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Spiral Dynamics/Graves Model
The Graves Model (often called Spiral Dynamics)
The Graves Model is often referred to by the term Spiral Dynamics. The new term was coined by Don Beck, a pupil of Clare Graves. The term has become the standard in many areas, especially because Ken Wilber often uses it.
Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs
Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs was the most famous model for ontogenetic human development in the 1930s. However, his theory was unfounded and gave Clare Graves - a contemporary of Maslow's - cause for criticism.
In his opinion, Maslow's view of the self-updating human was too inflexible. He did not accept the endpoint of Maslow's pyramid as the end point of evolution; Graves believed that certain value systems (= memes) evolved in response to certain human conditions of existence. Such memes are, on the one hand, psychic attempts to react appropriately to certain historical conditions of existence and, on the other hand, countermovements to the prevailing value system (antithetic).
1. Regarding Clare W. Graves
Clare W. Graves (1914-1986) was an American psychology professor at Union College, New York, and with his meme model, the pioneer of Spiral Dynamics. The main impetus for the development of this model were questions asked by his students: Why are people different? Why do some change? Why do some people perceive the highest human development goal of "self-realization" in such completely different ways?
Graves’ answer was: "In short, I argue that the psychology of matures human beings is an evolving, oscillating, spiraling process that emerges from previous stages, characterized by the subordination of older, lower-order behavior systems, a process that progresses to newer, higher-level systems when the existential problems of humanity change."
By that he means that human development is continuous and never finished. It changes in accord with changes in human conditions of existence, thereby creating new systems in which the old systems are integrated. When a new system or stage unfolds, we also change our psychology and habits to adapt to these new conditions. The most diverse forms of life in this potentially open value system are possible. A final stage that everyone must achieve does not exist. The individual, company, or even an entire society, can only respond positively to management principles, motivational incentives, educational principles, and legitimate or ethical beliefs that reflect the current stage of this human existence!
Graves Values Model
The emergent, cyclic double helix model of mature, adult biopsychosocial behavior.
Each class of problems or challenges is solved by the creation of a value system. So far, humanity has produced eight different value systems: such value systems are mechanisms that the psyche has developed to deal appropriately with certain environmental situations. If the problems and challenges facing a person or a society change, then their value system also changes. Value systems are therefore suitable if they allow congruent problem-solving behavior. But these systems must not be compared independently of each other's context.
Value systems emerge through changes in the environment again and again.
Cyclic double helix
Each value system arises at the intersection of two forces, namely the problem and the respective problem-solving approach.
A value system reflects how people think, i.e., their values and beliefs. But they must not be confused with the topic or the content of such thinking. Rather, value systems are a schema or way of thinking. Often value systems that are diametrically opposed in terms of content, such as, for example, a fundamentalist religion and so-called "atheistic communism" are merely manifestations of one and the same value system.
The Graves Model has a tremendous amount of explanatory and predictive value and is applicable to all aspects of biological, psychological and sociological behavior. It explains both individual behavior and international political interactions: different thinking with regard to religion, the meaning of human existence, economics, politics, family, education, health and leisure as well as to different patterns of goals, ethics, motivation, lifestyle and organization. The appearance or departure of the respective system is triggered by forces arising from the milieu in which the respective system exists. But the deep structures of the Graves Model are ways of thinking, not types of people. These patterns represent biopsychosocial systems and are neither a typology of humans nor discrete stages of human development. They reflect systems in the repertoire of human behavioral possibilities, which is why every human being has certain mental patterns that can be activated by different contexts and situations.
Properties of the levels
The emergent cyclic double helix model for biopsychosocial development in adults postulates eight levels:
- Beige: reactive, autistic, archaic-instinctive; the survival or the struggle for survival stand in the foreground.
- Violet: animistic, tribalistic, security-oriented. The person sacrifices their own wishes for the tribe, the chief, or the spirits.
- Red: egocentric, self-centered, hedonistic, magical. The self wants to express itself here and now and does not care about others.
- Blue: absolutist, conformist, pious. The self-sacrifices itself for later reward (in heaven, etc.).
- Orange: success-oriented, materialistic, objectivist. The self calculates its own interests so as not to conflict with others.
- Green: personalistic, group-oriented, humanistic. The self is ready to sacrifice for others.
- Yellow: systemic, existential, functional. The self is interested in momentary self-expression, but not at the expense of others.
