With our panoramic view of history we can see that human cultures have evolved through distinct stages of development. Bands became tribes became clans became fiefdoms became nations. Today nations are knitting themselves together into systems of communication, commerce and culture that are truly global. Each stage is bigger, more complex and more capable than the previous one, not only in technology but also in terms of ways of thinking.

This insight of cultural evolution is one of the foundational principles of integral theory, and one of the best expositions of cultural evolution is in the teachings of Spiral Dynamics, which is based primarily on the research of developmental psychologist Clare Graves.

And one of the best presentations of Spiral Dynamics is an article written by Jessica Roemischer, published in What is Enlightenment? magazine, (now EnlightenNext magazine) in 2002. Download the pdf here. It’s a great remedial read for integralists, and a perfect primer for friends and family who are interested in the evolutionary worldview and want to know more.