Synchroncity or How I came to delete my “Life Without Toilet Paper” Story

So, when I was 17 (around 1971) I said to myself that I was going to write a memoir called “Life Without Toilet Paper.” I lived with my mother at the time and it seemed like that was frequently my reality. I knew it would include my childhood trauma of witnessing my sister’s horse accident and her subsequent death. I also had a lot of family drama that I also was going to include. Life can be messy and I was going to stay real!

When I got in my 60’s I decided I better get on it, or perhaps it would not get done. What resulted was pretty much a bitch fest and I didn’t want that kind of published legacy so I decided I needed to include some “lessons learned” instead of a bunch of whining and complaining.

I also wanted it to be entertaining and so explored story telling frameworks that would hopefully help me with that. I knew from my Foresight training in how to write scenarios that the “hero’s journey” was a popular way to do storytelling but somehow I knew that wouldn’t work for me and my life. I later discovered that this type of framework does not work for many folks of childhood trauma and what we really had was the “Monsters Journey” as explained by Mark Foreman. (

I still needed an entertaining format, so explored some movie constructions, such as how Pixar tells a story ( and enrolled in a writing class with Martha Beck and Elizabeth Gilbert! ( Who wouldn’t want to learn how to write like the author of “Eat Pray Love, right?” And I have always admired Martha Beck’s humorous but lessons learned style as well. There was a Daily Om course too. (

But then 2020 came with the pandemic and I’ll be darned if “Life Without Toilet Paper” was a literal theme for many. I felt like my memoir of that title had some synchronicity in that the time of “Life Without Toilet Paper” had come and that I needed to complete it.

But then I saw this post on Instagram from Don Jose Ruiz “The truth is that any story of your life is just that, a story, and it’s collapse is a beautiful thing, because when it collapses you find out who you really are; you discover that you are really life itself.” (

I had heard that particular wisdom before, but this time it hit me in a more amplified way. And then one morning I woke up and had the thought, “I need to delete all copies of “Life Without Toilet Paper” in order to move on and free up my next phase of life.”

Then a couple days later in my Thomas Hubl feeds I saw where he says “As our karmic past is cleared, as trauma is healed and integrated, the genuine future can arrive to meet us. When we greet it from a place of presence and attunement, the world catches fire. Suddenly everything changes, yet nothing is lost.” (

Of course, some will say “Oh Terry, the fact that your memoir of long ago probably has nothing to do with what is happening now”, and they might be right but for me, it is Life or Grace notifying me that 2020 is the time to give up “my story” for a new chapter. And so, after all these years of writing, and money spent on how to express it, I deleted all copies in a few seconds. I don’t know what the new chapter is going to entail but I’m excited about the possibilities!

Integral Life Practice-Breathwork

Since I first read Integral Life Practice ( I have tried to keep up a routine that would satisfy the 4 core modules of Body, Mind, Spirit and Shadow!

My applications have changed and evolved throughout the some 15 years of endeavors and one of my recent ones is Ecstatic Breathwork with Scott Schwenk. Scott is Integrally informed, and is a meditation teacher as well.

Some of the benefits of this practice are clearing the lungs, topping of the vagus nerve, oxygenating the blood, clearing energy blocks, opening the heart center, receiving insights and grace. I recently wrote a thank you blog here to the young leaders ( and I consider Scott to be one of these.

This past week, I had a grace insight where I truly got and felt that all the traditions (Christ, Buddha, Krishna, the Great Mother, etc) love me. I know that intellectually of course, but I didn’t really feel it in my body until an Ecstatic Breathwork session with Scott facilitating. I had this boundary around Christ and love because I felt like it would be a betrayal to my Christ foundation if I didn’t. A pretty clear case of my cognition and emotional body not being aligned.

I have professed to being a Monist (all is one) and studied Sufism, Zen Buddhism, Hinduism and others for decades but never let that love boundary down. With the Breathwork that energetic boundary released and grace flooded in with tears of joy and gratitude on my part. I truly included the others and added them to those that love me! What freedom that feels like, and empowering! I didn’t try to do it. It just happened. That’s how Grace works!

