,


become “spiritual words.” The world begins to express

its true nature to the soul.

One can spiritually hear, for instance, the growing of the

grass. The crystal form is perceived like sound; the

opening blossom “speaks” to men. As an inspired

mentee, you are able to proclaim the inner nature of

things. Everything rises up before your soul in a new

kind of way. It is a language that stems from another

world, and that alone can make the everyday world


John Pater states that in this stage, one can perceive

previous states of man’s evolution and what he is

destined to become in the future.132

Steiner points to this world of inspiration to develop a

nature that is selfless. As a mentee, you must learn to

create inwardly but in such a way that your “ego” does

not in the least way play an arbitrary role in this creative

131 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 78)

132 Cf. (Pater, 2009, S. Studies in Consciousness)


activity. You constantly refer to the outer world as an

instructor to grow this selfless quality.133

First of all, certain feelings must be developed which

are known only to a slight degree in ordinary life. The

mentee refers to the most important as a heightened

sensitiveness to “truth” and “falsehood,” to “right” and

“wrong.” He advises us to raise the feeling of

correctness, hence in this world, logical error is

perceived as a source of pain. Conversely, the right

gives the student a feeling of delight. Within the

mentee, a love for the felt truth is awakening.134

Steiner constantly reminds his students to keep their

equilibrium and to retain the power to conduct oneself

toward the outer world. The higher world of feeling must

not be cultivated at the expense of well-balanced

activity and work in the outer world […]. A strengthening

of the power to withstand outer impressions must

appear in corresponding measure to the inner lifting of

the feeling life. It is considered a mistake for the

133 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 35)

134 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, pp. 36-



student to oppose the outer world, to find it unbearable

and wish to flee from it.135 It is in this way that the

mentee develops a twofold view of life. The outer world

will be complemented with a growingly richer and more

independent soul life.136

To accurately represent feelings for the world of

inspiration, you must acquaint yourself with the fact

that man’s soul life always has a certain treasure of

feeling over and above those stimulated by sense

perception. For instance, a feeling of fear is often

greater than it would be if it were in true proportion to

the corresponding outer event. As a mentee, you work

energetically on yourself with the aim to feel no more

fear than is justified by the corresponding external

event. You conserve this soul force when you deny

yourself fear and it remains at your disposal. Through

repetition of this process – which Steiner calls

economies of feelings – you build up a treasure of soul

forces which will create the germs of those inner

images that will bring expression to the revelations of a

135 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 38)

136 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 39)


higher life. They shape the matrix substance for those

representations wherein the spiritual world reveals


Further, Steiner hints to a far greater treasure of power

to create feeling supplying the soul. You must expose

yourself to certain outer impressions and then wholly

deny yourself the feelings that normally arise as a

result. You must face an occurrence that usually excites

the soul, and absolutely and totally forbid yourself the

excitation. This should even better be done as an

imaginative method.

Steiner also refers to the reading of literature and

lectures out of the realm of occult science to provide a

further basis for inspiration.138


Lastly, at the third stage of knowledge, inspiration also

ceases. Of the elements customarily observed in

everyday knowledge, the ego alone remains to be

137 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, pp. 39-


138 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 41)


considered. Steiner states that the attainment of this

stage by the student is marked by a definite inner

experience. This experience manifests itself in the

feeling that he no longer stands outside the things and

occurrences that he recognizes, but he himself is within

them. Images are not the object but their mere imprint

and inspiration does not yield up the object itself, it only

tells about it. What now lives in the soul is, in reality, the

object itself. The ego has merged with the beings. The

actual living of things within the soul is called intuition.

When it is said of intuition that, “Through it man creeps

into all things,” this is literally true. Steiner states that in

ordinary life, man has only one intuition which is of the

ego itself. The ego can in no way be perceived from

without; it can only be experienced in the inner life. This

fact is explained by the simple consideration that has

not been applied by psychologists with sufficient

exactitude. Unimpressive as it may appear to one with

full understanding, it is of the most far-reaching

significance. A thing in the outer world can be called by

all men by the self-same name. A pencil can be spoken

of by all as a “pencil,” a rose by al as a “rose.” Mrs.


Johnson can be addressed by al as “Mrs. Johnson.”

Only the word “I” can be applied only to himself. No

other person can call me “I.” To anyone else, I am a

“you,” in the same way everyone else is a “you” to me.

Only I can say “I” to myself. This is because each man

lives, not outside, but within the “I.” In the same way, in

intuitive cognition, one lives in all things. Steiner sees

the perception of the ego as the prototype of all intuitive

cognition. To enter into the things, one must first step

outside oneself. One must become “selfless” in order to

become blended with the “self,” the “ego” of another


Steiner sharply distinguishes the intuition described

from the ordinary sense intuition is spoken of when one

has in view a notion dimly felt to be true.140

In intuition, for the first time, he merges his own self

into that of self-contained beings. That kind of

139 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, pp. 9-


140 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 56)


knowledge that leads into the “innermost nature” of

beings is first attained for man in intuition.141

John Pater describes that at this stage, an individual

becomes one with the object or merges with it, and he

is able to see into the true nature of things. Here, one

must be truly selfless. The individual must become

strengthened to a high degree without losing himself in

that being. He refers to the experience of the ”I”

appearing as vague experience of an intuition. Yet, even

so, when we turn our attention to our ”I,” we only have a

vague dreamy experience of what we are because we

have not sufficiently developed ourselves. From this

region of consciousness, our true ”I” strongly

participates in our marvelous growth in the first few

years and explains the superhuman intelligence

involved in our early development.142

Steiner gives a simple description of intuition in his

basic writing, “Philosophy of Freedom.” In contrast to

the content of perception which is given from without,

141 Cf. (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 57)

142 (Pater, S. Studies in Consciousness)


the content of thinking appears inwardly. The form in

which this first makes its appearance is what he calls

intuition. Intuition is for thinking what observation is for

perception. Intuition and observation are the sources of

our knowledge. An observed object of the world remains

unintelligible until one has within himself the

corresponding intuition which adds that part of reality

which is lacking in the perception. For anyone who is

incapable of finding intuitions corresponding to the

things, the full reality remains inaccessible. Just as the

color-blind person sees only differences of brightness

without any color qualities, so can the person without

intuition observe only unconnected perceptual


1.2. Five Higher Levels of Spiritual Mind by Aurobindo

Aurobindo describes the five stages above the ordinary



Higher Mind


Il umined Mind

143 (Steiner, Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path, 1995, p. 88) 119


Intuitive Mind





Higher Mind

Sri Aurobindo describes this first decisive step out of

normal mentality as a mind no longer of mingled light

and obscurity, or half-light. It is a large clarity of the

spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being

with a powerful multiple dynamization capable of

forming a spontaneous inherent knowledge of a

multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action,

forms and significances of becoming.. It is a luminous

thought-mind, a mind of spirit-born conceptual


Satprem, a disciple of Aurobindo, refers to the higher

mind frequently found in philosophers and thinkers. It is

more free, less opaque. The background is no longer so

gray or there is a bluish tinge to it, and the little

144 Cf. (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 198ff)

145 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, pp. 939-940)


descending bursts of light are less rapidly swallowed


Satprem refers to cold light, a heavy mental substance

catching the light from above and mixing it with its own

substance, covering it with a thinking layer without even

being aware of it, and therefore, understanding the light

received only after a long process of logicalization,

dilution, and fragmentation into pages, words or


According to Aurobindo, in this higher mind, there is no

need of a seeking and self-critical ratiocination, no step-

by-step logical motion towards a conclusion, no

mechanism of express or implied deductions and

inferences, no building or deliberate concatenation of

idea with idea in order to arrive at an ordered sum or

outcome of knowledge.148

146 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 202)

