Notes from the Field

Jordan Schachter

Karma and the Quadrants:
Reflections on a Presentation to iNYC
by Jordan Schachter

Jordan Schachter

I have been attempting to share for this publication a summary of my PowerPoint presentation. The presentation is designed to move Integral people beyond Yellow to Turquoise. The challenge is that Yellow is about rational. My re-telling of Turquoise is post-rational. My presentation says, “The map is the territory because there is no territory and thus the map is your mind.”

The 7 stages of the spiral match exactly to the 7 chakras and the 7 days of the week. The flow up or down the spiral is along the AQAL map. The AQAL map doesn’t describe the objective “it” and the objective “we”— it is all in your mind. Thus the view of “it” and your place in it …and the view of “we” and your place in it is all you can see. If you saw the true “it” and the true “we”—time (and our precious spiral) would stop. You would be God.

As per the Wilber-Combs lattice you can be God at any level. You then interpret that based on your stage.

If I describe the PowerPoint in Turquoise language you will likely get confused or angry. It is post-rational and you are rational.

Thus all I can do is discuss the before and after and hope that inspires you to invite me to present it. Then once I present it, ignore me and talk amongst yourselves. Resist the urge to move the conversation back to Integral. The spiral is the Tower of Babel and built in order to jump off of it. If I do my job right, you will leave in a state of confusion. You will think about it on the way home. You will forget where you are and thus remember just a bit of where you really are.

Each stage of the spiral alternates Yin (Purple, Blue, Green, Turquoise) and Yang (Beige, Red, Yellow). The challenges each pose to the other is what drives you up. I show how this happens via AQAL.

At each stage we are punishing Yin because we don’t understand it. We are punishing non-duality, as we fear it will absorb us entirely. Even if we know that one day the truth will come, we want it to be in a nicer package, so we climb the spiral. Animals and plants can die at Beige, but we often prefer to go “higher and higher.”

Yet, we blame Monday (Purple). Even those who are Yin are divided. Eve and Lilith meet each other every day. Even those who are Yang are divided. Cane and Abel meet each other every day (Red Tuesday and Orange Thursday).

I posted some of my flow of consciousness thoughts about the presentation online and got such vitriol I was startled. I’d come from the warm, accepting bosom of Maui and was slapped by the doctor. Then I got a note from a man named Harold. When I saw Harold, who had been in the desert nearly 40 years (that is to say a seeker for about 40 years), he was HAPPY TO BE CONFUSED BY ME—or at least open to that confusion.

It all clicked! We are here on earth, climbing the spiral in order to be confused.

We are here in order to fear the re-membering, then finally remember.

This is not wrong. It’s fine to wait to re-member (and all the self-judging and confusion) until the day you are ready. If you remember too soon you might go nuts or get depersonalization disorder. Then you can serve nobody.

I am here to share these ideas to help others. Sure I may unwittingly keep folks on the spiral, but given that most of the world isn’t getting enlightened, seems if we knew we were creating our own problems ON PURPOSE, that I should let folks know as gently, creatively, and coherently as possible—while having fun at the same time. Given that truth is post-rational, the gentle aspect will need to often surrender to the fun and creative approach!

As I fell back to Blue, I realize that we need to stabilize in Orange. The Secret and Wayne Dyer, for all their faults, are helping this to happen. I hope my book will help folks see Orange is only a brief pit stop on the climb. Orange is so rational, and this can be useful, but like Yellow it greets the irrational (and thus the post-rational) with fear and anger. I will be the recipient of that by talking Turquoise. I will be accused of being Purple (mythological)—and my response is that if the world is illusion, then learn to love Monday.

Harold wrote: “I have been actively exploring consciousness for going on 40 years and you made very little sense. So I would like to attempt to further understand your point of view.”

My presentation was designed (whether wittingly or not I can’t say) to transport people to a post-rational mindset. When others encounter something that does not make sense, their initial reaction is to reject it, but you did not do that. In the end, I think the spiral is inevitable.

