Version Feb. 4, 2022
Please note these
descriptions are entirely my own, and might not be agreed with even by others
who have extensively and deeply studied Spiral Dynamics for 15 years or more,
as I have.
Please note the different
worldviews are stages of maturation of consciousness. None can be skipped
because they are cumulative. It is also true that both individuals and
communities are operating from several worldviews at a time: some are being
outgrown, some are being learned and matured, and some are coming in. Also which
one is in the foreground of experience and behavior varies with situation, as
we can draw on all our earlier worldview skills and capacities to best deal
with any current situation.
For each worldview stage, the
following are described:
What the predominant
relationship between individual and community looks like
begin to prompt maturation to the next worldview stage
What the primary
individual vs community tension is within that worldview
perspectives, and skills related to creating community get acquired in that
worldview and are available in all later worldviews.
result is a flyover of the subject, and your comments to help expand
the conversation are invited below. In particular, far more could be
said about group decision-making methods as those evolve through the
BEIGE Worldview stage
There aren’t BEIGE individuals or communities
available in our experience today, but the following points relevant to this
topic might be made:
No community can be healthy
and functional all the way down to our human roots, unless the following BEIGE
capacities and concerns are adequately included in the community design:
Personal safety is,
if not fostered by being in community, at least not endangered by it
Ability to meet
basic survival needs are not diminished by the community, and ideally are fostered
Ways of sensing
and adjusting to differences in perceived status of various individuals, for
various reasons and according to various criteria, are made transparent and
brought into accord with shared community values
A deep sense of
embeddedness in Nature is part of the fabric of the community. The community
itself is sustainable within its physical and social environments.
PURPLE Worldview stage
We in our modern lives are
unlikely to encounter any actual groups or individuals predominantly in this
stage, but as maturation is cumulative, we all have some PURPLE consciousness operating
There is no sense of self
or of community. They are fused,
undifferentiated. It is nearly impossible for a modern human to get into this
worldview perspective on self and community. The self is one’s role in the
community, and the community is me/us versus “them” in another tribe.
This worldview begins to
be outgrown when there is a dawning
differentiation, often of “will.” There appear feelings of difference and
disagreement with the elders who run the show or the gods that must be appeased
for tribal survival. A sense of self distinct from family and tribe begins, and
this new self rejects any community not defined by or oriented around self.
The primary self-community
tension in PURPLE is
probably that individuals do have enough sense of self to be sometimes
disgruntled with the results of the default community decision-making
methods of doing what the elders, or chief, or shaman (who knows what
the gods want and need) specify.
What gets carried forward from PURPLE into RED is the capacity to feel a sense
of belonging, and the desire and ability to be a useful contributing member of
a community, adapting one’s own impulses to community needs for survival and
thriving of the community itself and of the individuals involved.
RED worldview stage
The relationship of
individual to community is that it’s
all about me, and I define my community of people who are loyal to me. I impose
my will on the community, and am ok using force to do that. It has to be what I
want it to be, and if you don’t go along, you are out.
This worldview perspective
on individual and community begins to be outgrown when the survival advantages of being in a more
cooperative group, drawing on the skills and wisdom within the group, become
more valued than the imposition of my own will on what the group does.
The primary self-community
tension in RED can
sometimes be torn loyalties between various groups one owes (or is
forced) obedience to, and can sometimes be that since decisions are made
by the strongest person, even with wise advisors, those decisions can
be met with rebellion by individuals not aligned.
What gets carried forward
from RED into BLUE is self-awareness of personal wants,
needs, likes and dislikes, and of personal boundaries. And the capacity
self-expression honoring one’s own integrity and authenticity. RED (with
some BLUE bureaucratic methods) is capable of forming and operating
vast empires, which include nested and inter-related communities, so
what gets carried forward compared to the PURPLE tribal scale is that
individuals become capable of operating in more than one community at a
BLUE Worldview stage
The relationship between
self and community tips in favor of
inhibiting self-expression to conform to the design created by accepted
authorities. Community is composed of like-minded people who accept the same
authorities and their dictates about behavior.
This begins to be outgrown when limitations on self-expression become annoying, and
when one’s own truth begins to differ from that of the authority. Also personal
desires and goals begin to feel more important than the goals of the community/authority.
The primary self-community
tension in BLUE is possibly related
to the need to suppress much of the self to abide by the “One Right Way” to
live, feel, think, and behave as specified by their ideology or religion or the
design of the authority. This gets to be an inherently uncomfortable level of
self-censorship or self-suppression for individuals maturing out of BLUE.
