For additional remarks by Dr. Graves on social services and welfare, see the 1974 Futurist article: "Human Nature Prepares for a Momentous Leap"


From the Historical Collection of the work of Dr. Clare W. Graves
William R. Lee    - presentations, papers, recorded transcripts, notes -    January 2003
Accessible at ClareWGraves.com - Chris Cowan, Natasha Todorovic, William Lee, eds.




The Levels of Human Existence
and their
Relation to Welfare Problems

Clare W. Graves, Ph.D.

Delivered May 6, 1970, at the Annual Conference, 
Virginia State Department of Welfare and Distribution, Roanoke, Virginia



I should like to talk with you today about what I call the Levels of Human Existence and how they are related to welfare problems. But before I do, let me share with you what I did in preparation for this conference.

When I was graciously extended the opportunity to speak with you today, I was told the theme of the conference was The Future of Welfare. So I thought that were I to talk about its future, I had better refresh myself as to its present. As a result, I went out into my community and talked with some people who were on or soon to be on the welfare roles. I talked with them as to their problems and what they saw as their needs. Briefly, the following is a part of what I learned.

Case 1   Mrs. Georgia is a mother of 13 with a living-in, unemployed husband. As I approached her door, it was open. I saw her sitting there apparently looking out through the door; but she seemed not to see me, so I stopped on the threshold and knocked. She showed no sign of recognition of my presence or my knock, so I knocked louder only to get no response. Then I asked if I could come in, and still there was no response; so I walked in believing she was, by now, certainly aware of my presence. Finally her eyelids lifted signaling a limited sign of recognition. Following this sign I told her my purpose was to ascertain her needs so that I could help her. Slowly, oh so slowly, she lifted her obviously weary body - uttering not a word. Her right hand extended a feeble sign to follow, which I did. As she moved, she communicated only by gesture pointing to all the undone things, all that she needed and the overwhelming problem of her brood. Never, not ever, while I was with her did she utter a word. Finally, the tour over, I left knowing I had seen that which was expected when I came: namely, that she was centralized at the first Level of Human Existence and New York's elaborate welfare program was not meeting her needs.

Case 2   My second stop was at the home of the Richards family. At my knock, the door was opened by a lady holding and comforting a crying, mewling baby who recognized me with a wan smile. She lovingly patted the baby and offered it to me to pat. I responded appropriately, only to be met with a convulsive flood of tears. She threw her arms around me and the baby I was now comforting and drew me into the house, throbbing as she said how glad she was someone had come by, for she was at the end of her rope. She said the past six weeks was just too much for her since Tim, her husband, was hurt; that she had been trying to feed her family of five on fifteen dollars a week since Tim fell, and how she needed help. When I asked what happened to Tim, she said he fell at thaw time when we had that slippery snow. Had he seen a doctor, I asked? No, he couldn't; she had no way to get him help. She couldn't leave the kids; he couldn't go and even if she could get out to seek help, she was at a loss as to how to get to the clinic people spoke about; and that she was afraid to go after Tim's "visitation" (the magic which made him fall) lest something get her, too. After more talk, again I left, for I had once more seen what I thought the tour might bring forth. This family was centralized at the second Level of Human Existence, and welfare was not meetings its needs.

Case 3   My visit to the Franklin family was short and explosive. I had been informed that Mr. Franklin was on bail for willful destruction of property, that his trial as almost due, and that doubtless he was headed for jail. He answered my knock with a yank of the door that almost tore it from the hinges. "Who in the hell are you, and what in the devil do you want? And can't you see I've got enough trouble without your goddamned questions? What the hell do you expect of me? All I did was break up a few things in that ---- store when that son-of-a-bitch would not give me what I earned. Sure, I knocked out his ---- window, and what are you and your lousy pigs gonna' do? You gonna' back me up? You gonna' take me from my wife? You gonna' make me make me look a no good man to my wife? You gonna' make look a no good man to my kids? All you ---- officials ever do is yank a man's ---- out."

Again, I had seen what I thought might be there to be seen. Welfare does not meet the needs of this family, and that our criminal procedures create problems for us for families like this where the man is centralized at the third Level of Human Existence.

Case 4   The fourth case was Mrs. Martin, a lovely but pitiful widow. Essentially, she said, her needs were for someone to tell her what to do about some problems she had right now. Mary, she thought was about to or was sleeping with her boy friend. Should she get her some pills? Did I think it was right that Mary should use them? What should she buy with her welfare check? What food would she serve tonight? Ed was going to quit school and go to work sub-rosa because he was big enough though very young. Should she let him? What should she do? Did she have enough money to meet her needs, I asked? To which she answered, "That is not my problem. My problem is I don't know what to do and the worker just can't get around to help me."