When he wrote to me saying that challenging “the ideas of others is valuable,” I think this is more true than we realize. Each stage of evolution is seeking to be non-dual (One with All). The challenge for us in modern life is that Science has killed God. Darwin has killed God. But this had to happen so that God could live. The judgmental God of the bible can only take us so far.

By your subjective judgments do you create your Self—by your personal value [see the spiral folks?! –j.s.] do you determine and demonstrate who you are. The world exists exactly as it is so that you may make these judgments. If the world existed in perfect condition, you life process of Self creation would be terminated. It would end…a philosopher’s career would end tomorrow were there no more questions.
—Conversations with God

We create our own problems to keep this “game called life” going.

In Spiral Dynamics we grow in complexity. Each stage solves a problem and causes a new problem. Each confusion leads our minds to become more complex, but we don’t want the game to end (become enlightened), so we create new problems.

My challenge to folks when I present is I am dropping them in Turquoise. This should be simple as we go there each night. But each day we forget our dreams!

We reconstruct our identity, our left brain immediately reports who we are to our right brain and the right brain just nods and says, okay, but eventually you will surrender.

The Orange idea of God is that it is the combination of the left brain, the right brain and the neurons that go through each chakra. As science doesn’t embrace chakras yet, we can just say it’s left and right brain for now.

As physics tells us, we create reality. Heidegger’s cat is both alive and not alive. You and I exist as probabilities. Only when you get this email is our “phone line” connected and that connection is real to some extent.

When I present the PowerPoint, we are all the mind of god. That is why it gets a bit confusing. That is why people might say “can we get back to spiral dynamics?”


You can’t get back to something that is everything.

But let’s stick with Orange for now.

The brain is the most complex thing we know. Its complexity can, “quantumly” speaking, create reality

The right brain needs the left brain to grow in sophistication. The left brain (dualistic self) is a battery source. I don’t mean—and I do mean—to minimize the “self” and the “word/meaning making.”

We need that so let’s not make words bad, or rather, the making of things bad and good is good, um, and bad. Point is, it is needed to build complexity.

But again, let’s go back to orange. You see my mind wants to move to turquoise, but as most folks are at Orange, I have to hold that space.

  • Imagine this is the first moment of your life. Time is an illusion (as science will agree)
  • We make a story to move to the next moment
  • We judge it to bring emotional energy in line with concepts (I am hungry and it is bad to be hungry)
  • What do I need to do? This is the 4th quadrant in AQAL, the laws of religion and society. Animals don’t need laws, but as you are human serving consciousness, you are trying to get the brain to be more complex, so you make laws. It is not the way most think (we think complexity serves us, we serve it!)
  • We crave truth within ourselves. Not from a dualistic God or stories of stage 2 (purple) or 3 (red) or 4 (blue), but from ourselves. We study the brain. (We think the brain serves us, we serve it!)
  • Now we see that we create reality in our future/past/emotions/vibes/interdependence and our greed. This is Green and as we are less judging as we were at Red we can look at ourselves honestly, objectively—warts and all.
  • We need to be integral to fully own the warts.

Challenge is that 7 contradicts stage 1. Spiral Dynamics clings to history. I am not saying whether the world existed prior to now, or not. I am saying we see the 7 stages and the 4 quadrants are our minds, not our history.


As Harold wrote to me, “I have learned from many sources over the years whether they intended that I get in fact what I took away or something else. My / our evolution / awakening/ discovery is personal.”

Once we look within, rather than without, we can start to move to Turquoise.

But first we need to stabilize in Orange rather than Blue. When people have non dual or drug experiences, they get scared and need to label the devil within as the devil without. folks who claim to be integral will suddenly find themselves praying to God. Darwin was on his knees praying to a God he was destroying! This is natural. My job right now is to move my own mind and others to stabilize in Orange. By stabilize I mean where to you drop when things get bad. If it’s Orange rather than blue then when time gets tough we don’t slide too far back.

