2020 October

GT-YELLOW (Recursion)


[I’m sending this update from an original share around March 2020.]

I’m wondering if the reconception of 2nd Tier isn’t the opening of the can of worms in conceptual space related to the conventional approach of hierarchy and development.

Jung discusses Neitchze’s transvaluation of values…in a book he wrote: Memories, Dreams, Reflections at the end of his life.

The idea that jumped for me is directly related to the convergence of metasystematicity with transvaluing.

While it may not be as “practical” as Graves described A’N’ in his final summary in 1981, the idea that existential fears subside seem to relate to an idea I have about the transcendent nature of thinking ABOUT valuing rather valuing itself.

This has always presented issues for me when I started to identify how to assess values in 2nd Tier.

I believe that Graves was most likely a 2nd Tier thinker as it’s difficult to write about a system and not have the horsepower or conceptual space, but…

I’m uncertain as to the type of 2nd Tier thinker he was because the ideas he had about people at A’N’ it what I refer to as GT-YELLOW were of a continuous extension—with distinct differences—yet lacking the qualities of the discontinuous leap he spoke about…as still rational; not metarational, which for me issues in the ideas of partial and paradoxical truths which give rational thinkers so much difficulty.

A discontinuity is illustrated in the following quote:

“The value of something isn’t what someone’s willing to pay, but the value of something is what it contributes.” – George Westinghouse

Items that emerge as semantically meaningful chunks are attempts to value valuing in a way that speaks differently to a metarational formation, or what “may” be captured by transvaluation?

-Truth has sides

-Value in thinking about thinking

-Solutions create problems

-Hierarchical networks

-perspective sans values

-beyond bias


-cybernetics puzzles

-assertion and cooperation

-degrees of freedom

-judgment-free experience


-normative VUCA

-antifragile resilience

-policy generativity

-Conceptual geography


Recursive Reflectivity

Going forward to the beginning.

-Starting again.


-question assumptions upfront

-existential Irreverence

-the choice where and when to intervene?

If (amor fati) will to power is a foundation…

perhaps will to order; will to matter; will to belong are all perspectives that could be the reason why the “attractors” are durable?

If so, then will to generate may provide an insight into transvaluing at 2nd Tier?

However, what becomes essential at 2nd Tier is the idea that people are what they are and therefore valuing their valuing—-rather than trying to change it—-becomes a core attribute of transvaluing?


Everybody’s Right

Thinking Passed Decisions


Less is More

I think you posted this or something like it before. it’s helpful because it “models” looking out or up from 1st tier; with the ability to describe the lower order systems being coordinated, integrated and organised but not able to name the abstraction at the next level, it reveals a struggle…which you would expect to find and require at a 1st:2nd Tier Transition.

[i believe that Herb/Glenn noted in RO work that a “seemingly important” attribute of Stratum V was to be able to “name” the abstraction that emerged from systems at Stratum IV, paraphrased.]

The list you forwarded feels NODAL FS-GREEN, transitioning to EXITING Stage, but not yet dense and frequent enough at CP-RED, DQ-BLUE, ER-ORANGE to unlock the 1:2 tier.

[i need to articulate that heterarchy here is a great tool, on one hand development through stage is occurring in developmental through state, which is why this “feels out of place” so to speak.

Yet heterarchy allows for the ranked elements of hierarchical development as suggested through density and frequency (quality and quantity) to be combined with the unranked elements of parallel in combinatorial assemblage of a memograph depicting the quality and quantity of a memefield.]

The other thing that the list you forwarded does is list motives as specific to 2nd Tier that are represented in all 1st Tier core attractors, which is a giveaway to me because things like low acceptance are not necessarily an indicator (not caring what other people think about them); independence, and others that are suggestive of a particular motive structure—that if you have them, you’re second tier.

What you would see, IMBO, is combinatorial values which may be necessary, but not sufficient.

The list below is a list I’ve been working on since late 1987 and on into early 88 when I coined the term Generati.

The most difficult part of this process for me has been looking at motivational framework (meshworks by Beck, et al) and the values complex or dynamics involved at what is…according to Graves, et al, a remaking of AN-BEIGE at GT-YELLOW, one of the things that spurred me to come to Philippines was to find the Mythical Talisay.

After looking at the genetic code AGCT and seeing a boundary at BO-PURPLE and FS-GREEN, it was easy to begin to look at the repeatable chord Graves spoke of as “4” instead of “6” where 4! = 24 and 6! = 720; therefore the complexity of 6 is beyond the scope of human ease, where 24 makes some since, especially since each of 4 core attractors has 3 states and 2 transitions between each single 1 core as a math play;) However as a networked heterarchy there is plenty of conceptual space, WHICH may in fact be PAAR for GT-Y…a leap in conception beyond conception.

