Spiral Dynamics: a tool for our times
I was born into this world as the ‘son of a preacher man,’ a fundamentalist Christian preacher man. Extracting myself out of that particular self-righteous and virulent worldview, which I now perceive as essentially an anti-Life stance rooted in fear, has been a life journey.
Discovering the gifts hidden in that fear-filled childhood is also a life journey, one of emergence not unlike that of the caterpillar giving birth to a butterfly. This is also the metaphorically transformative journey that I now perceive to be facing humanity. It has been written about eloquently in many places, Nori Huddle‘s book, Butterfly, being one of the most beautiful I know of.
As a legacy of this transformative journey however, I now require to let go of a propensity towards perfectionism, towards judgment of self and of others, which I inherited as an essential meme of that Fundamentalist worldview. One ‘tool for our time’ that offers support in this movement is the model Spiral Dynamics, arising out of the work of a psychology professor, Clare Graves.
To help me in this portion of the emergence journey I will be attending a SD certification program in Ashland, OR sponsored by the Thrivability Institute, beginning next week. What I am seeking in this learning process is a greater understanding of Self, and of my own journey.
Inseparable from this is a greater understanding and appreciation of the human evolutionary journey, of where we’ve come from, where we are, and of how we might move forward through this challenging era.
One legacy of my personal journey, arising also out of my propensity for self-righteous judgment of others, is the difficulty and the challenge of communicating with those who hold Fundamentalist worldviews. Given that we live in a world at the proverbial tipping point, where we might collectively regress into a Dark Ages of Fear and Trembling, or where we might awaken into an emergence of the realization and celebration of the Oneness and unity of all life, Spiral Dynamics appears to me to offer ‘support for the journey.’
Finally, the model of Spiral Dynamics integrates beautifully into the model of Wild Resiliency, into that juncture where the Keystone Process of Our Ground of Being – A World in Which to Be, is encountered by The Power of Arrival – A Self in the World. This is a territory where I personally and where humanity often impose upon ‘what is’ – our own preferential map-of-reality; and therein often lies the source of our troubles, and now too, of our opportunities.
Like the Wild Resiliency model, despite whatever prescriptive insights might arise out of it, Spiral Dynamics attempts first to be a descriptive model of the nature of the world, and of our encounter with that. In that alchemical territory is the pregnancy of our future.
Spiral Dynamics is a registered trademark of the National Values Center.