INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber



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Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion, SUNY 2003Frank Visser, a psychologist of religion, founded IntegralWorld.net in 1997 (back then under the name of “The World of Ken Wilber”). He worked as production manager for various publishing houses and as service manager for various internet companies and lives in Amsterdam. He is the author of the first monograph on Ken Wilber and his work: “Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion” (SUNY Press, 2003), which has been translated into 7 languages, and of many essays on this website.
SEE MORE ESSAYS WRITTEN BY FRANK VISSER


Reflections on "The Religion of Tomorrow", Part III

A more adequate
spectrum of colors?

A Comparison of Color Terminology in Integral Theory, Spiral Dynamics and Chakra-Psychology

Frank Visser

The primary colors Yellow and Blue are absent, and Reddish colors are way too prominent, in Ken Wilber's new color scheme.

In Integral Psychology (2000) Ken Wilber introduced the color-scheme of Spiral Dynamics (SD) to his readers, shortly after having discovered it as a practical and appealing developmental model. It provided him a neutral terminology to refer to complex developmental stage descriptions such as "concrete-operational" or "post-postformal thought". Spiral Dynamics grew out of the work of Clare Graves, a contemporary of Abraham Maslow, who devised a developmental model of values and worldviews, closely matching the more well-known Maslovian, but stressing our value-needs and expressions. In Maslow's model of self-actualization, the stages could be grouped into two sub-divisions. The first four (physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs and esteem needs) were called "deficiency" or "D-needs". The last one (self-actualization needs) were called "growth or being" or "B-needs".[1] This division between groups of stages was reflected in Grave's model as the first six so-called "First-Tier" stages, to be followed by two so-called "Second-Tier" stages. Crossing this divide was presented in a magazine article as "a momentuous leap."[2]

The model was taken up and expanded by Don Beck and the late Chris Cowan in Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change (1996). Most important, they replaced Graves' abstract stage descriptions (such as G-T or F-S) with easy to remember colors (see ), using insights from color psychology.[3]:

  1. BEIGE — savannah grasslands where early hominids lived
  2. PURPLE — a color of royalty and chiefs
  3. RED — hot emotion and bloody excitement
  4. BLUE — heavens above, blue-bloods, and “true blue” loyalty
  5. ORANGE — the color of industrial age furnaces at work
  6. GREEN — eco-consciousness and naturalistic approaches
  7. YELLOW — solar energy and post-industrial new technologies
  8. TURQUOISE — the color of earth seen from a meta-level (like the moon) — a holistic living system

An important clarification is given on Cowan's spiraldynamics.org:

"While there was a loose metaphor behind the colors to make them memorable, Cowan didn't intend any metaphysical significance or derive the colors from chakras or any other system. The ordering was deliberately pickedto differ from the visible light spectrum, though we've received complaints now and then from literal-minded folks asking if we can recognize a rainbow when we see one. The express-the-self systems (odd numbers) got warm colors—beige, red, orange, yellow, coral, etc. The sacrifice/deny-the-self systems were all assigned cool colors—purple, blue, green turquoise, etc." (emphasis added) [4]

Don Beck and Wilber met around 2000 and started a collaboration, which resulted in "Spiral Dynamics Integral" or SDi. Through Wilber's books the concepts behind Spiral Dynamic could reach a wider public. The system became wildly popular among integral students, and color-talk would become the lingua franca of the integral community for many years to come. Concepts like BLUE or ORANGE or GREEN as short-hand for the premodern, modern and postmodern segments of society, and YELLOW for the upcoming Integral culture, spread quickly, causing those not in the know to wonder what secret society the Integral Institute had become.

Ken Wilber, The Religion of Tomorrow
Hardcover, Shambhala, 2017, 806 pages.

