The Integral Map: Types of Development

Types simply refers to items that can be present
at virtually any stage or state.
– Ken Wilber

The fifth element of Ken Wilber’s Integral Map addresses the reality that we humans exhibit a variety of different “types” in our existence. Using the 4 quadrants on Wilbers Map (see illustration), we can say that these differing types manifest both in our interior (UL) and exterior (UR) realities.



For example, individually we exhibit different personality types or differ in whether we are extroverted or introverted (UL). At the same time, we are male or female, tall or short, skinny or fat, blond or brunette, or something in between when it comes to any of these pairings (UR).

There are types in the human collective exterior as well. Types of cars, architecture, clothing (LR). Culturally, there are types of music, types of languages (LL).

Tools to help us find our type

In recent decades, researchers have developed a number of tools to help us discern our own type and to recognize how we differ from people of other types. I write more about how two of these tools, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram, have helped me in my own self-awareness and in better understanding others on another post (see “Self-Awareness: My Introduction“).  I also look at the implications for another type difference in the post “Exploring Who We Are As Feminine and Masculine.”

Again, the important thing to remember here is that Wilber’s Integral Map offers us way to visualize our own identity, and to understand how others are different from us.

Wilber, K. (2007). The integral vision: A very short introduction to the revolutionary integral approach to life, god, the universe, and everything. Boston: Shambala.

Wilber, K., Patten, T., Leonard, A., & Morelli, M. (2008). Integral Life Practice. Boston: Integral Books.

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