Again, my search was rewarded. Here was Mrs. Martin centralized at the fourth Level of Human Existence, economically, at least, at subsistence level, but welfare was not meeting her needs.

Case 5   My last case is that of Mrs. Williams, her husband, and two children. I learned that a month prior Mr. Williams had quit his job when his company put a new foreman over him. He was seeking work, but what he wanted was outdoor construction, not an indoor job of the kind available. She had to lock the kids, 4 and 5, in the house while she baby-sat for others while he looked for work. She had to do this to have some food until they were investigated and declared eligible because what they had save had gone into the house in which they had very little equity. She didn't want to go on welfare, but they had to stay alive, and she was certain they would have to give up their home and lost their equity to get welfare. Did I have on my form any "real" work he could do? "He's too proud to know to accept work." Did any of my farmer friends need help who could pick him up for work, since he had no transportation?

This family, reaching from the fifth Level of Human Existence, has a current need, one our welfare system is not organized to meet.

Thus, I saw five cases at five different Levels of Existence, all with needs not met simply because, as I see it, the welfare services in my locality are not organized so as to meet the problems of their kind. These are not problems that arise from a lack of welfare funds. We have them. They are not problems that stem from personal psychological problems in the people. None of them are psychological cases. They are problems that exist because welfare, as now organized in my locality, treats welfare cases from an inadequate conceptual picture of the nature of man, because our welfare does not have as the basis for its organization a conception of the growth and development of the human organism which is adequate for the problems.

Therefore, as my next step, I want to suggest to you a framework for understanding adult man, a framework I call the Levels of Human Existence Theory, and then talk with you about its meaning to welfare problems such as I have cited.

Just what do I mean by the Levels of Human Existence Theory, and what does it have to say about welfare problems? The Level of Human Existence is a concept that says that...

...the psychosocial development of the human being is an unfolding or emergent process marked by the progressive subordination of older behavioral systems to newer, higher order behavioral systems. Man tends, normally, to change his psychosocial conception of his problems and how to meet them as the conditions of his existence change. He tends, as he solved each successive, hierarchically ordered series of human problems to move from one Level of Human Existence to the next. And when he so moves, he sees the human problems with which he is faced in a new and different light.

 Each successive state or Level of Existence is a state of equilibrium through which people pass on the way to other states of psychosocial equilibrium. When a person, be he a welfare policy maker, a welfare administrator, a welfare service seeker or a welfare recipient, is centralized within a particular level he has a psychology which is particularized to that state. His construal of the world and its problems, his feelings, his motivations, his ethics and his values are particular to that state. If he were in another state, he would construe his world and his problems in a different way and he would feel, think, judge and be motivated in a different manner.

This level of existence concept says some people may not be genetically or constitutionally equipped to change in the normal upward direction if the conditions for their existence change. And, it says they may move, given certain conditions, through this hierarchically ordered series of behavior systems to some end, or they may stabilized and live out their lifetime at any one or a combination of the levels in the hierarchy.

And finally, for our purposes here today, it says that when a person is centralized in a level, he has only the behavioral degrees of freedom afforded him at that level, and that he will construe the world and its problems in a way that is consonant with his Level of Existence and he, if a welfare worker, will want to manage human problems and, he, if a welfare recipient, will want to be managed in respect to his problems in a way that is congruent with the centrality of his level of operation.

If certain conditions arise and he moves in the direction of another level he lives by a different set of principles and will construe human welfare problems differently, will want to manage them differently and want them to be managed in a different way.

According to my research, man's psychosocial development - that includes what he conceives welfare should be, how it should be administered and what the recipient feels is his welfare problem and how he feels his problems should be served - develops from the existential states of man. These states, these psychosocial systems, are defined by the intersection of two mental components that grow by periods of spurt and plateau.




           Figure 1

 (See the 1981 summary for other examples of the double-helix graphic illustrating the cyclic interplay of problems and neurology. Note that the axes are switched in later papers with problems as the Y and neurology on the X, thus the letter-pairs change order in later work, as well.)



As man meets and solves certain crucial problems for existence N, O, P - the growth rate of the components changes and, as they do, higher order neurological systems B, C, D are switched on in the brain. The first existential state is the A-N state, the state that exists when man is living in conditions where he spends practically all his awakened hours attending to that which will satisfy his imperative physiological needs. The states that emerge later -- B-O wherein man must assure the continuance of his first established way of life, C-P where he must solve the problem of survival as an individual man, D-Q where he must obtain lasting security in his existence, E-R where he must assert his independence as a person, F-S where he must live in a non-competitive way with other humans, G-T where he must truly learn life is interdependent, and H-U where he must learn to fashion a life that honors and respects all the different levels of human being -- arise and come to stage center in man's mind as each successive set of human problems are resolved. As the two components, adjustment of the organism to the environment and adjustment of the environment to the organism develop in their spurt-like, plateau-like fashion, the later appearing psychological systems emerge. This alteration of the components produces a cyclic-like emergence of the psychosocial states that dictates that the psychology and thus the construal of welfare problems of every other system is, at one and the same time, like and unlike its cyclic problem, an aspect of the psychosocial development of man and his construal of welfare problems that, if not understood, leads to much confusion when welfare problems are discussed.