Both Wilber and Beck agreed that crossing the divide from First to Second Tier (i.e. to the YELLOW stage) would make a huge difference for society. They shared strong opinions on the "Mean Green Meme", which supposedly prevented this emergence of the first of the integral stages because of its pervasive relativism. Cowan, however, resisted strongly the Wilberian re-interpretation of SD-concepts; where Beck saw opportunities for embedding the SD-model in the larger developmental framework of Integral Theory. After a few years, however, Beck and Wilber split over some conceptual disagreements (or other non-transparent reasons).

In Integral Spirituality (2006) Wilber presented a "reformed" SD-model. He had dropped half of the SD-colors from his scheme and had introduced some new ones—without much justification or explanation. For example, BLUE was out, as was YELLOW, which were replaced by AMBER and TEAL. If you hear a lot these days about "Teal organizations", this is where that expression comes from.[5] This effectively created two different color-dialects, and quite some confusion, among color-coding enthusiasts, who no longer spoke the same language. To my knowledge, not many studies have been written about this revision of Spiral Dynamics by Wilber—from either side of the fence.

SPIRAL DYNAMICS Recolored

In his latest book The Religion of Tomorrow (2017), Wilber gives at least a partial explanation for why he changed (some of) the colors in the color-scheme of Spiral Dynamics. He writes:

As more and more research is done into "energy medicine" and "subtle energies," machines evoking various levels will be based, in some cases, on directly eliciting a particular level of consciousness by resonating with a particular color; it's therefore very important that these colors are in the correct order if we are to elicit the levels we actually want. Spiral Dynamics also uses colors for its 6-to-8 basic levels in the values line, but its color assignments are totally off according to the tantric traditions...
With Integral Spirituality, The Integral Vision, the eBook The Fourth Turning, and so on, I explicitly introduced a more adequate spectrum of colors that match a real rainbow—and thus, according to Tantra, more accurately match the actual energies at these various levels of development. (p. 692)

This argument requires some investigation into the why and how of colors within the Spiral Dynamics framework. It also warrants a close comparison of Wilber's new colors and those in use in yogic and tantric chakra-psychology texts. My purpose is not to argue for either one of these systems, but only to see if Wilber's claim to have "a more adequate spectrum of colors that match the real rainbow" is justified. Of course, the adequacy of the model itself is a different question.

Using insights from color-psychology is very effective when introducing the model to newcomers. Wilber's new colors don't have that initial intuitive appeal. Claiming that one should use the spectral colors because they supposedly match subtle energies or frequencies in nature is a more indirect claim. Be that as it may, we should first assess if Wilber's new colors closely match those of yoga and tantra. But lets first have a close look at how Wilber has amended the standard SD-colors—and why.

I have therefore put together a comparative table below, with colors added within the table cells to make the differences more graphic:

Table 1.
A Comparison of color terminology in Integral Theory and Spiral Dynamics.
INTEGRAL THEORYSPIRAL DYNAMICS
" T H I R D   T I E R"" S E C O N D   T I E R "
WHITE: Supermind ???
ULTRAVIOLET: OvermindAUBERGINE
VIOLET: Meta-mind TEAL
INDIGO: Para-mind CORAL
" S E C O N D   T I E R "
TURQUOISE
Integral
TURQUOISE, GlobalView
Holistic/Experiential
TEAL
Holistic
YELLOW, FlexFlow
Systemic/Integrative
" F I R S T   T I E R "
GREEN,
Pluralistic
GREEN, HumanBond
Relativistic/Sociocentric
ORANGE
Rational
ORANGE, StriveDrive
Materialistic/Achiever
AMBER
Mythic
BLUE, TruthForce
Absolutistic/Saintly
RED
Magic-Mythic
RED, PowerGods
Egocentric/Exploitative
MAGENTA
Magic
PURPLE, KinSpirits
Animistic/Tribalistic
INFRARED/CRIMSON
Archaic
BEIGE, SurvivalSense
Automatic/Instinctive

Comparing the two columns of this table, one can now clearly see what changes Wilber has made in the original SD-model:

  1. BEIGE is replaced by INFRARED
  2. PURPLE is replaced by MAGENTA
  3. BLUE is replaced by AMBER
  4. YELLOW is replaced by TEAL
  5. “Third Tier” colors have been added

Only RED, ORANGE, GREEN and TURQUOISE have been retained in Wilber's model.

