5 LEVELS OF CULTURE

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-1 EMPIRE

Marks the emergence of a sense of self (ego) trying to distinguish itself from the tribe, and acts impulsively on behalf of its favored group. These individuals see themselves as the center of the world (egocentric). These individuals seek to express and fulfill their wants and desires immediately. They seek instant gratification. These individuals don't plan for the future but act impulsively. When they don't get what they want, they use violence. You can observe this behavior among 3-year-olds. Without the fundamental pillars of Maslows Hierarchies of needs and proper guidance from supportive parents, these children will become grown-ups with the same desires a 3-year-old, using the same methods, violence, to get their will. They will find themselves in groups together with other adults having similar experiences. To avoid threats, and violence and survive, these individuals exert their power to seek to align with powerful leaders. The motto is: "Survival of the fittest," creating dominant hierarchies based on shame, and fear, lacking empathy.  


When given tools and resources, these individuals can do great harm. Harassments, threats, physical violence, intimidation, humiliation, public humiliation, and dominating others are how these individuals get things done. 

1. The ethnocentric state: (pre-rational)
Powerful God rules directly on the earthy affairs of men and women. Instead of being united only by blood, individuals operating within this state of awareness can unite under the same power and god and be connected like brothers and sisters. Religion ended some of the unpredictable spontaneous brutality and shaped a framework in which brutality could be manifested in the name of God, making murder holy. Common people could live peacefully together under rules that maintain the established way of living promoting stability.

 

However, each individual must sacrifice to God and the community/country, giving order and meaning to life. Our sacrifices and suffering ennoble us. Order and goodness depend on strict rules and laws, sacrifices, obedience, and providing sons as soldiers to maintain order. Everyone that works hard, obeys rules, and fulfills social duties is honorable; these people are heroes. Rules give life a clear, absolute meaning, direction, and purpose. There are higher principles that must be followed. Everyone has their proper place in society, held together by laws and religious commandments. This state emphasizes order, consistency, and convention, being conservative and holding on to traditions. The structure is patriarchal, and men and women are given societal roles based on gender that must be obeyed. The authority shows the true path of righteous living, which maintains separation and polarization between men and women, the good and the bad, right and wrong, a sinner or a saint in a black-and-white perspective.

Shame, blame, guilt, and fear controls impulsivity through disciplined allegiance to traditions, rules, and laws. Sacrifices and stability today guarantee rewards in the future. Glorious heaven awaits those who diligently follow the rules of the one true way. The imagination of one power God creates a dominant hierarchy like the one from the previous level of awareness. Still, it is manifested a bit more sophisticated and civilized manner, moving away from violence and using shame, blame, guilt, and fear. 

An upgraded version of religion is ideology, but the dominant hierarchies are the same. Ideologies have leaders seen as power gods by themselves and others. A rigid take on ideology will regress into harassment, humiliation, cancellation, and violence, which are the worst ingredients for any group, may it be a family, community, company, or nation.

Whenever there is a paradigm shift in human evolution, meaning awareness wants to expand, the ones in power regress and demonstrate behaviors from the previous level of worldview awareness. Every time in history, the ones in power have been under the misconception that they represent the highest level of awareness. People in power constantly fail to understand that human potential is infinite and fail to empower awareness to develop and grow freely. Of course, with a noble intention, "I know what's best for you." Still, with a high level of ignorance, they are hindering people from growing, often with the not-so-noble-subconscious fear of being left behind and abandoned, trying to slow the inevitable change already happening.

 

However, hindering awareness from expanding WILL NEVER WORK. 

2. The great enlightenment: (rational)
Everything that goes up must come down, and the force behind that is gravity. We entered the Newtonian world, where studies followed gravity in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, astrology, psychology, and more. Many human and earthly matters suddenly became understandable and controllable phenomena of the human experience. The source of the magical, mystical, and miraculous in life was found in studies, science, intellectual and theoretical knowledge. The rational worldview of modernity cuts across group loyalties and applies universal systems and principles to all humans- the first genuinely world-centric view. The ideals were equality, justice, liberation, empowerment, striving for progress, success, independence, worthy achievements, status, and affluence. The future is not predetermined or locked into place by norms and traditions. You can create a new tomorrow through goals-oriented actions taken today. These individuals play to win in a competitive marketplace of ideas and opportunities. Winning occurs through strategy, planning, and testing for the best solutions. You control your destiny through your cognitive intelligence and different skills that can be trained. The scientific method exemplifies these individuals' beliefs that the subjective realm is fundamentally set apart from the objective domain. The phenomenal success of science and technology continually enhances material living standards worldwide. 

3. The post-modern state: (post-rational)

Awareness grows into a multi-world-centric worldview. These individuals can stand outside the monolithic system and see multiple points of view, realities, and truths. Everything is equally interconnected in the holistic web of life. This state of worldview/culture first made itself known on the world stage in the 1960s. Indeed, all the major social revolutions of that time have their footprints in this state of awareness: the environmental movement, the holistic health movement, and the human potential movement.

These individuals have a sensibility for pluralism and relativism and scan the horizon, ensuring that no one gets left out, often disrupting the balance between inclusion and self-responsibility. Political correctness means advocating conformity, kindness, consideration, and consensus around a narrative created by the establishment. Political correctness often drives the decision-making process, which is its purpose. This makes an inaccurate analysis of reality; the changes are; their solutions, not providing long-lasting, sustainable changes for the better (since the research is incorrect). We all want kindness and consideration, but when the group morality expects us to let kindness, politeness, and consideration override authenticity, openness, honesty, and transparency and not advocate self-responsibility for self-improvement, human evolution is derailing from growth and development.  

