(UWSI SEE Approved Elective)
I see the world through colors – the colors of Spiral Dynamics.
For the past ten years, since I learned this model, I’ve seen patterns of social , cultural and emotional growth (or recession) through the lens of the Spiral. Now, more than ever, the Spiral has served me as I attempt to understand and have compassion for all others. I feel compelled to share this model with you, so that you, too, can be engaged in the current situation with less judgment, less emotion and less attachment.
I doubt I’d be anywhere near “non-attachment” if I did not know the model of Spiral Dynamics.
As I follow the news of our current social dynamics: the 2016 election, South Dakota’s pipeline protest, Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ voice, the Me Too movement, the refugee crisis and ISIS, police and mass shootings, social nostalgia, rising Health Insurance costs, Wall Street bailout…)., I’m reminded of the 1966 song that begins “Something’s Happenin’ Here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” I watch events unfold and I hear a particular verse: “There’s battle lines being drawn. Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong… Singing songs and carrying signs. Mostly say, hooray for our side!… Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid. Step out of line, the man comes and takes you away”
Many folks are afraid of the shifts in dynamics, and they seem to want answers. Now!
Is this modern era degenerating into self-destruction? Or could it be that the tensions we’ve created in this western society are rising up and about to burst into something new and life-supportive? If a regenerative breakthrough is imminent, how can we help it come about? And how can we tolerate others who think differently and who seem to be blocking progression of consciousness? How can we practice what we preach: inclusiveness, regardless of race, religion, gender preferences, etc?
I learned about Spiral Dynamics at Unity Institute, from Revs E.J. Niles and Robert Brumet, who emphasized that human behavior shifts when conditions and values change. Spiral Dynamics is a model that is highly respected within the field of Evolution of Consciousness. It’s easy to learn, but provides fodder for many wonderful introspective, reflective conversations.
Many people react to this model saying they don’t want to label people or categorize them in any way. Dr. Don Beck, developer of this model and consultant to many groups who have benefited from the insights Spiral Dynamics provides, says that this model is a way for us to project ourselves into someone else’s paradigm so that we can break down misunderstandings and build bridges.
Each session of our exploration of Spiral Dynamics begins with setting a heart-intention of non-judgment and non-attachment. In other words, we’re calling ourselves to a higher consciousness during our meetings: one with spiritual eyes of love and progress toward reconciliation and regeneration. We will not engage in blaming or degrading others. Instead, we’ll learn skills for seeing with compassion and tolerance. We will create a safe zone so that both republican and democrats, traditionalists and progressives, highly educated and high school educated can come together and lovingly see each others needs and values. As we learn about the levels of consciousness in this model, we’ll release the tendency to think of them as “better” or worse” than another level. Whatever stage in life or consciousness you’re in, it isn’t right or wrong. It’s just different.
Our primary text is Birthing A Greater Reality: A Guide for Conscious Evolution by Robert Brumet. We will also watch videos and read articles available online. This course provides several ways to learn: presentation, small group discussion and engaging activities.
I am excited to offer this introductory course on Spiral Dynamics through a variety of experiences.
- Students can register to join me live-online in a series of classes. (The next time I schedule the course will be Summer or Fall 2018.)
- Spiritual centers can host a weekend mini-retreat, or invite me to teach a week of evening classes at their center. Contact Rev. Pat so we can explore what works for your spiritual center, church or study group.