Worlds of different colours (and how to understand each other)

How many times have you tried to communicate something to someone but failed because he could not grasp what you said and seemed to be living in another dimension? You ask yourself, "Yes, did he fall from the moon?" You get the impression that in his universe, identical occurrences are understood quite differently, and there are distinct laws and norms. Misunderstanding has several detrimental side consequences, including the aggravation of relationships.
Is it feasible for individuals to exist in several universes at once and in the same location?

Maybe if they have a very different perspective on the world. There is simply no way to build mutual understanding when there are fundamental or even minor disparities in how two people see the world. Even when understanding is eventually gained, it is flimsy and fleeting, like a building without a foundation.

Everything a person sees, hears, and feels is passed through a strong filter known as their perception of the world. All of this data is interpreted in a certain manner. What doesn't fit in a person's perception of the world may be filtered out and will never enter his mind. Filtering happens unintentionally because the subconscious mind has been conditioned to filter information in a particular way while processing it first. If at some point it comes out that the worldview is wholly insufficient (and such revelations do not occur to every individual during his life), awareness may become stupefied, and it will take a lot of time to reconsider.

The largest spectrum is represented by the many people's perceptions of the world, and if each perception of the world could be represented by a color of the rainbow, we could observe how the colors seamlessly transition from one another. But just as we may distinguish seven "pure hues" from a continuous spectrum to create a rainbow, so the same we can do so in the spectrum of world images. Similar to how there are no pure blue or pure green colours in nature, yet we are certain that the water is blue and the vegetation is green, these "pure colors" do not actually exist as such, but we find it easier to use them to describe the universe.

A number of "pure hues" that each form their own universe may be seen on the spectrum of world images. We'll refer to these monochromatic (one-color) images of the world as paradigms of thinking because they each establish a rigid and reliable framework for filtering and interpreting everything that a person hears, feels, and sees—the "beaten paths" of his thinking, or the way he perceives and understands the world.

(Such definitions would not be suitable for a scientific article; nonetheless, this topic is practical rather than scientific.) Thinking paradigms function as a coordinate system in the space of world images. People that think differently from one another appear to actually live in distinct worlds (particularly in one other's sight). In order to avoid shame, we shall employ the metaphor "worlds" instead (if someone wants the terms to be scientific, one can replace "worlds" with "biopsychosocial systems").

The "spiral dynamics" hypothesis (www.spiraldynamics.org), devised by American psychologist Claire Graves' pupils Christopher Cowan and Don Beck, holds the key to comprehending the paradigms of thought. Although this hypothesis has been around for a while, it is just now starting to be used actively. Spiral Dynamics shows how the mind progresses from one paradigm to another while identifying and describing many thought paradigms. Every one establishes a distinctive way of understanding the world and serving as the foundation for the next. Thinking paradigms just reflect the way we think; they are neither good nor bad. not what we value or what we believe in. Our behaviors are determined by our values, and paradigms are means of putting those ideals into practice. Based on all of this, we might conclude that individuals who share a paradigm of thought experience a common "world" in which they observe and interpret information from similar vantage points and are aware of one another's behavior. As we've already stated, if individuals are thinking from various paradigms, then it's like they're living in different universes since they have different perspectives on the same things. The ability to speak about complete "worlds" is made possible by the fact that thinking paradigms are typical of both the individual and the collective, as well as massive social systems.

What influences a person's paradigm of thought and the "world" in which they live? On the one hand, there are objective conditions of existence that impose their own restrictions. The individual's personal drive for growth is the opposing factor. After we familiarize ourselves with the "worlds," we will go into greater depth on this topic.

The explanation of the planets will begin at the lowest point. (Since "spiral dynamics" uses color coding, any references to "color" in this page should not be regarded literally; rather, they should be understood as terminology related to "spiral dynamics").

Beige world - the world of instincts

The natural world and the animal kingdom are not distant from the world of beige.

It seems logical that instincts rule this planet given how impoverished it is and how difficult it is to meet even the most basic requirements there.

