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Monday, November 11, 2013

Second Tier We-Space: Yellow vs Turquoise

Invitation to a Second-Tier Conversation about:

Second Tier We-Space: Yellow/Teal vs Turquoise

Not all "Second Tier We-Spaces" are created equal. So as usual with important distinctions, blurring them together can lead to confusion, disappointment, even conflict and blame.

I am thinking we won't get very far very fast in transcending Green WeSpaces unless we clearly distinguish YELLOW WS from TURQUOISE WS because -- now that I have stopped lumping them both in the concept of "Second Tier WeSpace" -- I now see the very different injunctions toward each of them getting conflated all over the place, and as we know, one cannot skip a stage. 

So a lot of effort to create 2T WS is lost because it involves trying to skip a stage, or more precisely the injunctions given to particular groups are not appropriate for the current WS sophistication or experience of that particular group -- which is both inefficient and frustration-generating for everyone involved.

Added on November 23: Another challenge is that folks socially primarily at GREEN can follow a skilled TURQUOISE we-space facilitator into TURQUOISE because both GREEN and TURQ are people-oriented, mostly "yin," mostly goal-less we-spaces. However such people get completely mired down there  (plus often end up also feeling frustrated) because "you can't skip a stage." People are "lost in space" at TURQUOISE without the thorough grounding provided by mastering the skills of YELLOW We-spaces, which include the ability to prioritize, view the interpersonal dynamics as systems whose parts need to be blended and coordinated toward a purpose, deal effectively with polarities, etc. 

Unless a TURQUOISE We-space is strictly for exploratory purposes and completely "emergent" in purpose, those nuanced social dynamics skills are necessary to balance or blend with the expansiveness and "fieldwork" of TURQ we-spaces. (More below about the differential characteristics.)

I think the recent Integral Living Room event would have greatly benefited from making this distinction and some of the other distinctions made below. What kind of conversation could we have about this? I offer some seeds.

First, what might be some useful distinctions among the concepts of "conversation" and "we-space" and "culture." Conversations take place in a culture, usually constrained and shaped by it, and a "we-space" is the energetic and/or subjectively-experienced "it" of either a culture or conversation/meeting/etc. 

One might say -- sticking to a broad brush -- that every culture and conversation has a "we-space" but generally "it" is not perceived, let alone consciously co-created, co-shaped, and co-amplified. The phenomenon of "we-space" can operate at every stage of development, but shows up as an object of consciousness primarily beginning in Second Tier "world-spaces" (although there are masters of we-space manipulation operating at every level, who can operate a group for their own purposes.)

So the first question/distinction, seems to be, if the we-space of a conversation/interaction does not show up as an object of consciousness in the worldspace of a participant, then the interaction is not "Second Tier" (for that participant.)

But now we come to the crucial distinction: HOW does that phenomenon show up in the Yellow world-space differently from how it shows up in the Turquoise world-space? Added Nov. 22: (I am going to use Yellow for Ken Wilbers' new name, Teal, because I prefer the Spiral Dynamics terms, and Teal is second stage of Third Tier, in SD. Of course, I have my own interpretations of those stages. What you read here goes beyond anything "officially" stated about those developmental stages.)

(Note I have also explored Third Tier We-spaces, Coral and Teal, in a later blogpost.)

The following are some thoughts about that, meant to provoke further conversation/comments. This inquiry, which I regard as important, "urgently" invites other views which might contribute to our ability to co-create "Second Tier We-Spaces" including conversations and, including our ultimate objective, the co-creating of culture.

Added November 23: Note this discussion does not distinguish state we-spaces from stage we-spaces. That is a complex matter for another blogpost, though it might fit in the exploration of "parameters of we-space description."


Yellow can be contrasted to Green and contrasted to Turquoise. Here are some relevant differences I see in terms of all LL phenomena/experiences/interactions.

At beginning YELLOW, the challenges and problems with GREEN interactions are being met by new ways of interacting.

Such as, challenges with GREEN interactions:

  • Interminable meetings because everyone has to speak all their thoughts and feelings
  • Decisions not getting made in a timely and good way for purposes at hand
  • Natural leaders/leadership squashed in the name of equality
  • Connecting/communing always privileged over purpose/agency/action
  • A subtle anti-intellectualism
  • Very limited ability to reflect on process except as a complex series of interactions between people rather than as a singular object of consciousness itself. (This is a new idea to me which I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere.)

So an early-YELLOW we-space, as an object in consciousness, would be filled with the participants’ focus of attention on matters like these. New ways of handling disagreements and conflicts would be explored. For example, Second Tier Yellow embraces diversity in a different way from GREEN: not just more congruently and consistently inclusively (vs Boomeritis) but also being able to prioritize among the diverse factors, for group purposes.

As an object in consciousness, a “we-space” would seem to YELLOW-centered people like something which is practically useful to know about and work with; it might be “located” by these people in LR, as a “system” of interactions between people. Most management and leadership consulting in organizations, done by “Integral” folks, has this view, I believe.


