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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Exploring Ego, Power-over, Impulse Control, Social Control - Through the Spiral

 Exploring Ego, Power-over, Impulse Control, Social Control - Through the Spiral


Here are some explorations and ruminations about the way these change up the Spiral in First Tier. It's all speculation. Use my thoughts to catalyze your own thoughts on these matters, for whatever benefit that could bring to your life!



 Alpha male in BEIGE does not get ego gratification from his power-over. He is not doing it to cover psychological insecurity. He is not doing it for the joy of lording it over others. He is not actually CHOOSING to do it. He simply got to his position by being who he is, which is stronger and smarter in physical fights than others. 

The alpha female gets her position by being the chosen mate of the alpha male. She too is just being who she is. Both are simply living and expressing the impulses that arise in their consciousness, much like human infants.

Others in the tribe seem to internally inhibit some of their impulses for fear of getting smacked, damaged, hurt, or exiled/shunned. But neither those actions toward them, nor their fear, are in any way psychological or personalized. There is not that much consciousness of individual identity. 


In PURPLE, social control is via tradition and fear. The fear is not of actions of others, it is of the actions of the spirits that are believed to cause all human experiences, even causing all that happens. Priests and shamans remind people, but do not exert personal power and control and don't get personal gratification from their influence. There is again not that much individual identity. Each is acting according to the role in the tribe that life put them in to. 

There are still alpha males and alpha females, and fringe bachelors, etc., but these are backgrounded to the magical, religious, ways of relating and interacting based on "larger forces" that everyone regards as "real" or "the way it is" (but without the conscious thought implied by using those words.)

Impulse control, to whatever extent it is necessary (because "indoctrination" of children is quite thorough; rarely does an individual consciousness rise out of the cultural mindset,) comes from fear of bringing harm to the group.


 In Red, social control is now a mixture of sheer physical force to cause bodily harm, and the power of the religious clergy, the interpreters and messengers of the will of the gods or God, and there does appear to be some personal gratification from the exertion of such power-over, for both the physical-force lords, tyrants, dictators, royalty, aristocracy, etc., and the religious "leaders."

To whatever extent there is a personal psychology that includes long-standing insecurity, low self-esteem, desire for revenge on imposed force early in life, etc., then gaining social power-over (on any scale) can be used to compensate. Scheming to gain power and status becomes possible, probably for the first time in the spiral, in the maturation of the worldviews.

Power-over is exerted by the religious authorities partly because they have the power to physically harm people and partly because they can use the religion to intimidate people and get the people to control themselves.

Impulse control comes from the mixture of fear of physical harm and the fear of bringing harm to the group.

In Red, the physical power-over of BEIGE is combined with the more consciousness-based power-over related to religious beliefs, so societies have pharoahs and other types of monarchs who wield their physical power-over "authorized" by the gods. Their commands, their dictates, carry both levels of power-over.



In BLUE, social control shifts from predominantly the method of physical force backed up by consciousness-related control via religious beliefs, to predominantly consciousness-related control. Relgiious beliefs tend to get encoded in "the law" which operates by threat or action of physical harm (fines, jail, death) but basically people take on the beliefs and control their own impulses from inside, without direct fear of force. 

In other words, society has shifted from an external kind of impulse-controlling to a more internal thought-policing. People regard their own thoughts as good or bad, and repress or suppress thoughts as well as controlling their action impulses.

This results in less physical violence, a more "peaceful" society from the external point of view, but the internal violence goes way up.

 And the previous methods of social control, of impulse control, are still present and operating, just more in the background.

 The possibilities for exerting power-over are greatly expanded, as there can be personal gratification from one's power to enforce the law, in the criminal justice system, thus compensating for insecurity, or seeking revenge, in ways described above for RED.



  In ORANGE the possibilities and opportunities available in the course of ordinary living to anyone for exerting power-over for personal gratification are again greatly expanded. 

Those opportunities result from the further shift away from power-over based on strength used for physical harm, away from inherited power-over such as monarchs and aristocracy, and away from power-over based on internal thought-policing based on beliefs adopted from ideological, religious, or other consciousness-based authorities.

