The three stages of spiritual development of raised Unitarian Universalists

So M. Scott Peck a psychologist and the other of The Road Less Traveled postulates that there are four stages of human spiritual development. He argues that while transitions from Stage I to Stage II are sharp, transitions from Stage III to Stage IV are gradual. Nonetheless, these changes according to him are very noticeable and mark a significant difference in the personality of the individual. I for one believes children raised in almost any of the major western religious communities will indeed go throw the first two of Peck’s stages. I also believes that if they do ever get to Peck’s Stage III, they may begin to question and or reject the beliefs of their religious community. This I believe can lead to the total rejection of organized religious/spiritual community or in the case of others it mite simply lead to the seeking out of a new more compatible religious/spiritual community, such as in the case of the adult Unitarian Universalist (UU) joiners, UUism itself. Or it can simply lead to them understanding and appreciating their religion in a different but still meaningful way and yes continuing to develop as Peck suggests one would.

I also theories that M. Scott Peck’s four Stages of human spiritual development are not the same stages of spiritual development that one being raised in UU community will go throw. I suggests one who is raised in UU community will instead go throw these three stages of spiritual development. And it should be noted that my First Stage has the same characteristics as that of Peck’s Stage III. And here are my three stages:

·For a child being raised in UU community the First Stage of spiritual development is the stage of scientific scepticism and inquisitivity. And one in this stage does not accept things on faith but only accepts them if convinced logically. And a UU child often stays in this stage up until they become a junior youth at the age of 11 or 12-years. And even in some cases (more common for male UU children) right up until they becomes a youth at about 14-years of age.

·For a child being raised in UU community their Second Stage of spiritual development is a transition stage. Wile this stage is still a stage of scientific scepticism and inquisitivity like that of the First Stage, one in this stage is moving in the direction of basing things more on their own experiential experiences. And a child being raised in UU community usually enters this stage upon becoming a youth at about 14-years of age. And one in this stage usually evolve beyond it upon reaching young adulthood at anywhere from 18-years to 20-years of age or stay in this stage till mid young adulthood (about 26 years of age) and even in some cases till they enter their mid 30’s.

·And for adults who where raised in UU community the Third Stage is commonly the stage to which they occupy. And one in this stage bases things almost exclusively on the experiential experiences that they are having and have had in the past.

It should be noted that I indeed believe those that join UU community as an adult, come having gone throw stages I and II of Peck’s theory. I also thinks that they come having progressed to Peck’s stage III which is the First Stage for UU children. And I believes it is at this stage that they will stay in for a vary long time. And in some cases I thinks they will never evolve beyond it. But I believes if they do ever evolve beyond it they will indeed go though stages roughly equivalent to the raised UUs second and third stages. Thus giving them five stages of spiritual development. I also feel that because most of the UU adult joiners are in their third stage, a roughly equivalent stage to the raised UU’s First Stage, and seeing as must UU adults are adult UU joiners, it is not suppressing that many of the raised UU adults find the adult UU world to be often not well suited to them who are in their third and final stage. A stage roughly equivalent to what would be the UU adult joiners fifth and finale stage.

2 responses to “The three stages of spiritual development of raised Unitarian Universalists

  1. Very interesting Devin. I think it’s an astute observation that many UU children view religion through the lens of skepticism and inquisitiveness in a way similar to what Peck describes as “Stage 3.” I also think your general observations of the spiritual atmosphere in adult UU circles is perceptive.

    On a critical note, though, I think you’re drawing a lot of specific conclusions based on general (and perhaps superficial??) observations.
    For example I wonder how you’d back up the very specific ages you give for the spiritual transitions of UU children and youth.
    Also, in general I think it’s problematic to make broad statements about large numbers of people and plug them into what amounts to a sort hierarchy of spiritual development. At least I think a classification system like the one you’re proposing deserves much more extensive research, and less painting everybody with broad brushes.

    Nonetheless, I think it’s a commendable exercise in critical thinking and observation. Maybe the seed for a paper in religious studies??


  2. It’s a very interesting idea, but I would say that in my own experience working with UU children as a DRE, that Peck’s Stage One would be my nursery kids, Peck’s Stage Two would be my preschool-K class, and that by the time they are in 1st grade my kids are in his Stage Three/Your Stage One. So I don’t think they skip over Peck’s stages entirely, they just do them very young.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s