Contrary to the SD-model, Wilber's model explicitly recognizes a Third Tier, which demarcates the transition from personal to transpersonal, "super-integral" or spiritual levels—again, not just a regular stage transition, but one of larger importance. Another "leap", even more momentuous than the one from First to Second Tier. Though Graves apparently did speak of a possible Third Tier, he expected YELLOW and TURQUOISE first to be followed by four Second Tier colors, the first three of which were tentatively labeled CORAL, TEAL and AUBERGINE.[4] Thus, the six Second Tier stages would match the six First Tier stages, as some kind of higher "primes" (with Third Tier giving "double primes")—resulting in a rather kabbalistic scheme.

Wilber, however, thought it appropriate to have Third Tier start earlier then Graves imagined:

I found that several characteristics that could be considered a new tier (that is, 3rd tier) started much earlier; no need to wait another 4 stages to get to Graves's 3rd tier. (p. 346)

The Third Tier interpretation of Wilber has been opposed by both Beck and Cowan as non-Gravesian. However, Cowan stated on his website about the existence of a possible Third Tier (which would again consist of six stages, according to Graves): "That such levels would come to be was pure conjecture on Dr. Graves' part as he projected what might be if human nature continued on track."[7] Wilber, at least, seems to have found a meaningful and empirically based re-use of this Third Tier concept, given his life-long study of the transpersonal stages of development and methods of personal transformation.

What might surprise many integral students is that for Wilber the TEAL and TURQUOISE stages are not spiritual in any sense. Using his terminology, they represent the low and high versions of "vision-logic", a form of cognition representative of the mind-body integration of the so-called centaur-stage. The "super-integral" stages of Third Tier are decidedly spiritual in nature.

Wilber provides some (unsubstantiated) data about the prevalence of these Second and Third Tier stages:

It's very rare for individuals to develop into 2nd-tier Integral, let alone 3rd-tier Super-Integral structure-rungs of development. As a matter of fact, research based on Claire [sic] Graves's work suggests that about 5 percent of individuals are at 2nd tier at this time, and those at the upper level of the 2nd-tier stage (high vision-logic, late centaur, Fulcrum-8) are not much more than 0.5 percent, which means, one in every two hundred people. The number at 3rd tier is a tenth of that, if that high. Consequently, when researchers investigate the average population, very few of which are long-time meditators, they will find very few people who have developed into 2nd tier, let alone 3rd-tier, transpersonal, Super-Integral, or spiritual structure-levels of development. (p. 181-2)

More specifically commenting on the classical SD-color scheme, Wilber elaborates on the misplacement (rainbow-wise) of YELLOW and VIOLET—and adds that this misplacement is not without consequences.

(Nepal, 17th Century)
Chakra painting (Nepal, 17th Century)
As one way (and only one way) to refer to degrees of altitude (or "levels" of altitude), Integral Metatheory followed the ancient practice (found in, for example, Yoga psychology) of giving each major degree or level a rainbow "color"—running, for example, from infrared to magenta to red to amber to orange to green to teal to turquoise to indigo to violet to ultraviolet to white (with subdivisions more than possible). The order of colors is important for the traditional psychologies, because each level is said to correspond to a subtle energy, which can also be found in nature, such as in a rainbow, so the order of the colors of levels of altitude, unlike those used by Spiral Dynamics, should match the order found in a rainbow. This is important because biomachines activating a given level would need to match the real color found at that level. Thus, as only one example, all of the traditions put "violet" or "purple" toward the very highest of levels, whereas Spiral Dynamics puts it at one of the lowest, and this would backfire badly when any actual energies were used. (p. 349)

