This is a book summary of A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality by Ken Wilber (Amazon).
- All content in quotation marks is from the author unless otherwise stated.
- All content not in quotation marks is paraphrased from original quotes.
- I’ve added emphasis in bold for readability/skimmability.
- I’ve organized content into my own themes.
Book Summary Contents: Click a link here to jump to a section below
- The Integral Vision (or Theory of Everything)
- Developmental Psychology Overview
- Spiral Dynamics Overview
- Spiral Dynamics Levels
- Hierarchy & Holons
- AQAL (All-Quadrants, All-Levels)
- Humanity’s Challenge & The Prime Directive
An Intro to Integral Theory: “A Theory of Everything” by Ken Wilber (Book Summary)
What is the “Integral Vision” or “Theory of Everything”?
“Integral: the word means to integrate, to bring together, to join, to link, to embrace … Not in the sense of uniformity … but in the sense of unity-in-diversity, shared commonalities along with our wonderful differences.”
Ken Wilber’s drive:
- “I sought a world philosophy—or an integral philosophy—that would believably weave together the many pluralistic contexts of science, morals, aesthetics, Eastern as well as Western philosophy, and the world’s great wisdom traditions. Not on the level of details—that is finitely impossible; but on the level of orienting generalizations: a way to suggest that the world really is one, undivided, whole, and related to itself in every way: a holistic philosophy for a holistic Kosmos, a plausible Theory of Everything.”
- “In this Theory of Everything, I have one major rule: Everybody is right. More specifically, everybody—including me, has some important pieces of truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace, a genuine T.O.E.”
- “My work is an attempt to make room in the Kosmos for all of the dimensions, levels, domains, waves, memes, modes, individuals, cultures, and so on ad infinitum.”
An “Integral Vision” or “Theory of Everything” (T.O.E.):
- Attempts to include matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit as they appear in self, culture, and nature.
- Attempts to be comprehensive, balanced, inclusive.
- Invites us to be a little more whole, a little less fragmented, in our work, our lives, our destiny.
- Attempts to honor and include as much research as possible from the largest number of disciplines in a coherent fashion.
- Equally includes disciplines from physics to spirituality, biology to aesthetics, sociology to contemplative prayer.
- Embraces science, art, and morals.
An Overview of Developmental Psychology
“Developmental psychology is the study of the growth and development of the mind—the study of interior development and consciousness evolution.”
There are many models of development:
- From Clare Graves to Abraham Maslow; from Deirdre Kramer to Jan Sinnott; from Jürgen Habermas to Cheryl Armon; from Kurt Fischer to Jenny Wade; from Robert Kegan to Susanne Cook-Greuter, there emerges a remarkably consistent story of the evolution of consciousness.
- Developmental theorists have isolated dozens of factors that contribute to vertical transformation (as opposed to horizontal translation).
- Of course there are dozens of disagreements and hundreds of conflicting details. But they all tell a generally similar tale of the growth and development of the mind as a series of unfolding stages or waves.
The commonalities of the development models:
- Development is a not a linear ladder but a fluid and flowing affair, with spirals, swirls, streams, and waves—and what appear to be an almost infinite number of multiple modalities.
- Development, for the most part, involves decreasing narcissism and increasing consciousness, or the ability to take other people, places, and things into account and thus increasingly extend care to each.
- Each higher stage does not mean that you stop caring for yourself, only that you include more and more others for whom you also evidence a genuine concern and compassion.
- Development tends to proceed by differentiation and integration (e.g., a single-cell zygote differentiates into two cells, then four cells, then sixteen, then thirty-two . . . , while at the same time these differentiated cells are integrated into coherent tissues, organs, and systems).
The general path of development:
- The spiral of development is a spiral of compassion, expanding from me, to us, to all of us: there standing open to an integral embrace.