Impulse control continues to shift toward internal policing, as many people gain more actual personal control over their survival and well-being, and learn to be aware of the increasingly subtle threats to those: one's boss can fire one, but other jobs are probably available, so the threat is definite, but not definitive.

Power-over is thus exerted in myriad ways, and the ability to use that for personal psychological reasons, becomes almost universally available and universally used. Almost everyone has power-over someone, and is subject to power-over by many.

The psychological strain on individuals, of keeping track of and seeking to mitigate all the potential threats, and of dealing with whatever inner conflicts arise from exerting power-over, probably underlies a great deal of the epidemic "stress" of "modern life."



All the above is still going on. There seems to be a sort of reversion to PURPLE in this sense: being included in a group is super-important, so internal impulse control amps up a notch further than even in ORANGE. 

Unlike in PURPLE, however, the fear here is of being extruded from the good emotions and good relationships of one's groups, from the "belonging" experienced by the "self" that has matured through all the previous stages.

Unlike the undifferentiated self-other in PURPLE, self and other are excruciatingly differentiated now, but also excruciatingly undifferentiated in that personal identity is very much dependent on one's identity in one or more groups.

 Thus individual internally-generated impulse-control is far more complex, far more related to emotional/personal relationships than ever before--and still involves everything matured through up to this point. More cause for stress!

Power-over includes all the previous and even more possibilities, by manipulating people emotionally subconsciously. For example, advertising manipulation has many more avenues by which to grab people.

The desire to "fit" in, combined with being subject to economic power-over that operates ever more universally and subtly, opens the door for many of the tyrannies and dictatorships operating in various countries that are basically accepted by the people themselves, "voluntarily."



I wish I could conclude with words of wisdom based on new insights from the above that would help in maintaining both one's social cohesion and one's personal sovereignty. 

Those haven't emerged yet. Surely they would emerge by carrying this inquiry along the maturational spiral, to see "what's next,"  from YELLOW and later.

Stay tuned here, AND add your own wisdom or speculations, via a comment!!


by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
"Amplifying Divine Light in All" is a completely independent church fostering empowerment of people to co-create loving, thriving God-realized lives, and wellbeing for everyone, on a clean, peaceful Earth.

Our main religious purpose and mission is to amplify the Divine Light in everyone. When you read this article, you will agree or disagree with its various points, and then you will know more about what is true for you. Knowing more of your own Truth amplifies your Divine Light. Thus providing/presenting this article is one way for us to accomplish our purpose and mission. 

This article and our providing/presenting it are therefore a central and essential part of our exercise and practice of our religion. 

None of the contents herein are claimed as absolute truth. They represent one possible perspective which might prove useful for you.

All rights reserved under the Common Law. This means please respect our creatorship.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Exploring New Conversations

Exploring New Conversations

Are you among the many people moving through Green and into Yellow/Teal who are getting impatient or bored with trivial, banal, "small-talk?" That seems to be one of the markers of this transition. It seems to me worthwhile to walk around this phenomenon and explore it from several angles. The risk I see is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Four kinds/levels/stages of conversation

One very rich and growthful angle is to study Otto Scharmer's "4 kinds of conversations" analysis. I cannot recommend your study of this strongly enough. (The linked page is a short introduction.)

May you be lucky enough to find a practice group built around this exploration, as I did. It was quite the eye-opener, to deliberately practice each of the 4 kinds of conversation and see what each did to my consciousness.

These 4 kinds of conversations represent a spectrum, or actually several spectra, of development, of purposes for the conversation, etc. They range from "talking nice" (no self-reflection, nothing new) to "debating" to empathetic yet subjective/inquiry-curiosity dialogue, to generative dialogue for co-creation, built on primacy of the whole and aimed at enacting emerging futures.

The function of smalltalk in online conversations

Another angle is to see whether there's a balance between "meaningful conversation" and seemingly useless trivia like acknowledging receipt of an email by a word or two. Let's dive into that.