147 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 202)

148 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, p. 940)


It follows that this higher consciousness is a knowledge

formulating itself on a basis of self-existent all-

awareness and manifesting some part of its integrality,

a harmony of its significances put into thought-form. It

can freely express itself in single ideas, but its most

characteristic movement is a mass ideation, a system

or totality of truth-seeing at a single view. The relations

of idea with idea, of truth with truth are not established

by logic but pre-exist and emerge already self-seen in

the integral whole. In Aurobindo’s higher mind is an

initiation into forms of an ever-present inactive

knowledge, not a system of conclusions from premises

or data of the ordinary mind. This thought is a self-

revelation of eternal wisdom, not an acquired


In its aspect of will, the dynamic effectuation of the

truth, this greater, more brilliant mind works on the rest

of the being; the mental will, the heart and its feelings,

the life and the body through the power of thought -

through the idea-force. It seeks to purify through

149 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, pp. 940-941)


knowledge, to deliver through knowledge, to create by

the innate power of knowledge. The idea is put into the

heart or the life as a force to be accepted and worked

out. The heart and life become conscious of the idea

and respond to its dynamisms. Their substance begins

to modify itself in that sense, so that the feelings and

actions become the vibrations of this higher wisdom.

They are informed with it, filled with the emotion and

the sense of it. The will and the life impulses are

similarly charged with its power and its urge of self-

effectuation. Even in the body the idea works so that,

for example, the potent thought and will of health

replaces its faith in illness and its consent to illness. In

this way, it charges the whole being with a new and

superior consciousness, lays a foundation of change,

prepares it for a superior truth of existence.150

Satprem refers to the emotional aspect of the higher

mind that joy tends to last longer. Love tends to be

more encompassing and less subject to the countless

150 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, p. 941)


conditions of the lower levels: one begins to know what

joy and love are in themselves, without cause.

Il umined Mind

Aurobindo defines the illumined mind as a mind no

longer of higher thought but of spiritual light. Here, the

clarity of the spiritual intelligence, its tranquil daylight,

gives place or subordinates itself to an intense luster. It

is a splendor and illumination of the spirit. A play of

lightnings of spiritual truth and power breaks from

above into the consciousness and adds to the calm and

wide enlightenment, and the vast descent of peace

which characterizes or accompanies the action of the

larger conceptual-spiritual principle, a fiery ardor of

realization and a rapturous ecstasy of knowledge. A

downpour of inwardly visible light usual y envelops this

action. Aurobindo also sees in this descent the arrival of

a greater dynamic, a golden drive, a luminous

enthusiasm of inner force and power. This replaces the

comparatively slow and deliberate processes of the


higher mind by a swift, sometimes a vehement, almost

violent impetus of rapid transformation.151

Also, Satprem relates the illumined mind as a

consciousness filled with a flood of light, often golden,

infused with colors that vary with the inner state. It is a

luminous eruption. A sudden awakening as if the whole

being were on the alert, immersed in a very fast rhythm

and in a brand-new world, with new values, new

perspectives and unexpected associations. The smoke

screen of the world is lifted. Everything is

interconnected within a great, joyous vibration. Life

becomes vaster, truer and more alive. He sees little

truths twinkling everywhere, wordlessly, each thing

holding a secret, a special sense or a special life. One

bathes in an indescribable state of truth, without

understanding anything about it – it just is. And it is

marvelous. It is light, alive, loving.152

Aurobindo describes that the illumined mind does not

work primarily by thought but by vision. Thought, here, is

151 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, pp. 944-945)

152 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 203)


only a subordinate movement expressive of sight. The

human mind, which relies mainly on thought, conceives

that to be the highest or the main process of

knowledge. In the spiritual order, thought is secondary

and dispensable.153

This luminous flood translates differently in different

people, one is usual y too quick to give it a form instead

of letting it quietly permeate the being and do its work

of clarification. For some, there will be a sudden poetic

blossoming, others will see new architectural forms and

others will pursue new scientific discoveries, while still

others will worship their God. Generally, the access to

this new consciousness is accompanied by a

spontaneous flowering of creative energies, particularly

in the poetic field.154

A consciousness that proceeds by sight, the

consciousness of the seer, is a greater power for

knowledge than the consciousness of the thinker. The

perceptual power of the inner sight is greater and more

153 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, pp. 944-945)

154 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 203)


direct than the perceptual power of thought. It is a

spiritual sense that seizes something of the substance

of truth. It outlines the figure and at the same time,

catches the significance of the figure. It can embody it

with a finer and bolder revealing outline and a larger

comprehension and power of totality than thought-

conception can manage.155

Satprem explains that the substance of the illumined

mind is not truly transparent but only translucent. Its

light is diffused, as if it could feel the truth everywhere

without concretely touching it. Hence, the frequent

instances of incoherence and vagueness.

It is only the beginning of a new birth. Before going

higher, more purification is necessary and above all,

more peace, more natural equilibrium and more

silence. The higher we ascend in consciousness, the

sturdier the equilibrium required.156

155 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, pp. 945-946)

156 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 206)


Poets like Shakespeare create out of this spiritual mind.

Compared with the higher mind, it deals with more light

as well with a higher force.

Intuitive Mind

Aurobindo refers to the intuitive mind, where dwells the

intuitional being. The lower levels derive the knowledge

from there, which they turn into thought or sight, and

bring down for the mind’s transmutation. Intuition is a

power of consciousness nearer and more intimate to

the original knowledge by identity. It is always

something that leaps out directly from a concealed


Satprem states that the intuitive mind differs from the

illumined mind by its clear transparency. Unlike the

higher mind, it is not hampered by the mental

orthopedic braces that shackle us to the ground, as if

knowledge forever depended upon the ponderous

volume of our reflections. Knowledge is a flash bursting

forth from the silence. It is right there, just before our

eyes, waiting for us to become a little clear. It is not so

157 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, p. 946)


much a matter of raising ourselves as of clearing our


Sri Aurobindo regards this close perception as more

than sight, more than conception. It is the result of a

penetrating and revealing touch which carries in it sight

and conception as part of itself or as its natural

consequence. A concealed or slumbering identity, not

yet recovering itself, still remembers or conveys by the

intuition its own contents and the intimacy of its self-

feeling and self-vision of things, its light of truth, its

overwhelming and automatic certitude.159

Satprem says, “Intuition reproduces, on our scale, the

original mystery of a great gaze. A mighty glance that

has seen all, known all and that delights at seeing bit by

bit, slowly, successively, temporally, from myriad points

of view, what it had once wholly embraced in a fraction

of eternity.

