After so much conversation about Turquoise at last week’s EuroConfab, I couldn’t resist returning to the truly excellent Spiral Dynamics bible by Beck and Cowan, to revisit what they had to say about it. So much of it is already there, down in black and white, back in 1996. Here’s what stands out for me now, starting, in this first part, with their treatment of the transition phase from Yellow to Turquoise:
- About community: in the human universe, the confederations are purpose-driven. Accentuated group contact is possible because Turquoise communities are conceptual, not just physical, and can function as well through microelectronic links and spiritual pacts.
I see time and again how Turquoise-level activity roots out purpose the way pigs root out truffles. We recognise that purpose is pre-existent, living somewhere in the subtle realms that precede manifestation, and we come together to unveil it, using our augmented sensory capacities as much as, if not more than, our cognitive faculties. When purpose is no longer present, the group simply fades away.
Once purpose is there in the middle, the group can cohere no matter the distance. I need only think of the core group of Women Moving the Edge, scattered between the US and Europe, and our hundreds of Skype calls that keep the bond and the inquiry intensely alive. And the global community of stewards of the Art of Hosting patterns, coming together over Skype in different constellations to explore matters of shared concern and fascination.
- About feeling: This transition integrates feeling with knowing, and that appears to organise senses and capacities that become diluted in the mid-Spiral ranges because of dogmatic beliefs and reliance on artifice.
One of the perennial themes for Women Moving the Edge is “wholeness of knowing” – we do not rely on knowledge in books, or on reason alone. There is a hole range of subtle sensing, that comes in through the body in many, many ways, and erupts as total knowing well before the intellect has arrived at any interpretations or explanations. There is great respect for intuition, gut feelings, premonition and systemic sensing. From this place, linear discourse sometimes seems quite impossible, and one of the challenges we face at this stage is finding language with which to articulate the full range of subtle distinctions available and active at this stage.
- Body and healing: as one really comes to understand pain and bodily signals, the person routinely begins to have a new control over bodily processes, ranging from blood pressure to mental attitude.
I, for one, have taken quite some time to really come back into my body after the traumas of early childhood. Now, though, I am in almost constant communion with my physical vehicle, which I start to understand was constructed and is held together by a subtle entity of a different nature, with which it is possible to communicate, and to which I am learning to feel enormous gratitude, not to mention deep regret for the inconsiderateness with which I have treated it for so many years.
Thanks to this new relationship, I am learning to discern what nourishment my body requires and how, and whether, to act on the physical symptoms I experience. On those occasions where my ego is in conflict with my soul, my body will step in on one side or the other. I most often notice this when my conditioning is insisting that I perform in the world while my deepest longing is to be still and withdraw. If I look like succumbing to the promptings of my conditioning, I’ll usually end up incapacitated with a migraine. That’s a great teacher, so these days I tend to capitulate gracefully and indulge in the self care that is called for at the deeper level.
- Universal guiding principles: A form of spirituality resurges here, but there is not an identifiable someone in active, deliberate control. Instead, a unifying force and set of guiding principles sets the course of the universe and gives the appearance of consciousness… yellow/TURQUOISE tries to learn what is while believing there is more than they shall ever see or know.
There is no need to know here. And no desire for mediation through a religious tradition. Just a visceral urge to engage directly with the heart-wrenching, aching and awesome mystery of it all. No quest for knowledge or understanding, just an overwhelming injunction to PARTICIPATE. Again, there is that wholeness of knowing that cannot be articulated through language, because language is linear, and knowing is all of a piece, and subtle – not populated with nameable objects.
My next post will look at Turquoise in its peak phase.