But we need to somehow see God in Orange to have it stabilize. God is like the spike in the ground. Seeing God is how you forgive the “it” quadrant. The challenge for Orange is that is made the “it” into meaningless mechanism.

Orange subverts the other quadrants to the upper right quadrant. The “we” and the “I” are reduced to an “it.”

Thinking this way, we will never see the 5th quadrant (post-rational) until we can REALLY transcend and include God at Orange.

Here is how we do it.

This spiral of evolution is merely the mindless mechanism of reproduction. Our lobes are the sex organs of reality!

Science fiction is our modern mythology to take us there. A cheesy TV show called Stargate shows this, just as many do. If we see God in flatland as ourselves, then we can start to see god in Green when times are tough.

We will eventually have the courage to see God at Turquoise.

That said, you can be enlightened at any level and stop climbing the spiral. Today I feel we are here to climb the spiral. This is what Orange thinks, but Orange doesn’t enlighten at Orange thinking there are greater rewards higher up the spiral.

This insight came to me on a Thursday (5th day = Orange).

The Roman god Jupiter (Thor/Zeus) was in charge of cosmic Justice. Roman courts had people swear by Jove to witness the oath and the common expression “By Jove”—the coincidence of this description with that of the throat chakra is likely to startle any skeptic. But whatever your vision of reality, Thursday is a day for us all to speak truth—and any relationship that hopes to lead to unification relies on truth.

Today in history was FDR’s New Deal. This is when Orange softened. Folks will tell you all sorts of conspiracy theories, and negativity about the New Deal. These will be the same leveled at those who are pushing societies up the spiral. I urge you not to be distracted by negativity or paradox or overly complex ideas. Yes you have a brain, and yes that brain is designed to process more than it does. It will, but wait until you have wisdom. As a great speaker once said something like: “Look at all these air conditioners in our windows in New York! They can fall on us at any time! Our technology has advanced faster than our wisdom.”

Of course the same can be said about any technology. But what orange knows is that technology will save us. What turquoise knows is that technology is us!

This book will be embraced initially by new age and in the self help section, but my hope is that businesses will use it and for this reason I will occasionally have insights and am happy to give presentations to corporations on how to adapt this to their needs. In fact, probably Yin or young members of the family will give the book to their overworked Yang family members, it will help them, and then they will wonder, how can this be applied to my company.

Here’s one way:

To succeed in business you need to communicate. You need to know the values of each employee, superior, competitor and customer so that you can talk to them in a way that will move them towards love. This may be to go up or down the spiral, or simply be happier where they are. This is not about using psychology to play on fears of people. Perhaps this book will be misused if I fail to communicate that Love serves Orange as much as any stage. History is a march up the spiral. If you play on fear you are holding back history. Orange was a pioneer to move from the codes of Blue, but unless it helps move us to Green, we will become dinosaurs. Ecologically, spiritually, and commercially. Others are moving to Green and they will survive.

But the employees you serve (you serve your employees as they serve you) and the customers who serve you (you serve your customers as they serve you) will be jumping around the stages of the spiral all the time. So you need to be paying attention. You will also be jumping around, so you need to pay attention.


If you hire people who you trust you are using Red. If you hire people who have the right morality, you are using Blue. If you hire people who are Orange, it’s based on skill sets. If you hire people at Green you are looking toward the inevitable future. If you hire people at Yellow treat them well and make sure they don’t burn out. If you hire people at Turquoise be open to their crazy ideas. Ideally you hire a wide range of people and you help them to find love and peace—and they will do the same for you. This is not an Orange value. To be an enlightened capitalist (as currently defined) you are bridging Green and Orange—and realize money can’t buy you love.