I will not be so arrogant to say my path should be the same as yours. You may have other modalities that are best suited for you and your circumstances. I just encourage doing “the work” of an Integral Life Practice, as I wish benefits for everyone.🙏❤️

So, what is your practice and how has it benefited you? I would love to hear about it!

Thank You to the Leadership of the Future

Events of the world have been depressing for me lately! And, they have been changing so quickly that sometimes it’s been difficult to process one before something else comes up to contemplate. However, I’m starting to feel hopeful about the future and that’s because of our human future.

The young people of today (younger than Boomer age) have really stepped up in leadership for us all. In the past few days it seems the tide has turned in the social justice area in a positive way where it looks like there will be lasting systematic change. This is the hope that many of us have been waiting for.

In some ways this doesn’t surprise me but the hope has been dashed so many times many of us were going numb from disappointment. I think part of the change has to do with demographics. There are more millennials than boomers at this point which means they have power.

Because the millennials and Generation Z have done the individual and cultural internal work, it is finally showing up in the individual behaviors and the system. This is Integral Life Practice at its finest. This has been facilitated by the internet and social media. It contains a wider range of prospectives than they would locally be exposed to and for them to quickly self organize around. Yes, the shadow still exists in this realm but the light seems to prevail right now. The quote by Martin Luther King “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice” comes to mind.

So thank you, to the youth of the world who have led us all in this positive direction! I can’t wait to see what you do next!

Blessings During Quarantine

Recently on Integral Life, Corey and Ken talk about Forgiveness and Gratitude. ( The whole world and many of it’s inhabitants seem to be transforming into something new with the Covid-19 event.

It’s been a while since I’ve published a blog. I like many others, have been transforming through life circumstances. In 2017 I ended a 25 year relationship to a marriage partner. 💔 It was excruciating painful and included moving from Nevada back to my home state of Texas and my birth place, Austin.

Since late 2017 I have been working on healing by taking lots of road trips, a lot of self care, and shadow work. All of this was very helpful but of course life had to go on, so the healing was slow. I was able to do a lot of forgiving of myself and my partner and feel some real gratitude to him in early 2020. I told him in a telephone conversation that while it was the right thing for us to part, he was the love of my life and I was so grateful for all the great years we had. ❤️

On March 18, he chose to end his life. It was the day after his 69th birthday. I was in week two of my Covid-19 quarantine at the time, and so was forced to hibernate in my grief. I could only get virtual hugs, condolences and all those things that I would normally love and prefer to get in person. Because of the quarantine I had to go deeper into myself for comfort and growth from my life circumstance. For me that was a blessing not to go outside myself for these healings and they are still ongoing.

I’m still a chrysalis in the goo 🐛 of dissolving from my old self to the new, but I’m excited to see what kind of new butterfly I am becoming! How about you and your becoming? 🦋

Values-Forms Pt 2: Circles, Hierarchies, Exchanges, & Systems… by Tim Morgan

My earlier Values-Forms Pt 1 essay showed the similarities between David Ronfeldt’s TIMN Social Forms Evolution framework and Spiral Dynamics emergent values theory. I briefly showed that they can be combined into a powerful new composite values-form tool for understanding organizational social change.

The article left an open question: why are Spiral’s Orange Achievist values the only self-focused vMeme to create a stable social form, namely +M Markets? Figure-1 shows the break in the clean pattern of socially-focused values creating stable social forms. It seems to violate both symmetry and common-sense.

Figure 1

Figure 1 – TIMN forms to Spiral Dynamics values mapping
Another way to phrase the question is, why doesn’t each Spiral vMeme produce a stable social form? One hint is that self-focused Red Egocentric values do create a well-known social form, namely Chiefdoms/Dominions. The problem is that Red Egocentric social forms are not stable over the long term. Their “cult of personality” emphasis on specific individuals as leaders and the pecking order springing from them makes that personalized form of hierarchy unstable past their reign. Dominions lack the long-term abstract positional structure of pure +I/Blue Authoritarian hierarchies (ex. “The King is dead! Long live the King!”)

