*Receded but not entirely vanished from the believer’s life. Magical thinking remains as an unconscious perspective that is still available to the imagination. That is why a rational adult can still enjoy movies like The Wizard of Oz and The Lord of the Rings.
Finally, incorporating the UTT definition into Integral Theory provides the basis for a much-needed postmodern understanding of all religious phenomena as legitimate in their own right as enactments of various stages of development through which all humans must pass. UT scholars have illustrated with their “Eight Ways of Being Religious” that broad critiques of religious belief systems are superficial, missing the deep interest of believers in personal transformation. As I have argued, their system needs updating with a distinction between states and stages of consciousness and recognition of a hierarchy of religious stages in human evolution. Those features are fully developed in contemporary Integral Theory, which provides us with the most comprehensive framework available today for understanding the religions of the world.
In a nutshell, then, I have argued that religion is best thought of as a deep feature of the evolution of consciousness in which an individual at each of several stages of 'growing up' perceives life to be profoundly unsatisfactory in some ways and seeks a transformation of those ultimate concerns by means appropriate to one's stage of development. From instinctual to magical to mythic to rational and higher, the unfolding of our lives reveals ever greater challenges and suggests a path toward meeting them. "Put more vividly, the claim [of religion] is that one is threatened by illusion but that he can move toward truth; by death but that he can move toward life; by chaos, but that he can move toward meaning; by self-destruction but that he can move toward an abundant life." (F. Streng, Ways of Being Religious)