Human Development Models
October 5, 2018
This week on The Digital Life, we speak with special guest, Jason Grant, CEO of Integral, about human development models and the role of human development in creativity.
So, human development models are looking to map this in the most reliable way and give people that ability to approach others in a way that gives them fastest and most reliable way to connect meaningfully.
So, on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you had that label on the very top of the pyramid, which is self-actualization, and self-actualization is the ultimate human need, something that Carl Jung called individuation. Then, Clare Graves took that model from Abraham Maslow and developed it further to put a little bit more meat on the bones, so to speak, and Clare Graves’ paper, which was called The Monumental Leap in Humankind or something like that, I think I’m paraphrasing, was a really well-written piece that mapped Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in a lot more meaningful way and put some of the additional wording around it in terms of what do people experience and go through at every stage of these eight stages of human development.
Then, Clare Graves’ work was taken on by Don Beck, who then created Spiral Dynamics Model and that got integrated into integral theory by people like Ken Wilbur and co, and that keeps on still developing and evolving into more elaborate maps and meaningful structures that we can use and utilize for everyday life.
He also wanted to bring in more of the pneumatics around it in terms of what are the codes and means that run at every level of those levels of development to be able to then give people better ability to both understand and comprehend, as well as use those levels of means to be able to influence others and impact change.
I believe that Don Beck comes more from the change management area. Don’t quote me on this. So, he did a lot of work on reconciliation in South Africa and so on, and that’s where a lot of that Spiral Dynamics model got used to bring to the end the whole apartheid situation, that someone like Nelson Mandela is very much a spiral wizard, so to speak.
First one is instinctive, and this maps onto babies as well, so anyone who’s had a child will say no, that the baby just wants to have their food, sleep, and basic needs met, breathing being the first one, but then people quickly after that rise up to what’s known as magical level, where they start wondering about the meanings of things around them. That’s why sometimes a baby is interested in those kind of fairytale stories because they are quite magical. The baby wonders what’s going on there. This is why societies in the times past assigned meanings to constellations of stars in the sky, so we have Scorpio and the Big Bear constellations, Small Bear, all this kind of stuff. That’s the magic of the stars, and the story of, “When I wish upon a star,” from Pinocchio, all that kind of stuff, is magic itself.
Then, that rises to power, self, where the human starts developing the sense of an ego, or this kind of identity that’s observable, human body and characteristics that express themselves in everyday life. That rises to rule role self where people start following certain rules of religion and nation states and so on, or work nine to five, that kind of stuff. All these things are relevant to everyday life because we can see magic even in flowering of regular flowers or a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. That’s quite magical in some sense.
The rule role self rises to rational, which is all about logical explanations of things and scientific methods and observable reality and so on, and playing to win, some sort of patriarchy type model. Then, that rises to sensitive self, which is more about inclusion of others and sharing and being much more in tune with one’s feelings. Beyond that is then integral, that looks to work with all those levels below or stages below, and beyond that is holistic, which looks to integrate oneself with everything that exists. That’s your self-actualized or individuated level of being.
So, that applies to absolutely everything. You can imagine that your family life or your marriage, the best kind of marriage is ones where you are absolutely completely one with your partner, whether that’s a man, woman, transvestite, or transgendered person, whatever. You want to be completely integrated with them and feel as one with them. Now, that can be sometimes a scary feeling, but you can get to that position where you actually feel no barriers or no boundaries between your partner or lover. That’s what everyone’s ultimately looking for. That’s the ultimate romance.
Then, in terms of money and financial realm, people look to integrate money into everyday life without having to lie and cheat to get it or to struggle to get it. They would love for money to be an integral part of their life without having to think too much about it. It just is there and that’s it, and so on. So, it really applies to every realm of life and it’s a really wonderful model in that sense.
So, integral theory is a theory of everything that’s talking about self in all reflections or modes of being. So, it now includes quadrant, which talks about four dimensions, additional four dimensions, which is I, we, it, and its. These terms were derived from multiple languages around the world where those words exist in one form or another.
So, the Spiral Dynamics levels of evolution and awareness exist on the level of I, which is individual self, on the level of we, which is the society, societal level, so we can have a society that’s magical and tribal or we can have a society that’s a lot more sensitive and inclusive, democratic, et cetera. It also applies to it, which is objects or things, and its, which is systems of things.
