The first exercise in Superhuman OS is to take the role of other. The exercise aims to develop my ability to take the perspectives of others. By doing that regularly I will progressively build my capacity to expand my awareness.
“Consciousness, ultimately is the ability to take perspectives. The more perspectives you can take, the more conscious you are.”
— Ken Wilber, Superhuman OS
It’s an effective and viable process. I have already had success with it. I wrote earlier about my experience of taking the perspective of my mother-in-law and understanding her better. I have used it with my True Love as well. One morning I was making a loud noise and he commented it in a way I took as judgemental. But when I tried to see the situation through his eyes, I realized that most likely the noise startled him and he was also concerned about our little one if she would start to cry.
I think that the exercise of taking the role of other is so powerful because it takes the focus away from myself. It rarely is about me, but I tend to take everything personally. This process helps me turn my attention to the other person in that situation and a concrete way to make it about that other person instead of me. I enjoy the feelings of compassion and understanding more than the feelings of hurt and irritation.
We gain the 1st person perspective when we are about 18 months old. The ability to take a 2nd person perspective, which is the core of this exercise, develops around age five. As I have noticed with myself, taking the 2nd person perspective doesn’t always come naturally, and I have the tendency to see things only from my own perspective. But it doesn’t stop there. As Ken says, the more perspectives I can take, the more conscious I am. From grammar lessons I know the 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd person, but Ken continues with 4th, 5th, and 6th person perspectives. More on those in the upcoming posts.
For the time being I’m focusing on seeing the world from the perspective of my fellow human beings.