On vMemes and the yellow leading edge

Here is my second post to the Blog of collective intelligence and my first as a guest author. Thanks for your trust and openess George. In this posting I want to lay ouy some thoughts on the question on how to untap the collective intelligence of the ‘whole movement’ that George brought up at http://www.community-intelligence.com/blogs/public/

I want to talk about CI practitioners, focusing on one of the lines of consciousness development,the value line or vMemes refered at the Don Beck’s spiral dynamics model. I am aware that the ‘prime directive’ is to take care of the whole spiral, that we are not all in the same wave, but specifically regarding the community of Collective Intelligence Practitioners, we share values, we care about the health of the whole, we believe in equity, justice and care about evolution and living systems beyond ego (globalcentric to kosmocentric). This speaks to me of a green or yellow vMeme. This is where the questions begin: is it possible to talk about a particular vMeme we share? are we aware that pioneering integral ideas and practices is actually creating Kosmic habits that future generations will inherit? Could we as a community be able to recognize the healthiest form of the Green and yellow meme?
This concern raised after I read an Wilber excerpt where he questions the health of the Green meme. Wilber talks about a Kosmic inheritance where the thesis is that all human holons inherit certain individual and collective prehensions and forms in all quadrants. The older the meme, the more fixed a Kosmic habit and he says:
The leading edge today is around yellow–the frothy, chaotic, wildly creative leading-edge of consciousness unfolding and evolution, still rough and ready in its newly settling contours, still far from settled habit. This is why today, right now, we want to try to lay down as “healthy” a yellow groove as we possibly can, because we are creating morphic fields in all subsequent Kosmic memory. If a particular wave emerges in a deformed, warped, fragmented, or pathological fashion–due to various types of turbulence in AQAL space–then that unhealthy form will be inherited by the future, with terribly unfortunate results.
And he talks about the Mean Green Meme (MGM) where I can´t explain better than he does:
In fact, it appears that the great potential of the green meme, which took as its vehicle postmodernism, actually arrived on the scene already corrupted to some degree by the modern flatland pathology: a flatland habit so ingrained that green not only succumbed to it but magnified it, glorified it, drank the hemlock and called it fine wine. The green meme emerged, almost from the start, in a somewhat pathological or malformed version (caught, as it was, in the morphogenetic turbulence caused by the orange flatland warp in the AQAL matrix). This pathological flatland version of green, due to its association with such trends as politically correct coercive movements, we call “the mean green meme”; and the MGM, over the last three decades, settled into a rigid, unyielding, morphogenetic groove that took all human beings who were attempting to move beyond orange and slammed them into the prison of a flatland pluralism.
I wonder about this and would like to know what other CI practitioners envision as a healthy Green meme or if we could bring stories, examples of this MGM. We are building a Kosmic habit that all future generations could draw on, what would be the practices that bring it up in the healthiest possible way with the less cost regarding possible pathologies that may emerge as a result of our actions? This is one of the reasons why I believe, Presencing is so important, to be able to see the emergent future. We share the idea of building a foundation for a more caring, sensitive, compassionate world. We all want to solve the complex problems that we have as a humanity, we are all co-creating the leading yellow meme of the future.
More questions: What are the selection pressures for the ‘whole movement’ to evolve in the AQAL space?
To read the whole Wilber Excerpt called ‘An Integral at the Leading Edge go to:

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1 Response to On vMemes and the yellow leading edge

