Differentiations in P2P Psychology: the legacy of Clare W. Graves

One of the aims of P2P Theory, is not just to study social change and to understand the current transformation of our civilisation, but to have an understanding of the psychological underpinnings of this transformation. This project is beyond my own individual ability, but nevertheless, I am and will be collating material on this. My main argument is that our technologies reflect changes in our psyche (at least of a portion of us), and that once implemented, they create a feedback loop that transforms even more of us.
Some preliminary material is the following. Please read the quotes in this entry on equipotentiality, which takes the position that we are differentiated human beings, singularities, with different abilities at different levels of development, psychic microchunks as it were, which can usefully find a place, through self-selection and communcal validation, in common P2P projects, as I argued in my editorial on the Great Cosmic Mash-Up. I’ve tried to summarise the psychological shifts in our culture, from atomistic individualism to a relational understanding, in my own manuscript.
This is powerfully formulated by Jorge Ferrer:

Equals in the sense of their being both superior and inferior to themselves in varying skills and areas of endeavor (intellectually, emotionally, artistically, mechanically, interpersonally, and so forth), but with none of those skills being absolutely higher or better than others. It is important to experience human equality from this perspective to avoid trivializing our encounter with others as being merely equal.”

Recently I received an email from Chris Cowan, who operates the websites on Spiral Dynamics, originally authored by Clare W. Graves .

He wrote that:

“that an understanding of the variability within both “p”s helps the “2” align and work better, and that the Gravesian approach can assist with that tailoring and matching.”

I’ve been very critical of Spiral Dynamics before, but this has been a function of the distorsions and simplifications of the theory by what I consider to be an authoritarian cult around Ken Wilber and Don Beck, where the SD colour codes are mostly used to discredit any open dialogue about ideas, as a means to hammer people into critical silence. See also my article here.

So for a good understanding of Gravesian theory, we should go back to the source, and several books are now out. I also recommend listening to Graves own voice, in this quite impressive MP3 lecture.

Another author we recommend is Jean Gebser, and his theory of aperspectivism, which can form the basis of a peer to peer epistemology. His book on this, the Ever-present Origin, is one of the classics to read.

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