Friday, September 28, 2012

The design of everything

Gave a presentation last week at the Cusp Conference in Chicago. I observed that we're entering an exciting time where the growth and expansion in our outer journey is being informed by a growth and expansion in our inner journey. If you're interested in human potential, this is a good time to be alive.

In our outer journey, humans are proving ourselves capable of anything, truly anything. We have so much intelligence. We can land a truck on Mars and operate it by solar power and remote control. We have miracle communication machines in our pockets that connect us with each other and any information we seek, anything we can imagine, including the sum total of all human knowledge, at any time. Wow. I mean, wow.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all this achieving, we ask ourselves a powerful and informing question: Why? What is the meaning of all of this? To show our dominion over nature? To serve ourselves? To serve God? To achieve our potential? To create an economy? To serve the world and each other and our children and grandchildren? What's all this about? This is the defining question of our inner journey, and the way we answer changes over time.

My favorite map or model for the inner journey is the spiral dynamics model, which I've written about before. I created my own version of the model for the presentation. A few people asked me to share it, so here it is.


The map is built on a nautilus shell. The text box contains the names and summaries of the different memes or stages or mindsets. Each new stage transcends the one that came before it and creates a new worldview with new defining principles. Red's "might = right" is replaced by blue's higher order/law. Orange's Science/mind trumps blue's God/faith. And green's Humanity/earth-awareness trumps Science and everything else.

In yellow we get to the second tier, the first meme to exist not in opposition to another, but one which sees all stages and colors as beneficial and part of the whole. Integral culture.

In yellow we see the world for the first time as complete, whole, abundant. The poster child for the yellow meme could be Buckminster Fuller, who believed in the potential of human beings to do what had never been imagined, "to make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

It can feel like chaos as the old and outdated stories we've been depending on for years push against each other and fail and show their incompleteness, but this is the time when new and more inclusive stories like Bucky's are emerging.

Inevitable? No. We have to choose it. We can choose our greatest potential, or we can choose less. We have to consciously step into the journey.

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