Answer: Today, all of humanity is in transition from the third to the fourth stage. Within each stage, there are sub-stages. For example, if we take the stages of human development without regard to the still, vegetative, and animate natures and the level of “human” because we have existed for dozens and even hundreds of thousands of years, then we can view development along the historical axis as the first, second, third and fourth stages.
Suppose that the 16th century, the late Middle Ages, marks the beginning of the technological revolution with development of cultures, sciences, and so forth. This was the third stage; that is, humanity became intensely concerned about its life, about itself as an animal. This is the bourgeois revolution and, ultimately, capitalism. Before that, humanity was in the vegetative stage. In the Middle Ages, antiquity, we find the signs of the vegetative type, the vegetative character of development. Before that, we were at the so-called still level when people used small forces with low labor efficiency, and only could take care of their food.
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #12, 12/16/11