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LP Grades - help

I've mulled this over for a while, moving between "we need to have some indication of attainment" and not. Levels and grades introduce a sense of hierarchy into the system, which is bad. Unfortunately, not having markers to indicate attainment can lead to a mush, and I think having grades give some structure to the system, gives people something to work towards. With this in mind Gina and I came up with the following levels

Grade 1 Novice

Someone who isn’t interested in spirituality at all, or who approaches their study of Human Spirituality from a purely intellectual standpoint.

Grade 2 Experiencer

Someone who has had one or more Connection Experiences, but has not stepped onto a Path. The individual may come to seek a path or they may reject, for various reasons, the experience. If they accept the experience, search for a path, and find one, they move on to grade three.

Grade 3 Initiate

Someone who has had one or more connection experiences and who has shifted on an authentic, or inauthentic, path (see Authentic Spirituality vs Inauthentic Spirituality).

Grade 4 Practitioner

Someone who actively intends and works towards achieving strong and pure Connection.

Grade 5 Consummator

Someone who has attained permanent (or relatively permanent) connection. Or, someone who can handle acute bouts of high CQ.

Grade 6 Teacher/Mentor

An expert level 4 or higher person who teaches Healing and Connection.

Grade 7 Avatar

Someone who has come re-balance things, save the world, introduce a new school or creation template.


  • LP Levels are loosely reflected in the advanced Connection Frameworks provided by the likes of Zen. Zen, in particular, has an advanced conceptualization. A correspondence map between the LP and frameworks like Zen is in development and will be included here.

I'm not sure about the actual names. Novice is good, experiencer is a bit off, initiate fine maybe, etc. Can anybody think of better names for these LP grades? Does the conceptualization make sense?

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I'll comment on the terms later, but first, a quick response to the worry of hierarchy.

The existence of grades is not necessarily linked to hierarchy.

It is merely the system that we live in that links the two. Only if a person identifies herself with the grades can grades create feelings of hierarchy. A school where people don't mind having "bad" grades - please note the moral connotation that our system inherently inserts onto grades - will be one that doesn't create hierarchy.

Grades can be just as well interpreted as an attempt to mirror one's attainments. Give the student a feedback, basically. Do I need to study more precisely? Do I need to do some more experiencing? Is this thing really my thing?

As we live in a society that has basically stripped us of our genuine self esteem, we are heavily inclined to identify with our attainments. However, this is not a necessity.

So, the question now becomes: Do we want to utilize terminology and organizational frameworks that are useful but have a big baggage? Or do we drop the useful terminology and organizational framework for the sake of distancing ourselves from the old world?

The question is, what is the benefit of introducing grades if any. You say yes, it can help you focus and aim your study. It can provide avenues for questions and feedback. It can even give you a feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes, in the old world, however, this gets linked to hierarchy and self-esteem such that a) people then use it to a) gain power or b) it becomes tied to their self-esteem.

The question, are there other ways to provide focus other than using grades, or levels? If not, can we introduce the notion while at the same time addressing the old energy issues?

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One suggestion I have Michael: maybe you should consider calling Grade 1 a "muggle"

haha - just kidding! May the people of this world be free.

Ha ha Ben!

My issue with hierarchical language is that it is rooted in our social world order that evaluates, judges, and positions knowledge, access to knowledge, and evaluates/determines what kinds of knowledge are deemed worthy, in a context based on privilege. So, with that in mind, in order for LP teachings/theories/practice to be grounded, authentic, meaningful, effective, we need to ensure that the curriculum is inclusively evidenced base, that it reflects the core spiritual tenets that "lay persons" will find inviting, non threatening, and identifiable to their own spiritual worldviews. So having said that, to adopt LP teachings/way of life as a mentor, facilitator, healer, and/or researcher, we need to deem what skills/functions and understanding/expression determines a standard base line of competencies.

I think whatever it is we choose, we choose terminology that shows the graduated levels of self work/reflection, intellectual, emotional and spiritual knowledge and commitment.


I had an idea for a possibly suitable terminology.

How about we don't call it levels, or grades, but rather states?

They seem to be states of being, rather than pinpointable benchmarks anyway. Also, its a lot more neutral.

What do you guys think?

this is great that we are having this conversation!

two things:

#1) i personally found it fascinating (and sort of enlightening; in the sense of an "aha" moment) that grade #1 lumps together people uninterested in spirituality all-together, and those who approach it from an intellectual standpoint only.

that is such a strong statement; i totally get it.

i was like wow!! what we are doing here on the LP (connecting) is a real "thing." any other path or endless amount of intellectual conceptualization that doesn't lead to connection is not worth anything. i am really starting to get excited about what the LP is all about. "connection is where it is at"

#2) re: the grades, one idea would be to take a "gamified" approach... call them "badges" instead. that is what a lot of apps and stuff do. for example the language learning app i tried makes everything about attaining "badges". May the people of this world be free.

The issue with "badges" that I see is that a badge represents a discrete learning outcome within a larger learning framework. A badge is for a smaller unit of learning, not like a university degree, or a K12 grade. States is not bad except that it doesn't represent the action that is required in each of the degrees/stages/levels/states. Or does it. Is there a word that combines state of being and level of attainment/understanding. Martial arts used coloured belts to indicate attainment/status. There are seven states here. Maybe it could be colours, from red lowest to purple highest.

I've added the Zen ranks. They have an interesting way of looking at the first three levels. Novice is a Zaikejin, a staying home person--someone who lives a normal life and isn't aware of spiritual realities. Level two is Shukkejin, someone who has "left home" to find a temple to study in, presumably because something has happened to them, or they have been called ([spwiki]The Calling[/spwiki]). Then Koji, residence/dwelling man, someone who has entered a temple. The rest of the levels are broken down into subgrades. Level 4 practitioner is Unsui, with Battan indicating a lower ranking Unsui, Nakatan a middle-ranking Unsui, and Unsui indicating top level.

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I totally agree with the discrete ranking concepts in the LP studies, it's much more palatable for the very fact the hierarchy is taken out of it. it there a way to combine the concepts of both martial arts AND gaming? A person sees one's own progress regarding where one is on the path without "worrying" (i.e., comparing, judging and other shadows of insecurities) about what everyone else is doing. Since it's already challenging, may as well make it more engaging knowing that the benefit is full connection from the start.

"Sifting through the billions of muggles to find the rest of my tribe... it's gonna take awhile. "

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