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Spiral Dynamics and where we are in history
#1
A few people have posted about Spiral Dynamics by now. This is a 1990s theory that has continued to circulate through the world of ideas, and our friends Rags and Chas and others have posted about it on 4T sites. Even Bob Butler, who doesn't want to look at it, actually proposes and argues for it, although in somewhat different terms.

[Image: spiraldynamics2.jpg]

Mr. Beck and Mr. Cowans wrote the book in 1996 that has spread the theory around, based on earlier work by psychologist Dr. Clare Graves, and with a background that includes many traditions going back to late Roman times at least.

Other authors have updated the work, including Steve MacIntosh in his great book:
http://www.stevemcintosh.com/books/integ...ciousness/

And this is a wonderful site that explains the theory:
http://spiraldynamicsintegral.nl/en/

In brief, it proposes that history unfolded in developmental stages, also called successive values memes, which some people today still occupy even if others have moved on and "transcended and included" them in a more-advanced stage. Each phase has a color as well as an alpha-numeric label. The colors are more recognizable:

Beige = the phase when the instinct for survival was still uppermost, and people associated in families. Circa the times from when we became homo sapiens sapiens until about 40,000 or 30,000 years ago.

Purple = the phase when we organized into tribes and told stories around the campire, worshipped and feared spirits and ancestors and relied on magical thinking. Circa the time of cave paintings up until about 4,000 years ago.

Red = the phase when war lords and emperors conquered territory, when people worked with metals also used for weapons, sought personal fame and glory, and worshipped male power gods; up until about 300 AD.

Blue = the phase of authoritarian mono-theist tradition when righteous morals were imposed to control behavior and enlist loyalty to the group. Up to about 1650 AD.

Orange = the "Enlightenment" phase of individualism and rational science enlisted to achieve material progress, and of secular humanism, the free market and the advance of democratic republican government. Up to the 1960s, or about the 1890s-1900s, depending on the author.

Green = the phase when feelings and respect for diversity are valued more highly, greater community is sought, and peace and environmental movements are happening. Since the 1960s, at least.

Yellow = a new phase, now emerging since the 1990s among a minority of people, who are interested in theories like Beck and Cowan proposed; called "integral," in which a hierarchy of values and excellence is recognized again, in an adaptable way in which all the value traditions are recognized as valid on their own level in a systemic order. "The world is a complex, self-organizing, natural system that requires integral solutions." People develop "Authenticity, systemic thinking and skills to become an instrument for the greater whole and access to a free (holistic) consciousness." 
http://spiraldynamicsintegral.nl/en/

Turquoise = a proposed future phase in which dedication to the whole and spirituality will predominate over individual quest for excellence in systemic thinking. Perhaps an updated version of blue.

From MacIntoch's book:
[Image: spiraldynamics.jpg]
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#2
It's a great theory, and like Generations/Turnings theory recognizes patterns in an integrated whole. You could say Strauss and Howe are part of "integral consciousness." Of course, although it recognizes rhythms, it is spiral; not just cyclic.

But, it's not quite accurate enough for my taste.

Even Bob might agree, because it does not recognize the dawn of agriculture as an epochal phase. It jumps straight from the cave men of the old stone age hunting culture to the warriors and emperors who enlisted the passion and loyalty of humanity in the violent projects of conquest and empire. And today's feminists might start to wonder, where was the age of goddess and fertility worship, when matriarchy prevailed in some places? How about the age of relative peace when villagers and city-dwellers built stone circles and temples everywhere to their ancestors which aligned with the stars and the cycles of the sun and moon? The pre-agricultural tribes didn't build these structures, and the Mars-era people stopped building them. The age of sacrifice and bliss which Joseph Campbell wrote an entire book about, when the cycle of fertility was venerated above all else? When people were organizing in early civilizations and towns beyond mere tribes, and specializing into different occupations and about 4 classes of people, and dependent on agriculture rather than hunting and gathering-- but not yet engaged in working with metals and constant warfare, veneration of power and violence, and personal advancement?

And it neglects the fact that the late middle ages and Renaissance were constantly engaged in the battle of church versus state, and the increasing power of ever-more powerful lords and kings engaged in reducing feudal anarchy into recognized, dynastic nation states. Church and State are not the same. That was the whole issue that preoccupied the people making history in those times. The move toward secularism and recognizing realities rather than religious dogma was progressing long before the "modern" age of industry and progress began.

And it is common for Americans to neglect the huge role that socialism, Marxism and communism have played in shaping society since the middle of the 19th century. And this industry-based, labor-movement culture is certainly not the same as today's feeling-oriented, eco-feminist, multi-cultural and politically-correct, anti-hierarchy, anti-racist green, post-modern culture.

