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About Samjc543

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  1. See this video from Dave Snowden which is probably one of the most hard-hitting critiques of stage theory I've seen. Essential viewing for anyone who wants to use stage theory etc in their worldview. You can still pick up the stage-theory beliefs back up at the end of the video, and if you do your understanding will be much more robust. Don't call yourself open-minded and non-ideological if you aren't willing to put in the time to analyse critiques of your favourite theories. Also here is an interesting conversation between Nora and Daniel Goertz where they debate this further. There are no easy answers in this conversation.
  2. Read time: 10 mins There are some positives to SD, but I will focus on critiques for this post. If you're a fan, then you should listen very closely to critiques in order to make your arguments more robust. I've ranted on this post but would love to have constructive conversations on this. Be careful of throwing these away in ways such as "That's just such a green thing to say", or "Oh that's just a criticism from below, so I don't have to listen". These may well be coming from bias, rather than robust understanding. The critiques will be half-baked as this is an internet forum and I'm not being paid for this. I may jump between SD and integral theory at points but I want to critique this whole ideological space from a meta-perspective and have missed some of the more granular detail. Stage Theory's Links to colonialism 90-95% of the spiral dynamics discourse stinks of ableism, western exceptionalism and paternalism. I believe that this is a feature, not a bug. It should make you suspicious that the financial, cultural, economic and military centres of the global (US-led) empire / civilisation are the most 'highly evolved', and therefore the most important people in society who are in the best position to make the decisions for the rest of the world. Huge undertones of the "white man's burden" to civilise the rest of the world. Almost justification for the West continuing to rule the world, when in reality it has no right to whatsoever. Ask people in the global south whether or not they chose Western countries to run things, and if they'd like a little more ability to decide for themselves what they need. A minimising of the west's negative impact on the world. There is no such thing as post-colonialism, just neo-colonialism. The west is still facilitating massive wealth transfer to the west both in terms of unfair trade agreements, tax avoidance facilitation, costs of environmental pollution, propping up corrupt regimes, exploiting labour etc. Remember that there is no justification for a Western company to pay labourers in the DRC less than someone in the West - and it is currently justified socially by nothing but racism (and economically by neoliberalism) - they don't deserve as much because they're from (insert country here). A lot of the discourse about countries being 'lower stage' crucially misses out the abuse of the rest of world / global south is inflicted by the west. The west has the boot on the necks of the rest of the world, forcing more difficult and hostile living conditions, and then has the nerve to call them 'less evolved'. A big justification and minimising of the abuses of capitalism in here too. SD is a continuation of this centuries-old colonial shadow. Following on from that, many of the benefits that have afforded the west less authoritarian and corrupt societies have been subsidised by stepping on the necks of the rest of the world in all the worst ways you can imagine. There is a certain attempt to justify colonialism in here, which was and still is theft and exploitation at its core. Nobody ever colonised places for the benefit of the colonised. The notion that we should be careful of 'lower stage' people coming into a country and polluting the country with their 'lesser values' is dangerously close to the racist replacement theory. This can and will be weaponised, and has no empirical backing. Yes, individuals adapted to a particular tough environment (say Somalia or North Korea) will have a lot of adapting to do if they moved to the UK, but there is no reason to say they will not match the people living there. This kind of logic has already been used to justify BS prejudice notions of Muslims not adapting to British culture here in the UK, when they are doing just fine. It also insinuates that it is the immigrant failing to assimilate and minimises the prejudices and obstacles they often face. It also misses the benefits to, say, white British people of the cultural diversity gained through having a multicultural society and how the process of immigration can also benefit the host nation. I have seen this first-hand how in-person exposure to other cultures in this way can go a long way to promoting a world-centric view over ethnocentric. This is to say it is completely unsubstantiated that immigrants from 'lower stages' will bring down the stage centre of gravity of a country They may even bring it up (using the SD lens). There is no empirical backing for this. Bigots may not like immigrants, but we can't always wait until they're ready to change their minds - it's okay to upset them and deal with any backlash /violence appropriately. Research The empirical evidence for spiral dynamics is surprisingly weak. Psychometric tests (the basis of SD) don't generalise to an person's entire reality from which prescriptive measures can then be made. Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram tests are not taken seriously in modern psychology partly for this reason (also not taken seriously because they aren't backed empirically). In a similar way, nobody is given therapeutic treatment based on their OCEAN personality tests. Problems with falsifiability - where you can't disprove a theory due to it being far too flexible. E.g. People who don't fit into the model are typed as "centre of gravity green with red blue and orange shadows". You can fit any person into the model with enough modifications to the theory. I see SD as a model that often ends up really over-simplifying the complexity of reality, and doesn't end up being useful. It's not that groupings of values etc can't and don't exist, but putting people into this hierarchical evolution process is not as helpful as seeing people more in the context of their own (internally and externally) complex environment, and the value groupings can be examples of similarities and differences on a collective level. I see no need to make this hierarchical. A "stage yellow" perspective is just a human who exists within a particular complex environment, whereas a "red" person has adapted to a different