The Master Code: The Theory that Explains Everything: Dr Don Beck

The Master Code: The Theory that Explains Everything: Dr Don Beck

Posted On: January 15, 2015
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Dr Don Beck interviewed by Dr Nicholas Beecroft on “The Master Code: The Hidden Dynamics that Shape Individuals, Design Organisations and Transform Societies” and the Future of Western Civilisation. Don wrote the following introduction to this interview:

“The real question deals with the “Rise and Fall and then Rise” of Western perspectives on “civilization.”    I have often wondered why the so-called “Western  Civilization” appeared to ascend in terms of complexity to “commanding heights” during the last few hundred years. This does not mean at all the “Westerners” are better humans, or should dominate any other social or geographic grouping.  The work by Alfred. W. Crosby in ‘The Measure of Reality:Quantification and Western Society 1250-1600 offers one reason.  This activity replaced many of the myths, superstitions and fables with hard facts, the scientific method, and rationality. This was especially apparent in the field of medicine. It help give rise to the Age of Science and the birth and spread of the 5th Code of modernity. Add into the equation the stability, discipline, high ethics and ordered thinking from The 4th Code, and you have the Puritan value system. This is neither magic nor arrogance but does explain the transitions from pre-modern to modern. The English language helped, as did the strong and positive growth themes inherent in both Jewish and Christian thought. The celebration of life, in the present, and the hope of a heaven in an afterlife, can be strong elixirs.

This does not mean everything was perfect and Civilization emerged as we climbed the ladder of “success” and material gain with all the displays of abundance. But it does suggest that this world-view also contained a repair kit in spite of failures and negative consequences to the rest of the world.

Western Civilization continued to leap into new manifestations to add “post modern” to the evolutionary flow. And, in my view, that is the critical aspect of its over all code. Adam Smith clearly combined morality and a purpose filled society as a foundation for his promotion of the “invisible hand” that will raise all the boats. But we have also learned that if such a ‘hand” extends from a sleeve full of greed, corruption, and wasteful extravagance, lit will self-destruct, as it has in recent decades. Same goes with simplistic versions of the 6th and humanitarian code that, alas, disrupted the critical contributions of the 4th (traditional-sacred) and 5th (materialistic-secular) which, when in balance, do the heavy lifting of populations as they deal with fundamental challenges and threats, producing sink holes in human emergence. Known as ‘political correctness,” it provide a false picture on what diversity really means. Our 21st Century society is full of examples. There is far greater expressions of caring and human sensitivity within the 7th and 8th Level thinking patterns.

Yet, I firmly believe that the codes within Western Civilizations will now re brand themselves, re calibrate their range and scope, and adapt their essential components  in a positive manner within the language, culture, religions and traditions of the entire Earth Society.    Herein lies the power within the 7th Code, the capacity to re frame the 1st Tier assemble of adaptive intelligences while generating The Master Code, designed to deal with global issues that confront us all. When Professor Clare Graves spoke of the “momentous leap” of human nature, this is what he had in mind. We all have serious work to do. New world views await us as we climb the emerging peaks of our own conscious evolution. When the whole Spiral-full of value systems are engaged in dealing with these global issues, we have an opportunity to impact the whole in new dimensions and functions. The siege of ‘perfect storms” now needs the brilliance of  new sun rise, with new aspirations, effective tools, and a new and fresh spirit of humanity.”

Dr. Don Beck 22nd February 2012.

The Spiral Dynamics Group
Global Center for Human Emergence


“It is time to get the entire global system set right by respecting all of us who exist in clans, tribes, empires, holy orders, cultures, enterprises, communes, natural habitats and are spread along the various trajectories of change. Imagine a global Intelligence that, much like a metaphoric Air traffic control system, can keep up with and direct our many life forms which are dispersed in different altitudes, moving in different directions, at different speeds, with different capacities, and all with multiple bottom lines and priorities.”

Extract from “The Master Code” (published later in 2012)


Dr Don Beck 

Dr. Don Beck is a prototype for activists in the new millennium. His dedication to service and discovery has seen him become profoundly involved in global ventures that continue to grow in scope and gather momentum.

In 1980 Dr. Beck was listed as “Outstanding Educator in America”. In 1981, having taught for 20 years, he choose to resign his professorship to dedicate himself to serving in the South African transformation process.

Since that pivotal point in his life, Beck has worked at the highest levels of social concern. Between 1981 and 2002, he made 63 trips to South Africa, working behind the scenes to significantly impact political leaders, the business sector, religious leadership, and the general public in the transition from apartheid to democracy. He was honored in l996 by a Joint Resolution of the Texas House and Senate with these words: “The Texas House and Senate takes great pride in commending a truly remarkable Texan, Dr. Don Edward Beck, for his invaluable contributions toward the peaceful creation of a democratic South Africa.”

In addition to serving alongside Nelson Mandela on the creation of deep reconciliation strategies in the post-apartheid South Africa, Dr. Beck has consulted with Tony Blair and his Policy Unit in search for new ways to implement “Third Way” initiatives in the UK and abroad and with Bill Clinton in discussing racial issues in USA. He has also worked with the Singapore government, and the Mexican government.

While much of Beck’s work is in the area of large-scale systems change, he has also been active for 30 years in working with corporate leaders, public institutions, educational enterprises, and not-for-profit agencies on transformation. Dr. Beck is unique in that he moves freely between cutting-edge academic and scientific theories of value formation and change, and a proficiency in implementing practical and highly effective change in the real world.


Spiral Dynamics Integral

Don has inspired thousands of people toward a new experience of organizational and personal empowerment through Spiral Dynamics (Spiral Dynamics Integral), his unique values-based model that charts the evolution and emergence of human nature.

Spiral Dynamics Integral (SDi), concerns itself with the deep complexity codes that shape our many worlds.

The model describes and makes sense of the enormous complexity of human existence, and then shows how to craft elegant, systemic problem-solutions that meet people and address situations where they are.

Conceived and led by Dr. Don Beck, SDi is an advanced extension and elaboration of the biopsychosocial systems concept originated by the late Dr. Clare W. Graves of Union College, New York, and later developed as Spiral Dynamics – a model that Canada’s Maclean’s Magazine rather grandly dubbed “The Theory that Explains Everything.”

Beck has built upon Spiral Dynamics in the development of a powerful new conceptual system, called MeshWORKS: The Search for Human Cohesion in a World of Fragmentation, which enables the essential process of integrating, aligning, and synergizing resources, especially at the community and local levels, to meet the needs of people at different stages of development.

Websites and Resources

Spiral Dynamics

Global Centers for Human Emergence

Clare W Grave’s article in the Futurist