- As development moves from preconventional to conventional to postconventional (or from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric), the amount of narcissism and egocentrism slowly but surely decreases. Instead of treating the world (and others) as an extension of the self, the mature adult of postconventional awareness meets the world on its own terms, as an individuated self in a community of other individuated selves operating by mutual recognition and respect.
A note about the Pre/Trans Fallacy (or Pre/Post Fallacy):
- Both preconventional and postconventional are nonconventional, or outside the conventional norms and rules, and thus they are often confused.
- This confusion of preconventional and postconventional, because both are nonconventional, is called the ‘pre/post fallacy.’
- ‘Pre’ and ‘post’ will often use the same rhetoric and the same ideology, but in fact they are actually separated by an enormous gulf of growth and development.
Four factors that are particularly important for vertical transformation:
- Fulfillment: Fulfillment means that the individual has generally fulfilled the basic tasks of a given stage or wave. A basic competence has been established at that level. The person does not have to perfectly master a given level or stage, but simply function adequately enough to move forward.
- Dissonance: If the person has tasted a stage and become fairly full, then he or she is open to transformation. In order for this to occur, some sort of dissonance generally has to set in. The new wave is struggling to emerge, the old wave is struggling to hang on, and the individual feels torn, feels dissonance, feels pulled in several directions. But in any event there has to be some sort of profound dissatisfaction with the present level; one has to be agitated, annoyed, frustrated with it, so that a deep and conflicted dissonance insistently arises.
- Insight: One has to be willing to let go of—or die to—the present level. Perhaps one has run up against its inherent limitations or contradictions, or one is beginning to disidentify with it, or perhaps one has just gotten tired of it. At this point, some sort of insight into the situation—insight into what one actually wants, and insight into what reality actually offers—usually helps the individual to move forward. Affirmation, volition, and the intention to change can all be parts of insight into the situation, helping to drive consciousness forward. This insight can be facilitated by introspection, by conversations with friends, by therapy, by meditation, or—more often than not, and in ways that absolutely nobody understands—by simply living.
- Opening: Finally, if all of those factors fall into place, then an opening to the next wave of consciousness—deeper, higher, wider, more encompassing—becomes possible.
An Overview of Spiral Dynamics
“Clare Graves proposed a profound and elegant system of human development, which subsequent research has validated and refined, not refuted.” (Note: Graves’ work would go on to become the foundation of Spiral Dynamics, developed by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan)
In Clare Graves’ words:
- “Briefly, what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating spiraling process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-order behavior systems to newer, higher-order systems as an individual’s existential problems change. Each successive stage, wave, or level of existence is a state through which people pass on their way to other states of being. When the human is centralized in one state of existence, he or she has a psychology which is particular to that state. His or her feelings, motivations, ethics and values, biochemistry, degree of neurological activation, learning system, belief systems, conception of mental health, ideas as to what mental illness is and how it should be treated, conceptions of and preferences for management, education, economics, and political theory and practice are all appropriate to that state.”
In Don Beck’s words:
- “The focus is not on types of people, but types in people.”
- “The Spiral is messy, not symmetrical, with multiple admixtures rather than pure types. These are mosaics, meshes, and blends.”
- On the Value Meme (vMEME): “A core value system, a worldview, an organizing principle that permeates thought structures, decision-making systems, and various expressions of culture.”
A note about “memes”:
- “‘Meme’ is a word that is used a lot nowadays, with many different and conflicting meanings … for Spiral Dynamics, a meme is simply a basic stage of development that can be expressed in any activity.”
- “Spiral Dynamics sees human development as proceeding through eight general stages, which are also called memes.” (see Figure 1-1 below)
- “Each and every individual has all of these memes potentially available to them. And therefore the lines of social tension are completely redrawn: not based on skin color, economic class, or political clout, but on the type of meme a person is operating from.”
- “(Don) Beck and (Christopher) Cowan affirm that memes (or stages) are not rigid levels but flowing waves, with much overlap and interweaving, resulting in a meshwork or dynamic spiral of consciousness unfolding.”