Capacities carried forward from BLUE into ORANGE and later worldviews include
the ability to subordinate personal will to something larger than one’s own
person. To see self as part of a bigger picture, and to desire to serve a
greater purpose. Also within BLUE we learn to regard social rules, designs,
plans, and agreements as being sourced from self; in BLUE this involves
subordination of self, and while it continues to change through the stages, not
until somewhere in TUQUOISE does this become a lived experience of the
relationship of self and community.
ORANGE Worldview stage
The relationship between
self and community is that self predominates,
but not the RED self. It’s been tempered through BLUE community focus and cause
focus. In healthy ORANGE, self is seen in relationship to an even larger
community beyond “the faithful:” we are all of humanity. Self has the
flexibility to “go with the program” where that will contribute to personal
achievement and success, and to use the program to further personal goals. ORANGE
can create communities focused on living a better (outstanding, extraordinary,
better than others’) life, or creating a better world for everyone.
People seek to align others
to their community by argument and persuasion. Rationality and mental ways of
functioning are highly valued. Agreements are sacrosanct and are the primary
way the community operates. The resulting predictability of behavior enables
the community to focus on how to achieve its goals, rather than on coping with
Consensus material reality is
seen to be the ultimate arbiter of truth, and the difference between consensus
or scientific fact and individual opinion is seen to be a central issue in all
kinds of relationships, including communities. The scientific method is the
ultimate way to know truth, and if that fails, then the BLUE-oriented fallback
is to check with the experts who ought to know, and let them say what is the
truth on the matter.
This begins to be outgrown when “me” begins to feel isolated and empty, dry. A
shared cause or vision or a shared authority or plan isn’t sufficient because people
in the community don’t know or care about one another personally. If they don’t
know or value the others, they won’t adapt their behavior to achieve community
might be that ORANGE communities tend to be simply one-dimensional. They
caught up in procedures, behavior, tasks, and progress/success/goals.
leave out many aspects of our humanity, which leaves the self feeling
and inauthentic. Also, majority rule, which is an advance over BLUE
authority-rule, leaves the minority feeling unrepresented. ORANGE
developed Constitutions and representative democracy (republic) to
attempt to mitigate the divisiveness of majority rule.
What gets carried forward from ORANGE into
GREEN is the organizational skills to coordinate people on a large scale, the
ability to cooperate in more complex ways, and even stronger realization of the
necessity to preserve individual wellbeing and individual thriving, within a
group context. Also carried forward is the sense that individual progress and
group progress can be aligned for mutual benefit that can also be aligned with
the benefit of very large groups, such as country or humanity.
GREEN Worldview stage
Community is defined as people I share feelings with: we focus on our
feelings, share them with one another, and we have similar feelings and values.
I get to know myself by seeing me as others see me. Together we can change the
world to care about what we care about.
This worldview begins to
be outgrown when
exclusive focus on relationships
and feelings is seen to impede making group decisions and getting things
that we and I want to get done for the better life and better world.
exhausting to always be needing everyone to agree with each other, and
outside our community to agree with our community. Consensus
decision-making arises in GREEN and its unworkability soon becomes
apparent. There is also in GREEN a certain
subordination of “me” to “us” which also generates tension of wanting to
more “at cause” in the relationship of self and community.
individual-community tension in GREEN
is that “we-think” becomes restrictive after awhile. It occurs to a person they
can care about others, even be in community with others, and yet not feel all
the same, or think all the same.
What gets carried forward from
GREEN into Second Tier YELLOW is
(how others see me and how I see myself,)
ability to be aware of how one’s behavior is affecting (or could affect) others,
behaviors so that current and potential negative effects on others are avoided,
a deep capacity
for caring not just for individuals but for group wellbeing, and
a variety of
effective methods of facilitating community and of resolving conflicts
the ability to
accomplish complex tasks and achieve shared goals in a well-coordinated way, all
the while taking into account people as real, not just means to my ends or our
the principle of
seeking feedback and revising anything that isn’t working for the individual or
the community. Nothing is sacrosanct if it doesn’t contribute to constant
growth and increased success.
