Who are we if we are not our bodies, nor
our self-talk? Who are we if we are not our memories, nor our expectations?
What are the organizing principles around which we live?
We found that these organizing principles appear to be pre-verbal experiences of
connectedness or integrity, the Soul of Soulwork.
Levels 4, 5 and 6
Levels 7, 8 and 9
An American psychologist, Clare Graves (1914-1986), described values
as a basis for the evolution of human relationship systems. This is the first of three
articles about using Graves' research to appreciate human diversity. (Note: Clare Graves'
work was subsequently described in Spiral Dynamics by Beck and
Cowan) although their interpretation and labeling differ from ours).
Abraham Maslow postulated that all humans have similar needs, and
that they satisfy their needs in a predictable sequence. One of his students,
Clare Graves, attempted to create a pencil and paper instrument to identify what
needs were currently pursued. Graves later concluded that a person's needs change
with his or her values; and that a person's values change in a predictable way.
We used Graves' research on values to better understand the existential states
of identity from which a person can experience the integrated connectedness
that we called Integrity, or
Soul. We called them Visions.
Values and Visions
As we combined Graves' research with our understanding of human systems,
we began to see human evolution manifested in the ways that we strive to be effective.
Here we describe steps that lead from the non-conceptual experience typical of
early childhood to the sophisticated worlds of self-actualized people. This
model also applies to groups, from nomadic pre-tribal bands to the United Nations.
We hope to talk you through experiences of each Vision type. We hope that you remember
times when you experienced some of your earlier values levels, and that you
can imagine Visions that you have not yet experienced.
In this way we better understood how other people think and act the way
they do. We use this information to increase your rapport with a
wider variety of people and, hopefully, decrease any arrogance that
our values are more appropriate than somebody else's.
This is not an attempt to pigeonhole people - all
of us seem to have all of these "levels" available to us
at all times. We hope you can better appreciate people with
different values (and different worlds) to your own. Here are the first
three of these nine value levels, as we understand them today (Canada, 1995):
Value Level 1: I will survive!
I survive by seeking food, water and shelter.
To you I may seem more like a wild animal or an abandoned child.
Everything is new each day and I look at the world without your beliefs
At my best I am self-sufficient. At my worst I am
helpless. People like me were once common, before we grouped together
into tribes. Today you can see people like me in abandoned children,
in some retarded and senile people and in some street people. You
could become like me during a war or a famine.
Imagine you are the sole survivor of an airplane crash in a remote
you would act like me ... if you want to survive.
I cannot understand your religions or philosophies.
I live, I hunger and everything is a mystery! I know some things,
like where to seek food and shelter. I follow my instincts and adapt. I
live in my senses - I touch, smell and taste things as much as I can.
More important than anything is a warm, safe place
with food and water. Love is how I feel about somebody who cares
for me and reassures me, somebody who can touch me and give me food,
drink and shelter. I show my love by unconditional acceptance.
Sometimes I want to live together with other people
like me. Sometimes I want a strong caretaker.
2: Our family / tribe must survive!
Together, we can survive in this mysterious world.
We need a strong chief, a knowing shaman, wise elders and powerful
totems to protect us from other tribes and from spirits around us.
We are conservative. We totally obey our chief,
shaman and elders. Our elders know what the spirits and ancestors
want and how we can please them. Our elders decide our roles - and we
rigidly follow them. We honor our ancestors and our tribal heroes.
In some ways we are like ancient tribes and
pre-adolescent children. Look for us now in remote parts of the world - and
living under city bridges.
You will also find people quite like us in close families, in some cults and
in some sporting teams.
If your gods are more powerful than our gods, then of course we try
to please your gods. We may try to adapt to you and your ideas about
how we should live. If we cannot adapt to you or avoid you, we may
drug ourselves with alcohol or narcotics, or even kill ourselves,
to escape from confusion and fear.
At our worst we are like slaves to our chief or shaman.
At our best we are loyal to our elders and are trustworthy companions.
We prefer to live in tribes with strong, caring chiefs. Do not assume
that we can read or that we can understand concepts like "owning
land". When our needs are met, we may go away until we
need something else.
Do not harm or insult our tribe! Do not defile our sacred
ground, violate our taboos or mock our rituals! Do not make the spirits
angry! Do nothing that weakens us!
Our religion and traditions guide and protect us. We like
rituals, fantasy, magical symbols and pictures. We learn best
from the stories about our ancestral heroes.
More important than anything is the survival of our tribe.
"Love" for us is being accepted by our chief, elders
and tribe members. We show love by obeying the chief and elders
and, if they tell us to, by accepting you into the safety of our tribe.
Sometimes I think about leaving my tribe. Maybe I
can start my own tribe. Maybe I can be chief.
Value Level 3: I must have power!
In my world, the powerful dominate the weak. I want
power and respect and I want it NOW! I fight all threats. If you try
to shame me or control me, I will rebel. You had better be more
powerful than me!
I am aggressive and impulsive. I am selfish and I take
what I can. I depend on myself and I may try to exploit you. My
motto is "Might makes right". I cannot feel
guilt (but if I have to, I can pretend like I do).
Look for me watching violent movies. See me in teenagers.
Look for me in tough jobs and sports. See me in gangs and at violent crimes.
Look for me in muscle and beauty contests. Find me in prison.
I can be bitter and hostile. At my worst I am a destructive
rebel and can only tolerate other tough people, like in a
gang or a prison. I often break your stupid laws. My only crime is
getting caught! I like drugs or anything that makes me feel more powerful.
I like attention and risks. At my best I am energetic and
innovative. Like my heroes, I get what I want. I like to show my
strength in tough work, but I may only work if someone tougher
is watching me.
If I am not the most powerful, I will try to associate
and be seen with powerful people. I must have respect!
Do not waste my time with weak appeals. If you are weak
I will exploit you! I will test your authority and reject your rules.
I will do anything for the right reward. Dare me to do things! Show me
how I benefit. Respect my strength and give me power.
Do not threaten me! Do not insult my family or enter my
territory uninvited! Do not mock me! Above all, do not shame
me before powerful people. I will get revenge!
My religion gives me luck, makes me feel good and tests my
courage. Love me by respecting me and giving me space. Love
is a word I use to get what I want. I show tenderness
only when we are alone.
More important than anything is my immediate gratification
of my desires. I want to have a good time - all the time.
As I get older, younger people fight me for my position.
I want a respected permanent position. Sometimes I dream
of stability and security.
Level 3 slogan:
I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
for I am the meanest son-of-a-bitch in the valley!
We hope you find these descriptions useful.
Researching them helped us better appreciate, understand
We describe other values in
Values 4, 5 & 6 and
Values 7, 8 & 9.
Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy
Plagiarism is theft © Martyn Carruthers and
Janelle Doan, March 1995-2018
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