Stage Yellow – Spiral Dynamics

stage yellow

When an individuals consciousness reaches stage Yellow, they have transcended into ‘Second Tier Consciousness’ on the Spiral. In the second tier, people move away from fear-driven responses and move into love as the key motivator for their being. One of the primary differences is the shift from ‘my truth is the only way’ to ‘there are infinite ways of seeing reality’.

As Stage Yellow emerges, it sees the problems at Green. Instead of protesting, it offers valuable solutions. For example; Green may be fearful of the impacts of climate change, which is their primary motivator for change. Yellow will understand the interconnectivity of the planet and want to create a system that helps businesses work more sustainably with the environment. There is not a primary value on money and fame but rather a significant impact.

Yellow usually evolves from Stage Green as a response to the frustration with Greens lack of solution and overly radical ideals. Yellow is aware of the challenges that Stage Green sees and is willing to create models and concepts to make a positive impact on the Spiral as a whole, not just to create a win-win situation. 

Purpose and humanism drive Stage Yellow. It is the first tier in the Spiral to have the cognitive ability to understand the complexity of issues we face to create a sustainable world. This does not mean they understand the problems themselves (although they may do), but more so the complexity of what society faces. 

In today’s world, Stage Yellow makes up 1% of the population are hold 5% of the influence; usually through conscious enterprise, books, few media channels and specific government programmes.


 The Origin Of Stage Yellow

Stage Yellow originated only 50 years ago in the West. It arose as a reaction to the frustrations of the Stage Green value system; it once again broke away from the herd (as did the ‘Individual’ Stages prior in the Spiral) and harboured a spiritual, integral, loving value system. 

A new consciousness emerged during this transcendence into Yellow, that sees individual life both as small and also vast within the whole. 


Point of Gravity 

The essence of Stage Yellow is that the world is a complex and natural system that requires integral solutions and models, of which Yellow will help create. They aim to live fully, sustainably and with authenticity. 


Characteristics of Stage Yellow 

The following characteristics are observed at Stage Yellow:

  • Yellow can talk about different value systems, without the need to submit to one.
  • Yellow recognises life’s natural hierarchies and systems.
  • Yellow are focused on the process, content and system as a whole.
  • Yellow understand that change is constant.
  • Yellow can integrate their head, heart and gut feeling.
  • Yellow values open-mindedness.
  • Yellow is committed to life-long, proactive learning.
  • Yellow meets people where they are at on the Spiral.
  • Yellow is a lone-wolf.
  • Yellow sees the other stages for what they are; useful and necessary.
  • Yellow values self-actualisation.
  • Yellow can generate fresh insights and new perspectives.
  • Yellow values big-picture understanding and are masters at connecting the dots within.
  • Yellow will penetrate the real core of an issue; it has no interest in surface-level solutions.
  • Yellow understands their spiritual role in the development of consciousness.
  • Yellow has no interest in recognition for their actions.
  • Yellow sees every situation as an opportunity to learn and expand consciousness.


Stage Yellow Phrases or Slogans

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

“If someone strikes gold, everyone will know.”

“To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

“No, no, you are not thinking, you are just being logical” – Niels Bohr.

“Turn your hand to anything.”

“Wisdom is knowing what you do not know.”

“The darkest hour is before the dawn.”


Healthy Manifestations of Stage Yellow: 

Those at Stage Yellow show the following healthy manifestations or characteristics: 

  • Yellow is curious and can ask questions without being judgemental.
  • Stage Yellow is creative with innovative thinking.
  • Yellow individuals are great visionaries.
  • Yellow does not value material possessions. 
  • Yellow is rarely fearful.
  • Yellow has no regard for rank, status or power. 
  • Yellow can be critical in a ‘healthy’ way.
  • Yellow has personal freedom without harming others or nature.


Unhealthy Manifestations of Stage Yellow:

Unhealthy manifestations of Stage Yellow:

  • Yellow may be distant and forget to connect with others, usually due to their enthusiasm for knowledge or creating systems.
  • Yellow may jump from one idea to another and not finish projects.
  • Yellow may be overly critical and make ideas more complex.
  • Yellow may build unpragmatic ideas.


Moving from Stage Yellow to Stage Turquoise

Stage Yellow and Stage Turquoise usually emerge alongside the other. According to Don Beck, Stage Yellow is ‘Left Brain with Feelings’ whereas Stage Turquoise is ‘Right Brain, with Data’. 

As Yellow moves into Turquoise, the individual develops a deep intuition and connection with natures entirety. Turquoise is beyond ego, survival, fear and ideology and is a space of self-transcendence and selfless living. 


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.


1 Comment

  1. Juha Polvela
    February 21, 2021 / 5:28 am


    Vety interesting article and good aspects.