- Turquoise: experiential, global thinking, synergistic. The self is now ready to sacrifice itself so that life can go on.
The Problems of the Levels
Each level of the Graves Model represents a solution strategy and an answer to a class of problems. Therefore, each level can be seen as a connection between a group of problems or challenges that people devise to cope with the problems.
|Beige||Maintaining physiological stability and integrity|
|Violet||Achieving relative safety|
|Red||Living with self-awareness|
|Blue||Achieving a lasting peace of mind|
|Orange||Conquest of the physical universe|
|Green||Emphasis on interpersonal values|
|Yellow||Restoring the quality of life in a "sick" world|
|Turquoise||Acceptance of existential dichotomies|
|Level||State of the world||Successful reactions|
Natural state, survival
|Natural state with lack of food, no protection or security||Behavior is survival-oriented, as in animals|
Tribal life, magic
|The forces of nature instill fear and are unpredictable or inexplicable. They are experienced as threatening.||People associate with others to ensure safety and appease the evil spirits through magical rituals that reduce their fears.|
Warlord, hero, loner
|Only the strongest survive. Aggression and hostility are part of everyday life. The world is difficult and hard, so only the strongest can survive.||Fight for survival at the expense of others and to be the stronger / a hero by all available means.|
Civilization, system of loyal bureaucracy
|The law of the jungle has caused much suffering. The privileged have totally exploited the poor. The world is controlled and guided by God.||Rules, laws, contracts, constitutions that everyone must abide by represent a further development. People believe in the truth and everyone follows and obeys the higher authority.|
|Progress affords opportunities for material prosperity. The world is full of opportunities for progress and material prosperity.||Various options are pragmatically tested for their probability of success. It pays to be self-employed or to conduct profitable business.|
|The material social development makes it possible to ask the question of meaning. The hometown of true humanity.||People join together in communities so that everyone can equally participate in growth and experience a sense of purpose.|
Dolphin, borderline experiences
|Prosperity enables completely new thoughts, hopes and breakthrough experiences.||It makes sense to solve existing problems efficiently and effectively from new perspectives while experiencing a flow feeling.|
Transpersonal view, global
|The world is one big living creature (Gaia). The earth is facing collapse. There is a danger that humans will destroy it.||The individual seeks the secret order hidden behind the apparent chaos. Only a consciousness of a higher order and a transpersonal search for global solutions will banish the danger of destruction.|
1st Level: reactive, automatic Meme
Small groups that are mainly concerned with biological survival. At this level of development, all energy is focused on survival. People on this level only live in the present. In pre-tribal cultures, there was this "animal" way of life, today you can find it in children, the mentally disabled or senile people, in some cases, even with drug addicts. However, this condition can also be caused by extreme stress and life-threatening situations.
"Survival at any price"
100,000 years ago
Self-expression with the goal of survival
The world is indefinite and vague, based on biological imperatives. Life is instinctive and consists of subordinating oneself to the will of nature without resistance.
Immediate satisfaction of periodic physiological needs (eating, drinking, security) to ensure survival of the species.
Respond to environmental changes for the purpose of survival. Change and move quickly and automatically depending on changes in resources and necessities of life. Depend on life support systems with minimal awareness of oneself and others. Small social groups work together to collect and hunt food in order to avert danger and to reproduce. The behavior is predominantly based on the stimulus-response model with instinct as the key to survival.
Forms of expression
- Low: Helpless, balancing between life and death, minimal perception of reality
- High: Self-sustaining at a low level, dealing with reality in a passive way, survival values
Small groups, herd-like behavior. The fittest protect the weaker, and groups come together for mating, for food and for migration. Movements depend on weather and food resources.
Genetic programming, habits
Activation of instinctive memory, learning by observation, main input through touch and taste, no conceptual learning.
Motivated by immediate physiological needs
Proportion of mature population:
2nd Level: tribalistic, animistic Meme
The energy in self-sacrifice is directed to the survival of the tribe, attention is on the present and the past. People are dependent on the chief or clan or tribe. Such thinking dominated most prescriptive cultures and can still be found in diluted form in clubs, close family units, sports teams. But this stage also appears in some parts of Africa, South America, Oceania and in the Arctic.
"There is no such thing as coincidence."
50,000 years ago
Sacrifice your own desires in favor of the tribe, the chief, the spirits.