As each system emerges, man believes that the problems of human existence are the problems with which he is faced at the level at which he has arrived. He develops, therefore, at each level, a general thema for existence, including a general concept of what welfare should be and how it should be practiced which is congruent with his state of emergence. This general thema for living and for welfare practices is specified into particular schema for existence and particular welfare policies and procedures as a result of specific individual, environmental or group differences.

When man's existence is centralized in lower level systems (see Table I), the subsistence levels, states A-N through F-S, it is characteristic of him to believe there is something inherently wrong in any concept of welfare or any welfare practices that do no stem from the level at which he is centralized. Thus arises the kind of arguments about what welfare should be and what its practices should be like that we hear so much of today.

Table I

Terminological Designation of the Levels, Type of Thinking Per Level, and Basic Concept of Welfare Per Level

Level of Existence State  Type of Thinking  Concept of  Welfare
8  Second Being H-U Differentialistic  Differential
7  First Being G-T Systemic  Interdependent
6  Sixth Subsistence F-S Sociocentric  Social 
5  FifthSubsistence E-R Physicalistic  Merit 
4  Fourth Subsistence D-Q Absolutistic  Social Security
3  Third Subsistence C-P Egocentric  Individualistic 
2  Second Subsistence B-O Automatic  Tribalistic 
1  First Subsistence  A-N Does not think None

According to the level of existence point of view, each level contains a different mix of whether welfare should be group or individual oriented, persons or things oriented, material or happiness oriented. We will see that man emphasizes the group, persons-not-things, happiness side of welfare when centralized in the even numbered systems and the individual, things-not-people, materialistic side of welfare in the odd numbered systems. But in each of the even numbered systems the group emphasized is different, the particular focus on persons in different and what happiness is seen to be also differs. For example, in System 2, it is the welfare of the tribe that is important; it is what-person-can-do-what for the tribe that prevails and tribal happiness; what means avoid the tribal spirits' ire that is important. Whereas in level four, it is social class needs that prevail; it is what persons in each class considers is their welfare and what the particular class considers happiness that rules what and how welfare shall be carried on. These matters I shall amplify later in this paper.

Another aspect of the systems point of view that is important to welfare is depicted in Figure 2, a figure that depicts that men move into, pass through and move on to the next level of existence in an orderly, regressive-progressive fashion, always from each preceding system to the next appearing system in the hierarchy. And it means that welfare problems will proceed from those that are specific and concrete, to respect to certain people and certain groups, to the more general problems of larger and different groups.

Figure 2

(Note:  The a, b, a', b' designations here differ from other Graves change diagrams where alpha is the nodal state, beta the exiting, gamma as the barriers/valley.)

The nature of the growth process (as depicted in Figures 1 and 2 and Table I) is particularly important to understanding the mass of welfare problems that we have today. But Figure 2 points to a singularly important problem. Examining it we note movement into a level of existence, then passage through it to points a, a', a'' - that are points of crises in welfare client - provider relationships. Then as the crises develop we note a disintegration of the welfare relationships until points b, b' and b'' are reached and the problem reaches confrontational proportions. From a welfare point of view, Figure 2 says that when people are in the C-P level that they have certain welfare needs and not other welfare needs, that a particular concept of welfare must be applied to C-P people and that they will respond positively to only certain welfare practices and procedures and not to practices or procedures that are appropriate for people who are operating at other levels of existence.

It depicts that once we know the level of existence of the clientele we can foresee what the next needs of them will be. This is, if the clientele is operating at the C-P level then the next welfare needs that they will have will be the emerging D-Q needs and not the needs of people who might be at the B-O or E-R level of existence. It says also the C-P welfare approaches will be appropriate only until C-P existential problems are solved at which time the clientele in its growth will have arrived at point a''. When this happens a crises in the relationship between the client and the practitioners of welfare will develop. When it does it will be customary for them to try to work out the problem by shoring up the existing system, by doing patchwork repair that will lead then only into a worse problem rather than to a solution. The client will begin to see that the solution lies in changing the welfare system to a new one and not in patching up the old one. When this stage, point b'', is reached a confrontation will take place between a client and practitioner. The client will revolt toward the practices of his current welfare system, a matter of signal importance in the welfare world today, and a matter that we must not misinterpret as so many are doing today. What I mean is that today we hear much talk of the failure of our existing welfare systems; talk that stems from misunderstanding what has really happened.