Simply put, everything else is insufficient. Here, the world is a constant threat, and hunger, thirst, cold, and terror rule. The beige world's gates are inscribed with the phrase "Grab and run." This realm, which spans the expanses of the poorest nations in Africa and Asia, is home to the homeless, drug addicts, and the mentally challenged.

Individual families were obliged to subsist as lone hunters in the beige world, which emerged historically before the development of the tribal structure (this world is not yet a society; there are no social relations here). Since that time, there are no longer any locations on Earth where the beige world would rule forever, although occasionally, conflicts and ineffective (and occasionally criminal) governments cause people to drive one another there. Only 0.1% of adults in today's world live in this manner. God help us if we ever set foot on this planet! But even if we don't remember it, everyone of us has experienced it: after being born, we entered a beige world in infancy, from which we soon escaped safely owing to the love of our parents.

Purple world - the world of magic

The occupants are eager to enter the purple world since it offers safety in place of the beige world's unsettling dread and hunger.

The purple world is obvious: it is governed by overt and covert forces. If we can gain and keep their goodwill, everything will be in working order.

Here, there are "nameless old gods," the realm of magic and superstition, as well as good and bad spirits. J. Frazer demonstrated how the magical beliefs of ancient and contemporary archaic peoples—who lived at opposite ends of the planet and were never in contact with one another—surprisingly coincided.

The violet world has a straightforward structural design; there, an action is identical to the outcome; a "magician" has carried out an action, and nature is compelled to fulfill the request. If it didn't succeed, the spell was broken, or a more powerful magician crept up behind it and harmed it (a foreigner?). Or negative spirits (ancestors, creatures, plants) that have not been suitably placated or neutralized. However, safety and well-being are ensured as long as the family or tribe has a powerful magician (a father, leader, or king). (If he loses strength, he must be replaced immediately; else, the world would end.)

Security is not given away for free, though; you must pay for it by fully submitting to the system of rituals and regulations on the one hand, as well as the common interests (up to mutual responsibility) on the other. A member of the violet world is constrained by several taboos, regulations, and limitations and is devoid of his personal "I." But if he follows the proper procedures, the outcome is certain. The purple world's entrance gates are inscribed with the words "Rely on yourself and be calm." In this first social environment, individuals engage with one another rather than being alone. In the purple world, family, kinship, and clan relationships have a magical hue; people have a firm confidence that they will be saved, safeguarded, and fed.

When collective forms of existence first appear, the violet world appears. The "golden age" of tribal hunters, fishermen, and gatherers occurs in the purple world: there is an abundance of food (the product of communal labor, unattainable alone), no need to be afraid of strangers (there is nothing to rob, and the time of slavery has not yet arrived—a slave is useless in hunting, agriculture has not yet occurred), and there is no need for slavery. People who are still in the archaic (natural, hunter-gatherer) stage still live in the violet world. These people can be found in secluded regions of Asia, Australia, and Africa. To encounter the purple world of superstitions, which has not changed much over thousands of years, you just need to go "into the outback" from the city. This does not, however, imply that it is only found among "backward tribes." However, if you observe what people base their decisions on and what motivates their day-to-day activities, you will notice that many of the "religious" icons on the wall are really just a tribute to tradition or fashion. Of course, no one openly admits that these ancient superstitions are stronger in his soul than religious attitudes, which they fundamentally contradict. There are purple communities—adherents to ancient cults and "new" sects, certain young gangs, or ethnic gangs—even in cities. Today, the purple world is home to up to 10% of the whole human population. Without realizing it, you enter the purple realm when you knock on the table or cross the threshold to give something to someone else. There are purple communities—adherents to ancient cults and "new" sects, certain young gangs, or ethnic gangs—even in cities. Today, the purple world is home to up to 10% of the whole human population.

Without realizing it, you enter the purple realm when you knock on the table or cross the threshold to give something to someone else. There are purple communities—adherents to ancient cults and "new" sects, certain young gangs, or ethnic gangs—even in cities. Today, the purple world is home to up to 10% of the whole human population. Without realizing it, you enter the purple realm when you knock on the table or cross the threshold to give something to someone else.

Each of us experienced the "purple world" of childhood, when everything is new and exciting and our parents are supportive and loving. Because it's a joyful period, people who have been disoriented in other dimensions are pulled there (as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were many of them). The road to the subsequent worlds is closed for those who have returned to the purple planet, though.

