Crafting a map to make sense of the world.

I wanted to understand how humanity evolved until now and what could be our next step further. Allured by this quest, I read many books.

I have found the Spiral Dynamics frame very useful for mapping the human individual and social evolution. Using my knowledge related to this subject, I crafted my own version of Spiral Dynamics, intertwined with “The Four Frontier” frame.

Spiral Dynamics is speaking about levels of consciousness and sets of values and how we evolve – as individuals and societies – from a stage to the next one. What fostered my research was to understand which are the perennial values that each stage of consciousness forged in human species forever and which are its contextual values, as they expressed themselves along the historical unfolding of our evolution.

I became aware that each level of consciousness is inextricably intertwined with its historic context. Seeing from a historic perspective we can better understand the contextual and perennial values of each level of consciousness, its healthy and pathological expressions.

Taking insights from Spiral Dynamics and other writings, I managed to craft for myself a “map” – as a tool for my evolutionary journey, a compass to orient myself in this world and a lens to better understand other human’s worldviews, values, aspirations.

I perceive each Spiral Dynamics stage as a kind of “territory” (in our evolutionary journey) with its own mythology, worldview, rules and values.

Very important: Do not confuse this map with the real terrain!

I know it is only a map that could help me to orient myself in the real terrain. I will never use Spiral Dynamics to assess a real human person. But I will use it often to give an indicative idea about what kind of culture or level of consciousness I am speaking about.

I highlight that we live in an ever-evolving Universe. Nothing is static in our world. If something stops evolving, it becomes more and more obsolete, irrelevant, dysfunctional.

For different reasons, our last civilizations were rather static than dynamic social organizations. Their hierarchic model of organization was their weak point: hierarchical societies are rigid and have the tendency to remain rigid, while their outer and inner environments evolve. As the social realities changed, the old hierarchic system became more and more dysfunctional. In order to “survive”, it chose not to evolve, but to strengthen its structure, becoming ideological, abusive and oppressive

I noticed a pattern: At the beginning of it, each civilization, founded in a new metaphysics and a higher level of consciousness than the previous one, grew and evolved due to the expression of its perennial (healthy) values, until that civilization reached its maximum. After reaching this maximum point – a bifurcation point, a frontier – it has never managed to move smoothly further, but has degenerated and collapsed. Its power structures – as I mentioned before – chose not to evolve, but rather to become ideological, abusive and, finally, oppressive. On this descendent curve, the entire civilization expressed rather the pathological aspects of its level of consciousness.

I understood that both the healthy and the pathological manifestations of our societies are the main drivers of its evolution: their pathologies pushed us to find better ways of organization, while their perennial spiritual achievements helped us to raise our consciousness at higher levels of reflectivity and integration of human diversity. We can witness now, at the end of Modern Civilization, the pathological expressions of the Orange-Green evolutionary cycle. These pathological expressions – the proof that this level of consciousness/organization can not manage the complexity of our society anymore and has to evolve – create the perfect environment for higher levels of consciousness to come to life (Yellow-Turquoise on Spiral Dynamics).

Therefore, facing the evolutionary threshold that lies ahead, I have a double question: First is related with me: How should I evolve in order to survive and thrive in our VUCA world? (How could I evolve toward Yellow and Turquoise levels?) The second is related to our responsibility to co-create a sustainable and fairer society: How can we design a society that could resemble life? (A Yellow-Turquoise society) How can we design a society that could evolve proactively in its bifurcation points? How can we design a society that could adapt and change consciously when it is challenged by its environment, without becoming tyrannical, ideological, dysfunctional, unsustainable?

The pattern of evolution

Clare Graves, the father of Spiral Dynamics frame, throughout his research on human psychological development, observed a pattern: the individual developmental journey looks like a spiral, composed of many cycles. Each cycle starts with an expansion stage, which brings a lot of diversity and new acquires to the individuals, followed by a stage when the diversity is integrated into the midst of human community. The two stages, an individualistic one followed by a communitarian one, complete a cycle. Then a new developmental cycle starts again, at a higher level of reflexivity and integrative abilities.

Each new cycle starts as a breaking up with a kind of predetermination that the previous cycle was clogged in. It resembles the crossing of an invisible threshold and opening of a frontier: a new horizon of exploration and possibilities, a new “enchanted forest” / “unknown territory” for human journey.

When the developmental cycle is reaching its limits, the old level of consciousness is becoming increasingly dysfunctional: It is the time for a new leap forward to a new level of consciousness; it is the time to start a new cycle, to open a new frontier of exploration and evolution.

