Gender and Personality on the Autism Spectrum

There is ongoing debate about autism, such as how it is defined and what causes it, which in turn leads to how it is and should be diagnosed. Some have speculated that autism in girls and women is underdiagnosed:

However, it’s unclear whether this gender bias is the result of genetics or reflects differences in diagnosis or the way females manifest symptoms of the disorder. Girls with autism tend to actively compensate for their symptoms in ways that boys don’t, which may account for the discrepancy, says Skuse.

As a result, the females enrolled in studies may tend to be severely affected and carry multiple mutations. “There is some suggestion that higher-functioning females are out there in the general population, but they’re not being referred,” he says.

Here is what one could argue. Maybe it is most likely that the bias is not just in diagnosis for there would be a directly related bias in the research itself. After all, it is diagnosis that determines the subjects in the autism studies. So, if diagnosis is biased, there is no reason to assume that the subjects are representative of the full autistic population. Biased input would inevitably lead to biased results and hence biased conclusions. Basically, these studies at present might not be able to tell us anything about possible gender differences.

A reason given for the alleged failure to detect female autism is that “it may be because girls are better at masking the symptoms – better at copying social norms while not necessarily understanding them.” That might be true of many boys and men as well.

I have some Asperger’s-like traits, although I’ve never been diagnosed. Maybe it’s because I learned to fit in. I was socially clueless when younger and social situations stress me out, a set of factors exacerbated by my inner-focused nature. I don’t connect easily with others. But you wouldn’t notice that from casually interacting with me. I know how to pretend to be normal. It’s maybe why therapy has never worked for me, as I’ve developed a habit of effectively hiding my problems. It’s a survival mechanism that I learned young.

What occurs to me is that I’m a Jungian Feeling type. Myers-Briggs testing has found that most Feeling types are female, although about 30% are male. The same pattern in the opposite direction is seen with Thinking types. There is a general pattern that follows along gender lines. Still, that approximate third of the population is a significant number. That might mean that a third of male autistics don’t fit into the male pattern, maybe while a third of female autistics do.

So the seeming gender difference found in autism could be more about personality differences. And those personality differences may or may not be genetic in nature. Much of this could instead be culturally learned behavior. It wouldn’t only be cultural biases in diagnosis of autism for, if that is so, it would also be cultural biases in how autism is expressed. In that case, the question is what might be the relationship between culture, personality, gender, and neurocognitive development. There are obviously many complex factors involved, such as considering how a significant number of people don’t fall into simple gender categories: “It’s far from uncommon for people to carry genetics of both sexes, even multiple DNA.” Since gender isn’t binary, the expressions of autism presumably also wouldn’t be binary.

It would be easy to test my speculation if formulated as a hypothesis. My prediction would be that Thinking type females would be more likely to be diagnosed as autstic. And the opposite prediction would be that Feeling type males would be less likely. That is simply to say that autism would express differently depending on personality traits/functions. Similar research could be done with FFM/Big Five, and maybe such research already has been done. A related issue that would need to be disentangled is whether autism is more common among certain personalities or simply more diagnosed among certain personalities, an issue that could be studied either in relation to or separate from gender.

All of this is particularly complicated for certain Myers-Briggs types. My specific type is INFP. This type is one of the most talented types when it comes to masking behavior, “known as being inscrutable.” As Carl Jung described dominant introverted feeling (what Myers-Briggs divides into two types: INFP and ISFP):

They are mostly silent, inaccessible, hard to understand; often they hide behind a childish or banal mask, and their temperament is inclined to melancholy…Their outward demeanor is harmonious, inconspicuous…with no desire to affect others, to impress, influence or change them in any way. If this is more pronounced, it arouses suspicion of indifference and coldness…Although there is a constant readiness for peaceful and harmonious co-existence, strangers are shown no touch of amiability, no gleam of responsive warmth…It might seem on a superficial view that they have no feelings at all.
(Psych. Types, Para. 640-641)

An INFP aspie would make for a rather confusing specimen. It is the dominant introverted feeling that is so hard to discern. And this introverted feeling is hidden behind the chameleon-like and outward-facing extraverted intuition, what is in the position called the auxiliary function. Extraverted intuition is the ultimate mask to hide behind, as it is highly fluid and adaptable. And as the auxiliary function, extraverted intuition plays the role of mediation with and defense against the outside world.

Maybe a significant number of autistics have hidden introverted feeling. This would fit the autistic pattern of feeling strongly in response to others (high functioning affective empathy) while not easily connecting to others (low functioning cognitive empathy). By its nature, there is no straightforward way for introverted feeling to be expressed in social behavior. Yet an INFP can be talented at learning normal social behavior, as extraverted intuition helps them to be mimics. Or failing that, they could stonewall anyone trying to figure them out. Usually being conflict avoidant, most dominant introverted feeling types will go along to get along, as long as no one treads on their core sense of value.

Here is a more general point:

I think it’s a bit silly to make a distinction between “male” and “female” interests in the first place and realize that it can also be healthy for women to take interest in more traditionally “male” subjects such as science and technology and that doesn’t always mean that they have a disorder. In making a diagnosis they should always be aware of the underlying pattern rather than the actual interest and keep in mind that interests may differ for each individual, so (e.g.) whether a female is obsessively talking about computers or fashion should not matter, because the pattern is the same. Indeed, it probably is more obvious in the first case, especially when society is more geared toward male/female stereotyping [so “masculine” interests for women stand out]. And besides, narrow interests is but 1 clue, it doesn’t count for every individual with an ASD; they may have a range of interests, just as typical people do.

Also, as some typologists argue, the US has been an society dominated by ESTJ types that is becoming dominated by ENTJ types (John Giannini, Compass of the Soul). The commonality then is E_TJ, that is to say dominant extraverted thinking. This typological bias is how American culture defines and enforces the social norms of the male gender. Unsurprisingly, that would also be how autism gets diagnosed, according to extraversion and thinking.

On the other hand, autism that was introverted and/or feeling would express in entirely different ways. In particular, dominant introverted feeling would express as strong affective empathy, rather than the (stereotypically) masculine tendency toward emotional detachment. Also, introversion taken on its own, whether in relation to feeling or thinking, would be more internalized and hence less observable — meaning obsessions that would be unlikely to seen in outward behavior: more subtle and nuanced or else more hidden and masked.

This personality perspective might be immensely more helpful than using a gender lens alone. It’s also a more psychologically complex frame of interpretation, appealing to my personality predilections. Considering that autism and Asperger’s was originally observed and defined by men, one might wonder what kind of personalities they had. Their personalities might have determined which personalities they were drawn to in studying and hence drawn to in using as the standard for their early models of the autism spectrum.

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What Gives You a Lift

My dad gave me a clear example of extraversion, in the Jungian sense.

He gave a short introductory speech at a gathering of the local Kiwanis chapter. There was nothing special about the occasion, but I can imagine my dad was quite professional about it. Afterward, another member said that in the 10 years he has been a member that was the best speech he has heard. My dad told me that gave him a ‘lift’.

That is Jungian extraversion. It is when social activities give you energy, on a regular basis. That is why my dad belongs to Kiwanis, even having been the president last year. It’s why he is often in leadership positions in whatever church he belongs to. It’s why he was a professor, before that a manager, and before that an army officer. He seeks out social situations that will give him that ‘lift’. It makes him feel good.

He claims he didn’t used to be an extravert. I doubt that is the case. It’s probably that he didn’t used to have the social skills and so was more shy, a separate issue from Jungian extraversion/introversion. But if he hadn’t been an extravert, he wouldn’t have been motivated in the first place to learn those social skills.

As an introvert, I have less desire to learn them. That is because if someone gave me a compliment like that it wouldn’t likely give me the same kind of ‘lift’. Social situations are more tiresome than uplifting for me.

It’s not a matter of liking or disliking people. An introvert may like people just fine. And an extravert may despise people.

These psychological traits can express in many ways, someteimes in stereotypical ways but not always. An extravert, instead of giving speeches, may quietly volunteer at a soup kitchen or play on a sports team. Being an extravert doesn’t necessarily mean taking on leadership positions and being the center of all attention, any more than being an introvert means hiding from people and always avoiding social situations.

Most basically, it’s about what gives a person energy versus what tires them out. It’s that simple.

The Amused Smirk of the INFP

I’ve occasionally written about personality types and traits. My main focus early on was Myers-Briggs. That interest began way before my blogging, but it did extend into my early blogging.

My most popular blog post of all time is about my INFP experience. It has taken on a life of its own and been reposted around the web. I find that amusing, as there are so many other posts are more worthy.

I was thinking about this again because a post by A.J. Drenth was sending people my way. He linked to one of my posts—in spite of it’s not being about typology, he used it as an example of how INFPs can become obsessed with truth, contrary to stereotype. His description, along with most descriptions of the INFP type, fit me perfectly. Yet I am of a less typical variety of the type, an intellectuality driven by my aspirational Extraverted Thinking (Te).