The Levels of Spiral Dynamics
“The first six levels are ‘subsistence levels’ marked by ‘first-tier thinking.’ Then there occurs a revolutionary shift in consciousness: the emergence of ‘being levels’ and ‘second-tier thinking,’ of which there are two major waves.”
Subsistence Levels / First-Tier Thinking (Stages 1-6):
1. Beige / Archaic-Instinctual:
Approximately 0.1% of the adult population (0% power)
- Description: The level of basic survival; food, water, warmth, sex, and safety have priority. Uses habits and instincts just to survive. Distinct self is barely awakened or sustained. Forms into survival bands to perpetuate life.
- Where seen: First human societies, newborn infants, senile elderly, late-stage Alzheimer’s victims, mentally ill street people, starving masses, shell shock.
2. Purple / Magical-Animistic:
10% of the population (1% of the power)
- Description: Thinking is animistic; magical spirits, good and bad, swarm the earth leaving blessings, curses, and spells which determine events. Forms into ethnic tribes. The spirits exist in ancestors and bond the tribe. Kinship and lineage establish political links. Sounds ‘holistic’ but is actually atomistic: ‘There is a name for each bend in the river but no name for the river.’
- Relationship with hierarchies: Recognizes few hierarchies, largely because it is preformal and preconventional.
- Where seen: Belief in voodoo-like curses, blood oaths, ancient grudges, good-luck charms, family rituals, magical ethnic beliefs and superstitions; strong in third-world settings, gangs, athletic teams, and corporate ‘tribes.’
3. Red / Power Gods:
20% of the population (5% of the power)
- Description: First emergence of a self distinct from the tribe; powerful, impulsive, egocentric, heroic. Magical-mythic spirits, dragons, beasts, and powerful people. Archetypal gods and goddesses, powerful beings, forces to be reckoned with, both good and bad. Feudal lords protect underlings in exchange for obedience and labor. The basis of feudal empires—power and glory. The world is a jungle full of threats and predators. Conquers, outfoxes, and dominates; enjoys self to the fullest without regret or remorse; be here now.
- Relationship with hierarchies: Recognizes hierarchies of brute force (the basis of feudal empires).
- Where seen: The ‘terrible twos,’ rebellious youth, frontier mentalities, feudal kingdoms, epic heroes, James Bond villains, gang leaders, soldiers of fortune, New-Age narcissism, wild rock stars, Attila the Hun, Lord of the Flies.
4. Blue / Mythic Order:
40% of the population (30% of the power)
- Description: Life has meaning, direction, and purpose, with outcomes determined by an all-powerful Other or Order. This righteous Order enforces a code of conduct based on absolutist and unvarying principles of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Violating the code or rules has severe, perhaps everlasting repercussions. Following the code yields rewards for the faithful. Basis of ancient nations. Rigid social hierarchies; paternalistic; one right way and only one right way to think about everything. Law and order; impulsivity controlled through guilt; concrete-literal and fundamentalist belief; obedience to the rule of Order; strongly conventional and conformist. Often ‘religious’ or ‘mythic,’ but can be secular or atheistic Order or Mission.
- Relationship with hierarchies: Has numerous and very rigid social hierarchies, such as the hereditary caste system, the hierarchies of the medieval Church, and the intense social stratification of feudal empires and early nations.
- Where seen: Puritan America, Confucian China, Dickensian England, Singapore discipline, totalitarianism, codes of chivalry and honor, charitable good deeds, religious fundamentalism (e.g., Christian and Islamic), Boy and Girl Scouts, ‘moral majority,’ patriotism.
5. Orange / Scientific Achievement:
30% of the population (50% of the power)
- Description: The self ‘escapes’ from the ‘herd mentality’ of blue, and seeks truth and meaning in individualistic terms—hypothetico-deductive, experimental, objective, mechanistic, operational—’scientific’ in the typical sense. The world is a rational and well-oiled machine with natural laws that can be learned, mastered, and manipulated for one’s own purposes. Highly achievement oriented, especially (in America) toward materialistic gains. The laws of science rule politics, the economy, and human events. The world is a chessboard on which games are played as winners gain preeminence and perks over losers. Marketplace alliances; manipulate earth’s resources for one’s strategic gains. Basis of corporate states.
