Sociocultural Evolution

There have been a number of historical attempts by anthropologists and sociologists regarding how sociocultural evolution takes place. Sociocultural evolution is a composite of social evolution and cultural evolution. It studies how sociocultural institutions change with time turning into newer forms evolving along timeline, thus weaving different evolution theories. I have also come up with my hypothesis based on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs affecting sociocultural evolution through sociocultural chakras.

Skeletal Leap throws further light on this topic in its Sociocultural Evolution Blog. You may also like to visit Skeletal Leap FAQ and Sociocultural Evolution FAQ.

Nineteenth Century Approaches to Sociocultural Evolution

Most of the nineteenth century approaches based themselves along unilineal evolution. They believed that all humanity socioculturally evolved along the same process worldwide exactly like its biological counterpart species evolution did. It was only that some of them were ahead and the rest would follow them in times to come.

Twentieth Century Approaches to Sociocultural Evolution

Evolutionary Substrate
By Myworkforwiki – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Most of the twentieth century approaches based themselves along multilineal evolution. They believed that different societies evolve along their specific historical contexts. Hence they rejected the theory of cultural progress that every society would be evolving along sooner or later.

They also argued that all different societies adapted to their different environments, technological breakthroughs and outside cultural influences. Multilineal approach also rejected any similarity between cultural and biological evolutions. It argued that cultural patterns in far-off lands were genetically unrelated.

But in the latter part of the twentieth century, several multilineal anthropologists shifted their approach. They moved from cultural ecology adaption to Marxism and cultural materialism though disregarding Friedrich Hegel for dialectical and historical materialism.

Twenty-first Century Approaches to Sociocultural Evolution

The most modern twenty-first century anthropologists have taken another step to reject the very concept of cultural evolution outright. They are rather exploring new approaches to the relationship between culture and its environment. One of them is a general systems approach exploring emergent systems including political, economic and social interactions among cultures.

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

The Selfish Gene
By It is believed that the cover art can or could be obtained from Oxford University Press., Fair use,

As a special mention here, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins came up with his book The Selfish Gene in 1976. Dawkins’ book was voted as the most influential science book of all time in July 2017 on the 30th anniversary of the Royal Society. He proposed a gene-centered hypothesis of sociocultural evolution stating that genetically related individuals cooperate the best between them. And genes replicate themselves better when they themselves get benefitted, at times even at the cost of the entire organism. ‘Selfish’ replication may model culture successfully via memes that are self-replicating units of human cultural transmission analogous to genes. 

Multi-Unilineal Approach to Sociocultural Evolution

But it’s only this where we are right now at the moment as far as understanding sociocultural evolution is concerned. And in my opinion, it’s not sufficient. We need to move further from here without any convincing historical background behind it.

I think we have missed something very basic. We either look at sociocultural evolution as being  unilineal or else mutilineal in their entirety. Reality looks to be far from that. It very obviously has always been a combination of both. Some parts of it have always been unilineal, not necessarily through intercultural interaction but independently evolving on their own. Some other parts have certainly been mutilineal, varying from culture to culture depending on their specific genetic histories and environments. I would like to address them all with a new inclusive name ‘multi-unilineal’.

Let us look a little deeper into these multi-unilineal patterns of sociocultural evolution all around the world. These are the patterns that essentially evolved almost the same way yet slightly different in their local hues throughout the world.

Role of Mind in Sociocultural Evolution

Surprisingly enough, all our sociocultural institutions have majorly been erected by mind and not through the dictates of brain alone. Brain had worked independently when it devised wearing leather and burning fire to ward off cold and cook food. The same was true of inventing caves to stay as well as structuring languages to communicate. And these three were three great intelligent inventions that all tribes and races made in differently similar ways globally.

But the sociocultural structures erected by mind were unfortunately not so intelligent. They were either harmful in their very conception or they weren’t flawless in their design. And why it happened so was because mind subjectively attached itself to its faulty apprehensions of threat to life. Hence it cunningly took control of the brain’s activity in its fearful stupidity turning human needs into wants. All these structures were multi-unilenial in their evolutionary process.

Sociocultural Chakras Turning Needs to Wants

As I was building up my case of our sociocultural structures getting erected by mind, an analogy dawned upon me. We know that an individual autonomous mind generates closed biological chakras in the human body through corrupting skeletal anatomy. Similarly a collective autonomous mind of humanity might have generated closed sociocultural chakras in the human society.

