Spiral (4)

I had some feedback about my recent spiral blogs… We thought you were losing touch with reality… going mad.

Well, I don’t feel crazy; indeed, for whatever reason I have lately felt quite grounded.

Sure, reflecting on an obscure theory of everything is a little odd.

Nevertheless, I plan to keep on until it is done!

I have covered the first tier of the spiral.

That was level one.

The basic unit of organisation.

The family.

The essence of survival.

It was particularly fascinating for me as, the other week I was in Israel on holiday; I toured the North with my son, passing through not so much phases of the spiral but different cultural and developmental states –

Here are a few;

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Bahai Gardens, Haifa

We met Palestinians, Israelis, Druze, Bahai’s, Arab Israelis, Russians, Americans, Kibbutzniks and fellow holiday makers, we saw ancient monuments – in Nazareth, for example, where Mary is said to have met Angel Gabriel, up mountain tops into disputed international territories on the border or Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

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The colours of the spiral developed during Beck’s work in South Africa with De Klerk and Mandela through the dying away of Apartheid. The Rainbow Nation that evolved was a place where colours, races and identities were put to one side in favour of rebuilding a nation based on principles of equity and equality.

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Hermon heights

I don’t want to get bogged down in politics – that is perhaps something that can be discussed and analysed when we have covered all the different tiers, for now, let’s get back to business; tier 2.

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Nazareth

After the family, what is there?

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Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth

How do we organise once mum and dad, brother and sister are in a stable state of being? Once there is a semi-permanent shelter and adequate food to sustain?

From here we move to tribe; clan. Second then third-degree relatives. Everyone knows everyone else; business is a collective affair and every effort is invested in maintaining the integrity of the group. Finding yourself an outcast is a death sentence.

In the Hebrew days of tribe, breaking a law resulted not necessarily in physical punishment but a collective turning away of the group; you would become invisible, ostracised, ignored, your past and present wiped-out. This to many is a fate worse than death – deletion.

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The clan is held-together by ties of blood and rituals, rites of passage, dress, language, culture and song.

This is Maslow’s second level, where I can sleep through the night because someone else will be looking-out; I can hunt, study and spend time developing my skills as every moment is not caught-up with survival.

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The success of the group is dependent upon everyone following the same lead, adopting the same customs, beliefs, thoughts. Attempts to disrupt the clan are perceived as an existential threat.

This level has the colour purple, which as with beige and all the rest is arbitrary. It just is a nice colour. (Supposedly, a warm colour as it is looking outwards to the group, at us, rather than the more inward beige of individual or personal survival.)

What does this tier mean? What is its significance or relevance to us, today, living our complex lives?

Well, here is a thought.

We are all still often stuck in tribe-mode.

Us versus Them.

I remember when I worked in Doncaster, being part of that tribe, and with my shift to Rotherham and my change of position, the altered relationships the change of status;

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Although I was oblivious, my tribe was Doncaster then it became Rotherham, I was at first confused. I felt I was acting in the best interests of my patients, many of whom do not identify with the Doncaster, Sheffield or Rotherham tribe – if anything, logistically they might say they are from South Yorkshire, but that was not how the tribe (hospital trust) behaved.

It became us versus them; a competition for resources, doctors, nurses, pathways and investment.

Is it not fascinating how such complex systems – where surgeons, psychiatrists and scientists dissect the innermost essences of molecular biology, technology and emotion, accountants and managers analyse spreadsheets and tend unbalanceable books that there is a reversion to this primitive state?

How sophisticated do you need to become in order that the possibility of reversion is gone? Perhaps never. Always a good lesson when we are getting ahead of ourselves, in a position to look-down on others for their manners, behaviours, prejudices or beliefs.

The value of the perception of this stage in the evolution of society?

The value is in the awareness.

The best way to avoid a trap is to be aware; sure, this doesn’t mean that you can be safe in every situation, it just adds to the likelihood of early recognition.

A question we should perhaps consider whenever we perceive them and us – when our defences or hackles are raised – Is there really something to fear or is it just fear that is perpetuating the situation?

And once we gain recognition of the tribal lapse, it is perhaps only then that we can work better together in collaboration, in harmony.

2 comments

  1. Very powerful, clear and logical. Interesting examples well-explained from our lives.Great photographs/illustrations. The valley from Mt Hermon so embodies the family then tribe developing settlement, with the much used pathways following the hill contours. ( plus added be-sandalled toes).
    A so accessible tour de force.

    Liked by 1 person

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