- Relationship with hierarchies: Decisively erodes blue hierarchies in the name of individual freedom and equal opportunity (orange hierarchies are quite distinct from blue hierarchies in that heredity and privilege yield to meritocracy and excellence).
- Where seen: The Enlightenment, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Wall Street, emerging middle classes around the world, cosmetics industry, trophy hunting, colonialism, the Cold War, fashion industry, materialism, secular humanism, liberal self-interest.
6. Green / The Sensitive Self:
10% of the population (15% of the power)
- Description: Communitarian, human bonding, ecological sensitivity, networking. The human spirit must be freed from greed, dogma, and divisiveness; feelings and caring supersede cold rationality; cherishing of the earth, Gaia, life. Against hierarchy; establishes lateral bonding and linking. Permeable self, relational self, group intermeshing. Emphasis on dialogue, relationships. Basis of value communities (i.e., freely chosen affiliations based on shared sentiments). Reaches decisions through reconciliation and consensus (downside: interminable ‘processing’ and incapacity to reach decisions). Refresh spirituality, bring harmony, enrich human potential. Strongly egalitarian, anti-hierarchy, pluralistic values, social construction of reality, diversity, multiculturalism, relativistic value systems; this worldview is often called pluralistic relativism. Subjective, nonlinear thinking; shows a greater degree of affective warmth, sensitivity, and caring, for earth and all its inhabitants.
- Relationship with hierarchies: The sensitive self begins a concerted attack on, and condemnation of, virtually all types of hierarchies, simply because they have indeed often been involved in horrible social oppression. An aggressive anti-hierarchy stance is usually an unmistakable hallmark of the green meme.
- Where seen: Deep ecology, postmodernism, Netherlands idealism, Rogerian counseling, Canadian health care, humanistic psychology, liberation theology, cooperative inquiry, World Council of Churches, Greenpeace, animal rights, ecofeminism, post-colonialism, Foucault/Derrida, politically correct, diversity movements, human rights issues, ecopsychology.
Being Levels / Second-Tier Thinking (Stages 7-8):
The Momentous Leap:
- “With the completion of the green meme, human consciousness is poised for a quantum jump into ‘second-tier thinking.’ Clare Graves referred to this as a ‘momentous leap,’ where ‘a chasm of unbelievable depth of meaning is crossed.'”
- “What none of the first-tier memes can do, on their own, is fully appreciate the existence of the other memes. Each of the first-tier memes thinks that its worldview is the correct or best perspective.”
- “With second-tier consciousness, one can think both vertically and horizontally, using both hierarchies and heterarchies (both ranking and linking).”
- “One can therefore, for the first time, vividly grasp the entire spectrum of interior development, and thus see that each level, each meme, each wave is crucially important for the health of the overall spiral.”
- “Because second-tier consciousness is fully aware of the interior stages of development—even if it cannot articulate them in a technical fashion—it steps back and grasps the big picture, and thus second-tier thinking appreciates the necessary role that all of the various memes play.”
- “Second-tier awareness thinks in terms of the overall spiral of existence, and not merely in the terms of any one level.”
- “Second-tier thinking is instrumental in moving from relativism to holism, or from pluralism to integralism.”
- “Second-tier consciousness is relatively rare because it is now the ‘leading edge’ of collective human evolution.”
- “With the emergence of second tier, hierarchies again return, this time in a softer, nested fashion. These nested hierarchies are often called growth hierarchies.”
- “Second-tier integral awareness understands the nested hierarchy of growth.”
