Spiral Dynamics | INFJ Forum

Spiral Dynamics

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Duty, Feb 13, 2010.

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  1. Beige

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  2. Purple

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Red

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  4. Blue

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  5. Orange

    2 vote(s)
    13.3%
  6. Green

    4 vote(s)
    26.7%
  7. Yellow

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
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  1. Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

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    The poll is for you to vote on which color you think is your own. Make sure you are familiar with all the colors first though!


    Spiral Dynamics is a system of personal and societal development purposed in 1996 by Don Beck and Chris Cowen. It is based off the theories of psychology professor Clare Graves. The basic premise of spiral dynamics is that people and societies adopt different frames of mind in response to the climate of their lives.

    Before I get to the good content, I do want to make a huge disclaimer that is VITAL to keep in mind. Like MBTI, there is no "right" or "wrong" in Spiral Dynamics. Red is as good a frame of mind as Yellow because they are appropriate responses to what is going on.


    Immediate, Personal Stages: The first three stages are ones that have the theme of immediacy. People in these stages focus highly on the here-and-now.


    Biege:

    • Focus: Individual-focused Survival
    • Goals: Fulfilling the basic needs of one's body: food, homeostasis, avoidance of injury, etc
    • Awareness: One's body and immediate surroundings.
    • Primary Motivation: Fear
    • Primary Weakness: Distrustful, long term effects on body are harmful
    • Mindset: Immediate, reactive, sees the immediate world as full of possible danger that must be reacted to.
    • Proper Response to: Immediate Physical Danger
    • Notable Examples: Children "raised by wolves," there are very few good examples of beige in our society

    Purple:

    • Focus: Collective-focused Survival
    • What Makes People into Purples: The realization that banding together with others is advantageous.
    • Goals: Fulfill the basic needs of the tribe: food, reproduction, etc.
    • Awareness: The Tribe
    • Primary Motivation: Trust
    • Primary Weakness: Nieve
    • Mindset: The world is magical and full of danger. We must appease the forces that watch over us and gain their trust.
    • Proper Response to: The need to form trusting tribes of people with common values to perform a task.
    • Notable Examples: Uncontacted Amazon Tribes, young children

    Red:

    • Focus: Individual-focused Opportunities
    • What Makes People Reds: The realization that there are many tribes, and taking from them is easy. Our tribe needs powerful leadership, and that "it's good to be leader."
    • Goals: To fulfill one's needs by taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you.
    • Awareness: Many Tribes
    • Primary Motivation: Shame from weakness
    • Primary Weakness: Shortsighted, impatient
    • Mindset: The world is composed of the strong and the weak. The strong take from the weak and rule over the weak because it is easiest to do so.
    • Proper Response to: Advantage, Opportunity, Need for tribal leadership
    • Notable Examples: Prison systems, Ghengis Khan, rap music, the stereotype placed on teenagers, Rorshach from Watchmen, Klingons from Star Trek


    Objectivity-Focused Stages: These stages believe in an objective world where, knowing this great truth, you can plan ahead and get desired results.

    Blue:

    • Focus: Collective-Focused Purpose through Authority
    • What Makes People Blues: Realizing that many tribes share common values: they form a nation.
    • Goals: Give people common purpose and create order amongst the tribes. Build and store enough resources today to have enough for next season.
    • Awareness: The Nation (the tribe of tribes)
    • Primary Motivation: Guilt (feeling bad when acting against the authority one puts in their philosophy, religion, a leader, or where ever they derive their values)
    • Primary Weakness: Rigid, can be unforgiving to others that don't share their core values
    • Mindset: There is some set of values that are the ones everyone would be better off adopting. Those that adopt them and live up to them are saintly people, those that don't adopt them are terrible and need to be punished.
    • Proper Response to: Chaos, anarchy, hostility, the need for purpose and unity, the need for sustained effort
    • Notable Examples: Both Bush presidents, Catholicism, Laurie Jupiter from Watchmen, conservative political ideals, Worf from Star Trek

    Orange:

    • Focus: Individual Gain through Strategy
    • What Makes People Orange: Realizing that authority is earned, not granted.
    • Goals: To strategically gain authority/prestige/wealth/etc for self without raising ire.
    • Awareness: The nation and controlling one's position within it.
    • Primary Motivation: Prosperity
    • Primary Weakness: Exploitation, Greed
    • Mindset: The world is full of resources and opportunities for me. Everyone should be given these opportunities, and it is their fault for not taking them. It is ok to take and mobilize resources from those that are not using them (orange mobilizes blue's resource building). There is a right way to do things, but we must test the different opinions to arrive at a correct conclusion (science is generally very orange). Authority is not granted by a "higher source," it is gained through strategy and superior tactics.
    • Proper Response to: The need to build personal resources and success, wide availability of resources that aren't being mobilized
    • Notable Examples: Donald Trump, Albert Einstein, Richard Nixon, Machiavelli, capitalism, Will Riker (early in the series) and Ferengi from Star Trek

    Transcendental Thinking: Green and Yellow are the foundations for transcendental thinking, which is thinking that is based on context and the multiplicity of different points of view/systems.