So, we are then looking with the integral theory to rise up. So, there’s also the multiple intelligences theory, which talks about that each human has different development lines, developmental lines, multiple intelligences. So, for example, where I mentioned romantic life, that’s a romantic intelligence.
There is academic intelligence, so whereas in the past we would say to somebody, “Oh, he’s really smart,” it usually would mean that they’ve got maybe a PhD or a high level of academic intelligence. However, human intelligence is much broader than that because some people have high financial intelligence or social intelligence or spiritual intelligence and so on.
So, in integral theory, that’s also then mapped in as well, so you’ve got multiple lines of development, multiple stages of development, and these different quadrants. So, we’re looking to max out on all lines of development to the holistic level or as close as possible, and then to create an environment in where I, we, it, and its is operating as close to holistic as possible. This is lots and lots of work, but we might as well work on making it fully inclusive as opposed to just say, “Well, that doesn’t matter. Who cares about those people,” or, “Forget that. That’s just ignore reality.”
On Instagram, for example, you can see a lot of people share very fancy pictures of food. I’ve been to a five Michelin-star restaurant and I’ve just snapped this 17 course meal, and I’m sharing it to the rest of the world. That is your instinctive level, which is about survival, so food and shelter, reflecting itself into the power level, which is ego, and people wanting to show off in an egotistical way that they have mastered life, okay, and that they’re really successful and they really mean something in this world. So, that post is going to be seen once and forgotten forever after that, seeing once, while if you see posts about how we are all swimming in information and drowning in information but are thirsty for knowledge or wisdom, those posts are on level seven, integral or holistic, right? They’re pushing towards thinking about what’s the real true meaning of life and what is our real purpose here.
So, you can actually see and understand where the people who are posting to your Facebook or Instagram feed, where they’re coming from and what they are trying to max out on and where they also might be stuck. So, then when you speak to them, when they say, “Oh, I’ve been to this amazing five star Michelin restaurant,” you can speak back by saying, “Well, I don’t care about the five star Michelin restaurant,” or you can go, “Wow, you’re so powerful. You’re so incredible. Tell me more about it. Express yourself further,” right, and just play into their frame because that’s the way in which you are going to actually create a rapport with them and not really speak about the internal wisdom of all ages because they likely won’t care.
Sometimes I say if they’re some sort of cannibal tribe, because they really value your visit, they might have killed a baby and offered you a part of that baby to eat, and how would you respond to that? You’d probably say, “Well, sorry, I’m going to skip on the main course. My stomach is a bit upset today,” but this is the kind of thing that happens at those kind of tribal levels. We’ve all emerged from that at some point and that kind of tribal self still lives within us.
So, there’s that film, the famous film where people crashed in the top of the mountain and a bunch of them died and got frozen and all that stuff, and some of them survived but they survived because they ate pieces of the other dead friends. That’s what kept them alive. So, that kind of tribal self can keep you alive in extreme circumstances, such as Amazonian forests, but in a developed world that we live in today, in London where I can just tap now and order delivery in two minutes and if it’s three minutes I’m like, “Ugh, why is it taking so long?”
So, even when you hear some sort of silly conspiracy theory such as reptilians are ruling the world, well, you have a reptilian brain. So, your reptilian brain is the first operating machine that helps you duck if someone wants to hit you with a fist in your face or if someone shoots a bullet, you’ll jump to the ground before you think. That’s your reptilian brain, so you are a reptile. So, that’s why you’re complicated, because sometimes the reptile takes over and sometimes it’s the monkey mind and sometimes it’s the actual evolved human mind that’s thinking about the future and how am I going to work with the AI that’s coming up and what’s my job going to be there, and how do you reconcile all of that?
The answer is you reconcile it by understanding yourself. In fact, you reconcile it by inner-standing yourself. That inner-standing is looking into yourself at a deep, deep level and looking into your shadow self so that you understand that when the reptile starts jumping up for seemingly no reason, you can understand that that’s coming from some sort of trauma that you had before, whether you’ve been through war like I have been for three years, so every time you hear something that sort of bangs even remotely you might think it’s a bullet, so it’s like time to duck, right? It’s like, “Well, actually, it’s not really time to duck anymore because it’s no more war,” but then it’s like, “Is it really? Has the war really stopped?” There’s some sort of blueprint in your mind that’s left over as a shadow.
