EPOCH I (LEVEL III)
The third loop of Epoch I is called “Egocentric Existence.”
At the egocentric level, rugged, naked, and assertive individualism is prominent. This level can be considered somewhat “Machiavellian” because MONARCH traits contain much of the essence of being human. From history, there are accounts of those, “…able to gain their freedom from survival problems (Graves, 1970).” Not only did they surge almost uncontrollably forward into a new way of being, but they also dragged after them, “…tribal members unable to free themselves of the burden of stagnating tribalistic existence (Graves, 1970).”
History suggests the few rose to authoritarian status while the many became submissive. Dr. Graves believed the many accepted a “might-is-right” axiom because this act of acceptance assured their survival. That this Promethean idea was entrenched through prerogatives of the “haves” and duties of the “have-nots.” Graves wrote that a MONARCH way of life began historically in the agricultural revolution, and to those living with a MONARCHS loop in primacy, “…life is seen as a continuous process with survival dependent on a controlled relationship (Graves, 1970).” Fealty, loyalty, service, and noblesse oblige becoming cornerstone features of the MONARCHS way of life, according to Graves.
Assured of their survival, through fief and vassalage, the ‘haves’ base life on the ‘right’ way to behave as their might dictates. Ultimately a system develops in which each acts out in detail, in the interest of his own survival, how life is to be lived, but only a small number ever achieve any modicum of power and the remainder are left to submit (Graves, 1970).
According to Dr. Graves, both authoritarians and submissives develop standards ensuring them against a threat. Submissives chose to get away with what they could within the range of possibilities. Authoritarians decide to do as they please.
They spawn, as their reason d’etre, the rights of assertive individualism. Actually these rights become, in time, the absolute rights of kings, the unassailable prerogatives of management, the inalienable rights of those who have achieved, through their own intentionality, positions of power, and even the rights of the lowly hustler to all he can hustle (Graves, 1970).
According to Dr. Graves, MONARCHS is a world of aggressive expression of human lusts pursued openly and unabashedly by the “haves,” more covertly and deviously by the “have-nots.” However, when MONARCHS solidify into a feudal system of stability, a new set of existential problems emerge for both “haves” and the “have-nots.” For example, death still faces “haves,” and the “have-nots” equally. Each must reconcile why they live their miserable existences. Eventually from this wellspring comes the elixir of humanity’s fourth level of reality, the MONOLITH.
EMERGENCE OF THE LOOPS:
Humans move through these levels, always seeking lasting security and needs fulfillment by way of avoidant learning. The emerging MONOLITH level is a way of life-based on a growing conviction that there must be a reason for it all, a reason why the “haves” possess so much in life yet still be faced with death, and a reason why the “have-nots” live in miserable circumstances. This conviction leads to a belief that, “…the ‘have’ and ‘have not’ condition is a part of a directed design… (Graves, 1970).” Thus, a righteous way of life-based on one of the world’s great religions or great philosophies becomes prominent. Here humans tarry long enough to create what they believe is a way for abiding peace in this existence or eternal life after death. To adherents, this worldview seems to remove the pain of both the “have” and the “have-not” condition.
They seek… salvation.
MONARCH is a highly individualistic level, often seasoned with copious helpings of anger. The MONARCHS loop can be seen in the ‘terrible two’s’ and rebellious teenagers. The MONARCHS loop is also evident in street gangs and mafioso. MONARCHS core values include power, immediate gratification, independence, respect, and avoiding shame. It’s plausible that MONARCH loopers see TRIBEs as tools to be “used.” Other MONARCHS as threats or potential leaders if strong enough. MONOLITH as stiflingly authoritarian, and possibly an enemy. MATERIALISTS as everywhere, wanting their toys, now. GREEN as namby-pamby future roadkill. Loop WIZARDS and the FEDERATION are most likely unseen and therefore valueless.
Gravesian Epoch I reached its peak in the closing decades of the 20th century. As we approach the second decade of the 21st century, the first two loops of Epoch II have begun to take shape… they are briefly described below in the WIZARDS and FEDERATION links:
- LEVEL I (SURVIVORS)
- LEVEL II (TRIBE)
- LEVEL III (MONARCHS)
- LEVEL IV (MONOLITH)
- LEVEL V (MATERIALISTS)
- LEVEL VI (GREEN)