Red World - Jungle World

The framework of the violet world is tight for the individual; realizing himself, the personality breaks out from there to the expanse of the red world, and if it is strong, then it crushes the violet world, breaking its fragile shell. The red world is the world of the ego.

The clash of egos, not limited by any rules, turns the world into a jungle—this is the most accurate metaphor for the red world.

"The strong and cunning are always right"—it is written on the gates of the red world. But this does not mean that the red world is full of winners: numerically, it is dominated by victims, doomed to serve and looking out for their small victory—to find an even weaker one or to deceive, steal something from the strong, and thereby neutralize his victory and his defeat.

The Red World is the world of Olympic (Germanic, Slavic, and Egyptian) gods and heroes, where the highest (and, generally speaking, only) value is power. Historically, the red world arises when power can be turned into goods (satisfaction of needs). In the previous purple world, power is the yoke of duty and responsibility for the welfare of others, which brings respect but not wealth. In the red world, however, power is the only source of wealth: it gives you the right to take everything you want ("I'll take everything," said Damask Steel). Power comes with the ability to use it. But in order for power to be turned into power and converted into benefits, there must be plenty of these benefits. Therefore, the red world arises at about the same time as agriculture, which makes it possible to increase productivity and accumulate surpluses. Not immediately and not everywhere, but in most cases, the red world leads to the emergence of slavery: a slave is easy to control by force, and in agricultural production, it gives a real result (and the more, the more slaves there are). Where slavery does not arise, its surrogate is "external slavery," elegantly called "raiding forms of management" (remember the film "Seven Samurai" and its mirror "Seven Bold"). Asian dictatorships and barbarian nomads, bandit kingdoms and pirate "republics," conquistadors and "soldiers of fortune"—the historical examples of red worlds are varied. But even today, 20% (!) of the globe lives like this, and not only in backward countries (of which there are plenty), but also in the most developed ones. Slavery is almost gone, but the opportunity to convert force into benefits remains - in the underworld and in some youth parties,

To get acquainted with the red world, you do not need to go to the jungles of Africa; in the native stone jungles of modern cities, we will meet islands and entire continents of the red world. Hooligan teenagers and quite respectable bosses of the "leader type" (and, in fact, small or big dictators), serious gangsters and serious athletes (in many sports), active salesmen and many aspiring entrepreneurs (often out of necessity), many policemen and politicians—they all think in terms of struggle and victory, glory, and power. "New Russians" is the classic name for the Reds in the post-Soviet world. The slogan “live to the fullest and don’t give a damn about the rest” remains relevant not only in conditions of a lack of vital goods but also in a society of relative prosperity.

The flip side of power is glory. This word was born in the red world and denotes the measure of power. The owner of fame, the hero, stands out from the mass of people; he is attributed a divine origin. Fight, victory are also typical words of the red lexicon.

Each of us experienced the red world in our early years, coming to terms with our own "I" and testing the boundaries of our authority, initially over our parents and other close family members. While the rest of the parents and the school sought to rapidly transition to the following realm, blue, someone was stranded in the red world. Nevertheless, practically all of us must occasionally enter the red world for various reasons, such as in response to other people's red behaviors against us (as red aggression is best dealt with in red) or when we find ourselves in a red position from which there is only a red departure.

Blue world - the world of Order

Many people who seek and discover meaning in life reject the "red world jungle," where there is an unending conflict of all against all. These individuals reside on a blue planet.

A magnificent realm of order and the true path exist here. Heroes do not rule here; rather, laws established from above (by Heaven, a higher force, or society) do.

Thus, the objective is established, and progress toward it creates the path and provides life's purpose. Respecting the code of conduct will earn you a well-deserved reward, while breaking it will result in guilt and punishment. You can endure and even make great sacrifices, up to and including giving your own life, even if it's not so much for the purpose of a reward as for purpose and meaning.

