(This article was originally posted to the Spiraldynamics FAQ)
This question has caused lots of head scratching among scholars of chaos and complexity theories, as well as Gravesians and serious students of Spiral Dynamics (SD). The lack of a clear answer leads to protracted discussions and considerable frustration. In the SD world, that's especially true for the analytical sorts who want - even demand – a single 'true meaning' and would like to impose one on Dr. Graves post mortem.
Rather than that, we will look at how he employed the word and its relatives. While that will not satisfy those searching for a definitive answer, a brief discussion with some examples drawn from his writings might better clarify the usages of the term in a Gravesian context – at least some operational definitions for those prepared to accept a bit of semantic relativism.