So why does the next self-focused vMeme, Orange Achievist, create stable +M Market forms? Why would it be stable where a Red Dominion is not?
Social Forms are not the same as Social Structures. TIMN already embodies implicit values within each of its emergent social forms. That is how we matched them up with Spiral vMemes in Pt 1. Each aligns a dominant TIMN form with a current worldview, which in turn neatly match up with four Spiral Dynamics vMemes:

• T Tribes → Mystical worldview → Purple Clannish
• +I Institutions → Traditional worldview → Blue Authoritarian
• +M Markets → Modernist worldview → Orange Achievist
• +N Networks → Postmodernist worldview → Green Communitarian
One approach to reconciling the break in pattern is to separate the implicit values in each TIMN form from its structure. We need to identify the underlying structural communications mode for each dominant form/vMeme. We see are an interesting set of groupings in Table-1:

2019-05-21 (2)

Table 1 – Values & Forms Communications Modes


Table-1 lays out how Spiral Dynamics values and TIMN forms map to their co-emergent communications technologies. The Emergent Communications Mode column lists my current assessment of how people use the dominant communications tech for each combined values-form. The resulting mode of communication stems from the communications type which that tech facilitates best (one-to-one, one-to-many, etc.) along with the values trying to communicate via that communications type.
Thus Beige & Purple vMemes both want to communicate via one-to-one interactions within Kinship Circles. Red & Blue want to communicate via one-to-many Authoritarian Hierarchies. Orange & Green both want to interact via many-to-many Egalitarian Exchanges. Yellow & Turquoise want to communicate via Interdependent Systems.
The answer to the question of why +M Markets are stable is now clearer. Markets are just a special case of the stable Exchanges social structure. Orange prefers free egalitarian (no familial or hierarchical bias) exchanges of tangible value, while Green privileges free exchanges affinitive (emotional/relational) value.
If this assessment is correct, then Ronfeldt’s +M and +N forms are just two different expressions of the same Exchanges structure. Orange wants tangible strategic exchanges to satisfy its self-focused values, and Green wants relative intangible affinitive exchanges to satisfy its socially-focused values. Both are egalitarian in the sense that they want their partners in the exchange to be unhindered by the values of other vMemes/worldviews. So +M Markets are only considered fair if everyone can participate regardless of family or position. Similarly, +N Networks are only considered fair if everyone gets to establish relational connections based on affinities of social value.
The emergence of +N Network social values exchanges goes a long way to explaining current social conflicts across the world. Affinitive networks with different core worldviews (“conservatives vs liberals”, “nationalists vs internationalists”, “urban vs rural”, etc.) which interact will see the other network as inherently incapable of fair exchange of their cherished affinitive network values.
The most profound implication of this for Spiral Dynamics adherents is that we can pair the Self-focused & Socially-focused vMemes into pairs. Each values pairing matches a complementary social organization structure which it wants to promote to enhance communication of its values. Thus Beige+Purple prefer family-like circles where talking is the primary mode of communication. Red+Blue wants hierarchies where writing establishes authority and truth. Orange+Green wants unencumbered expression of their values via mutual exchanges and resent mightily any interference or restrictions on them. Yellow+Turquoise is just beginning to emerge at this point, but appears to want connected, functioning systems where all values can route to where they are needed or wanted. If someone asks for a digital “Executive Dashboard” they are asking for a Yellow+Turquiose dynamic tool for constantly assessing the health of the overall system.
We can summarize the emergence of these new structured values-forms into a new notation, inspired by Ronfeldt’s extremely insightful and useful TIMN: Circles (C), Hierarchies (H), Exchanges (E), and Systems (S). Instead of Ronfeldt’s TIMN social forms we have CHES structures:
• Familial & Tribal social Circles –> Beige/Purple Kinship-Circles
• Dominance & Institutional social Hierarchies –> Red/Blue Authoritarian-Hierarchies
• Strategic & Affinitive social Exchanges –> Orange/Green Egalitarian-Exchanges
• Interactive & Anticipatory social Ecologies –> Yellow/Turquoise Interdependent-Systems

