Integral model's stage amber and selfhood

Stage Amber in the integral model is, in my opinion, selfhood.

What are people’s thoughts?

I tend to associate amber with “heart”. So it’s central to selfhood, but not the whole stack. Amber lies closest to family, birth culture, relationships, emotion. Orange starts to get more in the head. Red is more physical. My view of second tier is the ability to integrate the full stack.

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I often think of Red as being the root of selfhood, emerging on the other side of all that magenta differentiation between self and environment. Red is where self really becomes a cohesive and coherent unit of reality — I often call the red stage the “Heroic” stage for this reason, where the self can slay dragons and save princesses and assert its will into the world.

And then Amber tempers that self, by plugging it into a larger ecology of roles that allow the emergence of “civilized society,” as well as increasing capacities for knowledge aggregation that becomes in inseparable part of our socialized self.

And then at Orange “self” becomes “individual”, with all of the self-evident rights and dignities that come with it.

So it really is a sliding scale of selfhood! Hell, we could probably make a damn good argument why Teal is really the beginning of “selfhood”, as it is the very first time a self can fully see itself, from the inside out, including the full set of developmental inertias it has accumulated. It is the first stage of the actual “human being”, where we are properly individuated from, and integrated with, our surrounding environment. Let’s go with that one :wink:


I think you’re right, Corey, that red is the root of selfhood. I am getting more in touch with my red self. This song represents my red self in a way for me:

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Highly evolved people, not like the Vines :stuck_out_tongue: , don’t talk badly about anyone, in my opinion.

However, I think an important aspect of red is defending oneself, and an important aspect of amber is being vulnerable. Both these things, defending oneself, and being vulnerable, require letting people know if someone has done something bad to you or hurt you.

What are people’s thoughts about these aspects of self, and of red and amber?

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I agree with you both Robert and Corey that Teal has a more full sense of self. I think this is because it can view what’s going on in all aspects of oneself, throughout the spiral.

I agree with you, Robert, about amber. With amber, I think one can put others first too much if one doesn’t have a stage red in their main personality structure. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this too - if sharing them is something you’d like to do

Hi @Julia248. Sure, I like to discuss these matters!

Personally, I think of red as the power source. In the days of my Viking ancestors, power was pretty much the whole show. That power got tempered in the Middle Ages through Christianity, literacy, settled agriculture - the amber package. In a couple weeks I will be attending a family funeral. All that Nordic amber symbolism will be in full play on that occasion.

It’s not like people had lesser brains in the days of red and amber, but they did have less complex cultures. Today we must learn to navigate cultural code at higher altitudes and we must also personally develop to higher altitude to gain the capacity to orchestrate that more complex codes. But for holistic personal development, my recommendation is “no altitude left behind”.

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I’ve been working on integrating these shadows recently. I’ve gone into maniac mode in helping everyone.

I also haven’t been helping myself, not nearly enough.

I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your family member, Robert. I hope you’re okay and being generously compassionate towards yourself. :yellow_heart:

I think you’re right, that cultures are far more complicated in general in today’s world than when they were amber and red. I think it can be difficult when people are communicating from different stages at times. I feel sometimes I change my language too much, trying to keep it an an amber stage so that everyone will be able to understand, but this isn’t fruitois for me really… as I want to be able to communicate also with the people who understand things in a similar way to how I understand… it’s a tricky balance, I think - being inclusive and caring of everyone by helping people understand, and being one’s ‘more true self’

I think you will find many who visit this forum do so precisely to communicate with those who understand where they are coming from. My family loves me … but they really don’t want to hear about Integral Theory all day long! Likewise, my work world is generally on the green-to-orange scale. Anything smacking of second-tier would be considered an esoteric interest, a rather private matter.

That being said, my hope/wish/project is to connect with others face-to-face about things like Integral Theory. Some tangible signs of such manifestation are beginning to appear. In the meanwhile, online forums such as this are quite helpful for both learning and sharing.


I agree with you, Robert, about how helpful the forums can be.

That’s great to hear there is love in your family.

My work is mainly orange, green and teal, I think.