International Journal of Transpersonal Studies




Many theorists—including Freud, Habermas and Wilber—have suggested that there are strong

parallels between ontogeny and phylogeny, and that the development of the human species has

followed the same basic pattern as the development of the individual from birth to adulthood. I

discuss this view in relation to archaeological and anthropological knowledge of the world’s “primal

peoples.” I look at the spiritual, moral, and social development of primal peoples and find

that, in almost every instance, they are more advanced than these theorists suggest, possessing

characteristics which only occur—ontogenetically—at the higher “fulcrums” of development. I

argue that Wilber’s spectrum model cannot be applied to species development and suggest the

basis of a new (non-ontogenetic) model of phylogeny.

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