Transforming People and Organizations 

The Seven Steps of Spiritual Development  

Margarete van den Brink

This book describes the the different phases of the phase model. More details about the phases on different levels – and applications - see under Phase model in the menu.

Individuals, groups and organizations find themselves in a process of continual change, transformation and growth. In this book I suggest all people, whether individually or in groups, experience the same archetypal processes of development, consisting of seven steps.

Giving practical examples, I describe how these steps or phases can be recognized in individuals, in relationships and groups, and also in commercial and not-for-profit organizations.
A knowledge of the various steps allows for clarity and vision, helping to prepare for all sorts of challenges and rewards we might face.

In addition to the external aspect of these processes there is the internal aspect.

I indicate that the process of growth through the seven phases is, in essence, a process of spiritual development. Spirit manifests itself in the human being and determines the meaning and direction of our lives, giving impulses for change and direction.

These impulses are also at work in groups and organizations, and knowledge of them allows for greater insight. My approach offers a refreshingly new and dynamic way forward in contrast to the 'rationalist' methodologies of much of mainstream consultancy and personal development.



1. The Seven phases of One's Personal Life-path
2. Stephen Peijnenburg's Steps
3. Laws of Development
4. Broad Outlines
5. Men and Women Pass Through the Seven Phases in Different Ways


6. Collaboration in an Architects' Office
7. The Development of Relationships and Groups in Seven Phases
8. On the Way to a New Community
9. The Reflection Process


10. The Development Road of Commercial Organizations
11. Conclusions and Overview
12. The Phases of Development in an Ideal-based Organization
Spirit, primeval source of all being.



Phase 1: The theocratic organization
Phase 2: The autocratic organization
Phase 3: The bureaucratic organization
Phase 4: The transforming organization
Phase 5: The organization based on moral values and principles
Phase 6: The organization as a new community
Phase 7: The organization as contributor to world development


Phase 1: Undivided unity
Phase 2: The old group
Phase 3: The 'I'-person
Phase 4: The transformation
Phase 5: The spiritual Self
Phase 6: The new community
Phase 7: Differentiated unity

Temple Lodge Publishing Forest Row, UK
ISBN 1 902636 50 3
209 pages
£ 10,95

Can be ordered from:

  • Booksource, Glasgow, UK. Email:
  • Online:

From the foreword

'I cannot stress enough the timeliness of this book. In an era of progressive organizational dysfunction, intensifying conflict and alienation, and accelerating rates of change in social, economic, and community life, all bringing with them a great increase in uncertainty and insecurity, it is important to locate the principles that drive and govern the evolutionary changes under way.

Ronnie Lessem said 'While these are chaotic and turbulent times, they are hardly crazy ones. There is rhyme to both the reason and the unreason. Order lurks in the chaos; a deeper chaos still lurks in the order. Those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and spirals in their minds to understand, will rest easier knowing the sky is not falling, after all'.

The current instabilities and seeming breakdown of systems can be seen as a call for renewal and rebirth of organizations on a new plane and under a new paradigm. It may thus be important for an understanding of these trends to revisit the larger context of development of what we may loosely call 'the human project'.

This is what the author of this book sets out to. She describes and aligns both the development of the individual and of organizations, showing that the same seven qualitative phase changes and corresponding processes are at work in both. It becomes clear that both, the changes in individuals, as well as those in organizations, societies and cultures, are the consequence of deep transformations of consciousness.

The author first follows the development of the individual: from the infant's state of undivided unity to the child's embeddedness in the group; then to the adult's awakening, assertion, and possible catharsis of ego through crisis and transformation; on to the birth and development of the spiritual Self, the new ability for community. And finally to the possibility of a new, differentiated, conscious unity.

She then explores gender differences and polarities on this trajectory, and relates her insights to relational processes. Finally the author guides us through the historic emergence of mankind, from clans to tribes, to nations, societies and cultures and explores the organizational principles relevant to the various stages of consciousness.

We soon come to see that in each developmental stage there are often echoes of earlier, transcended, now deficient, but not entirely defunct stages. There are also premonitions, partial and momentary anticipations of future stages, heralding further transformations.

Human beings continuously forge new systems, new ways of seeing and new ways of living reality. However, although earlier cognitive systems can be transformed and transcended, they stay with us – just as more primitive modes of consciousness do.

We thus, on the one hand, constantly enrich our arsenal of cognitive possibilities and widen our capacities of dialogue with the world. On the other we can, easily and at any time, regress into deficient modes.

The importance of this volume for me lies in the clarity and unambiguity with which it shows the core of each individual, the Self, to be the pivot for all future development.

The author argues that regression into deficient phases and any feeling of comfort or acts of sentimental altruism this may elicit, will not give us any ground to stand on. But that a spiritual future for humanity and the earth depends entirely on our ability to become fully conscious of this core 'self' and of the need to develop actively it's higher, self-transcending aspect, the spiritual Self.

... Only here will we, as individuals, be able to find the moral and ethical imaginations necessary for our continued survival'.

Tyll van de Voort

Tyll van de Voort holds an M.Sc. in Management Development from the University of Bristol. He currently lives in Camphill Community Oaklands Park, Newham-on-Severn, in Southwest England.

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