“As an example: In spring, the rice fields of India stretch

before the eye, quiet and green, laden with sweet

158 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, pp. 206-207)

159 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, p. 947)


fragrance beneath a heavy sky. Suddenly, with a single

cry, thousands of parrots take flight. Yet, one had seen

nothing. It is so sudden, lightning-fast – like the

incredible rapidity with which the consciousness clears

up. One mere detail, one sound, one drop of light and a

whole magnificent, overflowing world appears –

thousands of imperceptible birds in the flash of a


The language of intuition is concentrated into a concise

phrasing, without superfluous words, in contrast to the

opulent language of the il umined mind. An example, is

Plotinus’ phrase, “A flight of the Alone to the Alone.”161

Aurobindo says that in the human mind, the intuition is

even such a truth-remembrance or truth-conveyance, or

such a revealing flash or blaze breaking into a great

mass of ignorance or through a veil of nescience. There,

it is subject to an invading mixture or a mental coating,

or an interception and substitution. There is also a

160 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 207)

161 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 208)


manifold possibility of misinterpretation which comes in

the way of the purity and fullness of its action.

Moreover, there are seeming intuitions on all levels of

the being, which are communications rather than

intuitions and these have a very various provenance,

value and character.162

Intuition is always an edge, ray or leap of a superior

light. In man, it is a projecting blade, edge or point of a

far-off supermind light entering into and modified by

some intermediate truth-mind substance from above. It

is very much blinded by ordinary or ignorant mind

substance. But on that higher level to which it is native,

its light is unmixed and therefore, entirely and purely

veridical. Its rays are not separated but connected or

massed together in a play of waves of what might

Aurobindo calls in the poetic figure a sea or mass of

stable lightnings. This original or native intuition begins

to descend into man in answer to the ascension of

consciousness to its level or as a result of our finding a

clear way of communication with it. It may continue to

162 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, pp. 947-948)


come as a play of lightning-flashes, either isolated or in

constant action.163

According to Aurobindo, intuition has a fourfold power:


A power of revelatory truth-seeing,


A power of inspiration or truth-hearing,


A power of truth-touch or immediate seizing of

significance, (which is akin to the ordinary nature of its

intervention in our mental intelligence) and


A power of true and automatic discrimination of

the orderly and exact relation of truth to truth.

Intuition can therefore perform all the actions of reason

- including the function of logical intelligence, which is

to work out the right relation of things and the right

relation of idea with idea – but by its own superior

process and with steps that do not fail or falter.164

Satprem relates to the emotional aspect of intuition as

a very special joy, different from the illumined joy. No

longer is there the sense of a flow coming from outside

163 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, pp. 948-949)

164 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, p. 949)


but a kind of recognition. As if there were always two of

us, a brother of light living in the light and a brother of

shadow, our self living below, groping awkwardly in the

darkness, repeating all the gestures and movements of

the brother of light, imitating his knowledge and his

great adventure but in a shabby, stunted, clumsy way.

Then suddenly, there is a coincidence and we become

one. We are one in a point of light. For once, there

ceases to be any difference and this is joy.165


Aurobindo and Satprem refer to this rarely attained

summit of human consciousness166 as a cosmic

consciousness, a principle of global knowledge which

carries in it a delegated light from the supramental

gnosis. It is only by an opening into the cosmic

consciousness that the overmind ascent and descent

can be made wholly possible. A high and intense

individual opening upwards is insufficient, because to

165 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 207)

166 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 209)


the vertical ascent towards summit light must be added

a vast horizontal expansion of the consciousness into

some totality of the spirit.167

When the overmind descends, the predominance of the

centralizing ego-sense is entirely subordinated, lost in

the largeness of being and finally abolished. It is

replaced by a wide cosmic perception and feeling of a

boundless universal self and movement. Many motions

that were formerly egocentric may still continue but they

occur as currents or ripples in the cosmic wideness.

Thought, for the most part, no longer seems to originate

individually in the body or the person but manifests

from above or comes in upon the cosmic mind-waves.

All inner individual sight of things or intelligence is now

a revelation or illumination of what is seen or

comprehended. The source of the revelation is not in

one’s separate self but in the universal knowledge. The

feelings, emotions and sensations are similarly felt as

waves from the same cosmic immensity breaking upon

167 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, p. 950)


the subtle and the gross body, and responded to in kind

by the individual centre of the universality.168

Satprem states the overmind as the source of

inspiration of the great founders of religions. This is

where all the religions we know were born; they all

derive from an overmental experience in one of its

countless aspects. For a religion or revelation, a

spiritual experience, belongs to a certain plane and

those who incarnate the particular revelation have

conceived it from the overmind as their source. It is also

the source of the higher artistic creations.169

Aurobindo refers to many formulations of overmind

consciousness and experience. The overmind has a

great plasticity and is a field of multiple possibilities. In

place of an uncentered and unplaced diffusion, there

may be the sense of the universe in oneself or as

oneself. There, too, this self is not the ego. It is an

extension of a free and pure essential self-

168 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, p. 951)

169 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, pp. 209-210)


consciousness or it is an identification constituting a

cosmic being, a universal individual.

In the transition towards the supermind, this

centralizing action tends towards the discovery of a true

individual replacing the dead ego, a being who is, in his

essence, one with the supreme self, one with the

universe in extension and yet, a cosmic center and

circumference of the specialized action of the


Satprem sees the essential difference with other stages

in the evenness, the almost complete uniformity of the

light. In a particularly receptive illumined mind, one

would see, for example, a bluish background with

sudden jets of light, intuitive flashes or moving

luminous eruptions, sometimes even great overmental

downpours but it would be a fluctuating play of light,

nothing stable. This is the usual condition of the

greatest poets ever known. They attain a certain level of

rhythm, a particular poetic luminousness. From time to

time, they touch upon higher regions and return with

170 (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, pp. 951-952)


those rare dazzling lines (or musical phrases) that are

repeated generation after generation. The illumined

mind is generally the base and the overmind a divine

kingdom one gains access to in moments of grace.171

Satprem refers to the Vedic rishis, having realized a full

and permanent overmental consciousness without

fluctuations. The consciousness is a mass of stable

light. There results an unbroken universal vision. One

knows universal joy, universal beauty and universal

love. All the contradictions of the lower planes came

from a deficiency of light or narrowness of light, which lit

up only a limited field. In this even light, the

contradictions, which are like small shadowy intervals

between two flashes or dark frontiers at the end of our

light, melt into a unified visual mass. And since there is

light everywhere, there is necessarily also joy, harmony

and beauty everywhere, because opposites are no

longer felt as negations or shadowy gaps between two

sparks of consciousness but as elements of varying

intensity within a continuous cosmic harmony. The

171 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 210)


degree of unity gives an exact measure of the

overmental perfection.172


Aurobindo defines the fundamental nature of

supermind, that all its knowledge is originally

knowledge by identity and oneness. This is a knowledge

which is conscious about oneself and the other in its

innermost core, its spiritual nature. Further, he explains

that even when it makes numerous apparent divisions

and discriminating modifications in itself, all the

knowledge that operates in its workings, even in these

divisions, is still founded upon, sustained, lit and guided

by this perfect knowledge by identity and oneness.173

The supramental consciousness captures not only al

points of view but also the deeper forces at work behind

each thing, as well as the truth within each thing. It is a

truth-consciousness – and because it sees all, it

automatically possesses power. We are powerless

172 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, pp. 210-211)

173 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 786)


because we do not see. To see and to see completely,

necessarily means to have power.174

Satprem refers to difficulties defining the supramental

and to attempt at a rough description, he distinguishes

two aspects – one of vision and one of power.