This apparent breakdown, this apparent failure of welfare is not really failure at all for the points of crises and confrontations to which I have alluded; they arise only when our existing system has been successful. Crisis and confrontation does not, in level theory, signify failure. It signifies growth. It indicates that we have solved the problems of existence of the client population and that this particular client population is not ready for operation within a newer, higher welfare system. Thus, Figure 2 says that for welfare to be successful we must know the particular levels of existence of the particular client population; that we must develop for a particular client population a concept of welfare and administrative practices congruent with that population's level of existence; and that we must expect new and different welfare demands when the congruent welfare approach is successfully applied to the particular client population. I repeat, we must expect and accept that any proper set of welfare concepts applied successfully will accrue, as their result, marked dissatisfaction with that concept of welfare and its particular practices. We must not see this confrontation as a need for shoring up the system but as a sign of a need for a new and different kind of system.

When we put all of this together in our world of today, we see what on the surface appears to be an appalling problem. It is:

1. That we have in the world, in America, and in Virginia today people who are centralized at all of the levels of existence which have emerged from within the nature of man today.

2. That this means we must have an overall welfare system that includes as many sub-systems of welfare as we have client populations. And - that we must be forecasting what the overall system will need to be like when new levels of existence emerge.

3. That we must: 

(a) Identify what client populations we have as per level theory.

(b) Identify who the people are in any current welfare providing groups whose thinking is congruent with certain client populations, people who naturally subscribe to and apply the congruent welfare concepts and practices to that client populations.

(c) That we must administratively, within welfare organizations, change our methods of selecting placing, evaluating and rewarding welfare professions.

Here we must select not because the practitioner has had certain specified formal training but on the basis of demonstrated competence to work with a particular psychological level of operation, within the congruent conception of welfare and through the effective practices of the congruent welfare system.

Placement-wise, we must place people because they fit the client's construal of his problem and not because the practitioner seems to be in tune with what higher administrators think welfare should be and how it should be practiced.

Evaluation-wise, we must rate not the general aspects of the practitioner in terms of his or her reducing the number of welfare problems but in terms of growth changes to new welfare needs in the client.

Reward-wise, the practitioner should be rewarded for more effectively promoting growth from a certain level to the next emergent level. We should avoid rewarding a la "The Peter Principle" by lifting a person to a higher level in the administrative hierarchy where his or her competence is left behind.

4. That we must come to welcome crises and confrontation as signs of success and not as signs of failure.

5. That we should be forecasting through knowledge of the client's level what will be his next set of welfare needs to emerge. And we should have our plans laid for this transition to be made to the practitioners whose competence is in respect to the emerging needs of the client.

6. That we should compose, to the degree possible, welfare teams made up of practitioners each of whom is competent in respect to the problems of some level of existence. And that if this is not possible, such as in installations where there is only one or two workers then these particular workers should be those who themselves are operating at levels of existence higher than any of their client population.

All of this means, of course, that for such to come into operation one must have knowledge of what people are like in each level of human existence, what concept of welfare is congruent with each level, and what major practices are or are not congruent with each of the levels. Obviously this cannot be detailed today, but I should like to take a few minutes now to sketch it out and then close with some thoughts as to what welfare might best be like if it is to meet the human welfare problems of today using as my referent points the five cases with which I opened this paper. As an introduction into this section of this paper, let me examine briefly the conception of welfare.

The Concept of Welfare

Today, everywhere we look we seem to find problems with the conception of what welfare should be and with how it should be administered. We find conceptual problems in the minds of those who must decide what welfare is to be and of what it should consist. And we find administrative problems both in the minds of those who deliver and those who are the recipients of welfare services.

On the conceptual side, some decision makers feel welfare should consist only of that which provides for the imperative needs of the deserving, and only to the extent that it does not weaken the spirit of enterprise in the recipient, a position which these policy makers perceive as that which will not endanger what makes our society work. Others feel that welfare should be something that extends far beyond providing for those children, those ill or handicapped, those aged and deserving poor who cannot care for their own imperative needs. The former perceive welfare as limited to providing for those minimum needs that enable body and soul to remain intact. The latter feel the concept of welfare should extend much further, even so far as to assure that all people live the kind of life they want to live. The former operate within the concern that welfare not undermine the work ethic. The latter, who do not share this fear of inhibiting enterprise, see welfare as more related to the happiness and dignity of human life rather than to the sheer maintenance of life.

