Over the 15 years I have spent working with others, the most common phrase one has uttered in the shear nakedness is, “I’m stuck.” After all the sessions, classes, workshops, and deeply personal interactions, any suffering always appeared to be bonded to the desire for something and the unknowingness of how to achieve it. This leads to all sorts of other emotions and actions that are tertiary to the true desire as one searches for ways to make the circumstances more palatable. This spectrum can look like beyond apathy into a complete giving up or paralyzation and conversely to taking many actions, good or bad, as a desperate means to shake things up to make well, anything happen.
Whilst teaching yoga, it was in fashion to eventually add in the mapping system called the Chakras. The chakra system was developed in ancient India as part of the Hindu and yogic tradition. The word "chakra" is Sanskrit for "wheel" or "disk," and the chakra system is a model of the body's energetic centers.
The basic principles of the chakras are that they are spinning wheels of energy located along the spine. Each chakra is associated with specific physical, emotional, and spiritual qualities, and is believed to regulate the flow of energy throughout the body. Studying this system was the first time I was introduced to a comprehensive system of understanding my inner world.
Years later I would discover spiral dynamics. Spiral Dynamics is another model or map that helps us understand how individuals and societies change and evolve over time. It was developed by psychologist Clare W. Graves and later expanded upon by Don Beck and Chris Cowan.
So, what is Spiral Dynamics all about? Simply put, it’s a model that helps us understand the different stages of human development and evolution. The model is based on the idea that as individuals and societies grow and mature, they move through different levels of consciousness. These levels are characterized by different values, beliefs, and behaviors.
One of the key insights of Spiral Dynamics is that different people are at different stages of development and that they can only understand the world through their current stage of development. This means that people may have vastly different perspectives on life and that these perspectives are shaped by their developmental stage.
Like the chakra system, spiral dynamic offers a map to greater introspection sophistication, a term I heard recently by Bernardo Kastrup. Due the the integrative experience I had with the chakra system, I then was able to more easily make sense of the model within spiral dynamics. It expands and grounds a concept with even broader application of how this can be applied in the "real" world.
To me it feels like the chakra system is a feminine self healing version of spiral dynamics which feels more grounded and applicable in not only ourselves but externally in the world at large.
It is a way, one of many, to develop and understand ourselves and how we can improve authentically within our life experience.
So, what are the stages of Spiral Dynamics? Here is a brief overview of each stage:
-Beige: This is the most basic stage and is characterized by survival instincts. People at this stage focus on basic needs such as food, shelter, and safety.
-Purple: This stage is characterized by tribalism and a strong sense of belonging to a community. People at this stage have a strong sense of family and tradition.
-Red: This stage is characterized by power, action, and self-expression. People at this stage are driven by their desires and impulses.
-Blue: This stage is characterized by order, control, and stability. People at this stage have a strong belief in rules, laws, and tradition.
-Orange: This stage is characterized by achievement, success, and individualism. People at this stage are driven by a desire to succeed and are focused on their own goals and ambitions.
-Green: This stage is characterized by community, equality, and compassion. People at this stage have a strong concern for the environment and social justice.
-Yellow: This stage is characterized by complexity, interdependence, and integration. People at this stage are able to see the world from multiple perspectives and understand the interconnectedness of things.
-Turquoise: Life is a single living entity, we see ourselves in all things as a part of the whole. It's sensible to seek the order beneath Earth's apparent Chaos.
It's important to note that not everyone will move through these stages in a linear fashion, similarly as the chakra system. Some people may move back and forth between stages or skip stages altogether. Additionally, different aspects of a person's life may be at different stages.
These mapping systems often are introduced abstractly and the majority of the work is when we relax, inform ourselves, and open our minds to see how the information sits within the self.
The ability for use the map is coupled by a direct experience, in real time, of allowing our everyday life help to inform our journey. Too much focus on the map, we loose the crucial information that shows us ourselves and where we are accurately at. Often our mind will attempt to be the sole arbiter of this process. But in fact, it’s a dance of the objective and subjective that will provide the greatest experience in our process to awakening.