If this is indeed the case, it highlights the importance of meticulously sticking to the color sequence found in nature. A better color sequence, Wilber feels, would be one in which we go from "raw" and "rough" energies to more "rarefied" and "refined" energies:

The actual order of the colors of the developmental spectrum turn out to be important, for reasons given by the traditions themselves — each chakra, for example, has a color, and these colors occur, from lowest to highest, in the same order as in a natural rainbow, because the actual energies of the chakras are said to be manifestations of the same Kosmic energies producing rainbows — reflecting the "unified" nature of the Kosmos itself. So there is a reason that the chakras run from "infrared" (or more accurately, "crimson") and "red" at the low end, which are low frequencies of raw, "violent" color associated with anger, hatred, and so forth, to green smooth colors in the middle, representing more advanced/evolved levels, or bands, of both colors and consciousness, to blue and indigo at the highest end, with their smooth, soothing, peaceful tones. (p. 691-2)

Wilber's new color scheme seems to conform to that rule: we go from warm, reddish colors (actually many hues, more on that later) to the more cool, bluish colors, culminating into ultraviolet and white. Note how Wilber appeals to popular notions about color psychology here. An interesting difference is that in classical SD warm and cool colors alternate (which effectively forms the Spiral). Wilber has completely stripped this spiraling motive from his color scheme. (Again, that the stages should show a spiraling sequence between warm and cool colors, or from I-stages to We-stages, is an empirical question we won't go into now).

The Yoga/Tantra color scheme

So let's turn to the color scheme of yogic and tantric psychology, to see if Wilber's new model fares better then classical Spiral Dynamics. A search on the internet for "chakra-psychology" brings tons of images detailing the chakras and their supposed corresponding colors. As far as I can tell, they all confirm to the following arrangement:

As always, a wealth of historical information is also give on the Wikipedia page on Chakra.[7] The chakra-concept can be found in Eastern traditions (Hindu Tantra, Vajrayana Buddhism, Bon, Qhigong and Indonesian and Malaysian metaphysics) as well as Western schools (Western adaptations of Hindu traditions, Eastern Orthodox tradition of Hesychasm, New age and esoteric groups).

For ease of comparison, let's put the color spectrum next to it, to see if, indeed, rainbow colors have been assigned to chakras here, in the very same order. The spectrum ranges from lower frequencies (Red) or long wavelengths to high frequencies (Violet) or short wavelengths, and the seven spectral colors match the seven chakras one by one. This makes intuitive sense, if the symbolism (or energy behind it?) represents a refinement process ascending from matter to Spirit.

The light spectrum

Prisma colors

Another Wiki page on the chakras provides us with historical background about the chakras, and how they came to us in the West—and tells us that most contemporary Eastern teachers are using the Western interpretations of ancient texts[8]:

It is the shakta theory of 7 main chakras that most people in the West adhere to, either knowingly or unknowingly, largely thanks to a translation of two Indian texts, the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana, and the Padaka-Pancaka, by Sir John Woodroffe, alias Arthur Avalon, in a book entitled The Serpent Power.

This book is extremely detailed and complex, and later the ideas were developed into what is predominant western view of the Chakras by the Theosophists, and largely the controversial (in theosophical circles) C. W. Leadbeater in his book The Chakras, which are in large part his own meditations and insights on the matter.

That said, many present-day Indian gurus that incorporate chakras within their systems of philosophy do not seem to radically disagree with the western view of chakras, at least on the key points, and both these eastern and western views have developed from the Shakta Tantra school.

The website repeats Wilber's arguments about having the colors right, or you would otherwise risk energetic consequences:

It is claimed to be very important to know the right color tone for a specific area because the wrong hue of color can allegedly do different things to the energetic system. Yet different systems differ in the colors they ascribe. The colors above simply represent, in order, the colors of the rainbow. In other words, all monochromatic colors. (emphasis added)

Wilber's Stage-Chakra Correspondences

Wilber provides stage-chakra correspondences in The Religion of Tomorrowin Chapters 9, 10 and 11, where he discusses the "dysfunctions" of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier developmental stages. The stage-chakra correlations are briefly mentioned at the start of each paragraph discussing the separate stages.