Each of these structured values-forms can be used to structurally analyse organizational forms, modes of communication, related values, and values-based sources of organizational conflict. The same “+” notation can be used giving us family-like Circles, +H power or position-based Hierarchies, +E egalitarian Exchanges of physical or abstract value, and +S interdependent social systems. It also clearly gives us a key for summarizing the over-arching values held by each emergent pair of Spiral Dynamics vMemes, concisely describing the emergence of each set of values and each related social form for both self and socially focused values:
CHES Structured Values Forms:
• Beige-Purple (existence values) -> Kinship-Circles (Familial Bands & Tribal Circles)
• Red-Blue (positional values) -> Authoritarian-Hierarchies (Dominance Pecking-orders & Institutional Hierarchies)
• Orange-Green (relative values) -> Egalitarian-Exchanges (Competitive Markets & Affinitive Networks)
• Yellow-Turquois (integrative values) -> Interdependent-Systems (Interactive Systems & Adaptive Ecologies)

It is not clear that this formulation is intrinsically better than Ronfeldt’s TIMN framework. Its single most apparent advantage is in reconciling social forms with Spiral Dynamics vMemes in a simple but powerful framework. Practitioners should add both TIMN and CHES to their organizational toolkits.

Tim Morgan on Values-Forms Part 1

Tim Morgan continues to explore Values with a Form that reinforces Spiral Dynamics. Enjoy!

Values-Forms Pt 1: David Ronfeldt’s TIMN & Spiral Dynamics

One of the things that weakens confidence in Spiral Dynamics as a psychological emergence theory is the dearth of published scientific studies backing it up. That lack of evidentiary rigor along with the absence of Claire W. Grave’s original research data makes some question its scientific validity.
This is not an overwhelming objection, however. Spiral Dynamics practitioners have been using it in the field successfully for decades. Another confidence builder is when other researchers come up with similar theories and frameworks. The most valuable of these are the ones which take a different approach or perspective but arrive at similar results. David Ronfeldt’s TIMN Framework is one superb example.
Ronfeldt spent over 30 years as a political scientist in the International Studies Group at RAND. He is retired now, but his work ranged from predicting the rise of networked forms of terrorism, to the applications of the concepts of the Noosphere and Noospolitics to international relations. One of Ronfeldt’s accomplishments was the development of his TIMN Social Evolution framework. Most of his work on TIMN can be found on his blog, which he still updates. Ronfeldt arrived at TIMN via observation and analysis. His original paper on TIMN is available online, as well as his video description of TIMN basics.
Briefly, Ronfeldt observed that all social organizing forms appear to be emergent from prior forms, and that those earlier social forms act as a foundation for later social organizing forms (See Figure 1). The progression he observed was:
Tribes: T
Institutions: I→T+I
Markets: M→T+I+M
Networks: N→T+I+M+N

The + notation he uses indicates that there is always an active mix of all the forms in any functioning social system. A +M market never stands alone. It always has T (tribal) and +I (institutional) components required for the +M component to function properly.

figure 1
Figure 1 – Ronfeldt’s TIMN Emergent Social Forms Framework

This evolution of social forms looks eerily like the vMeme emergence progression of Spiral Dynamics. Figure 2 shows TIMN form attributes that map closely to specific Spiral vMemes (sets of values).
Some other similarities between Spiral Dynamics & TIMN:
• Both list a base emergence state: Beige Survival-Sense values (Spiral) and the Tribal form (TIMN)
• Both claim that their labels are attractor-like nodes on an emergent continuum, and that intermediate hybrids exist between nodes
• Both insist that you never evolve away from needing prior forms
• Both claim that their emergence pattern is driven by circumstances: Life-conditions for Spiral and Information technologies for TIMN
• Both state that there is no upper limit to what might emerge as conditions change, and speculate that later levels are possible
• Both state that each can function positively or negatively: Healthy/Unhealthy (Spiral) and Light/Dark (TIMN).
• Both try to create a self-reinforcing environments for themselves. Example: Institutional forms reinforce Institutional values (TIMN), and BLUE Authoritarian values reinforce BLUE Authoritarian social structures (Spiral Dynamics)
• Both follow similar patterns of emergence