Jungian typological theory isn’t so important for my thoughts at the moment. My interest is to simply use the ideas to frame certain aspects of my experience that fit the pattern of the INFP type. I was specifically thinking about how others likely perceive me. That comes up a lot online, as self-expression is narrowed down to an extreme degree. But this is true in all of life.

My dad said something about me. He noticed how at times I’ll have a knowing smirk, as if I have a secret insight or am amused at something. I know exactly what he is talking about. It’s my attitude about life. The world seems like a strange place to me and humans are strange creatures. This attitude gives me a certain distance, a standing back and taking it all in.

Added to this, my dad pointed out that he can never capture my smirk. As soon as a camera comes out, my face goes blank. I despise smiling for pictures. I’m an extreme introvert, both in the common meaning of that word and in terms of Jungian typology. Guarded is my default mode. That might be hard to imagine for people who only know me online. Introverts are different online and also more common. An introvert can feel comfortable and even energized by online interactions for a number of reasons, such as it being a way of socializing from one’s own personal space at home.

What my dad observed of me is fairly standard for INFPs. Dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) does induce a knowing sensibility, a probing and very human view of the world. Combined with auxiliary Extraverted iNtuition (Ne), amusement is just the way this gets translated in actually dealing with the world. INFPs can be such serious people, but there is always a layer of curiosity, wonder, and humor even to the point of silliness. I have to be seriously depressed before I stop being amused at life. Yet this side of me isn’t necessarily obvious to those who don’t know me well.

When blogging and such, I’m often in serious mode. The internet is where I do research, debate, think out loud, and test new ideas. It’s true that online my Ne can gorge on the buffet of knowledge and data. I can become downright obsessive, for there is nowhere for curiosity to end with web searches and link jumping that just goes on and on, until my mind simply collapses in exhaustion. But the most serious side of my personality, although rooted in Fi, turns aggressive and argumentative with my aspirational Te. Still, this is such a small part of my everyday experience. Looking upon the Te side of an INFP’s personality is to look upon the part of them that they know is the weakest and so it always involves conflict, Te being the polar opposite of dominant Fi.

One thing about INFPs is that they are known as being inscrutable. I’ve thought about this often. INFPs are obsessed with understanding others and looking beyond facades. And for that reason, they are talented at and prone to hiding themselves. But seemingly out of nowhere INFPs can be emotionally open and honest to an extreme. In the right mood and moment, they can let their guard down. There is always a lot going on behind the scenes.

As many have noted, Introverted Feeling can be the hardest function attitude to decipher. In explaining this, Drenth offers this quote of Jung (Psych. Types, Para. 640-641) :

“They are mostly silent, inaccessible, hard to understand; often they hide behind a childish or banal mask, and their temperament is inclined to melancholy…Their outward demeanor is harmonious, inconspicuous…with no desire to affect others, to impress, influence or change them in any way. If this is more pronounced, it arouses suspicion of indifference and coldness…Although there is a constant readiness for peaceful and harmonious co-existence, strangers are shown no touch of amiability, no gleam of responsive warmth…It might seem on a superficial view that they have no feelings at all.”

This is what makes the Feeling function so different depending on attitude, Introverted or Extraverted. In its Fi form, it may be deep and powerful, but it can go unnoticed by those who aren’t used to looking for it. To learn to sense it is similar to a river guide learning where the rocks are by keeping track of the water’s surface—the ripples and eddies, the currents and pools.

To a stranger, I probably seem quite open in certain ways, at least online. I don’t hide behind a username. It’s easy to figure out who I am, not to mention where I live and work. I’ll share personal details as if they don’t matter, because they don’t. And I throw out my opinions at a drop of a hat.

All of that apparent openness is deceiving. Those surface details will tell you little about who I really am. In my dominant Fi, I have no fear of anyone figuring me out. You won’t unlock that box. An INFP’s strength is the secrets they hold. With dominant Fi, there is an absolute sense of certainty that is everything. You could know an INFP for years or even decades and never figure out what is this core essence, the rock of their being.

There is a part of me that can’t be touched or changed. It is because of this that I can maintain a detached amusement, even amidst all kinds of events and emotions. Introverted Feeling is a still point, an anchor in an ocean. If nothing else, an INFP knows themselves, who they are and where they stand. So, INFPs have a way of exuding a sense of knowing, a personal truth that is at core of not just their sense of identity but also their sense of reality. From this vantage point, they look out across the world. And when under stress, it is where they retreat.

To Introverted Feeling, everything is personal. Reality itself is personal. It is to feel deeply, a mess of emotion, a vast field of experience. Amusement is a defense against being overwhelmed by it all. In that amused state, the INFP type is acknowledging they are a crazy person in a crazy world. It’s their way of expressing that they are in on the joke.

If you catch that slight smirk, just smirk in kind.

 

Worldviews, Personality and Communication

Whenever I’m involved in an interpersonal conflict, I immediately start thinking of personality differences.

I do focus on what people are saying, but I have a tendency to put a lot of emphasis on how they say it and what is behind what they are saying. I look to the motivations, the perceptions and the communication styles. I look to the beliefs and assumptions, the worldview or even the reality tunnel they live in.

In the present situation of conflict, my focus has been on someone who goes by the name hbd chick. The conflict really gets me thinking for the reason I feel very little negativity toward her. I love her blog. I respect her typically humble attitude and I’m impressed by her research abilities. But there is some difference between her and I, some difference that may be at a more fundamental level of our respective psychologies.

I don’t like conflict. I’m more of a conflict-avoidant type, but at times I feel drawn into conflict because of another side of my personality. I’m an Myers-Briggs INFP which means I’m fully capable of being insufferably idealistic and even asshole-ish in my defense of my core values. I have speculated that my problem is that I’m an FP (Fi) who was raised by TJ (Te) parents (TJ representing the aspirational and often the most annoying weakness of an INFP). I think I’ve overcompensated a bit in the TJ department and such not-perfectly-functional Te is what can really bring out the asshole in me.

I don’t like being an asshole, but I’m apparently good at it. I hold stuff in until I can’t hold it in any longer. The result is that I become critical and unforgiving.

Anyway, the odd thing is that hbd chick says that she also is an INFP and close to being an INTP. I wonder about that. If I had to guess, I get more of an INTP vibe from her. But it is hard to tell when you don’t know someone personally. Maybe the T is more of her online persona. This might explain my own dysfunctional T getting antagonized in response.

Going by her being an INFP, my criticisms of her should really annoy her. I seem to have been judging her by that T aspect I sensed in her, but she doesn’t see that as being her true self, as she says “at heart”.

This conflict is exacerbated further because of my particular annoyance in trying to find a way to interact with a guy who goes by the name JayMan, both hbd chick and JayMan being HBD proponents. His personality most definitely is different than my own. He has that T vibe without a doubt, especially TJ. He argues for the complete separation of the subjective and objective in exploring the issues of human society and human nature. I can tell you this. No normally functioning FP, in particular no INFP, would likely make such an argument.

That expresses what would be called a thick boundary type (see boundaries of the mind). I must admit I don’t play well with thick boundary types. My mind is pretty damn thin boundaried. In discussions, my thoughts go in a million directions. My thin boundaries is why I constantly see confounding factors in almost everything and JayMan’s apparent thicker boundaries are why he sees my complaints as irrelevant. He is a man who is intently and adamantly focused on what he (thinks he) knows and believes which isn’t to say he is necessarily wrong, just that he is very certain that he is right. Thick boundary types tend to feel more certain, in fact demand more certainty. In Myers-Briggs terms, this is what Judging (J) is about.

I’m of a different variety. I’m an INFP with heavy emphasis on the NP part (Ne). Extraverted iNtuition (Ne) is the single most absolute expression of the thin boundary type. I live in eternal uncertainty with a wide horizon of possibilities. Questions leading to doubts leading to wonder leads to imagining. I live my life contemplating the strangeness of reality, my head stuck in the clouds. To focus on a single theory or a single set of data would be nearly impossible for me.

My Te aspirational can make me a rabid researcher when it is in full gear, but Ne inevitably sends my mind off in new directions.

What I sense with the HBD crowd is that it attracts a lot more thick boundary types or at least those with thick boundary online personas. Either way, this means that it attracts people who want to focus on topics that focus on thick boundaries and in ways that are thick boundaried. I don’t mean extreme thick boundaries, but a tendency in that direction. The emphasis of HBD is on the boundaries between ethnicities, clans, regions, nations, etc. They have less interest in that which transcends, merges and blurs boundaries.

To my thin boundary mind, boundaries are imagined things. They are only real to the extent we imagine them to be real. The thin boundary type sees a less thick or clear boundary between even imagination and reality. It is because of this mentality that I look for how people, individually and collectively, project their imaginations onto reality.