This by and of itself shows mathematics as a necessary tool at GT-YELLOW and is and of itself a psychologically momentous leap which few will make, yet second tier distinguishes the relationship between 1st tier, IMBO with these interrelationships between math, physics, biology, anthropology, ecology, technology, psychology, economics, evolution, sociology and politics, etc…as necessary, (remain) not sufficient qualities that seem to be the moniker at the cusp of second tier; much like a values constellation is…where transvaluation may be operative—confounding my own attempts to grasp the essence of the transition to 2nd Tier.

In some ways, this allows us to explain why people like Reiss and even Graves himself “may” not have been second tier because systematic reasoning, which is responsible for their systems work, is not a sign (noted in the list below as “systems thinker”) that they are automatically second tier<—The process which changes the way we categorise most of the thinking today regarding 1st and 2nd tier Intellection is a talent that occurs in all core attractors, or we would still be living in caves. This is why it takes 3 decades to attempt to codify a list of attributes possibly indicative of a second tier beginning.


Metasytematicity may be in the necessary, not sufficient camp as may all of these attributes, which makes it COMPLEX and that in and of itself is necessary, not sufficient, as well.


Here’s the list for the “second”time and it’s not ready for prime time yet, as I have missing pieces that have not formed clearly.


My next step is to unpack these into the lower order and working backwards will reveal the formula for what’s missing and Gary is after me for Dynamic Inquiry and he is unrequited…which may very well describe one of the elements that’s missing and I have to organise these into categories in order to coordinate and integrate them into the next order which would then bound the core attractor from a hierarchically complex view. Can’t be done just looking up, must also transcend and include in order to understand backwards emergence; and then ignore transcend and include; classic paraposition (as a gt-y gateway value).


This is a lot harder than it looks because of the unpacking and repacking that goes on in heterarchical complexity.


One note before you read through this mess is that I’m suggesting that the “isms” shift to “ists” to reflex the nature of the agentic shift…reminding you to note that Gt-YELLOW is not the higher octave of AN-BEIGE, but of CP-RED, which is a lot bigger leap than it would appear.


[Graves, et al suggested survival of self moving in the next tier to survival of system/Globe, but it’s too big a leap cognitively you go to Globe, as Jacque’s notes in his idea about complexity as “universal”…I’m sure GT-Y is Metasystematic and HU, more than likely Paradigmatic; not Cross-Paradigmatic or MetaParadigmatic, there are no thinkers looking out or down I’ve seen or heard of that are in the range of IV-CORAL, or JW-TEAL, using the SGD nomenclature…and no CONCEPTUAL 3rd Tier, as mentioned by a few people.


Spicules, does not a stage make. Jaques mentioned this observation in reference to developmental spikes, possible states, noting the analogy of spicules and our sun.]


“… any theory would be one that emerged from an understanding of human nature and how it has continued to recreate our behaviour each generation—almost NO difference than any of the past generations—no matter how intelligent the culture gets.”


RightACTION (a nine-fold path?)




Non-Linear (Discontinuist)

Perspective Seeking


Early Self-Aware (>Kegan 4/5)

Capital/Credit Aware











Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS)

Simulationist (System Dynamics) Modellist



Everybody’s Right Sometimes, or thinks or feels they are











Cynthesist (Creative Synthesis)





Messworks (Jim)


Entropist (Entropic/Negentropic)


Freedomist (existential fear)



Necessary, but not sufficient

Form, process, matter

4 Forces



*Im uncertain of this inclusion as it may be indicative in the transition between 1st and 2nd Tier in the transition spaces; or the exiting stage of FS-green!




On Mar 5, 2020, at 5:38 AM, [atF-L-O-W] <> wrote:




Can’t remember where I cataloged this list.  It obviously is blank slate and creates lots of cul-de-sacs but thought it thematically interesting.


In aggregate, it has a gestalt that is relatively consistent.   Something about it is ungrounded though.  Can’t quite put my finger on it.


Maybe about the deeper rhythms of the process of creation, emergence is missing.  There’s no heartbeat in it, no profound messiness. No incarnation.    ?




