Behavior ≠ Intention
Are colors things people “do”?
Can you remember a time when someone you knew (a friend, a lover, a boss, etc.) was doing something you just didn’t understand? It would go on for what felt like ages until, eventually, you realized why they were doing it. It dawned on you the real reason for their behavior (something they may not have even realized themselves), and your whole perspective shifted?
For me, it was when I discovered someone close to me was not working all those extra hours and spending all that effort on their job for money. The business and work served as a method to hide away from some distant shadow of the past. For so many years, I had incorrectly judged behavior as a color, equating that because they were behaving this way, Blue was the culprit. I could not have been more wrong.
In this case, it was an example of “Blue protecting Low Purple”. Perhaps you recognize this pattern? An individual, a company, or even country, surrounding themselves with “truths” and “beliefs” and “hierarchical structures” (work, a business, the military, religion/cult, etc.) to “protect” underlying insecurity? You may even notice this pattern in yourself…
One could look at this situation and think that these behaviors were obviously coming Blue because they were so focused on “routines” and “work”. But we’d made a mistake that many beginners starting in Spiral do; we forgot to ask, “What’s the intention of the behavior?”
The above is only one example of the thousands we make every day. We assume or judge an event in the external world as “this” or “that.” In actuality, they’re a cocktail of hundreds of competing intentions, values, beliefs, etc. Unless we’ve studied for many years (and this is also arguable), it would be nigh impossible for us to know precisely what the real source is.
By asking the question, “What’s the intention?” We dig a little deeper into ourselves or the subject, prying further down the rabbit hole towards the truth. This question provides a useful way to learn more; however, it’s not the only tool we have.
The safest way to gauge an intention is to observe it over time. The longer we study and read situations, the more nuanced our perspective of the situation becomes. Time can be a manual safety rail for you if, for example, you agree to yourself that you’ll only make a “decision” on the subject after at least six months. I once knew a man who would wait seven years getting to know someone before they would go into business with them! By implementing this principle, we can mitigate risk in situations that may be unclear to decipher.
Time additionally allows seeing how they/we engage with other colors. The interaction of colors can speak volumes when trying to understand what’s truly at play. Do they treat people with respect when they’re in work mode? How are they with children? Does the company work with small businesses in the city? Will the belief system tolerate gods of a different faith? Each of these interactions blends compelling mixes of color and intentions for some pretty complex events. We may investigate these explosions of color for the nuances, phrases, body language, and expressions that indicate a more profound truth.
Masks of “We”
” Hello! Welcome! You look ready to buy a car today, sir!”
Getting to understand intentions over behaviors better can also protect you. There are those (usually driven by a hidden “I” color) who wear the Masks of “We”. We all know the sleazy salesman – the dealer at the car shop who always greets us with that huge smile and a warm handshake. “He’s so nice!”, you think to yourself, “Almost… too nice.”. Upon closer inspection, throughout the car’s tour, you notice little flickers in his demeanor. A flash of sadness when you tell him that you want a cheaper model. That glimmer of anger when he asks you to buy today, and you say, “I’ll think about it”. Something feels…wrong
A car shop dealer is one thing, but what about the ones at the top? Those who appear on the surface to be one thing, touting praise and wonder for the world’s display, and six months later, a lawsuit is filed for sexual assault only to be quietly ignored by the media.
Knowledge of these deeper truths and intentions can massively impact better decisions in your life, relationships, voting choices, or belief in a deity. There are colors in those unhealthy forms that are prone to utilize our naivety to their tactics and their masks who exploit us for profit, ego, and significance. Awareness of how they operate and decoupling their dishonest behavior with real intention can defend us against being taken advantage of.
Turning caution into curiosity
When I personally first learned of these dangers, I grew wary of judging too quickly, becoming almost indecisive about the world and people. Focusing instead on “why” things were happening, and building a deep sense of wonder for human nature, turned this caution into something that enabled me to engage more deeply with others.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
– Albert Einstein
By extending this curiosity out to our loved ones and friends, we can strengthen our empathy, our abilities to listen and improve the unique perspective we might offer. Seeing into the deeper intention and looking past the shallow veil of surface reality connects us to where we are truly coming from. Often, a place so deep we were not even aware of it ourselves.