Unfolding the Enfolded...

Cosmos, Mind & Soul

Worldview Evolution


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]

[Rational-achievist is] the worldview 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.'
[p. 79]

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]

Pluralistic-communitarian is 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. 83-84]

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. 84-86]

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]