    Green:

    • Focus: Collective Harmony and Purpose through Sharing and Love
    • What Makes People Green: Realization that individual gain is not ultimately fulfilling; One truth, even scientifically gained, is limited in its scope
    • Goals: To build a world where everyone has purpose and fulfillment through building community and mutual exchange.
    • Awareness: Global; Different frameworks lead to different truths
    • Primary Motivation: Belonging/Multiplicity
    • Primary Weakness: Over relativistic, unproductive
    • Mindset: Very relativistic. Has the ability and appreciation to perceive multiple frameworks in a real, thought provoking way, but lacks the ability to utilize this ability in a productive way. Holds sharing and community building above other values. Typically very conscientious and accepting/tolerant, even of those that don't hold its core value system.
    • Proper Response to: A wide community that doesn't share core values, prosperity
    • Notable Examples: Bill Gates in recent years, Daniel from the Watchmen (although this one is not obvious at first), President Obama is either a green or yellow, liberal political ideals, socialism, Deanna Troi from Star Trek


    Yellow:

    • Focus: Individual Self Awakening
    • What Makes People Yellow: Not all frames/points of view are useful for a given context, some are better then others
    • Goals: Awaken all the different ways one can develop the self, help mankind survive
    • Awareness: Global/Multiple Frames like Green, except more interested in their pragmatic usefulness
    • Primary Motivation: Actualization
    • Primary Weakness: Bad Faith, Existential Angst
    • Mindset: Competent and multiplistic. Yellow is very context driven and rarely absolute or demanding. They generally handle most situations quite well, and most see them as well developed, insightful, and willing to take it easy.
    • Proper Response to: Expertise in shifting perspective.
    • Notable Examples: Jean-Luc Picard and Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Jon (Dr. Manhatten) from The Watchmen, President Obama is either a green or yellow




    Depending on the different Spiral Dynamics systems, there are more stages after yellow, notably turquoise and coral, but I've chosen to not include these as their frame of mind is just too foreign to our current society. Even though I'm very familiar with Spiral Dynamics, I can't claim to understand the intricacies of the levels beyond yellow, and I struggle to even grasp yellow at times.
     
  2. tovlo

    tovlo Well-known member

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    I don't know for sure, but based on a reference I saw you make to Spiral Dynamics last night I searched out and reviewed a listing of the colors. I honestly felt the most internal resonance with a color you didn't choose to list here--Turquoise.

    8. Turquoise: Holistic Focused on a global holism/integralism, attuned to the delicate balance of interlocking life forces. Synthetic and experiential, emerging focus on spiritual connectivity. Work must be meaningful to the overall health of life. Feelings and information experienced together, enhancing both. Able to see and honor many perspectives, including many of the "lower" vMemes. Structured in multi-dimensional ways. Conscious of energy fields, holographic links in all walks of work and life, urge to use collective human intelligence to work on large-scale problems without sacrificing individuality. (Gaia hypothesis, Ken Wilber's work, Teilhard de Chardin, David Bohm, McLuhan's
     
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  3. OP
    Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

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    I wrote this up myself, I don't have a source for what I've written here. I made my work original because there is a bad tendency within the SD community for everyone to suppose they're all yellows/turquoise. .1% of world population is probably an overestimation for the popularity of turquoise to be honest.

    Spiral Dynamics, 1000 times so, requires more self honesty then MBTI. The life conditions that set up each stage have to be reflected on to get to the next. I didn't post turquoise and above because I can't fully understand them (I just very recently had an epiphany that brought me into Green capability, but I still am very focused on Orange-level concerns in my life). Most people here won't fully understand them, and most board members are going to be blues and oranges, with a smattering of red, green, and yellow floating about (which is how our entire society is really). Although it is possible we have some turquoise here, it is very unlikely and I decided it wasn't worth the accuracy of my post to include it. It's very skeptical even in the SD community just on what turquoise is about anyways.