figure 2
Figure 2 – TIMN Attributes

The last bullet above is revealing. We can see a clear mapping of each TIMN form with a matching Spiral vMeme: Tribes & kinship-based solidarity (Purple Clannish), Institutions & hierarchical order (Blue Authoritarian), Markets & individual freedom (Orange Achievist), Networks & social equity (Green Communitarian). See Figure 3.

figure 3
Figure 3 – TIMN forms mapped to Spiral Dynamics values

Each TIMN form clearly matches a Spiral vMeme. The TIMN forms match the most influential Spiral vMemes in terms of social organization: Purple (Tribes or Extended Families), Blue (Institutions), Orange (Markets), and most recently Green (Networks). TIMN implicitly points out which of the 8 emergent Spiral worldviews can support long-term stable social orders. Beige cannot create a stable social form since those values are focused individual survival. Red can and does form Chiefdoms or Dominions. Those personality driven intermediate forms usually fall apart when the leader is dies or loses power. Yellow and Turquoise lack the prevalence in society to determine yet if they will create stable social forms from their values. Figure-4 maps each emergence pattern to a preferred worldview (sets of values).

figure 4

Figure 4 – TIMN emergence pattern & preferred worldview for each stable social form.
Note: The Figure 4 Worldview labels are derived from Andy Hine’s book, CONSUMER SHIFT. A Tribal/Mystical worldview is added to match a likely Tribal worldview matching the Spiral Dynamics Purple vMeme, not discussed in his book.

It feels natural to combine the two frameworks into a unified combination. This quadriform of values-forms could then be used to tag and assess the dominant forms interacting in a social order, and simultaneously give a synopsis of the values interplay.
An example: What is the impact on the local values and institutions of small to mid-sized rural towns (dominant T+I values) when their local TV stations (dominant +I form) are purchased by an interstate corporations (dominant +M form), which de-emphasize local news (T+I values) in favor of national news and editorial content (dominant +M values)?
One likely result is that local social cohesiveness will drop because of loss of T+I values reporting. Another is that the towns will likely start to lose their unique T+I identity in favor of national T+I+M identity matching that of the media conglomerate.
Practitioners of Strategic Foresight & Futures Research along with anyone else interested in the interplay of social forms and worldviews should look closely at Ronfeldt’s TIMN. It comes with a convenient tagging system (T, +I, +M, +N), is simple to understand, and maps very well to Spiral Dynamics and conventional worldview descriptions (Mystical, Traditional, Modern, Postmodern). One side benefit is to use it as an introduction to some of the core concepts of Spiral Dynamics in a more simplified form.
Some open questions remain about combining TIMN and Spiral Dynamics. The one which jumps out is that Orange Achievist is the only self-focused vMeme to create stable social forms (+M Markets). The other three are socially-focused and lend themselves to creating a defined social order. This break in the pattern is counter-intuitive. Why would a self-focused vMeme promote a stable social form? That nagging question will be addressed in the next article, Values-Forms Pt 2.
TIMN alone is an enormously useful tool for understanding social organization and change. Combining it with Spiral Dynamics is a natural extension, creating a powerful new composite tool for exploring the interaction of systems of values and social forms.

Marveling at Spiral Dynamics by Tim Morgan

Tim Morgan @TimothyNMorgan (Director of Strategic Foresight at North Texas Foresight Institute) gave this presentation at the  2018 Spring Foresight Event at the University of Houston and I thought it was brilliant!  I begged him to put it in blog form for me to post here. I bet you will love it too!