The world is mysterious, full of good and evil spirits that rule the world. The clan and sacred objects must be protected from danger.
Maintaining security and protection, sticking to tribal traditions, ready to sacrifice for the tribe.
One relies on magic, totems, taboos or omens and appeases the spirits. The individual finds security and protection only in the family, in the clan or tribe, accepting the assigned role in the tribe and feeling pride for his tribe or its symbols.
Forms of expression
- Low: Extremely dependent on the chief and / or a cult; anxious to comply with taboos and rituals.
- High: Loyal and trustworthy; finds his strength and safety in a caring chief and / or a helpful family; inspiration from heroic role models.
Tribe led by the Council of Elders (shaman, chiefs). The roles are determined by gender, age, physical strength and so on. The norms of the tribe are sacred and are rigidly defended or require unconditional obedience.
Classical conditioning through the association of various things.
Reflexive, i.e., a paternalistic teacher conditions the desired responses to specific sensory inputs; need-based learning: The learner copies patterns of behavior from others; procedural (step by step), process-oriented, linear sequential operations; Rituals and rites structure everyday life and thus support memory as well as automated behavior. Use of magic / imagination, symbols, drawings, since most are illiterate. Repetitive music supports long-term memory by using songs and smells as anchors.
Information is only forwarded through the clan chief; printed words are perceived as unreliable.
Tangible recognition for learning achievement; interest in everything that enhances safety and helps to satisfy biological instincts.
Proportion of mature population:
3rd Level: egocentric, exploitative Meme
Level of the worker with macho behavior typical in South American countries. Energy is invested in the self-expression, with the aim of achieving immediate satisfaction of the sensual needs and without taking others into account. This form can be found today mainly in repressive political regimes and dictatorships. In addition, this behavior is shown at the outbreak of violence in cities, in wars and between drug gangs.
"I take everything I can get, and it's just a matter of not getting caught."
"The right of the strongest"
"I want everything, right now."
10,000 years ago
Impulsive expression of one's self without consideration for others
The world is full of aggression, hostility, selfishness, and is ruled by power.
Gain and exercise power to satisfy one’s own needs. Power is seen as the only way to satisfy one's own needs and to be able to assert oneself against imaginary or real paternalism. Your own independence is placed above the thinking and feeling of other people. Respect is sought; shame and embarrassing situations are to be avoided.
Ready to use all means necessary to exploit others and maintain power and control. Such individuals have no guilty conscience, they only trust themselves and are very careful not to lose face.
This form of life prevailed in hedonistic empires. Today they are found in dictatorships or in certain reactive stages of child development or in gang wars with exaggerated exercise of power and in some rap music texts.
- Introverted: Cynical, bitter, passive-aggressive and hostile
- Extroverted: Brilliant appearance (clothing, cars), rebellious, risk-taking, want to be the focus of attention
- Low: Self-injurious, rebellious, unable to move within the boundaries of society, extremely exploitative, often lawless and cruel
- High: Spontaneous, energetic, demanding and willing to break traditions, innovative and autonomous
- Individual: Achieve goals, popularity, prestige
- Cultural: Conquering nature, eliciting its secrets, skillful use of resources to ensure a better life for all; the fatalistic dogma is replaced by science and technology, providence and destiny replaced by man's control of his own fate
- Individual: Success is the result of competitiveness, investment of time / energy, risk-taking, free market
- Cultural: Progress as a result of pragmatic strategies of invention; Realpolitik, which acts ideologically and success-oriented; free enterprise, progressive thinking and competition are encouraged
- Low: Deceitful, extremely selfish, unscrupulous; people without a "backbone"
- High: High energy level
- Individual: I + You relationships are at the center, striving for a society through equality and humanity. Instead of material needs the emotional and spiritual are in the foreground.
- Cultural: Society should become egalitarian so as to give every human being the chance to develop to their full human potential. The needs of all people must be treated equally (moral imperative). Achieving this requires persuasive and possibly legal action, as well as consensual decisions, group effort, harmony and peacekeeping.
- Low: Overly indulgent and unrealistic, idealistic. Sensations, feelings are overemphasized, while material results and the manufacture of products lose importance.
- High: Congruent orientation to the interests of others. Individuals radiate inner peace and are well anchored in material reality. Emphasis on warm, responsible interpersonal relationships and social responsibility.
