đź“–Levels of existence: an open system theory of values

Clare W. Graves
  • Clare W. Graves, professor, Department of Psychology, Union College, Schenectady, New York

  • p.132 “In certain respects this work is a revision and extension of Maslow’s views.”

  • pp.132–133 premise: existence of levels, “quantum jump from one steady state to another”

  • p.133

    When he is in any one level, he has only the behavioral degrees of freedom afforded him at that level.

  • p.133

    The author’s research referred in this article is included in a book now in preparation.

    (which exactly book it is? Graves didn’t publish a book during his lifetime and raw research data got lost)

  • p.135 figure 1. adjustment-of-environment-to-organism and adjustment-of-organism-to-environment (express-self/sacrifice-self) develop in parallel (in lockstep)

  • p.135

    Level of existenceNature of existenceProblems of existence
    A-NAutomaticmaintaining physiological stability
    B-OTribalisticachievement of relative safety
    C-PEgocentricliving with self awareness
    D-QSaitlyachieving everlasting peace of mind
    E-RMaterialisticconquering the physical universe so as to overcome want
    F-SSociocentricliving with the human element
    G-TCognitiverestoring viability to a disordered world
    H-UExperientialisticaccepting existential dichotomies
  • p.135 succession of existential problems. once a problem is solved, an excess energy is released and a system is ready to change and tackle new problems

  • p.135 excess energy + dissonance → change

    • +insight +removal of barriers +the consolidating factors

  • p.139 C-P (red) established based on agricultural revolution

    • (contrary to SDi? where agriculture is associated with blue)

  • p.140 E-R (orange) achieves materialistic success but that does not make his relationships fulfilling

    He has become envied and even respected, but liked he is not.

  • p.141 F-S (green) becomes concerned with self and other selves, so that the harmony can be achieved. he also becomes concerned with self vs. world, self vs. life

  • p.141 G-T (yellow) is a threshold of being human (before that, the human is more of an animal)

  • p.142 regressive-progressive. disorganization as a sign of preparing for growth (not a regression)

  • p.142 Graves tries to explain value crises, riots, and confrontation (“the problem of ethical and moral decline”)

  • p.143

    Existential stateMotivational systemEnd value and Means values
    A-NphysiologicalOnly reactive values
    B-Oassurancesafety via traditions
    C-Psurvivalpower via exploitation
    D-Qsecuritysalvation via sacrifice
    E-Rindependencematerialism via scientism
    F-Saffiliationcommunity via sociocentricity
    G-Texistenceexistence via accepting
    H-Ucommunioncommunion via experiencing

    Italicized values: primary orientation of each value system.

  • p.145 C-P (red) is about survival, man is still insecure (as opposed to SD/SDi?)

  • p.145 heroism as means

  • p.146 “power ethic” (“might is right”)

  • p.146 C-P condition produce a fearful insecure world for all

  • p.147 Romans attack on early Christians is red/blue

  • p.147 D-Q (blue) explains why there are “have”s and “have-not”s, why people are where they are, and why all have to die

  • p.147 D-Q thema: “one shall sacrifice earthly desires now in order to come to everlasting peace later.”

  • (thema–schema is structure–content)

  • p.147 atheistic Communism is D-Q (blue)

  • p.149 E-R thema: “express self in a way that rationality says is good for me now, but carefully, calculatedly so as not to bring down the wrath of others upon me”

  • p.149 E-R end value: materialism; means: rational, objective positivism (scientism)

  • p.151 F-S (green) returns to religion, but not religious dogma but spirituality

  • p.151 F-S value are still lower level subsistence values. they think only themselves and their valued others, but not the public interest

  • p.152 G-T (yellow) develops from resolution of man’s animalistic problems

  • p.152 G-T ethic is “recognize, truly notice, what life is and you shall know how to behave” (the “recognizant” way)

  • p.153 six on six. action prone man → intellectually prone man

  • p.153 G-T thema: “express self so that all others, all beings, can continue to exist”

  • p.153 G-T means are accepting

  • p.153 just “continuing to develop” is more valued than strive to become this or that

  • p.155

    The theory presented is of course a sketch; it is not finished. Obviously, it is oversimplified and obviously man does not necessarily move slowly and steadily as described.