This puts me a bit in opposition to the HBD mentality. Hence, the conflict. Cue the frustration.

Criticalness, Integralism, and Type

marmalade
This is in response to the thread titled ‘Should Integralists Storm The Religous Battlefield’.

I’ve been involved in a thread at IIDB, an atheist discussion board. Its a thread about Acharya’s theories about astrotheology which is related to comparative mythology, and Acharya has posted in response some. She has received much criticism and nitpicking which is common on atheist forums. She hasn’t taken it well and probably won’t post anymore in the thread or maybe even in the forum. Recently, the same thing happened with Earl Doherty who is another biblical scholar. He posted on IIDB for a long time, but now has declared he will never post there again.

I find it a bit annoying and I don’t know if I could ever entirely get used to this kind of behavior. However, not everyone there is like this, and I do enjoy forums where there are many intelligent and knowledgeable people. I have a few thoughts about harsh criticalness.

(1) I do think some people there could use an integral perspective. Critically challenging new theories is important for scholarship, but being nice is important for human relations. Also, I feel this critical attitude is narrow and often misses the point the central issue or the bigger picture. Disproving a single claim or piece of evidence doesn’t disprove a theory or discredit the entire scholarly credentials of the theorist. There are many ways to think about a theory, and criticism by itself often lacks insight and can miss the larger context.

Anyways, if actual scholars start avoiding such a forum, that would severely hamper open discourse. In what way is this actually being helpful?

A forum like IIDB may be a more extreme example of this attitude, but its far from unusual. Scholars such as Acharya and Doherty have also received plenty of harsh criticism from mainstream scholarship as well. Peer review tends to reinforce conventional opinions and discourages innovation. Any new theory is seen as suspect. Only the alternative views of people like Robert M. Price get some respect because they came to those views after already being established in the mainstream. Even so, Price’s ideas have received harsh criticism from some of the amateur scholars on the board. There is this attitude amongst some there that if they disagree with a theory, then they automatically dismiss it. Something is either true or false, and uncertainty or mere probability is never to be admitted.

It makes me understand why Wilber has been so committed to getting his work into academia.

(2) My experience at IIDB reminds me of my experience on an INTP forum. INTP types (and NT types in general) can be very combative and nitpicky. An INTP has Introverted Thinking as a dominant function which means Extraverted Feeling is their inferior. A less developed or less balanced INTP can really suck at relating well to other people, and this is multiplied when you get a group of NTs together. What INTPs are good at is looking for logical consistency and honing in on any discrepant details. Introverted Thinking is largely hidden as its turned inward and so its difficult for other types to see the internal standard they’re using to judge. All that is seen directly is their secondary function Extraverted Intuition which allows them to see all of the possibilities. In the case of nitpicking, Extraverted Intuition is serving Introverted Thinking and thus they relentlessly seek out all potential errors.

This is what an INTP is good at. They honestly feel that they’re being helpful and they are to an extent. But if they haven’t developed other aspects of themselves, this talent can be problematic for relating well.

Atheist forums tend to attract many INTPs partly because of an NT interest in computers and debate, partly because Introverts spend more time doing solitary activities such as web browsing, and partly because NPs(Ne) love to discuss ideas endlessly. So, quite probably most of the critical people on IIDB are INTPs or some NT type, but also possibly some INFPs trying to conform to an NT environment. On top of their possible personality types, many of them have spent their whole lives studying ancient texts and biblical studies. Its what they know and its what they’re good at. They feel so certain because they’ve dedicated their lives to it and so they’re personally invested in the conclusions they’ve come to.

I have become more used to personality styles different than mine. I’m much better than I used to be at relating well with those I conflict with or disagree with. I have tried to stay evenhanded in the IIDB thread and have been mostly successful. I’ve tried to redirect the discussion back to the core issue and away from nitpicking, but that has been less successful. I’ve observed Acharya in videos and other places on the web, and I’d guess she is an NF type like me which would explain why she doesn’t have a thick skin towards criticalness, and why she gets critical in return when she is emotionally worked up.

I’m an INFP and Extraverted Thinking is my inferior, and as such my judgment of criticalness is very biased. Criticalness really gets to me after a while, and it takes great awareness on my part not to get emotionally pulled into it. I’d rather discuss possibilities rather than debate details. I’d rather find where I agree with someone rather than look for reasons that the other person is wrong. But this is a typical NF attitude and so I realize that others are different.

If I understand why someone acts the way they do, then its easier for me to accept their behavior. There is a person on the INTP forum who always annoyed me. I couldn’t understand why he was accepted there even to the point of being a moderator. An INTP finally explained it to me in a way that I could understand. This guy wasn’t a psychologically healthy person, but he was psychologically disturbed in a typical INTP way. They accepted him because they could understand him. As I wasn’t an INTP, it didn’t matter that I didn’t get along with him on an INTP forum.

I see IIDB in a similar light. Some people there are not perfectly balanced people, but neither am I. However, they’ve found their niche in the world. They can be respected for being critical on an atheist board. So, why should I let it bother me. They’re only doing what they know how to do, and I admit that they do it well. Maybe such people serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

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Replies to This Discussion

marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 7:39am
I just came across a typology poll at IIDB.
http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=132933

67% are NTs
23.35% are INTPs
37% are INTJs

20% are NFs
approximately equally divided between the four NF types
except less than 1% of ENFPs

12% are one of the 8 Sensation(S) types

So, why would an NT be so much more likely to belong to this kind of forum?
Are NT types more likely to be atheist?
Or are NT types more likely to want to debate about atheist views?

[QUOTE=ApostateAbe;5070973]I believe that the correlation between atheism and INTJ/INTP is not a trivial thing (I am an INTP).

[*]INTJ forum poll on religion: [url]http://intjforum.com/showthread.php?t=824[/url]
[*]INTP forum poll on religion: [url]http://forums.intpcentral.com/showthread.php?t=13802[/url]
[*]Christian forum poll on MBTI: [url]http://christianforums.com/t2564679&page=4[/url]

The Christian forum poll is less clear, since it neglects the E/I. It does at least indicate that the N types predominate. But the members of ChristianForums.com are split between NF and NT. INTJ/INTP are 43% at a max at ChristianForums.com, but here it is a whopping 60%. The polls at the INTJ forum and INTP forum are even more striking. Majority of both are atheist or agnostic.[/QUOTE]

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 8:27am
I was just thinking about how a higher percentage of Thinking types are male.
Accordingly, the majority of people on IIDB are probably male.

There is a reason this came to mind. I’ve suspected a higher percentage of people on Integral boards are NT. And I’ve heard it said several times that there are more males than females around this place which isn’t something I can personally verify. Also, there is way more heated debate here than on forums I belong to that have a majority of NF types.

So, what is the correlation between intellectuality, heated debate, atheism, NT personality types, and the male gender?

Why shouldn’t atheism and integralism appeal to SF females?

 

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 6:22pm
I was just at Richard Dawkins forum and came across a poll for gender.
http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=2716&s…

Males are 72% of the population there.
IIDB is the same kind of forum and so it would probably be similar.

I’m wondering how true this is for most people who are on the web.
I’m uncertain about what forums would attract more females… maybe spirituality/religious forums?

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 8:13am
I had two other observations of IIDB.

I did a search on Integral and came up with nothing. I did a search on Ken Wilber and only found a few comments in passing in the last several months. This is pretty significant when you consider that this is one of the more popular boards that attracts well-read intellectual types. This demonstrates how integral theory is still an extremely isolated field of study.

The other thing I noticed there seemed to cross the boundaries of thread topics. There is a heavy philosophical emphasis to the whole place with a distinct lack of much discussion of psychology. Spirituality gets talked about, but mostly just as philosophy. The philosophy emphasis creates a heavy focus on language. In every serious thread, the definitions or proper translation of words gets debated to a fine degree. Integral theorists love to argue about words, but the people on IIDB put integralists to shame in this area.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 19, 2008 at 4:58pm
Chiron,
“After all, both sides fought on what they thought was the same battleground, but they were two totally different battlegrounds, on different levels.”

This is a good way to put it. I find this often happens in discussions. People not only are arguing for different perspectives, but they’re arguing from different perspectives. When you mix in all the factors that make up an individual(personality, moral and intellectual development, cultural background, etc) you can get a very mixed group of people in a discussion. I wish I knew how to bridge such differences, but I haven’t figured it out beyond trying to be more accepting.