Spiral Dynamics is a theory of emergent values development based on the work of Clare W. Graves. These emergent values levels, called vMemes, have a reputation for being notoriously confusing when first encountered. Don Beck & Christopher Cowan attempted to ease the way for newcomers by describing Grave’s original research using symbolic colors & tags. Beck & Cowan’s kaleidoscopic levels are a bit easier to absorb, but still can seem daunting to beginners.

Can we make it even easier or more accessible so that people can begin to understand Spiral Dynamics?

We can try, via Marvel comic book characters.


The Incredible Hulk: Level of Existence #1, Beige SurvivalSense


Beige values center on individual survival in a hostile world. No one puts the Fight into Fight-or-Flight like the Incredible Hulk. The Hulk represents human values in its most raw, survivalist form. He can barely speak and has an extremely limited view of the world. His values are completely centered on moment-to-moment action. Anger triggers Hulk’s emergence from Dr. Bruce Banner when survival is at stake.

Hulk – Image sourced from


Guardians of the Galaxy: Level of Existence #2, Purple KinSpirits

GuardiansPurple goes from individual survival to thriving as part of a larger group. The Guardians of the Galaxy typify that transition from individual survival to group purpose. Each Guardian brings their own unique virtues to their tribe-like circle. Together, they go beyond mere individual focus, to thriving kinship in a hostile universe.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Image sourced from

The Red Skull: Level of Existence #3 – Red PowerGods

Red Skull

Red wants to break tribal limits to impose their will on the universe. The Red Skull embodies the PowerGod vMeme. He seeks out both mystic and physical power to impose his will on the universe. He creates pecking orders of trusted lieutenants around him. He revels in the destruction of his enemies, and dreams of a never-ending empire created by his own hand. He bridles at containment. His will is to command, and never to be shamed by failure.

Red Skull – Image sourced from


Captain America: Level of Existence #4, Blue TruthForce


Blue has a capital-P Purpose. Captain America is Marvel’s embodiment of Blue’s traditional values: truth, order, and community. He works for the good of society, willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Everyone has their place in the grand scheme of things, and Steve Rogers accepts his: working to defeat chaos and restore order.  Just as Blue values first emerged to contain Red impulsive dominion, Cap emerged in WWII to defeat Hydra and the Red Skull.

Captain America – Image sourced from×1600/


Iron Man & Black Widow: Level of Existence #5 Orange StriveDrive

Iron Man – Image sourced from Black Widow – Image sourced from

WomanOrange strives for autonomy and achievement. Billionaire genius Tony Stark typifies Orange’s success-oriented, no-nonsense view of the world. Stark’s ultimate achievement is his Iron Man exosuit. Stark constantly pushes the limits of science and technology making each new version more advanced than the last. Orange achievement isn’t always about money or technology. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Natasha Romanov, code name “Black Widow”, chose a different path. Black Widow masters every challenge through keen observation, focus, and strategy. She is spycraft personified: cool, calculating, pragmatic, preternaturally competent, and precise

Groot: Level of Existence #6, Green HumanBond

rootGreen values reject hierarchies and roles in favor of relationships and empowerment. Groot is the living embodiment of such community-focused nurture and alignment with nature. His plant-like form grows and adapts to the needs of others. He guides his friends towards a spiritual sense of nature and fellowship. He willingly sacrifices himself to save his fellow Guardians, telling them “We are Groot”, only to be reborn again through their care.

Groot – Image sourced from



The Vision and Doctor Strange: Level of Existence #7, Yellow FlexFlow

The Vision – Image sourced from×320.jpeg Doctor Strange – Image sourced from


Yellow breaks past previous levels of existence to a new level of systemic understanding. Yellow values both the analytical and spiritual. It focuses on “I”, but never to the detriment of “We”. It is unlike prior values levels which center on either “I” or “We” values but not both. Two exemplars of Yellow’s integrative “systems-of-systems” perspective are The Vision and Doctor Strange. The Vision is a living robot, born from the fusion of advanced technology and an Infinity Stone. He strives to balance his desires with other’s needs. Yellow emerged differently in Dr. Steven Strange.  Strange was a world-class surgeon, a true man of science and rationality. He went on a transformative journey of discovery after a debilitating accident. That journey ultimately led him to arcane knowledge of a wider universe where science and mysticism are different maps of the larger reality. Both The Vision and Doctor Strange stand apart as powerful individuals who are compelled to gain an ever wider understanding of the universe, simultaneously desiring to keep everyone at every level safe.

