Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation

Levels of Development: Week 2 Summary

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Levels of Development: Week 2

Summary: Sunday, December 13-Saturday, December 19, 2015

Beige: Instinctive/Survivalistic — The basic theme is to do what it takes to stay alive, with a preference for pleasure over pain. There is a unitive absorption with one’s mother and an original innocence and naïveté. (Sunday)

Purple: Magical/Animistic — It becomes important to honor and obey the spirit-being presented and the group’s leaders, rituals, and customs. (Sunday)

Red: Impulsive/Egocentric — The individual realizes that he or she can be distinct from the tribe and can break free from group constraints; the heroic self. (Monday)

Blue: Purposeful/Authoritarian — The “true believers,” the concrete-literal fundamentalists, love certitude and knowing who is right and who is wrong. They presume they are right and will be rewarded. (Tuesday)

Orange: Achievist/Strategic — People who are self-reliant, rational, educated, and willing to take risks will “win.” Societies will prosper through competitiveness and technology. (Wednesday)

Green: Communitarian/Egalitarian— “Seek peace within the inner self and explore, with others, the caring dimensions of community.” Political correctness, human rights, and equality are the highest virtues. (Thursday)

Yellow: Integrative — Human lives and society are seen much like vibrant, resilient ecosystems where chaos and fluctuation are expected. (Friday)

Turquoise: Holistic — The entire world is “a single, dynamic organism with its own collective mind.”  (Friday)


Practice: Tracing Your Journey

I encourage you to spend some time looking back over your life through the lens of Spiral Dynamics. With compassion and tenderness, notice how at various stages you were fixated on different priorities, different measures of right and wrong, different sources of meaning and belonging. Give thanks for the lessons you learned at each level that helped you survive, succeed, and become who you are today. Ask yourself what beliefs you may be ready to lay to rest, ways of thinking and acting that no longer serve your maturing awareness of reality.

You may wish to explore your journey in one or more of these ways:

  • Journal or write a poem.
  • Draw, paint, sculpt, or create a collage.
  • Find a piece of music that illustrates changing moods and move to it.
  • Talk to a friend, spiritual director, or therapist.

Gateway to Silence:
Transcend and include

For further study:
Richard Rohr, In the Beginning . . . Six hours with Rob Bell and Richard Rohr on Reclaiming the Original Christian Narrative (CD, MP3 download)

Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

Ken Wilber, Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World

Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.