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MetroPunk Permalink Reply by MetroPunk on January 21, 2008 at 1:40pm
the problem as i see there was exactly as you pegged in marmalade, people with different worldviews, diff levels, diff types. communication becomes difficult
an integral appproach would help (someone who can bridge the comm gap)

another problem is the nature of the concepts.
atheism is a reactionary confusion
and religion often is dogma
so two dogmatic and limited postions
limit the possible scope of discussion and possible agreement.
nature of the beastS

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Bill Permalink Reply by Bill on January 23, 2008 at 6:57pm
Well, something else to keep in mind, is that all human groups tend to have internal “policing” behaviors, and it’s common to see a kind of tribal ingrouping/outgrouping struggle happening with every group.

I can’t see I’ve ever seen a human group that didn’t practice this kind of internal policing, no matter how advanced or correct they claim to be..

So, the ‘criticalism’ you refer to isn’t just based in, for instance, personality types, or the nature of the ideas being discussed, or the educational backgrounds of the people discussing – it’s got a stronger, older base in ancient hominid group behaviors.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 24, 2008 at 12:27am
That is a good point to bring up. I have observed this policing behavior on IIDB when newbies defend a position.
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Type and Development

marmalade
I’m fascinated by both horizontal and vertical models, but most integral discussions emphasize the vertical. What I’m curious about is how the whole picture becomes more complex when the two are combined.

Introduction to Volume 7 of the Collected Works
http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/cowokev7_intro.cfm/

As for types, see figure 3, which uses the enneagram as an example. What I have done here is take only one developmental module or stream (it can be anything–morals, cognition, defenses, etc.), and I have listed the eight or so levels or waves of development through which this particular stream will tend to unfold (using Spiral Dynamics as an example of the waves). At each level I have drawn the enneagram as an example of what might be called a horizontal typology, or a typology of the personality types that can exist at almost any vertical level of development. The point is that a person can be a particular type (using Jungian types, Myers-Briggs, the enneagram, etc.) at virtually any of the levels. Thus, if a person is, say, predominately enneagram type 5, then as they develop they would be purple 5, red 5, blue 5, and so on (again, not in a rigid linear fashion, but in a fluid and flowing mesh). [20]
Figure 3

And this can occur in any of the lines. For example, in the moral line, a person might be predominately enneagram type 7 at the green wave in the context of the workplace; under stress, the person might move to type 1 at the orange wave (or even blue wave); cognitively, the person might be type 4 at turquoise, and so on. Notice, however, that what the enneagram alone cannot spot is the shift in vertical levels; an orange 7 under stress might go to orange 1, but under real stress, the orange 7 will regress to blue, then purple. These are not just different types, but different levels of types. Again, by combining horizontal typologies with vertical typologies, we can make use of second-tier constructions for a more integral view.

For many radical feminists, male and female orientations also constitute a type. Based mostly on work by Carol Gilligan and Deborah Tannen, the idea is that the typical male orientation tends to be more agentic, autonomous, abstract, and independent, based on rights and justice; whereas the female orientation tends to be more permeable, relational, and feelingful, based on care and responsibility. Gilligan, recall, agrees that females proceed through three (or four) hierarchical stages of development, and these are essentially the same three (or four) hierarchical stages or waves through which males proceed (namely, preconventional, conventional, postconventional, and integrated).

The reason that many people, especially feminists, still incorrectly believe that Gilligan denied a female hierarchy of development is that Gilligan found that males tend to make judgments using ranking or hierarchical thinking, whereas women tend to make judgments using linking or relational thinking (what I summarize as agency and communion, respectively). But what many people overlooked is that Gilligan maintained that the female orientation itself proceeds through three (or four) hierarchical stages –from selfish to care to universal care to integrated. Thus, many feminists confused the idea that females tend not to think hierarchically with the idea that females do not develop hierarchically; the former is true, the latter is false, according to Gilligan herself. [21] (Why was Gilligan so widely misread and distorted in this area? Because the green meme eschews and marginalizes hierarchies in general, and thus it literally could not perceive her message accurately.)

As you will see in The Eye of Spirit , contained in this volume, I have summarized this research by saying that men and women both proceed through the same general waves of development, but men tend to do so with an emphasis on agency, women with an emphasis on communion.

This approach to gender development allows us to utilize the extensive contributions of developmental studies, but also supplement them with a keener understanding of how females evolve “in a different voice” through the great waves of existence. In the past, it was not uncommon to find orthodox psychological researchers defining females as “deficient males” (i.e., females “lack” logic, rationality, a sense of justice; they are even defined by “penis envy,” or desiring that which they lack). Nowadays it is not uncommon to find, especially among feminists, the reverse prejudice: males are defined as “deficient females” (i.e., males “lack” sensitivity, care, relational capacity, embodiment, etc.).

Well, we might say, a plague on both houses. With this more integral approach, we can trace development through the great waves and streams of existence, but also recognize that males and females might navigate that great River of Life using a different style, type, or voice. This means that we can still recognize the major waves of existence–which, in fact, are gender-neutral–but we must fully honor the validity of both styles of navigating those waves. [22]

Finally, a person at virtually any stage of development, in virtually any line, of virtually any type, can have an altered state or peak experience , including those that are called spiritual experiences, and this can have a profound effect on their consciousness and its development. Thus, the idea that spiritual experiences can only occur at higher stages is incorrect. However, in order for altered states to become permanent traits (or structures), they need to enter the stream of enduring development. [23]

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Andy Smith Permalink Reply by Andy Smith on January 9, 2008 at 7:04pm
“I’m fascinated by both horizontal and vertical models, but most integral discussions emphasize the vertical. What I’m curious about is how the whole picture becomes more complex when the two are combined.”

I won’t address the rest of your post right now, but there is a very simple answer to this opening statement. The vertical occurs through horizontal or what Wilber calls translational interactions. Molecules emerge through translational interactions of atoms, cells through translational interactions of molecules, tissues through cell interactions and so on, including societies emerging from translational interactions of individuals. At every level, emergence of the next higher level begins with translational interactions of holons at that level.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 9, 2008 at 7:27pm
I wasn’t thinking about it in that way. The term ‘translational interactions’ sounds intriguing. I’d like to go more into it. Do you have any nice quotes or links where this term is explained further?
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Andy Smith Permalink Reply by Andy Smith on January 10, 2008 at 6:26pm
Just do a search in Integral Spirituality or any other Wilber book, you will find lots of references to translation. Your post, which I take it is a quote from Wilber, treats types as properties of individuals, but of course they are social properties as well, in fact, first and foremost social properties. Any type by any classification one cares to mention is basically a description of the way an individual interacts with other individuals, and even more, with society. These are translational interactions, the glue so to speak which holds societies together.
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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 11, 2008 at 7:31pm
Everything below the link is pure Wilber.

I follow what you’re saying. The individual and the social are inseparable.

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marmalade Permalink Reply by marmalade on January 11, 2008 at 10:25pm
Wilber uses the Enneagram as his example. As a side note, I’ve heard a theory that the personality aspect of this system may have been borrowed from Jung, but I don’t know if this is true. I have see other correlations between the two systems also. However, the Enneagram doesn’t have much research behind it. Most Enneagram theories focus on it as a model of defense mechanisms. Whereas, the MBTI is looking at deeper cognitive structures that are largely inborn. Wilber shows how a person may have different Enneagram types in different situations depending on such things as which level of which line… but, theoretically, someone’s MBTI type should remain the same. I’d like to see how development over a lifetime influences how people test on the MBTI.

Here is a research paper that compares MBTI with the AMSP. I’m not familiar with the AMSP, but it says that it focuses on the propensity of people to change with situations. So, it seems comparable to how Wilber is presenting the Enneagram here.

http://www.typetalk.com/Articles/AMSP-MBTI-Research-Tucker.pdf

This paper doesn’t go into any developmental models, but the focus on changeability in the AMSP gives room for a developmental perspective. However, there are some theories in typology about development.

First off, a brief primer. There are 8 Jungian functions. According to some theorists(eg Beebe), all types use all functions, but simply use them in different ways. There is the matter of whether a type is used consciously or not and this relates to development, and there is a specific order that each type will likely develop each function. This is highly theoretical and I don’t know what research has been done on it. Another theory presents how each function itself develops which is equivalent to saying that each function represents a separate line of development. There is some correlation of MBTI with models of psychological development.

For instance, how the Judging functions(Thinking and Feeling) have much similarity with Gilligan’s work on gender differences and the hierarchy of development that either gender will tend to follow. Typology brings a slightly different slant to this. Statistics have shown that their is a slight preference of males for Thnking and females for Feeling. Also, Thinking males tend to have stronger Thinking preferences than Thinking females, and Feeling females tend to have stronger preference for Feeling than Feeling males.

However, this gender preference is only around 60-70%, and that leaves a good portion that doesn’t fit the social expectations. David Deidda recognizes that gender patterns are only general. He says that his advice for men doesn’t apply to less masculine men and does apply to more masculine women. As a Feeling guy, I don’t entirely resonate with his advice.