The human consciousness evolution process follows the evolution pattern that is seen all over the Universe: the incremental accumulation gained through a cycle drives the evolution toward a qualitative leap forward to a new cycle. So to say: evolution processes are not linear: everything evolves in stages. A stage could resemble a state of Dynamics equilibrium for the system when the system’s ability to integrate its diversity is higher than the divergent tendencies of its diversity. Anyway, driven by its internal Dynamics, a living system always reaches a bifurcation point, when its ability for integration is overwhelmed by the divergent tendencies of its diversity. It is a crisis time – for an individual or for a society – when it needs to reorganize itself, to reinvent itself. The bifurcation point is a “no-return” point. Reaching its bifurcation point, the system will be never the same. We have to understand that from a bifurcation point the system could take in radical different directions. It could evolve or it could collapse. In order to be an evolution, the system needs to evolve a higher level of consciousness. It needs to evolve a higher level of integrative abilities – to be able again to integrate the divergent tendencies of its complexity. If the system doesnt evolve, it will necessarily collapse.

If a social system can’t evolve further, its first move is to diminish its complexity/diversity. The easiest way for an overwhelmed society to “manage” its increasing diversity is to diminish it: diminishing the freedom of its citizen, the range of their choices, the range of their self-determination. This is the first stage of collapse, when people lose faith in that social system. On their degenerative curve, all human civilizations collapsed toward a kind of totalitarianism. (See Dmitri Orlov, Reinventing the Collapse; Joseph Tainter, The Collapse of Complex Societies; Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed etc.)

The human evolution from Spiral Dynamics perspective

1. Beige (from the beginning to nowadays)

Beige humans managed somehow to break up with the predetermination of the animal realm. Allured by the Cosmic Dynamics, the human species started its amazing spiritual journey. We crossed an important threshold from the animal world to self-consciousness. We open for Life a new developmental cycle.

From the beginning, from our animal ancestors we evolved to live in small kin communities, in clans (12-15 members). Lets call this stage: Beige. This is the first stage of self-centered type of consciousness that humans evolved. It is a huge leap forward from animal world! With Beige, humans opened the First Frontier: “the conquering of the world through physical expansion”.

In this long stage, we evolved anatomically as we know ourselves. With our big brains. With our two legs position. Our basic empathy and mirror neurons evolved in these times. We are humans and we are fundamentally collaborative and empathic because we chose so! This is our way to deal with the challenges of Life: strengthen the cooperation! As an anatomical outcome of this choice, we developed our mirror neurons, which give us the magic possibility to sense the emotions of the people around us, to feel their emotions and to feel with their emotions.

Our deepest levels of morality started to evolve at this time. Our basic collaborative way of being took shape at this stage. Our basic monogamy – and the intrinsic morality which maintains it – evolved in these small kin-communities. We needed this level of morality in order to maintain a sufficient level of cohesion to remain together as a clan. Because we needed each other to reach our basic needs and raise our children. A woman needs a sisterhood to raise her children. A man needs a brotherhood to hunt. A child needs a childhood in order to evolve in a healthy way. It needs a clan to survive. First “Dunbar numbers” were forged in Beige time: 5 intimate friends – this is our sisterhood, or brotherhood and 15 close friends – this our clan. These were social egalitarian times.

I feel I was born here: in this clan, somewhere in a forest, in the great plains, in mountains valleys, on the lakes shore, on the sands of the world beaches. I can not remember my mother, but I can remember very well my clan: the sisterhood which takes care of me, the brotherhood which defends us and all my mates, playing together, swimming in a river when our parents were fishing. I remember our long migration from place to place: I was so small, but bravely keeping with my clan. I remember how we used to gather in the evenings around the fire, singing and laughing together, listening from the old ones’ old stories about how Earth and our clan came forth. I remember the joy and the dances and the drums when we feast around a big game, in the Spring Equinox nights. My clan is everything for me! It is my world! It is my joy! I remember meeting other clans, times to times hunting together, times to times fighting each other. For sure, I will fight till death to defend my clan!”

When you feel deep inside you a “returning home feeling” driving you through forests and mountains, it means that your being is still remembering its first childhood. The feeling of belonging to Nature is still so powerful in human beings. Actually, Nature is truly our home and truly our Womb: the place where we were born and lived 99% of our lives as a species. Our physical and psychological health is completely rooted in our connection with Nature.

2. Magenta (-70.000 to nowadays)

Step by step we start to evolve toward tribes. Under surviving pressure brought forth by ecological challenges (as the explosion of Toba volcano, some 73.000 years ago) we choose to cooperate instead to fight each-other. To maintain the cohesion and functionality of a tribe, as a larger circle of cooperation than a clan, we needed to evolve our level of consciousness. And we evolved toward Magenta.

From clan to tribe is actually a big evolutionary step forward. Just imagine wolfs packing together in tribes of 120-150 individuals, evolving a whole new level of inter-relation between them, evolving their language and so on. Humans faced the same challenges. They needed to overcome a lot of evolutionary barriers. If they, under the pressure of environment, were pushed to raise up from clans to tribes in order to survive, they needed to evolve new ways for maintaining the cohesion of their larger communities. A tribe was ten times bigger than a clan. It was a new level of order. The new level of complexity needed to be integrated by a higher level of consciousness. Magenta is able to integrate synergistic the complexity brought forth by living in human-scale communities (tribes of 150-180 people).