The supramental vision is a global vision. The

supramental, or supermind, sees not only the whole of

things and beings within a single vision, connecting all

the beams together without opposing anything. It also

sees the point of view of each separate thing, each

being and each force. It is an al -encompassing view

that does not terminate in a single, central point but in

myriads of points.175

Further, Aurobindo says that the spirit is one

everywhere and it knows all things as itself and in itself.

It sees them always and therefore knows them

intimately, completely, in their reality as well as in their

appearance, in their truth, their law; the entire spirit,

174 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 256)

175 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventures of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 254)


sense and figure of their nature and their workings.

Compared to the mental awareness man has of his own

subjective existence and its movements, it is not the

same thing as this identity and self-knowledge of the

supermind. The mind sees mental figures of man’s

being and not the inmost or the whole. It is only a

partial, derivative and superficial action that appears

while the largest and most secretly determining parts of

existence are occult to the mind. The supramental spirit

has, unlike the mental being, the real because the

innermost and total knowledge of itself, of its entire

universe and of all things, those are its creations and

self-figurings in the universe.176

The second character of the supreme supermind is that

its knowledge is real because it is a total knowledge. It

is the supermind which solves the eternal question of

“Who are we?” It is real in the fundamental sense which

by logic has the whole knowledge in view. It has, in the

first place, a transcendental vision and sees the

universe not only in universal terms. It sees in its right

relation to the supreme and eternal reality from which it

176 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, p. 787)


proceeds and, of which, it is an expression. It knows the

spirit, truth and whole sense of the universal expression

because it knows all the essentiality, all the infinite

reality and all the consequent constant potentiality of

that which it expresses in part. It knows rightly the

relative because it knows the absolute and all its

absolutes to which the relatives refer back and of which

they are the partial, modified or suppressed figures.

Supermind has its origin in the ultimate source, the

ground of being.

The third characteristic of the supermind is that it is

directly truth-conscious, a divine power of immediate,

inherent and spontaneous knowledge. Aurobindo

describes it as an idea holding luminously al realities

and not depending on indications and logic, or other

steps from the known to the unknown, like the mind

which is a power of ignorance. The supermind contains

all its knowledge in itself, is in its highest divine wisdom

in eternal possession of all truth and even in its lower,

limited or individualized forms, has only to bring the

latent truth out of itself. It is the perception which the

old thinkers tried to express when they said that all


knowing was in its real origin and nature only a memory

of inwardly existing knowledge.177

Satprem’s second aspect of his twofold supramental

definition is power. The Supramental is, above al , a

power – a stupendous power. It is the direct power of

the spirit in matter.

All consciousness is power and the higher we ascend,

the greater the power but also the farther away we are

from the earth. If one wishes to apply the overmental

power to the affairs of this world, it must be brought

down from one level to another and overcome the

determinisms of all the intermediary levels before it can

reach the depths – matter. Finally, there remains only a

dulled and weakened overmental reflection, which must

then fight against more and more heavy and rebellious

determinisms. This is why the spiritualists have never

been able to transform life. The supramental is the

177 (Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 1999, pp. 788-789)


supreme consciousness-force in the very heart of

matter, without any intermediary.178

Immobility is the basis of the supramental power but

silence is the condition for its perfect operation. The

supramental consciousness does not follow mental or

moral criteria to determine its actions. There are no

more dilemmas. Its actions arise naturally and

spontaneously. Already from Aurobindo, the value of

spontaneity in the supermind has been mentioned.

Satprem considers spontaneity as the particular mark

of the supermind: spontaneity of life, spontaneity of

knowledge and spontaneity of power. In ordinary life, we

try to know what is good or right, and once we think we

have found it, we somehow try to implement our

thoughts. The supramental consciousness does not try

to know or to decipher what it must or must not do. It is

perfectly silent and still, living each second of time

spontaneously, unconcerned for the future. At each

second, the exact required knowledge fal s like a

droplet of light in the silence of the consciousness: This

178 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, pp. 264-265)


has to be done, that has to be said, seen, or

understood.179 It is the consciousness with which one

lives in the eternal moment beyond time.

The individual is the key to the supramental power. The

supramental being has not only a transcendent and

cosmic status but also an individual one. His

transcendent status does not abolish the world or the

individual. No more than his cosmic status deprives him

of the transcendent or of his individuality, and no more

than his individual status severs him from the

transcendent or the universe. He has not kicked off the

ladder to reach the top but consciously traveled all the

evolutionary rungs from top to bottom. There is no gap

anywhere, no missing link. Because he has kept his

individuality instead of exploding in a luminous no-

man’s land, he can both ascend and descend the great

ladder of existence and use his individual being as a

material bridge between the very top and the very

bottom. This is, in other words, what has already been

179 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, 2000, p. 271)


stated in the summary of the second chapter. The

supermind may switch to any stage at will.

Satprem states that the work of the supermind on the

earth is to establish a direct connection between the

supreme force and the individual, between the supreme

consciousness and matter.180 His destiny is to bridge

the gap between spirit and matter.

The supermind is the very vision of wisdom.181

Difference between mind and supermind182:

_Mind _

_Supermind _



Can lose itself in itself. Being a self-existent whole

cannot thus lose itself.

Creator of Ignorance.

Possessor of Knowledge.

Acts by thought that

Knows by the vibration of

understands by

unity, even between will and

180 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, pp. 272-273)

181 (Satprem, Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of

Consciousness, p. 255)

182 (Posner, 2009, S. Supermind; Supramental Truth





Can think only of it

Knows the other as itself.

self, incapable of

knowing another.

Acts by idea that is a

Creates by the Real-Idea that

movement of the

is a vibration of Being.


Knows the finite and

Knows the finite as the

not the infinite

frontal aspect of the infinite.

Is on the surface

Is in the subliminal being.


Is bound by Time and

Is in simultaneity of Time and


the Timeless.

Is separative.

Is a whole.

Subject to quality,

Not subjected to them as the

quantity, form.

mind is.

Is partial,

Is a whole, non-psychological.

psychological; still can

reach the other side.

Uses reason and logic. Employs intuition and the

logic of the Infinite.


Can understand only

Can see the Truth beyond it,

in terms of name and

lying behind.


Incapable of

Can express the Absolute.

conceiving the


Acts through intellect. Has integral experience.

Is obliged to Reason.

Not obliged.

Goes into trance.

Always awake.


Seeks Self-affirmation.

Table 5: Difference between Mind and Supermind

1.3.Summary – Visionary Leadership by Intuition

Viewing different encyclopedias for the definition of

“intuition,” one finds that the word comes from the

Latin word ”intueri,” which is often roughly translated as

meaning “to look inside” or “to contemplate.”