Wakanda: Level of Existence #8, Turquoise GlobalView

Wakanda – Image sourced from


Turquoise senses the world artistically through its interconnected flow. It looks to “We” first, but in ways which empower “I”. The hidden city of Wakanda is the embodiment of this holistic worldview. It blends its separate cultures in ways which preserve each’s uniqueness but gives common voice to all. It does not shirk from sacrifice and looks to sustain all within it.  A Turquoise citizen of Wakanda is one who moves comfortably across all the levels, using each to harmonize the whole. Wakandans go beyond seeing the world via Yellow’s integrated system-of-systems eyes. They know the world as a holistic continuum, an environment of environments. They celebrate both cultural diversity and shared values. Turquoise Wakandans do not see competition between technology and nature but use each to enhance the other in a dynamic balance.

Level of Existence #9 & Beyond

Grave’s theory indicated that new levels of existence would continue to emerge as new life conditions arise beyond the current levels. Some claim emergence of these later levels, even though Yellow and Turquoise are still forming. It is almost impossible to comprehend what new values and patterns of thinking will emerge as we confront life conditions beyond the growing environmental stress and global strife giving rise to Yellow and Turquoise. We can only speculate on later levels. Certainty must wait as the future unfolds new challenges along the infinite spiral of values.

Coda on Imperfect Analogies

The fun pop-culture examples barely scratch the full extent of the Spiral Dynamics theory. They are only an entry-point for understanding this unique model of human values development. Spiral Dynamics is a flexible tool for understanding human behavior and aspects of social change. Enjoy your journey up the spiral. Excelsior!

The Future of Hate!


Hate will always be with us. Developmental Psychology tells us that until a human or a group of humans  mature to a certain level, there is an allergy to values that are not of our own. To complicate matters further in this area, our shadows will blind us to the possible truth that the traits that we dislike in others could reside in ourselves!

At the tribal level (see chart) of maturity, whatever is a danger to the group is the focus of hate. There is power in numbers and thus we can relax in relative safety.

At the egocentric (Warrior)stage, whatever threatens the perceived individual loss of power is the focus of hate. Think gangs, the military and patriarchy for a feel of this level. At the Traditional level, the boundaries are set and whomever does not comply is considered a threat. This level grew out of the need to contain the Warrior level.

At the modern stage, science and rationality rules and whatever does not have that world view is a threat. This level is where many of my friends think they can just persuade others with logic and rationality. Ever try that and fail? This is probably why.

Even the pluralistic stage (modernistic) does not see that it discriminates when it rails against those that discriminate. It’s not until the individual makes a difficult leap to the level of maturity where truly everyone is given a voice that there is a lesser chance of hate because of the decrease in fear. (Emergent Integral)

Only about 5% of the population is at this maturity level so one can see why all hell is breaking loose in the world at the moment! And by the way, every human slides in and out of all these levels at any given hour of any given day. It all depends on what life is presenting and how your feeling about it.

man couple people woman
Photo by Gratisography on

Everyone has a right to their values but someone who is trying to get others to act out of fear is not doing the greater good. When folks are acting out of fear, they are responding from a part of their brain (amygdala) that cannot be creative to actually solve a problem but acts out of fight or flight. The prefrontal cortex (reasoning, creative part) shuts down, and the focus is on keeping safe both physically and psychologically. There was once a saying “it takes all kinds to make the world go around” but currently it seems there are many that believe only one way makes the world go around, and it’s their way!

Lately, it seems there has been an uptick in usually good people using their power to incite people in fear! It is so disappointing to see this and I for one would like to see them use their power to inspire instead are stoking the fire of fear!