reality. Difference- yes, Hierarchy - unclear and unnecessary. There is also a lack of sensitivity that the 'progression of the stages' is basically a reduction in fundamental, civilisation-induced trauma. Discourse tends to be very intellectual and quite divorced from the heartbreak of all this trauma. Taking a trauma-informed and person-centred approach to somebody's development, embracing their complexity, has been more fruitful in my work (in mental health) and personal life than prescribing a path to development based on a highly biased and abstract theory. Bigger Picture SD / integral theory falls into the trap of anthropocentrism in quite a strong way. There is still a strong undercurrent of the "humans are the natural, peak end point of evolution, and the universe has unfolded especially to this crucial point". From a material universe perspective, there have likely been millions of instances of complex life and conscious beings in the last 14 billion years (across the hundreds of billions of galaxies), and there will be many more in the future. Humans are not the apex or centre, spatially and temporally, and it may be more helpful to see humans as just a flowering of the complexity of the universe instead of central to the universe's story. On the deepest levels of physics and mysticism, time and causality break down. Remember, we don't know what the big bang was, what caused it, what context the universe as a whole exists within, and many unanswered questions in quantum mechanics on the smallest scale. So Wilbur's linear notion that the big bang was spirit devolving into matter and the universe then is matter evolving into spirit is a complete jump from anything that can be empirically proven, and I personal feel can be experientially proven. It's a story without real backing and should be viewed with the utmost criticism. With all the 'advancements' in modern science, we may know more about some of the relative truths in the universe, but ultimately don't know more than hunter-gatherers. Our perception of reality is certainly not any more sensitive or more complex. Do you even know the birds in your local environment, or anything about how they live? We are far less sensitive to our environments and to other people and hedge all our bets in fancy conceptual ideas, and call ourselves smarter. There's a saying that in modern societies, we don't know anyone as well as a hunter-gatherer knew everyone in their society. Also on a bigger picture, I feel like SD falls into the ideological trap of human civilisation, as opposed to indigenous hunter-gatherer society, being a good thing. This is not something that is immediately obvious if you can zoom out far enough. Civilisations at their core are about colonisation, war (against humans and nature) and wealth transfer to the centre by any means. They are by their nature based on expansion and are unsustainable. History and culture are always written by the victors - why should this new story of why our present society / condition is the best and most important version of humans living to date? SD follows on from all civilisation ideologies in that their particular brand of civilisation is justified and good. Remember, the continuation of civilisation is not guaranteed at all. There are reasonable extinction risks (nuclear war, bioweapons, pandemics, climate change, environmental destruction) that could well cause global civilisation to self-terminate. If that were to happen tomorrow, and you could zoom out far enough, would you say that this whole civilisation experiment was a success? Interesting, sure, but good? Compared to some indigenous cultures (pre-civilisation) that have been around (not that they've stayed the same completely) for much longer and had a much less detrimental impact on life on Earth as a whole. SD contends that we've never been more evolved, precisely at the time when humanity as a whole has never been more destructive to the biosphere upon which it depends, and potentially other humans if you account for the sheer numbers of suffering humans on Earth at the moment. Take a moment to look at that through the lens of mental gymnastics. Final Comments Ableism is the ultimate dominator hierarchy ranking that stage theory loves: those who are the most able are the most important in society. And we control the definition of what 'able' means. SD and integral are products of this dominator hierarchy, and will continue to perpetuate it. We don't need it, and I think it holds a lot of intelligent, well-meaning people back. Overall I see SD and integral as quite a reactionary ideology. I've noticed that it's especially popular with men compared to other genders, hyper-logical minds, techno-optimists, and people who lean more conservative socially and economically. Nearly everyone who talks about stage theory on a public stage has these traits, and often brands themselves as a "sensible, rational progressive". This is contrast to the 'hysterical' progressives who are villainised in a way that maps well onto old misogynistic tropes. But they continue to hold patriarchal, cis-hetero normative, ableist, pro-capitalist biases in a way that is much more similar to old-style centrist liberalism than any sort of post-progressivism. Taking on old biases and simping to conservatives out of fear of retaliation doesn't seem that progressive to me. I don't think Leo is ableist but there has been some serious unconscious bias in his content. It's only been a year or so since he stopped saying people were "re****ed" on his videos. There are still constant rebukes for people being "idiots" and "stupid" and "dumb as doorknobs" littered in his content, and there are frequent reminders of how much more able he is than others. Stage theory is a huge aspect of the content of actualized, and I don't think stage theory and ableist biases can be very easily pulled apart. I don't see the "tier 2 - stage yellow" move to intellectualism as a linear improvement in consciousness. I see it as a fearful intellectual withdrawal from an immersing of one's heart fully into themselves and the world around them. Which is okay, but let's just be honest here. A fear of fully embracing the feminine and the deepest levels of intra- and inter-personal and nature connection. This is me really winging it now but my hunch is that in general, SD and stage theory is popular for people who are scared to decolonialise their minds and deconstruct civilisation in its totality. It certainly was for me. This includes fully but critically embracing feminism, gender theory, queer theory, anti/post-capitalist theory, decolonialism, indigenous perspectives, deconstructing science and materialism. All the way to the core of how civilisation has defined (through violence) who you think you are on the deepest levels.