All other future psychological developments are based on characteristics evolved during Beige-Magenta stage. For the majority of humans, the circle of morality/empathy is the Magenta circle of morality, which can not extend over own tribe. Even now we are not able to extend our circle of real inter-relation over 150/180. This is the last “Dunbar number”: it speaks about the number of our tribe members and it was forged in Magenta stage. Here, in human-scale communities, we are moral and we choose to take care of each other.

For me, Magenta times are almost magic times: I still remember, deep in my heart, the time of my childhood. In our village we used to live in peace and mutual help. I used to live with my kinship in a household, having a small garden near the house, some cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chicken and even a donkey. I remember my huge family: my mother, my father, my sisters and brother and cousins, some of my uncles and aunts, my grandmothers and my grandfathers: we used to live all the clan together.

We used to paint our houses with different beautiful spirals.

For me, these spirals are symbols of The Great Circle of Life.

The surroundings of our village belong to the whole tribe. We called this kind of management: commons. We take care of our lands and forests, of our rivers and lakes. Our shared environment is part of our survival circle, as much as the members of our clan and tribe. We used to have good relations with our neighboring villages: we needed to maintain good relations because we need them and they need us in order to maintain a good management of our rivers and lakes, mountains and forest, plains and meadows. In the time of our great festivals, we gather together and celebrate.

We have a lot of celebrations! When shepherds leave for the mountains at the end of the Spring. When they return when the first snow comes. When we sow the fields. When we harvest and many many other celebrations! We have a lot of celebrations related to our Mother Earth. We celebrate the Equinoxes and Solstices. We have even an amazing place where we gather together from time to time in order to meet each other, to exchange different products and to celebrate together. We used to venerate our Mother Earth and the mystery beyond our World – The Great Goddess of Life. I really believe her breath enlivens the Earth.

Always the beautiful childhood times in my Neolithic village will live in my heart! For my tribe I could be brave, I could be courageous, I could be loyal, I could be generous, I could even give my life. I could forgive and I could trust one of my tribesmen: they are my big family.”

The need to belong to a community was forged forever in humans in Magenta times. We feel to love and to be loved, to be part of a larger family, where we can help each-other, where we can celebrate together, where we can feel together as one. Our physical and psychological health is completely rooted in the membership to a community, in healthy and meaningful human relations. Our human heart is so deep-rooted in our “village” and in our “tribe” that our real happiness is related only to other humans’ happiness.

Beige-Magenta consciousness (encompassing the first developmental cycle, opened by crossing the “First frontier”) brought forth a new worldview, based on veneration of The Great Goddess of Life, a new way of human inter-relation and organization: a holarchic human-scale community, based on commoning, peaceful relation with the neighbor villages, fair exchanges based on peaceful negotiations and gift economy. We called it Neolithic culture.

It is simple to understand how this kind of religion and human inter-relation could maintain the cohesion of a tribe and the stewardship of its shared environment. Magenta consciousness brings forth in humans this amazing ability to live in almost perfect cohesion on a tribe level. This became intrinsic for all humans. It becomes our instincts and moral commandments. If we could return to live again in human-scale communities, we will be perfectly adapted.

I praise Beige-Magenta villages as our cradle. In time, on their descendant curve as a civilization, the Magenta Village became dysfunctional facing life challenges, being stuck in some kind of predetermination who was resisting to any further evolution. But, through its heroes, the ever-evolving humanity managed to find a breakthrough and take its journey further.

3. Red (-7500 to nowadays)

When we were not able to spatially expand anymore, we reached the limits opened to us by the First Frontier. When people in a certain geographical area began to crowd, natural resources were no longer sufficient for the maintenance of all: so the Neolithic villages began to fight among themselves to ensure their survival. Those who were able to adapt / evolve their organization were the long-term winners.

From Magenta organization/values/mythology/psychological development we evolved to Red – an important step forward on our evolutionary path. With Red, we opened the Second Frontier: the conquering of the world through military expansion.

If you really want to understand the Red ethos, look at a teenager’s heart.

The same biological law, that makes the stages of human embryogenesis resemble the stages of Life (from a cell to humans), makes that our individual psychological development is following the same stages as the psychological evolution of our species. If Magenta is like a child listening to its parents, Red is like a teenager who rebels against everything.

The perennial values of Red stage are seen in a healthy teenager that wants to break up with the predetermination of childhood: He starts to feel powerful enough to challenge the rules. He wants to discover his limits. He wants to understand who is he. He wants “to take his life in his own hands and shape his own destiny”.