The modus operandi could have been through corrupting social needs turning them to societal wants. It’s done through autonomizing currencies used to fulfill the genuine social needs. As these currencies assume a bigger than need stature, needs start turning into wants. It’s this way that they get corrupted and ends up in sociocultural chakras in hands of a collective autonomous mind. After all human society is just a collective extension of multiple human bodies. And these sociocultural chakras would tend to block human energy flow exactly like biological chakras blocking individual energy flow.

The individual energy flow gets blocked at the base of root chakra. Similarly the human energy flow gets blocked at the lowest level of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy, namely physiological and safety needs. 

A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham Maslow

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
By EucalyptusTreeHugger – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Abraham Maslow came up with ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’ in the year 1943. Later he refined it in ‘Motivation and Personality’ in 1954 introducing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs comprises physiological needs, safety,  love and belonging, esteem as deficiency needs and self actualization as growth. Self actualization growth can further be categorized in four parts namely cognitive, aesthetic, self actualization and transcendence needs.

Deficiency Needs of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy

The first two of them, physiological needs and safety needs are parallel to the concerns of the root chakra. The third one, love and belonging, parallels the heart chakra. The fourth need, esteem, belongs to the throat chakra concern. 

Growth Needs Started Getting Distorted with Pursuing Cognitive Needs

Maslow's Simplified Hierarchy of Needs

As far as growth needs were concerned, things started getting distorted since the very beginning. It all started with pursuing cognitive needs. We as a society cognized reality in a suffocating environment dotted with threats and challenges. Since then humanity has never taken a sigh of relief to date seriously corrupting its breathing pattern. It was this that gave birth to a blocked sociocultural solar plexus chakra.

Humanity has always been in a hurry to control the environment. And thus it handed over the reins of cognition to its collective autonomous mind instead of a spontaneous collective brain. An open solar plexus chakra concerns renewing the brain continuously and thus energizing it cyclically. But a closed solar plexus chakra turned collective autonomous mind stuck on to its aggressive cognitive wants rather than needs. 

Aesthetic Needs of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy

Sociocultural Evolution: Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
By Philipp Guttmann – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

It had its debilitating effect on sociocultural sacral chakra as well. And it did so through negatively affecting the quality of sex humanity was meant to enjoy. When sex gets frustrated, it tends to take refuge in its sublimation through arts in creative and aesthetic pursuits. This works as a partial therapeutic process recognized as aesthetic needs concerning sociocultural sacral chakra.     

Self Actualization Needs of Maslow’s Hierarchy

The growth needs of self actualization aim at discovering one’s inherent talents and developing them further. It results in achieving one’s full potential as far as socially productive soft skills are concerned. One needed a focused approach to pursue self actualization needs synonymous to the concerns of the third eye chakra.

Transcendence Needs of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy

Transcendence needs are the ultimate that an individual in a society can cultivate giving oneself to something beyond oneself. It enables one to create one’s personal heaven for oneself. And that is what Skeletal Leap ultimately aims at the sociocultural level as well. It parallels the opening of sociocultural crown chakra which on its opening sets the highest levels of human consciousness. Once it gets opened, it helps setting all the lower chakras open as well. This is what has the potential to turn human life on earth into a collective heaven. 

Closed Sociocultural Chakras Turning Needs to Wants

Right now the situation is just the opposite. Closed sociocultural chakras have blocked the human energy at the lowest level of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, namely physiological and safety needs.

As explained above, the root of the problem lies in faulty cognition of reality turning social needs to societal wants.

Sociocultural Root Chakra

Root Chakra aka Muladhara Symbol
By Morgan Phoenix – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Sociocultural institutions belonging to sociocultural root chakra include the most sought after core of society at present. Physiological needs comprise biological component for human survival guaranteeing homeostasis to the human body. Safety needs comprise healthcare along with personal, emotional and financial security. These are provided by the social systems of economic transactions in case of physiological needs using money as its main currency. Safety needs are provided by healthcare facilities, industrial complexes for jobs, judiciary for providing justice, army & warfare for defense and governments for making policies. The currency they use for what all they provide is public welfare sloganeering.  

Sociocultural Sacral Chakra

Sacral Chakra aka Svadhishthana Symbol
By Morgan Phoenix – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Arts and entertainment networks fall under sociocultural sacral chakra looking forward to aesthetic needs in the absence of sexual gratification. The currencies it uses are again money and public welfare sloganeering. 

Sociocultural Solar Plexus Chakra

Solar Plexus Chakra aka Manipura Symbol
By Morgan Phoenix – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Education system falls under sociocultural solar plexus chakra looking forward to cognitive needs renewing brain continuously and energizing it cyclically. The currencies it uses are qualifications and specializations that fall in the domain of mind rather than in the domain of brain. 