- Second tier is defined by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan as “Holon: Everything flows with everything else in living systems; second tier stitches together particles, people, functions and nodes into networks and stratified levels (nested hierarchies or holarchies), and detects the energy fields that engulf, billow around, and flow throughout naturally in a ‘big picture’ of cosmic order.” (Note: More on holons in a section below)
7. Yellow / Integrative:
1% of the population (5% of the power)
- Description: Life is a kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies (holarchies), systems, and forms. Flexibility, spontaneity, and functionality have the highest priority. Differences and pluralities can be integrated into interdependent, natural flows. Egalitarianism is complemented with natural degrees of ranking and excellence. Knowledge and competency should supersede power, status, or group sensitivity. The prevailing world order is the result of the existence of different levels of reality (memes) and the inevitable patterns of movement up and down the dynamic spiral. Good governance facilitates the emergence of entities through the levels of increasing complexity (nested hierarchy).
8. Turquoise / Holistic:
0.1% of the population (1% of the power)
- Description: Universal holistic system, holons/waves of integrative energies; unites feeling with knowledge; multiple levels interwoven into one conscious system. Universal order, but in a living, conscious fashion, not based on external rules (blue) or group bonds (green). A ‘grand unification’ (T.O.E.) is possible, in theory and in actuality. Sometimes involves the emergence of a new spirituality as a meshwork of all existence. Turquoise thinking uses the entire Spiral; sees multiple levels of interaction; detects harmonics, the mystical forces, and the pervasive flow-states that permeate any organization.
Hierarchy & Holons
Dominator hierarchies: rigid social hierarchies that are instruments/means of oppression.
Actualization hierarchies (or growth hierarchies, nested hierarchies, or holarchies): necessary for the self-actualization of individuals and cultures (and virtually all biological systems as well); means of growth; bring together previously isolated and fragmented elements; a hallmark of second-tier thinking.
Holons & Holarchies:
- Reality is composed of neither wholes nor parts, but of whole/parts, or holons. Reality in all domains is basically composed of holons (e.g. physical holons, emotional holons, mental holons, spiritual holons).
- A holon is a whole that is a part of other wholes.
- The lower the level of organization of a holon, the more fundamental it is. Lower holons are necessary (but not sufficient) ingredients of higher holons.
- The higher the level of organization of a holon, the more significant it is (giving meaning and significance to the lower levels). Each higher level of holons has emergent qualities that cannot be derived from (nor totally reduced to) its lower levels.
- The Kosmos is a series of nests within nests within nests indefinitely, expressing greater and greater holistic embrace—holarchies of holons everywhere.
The principle of “transcend and include” (or “development is envelopment”):
- The developmental Spiral itself is a nested hierarchy or growth hierarchy, as are most natural growth processes.
- The notion of development allows us to recognize nested truths.
- Each successive level ‘transcends and includes’—goes beyond (or transcends) its predecessor, and yet it includes or embraces it in its own makeup.
- Each senior level enfolds or envelopes its predecessors—a development that is envelopment.
- Each level becomes more inclusive, more embracing, more integral—and less marginalizing, less exclusionary, less oppressive.
- A whole letter is part of a whole word, which is part of a whole sentence, which is part of a whole paragraph, and so on.
- A whole atom is part of a whole molecule, a whole molecule is part of a whole cell, a whole cell is part of a whole organism, a whole organism is part of a whole ecosystem, a whole ecosystem is part of a whole biosphere, and so on. Each of those units, no matter how ‘lowly,’ is absolutely crucial for the entire sequence: destroy all atoms and you simultaneously destroy all molecules, cells, organisms, ecosystems, and so on.
AQAL (All-Quadrants, All-Levels)
The four quadrants simply refer to four of the most important dimensions of the Kosmos, namely, the interior and the exterior of the individual and the collective … All four quadrants, with all their realities, mutually interact and evolve—they ‘tetra-interact’ and ‘tetra-evolve.’
- All-quadrant = I, we, and it dimensions (or self, culture, and nature; art, morals, and science; first-person, second-person, and third-person).
- All-level = waves of existence, from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit.