- Low: The primary goal is to secure one's own living conditions. Solving secondary problems is avoided.
- High: Acceptance of different experiences and the emphasis on functionality and the quality of "being" come first.
- Low: "The space cadet."
- High: Prophet
Forms of expression
Empire, strong hierarchy (from top to bottom), strength determines the relationship structure, as long as one is supervised, one works; everyone is only concerned with their own advantage.
Logical arguments and general rules of behavior and courtesy are completely insignificant, it is important to convince other people of their personal advantages.
Operational conditioning through reward for learning success.
Punishment is counterproductive, respect between two parties extremely important; trial and error.
Success must have immediate confirmation, otherwise it is uninteresting.
Proportion of the mature population:
4th Level: absolutist, sacred Meme
In the Graves Model, this plane is primarily conformist:
The typical American middle class, for example, lives in this value system. Present needs are sacrificed in order to receive future rewards: at this stage, the idea of putting off present desires for future reward arises for the first time. The highest commandments are obedience, punishment, and system preservation, and constitute a necessary step in the formation of an orderly and progressive society among developing nations. In pure cultures, we can find this type in doctrinaire religions, absolutist philosophical and political systems. Especially apparent in military and religious hierarchies.
"I sacrifice myself for the cause / organization "
"Do without now, harvest later "
5,000 years ago
Life has a purpose. Do what you want - without any consideration for others.
The world is deterministic and rationally ordered. People, things are classified in rigid categories.
To adapt to the context of order - good and evil, control; feeling of guilt, avoid punishment.
Follow rules, proper existence, support the system through sacrifice and discipline.
Passive hierarchy, rigid rules for structures and rank.
Aversive conditioning "away from", indoctrination by more knowledgeable authority.
You believe in God (biblical Christian) and all Catholic rules. You are loyal to the Bible and believe it to be the truth. There is only this one right way. You are ready to abide by all the rules. You live in stability and orderly relationships.
You are a potential suicide bomber. Throughout your life, you have been disciplined and focused on this task. You know the Koran by heart and know that this and your leader’s wishes is the sacred truth. This makes sense to your life and will give you a reward later after your death.
Proportion of the mature population:
Up to ca. 30%
5th Level: multiplistic, materialistic Meme
The self wants to set and achieve its own goals. It is about material rewards, but in a way that does not awaken the envy and resentment of others. At this level one finds the capitalist and the materialist. This is about calculated self-expression without provoking others, but with the intention of getting the reward right away so that there will be no retaliation later. The materialist believes that he can succeed by skillfully manipulating the system. This stage is the cornerstone of the thinking of modern industrialized nations. It shows up in a highly technological society, as well as in sales, marketing and advertising.
"I want to maximize my profits."
300 years ago
Calculated behavior so as not to excite the anger and resentment of others.
The world is full of wealth, offering unimagined opportunities for each individual and whole cultures.
Materialist worldview of western industrialized nations; dependent on the continuous development in the high-tech area; the majority of the population is very status-conscious and tries to ascend steadily in social status.
Forms of expression
Hierarchy, bureaucratic - status oriented, functional authority is an important feature of decision makers.
Flows from top to bottom and sideways; People are pragmatically interested only in what ends up benefitting them (career, money, reputation)
Expectational learning in that the goal of learning is to satisfy their needs; They need reward to be motivated and they learn best through their own effort and changing learning environments.
Trial and error - experimentation, competitive examples from high-tech. Use of technologies has a motivating effect. Enjoy analyzing and separating objects or reassembling them into something better. An almost compulsive drive to be the best, which often leads to chronic stress and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, mastering the rules of a game is not experienced as an end in itself, but as a means to win. Risk increases the adventure. Should such people lose, they feel themselves as failures and at an end of their possibilities.
Certification, improved status.
You are a very successful young entrepreneur. You are in the market to win and you are very successful. You work a lot and earn a lot of money. You are optimistic, take risks. You use the resources that the earth offers you to lead a life of abundance. You have attended many training programs and know many of the laws of success. You are striving for autonomy and independence. You like competition (people like J. R. Ewing from Dallas).
Proportion of the mature population:
6th Level: personalistic, relativistic Meme
Your own needs are subordinated in favor of others, so that everyone does well together. In this personalistic, humanistic level, energy is diverted in self-sacrifice with the goal of creating prosperity for all. This arises as a result of prosperity and as a response to a technological, alienated and impersonal society. Primary concern is for equality, benefits and humanitarian programs.