Infrared Archaic: "So the self starts out identified with chakra-rung 1 and its alimentary drives..." (p. 282)
Magenta Magic: "This brings us to chakra-rung 2 (the pranic, magenta, bioenergy, emotional-sexual level..." (p. 289)
Red Magic-Mythic: "Similar dynamics, if not as strongly driven, are nonetheless still at play with chakra-rung 3..." (p. 297)
Amber Mythic: "At the next major structure-stage, we find dysfunctions occurring with chakra-rung 4..." (p. 299)
Orange Rational: no chakra mentioned here, but under Green Pluralistic Orange is assigned to chakra 5
Green Pluralistic: "...the next major structure (green, chakra 5, Fulcrum 6 [sharing throat chakra 5 with orange Fulcrum-5 since both are self-expressive], pluralistic mind), ..." (p. 321)
Teal Holistic and Turquoise Integral: "...low and high vision logic (teal and turquoise, 2nd tier structures, both chakra 6—the "third eye" or synthesizing chakra..." (p. 332)
Super-Integral: no chakra mentioned, only in passing in endnote 3, Chapter 9: "... enters the higher and highest levels of 3rd tier and Super-Integral (chakra 7), as love takes on universal/Kosmic and eventually infinite dimensions." (p. 704)

When we now add the traditional chakra-colors, based on the research on color terminology we have done above, this results in the following table of correspondences—or should we see "non-correspondences"?:

Table 2.
A Comparison of color terminology in Integral Theory and chakra-psychology.
INTEGRAL THEORYCHAKRA-PSYCHOLOGY
" T H I R D   T I E R " - Super Integral
WHITE: Supermind Chakra 7: VIOLET
CROWN
ULTRAVIOLET: Overmind
VIOLET: Meta-mind
INDIGO: Para-mind
" S E C O N D   T I E R "
TURQUOISE
Integral
Chakra 6: INDIGO
THIRD EYE
TEAL
Holistic
" F I R S T   T I E R "
GREEN,
Pluralistic
Chakra 5: BLUE
THROAT
ORANGE
Rational
AMBER
Mythic
Chakra 4: GREEN
HEART
RED
Magic-Mythic
Chakra 3: YELLOW
SOLAR PLEXUS
MAGENTA
Magic
Chakra 2: ORANGE
SACRAL
INFRARED/CRIMSON
Archaic
Chakra 1: RED
ROOT

The obvious color mismatch between these two systems is painful to the eyes. Only the root-, the sacral and the crown-chakras seem to match Wilber's choice of colors; the rest is completely out of synch.

One wonders why Wilber would claim that his color-scheme exactly matches the color spectrum of the rainbow. While it does better than the SD-model in this respect (but as said, it was never the intention of the founders of Spiral Dynamic to give the colors "any metaphysical significance or derive the colors from chakras or any other system"), there seem to be serious mismatches here.

  1. YELLOW is missing from Wilber's scheme
  2. BLUE is missing from Wilber's scheme
  3. Therefore, the First Tier levels are dominated by RED/ORANGE
  4. TEAL/TURQUOISE do not match with INDIGO
  5. GREEN is out of synch with the Green chakra.

It is quite remarkable, for starters, that, except for GREEN, almost all Wilberian First Tier stages are assigned to RED or Reddish colors—from deep-crimson red to various shades of orange. Weren't they "low frequencies of raw, 'violent' color associated with anger, hatred, and so forth"? What if Integral Institute were to release "bio-machines" based on his understanding of the chakra-colors, say, to stimulate the Heart chakra, wouldn't that "backfire badly when any actual energies were used"?

And what on earth has happened to BLUE (throat chakra) and YELLOW (solar plexus), two important traditional colors, which are not only spectral colors but primary colors at that. If I were to design a color scheme that closely matches the traditional colors, I would definitely ensure these are included. Also because, as every painter knows, you can't make either green or orange without yellow on your color palette.

