MisteR SF: Grown-Up Lit in the 21st Century

469192821Okay artists, writers, readers, fanboys, tweeter, tweens and creative types…
Here’s the presupposition: (from Arthur C. Clarke)
Any science sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic.
 
If Science Fiction is about science (magic) that we can’t do YET (or as with Star Wars — can’t do now, but could long ago) — expecting that time will pass and a lot of it will become science documentary….
and Fantasy is about magic which is really just a different science not available to our world (location) —
and they are both just fiction spinning around in a world that’s either not here, or not now (or both)…
then — what’s behind the trend in the fiction/ art/ narrative itself that just adds dashes and dollops of magic (science that is not here and/or not now), but doesn’t make it the center piece of the story? As in an otherwise historical novel, or romance, mystery or movie — where there is a smattering of magic here and there for color, for laughs, or for diversity — but not the main interest of the story?
 
Magical Realism (literary) is otherwise ordinary mainstream literature — where one (usually very small but essential) aspect of the story features a magical event, or magical item or character — but the rest of the story ticks along and hums a normal everyday song. Sci-Fi/Fantasy literature would be a story about the magic (or magic item, ability, person, race, event) itself, and the whole world of the story spins around that magic.
 
Contrast:
Fantasy
1. Game of Thrones — an action, adventure, historical-feeling saga with just a few zombies and 3 hatchling dragons and their mother. Everything else in the story could be an alternate British history (or any other geography dropped into that 11th or 12th century time period.) and,
2. Harry Potter 1-7 — which is great story telling, but couldn’t exist if you pulled the magical creatures, spells, wands, potions, and people out of it.
or
Sci-Fi
1. Hunger Games — which again is a virtual political drama and adventure / coming of age story with a bit of technology that separates it from here and now, and
2. Star Wars which depends on the technology and science (as well as the tech / tech-enhanced characters) to function in every aspect of the narrative.
 
Is there a “growing up” of the SF literature everyone in the 20th Century grew up with — bringing Science Fiction and Science Fantasy into a slightly more mature 21st Century Magical Realist mainstream?
That’s really my question.
Is this really a trend? Will it last? Will literature for children be the landing pad for more magic-y SF in the future? And the Magical Realist SF stuff be the grown-geek fiction? And will that Magical Realist SF (MR-SF) move to take over the position of mainstream literature? Are we headed for MRSF as the norm for art and story telling?
–As in “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” (that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001) or “The Man in the High Tower” (HUGO award winner in 1963, where we got one of our earliest tastes of alternative history — true history with one event that has magically changed — and all the ripples that single change creates.) Alternative Reality art/lit features a single magical change that is meta to the literature itself — the author/artist is the magician, rather than one of the characters (as in “It’s a Wonderful Life”.)
 
So is this the future of SF lit? Of mainstream lit and art? Are we the adults that want even our political thrillers and historical romances sprinkled with a few potions and fire-breathing lions?
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SeaWorld: An Aqueous Problem of Conscience

Lynn Whitlark's photo.

So what’s to become of all the creatures currently in the SeaWorld (and similar) parks if the parks close down?ffacfaa0910346898216241e0e38c1fa_penguin460x345

I remember when the first of these “parks” opened — and it was such a new thing — a sealife circus (as opposed to an aquarium which is basically a sealife zoo.) And except for a few marine-loving locals to the coasts,, there was no such thing as a little kid wanting to become a marine biologists or aquatic vet. Now, most kids with the interest have visited these parks and fueled their imaginations to the point that every university with a coast nearby (and some inland schools) now offer it as a distinct major.

sandiego_173db531c6dc9The unexpected part of it all is that we ALL learned so much about the whales and dolphins and porpoises and penguins that when the news that they were unhappy and stressed and even abused started seeping into the press and online reports, it horrified us to the point that the parks themselves are now on the endangered list. Since awareness, understanding and information increases compassion and empathy — we now see these once ground-breaking circus parks as more problem than potential. And that’s in spite of all the better-than-it-used-to-be and better-than-it-might-be positive changes the company has made to its park assets. They raised our culture’s awareness without keeping up with culture’s conscience.

So what happens to the animals — and all those trained park workers, vets, trainers, and marine biologists now that attendance has dropped so low that the parks aren’t going to be able to pay the grocery bill or keep the lights on? manatee-at-seaworld-orlandoWill they be folded into the research and conservation wing of NOAA? Will they be scuttled and auctioned off to small family-run one-ring-tank circuses in the remote areas of the coasts? Will they show up in a black-market of private salt-water fish tanks? Will the US nationalize them to create a Smithsonian Sealife attic or gigantic National Aquarium Complex with branches on the many coasts?

175c1c8b7f014917848c72fd832f8591_turtlereef_2_460x345And what of all the animal rescues and rehabs the SeaWorld people participated in? 64747-bigthumbnailHaving all those marine vets within reach saved a lot of wildlife over the years. What happens when a fisherman or sailor comes upon a dolphin or manatee or sea-turtle in distress if there’s no park full of specialists to ferry help in?

There are no obvious answers to some of these questions. Without the parks as potential employers, how many of the university departments will survive? Which means even fewer professionals on call. Surely Not-For-Profits can’t employ all the people needed to do the work. Or all the professionals that will potentially flood the market if the parks disappear.

SeaWorld_Irina-Silvestrova-e1408116945543This is like a vet problem that has to help fold soldiers back into mainstream society after a war. These animals were part of an undesirable way of life that existed for a short time, and served an important purpose. But now we see that it’s no way to expect them to live for their whole lives.

So what is to become of them when our moral outrage out-distances their park-home? As morally objectionable as the public display of “freak shows” was in the early 20th Century — when public conscience closed them down with non-attendance, a lot of very unusual performers were suddenly out of work and homeless.

san-antonio-texas-seaworld-top

And here we are again. Our compassion has the potential to be more cruel than our ambivalence. At least in the short-term.

Which is not a simple problem.

Lynn Whitlark's photo.

The Success of Failed Attempts: Prohibition and US

Remember Prohibition?  Me neither.  It was way before my time.

But I’ve seen the movies.  The History Channel is all over this story.  Everybody knows it was an outrageous failure that flew in the face of American civil liberties…

remember_future

Right?

Except I think we may have been bamboozled.  So to speak.

According to TIME Magazine, there’s a little bit of the history that the photo above doesn’t bother to mention — and maybe we should make notes about this.

The rise of the United States is one of history’s amazing stories, even more remarkable when you realize how many of our forefathers were three sheets to the wind. John Adams drank hard cider with breakfast. James Madison drained a pint of whiskey each day*. By 1830 the average American was guzzling the equivalent of 1.7 bottles of hard liquor per week — three times the amount consumed today.

*For those keeping score, that would come to 3.5 quarts (just shy of a gallon) of whiskey per week.

That’s right.  Per capita, Americans drank an average AVERAGE of 1.7 quarts of hard liquor per week.  That’s 32 drinks per week.  4 1/2 cocktails a day.  Every day.  Per person.  Man, woman and child.  And since we assume the children were not REALLY drinking their fair share, that means Daddy and Mama — who at that time had 7 surviving children per household — were actually drinking more than 15 bottle of booze a week.

Okay — there were a few single folks.  And a few tea-totalers.  So let’s split the difference and say all the drinking adults drank maybe 10 bottles a week.

That’s the equivalent of more than a fifth of scotch whiskey a day.  Imagine living in a world where everybody drank a fifth of scotch a day.  People would be getting in gun fights in the street.  Wife and child abuse would be rampant.  Babies would be still-born, damaged by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome — before anybody knew what it was.  People wouldn’t live long enough to die of cancer or Alzheimer’s or heart disease or — well — of anything age related because they’d die of liver failure in their 40s.

Imagine that world.  A place where there were no (or few) medical anesthetics or analgesics.  Pain killers were narcotic or nothing.  Want to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, or even horrific PMS?  Have a bottle of corn liquor!  Pain from childbirth?  Have a drink.  Migraine?  Give me a break.  Have a drink.  Insomnia?  Muscle cramps?  Stress?  Exhaustion?  Relax.  Get some sleep.  Have a drink or two to unwind and then a couple more to put you to sleep at night.  Is the weather a bit nippy?  Aches and pains from all that rain?  Arthritis warping you hands and the knuckles in your toes?  Bourbon will fix that!  You won’t feel a thing!  Depressed?  Blue?  Burdened by nightmares?  Trauma?  (Think PTSD) — Bottoms up!

You won’t feel a thing.  Ask anybody.

And that’s probably pretty much the truth.  People drank to fix just about everything.  Monks made liquor to pay their bills.  Bitters — digestion aids — were loaded with wood spices, ginger, herbs and other medicinals and sold for their health benefits.

Everybody drank!  An average of 1.7 bottles of hard liquor (not beer or wine or cider or mead….) every single week.  So that 1.7 bottles of hard liquor was actually IN ADDITION TO any beer or wine or cider or mead that was consumed.

And the results were incalculable.  Think of the productivity loss!  Imagine walking the scaffolding to build skyscrapers with that much liquor in your system!  No wonder so many people died building the Brooklyn Bridge!  Or the Empire State Building!  Think about working as a telephone or telegraph lineman — or walking the catwalks in the saloons and Vaudeville theaters!  Or swinging a big knife as a butcher — or a scythe as a farmer!  Every aspect of life gets more dangerous with that much liquor in flow!

My grandmother was almost beaten to death by her father for letting a pig escape from its pen — because her father was constantly altered by alcohol,  and not quite in conscious control of his actions.  He was a “strong silent-type” pioneer who farmed and ranched some of the most difficult land in the dusty Texas Panhandle.  And he was a nightmare.  None of his sons survived — so he worked his daughters like pack-animals — and he beat them just like he beat the mules.

And nobody thought anything about it.
Why not?
Because it was common place.  Everybody drank that much.  Everybody beat their children and wives in fits of anger.  Everybody.

1.7 bottles of hard liquor — the average — probably the minimum for a real drinking adult — is enough to change everything.

Lips-that-touch-liquor

And that’s why Prohibition happened.  It happened in concert with the first Women’s Movement that gave women their first voice in the US.  Women finally got fed up.

Women got a voice, and one of the first things they said was; “put down that bottle!”

So?

So — no.  Prohibition didn’t last.  Bootleggers found a way to keep making moonshine and bathtub gin.  NASCAR was born via the car-chases — the result of moonshiners trying to outrun the local police on the backroads and dirt highways of the South.  We wanted our freedom so bad that we were willing to break the law — and laugh while we did it — just to keep drinking.  We made a sport of hiding away in private clubs and dark venues all over America —

And Prohibition was repealed — the Speak Easy died — bootleggers became political royalty — and gangsters moved on to organizing other crimes.

