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 Is Boomeritis Really Green?

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Is Boomeritis Really Green?   Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:49 am

I noticed that Ken Wilber (and Don Beck) spends an awful lot of time talking about Boomeritis and the "Green" stage of development. It seems to me that he bases a lot of this on the theory that the Green stage of development came into being on a mass level sometime during the 1960s. The idea is that the hippies in the 1960s were able to transcend the "Orange" stage of development and move into a "Green/Post-Modern/Pluralistic" stage of development which then was drawn to aspects of the "Red/Egocentric stage of development. It was this mixture that eventually lead to the development of Boomeritis.

The following is from Susan Cook-Greuter's 9 Stages in Ego Development Theory.

Quote :
The Expert or Technician Stage; stage 3/4
Stage 3/4 or the Self-conscious stage characterizes people who are now able to step back and look at themselves as objects from a distance. They can see themselves as object and thus start to reflect upon the self. A conceptual watershed is crossed when one can take the third person perspective. This stage has a distinctly different clinical feel. Individuals begin to be capable of some introspection and self-understanding. It also means they need to differentiate themselves from the immediate family context and assert and express their newly discovered personhood. The third person perspective permits operations with abstract objects and concepts.

Individuals are good at seeing alternatives. They can use them with a vengeance - offering innumerable solutions and permutations for every problem. At stage 3/4 one becomes aware of general “traits” in others i. e. familiar character patterns people display over time as part of the
new experience of self in linear time. This orientation towards patterns in behavior and the beginning self-consciousness lead to an interest in sharing more of one’s inner nature. One becomes interested in describing more differentiated traits (lonely, jealous, serious), norms (feminine), and conventional virtues (honest, patient). The focus on likeness at the Conformist stage changes to focus on individual differences at the Self-conscious stage 3/4. People start to express their own personhood more often in contrast to others. They also assert more of their own needs and wants, which were suppressed at stage 3 for the sake of being accepted.

However, now they want to be accepted by others because of their difference. They also tend to want to be better than others, stand out from the crowd. The group is needed, but one stands at its periphery threatening to leave, without ever quite leaving. Stage 3/4 persons often
feel they have “figured it all out.” They know all the answers. They know what to believe. They feel righteous and often put others in the wrong (resistance). They have high moral standards and a strong sense of what should be. They are concerned with fulfilling their responsibilities and
duties. They often display compulsive and perfectionist tendencies. The super-ego is very strong. Others are evaluated according to one’s own capabilities and standards. Severe criticism of how another thinks is a common form of intellectual aggression at this stage. A sense of superiority is not very well hidden. This stage is a very resistant and stable. No one can tell a Self-conscious person anything they don’t know already or know better. Self-conscious individuals will discredit material that does not fit into their scheme by dismissing counter-evidence or belittlingothers.

This "Self-conscious stage" which is a transitionary stage between "Blue" conformism and "Orange" rationalism is a very important stage in America. Based on Susan Cook-Grueter's emperical data 36.5% of the adult population is centered at this stage of development. (And I think we've run into a number of these people on various internet forums.)

IMO, this is the stage of development that the hippies were transitioning to in the 1960s and not Green "Pluralism". As a matter of fact I question whether the Green stage of development has any more of an emphisis on pluralism then any other stage of development. IMHO, what sets Green apart from Orange is relativism not pluralism.

What happened to the hippies after the 1960's wasn't a move from "Pure" Green to "Narsisistic" Green, it was a move from the "Self-conscious stage" to a materialist version of the "Conscientious" stage of development and in some cases there wasn't any movement at all. Many of the people that Wilber accuses of Boomeritis are at an early Orange stage of development and not even close to a Green stage IMO.

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Travis Clementsmith
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PostSubject: Re: Is Boomeritis Really Green?   Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:44 pm

Actually, what Wilber says is a little more like this:

The GREEN stage was just emerging in the 1960's with only a few people at the genuinely GREEN stage. But these people got fooled by the pre/trans fallacy in thinking more people were at this GREEN stage than they really were, and since both pre-conventional and post-conventional are both non-conventional, the pre-conventionals dominated more by RED impulses were unwittingly welcomed by the GREEN post-conventionals into the same tent. The infection spread so deeply it became impossible for the GREENs to see the RED infection, and in fact, were infected themselves. It was this combination that led to Boomeritis. In other words, GREEN talk and RED walk. So healthy GREEN never really emerged the way it should have. Conventionalists were able to easily point out the contradictions, and we moved back more to an ORANGE center.

That in itself would have been fine, except, IMO, the reaction to the RED element in the GREEN movement was so frightening to the conventionalists it reinvigorated a BLUE recall that led to the evangelical movement. A lack of discipline was blamed on the counter-culture movement, that BLUE authority was seen as more sane. Since then, I think we are starting to move more cautiously back to GREEN, but with a population that isn't attempting to blow up the BLUE bricks. In addition, a GREEN that isn't naive to the needs and motivations of an ORANGE economy. So the criticism was that the 60's didn't really transcend and include. They tried to transcend but reject BLUE moral bases and ORANGE sensibilities. With no center other than RED, it became an ego driven value level disguised as a pluralistic vision. Anyway, that's the way I interpreted it.

-TC
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PostSubject: Re: Is Boomeritis Really Green?   Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:50 pm

Good interpretation. Smile

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