So, all these things require reconciling and clearing and enlightening the shadow, and the shadow exists at all levels of Spiral Dynamics. Once you do that, you can actually enter the full clarity of mind and really understand and over-stand and inner-stand how things work.
So, the creativity is really about making things that have meaning to other people. What’s Spiral Dynamics? Anything other than the map of meanings, the stack of meanings. So, if you want to make something meaningful to egotistical people, you look at the level three of Spiral Dynamics, stage three or stage red, and you look at what would be vibing there and you just put out a whole bunch of creations that use that sort of lingo and those sort of triggers and you’ll have a load of egotistical people love what you’ve created.
Now, that’s actually what’s been happening for most part in the modern day capitalism. We have abundance of egotistical creations, creations that are looking to make us feel more important than we are. People are waking up to that and going, “If I buy a Ferrari, maybe it gives me some sort of a kick, but a second Ferrari gives me half as much kick, the third Ferrari gives me another half as much,” so there’s no real need for seven, eight Ferraris because you don’t really get anymore kicks. The other kicks come from rising up in your level of self-awareness and actually cleaning up your shadow self and stepping into your greater self or higher self or actually reconnecting with your soul, your source of everything.
So, that’s why you see a lot of this rise of the wellness apps and meditation retreats, et cetera. We just are scratching the surface. They’re, like a lot of wellness stuff is, sort of touching on level six or sensitive green level, getting people to just kind of calm down a little bit and not sort of work 20 hour days and think that they will be the most richest guy in the universe.
I think someone like Bill Gates said, “There is not really that much difference in feeling between having $200 million and $300 million. It feels about the same.” So, at a certain point, money doesn’t really … We say money can’t buy you happiness, but it effing helps, right? So, it helps, but it doesn’t buy you happiness. So, what buys you absolute blissfulness is full self-realization. Always goes back to that individuation, self-actualization, and how do you do that? You have to face yourself, your ultimate and last enemy.
Actually, integral theory is a meta theory, the idea here being that you can take a perspective on yourself and then everything that is detached from everything, but being then still cognizant and aware of the observable reality and things that are happening in the so-called material world. So, as you develop, and this is what you develop through meditation, you develop the ability to meta observe yourself.
So, in physics, we have this idea that what you observe changes based on who is observing and how it’s being observed. So, as you observe your mind and how it works, you can then redesign your mind by your higher self, okay? So, that becomes really, really both interesting as well as mind-boggling because on some level as you rise through each level of self-awareness, the mind flips to an opposite kind of form of thinking, so whereas rule-based people … Let’s say egotistical-based people or ego people on level red, level three, they like thinking, “It’s all about me. I’m the best. I’m wearing these kind of Gucci shoes and this kind of car I’m driving,” or something like that, and then when you rise to level four, it flips to say, “Well, actually, it’s about me following the rules that are set out by other people, maybe working in a cool company and following that.”
That’s kind of opposing to me being the most important, but then as you rise up to level five, the orange, super-achiever, you then go, “Forget these people who are following nine to five rules. I’m going to dominate them. I’m going to employ them. It is about me again, but I’m going to follow the rules rather than break them.”
So, you’ve got to become more sensitive about that. So, these levels oscillate all the time and as you develop this meta perspective and observing what you are doing in correlation with everything else, you become a spiral wizard and you no longer fight the environment, but you adapt to the environment perfectly.
I remember once I was this sort of four hour debate around whether there is God or there’s no God, right? So, atheist versus Christians and Muslims, right? Obviously Christians and Muslims are saying there is God and atheists are saying there is no God. Both are right and both are wrong because none of them have real evidence for it.
So, one lady came up to me, young lady came up to me and said, because I believe in God. Let’s say at that time I was saying I believe in God, and she said, “Do you believe in the pink orbiting kettle around the world? Do you believe in that?” I said, “Well, it’s possible that there is a pink orbiting kettle around the world. It’s highly improbable, and do I believe in it? No because that’s my choice whether I believe in something or not, but none of those things are proof of disproof of God,” okay?