The step forward from Magenta to Red is a very important step on the evolutionary path of life on Earth. The heroes of Red culture wanted to break up with the traditionalist predetermination of Magenta culture. Each developmental cycle is ending in a kind of predetermination, a kind of frozenness that simply shows that the developmental cycle is exhausted, that it has consumed all its potentiality. So, a new developmental cycle could start only as a breaking up with the specific predetermination of its previous cycle.

The people who have the power to break up with their predetermination are humanity’s true heroes! They bring us new mythologies that foster new civilizations.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)

About what values and vision was speaking the Song of the Universe to first Red heroes? It must have been something that gave them the power to raise their heads and break up with the predetermination of Magenta world.

Fostered by the development of metallurgy, people start to perceive themselves as Homo Faber, as creators (see Mircea Eliade, The History of Religious Ideas, especially Homo Faber mythology). The first Red people perceived themselves as powerful enough to challenge and change “the rules of the game”. The archetype of the Seeker inspired them the most.

More about “the 4 Frontiers”:

In our evolution, we had 3 kinds of civilization:

Beige-Magenta (Paleolithic-Neolithic),

Red-Blue (Antiquity – Middle Age) and

Orange-Green (Modernity – Post-modernity).

Each of them has its specific mode to sustain itself and it was informed by a specific mythology.

The Beige-Magenta mode was through hunting, gathering, gardening and mainly peacefully negotiations between tribes. The Red-Blue mode was mainly through conquering and exploitation of others. The transition from Magenta to Red cultures happened when Magenta economy collapsed when the exhausted environment become not able to feed all the population. People reached the limits of the available land (they couldn’t expand physically anymore) and, pushed by hunger, they started to fight each other. The powerful ones won and they discovered a new way of sustaining: through military conquering and exploitation of others. They evolved toward a new level of consciousness, we called Red in Spiral Dynamics frame. You need a totally new kind of consciousness to break up with your predetermination and reshape the human world, to reshape the rules of the game. Now, we need the same radical paradigm shift to overcome our social and environmental challenges.

From Red-Blue we evolved toward Orange-Green opening the Third Frontier: “the conquering of the world” through technological expansion. When Red-Blue civilization reached the limits open by the Second Frontier, being exhausted by fighting (see all the religious wars and all the wars between colonial powers), we oriented our efforts to improve our technologies. Discovering better technologies brought to winners a huge evolutionary advantage.

Now, reaching the limits of the Third Frontier, we are forced to open the Fourth Frontier. We reached as a global civilization a point where even inventing better and better technologies can not help us anymore to face our challenges. We reached our horizontal expansion limits! In order to go forward, we need to evolve toward a higher, more integrative level of consciousness.

The new scientific perspective of the Living Universe opens for us the Fourth Frontier, a new developmental cycle in human evolution (Yellow-Turquoise in Spiral Dynamics). Now the human expansion will be a qualitative one, a vertical expansion. During this stage we are called to build a human global civilization like an organism, harmoniously embedded in the planetary ecosystems; It will be a fair society, based on a common-based (regenerative and solidary) economy. Its social-political structure will be holarchic, resembling an ecosystem. The basic social-unit will be the human-scale community, where we are perfectly adapted to live in a moral, fair and participative way. I call this new type of communities and their holarchic global architecture: Butterfly Communities.


What triggered the evolutionary step from Magenta to Red culture? The process is really veiled in mystery, because it started happening a long time ago. It seems it appeared first in the Pontic-Caspian steppes. What kind of internal evolution droves those Neolithic cultures to change themselves so much? It should be something related with their natural environment and, probably, with some new technological achievements. But mainly should be related with a dramatic change of perception.

a. The domestication of some plants and animals, which started 10.000 ago in so called “fertile crescent” region, spread in each direction: inclusive toward Pontic-Caspian steppes. Neolithic cultures started to rise and thrive in this region. The west part of this region, which was characterised by steppes, was not so suitable for wheat, barley and millet, but was proper for herding cattle. So, the people – let’s call them Kurgan People (see Kurgan hypothesis) – had rather a nomadic way of life. They were used to face challenges, to travel far in “the great unknown”, to fight with other tribes. They were used to unite themselves in different alliances. Probably their way of organization was a mixture between egalitarian and hierarchical modalities. The Kurgans praised the nomadic values: heroism, courage, bravery, honesty, personal initiative, tenacity, adventure spirit, frugality, loyalty.

b. The domestication of the horse and invention of the wheel are the achievements of the nomadic people of north-pontic steppes. This important new technologies will enhance the mobility and the heroic spirit of the Kurgans and will change forever their perspective upon life.