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia defines intuition as the

power of obtaining knowledge that is not or cannot be

acquired either by inference or observation. As such,

intuition is thought of as an original, independent

source of knowledge, since it is designed to account for


those kinds of knowledge that other sources do not


Philosophy Dictionary describes it as immediate

awareness, either of the truth of some proposition, or of

an object of apprehension such as a concept.184

Columbia Encyclopedia states, “A way of knowing

directly; immediate apprehension. The Greeks

understood intuition to be the grasp of universal

principles by the intelligence (nous), as distinguished

from the fleeting impressions of the senses. The

distinction used by the Greeks implied the superiority of

intellectual intuitions over information received by the


Intuition is a way of cognition which is beyond the mind

and reason. The foundation of intuitional knowledge is

conscious or the effective identity between that which

knows and that which is known. It is that state of

183 (Encyclopædia Brittanica, Inc. 2006

184 (Oxford University Press, 2005)

185 (Columbia University Press, 2003)


common self-existence in which the knower and the

known are one through knowledge.186

Intuitive leadership is a term that has come into vogue

recently. Tough-minded male executives have

confessed to using intuition in their decision-making.

Intuitive leadership is more than simply old-style

leadership with some intuition added in to guide the

corporate decision. It is leadership that takes both into



The executives’ appreciation of their inner

resources that are available but often not used, and


The changes in institutions and society that are

accompanying the awakening of employees and the

public at large.

Developing intuitive leadership in the future will not be

a luxury or a passing fad; it will be the heart of business.

The challenges will be great. It wil be necessary to deal

effectively with the increasing complexity,

interconnectedness and systematic nature of the

186 Cf. (Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1970, p. 29)


economic system. There is both good news and bad

news. The bad news is that there will be persistent

problems of mediocrity, debt, trade balance, global

dilemmas and worker morale. The good news is that we

have inner resources we haven’t been using—untapped

resources that are quite capable of dealing with these


Thus, leadership by intuition is not just a new gimmick

in management decision making. Intuition is a code

word for a necessary transformation of business—

indeed, of global society.187

In Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s classic German

legend “Faust,”, Mephistopheles refers to intuition as

supernatural pleasure.188 I summarize intuition as the

central quality of holistic leadership. Intuition first starts

with sudden flashes of knowing and resonates with

feelings. After some time, intuition establishes

permanency and eventually becomes the leading

principle, which Aurobindo describes in supermind.

187 Cf. (Asif, J. Mir, 2009)

188 Cf. (Goethe, 1996, p. 105) translated from German


Theologue by Alex Grey


1. Meditation, Accelerator in Holistic Leadership


Meditation is a catalyst for personal development and

the training of awareness on an actual level, not merely

mentally. The idea of meditation is to observe whatever

comes up in the immediate moment. This may be

feelings, thoughts, visions, pain, physical discomfort,

etc, whatever phenomenon. The aim is to be a witness

and the witness as an essential being clarifies psychic

and psychosomatic obstacles.

WikiHow states, “Meditation is a mental discipline by

which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned,

‘thinking’ mind into a deeper state of relaxation or


Ken Wilber states that meditation sooner or later begins

to dislodge the embedded-self and the embedded-

unconscious. He refers to the witnessing stance as

“mindfulness,” where one’s subjective structures start

to become objective and thus, one begins to dis-identify

or detach from one’s present level of development. This

189 (WikiHow contributors, 2009, S. How to Meditate)


is precisely because the embedded-unconscious

houses the repressing structures of the psyche. Two

different things tend to happen when this repressing

structure is deconstructed or profoundly relaxed and

loosened: The lower, or sub-mergent unconscious (the

“shadow”) comes rushing up, and the higher or

emergent consciousness (the superconscient and

supramental) comes rushing down.190

Meditation is a withdrawing of your focus from the

physical conscious world and allowing your focus to

align with inner world. Abraham defines a time of

meditation as a segment in which you are intending to

quiet your conscious thinking mechanism in order to

sense the inner world. It is a time of physical distraction

or detachment from the physical, so that you may sense

that which goes beyond the physical. There are different

reasons for this detachment and it is important that, as

you are entering this segment, you identify your reason.

Your reason in this segment of meditation may be that

you simply want a detachment from the world that is

190 (Wilber, The Eye of Spirit, 2001, p. 218)


confusing or troubling you. You want some time of

refreshment. When we encourage meditation, it is with

the intent of allowing the opening of your passageway

so that you may blend the inner you that exists in the

inner dimension with the conscious physical you that is

here in this physical body.191

Danah Zohar states that apart from group work, the

most effective method for an individual to reach a

higher state of self-awareness is through some sort of

meditation practice for those who can engage in this

effectively. Meditation takes the mind beyond the

distractions and noise of the moment to a broader level

of awareness that notices causes and patterns with

events. In a meditative state, one can get beyond his

anger to become aware that one is angry and then

reach a stage of reflection or insight as to its causes.

Also, each of us has a number of barely conscious sub-

personalities whose own split-off motivations might help

or hinder us. “I” may be angry, though there may be a

less accessible aspect of me that feels an underlying

191 (Hicks & Hicks, 2006, p. 171)


“power-within” or “mastery” associated with deep

compassion. Through meditation, it is possible to

become conscious of these sub-personalities and thus

be better able to integrate them and their motivational


Steiner states that meditation causes the soul to

withdraw for a time from its union with the sense

organs. It is then immersed in itself. Its activity is turned

inward. He explains that in the first stages of this self

immersion, its inner activity differs little from its daily

behavior. In its inward labors, to be sure, it must make

use of the self-same thoughts, feelings and sensations

as belongs to the habitual life. But the more the soul

accustoms itself to be blind and deaf to the material

environment, the more it lives within itself, the better it

strengthens itself for inward accomplishments.

Steiner refers that by the immersion in the inner life, it

first of all bears fruit in the state of sleep. When at night

the soul is freed from the body, what has been

stimulated by its daily exercises, works on. Spiritual

192 (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 66)


organs take shape within it, through which it comes into

connection with a higher environment, exactly as

through the outer sense organs it had formerly united

itself with the corporeal world. Out of the darkness of

nocturnal surroundings appears the light phenomena of

the higher world. At first, this communion is tender and

intimate. It must be taken into account that for a long

time, upon awakening, the light of day wil draw a dense

veil over the night’s experiences. The recollection that

perception has occurred during the night appears only

slowly and gradually. For the student does not easily

learn to pay attention to the delicate formations of his

soul that in the course of his development begin to

mingle with the common experiences of daily sense life.

At first, such formations of the soul resemble what are

generally referred to as casual impressions. Everything

depends upon his learning to distinguish what is due to

the ordinary world from what, through its own nature,

presents itself as a manifestation from higher worlds. In

a quiet, introspective mental life, one must acquire this

discernment. It is necessary first to develop a sense of


the value and meaning of those intimate formations of

the soul that mingle themselves with daily life as though

they were “chance impressions,” but that are really

recollections of the nightly communion with a higher

world. As soon as one seizes these things in a crude

way and applies to them the measuring stick of sensory

life, they vanish.193

Zen Master Osho introduces this particular type of

meditation in Japan, which they call Zazen. The word

“zazen” in Japan means just sitting, doing nothing. No

movement is al owed. One is just sitting like a statue –

dead, not moving at all.194

Wikipedia states that the aim of zazen is just sitting,

“opening the hand of thought” […] Once the mind is able to be unhindered by its many layers, one will then be

able to realize one’s true Buddha nature. In Zen

Buddhism, zazen (literally, “seated meditation”), is a

meditative discipline that practitioners perform to calm

the body and the mind, and to experience insight into

193 (Steiner, The Stages of Higher Knowledge, 1967, p. 10)

194 (Osho, 1974, p. 37)


the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment


Enlightenment is the state of the being in which you

only be. You are connected by your individual center

with the whole. Everything resolves and any form

dissolves into each other – you are everything and

nothing. It is God’s experience, the realization of the

internal nature and the fusion in universal self.

