All human life can be divided into Quadrants. The classification in Figure 1 was developed by Ken Wilber and outlined in his book A Theory of Everything and elsewhere. These quadrants are defined by individual, collective, internal, and external as indicated below. These quadrants refer to an individual mind and body, and a social “mind” and “body,” where the social mind is reflected in cultural consciousness and the body in social institutions.
Wilber has further developed these quadrants into “levels,” which might sometimes also be seen as “stages.” For example, a nation-state is a social level beyond a tribe, yet the stage of tribal development is a foundation for the creation of a nation-state. Each level is considered a “holon,” when the four quadrants are all included.
Ken Wilber refers to level of social consciousness as a “meme.” “Genes” and “memes” are often referred to as the coding that makes up individuals and collectives. A “gene” normally refers to the external biological coding of the body, whereas for Wilber a “meme” refers more to the level of internal development—consciousness. For some other theorists a “meme” is more related to the external structural coding of society.
In addition to quadrants, Anderson’s view includes spheres, which compose a z-axis on Wilber’s four quadrants.
Many theorists also include the concept of gender, a much debated topic. Gender is biologically determined by chromosomes (upper right quadrant), however there are expressions of gender associated with the other three quadrants that are not as rigidly fixed.