I’ve looked at Gilligan’s work before, but not lately. Going by the above quote of Wilber, it seems her description of gender also incorporates a Intuition function bias for males(ie abstraction). But research has shown that men are no more likely to be abstract than women. Its only been in recent time that our society has started to idealize the man who is capable of abstraction. So, I’m not sure about this part of this model.

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The Story of INFP

The Story of INFP

Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade
This blog is for Nicole.  This is a summary of a story I told to someone on the Globalchatter forum in trying to explain INFP in a different way.  The thread was titled Ne’s public face.

You could think of an INFP’s Ne as a loyal servant who walks the perimiter of the grounds carrying a lantern before it and with a guard dog by its side. Maybe the guard dog is Te. The Ne is the face that greets visitors at the door like a butler. Ne checks the gates and doors, and secures the windows. It ensures that its master isn’t disturbed in doing his important work in the study, and it dutifully brings the dominant what it needs whenever called.

Ne the servant sometimes takes his job so seriously that he wanders off the grounds following the tracks of an animal that might be dangerous and picks up scat to bring back to the master, but Ne gets easily distracted and follows another track that crossed the original track. This tracking goes on and on, and the servants backpack gets overloaded with specimens…but miraculously in what seems like aimless wandering it ends up back at its master house. Tired, Ne goes back inside satisfied at having done a good job, gives the specimens to the master and goes to the Ne’s sleeping quarters.

Si is the master’s personal secretary who never leaves the house, and with Ne tired out Si takes over some of the servant’s duties. When someone knocks at the door, Si responds in fear and uncertainty double-bolting the door. Si runs up to tell the master that their is a horrible monster lurking outside, and they try to decide whether to sic the Te dog on the potential intruder. They both cower huddled together in the study frozen in inaction.

Ne wakes up, goes downstairs and answers the door. It turns out it was just a girl scout selling cookies. Ne politely buys some cookies and brings them up to the master’s study with two glasses of milk. The Fi master says he wasn’t afraid and that he was just about to take care of the problem himself.

And here is from a discussion I had with some INFJs:

Fi wants to simply clear a path through the woods, but wants the woods to remain as is. Fi wants the woods b/c the trees enclose the path. Fe sees the woods as material to build a structure w/ in which people can live. Fi wants to build also, but wants it to be unobtrusive. Also, Fi is mostly considering the individual and so it is just making its own way through the brush. Others may follow, but that is secondary. Also, I’d say Fi is making a path into the woods rather than out of the woods. Fe enjoys the woods too, but wants it as a nature preserve that can be used for human needs. Both find value in the woods.

Fe is the missionary that comes to the stone-age tribe of Fis hidden deep w/in the ancient trees. Fe invites Fi out into the open. Fi has never seen the horizon before and runs screaming back into his protective home. The Fi tells this tale of adventure to the excited tribe who listens in awe to his great feats and becomes a hero in the telling. Meanwhile, the Fe is thinking what a strange fellow.

Access_public Access: Public 5 Comments Print Post this!views (189)  

Nicole : wakingdreamer

about 10 hours later

Nicole said

delightful… it makes me think of daimons, of “the novel Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams, where daimones are computerized sub-personalities developed through a combination of mental exercise and embedded computers.” and of his dark materials which has actually inspired biometric-daemons

thanks dear Ben! the more i understand my friend the more i think of him as… just a friend. we had another non-conversation today while he was busy doing anything else. when i lightly mentioned it was difficult having a conversation with him, he didn’t even respond.

but i’m ok with it!

moving on, moving forward, beginning again to begin… again – but hopefully not so soon this time. you think i can give myself the rest of the summer off? maybe even the fall? God knows I have too much on my plate until the Japan December conference is over.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 13 hours later

Marmalade said

Oh, Nicole, who knows what life has in store for you?  🙂

Julie : Waterbearer

about 16 hours later

Julie said

Well, she’s going to spend this weekend with yet another INFP ~ (moi).  I’ll try to rehearse light topics of conversation for the L O N G drive to LAX…. :)) !!

Marmalade : Gaia Child

about 24 hours later

Marmalade said

Howdy Julie!  I hope you two have fun.

Nicole,  Aristoi looks like a novel that I’d enjoy.  The video at the second link was amusing.

Nicole : wakingdreamer

1 day later

Nicole said

Well, Julie, I seem to be surrounded by delightful INFPs, and have no fears about the weekend with you :):) we will have so much fun. Ben’s another of my favourite INFPs, and there are at least a couple more Gaians who are too…

Ben, I think you would enjoy Aristoi. I gobbled it up, would love to read more about that universe… and yeah, I never know what each new day will bring so – help! or yay! or something lol

Integral and Types

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 5, 2008, 5:42 AM:  

  I’ve looked around for information about types within integral theory, but I couldn’t find much of anything beyond some brief mentions.  I wonder why that is.  This came up in a discussion I was having recently with Balder.  I have an interest in integral and I have an interest in types.  How do they relate?  Is it possible to create an integral theory of types?I have my own thoughts on this matter, but let me hear what others have to say first.
Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 5, 2008, 11:19 AM:  

  Marmalade,
Thanks for starting the thread.The other day I referenced Stanley Fish and sparked a little debate. So I do so again in regard to a phrase he used that bears on typology: “the furniture of the mind.” He spoke briefly of its arrangements, perhaps its styles in the context of his disagreement with the liberal humanistic ideal that given the right arguments about the right facts, or the right inspiration, the right chemicals in the water, the right charismatic leadership, the perspectives of all the population in a culture or across cultures could be managed into greater and great integrated unity. He evidently thinks that far easier dreamed of than done because the furniture of our minds is fundamentally arranged in too many different patterns and styles. I have to agree. And I have to think this is more because of typological differences rather than transcendable and developmental lines and levels.It is no surprise to me that typology does not get much air time in Integral. I think there are several reasons:  1. The other day I came across a rare Integral forum discussion about types and it turned out that most of the participants were Introverted (I) and Intuitive (N). There was a tendency toward Feeling (F) and Perceiving (P) with a sprinkling of Thinking (T) and Judging (J). No surprise; the first time I stumbled into Integral Naked three years ago, I had to say, almost out loud, “These guys are all I-Ns.” (It was sort of easy to spot. I used to hang with the radical Transpersonal Psych. crowd in Santa Fe, NM, and they were all I-Ns. Intuitive people are sharp to spot possibilities and their temporal preference is the Future. Developmental lines and levels come easily for them. Hold this thought…  

2. The first time I stumbled into Integral Naked I had to say, almost out loud, “This is a just barely noticeable difference, a tiny tweak, on 160-year-old, standard, middle class, Euro-American liberal humanism.” (It was sort of easy to spot, I had published cultural critiques on that phenomenon as far back as 1969.) These are the believers who idealize the potential unification of perspectives that Fish and I find questionable. Hold this thought.  

3. Jungian personality typologies of the kind that Myers-Briggs, Dr. Keirsey, and Lenore Thomson deal with, tend toward horizontal analysis and throw a lot of confounding factors into a more vertical, developmental matrix like the W-C Lattice. For example, from a typological perspective, it is a real possibility that a moderately conscious I-N could be describing the spiritual wonders of such manifest givens as the Causal, the Subtle and the Non-Dual to a highly conscious E-S (Extroverted-Sensory) and get a response like “Been there, done that, wanna shoot some snooker?”  And of course the I-N will think at that point that the E-S is unconscious, uncaring and totally ignorant of the states the I-N perceives and relates to in the same manner as the E-S perceives and relates to her custom made cue stick. So from a developmental perspective, the I-N will never believe that the E-S has actually truely experienced those states, or really knows their literature, but finds it of trivial value when compared to a round of snooker– the best three out of five.  

Now you connect the dots.  

I think that it is interesting that beginning in the mid-70s, the Myers-Briggs Test and Dr. David Keirsey’s “personality sorter” became the Latest Big Thing in the personnel management consulting racket. And there are a lot of consultants still working with them. But you won’t find those consulting firms that have offices in the Integral Mall, central Integral Province, using these measurements. The consultants that bring us The Integral Review and The Integral Leadership Review and Integral Praxis, don’t do typologies. They do developmental theory and their sites are spilling over with what Richard Rorty called ‘universalist grandeur,” and progressive stepping stones to redemption, humane relationships and more favorable cost-benefit ratios.  

Another thought: Intuitive types, particularly introverted ones, have trouble with detail and discreet facts because they are the distracting trees that get in the way of perceiving the direction the forest is taking. For example, it is probably clear to many versed in typology that Hegel was an Intuitive thinker. And as Schiller pointed out once, Hegel never dealt with a solid fact in his entire career. And though they might not be quite so hard on the man, I understand there are critics who say Wilber’s view from 50,000 ft. doesn’t serve them any better and will never lead to any better specific results than Hegels’s. (That does not mean one should lose faith in the nuts and bolts achievements of Integral’s parent stock, liberal humanism.)  