Technology and social media have altered our perception of reality. Inequalities from all over the world are being shown to us every day through different channels. Greed and unethical use of resources are presented to us in which we participated. Relativism becomes a fact, and we are all placed on a scale of wealth and health. The process has been overwhelming, and many people cannot yet make judgments of depth. Equity becomes important but is misinterpreted as an equal outcome, which is unfortunate. Egalitarianism is not positive development from this level of society/culture we have managed to build during the past five decades in Sweden. On the contrary, it is a massive setback going back to the ethnocentric worldview awareness, demanding submissiveness, obedience, and sacrifices —a solution created by shame, blame, guilt, and fear by conventional leaders.

I believe the future is conscious capitalism, a balance between capitalism and socialism, decentralized through cryptocurrency, creating a healthy distribution of wealth by people by choice, not by power-driven self-appointed leaders taking it upon themselves to distribute wealth. 

With "good intentions" like demarginalizing minorities and underrepresented voices, these individuals attempt to give equal recognition to diverse perspectives. However, their intention will not manifest without understanding the depth of worldview awareness. Some of these social justice warriors, the woke movement, and parts of the black-lives-matters-movement create rules and restrictions that bypass crucial components of human development on social and cultural development and personal growth.

Demanding equal outcomes for all is often the initiative of people who didn't use the birthright given to all of us, which is active choices in every given moment and taking self-reality through self-awareness. People unable to use others in life often shame others who do. Sometimes, the true motive behind these movements is hidden in one's shadow. Some actions are driven by shame, blame, guilt, fear, and jealousy and are simply bringing more of that to the table regardless of what they call their battle. Battles create wars irrespective of the intention. The only battle you should be participating in is the one with your inner demons of not enoughness and unworthiness. 

Denying the inconvenient truth that some cultures are more developed, representing a more accurate interpretation of reality that better supports human evolution and growth, makes these people ignorant. Instead, they demand equal outcomes in the name of diversity and inclusion, which creates the exact opposite. Moreover, it hinders true diversity, which is shown in a subjective perception of passion, curiosity, experiences, different assets, traits, talents, abilities, advantages, and the ability to use them well. This does not make us equal; this makes everyone unique, which we are in every aspect of our being. 

4. The Integral state: (trans-rational)
Awareness keeps growing into the next stage of worldview, creating a much-needed culture, the integral state, advocating a Deliberately Developmental Culture. These individuals see that every perspective captures some essential aspects of reality exceptionally well. Yet, each also empathizes and marginalizes other aspects of things, realizing a critical insight: All views are true but partial.

 

From this point of view, these individuals can also see that some perspectives are more true than others. Depth exists from a developmental perceptive of human evolution that involves these different states of worldview awareness and cultures. These individuals can also understand that all these states will be represented simultaneously and start to work towards supporting development and growth from within each state instead of working outside each state.

Offering equal opportunities —and empowering people to take them—without attachment nor ownership of the desired outcome is the only way to move forward from every place of awareness in the evolution of humanity. Empowering through opportunities for education, self-awareness, self-expression, and creation. Emphasizing the importance of making active choices, taking self-responsibility for constant self-improvement, holding people responsible for the consequences each decision creates, and allowing individuals to keep and distribute most of their wealth earned this way, in whatever way they see fit.

All states are true, but partial and depth exit. The state of enlightenment has more depth and is more true than the ethnocentric state, and the integral state has more depth and is more true than the post-modern state. When this understanding makes sense on a bodily level (not only in the mind), these individuals will take a momentous leap within sensemaking of the world and overall clarity. This will start a positive spiral of creativity, motivation, inspiration, and innovation. This level of awareness expands the understanding of altruism. The highest level of altruism begins with self-love and self-care. These individuals will focus on long-lasting, sustainable solutions, starting on an individual level, and moving on to their environment and community. Their timeframe expands as well, and their commitment is for life. They see challenges, possibilities, and opportunities, whereas others see problems, difficulties, and struggles. They see difficulties and struggles, whereas other people see suffering and injustice. They can empathize with others' struggles without getting entangled, overwhelmed, or anxious. They are not getting emotionally hijacked easily. Awareness is freed up to enjoy life fully from fullness instead of lack, from needs of purpose instead of sufficiency need, and abundance instead of scarcity. These individuals take a healthy self-interest and an interest in the welfare of others. These individuals will not tell; they will show the way to inner peace and liberation from hindering subconscious beliefs.

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The Integral, holistic state and beyond, moving into a super integral worldview, are stages of human evolution and awareness that hopefully will be represented even more on the world stage during the 21st century. Suppose this inspires you, and you want to know more. In that case, this text is built upon Ken Wilber's work and decades of studies regarding human consciousness. You will find valuable knowledge presented comprehensively in the book The integral life practice written by Ken Wilber, Terry Patten, Adam Leonard, and Marco Morelli.

Suppose you feel overwhelmed by the world and think the ground beneath you shakes and shatters your understanding of reality and beliefs. In that case, you are probably having an awakening. Meditation is an excellent tool for returning to your senses and finding stability and a healthy way forward. Here you can read about how I got started with meditation.