And, at least according to that first picture — Prohibition failed.

But the truth is — it changed the way we think about drinking in this country.  We no longer look the other way when people drink and abuse their family.   We don’t turn a blind eye to manslaughter with a vehicle when the driver was DUI.  We don’t excuse costly errors due to hangovers or absenteeism.  Suicide by alcohol — isn’t an unknown any more. And Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a known, rather than an unknown.

The town drunk isn’t a joke any more.

Public intoxication — to the point of doing harm to oneself or others — just isn’t cool.

And that’s not the way it was before.  We think about how much we drink.  We find designated drivers.  We hold bartenders accountable for letting people get so drunk — for hours at a time — that they are a public threat.

We don’t tolerate those things.   Now.

Prohibition may not be the law of the land any more — but a failure?

I don’t think so.

In the long game, Prohibition was what we needed to get sober enough  — for long enough — to think clearly and re-prioritize our beliefs and values and goals.  It was a sober night that let us grow up and choose better.  And be better.

People still drink.  There are still heavy drinkers.  But now we are pretty clear about addiction and recovery.  Drinking and alcoholism aren’t the same thing.  But we might never have known that without Prohibition.

There are still good reasons to drink.  And there are other choices that accomplish the same ends.  But we might never have known that without Prohibition.

There are behaviors that can be explained by putting them in the context of a few drinks — but explaining is not the same as excusing.  Alcohol is not an excuse for hurting others.  Or breaking laws.  Or failing — at anything.  Alcohol may explain it – but it doesn’t excuse it.  But we might never have known that without Prohibition.

We had to get away from that 1.7/per capita statistic long enough to stop thinking of it as normal.

prohibition

Now.

Let’s talk about guns, our relationship to our guns, and the relationship to violence.

Intro to Graves/Jung Model – Intro to Level 8

Level 8 — Turquoise


“Sacrifices Self and Others As May Be Required For Global/Big Picture Outsome”


The global territory claimed by L7 becomes the residence of the L8 community.

One pattern you might want to notice in Graves’ Model is that whatever is the “ends” value in one system becomes a “means” value thereafter. The ability to survive the physical world is the ends L1 is after, but once attained, it becomes one of the means to the next set of ends. L2’s ability to create a safe and trusting environment; L3’s ability to go for it and invest itself without hesitation; L4’s ability to create and follow an orderly set of rules; L5’s ability to prosper and get the job done; L6’s ability to accept, encourage and develop others; and L7’s ability to understand and figure out the patterns and complexities of world and of daily life are now all means to L8’s ends: To create order and health in the global village.
ENTERING, PEAK, AND EXITING

Each Graves level is actually much more stratified than simple L1, L2, L3, L4, and so on. Each level consists of three stages: Entering, Peak , and Exiting. In this way, the map can be seen as not only the map of the territory from one level to the next, but also as the “local” map within each level. The city map within the national map.

During each level’s entering phase, there will be a general euphoria and idealization of the tools and methods of that system (almost all energy devoted to the conscious mind as it grapples with exciting new ideas). An entering L3 will revel and wallow in its ego, its independence, and its newly found competitive spirit. Likewise, L4 will spend every waking minute devising new and better ways to create order (or mismatch the current order….)

At peak, or nodal phase (if such a thing exists) there is a general contentment and satisfaction with the way the world works according to that system. In many cases, however, it is just about the time that we become overwhelmingly dissatisfied with our present condition (by evolution or revolution) that the euphoria is lost. Very few people actually live on the peak. Most of us are either climbing up, or tumbling down for most of our lives.

At the exiting phase, existence has changed to the point that one by one, each of the new level’s coping mechanisms falls under the necessities of the level’s new problems of existence — and the unconscious floods awareness with affects and ideas contrary to the level. In other words — once you think you’ve figured it all out and you really GET IT, you figure out what you’ve GOT doesn’t really work.

It may also be possible to use a sort of mental shorthand to think about each level as though it were graded in tenths. An L5.1 will have different entering characteristics than an L5.4. An L4.7 and an L4.9 will have more in common than an L4.5 and an L4.6, since those — even though side by side — fall one in entering, and the other in exiting.

This kind of grading is especially useful when talking about L8. Since L8 is the newest system to emerge — and the only system for which the parameters are not completely known — it might be to our advantage to understand from the beginning that no more than L8.2 or possibly L8.3 is documentable at this time.
PROBLEMS OF EXISTENCE
The transition from L7 to L8 turns on the realization that these puzzles which L7 has so efficiently and cleverly pieced together are not actually being remedied — only understood. This distinction between simply understanding a problem and actually fixing it may even be what propels L7 into asking the all-important push line question: “Is that all there is?”

L7 will open its eyes, blink, and then suddenly be faced with the hard truth that no matter how much fun it had, no matter how many patterns it can spot on the head of a pin, and no matter how exquisite the pleasure of putting all the mysteries of the paradoxical world together in an interesting and understandable form — if it isn’t making the world better, then what’s the point? If it isn’t using that blissful mountain of information to make a difference, then what is it good for?

What’s more, L8 emerges into a world of complex problems of existence — already identified and categorized by L7 — which are so large and far reaching that they cannot be tackled by any one individual. The world is still polluted and becoming more so every day. The population is still growing by leaps, bringing food shortages and distribution issues to a head. Disease is rampant; weather systems are in extreme flux; L3 tyrants are flexing their macho muscles in violent and potentially catastrophic ways; the global economy is struggling to form itself into a viable, living, breathing creature — born full grown.

Additionally, the L8 world is, for the first time, a Global Village. Technology has made time and distance irrelevant. The cultural melting pot has been redefined as a cultural stew pot where diversity is what makes the stew into the savory mix it is. The interconnectedness of the planet’s atmosphere, weather, seas and water supply have made it impossible to ignore pollution, poisoning, and abuse by any group, business, or nation.
The Holographic Paradigm
The L8 existence is further complicated by the notion of the holographic paradigm in which the L7 interconnectedness (where everything effects everything else) extends into the metaphorical. In this construct, the smallest particle of the whole (holon) carries the entire whole. An example would be the notion that all the information for the human being is somehow present within the zygote and that each subsequent cell also contains the same whole of information and could be used to reproduce the whole (as with cloning…) In practical terms, L8 sees the health of the global village in the organism, and the health of the organism in the global village — to effect one is to effect all. To fail one is to fail all. Taken to its L8 conclusions, to effect the individual is to metaphorically and therefore metaphysically have access to the whole. By healing one — we heal all. Bringing peace to one, brings peace to all. Conversely, bringing war to the whole effects all parts, and warring one against another creates a warring world.

What we do for the least of these, we do for all of creation.

At least in its early stages, the holographic metaphor is one of the most important learnings for L8. Because it implies that we can look at the part in order to see the whole; that we can effect a part in order to effect the whole; that we can alter the part in order to alter the whole — it implies that we can open Schrodinger’s box with the intention of finding the cat in the condition we choose. It takes complexity theory, chaos theory, quantum theory, duality theory, existential theory, world systems theory, and mind/body theory to a whole new level of application, because it introduces intentionality into the mix. The very language of this metaphor says that we choose. We do. We build. We select. We effect. Introducing intentionality into chaos theory is a whole new ball game.
COPING MEANS
The first and most obvious coping mechanism in L8 is its ability to react to immediate needs. Because of the multitude of problems now apparent to L8, it may find itself in near constant “fire fighter” stance. As an even numbered system, the reaction is not by the L8 individual, but rather by the L8 collective (or some portion thereof.)

As an even system, and possibly because of L8’s relationship to L2, spirituality reappears as a way to understand and relate to the global village, the L8 tribe, and the universe at large. Instead of the popular religion and psychology that may have been adopted as part of L6’s self-help regimen, spirituality and deity at L8 may have more in common with its sister L2 mysticism.

Because of the relative newness of L8, many of what will emerge as the coping means of this system have not yet appeared and/or normalized. What has emerged is the beginnings of set of metaphysical and global tools and methods for addressing the problems of existence described above. Unlike the mysterious hit-and-miss second tier phenomena exhibited in L7, the phenomenology of L8 pulls order out of the chaos once more. Patterns of effectiveness begin to reveal themselves.

At L8, for the first time in the second tier, utilitarian means appear and what works is favored over what feels good, what is interesting, and what is most profitable.

MOTIVATORS AND DRIVERS
The motivator which so far appears to be most pervasive in L8 is the drive to embrace the global village and move toward health. None of the previous systems has been so blatantly devoted to changing the course of history for the whole of mankind and the entirety of the village; changing the future; changing the present; and making the global village a better and more habitable place. What’s behind this motivation toward change, however, is the real L8. Because L8 sees itself as one of the holons in the holographic structure of the universe, it takes self-repair, self-alignment, self-correction, and self re-framing as part of its function — because to correct any part of the holographic structure is to correct the whole. As a result, L8 will be constantly adjusting, aligning, and correcting, up and down the holographic structure.

While L7 was caught up in the expansion of its self and its own mind and abilities, L8 wants to use those abilities to do what others cannot: to effect the whole. Through the holographic paradigm ; through using the predictive aspects of the model to anticipate problems and determine a course of action that will take all effected systems into consideration, and to work creatively within the systems to solve system problems; and through the many other metaphorical constructs L8 will design to effect change. L8 goes beyond the limitations of the individual and experiences the exponential growth in ability that comes from partnering up with others of its kind.

Much of the rest of what has been written about L8 is speculative, but L8 seems to be motivated toward conservation of energy as a way of life, living the “less is more” adage to the fullest. Also, having a healthy L1through L7 may leave L8 cautious and slightly protective of itself, knowing that until the spectrum progresses and there are many more L8s, there may be “criminal, insane, sinful, stupid, useless, and weak” accusations and the potential for witch burnings.

This distance between the earlier systems is nowhere as noticeable as between L8 and L4 — at least from the perspective of L4 which may react to L8 with either fear, or shouts of heresy. From the perspective of L8, L4 may actually be closest in motivation, wanting nothing more than to order a severely chaotic, damaged, and fragile world. Next to the necessity, responsibility, and accountability of L8, the rules and laws of L4 can look fairly liberal.
(MORE ABOUT THE L7 PARADOXICAL) OPENING BOXES: THE L8 IMPERATIVE

Opening Boxes — Revisited
(for the first part of this discussion, go to the Graves-Jung L7 link, and page down to “L6 to L7 in physics: Relativity to Quantum Theorty.”)

Let’s go back for just a moment to Schrödinger’s little cat.

