Point of View

'Spiral Wizards'

Every epoch, generation, culture and ethnicity has produced its own wizards [...] These 'wise ones' typically arise in times of crisis and rapid change when old patterns and forms are being replaced by the new.

They inhabit the shadows and in-between places - edges, cusps, verges, caves, brinks, rims, fringes, and divides - those misty realms that are no longer one thing but not yet another. Anything can happen in these haunts, the borderline spaces and times.

[...] Most worked quietly offstage, king makers and breakers behind the scenes.

[They] are adept at bridging transition zones between one [thing] and another.

Spiral Wizards wear many different hats and can play a myriad of roles. Just as they can fit in many worlds, they can adjust styles, being sensitive when appropriate and ruthless when necessary, even walking away when their own interests and needs take them elsewhere.

They have very few boundaries, off-limits, or narrow, confining rules to restrict their thinking. Nor are they impeded by the artificial separations imposed by disciplines, fields of knowledge, sacred territories, restrictive traditions, or separate divisional titles in a company. They are resourceful enough to experiment with the novel or make do with the ordinary. Historic differences in terms of church vs. state, public vs. private, one level of government vs. another, or one category or person vs. another have little significance.

'Who is right?' is not as important as 'what does the Spiral need?' Competency is more valued than seniority; knowledge is more useful than status. The mind is free to learn anything from anybody in any manner necessary. Nothing from the past is thrown away, and nothing from the future is rejected out of hand.

Overall, they act on behalf of the entire organism (person, company, or society) for both the greater good and individual gain.

The minds of Spiral Wizards are configured in ways which often make them appear a bit strange, especially to those blocked in First Tier MEMEs. As systemic thinkers, they combine an awareness of natural processes and flowing interconnections to create a holistic understanding of a complex problem, event, or situation.

They reject simple cause-and-effect links, cosmetic quick-fix solutions, and reliance on artificial interventions. They search, instead, for the one or two critical logs that lock up the entire log-jam. They scan for the critical pressure points and release valves that regulate the life blood of the organism.

As integrative problem solvers, they serve like networking software to link many functions together. They are able to mesh and mobilize a vast array of resources and intelligences, then focus them like a laser beam on specific targets.

For example, many local communities are wrestling with crime, gangs, and inadequate education. While expressing deep concerns, churches, schools, the business sector, political entities, civic clubs, helping agencies, and private citizens continue to act in an ad hoc, piecemeal, and fragmented fashion.

[...] Spiral Wizards provide the perspective [to get everyone] on the same page and working in the same direction. They have the tools to integrate, align, and synergize all elements into a cooperative effort. The Spiral forms the unifying principle, connective glue-like tissue, and a common pathway that the divergent and diverse parties can pursue together.

Spiral Wizards mesh 'left' and 'right' brain capacities [...] They sense both particles and waves. They dream like poets and plan like computer programmers. They revel in paradoxes, enabling them to resolve the impasses between such forces as individual rights and communal concerns or growth-and-development versus quality of life priorities. Their minds' eyes see global and local needs simultaneously.

You will find Spiral Wizards in all walks of life, at any educational level, and throughout the ranks in companies. They tend to be resourceful, fearless, creative, tough, yet playful people who are often invisible as they move in and out of situations. These are not better people. They are not necessarily even more 'intelligent' in the usual sense; they are simply different kinds of minds.

[Don Edward Beck & Christopher C. Cowan]
Spiral Dynamics, p.105, 111-13
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'Orange MEME' (Spiral Dynamics)

ORANGE embraces values and beliefs that stress materialism over spiritualism, pragmatism over principle, and short-range victories over longer term guarantees. There is a desire to get on with life and not bog down in quandaries of absolutism or picky, picky, picky theology.

[Don Edward Beck & Christopher C. Cowan]
Spiral Dynamics, p.251

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Imagine something different

By 'insight' we mean there is an understanding of (1) what went wrong with the previous system and why, as well as (2) what resources are now available for handling the problems better. Until people have a rationale for understanding why the prior system was embraced initially and why it was eventually undermined, lasting change into the next order is fitful. Insight keeps the old problems in focus and clarifies the new ones.

Different patterns and models, as well as step-by-step processes for implementing them, are essential to moving into a new system. These alternative scenarios must be active in the collective consciousness before they can be considered. Too often they are guarded in the minds of an elite few 'planners' or 'decision makers.'

People need mental pictures of what things might be like for them in their own real Life Conditions, not for some distant Hollywood stars or textbook case studies.

[Don Edward Beck & Christopher C. Cowan]
Spiral Dynamics, p. 84

Aristokratia


Molly Dineen
: Why do you feel so strongly?

Baroness Miller: I'll tell you why I do. If they decided to reform the House of Lords - which is fine - I still say its the finest rising chamber in the world - but if they felt that the hereditary peers' [...] time has come and they want to revise it, reform it, do whatever they will, then do it for all of us.

[...] At the end of the day, why am I in the Lords, Molly, I ask myself. I'm there because a Prime Minister sent me - its modern day patronage. And when you saw the glee of all those noble Lords on the other side, that, finally, they'd somehow got rid of the hereditary peers, and they're so thrilled. But have they ever stopped to think, why are they there? Tony Blair sent a whole reef of them in lately.

[...] Will we be better at scrutinising legislation because its modern day patronage?

MD: They would argue because you personally earned it, and not your father

BM: Well maybe they would argue that, but I would say that I'd rather have patronage of several hundred years ago, when the noble lords, who have served this country well, can look at it dispassionately, and they do not owe their position here to this Prime Minister, or the one before.

Dialogue from 'The Lords' Tale', a documentary by Molly Dineen

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Debates about which leadership form is 'the best,' whether in the General Assembly of the United Nations or in a university management seminar, miss the point. The argument should turn on what are the prevailing Life Conditions and which MEMEs will awaken. Once the color(s) are identified, the appropriate leadership follows naturally.

[Don Beck & Christopher Cowan]
Spiral Dynamics, p. 126

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Related posts:-
Democracy

Individual v Environment

[...] when it comes to the cause of human suffering, liberals tend to believe in exterior causes, whereas conservatives tend to believe in interior causes.

That is, if an individual is suffering, the typical liberal tends to blame external social institutions (if you are poor it is because you are oppressed by society), whereas the typical conservative tends to blame internal factors (you are poor because you are lazy).

Thus, the liberal recommends exterior social interventions: redistribute the wealth, change social institutions so that they produce fairer outcomes, evenly slice the economic pie, aim for equality for all. The typical conservative recommends that we instil family values, demand that individuals assume more responsibility for themselves, tighten up slack moral standards (often by embracing traditional religious values), encourage a work ethic, reward achievement, and so on.

The important point is that the first step toward an integral politics that unites the best of liberal and conservative is to recognize that both the interior quadrants and exterior quadrants are equally real and important. We consequently must address both interior factors (values, meaning, morals, the development of consciousness) and exterior factors (economic conditions, material well-being, technological advance, social safety net, environment) - in short, a truly integral politics would emphasize both interior development and exterior development.

[Ken Wilber]
A Theory of Everything, p.84