“As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe… keep breathing.”  Hugh Glass

Spiral Dynamics is a theory that explores the development of human consciousness and values through different stages, or levels, represented by colors. Each color represents a unique worldview, with its own set of values, beliefs, and ways of thinking. I will explore into the connections between films and Spiral Dynamics to provide practical advice for daily life. In this article, I will explore “The Revenant” in relation to the beige level of Spiral Dynamics.

“I’m not gonna make it. Go. Find Fitzgerald. You kill him for what he done to me.” – Jim Bridger (to Hugh Glass)
This quote highlights the need to exact revenge, an emotion driven by the survival instincts that dominate the beige level. The focus on the immediate threat of Fitzgerald demonstrates the prioritization of survival above all else.

The Beige Level

The beige level represents the most basic stage of human consciousness, characterized by an instinctual, survival-oriented mindset. Individuals at this stage focus on meeting their immediate needs for food, water, shelter, and safety. There is little to no concern for abstract thinking, planning for the future, or considering the needs and feelings of others. The beige level is primarily concerned with the survival and continuation of one’s own life.

The Revenant

“The Revenant” is a 2015 film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a frontiersman in the early 19th century. After being brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by his fellow trappers, Glass embarks on a harrowing journey through the unforgiving wilderness to exact vengeance on those who abandoned him. The film is a gripping tale of survival, resilience, and the human spirit.

The Revenant and the Beige Level

“The Revenant” provides an excellent representation of the beige level of Spiral Dynamics, as the primary focus of the film is on Hugh Glass’s struggle for survival. Throughout the movie, we witness Glass’s primal instincts and drive to survive against all odds. The harsh environment, scarce resources, and constant threat of danger force Glass to rely on his most basic, instinctual abilities to stay alive.

Practical Advice for Daily Life

While most of us do not face the extreme challenges depicted in “The Revenant,” we can still draw valuable lessons from the film:

  1. Prioritize self-care: In our modern, fast-paced world, it’s easy to neglect our basic needs for sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Prioritizing self-care ensures that you are in a better position to face life’s challenges and help others.
  2. Cultivate resilience: Life is filled with setbacks and obstacles. Develop resilience so you can adapt and overcome challenges.
  3. Embrace the power of focus: When faced with a difficult task or decision, focus on what is most important and prioritize those needs, much like the beige level’s emphasis on survival.

Visualization Exercise: Embracing the Beige Level with “Cat and Mouse” from The Revenant Soundtrack

  1. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can sit or lie down without distractions. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths, allowing your body to relax and your mind to focus on the present moment.
  2. Begin playing “Cat and Mouse” from The Revenant soundtrack. Allow the music to envelop you, immersing yourself in its haunting melodies and atmospheric sounds.
  3. Picture yourself alone in a vast, untamed wilderness, just like the one portrayed in “The Revenant.” Feel the cool air on your skin, the rough ground beneath your feet, and the sunlight filtering through the trees.
  4. As you walk through this wilderness, imagine that you are faced with the challenges and dangers of sheer survival, such as finding food, water, and shelter. Feel your instincts awaken as you become hyper-aware of your surroundings and your most basic needs.
  5. Visualize yourself overcoming these challenges using your innate survival skills. Perhaps you find a stream for water, hunt an animal for food, or build a shelter from the elements. With each success, feel your resilience and determination grow stronger.
  6. Now, imagine a predator lurking nearby, representing the threats and obstacles we face in our daily lives. As the music crescendos, visualize yourself facing this threat with courage and determination, tapping into your primal instincts to protect yourself and survive.
  7. As the music begins to wind down, see yourself overcoming the predator and emerging victorious. Feel a sense of accomplishment and renewed strength, knowing that you have harnessed the power of the beige level to face life’s challenges head-on.
  8. Slowly bring your awareness back to your body and your surroundings. Take a few deep breaths, and when you feel ready, open your eyes.

By engaging in this visualization exercise, you can connect with the beige level of Spiral Dynamics and experience the resilience, determination, and instincts that drive survival. This can help you develop a deeper appreciation for your innate abilities and empower you to face challenges in your daily life with courage and strength.

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