Right at the moment the counter rested on fifty, the cat was, for all quantum purposes, a fifty-percent dead cat, and a fifty-percent live cat. The cat was metaphorically and literally both dead and alive.

And right as you opened lid, you effected that cat forever. Whether it’s dead or alive, your act of observing it has forever caused that cat’s present situation — and future — to be certain and immutable. At fifty percent, two “realities” were true and possible at the same time. But opening the box narrowed the possibilities to one.

That’s not quite the way the story goes, but it’s close enough. There’s no determinism in quantum physics — so this is playing fast and loose with the metaphor, so be generous in understanding this use of the story.

The bottom line lesson in physics is that observation effects outcome. What Schrödinger was really talking about had to do with the practicality of observing matter — atoms and particles. By the act of observing it, scientists somehow tint or skew their own research. Heisenberg takes the idea of observation effecting outcome even further to say that when we observe, we cannot possibly record what would have been had we never imposed ourselves into the observation. As we observe, we change what would have otherwise been True. That’s the layman’s version of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principal.

But that’s a very narrow application of the cat story. If we open the box and look inside, then we remove possibilities from the universe. If we intentionally research or participate by looking or describing or intervening — then we also are intentionally affecting outcome. We are affecting reality. The act of opening the box forces the universe to move from many possibilities to a single necessary reality.

If you move across disciplines from physics to psychology, there’s a similar bottom line that says “language effects behavior.” That my language — the words I choose –somehow effects your behavior. If I say “Stop!”, that changes your behavior. If I say, “I love you,” that changes your behavior.

And if I say to myself, “every time the weather gets like this, I get a sinus headache.” This is where we cross over into all that’s being written about mind-body healing. By saying those words, I am affecting my own behavior.

You’ve got a conscious mind — the part that remembers to get milk and change the sheets every so often. And, you’ve got an unconscious mind — the part that remembers to breathe air and change your skin from time to time. In your conscious mind, you keep a constant stream of words running. We decide and debate and sort through information. We evaluate information and make choices. Like deciding that this is the kind of weather that causes bad headaches.

The unconscious is like a little child about four or five years old . It’s loaded with responsibility for operating the machinery, but its motivation and development of strategies runs like a four or five year old. So it’s like the super computer. It can run 385,000 operations per second — at least — and is set to run all kinds of programs when it’s delivered from the factory, but it still requires the operator — the conscious mind or some outside source — to give new instructions and throw the switches.

So when we say, this is the kind of weather that gives bad headaches — this little four or five year old says, “okay. I can do that.” And boom! Sinus headache. And since it remembers so well, it will continue to give us that same “boom” every time the weather makes this shift.

Observation effects outcome. Language effects behavior. My language effects your behavior. My language effects my behavior. Another way to say that my language effects my behavior is
“saying so makes it so.”

By saying what the weather does, I open the box and, boom! I make it so. Or not. But I take it out of the realm of randomness.

Another way of saying my language effects your behavior is
“you don’t have because you don’t ask. ”

If I say, “get out of the street!” — you either will or you won’t. Either way, I’ve effected the outcome. But without asking, I leave possibility at work. If I want to nudge reality in a particular direction, I have to say so. I have to speak up. I have to intentionally participate.

So you’re out in the street. My language has effected your behavior. Maybe you freeze and get hit; maybe you take off running and are saved. Either way — it’s no longer a random event. “You don’t have because you don’t ask” is the back handed way to say it. Frontwards, it’s “ask and it shall be given.” We just crossed over into religion, by the way. Both those lines are from the New Testament. Which makes sense.

What else is prayer but an attempt to effect God’s behavior? We pray in order to effect outcome. We pray so that we are participating and intervening. If you don’t have because you don’t ask is true — if quantum mechanics is true — then opening boxes becomes a very important part of life.

And opening the correct boxes is a very important part of life. There are some things we want to remain in possibility. We want the dice to keep rolling. Maybe pick up even more possibilities before we set reality in place. There are some boxes we leave alone. Maybe even most boxes. Some things we don’t talk about, because the very act of talking — or saying so — could set a process in motion that can’t be undone. There are a lot of areas in my life where I’m not ready to open the box.

There are some things I don’t want to “make so.”

If saying so makes it so, you must speak with care and with thought. Say only what you really want to be true. That may be the most difficult thing. Asking only for what you want and giving voice to only those things you want to be is a tall order for most of us who spend hours bemoaning our sad situation, or dwelling on the “maybe”, the “might” and the “what if.” Refusing to open boxes before their time; refusing to open boxes which are rightfully someone else’s business; refusing to listen as others throw open boxes which are not their own — these are lessons which go counter to the average, everyday life. We want to be nosy and look into other peoples’ boxes. Our curiosity is almost as powerful as hunger and thirst.

However, that is exactly what has to be. Maybe it is this metaphor of opening boxes which explains just what it is about gossip that we all find both compelling and repulsive. What better describes the act of gossiping than to compare it to opening boxes. Based on limited and questionable information, we speculate, draw conclusions, and then share our secret suspicions and deductions with others under the cloak of confidentiality.

In other words, we recklessly open boxes without any consideration for whether the cat lives or dies — and in many cases, we anticipate the announcement that the cat is indeed dead, so we can fold our arms and shake our heads with a mournful “I told you so.”

Take the example of the gossip who spreads the story that Joe and Mary are headed for divorce. Joe and Mary may be having trouble — or they may be having no trouble at all in their marriage — but if Joe or Mary hears from Martha who heard from Mike who heard from John who heard from Betty … that there are problems, they may begin to see trouble at every turn. Fear begets fear and anxiety, which begets anger and hurt, which begets more fear and anxiety and so it goes. Before long, what might have been a non-problem or a simple disagreement suddenly shows up in stress and tension in an otherwise safe partnership. And if you’re going to be executed for a crime, there comes the temptation to go ahead and commit it just to keep the accountant’s ledger honest.

Saying so makes it so. Language effects behavior. Observation effects outcome.

We are responsible for our words and our actions. They are not accidental or without intent. — and if they are with intent, the intention should be to help. “First, do no harm” isn’t good enough. We must intentionally do good. We open only those boxes which are our business to open, and we only open them when it is time to eliminate possibility and choose one course of action.
Box Opening at L8-Turquoise
We take it as true that observation effects outcome.

And that intentionally opening a box equals observation.

If someone at L2 opens a box, the effect will ripple out across the L2-tribe and that’s about it. But if L3 opens a box, it not only effects the L3 world, it drips down and effects any L2’s in the neighborhood — usually the L2’s who are living in the L3’s domain.

If an L4 opens a box, makes a new law or enforces a new policy — it’s going to follow gravity and change things for everybody all the way down. But beyond that, because the L3’s and L4’s have the future in their temporal construct, opening a box in the present will potentially effect the future as well.

But it isn’t just a matter of effecting the present and the future. Every time we move up a level of complexity, the box itself becomes more complex. — As though it had connecting wires attached. When the box lid opens and you observe the contents, other boxes open automatically because they are connected. — So opening an L4 box automatically opens a series of L3 and L2 boxes. And while L2 and L3 boxes only play out in the present, L4 boxes begin to have long term effects on the future. This is what complexity means in this context. By the time you get up to L7, what might otherwise appear to be a simple box is so dramatically linked to other aspects of existence that opening it sets the quantum tumblers in motion altering the entire pattern. And knowing what we now know about the temporal nature of each level, the complexity attached to an L7 box implies that the ripple will not only effect present and future, but it will effect the present and future of multiple timelines.

What we’ve said earlier is, “don’t go about opening boxes that aren’t yours to open.” The whole concept of people taking responsibility for their own lives depends on their willingness and freedom to open their own boxes.

Except that the pattern — the structure of the complexity — is precisely what L7’s do best. They are able to see in advance where many of the tendrils of connectivity are located. They know before the box is opened how pervasive the ripple will be. They may not have the exact results in detail, but the scope and reach are there.

And so, at L8, part of the defining task is to deliberately open boxes. It is absolutely right that L4’s shouldn’t go around opening other people’s L4 boxes because they have no way of knowing how they will ultimately effect the life or death of the little cat. But L8s, by virtue of knowing the outcome of opening or not opening a given box, have the responsibility of opening those boxes that need to be opened, and doing everything in their power to keep the others sealed. It’s like being given the keys to a car.

Once you’ve got the keys and know how to drive, if you see someone lying hurt beside the road and you choose not to pick them up and take them to the hospital, then you carry some of the blame if the person dies. The L8’s get the keys to the car — and they get the responsibility for using them.

The result is that while there is a necessity to not open boxes at some levels, there is an absolute necessity — obligation, to open them at L8.

And that’s a very different approach.

And if someone else — say, someone who knows about L7 and L8 but doesn’t accept the responsibility and authority — or maybe just doesn’t realize the responsibility and authority — I suppose this would be the definition of an unhealthy L8 — takes it upon themselves to throw open an L7 or L8 box and make some grand prediction about the future of the world or the destiny of some society or culture — and they publish that prediction. . . Whether they publish it in print or through some other medium like television or out on the internet, or even if they just throw the idea out into the stratosphere where any fool can get at it — if the idea gets out there and it collects followers and adherents, then the idea begins to materialize. Saying so makes it so—

— Agreement describes it. If you work toward a common goal — if you have agreement with other L8’s — it has a cumulative effect. If you do it from the same physical location, at the same time, it has an even greater effect. “Agreement” between L8’s is a demonstration of the “whole being the greater than the sum of the parts.”

There is necessity, obligation, and responsibility to this. If someone without the responsibility firmly in hand opens an L7 or L8 box — even if they open it alone but it still publishes out into the ether or out into print — and others read it or know it — it infects them like a virus. Once the thought is out there it takes on a virus-like life of its own. It spreads through the whole.

This is what is commonly called memetics . Memes. This popular “science” of memetics is nothing more than another metaphor describing the same phenomenon as the metaphor of opening boxes. Another common way to think of this phenomenon is called “The Law of Attraction.”

The Law of Attraction

Whatever you spend your time / energy thinking about, will be drawn to you and begin to manifest itself in your life.

This is just another way of saying, “Saying so makes it so,” and “you don’t have because you don’t ask.”

Once the box is opened, the meme — the virus — is just lying dormant waiting to infect the next receptive organism that happens by. And once infection has occurred, it forms a kind of agreement. Instead of one copy of the offending meme, there are now two. Or three. Or three hundred.

All that cumulative agreement. No intention involved. No conscious consent to being infected with this randomly activated virus. And like AIDs or Ebola, it can change the world before anyone even recognizes that it exists.

