Positive Disintegration
Positive Disintegration Podcast
The Challenge of Levels

The Challenge of Levels

Join hosts Emma Nicholson and Chris Wells for Episode 19 with Stephanie Tolan

In episode 19, Chris and Emma were joined by Stephanie Tolan, an author and long-time advocate and champion of the gifted. This episode was inspired by Stef’s chapter in the book Living with Intensity called “What We May Be: What Dabrowski’s Work Can Do for Gifted Adults.” We’ve had enough feedback from listeners to know that we needed to take a closer look at the theory’s levels of development and that we needed to push back a little on the established dogma. We’re grateful for Stef’s willingness to join us for this conversation about Dąbrowski’s levels.

Stef talked with us about her realization that there are more people at the highest level of development than Dąbrowski acknowledged in his writing. These “Stealth 5s” are off the radar and quietly doing their work for the benefit of humanity. We talked about how her beliefs about consciousness and higher-level development have changed over the years. We discussed exemplars, reincarnation, and our limited understanding of the levels of development and their many permutations.

Resources mentioned during this episode:

Stephanie S. Tolan’s website

Living with Intensity by Daniels & Piechowski (from Gifted Unlimited, LLC)

Developmental Potential by Michael M. Piechowski (links to ResearchGate)

Lives of Positive Disintegration by Michael M. Piechowski (links to ResearchGate)

Volume 18 of Advanced Development Journal, which includes Stef’s paper

University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies, research on reincarnation

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte

Ordinary People as Monks & Mystics by Marsha Sinetar

Peace Pilgrim website

Peace Pilgrim’s works are available for download in multiple languages for free.

Connect with us!

Positive Disintegration on Substack

Visit the Dabrowski Center website



The Positive Disintegration YouTube Channel

Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook

Dabrowski Center and Positive Disintegration Podcast Community on Facebook

The Tragic Gift blog by Emma

Email us at positivedisintegration.pod@gmail.com

Please consider supporting the podcast to help fund this work through the Dabrowski Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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Positive Disintegration
Positive Disintegration Podcast
What can be positive about disintegration? Join us for an exploration of positive disintegration through conversation and shared stories. It’s a framework for understanding a variety of intense experiences that often look and feel like mental illness, but which can also be viewed as building blocks for creating an authentic personality.