"Together, we are stronger."
"Together, we will succeed."
150 years ago
Willingness to self-sacrifice to improve the life for oneself and others.
Rediscovery of basic human values, the world is experienced as impersonalized, materialistic; Man is governed by technology and thus creates a spiritual emptiness that can only be filled by resorting to basic humanistic values.
Make peace with oneself and believe that people need each other. The exploitation of man by man should be stopped, consumer terror and the regulation of people’s lives should be overcome. Seeks to end world hunger, to overcome racism, the oppression of women, social alienation, etc..
The civil rights movement and the human potential movement came into being in the late 1960s and early 1970s (anti-Vietnam movement, hippy movement). Such an attitude is particularly evident in helping professions (social workers, teachers), especially in Scandinavia, and is becoming increasingly important in Japan, Germany and Switzerland. The Civil Rights Movement is a response to the ever-growing alienation and mechanization in highly industrialized societies with the goal of welfare statehood, equality before the law and humanitarian progress.
Forms of expression
Social network involving all parties with equal rights and obligations for mutual benefit; little interest in status and privileges, but rather highlighting the human factor for progress.
Frequent communication in all directions, pursuit of consensus are, in addition to the question of what the individual employee / participant gains from it, are the central themes.
Learning through sympathized experience.
Exploring, observing and taking feelings into account are the first steps in teaching people something. But modeling, feedback sessions, and the teaching of experiential truths should also be taught. Authority figures - unless they can integrate - are rejected, cooperation and acceptance are key to productive learning, while congruence and competition blocks motivation. One possible danger is exaggerated tolerance.
Mutual encouragement and support in the group.
You seek your inner peace. Your feelings and communication with others are much more important to you than cold rationality. You care for other people and build deep relationships with them. You can listen very well. You bring harmony into the lives of many people (Carl Rogers).
Proportion of the mature population:
7th Level: systematic, existential Meme
The self expresses itself in order to be free, but not at the expense of others or the environment. Improving things without being ambitious is a goal of this meme. It responds to competence, reasons and needs, but not to status, eligibility, group or subject matter. Free from internal constraints, the focus is on flexibility, individual competence, self-motivation and understanding of division. People work for systemic, free-flowing, mutable forms of organization that can handle complex processes as well as uncertainty and rapid change.
" Flexibility, spontaneity and functionality have the highest priority "
"There are many possibilities."
50 years ago
But not at the cost of others
The world is in danger of collapsing due to the exploitation of nature and other people. This society sees life as something multifarious, paradoxical, ambiguous polycontextual, in which the balance between man and nature must be found again.
People should be made familiar with nature again and take on the world’s problems. Despite a rapidly changing world, one should live and act in as functional a way as is possible.
The relationship of man to the world must be questioned in order to ensure survival. The theory of autopoietic systems, self-regulation, etc. forms the theoretical background for solution strategies.
People at this level of development strive to improve their performance without being ambitious. They compare themselves with themselves as a person in the past or in the future (ego-ideal). Competence, causes, reason, and necessity count for such individuals, while authority is rejected as well as age, status, dogma, or group affiliation.
The results of their work satisfy them, but they do not like to be over-praised or recognized. They fight for their rights without constantly looking for areas of conflict in their environment. These people are free of inner pressures and can enjoy life, their focus is on flexibility, individual competence, self-motivation and tolerance for paradox. Traditional values and responsibilities are not accepted.
Systemic Flow: For each task, there is an appropriate structure in those organizations that can handle complexity, uncertainty and rapid change.
Emerging gradually in Western cultures in the form of an intellectual attitude or a system of thought (theory of autopoietic systems, second-order cybernetics).
Informative learning - Self-directed access to knowledge and materials.
Forms of expression
Informational learning in all representational systems is possible. Access to learning materials and knowledge should be self-determined and adapted to one's own pace of learning. The learning goals are often unspecific, and the development of the individual proceeds without constraints and without fear. Competition and the desire for recognition do not exist, learners instead use what is available and work in non-structured environments with as much control over their own time as possible.
People set their own learning goals. Rewards as well are generated by the learner and not externally.
