Every day of my life I interact with people that are expressing themselves from all different levels of development. Wether I’m interacting with a contractor giving a bid for a construction project or a volunteer working with a Non-profit org it’s people expressing themselves from Red to Green every day. Over the years this has given me an opportunity to learn how to listen to people and adjust my language to better communicate with them on their level without judgement. I’ve joked with my friends over the years that if I were to have a party and invite everyone I know and interact with I would have to leave before it turned into a disaster(as I laugh). I’ve been telling that joke long before I’d heard of “Integral philosophy” and delved into Ken’s work. Over the last decade I learned a hell of lot from the Integral Community and am tremendously grateful for that!! It has challenged me, helped me, and inspired me!
I have but one request from this community. Give some realtime examples of interactions/communications between people with different world views/different levels. If you need actors to do dramatizations I’d be glad to volunteer. Whatever it takes! This community is filled with a lot of knowledge and experience and a lot to offer the world! It would be tremendously helpful and grounding to actually observe scenarios of people that are apparently at the Integral level actually interacting with others that are apparently not!
One can have all the knowledge in the world but never own it! A genius with a high IQ that knows everything can still be a fool if that knowledge is not owned by the body to the depths of the unconscious! Knowledge is crucial but is only a gateway to wisdom not wisdom itself! Just spend some time in Silicon Valley or at a Law Firm and you’ll see a lot of “Smart Fools!”
"He/she who thinks he/she knows, knows not. He/she who knows he/she knows not, knows! No matter how smart and educated one may think they are the greater totality of being still remains unconscious! Perhaps we should awknowledge the elephant more than the rider of the elephant, anecdotally speaking.
I think however one interacts isn’t really the important thing. I think what is important is examining oneself and why we choose that particular method, then accepting what it is within us that chose that method.
I’ll give an example.
There is a man who I believe to be homeless because of his physical appearance. One day I was walking in the park near my home with a 3 year old child on my shoulders and he randomly got in my face and said “F- You, N-” then he continued on. I was surprised but it wasn’t the time for me to react in any way other than just let it go and forget about it.
Interesting fact here is I’m white so calling me the N word doesn’t mean anything to me, but the boy on my shoulders was brown so I was ticked off about that.
A few months later the same guy randomly walked into our office, which is on street level. Again, he just started yelling “F- You, N-” at everyone. Every once in a while this happens with homeless people and I’m the most intimidating person in the office, so it’s kind of my job to get them out so we can get some work done and also any clients in the office don’t get freaked out. I’m not sure what happens when my empathetic “Green” female colleague is the only one there, or if my official / logical “Orange” male boss is there alone. I think they just let the homeless people take whatever they want from the candy jar, pens and calendars (which encourages them to come back, IMO). I myself am comfortable confronting people and getting them out.
A few months pass and I’m locking up the office to go home and the same guy walks up to me, gets in my face and again yells “F-, you N-”. I decide to get in is face and threated to beat his ass and he runs, away, yelling “F- you N-” at everyone he passes on the way.
Now, last week I am sitting outside Whole Foods drinking my Kombucha and in a kind of enjoying the sky and clouds kind of thing and just as I’m getting up and getting ready to leave, inside the store I hear the same guy yelling “F- you N-” and trying to escape the hold a couple security guards have on him. He successfully escapes their grasp and I am in his escape path. I decide to neither engage him nor avoid him and on his way out he shoulder checks me. So then I push him and again threaten to beat his ass. He runs away and the scene is over. A hot younger woman asks me “Are you OK?” and I reply yes and something about needing to stand up against him.
This time I see that he is cleaned up a bit, and is wearing glasses, and seems to be a bit more aware and is more in fear than in our previous encounters.
So all these “events” aren’t that important to me. Aggression happens, violence happens, and sometimes just weird shit happens like me encountering this guy 4 times in 2 years in a city of 1 million. People who believe in metaphysical stuff have an opinion about that like it’s “karma” or I “manifested” it or whatever. I’m not that concerned about that aspect of it either.
