Spiral Dynamics Greatly Simplified

As I mentioned in my video and a previous post, Spiral Dynamics is a very deep and complex system. Anything I say in a few paragraphs runs the risk of being an oversimplification.

There are three significant core value, belief, and behavior groups in our culture plus an important emerging fourth group.

Most of the population but not most of the leaders have a strong “we” identification with a religious group or cultural organization. These groups and organizations tend to define a value and belief paradigm whose members have varying degrees of commitment and allegiance. For the most part these values and beliefs tend to be what we call “conservative.” In the United States, they tend to be Christian, patriots, Second Amendment supporters, pro-life, and Republicans.

The second of the three major groups is very much focused on “I.” There is a strong focus on success, especially in business, academia, and science, and the badges of success like homes and cars. Instead of the group think of the previous group, these people like to define reality using objective tools like science and the scientific method. These are very competitive people who love to win. Sometimes they can get very greedy and want to win at any cost. If spirituality is important, it can be in the context of a religious group or a spirituality that has no direct connection to any specific religion. This group makes up almost half of the leaders in the United States. This group tends to have little inner awareness and what personal growth they focus on is designed to help them be more successful in their career.

The third of these three major groups is very focused on “we.” There is a sense of responsibility for others like the early women’s suffrage movement, civil rights, the disabled, etc. That sense of responsibility often expands beyond a group to include the total planet which is evidenced in concerns about global warming and peace on earth. These people believe deeply in collaboration and cooperation and love consensus decision-making even when it can be frustratingly slow. Unlike the previous group, this group likes facts but realizes that feelings and more subtle factors are important in making decisions and determining what is real and right. For the most part, these people ┬átend to have values and beliefs that we call liberal or progressive. They tend to be Democrats and independents, environmental supporters, and resistant to some of the occasional harsher dictates of the two previous groups. With an increasing focus on feelings, they often go beyond that to increase their self-awareness which can lead to personal growth and eventually to an interest in the wisdom traditions and practices. This is the first group to have an emerging wisdom inspired life.

The much smaller but powerful emerging group is one that has the ability to synthesize and integrate enabling them to see systems and the interconnectedness between major elements in the system. They have a deepening inner awareness that connects them to their wisdom mind. They have little use for hierarchy and conventional thinking.

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