GtYellow Values / Capabilities


  • Multi-perspectivalness – take many perspectives on reality (analogy: telescope vs camera with 15 built in lens, or radio telescope arrays using multiple dishes to coalesce a signal)
  • Every perspective is partially true, not all perspectives are equal
  • Natural hierarchies
  • Ideas and solutions are more interesting than community
  • Nuance and complexity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Novel concepts and points of view
  • Generating fresh insights
  • Understanding
  • Systems thinking
  • Nonlinear / complexity dynamics
  • Sustainability and long time horizons
  • Big picture understanding (synthesis, connecting the dots)  vs. technical analysis (going “meta”)
  • Penetrating to the core of an issue
  • Identifying and solving root problems
  • Taking a multi-disciplinary approach (mixing perspectives from soft and hard sciences, in between different disciplines, etc)
  • Creativity and outside of the box solutions
  • Ecology, responsible ways of being
  • Studying models and modeling things
  • Education, knowledge, research and reading (with an strong focus on diverse perspectives)
  • Clean content and concentrated information
  • Life-long learning and proactive about learning
  • Expertise, competence and experience
  • Complexity
  • Context and learning from history
  • Developing skills to become an instrument for the greater whole
  • Independent thinking
  • Neutrality; being objective and impartial
  • Designing solutions for the entire spiral vs. ones own value hiearchy
  • Meeting people where they are at
  • Building bridges
  • Social engineering
  • Ecological designs
  • Reducing the suffering of living systems
  • Pulling ideas from many sources, combining ideas, models and theories
  • Left-brained and Right-brained
  • Vision, purpose and being a visionary
  • Requisite variety and mental flexibility
  • Self-actualization, paradox, uncertainty, responsibility,
  • Independence and autonomy…and being a lone wolf (vs. group hive mind)
  • Beyond concerns for self survival, money, achievement, recognition, prizes, awards
  • Attitude is non manipulative
  • Cares about ecology and collateral damage
  • Long time horizon
  • Non-judgmental and neutral
  • Aware of the entire spiral (multiple systems of values and world views) and itself
  • Creates designs that accommodate the entire spiral
  • Characteristics:

o   Non ideological and highly principled

o   Acts from an inter-directed core

o   Strong ethical core, but doesn’t derive from a religion, own inner wisdom

o   Feels that understanding other worldviews is critical to navigating life, some kernel of truth in every worldview

o   Few ideas are sacred, all ideas are subject to revision and upgrade, being inside of an evolving universe and being a reflection of that, mind is continuously evolving to reflect this.

o   The world is a complex self organizing natural system that requires integral solutions

o   Sees the complexity of life

o   Appreciates just how complex social issues are

o   Introduces lots of ideas and connections and complexity

o   Overarching view of living systems

o   Takes effective action to support the whole

o   Integrates science, religion and personal development

o   Doesn’t really care what others think about him

o   Nothing is evil or purely negative

o   Every system has value, but it doesn’t mean every system or perspective is equal (vs. false equivalency)

o   Certain perspectives are downright wrong and unhealthy, and will recognize this

o   Everything is constantly evolving and changing

o   Given up tradition or old status quo ways of doing things

o   Believes in being adaptable, adapting to your environment, that’s how you survive.

o   Sees deep common threads everywhere

o   Able to hold two contradictory perpectives at the same time

o   Greater degree of behavioral freedom

o   Flexibly flowing with changing conditions

o   Sees a need for natural living environments that support human evolution.

o   Has an overarching vision of a system and then determines what the system needs to grow and blossom (if systems are the plants, you are the gardner)

o   Moves freely between different value systems

o   Believes in acupuntural interventions (taking a small action to have a big impact)

o   Is aware of self-bias and self-deception

o   Looks beyond merely human interests





4 replies on “GT-YELLOW (Recursion)”

I started writing this 3-4 days ago…


My sense…there is no “unlocking of 1st Tier” values…nor a need to transmute them.

Let me speculate…on a necessary prerequisite capability around valuing at 2nd Tier

There is a vastly greater conceptual space related to values but it is mostly simplicity on the other side of complexity. Tier 1 values are the right values. They are all necessary, evolutionarily fit. Needed as expression in different structures and capacities to get anything complex done.

The move at Tier 2 is not to transmute them, it is to honor them, to come along side them and understand them, become facile with them, to dimensionalize them within yourself.

And the hardest part…to give yourself sufficient density and frequency with them to be able to use them as they are intended to function. Where you do not have density or frequency, you must do the work to build some degree of DF…this can be a difficult 15-20 year process.

I think this a hurdle/prerequisite mostly because GT-Y work is fair bit about aligning values with associated capability to solve complex adaptive problems. You really can’t do that if you don’t have facility to understand and engage these value systems.

For whatever are the OTHER values at Tier 2, the practical work is to align vast capabilities at Tier 1 in service of…. You cannot do that if you are hung up anywhere substantively at Tier 1.