It seems to be characteristic of Yellow-consciousness businesses and organizations that the small communications that used to be called "politeness" that "greases the social wheels" are common. 

Perhaps that's more necessary in online communications than skin-life conversations, where there is parallel subliminal body-language perceptible conveying the response to a communication. 

Online, the "netiquette" or "culture" in Yellow consciousness seems to be hitting Reply and sending a smile, or brief words like Got it, Wow, Thanks, Hmmmmm, or anything else, often conveyed via an emoticon--that all serves the purpose of letting the sender/speaker know their communication hasn't disappeared into the black hole of internet hyperspace.

The function of smalltalk for Wholeness and Bond-building

Yet another angle is to see that in Yellow consciousness, all previous stages can be drawn upon to form a richer, stronger relationship that is multi-colored. That means seemingly trivial "small talk" about seemingly trivial matters can actually be bond-building, by including all facets of our humanity in the relationship, whether it's about the weather or sports or our relatives. 

All four kinds of conversation in the Scharmer model have their usefulness for bond-building and as "community glue."

Is intolerance of smalltalk narcissistic?

Of course, we have a tolerance limit for trivial talk, most of us can attest. And I would suggest that the greater our intolerance of anything but "meaningful conversation," the more we might be exhibiting a regression to, or hangover from, the "what's in it for me" limited perspective of First Tier--rather than the diversity-embracing, bond-building perspective of Second Tier. 

A good question is: Am I focused only on what I personally find interesting or exciting, or am I sensing what the relationship might benefit from, given my purpose in the relationship, or given my caring for the other person?

Small-talking through the stages

I again strongly recommend reading and studying the reference above to the 4 kinds of conversations because they represent different stages in the development of consciousness.

"Greasing the social wheels" can start as relationship advice to the teenager (or as "say 'Thank You'" to the toddler) from mother in Blue, and continue in Orange from the perspective of a way of getting to my goals via other people. It can show up in Green as empathy, respect, and community-bonding. 

(We might even see it in Red as formal bows, ritual acknowledgments, and attempts to appear or behave as similar to others.)

In Yellow, it seems to have more a flavor of "we are a single system co-creating our shared purpose, so let's communicate as completely as we can, optimize our information flow, for that."

And perhaps in Turquoise, there is more of a felt sense of such responses to communications without the need for overt behavior, even in online situations. "I knew you got it, and I felt your response of amazement/puzzlement/annoyance....."

Can this be a meaningful conversation?

What else could be said for a "generative dialogue?" Leave a comment below!

by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., 
Head Minister, 
Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
"Amplifying Divine Light in All" is a completely independent church fostering empowerment of people to co-create loving, thriving God-realized lives, and wellbeing for everyone, on a clean, peaceful Earth.

Our main religious purpose and mission is to amplify the Divine Light in everyone. When you read this article, you will agree or disagree with its various points, and then you will know more about what is true for you. Knowing more of your own Truth amplifies your Divine Light. Thus providing/presenting this article is one way for us to accomplish our purpose and mission. 

This article and our providing/presenting it are therefore a central and essential part of our exercise and practice of our religion. 

None of the contents herein are claimed as absolute truth. They represent one possible perspective which might prove useful for you.

All rights reserved under the Common Law. This means please respect our creatorship.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Cross-mapping: What are its Limits?

Cross-mapping: What are its Limits?

Exploring the common tendency to seek cross-mapping, especially common among folks exploring the early territory of Second Tier, variously named Teal or Yellow. Cross-mapping is the new crossword puzzle hobby!

If like me you're bumping up against some challenges, here are some insights that might amplify your understanding, as they did mine.

We start with the understandings that "the map is not the territory" and that a territory can usefully be mapped in many ways. For example, a section of land that's a city: we can map the topography, the transportation system, the neighborhood names, the parks, etc. 

The separate maps are very useful, depending on your purpose. Those maps can also be cross-mapped, because they are maps of the same territory, the land. The layers of maps visible in Google maps shows this kind of cross-mapping.