To some extent this can happen without consent. Imagine if I have a dream that someone is trying to kill you, and I tell you about it. Whether you believe that dreams are predictive or not — whether you act on my idea or not — I’ve put that idea in your mind and you will watch for proof that it isn’t true. You’ll notice small, otherwise insignificant events and begin to attach significance to them. My observation — true or not — has effected your outcome. Your world is substantially different — and not because someone is in fact trying to kill you, but because I planted that idea and it has taken hold and grown. Now imagine that I told three other people who are friends to both of us and they all have the same reaction. And they share the idea and their reactions with each other — and you. The power measurement on that one idea is now much greater regardless of the truth or untruth of its original incarnation. Before long, you’re looking over your shoulder, avoiding alleyways, staying home after dark, and refusing to walk to your car alone. Your nervousness draws attention. You’re conspicuous. You walk and talk like someone who has a reason to be afraid. And nothing draws danger like someone running on fear. What’s more, all that fear is likely to damage your immune system and make your health vulnerable. Long enough, and the person trying to kill you might just be your own body. Add into that how differently your friends are now acting toward you, how your family has changed, how it’s effecting your job, and how you’ve changed the way you think about your future, and suddenly that one small observation has had a far reaching and disturbing effect.

It won’t always infect the outcome to such great lengths — and then, sometimes it will — without permission or intent on the part of the infected one. Intention comes when we deliberately intend to counter or agree with the observation. Passivity is like an open wound — where every virus or bacteria that floats through the air is potentially able to change the body forever.

And so the real point is not “nobody open any boxes”, or “only L8’s open boxes,” but “only open a box you understand and are willing to take full responsibility for opening.”

And that’s about the scariest thing I’ve ever said. Actually, the scariest thing I’ve ever said is the next piece.
The Presupposition Behind Opening Boxes at L8
For the sake of argument, let’s say that it’s true that this harmonic scale has six tones. That L1 is in some ways parallel to L7, and that L2 is in some ways parallel to L8. In what way is this true? L1 is figuring out the pieces of the physical world so that you can navigate and survive there, right? And L2 takes that learning and uses it for this tribal group of people. But the defining characteristic of the tribe is not just that they share the same campfire and share in the work. The thing we keep saying about them is their connection to their ancestors, to ritual, ceremony, — this is where God lives. Whatever kind of god they follow or worship with their ceremonies and rites and prayers and offerings — there is no way to do L2 without that. We’ve been going over and over this, and can’t find a tribal society without some kind of assumption of deity. — That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impossible. We don’t have records of too many L2 societies. But all the evidence I’ve got (and everyone I know who has studied this model in depth) in front of me says that the presupposition of deity is part of the basic structure of L2. Lets just suppose that to be true for a moment.

Now, with that as the basic presupposition — tribal structure and the recognition of deity — look at L8. We’ve already got a conclusion that L8 has responsibility. Well responsibility, as a concept, implies responsibility and therefore accountability. If we are responsible, then we must be accountable or else responsibility is no motivator. And if we are accountable, we must be accountable to someone or something that has intention.

And the someone or something with intention has got to be bigger than me, or else accountability has no consequences. So if there is responsibility, accountability, and consequences to someone or something bigger and more powerful than me which has intent and personality, then L8 demands the presupposition of deity, just like L2.

If you try to do L2 without that presupposition, then what are the rituals, ceremony, magic, and prayers connected to? Even if the deity is nature, the sky-god, the god of fertility or harvest, — pantheism, monotheism, animism — it doesn’t matter. It’s the presupposition that is the glue of it. That presupposition is what gives the tribe its identity and stability. It’s where they exist. And to try and do L8 without that presupposition — regardless of how you have shuddered at the thought of something more powerful than you at L5, or L6 — regardless of the gods you abandoned at any of the previous levels — without that presupposition, there is no tribe, and no survival.

If you delete consequences; if you delete accountability; if you delete responsibility — then opening boxes becomes trivial. A game. An option.. Using what you acquired at L7 becomes optional. And if using what you acquired at L7 for the good of others is optional, then you’re still at L7. Indeed, not even very far into L7, because when the Self begins to emerge you become aware that highly complex systems behave as if they were alive. The Gaia hypothesis is a rather crude attempt to prove this in terms of the earth, but if the whole universe is interconnected, one would expect its system to be vital—not in a primitive way but in one reflective of its complexity.

Can’t the tribe hold you accountable?

Why would they, if they’re not accountable to anyone either?

Think about how we all hold Bill Gates responsible for how he uses his money. He’s already changed the world by leading it into the information age — At least he’s the public figure we attach to that change. As a result, he’s got billions of our dollars of which he has become custodian. He earned it. We gave it to him gladly, but now we hold him responsible to use it well and use it wisely. — And we all get a little defensive and even angry when we realized how little he was giving back. So in a way, we hold him accountable — we, the society, and he seems to have responded to this in the last few years with massive philanthropies, but without much personal involvement—without becoming L6 himself.

The only motivation for opening these big, scary boxes at L8, is either because there’s some kind of a power rush — which is totally uncharacteristic of the even levels — or because there is even greater accountability than Gates finally accepted. It has to be impossible to live any other way, or we’d just opt down and live a more simple, easier, less complicated existence.

And I think that this must be true for every blossoming even level. Look at the great books of law from the times when L4 first kicked in. Every detail. Every question. Every condition. They were so careful and precise. Why? Maybe they presupposed deity, too.

In science, one of the things that makes a new theory gain respect is whether it somehow manages not only to explain its central premise in a clear and understandable way, but if the — side effects — of the theory also explain, or help make clear and understandable other ideas that are known to be true, but not otherwise understood. Gravity doesn’t just explain why things fall from up to down. It also lets us understand tides. The movement of planets and stars. Seasons. Weather. Without gravity, we may have been able to document the pattern, but we didn’t understand it. It’s that same difference we hit when we were talking about time. The difference between being able to recognize it, and being able to understand it. Then using it becomes a whole other step.

So here we have this theory that L8 only really works in a healthy way — actually, that it only exists at its full flower, at its full potential, if it follows its L2 counterpart and presupposes deity.

Of course, the real presupposition is that all the levels, if healthy, have to presuppose deity. If the fullness of L2 demands the presupposition of deity, then every subsequent level is going to inherit that presupposition if there is total health. In this regard, it doesn’t really matter if the emergence of systems is cyclical or not. The only thing that matters is that the healthy manifestation of each system requires that it congruently incorporates each preceding system.

It’s so tempting to say we don’t need our L2 anymore once we get up a level. We want to be self-sufficient. Our ego wants to be in charge. It wants all the credit. It wants to make the rules. To pound its chest when it wins. We want to have earned our prestige and accomplishments at L5. We want the credit for turning the L3, L4 and L5 “man’s inhumanity to man” into L6 “man’s humanity to man”. We want to discover on our own. To figure out on our own. To create with our own two hands. So we shrug and say, “how juvenile to believe such fairy tales and myths. How primitive we once were. How advanced we must be now.”

There are all these opportunities and motivations for leaving that presupposition out in the cold to freeze and die. Not everybody does, but it isn’t for lack of opportunity. Then we arrive at L7 and L8 where reclaiming becomes important, and — there it is again. Another chance. An opportunity to go back and realign everything that came before.


THE ULTIMATE MEANS VALUES OF CHANGE
Since there is not yet a fully developed and complete version of L8, there is no way to know what success or failure at L8 will look like. There is no L8 measuring stick. We don’t know the details of what healthy L8 looks like except insofar as it builds on healthy L1 L7 and then builds with L1 L7 as its tools.

Even those who have moved into L8 have a hard time describing what it is that they are doing and what is happening to them. One of the things that is most important to L8, however, is that those living in the previous systems on the spectrum map seek after the balance described by L7 so that the responsibility of opening boxes does not fall on unstable shoulders.

Regardless of the amount of detail — balance is the key to successfully negotiating both relationships and responsibility, whether we are talking about the personal qualities, or these qualities as exhibited by organization, businesses, families, or states.

It is tempting as we move along the spectrum map to latch on to one or two values and claim it as the ultimate answer to all life’s problems. L6 may want to hold on tightly to compassion and flexibility, while giving less attention or weight to integrity. L4 on the other hand may want to favor integrity to the exclusion of compassion. It is likely that the odd systems like L5 and L7 will, at least in the short term, lean towards flexibility above all else because it carries with it such strong implications about personal freedom.

WHERE L8 MAY STUMBLE
If there is temptation for L8, it will probably be to give less attention to personal compassion, since L8 has within it the ability to sacrifice individuals in order to save the tribe or the village. This tendency harkens back to its reverberation with L2. Likewise, L8 may give little or no attention to personal freedom(s) because the weight of personal responsibility is so clear from their perspective.

Another possible temptation for L8 is to doubt the boxes it has opened. Negative emotions and limiting decisions are the ever-present humbug of being human and we are all subject to them, regardless of our position on the spectrum map. As a result, any box that takes an extended time to open fully or to be realized will, by definition, leave opportunity for doubt, and hesitation.

One of the possible surprises at L8 is that while the L8 task of opening boxes opens up new levels of accountability and responsibility, the range of the responsibility extends far past the actual opening of the box. Until the fate of the cat is secured, the L8(s) responsible for the box remain tied to that phenomenon until resolution. In other words, there is no such thing as opening a box and then casually walking away. If you open it — it’s your baby right through to the final act. The temptation to go on to other projects is not an option. L8 is a system of necessities, and they are not negotiable. Failure to follow-through in this L8 arena will probably signal the emergence of L8’s self-policing nature.

Like the other systems, it is possible to do L8 in an unhealthy and/or destructive way. If L7 has received short shrift and has not had the opportunity or taken the opportunity to go back and illuminate the full spectrum map, the L8 cannot help but be incomplete, incongruent, and/or riddled with deletions and distortions. Even if the L7 quest to illuminate the entire spectrum map has been successful, there will still be shortcomings and hidden trip wires which can throw us off track.
I’M AN L8; I’M AN L9; I’M AN L10, I’M AN L14, L15, L16 — MAYBE NOT
There is a tendency, when people hear or read about this developmental model for the first time, to try to place themselves on the model.

Obviously, we all are capable of talking any of these systems. And since all eight systems are now activated in our culture, it is possible to pick up bits and pieces of all systems — even those from which we are two or three or even four systems removed.

The question is not which systems we can talk , or which we can mimic or even successfully function in for short periods of time. The real question is, when we are under pressure, where do we function? Where do we go when the going gets tough?

There is a significant number of people who want so badly to be seen as L7 or L8 — or even into the uncharted systems of L9 and L10 — that they successfully convince themselves that they do function there. They become characters in their own hopeful fiction. Here are a few tips for spotting those who have mis-interpreted the model, or who just want so much to be on the cutting edge that they have imagined themselves into it. Remember — most of Western Culture is in the process of moving through L5 and L6 right now, with many still in an L4 world or below, and a blossoming L7 waiting in the wings. L8’s are still few and far between by comparison, but have become a clear presence in the last few years.