And wasn't there a transition from an earlier phase even before beige? Humans go back millions of years.

So that's why I developed my own updated version of spiral dynamics.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#3
The astrological planets make excellent symbols of the value phases in human development. As explained here:





Except, of course, for Pluto and the asteroids! And Uranus equals "Rahu" and Neptune equals "Ketu" as used by this Vedic astrologer.

Many of the astrological Planets are also represented for us in Gustav Holst's suite "The Planets."




So this is not about the contention that planets influence human events at specific times and cycles, but it is about that the astrological planets correspond to the values memes in human development. They make good symbols of the archetypes of human experience. As above, so below.

http://philosopherswheel.com/planetarydynamics.html

[Image: planets.jpg]
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#4
So, with the planets as guides to the phases of human development, we can construct a more accurate version of spiral dynamics.

I added Earth as a symbol of early humans.

Venus as the symbol of the agricultural, peaceful, goddess-venerating epoch.

Saturn as the symbol of the age of kings and early secular renaissance science.

Neptune as the symbol of communism and socialism, as well as the revival of mysticism. Collectivism in general.

With the other planets, including Pluto/Kuiper Belt, Chiron and centaurs, and Eris/scattered disk objects, aligning with the phases already recognized in spiral dynamics.

And the occultists have another model in which the planets are aligned in just the same way, in the right order: the kabbala's Tree of Life symbol:

[Image: treeoflife%20pd.jpg]

The Earth represents the age of early humans (tan). Up until about 200,000 or maybe 75,000 years ago.

The Moon (beige) is the age of instinct and family development, and early culture. Up to about 40,000 years ago

Mercury (purple) which represents brethren and relatives, as well as communication and (esoterically) magic, is the age of magical thinking and tribal consciousness. Up to about 10,000 years ago.

Venus (pink) is the age of agriculture, fertility and goddess-worship, stone circles and temples and towns. Up to about 4200 years ago, the time of Sargon.

As we pass through the center circle, we arrive at civilization (yellow), about 3000 BC. The Tree of Life symbol is geo-centric, so astronomically the center circle is the Earth.

Mars (red) is the age of warriors and conquerers, metal work, ambition. Up to the time of Constantine, 300 AD.

Jupiter (blue) is the age of faith; of rule and advancement by authoritarian traditional religion, church, and religious empires. Up to Edward I, Phillip the Fair, Giotto, 1300 AD.

Saturn (brown) is the age of kings, secularism, early-science in visible realms, facing reality, and developing human perspective. Up to the Revolution.

Uranus (orange) (Rahu) is the age of revolution, democratic individualism, free market, industry, science of the invisible, inventions, electricity, eccentricity, the occult, progress, modernism. Advancing rapidly since Uranus' discovery in 1781.

Neptune (lemon) (Ketu), the great solvent, is the age of socialism, communism, labor movements, collectivism, social programs, and also romanticism, mysticism, impressionism. Since Neptune's discovery in 1846, and assuming greater power circa the 1890s-1900s.

Pluto and Kuiper Belt (green), the two-in-one dual planet discovered in 1930, whose Moon Charon was discovered in 1978, is the age of diversity and greenpeace; feminism, multi-culturalism, post-modern relativism, inclusiveness, sensitivity, human potential movements, gestalt psychology, polarization, interdependence, the information age. Since the 1960s, and increasing in power recently.

Chiron and centaurs (yellow). Chiron, discovered in 1977, and known as the wounded-healer in mythology, represents a link between the visible and invisible; tools of growth and transformation, personal high tech (Apple founded 1977) , and integral consciousness that seeks to include earlier values in a greater whole. Other centaurs were discovered in the 1990s, along with the Kuiper Belt (see Pluto). Centaurs are temporary asteroids that fall from the Kuiper Belt below Neptune and Uranus, but not below Jupiter, and eventually become comets. So they represent the phase of regression we are going through now. We have regressed pretty far, going through all these older values down to Mars with Dubya and Trump.

Ultimately, the full dawn of integral consciousness is represented by The Sun at the Center of the Tree of Life symbol, when the stages are truly integrated and not just regressed to.

Eris and scattered disk objects (turquoise) represent a future time when progress resumes in full and we can expand our consciousness to the galaxy and the Spirit of the Whole. Since Eris has been discovered, it may be dawning among some people in the 21st century, and it may represent today's resistance to regression since Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003 when Eris was discovered.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#5
So the main symbol of our time is the discovery of Chiron in 1977 and the other Centaurs in the 1990s. Their nature is that of Kuiper Belt objects pulled down from their height by the gravity of Neptune and Pluto. They are temporary and revolve mostly between Neptune and Jupiter. After a million years or so, they become comets as they fall toward the Sun.