  1. Larry Victor says:

    Fernanda, you raise some very important issues and concerns. I would like to comment on the context. I “grok” that the potential changes and challenges we face are beyond the comprehension of the leaders, such as Wilber, Beck, Kegan, Por, Atlee, — and I include myself (not a leader, but my comprehension is as yet insufficiently comprehensive). There are nested flatlands, and we get so excited when we are liberated from one that we are oblivious to the others that yet constrain our cognitive processes. The times call for us to be both assertive and humble.
    All we have today are hypothetical models, no truths. We must attempt to experimentally apply what appear to be useful models AT THE SAME TIME we continue to search for alternative or complementary models – as well as be open to new domains to add to our so-called “integral” approach.
    Individual differences in human cognitive style has been of interest to me for 5 decades. Early it was obvious that the sharing of meaning between individuals was not a simple process; requiring only patience, compassion, attention and careful communication. Cognitive styles such as field dependency/independency and the diversity of imagery styles (I lack mental imagery in all sensory modes) were critical. I was early to learn of Kegan’s stages and how communication from higher to lower stages was very difficult. I was impressed by the attention given by Kegan to the phases of transition between stages. More recently I was moved to view these stages as “epistemological” – relating to how a person learns and changes; and the possibility for other “types” of stages. I confess I did not explore Beck’s “Spiral Dynamics” because of the limited (and in my view, distorted) characterization of it by Wilber. Now, after finally reading “Spiral Dynamics” I appreciate Beck’s interest in shifting between stages AND how persons and groups in different stages may (and may not) interact.
    I now believe that we need more research into the changing diversity of human cognitive competencies. I question whether everyone must go through the stages as represented in these models. I believe that environmental conditions can greatly hinder or assist stage transition. I am not sure we all start life at the bottom. I personally cannot identify myself ever performing at stages below yellow — which has been a handicap.
    Both Kegan and Beck portray a person transforming from one stage to the next. I favor a model where each stage represents a distinct world organization pattern, each which can emerge and mature. Most people harbor multiple worlds and, given the circumstances, different worlds (or stages) may be dominant. I propose this not as a truth, but as another model. The empirical evidence behind both Kegan and Beck is very limited. There have been no serious attempts, to my knowledge, to facilitate a stage transition — or to even leap to higher stages.
    In my view, much of Beck’s concern for taking care of the whole spiral results from his lock on transforming the corporate world. No one can resist a subconscious bias towards those who support your livelihood. There is no question that the multiple polarizations are today a serious threat and we cannot ignore any stage. But, there are alternatives to achieving a “good” world without confronting or transforming the old order. Origination-Emergence-Replacment is a viable alternative to Repair-Reform-Transform. See: http://nucoms.home.comcast.net/NU_CURRICULUM/MEGA_STRATEGIES.htm
    I could use the same language Wilber used to warn of the Mean Green Meme to warn of a Naive Yellow Meme locked into the flatland of myths of personal consciousness. I will venture to take this one step further — the success of the power hungry throughout civilization has been enabled by the arrogant naïveté of the self appointed liberators, who never formulated an action that was sufficient to meet the challenge of power. Often our natural human compassion towards suffering led us to reify suffering and work only towards is minimization — never dreaming of a time on this planet when there would be no suffering.
    Query: What stages are those “hackers” who through complex collaborative processes (which they invented) created the open source movement and such phenomena as the Wiki Media Foundation? Do those active today creating the collaborative networks in Cyberspace fit in the stage models? There are models of human social organization emergent (and in practice) that challenge our most fundamental metaphors.
    I am currently playing with a model of future humanity in analog to a complex planetary bacterial network, where systems form (from the network) as viable organisms or institutions only temporarily as needed and are absorbed back into the network when their task has been completed. I am calling them “SysNets”. Needs that require continuing attention are met by many different temporary systems. We no longer need institutions of power hierarchy, which attract sociopaths to top positions, fully open to any degree of collateral damage necessary. Page 181 in Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat” cites an example of a SysNet in the corporate world. Michel Bauwens in his essay “P2P and Human Evolution” hints to a process that doesn’t require rulers or permanent societal institutions. http://noosphere.cc/P2P2bi.htm Hardt and Negri take it one step further in their book, “Multitude”, where they challenge any future need for sovereignty. However, they see the primary motivation being reactive resistance to permanent war and corporate globalization and devote little attention to the positive motivation to create a “good” world. Yet, their omissions, as those by Wilber (in his limited scope for “Integral”), and ALL others (including myself) demonstrate that as awesome as our emergent potentials as individual singularities are, we have limitations that require our creation of and submergence within a common.
    I also question whether the appropriate model for comprehending the past 50,000 years of human history is neo-Darwinian evolution; which permits only randomness and determinism – denying creativity. An alternative model (to be used in complementarity with evolution) would be embryonic development — the entity that is humankind becoming humanity was “conceived” when our brain re-organized to enable languaging and self-consciousness (and coincidentally, the same time our ancestral tribe first left Africa — were we seeking new lands of our dreams?). We lack the process to SEAF (Support, Enable, Augment, Facilitate) synergy among the multitude of pillars in our postmodern Tower of Babel. Each separate effort for change has no time to relate to and synergize with other efforts – the conspiring together forecast by Marilyn Ferguson in her “The Aquarian Conspiracy” won’t just happen — it needs catalysis. The tools and techniques for such a catalysis are manifesting rapidly. Hardt and Negri propose an Exodus from Sovereignty, to be lead by those who will think to use the tools and techniques of non-material production in creating NOW a program of bootstrapping, uplifting, and synergizing the billions anxiously waiting.
    But, all of this requires that we put aside our favorite leaders and their favored models to open the process a few more notches.
    I apologize for trying to cram what require a treatise into a blog comment; which reveals but another challenge, possibly the most fundamental — how do we share complex, fractal, networked worlds via the linear exchange of characters? — nuet


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