- The point of an ‘all-quadrant, all-level’ approach is that it would honor all of the waves of existence—from body to mind to soul to spirit—as they all unfold in self, culture, and nature.
Upper-Left (UL) Quadrant: Interior of the Individual (“I”)
Important Note: “The importance of the self as the navigator of the great River of Life should not be overlooked. It appears that the self is not a monolithic entity but rather a society of selves with a center of gravity, which acts to bind the multiple waves, states, streams, and realms into something of a unified organization; the disruption of this organization, at any of it general states, can result in pathology.”
- UL Quadrant Involves: “I-language” or first-person accounts (e.g. self, art, the Beautiful—the realm of intentional / subjective / aesthetic / expressive).
- UL Quadrant Description:
- Full spectrum of levels/waves of development (as a holarchy): matter to body to mind to soul to spirit; archaic to magic to mythic to rational to integral to transpersonal. Levels/Waves are conceived in a fluid, flowing, and intermeshing fashion. There are also at least four higher, transpersonal, or spiritual waves (psychic, subtle, causal, and nondual).
- Different lines/streams of development (flow through the levels/waves): cognition, morals, self-identity, psychosexuality, ideas of the good, role taking, socio-emotional capacity, creativity, altruism, several lines that can be called “spiritual” (care, openness, concern, religious faith, meditative stages), communicative competence, modes of space and time, affect/emotion, death-seizure, needs, worldviews, mathematical competence, musical skills, kinesthetics, gender identity, defense mechanisms, interpersonal capacity, and empathy. (Note: A person can be at a relatively high level of development in some lines/streams, medium in others, and low in still others. Overall development can be quite uneven.)
- Different states of consciousness (experienced at any level/wave): waking, dreaming, sleeping, altered, nonordinary, and meditative. A person at almost any stage of typical development can have an altered state of consciousness or a peak experience of any of the higher realms. The person then interprets these higher experiences in the terms of the level at which the person presently resides.
- Different types of consciousness (styles of navigating development): Enneagram, Jungian types, Myers-Briggs personality types, gender styles, etc. A person can be a particular type at virtually any of the levels/waves. Men and women both proceed through the same general levels/waves of development (gender-neutral), but men tend to do so with an emphasis on agency, women with an emphasis on communion.
- UL Quadrant theorists and researchers focus on: interior consciousness as it appears in individuals, everything from psychoanalysis to phenomenology to introspective psychology to meditative states of consciousness.
- Reference: Freud, Jung, Piaget, Aurobindo, Plotinus, Buddha.
Lower-Left (LL) Quadrant: Interior of the Collective (“we”)
- LL Quadrant Involves: “we-language” or second-person accounts (e.g. culture, morals, the Good—the realm of cultural / intersubjective / ethical / normative).
- LL Quadrant Description: “Culture.” All those intersubjective factors/patterns in consciousness that are shared by those who are “in” a particular culture/subculture including: shared communal values, pluralistic perceptions, worldviews, meanings, linguistic semantic habitats, cultural practices, cultural settings, ethics, etc. (simply referred to as
- LL Quadrant theorists and researchers focus on: all the shared values, perceptions, worldviews, and background cultural contexts that are expressed, including the hermeneutic, interpretive, and phenomenological cultural studies.
- Reference: Thomas Kuhn, Jean Gebser, Wilhelm Dilthey, Max Weber, Hans-Georg Gadamer.
Upper-Right (UR) Quadrant: Exterior of the Individual (“it”)
- UR Quadrant Involves: “it-language” or third-person accounts (e.g. nature, science, the True—the realm of behavioral / objective / exterior / empirical).
- UR Quadrant Description: The individual viewed in an objective, empirical, “scientific” fashion (the objective organism, organic factors, brain states) including: organic body states, biochemistry, neurobiological factors, neurotransmitters, organic brain structures (brain stem, limbic system, neocortex), etc.
- UR Quadrant theorists and researchers focus on: individual sciences, hard sciences, behaviorism, empiricism, physics, biology, cognitive science, neurology, neurobiology, brain physiology, psychiatry, etc.