What’s important to me is my own internal dialogue during and after these events. At Orange / Amber I was rationalizing that as a citizen it’s my duty to stand up to this kind of thing. At shadow Green I was angry about the N-word and wanted to show I was a “woke warrior”, knight in shining armor, or whatever, lol. At healthy green I saw the humanity and fear in his eyes as he ran away, and also that maybe now he has more to lose than in our first encounter, and that he might be making progress. At a healthy Orange / Amber I judge that maybe he might need to be institutionalized for the safety of society and also his own well being. At red I observe I love physical conflict and miss the years when that was more acceptable to society and my own body.
And through it all, I see the transmythic humor of it all as whatever Goddess plays these jokes on me and dumps a bit of chaos into my life periodically to keep me aware that there are many experiences and lessons that happen that my rational mind just cannot explain and “just happen”.
Love this question.
A short answer – one heuristic that has been useful for me has been something like “ignore the views, include the values”. The idea being, our views change dramatically depending on which rungs of the ladder (or climbing wall, which is probably a better analogy) we spend most time at. And once we shift from one view to another by changing positions on the ladder, the old view is gone forever. But the rungs themselves are there to stay — which means we can still find them within ourselves, no matter which of the later rungs we may be hanging out at.
This is important, because while the culture wars are usually emerging between multiple conflicting values, it’s usually the partial and often broken views that surround those values that create the primary battle lines.
In practice, this has helped me rethink a number of assumptions I used to carry with me. An easy example would be my general attitudes around something like “nationalism” — which has been a somewhat dirty and even dangerous word in my own lexicon. The 20th century taught us an awful lot of painful lessons around nationalism. But as I saw the Trump phenomenon emerge, I knew there must have been something I was missing — some unfulfilled need at the core of American culture. And indeed, it now seems to me that if we do not have a solid and stable sense of national identity for us to build our more worldcentric “cosmopolitan” identities upon, the entire stack becomes brittle, and can easily regress to unhealthy forms of nationalism (ethnocentrism, xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, and other views commonly associated with unchecked/unintegrated amber values) in order to meet those unfulfilled needs.
So I am now more easily able to enfold with people who are looking for that strong sense of nationalism, even if I disagree with the majority of their views around what nationalism could or should look like, or what it means. I’ve experienced this personally as something like an expansion of my own views, and has allowed me to have more fulfilling conversations with people who I otherwise disagree a great deal with
Thanks for sharing, Corey! My feelings about the idea of Nationalism have had a similar evolution to yours. I like the idea of “ignore the views, include the values.” Going to incorporate that one.
Over the years I’ve had many similar types of encounters. I learned over time that trying to reason with or be sensitive too people coming from a toxic Red didn’t work and like you I started to deal with them from the level of Red. It seems to be the only way they will take you seriously. I’d rather have a conversation, share a beer, and be kind but sometimes you have to let it be known that you’re not afraid to open a can of whoop-ass if necessary! Once they sense that they tend to back off or at least reevaluate who they’re dealing with.
For me it’s one of those things that has to be looked at on multiple levels at the same time.
The most important thing to me is balancing what is best for the long term.
My opinion is that not being willing to “stand up” is an unhealthy aspect of Green. Ghandi stood up and confronted what he felt was wrong, and against the British Upper Class he decided the best course was to make them ashamed of themselves, and that worked in that struggle.
But then also at the same time, using violence as a means to get the other side to concede what Green wants is also an unhealthy shadow of Green.
I think there is a huge difference between standing up and being prepared to use violence against an aggressor, and proactively using violence. And even more importantly, not falling into the trap of attacking out of fear and calling it defense. The whole Kyle Rittenhouse fiasco comes to mind - where people’s fears were stoked and everyone believed they were defending themselves, but the entire incident was a complete fiasco.
My opinion is that the United States has a heavy weight in Red, and it’s culturally admired to use Red as the first solution to problems in the lower-middle class / working class and below. Unless people are in the privileged class and they don’t ever have to interact with the “untouchables”, we are going to face these kinds of issues more and more as the untouchable class grows.