c. There are some archeological sites, spreading from Iraq to the Balkans, which tell us that between 8000-7500 years BP people started extractive metallurgy. This new technology will change forever human civilization. Mircea Eliade, in The History of Religious Ideas, tells us how the invention of metallurgy brought forth a new perspective about ourselves: we started to perceive ourselves as Homo Faber. The invention of metallurgy changed human religion. From that time, our religions, no matter how you call them, are all religions of Homo Faber. The process which brings forth the metal from ore – that was before assimilated with the mysterious power of Nature to create, a power which was beyond our possibilities – starts to be in our possibilities. Even more: we can make things that Nature can not! For the first time in our evolution, we understood that we are creators! We are creators not only of different things, like axes or swords, but we could be the creators of our own life, breaking up with any predetermination! We can forge our destiny! We can change the Earth! Then, as a contingent realization: How we can take the metal from ore, we can take everything from everyone. We can create for ourselves a new world. We can make new rules.

d. Now, just imagine how perfectly fits this new Homo Faber mentality with the heroic spirit of the Kurgans, with their horses, deadly metal weapons and their wheeled chariots. They used to roam free throughout the large steppes. They were taught first how to ride a horse, how to use the bow and the arrows and how to fight. They were able to live long times just drinking horse blood. They were tough and resilient. Their totemic animal was the wolf and the eagle. Their spirit was the pack of wolves’ spirit. Their horses gave them not only the ability to move fast and fight better, but pride. Running through the steppes, they felt they are the kings of the world! They were not farmers: using metallurgy they chose to make swords and daggers. The sword, the wolf, the eagle and the horse were their main symbols. Even their anatomical constitution fits also with their heroic spirit: they were tall and powerful.

e. It is still missing an ingredient: what pushed the Kurgans to change their way of organization? Only the changes in their environment push people to change their ways. So, I searched for some environmental changes in the north-pontic steps between 7500 and 7000 BP. 7500-7000 BP fits perfectly with the birth of the metallurgy, with the birth of Homo Faber mythology. Also, we know from history book (see Maria Gimbutas, The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe: Myths and Cult Images) that so-called Kurgan cultures, riding horses, invaded between 6300 and 5000 BP (in 3 main waves) the regions of nowadays Romania, Moldavia and western Ukraine coming from Volga regions.

I was not surprised to discover that, around that time, the local climate become more dry and cold, forcing the herders to fight one-another for better herding grounds for their cattle (see Kurgan hypothesis). Also, around 7200 BP, in that region happened a really transformative event: the flooding of the “Black Sea” fresh-water lake (see: Black See deluge hypothesis). Around 7200 BP Mediterranean water spilled over a rocky sill (nowadays Bosporus straits) and starts to flow into the lake. This event flooded 155.000 km2 of land, significantly expanded the Black Sea shoreline to the north. A whole year the sea continued to expand toward north, forcing the population to move. This real ecological event is the source of all the Big Flood myths.

The tribes were pushed one in another. The number of altercations rose significantly. A lot of fighting, a lot of wars. They were forced to reorganize themselves. And which is the best organization for a fighting mode? Hierarchy. From all Magenta people of the planet, they were the best prepared to evolve toward hierarchy. They were forced to evolve toward hierarchic structures and war-like economies in order to survive. Under the fire of metallurgy and the fire of the battles, Red society was born!

The previous societies used to sustain themselves through hunting, gathering and gardening, but the new Red societies discovered a “better” way: mainly through conquering and exploiting others. Their ability to conquer and enslave others brought them a kind of “biological advantage”, so the powerful Red tribes started to thrive exploiting the weaker tribes.

Contextually, they forge a new mythology, that basically is speaking about a “God of thunder” that favors the “braves” and let the “weak” be slaughtered and enslaved by the “braves”. It is a mythology of the powerful ones. The main Red symbols were the most powerful pray animals: the wolf, the lion, the bear, the eagle or their deadly weapon: the sword, the ax, the spear.

A very important aspect of their culture was so called “Koryos Fellowship or Brotherhood, an institution, a rite of passage and a practice that literally change the world and help the Red tribes to conquer the world and replaced the previous indigenous populations (see Koryos Fellowship)

We need to understand that the aggressiveness of historic Red societies is contextual. Inspired by the Song of the Universe, the Red seekers and heroes brought forth a mythology that praised courage, bravery, loyalty, honesty, frugality, self-determination and even kindness (the hero is always saving others). These are the perennial Red values. Intertwined with this deep source of inspiration there is another, more contextual: their war-like daily reality. Because of their historic context and survival imperatives, the Red mythology had to praise the warrior and war-like values.

More than everything, I relate the perennial Red values with believing in yourself. All our heroic myths and legends (Ulysses, Hercules, Achilles, Beowulf etc.) are born in these times. The main Red values are based on heroism and questing. To be a Seeker, a Hero, a Creator is related with believing in your inner-calling, with feeling that you have a destiny to accomplish. You need to dare to believe that you are called for greatness! And then, you have to be courageous to follow your inner-calling, your dreams, your heart, your intuitions. You have to be tenacious, imaginative, creative and ready to stand and even to die for what you believe, for what you love. This is what the Red level of consciousness is all about.