However, when we're talking about cross-mapping of systems of thought, of conceptual frameworks, then it's too easy to assume the territory is the same, and seek our fun in cross-mapping. But then we get bogged down, halfway through the crossword puzzle, with pencil in hand, and conclude that we don't know enough to complete the cross-mapping. 

What if the challenge is really that the territory which SEEMS the same in both systems, is really too different to permit cross-mapping? What if both frameworks SEEM to be for example about the development of consciousness, but they really are about different territories within that broad arena? 

Cross-mapping is extremely useful, besides great fun. Cross-maps advance human understanding very significantly. So we who love it, do it often, and don't give up easily. 

I'm suggesting that when a particular cross-mapping attempt is tooooo challenging, we take a step back and assess: Am I just missing something, should I try harder, do I just lack the skills? Or are these really SUCH different territories that no useful cross-map will be forthcoming even if I try for years, or get help from others to try for years?

When a cross-map attempt is started but not working, those observers of the attempt who know both territories look at it and kinda squint. Hmmm, this glass slipper doesn't fit; this integration feels awkward, forced; things are being called similar which aren't. That's a clue that the territories are actually too different.

An example might be that trying to cross-map the transportation system of a city onto the religions of the inhabitants; it just might not work. 

I address these musing to many of us studying Terri O'Fallon's Stages model, and trying to cross-map that with several other systems/frameworks around "the development/maturation of human consciousness." We're having challenges, but seem to be assuming those are due to our own limitations of skill. 

I'm now thinking: maybe that's not the source of the challenges. What if the territory of consciousness is so vast that there are territories within it--even within a named arena like "development"-- which are simply not cross-mappable?  

So we might give up on trying to advance human knowledge by producing that particular cross-mapping. Wouldn't it be more generative, more usefully advancing of human knowledge, to seek to identify whether we're looking at a difference in territories, rather than reduce them to being regarded as only differing maps of the same territory?

What do you think?

P.S. I cite this historical example of how cross-mapping attempt led to the useful, generative awareness that the territories were indeed too different: Ken Wilber started developing his framework of the development of consciousness with "concrete, subtle, psychic, causal, nondual" at the apex. Then it became clearer to him and many that those referred to a territory they called STATES which were differentiated from the territory called STAGES. The Wilber-Combs Lattice was one attempt to cross-map those. 

Then Terri O'Fallon came along and added another dimension to that two-dimensional cross-map indicating that the territory was even more complex, and that the Lattice itself was an insufficient attempt at cross-mapping. (My interpretation of what she said.)

So at this point we have three named, discretely mapped territories: states, state-stages, and structure-stages. And cross-mapping attempts continue.

My ending comment is that by all means I encourage us all to persist in attempts at cross-mapping when we feel called. And at some point, if challenges abound, we could step back and consider whether the territories are different. How might we advance human knowledge by identifying them rather than by producing our desired cross-map?

by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
"Amplifying Divine Light in All" is a completely independent church fostering empowerment of people to co-create loving, thriving God-realized lives, and wellbeing for everyone, on a clean, peaceful Earth.

Our main religious purpose and mission is to amplify the Divine Light in everyone. When you read this article, you will agree or disagree with its various points, and then you will know more about what is true for you. Knowing more of your own Truth amplifies your Divine Light. Thus providing/presenting this article is one way for us to accomplish our purpose and mission. 

This article and our providing/presenting it are therefore a central and essential part of our exercise and practice of our religion. 

None of the contents herein are claimed as absolute truth. They represent one possible perspective which might prove useful for you.

All rights reserved under the Common Law. This means please respect our creatorship.

Friday, December 8, 2017

What Makes a Community?

What Makes a Community?

While this post isn't specifically about exploring Second and Third Tier, it contains a wealth of information useful for satisfying the longing for "community" that is so widespread among everyone--and that is especially poignant for those on the fringes of societal mainstream, like most readers here.