For those who look upon the welfare as a means to reducing certain unavoidable economic inequalities of life, welfare is an economic concept and the task of welfare services is to correct, at least somewhat, the gravest undeserved economic un-equalities. For them, its aim should be to produce a maximum of social benefit through a minimum of disturbances of the work ethic. But others, who see welfare as a qualitative concept; as one that provides not just for the economic maintenance of life, the task of welfare is to provide those aids that dignify the state of human living. As a result we have today many long and heated arguments as to just what welfare should be and how it should be administered.

On the administrative side we find no fewer problems than those of the policy makers. Here a major concern of many administrators derives from the same basic relief of the quantitatively, work ethic oriented policy makers. This concern pertains to how welfare problems should be administered in a situation where sadly it is necessary, but where its administration must focus on sifting out the shiftless and providing only to those who show they will attempt to correct their conditions by work, by education, by organization and planning and by thrifty uses of resources. Here certain administrators get involved in the details of eligibility, the planning of education and budgeting, and checking on the veracity and seriousness of purpose of possible or actual recipients, administrative actions that have been vigorously attacked in many quarters in recent times. But other administrators profess that welfare practitioners should disband such de-dignifying practices, practices such as searching personal investigations to determine eligibility, condescending planning and check up visitations.

As a result of these and many other conceptual and administrative differences, we have much argument today as to what welfare should be, of what it should consist, to whom it should be administered and how the administration should be carried out. Therefore, we have need for some conceptual framework that will clarify what the various view points toward welfare are, why they exist and how these differences might be utilized to bring our various forms of thinking about welfare constructively together rather than argumentatively to impasse or to half way compromise measures such as the current national income support plan. This I think can be done through knowledge of the concept I call the Levels of Existence. So let us look briefly at them as they relate to welfare. 

Levels of Existence

Man at the first subsistence level, man in the A-N existential state, the automatic state of physiological existence, seeks only the immediate satisfaction of his basic physiological needs. He is in essence a simple reflexological organism who lives through the medium of his built-in equipment. He has only an imperative need-based concept of time and space and no concept of cause or effect. His awareness excludes self and is limited to the presence of physiologically determined tension when it is present, and the relief of such tension when it takes place. He lives in a purely physiological existence, but let us not make an error here: man the species or man the individual does not have to rise above this level to continue the survival of the species. Man can continue the survival of the species through the purely physiological aspect of the process of procreation existence. He can live what is for him, at the A-N level, a productive lifetime, productive in the sense that his built in response mechanisms are able to reduce the tensions of his imperative physiological needs, and a reproductive lifetime. But this level of existence seldom is seen today except in rare instances, or in pathological cases. Here he has no concept of welfare, but his welfare need is to be nurtured much in the manner of the infant baby.

As soon as man, in his food gathering wanderings, accrues a set of Pavlovian conditioned reflexes that provide for the satisfaction of his imperative needs, and as soon as he in his wanderings comes upon his Garden of Eden, that place in space that is particularly appropriate for his acquired Pavolovian behavior, he slides almost imperceptibly out of this stage into man's first establishment, the first established form of human existence, the tribalistic way of life.

At the second subsistence level, the B-O state of being, the autistic state of thinking, man's need is for stability, a need for the continuation of a not understood but strongly defended way of life. This level of man has just struggled forth from striving to exist. Now he has his first established way of life. Of course, this way of life has come to be without awareness, thought, or purpose for it is based on Pavlovian classical conditioning principles. Therefore, B-O man believes his tribalistic way is inherent in the nature of things. As a result he holds tenaciously to it, and strives desperately to propitiate the world for its continuance.

Here he lives in a primeval world of no separation between subject and object, a world where phenomena possess no clear contours and things have no particular identity. Here one form or being can be transmuted into another for there is correspondence between all things. At this level a seasonal, or naturally based concept of time comes to be, and space is perceived in an atomistic fashion. Causality is not yet perceived because he perceives the forces at work to be inherent, thus linking consciousness at the deepest level. Here a form of existence based on myth and tradition comes to be and being is a mystical phenomenon full of spirits, magic and superstition. Here the task of existence is simply to continue what it seems has enabled my tribe to be.

But here, more by chance than by design, some men achieve relative control of their spirit world through their non-explainable, elder administered tradition based way of life, a way of life that continues relatively unchanged until disturbed from within or without. When the established tribal way of life assure the continuance of the tribe with minimal energy expenditure, it creates the first of the general conditions necessary for movement to a new and different steady state of being. It produces excess energy in the system that puts the system in a state of readiness for change. But unless another factor dissonance, or challenge comes into the field, the change does not move in the direction of some other states of being. Instead, it moves toward maximum entropy and its demise for it becomes overloaded with its accretion of more and more tradition, more and more ritual. If, however, when the state of readiness; that is excess energy in the field is achieved, dissonance enters, then this steady state of being is precipitated toward a different kind of change. This dissonance arises usually in youth or certain minds, in the field, not troubled by the memories of the past that are capable of newer and more lasting insights into the nature of man's being. Or it can come to the same capable minds when outsiders disturb the tribes' way of life.