  3. @Emotionalmosquito Massive load of BS is absolutely correct here. Just inflammatory culture war nonsense. Nothing like this is happening in the UK. Both of our main political parties are competing to be the most "anti-woke", and the one currently in power is extremely culturally conservative. They are currently trying to intern refugees in Rwanda (as a deterrent), and are absolutely not instituting these laws.
  4. Lol can we, as a collective, start calling them women instead of girls. It comes off weird, creepy and infantilising.
  5. @Raze Your response has raised some interesting questions. Firstly, I want to make it clear that I am not pathologising masculinity, or at war with it. I am talking about integrating the feminine and softening some/many of the unnecessarily hard edges of masculinity. In the article, the report talks about "Men who identify as very masculine". As a psychology major, this is questionable as there is an assumption here that people on the whole are talking about the same thing when they say "masculine". It's a massively loaded term and the assumption embedded here that everyone is talking about the same thing is just that, an assumption. There is no breakdown of what that means for participants. An Andrew Tate fan and a more effeminate gay man would have wildly different ideas of what that word means. It also does not take into account the pressures that different men may have to identify as masculine, as it has historically been revered over at least the past 10,000 years of completely patriarchal culture. Also, you cannot write off the first statistic, that men who identify as very masculine are aggressive, love a good fight, take advantage of others, and take charge. As someone who's studied martial arts for many years at a high level, I can assure you that aggressiveness and loving a good fight are extremely shitty ways of being. Assertiveness is great, so is self-defence, but aggressiveness is absolutely not. Taking advantage of others is also completely emblematic of pathologically narcissism. Not great, and not to be swept under the rug. As for the life outcomes, the stats are of poor quality. Like I mentioned above, the queer community has experienced an incredible amount of prejudice, judgement, abandonment and barriers in life. Remember that: A huge number of queer people are abandoned when they come out, and / or are thrown out of their homes. They still face significant abandonment even if they aren't thrown out. They face huge social and employment discrimination throughout their lives They are much more likely to be victims of abuse and violence Homosexuality has only recently become legal(!), whereas before they were often imprisoned or thrown into asylums. Gay rights are currently under threat still. I can elaborate further on these, and add more to the list, but if your asking people to self-report life satisfaction you can't say that it's a result of identifying as masculine and not take into account these other factors. The data simply does not support the assertion that it's self-reported masculinity that decides positive life outcomes. Maybe identifying as very masculine puts you into the priveliged class that is masculine hetero-males and gives you that advantage. You have not accounted for this. Also high income and religiosity are ridiculous indicators of positive life outcomes. The most important jobs in our society are often the lowest paid (Think nurses, carers, healthcare assistants, childcare workers, teachers, social workers, emergency services). Religiosity is not virtuous. Most of the other stats are self-reported (e.g. "people see me as loving and affectionate"). Okay, this reflects somebody's self-image and doesn't give any real account of how their lives play out. Maybe he thinks that, but maybe his family think he's aggressive and loves a good fight with his wife. Basically the article's statistics are extremely messy, and when taken in a bigger context, almost completely meaningless. I believe it's written from a place of bias, and is not evidence-led. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water, but above I have included some pretty big criticisms of this article. Nobody's saying masculinity should be shamed. Have you watched Queer Eye? If not I would consider your response more of the knee-jerk type.