Red Values are not about aggressiveness, but about the bravery to stand for! To stand for what you believe. For what you love. To be tenacious. To be courageous. To take the initiative. To be imaginative and ingenious. To be loyal to yourself. To be loyal to your comrades. To be loyal to your dreams.

First of all, the Red level of consciousness is about having your own dreams. Red is about to dare. To take your own destiny into your own hands. It is not only about challenging the rules, but creating new ones: your rules! It is about really believing you can make a difference!

I love the peaceful Neolithic village. But it comes the time for me to go further. I choose to believe that I can make a difference! I choose to stand for what I love! Yes, I choose to believe that I can make a difference! In this world, you need to dare and to believe, to dream high and even to fight to become what you are meant to become! Nobody will do this in your place. Nobody can choose in your place.

Our tribe emblem is the Wheel of Life. We venerate the wolves – because they are so resilient and fight as one, and the eagles – who can see from above. We venerate the horse and the sword. But the most we venerate the bravery, loyalty and honesty. We are herders and farmers. But more than everything, we are nomads. My dream is to discover new lands. My dream is to make a real difference in this world. I feel I have an inner call. I feel I am here to bring forth something really valuable – my gift. But I need first to understand better who I am and which is my gift.”

When you feel deep inside your inner-calling; when you really believe that something amazing is beyond the horizons waiting for you to discover it; when you feel that you are here to make a difference and to be part of something greater than you – you really have integrated the Red values. Our physical and psychological health is completely related to a healthy integration of Red values that helps you to stand for what you love and believe, to find your authenticity, to have the courage to follow your destiny and to fulfill your life.

Some people are not able to integrate the Red values. They lack the bravery to stand for something. They feel like “victims” of someone or something. Considering themselves as victims they reveal the lack of the main Red value: the tenacity to find a way of self-expression, the bravery of the never-ending quest for self-determination.

4. Blue (-3200 BP to nowadays)

From Red we have evolved toward Blue. Under the sky of the Red Empires, watered by the prophets and saints, the Blue flower of humanness starts to rise everywhere. It tried to heal the wounds from the Red wars, to bring humanness and hope into the world.

Though I chose as “starting point” for Blue societies The Bronze Age collapse (-3200 BP), the truth is that human consciousness evolved from Red to Blue in an incremental way: each pain, sorrow and injustice brought by the never-ending wars between red kingdoms was, for the people who felt the inner-calling to bring love to the world, an opportunity to evolve further.

The Eastern-Mediterranean societies were the heart of the first human Red civilization. These regions were blessed with the richest diversity of animals and plants, which proved to be domesticable, from all over the world. The climate was perfect: not so cold, not so hot; not so dry, not so rainy. Our myths about “a golden age” and about “a garden of paradise” started here.

This region used to be called “The Fertile Crescent”. But after thousands of years of cutting the forests and eroding the soil, it comes the time for humans to pay the price of their actions. When a land is losing its forests, it is losing its rainfalls. In this region humans changed the climate patterns forever.

Though before -3.200 were droughts too, this time was a too long drought. Following the usual pattern for an ecological collapse, when humans begin to starve, they start to fight each other for resources. It was tens of years of social unrest, civil wars and unimaginable suffering. The level of social cohesion went down and the Eastern-Mediterranean societies fell apart one by one. There were tens of years of political, economic and social insecurity. Humanity was shocked! Its prophets tried to find a better way to live together.

Throughout all our history, humanity searched for ways to improve its social cohesion. Individualistic social organizations, like Red, open new frontiers and expand the human horizons, but are not able to maintain their cohesion too long and collapse soon. Blue cultures are actually not so different than Red ones, being part of the same developmental cycle opened up by the Second Frontier (conquering the world through military expansion). Their main difference is related to the level of social cohesion they can achieve.

Red societies are organized in a way that fosters competition rather than collaboration. They are better suited to enhance the expansion rather than the cohesion of that society. They are managed primarily through an “exterior manager”. Obeying exterior authorities (that usually have nothing in common with what is truly rightful) is not the best way to enhance the cohesion of a society. When the rulers become powerless, people stop obeying them. A true level of social cohesion could be brought only through a kind of “inner manager”. For thousands of years, Magenta societies evolved one: our basic morality, our inner commandments. Blue societies managed to evolve another “inner manager”: the shared religion.

Evolving toward Blue levels of consciousness is a real step forward for humanity. New qualities of Cosmic Dynamics show up in the social arena, bringing forth new developments. A shared religion really improves the social cohesion to the levels that Red societies couldn’t even dream of. Through the Blue development, human cooperation (I mean one based on intrinsic motivations, on free willing, not on coercion) extends from hundreds of people to millions. Through the same religion, people start to have something very important in common. Now people are able to feel they are together as one, united by the same religion, under the same God, having the same direction. Blue prophets brought forth a Story able to unite humans inside their societies.

The blue mentality is about settling down and building something to last. Its values are related to a communitarian life, like Magenta values, but now the evolutionary cycle is returning to manage a much larger circle of cooperation.