At this level man's welfare need is for protection from the evil spirits; that can be accomplished only by accommodating to the way of life laid down by the elders of the tribe like group. It is the tribal group's welfare that is important and the individual does not count. Here the welfare worker must be as one of the group knowing all of its peculiarities, and here he must work within not against the group's belief in malevolent magic.

When, at the B-O level, readiness for change comes to be, it triggers man's insight into his existence as an individual being, as a being separate and distinct from other beings, and from his tribal compatriots, as well. As he struggles, now intentionally, since the operant or instrumental conditioning system is opening, he perceives that others, other men, other animals, and even spirits in his physical world, fight him back. So his need for survival emerges to the fore.

With this change in consciousness, man becomes aware that he is aligned against other men who are predatory men, those who fight for their established way of existence, or against him for the new way of existence he is striving to develop, against predatory animals and a threatening physical universe. Now he is not one with all for he is alone, alone struggling for his survival against the "dragonic" forces of the universe. So he sets out in heroic fashion, through his newly emergent operant conditioning learning system, to build a way of being that will foster his survival and to hell with the other man.

At the C-P level raw, rugged self-assertive individualism comes to the fore. One could propose with descriptive design that the third level of human existence be called the Machiavellian system for it has all that was described by him as the essence of human being within it. History suggests to us that the few, and there were few in the beginning, who were able to gain their freedom from survival problems, not only surged almost uncontrollably forward into a new way of being, but also dragged after them to the survival level tribal members unable to free themselves of the burden of stagnating tribalistic existence. And history suggests that the few became the authoritarians while the many became those who submitted. The many accept the "might-is-right" of the few because by such acceptance they are assured survival. This was so in the past and it is still so today.

This Promethean, C-P way of life within the Level of Existence point of view is based on the prerogatives of the haves and the duties of the have-nots. Ultimately, when this way of life, based historically on the agricultural revolution, is established, life is seen as a continuous process with survival dependent on a controlled relationship. Fealty and loyalty, service and noblesse oblige become cornerstones of this way of life. Assured of their survival, through fief and vassalage, the "haves" set forth on their power with life based on the right way to behavior as their might dictates it, as dictated by those who are in power. Ultimately a system develops in which each acts out in detail, in the interests of his own survival, how life is to be lived, but hardly more than ten percent ever achieve any modicum of power. The remainder are left to submit.

Welfare wise, to the C-P it is my welfare, my individual welfare that counts, and the welfare worker's task is to develop a program for the rapid and almost immediate improvement of the particular client or client family's existence. There is no postponement capacity in the C-P, and he is unbelievably frustrated by the slightest inability to do something right now about improving his state. He wants the worker to re-order conditions right now that will enable him to show right away that he can, if conditions are right, be man or woman enough to foster his own survival.

At the C-P level the authoritarian and the submissive develop standards that they feel will insure them against threat, but these are very raw standards. The submissive chooses to get away with what he can within that which is possible for him. The authoritarian chooses to do as he pleases. They spawn, as the reason to be for their behavior, 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, the rights of the lowly hustler to all he can hustle. This is a world of the aggressive expression of man's lusts, openly and unabashedly by the "haves," more covertly and deviously by the "have-nots." But when this system solidifies into a stable feudal way of life, it creates a new existential problem for both the "have" and the "have-not." Each must face that his conniving is not enough, for death is there before the "have," and the "have-not" must explain to himself why it is that he must live his miserable existence. Out of this mix eventually develops man's fourth way of existence, the D-Q way of life.

Welfare at the D-Q level is a societal and class based concept. Here there is a society and it is divided into classes so welfare is a two-fold concept. First, t here is what is good for the total society and that which is proper for each class. Welfare is being able to live the kind of life one is supposed to live, a secure life for the group, thus social security and how one is to live according to his class. In respect to the latter ones, welfare needs are met if his basic societal needs (again social security) are met and if he is told how to behave and has available the aid and counsel to see to it that he behaves the proper way. 

Now man moves to the lasting security level of need and now he learns by avoidant learning. As he moves to this level he develops a way of life based on the culminated conviction that there must be a reason for it all, a reason why the "have" shall have so much in life yet be faced with death, and a reason why the "have-not" has to live his life in a miserable existence. This conviction leads to the belief that the "have" and "have-not" condition is a part of a directed design, a design of the forces guiding man and his destiny. Thus, the saintly way of life based on one of the world's great religions, or one of the world's great philosophies comes to be. Here man tarries long enough to create what he believes is a way of lasting peace in this life or everlasting life, a way that, it seems to him, will remove the pain of both the "have" and the "have-not." Here he seeks salvation.