When life conditions are good, it is easier to grow developmentally to that place of less fear, however, when life is threatening, most folks go to a lower level or one of tribalism because there is safety in numbers. The fear rules and with all thing’s the Internet, the fear spreads like wild-fire!  Havoc and hate ensue!

So what to do to keep the fear down and thus also possible hate? Take a relaxing breath and do something fun to better deal with stress. Keep off the fear mongering social media and get out into nature, which will give you a more realistic perspective on life. Give and or get a hug from a fellow human being! Watch a funny movie! Take a bath or get a massage! Find what makes you happy and do it!

Agree or disagree? I would love to hear your perspective if it is constructive but keep quiet if you just want to be mean and hate.

Revisiting the “other” or why we should stay calm and give Trump a chance…..for now.

Emotions are running high since our president-elect has been announced! There have been protests in various cities, walkouts of high school and college students and new Facebook pages organized around this. No one can stay objective to the values of others when their emotions are high because it evokes the “fight or flight” response. When this happens our capacity to hold multiple perspectives becomes narrower as we have less access to our neocortex while the amygdala is in command. ( I don’t blame anyone for expressing their authentic emotions and personal truths. However, in order to do a better job of forecasting as a Futurist, it’s much easier if we don’t make someone unlike ourselves the “other.” And, if we can objectively observe values, then we can forecast future behavior more accurately.

On September 11, 2011, I wrote a blog on the “other” ( In it, I reminded folks that Integral promotes all perspectives because they may have partial truths. Furthermore, if there is a strong reaction to something, then it should at least be explored for “shadow” issues that need to be healed and integrated into our whole consciousness. The value in this integration is, so that we have a better chance of controlling these issues instead of them controlling us. Every good futurist has a responsibility to explore their blind spots for questionable assumptions.

I was disappointed when Trump won the election. Hubby and I both caucused for Bernie as he comes closer than any other candidate to our personal values. Since he lost the primary, we got behind Hilary, but I told hubby and my Trump friends that I thought Trump had a good chance because I know the center of gravity values in this big beautiful country of ours is closer to Trump than Hilary. However, since the popular vote went with Hilary, it gives me hope the values of the country are going in the direction of more inclusion and pluralism. ( ).

If you know the values within a group or individual, it is easier to assess what their behavior will be in the future. While our new president-elect is certainly difficult to pin down where his authentic values are, I personally am going to try to take the high road, stay calm, and give him 100 days to see if he may be a better president than anticipated! How about you?

Welcome to Integral Futures

Integral Futures is an approach to Futures that uses Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory as its framework.  Integral Theory contains a holistic, four quadrant model that explores the interior (intentional) and the exterior (behavioral) of the individual and the interior (cultural) and the exterior (system or social) of the communal or collective. (Wilber, 1996)

Richard Slaughter was the owner of this domain for many years but has graciously transferred it to me for which I am grateful and will do my best to be a responsible, conscience steward.

Integral theory tells us that reality arises in the presence of and through the consciousness and experiences of individuals and collectives which can then be observed through behavior, science, nature and social systems.    What distinguishes Integral is that it considers the subjective experience and integrates it along with the objective, intersubjective, and the interobjective. The effects of one quadrant affect the others and a balance of all four quadrants will contribute to the health of the individual and or  the collective.  Because of the inclusiveness nature of this theory, practitioners  have a framework that is meta- or at a higher level  that will not reduce or collapse the interior experience of individuals and collectives into the exterior realm (reductionism).  All perspectives are taken into consideration. This will not create integral but will guide and track integral attempts by its practitioners. (Esbjorn-Hargens, 2009)

It is my intention to share with you my thoughts on what is happening in the world of Futures and Integral and Integral Futures specifically.  I would love to collaborate with you so feel free to contact me with any thoughts to expand or disagree.  Thanks for joining me on my journey.

Wilber, K. (1996) A Brief History of Everything, Shambala, Boston & London

Esbjorn-Hargens, 2009P.3