integration is not easy. There is no ultimate graduation. Individualized and
abstract, the variegated shafts of the Grade Theory curriculum are neither
predetermined, nor predestined. Attainments within any given Grade Level, and
even from one Grade to another, are perhaps gradual, or perhaps in paradigmatic
leaps. As such, insights and apprehensions are exciting, or subtle, or blends
of both. And one may graduate from Grade Two to Grade Five, predominantly, or
regress back down a single shaft to Grade One, at any age, or at any stage of
Put simply, a lifetime is seen in terms of passing through natural grades of maturation and comprehension, where predominant behavioral traits sustain one at any given Grade Level, while one may have perceptions and insights pertaining to all grade levels simultaneously. We may well attain levels of expertise in our differentiated curriculums, beyond our age group, that are observable, yet we can evidently still be out of our depth in foreign, unfamiliar, or challenging fields. Some will find such challenges invigorating. Others will baulk and retreat to their own comfort zones. Idiomatic, particularized, and empowering, we prefer the stance from which we may hold court, intellectually, spiritually, morally, physically, emotionally, and even politically.
Integration is not easily attained. Each model of mankind, however simplistic or complex, is perceived as a progress through levels of comprehension and attainment that determine one’s predominant proclivities, or behaviours. From Adler; within Graves; through Maslow; to Jung; we apprehend their integrative contentions, perhaps with sincere interest, but easily may forget the particulars of their curriculum, suggestions, or esoteric challenges. We generally are on our own pathway. Sometimes, we adhere to the group. Sometimes, we stick to our own beliefs. Sometimes we agree, disagree, vote, disavow, and absorb. Yet all along the months and years of one’s life, integration keeps challenging our humanity with its endlessness of more and more.
Being human, evidently, is a complex state. One is assailed by variability. Choices determine pathways, constraints, attainments, and patterns of behaviour. And behavioral patterns in turn become one’s predominant proclivities. Grade Theory is not about a naturally chronological maturation; it is about one’s endemic comprehension, absorption, integration, perception, and apprehension of the largely individualized curriculum inherent to one’s awareness. We take on the habits and customs of our forefathers, our tribe, our family, our friends, our school, our church, our political affiliations, our country’s cares, and our national identity. We can become racist, xenophobic, polarizing, and entrenched. Indeed, integration, full integration, absolute compassion, complete love, and utter understanding is not easily attained. Rather, we have glimpses and insights and momentary practices of them. We are, necessarily, self-protective, lest we find ourselves entirely dissipating into the morass of mankind, devoid of our own ego, smudged beyond our own boundaries, bereft of the curriculum vitae of our individual identity.
There are adults still in Grade Seven who realize Ph.D. aspects in themselves. There are post-doctorates who still need to perfect some Grade Three concepts. Being ontological does not make one epistemological. Meaning making is not always rational. To accept that each of us is highly differentiated in potential, yet sometimes may ‘naturally’ be graded and grouped, can be bristling to some. Yet to absorb, accept, include, and love everything and everybody, now there’s the rub. The Grade Theory, in conception, is hereby intended to help. Integration, after all, is all.