Dutch Emergence 1

Time to share what is going on over here, as it is truly amazing… We are living through emergence and it is very cool!

As you may know, the Netherlands has been identified for a while now as a place where the potential for “integral” and “second tier” consciousness (what I call “integral evolutionary consciousness”) is particularly high on our planet. Dr Don Beck has been coming here for 10 years and telling people that, but the Dutch themselves found it hard to believe – and challenging to accept. Others have added their voices more recently, such as Deepak Chopra and Lynne McTaggart. It now seems like this nation is ready to step up to it.

We set up the Center for Human Emergence over here late Spring 2005, as part of the network of CHEs emerging across the planet, under the guidance of Dr Beck. We’ve come a long way since then, via a 900-people event March 2006, and ongoing experimentation to walk our talk in terms of our organisational form. It seems the society is now really ready for what we have to offer.

In February of this year, a new Dutch government was formed under the guidance of Herman Wijffels, called back from his role as the Dutch Director at the World Bank by the Queen to see if  he could create a Government from parties across the political spectrum (Christian Democrats, Labour, and Christian Social Union). He took the party leaders away from the media spotlight and party spindoctors on a journey round the country accompanied by an oval table which they kept at all the various locations (good Purple for those Spiral Wizards out there) – and succeeded in creating a coalition that radiated a fresh new energy and what is more came up with what many are calling the first ever attempt at an integral governance model for the coming years.

Now, Herman Wijffels was the first person to accept a position on the Wisdom Council of the CHE NL. He is a strong advocate of Spiral Dynamics, integral thinking and Evolutionary Leadership. (Other members of the Wisdom Council include Prince Carlos de Bourbon – son of the Dutch Queen’s sister – , Fred Matser, Fons Trompenaars, and Marianne Spangenberg-Carlier).

We have been exploring how we can best support this experiment with integral governance. An exciting project is unfolding, in which we will facilitate an integral innovation lab for each of the six streams in the agreement (economy, public sector, sustainability, security, international role, social cohesion), woven together by a seventh stream. This will involvemeshworking Coalesced Authority Power and Influence (CAPI) to create integral prototypes around the challenges that the government has identified. We will work with a development of the U-Process, with six facilitation teams working in parallel and learning from each other as we go. We have contacts at the highest levels and Herman will help us to get the right people around the table for the different streams.

There are a couple of related developments that are worth sharing for now. The Environment and Spatial Planning ministry has landed the two most complext portfolios – environment and social cohesion (including integration). It “just so happens” that we have recently trained up their interim managers department in SDi and equipped them with the PeopleScan tools . We are also supporting them in their internal organisational change process, and recently gave a talk on the whole perspective to a group of high potential middle managers at which the Minister of Environment was present – and she got very excited about our approach, and what is more already knew of Spiral Dynamics and Don Beck!

On the Social Cohesion front, a few of us were invited to a graduation event at the Police Academy of twelve leaders in the Police who have just completed a Personal Leadership course in which Spiral Dynamics Integral played a major role. They’d all be given a copy of my Evolutionary Leadership book (which is full on SDi, Integral and Evolutionary Enlightenment). Herman Wijffels was invited to speak and said he accepted because he was so excited by the fact that they were working with SDi. It is releasing a huge amount of energy in the Police and enabling them to see the issues around integration much more clearly. Via them we have access to the Minister for Integration, and so are beginning to build CAPI for that stream. Maria Jeukens has played a key role over years in getting the Police to where they are now.

And we’ve just launched a project to map the Spiral codes across the nation, to be linked to postcodes via GIS (see www.macroscope.nu, currently only in Dutch though)…

The field is truly crystallising rapidly at the moment. It’s play time.

Conflict at Higher Levels

This is a mail that I sent to Andrew Cohen and cc’d Ken Wilber following one of their dialogues. I also copied Don Beck in and have included some of his comments below.

Dear Andrew,

I was listening to your conversation with Ken on IntegralNaked where you asked about conflict at higher levels. I think I may have something to add to the thoughts which came out then, based on some of the underlying dynamics which I see in the Spiral.
I am consciously using Spiral Dynamics here as I believe that the concept of tiers that Graves identified (with six systems per tier) is key to understanding your experience, Andrew. That is why I prefer not to use 3rd tier the way you are Ken, as we then end up with one tier of 6 systems, one of 2 and one of 4+… I believe there was deep insight in Graves intuition around three tiers of six systems.

