Worldview evolution emerges as an unfolding into
ever-increasing levels of inclusion.
Adam Leonard surveys the evolution of worldviews, noting the similarities
arrived at independently among a number of researchers and philosophers.
Using the schema of spiral dynamics,
By combining the research findings, a developmental
holarchy emerges that unfolds into ever-increasing levels of
inclusion from traditional-mythic to rational-achievist to pluralistic
-communitarian to integral-existential.
[Wordview Evolution, pp. 75-76, ]
Leonard goes on to describe each of these worldviews. Traditional
-mythic is traditional and conservative, emphasizing order, consistency,
and convention. [It's] core values echo themes of meaning, direction, and
purpose in life.
[Its] value structure views the world from an absolutistic,
polarized, black and white perspective. Honoring and submitting to authority,
[it] allows the conventional system to define good/bad, right/wrong. [p. 76]
of modernity, which, for the first time, used [these] values to apply
universal principles to all humans, cutting across group loyalties."
Such rational, universal principles include 'greater equality
among persons, personal freedom and liberty, justice, citizen's rights
(for example, freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and fail trials),
representative and deliberative democracy, and equality before the law.'
Moderns accept the values
associated with a materialistic, commercialized,
urban-industrial world as the obvious right way
to live. Life is a series of executive
summaries, sound bites, and quick takes where image often counts more than substance ....
Fighting for victory and achievement at all
costs, [it] values materialism over
spiritualism, pragmatism over principle, and
short-range victories over longer term
guarantees.... [p. 82]
where communities hold values of belonging,
relationship, and pluralism sacred, marked by an
'interest in human beings regardless of the type to
which they may belong.'
Cultural creatives with
'postmodern values emphasize self-expression
instead of deference to authority and are
tolerant of other groups and even regard exotic
things and cultural diversity as stimulating and
interesting, not threatening.... [pp.
In this worldview "a person (or
culture) displays a 'personalistic' value system,
becoming 'centrally concerned with peace, with his
inner self, and in the relation of his self to the
inner self of others.
" The cultural creatives place
a huge importance on the environment's health and
replace organized religion with spirituality. [p.
Integral-existential has been
characterized as a momentous leap from
pluralistic-communitarian worldview level.
[Its] values deepen into fully
universal, existential concerns: 'life and
death, authenticity, full bodymind integration,
selfactualization, global awareness, holistic
embrace'.... [p. 87]
As they develop, worldviews
transcend and include each other so that 'these
structures are not merely past, but are in fact
still present in more or less latent and acute
form in each one of us....' Value systems
naturally appear multidimensional for someone
proficient at [the integral-existential
worldview level]. [p. 88]