Meditation is the natural quality of this state – the

transcendence. It is a pure consciousness in


Seth states, “True creativity comes from enjoying the

moments, which then fulfil themselves, and a part of

the creative process is indeed the art of relaxation, the

letting go, for that triggers magical activity.”197

1.1. How to Meditate

195 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Zazen)

196 My notes, Kolkata, October 12, 2004, translated from


197 (Roberts, The Magical Approach, 1995, p. 8)


A practical advice for meditation: In the training, sit

calmly in a relaxed, seated position. The “lotus seat” is

the optimum position to open oneself to the inflow of

the spirit. Softly close your eyes, if they should open in

meditation, allow it to happen. Keep the backbone

straight, the tongue naturally touching the palate and

the closed gaze facing straight ahead. Just look without

focusing and allow it to happen. Thoughts may appear,

you perceive and stare only at your internal panorama.

There is no refusal and no approval – everything is and

gets integrated. You perceive physical phenomena and

see them happening. Sometimes it can shake you and

you let the whole body take part in it.198

Step-by-Step Instruction for Meditation

1. Make time to meditate. Set aside enough time in

your daily routine for meditation. The effects of

meditation are most noticeable when done regularly

and consistently.

198 My notes, Kolkata, October 12, 2004, translated from



Some people will find a five-minute meditation

worthwhile and for others, the benefits of longer

meditation are well worth the time. I recommend a time

span of fifteen minutes.

You can meditate at any time of day. Some

people like to start their day off with meditation, others

like to end the day by clearing their mind and some

prefer to find refuge in meditation in the middle of a

busy day. The best time to meditate is at 5:00 AM.

I do not recommend meditating immediately

following a meal. The body’s digestive system can be

very distracting.

2. Find or create a quiet, relaxing environment. When

you’re starting out, it’s especially important to avoid any

distractions. Turn off any TV sets, phones or other noisy

appliances. If you play music, make sure it’s calm,

repetitive and gentle, so as not to break your

concentration. Meditating outside is conducive for

integration into daily life. For starting practice, it is

recommended to stay inside to reduce disturbances.


3. Sit on level ground. Sit on a cushion if the ground is

uncomfortable. You don’t have to twist your limbs into

the lotus position or adopt any unusual postures. The

important thing is to keep your back straight, as this will

help with breathing later on.

You can also meditate on a chair. Make sure

your back is straight (whether you lean against the chair

or sit free does not matter). Your feet should rest solidly

on the ground.

Any position in which you’re relaxed but your

back is straight is permissible, even lying down – but be

careful that you’re not so relaxed that you fall asleep. In

warm weather, consider watching the clouds as an

advanced technique.

4. In the beginning, close your eyes. Later on, you can

keep your eyes half-open without focusing on anything.

Another option is to find something steady to focus on,

such as a small candle flame.

5. Breathe deeply and slowly from your abdomen

rather than from your chest. You should feel your


stomach rise and fall while your chest stays relatively

still. Healthy, stress relieving breathing may be done by

inhaling for count of three, exhaling for a count of six,

repeat over and over for fifteen to twenty minutes. This

expels the used air and more completely oxygenates

your blood, lowering your heart rate and your blood

pressure. Many high blood pressure patients have

dropped their blood pressure as much as fifty points,

allowing them to decrease or eliminate the need for

medication. This breathing exercise should be done on

a regular basis.

6. Relax every muscle in your body. Don’t rush this, as

it takes time to fully relax. Do it bit by bit, starting at

your toes and working up to your head, until the tension

melts away. Check your spine and attune its straight


7. Focus your attention. You may notice that your mind

wants to wander, bouncing from thought to thought,

making observations about other things. Gently bring

your attention back to a single point until it rests there

naturally. The goal is to allow the “chattering” in your 162

mind to gradually fade away. Find an “anchor” to settle

your mind.

Let your attention rest on the flow of your breath.

Listen to it, follow it, but make no judgments on it (such

as, “It sounds a little raspy…maybe I’m getting a cold?”).

Observe only your natural breathing.

To overcome verbal chatter, recite a mantra

(repetition of a sacred word). A single word like “aum”

uttered at a steady rhythm is best. You can recite it

verbally or just with the voice in your mind. Beginners

may find it easier to count their breaths. Try counting

your breath from one to ten, and then simply start again

at one.

To circumvent images that keep intruding on

your thoughts, visualize a place that calms you. It can

be real or imaginary. Imagine you are at the top of a

staircase leading to a peaceful place. Count your way

down the steps until you are peaceful and relaxed.

8. Silence your mind. Once you’ve trained your mind to

focus on just one thing at a time, the next step is to


focus on nothing at all, essentially “clearing” your mind.

This requires tremendous discipline but is the pinnacle

of meditation. After focusing on a single point as

described in the previous step, you can either cast it

away or observe it impartially and let it come and then

go, without labeling it as “good” or “bad.” Take the same approach to any thoughts which return to your mind

until silence perseveres.199

199 Cf. (WikiHow contributors, 2009, S. How to Meditate)


2. Summary

The nature of the whole of existence is defined in a

threefold pattern as body, soul and spirit. Naturally, in

evolution, there is a development in time and conscious

awareness from matter to spirit. In the same time, the

whole spectrum is available in every moment. There are

situations when you will be required to be an autocratic

leader with a body-focus. A body mind and IQ is

concerned with matters of security and profit. Other

situations require a cooperative leader to act as a

coach to support her followers in finding the right way.

This is the soul mind and emotional intelligence (EQ),

based on feelings and focused on the personal growth

of others. The threefold equation comes at last into

balance with the spirit mind and spiritual intelligence

(SQ). The spiritual potentials are mostly hidden in

humanity, but are increasingly showing up as a result of

evolution and involution. The visionary leader is

connected with the spiritual realm and higher wisdom.

Their main topics are to realize the mission, to serve the


world, to introduce new paradigms and to work out the

ultimate purpose.

The base for a holistic leader is to understand and

realize the whole as divided into three equal parts:

body, soul and spirit.


The body or material aspect contains matters

which are perceived by the physical senses. Money,

survival, vital energy to move, sex and emotions are its

keywords. In these times, most of the population is

focused only on this material world and IQ.


The soul aspect is concerned with feelings and

thinking. The keywords are personal development,

innovation, integrative thinking and feelings like love

and compassion. A few more companies have already

developed and enhanced their focus with emotional

intelligence. The boom of activities concerning ecology

and ethics demonstrates this fact. But it is only genuine

and sustainable if the third aspect is being brought into

the equation.