Some of the information is old, as I have copied this from a private blog in an online forum that I did back when, but I offer it in the spirit of helpfulness, and would love to hear how you use it. 
For some reflections more specifically on Second and Third Tier "community" you might check out these other blogposts:
Exploring Group Shadows of Teal Groups/Organizations
How Second Tier Functioning Might Show Up in Group Processes
or any others with the tag "we-space" or "groups"
Original exploration around the concept of community:
Are we really a community, or are we just a collection of people who choose to be in the same section of cyberspace? How can we know whether we are a community or a collection? And does it make any difference?? Well, if it makes a difference to you, please read here and add your perspectives and preferences.

The people riding a bus are not a community. The people viewing a movie in a theatre are not a community. The cast of a play might or might not be a community. A family might or might not be a community. 
The people living in the same town are called "a community" but are they always? The people in a church might or might not be a community. The people within a business might or might not be a community, usually not. A sports team might or might not be a community. A social club or common-interest group (which perhaps we are the closest to) might or might not be a community. 
An organization gathered "for a cause" might or might not be a community. Sometimes a collection, like people on the same cruise ship, can become what might be called a "community" in an emergency they face together.

Reasons for thinking about definitions of community: What would be benefits of this exploration be, for our community??

I think it would be very worthwhile for us together to look at some definitions of "community", because the more we know about who we are, the easier it might be to come up with our Vision, Mission, Purpose, and Values which are the foundation for our co-created structure and processes.

Another reason for arriving at a common shared definition of our community-ness is so new people can sense whether they belong here, and can have realistic expectations for what their experiences here might be, so they don't end up disappointed because we aren't the "kind of community" they were expecting us to be. 
Obviously, with so many diverse meanings to the term (see below) there is plenty of room for clashing expectations of who we are. Some commonality would promote harmony here.

Different kinds of community, and what makes a community?

Everything below is from Wikipedia. I have bolded the ideas or phrases which I personally feel are most relevant to the kind of community we are or could become, and it's easy to get lost in so many options described, but I believe it's worth reading them so we understand the CONTEXT in which our Community might exist. We can know more about the kind of community we have chosen to be, out of the many options available to us.

Here's Wikipedia's summary of the concept of "community" (and longer discussion) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community  [links have been stripped in the copying and pasting process and footnote numbers have been removed as distracting in this post.]

In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting species sharing a populated environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Why Green is not just a minor transition phase between Orange and Teal

Why Green is not just a minor transition phase between Orange and Yellow/Teal*

I hear some folks interested in Teal organizations who are suggesting the view that Green is not a true stage of development but merely a transition phase. That view wouldn't be tenable after reading the original Spiral Dynamics book, in my opinion, but short of such a reading, here's my own attempt to respond, out of my own distress.

I've been distressed hearing that view because I feel it is dangerous: it will cause failure and suffering for those who attempt to live by it.** I'd like to try to articulate why I feel that way. I haven't the bandwidth now to go hunting for examples, but they are visible in the pages of Enlivening Edge Magazine. Perhaps you, a reader, can make a comment below with one.

Green is not only a full stage, it is the necessary foundation of the Teal stage. Green is the capstone of the First Tier, and the only basis from which one can move fully and healthily  into Second Tier's first stage, which is Yellow/Teal. It is the only healthy springboard into Second-Tier consciousness.

I think to view Green as a mere phase is to not fully "get" the huge difference between 1st and 2nd Tier, and the role of Green in making that difference possible. Green is where the heart comes online in human development, put most simply. It is a radical expansion of the capability of a wide circle of concern. It is, we could say, a huge move in widening individual ego's scope of concern, awareness, and care. 

Without that foundation, one cannot truly move into the scope of care and concern and awareness required for the leap into Teal/Second Tier, which involves building on that concern with wider systems-awareness, but with a quantum leap beyond any previous stage leap.