YELLOW (first worldview in
this worldview, individuals have a huge sense of responsibility to make
community work by allowing everyone
to be who they are, and designing community systems that allow them to
contribute meaningfully and importantly without changing. In other words, diversity
is honored not by “our way or the highway” but by flexibly designing the system
to not just accommodate or tolerate differences, but synergize them toward the
potential value of everyone to further community goals can be harvested, in a
YELLOW-designed community, even if there is no shared wording about what those
goals are. YELLOW can communicate meaningfully to all earlier worldviews and
align them on a purpose that might be fully understood only by YELLOW. It goes
without saying that the purpose of a community in YELLOW worldview is to help
the world be a better place while also fostering the growth and thriving of all
the individuals involved. YELLOW draws on all previous capacities, to make that
happen. YELLOW has the capacity to see how individuals are shaped by community.
begins to be outgrown when the
dynamics of what happens in a system cannot be fully explained by psychological
or social factors. There seems to be something else affecting things, and
attention turns to subtle energies that are operating, such as through
telepathy, or group fields of subtle energies that affect everyone but in
primary individual-community tension
in YELLOW is how individuals can manage the complexity of all the
interdependent causes and effects, for the benefit of individuals and shared
that get carried forward from YELLOW available
for use in TURQUOISE include all the ones mentioned above.
TURQUOISE (second worldview
stage in Second Tier)
and communities develop practices, methods,
for becoming more aware of subtle energies. Opening meetings with silent attunements
to the group, group meditative practices to sense a shared field, learning to
both influence and allow unseen forces to affect outcomes desires by the group,
are all learned in TURQUOISE. The relationship of the individual to the
community spreads beyond consensus material and social reality and becomes more
fluid in space and time.
TURQUOISE is focused on methods and on controlling outcomes to be as desired.
Late TURQUOISE is more focused on intention and allowing emergent unexpected
outcomes. “Leading from the emergent future.”
TURQUOISE things get more non-linear and post-rational, and agreements between
people become much less important, as what happens is seen to be influenced by
other factors. In fact, agreements are seen to actually inhibit and limit the
potential beneficial happenings that can emerge.
worldview begins to be outgrown when
both individuals and groups are facile at moving in and out of ordinary and
subtle-energy ways of creating outcomes, and practices and prediction feel
unnecessarily restrictive of what can emerge.
primary individual-community tension
in TURQUOISE is exactly where does one end and the other begin? In TURQUOISE
one’s identity is becoming both as the individual and as the group. This is
paradoxical to earlier worldviews, but in TURQUOISE it begins to be a lived
reality. “I am” me and “I am” this community.
gets carried forward from TURQUOISE
into Third Tier CORAL: Everything described above. The ability to both act and
allow, to merge self and community in a way that actually enhances and
amplifies individual sense of self and contribution to the whole. The
realization that there is a larger cosmological context with invisible forces
that we can cooperate with, so our goals are in service to far vaster goals
that we might not be aware of.
CORAL (first worldview stage
in Third Tier)
relationship of individual and community
in CORAL takes off from TURQUOISE and goes further. Each individual realizes
they are involved with and contributing to a vast number of visible and
invisible communities, and that not all of them need conscious attention or
conscious behavioral participation. There is a deep trust of the emergent
trajectory of evolution of the universe, and the focus becomes on what each
individual feels called to do in any moment. There is no need for any
agreements, any predictability in behavior. People experience that their life
is organized by a larger (or Divine) intelligence and people experience life as
a series of synchronicities that work for the best interest of everyone, even
if predicted behaviors don’t occur.
worldview stage begins to be outgrown
when all “practices” no longer feel necessary. The lines between individual and
community become hopeless to draw because “community” has become everyone on
many scales of existence, many of them outside of ordinary or subtle awareness.
Paradoxical to earlier worldviews, CORAL begins to appear to focus on their own
calling, their own joys, their own playfulness and humor. This is because the “self”
is so vast over time and space, and outside of time and space, that focus on “self”
far transcends the inclusion of this particular embodiment.
primary individual-community tension
in CORAL is the last vestiges of any sense of a self that is separate from All
That Is, from others, from any particular group. The final relaxation of any
such tension appears in TEAL worldview, which resolves all paradoxes into individuation
instead of separateness, and individuation as another facet of unity or
unification, of a shared universal Self.
gets carried forward from CORAL into TEAL worldview stage is the paradoxical relaxing of effort to produce any
particular shared or individual outcome, yet bringing to bear all of one’s
creative powers on preferred outcomes. Plus what has just been mentioned.
we are unlikely to see or experience anyone in this worldview stage, I won’t go
into it here, although I do in my second book Ten Worldview Stages in Living
Color. You can probably make some guesses based on extrapolating the trajectory
of maturation of consciousness, so far.
By Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
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