The spirit is that which can be sensed by

intuition. It is eternal. The spirit is the substance of

objects but not its appearance. It is not the analyzing

and resembling of words by the rational ego. It is that

which reveals itself, when one listens within while

observing an object without. Keywords for that spiritual

intelligence are mission, vision, ultimate purpose and

spiritual identity.

Figure 3: Holistic Transformation Map

The threesome whole is the true potential and its

enfoldment is the aim of the holistic transformation.


Ancient wisdom traditions refer to seven centers of

consciousness, which generally open up from bottom to

top. Clairvoyant descriptions perceive these centers in

the aura of a human being as wheels and are also

called lotus flowers. Either one spiritually sees these

centers or not, these centers are used as levels in

transformation. Hence, everyone carries his map of

transformation within himself and may imagine it on the

body. These centers are cross-related to the three

aspects of being in a complex way. In a simple linear

fashion, the evolutionary development from matter to

spirit goes hand-in-hand with the transformation from

bottom to top.


The first and bottom level is cal ed profit, it is

related to the center called base or root. It connects the

individual with the material world and is red. It

represents the earth element and is related to security,

stability, stillness and survival instincts. It is the starting

point for transformation. Ancient wisdom traditions

describe a conscious force stored within this stage,

which is able to move into higher stages to pierce and

open them. People and organizations in actual danger


of dying are found on this level. In leadership, it is the

commander or dictator who gives orders. He is strongly

motivated by the need to control. They are afraid of

emotions and find it difficult to trust other people. They

do not let go of the reins of power.


The second level is called customer, its

consciousness center is called sex or sacral and found

just beneath the navel. It is related to sexuality, heavy

emotions, relationships and family bonds. Its color is

orange. It is found in athletic teams, gangs and feudal

kingdoms. In business, it is the paternalist who is

strongly motivated by the need to form relationships.

They are protective of their people and demand loyalty,

discipline and obedience. This type is found often in

family-run businesses and the one outside the family is

not to be trusted.


The level efficiency is the so-called power-

chakra, located in the solar plexus. It represents the fire

element and responds to color yellow. It involves power

and will. Blockage shows itself as a sense of

victimization. This center brings health and energy.


Keywords of this stage are order, discipline, regulation,

rational and efficiency. It is currently the main center in

the world, where population and organizations are

being found. Therefore, in organizations, the manager

optimizes business through analysis, structure,

measurement and science. They are productive and

effective. They plan and work toward their goals. This

style is ambitious and competitive.


Innovation is the center called heart, located in

the chest, from about two fingers above the solar plexus

to the collarbone. This center is a highly important one

in the sense that it is the middle center and therefore,

responsible for balancing the material and spiritual

realms. It is also said that this center is the deepest. It

is related with complex feelings like love, compassion

and tenderness. It represents the air element and its

color is green. It is found in “green” movements

concerning ecology, humanity and relationships.

Innovative companies based on virtual business can be

found on this level. It is the new target level to reach for

most companies nowadays. It is the cooperative leader,

who invites participation and consensus building. They


foster personal development of others and help others

to reach decisions. They strive to align work with their

inner passion. They are no longer wedded to their

career. They focus on interpersonal communication

skills, conflict resolution and team building.


The next level is called mission, its center is in

the throat, from the collarbones to the nose

representing sound and its color is blue. It is the center

concerned with communication and creative

expression. Systematic thinking and holistic thinking

mark this level. It is a highly advanced level, which is

also the starting point for higher transpersonal levels.

Thinking and feeling is united; it sees multiple levels of

interaction. It detects harmonics and mystical forces.

New sciences and psychological schools are based on

this center. In leadership, the integrator displays

emotional as well as intellectual intelligence. They are

motivated by the need to find meaning. They create

communitarian business with flexible, adaptive values.

They communicate visions and develop the mission.



The level service is called third eye, responds to

the color indigo and represents sight. Psychic

capabilities like clairvoyance and telepathy result from

this level. Clarity of mind and intuition are its keywords.

At this center, one intuits aspects like mission and core

identity. Rational thinking has been left and one knows

by identity. This absolute knowing is fostered with

feelings. Visionaries work from this level and seers

glimpse probable future realities from it. Usually,

everyone has mystical experiences in his life in an

extraordinary state but only a very few people on this

planet have established a permanent relationship with

it. The servant leader is motivated to introduce a new

paradigm. They build systems, which support

employees in finding personal fulfil ment. They act

based on intuition. They know their spiritual identity and

their major purpose in life.


The level Global is the center on the top of the

head, called crown and connects to the spiritual realm.

It represents thoughts and is related with color violet or

white. The experience of pure consciousness or mystical

enlightenment is distinctive for this level. This center


brings wisdom, it unifies and serves globally. Connected

with this center one lives in the moment, which is the

eternal moment. The illusion of death has been

overcome and the whole has been discovered. All

religions and spiritual schools point to the experience

which one has at this level, using different names like

God, pure consciousness, Nirvana, the Void, Kingdom of

Heaven, witness, etc. These people, perhaps only one in

ten million of the world’s population, commune with a

world of archetypes and pure forms. They see the world

bathed in celestial light (Wordsworth), or are inspired by

the voices of angels (the poet Rilke).200 The visionary

leader is motivated by the need to be of service to the

world. Their vision is global. They play their role with

humility. They are able to relate to people on al levels.

They enjoy solitude and are at ease with uncertainty.

Besides the knowledge of different levels of

consciousness, the most effective and practical tool for

transformation of consciousness is meditation. Through

meditation, awareness is quickened. One becomes

200 (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 86)


more sensitive. Sensitivity or psychic intensity is the

yardstick of transformational progress. A man solely

focused on building a profitable business like an athlete

building his body, may have a vigilant rational mind

which controls all the figures of the financial statement.

But eventually, he fails because of his lack of

consideration of emotional aspects within himself and

within his peers. Nowadays, one speaks of a “burnout,”

which is regarded with respect in ordinary society. Even

common sense knows that it is definitely unhealthy. In

periods of crisis due to disease through burnout, one

gets the chance to listen within. To listen within is

meditation. Often a crisis gives one the opportunity to

focus on personal and business development. The more

advanced person already knows that stagnation is

death and only change is growth. Getting sensitive to

feelings and emotions has already been an important

topic for many years. Human resources experts have

involved for many years, so-called “soft skil s” in their

assessment centers. Emotional intelligence has been

known for decades and nowadays, also large business

companies take part in corporate social responsibility


programs. Very often, the intention is only marketing

and public relations, and not of genuine spirit. To

become a Leader 3.0, one needs to develop a full-

spectrum consciousness.201 For that holistic

consciousness, one needs to integrate the spiritual

dimension. Most of us have already had in our life one

spiritual experience or another. This could be a

revelation, when one instantly and suddenly knows the

answer to a question. Many successful people

recommend solving problems overnight, not by actively

thinking. One writes a definite question on a paper and

goes to sleep, very often an answer will appear in the

mind overnight, which could not have been thought

about before. In the spiritual dimension, one finds at

last his ultimate purpose, his mission, true identity and

value fulfil ment.

