The three stages of David Deida

This is a brief introduction to the three evolutionary stages presented in David Deida's work. I have chosen to abbreviate them as "DD1", "DD2" and "DD3" in other writing on this site. For more thorough and accurate information, please refer to his books.

DD1: The submissive housewife and the macho breadwinner

This stage has been the predominant stage globally up until quite recent times. It is characterised by strictly defined and rigidly upheld gender roles. The man is out in the world bringing home the food and the woman is at home caring for the children. The man dominates the woman with threats of physical violence and withholding of resources and the woman dominates the man with threats of emotional violence and withholding of sex. Intimate partners acting out of DD1 use their lover/spouse as a means to satisfy their own needs, selfishly manipulating the other to get what they desire. They tend to judge themselves by external factors, be it the size of their paycheck or the impeccability of their perfect household. Whenever we focus on ourselves and how we appear to others, we are in a first stage moment.

Modern caricatures of this stage are the big-spending gold digger, the too-good-to-be-true mother of 50s TV shows, the angry hip hop gangster and the money-hungry TV preacher.

DD 2: The working girl and the sensitive flow boy

The cultural emergence of this stage started in paralell with feminism and the gender equality movement. In the 2nd stage, people seek to become more integrated human beings. The emergence of DD2 has lead to women embracing masculine values and opportunities, becoming tougher amd more independent, and men have embraced feminine flow and emotions, becoming more open and relating. Where people acting out of a first stage moment seek approval through their possessions and appearance, people in a second stage moment want to be appreciated for what they can do. Value is primarily determined by internal properties of the self.

The 2nd stage is very concerned that things should be done the right and proper way, and considers it important not to rock the boat too much. We gladly accept people's boundaries, even when they wish we didn't, and try not to escalate conflict. In intimate relationships, the tension of polarity often disappears and is replaced by a withholding of depth, often felt as repulsive by both partners. In societies, second stage is expressed as an aversion to conflict and an almost suffocating political correctness. You're not allowed to judge or rank people, and everybody agrees to disagree.

The second stage individual is generally stuck in a perpetual self-improvement cycle that seems to lead nowhere, as the development often goes away from our true nature as opposed to towards. Happiness always looms on the horizon, but never quite arrives.

Modern caricatures of stage 2 are the directed female headhunter and career surgeon, and the male crystal healer and emo singer-songwriter.

DD 3: The radiant goddess and the warrior of love

For those rare souls fortunate enough to experience it, this stage is supposedly characterized as an ongoing state of gifting yourself to the world and your partner. The woman offers her divine radiance in service of her partner and the world, opening them up with the deep flow of her awesome life force and beauty. The man offers his unending integrity and stability, as an expression of his desire to penetrate the world with truth and love. This stage is not necessarily calm or peaceful, as the politically correct stage two prefers. These individuals know freeedom and love intimately and consciously choose not to repress their true nature, which may offend those of lesser development. When a person expresses him- or herself through a third stage moment, their intention is to serve the world – or the people in it – in their opening to truth and love. Sometimes, their service won't be appreciated, but since a person in a third stage moment has transcended the need to be validated by external or internal factors, it matters little.

In intimate relationships, the feminine third stage is expressed as pure, unfiltered life energy, bursting with love, expressed as wild storms or warm summer breezes. She is an oracle, a pure expression of the feminine, of nature Herself. She serves her man by seducing him out of his narrow-minded focus on getting things done, by sexing him out of his head and into his body, by shivering earthquakes of anger through her body as she hurls hail storms at him for being less than he is capable of. The man serves her in return by remaining unperturbed, unaffected by her wild emotions, pressing into her with his presence and love, as they both melt and fuse in the throes of ecstasy.

Who knows what a society filled with individuals operating from this stage would look like. Let's find out!

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