You asked about the possibilities for the development of an Integral theory of types. I doubt such a possibility could exist.  I think its more probable to put forward a typological theory of Integral, the systems would be more compatible for moving in that direction.  

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 5, 2008, 5:14 PM:  

  Nickeson,“furniture of the mind” – Thats an awesome phrase.I can see the challenge this creates, and part of me agrees with you.  It does seem there is no way of getting around the endless variances that make individuals unique.  That was why I was wondering about an integral theory of typology.  If we could find overarching patterns amidst all the differences, then the furniture could be arranged in an orderly fashion.  lol   A “typological theory of Integral” sounds good to me.  What would that be?  Would this be related to the differences between a Theory of Everything(TOE) vs a Theory for Anything(TFA)?  

1. This is part of my interest in types.  The predominant type of a group of people says a lot.  BTW how about linking to that “ rare Integral forum discussion about types”.  

2. I’d like to hear more about your views on the “160-year-old, standard, middle class, Euro-American liberal humanism.”  

3. I completely get what you mean by the confounding factors issue.  I’d really like to understand this further in terms of the integral community.  

I have some things I want to add, but I’m about to go somewhere.  

Later,
Marmalade  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 5, 2008, 7:51 PM:  

  1. The other day I came across a rare Integral forum discussion about types and it turned out that most of the participants were Introverted (I) and Intuitive (N). There was a tendency toward Feeling (F) and Perceiving (P) with a sprinkling of Thinking (T) and Judging (J). No surprise; the first time I stumbled into Integral Naked three years ago, I had to say, almost out loud, “These guys are all I-Ns.”I don’t know if you remember, but I test as an INFP.  I’ve spoken before about the major difficulties NFs and NTs can have in communicating especially when it comes to intellectual discussions.  This is important to consider as I’ve had a strong suspicion for some time that most integralsts are NTs.  As fo Introversion and iNtuition, I’d say you find high percentages of those all over the web, but maybe its especially emphasized in an integral forum.On a different note, I’m not sure why Wilber speaks about the Ennagram the most.  Actually, I do understand.  The Ennagram has its roots in a spiritual tradition and so fits in with the spiritual vision of integral theory.   The problem with this is that the Ennagram isn’t a scientifically accepted theory.  MBTI has had lots of research to back it up, and it has strong correlations with the academic research into personality traits(FFM, Big 5, etc).  As the MBTI and FFM are based on scientific research, I think they would be better systems for integralists to focus on.  

In saying this, I’m not dismissing the Ennagram.  I’m just saying its a totally different type of system.  We need to differentiate between different typology theories.  

One other thing is that integralists might not be aware that many typology systems include development.  So, it shouldn’t be so difficult to integrate to some extent.  For instance, the definitions of Jungian Thinking and Feeling fit closely with the gender studies that integralists are already familiar with.  

Blessings,
Marmalade  

Balder : Kosmonaut  

Re: Integral and Types

Balder said Jul 5, 2008, 7:57 PM:  

  Hi, Marmalade,Just a quick note for the moment – Wilber doesn’t talk about the Enneagram the most.  I mentioned on your blog that I have used it more than other typologies, since it is the one I am most familiar with (I do Diamond Approach work and DA uses the Enneagram), but it is not something that I’ve heard Wilber mention very often.  Usually, he talks about types only in a rather general way, mostly referring to masculine and feminine types by way of illustration. I’m glad you started this thread and look forward to participating – as well as to learning more about other typological systems from you or others.  Best wishes,  

B.  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 3:11 AM:  

  Balder,I wasn’t directly referring to any of your comments.  When I said that Wilber talks about the Ennagram the most, I was referring to the only example that I’m aware of where Wilber went into some detail about types and he used the Ennagram to illustrate his point.  You are correct that gender is the type that Wilber refers to the most.  But gender isn’t the exactly the same kind of types sytem as Myers-Briggs or Ennagram.  I should’ve been more clear as I was thinking of types in a more narrow sense when I made that statement.  Blessings,
Marmalade  
Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 5:40 AM:  

  I’ve been reading the book The Trickster and the Paranormal by George P. Hansen.  He goes into some detail about the ideas of the psychiatrist Ernest Hartmann who wrote the book Boundaries in the Mind.pp 48-49
“Thick-boundary people strike one as solid, well organized, well defended, and even rigid and armored.  Thin-boundary types tend to be open, unguarded, and undefended in several psychological senses.  Women tend to have thinner boundaries than men, and children thinner than adults.  People with thin boundaries tend to have higher hypnotic ability, greater dream recall, and are more lkely to have lucid dreams.  People with thick boundaries stay with one thought until its completion; whereas those with thin boundaries show greater fluidity, and their thoughts branch from one to another.  People with very thin boundaries report more symptoms of illness; however, compared with thick-boundary types, they are able to exert more control over the autonomic nervous system and can produe greater changes in skin temperature when thinking of hot or cold situations.  Thin-boundary persons are more prone to synesthesia, blending of the senses (e.g., seeing colors when certain sounds are heard).  Differences are found in occupations as well.  Middle managers in large corporations tend to have thick boundaries, and artists, writers and musicians tend to have thinner ones.  People with thick boundaries tend to be in stable , long-term marriages; whereas thin types are more likely to be, or have been, divorced or separated.”The author goes on to say that thin-boundary types tend to report more unusual experiences including psychic experiences.  He then lists the correlations between thin-boundary types and the traits of the Trickster archetype (as described in Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book Gods in Everyman).  Archetypes in general fit in with this discussion of types.  

I was thinking of this particular passage because of discussions elsewhere.  Obviously, many new agers are thin-boundary types.  The beliefs of the new ager make no sense to the more skeptically-minded because skeptics are probably most often thick-boundary types.  Skeptics don’t realize that its not just an issue of belief but an issue of experience.  Both the skeptic and the new ager trust their experience, but they simply have different kinds of experience.  

Blessings,
Marmalade  

Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 6, 2008, 12:30 PM:  

  Marmalade,I don’t have a lot of time, thus, briefly:1) I’ve lost sight of the link to the “rare integral based site/forum” but I think it was one of the Gaia conglomerate.  2) The 160-year-old tradition of E-A liberal humanism traces back to the American Transcendentalists and now resides in what is called the Cultural Creatives, a term coined by a management consultant (of all people) who seems to think that only now have those in this tradition become a large enough bloc to having an effect, but if he had just spent a day or two with a comprehensive American History book he would have found out that people of this persuasion were largely responsible for: the end of the American era of slavery, Prohibition, the introduction of sanitation and public health into local and state governments, pure food and drug laws, and the implementation of public based social service programs. The fact that the Native American population was not entirely eradicated in the 19th Century is largely due to this tradition.  

3) Not only does typology throw a lot of confusion into a system like developmental studies, it tends to confound itself except when broadly applied. There are just too many variables to make individual applications anything stronger than tendencies that might be a little more concrete if they were subjected to longitudinal studies not geared to taking tests but making discreet, everyday choices. Of course the same can be said of developmental theories.  

4) I think Bolen’s two books on Everyman, and Everywoman are good resources, particularly for clinical work, but the best literature on Jungian types is still Jung’s Psychological Types.  

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 10:28 PM:  

  I’d like to note one common theme here.  Gender is a very important type.  It broadly relates to many different theories.  Just in this thread I’ve noted how both Myers-Briggs personality types and Hartman’s boundary types have a gender component.  I’d be curious to know if there is any gender preference in the Enneagram.
Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 10:37 PM:  

  Criticalness, Integralism, and Type

This is in response to the thread titled ‘Should Integralists Storm The Religous Battlefield’.I’ve been involved in a thread at IIDB, an atheist discussion board. Its a thread about Acharya’s theories about astrotheology which is related to comparative mythology, and Acharya has posted in response some. She has received much criticism and nitpicking which is common on atheist forums. She hasn’t taken it well and probably won’t post anymore in the thread or maybe even in the forum. Recently, the same thing happened with Earl Doherty who is another biblical scholar. He posted on IIDB for a long time, but now has declared he will never post there again.I find it a bit annoying and I don’t know if I could ever entirely get used to this kind of behavior. However, not everyone there is like this, and I do enjoy forums where there are many intelligent and knowledgeable people. I have a few thoughts about harsh criticalness.  (1) I do think some people there could use an integral perspective. Critically challenging new theories is important for scholarship, but being nice is important for human relations. Also, I feel this critical attitude is narrow and often misses the point the central issue or the bigger picture. Disproving a single claim or piece of evidence doesn’t disprove a theory or discredit the entire scholarly credentials of the theorist. There are many ways to think about a theory, and criticism by itself often lacks insight and can miss the larger context.  

Anyways, if actual scholars start avoiding such a forum, that would severely hamper open discourse. In what way is this actually being helpful?  