At the D-Q level, he develops a way of life based on "Thou shalt suffer the pangs of one's existence in this life to prove thyself worthy in later life." This saintly form of existence comes from experiencing that living in this world is not made for ultimate pleasure, a perception based on the previous endless struggle with unbridled lusts and a threatening universe. Here he perceives that certain rules are prescribed for each class for men, and that these rules describe the proper way each class is to behave. The rules are the price man must pay for his more lasting life, for the peace which he seeks -- the price of no ultimate pleasure while living. But, after security is achieved through those prescribed, absolutistic rules, the time does come when some men question this price. When this question arises in the mind of man, the saintly way of life is doomed for decay and readied for discard for some men are bound to ask: Why can't we have some pleasure in this life? When they do, man struggles on through another period of transition to another level, now slipping, now falling in the quest for his goal. When man casts aside the inhumanly aspects of his saintly existence, he is charged with the energy from security problems now solved as he sets out to build a life for pleasure here and now.

At the E-R level, the materialistic level of existence, man strives not to conquer the dragonic world through raw, naked force as he did at the C-P level, but to conquer it by learning of its secrets. He tarries long enough here to develop and utilize the objectivistic, positivistic scientific method so as to provide the material ends to a satisfactory human existence in the here and now for those who merit it. And from this arises his welfare concept, namely that welfare is for only the deserving or those who show in their efforts that they merit a little aid on the way. But never, not ever, must it violate the work effort and independent assertion of the self. Once assured of his material satisfaction he finds a new spiritual void in his being. He finds himself master of the objective physical world but a prime neophyte in the subjectivistic, humanistic world. He has achieved the satisfaction of a good life through his relative mastery of the physical universe, but it has been achieved at a price: the price he has paid is that he-is-not-liked-by-other-men for his callous use of knowledge for himself. He has become envied and even respected, but liked he is not. He has achieved his personal status, his material existence at the expense of being rejected even by his own children such as today's who want no part of their parents' materialistic values. The solution of material problems, coupled with this perception, begins man's move into his sixth form of existence.

At the F-S level man becomes, centrally, a sociocentric being, a being concerned with the relation of his self to other selves. He becomes concerned with belonging, with being accepted, with not being rejected, with knowing the inner side of self and other selves so human harmony can come to be. And when he achieves this he becomes concerned with more than self and other selves. He becomes concerned with self in relation to life and the whole, the total universe. But before he moves to the seventh level he manifests the sixth level concept of welfare, a concept many today abhor for it is a concept of the right of all to the goods of a society, equally disturbed with need, not merit, as its core.

As man moves from the sixth level, the level of being with other men, the sociocentric level, to the seventh level, the level of freedom to know and to do, the cognitive level of existence, a chasm of unbelievable depth of meaning is being crossed. The bridge from the sixth level, the F-S level to the seventh level, the G-T level, is the bridge between getting and giving, taking and contributing, destroying and constructing. It is the bridge between deficiency or deficit motivation and growth or abundancy motivation. It is the bridge between similarity to animals and dissimilarity to animals.

Once we are able to grasp the meaning of passing from the level of being with others to the level of knowing and doing so that all can be and can continue to be, we will see that we are able to explain the enormous difference between man and other animals. It will be seen, at this point, that here we step over the line that separates those needs man has in common with other animals and those needs that are distinctly human.

Man, at the threshold of the seventh level, where so many dissenters stand today, is at the threshold of his human being. He is, now, for the first time in his existence truly becoming a human being. He is no longer just another of nature's species. And we, in our times, in our ethical and general behavior, are but approaching this threshold. Would that the constructionists of today not be so lacking in understanding and would that they not be so
hasty in condemnation, that by such misunderstanding and by such condemnation they block man forever from crossing his great divide, the line between his animalism and his humanism.

Once man comes to the seventh level of existential emergence he will be driven by the winds of knowledge and human, not Godly, faith and the surging waves of confidence on to the H-U and still higher levels of existence. The knowledge and competence acquired at the G-T level will bring him to the level of understanding, the H-U level, from whence he will move today we cannot see. But it will be on to the delight of tasting more of his emergent self. On this other side of his self he may become the doer of greater things or lesser things, but he will be doing human things. If ever man leaps to this great beyond, there will be no bowing to suffering, no vassalage, no peonage. There will be no shame in behavior, for man will know it is human to behave. There will be no pointing of the finger at other men, no segregation, depredation or degradation in behavior. Man will be driving forth on the subsequent crests of his humanness rather than vacillating and swirling in the turbulence of partially emerged man, blocked forever from becoming himself in the sands of time; and he will see welfare as to encompass all that is living. including self and other men and all other living things.

The Five Cases

Now with this all too limited sketch of the basic levels of human existence behind us, let us return to our five cases.

