Re: Spiral Dynamics
From: Fred-List manager (
Date: Sat, 30 May 2015 03:43:59 -0700 (PDT)
        Diana Leafe Christian <diana [at]>
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--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------
         David Heineman wrote :

      >     So is "green" the color the Charles Reich refers to in "The
      > Greening of America"?  This is a book that got a large currency in the
      > 1970's, and featured "green" as "Consciousness III".
> P.S.> -- What color is mainstream Western culture?

Hello David and all,
     David wrote: So is "green" the color the Charles Reich refers to in
Greening of America"?  This is a book that got a large currency in the
1970's, and featured "green" as "Consciousness III"
P.S. -- What color is mainstream Western culture?

   I don't think the color green, chosen by Don Beck and his coauthor in
the book, Spiral Dynamics, to describe that particular paradigm or "meme"
on the spiral, is because of Charles Reich's book (which I read too, back
in the day). It's hard to know why these authors chose the colors they did,
or why Ken Wilber uses some of the same and some different colors for these
different paradigms. Re the colors (plural) of Western culture, I'd feather
tell you the values and characteristics first and colors also, but the
colors don't seem to "match." I think they're just used as a memory device,
to help one understand one paradigm from another. So, just before green is
the one that's about appreciating innovation and inventions and maximizing
them for profit and making as much money as one can and achieving as much
visible financial and social-position as one can as in "Look at me, I'm
successful" (identified as orange)). The one before that, also present in
mainstream Western culture, is about obedience to authority figures and
fairly rigid roles, like one finds in (the military, various religious
hierarchies, corporate hierarchies, etc. as in "Follow the rules and be
rewarded later for obedience (identified as blue). And the one  before
that, also present in Western culture  is about power-over, particularly in
invading other countries and creating empires with other countries that
obey and maybe send tribute, etc) (identified as red). At the risk of being
simplistic, in my layperson's way of describing this, most of us have
several of these paradigms within us, but most of the time we primarily act
from one of them. The point of learning spiral dynamics is to have
compassion and understanding for those who aren't anything like you and
whom you might otherwise be baffled or frustrated by, or even horrified by.
And to be able to communicate in a way that meets people where they are
(not where you are, necessarily) and ddresses the values and practices of
whomever you're trying to help, serve, influence, do business with, or
advocate for something, and so on. As in not only "know thyself" but also
"know all those other folks operating in other paradigms too."
     I hope this is helpful and not confusing. There are online articles
and youtube videos and some other books besides Beck's _Spiral Dynamics._
    Some quick news -- I really enjoyed working with Jerry Koch-Gonzalez'
in our pre-conference workshop on Sociocracy/Dynamic Governance today at
the national cohousing conference, Lots of interesting people took the
workshop and many of them said they were inspired by the overview they got
and want to learn more. The conference is sold out and there are about
460-some participants, I think. I'm impressed!

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