Saturday, September 20, 2014

Waves Of Awareness

Human development is not a linear ladder but a fluid and flowing affair, with spirals, swirls, streams and waves. It appears to be an almost infinite number of multiple modalities.

Ken Wilbur, in his 2000 book A Theory Of Everything, explains human development in simple, but very foreign terms. We like to separate humans by race, religion, political views and the social-economic power we strive to achieve, but those qualities and beliefs are not what distinguish us from each other. There are waves of awareness that mix and mingle with each other as we play the lead part in our physical role.

What Wilbur and other psychologists like Don Beck, Christopher Cowan and Clare Graves have done is develop a map of all the structures, stages, levels, types and waves of human consciousness. The result is a comprehensive snapshot of what they call Spiral Dynamics. Spiral Dynamics explains the fact that stages within our consciousness are not rigid or stationary. Each stage of consciousness overlaps, interweaves and meshes waves of beliefs together in multiple admixtures that create mosaic choices and blended states of unfolding awareness.

Spiral Dynamics labels these eight waves of existence with colors as well as names. The first six waves are considered subsistence or first tier modes of thinking. The next two waves are second tier or integral levels. Each level holds a degree of social power, and a certain percentage of the world population. The focus is on types in people not types of people. Each level has certain core beliefs that impact how they view the world around them.

Over ninety-eight percent of the world population falls into one or more of the first six waves or levels. Each wave is important to the whole spiral, but we tend to discount other waves that don’t meet our concept of reality at certain stages of awareness. Each wave is a reality, and everything connected to that wave has value to the perceivers in that wave. The challenge we have is identifying the waves and then accepting them as a complete world view. The stages and waves will continue to mesh and blend as our world view of reality expands from a one-word definition to the action of energy that exists within all life.

Here are the eight waves and the percentage of the population and power in each of them. The population figures are fourteen years old, so they are estimates now.

The Beige or Instinctual Wave is characterized by survival. Necessities like food, warmth, water, sex and safety rule behavior. We see this wave in newborn infants, late-stage Alzheimer’s, senile elderly, starving masses, mentally ill street people and shell shock victims. 0.1 percent of the population fall into this wave. They have 0 percent of the social power.

The Purple or Animistic Wave focuses on magical spirits good and bad, forms ethnic tribes, and believes and incorporates curses, blessings and spells to determine events and future experiences. We see this wave in family rituals, third world cultures, gangs, corporate tribes, and athletic teams. 10 percent of the population displays this wave, and they incorporate 1 percent of the world’s social power.

The Red or Power God Wave lives by the urge to believe in powerful beings which include Archetypal gods and goddess, spirits, dragons and feudal lords. They display characteristics of impulsiveness, egocentric behavior, and heroic mindset. The world to them is a jungle full of bad guys and threats. Enjoys the self to the fullest and tries to outfox, conquer and dominate others. We see this wave in kids in the terrible twos, feudal kingdoms, gang leaders, New-Age narcissism, epic heroes, rock stars and soldiers of fortune. They incorporate 20 percent of the population and have 5 percent of the social power.

The Blue or Mythic Wave incorporates the belief that life has purpose and meaning. The outcome is the result of the action of a powerful Order or exalted being. The religious Order enforces a strict code of conduct based on the principles of right and wrong. Code violations demand serious consequences but following the code yields some sort of lasting reward. There is only one right way and a wrong way to think about life and the rigid social higher order judges that behavior. This wave is strongly conventional and extremely conforming. We see this wave in Puritan America, China, religious fundamentalists, Girl and Boy Scouts and the moral majority. They hold 30 percent of the social power and 40 percent of the population.

The Orange or Scientific Wave is characterized by an escape from the herd mentality. They seek the truth using rational deduction and objective experiments. They believe in natural laws, which can be learned, mastered and used as manipulation tools. They are high achievers and are very concerned with materialistic gains. They believe the laws of science rule human events, and the economy. The world, to them, is like a chess board. The winners gain perks and prominence over the losers. The earth’s resources are there for strategic gain. We see this wave in Wall Street, emerging middle class, cosmetic industry, The Cold War, The enlightenment set, fashion industry, and corporations. They hold 50 percent of the power and 30 percent of the population.

The Green or Sensitive Wave is all about human bonding, ecological sensitivity, networking and open communication. They believe the human spirit must free itself from greed, divisiveness and dogmas. They cherish the earth and feelings trumps cold rationality. They are against the hierarchy and cherish relationships. They believe subjective thinking and conscious multiculturalism along with a relativistic value system bring harmony to the body mind and spirit. We see this wave in postmodernism, Greenpeace, animal rights, human rights advocates, Canadian health care, humanistic psychology and Netherlands idealism. They hold 15 percent of the social power and 10 percent of the population.

The Yellow or Integrative Wave believes that knowledge and competency supersede status, power and group sensitivity. The current world order is the result of different levels of reality, which contain unending probabilities and choices. Spontaneity, flexibility and functionality are the highest priorities. Differences are lessons, and they are part of the natural flow of non-judgmental discernment. They hold 5 percent of the power and 1 percent of the population.

The Turquoise or Holistic Wave unites feelings with the knowledge. They believe multiple levels of consciousness mesh into one conscious waking system. There is a universal order, and that order supersedes the external rules of the blue and green waves. The whole is greater than its parts. All life unites in the free flowing stream of the whole’s consciousness. There is unending unification within the energy that exists in all awareness. This wave has 1 percent of the social power and 0.1 percent of the population.

The interesting point in all of this is we can identify some of our beliefs in the first six waves. The beliefs in last two waves are still foreign to some, but the wave of awareness is ready to wash over all of us, and when it does we will experience the reality within those two stages as a united, but diverse species of consciousness.

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