As often seems to happen, wartime energy and post-war euphoria serve as breeding grounds for visionary thinking and bold, new break-throughs in human knowledge. Such was the case with Clare Graves. Rather than re-hash older psychological constructs or participate in the debates between the conflicting theories of the day, he decided to start afresh by searching for the reasons behind shifting views of human nature.
Clare Graves was one of the first psychologists who understood that we live, act, make decisions, and undergo change through complex systems. His informal drawings and illustrations would be familiar to any serious student of quantum physics, general systems and chaos theory.
“Briefly, what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiraling process, marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-order behavior systems to newer, higher-order systems as man’s existential problems change.”
Jacques Fresco talks here about behaviouralism as the everyday manifestation of the process ofSpiral Dynamics. Some would say that Fresco is not explicit enough in differentiating between behaviouralism or something like Spiral Dynamics - but what he IS referring to - particularly in the context of the Zeitgeist Movement and Integral Zeitgeist - IS exactly what Clare Graves was trying to communicate in his statement that -
"The psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiralling process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-order behaviour systems to newer, higher-order systems as man’s existential problems change."
Ralph Waldo Emerson described life on a spiral staircase - we wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us which we seem to have ascended, there are stairs above us which go out of sight - LIFE's spiral is expansive, open-ended, continuous & dynamic. All the whorls are alive at once. Yet there is also an inner intelligence that draws them together in a hierarchical structure - the curvatures of life.
Clare Grave's orientation was to integrate BIO - PSYCHO - SOCIO
“When man is finally able to see himself and the world around him
with clear cognition, he finds a picture far more pleasant. Visible
in unmistakable clarity and devastating detail is man’s failure to
be what he might be and his misuse of his world. This revelation
causes him to leap out in search of a way of life and system of values which will enable him to be more than he has been. He seeks a foundation of self-respect, which will have value system rooted in knowledge and cosmic reality where he expresses himself so that all others, all beings can continue to exist. His values now are of a different order from those at previous levels: They arise not from selfish interest but from the recognition of the magnificence of existence and the desire that it shall continue to be.”