Sociocultural Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra aka Anahata Symbol
By Morgan Phoenix – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Marriage, sports and patriotism fall under sociocultural heart chakra looking forward to the needs of love and belongingness in society. The currencies it uses are identification and attachment.

Sociocultural Throat Chakra

Throat Chakra aka Vishuddha Symbol
By Morgan Phoenix – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Value systems fall under sociocultural throat chakra looking forward to the needs of self-esteem. The currency they use is morals.

Sociocultural Third Eye Chakra

Third Eye Chakra aka Ajna Symbol
By Morgan Phoenix – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Skill development falls under sociocultural third eye chakra looking forward to self actualization in the society. The currency it uses is career enhancement ambitions.

Sociocultural Crown Chakra

Crown Chakra aka Sahasrara Symbol
By Morgan Phoenix – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Religion and spirituality fall under sociocultural crown chakra looking forward to transcendence in the society. The currency they use for the purpose is the ritual of meditation as a highly revered end in itself.

Sociocultural Evolution Started Getting Distorted

Sociocultural evolution started along the lines of the above-mentioned hierarchy of needs but the said needs soon turned into wants for their currencies. Cognition was the first need to err along the path as it surrendered its entire rein to mind. As a result, the static mind started controlling the dynamic brain’s spontaneous perceptions.

Needs Vs Their Currencies Addressing Sociocultural Evolution

The erroneous cognitions of mind not only remain limited to cognitive needs, they spill over to other needs as well. They do so by attaching more importance to the currency used to fulfill a need than the need itself.

Hence money becomes more important than the physiological or aesthetic needs it fulfills.

Similarly public welfare sloganeering turns more important than fulfilling safety or aesthetic needs in reality. 

Qualifications and specializations turn more important than fulfilling cognitive needs in an insightful manner.

Identification and attachment turn more important than fulfilling the needs of love and belongingness in society.  

Morals turn more important than fulfilling needs of self-esteem.

Career enhancement ambitions turn more important than fulfilling self actualization needs.

The highly revered ritual of meditation turns more important than the needs of transcendence.

In all, the currencies used to fulfill real needs assume bigger stature turning all needs to their distorted wants. 

Social mind fragments itself exactly like biological mind and thus belittles every single concern of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs via sociocultural chakras.

How Fake Currencies Corrupted Real Needs

Money, Business, Armies, Warfare, Politics-Business Nexus and Healthcare for Physiological & Safety Needs

Money as private property ownership turns into a source of widespread corruption. Business turns a profit generating machine more than a responsible facilitator of comforts and innovations. Armies have always remained an instrument of offense rather than genuine defense for safety. Warfare has been a way of life along the passage of history. Politics-business nexus has centered unprecedented powers in its hands to control almost every single aspect of people’s lives. 

Healthcare has helped the masses in a great way but only to manage ailing conditions, not curing them permanently. Of course it has done its bit in surgical interventions excellently but has fallen short of energizing society cyclically. 

Marriage, Sports and Patriotism for Love & Social Belonging Needs

Marriage has come down to the verge of extinction. Divorces are at an all-time high at present and are threatening the very existence of marriage in future. 

Sportsman spirit has taken a big toll corrupted by sports getting designed on the lines of mini warfare.

Patriotism does promote love and belongingness in society but in an extremely fragmented way. It also promotes hatred against the so-called enemy societies. It never had a compassionate concern for undivided humanity despite all slogans it always raised.

Value System for Esteem Needs

Value systems started as ethical codes for social esteem but soon turned into moral codes for suppressing the same.

Education and Religion for Cognitive & Transcendence Needs

Religion started with expression of awe for the growth needs of transcendence in the society. But it soon fragmented itself in pluralized religions as contending systems of belief, blind faith and fanatic moralistic reverence. Similarly the noble pursuit of educating the new generation with insight turned into regimented knowledge replicators. It has reduced itself to turning new generations as efficient mechanical cogs in the ever-rotating wheel of unending production. 

Future Projections of Sociocultural Evolution

What will happen to them in a society which starts moving toward filling the holes of homo sapiens bipedal evolution? 

The said sociocultural systems tend to get rejuvenated the same way as opening the biological chakras rejuvenates the individual biological systems.

How would this rejuvenation come into real manifestation? Let us peep inside a few glimpses of how new systems could heal themselves in a society energized with Skeletal Leap.

Check Sociocultural Evolution Blog to get further insights into the process of manifesting the rejuvenation. 

Also, don’t forget to check Skeletal Leap FAQ and Sociocultural Evolution FAQ.

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