Another way to put this is: in the yoga/tantra chakra-color model, all three primary colors (RED, YELLOW and BLUE) and their secondary colors (ORANGE and GREEN) make up the human personality. Higher qualities are expressed by non-primary (or even secondary) colors INDIGO and VIOLET. This seems quite balanced and in accordance with the light spectrum. Wilber's model, in contrast to this, paints the human personality with one primary color (RED) and two secondary colors (ORANGE, derived from YELLOW/RED and GREEN, derived from YELLOW/BLUE). As said, the primary colors of BLUE and YELLOW are completely missing. Higher qualities are now expressed by TEAL and TURQUOISE (an echo of Spiral Dynamics, but somewhat at odds with the light spectrum, both making up for the absence of BLUE), followed by the super-integral colors INDIGO and VIOLET. The overal reddish-coloring of the human personality is deeply problematic in this new presentation, not only in terms of color theory but also according to the yoga/tantra list of colors.

If accurate and realistic color-matching is so important, and Wilber stresses the point several times in The Religion of Tomorrow, this mismatch needs to be accounted for. The newly introduced TEAL color in no way matches the INDIGO color assigned in yoga psychology to the Third Eye chakra. This would be fatal for any model that places high value on a close correspondence between chosen colors and "natural" colors, especially for the much expected TEAL structure! Only the colors at the extreme ends of the spectrum seem to have some resemblance.

SHOWING YOUR TRUE COLORS

One could of course pragmatically (or desperately?) hold on to Wilber's colors even though they contradict the yoga color schemes, but something doesn't add up here. There simply are no other sources for these chakra-colors then the ones we have pointed to—and they don't support Wilber's choices, even if he claims they do. And it's not a simple matter of "all models are wrong" (or "right") in my opinion. Models can be more and less informative, depending on the context in which they are used. The context at hand is human psycho-spiritual development. In that sense, the original SD-colors seem superior, because of their direct psychological appeal. Wilber justifies his choice of colors indirectly (erroneously, as we have seen) through an esoteric tantric theory about rainbow colors and chakras.

Wilber can carelessly write things like:

Spiral Dynamics has yellow as one of its two highest levels, whereas the traditions put it toward the lower end of the spectrum, in the red/orange range. (p. 692)

But for Shiva's sake, the traditional schemes do have a unique place for YELLOW, and it's definitely not "in the red/orange range"—although that may be true for Wilber's reddish bottom half of the palette, where he seems to have run out of yellow and blue paint. No, YELLOW is traditionally seen as to correspond to the solar plexus or third chakra.

Casually as ever, Wilber writes in conclusion:

When I first started using Spiral Dynamics as an easy introduction to the levels in one particular line (the values line), the comment I got most often was "Yeah, but they got the colors wrong," and I'd always say, "Yes, but that can be easily addressed." (p. 692)

Wilber claims he has always been on the chakra-trail ever since his first book—at least implicitly—but why is the alignment so hopelessly wrong, even after four decades?

Turned out to be not so easy to address, so I had to make explicit a color spectrum that is more accurate, according to the traditions (a color spectrum that was implicit in my work going back all the way to my first book, because I would always draw parallels with the chakra yoga system—and implicitly, its colors) (p. 692)

But calling classical Spiral Dynamics "an inadequate scheme" seems misplaced, given the incoherence of his current color-system:

I regret not addressing this colors problem from the moment I started using Spiral Dynamics as an example of my work on levels and lines—it has contributed to an inadequate scheme becoming fairly widely dispersed; but, I suppose, better late than never to correct it. I'll be using the more adequate color scheme in this presentation. (p. 692)

"Addressing" the classical SD model while ignoring the meaning of the various colors, and the reasons why they have been chosen, comes across as vandalism—and I understand the strongly negative reactions of the founders of Spiral Dynamics to these efforts. It says much about the other-worldly stance of Wilber that the main reason for his color changes that Wilber mentions, is that their possible use in "biomachines" (e.g. electronic meditation devices) might cause unforeseen effects. Compare this to Spiral Dynamics, which has put much efforts in trying to make a difference in the real world, especially in conflict areas such as South-Africa and the Middle-East. The standard SD colors apparently never posed a problem.

