I’ve been thinking about how to rank cultures against each other and it occurred to me that even the most committed postmodernist would probably accept that the occurrence of involuntary suffering (e.g. slavery, wife abuse) is a sign of an inferior culture.
So, I’ve been asking myself how does this relate to the stages of development that we’re familiar with in Integral. Here is a first sketch.
- Red - Attempts to combat involuntary suffering by becoming a terrifying warrior or magician.
- Amber - Attempts to combat involuntary suffering by conforming to the ethnic and religious community’s norms.
- Orange - Attempts to combat involuntary suffering by subjecting the world to rational, empirical analysis and forming political organizations based on equality and rationality.
- Green - Attempts to combat involuntary suffering by adopting an ethnics of care and inclusion also reconsiders spiritual pathways for relieving suffering that had been abandoned by orange.
- Teal - Attempts to combat involuntary suffering by promoting the coexistence of healthy forms of all prior stages of development.
It seems that part of what is driving evolution to new stages is a need to adopt a new strategy to protect oneself from involuntary suffering. Perhaps as the world becomes more connected we feel the need to adopt new strategies that account for the added diversity and complexity, and those that are able to do so evolve up the spiral instead of sliding back down into ethnocentrism, etc.