That's why Graves called it a Tier leap, not a stage development, between Green and Teal. Green still has the right-wrong, either-or mentality, despite how inclusive its values are. Green is, for example, very intolerant of intolerance. Teal and 2nd Tier is where inconsistencies like that disappear, for the first time in human development. Teal is the first FULL universality of care and concern. Because others are fully real in their wholeness, Teal develops a "both-and" synergistic approach to life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Exploring "Promises" Through the Spiral of Development

Exploring "Promises" 
Through the Spiral of Development

(Here, Teal = Yellow.)
Here's a riff to continue a conversation I'm having with friends!
On page 34 of his book Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community:Changing the Nature of the Conversation, outlining the A Small Group process, Peter Block says
“Promises that matter are made to peers, not those made to those who have power over us (parents, bosses, leaders). The future is created through the exchange of promises at the local level with whom we have to live out the intentions of the change.
It is to these people that we give our commitments, and it is they who decide if our offer is enough – for the person and for the institution. Peers have the right to declare that the promise made is not enough to serve the interests of the whole. As in each act of refusal, this is the beginning of a longer conversation.”
He also says:
"Commitment is a promise made with no expectation of return. It is the willingness to make a promise independent of either approval or reciprocity from other people.

The distinction is between a promise made for its own sake and a barter agreement. Barter is an exchange of agreements that are contingent on the actions of another. I will do this if you will do that.

This means that we hold an "out" for ourselves dependent on whether other people fulfill their part of the bargain. This reciprocity works as an element of commerce. It falls short of the level of commitment that creates a new future.

The declaration of a promise is the form that commitment takes and is the action that initiates change. The word promise brings a sacred element into the conversation and this is what generates power and new energy."
Promises in First Tier Worldviews:

In my view, this is healthy Green-consciousness, coming out from healthy Orange. The value of keeping one's word starts with the Red emphasis on loyalty, sworn oaths of allegiance. It moves in Blue as dedication/loyalty to the authority and the "cause," to the "contract" created by a higher authority that is "take it or leave it," being an unquestioning part of the "us."

Particularly Orange emphasizes making and keeping agreements with equals, as "contracts between individuals" are the basis for many relationships within Orange. The system of Orange-consciousness in society depends on people keeping their word, doing what they said they would do, being honest, etc. That's basic to healthy Orange; as Block said it, reciprocity works as an element of commerce.

In my view, the wording used by Block takes it into Green by talking about creating the future (the implication is, TOGETHER,) and "peers with whom we have to live out the intentions...."  

The phrase "the interests of the whole" probably shades into Yellow/Teal, but IMO just dipping the toe in. In fact, it might even be a Blue "shadow," if the interests of the whole are viewed as opposed to the interests of the individual! Yellow/Teal knows how to harmonize those interests.

What is the social function of promises?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Exploring Group Shadows of Teal Groups/Organizations

Exploring Group Shadows of 
Teal Groups/Organizations

Here is a checklist of some Teal-group shadows I have observed over the years. A group shadow is a pattern of group interactions (involving some or all the group members) which can be observed to be detrimental to the well-being of the group and to its actions/results/expression of its Evolutionary Purpose. 

These are patterns I've seen and experienced in groups nominally or even predominantly operating in Teal/Yellow consciousness. At the end below, I talk briefly about how this list might be USED by a group.

The list is not in any particular order.


1. Someone comes up with a tension and others assume or discern it is individual, "from ego," or "defensive," instead of actually looking to see whether it is indeed a systemic/group matter/tension. It could be valid and useful for the group to consider EVEN IF the individual is coming from ego-shadow. Both-and, not either-or. By "shooting the messenger" down (into silenced invalidation) without reflecting, potential collective intelligence is lost.

2. Individuals in a self-management environment are often still tethered to old habits of consciousness/behavior, and, for example, seek consensus before acting (Green) or seek permission before acting (Orange.) This becomes a group shadow if others, due to their own individual shadows, don't realize this and call attention to it. 
One effect detrimental to the group is that things don't get done even though they might have been good for the group. Also, the self-inhibiting breeds resentment in those who won't act without consensus or permission; that contaminates the relational space and reduces their enthusiasm for contributing to the thriving of the whole group.