The blue world emerges during the "axial period," when faiths of an entirely new kind—ethical ones—appear one after another in various parts of the Earth. What counts is how you act, not how you completed the rites and gained the celestials' favor. Are you able to discriminate between right and wrong, act in a way that favors the former rather than the latter, and live your entire life according to a set of moral principles? When slavery is no longer able to produce enough labor productivity due to the development of agriculture, the "blue world" emerges historically.

While simultaneously "civilizing" the purple periphery, the blue world is attempting to contain the red element. But slavery doesn't completely disappear until thousands of years later, when serfdom, constitutional absolute monarchy, and paganism replace it. The blue world is the home of fundamentalist Christianity, Islam, and other religions; Confucian China; Victorian England; the European and Bushido codes of medieval knightly honor; and the USSR's "moral code of the architect of communism." The blue world has been the foundation of human stability since the end of the first millennium BC. 40% of the world's population now resides in this beautiful and sustainable environment.

The hierarchy is Blue World's preferred type of organization. This is how the state, which modern republics (which are frequently constitutional monarchies, even if the "monarch" is occasionally elected) inherited from constitutional monarchies, the church, the corporation, the state, and the army operate (where they try to impose blue charters to bring it, if not combat-ready, then at least into a safe state). A typical character in the blue world is a bureaucrat who expertly navigates a hierarchical structure while ostensibly abiding by all the rules. Even in the midst of "typical medieval cruelty," the blue world charms with the harshness of its features, resembling "a crystal that came from a heavenly jeweler" (Dr.).

Favorite terms of the blue world had already been used above, where they were capitalized to highlight how distinct these ideas were (path, meaning, order, etc.). Supporters of one goal can always engage in a holy war with those of another goal and another road since both the path and the goal it leads to are always right. However, the blue world is a world of calm and order when there are no external dangers.

Honor is a key concept in the blue universe. Honor implies upholding the Code of Conduct no matter the cost to one's personal interests or, occasionally, one's life. However, self-control still rules, even in societies where honor is not the primary value. In the blue world, there are two different categories of heroes: knights and monks.

Orange world - world-mechanism

The dogmas of the blue world's inviolability help to maintain relative justice and order but also impede progress. An immobile society is the goal of the blue world. The blue world's people ultimately desire advancement, but they are frequently alarmed by the errors of the unfailing blue authorities and the seeming incompatibility of dogmas with the overall image of the world, which is progressively amassing more and more information.

And then the people of the orange world start to show up in the blue world. At first, they are repelled and driven out, but as they multiply, they eventually blow apart the established blue world and make room for a brand-new one.

The orange world is a controllable world-mechanism that is logical and cognizable.

The orange guy believes that if we get familiar with the rules of this world, we will be able to use him. For an orange person, life is like a game of chess: you must understand the rules, make a wise decision, and defeat your opponent to win! The orange world's watchword is success; hence, success symbols are prized more highly than red power and blue laws. Orange's ultimate objective is victory, making technology their hero and competitiveness its guiding philosophy.

The red world, where errors are not overlooked and tears are not taken seriously, is very different from the orange one. You may succeed, fail, win again, fall, and succeed once again in the orange world. Orange folks don't stop there; they continue to demonstrate to others and to themselves that "I am competent."

Although he may not be in business and instead spend his time on sports, culture, technology, or social life, an orange person is a lifelong entrepreneur. However, he still aspires to success and victory in these areas, viewing society or nature as opponents in the game ("we cannot wait for favors from nature; it is our responsibility to grab them"). Entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, artists, and other cultural icons are typical orange global heroes.

The "orange world" first appears in history during the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, slowly emerging under the banner of liberal capitalism and encroaching on an increasing number of new regions. In general, this is the planet on which mankind currently lives. Although it only makes up 30% of the total population (less than blue), it is where the majority of the world's riches and power are currently concentrated. Here is where the middle class of industrialized nations resides, together with the hub of science and popular culture. We are familiar with this world.

The company, which has a sophisticated structure and is managed by deserving individuals, has a typical organizational structure for the modern world. Even the orange world's state, like USA Inc. or Germany AG, is a company. The orange universe imitates itself by touching everything.