E.g. if you do not understand CP-Red, its value, its necessity, your need for it within yourself, etc.. you cannot do work at GT-Y. You will get wiped off the map in 10 seconds.

Or you are moving into a complex collaboration, which almost all work now is, and do not have solid healthy densities at FS-Green, you’ll slam yourself, your work into a brick wall…again in 10 seconds.

Or you are working with your accountant or within the context of a faith community or firm organizational culture…you better have densities at Blue to navigate. And capability to design for minimal necessary systems.

Or business reality will require you to understand how the world functions – regardless of what domain you are in. ER-Orange is inescapable in that almost all problems must ultimately be housed within a coherent organizational context.

I mean this mostly sufficient for design and engagement with these systems/values. Not in any form drawing them into your system as “your own.” Others have them at DF, you need to engage them the way the can be engaged. And make the calls on when and how to dial up / dial down different value sets. These values are important for fitness not because you value them in themselves.

e.g. if we did not think giving our kids sufficient order and structure was not important (things I do not need), then our jobs as parents would be fantastically simpler.


My experience…this is a profound discontinuous leap with valuing values. If you think you can think your way into this position you are sadly mistaken…there is no pretend on this. I have probably been working on this for 20 plus years.

I notice I am not trying to transmute them, I am trying to allow them (the values) and their embedded capability (individual/org) to serve the function as they are intended. Not only is it not necessary to transmute them to some higher order complexity, it is a trainwreck to do so. You will fail.

It’s the difference between values being driven or brought to bear based on necessity vs. valuing the values because they arise within me. The values that naturally arise within me are likely .1 – 1% of the possible values humans could value. I would consider this to be trans-valuation, the valuing based on necessity/need/function/fitness/context.


There is an entirely different way to engage with reality too that I’ll noodle on but I thought I’d at least capture this as another “prerequisite” – if you cannot do the above – then you have no possibility of being on a path to mature GT-Y.

I also looked at the values list…it’s a good one…and my overall reaction was “well…it all depends” – I could make coherent cases for the unfitness of each depending on specific contexts.

I’d also start in the inverse…tell me specifically a problem you have solved, are solving and what values you found helpful in solving it. Or rather tell me exactly what problems you think GT-Y is working on. Dimensionalize the problem, the work…and you’ll get to the necessary values. My intuition says GT-Y is an intensely pragmatic meta-values construct. Contribution. The “will to be generative” (not the “will to generate”)

If you are looking for cues to organize you might look there…how do they align to contribution. I’d assert (thinking on this), if the value does not serve contribution it is a value of another system.

In turn, the paradox at GT-Y, every value you can name will be context dependent…no different than the relationship to Tier 1 values. I think you could tease apart a few that aren’t but then I’d say those aren’t values…those are just how reality unfolds like “emergencist” – so you might be able to get to some more stable meta-values that way. I don’t think you’ll get any push back on that one but then it is also just not really saying anything either. A bit of a paradox/conundrum…

A couple of questions….that might help with thinking through next steps…

If you were to define what a GT-Y problem is, what would that be. Concretely? Example?

If you had to boil it down to the “Big Five” values – what would they be?

Can you give more context?

“ If you had to boil it down to the “Big Five” values – what would they be?”


From your list of 50-75 or so. If you had to boil it down to five at the core…what would they be. Five not a magical number, just curious how you would value sort right now based on your sense of “OR”

Glad I asked because my thought was that you would want the big 5 identified as to the OR;)

I haven’t got to that part yet because what happened to me is coming to that point and realising that the assumptions made to create a generator lead into a rabbit hole which not only slowed things down but brought to light, a significant number of possible “not mostly true” assumptions.

So going back and recursing the foundations of the model (s) and research has produced a ground upon which to look at the figure of value dynamics.

For instance, when you look at identifying behaviors as emergent from values, the case has been made for subjectivity as well as objectivity being responsible for those behaviors so the muddying of the assumptions we might use for a generator for 2nd Tier would seem to be more complex than it seems.

A decade or so ago I was asked a similar question and I’m sure there is stuff out there I wrote which answered that and as a result “contribution” emerged.

It’s probably naive and too abstract, such as the example of SGD’s “integral” approach which seems cemented into the assumptions at 2nd tier, where the same might be said about contribution.

Graves himself in the 1981 Summary, was unable to come to a conclusion on specific values for describing A’N’.

Because I have remained arrested for so long, it seems that I have more thinking and feeling to do before I offer that for GT-Y in ValuDYNAMICS.


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