In first tier, as you both agreed, conflict tends to emerge most strongly in Red and Blue. The reason for this is the strong sense of clarity about what one stands for, and the in-group / out-group ethnocentric worldview.

[Don: Red is the raw and impulsive expression of I:Me:Mine and Blue, likewise, is the most intolerant, unforgiving, and even punitive version of a We:Us:Our mindset. Blue is what it is because Red is what it is. The transformation from Red to Blue is often violent, wrenching, purifying, redemptive, conflict-producing, and single-minded.]

It is my belief that in the Gravesian “tiers” of six systems, there is a core dynamic which correlates with this experience. The first two systems of each tier (eg Beige / Purple and Yellow / Turquoise) are “entering” systems, where the tier is fading in. Beige and Yellow are both about just keeping one’s head down and getting on with what needs to be done to facilitate survival (individual at Beige and collective at Yellow). Purple and Turquoise are mystical systems where two major elements of the Great Chain are blending (at Purple body-mind, at Turquoise mind-soul).

The last two systems (eg Orange / Green and their 2nd tier equivalents) are “exiting” systems. They invite in greater diversity and complexify the clarity that existed in the central systems. They relativise and open up our systems for the next tier.
The two central systems (eg Red / Blue and Coral / Teal) are the places where the tiers really crystallise and great clarity is expressed. In 1st tier that is ethnocentric one-truth clarity. However at 2nd tier we experience a different type of clarity. I heard Ken say something recently that I have been suggesting to people for a while, namely that the emergence of Coral is equivalent to the emergence of what you call the Authentic Self. This ties in completely with these deeper Spiral dynamics, as 1st tier 3rd system (Red) was the emergence of the new individuated self (Gravesian code : “express-self without shame or guilt” – for one’s self. 2nd tier 3rd system (Coral) is also the birth of a new level of Self. I would use the same Gravesian code as for Red (“Express Self without shame or guilt”), but instead if it being for the ego, it is for the good of the whole.

I expect that like Blue, which creates higher meaning and purpose in exclusivist one-truth systems, Teal also creates higher meaning and purpose, but in inclusivist universal truth systems. Interestingly, the Gravesian code for Blue is “Sacrifice-Self for reward later”. I can see the same code apply for Teal – the sense of what you might call “top-down” surrender to make oneself available to what the universe is calling one to do / who the universe is calling one to become. There is an innate trust that if I do what I feel called to do now, the future will look after itself. I surrender to higher Universals.

[Don: I believe your description of Coral to Teal is accurate as well, and as long as humans are human, there will be conflict. But, as you also point out, this “conflict” will happen within the tradition of the impact of Green, Yellow, and Turquoise within mass minds and conceptual spaces.Just as the Graves code describes the pendalem swing between the warm and cool colors, it also, from a physics perspective, articulates why the major “quantum leaps” occur at a Seventh system which, also, becomes the First in the next Tier.]

Now by their nature, given their clarity and taking a stand, these third and fourth central systems generate conflict. They do not relativise. They stand for something, and are therefore likely to rub against people who stand for something else. It is clear how that plays out in 1st tier. In 2nd tier (Coral / Teal) I believe the conflict that emerges is that between the ego and Authentic Self.

The reason I think that this really emerges strongly only when Coral begins to come online, is also rooted in Graves’ theory – namely that there are normally three value systems interfering with us. So if the highest system we have access to is Turquoise, then we have both Yellow and Green as well. This could be a very static combination, as Turquoise escapes the material world (Graves’s code was “Sacrifice Self to existential reality”, i.e. accept what is, the core teaching of most traditional spiritual paths, what you call the Ground of Being), Yellow scuttles along doing its own thing (it is a very individualistic system) and Green is still exerting the 1st tier pull based on a fear of standing out. So it is only when Coral begins to light up that we really begin to free ourselves completely from the 1st tier energy, rooted in all the things you identify in Hell.

So that’s my take on why I think you are sensing that a new level of conflict begins to emerge at the higher levels you are working at. It is the nature of the central systems in each tier. Hope that helps! I’d be interested in your thoughts.

Love, Peter