Green world - the world of harmony

There is no end to the race for money and achievement. Those who are sick of this race, the rivalry it fosters, the lack of spirituality it creates, and the inequity it produces (or those who do not wish to participate in this game from the start) descend into the blue realm, where there is purpose and solutions to all problems. But not everyone will like this result. There is a chance to go forward, not backward, towards a new, greener world.

Built on the principles of love and understanding, the green world is a place of peace and shared progress.

This is a humanistic, compassionate, and spiritual world. The guidelines from above are not necessary in this situation since everyone will agree if they want harmony. Selfishness and profit have no place in society. Here, tranquility and relationships are valued more highly than power and wealth. In this world, agreement and ecology are important.

A high degree of personal growth is required for admittance into the green world ("rules inside, not outside"), but society also needs a certain level of well-being because the productivity of the green world is significantly lower. Only in wealthy areas where it is simple to meet basic requirements and possible to forgo other demands does green serenity exist.

The first green world shoots appeared hundreds of years ago, but the blue world's system trampled them under its feet. The hippies', the Beatles', and the 1968 student uprising in Paris are considered the birth of the modern green movement. University campuses, where yesterday's students have become professors and have retained their green spirits, are gradually being absorbed by the green world. Although not all of them stayed devoted to it, anti-globalists, Greenpeace, feminist groups, and animal rights campaigners were all formed in the green world (some were bought by the orange world, and some were enslaved by the red).

The green world is a just society where equality of opportunity is unquestionable, rather than justice being regarded as a reward for merit. Different models for this equality are provided by "Scandinavian socialism" and ecumenical churches. Some analysts claim that 10% of the world's population currently resides in the "green world," although this estimate is obviously inflated.

Yellow world - kaleidoscope world

It makes sense that the color green would resemble that of a swamp, as everything takes place slowly and inefficiently here in order to preserve harmony and protect interests. Those who are not content with this escape the control of the group and enter the yellow world, where they glide over the surface like surfers. Residents of the yellow world do not allow themselves to be captured by wealth, position, or other material possessions.

The online community of today, which has escaped the constrictions of the world of green idealists, may be found in the "yellow world." It only recently became a problem due to the widespread usage of the Internet, a platform for free expression and self-realization where the dictates of capitalist capitalism are disregarded, if only because to the outstripping rate of technological advancement. Knowledge and expertise are valued more highly than rank and prestige in the yellow world, which is a kaleidoscope of systems and forms. Since changes are a natural part of life, it is normal for people to adjust to them swiftly and painlessly.

A person in the yellow world may freely move between the worlds and lead several lives at once. He may appear as a blue orthodox guy, an orange ambitious man, a green source of universal love, or any combination of these, but they are all merely roles that have no bearing on his true nature.

Because its representatives are able to understand and accept people from other worlds, the yellow world is frequently referred to as the first world of the second order. In contrast, inhabitants of all previous worlds typically only perceive their own people and ideas, filtering out everything else. The sole virtues in the yellow world are autonomy, liberation, dignity, and competence.

Money is readily provided here and is not highly appreciated because money merely serves as a tool for obtaining freedom, and the free people of the yellow world are unconcerned with outward manifestations. This represents just 1% of the population but 5% of the power. While the winner in the red world only owns what he stole from others and the winner in the orange world only owns what he earned, you may accomplish your goals in the yellow world without hurting anybody. The person who lives in the yellow world is an expert at using the win-win approach.

This strategy is unintelligible to the Reds, whereas the Blues permit agreement based on rules, the Oranges make a short-term concession, and the Greens make a compromise for the sake of peace. Only for yellow is win-win a genuine realization of shared advantage rather than a compromise as a mutual surrender.

Turquoise world - world-organism

You can continue to glide around the yellow planet's surface while seeing the shifting images in a kaleidoscope and thinking of the world as a performance just for you (for you alone).

However, this can sooner or later grow tiresome, and then the quest for meaning at a new level is unavoidable, where the solutions of the blue and green worlds are already meaningless.

There isn't much we can say about this new turquoise universe because it has just recently appeared on the horizon in the form of individual concepts, thinkers, and books.

The people of the turquoise planet view the universe as a single organism in which all human souls have a common ancestor. The turquoise world is high-hume, or the world of high psychological and social technologies, spiritual teachings, and practices, if the yellow world is high-tech.