But presenting a revised scheme, claiming—without any references to tantric sources, ancient or modern—"I explicitly introduced a more adequate spectrum of colors that match a real rainbow—and thus, according to Tantra, more accurately match the actual energies at these various levels of development", is asking too much of my imagination. Wilber's revised color scheme may perhaps not be "totally off according to the tantric traditions", but it seems to be an awkward hybrid between the original Spiral Dynamics model and the rainbow/chakra color spectrum. Wilber's new color scheme lacks the expressiveness of the Spiral Dynamics colors and the natural accuracy of the rainbow coclors.

Given his claims to accuracy, this is an area that seriously needs to be looked into:

  • Wilber's new color scheme shows a (kind of) rainbow pattern, as it ranges from red to blue/violet hues.
  • However, it doesn't match the color scheme of yoga/tantra tradition at the chakra level, many colors are way off.
  • Therefore, if colors should be very stage-specific (for energetic reasons), the new model breaks down.
  • It would would only work in a very general sense, since the colors range from warm-red to cool-blue: energizing => soothing => inspiring.
  • Compared to SD and the yoga/tantra model the colors of Wilber's model are less distinct and informative, especially in the personal stages.
  • The primary colors Yellow and Blue are absent, and Reddish colors are way too prominent, in Ken Wilber's new color scheme.
  • The disproportional preponderance of reddish colors in this lower part (covering 4½ chakras!) is a point of concern, both from the standpoint of color psychology and from the perspective of esoteric tantric subtle energy doctrines.

As it stands now, Wilber's new color scheme is neither evocative nor accurate.

NOTES

[1] "Maslows Hierarchy of Needs", www.wikipedia.org

[2] C.W. Graves, "Humanity prepares for a momentous leap", The Futurist, 1974, pp. 72-87.

[3] A historical overview of this period can be found in Albion M. Butters's essay "A brief history of Spiral Dynamics" on this website.

[4] "FAQ Colors and Terminology", spiraldynamics.org.

[5] "Teal Organizations", www.reinventingorganizationswiki.com

[6] "Levels of Existence", spiraldynamics.org

[7] "Chakra", www.wikipedia.com

[8] "Chakra", psychology.wikia.com.

MORE ON THE CHAKRAS

See also: M.Alan Kazlev, "The Rainbow Theory of Chakras", www.kheper.net, which traces many of these contemporary chakra-color theories to the work of English-born Christopher Hills, a spiritual philosopher and researcher, "co-discoverer of the protein-rich plankton spirulina" (L.A. Times) and author of Nuclear Evolution (1970). (Thanks to Oliver Griebel and Silvio Wirth for pointing me to this page).

"Although the psychological aspects of this theory did not catch on, the idea of matching the seven chakras with the seven colours of the spectrum was so appealing that just about every book on the chakras written since then show the chakras in rainbow colours." (kepher.net)

Another great read: "The 6 Most Important Things You Never Knew About Chakras", www.thewayofmeditation.com.au.

“So, we’ve barely scratched the surface of this subject. No, I’m not kidding. It’s really complex, as you can gather by taking a look at the scholarly literature, like Dory Heilijgers-Seelen’s work, or Gudrun Bühnemann‘s. It takes uncommon patience and focus to even read such work, let alone produce it. So here’s what I hope will be the result of this post: some humility. A few less claims to authority when it comes to really esoteric subjects. Maybe a few less yoga teachers trying to tell their students what the chakras are all about. Heck, I’m humbled by the complexity of the original sources, and that’s with twelve years of Sanskrit under my belt.” (Chad Foreman)



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