About Spiral Dynamics Integral

The Remarkable Evolution of Spiral Dynamics

From Clare W. Graves – Phase  One : 1978-1995

“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.” ~ CWG

From 1975 until 1995 Dr. Don Beck worked exclusively within a Value Systems or Gravesian perspective, based on the original work of the late Professor Clare W. Graves. Beck first met Graves in 1975 and they became close friends and professional colleagues until his death in l986. Together they designed the South African strategy that is represented in the book Beck wrote (with Graham Linscott) in 1991, titled The Crucible: Forging South Africa’s Future .

In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Beck was instrumental in exposing Professor Graves to a wider world by arranging joint presentations before meetings of the World Future Society and American Society for Training and Development. He brought Graves to the campus of the University of North Texas in 1978 for a series of lectures, and then promoted a series of three-day seminars for him in  Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Dallas. They engaged in consulting projects with Braniff International, American Airlines, and even the New Orleans Saints. Says Beck, “It was truly a delight to work with him and I miss him a great deal. He will always receive personal and professional credit from me in all of my activities. I’m Gravesian to the core.” Dr. Graves passed away in 1986.

To Spiral Dynamics Phase Two: 1996-2001

Dr. Don Beck

Spiral Dynamics was an extension and elaboration of the biopsychosocial systems concept of the original Gravesian research. By the time the book Spiral Dynamics – Mastering Values, Leadership & Change was published (Blackwell, 1996), Beck felt it necessary to update and expand the original Gravesian concept to appeal to a much wider audience. He introduced the concept of  “value memes/memetics”  to both supplant and enhance the limited “value systems” language. The coauthor of the book was Beck’s former graduate student Christopher Cowan, with whom he worked closely together for 29 years. The partnership ended in 1999, and Beck went on to introduce his work globally with astonishing and dramatic success.

To Spiral Dynamics Integral (SDi) Phase Three: 2002 and beyond

Don Beck and Ken Wilber

The comprehensive, inclusive 4Q8L values technology for the Integral Age and humankind’s future. The elegantly expanded SDi conceptual framework includes and transcends the entire body of the historic Gravesian/Spiral Dynamics work which has gone before, and distinguishes itself clearly from other versions offered in the marketplace which do not subscribe to Integral, Second Tier design approaches.

This third iteration of the complex SD material goes far beyond both earlier phases in striking out new territory, in creating new strategic and systemic alliances ( MeshWORKS ), and in engaging academic and applied domains that are just now becoming part of the 21 st Century thought structures and existence problems.

“While Graves supplied the original blueprint, he cautioned me on numerous occasions to continue the research, to branch out far beyond what he could imagine, and pursue ‘the never-ending quest’,” says Beck. “SDi is based on a belief in the Invisible Spiral, the Prime Directive that works in human nature to continue our quest toward greater complexity. The Graves Technology is simply one wrap around the Invisible Spiral but there are many others. I believe it is the best single wraparound available. Yet many of the empty spaces and incomplete zones can be filled in with other theories, other wraparounds. SDi continues the search for these paradigms to provide yet a fuller understanding of the working of the Spiral within our lives.”

In 1999 Beck formed a deep and rich MeshWorks with author/philosopher Ken Wilber, whose work he had been following since l978.

“In The Collected Works of Ken Wilber, a massive set of books to say the least, one engages the mind of someone like Professor Graves who searched over long periods of time, and often as a lone pathfinder, to discover and reveal the mechanisms and stages that have characterized our long, evolutionary ascent from an animal-like existence. This relationship with Ken and his vast following has created a quantum leap of interest in Clare W. Graves and Spiral Dynamics and, more than any other influence, has projected this conceptual system onto the global screen. We are in debt to his efforts on our behalf and continue to look forward in SDi to an ever widening working relationship,” says Beck.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of SDi is the use of Wilber’s All Quadrants/All Levels/All Lines model that offers a user-friendly methodology for integrating Spiral Dynamics into personal, organizational, and societal operations.

“Spiral Dynamics Integral is one of the first integral psychologies now available and, as presented by Don Beck, I give it my highest recommendation. It has profound implications for business, politics, education, and medicine, and it will give you the tools to begin applying these revolutionary ideas in your own field immediately. Don’t miss it!” ~ Ken Wilber, author-philosopher and president, Integral Institute

Several similarly rich and warm MeshWORKS have since been forged, including the international Adizes Institute and Graduate School, John Petersen’s The Arlington Institute, The international Bert Hellinger Family Constellations movement, Andrew Cohen’s What Is Enlightenment? magazine, and Dr. Nancy Roof’s Spirituality and Global Affairs Associates.

In fact, the word “Integral” in SDi refers precisely to the coming together of diffferent entities to empower, align, enhance, and shape the various positive concepts, packages, and approaches – when and where approriate – as they work in the background and at deeper levels to influence humankind’s vMemetic Codes. Says Beck, “This truly integral approach meshes many of the original SD concepts with other interests in such a way that it is never overtly recognized. And this may be the global arena where Spiral Dynamics is the most timely and relevant.”

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