A forum like IIDB may be a more extreme example of this attitude, but its far from unusual. Scholars such as Acharya and Doherty have also received plenty of harsh criticism from mainstream scholarship as well. Peer review tends to reinforce conventional opinions and discourages innovation. Any new theory is seen as suspect. Only the alternative views of people like Robert M. Price get some respect because they came to those views after already being established in the mainstream. Even so, Price’s ideas have received harsh criticism from some of the amateur scholars on the board. There is this attitude amongst some there that if they disagree with a theory, then they automatically dismiss it. Something is either true or false, and uncertainty or mere probability is never to be admitted.  

It makes me understand why Wilber has been so committed to getting his work into academia.  

(2) My experience at IIDB reminds me of my experience on an INTP forum. INTP types(and NT types in general) can be very combattive and nitpicky. An INTP has Introverted Thinking as a dominant function which means Extraverted Feeling is their inferior. A less developed or less balanced INTP can really suck at relating well to other people, and this is multiplied when you get a group of NTs together. What INTPs are good at is looking for logical consistency and honing in on any discrepant details. Introverted Thinking is largely hidden as its turned inward and so its difficult for other types to see the internal standard they’re using to judge. All that is seen directly is their secondary function Extraverted Intuition which allows them to see all of the possibilities. In the case of nitpicking, Extraverted Intuition is serving Introverted Thinking and thus they relentlessly seek out all potential errors.  

This is what an INTP is good at. They honestly feel that they’re being helpful and they are to an extent. But if they haven’t developed other aspects of themselves, this talent can be problematic for relating well.  

Atheist forums tend to attract many INTPs partly because of an NT interest in computers and debate, partly because Introverts spend more time doing solitary activities such as web browsing, and partly because NPs(Ne) love to discuss ideas endlessly. So, quite probably most of the critical people on IIDB are INTPs or some NT type, but also possibly some INFPs trying to conform to an NT environment. On top of their possible personality types, many of them have spent their whole lives studying ancient texts and biblical studies. Its what they know and its what they’re good at. They feel so certain because they’ve dedicated their lives to it and so they’re personally invested in the conclusions they’ve come to.  

I have become more used to personality styles different than mine. I’m much better than I used to be at relating well with those I conflict with or disagree with. I have tried to stay evenhanded in the IIDB thread and have been mostly successful. I’ve tried to redirect the discussion back to the core issue and away from nitpicking, but that has been less successful. I’ve observed Acharya in videos and other places on the web, and I’d guess she is an NF type like me which would explain why she doesn’t have a thick skin towards criticalness, and why she gets critical in return when she is emotionally worked up.  

I’m an INFP and Extraverted Thinking is my inferior, and as such my judgment of criticalness is very biased. Criticalness really gets to me after a while, and it takes great awareness on my part not to get emotionally pulled into it. I’d rather discuss possibilities rather than debate details. I’d rather find where I agree with someone rather than look for reasons that the other person is wrong. But this is a typical NF attitude and so I realize that others are different.  

If I understand why someone acts the way they do, then its easier for me to accept their behavior. There is a person on the INTP forum who always annoyed me. I couldn’t understand why he was accepted there even to the point of being a moderator. An INTP finally explained it to me in a way that I could understand. This guy wasn’t a psychologically healthy person, but he was psychologically disturbed in a typical INTP way. They accepted him because they could understand him. As I wasn’t an INTP, it didn’t matter that I didn’t get along with him on an INTP forum.  

I see IIDB in a similar light. Some people there are not perfectly balanced people, but neither am I. However, they’ve found their niche in the world. They can be respected for being critical on an atheist board. So, why should I let it bother me. They’re only doing what they know how to do, and I admit that they do it well. Maybe such people serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things.  

I just came across a typology poll at IIDB.
http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=132933  

67% are NTs
23.35% are INTPs
37% are INTJs  

20% are NFs
approximately equally divided between the four NF types
except less than 1% of ENFPs  

12% are one of the 8 Sensation(S) types  

So, why would an NT be so much more likely to belong to this kind of forum?
Are NT types more likely to be atheist?
Or are NT types more likely to want to debate about atheist views?  

[QUOTE=ApostateAbe;5070973]I believe that the correlation between atheism and INTJ/INTP is not a trivial thing (I am an INTP).  

[*]INTJ forum poll on religion: [url]http://intjforum.com/showthread.php?t=824[/url]
[*]INTP forum poll on religion: [url]http://forums.intpcentral.com/showthread.php?t=13802[/url]
[*]Christian forum poll on MBTI: [url]http://christianforums.com/t2564679&page=4[/url]  

The Christian forum poll is less clear, since it neglects the E/I. It does at least indicate that the N types predominate. But the members of ChristianForums.com are split between NF and NT. INTJ/INTP are 43% at a max at ChristianForums.com, but here it is a whopping 60%. The polls at the INTJ forum and INTP forum are even more striking. Majority of both are atheist or agnostic.[/QUOTE]  

I was just thinking about how a higher percentage of Thinking types are male.
Accordingly, the majority of people on IIDB are probably male.  

There is a reason this came to mind. I’ve suspected a higher percentage of people on Integral boards are NT. And I’ve heard it said several times that there are more males than females around this place which isn’t something I can personally verify. Also, there is way more heated debate here than on forums I belong to that have a majority of NF types.  

So, what is the correlation between intellectuality, heated debate, atheism, NT personality types, and the male gender?  

Why shouldn’t atheism and integralism appeal to SF females?  

I was just at Richard Dawkins forum and came across a poll for gender.
http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=2716&start=75  

Males are 72% of the population there.
IIDB is the same kind of forum and so it would probably be similar.  

I’m wondering how true this is for most people who are on the web.
I’m uncertain about what forums would attract more females… maybe spirituality/religious forums?  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 10:52 PM:  

  Type and DevelopmentI’m fascinated by both horizontal and vertical models, but most integral discussions emphasize the vertical. What I’m curious about is how the whole picture becomes more complex when the two are combined.  Introduction to Volume 7 of the Collected Works
http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/cowokev7_intro.cfm/  

As for types, see figure 3, which uses the enneagram as an example. What I have done here is take only one developmental module or stream (it can be anything–morals, cognition, defenses, etc.), and I have listed the eight or so levels or waves of development through which this particular stream will tend to unfold (using Spiral Dynamics as an example of the waves). At each level I have drawn the enneagram as an example of what might be called a horizontal typology, or a typology of the personality types that can exist at almost any vertical level of development. The point is that a person can be a particular type (using Jungian types, Myers-Briggs, the enneagram, etc.) at virtually any of the levels. Thus, if a person is, say, predominately enneagram type 5, then as they develop they would be purple 5, red 5, blue 5, and so on (again, not in a rigid linear fashion, but in a fluid and flowing mesh). [20]
Figure 3

 

   

And this can occur in any of the lines. For example, in the moral line, a person might be predominately enneagram type 7 at the green wave in the context of the workplace; under stress, the person might move to type 1 at the orange wave (or even blue wave); cognitively, the person might be type 4 at turquoise, and so on. Notice, however, that what the enneagram alone cannot spot is the shift in vertical levels; an orange 7 under stress might go to orange 1, but under real stress, the orange 7 will regress to blue, then purple. These are not just different types, but different levels of types. Again, by combining horizontal typologies with vertical typologies, we can make use of second-tier constructions for a more integral view.  

For many radical feminists, male and female orientations also constitute a type. Based mostly on work by Carol Gilligan and Deborah Tannen, the idea is that the typical male orientation tends to be more agentic, autonomous, abstract, and independent, based on rights and justice; whereas the female orientation tends to be more permeable, relational, and feelingful, based on care and responsibility. Gilligan, recall, agrees that females proceed through three (or four) hierarchical stages of development, and these are essentially the same three (or four) hierarchical stages or waves through which males proceed (namely, preconventional, conventional, postconventional, and integrated).  

The reason that many people, especially feminists, still incorrectly believe that Gilligan denied a female hierarchy of development is that Gilligan found that males tend to make judgments using ranking or hierarchical thinking, whereas women tend to make judgments using linking or relational thinking (what I summarize as agency and communion, respectively). But what many people overlooked is that Gilligan maintained that the female orientation itself proceeds through three (or four) hierarchical stages –from selfish to care to universal care to integrated. Thus, many feminists confused the idea that females tend not to think hierarchically with the idea that females do not develop hierarchically; the former is true, the latter is false, according to Gilligan herself. [21] (Why was Gilligan so widely misread and distorted in this area? Because the green meme eschews and marginalizes hierarchies in general, and thus it literally could not perceive her message accurately.)  

As you will see in The Eye of Spirit , contained in this volume, I have summarized this research by saying that men and women both proceed through the same general waves of development, but men tend to do so with an emphasis on agency, women with an emphasis on communion.  