You see that the world is in danger of ruin due to some huge ecological or military collapse. The reason is that human and natural resources are being abused. You want to bring people back into contact with nature. You want to constantly improve your own performance. Knowledge and competence should be superior to rank, power and status. The grandeur of existence is much more important to you than material possessions. You are flexible and able to accept different experiences at the same time. For you, only internal motivators count. You write books to save the world from collapse. You recognize systemic relationships and point them out.
Proportion of the mature population:
8th Level: transpersonal, global Meme
The self is willing to sacrifice oneself and others if necessary for global survival. This Graves Model level is the answer to the growing problems of global coordination and global survival. The focus here is on the survival of life on the planet. This goal must be placed above the self and others.
" Everything is connected and must be considered together."
30 years ago
Willingness to sacrifice oneself and others when necessary for global survival.
A world that is on the road to geopolitical collapse, with shortsighted solutions threatening the ecosphere as a whole.
Meta-solutions are to be introduced independent of geopolitical and economic borders. War should be avoided, hunger, disease, political oppression should be overcome.
Overcoming traditional human boundaries and building global networks. New ways of life are discovered that allow each individual to develop without questioning the interests of the whole. Therefore, human needs must be reconciled with the limited resources of the planet. However, one sacrifices oneself or others in order to restore the quality of life or the order of things or not disturb them.
Thinking of Post-New Age spirituality is the basis of this meme.
Forms of expression
Holistic organism in which each part contains the whole. The meta-management should combine competence and consensus in one's own or community interests in such a way that the well-being of the overarching whole is never lost sight of. Complex models are developed in which physics and meta-physics work together on a global information process (theory of the holistic universe, theory of morphological fields). Information from every corner of the globe is integrated to understand and influence the world as a whole, geopolitically and ecologically. Communication:
Available information is used if it is not experienced as imposed.
Experiential learning. This form of learning can be done in any way, not by introducing new "learning toys" but by improving other important aspects of the learning system: for example, the relative dissolution of anxiety in the learning process, which makes it possible to learn faster and more effectively. An exchange with people who live in other states of consciousness is sought. Learning is primarily an interaction with global networks through which people's perceptions and awareness can expand. In the process, it will try out different ways of thinking and acting. Learning will become a new form of being, in the company of a collegial group of fellow thinkers scattered around the world. Thinking is intuitive and transrational or is made possible through holistic-synergistic processing of sensory input, through affective feedback and meta-processing.
Life is learning.
You are one of the leading minds on this planet for the development of consciousness. You experience the wholeness of everything that exists. For you, the world is a single, dynamic organism with its own collective mind. Everything connects to everything. Energy and information determine events on earth. You think holistically and intuitively. You are ready to sacrifice yourself and others if it is necessary for global survival. You are a pioneer of thought who finds and implements meta-solutions to ensure the survival of species beyond conventional geopolitical and economic boundaries. In addition, it is about avoiding war and overcoming poverty, hunger, illness as such, political oppression (Dalai Lama, Ken Wilber, Rupert Sheldrake).
Proportion of the mature population:
The Memes in the Spiral Dynamics Model
Clare Graves’ students have expanded his model and created Spiral Dynamics - one of the most precise models of cultural evolution. But Spiral Dynamics has no one-dimensional perspective and does not look at people at a cold analytical distance, but provides a clear, deep insight into the flowing patterns of the human psyche. Beliefs and values often unconsciously guide our decisions or shape our identity.
Personal experiences are placed in a holistic historical context of human development, which leads to a liberating objectivity. This development is part of every human being and ranges from the most primitive survival instinct (beige) to spiritual aspirations (turquoise). Spiral Dynamics is constructed as a spiral, as it is an expression of natural and cosmic forces that are detectable in everything: the spiral shape is found in our DNA, in our galaxies, etc. ...
The spiral, with its upward-expanding structure, best describes the evolution of human consciousness as it corresponds to its unfolding mindset and its ever-increasing complexity. But this development begins only 100,000 years ago as a "First Tier" (= first level / rank? Memes 1-6) with the need to survive. The "Second Tier" (Memes 7-8) represents the "level of being."