L6 + L2 # L8
L6 is the current rising system in the West, and with it often comes a renewed interest in the mysticism and mystery of L2 existence, sometimes including a re-awakening of Paganism and other early tribal practices. Many who experience this kind of mystical, personal voyage assume that they have crossed into L8 territory because of the wonder and awe associated with all mysticism.

Some of the tell-tale signs that an L6 + L2 combination is functioning is the lack of L7 passion for complex data; for systemic technology, and for working out the inter-relatedness and interconnectedness of all things. When L8 turns on, it comes on with the full core sample in place, including a fully developed L7. If there is resistance to or denial of any of the first tier systems; if there is significant imbalance in the core sample; if the L7 is not obvious, then chances are, it’s still a first tier combination.

L7 + L6 # L8
Another combination that is commonly mistaken for L8 is a blend of L6 into L7. Because L7 is the first system to not reject the system(s) that came before, and because there are so many possible metaphysical manifestations in L7 that harken back to the “New Age” side of L6, it may turn around and embrace the warm communal feelings and mystery of meditation, self-hypnosis, and other transcendent and altered states and mistake that for what it knows will be an even more mysterious L8.

Remember that part of what happens at the intersection between L6 and L7 is the introduction of the metaphysical existence.

The important thing to remember is that there is a difference in focus between the odd and the even levels. Turning inward into a deep meditative state, is, by its very nature an odd numbered activity / tool unless your meditation is taking you to collaboration — which is not what the average Buddhist is describing, and not what most Buddhism is teaching. If doing deep meditation as a Buddhist, or Christian, or mystical practice is a singular, individual, expressive activity designed to enrich the self, discover the whole self, or reach some mystical plateau of existence — then that activity, while probably very beneficial and healthy for the individual, is still an odd numbered activity.

You probably noticed the one exception in the above description. “Unless it [the deep meditative state] takes you to collaboration.” If that sounds a little like Rod Serling to you, remember that anybody not where you are appears criminal, insane, sinful, stupid, useless, or weak. When it comes to the metaphysical, some experiences can be described with mountains of words and still not adequately convey the experience. Metephysical reality is experiential. Not driven by Cartesian dualism, logic, reason, empirical data, or emotional fluxuations. EXPERIENTIAL. It’s about experiencing it. You’ll know it when you get there. You’ll know it when youu experience it.

The real indicator about the L6 + L7 blend as opposed too L8 is the difference between focus inward on the self, and an external focus that uses that tool of the deep meditative state in a sacrificial manor. If that state is a tool for the benefit of others, and is seen as one of the responsibilities of L8 existence, then it may indicate L8 rather than L6 + L7.
“Let me tell you about my second tier powers . . .”
One of the paradoxes of second tier existence is this: There is characteristic of existence above L6 which gets little attention — because it is a dissolution of ego. And being a dissolution of ego, it naturally doesn’t talk about itself much. While L3, L4, L5, and L6 seem themselves, either as individuals, or as part of the groups as progressively more and more the center of the physical universe, L7 and L8 are progressively seeing themselves and more and more a part — a single holon. And even though the single holon contains the whole of existence — so does every other holon. We become not less significant or less individual, but less self-important. We are part of the whole We are the whole. We are in everything and everything is in us.

The paradox is that those new tools, skills, abilities, bits of knowledge, and habits of mind which are a natural part of L7 and L8 existence seem perfectly normal and even expected among those above the line — they appear to be somewhat remarkable to those who aren’t living there.

Many L6s claim and imitate — and may even manifest some of these characteristics — but they also embellish, exaggerate, and fantasize about them quite a bit. Were those embellishers truly operating from within L7 and L8, their dissolution of ego would prevent them from talking about their 2nd tier skills, abilities, proficiencies, knowings, and habits of mind.

The bottom line? If you’re talking about or bragging about it — you’re probably not doing it. At least not in a “healthy” way as described earlier. — And like Merlin, if you’re calling yourself a wizard and hanging out a shingle that says so, you can pretty much bet the bank that you’re not one.
Best Rule of Thumb:
If Graves was right, and this is a six-tone scale, then you can’t violate the model when predicting what Second Tier systems will be like. If he was wrong, and the model only goes to L8, then quit hallucinating.

Those who proudly puff out their chests and proclaim themselves to be L9 and L10 — or even higher as is sometimes the case — have misunderstood this central manifestation of second tier existence. Whether those levels exist or not is not really the point, and one thing is certain — if it is, there won’t be a lot of self-proclaiming required.

THE SIX TONE SCALE
According to Graves, this developmental model is a six tone scale; that is, systems one through six have a set of characteristics which are then repeated a sextive higher. The difference between the first tier (systems L1 – L6) and the second tier (systems L7 – L12) is not simply a difference between the physical and meta physical — it is to some degree a reworking of the lower tier, physical systems, in a higher tier, metaphysical way.

Looking at the model in this way, there will be parallels between L1 and L7, then there will be parallels between L2 and L8, L3 and L9, and so on. What does this mean? It means that in many ways, the experience of L7 will have characteristics in common with the experience of L1. L8 will share common characteristics with L2, and L9 will have characteristics in common with L3.

Because Graves himself never documented examples beyond L7, this was a fairly speculative observation for him to make. Just because he saw commonalties between L7 and L1 did not necessarily mean it was a true emerging pattern (for the purposes of simplicity, we call one set of commonalties a coincidence, and two or more — a pattern….)

But the L1 to L7 parallels were significant enough. If L1 is concerned with the individual surviving in the physical world, and learning to use the tools and skills of L1 for this purpose, then the observation that L7 is learning to survive in the global and metaphysical or intellectual world, and learning to use the tools and skills of L7 for that purpose is a fairly easy link up. If L1 fails, the individual dies and returns to dust or becomes part of the food chain. If L7 fails, the individual returns to the previous state of existence — the first tier — the world of L1 through L6.

When L8 showed up, the possible parallels between L2 and L8 could be observed from close range. If L2 is concerned with building a safe physical environment for the tribe/family where trust is possible and the mysterious is an everyday reality; where the tools and experiences of L2 are used to protect and provide for the security of the tribe; and where deity is presupposed in every action and every belief — then L8 shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

It remains to be seen whether or not Graves’ original thesis that this is a cyclical pattern, and that an L9 and L10 will be emerging in the next few years will be born out. If so, L9 will have characteristics in common with L3 — but with a global perspective, and L10 will share commonalties with L4.


SURVEY OF THE EMERGENCE OF GRAVES SYSTEMS

LEVEL

TIME FRAME

HISTORICAL REFERENCE

L1-Beige pre-history pre-tribal existence
L2-Purple usually un-recorded history tribal societies
L3-Red great conquerors and warring tribes… Alexander the Great; The first King of Israel—Saul
L4-Blue First societies of law and great legal documents;… The Ten Commandments; The Code of Hammurabi
L5-Orange Renaissance, Early -Mid 12th Century Individual rights; capitalism, personal freedom
L6-Green Early 19th Century Human rights: the Civil War, child labor laws, communism / socialism
L7-Yellow End of the 19th Century, Early 20th Century Kierkegaard: Existentialism; Schrödinger, Heisenberg, and Einstein: Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity; Freud: the Unconscious Mind
L8-Turquoise Mid 20th Century Holographic theory; Ed Witten: Duality theory; Marshal McCluhan: global village


SURVEY OF CHANGE IN THE STORIES WE TELL

LEVEL

KIND OF STORY

EXAMPLES

L1-Beige —– —–
L2-Purple Myth and legend The oldest mythologies, folk tales, and fairy tales
L3-Red Epic Saga The Iliad and The Odyssey
L4-Blue Morality Tale, Fable, Parable The Tell-Tale Heart, Pilgrim’s Progress, Aesop’s Fables
L5-Orange Inspirational & Motivational Stories Biographies and autobiographies of great L5’s: Donald Trump, Ted Turner, Bill Gates…
L6-Green Healing Metaphors & Stories of Suffering Innocence; Stream of Consciousness Ulysses, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Iron John, and Uses of Enchantment. Also, stories of the human triumph and heroism of the human spirit; and ecology fables
L7-Yellow Paradoxicals The Castle, Schrödinger’s Cat, The Alchemist, The Return of Merlin ,Till We Have Faces
L8-Turquoise New Myth? We’re still waiting….


SURVEY OF CHANGE IN THE WAY WE USE RULES

LEVEL

RULE STRUCTURE

EXAMPLES

L1-Beige Your rules for me
or
The only rule is survival
I don’t know what to eat; you tell me.
or
No rules Anarchy. So what and who cares. I’ll find what I eat — or I’ll starve
L2-Purple The mystery is not ours to know We eat whatever the gods provide.
L3-Red My rules for you; no rules for me. You eat carrots; I eat whatever I like.
L4-Blue My rules for me; my rules for you. I eat carrots; you eat carrots; we all eat carrots
L5-Orange Rules? Suggestions. There are some food that are better for you than others, and carrots are certainly a good choice. But the truth is, you eat according to the needs of the situation and the moment.
L6-Green My rules for me; your rules for you. I eat carrots; what you eat is your business.
L7-Yellow All rules are subject to careful examination and consideration. Strive for utility, and enjoy. Try the carrots. If they don’t do it for you; try something else. Keep trying more “somethings” until you find what you need and want.
L8-Turquoise There is only one rule, and it’s not negotiable. Do what you were put here to do. Everything else is in service to that one rule. I eat whatever will structure my body chemistry appropriately for what I have to do.

SURVEY OF CHANGE IN MEDICINE

LEVEL

PRACTITIONER

METHODS

L1-Beige Self Instinct. You’re on your own.
L2-Purple Shaman, Witch doctor, medicine woman herbs/prayer; legend; divine intervention
L3-Red Miracle Worker spells/magic; fighting death face to face
L4-Blue Doctor rules, house calls, prescriptions, scientific method
L5-Orange Professional Physician tests, hospitalization, insurance, research and teaching institutions
L6-Green Care Giver hospice, home care; symptoms treated with naturopathic and cultural treatments
L7-Yellow Self, and
Healer-counselors
mind-body medicine, botanicals, nutrition, prevention. Self-healing.
L8-Turquoise Integrative Healers? blended use of all previous levels. Balance = prevention and restoration?


SURVEY OF CHANGE IN LEFT / RIGHT BRAIN PREFERENCE

This table is looking at two variables. The first is the preference for either right or left brain function , and the second is concerned with two of the four characteristics identified by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator : sensor / intuitor, and thinker / feeler.