The perennial Blue values, inspired by the Song of the Universe, are related with feeling as one, united in a common quest, as feeling united with “something beyond us”. They are fundamentally about love, humanness, unity and hope. The most charismatic figure of the Blue world is Jesus from Nazareth.

Contextually, in order to keep the social coherence, one of the main priorities of the Red-Blue religions is to praise the authority. The priesthood shaped the Blue mythology in this direction: the Kings and Emperors became the avatars of Gods. Though Blue prophets (like Jesus) spoke about universal love and unity among all the humans, Blue priests (like Paul, the apostle) had more contextual interests. The authority and hierarchy are highly praised. The obedience is highly praised too. The patiently suffering of all the social injustices is highly praised. Of course, the conformity is also highly praised. It is better not to be different. Forget about your authenticity and uniqueness. If you are different, you could be dangerous to our social cohesion.

Trying to enhance the social cohesion through conformity, Blue societies sacrificed the individuality. These aspects of blue religions are contextual. It is very important to understand this and to make a difference between what is really valuable, perennial and what is contextual.

The perennial and authentic goal of Blue religions is to bring forth in humans more compassion, more empathy, more love. All over the world and almost in the same time, a revelation wave inspired the prophets to bring us a new perspective: we are one!

The main commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

The main rule, the golden rule: “Therefore whatever you desire for others to do to you, you shall also do to them.”

They speak about justice and love and mercy and forgiveness. They bring hope to humanity: there it will come the time when all the sorrow and all the pains and injustices will end. The Blue prophets oriented humanity toward love and unity.

Even with all these beautiful and meaningful prophecies, which aim to unite us all, there was a strong necessity to strengthen the human coherence inside an empire, while that empire was fighting with other empires. The priesthood that finally shaped the Blue mythologies chose to describe the “others” as dangerous and evil in order to be able to unite the people inside their societies and, at the same time, to prepare them to be ready to fight with all the other religions. The “religious inner manager” was good to unite millions of people inside a religious society, but not enough to unite all the people on Earth. Humanity still needs to evolve a better “inner manager” to unite all the people and the Planet.

We are one! I am so happy to know that. I really believe that not through war we will “conquer” the Earth, but – like our prophet said: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth” – through love and compassion. I have a hope that in future all humanity will be as one and all the sufferings and injustices will end. And for that I pray to God. I even pray for my enemies.”

When you feel we all are one; when you feel that through love we could build a better society for all; when you can treat with humanness a person, even you don’t know it before, you have integrated the Blue values. The Blue level of consciousness helps us to treat one another with humanness.

Love, compassion, hope for a better future for all humankind, self-discipline and serenity are the signs of a healthy integration of Blue values, that enhance our physical/psychological health and our abilities to live peacefully and empathically in the world.

5. Orange (-500 BP to nowadays)

It is hard now, when Orange civilization collapses and brings us not only human miseries but a lot of ecological destruction too, to praise or even to understand what the Orange level of consciousness really meant for us on our evolutionary path. Evolving toward Orange level, humans opened the Third Frontier: “conquering the world through technological expansion”.

To understand how contextually Orange society shaped itself, we will take a historic look through Europe around 600-500 years ago. As usual, we are searching for something which could change the human perspective.

We have to understand that in those times humanity was reaching the limits opened by the Second Frontier. It was heading toward a bifurcation point from where it could evolve unpredictably.

Western Europe was the best place for humanity to craft a new worldview, a new mythology. There were a lot of new ideas which dramatically changed the scientific worldview: Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei, Darwin and many others. There were the artists of the Renaissance. Also, the Europeans “discovered” America and Australia and started to travel all over the world. New technologies and better modalities of production appear in Europe, in special in England, Netherlands and France. New and more exploitative economic organizations come on the world scene (the colonialist economic strategies). But, nevertheless, the most shocking events, that shaped from its roots the evolution of Orange societies, ware: 1) the never-ending religious wars and dogmatism that devastated Europe from the beginning of Protestantism and 2) the Black Death that devastated Europe from 1347 to 1352, killing an estimated 25-30 million people.

Why did these disasters happen? Why did our merciful God let this happen?

Some people have oriented themselves even stronger to God, but others simply tried to understand better how things really work. In order to defend ourselves against Nature’s calamities we need, instead to entrust ourselves to God, simply to understand how Nature works.

Many of these new ideas were “heretic” to Christian Church… The Blue Europe became in time highly clogged in its theological predetermination, hence oppressive to new ideas. A lot of cultural creators paid for their courageous ideas with their lives. Orange Europe was born under the misunderstandings of Blue Europe. Orange civilization wanted to break up with the theological predetermination of Blue societies.

From its painful cradle, Orange excluded any spiritual realm from its worldview and evolved toward defending against Nature’s unpredictability; seeing it rather as an enemy than a friend. It was there, around 500 years ago, a very important “bifurcation point”, about which the humanist fathers of the Orange mythology (Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith etc.) were not very aware.

