Before we continue on our journey through this Spiral of human emergence there are a few more points that I wish to highlight.
Firstly, and of utmost importance to acknowledge again, is that the entire Spiral exists within us. This is so important because through seeing this we can cultivate compassion for everyone wherever they are as some part of us also holds the frequencies of that worldview. We transcend and include. Anytime there is a vertical movement that does not accept and integrate the prior aspects there will result in some kind of disassociation and potentially a pathology.
Secondly, even though there are clear and distinct delineation’s that have been made between the MEME’s, our development through them is not such a clean affair. At any one moment there is likely to be different aspects of us operating from different stages within the Spiral. There will be aspects of us lagging behind our developmental ‘centre of gravity’. We are multi-faceted beings with a whole range of capabilities and attributes within us; some of these are going to be significantly developed while others not as much. In short while we are going to mostly identify with a particular stage of development there is always going to be parts that need work to catch up while other areas of our lives may even be charging forwards.
It is also possible that being in specific situations, such as under certain kinds of stress, may also cause us to temporarily regress and in worst case scenarios, if a trauma is large enough, to completely regress.
From this space of identifying this movement through the spiral as the ground from which we all arise there is no good or bad about being at any specific stage, it simply is where we are at this moment. What we need to be more concerned about, I think, in terms of ourselves and the greater cultural world-stage, is the healthy vs unhealthy expressions of each MEME code.
All that being said, let us continue our explorations!
There comes a time when the chaos and intensity of a ‘free’ life in the red MEME is too much to handle any longer. The reckless abandon of a perceived freedom becomes tainted with guilt and a longing for redemption stirs. Order needs to be made out of chaos.
Blue is the realms of religion and cults, army mentality and firms where loyalty to the company is shown by a life of service. Blue is a space of conformity, group unity (only within conformity) and adherence to some form of higher authority.
The predominant worldview of people and cultures operating from the blue MEME is to sacrifice now for future reward.
If we put in our hours and years for the company we will be rewarded with a comfortable retirement. If we lay down our lives in sacrifice for our nation we will be rewarded as hero’s. If we give of ourselves in this life then the kingdom of heaven will be ours in the next.
Blue is loyal, stable, rigid, redundant and dogmatic. Truth is given by an external source and is to be followed strictly and without question, a divine plan gives people their place in life. There is a deep desire to find meaning and purpose in life and to bring stability and order to all things. Things are as they are because. Because why? Because a book or person says so…
Blue may be stern and rigid yet that does not mean it is without joy.
The other week, out of curiosity, a few friends and I went along to an open dinner at the “12 tribes” Christian sect. To me this was a perfect representation of the blue MEME. Community was valued as the most important thing along with living EXACTLY to the accords of their faith. They sung and they danced and played music which held to strict forms and had the look of well-worn repetition. Little emphasis seemed to be put on the freedom of the individual and intention to maintain a harmonious communal living was spoken about as requiring rigorous attention to adherence. When speaking with a member I asked about his life prior to joining this group and he spoke of being lost in reckless drug use and parties, a life that he started to feel had no meaning. Joining this religious sect had given him the meaning and purpose he was yearning for and saved him from what was now apparent to him as a self-destructive path. Classic example of the red-> blue transition.
Blue is also the stage of right and wrong, good vs evil. People heavily in blue will have no compunction about speaking out against sinners (which is really a natural evolution to keep red in check) and there is no room for compromise. God is a stern, strict and just one with room only for those who accept his word as absolute.
As mentioned above this MEME may also show itself in military and police organisations where the focus is on maintaining law and order, again a function of keeping red chaos in check.
Some of the more traditional workplaces to come out of the industrial era will also hold the mentality of an individual in blue when those who, year after year, maintain an unwavering commitment to their jobs. Security and the intense need for some kind of rewarding future drives this behaviour. A tight structure, schedules, lifetime guarantees and clear consequences are all valued heavily by blue.
After time in blue an individual or culture may begin to chafe at the strict maintenance of discipline and tradition. One may become dissatisfied with living in sacrifice now for some abstract reward in a far-off future and instead begin to crave the good life right here right now.
Enter orange, the worldview of autonomy and independence, material abundance, success, science and technology.
While much of our Western first world has been built upon the backs of blue and their unending laborious sacrifices, the comfort and ease we now take for granted has arisen out of the orange MEME.
At orange we see a can-do, play-to-win attitude that thrives on getting things done, competition and comfortably enhanced living. It is the realm of entrepreneurship, ladder climbing and fast paced dedication to the scientific method. No longer is there a reliance upon an external authority stating how things should or should not be… no, now we need proof! Show me the science backing your statement and then I might consider your proposal.
While devotion and dedication is the measure of worth in blue, here in orange worth is directly shown by ones success and expensive cars, clothes, houses, accessories, networks and who one dates all demonstrate immediately just how successful one is.
There is no waiting around here; either you are making it happen or you better get out of my way while I do!