Symbolically, then, in terms of our planetary dynamic progression, they represent regression. Ultimately, the lesson they teach is to integrate all the value memes through which we have evolved into an adaptable, working whole. But in these first years after discovery, they represent the regression we have endured since Chiron was discovered during Carter's presidency. We have in effect fallen below Neptune again, and have regressed through the worst aspects of each planet down to Mars.

This is a regression unheard of before in America, at least, and what happens in America is important, and may be and has been copied by Europe and elsewhere. It explains why some people call this era a mega-unravelling. But it's not an unravelling; it's a regression.

The charming actor made the most of Carter's failing and bad luck. We fell from "socialist, collectivist" Neptune as Reagan pronounced government as the problem. Self-reliance and free enterprise were given free rein again. This is the worst side of Uranus, which had given us the "free market," the industrial revolution and bourgeois power. Libertarian economics was made supreme, and so it remains. But we also regressed down to Saturn, symbol of "big government" itself and all its hierarchy and oppressive flaws, and government that may no longer protect our rights. And what do we get when, with Uranus, we strip away big government? The real bosses; the corporations have taken over. It also represents regression from the spirituality and interest in the paranormal from the consciousness revolution back to dogmatic science-- the ideology that has taken over wikipedia and public broadcasting. And science itself is under attack, especially by those opposed to environmentalism, to which we had arisen with Pluto. So science has to defend itself again. Saturn represents pessimism and cynicism that has become so prominent since the 1980s. Below Saturn is Jupiter, which has returned in its most distorted form as the religious right, and also as radical Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. Little more need be said about what turmoil this has caused since the moral majority came to power in 1980 in the USA, and the Ayatollahs took over in Iran in 1979. And by the time George W. Bush was elected, Empire was in power again too in the Project for a New American Century and the USA invasion of Iraq. Trump now represents this reactionary Mars in power incarnate.

So we have regressed. Will we learn anything, and will we come out of this regressive crisis alive and intact as a nation and world? What lessons is this regression through distorted, outdated value memes supposed to teach us?
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#6
(04-23-2017, 02:44 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: So the main symbol of our time is the discovery of Chiron in 1977 and the other Centaurs in the 1990s. Their nature is that of Kuiper Belt objects pulled down from their height by the gravity of Neptune and Pluto. They are temporary and revolve mostly between Neptune and Jupiter. After a million years or so, they become comets as they fall toward the Sun.

Symbolically, then, in terms of our planetary dynamic progression, they represent regression. Ultimately, the lesson they teach is to integrate all the value memes through which we have evolved into an adaptable, working whole. But in these first years after discovery, they represent the regression we have endured since Chiron was discovered during Carter's presidency. We have in effect fallen below Neptune again, and have regressed through the worst aspects of each planet down to Mars.

This is a regression unheard of before in America, at least, and what happens in America is important, and may be and has been copied by Europe and elsewhere. It explains why some people call this era a mega-unravelling. But it's not an unravelling; it's a regression.

The charming actor made the most of Carter's failing and bad luck. We fell from "socialist, collectivist" Neptune as Reagan pronounced government as the problem. Self-reliance and free enterprise were given free rein again. This is the worst side of Uranus, which had given us the "free market," the industrial revolution and bourgeois power. Libertarian economics was made supreme, and so it remains. But we also regressed down to Saturn, symbol of "big government" itself and all its hierarchy and oppressive flaws, and government that may no longer protect our rights. And what do we get when, with Uranus, we strip away big government? The real bosses; the corporations have taken over. It also represents regression from the spirituality and interest in the paranormal from the consciousness revolution back to dogmatic science-- the ideology that has taken over wikipedia and public broadcasting. And science itself is under attack, especially by those opposed to environmentalism, to which we had arisen with Pluto. So science has to defend itself again. Saturn represents pessimism and cynicism that has become so prominent since the 1980s. Below Saturn is Jupiter, which has returned in its most distorted form as the religious right, and also as radical Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. Little more need be said about what turmoil this has caused since the moral majority came to power in 1980 in the USA, and the Ayatollahs took over in Iran in 1979. And by the time George W. Bush was elected, Empire was in power again too in the Project for a New American Century and the USA invasion of Iraq. Trump now represents this reactionary Mars in power incarnate.

So we have regressed. Will we learn anything, and will we come out of this regressive crisis alive and intact as a nation and world? What lessons is this regression through distorted, outdated value memes supposed to teach us?

-- ok the next stop is Earth. Does that mean we'll be home?
Heart  Sherrod/Tulsi 2020    Heart
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#7
I think we need to progress again. We need to move more fully into the yellow meme. This might mean the yellow center, yes, but that will depend on true integration rather than mere regression where we're still stuck now.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply


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