In the move from YELLOW to TURQUOISE, however, I maintain that “we-space” undergoes a radical change in nature as an object of consciousness, which might be broad-brushed as a move from LR/UR to LL/UL. The two primary changes I will mention here are  

  • that a TURQUOISE we-space perceived in consciousness as a sensed-perceived energetic field, not an interpersonal conceptually-inferred “it” and not bound by space-time, and
  • that this “field” is emergent/transpersonal, not reducible to any interpersonal interactions

(Peter Merry’s book Evolutionary Leadership could be viewed as an attempt to describe this move from YELLOW to TURQUOISE we-spaces of leadership and management.)

First steps in this move might come with the injunctions: Notice the subtle/emotional energies of the “we-space” right now. Notice what affects them in what ways.

Next steps in this move might involve exploration and refinement of any of the variety of "injunctions" being discovered and shared (to a sadly limited extent) among the human eco-systems within the Integral Movement who are interested in this phenomenon -- as well as explorations of the possible results and uses of the phenomenon.
So at the more mature phases of Turquoise, participants consciously engage with some skill in “energetic-field” we-space “work” which is transpersonal in nature.

The other main characteristic of Turquoise we-space is its emergent nature; it can be invited, but it cannot be created. It operates through and as the participants, but they experience it as more than -- even while including and even enhancing -- their individual will and unique "higher" selves, but not the will of their sense of a self based in duality-consciousness. (The question of dominant monad is alive and well on this matter in my blog.)

Here at this Turquoise stage with these characteristics, and only here, comes in as relevant, the work of Andrew Cohen with the Authentic Self practices/injunctions/experiences, ditto Patricia Albere, and Presence-Centered Leadership and many other current explorations into Turquoise We-Spaces. 

Here, and only here, I maintain, comes in the ability to co-create, co-shape, and “use” an energetic-field we-space which actually transcends space and time, so that for example it can be started by people separate in space and time, and maintained and amplified under the same conditions, and can continue to be perceived and experienced beyond a space-time meeting.

Given those descriptions, it would be pretty clear to an observer whether a “we-space conversation” is primarily taking place in Yellow consciousness, or in Turquoise consciousness. Many of the “markers” of the latter are internal, but can be observed.

Added on Nov. 22:

Also subjectively, the feelings, which begIn at TURQ, intensify AT CORAL, and become "background" at TEAL, are of "ecstasy," felt physically and emotionally. With increasing frequency and strength, bodies feel empty, light, out-of-gravity, relaxed.

If the group is moving together, there is a flowing synchronous quality observable and felt by the members, and if the movements are free-form, some of them end up having a healing effect on some members. This starts at TURQ and intensifies at TEAL.

If the group is free-form toning together (making sounds, and not restricted to humming or to "om-ing" but allowed to be any vocal sounds at all) then, again starting at TURQ, intensifying and becoming more common at CORAL, and "ordinary" at TEAL, there is both the observable and subjective experience of "one voice" through many throats, and the sounds themselves have healing and uplifting effects on everyone who produces them or hears them.

Note that Turquoise we-space transcends and includes Yellow and Green, and does not fall back into the disadvantages and limits of Green. Turquoise we-spaces can have a profound felt-sense (to participants and observers) of calmness/serenity, but there can also be passion, urgency, and extraordinarily efficient operating toward a purpose (because in a way, the individual minds are “melded” into one, so differences and divisions when they show up are synergistic, not hindrances.)

Get the profound differences? Blurring those does a disservice to people knowing what is going on, what to expect, and what they might be learning and doing.

Of course, let’s note the usual caveat that reality is blurry, thus these distinctions are not crystalline-hard, more like a swirl of mixed colors.

Hope these distinctions are useful. I could have gone into more detail, but the referred readings will help, and I wanted to keep this readably short!

What do you think would be even more useful to note?

P.S. What distinctions might apply to Third-Tier We-Spaces compared to Turquoise Second-Tier? Here are a few I've experienced, and more could be added, maybe by you:

  • It seems to me that the transpersonal/energetic emergence aspects become "transparent" or "subject" rather than an object in consciousness. All that is simply "the way things are," the way "we" are, not needing conscious attention or cultivation. 
  • Another distinction might be an even greater occurrence/use of silence in we-spaces with less overt discussion needed for any insight to emerge or decision to be made. 
  • Also, a lot more laughter and playfulness!
  • The we-space energetic field is more robust and tends to persist through space-time and across cyber-space.
[If there is, as I believe, a morphic field composed of the morphic fields of all we-spaces, and if as seems to be observed by some of us, that is getting more robust over time, then Turquoise-type we-spaces will probably show up at least as state-experiences more often in more diverse groups, and start more quickly, be stronger in effect, and last longer, as that overarching inclusive Field (or Kosmic Groove) gets strengthened by more and more occurrences of its constituent parts.]

Added August 5, 2014: There are comments below with important relevant and interesting information. I hope you'll read and explore further!!

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.
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"Amplifying Divine Light in All" Church said...

Just discovered George Por actually did venture into this territory of characterizing Collective Intelligence groups/functions in the Spiral Dynamics framework, ten years ago. His blogpost and its comments are excellent and I highly recommend you go and explore:


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