Here’s a small update on some of my work…
One theory of human consciousness suggests that the complexity of thought grows in a binary pattern. The first level of awareness is of the internal states of the self (first person) with a focus on assessing the input (0) and output (1) of resources needed for healthy growth. We tend to call this the most basic level of consciousness — true self awareness — which all plants and animals have (and possibly everything else as well). As we grow older, the human brain gains the ability to imagine what another individual is feeling about their own internal state, related to their own personal input needs and output needs for health, and so we have the ability to think in second person perspective, as well as first. This is what we tend to call emotional consciousness, and at least most mammals and birds share this ability. Then we gain the third person perspective ability to imagine what a second person is thinking about a third person’s experience, which we tend to call social and intellectual consciousness. Finally, some people grow to a stage of life where they gain the ability to think in fourth person, with the ability to imagine what a second person is thinking about what a third person is thinking about a fourth person! This is what can be thought of as spiritual or highly moral consciousness, where a very broad spectrum of individuals’ personal experiences are included in one’s awareness at the same time.
For a visual explanation of this process, please click on the small image above, so you can see the full-sized version.
The ages listed are based on popular human development stages, as well as on the Fibonacci sequence, using conception to birth (9 months) to define a single unit (1) of time for the sequence of 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.
Educational programs, as well as psychology, sociology, and other mental health programs can use this information to design better infrastructure and resources to support and work with the brain’s natural levels of consciousness awareness so that individuals are able to function at their peak brain ability.
I’m sure you have questions! This is a unique theory, as far as I know, but one which stands up well in developmental science, so I’d love to hear any comments on what it might not seem to apply to, or what it does, surprisingly, apply to.