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Sam Guarnaccia

What a wonderful conversation!

In the Universe Story, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme say “Education might well be defined as knowing the story of the universe, of the planet Earth, of life systems, and of consciousness, all as a single story, and recognizing the human role in the story.” When I read Maria Montessori’s summary of the Planes of Development, three remarkable connections arose in my mind.

The extraordinary theory of human development known as Spiral Dynamics, the work of Clare W. Graves and later, of Don Beck and Christopher Cowan, as a grand context in which to understand early, middle, and adolescent educational dynamics; Ken Wilber’s Integral work in the All Quadrant/All Level approach to understanding human development; and the phenomenal global treaty that articulates the ‘highest tier’, most developed, mature, and universal ‘constitution’ for human-Earth relations, the Earth Charter.

Betsy Coe’s mention that Montessori is a ‘spiral curriculum’, is a good segue into Spiral Dynamics. Briefly, Graves definition of his ‘point of view’ is that what is called now Spiral Dynamics is: ‘The Emergent, Cyclical, Double-Helix Model of Adult Biophychosocial Systems Development.’ The fact that it is ‘adult’, is that all the data, and there is an enormous amount, is from adult studies. Nevertheless, the system of understanding is critical to having an adult population and ‘higher educational processes’ prepared to support and further the advances of successful ‘planes of development’ education.

A few notes on Spiral Dynamics: The spiral of development proceeds by differentiation and integration… Memes:”a basic stage of development that can be expressed in any activity”…. not types OF people, but types IN people…..
Six-First tier stages: Beige—Archaic-instinctual; Purple—Magical-Animistic; Red—Power, Ego; Blue—Mythic Order (one right way, fundamentalism); Orange—Scientific achievement; Green—The sensitive self, pluralistic relativism.
Second Tier: Yellow—integrative; Turquoise—Holistic.

The Prime Directive ‘The health of the entire spiral’ each MEME…‘each level of consciousness and wave of existence—is, in its healthy form, an absolutely necessary and desirable element of the overall spiral, of the overall spectrum of consciousness.’

I would argue that the importance of the ‘consciousness’, and ‘spiritual preparation’ of the teacher, extends to the larger collectives of local…and global culture, and the ‘responsibility’ to recognize and support the healthy expressions of persons at all levels on the spiral.

Some notes on Ken Wilber in A Theory of Everything: he discusses: ‘The Waves of Existence’ A cross cultural mapping of all the states, structures, memes, types, levels, stages, and waves of human consciousness…..Development as declining egocentrism From egocentric….to ethnocentric…..to worldcentric.
A ‘full-spectrum approach to understanding development Through waves of development, flow many different lines or streams of development.

Movement through each wave is—transcend and include.
All Quadrant/All Level: Points of view—Modes of understanding—Perspectives. We look at the interior of the individual (UL-upper left); the exterior of the individual-(UR-upper right); interior collective (LL-lower left); and exterior collective (LR-lower right).
“reality is composed of neither wholes nor parts, but whole/parts, or holons.”
Second tier thinking: “HolonEverything flows with everything else in living systems; second tier stitches together particles, people, functions and nodes into networks and stratified levels (nested hierarchies and holarchies)….”….”that flow in a big picture of cosmic order.”
These integral and comprehensive perspectives all help us to ‘reinvent humanity at the species level’ (Thomas Berry), and to prepare us to receive and multiply the benefits of Cosmic Education in young people.

The Earth Charter—a treaty of AQAL, level 8 (turquoise) understanding of substance and function. See: http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/
All the principles of the Earth Charter flow from the ‘highest’ levels of the ‘spiral’, of consciousness and responsibility. Using and teaching the Earth Charter principles and language, especially in Plane 3, is powerful.