Stage Red – Spiral Dynamics

stage red

As we progress up the spiral, Stage Purple moves into Stage Red. We begin to see the emergence of the individual ‘Ego’. As this develops, we see Red individuals step into positions of power, with little regard to how their actions may affect those around them. A hierarchy emerges, with a ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality, which often manifests as the weak serving the powerful. 

Those at who have developed to this level may stand out either positively or negatively depending on the subjective reality of the witness. Polarised, they can be seen as heroic or rebellious; hedonistic or searching. The actions of the leaders at this stage are egocentric and self-serving and can lead to corruption.

Red usually exists in under-developed areas of the world, where there is little equality, democracy or human rights. At one point, the majority of the world was Red, and it’s an essential step in development. At the previous Stage Purple, the collective ideal of the tribe can only work with a limited amount of people. With Red, the more complex value systems and structures allow broader intelligences to manifest.

In 2020, Red represents around 20% of the adult population and holds 5% of the power. In today’s society, we may see Stage Red in gangsters, corrupt police officers and exploitive governments. However, it’s essential to understand that not only the ‘boss’ or ‘leader’ in these types of hierarchies are stage red; anyone within this structure can be at this level.


The Origin Of Red

Stage Red originated approximately 10,000 years ago when the group’s needs were satisfied (during Stage Purple), and the individual began to liberate itself, discovering its own free will and power. When staying within the realms of Stage Purple, there is no individual autonomy, and the release from this created a strong, powerful, selfish Red individual. 

Individuals at Stage Red who are craving a position of power would have created such by either dethroning their current tribal chief or finding a new space outside of their group. 


Stage Red Slogans or Phrases

  • Fortune favours the bold
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
  • Carpe diem!
  • Put your money where your mouth is
  • You have to break an egg to make an omelette
  • There’s no shine without friction
  • An eye for an eye


Point of Gravity 

The essence of Stage Red is power and impulsivity. The core of Red would be to do as you wish, regardless of the effect it has on the whole.


Characteristics of Stage Red 

The following characteristics at Stage Red:

  • There is a need for immediate gratification.
  • Red is very action-orientated individuals.
  • Those at Red need to be able to take risks to survive.
  • Stage Red are very self-centred individuals.
  • Stage Red use ‘shows of power’ to earn respect from others.
  • You are likely to see acts of violence and torture which the individual may take delight in
  • Stage Red individuals are very easily insulted and disrespected.
  • There is no altruism at Stage Red.
  • There is no self-reflection, and all problems are external to themselves.
  • This level doesn’t learn through punishment; they may continue to be repeat offenders.
  • Stage Red is more commonly found in males than females.
  • This stage is usually quite confrontational.
  • Red has the mindset that enemies ‘must be destroyed.’ 
  • They see corruption and violence as the norm.


Healthy Manifestations

Those at this stage show the following healthy manifestations or characteristics: 

  • Stage Red people are very courageous.
  • They can make decisions alone, without the need for others input.
  • They can act immediately within the here and now.
  • They can set clear boundaries with those around them.
  • They are very risk-tolerant.
  • Stage Red have a sense of personal ambition.
  • Red has a passionate sense of mission.


Unhealthy Manifestations

Unhealthy manifestations of this stage:

  • They can be very exploitive.
  • Those at Stage Red can seem very harsh, with no regard for others feelings.
  • They need to have their own needs met, which can be at the detriment to those around them.
  • They can be very unreasonable people.
  • Stage Red has little respect for nature or the earth and is happy to use it to its advantage; such as dominating animals and extracting resources.
  • There is no capacity for self-reflection; problems are always at the fault of someone else.
  • They tend to have a lack of self-control due to their impulsivity and cravings.
  • Stage Red is unable to do preventative work; such as ‘Saving’ for the future.


Moving into Blue

Stage Red develops into Blue. Stage Blue begins to see the downside of Red’s excessive selfishness. They seek a better system for all, which is something not considered by any stages prior. A Blue individual begins to build self-discipline and restraint, unseen in Red. Another movement towards higher complexity and evolving consciousness.


Gratitude to Don Beck, Chris Cowan and Clare Graves for the gift of this work.

I’d also like to thank SDiNL and for the exceptional work they have done in sharing this information and making it accessible to the masses.