Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spiral Dynamics and life conditions

On the point about changing conditions on the ground in the last post, recall this post using the Spiral Dynamics FAQ from the prior post. A relevant excerpt:

"A couple of other things are also of importance in the above SD FAQ. One is how life conditions are paired with the neurobiology of brain-consciousness structures. This seems similar to transitional and basic structures respectively, with the life conditions or context perhaps the societal worldviews that emerged with the concurrent brain-consciousness levels? .... The view changes while the basic structures are included."

Quoting the relevant part of the FAQ:

"Two interacting forces in a field
The systems covered in SPIRAL DYNAMICS® Levels 1 & 2 training are shown to arise from the interaction of two elements:
  • The life conditions the person or group encounters
  • The brain/mind capacities available to cope with such conditions

For his terminology, Dr. Graves used alphabet letters beginning with A to represent the life conditions that embody a certain kind of existential problems and a view of what the ‘real’ world is like. He used letters beginning with N to represent mind/brain capacities—the neurobiological equipment and mindsets required to recognize and deal with such a reality. Together, the life conditions + mind capacities produce a level of psychological existence in Gravesian terminology, a vMEME in the language of the spiral.

The idea of two interacting forces is central to Dr. Grave’s theory and forms the foundation of SPIRAL DYNAMICS training. That is to say that both genetic predisposition and neuronal systems as well as the experiences accrued in being alive and conscious help shape who we are. The use of letter pairs (rather than colors or numbers) serves to emphasize this double-helix notion and sets this model apart from many others that rely only on typologies and traits, or which do not recognize the interplay of environmentosocial challenges with neurological systems.

A person isn’t generally locked at a single level. The letter pairs can shift with respect to each other and, to some extent, be shifted by conditions. For example, it’s possible for someone to live in an E-level world but only have access to Q means of dealing with life; or to have F thinking while being caught up with overwhelming P. Whether at work or in school, we are over-stretched and stressed or under-employed and bored because of these misalignments."

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