Looking down the chart, it is easy to pick out where the analytic, scientific, and mathematic brain takes over at L4, then continues to flourish at L5 before reverting to its former creative and sensitive functions at L6, in preparation for whole brain function — sequential multi-tasking between left and right brain at L7, and then simultaneous multi-tasking at L8.

From detail to general….

LEVEL

BRAIN HEMISPHERE PREFERENCE REWARDED

MBTI TYPE REWARDED

4-MAT PREFERENCE*

L1-Beige Right Brain SF WHAT?
L2-Purple Right Brain SF WHAT?
L3-Red Right Brain SF WHAT?
L4-Blue Left Brain ST WHY?
L5-Orange Left Brain ST WHY?
L6-Green Right Brain NF HOW?
L7-Yellow Whole Brain NT WHAT IF?
L8-Turquoise Whole Brain Seeks Balance WHAT IF? WHAT? WHY? HOW?**

note: this accounts for the big changes that happen around L6. L6 is different from L5 on all three points, then immediately changes again in all respects except brain hemisphere preference, where it adds rather than changes.

*The 4-MAT preference refers to the educational-training tool which draws on the human tendency to listen first and foremost to one of the four questions (cited in this column) and their answers.

By knowing that we all have a primary and secondary “channel” for taking in information, a good trainer/educator will hit each of these questions and its appropriate answer during the course of teaching a new bit of information to a roomful of students.

This tool is often used for more effective training in a corporate environment, but is useful to teachers, coaches, instructors, managers, supervisors, parents, and anyone else who assist others in learning new skills or data; or those responsible for issuing orders (as in the military) and expects them to be followed.

The most advantageous (and easiest to follow) construction is:

1) a little what (the name of the new data piece);
2) WHY? Why is it important to learn this new idea and what will the benefits be?;
3) WHAT? A more detailed description of the idea;
4) HOW? How do you do it; how do you know it; how do you make sense of it? How is it accomplished, how does it work? How is it used?; and
5) WHAT If? What do we get if this new idea or process is used? What if it isn’t? What happens if we do it well as opposed to doing it badly or not at all? What happens if we don’t bother to learn it, or if we do?

When done thoughtfully and with intentionality, what this gets you is automatic communication with every student in a given classroom since everyone falls into one of these four groupings. Failure to cover all four questions means you have no common ground with those who need and use the omitted question as their primary channel. To fail to cover all four quadrants of the 4-Mat once it is known guarantees that you will fail to successfully meet all your students’ needs.

Now. Notice the five preceding paragraphs. The first is a little WHAT. The second is WHY do it, the third is more detailed WHAT it is, the forth is HOW to do it, and the fifth is WHAT IF you do it/or not.

It’s important to know that a trainer or teacher with a preference for HOW — who only bothers to talk about how — will “miss” all the students in the room who need to know WHY, WHAT, or WHAT IF. Likewise, an ardent L3 parent who only needs to deal in WHAT a child should be doing (“because I said so and I’m bigger…”) will completely miss the needs of their pubescent and newly L4 children who must have the WHY in order to feel as though there is communication and understanding.


SURVEY OF CHANGE: TIME AND SPACE
The important thing to notice about this table is that there is an oscillating pattern between the even and odd systems, and between the acquisition of new time constructs, and the acquisition of new spatial constructs; between the use of new time constructs, and the use of new spatial constructs.

LEVEL

TIME

SPACE

L1-Beige Ability to use the present; awareness of the past Ability to see and acquire individual territory
L2-Purple Ability to see and acquire the past Tribal territory held and used
L3-Red Ability to use the past; awareness of future Ability to see and acquire other tribal territories
L4-Blue Ability to see and acquire the future Cultural territory held and used
L5-Orange Ability to use the future; awareness of multi-linear time Ability to see and acquire other cultural territories
L6-Green Ability to see and acquire multi-linear time Societal territory held and used
L7-Yellow Ability to use multi-linear time; awareness of non-linear time Ability to see and acquire other societal territories
L8-Turquoise Ability to see and acquire non-linear time Human territory held and used
L9-Coral (?) Ability to use non-linear time; awareness of next time construct Ability to see and acquire next greater territories (?)

SURVEY OF CHANGE IN BUSINESS

LEVEL

STRUCTURE

METHODS/EXAMPLES

L1-Beige —– —–
L2-Purple Barter Haggling in the street; simple trade
L3-Red Dictatorial Management Mom and Pop
L4-Blue Structural Hierarchy The Department Store, multi-level management
L5-Orange Entrepreneurial & Networked Innovative Startup; a culture of experts
L6-Green Cooperative Teams All for 1 / 1 for all; cooperation between varrying specializations
L7-Yellow Collaboration; Consultants. Reemergence of the generalists who are experts in many fields; independent & interconnected
L8-Turquoise Influence from outside participants Relational agreement.

L8-Turquoise Jungian Overview

In thinking about the material requirements for the Graves/Jung development, one should keep in mind that energy level affects the behavior of a system (e.g., change of flow rate alters the shape of a river). This basic principle means, for instance, that each defense systems has its energy requirement. In animals, submitting, hiding and playing possum belong to the lowest range; fast flight to the middle range; and fighting to the highest range. Representing a comparable series of energy levels, the psychologist Virginia Satir classified people’s (according to their defensive behavior in group encounters) as Placaters (who submit), Diverters (who keep changing the subject to flee confrontation), and Complainers (who vent their aggressions fairly openly). NLP correlates these with people’s preference for representational systems: Placaters tending to prefer Kinaesthetic (the sense that carries the lowest amount of information/energy); Diverters tending to prefer auditory, with a middle range of information/energy; and Complainers visual, which carries the most information/energy.

People’s energy levels, of course, vacillate according to health, tension, and other variables, as to some extent for their sensory preferences, defense styles, and so on. Nonetheless, certain generalizations are possible. At stages two and three, transmission of culture is largely auditory. At stage four, reading (a visual medium enters), though primarily reading aloud, so that it remains auditory for the majority of the population except in such devices as symbolic church decorations to inculcate dogma. Reading everything from account books to e-mail, stage five is highly visual, needing to transmit vast quanta of data. Similarly in the movement to stage five, defense technology utilizes larger quanta of energy from the club to the atom bomb.

As Freud argued in Civilization and its Discontents, the psyche’s defenses make a less spectacular but comparable increase, repressing ever more. On the one hand, for example, a modern executive does not have to fight sabertooth tigers or draw water from a well and thus has considerable energy available for an increasingly complex culture. On the other hand, s/he would thereby have more than s/he has actually if s/he did not have to spend so much in the process of repression. Stage six, however, adds no more laborsaving devices, yet increase in complexity requires more energy.

Consequently, stage six frees energy by decreasing defenses—a more casual work environment, more frankness about sexuality, less money spent on armaments, and so on. Stage seven eliminates the psyche’s core defensive structure—the ego.

Do the resulting energy levels relate to changes in sensory preference? Perhaps at stage six the range begins again metaphorically: six being by popular phrase “touchy feely” (i.e., an emotional version of the kinaesthetic); stage seven’s new physics (according to Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media) dependent on an auditory imagination; and stage eight (if it exists) dependent on the intuitive.

Intro to Graves/Jung Model – TIME: A Threshold Pattern

TIME TABLES

As we said earlier, this developmental model is not only a useful map to tell us where we have come from, and where we are now, but it also has predictive qualities. One area where the predictive nature of the model is interesting has to do with our perception of time.

First of all, let me provide a key to the tables that will follow:

Ø

this is unconscious awareness.

::

and this is conscious awareness. The ability to see and understand.

-o-

and this is conscious awareness, the ability to see and understand, combined with the ability to use what you see. You see it, understand it, and use it.

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and this is something else. Like incorporated or congruent use. It’s not new or novel. It’s become part of the structural makeup. It’ not even use any more as much as it is a part of the person’s structure. It’s more like breathing. We do it naturally more than it being something we use deliberately.

At L1, there is only awareness – conscious or otherwise – of the present moment. Like this:

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

PRESENT

-o-

<>

<>

<>

<>

<>

<>

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PAST
FUTURE
 
 

But for every level after that, the present is a given. We all presuppose the present in everything we do.

And you could make a case for L1 not really being consciously using anything. L1 may be purely reactive. But that’s somebody else’s research and doesn’t really have any effect on time. Now. At L2, we pick up the ability to see the past. Tribes may worship ancestors. Families may revere elders for their wisdom. Wisdom itself is accumulated past. So to be consciously aware of the past at L2, leads to L3, where we can not only see the past, but we can use it, too. All those conquerors don’t conquer without learning from past mistakes and inventing strategy based on that past. They use the past to get the present they’re wanting. After the new wears off at L3, then at L4 it becomes a given. Like this:

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

PRESENT

-o-

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<>

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PAST

::

-o-

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FUTURE
 
 

The L4’s get to see the future. The conscious awareness of the future is what makes law work. Anticipated punishment and reward. It’s what makes the concept of heaven work. Delayed gratification only works if you’re conscious of the future, but incapable of actually altering it.

But something else happens at L3. L3’s conquer the known world and build monuments to themselves. Pyramids. Statues. Coliseums. They want to proclaim their own greatness. Cast everything in the gold they’ve plundered. Use the slaves they’ve amassed to build these Ozymandiustributes. ‘Behold ye mighty and dispair,’ they say. But why do they expend all this energy and wealth to build monuments to be seen by the future, if they can’t see the future until L4?

Unconscious awareness. Even if not consciously aware of the future, there is an unconscious “sense” of something more. Both L2 and L3 have a perception of the future as a repeating seasonal cycle, and as the birth of the new accompanied by the death of the old. This unconscious awareness is all that is required of L3 to leave its markers on the landscape.

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

PRESENT

-o-

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PAST

::

-o-

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FUTURE

Ø

::

-o-

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At L5, the future stops being something that we just see, and begins to be something we use. All of capitalism is based on the ability to use the future to build a better now. We have financial forecasts. We use poles and demographics to predict trends. We map the future and use the map to decide who to hire and who to fire, how to invest our money, and where to buy a house. By the time we hit L6, the future is the given. ‘Of course there’s a future,’ L6 says. ‘Of course there’s a future.’

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

PRESENT

-o-

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<>

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<>

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PAST

::

-o-

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FUTURE

Ø

::

-o-

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Ø

::

-o-

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The unlabeled line represents other people’s time lines.

