Human Consciousness Evolution: Understanding Human Nature | Clare Graves & Spiral Dynamics

Human Consciousness Evolution: Understanding Human Nature | Clare Graves & Spiral Dynamics

How much do you know about human consciousness evolution? If this is a new topic of discussion for you, that’s great!

The only way that we grow and evolve is through the process of expanding our knowledge of new things. Understanding human nature has been a topic of debate for many years amongst philosophers and scientists.

I want to shed light on a model of human consciousness, called Spiral Dynamics that was developed by Dr. Clare Graves. In her research, she sought to understand human nature and answer questions like, “Why are people different?” and “What do some people change, but others do not?”

This model will not only give you a better understanding of yourself and others, but will also allow you to operate at a higher level of consciousness. Let’s dive into the evolution of human consciousness. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”

Watch the video below:

(Click here to watch on YouTube)

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Spiral Dynamics is an approach to becoming aware of systems of thinking held by individuals, organizations, governments, and societies. Over the last two years I have been studying this approach, and reflecting upon how I can apply it to my own life, so that I can grow and evolve on a much deeper level.

There are eight different levels of human consciousness, which are outlined in the book, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change, by Don Edward Beck. Before we jump into this, I want to clarify that you can be more than one of these levels, depending on the context that you find yourself in:

Level 1 – Beige (Survival)

This level is based on biological urges/drives, like food, sex, and shelter. These physical senses dictate our state of being in the world. When you are focused on survival, things like achievement or improvement aren’t a part of your reality.

Level 2 – Purple (Tribal Order)

This is fear-driven in its nature and is primarily focused on safety. It’s based on the belief that the world is a scary, mysterious world, which is comprised of spirit beings which must be appeased, as they can strike you down at any moment. These tribal rituals exist in places like South America or Africa, but you can even find them in modern societies. For example, a football player may believe that if he doesn’t carry on the ritual of wearing the same jockstrap every game, his team will lose their winning streak.

Level 3 – Red (Power God)

The belief system here is that only the strongest survive, so the line of thinking is that you have to dominate in order to make it through the tough times, or you can also ally with others. The mindset of a ‘red person’ is very egocentric in nature. It’s all about you getting what you want, meaning that you will exploit other people in any way that you can, in order to survive. This mindset is found in criminals, warlords, or tyrants. Kim Jong-il is a good example.

Level 4 – Blue (Order and Absolute)

Blue people possess a black and white, rule-driven type of thinking. They believe that the world is chaotic, which is why they follow a set of rules and procedures in order to keep the order. Following rules is said to lead to pleasure, which you will get rewarded for. However, if you don’t follow the rules, the punishment is considered to be jail or hell. You can find this line of thinking in religion, the police force, the army, or cults.

Level 5 – Orange (Striver Driver or Achiever)

Orange people are business-oriented, high achievers. They are constantly seeking to grow and improve. The belief system is that, through your own hard work and creativity, you can achieve results. These people don't wait until someone tells them what to do. Rather, orange people test things and go against the rules in order to create their reality. This line of thinking is more ethnocentric in its nature. In order for a person like this to achieve anything in life, they need to add value in some way.

Level 6 – Green (Socially Conscious)

Someone that is green is world-centric in nature. They believe in the power of connection and the greater good of humanity. It isn’t about competing or getting what you want. Rather, it’s about equality, and what is best for the planet at large. Green thinking is found amongst hippies, vegans, and new-age thinkers. These people make decisions as a collective. Oftentimes, you will find that green people fight a lot with orange people because their values are in such opposition to one another.

Level 7 – Yellow (Integrative Flex Flow)

Yellow is a systems-level of thinking that represents a combination of all of the previous colors combined. It’s all about creating systems that can work and help make an impact on the world, without having to actually be present. This person has the ability to utilize all of the previous levels we’ve discussed thus far, in order to serve the greater good.

Level 8 – Turquoise (Awakened Soul)

Very few human beings attain this level of consciousness. Turquoise people are at one with everything – nature, spirits, creatures, etc. Someone who operates from this level doesn’t try to solve anything because they believe that nothing has to be fixed. In their eyes, everything is perfect the way it is. Happiness trumps everything else in life.

Step back and ask yourself – “Which level of consciousness do I spend the majority of my time in?” I challenge you to be honest with yourself. When you understand the level from which you operate at, you can better understand how to interact with and communicate with other people in your life.

I hope this model got you thinking about your life and human development on a deeper level. If you want to go deeper into the evolution of consciousness, I encourage you to check out the book, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change.

At the end of the day, the end goal is to raise your consciousness and evolve from one level to the next. The more that you evolve, the more fulfilled and happier that you become. Karl Lagerfeld said it best – “Evolution is the secret for the next step.”

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Human Consciousness Evolution: Understanding Human Nature | Clare Graves & Spiral Dynamics
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  • Diana Moisescu

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with us!
    I’m an orange and also yellow person, like you!
    I’ll double check what’s happening with my green side…