Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education

R. Michael Fisher
One Yellow (R)Evolution: Integral Spirituality
by R. Michael Fisher - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 10:13 AM

I have long been interested in a (r)evolution, of another color, so to speak. "Color" is not what you may be thinking. I am referring to an arbitrary color designation found in spiral dynamics theory (integral), by Don Beck, and sometimes used by Ken Wilber. You can look up these folks on Wikipedia if you want more of a background. But let me say, that in my decades of learning philosophies, models, theories and systems, I continue to be impressed and engaged in integral theory. And from an integral theory perspective (sometimes called meta-theory integral by Wilber), there is a different color ascribed to the (r)evolution needed on this planet. Let me explain, and then offer you a long video to watch by Wilber called "Introduction to Integral Spirituality." I'll say a few words about why it is worth watching for an hour and half, regardless of the off-putting elements of it as well.

The One Yellow (R)Evolution, is a take-off from a fun improvisational theatre group in Calgary, AB, when I was growing up, called One Yellow Rabbit theatre co. They did really off-the-edge stuff. Yellow (R)Evolution is something I particularly began to promote, albeit on a low key, when I volunteered at the Gaia House Interfaith centre in Carbondale, IL between 2009-2012. I was basically promoting a different, more holistic-integral view, than I saw in the Green Revolution speak and imaginary of most of the eco-activists, and social justice activists that came there. The youth, from campus, they too had already well adapted as radicals a Green Revolution, often with socialist or communist or anarchist political leanings. All fine for what it is, but it lacked a vision beyond itself. Let me explain.

Green (Eco) and social justice liberation movements and activism has long been part of my youth-cutting-my-teeth on "alternative" ways to be in this world and to transform the world systems. Yes, it was all unsustainable and violent, etc. You know the rehetoric and critique and all partly true. Now, I left that Green Revolution for a lot of reasons in about 1990s. A big part of it was because, like Beck and Wilber, the "flaws" and "ideology" of Green became too much and was contradictory to real authentic peace and liberation. It became so infiltrated with political correctness, which is part of the postmodern turn, and academia in some faculties (arts, humanities, education) really took off on this new "empowerment" of Green Revolution in all its varieties, including all the gender revolution stuff. Fine, again, as it is and partially a very important critique of our modern socieities. But the analysis of reality I found more and more wanting as I grew and matured, and developed a refined integral consciousness (as Wilber calls it)--or Yellow v-meme as Don Beck calls it.

At Gaia House, and after, my interest is to promote a full-spectrum view of the evolution of consciousness on this planet, and how various levels of consciousness have their positive role and have their shadow side (i.e., pathologies). I won't go into the details of spiral dynamics theory, but to say, we've had in the last 500 years in the west an "Orange Revolution" (industrial, economic capitalism thriving, individualism, a business model of how to do everything valuable)-- etc. And we've learned that that Orange v-meme system is powerful but really has big flaws, of which the next step in evolution occurred to bring forward the Green v-meme... and the short of the story  is that Green is not the top of evolution (maturity). Green meme of course cannot see that. It thinks it is morally superior, and will solve all the problems that were created by Orange meme (not to forget to mention the other four v-memes prior to Orange and modernity).

Yellow v-meme is the corrective, and non-fear-based system that is next to evolve, if Green v-meme will let it. Long story. I have continually found the oppressive side of Green Revolution to exclude and devalue the Yellow (R)Evolution that is required-- the example I can best give of what a Yellow (R)Evolution would look like in the domain of religion and spirituality, is a long talk recently by Ken WIlber "Introduction to Integral Spirituality" 

Even if you have no background in integral theory or spiral dynamics, you'll get the idea from Wilber's talk of just how different an integral level of consciousness and action is from a green (pluralistic) level. Wilber describes it really carefully, but due to his severe illness and weakening of his capacities, you'll notice in the video how he is reading a rigid script which really kills his spontaneous human and brilliance, as I used to so love in his talks. Yet, this is a talk not about him, not about silly surface features of his body or personality, it is about a deeply moving wisdom that I frankly find no where else, from no one else, to be as resonant with my own sense of reality and how we need a new analysis (beyond Green Revolution).

I am blogging today because of Barbara Bickel, my life-partner, and one of the CSIIE faculty, sending me a short letter on her experience of so many youth disenfranchised and disheartened who are sleeping on the streets in Vancouver, BC right now, as she visits there. I have lived there, and I saw it too, and it is growing. She says there is lots of street literature emerging in those communities, that is about "youth revolution"--they have really dropped out like in the 60s and 70s-- they don't see any point in joining and fitting into a predatory capitalist system that will only put them in debt hundreds of thousands of dollars (e.g., to get a post-secondary education, to find housing), etc. I don't blame them for rebelling and wanting a youth revolution. My point of writing today, is to announce I will gladly help lead and guide such a revolution if it is based on Yellow (R)Evolution. Count me in. I don't need to be top-dog, I have lots of wisdom to share, and I will listen to all kinds of other wisdoms (from other v-memes on the full-spectrum)--however, I have a definite strong stance, and I have seen enough failures of Green Revolution and Orange Revolution for a life time. I am full of energy to help but in a more constructive way--a more holisitic-integral way than Green can provide alone.