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Freedom Ladder

Posted on March 29, 2018 in Maintenance


The stage of disloyalty is the lowest moral and behavioral stage in which a person can function. Lying, cheating, stealing, betraying, blaming others, victimizing, and pretense (pretending) are the behaviors characterizing it.

Negative emotions including anger, jealousy, resentment, hatred, and depression predominate. Relationships are exploitative. People in disloyalty view the world as a place that cannot be trusted and believes that everyone else lies, cheats, steals and feels negative emotions. Moral judgments are made on the basis of pleasure/pain and reciprocity.


People in opposition are quite similar to those in this loyalty. However, those in opposition are somewhat more honest about it; they pretended less. Those in opposition tend to blame society, the rules, or the unfairness of others for their problems and state in life. They are in open opposition to the established order.

They tend to be rigid and on adaptable and are more confrontational, hostile, and openly manipulative. Constant conflict is often seen. Moral judgments come from pleasure/pain and reciprocity.


A person in this stage may lie, cheat and steal, but they are uncertain if they should. They’d typically have no long-term goals and usually don’t know if there is a direction that is right for them. They show rapidly changing beliefs and a basic uncertainty about other people. They say “I don’t know” a lot and sometimes are uncertain whether they should or can change.

This stage typically doesn’t last long. There are moral judgments are based on pleasing others as well as pleasure/pain and reciprocity.


People in this stage know when they have hurt others or themselves and feel responsible for it.  Low self-esteem, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy often predominate. While they seem to “let down” others and self frequently, they recognize that they are the source of the problem. This is the first age that positive relationships can occur.

People in injury have trouble following through on their goals and commitments. Moral judgments are based on pleasing others, pleasure/pain, and reciprocity.


Those in non-existence do not have a firm sense of identity and do not feel connected to the world. They often feel little purpose in their life, but do feel responsible for what happens to them.

While they feel somewhat alienated, they can have satisfying relationships. Moral judgments can be made from law and order, pleasing others, reciprocity, or pleasure/pain.


The major distinction between danger and non-existence is that those in danger have committed two long-term goals.  They feel the risk of danger and have communicated their desire to others. They feel a definite direction in life and seeing relationships as necessary, important, and satisfying. They usually gain their identity from their long-term goals and recognize and requirements of situations quickly.

Most of these people make their moral judgments from the societal contract level and a law and order. Many of them “slip” to lower stages of reasoning and feel a sense of personal letdown when this occurs.


A sense of urgency in completing goals dominates this stage because the individual is totally committed to fulfilling their personal goals. The goals of a person in this stage or more broad and include the welfare of others rather than goals being narrow and self-serving. They feel in control of their lives, but often feel that they have over committed and are at risk of failure of a slowdown.

Most of their decisions are based on what is best for society and their organization, but they shall much higher, idealized ethical principles as well. In addition, they sometimes slip to lower levels of reasoning and attempt to rectify this as soon as they realize it.


People who experience this state have into how they live their lives.  Thus, they have their needs fulfilled without a great deal of effort. To someone in this stage, work is not work. However, their identity nearly always involves the welfare of others, whether it is the welfare of their employees or family. They often become involved in social causes and have genuine concern for others. They give great consideration to their own conduct and are not quick to judge others.

They attempt to keep all their relationships on honest, trustworthy levels where they are held accountable. It is clear that people in this stage have chosen the right identity (set of goals). Moral judgments are based about half and have on societal and ethical principles.


Few persons reach the state where a person sees others as an extension of self. Reaching grace means one must give oneself to a major cause. Doing the right things, in the right ways, is a primary concern.

Value is placed on human life, justice, dignity, and freedom. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa are a few examples.