The Next Twist Of Fate
By Andy Ross
Paperback, 12.8 cm x 19.6 cm,
World history is the greatest story ever told. It starts with the gods
and ends here and now, with us. We all want to know what happens next.
Looking back we see a rich tapestry of good and bad actors — Buddhists,
Jews, Christians, Muslims, Communists, Nazis, and the heroes of Apollo.
It is truly a tale of triumphs and tragedies.
Spiral dynamics is
a color scheme for understanding history by tracing the evolution of
complexity from humble origins. How we rose from surviving as naked apes
to living as smart nodes in a globalized ecosystem is a story well worth
telling in color. The tale has an amazing twist in the next chapter —
the coral step in the spiral.
Who, What, Why
My aim in this book is to lay bare the plot of history. The story of how
we humans developed from apes to our present global
have a plot, and if we look carefully we should be able to see it. We
should also find it strong enough to move
us to action.
first bold step, one of three leaps of logic, is to change the subject.
I say history is His story. To find out who "He" is, we need
back in time, to the ancient patriarchs who founded the traditions of
Historians take a godlike perspective on the topics
of their inquiry. They write as scribes of He who sees all and knows all
their chosen theme. He embraces female historians too, of
course, since "he" is now a gender-neutral pronoun. The ancient
patriarchs broke a symmetry of gender there.
If man is the
measure of all things, our godlike perspective is a psychic state of
great scientific interest. We should see a growth
perspective over history, as idealistic young men dreamed of passionate
union with the divine presence and imagined a
man could become a
The example that set the tone for most of Western history
was the Christ figure defining the start of the Common Era calendar.
To fill in some facts, the noun "Christ" is the English form of the
Greek translation of the Hebrew word we write as Messiah,
the anointed one. Christians used the word as an honorific title for
Jesus the Nazarene, the man whose crucifixion two
millennia ago made
claims that he was the prophesied messiah controversial, at least among
Jews. His given name Jesus
meant "Yahweh saves", where Yahweh meant
"he who causes to fall" and appears originally to have been a tribal
storm god. In
Hebrew, "Yahweh" was written as the tetragrammaton
Christians said Jesus embodied the divine state of being.
By the doctrine of transubstantiation, some claimed that the body of
Christ was the global body of believers. Today we can all say we're
troopers in the human storm.
Spiral dynamics is a sketch for a theory that frames human history to
date in eight colored stages. I review that eightfold way, up
global organism, Globorg, and take the next step, into the coral cloud.
My second bold leap of logic is to see the global
body of Christ as
a glimpse of Globorg.
Relax: This book is not a religious tract
and advances no religious doctrines, unless science be called religion.
It's just a back
story for how we made the move from belief in gods
to living in Globorg. My ideal reader is someone who wants to understand
that move and who finds it hard to give the old word "god" any
meaning in the twenty-first century of the Common Era. Too many
believers still misuse the word in defiance of all reason to denote a
supernatural patriarch, in blithe disregard of the absurdity of
usage following the tragedy of the Holocaust (the "sacrifice by fire")
that burned down Europe in the twentieth century.
In a coral
scheme, those people who need a human image for divinity may find it in
any and every human spark in the storm.
From this perspective,
belief in a mere patriarch is a shameful affront to the majesty of
The immediate reason I wrote this book was to resolve a few issues I'd
obsessed about for decades but finally put into the
frame of spiral
dynamics in 2012. I have always been a bold champion of reason, eager to
fight beside such allies as the
famous four horsemen of the
neo-atheist apocalypse (namely Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam
Harris, and the late
Christopher Hitchens). Discussions with German
Christians have clarified my views.
I find I can readily
understand how Christians feel about our world. Like believers and
infidels the world over, I feel dismay at the
political mess caused
by pressures and tensions between the monotheist faiths. The urgency of
the task of clearing up the
mess goes beyond normal science.
This history presents my attempt to understand the roots of the clash of
civilizations in the dynamics of a logical but strange self
Goof, for GOOF, the God of our fathers. GOOF is my new tetragrammaton
for the God of Abraham. In my third leap of
logic, I take a
psychophysical view of this superhuman self, in which Goof is just
another step on the way to coral life on cloud
nine. The story turns
out to be an astonishing saga. You couldn't make it up.
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