Seven well-defined stages can be distinguished in the development of personal consciousness. Each stage focuses on a particular existential need that is inherent to the human condition. The seven existential needs are the principal motivating forces in all human affairs. Individuals grow in consciousness by learning to master the satisfaction of these needs. Individuals who learn how to master all seven needs without harming or hurting others operate from full-spectrum consciousness. They have the ability to respond appropriately to all life’s challenges. The seven existential needs that constitute the seven stages in the development of personal consciousness are shown in the following table.
The “lower” needs, levels 1 to 3, focus on our physiological need for survival; our physical and emotional need for safety; and our emotional need for self-esteem.
The “higher” needs, levels 5 to 7, focus on our spiritual needs – the need to find meaning in our lives, the need to make a difference in the world, and the need to be of service.
The first three levels focus on our personal self-interest – meeting the needs of the ego. The last three levels focus on the common good – meeting the needs of the soul.
The focus of the fourth level is transformation – a shift from self-interest to the common good. This is where the ego learns to let go of its fears so that it can become one with the soul.
Taken from "The Values Center"