Spiral dynamics is a model of social values and growth that also maps to our individual development. It’s a helpful tool to support your development as well as a way to better understand the world around you. The model contains 8 levels, each assigned a color, and representing a specific world-view and developmental need.
The fifth level, labeled orange, corresponds to our adolescent stage, with a thirst for thinking and a drive for freedom. As with all levels, there are benefits and limitations. This level values individual effort, reasoned thought, and freedom from oppressive rules.
People at this level strive to be free of unreasonable thinking, blind obedience to the rules, and out-dated restrictions. There are amazing gifts from this level of development and at the same time, there’s the downside. Greed, coercion, manipulation, inequality, and depletion of resources, all the woes of our modern day societies.
Here is the talk by Dr. Simmons that explains this level.
- 5th level, Rev. Dr. Jane Simmons, “Overachievers Anonymous” May 20, 2018, Unity of Spokane (29 minutes long)
As you gently consider this level and how it appears in your life and in the world around you, what do you notice? For me, I notice a sense of loss as the idea that I can do this alone fades away.
There is a developmental stage in young adults when they move from fierce mental explorations to a stage of realizing interdependencies, with a vulnerability when we realize that we alone aren’t able to do it all. I invite you to be gentle with this sense of vulnerability and notice it in others as we celebrate both the gifts and the limits of this stage of “I can do it” determination and reasoned thinking.
Read more about orange
This is the sixth post a series of posts on the subject of spiral dynamics. Find the whole series here.
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Photo by Melissa Askew