Mrs. Georgio, our first case seems to be centralized at or near the A-N level of existence. Behaviorally it appears that she is almost psychologically non-existent, that she has no cognitive power to bring to bear upon her problems. There is insufficient energy to her system to activate the higher mental processes; thus she is desperately in need of someone to think and to do with her if not for her. She needs the help of human hands above anything else; help that will reduce the exhaustion of what energies she does have; that will do what she does not posses the energy to do. If she had such human help, regularly for quite a period of time, she might then be able to start a move to the next higher level of existence where what she faces would not be so overwhelming. But where in our welfare organizations have we developed this reservoir of helping human hands that can nurture this woman to a higher level? We give money; we provide advice and counsel; but do we provide the needed day in, day out, hour in, hour out help Mrs. Georgio needs? The answer is we do not, but it is possible that we could if only we would change our schools to provide externships or the like for many bored young people; for example, young people bored by meaningless home economics courses in school. If we utilized pride in helping one's own group and took care to avoid any semblance of training such children to serve out-groups we might solve two problems at one time; particularly if the externs were from other welfare families and earned their share of welfare by such aid to ones like Mrs. Georgio.

Our second family, the one with the crisis medical problem, is a family seemingly full of magic and superstitious beliefs that has only a naturalistic time concept and a very limited concept of space. Such people are usually centralized in the B-O state of existence and require welfare services that accommodate to the limited cause, time and space concepts of this level of existence. For these people and those whose level of existence is lower, we need to think of mobile medical services brought directly into the homes if this aspect of their welfare needs is to be met. Otherwise we can only expect their medical problems to exacerbate more seriously any other problems they have.

Our angry man in our third case represents probably the most difficult level of existence so far as welfare is concerned. When centralized at the C-P level, as is the man in case 3, the human lives in a psychological world full of suspicion and anger. He lives in a world where we must show almost immediate response to his needs since the C-P level does not possess postponement capacity. At this level, asking a person to wait while one investigates the legitimacy of his professed need to induce his anger and bring forth his suspicion that no one really wants to help him in the first place. Man at the C-P level is demanding and, in many respects, appears to be amoral, particularly if he feels any system is not one established to help him right here, right now, and before anyone else.

In the instance of our angry man in Case 3, we see the need for increased change in our legal services, in our court procedures, and in our correctional procedures, for this man needs help to retain his manhood lest his angry, suspicious, immediately-oriented psychology underneath break loose in more destructiveness. We must think about how not to emasculate this man in the eyes of his family even should he have to go to jail; and we must have some immediately responsive service people whom he can call on for correction of perceived injustice almost as fast as the problem comes to a head. Here there is need for some kind of welfare "crisis clinic" to be established to which people such as our man can turn when the C-P tendency to live by immediate reaction brings upheaval into the life of men who are like our angry man.

Our fourth lady, our widow with two teen-age children, seems to be in a D-Q world: a world of dependency on authority for every movement that she makes. Particularly she needs almost constant guidance and support to assure her she is doing the right thing; but where in our welfare services do we systematically provide a service with a client load that will provide the very close, almost daily supervision needed by D-Q clients; some service that regularly contacts her, that will lay out her day for her and tell her what to do is what she needs until she has become secure? This general need, close and directive supervision of the D-Q world, is simply not adequately met today.

But the Williams family is of another order. They have taken that bold step toward independent self-sufficient living, property acquisition; but their foundation is tottering as they face becoming eligible for aid. In fact, in New York they would have to liquidate their equity to establish eligibility. It is here, oddly enough, above anywhere else, that the guaranteed loan type financial underpinning for such extraordinary crisis is needed. It is here above anywhere else that the Nixon plan is good, but not good enough. A guaranteed income and a source for credit is to people at the E-R level that which removes the last vestige of fear to independently moving out on their own. Without this basic protection, assurance of holding on to property and aid toward getting more rather than having to liquidate, those centralized at the E-R level like Mr. Williams cannot grow their independent selves and become those self-sufficient persons we want them to be.

These five cases, oversimplified as they are, do present a picture of our need for a pluralistic type of welfare system, one designed to meet differences of need rather than a general system designed to meet welfare clients more or less as if they had the same problems and the same type of need. Quite obviously, what I have said in respect to them and in respect to other aspects of welfare must be thought about at a much deeper level, but that cannot be accomplished here today. Therefore, if I have transmitted to you just the beginning of a message as to needed welfare change, then my purpose here today has been fulfilled.

[Dr. Graves presented this paper on May 6, 1970 at the Annual Conference, Virginia State Department of Welfare and Distribution, Roanoke, Virginia]

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William R. Lee, Christopher Cowan & Natasha Todorovic for ClareWGraves.com

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