Realms in the Social Ape framework are the spaces that represent aspects of both personal and social life: Freedom, Opportunity and Participation. These spaces are created when a society asserts the Qualities of Safety, Law and Rewards.

Realms in the Social Ape framework


In each Realm some space is “emancipated” meaning that it does not overlap with any of the other Realms. This emancipated part of each Realm recognises the individual and represents their personal Agency in their relationship with their society.


The remaining part of each Realm overlaps with the other Realms to represent the “shared” or “social” portion of that space, meaning that the individual submits that portion of their Agency to be subject to social rules and norms and does not insist in retaining exclusive domain in that portion of the Realm. Effectively they give up some of the Realm in return for the durability of the Quality and as a contribution to the social energy necessary to sustain the strength, constancy and reliability of the Quality. So in being part of a society the individual gives up some Freedom in return for greater Safety, gives up some Opportunity in return for more durable Rewards, and acquiesces to the Law in return for meaningful Participation.


In the space where two Realms overlap the Qualities of the two overlapping Realms create the special conditions in which one of the Elements is enabled. Where Safety and Law protect the space the conditions for sharing Perceptions arises. Where Safety and Rewards carve out a space that is where Solutions are developed and innovation occurs. Where Rewards and Law create a space the Selection of solutions is practiced. And where Safety, Law and Rewards all defend a central space the capacity of the society to Implement is defined. To see more accurately, solve more inventively, select more wisely, and implement more completely are the true purposes of social life, and it is by creating the spaces within which those Elemental practices can be maximised that the true purpose of the Realms and their defining Qualities is revealed.

In the framework each Quality is strengthened as it passes through the section of its orbit that traverses another Realm, thus sustaining the degree of Agency and Purpose that Realm represents. Because the Qualities are social conventions they rely for their strength on social assertion and the framework represents this in the portion of the total orbit that passes through the social space in the framework. The strength of each Realm is defined by the strength of its Quality and the strength of the Quality is defined by the social portion of its orbit. The optimum configuration for each member individually is for the Realms to be asserted to the maximum while still reserving as much of the Realms for themselves as possible: strength x emancipated area. As the social Purpose of each Realm is a mirror of the individual Agency, the same applies to the optimal configuration for society as applies for the individual.

Maximising the size and strength of the Elements in the overlapping regions is the ultimate goal of the social ape and the ideal configuration of the Realms to achieve this is for the orbit of each Realm (Qualities) to pass through the centre of each neighbouring Realm. The resulting configuration is a perfectly balanced Venn diagram in which half of the orbit of each Realm passes through the social space with other Realms and half is reserved.

Thus the framework proposes an ideal configuration of all the components and that in that ideal configuration the strength of the Qualities, Realms and Elements are all simultaneously maximised, achieving maximum individual satisfaction and social function.

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