Is the turquoise planet the final world in the chain? Although we are unable to view inside the next world yet, it is coral in hue. The number of planets is still an unresolved subject. Remember that each world's people once believed it to be the last and ideal one for a very long time—until the next one emerged.

Self-expression and self-sacrifice are themes that frequently appear in paradigms, according to Claire Graves, the author of the theory behind "spiral dynamics." Be aware that warm hues denote paradigms of self-expression (individualistic, materialistic), whereas chilly hues denote paradigms of self-sacrifice (collectivist, idealistic). Actually, this is the reason he gave his theory the name "spiral"; every time, the previous level is reached but at a greater one. The term "dynamics" in the theory's name is even more significant because development is a trait of humankind. The increasing trend always tends to make life more difficult.

There are more "degrees of freedom" and personality aspects, more "alternative ways to do things," and more complex requirements as the psychological space, worldview, and "alternative ways to do things" all expand.

The idea that the worlds seamlessly merge into one another and that "pure" colors do not exist in nature is an abstraction and a useful model in real life. You must constantly keep in mind that life is richer than any model when dealing with them. It is impossible to discover "pure" colors of the spectrum among the individuals we interact with, yet paradigms can live in a person's awareness without colliding since they are related to various aspects of his existence. At the stadium, a fan may support his side in a wholly red manner while being an orange businessman at work and a strict blue father.

But what propels people to go from one world to another? We have briefly touched on this above while explaining the worlds. There are two: an exterior and an interior component. Living conditions, on the other hand, are important in numerous ways. However, there are opportunities for human consciousness and, last but not least, his own growth desires (or lack of such aspirations). Without this internal drive, a person might easily become trapped in the first world, which offers him nothing in the way of comfort, and remain there for all time (this is why the "hued" worlds serve as a sort of workspace for our soul). Similar to this, depending on an individual's degree of development, the same living circumstances might result in disparate worldviews and behavioral stereotype systems. That is why time and space across various worlds frequently overlap.

Worlds (represented by various individuals) live in the same firm, one state, with neighbors on the landing, and with bordering peoples, leading to a variety of communication challenges. When people view the world differently, they are unable to communicate or understand one another. What regulations can there be if there is only one right: "I want it that way"? This is something that the red "new Russian" will never be able to comprehend from the blue bureaucrat. The red and orange rule violators are despised by the blue bureaucrat (although he is unaware that they break them for different reasons). Red is viewed with scorn by Orange, who thinks it is primitive. Orange asks, "Why take by force something that will come into its own hands?" It makes sense for orange to give the loser their money back so they may play again. Since he cannot see live beings behind the instructions, Green is free to secretly despise Blue. Additionally, the blue, which lacks rules and order, believes the green to be dead.

Thinking paradigms (good-evil, "better-worse") cannot be judged from an ethical standpoint since they represent a method of thinking, not values or social norms (not "what is good and what is bad," but "how to know what is good and what is bad"). A single, unchanging paradigm of thought can order its bearers to take a variety of acts. Likewise, the same acts might result from many reasons, hence it is more significant how a person made the decision to take a particular action than what they actually did. People exist in the same world, and we would classify some of them as good men and some as outright villains. But we would have a hard time connecting with any of them if we didn't comprehend their environment.

Being conscious of the diversity of the worlds is the first step towards being aware of one's own world and its inherent limits, therefore it serves as a catalyst for people to continue evolving, find other, higher worlds, and realize who they are. To assist readers in making that crucial move, this essay has been produced. Read the article "Colorful organizations" to find out more about how paradigms of thought present themselves in the operations of businesses and organizations.

Even if we limit ourselves to the commercial world, or the company level, there are many practical applications of "spiral dynamics" here: corporate culture and change management, hiring, training, and motivating employees, effective negotiations, etc. We observe the same urgent issues at different levels of social organization, from the individual and family to the nation and civilization, for which we occasionally lack the necessary instruments. Such tools are available from Spiral Dynamics, thus this article can only be seen as a basic overview of the fundamental concept. Good luck with your future growth and use in real-world situations!
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