- Reference: B. F. Skinner, John Watson, John Locke.
Lower-Right (LR) Quadrant: Exterior of the Collective (“its”)
- LR Quadrant Involves: “it-language” or third-person accounts (e.g. nature, science, the True—the realm of social / interobjective / exterior / empirical).
- LR Quadrant Description: “The social system.” Interobjective realities including: nature, ecosystems, environment; physical structures and institutions, including techno-economic modes (foraging, horticultural, maritime, agrarian, industrial, informational); architectural styles; geopolitical structures; modes of information transfer (vocal signs, ideograms, movable type printing, telecommunications, microchip); social structure (survival clans, ethnic tribes, feudal orders, ancient nations, corporate states, value communities, etc.).
- LR Quadrant theorists and researchers focus on: systems sciences, systems theory, the ecological web of life, chaos and complexity theories, techno-economic structures/globalization, environmental networks, and social systems.
- Reference: Talcott Parsons, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, Gerhard Lenski.
Humanity’s Challenge & The Prime Directive
Note: In the AQAL model, the two left quadrants (or the “Left-Hand Path”) focus on the interior (interpretive, hermeneutic, consciousness), and the two right quadrants (or the “Right-Hand Path”) focus on the exterior (monological, empirical, positivistic, form).
The Right-Hand Path:
- Both of the Right-Hand quadrants are approached in objective, third-person, “it” language (usually thought of as “scientific”).
- ‘Flatland’ (or scientific materialism) is the belief that only the Right-Hand quadrants are real—the belief that only matter is real, and that only narrow science has any claim to truth.
- “As is usually the case, the techno-economic base (LR) takes the lead first, fashioning the societies within which individuals develop. The technology usually spreads very rapidly, and then that technology slowly, over many generations, remakes the cultures arising within it. This happened with foraging, with horticultural, with agrarian, with industrial, and now it is happening with informational.”
- “One of the greatest problems and constant dangers faced by humanity is simply this: the Right-Hand quadrants are all material, and once a material entity has been produced, it can be used by individuals who are at virtually any level of interior development.”
- “Humanity is once again faced with its most primordial nightmare: an explosive growth in Right-Hand technologies has not been met with an equivalent growth in interior consciousness and wisdom.”
- “Stated in more general terms, one of humanity’s constant nightmares has been that technological growth in the Right-Hand quadrants has always run ahead of the Left-Hand growth in wisdom, care, and compassionate use of that technology.”
- “In other words, exterior development has run ahead of interior development.”
- “Humanity began facing on a massive scale its single most fundamental problem: lack of integral development.”
What Humanity Needs Now:
- “Without interior development, healthy exterior development cannot be sustained.”
- “Only with correlative interior developments can exterior developments be implemented and sustained.”
- “Unless there is Left-Hand development alongside of Right-Hand development—unless we put as much attention on the development of consciousness as on the development of material technology—we will simply extend the reach of our collective insanity.”
The Prime Directive:
- “The health of the entire spiral is the prime directive, not preferential treatment for any one level.”
- “The prime directive asks us to honor and appreciate the necessary, vital, and unique contribution provided by each and every wave of consciousness unfolding, and thus act to protect and promote the health of the entire spiral, and not any one privileged domain.”
- “The prime directive is for all of the memes to be seen as necessary parts of the overall spiral, and thus each be allowed to make its own crucial contribution to the comprehensive health of the spiral.”
- “The health of the entire spiral, and particularly its earlier waves, screams out to us as the major ethical demand. Nonetheless, the advantage of second-tier integral awareness is that it more creatively helps with the solutions to those pressing problems.”
- “Foster the conditions—both interior and exterior—that will allow individuals and cultures to develop through the spiral at their own rate, in their own way.”
- “How can we arrange the health of the overall spiral, as billions of humans continue to pass through it, from one end to the other, year in and year out?”
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