There’s Past—-Present—-Future. We draw it like this:

-o-– •–• – • – •–• – •– •– • –-o-– •–• – • – •–• – •– •– • –-o-

And at some point in L5, we start to get the feeling that everything we do and experience isn’t just points on our timeline. Every point is actually an intersection. And at every intersection there are other people’s timelines intersecting ours so that our actions and decisions effect not only our future, but other futures. If a supervisor pulls out his back and stays at work even though he is in pain, at L4 that would be a selfless act of loyalty to the company. He would be doing the right L4 thing. But at L5, if he stays at work even though he is in pain, and then snaps at one of his people and they feel like their job is in danger because they did so badly that they got yelled at – and they go home and snap at their children and kick the dog or get in a car wreck because they are so upset about their employment – the L5 won’t do the L6 thing and take care of his people. He may not feel sympathetically for their plight, or consciously recognize the part he plays in it. But there will be an unconscious awareness of the interconnectedness. He’ll probably feel guilt, and then go to a therapist who will let him justify it or ignore it.

But wouldn’t the same thing happen at L4? If he stayed at work in L4, wouldn’t it have the same effect? The people under him still suffer the same consequences whether he knows it or not.

Probably, but he wouldn’t be able to know that at L4 because there’s not even an unconscious awareness at L4 of other people’s timelines. Especially not of intersections. Even at L5 it’s not awareness. At L4, he’d never feel any guilt, and if the people under him are L4, then they’d never think to blame him. The problem for L5, as if L5 needed any more problems, is that there’s a sort of gnawing suspicion that things are not as rosy and simple as just using the future map to make decisions. By L6, multiple timelines is a full blown conscious awareness. All those predictive L5 models of the future become worthless because they don’t take into account all the myriad timelines of everyone involved. Where an L4 wouldn’t think to blame his boss, an L5 to some extent, and an L6 to the fullest extent, sees very clearly that everyone in his life has contributed to his problems and thus begins assigning blame and fault like numbers in a bakery. It’s only after the initial shock of recognition that a mature L6 steps back and takes responsibility for their own life again.

Then, by extension, the L7 must be able to use those multiple timelines. That’s the very definition of collaboration in the scientific community. And so we get people who make it their business to step into other timelines and use that information. That’s what this profession of profiling criminals is all about. And for that matter, that’s all those people who help lawyers select juries are doing. They’re looking into another timelines to see what that individual is likely to do in a given circumstance. And in a way, that may be what distinguishes L5 actors from L7 actors. The L5’s draw a map of what a character would do and they just follow the map. L7 actors actually step into an alternative timeline and become the part they’re playing. They don’t predict what a character would do, they just do it. That is the very definition of “method acting.”

We’re drawing a pattern that implies a continuing developmental structure. There should be another unconscious awareness here at L7 because it is a very consistent pattern.

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

PRESENT

-o-

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PAST (LINEAR)

::

-o-

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FUTURE (LINEAR)

Ø

::

-o-

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MULTI-LINEAR

Ø

::

-o-

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NON-LINEAR

Ø

::

Non-linear time?

L7’s are the first ones to have even an inkling that there’s some other way to do time than in a linear stream. Maybe it’s that the particles of time – the millions and billions of intersections out there between all the millions of timelines and events – aren’t the deep and wide grid of static events that we think they are. Here’s one drawing of multi-linear time:

The space between each of the intersections is so small that it’s really no space at all except for the ease of drawing. There is no distance between one moment and the next. In reality, this model should be a solid mass of particles pressed up against each other and with infinite intersecting points – which wouldn’t then be intersecting points at all, but just links of close proximity. And if you make the leap that it isn’t, therefore, linear at all – it isn’t static – it can be seen as linear if it needs to be, but it isn’t by nature linear – then movement across to a different timeline as the L6 and L7 temporal model allows is only one step away from movement across in a non-linear way. If all the particles of time are in some great soup-pot full of this liquid, a constantly bubbling broth of time and events, then what I step across to may just as well be Henry V’s England or Lao Tse’s palace as the office of a physicist in Geneva. If time is fluid, as matter is fluid, then linear is just a structure we impose upon it. It can be linear. Or it can not.

In the same way that light can be seen as particle or wave, – And depending on what you need to know about it, you can study it and how it behaves in either construct. You can use it and see it clearly in both constructs. You can understand it in both ways at once – and it still works.”
And what does this mean?

It means there is a logical deduction to be made when you see a pattern this solidly repetitive. It means there is predictive value to the pattern. It means we can be sure that there are no L9’s because there is no inkling, no hint and no clue what the next temporal construct would be.

But how do we know?

Because it starts to show up in similar places every time. In art. In literature and music. In the behavior of crowds. Think about the Renaissance. We’d just come out of the long, dark ages. The extreme unhealthyness of L3 and L4 gone sour. People were chattel. Slaves. Disposable and expendable. Then suddenly, there was the printing press.

Individuals began to read and learn. Universities came back into existence. People began to acquire property – not purely by conquest. Sometimes by purchase. Or barter. And they became the subjects of painting. Prior to that time, most of the paintings and sculpture were either L2 totems, L3 political tributes, or L4 organized religious tributes. But for the Renaissance when the first blossom of L5 kicked in, individuals suddenly became worth recognizing. Even in the first decks of playing cards in Italy, the face cards were small portraits of members of the household who paid the artist to paint the cards. We were, in our rush to enjoy our L5 wealth and success, already – albeit unconsciously – recognizing each other. We recognized what we were each experiencing. And it had never happened in that way before. At least never acknowledged.

And even though L5 didn’t really take hold in the world as a dominant force until centuries later, we had the history of having recognized each other’s value hiding in our collective memory. L6 made it’s appearance in the 19th century with the first true multi-linear jazz and with movies that could be shot from any point of view; with Charles Dickens literary protests of forced child labor and his Scrooge transitioning from L5 to L6; and with the most savage war in history being fought in the states to end slavery. The next great ‘inkling’ didn’t come until the early years of the 20th century when we saw the first glimmers of L7 and quantum physics. It is impossible to theorize quantum mechanics or Special Relativity without the ability to use multi-linear time. And at the same time we began to use multi-linear time, we began to recognize the possibility of something else. The possibility of non-linear time crept into literature in the form of science fiction. There had never been science fiction before L7’s emergence. In music it appeared as American experimental jazz, and in poetry it transformed into concrete and free form poems. Movies are shot as a non-linear collection of bits and then assembled like puzzle pieces.

Then Marshal McCluhan comes along and proclaims that the medium is the message in the global village. In one stroke he takes a handful of L8 fragments and forms them into a cohesive developmental step. He gives us all the L8 insight to bypass form and structure. He understands and explains that the L6L7 pattern – the medium – is both means and end. That if you can see and understand the pattern – then you can model it. Duplicate it. Borrow it and use it. Even manipulate it. But beyond that, he invents the popular concept of the global village. It’s a village full of presupposed and useable L7 patterns, but with the ability to see the village as temporally non-linear, all the L2 through L7 skills and abilities become a greater responsibility, because their impact is no longer a matter of effecting this time line or that time line. An action at L8 seasons the whole pot of temporal soup. It is a global village, but it’s even more than a global village. It’s a – something. A body. A single living organism and we are the cells. A cut on the hand can cause enough bloodshed to kill the whole. Pollution in the lungs can deny the brain of its necessary oxygen. A build-up of cholesterol in the arteries can put so much stress on the heart that it bursts – or decrease circulation to the point that a limb could die. And pleasure. And joy. And contentment. They spread through the body like tonic. We all feel victories together. We all feel sympathy together.

And look at the patterns L7 works with. The global village where an L8 action seasons the whole pot. Where a cut on the finger endangers the whole body. Where a butterfly flapping its wings in China changes weather systems all over the world. All of chaos theory is nothing but another L7 pattern where every action effects every other action and every idea effects every other idea. Where every observation effects every outcome. Where everything effects everything else.

And it is that realization at L7 which either paralyzes you or sends you straight into L8.

In the bigger Gravesean picture, the odd numbers, which have more to do with acquiring something new for the individual, gain a new set of personal skills. Then as they move to their next even number, they use those new skills for whatever group is next. L7’s acquire data, knowledge, technology, the ability to see patterns – and then those who go on to L8 somehow use that gain for the group. In this case, the global village. But temporal shifts are just the opposite. Acquisition of the new temporal knowledge happens at the even numbers, while the ability to use the new construct comes at the next odd level. L7’s are using multi-linear time as they are acquiring the ability to see patterns. L8’s are getting the ability to see and understand non-linear time as they begin to use patterning and modeling to help the global village. L9’s will be acquiring the next set of individual skills as they are learning to use non-linear time, and begin to sense the next temporal construct.

So by L8, past, present, and future linear time, as well as multi-linear time, are as natural as breathing. They’re all presuppositions of everyday life. Plus, there’s the added conscious awareness of non-linear time.

And would we know the new temporal construct if we saw it? Probably only from the L7 and L8.

It’s important to notice how rapidly the new systems are emerging. It is now possible, for the first time in history, for one individual to have been alive for the emergence of two new systems. If we count L7 from the first glimmers of existentialism, and L8 from the words of Marshal McCluhan, an individual could have been alive and able to observe both. The lesson here is that while it took thousands of years to get from L1 to L2, and then hundreds more to get to L3 and then to L4; a few hundred more to reach L5, and even fewer to get to L6 – the total time span from the emergence of L6 to the emergence of L8 is less than two hundred years. It is safe to assume that barring some natural catastrophe, if there is an L9, we will see it emerge within our lifetime.

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

PRESENT

-o-

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<>

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PAST (LINEAR)

::

-o-

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<>

<>

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FUTURE (LINEAR)

Ø

::

-o-

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MULTI-LINEAR

Ø

::

-o-

<>

NON-LINEAR

Ø

::

X-TIME

Where X is the unknown.
CONTINUE TO INTRO TO GRAVES/JUNG MODEL – INTRO TO LEVEL 8


Intro to Graves/Jung Model – Whole Model Properties, Pt. 2

THE SIX TONE SCALE

According to Graves, this developmental model is a six tone scale; that is, systems one through six have a set of characteristics which are then repeated a sextive higher. The difference between the first tier (systems L1L6) and the second tier (systems L7 – L12) is not simply a difference between the physical and meta physical – it is to some degree a reworking of the lower tier, physical systems, in a higher tier, metaphysical way.

Looking at the model in this way, there will be parallels between L1 and L7, then there will be parallels between L2 and L8, L3 and L9, and so on. What does this mean? It means that in many ways, the experience of L7 will have characteristics in common with the experience of L1. L8 will share common characteristics with L2, and L9 will have characteristics in common with L3.

Because Graves himself never documented examples beyond L7, this was a fairly speculative observation for him to make. Just because he saw commonalties between L7 and L1 did not necessarily mean it was a true emerging pattern (for the purposes of simplicity, we call one set of commonalties a coincidence, and two or more – a pattern….)