If you see other companies in the market as your enemy you are thinking Red. If you see other companies in the market being immoral and thus you are superior, you are using Blue. If you see other companies in the market are healthy competition, you are Orange, and know it will make you improve your product and thus serve society. To you capitalism is good. Greed is good (god). If you see other companies in the market as potential partners, you are Green and embracing love and a benevolent future. If you see other companies in the market as manifestations of the spiral and help them to grow, you are at Yellow. Don’t assume that you are superior, don’t assume you are including even if you think you are. If you see other companies in the market at Turquoise you will speak at conferences and reveal all your secrets. You will trust that if someone steals your code it is for the betterment of humanity. You will be open to crazy ideas—like a world without money. This requires so much faith that only those who fully own their companies and have no need of further earnings will have the guts. I am not sure that is me today, but I hope some day it will be me. This is really what enlightened capitalism is. You transcend and include Green, realizing not only that money can’t buy you love, but that poverty and having your ideas stolen may actually serve love as it pushes you to realize we are all the same person. If you are Orange and reading this you may be tempted to take advantage of Turquoise. Be aware that just because “You” are god, it doesn’t mean that “you” are god. In other words, to paraphrase Dolly Parton, “God (You) is watching us from a distance.”

TGIF—thank God it’s Friday?

Karma is a big part of the green value meme. On the plus side (each stage has a plus side), as Andrew Cohen says karma shows us we are master of our destiny and architecht of our fate. Cohen writes, “He has nothing to fear in this universe, nothing except his own wrong actions and thoughts.”

But here is how Green unravels itself. Let me say this plainly, THERE IS NO WRONG ACTION OR THOUGHT.

Yes some actions and thoughts cause pain and we serve love, so it’s not groovy. But True Love forgives immediately. True Love does not judge. This is God as You at Green. You stop judging. If you start measuring karma, you are an accountant. And accountants and actuaries are putting down their pencils and picking up their flowers. But I judge them to keep the world going. If you were to embrace karma—even while knowing it is incomplete idea­—you become one with God at Green.

But at Green evolution is not evil (as blue thinks), cruel (as Orange thinks), but harmonious. Thus climbing the spiral we do for God. Thus we reject karma—lovingly—as you see a child who almost has it right and want it to just keep going a bit further.

If you disagree with me, maybe you are right. At green we move from binary thinking to trinary thinking. We introduce Eve back into the equation and rather than Yes/No of Orange computers, we are quantum computing and now have a slot for maybe.

This is how Karma is right and wrong at the same time in the 4 quadrants

  • You hold open a door, or buy someone dinner
  • They don’t say thank you.
  • You judge them.
  • You feel under appreciated and wonder if you will not be so giving in the future.

But then in the 5th quadrant start to wonder, why did I buy them dinner?

Was it because I wanted to see gratitude?

Was it because they are me, so it is nothing to buy another dinner?

If you feed on gratitude, it can become like any drug—get a taste and you want more. This is fine if you remember it is You loving You. If you have expectations of something back, it’s dualistic. Which is fine, but there is something beyond that frame for us to see.

About the Author

Jordan Schachter has written and directed several feature films and television pilots as well as plays in New York. He has himself, acted in and produced many of these plays and short films. Jordan’ educational films have been seen by over a million students nationwide. He has also worked with major news corporations including The New York Times, RNN-TV and was an on-air commentator for The Oxygen Network.

Jordan worked in the Internet advertising industry. He was Director of Interactive Communications for Wunderman, the world’s largest direc marketing agency and for Interbrand the world’s largest branding agency. For many years, he had his own boutique agency, Machineborn, working with The New York Times making them millions of dollars in new subscribers.

Currently his life is focused on introducing goggles that alter your brainwave patterns to build concentration and relaxation, his upcoming bookBe True Love. ( and touring the nation in a fleet of buses (running on used veggi-oil). Aboard these buses will be a team of artists, spiritual folks, a vegan chef and perhaps a few revolutionaries seeking to reform our political system and relationship to nature. The goal is nothing short of raising consciousness to bring about a radical transformation of human society.

Jordan was one of the internet pioneers and recently founded:, a web site where New Yorkers can trade goods and services for an alternative currency called Time Dollars or TINY’s.

The only thing you really need to know? His intentions are good.

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