Why Brooks and Gladwell need Clare W. Graves

Many colleagues and friends urged me to make available here my personal response to the latest David Brooks op-ed column in today’s New York Times. So for those interested readers who do not care to scroll through 305 comments on the NYT website, and for those who happen not to be members of the SDi Discussion Group (to join, click here!), what I felt needed to be said is the following:

The meshing of the social forces and unique, individual capacities is best explained in the seminal work of Professor Clare W. Graves entitled “the emergent, cyclical, double-helix model of bio-psycho-social development,” best known as Spiral Dynamics. This framework describes the pendulum swing between the I:Me:Mine (individual) and We:Us:Our (collective) values systems to form musical chord-like blends. These are systems within people, companies, cultures. This model played a major role in the South African transformation out of apartheid and is presently being used in Palestine along with Elza Maalouf. See www.buildpalestine.org for details.

Also, this paradigm will demonstrate why David Brooks and Malcolm Gladwell have slightly different views, since it explores the deeper values system codes at the core of an emerging human nature. As such, it also includes the role of behavioral genetics as well as strategies to raise levels of consciousness, all within what Maclean’s magazine in Canada once called “The Theory that Explains Everything.”

Since the concept integrates bio (the physicality of mind/brain) with psycho (the levels of complexity in individual world views) and socio (the impact of webs of cultures and societal systems and structures, it provides the Transpartisanship process that fits Obama’s search for solutions that go beyond race, red vs. blue states, conservative vs. liberal, extremism vs. moderation, and capitalism vs. socialism perspectives.

Over the years David Brook’s essays and articles have described this emerging construct but without a knowledge of its basic tenets.

Professor Graves taught at Union College (New York) for many years and died in 1986. His conceptual thinking and practical applications are now being used worldwide in a number of Centers for Human Emergence.

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