    I wrote my own words because, on an MBTI board, I know that the descriptions others give of certain stages spout INFJ "catch words." If I gave green or turquoise as most gave it, most INFJs would see those catch words and latch onto it fast. Most INFJs are blue though, so I wanted to try to weed out catch phrases to control for that fact.

    Additionally, I wanted to reflect the MIND of each stage, not just their behavior. I don't like how the other descriptions are written (they use too many words like "authority driven" that just aren't accurate for what is really going on to that person).
     
    #3 Duty, Feb 13, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  4. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Wouldn't it be possible to list tribal peoples under green or yellow instead of purple? I think it's kind of irritating that just because these peoples aren't "civilized" they're seen as more base and not as capable of transcendance as us... As if civilization is our gift to the planet..
     
  5. tovlo

    tovlo Well-known member

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    If there are certain elements to be considered here, beyond the descriptions you've posted or that one might find elsewhere, it might be useful to provide some guidance for going through that further self-examination you express being required.

    The second most resonant was green based on the descriptions I read last night and yours. I would say the turquoise paragraph most accurately describes my philosophy of what the nature of the world is and how I would ideally engage within it. Green more closely describes the limits of my expression within the world.

    I am afraid that while I'm intrigued by this topic, I do not yet know enough about it to give it any further sense of credibility than a listing of attributes where I had the most resonance with turquoise. I'll likely be researching further and perhaps a deeper understanding will help me see where my assessment is in error.

    As someone more knowledgeable in this topic, which color would it indicate for me if I confessed that I feel a bit irritated you invited people to share the color they felt they were and then implied I may not be self-aware enough to answer competently when I shared that answer?

    I just opened myself up to exploration of the question I just posed to you and the closest I could come was beige. I do think my irritation stems from a defensiveness against a sense of danger, but it's not physical danger. It's ego danger or psychological conception of self danger. Would that qualify me for beige still?
     
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    #5 tovlo, Feb 13, 2010
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  6. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    I tend to be Orange as a base level. And depending on the subject and the situation I can be also be Green/ Yellow. I do feel like I'm in a sort of limbo between Orange and Green. I assume this is me trying to move to Green fully. I think I'm almost there. I also think I might spend less time at green. And try to move to yellow simply because I'm a j and I'm not a fan of relativism. Even if sometimes its hard not to be.

    I guess a better color combo would Orange /Green. Now I just wish I knew how to talk to people on different color levels and help to understand what I mean.
     
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    #6 Blind Bandit, Feb 13, 2010
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  7. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    It would certainly help if you actually listed all the colors from SD. Given that you did not, no one, based on your post, will be able to consider what color they have most resonance with within SD.

    My sense is your selective presentation of the idea serves to shoehorn the data to fit the framework and theory.

    What aspect of SD informs your choice in this regard aside from your already-stated lack of understanding of portions of it?


    cheers,
    Ian
     
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  8. poshlost

    poshlost Community Member

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    Neither really, my basic focus/motivations/goals/etc. aren't mentioned in any colour category. From these categories, some yellow and orange characteristics fit.
     
    #8 poshlost, Feb 13, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  9. OP
    Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

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    There are (theoretically) infinite colors. Turquoise is itself a level that is only speculated about, not much is known about it. I listed all the levels that have any significant population in them.

    No one here understands turquoise-level thinking. I'm disappointed at the poll too, you're not all greens/yellows (I know you're not). Gah, I was hoping for more reflection guys. :/
     
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  10. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    I am Orange.
     
  11. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    Hmm, as of now, I'm stuck between blue and orange. I'm going to go with orange though. So, yeah, Gar's post x 2
     
  12. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    I picked orange as well because I'm between orange and green. I would say green. But I can't use that thought style in all situations and I've not found a way to make sense of it to others. They feel like a slightly disconnected systems.

    Edit: further thoughts I have noticed I actually use blue / Orange / and Green. In reasoning I use orange and when something calls for swift action. When I'm healthy emotionally and I'm capable of making it work I use green to try and maintain a high level of harmony and benefit. When I'm in a corner / trying hard to make something work and people don't understand I use blue emotionally and Orange logically often together to force a green ideas. This I think is me trying to reach yellow, or be more productive with green ideas. But so fair it has failed. this often results in people taking what I say way out of contest and misunderstanding my motivations.
     
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    #12 Blind Bandit, Feb 13, 2010
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  13. tovlo

    tovlo Well-known member

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    I have taken your engagement regarding Spiral Dynamics seriously and with interest. I sense you are disappointed with the response you are receiving, but I think it might be wise to remember that most people will likely not have any previous familiarity with this topic and so they will have to rely entirely on the information you provide or direct them to, or whatever they can seek out for themselves.