In our last “bifurcation point”, we choose against Nature and against a deep meaning of Life. We chose to perceive the Universe as a mechanism, as a big clock, having no meaning and no purpose. We chose to see the Earth as a dead rock, good just to be exploited by humans. We chose to see all Life on Earth as having no soul, no intrinsic value, no dignity – good just to be exploited by humans. These are not perennial Orange values, but contextual.

Unfortunately, we manage to shape our Orange society in an unconscious, reactive way. Now, we have to evolve toward higher levels of reflexiveness, to make our next step on the evolutionary path in a conscious way.

Nevertheless, Orange was a step forward in human evolution. It opened for us a new frontier, a new developmental cycle. The perennial Orange values are freedom, participation in public affairs and personal initiative; self-development, self-expression and self-determination. Spiral evolution return again to enhance individual values, but now at a higher level of reflexivity and integration than Red did. Orange advancements brought us forth democracy and human rights. It is a huge step forward in social organization. Orange wants to build to last, but based on a better understanding of how things really work.

Actually all our scientific discoveries – which are changing our worldview – were made possible by Orange technological advancement. All our communication technologies – which help us now to awake ourselves to a new level of consciousness – are brought forth by Orange technological advancement. Our liberty of expression is an Orange value and achievement. Our liberty to be different, to be unique and to be praised for who we are is an Orange value. Why every young man and woman from every civilization is thrilled by western culture? The answer is simple: everyone wants to be free! Individual liberty is the main Orange value. Reasoning and tolerance are Orange values too. The liberty of spiritual self-determination is the perennial achievement of the Orange civilization. Also, Orange is an open, democratic world where anybody could have a word to say; where argumentative explanations are listened and, if they seemed more adequate, they could be adopted by the whole society.

When you feel that the liberty of expression is your birthright; when you feel that humans have the right and the duty to actively participate in the political or economical realm; when you feel that is normal that humans to associate themselves in different communities and association in order to better reach their needs – you have integrated the Orange values. If you are able to allow others to enjoy these rights, you are an Orange person. The integration of Orange values brings forth a psychological development that allows a human being to live successfully in a democratic/capitalistic world.

But the challenges of our technological and social development start to overwhelm the average citizen: the Orange psychological level is becoming more and more inadequate in dealing with them. We have to evolve even further.

6. Green (-50 BP to nowadays)

I think the Green stage of human civilization started when we saw the picture of our Home Planet from the Moon. Seeing our Home from above we had the distance needed to reflect and realize: Our Planet is alive and we are all solidary!

Disappointed and exhausted by Orange individualistic surviving strategies – which destroy the social cohesion and the ecological planetary ecosystems, Green cultural creators felt to find better ways to face the social challenges and meet their needs. Maybe is better to collaborate instead to compete. Maybe is better to choose voluntary simplicity rather than opulence…

New communication technologies bring together people from all over the world, helping them to tolerate and understand each-other, mixing together not only genes, but cultural memes. Green is a communitarian stage and it brings forth a new “inner manager” which is able to really unite all the world people based simply on our common ground – that we are all humans, that we are all living beings, that we are solidary, that we are one in the Great Circle of Life.

This inner manager extends our circle of empathy and morality even beyond the human world to embrace all living beings and all the Planet. We start to perceive ourselves as Homo Empathicus. This new understanding of what means to be human will forge forever another humankind. (see Jeremy Rifkin, Homo Empathicus). It is the time to open a Fourth Frontier. The new scientific perspective of the Living Universe could become our new mythology that will inform a fair and generative civilization.

I am not sure if now I am speaking about “Green” or “Yellow” values, but this is not so important anymore: We simply can say that now our most important values are oriented to enhance Life, social fairness, participation, collaboration and ecological regeneration.

Yellow-Turquoise (from now on)

Humanity reached the limits of self-centered consciousness. We are now at a “bifurcation point”: it is the time to leap toward a Universe-centered consciousness. It came the time for Humanity to design proactively and consciously its future evolution.

The new scientific perspective of the living Universe opens for us the Fourth Frontier, a new developmental cycle. Now the human expansion will be a qualitative one. During this stage we are called to build a global fair civilization resembling an ecosystem, harmoniously embedded in the planetary ecosystem (Charles Eisenstein, David Korten, Elisabet Sahtouris, John Stewart). It will be a fair society (Peter Corning), based on a regenerative and solidary “doughnut economy” (Kate Raworth). Its social structure will be a holarchy, resembling an organism. The social unit will be the human-scale community, where we are adapted to live in a moral, fair and participative way. I call this new type of communities and their holarchic global architecture: Butterfly Communities.

Yellow-Turquoise people are perceiving themselves as free, autonomous agents, consciously participating in bringing forth their world. They are strongly claiming their birthright of political and economic self-determination.