201 (Richard Barrett & Associates, LLC, 2009)


Figure 4: Holistic potential and leadership focus

Material instruments alone do not measure the goal of

a full transformation, because it is a transformation of

all levels of consciousness. But everyone pointing to a

higher dimension besides the world of matter and

emotion may have reached an advanced degree in

transformation. In fact, you know by yourself after

certain experiences and trials in higher worlds202 that

your transformation has reached the culmination. A

202 Cf. (Steiner, How to Know Higher Worlds, 1994, p. 70)


person who remains aware during all three major states

of consciousness has surely developed a holistic

consciousness. The major states of consciousness are:


Waking state


Dreaming state


State of deep sleep

In this holistic transformation, you come to know of the

eternal deepening and harmonious spiritualization of

the lower levels, which practically means you have to

express and share your transformation. After the whole

change which can be confirmed by predecessors, you

start to play with your seven centers of consciousness

according to the situation in any given moment. A

leader 3.0 chooses and switches between seven styles

of leaderships, having her basic foundation in the

threesome whole of body – mind – spirit.

Live in the Moment

In the moment, there are no attachments, as they are

being resolved. In the moment you recognize eternity –

time loses its meaning. You live only in the moment, this


is the knowledge. Practice this knowledge and realize it

more and more often during the day. With all your acts,

let this knowledge be your companion. This key

releases yourself from your torments which you fight

with and you long for to leave you. There is nothing bad

or good. Everything is given, as it is, by nature, well

balanced and flowing. It is a harmony by an enormous

wide orchestra. All patterns and dogmas transform

themselves and deliver consciousness that extends

you. Until we are consciousness only at the end, that

constantly increases and changes, a divine strength

which fills us completely in our al -creation.203

The Credo of a Knight (Holistic Leader)

Knights are leaders embarked on a spiritual path.

Through personal experience, they have gained a sense

of something fundamentally sacred underlying human

life. This may have no adequate human name, symbol

or living religions and spiritual experiences but it is not

fully encompassed by any one of them. It has variously

been called God, Lord, the Creator, the Source, the

203 My notes, Kolkata, October 12, 2004, translated from



Deep Self, Being, the Void, or the quantum vacuum. By

whatever name they give it, it is the source of the

knight’s ultimate identities, meanings and concerns. It

is what they wish to embed in their actions and in their

life’s work.204

Critical Observation

This book needs to be considered in a light which also

includes so-called paranormal views. The world is

actually in a grand paradigm shift. Science and religion

is ultimately going to unite.

I strongly connect and sympathize with Dr. Rudolf

Steiner, not only because we share the common native

country of Austria. I respect him because of his over

330 volumes of published works, basing his

epistemology on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Steiner’s

philosophy has been the basis for the educational

system in the Waldorf schools205, which are spread all

over the world. He developed an extraordinary system

204 (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 207)

205 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Waldorf Education)


of agriculture, called bio-dynamics206, which is based on

subtle formative forces of plant and organic growth.

Many worldwide clinics and companies have been

founded on the anthroposophical medical system207. A

German bank was founded in 1974 as an

anthroposophical initiative. It was the first bank in

Germany that operated with an ethical philosophy.208

For me, the yardstick of a philosophy is its practicability

in different areas of life and in this sense, Steiner is

unsurpassed in the esoteric scene.

Steiner has been criticized for his writings being, for the

most part, totally unreadable.209 I agree with this

critique so far, that it is quite difficult to rationally follow

and thus, understand it. He contrasts this critic with the

fact that his first contact with Rudolf Steiner came in a

period of inspirational reading. Painstaking rational

dissection has been done afterwards in a later period,

resulting in this book. For me, the most important

206 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. Biodynamic


207 (Wikipedia contributors, 2009)

208 Cf. (Wikipedia contributors, 2009, S. GLS Bank)

209 (M. Alan Kazlev, 2005, S. Rudolf Steiner)


reason is that the written word’s spirit matches his spirit

and in periods of intense mystical experiences, the

works of Rudolf Steiner were most adequate to bring an

order into the exalting mystical revelations.

I prefer the secure, down-to-earth teachings of Rudolf

Steiner, which lifts him off from the ordinary esoteric

scene, besides his accurate clairvoyant descriptions.

The works of Sri Aurobindo have been my constant

companion during my travels in Asia. The principal

writings of Aurobindo were an inspiration for my

personal development and transformation. Sri

Aurobindo, besides his refined intellect, was a yogi who

went into seclusion for nearly twenty-five years to

ponder the spiritual world and to formulate his

investigations in his voluminous books. His writings

provide the basic philosophy for Aurovil e, an

international township founded in 1968 by Aurobindo’s

closest disciple Mirra Alfassa and endorsed by UNESCO

to further unite humanity. A universal town where men

and women of al countries are able to live in peace and

progressive harmony above all creeds, politics and all


nationalities. The purpose of Aurovil e is to realize

human unity.210 A place I often visit.

Though Sri Aurobindo and Rudolf Steiner lived in the

same age a century ago, researches show that they did

not know each other.

I came to know Ken Wilber’s writings in the year 2009.

Since I heard of Ken Wilber, who is strongly influenced

by Sri Aurobindo, I felt a strong connection of a like-

mind nature. Ken Wilber is actually considered to be the

world most famous integral thinker. The whole integral

scene got a strong raise through him. Ken Wilber has a

knack of breaking down very difficult concepts. Sri

Aurobindo, in comparison, has written very refined and

long sentences which are difficult to read and

understand. I do not share all of Ken Wilber’s ideas. He

does not support the AQAL model, as Wilber fails to

unify the quadrants (the Holon always being forever

fourfold) to get to the one.211

210 (Auroville Foundation, 2009)

211 Cf. (M. Alan Kazlev, 2005, S. A Critique of Ken Wilber’s

“AQAL” Philosophy)



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List of Figures

Eye of Providence


Holistic Consciousness


Holistic Transformation Map


Holistic potential and leadership focus


List of Tables

Table 1: Anthroposophic Sevenfold Man


Table 2: Levels of consciousness in Indian chakra system


Table 3: Ken Wilber’s holarchy based on the Graves / Spiral

Dynamic memes


Table 4: Chakra – Meme Relationship


Table 5: Difference between Mind and Supermind




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LEADERSHIP 3.0: Seven Steps to Transform Yourself into a Holistic Leader

LEADERSHIP 3.0 defined The nature of the whole of existence is defined in a three-fold pattern as body, soul and spirit. Naturally, in evolution is a development in time and conscious awareness from matter to spirit. In the same time, the whole spectrum is available in every moment. There are situations when it is required to be an autocratic leader with a body-focus. A body mind and IQ is concerned with matters of security and profit. Other situations require a cooperative leader to act as coach to support her followers in finding the right way. This is the soul mind and emotional intelligence (EQ), based on feelings and focused on the personal growth of others. The threefold equation comes at last into balance with the spirit mind and spiritual intelligence (SQ). The spiritual potentials are mostly hidden in humanity, but increasingly showing up as a result of evolution and involution. The visionary leader is connected with the spiritual realm and higher wisdom. Their main topics are to realize the mission, to serve the world, to introduce new paradigms and to work out the ultimate purpose.

  • Author: Martin Lerchner
  • Published: 2016-07-04 08:21:19
  • Words: 29884
LEADERSHIP 3.0: Seven Steps to Transform Yourself into a Holistic Leader LEADERSHIP 3.0: Seven Steps to Transform Yourself into a Holistic Leader