  6. These five guys are great examples of what softened masculinity can be like, especially contrasted in this show when they are working with a lot of trad-masc dudes. The show can be somewhat materialistic and comes with some biases, but is great generally and a great antidote to the overwhelming negativity of modern media. It is available on Netflix. If you're a hetero-dude, you have a lot to learn from the queer community. Do not write them off because they might not be attracted to women like you. The queer community are trail-blazers when it comes to modern masculinity and integrating the feminine. They are pioneers have carved the path to authentic sexual and gender freedom and expression, in the face of overwhelming judgement and abuse. Cis-Hetero men as a group are late to the party and are seriously stunted when it comes to emotional maturity and relationship to the feminine. Integrate more queer voices into your media consumption and social relationships. Do not call yourself open-minded if you dismiss or write them off in a knee-jerk fashion. Internalised homophobia / transphobia runs so deep all the way to the fundamental view of who you think you are, and these guys are often decades ahead of you in terms of being free of these societal constraints. You will soon see when you disobey sexual and gender norms just how brutal the pressure to conform really is still in 2023. From men and women. You will also see the bravery of these people, for whom going out into the world every day and just being themselves requires more bravery than most of your toughest experiences in life. Disclaimer: My post is overwhelmingly positive, but please don't generalise and think queer people will always have perfectly healthy and integrated realtionships with their sexuality and gender expression. As mentioned above, they have experienced abandonment, abuse and judgement most cis-hetero guys can't imagine, so they often have a lot of healing to do. [Edit Below] Full free episode on Youtube: Great podcast on internalised homophobia: Internalised homophobia is not something that affects gay people. It is termed unconscious bias in straight people. Think about how the pressures to conform to a particular expression of masculinity may affect what you think and feel is an acceptable way to be in the world.
  7. Stage green at its best. Talk focuses on cancel culture and online activism, and contains tonnes of stage green wisdom. I love Loretta Ross' decades-long perspective and wisdom on civil and human rights movements. Posted here instead of the mega-thread because of its relevance to societal and political discourse.
  8. Accessible and integral ride through the core Marxist theory. It will help debunk the many straw-man arguments against Marxism we absorb growing up in (post) cold-war capitalist societies. Seminal work on behavioural economics, where human psychology meets economics and decision-making.
  9. If your goal is psychological adulthood, do not overlook working with a well-trained psychotherapist for a while. They are experts at pointing out your blind spots whilst also maintaining a supportive environment for working through and untangling deep psychological issues. Of course, do your research as to who may be a good fit for you, but even somebody that isn't fully focused on shadow work (although most will be familiar with it) will help understanding and working on emotional regressions back to childhood, attachment issues, trauma etc - all of which are crucial to psychological health and maturity. So even if you don't confront the shadow directly (which you probably will anyway), you will be building a much more stable psychological constitution which I believe is critical to doing shadow work effectively. You can also talk about the shadow work you're conducting independently with them. It's well worth the monetary investment. A great quote from (I think) Gabor Mate went along the lines of "Deep psychological issues and traumas were initially formed through (faulty) relationships, and are best healed through relationship."
  10. I've noticed a lot of straw-manning of stage green in IDW circles (and often a lack of engagement with SG). This video contains a great explanation as to the current limitations of stage green, the conditions that are causing many of its excesses, and a path to working with stage green people rather than against them. If you get easily triggered by stage green culture / individuals, this will help turn the anger into compassion.
  11. Netflix providing laughs and insight into conspiracy communities
  12. Be careful of anti-US imperialist conspiracies. Gave this the time of day in the name of 'learning different sides of a debate', but couldn't get past the pseudo-journalist sucking up so hard to Maduro (a stage red/blue corrupt authoritarian) and taking his word unquestionably. The Grayzone have a history of writing off complex protest movements as stupid, fascistic, subhumans who are being manipulated by US / NATO imperialist forces, writing off human rights abuses by authoritarian leaders, and painting incumbent dictators as innocent victims despite lots of evidence to the contrary. All evidence built by western media is all false imperialist propaganda in their eyes. I think these guys are media mercenaries, and have genuine links to Russia (and RT News), which explains a fair bit. The comments section will reveal stage green conspiracy craziness. The Grayzone is not to be trusted. There is a market for stage green conspiracies:
  13. What has your spiral dynamics (or more generally growing up) progression looked like throughout your life? What shadows do you have? What has your shadow work looked like in your life? What are your top everyday spiritual practices (that can fit into a daily schedule) that provide you the most benefit?
  14. Hey It's really brave to open up like you have and I respect your honesty. I don't know the specifics of what's going on for you so I thought I'd just attach some content that might help put some of the breakdown stuff into a different, perhaps healthier perspective. I highly recommend checking out the school of life channel on Youtube as it has fantastic content regarding mental health and the human condition. The JBP content helped me a lot in putting my struggles and anxiety into a healthier context and helped provide a good map for living a more balanced life (test your opendmindedness with the bible series ) Wish you the best
  15. @BobbyI disagree I used to think of Brian Rose and London Real as stage yellow too. His conduct since his David Icke interviews (censoring comments and opposing views, not to mention the really poor reviews he consistently gets from his courses), however, makes me think he's still got a strong stage orange centre of gravity, even with the many perspectives he gets on the show (stage green / yellow) Stage green is multi-perspectival, too, but hesitates to put them in hierarchies. That's why you'll see him give equal weight from guests ranging from Dan Pena and Alex Jones through to Sadhguru and Wim Hoff. You can see it in how he doesn't challenge the guests on very important points, which is something stage yellow would most certainly do. I'm sure you've noticed this now too now though and nonetheless still a great source of varied perspectives and info