It is important to note that movement from one level to the next
normally takes place when existence problems become too great to remain
at a particular level. Change is therefore, to an extent, a process
which is forced on the individual / society by the situation being too
uncomfortable to remain in. However, it is important to note that any
move from one level to the next results
in elements of previous levels also being retained as part of the
overall mix of Value Systems codes.
The late Professor Clare W. Graves, Union College, New York described this dynamic as follows:
"At each stage of human existence the adult man is off on his quest of his Holy Grail, the way of life he seeks by which
to live. At his first level he is on a quest for automatic physiological satisfaction.
At the second level he seeks a safe mode of living, and this is followed in turn, by a
search for heroic status (level 3), for power and glory,
by a search for ultimate peace ( level 4);
a search for material pleasure ( level 5),
a search for affectionate relations ( level 6),
a search for respect of self ( level 7) and a search for
peace in an incomprehensible world (level 8). And, when he finds he will
not find that peace, he will be off on his ninth level quest
As he sets off on each quest, he believes he will find the answer to his existence.
Yet, much to his surprise and much to his dismay, he finds at every stage that the solution to existence is not the
solution he has come to find. Every stage he reaches leaves him disconcerted and perplexed. It is simply that as he
solves one set of human problems he finds a new set in their place. The quest, he finds, is never ending."
Clare W Graves