Don Beck and his theory
The "Spiral Wizard" Don Beck uses his model to change large systems within and between the various sectors or cultures of the world community. For such large-scale interventions and transformations, he created a new initiative called "Spiral Dynamics integral" (SDi). It is intended to enable human transformation and worldwide reconciliation. But there is still a long way to go, because according to the concept of Spiral Dynamics, man's nature is not unchangeable:
People can create new worlds, i.e., they can adapt to situations by creating a more complex way of thinking in order to solve problems. This requires an adaptive, context-dependent intelligence that can respond to different living conditions. For Don Beck et al. the focus is always on the causal dynamic forces produced by living conditions as well as coping mechanisms and collective intelligences.
In the concept of Spiral Dynamics, these collective intelligences are called memes: memes (value systems) react like genes, viruses and bacteria to the same elementary principle of the universe, the concept of regenerative capacity. Each successive meme receives another more complex organizational principle with specially calibrated priorities, mentalities and specific baselines. This is a problem-solving method that focuses on what is most important, depending on the response to living conditions.
Similar to the replicating DNA code, a meme code is a bio-psycho-social and spiritual blueprint that spreads throughout culture and manifests itself in all areas of cultural expression. It forms the survival code, the myths of origin, artistic design, lifestyles and sense of community. Crises and conflicts will trigger the shift to the next higher level of human development, yet the spiral will never reach a final stage, but will continue to expand expansively and dynamically. According to Ken Wilber, every new social level transcends all previous ones, but includes them as well. Therefore, the more complex thinking systems also have a higher degree of freedom.
But until the yellow and turquoise codes are reached, a lot of time passes, because memes are not human types, but adaptive intelligences in humans. However, various fragments or components already exist, so sharing and forming a "syndicate of creative minds" is important.
Don Beck: graphic representation
Survival, foraging, reproduction, instinct, abdominal mentality
Forming tribes (tribal), magic, family rituals
Ancestral spirits, tribe members, medicine men
Power, egocentricity, myth, impulses, emotions, revenge
Heroes, powerful gods, Mafia, cowboy
Herd mentality, almighty order, law, rules
Path finders, fundamentalists, bureaucracy, socio-/ethnocentric
Rational, scientific gain, achievement, world-centric, market economy, introspection
Materialists, capitalists, winners
Human bonding, ecology, gender equality, mediation relativistic, multicultural
Humanistic psychologists, constructivists, 60s movement, antiauthoritarian
Integral, aperspectival, holarchical, growth of the whole spiral, integration of systems in systems, win-win relationship
Holonic, self-sacrifice for the world
Prophets, ecologists, Green Peace activists
The development of NLP after Graves
Within 30 years, NLP evolved from Graves Level 4 to Level 7. The first NLP generation (1972) was all about the development of simple steps and techniques.
The blue value system "Create Order" (Level 4 in the Graves Model) describes this stage most closely. Since 1980, the Orange memes developed, whose ideas of success led to huge seminars with fire-walks, strong media presence and persuasion. Parallel to the 5th meme, the 6th Graves Level (green) was created in the form of a sensitive community with seminars that focus on the we-feeling, group dynamics and the game.
At the beginning of the 90s, the fourth generation developed on the yellow 7th Level value system "Integral and Being Motivation": professional NLP training with new respectability, ethics and transformative themes. This includes visionary leadership, tools of the spirit and core transformation. The goal of this stage is to integrate all previous levels well, to increase people’s freedom of choice and flexibility, to develop one's potential on the level of self-motivation and to create space for questions about the meaning of life and creation towards the development of wisdom.
The development stages of humanity are therefore reflected in different stages of development in the providers of NLP:
Progress brings opportunities for material prosperity.
"Success is everything!"
It pays to do profitable business as a self-employed person: capitalism, mastering, owning, manipulating, acquiring knowledge, acting independently, huge seminars with fire-walks and media hype.
Material social development makes it possible to ask the question of meaning.
Communities enable a sense of purpose and personal growth: sensitive, consensual, harmonious, equal rights, team development, playful seminars with group dynamics.
Paradigm shift from Scarcity Motivation to Being Motivation
The prosperity allows completely new thoughts, hopes and breakthrough experiences. Internet age. " Integral, wisdom, ethics, being motivation "
It makes sense to solve existing problems efficiently and effectively from new perspectives and to experience a flow feeling: delphinic, integration of professional NLP training with transformative themes. 8th Stage:
The earth is facing a collapse. There is a danger that humans will destroy it.
Only a consciousness of a higher order and a transpersonal search for global solutions will banish the danger of destruction. Transpersonal