Friday, January 4, 2008

Spiral Dynamics: Theory of Human Development overview

Spiral Dynamics is a theory of human development introduced in the 1996 book Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Chris Cowan.
The book was based on the theory of psychology professor Clare W. Graves and Ken Wilber has popularized these ideas in a series of books.
It will help you understand how and why the hell people are acting like they do. It gives a non-conspiratorial view of history which you know, can help keep you somewhat sane :p though it doesn't excluse those theories obviously. It is just a theory, the map is not the territory!

I was gonna make my own table explaining more comprehensively summarizing different summaries (language implosion lol) linked under here, instead I'll wait a little since myspace bulletins doesn't support tables (which bright dude came up with screwing the code of everything in myspace anyway) overview overview
Spiral Dynamics wiki
Clare W.

Here's one overview, you need to read several links to do the theory justice though, instead I'll give some additional remarks, optimally start reading these images from the bottom:

Here are some examples, I'm not an expert mind you, I'll make a much better overview on my site once I, well, once I feel like it :p
1 beige: This stage has been completely passed, maybe feral children fit in here still.
2 purple: Tribal societies.
3 red: African war states.
4 blue:Deeply religious countries for instance, the conservative American mindset and the Middle East (yes, in the same freaking stage :p). Truthforce is a terrible label in my opinion, Dogmaforce would be better.
5 orange: The materialistic, money over principle & ethics, yuppies, this is capitalist America, the entire West, and now emerging China and Asia. The individual over the group, I loathe this stage :p. Most people we know are probably in this stage.
6 green: Fitting color, hippies! What capitalist countries should strive more to. Really the only country that fits in here would be the Netherlands, more understanding and help for drug addicts, a decent immigration policy and working towards good integration, though recently after the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh they have been degrading back to 5. I mean you have a politician of the "Party of Freedom" saying "People are equal, but cultures are not." lol. Let's hope they regain their spiral dynamic Green politics.
7 yellow: Some of the true heroes of history most likely reached this stage, the stage of questioning yet accepting. Flexibility. Change is the norm here and uncertainty an acceptable state of being. It's where the spirit of this blog is mostly located at the moment.
8 turquoise: Holistic, transpersonal, interconnected, collective individuality.
9 coral: Next neurological capacities. The theory is open-ended up to the limits of Homo sapiens' brain.
10? The theory is open-ended, with the possibility of more systems ahead.

More on integral theory at's ken wilber page