So, you have to have a very sort of nuanced understanding of what’s being talked about and what is kind of like an ad hominem attack or attempt at reducing somebody’s intelligence down to nothing or lower levels versus me saying, “Actually, everything is possible.” Literally, that’s the universe we live in, which is absolute infinity, so everything’s possible, and in an absolute infinity universe, all of us are center of that universe because it has no beginning or no end, so a pink orbiting kettle is a possibility around the planet. It’s highly improbable, and I can choose to believe in anything orbiting the earth. I can choose to believe in flat earth, round earth, quadrilateral earth, but what I believe does not make it so, right? There’s a difference between belief and knowledge, so we’re looking for knowledge and knowing God versus believing in God.
So, AI is then modeling itself and its behavior and its tasks and operations based on the data that’s output from human activities, but it doesn’t contain all those blueprints which I mentioned earlier on. So, the AI is not also a monkey and a fish and amoeba. It’s just a blueprint of human data, sort of human mental and physical activities, okay?
So, AI is likely never going to emulate human intelligence in quite the same way, but it may extend it. It’s likely it already is extending it, and someone like Elon Musk talks about this all the time, the fact that we are always with our phones and doing Google searches all the time and Siri searches and all that stuff.
As I’m speaking here, my YouTube channel is listening to when I’m speaking and then it’s going to recommend me a bunch of talks that I should watch based on what I said because Google’s always listening. So, that’s given us an extra ability to look into effectively other people’s minds. So, this podcast is going to be hosted somewhere on the cloud. It’s going to be traversed by probably 1000 different types of AI and those different types of AI will infer different things from it.
As we speak, there is a chance that this tiny little action can create a universal ripple and influence thousands and millions of people worldwide to really consider some of these things that I’m saying and go, “Actually, there’s no reason to be afraid of AI. There is a reason to think about how to integrate with it in the most meaningful way,” and that always goes back to integral theory, how do you integrate yourself with your previous ancestry as well as how do you integrate yourself with your future creations.
So, the person who had come up with integral theory is Ken Wilber. Then, there’s a bunch of people around him who’ve then studied it and written about it and so on. So, I myself talk about it. There’s another guy who runs a channel called Actualize.org that we listen to quite a lot. He’s done quite lots of good videos around Spiral Dynamics. A lot of them are like two, three hours long. So, get a good bottle of Coke or whatever you’re doing and get a massive jug of tea or whatever and get yourself braced for that.
I mean, for me, it’s a great way to spend a train ride to work or back or whatever, when I’m doing something boring, let’s say cleaning the house or whatever, I’ll put on a long talk and listen to it and learn while cleaning, yeah? You can integrate all these kind of seemingly boring activities or long activities and join them into something that’s much more of a higher level of experience.
So, yeah, Actualize.org, Ken Wilber’s talks. Then, there’s the Integral Life. I speak about it a little bit. There’s another guy called David Long who talks about it specifically. So, a lot of people who are studying integral theory, they end up focusing in on a specific aspect. So, they might say, “Well, I’m focusing on self-development, as in I.” Some other people are a lot more about the societal development as in we. Some other people are about product development, as in things and how to make things more sustainable and cyclical and so on, and some people are about systems and ecosystems and talking about that.
So, depending on what you’re really interested in, you might search for a different type of more specific teachers that are a lot more experienced. Here, when I say experienced, it’s not just they’ve done endless amounts of work in the field. It’s actually experiencing as in connecting with a higher realm of intelligence, so at level seven and eight and even six, you need to, a level six, which is green and sensitive, you need to really learn to open your heart and develop deep level of empathy and compassion with other people and take other people’s perspectives.
At levels seven and eight, it’s about really ego death and transcending fear, about the way to transcend that and really have that experience of dying without dying, it can be very, very scary experience. If you find yourself in that experience just kind of suddenly or through a set of circumstances, you can literally lose your mind unless you know what’s going on, and so it helps to have a teacher who can sort of guide you through that ego death so that you can see the full blissfulness of the life on the other side of the shadow, okay?
So, that’s what I mean by experience, not just as in like, “Oh, I’ve been doing this for 20 years.” There’s a lot of people who have been doing lots of things for 20, 30 years but have never really experienced certain realizations in life, so they’re talking from their head, which is a level five rational level, and they’re rationalizing things because they read 27 books on the subject, but have never really truly experienced, whereas someone who’s truly experienced, they can explain it to you in a sentence and go, “Oh yeah, I understand what you mean by that. This is what I did,” to which you say, “Oh, okay, great. Thank you so much.” It’s like a two minute conversation versus three hour blurb about stuff that they can’t really associate with.
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