But the L1 to L7 parallels were significant enough. If L1 is concerned with the individual surviving in the physical world, and learning to use the tools and skills of L1 for this purpose, then the observation that L7 is learning to survive in the global and metaphysical world, and learning to use the tools and skills of L7 for that purpose is a fairly easy link up. If L1 fails, the individual dies and returns to dust or becomes part of the food chain. If L7 fails, the individual returns to the previous state of existence – the first tier – the physical world of L1 through L6.

When L8 showed up, the possible parallels between L2 and L8 could be observed from close range. If L2 is concerned with building a safe physical environment for the tribe/family where trust is possible and the mysterious is an everyday reality; where the tools and experiences of L2 are used to protect and provide for the security of the tribe; and where deity is presupposed in every action and every belief – then L8 shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
We’ll talk about L8 in the next section.

It remains to be seen whether or not Graves’ original thesis that this is a cyclical pattern, and that an L9 and L10 will be emerging in the next thirty to one hundred years will be born out. If so, L9 will have characteristics in common with L3 – but at a metaphysical and/or global position, and L10 will share commonalties with L4. If L9 is a step-up of L3, then perhaps now would be a good time to start building the underground, lead-lined, self-contained bunkers. – just kidding.

A DEFINITION OF HEALTH AT ANY LEVEL – THE HIDDEN MAP

Spectrum Cartography
One of the greatest advantages to looking at a model of human development is the ability to see the map as we are moving from one place to the next. Unlike the great explorers who entered a new land knowing little more than what direction they were facing at any given moment, we have the ability (thanks to Clare Graves, Ken Wilber, and all the great cartographers of the human spirit) to see not only where we’ve been, but where we are in relation to the rest of the world, and where we might be going next. The power inherent in that single piece of knowledge is the power to prepare, to build, and to approach each change with both caution and gratitude.

Whether as an individual, charting a personal path; as a society using the map to understand itself and its sub-cultures; or as an organization, future thinking its place in society; it is the possession of a map which allows us to plan, to avoid wandering lost and without direction, and to return to the safe and familiar without fear.

From L6, however, something important is about to happen to those who travel the spectrum map. In order to talk about this important step, let’s look at a metaphor. If you have or know children who play “quest” type games on their personal computers, this may be familiar.

Where We Begin
To get a better idea of what is about to happen at the transition between L6 and L7, imagine that you are sitting down at a new computer game. The screen comes up, and it is a map, completely obscured by black shielding except for one small grid square where a tiny character is standing next to his house.

As the little explorer moves in any direction on the playing field, the grid squares where he/she walks are illuminated, and the map underneath the shielding is revealed.

Tools, Information, Clues, Experiences, Territory, Resources
Hidden within the grid squares all over the map are treasures (X), little tools (T), bits of information (i) and clues, challenges, opponents to defeat, puzzles, and experiences.

– And, somewhere on the map is a central challenge to be met. Once the central challenge of each map is complete, the little explorer is propelled into the next map.

Metaphorically, this is a description of how we experience our own travels through the spectrum map. We discover. We learn. We pick up tools and resources to help us on our journey. We make a home for ourselves in the territory of our own spirit. We become comfortable with our self and with our place in the world.


So our little explorer is making his way around the first map, picking up tools, skills, experience, treasure, clues, and information as he goes. He defeats wild creatures and assists those who need his help. He builds structures and performs tasks.
And then, he stumbles across the key to the door that will catapult him into the next map.

How We Progress: Solving the Riddle of Each System
Remember that we’re in the land of metaphor. In the developmental model built by Dr. Clare Graves, there is no central puzzle or riddle at each level. There are a handful of lessons that seem only to be available within certain contexts and at certain points in our development, but the idea of a key riddle for each level is strictly a part of this learning tool and shouldn’t be mistaken for a literal part of the Graves Model.

That said, once our little explorer stumbles into the grid square that contains the central puzzle for that map, he blinks and then: Voila! He finds himself in the only illuminated spot of a brand new map.

And with or without all the skills, tools, and information available from the previous map, the little explorer is on his way again.

What We Mean By Health and UnHealth
There has been a lot of speculation about several “alternative” ways to travel the spectrum map. Some of these alternatives include:

1. a preference for either even or odd systems which allows an individual to spend relatively little time in the systems opposite their preference (occidental culture, for instance, associates odd-numbered levels with “masculine,” even-numbered levels with “feminine” traits);
2. a complete skip of one or more systems; and
3. a surrogate relationship with the individual’s particular society or culture in which a system completely saturated into the culture can be “absorbed” by osmosis (another form of the “skip”) rather than being explored or experienced in the usual way.

All three of these exceptions have been observed and are completely viable in the first tier systems (though still not the preferred experience). Remember, however, that what we are talking about is a definition of health within this model. There is as a big difference between the minimum experience of each system (our little explorer stumbling onto the key puzzle of the map and being thrown directly into the next map) and real health, as there is between minimum existence and a healthy life.

One of the most striking aspects of this developmental model at first exposure, is the extent to which it accurately describes what we all view as inherently unhealthy about our society and cultures. An unhealthy L2 is recognizable where there is child or spousal abuse of any kind; in the flood of latch-key children and absentee parents; and in adults who have never mastered the basic skills of trusting, loving, and being honest or open with others. Unhealthy L3 is recognizable in tyrannical or bully-ish behavior; hyper-competitiveness, inadequate respect for authority, and insufficient boundaries between self and others. These are our terrorists, street gangs, cults, and militia groups.

Unhealthy L4 may be unethical and dishonest to an extreme; fanatical and proselytizing; punitive; callous and de-humanizing, judgmental or hyper-critical; or prone to anger, depression, and isolationism. This is where we have experienced witch hunts of all kinds, from Salem, Mass., to Joe McCarthy’s U.S. Senate. Unhealthy L5 may be cut-throat and greedy; materialistic to the exclusion of human relationships; a con-artist or swindler; or mercenary – willing to do anything for a buck. These can be found from the inside traders and sharks of Wall Street, to the deceitful heads of non-profits who steal from medical research and children’s camps to fatten their own wallets. Unhealthy L6 can be overly permissive and unrealistically idealistic, gullible in their willingness to believe others based on sincerity rather than on evidence or truth; or easily distracted from any mission or purpose. These are our space cadets, so caught up in their own touchy-feely experience of the world that they believe enough money and charitable feelings will fix anything.

Looking at our partially revealed maps, it’s easy to see that even though our little explorer may successfully navigate his way from one level to the next – he may be doing so at the expense of a great many experiences, challenges, acquired skills and tools, and accumulated information and clues to existence. Real health would mean experiencing each map to the edges – that is, every grid square and every aspect of each system should be absorbed; every bit of knowledge and every skill should be gathered, learned, and practiced with intention.

What’s more, real health would mean keeping all those learnings from each system and incorporating them into the next system and every system thereafter. Failure to complete a system along the way results in the inability to successfully complete any system thereafter. An incomplete or unhealthy L2 would result is every system from that point on being incomplete. There is no such thing as a healthy L5 without a complete and healthy L2 as its foundation – but with L2 firmly in place, L5 can achieve its prosperity without sacrificing its family. In fact, L5 will only be healthy and live up to its full potential with successful and complete L1L4. If any one system is missing or incomplete, L5 will be distorted from its intended form.

The same holds true for each system.

A healthy L3 would be one in which all the values and learnings from L1 and L2 are embraced, respected, and used to allow L3 to be competitive (as it always is) with trust, and ego-driven in an environment of safety. Such an L2 support base will allow L3 to be less violent, and respectful of its L2 followers.

And the same holds true whether we are talking about individuals, families, businesses, or states. Not only do all people follow this model and these patterns – but so do all groups of people. An L5 organization without the trust and tribal loyalty of L2, missing the competitive edge of L3 or the ethics of L4 – will also miss the mark at L5 and never achieve its full potential as an L5 business – and then never be able turn toward healthy L6or beyond. The trend toward using trust-building exercises like “ROPES” courses and wilderness weekends is an attempt to build missing or lost L2. In fact, neither L2 nor L4 is particularly easy to add to the mix since the implication is that for the group to have it – so must the individuals. We’ll talk more about this in a few pages.

It’s a safe bet that if you look across the business community and find those businesses which are having trouble with the follow-through on current trends toward “teams” – then what you are actually finding are the businesses with one or more of the lower systems dysfunctioning. A business in this state may want to follow the trend, or even look longingly and try to emulate the transition into L6, but even if they try to form teams they will be teams in name only, still operating under a management hierarchy, and still exhibiting all the characteristics of L5 operations.

Businesses for which L6 is an exciting turn, embraced by most everyone in the company as the answer to their problems of existence, are businesses in which the majority of employees have healthy preparation for this change.

Reclaiming
For individuals, as long as we are functioning in the first tier, the goal of health across the spectrum is an ideal; from L7onward, however, it becomes a necessity.

Remember that part of what makes L7 tick is its love for gathering information, and its propensity for putting all the pieces together – solving puzzles. With its perspective on the first tier systems, L7 enters its “reclaiming” phase – hopefully before L8 emerges. It seems that part of what defines a healthy L7 is the quest to go back to each map and illuminate as much of the darkened grid as possible, filling in missing pieces of the puzzle as it goes.

Once each map is completely revealed and all the information, tools and skills are congruently incorporated into the whole, systems L1L6 are complete, and survival above L6 is much more likely because the completed first tier turns out to be the initial learning for the second tier.

CORE SAMPLES

Another metaphor, and one used by both Beck and Cowan, and by Mike Armour and others who teach and use Graves, is that of the “core sample.” In geological terms, a core sample is a vertical sample of earth which shows the stratification of soils, rocks, and mineral or other deposits that have accumulated over time. In its simplest terms, this metaphor – as seen in the first two samples below – illustrates the distribution and imbalance of an average, unreclaimed existence. In the first core sample, we see a person with very prominent L4, a good portion of L2 and L5, and modest or minimal L1, L3, L6, and L7. In the second core sample, the dominant system is L7, with L2 and L6 close behind, a crown of L8, but still minimal L1, L3, L4, and L5.

The core sample on the far right, however, illustrates an ideal. A life in balance where either by natural, sequential development (improbable) or reclamation and remediation, the spectrum is in balance.

So long as all systems are available and the best system tools are available for use at any given time without preference either toward any one system or away from any, then flexibility, versatility, and the freedom to choose with wisdom and without fear is a real possibility.
CONTINUE TO INTRO TO GRAVES/JUNG: “TIME, A THRESHOLD PATTERN”