There have been many amazing benefits to arise out of the orange MEME which have seen tremendous advances in science and technology enabling us to live a significantly better life than our ancestors. At the same time, however, the worldview inherent in this MEME is very much a “live for today” one and has given rise to a whole host of environmental and social problems as any possible opportunity is exploited to make the present ‘a better place’. The orange MEME is impatient and wants things done right now as quick as possible and long-term repercussions can be easily overlooked in this incessant drive to make things happen.
We have made it happen, or our parents did, and comfortable living, quality education and access to almost unlimited information and resources is a simple standard in our lives until a growing dissatisfaction begins to creep in. Gradually there is a sense that material abundance isn’t quite enough, that surely there must be more to life out there, right?
Welcome green, oh boy what a MEME!
The emergence of green can be found in mid-life crises where an adult rushes off to join greenpeace for example and this MEME seemed to come in to full effect at the end of the 60’s when the first wave of free love emerged in response to the horrific wars for resources and the higher good that orange/blue still continues to fight.
Nowadays, though, green is turning up more and more in the young who are quickly disillusioned by the conventional education system that attempts to force one into a specific mould for society. Many young people are now looking around at the excesses of material orange and find themselves deeply suspicious in it’s ability to provide true happiness and meaning to life.
Here at green a yearning for connection reawakens and, as with every oscillation through the spiral (more on these oscillations in part 3), it’s a step deeper. Green is largely community oriented with an emphasis on exploring the inner being of self and others. A sense of spirituality arises along with a deep desire to love and honour nature, share resources amongst all, liberate humans from greed and dogma as well as step into pluralism and consensus decision making. Everyone is entitled to their say equally!
Green fights hard to remove artificial divisions and eliminate bad or negative attitudes while attempting to unveil the richness, peace and love within all. Acceptance, harmony and togetherness are vitally important here and the emphasis in group gatherings, I have often found, is making sure that everyone feels welcomed. Elements disturbing that sense of flow and harmony will be ignored and ostracised, often with an alarming sense of righteousness that is strikingly at odds with green’s external attitude of embracing all.
At the green altitude we will also find that metaphysics, new age spirituality and the world of feelings and ‘intuition’ replaces the scientific analysis from orange, which will sometimes be vehemently shunned. This is not a mystical superstition (unless elements from purple are still very strong in an individual) rather it is a seeking of harmony with the natural and unseen order of all things. The competitiveness so apparent in orange is dimmed into sharing, understanding, appreciating and tolerance.
An interesting thing happens at green in that gender roles become less rigid and in many cases even reverse! Men at orange are extremely driven to succeed individuals yet when they hit a centre at green often become somewhat ‘flow boys’ soft and in touch with their feelings and usually quite a little lost. This is much to the frustration of green women who, despite rallying against the oppressive patriarchal societies by hardening their exploration of boundaries (and often becoming significantly more masculine in the process) still tend to yearn for a deeply masculine man in touch with a life purpose (to emerge in our leap into second tier, detailed in part 3).
The most positive things to come from green, which are hard won after a long human struggle, are the emergence of a deeper sense of spirituality, a new reverence for and care for the environment and nature (much needed to solve the major problems arising in orange) and the beginnings of the ability to hold a truly pluralistic view in the welcoming of everyone’s voice at the table. At green we finally start to be able to actually take another persons perspective and a deeper note on compassion and love becomes available.
There is the, at times almost aggressive, righteousness that green stands for. While holding to a stance of everyone’s say is equal, especially when sticking up for marginalised and oppressed groups, green often hypocritically denies the input of anyone who disagrees with this view. Green is almost violently against hierarchies yet through it’s own actions participates with the, what is a completely natural function of evolution, creation of hierarchy! By saying it’s anti-hierarchy view is the correct one it has now put itself at the top of a hierarchy of views! There is an almost mind-bending and infuriating sense of logic that occurs here while remaining completely out of sight of its proponents (can’t see the water we are swimming in).
Noted philosopher Ken Wilber calls this phenomenon “boomeritis”.
While orange denies the internal subjective experience (and it’s associated spirituality) in favour of science, green compresses the world to flatland in it’s own denial of developmental stages and deconstruction of differences.
“Everyone is equal, no-one is better than another (and this view is the right one, i.e. it’s better than the rest)”
Green shakes the very foundation of orange in it’s attempt to topple what it sees as the oppressive patriarchal, anti-feminist, environment destroying industry without ever seeing that it is actually standing upon the very shoulders of what it is trying to topple!!
My statements are not to say that things should not change or that there is anything at all wrong with pluralism, however there is a distinct difference between trying to tear down a previous order to install a new one versus going beyond and then including all the amazing things that were made possible by what came before.
No-one made it to this green MEME without experiencing abundance of some sort, abundance that was provided by this patriarchal, materialistic, capitalist society. And it’s not to say that there have not been injustices and mistakes. It’s just that these are the inevitable consequences of a natural evolution trying to figure it out along the way.
Instead there is the opportunity, as always, to transcend and include. To take the best parts of the technological world and instil them with green sustainable solutions, and in fact this is definitely happening worldwide… quietly, carefully and intentionally the next MEME to arise, yellow, is stepping up to do the job.