    I do not think it productive to invite exploration based on the limited information provided and then condemn the results of that exploration as well as invalidating the people who are producing those results. If you believe the answers you are receiving do not accurately reflect the realities of the theory, then I strongly recommend you provide additional information for people to consider. Otherwise you run the risk of appearing to simply be setting up a trap for mockery, or as was stated here previously, having the desire to shoehorn results into your pre-existing expectations.

    I asked you a sincere question for additional information because I would like to engage with this topic in a way that reflects its actual nature. Since you are the one defining those parameters in this court, I am relying on you to provide information about the parameters you indicate I have fallen outside of. I am thus far accepting that while I honestly felt the most resonance with the turquoise description that, as is your stated opinion, it is really not possible that anyone on this board can have an understanding of it and therefore I must fall somewhere else. Given my awareness of a general sense of defensiveness and fear, I considered beige, but I do not feel confident enough of the criteria to assess if beige's sense of fear or defense against danger makes any sense outside of a physical or bodily realm. I would appreciate an answer, though I completely accept that the power to decide whether to answer or not is entirely yours.

    I don't know how anyone else feels, but I can speak for myself and say that if you decline again to provide additional information for engaging in what you would accept as more realistic self-assessment, either generically or in response to my specific questions, I will likely not have any continued interest in remaining engaged in the exploration of this topic in your court.
     
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  14. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    this is the first time I see this theorie and I have read your describtions. Although I don't have a ful understanding of the colors I would say I'm green or yellow, I picked yellow :becky:
     
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  15. DefectiveCreative

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    Thanks for posting this Duty. I tried to get into Spiral Dynamics recently but I gave up after reading the semi-indecipherable wiki page on it and finding out that the book on the subject was much the same, so your post has helped clarify things a bit more for me.

    As for where I come in on the list, I consider myself somewhere between circuits 6 and 7 on Tim Leary's model, which appears to be roughly equivalent to the green/yellow levels on the Spiral Dynamics model, though I definitely see elements of Blue about myself.


    (P.S. As an aside, I thought it was a little harsh to place "rap music" in the red category, there's much more to rap music than just gangsta rap after all).
     
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  16. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    I would agree with some of tovlo's statements and DC's. If you created the examples, then some of your examples are less than complementary and others may not choose the colors you expected them to choose based on examples alone.

    Some folks won't choose blue because both Bush presidents are shown as Blue examples. I liked the Yellow description and I thought I fit that category, but the examples are nothing like me. I hated Dr. Manhattan as a person, and I don't think I'm as cold as Data.

    Blue is more of an SJ thing, it sounds like. Whether or not it's self reflection, Blue seems to indicate that Blues are inflexible: Primary Motivation: Guilt (feeling bad when acting against the authority one puts in their philosophy, religion, a leader, or where ever they derive their values) and I disagree with that for INFJs.

    INFJs may be Judging types, but they are not inflexible. They are very tolerant regarding various ideas and people.

    I think you're still trying to pigeonhole folks, even with a so-called "honest self-reflection." Same as MBTI, you're expecting folks to fit in a cookie cutter mold. Why can't we all be Yellows and Greens, in other words? Based on what criteria, and whose model?

    Me, it sounds like some of the notable examples are in conflict with the criteria. I don't see Deanna Troi with the same traits as Bill Gates. I think they're two different types.

    So maybe the problem is consistency - even within the descriptions there are dichotomies. Using Beige, from the description in Beige I could see many people being Beige folks...until I read the notable examples of Beige. I know folks who are self-centered and care about every aspect of their bodies, and think fearfully. But I don't see them as raised by wolves or raised without society. So maybe you need to expand the explanations of the types in order for people to give "accurate" examples.
     
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  17. Stu

    Stu .
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    Duty's doody

    I really am disappointed in any personality test that does not pin me as a passionless curmudgeon.
     
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    #17 Stu, Feb 13, 2010
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  18. sassafras

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    I wish I were orange, but I seem to oscillate between Red and Yellow.
     
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  19. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    If you're being honest with yourself, you shouldn't worry about the examples.
     
  20. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    True - but the examples aren't consistent with the descriptions, which makes it tough to see if I'm supposed to match with the colors, or not. If I went purely off of the descriptions I'd go with Yellow with Green...and I think a lot of us would.

    So that shouldn't be a bad/unlikely thing to me. But if the examples don't fit the descriptions, then it could be that I'm reading/interpreting the colors wrong, or I don't have enough information to make my own conclusions about myself.

    I know who I am in myself - so if I know who I am, why should my choice be an issue?
     
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