This approach to gender development allows us to utilize the extensive contributions of developmental studies, but also supplement them with a keener understanding of how females evolve “in a different voice” through the great waves of existence. In the past, it was not uncommon to find orthodox psychological researchers defining females as “deficient males” (i.e., females “lack” logic, rationality, a sense of justice; they are even defined by “penis envy,” or desiring that which they lack). Nowadays it is not uncommon to find, especially among feminists, the reverse prejudice: males are defined as “deficient females” (i.e., males “lack” sensitivity, care, relational capacity, embodiment, etc.).  

Well, we might say, a plague on both houses. With this more integral approach, we can trace development through the great waves and streams of existence, but also recognize that males and females might navigate that great River of Life using a different style, type, or voice. This means that we can still recognize the major waves of existence–which, in fact, are gender-neutral–but we must fully honor the validity of both styles of navigating those waves. [22]  

Finally, a person at virtually any stage of development, in virtually any line, of virtually any type, can have an altered state or peak experience , including those that are called spiritual experiences, and this can have a profound effect on their consciousness and its development. Thus, the idea that spiritual experiences can only occur at higher stages is incorrect. However, in order for altered states to become permanent traits (or structures), they need to enter the stream of enduring development. [23]  

Wilber uses the Enneagram as his example. As a side note, I’ve heard a theory that the personality aspect of this system may have been borrowed from Jung, but I don’t know if this is true. I have see other correlations between the two systems also. However, the Enneagram doesn’t have much research behind it. Most Enneagram theories focus on it as a model of defense mechanisms. Whereas, the MBTI is looking at deeper cognitive structures that are largely inborn. Wilber shows how a person may have different Enneagram types in different situations depending on such things as which level of which line… but, theoretically, someone’s MBTI type should remain the same. I’d like to see how development over a lifetime influences how people test on the MBTI.  

Here is a research paper that compares MBTI with the AMSP. I’m not familiar with the AMSP, but it says that it focuses on the propensity of people to change with situations. So, it seems comparable to how Wilber is presenting the Enneagram here.  

http://www.typetalk.com/Articles/AMSP-MBTI-Research-Tucker.pdf  

This paper doesn’t go into any developmental models, but the focus on changeability in the AMSP gives room for a developmental perspective. However, there are some theories in typology about development.  

First off, a brief primer. There are 8 Jungian functions. According to some theorists(eg Beebe), all types use all functions, but simply use them in different ways. There is the matter of whether a type is used consciously or not and this relates to development, and there is a specific order that each type will likely develop each function. This is highly theoretical and I don’t know what research has been done on it. Another theory presents how each function itself develops which is equivalent to saying that each function represents a separate line of development. There is some correlation of MBTI with models of psychological development.  

For instance, how the Judging functions(Thinking and Feeling) have much similarity with Gilligan’s work on gender differences and the hierarchy of development that either gender will tend to follow. Typology brings a slightly different slant to this. Statistics have shown that their is a slight preference of males for Thnking and females for Feeling. Also, Thinking males tend to have stronger Thinking preferences than Thinking females, and Feeling females tend to have stronger preference for Feeling than Feeling males.  

However, this gender preference is only around 60-70%, and that leaves a good portion that doesn’t fit the social expectations. David Deidda recognizes that gender patterns are only general. He says that his advice for men doesn’t apply to less masculine men and does apply to more masculine women. As a Feeling guy, I don’t entirely resonate with his advice.  

I’ve looked at Gilligan’s work before, but not lately. Going by the above quote of Wilber, it seems her description of gender also incorporates a Intuition function bias for males(ie abstraction). But research has shown that men are no more likely to be abstract than women. Its only been in recent time that our society has started to idealize the man who is capable of abstraction. So, I’m not sure about this part of this model.  

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 11:07 PM:  

  I had a hard time getting into the thread Translation versus Transformation.  But I’m reminded of this topic because translation came up in my thread Type and Development. Reply by Andy Smith  

“I’m fascinated by both horizontal and vertical models, but most integral discussions emphasize the vertical. What I’m curious about is how the whole picture becomes more complex when the two are combined.”I won’t address the rest of your post right now, but there is a very simple answer to this opening statement. The vertical occurs through horizontal or what Wilber calls translational interactions. Molecules emerge through translational interactions of atoms, cells through translational interactions of molecules, tissues through cell interactions and so on, including societies emerging from translational interactions of individuals. At every level, emergence of the next higher level begins with translational interactions of holons at that level.  Your post, which I take it is a quote from Wilber, treats types as properties of individuals, but of course they are social properties as well, in fact, first and foremost social properties. Any type by any classification one cares to mention is basically a description of the way an individual interacts with other individuals, and even more, with society. These are translational interactions, the glue so to speak which holds societies together.  

 

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 11:16 PM:  

  From my comments in my recent blog Integral, the Paleolithic, and the LIminal.BTW there is a particular theorist within the typology field who interests me the most.  Her name is Lenore Thomson.  She wrote the book Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual, and there is a wiki about her work.  Her view of typology touches upon my own thoughts about a TFA.  Basically, a TFA to me is a perspective of perspectives.  Some relevant pages from the wiki:  Rhetorical Stances  

Beyond Personality  

Philosophical Exegesis  

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 11:56 PM:  

  There is a thread I started on a type forum.  I was speculating about the differences between NT types and NF types in terms of how they’d relate to theorizing.  Here are some tentative conclusions I came to:What is communicated?
The dominant is what is literally communicated especially for an Extravert, but for an Introvert the way of communicating(ie auxiliary) is part of what is communicated. The tertiary assists what is being communicated. Possibly, the inferior helps to clarify the message of the dominant even if only by simple contrast.  Why is it communicated?
I’d partly say that once again the dominant, but as communication is an external event so maybe the motivation might be dealt w/ using the Extraverted function. The functional pairings of the first two preferences would create the essence of the motivation.  

A theory is ultimately a conclusion and so would primarily use the Judging function. Those w/ Extraverted Judging functions would be the most interested in a clear theory. Those w/ Introverted Judging may or may not be as interested in an external conclusion, but probably have an internal one. Even if they felt certain inside, they may feel uncertain of what they express or what others express. Ne as auxiliary would particularly tends towards endless speculating w/o ever coming to a final theory.  

Let me break this down(partly based on Lenore Thomson’s ideas):  

NF: understanding subjective experience
NT: understanding objective reality  

NP: creative, non-linear, expanding possibilities
NJ: similar to NP but more focused and grounded, and more clear ideas  

F: lateral thinking, theories about subjects, collaborative discussion
T: categorical thinking, theories about objects, competitive discussion  

IP: direct experience, underlying patterns
IJ: predictable reference points in world, represented experience
EP: direct experience, improvising
EJ: rational predictability, take in more info only when necessary  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 6, 2008, 11:59 PM:  

  In case anyone was wondering, my posting lots of info in this thread is an example of Extraverted Intuition.  🙂
Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 7, 2008, 11:45 AM:  

  Marmalade,So, you’ve been busy.  From what I have read from Andy Smith, a critic of Wilber, and Wilber, a critic of Smith, I conclude they both tend to be structuralists. Both seem to discount types and subordinate them to their own favorite transcendents. Do you think that Ns are particularly structuralist or transcendentalist? Do you think there is anything social, or spiritual that transcends your own being?  

Your statistics are fascinating, but not surprising. This is why on these boards 99.63% of all topics involve “I think” or “she/he thinks” or “they think,” and only 0.39% involve “I etc. did/do.”  

Here are some things “doing” and “did” that might have a bearing on types:  

1) In that part of my developmental process (mid-teens) when I started doing important things that would define me as an adult, among them were: driving fast cars over long distances, hitchhiking to unknown destinations (when without a car), striking lefty leaning revolutionary postures, attracting interesting and beautiful women, avoiding educational institutions, studying the aesthetics of the well turned phrase, and having mind-bending, ecstatic mystical experiences (unbidden, drug free).  

2) In that part of my development process (mid-childhood, 11-ish) when spirituality and religion became real enough to be seriously considered for “truth,” I seriously considered them long enough (a few hours) for me to conclude they were no longer worthy of serious consideration. The whole subject was just beside all the valuable points of my life. So when the mystical revelations of Cosmic Wholeness began to show up a few years later I did enough research to find out that some people thought these states had something to do with Spirit (a.k.a. God). I did not.  My hubris told me that Spiritual and Godly considerations were for less-advantaged folks than me. (There have been times when I might have momentarily consider myself either an atheist, or an agnositic or maybe even a believer. But that eventually matured into a position of being reconciled to not knowing and not caring enough to figure it out. An example is that until you mentioned it I had never heard of IIDB, so I googled and dropped by and thought, “this is really dull…”)  

3.) In my late 20s and early 30s, the mystical experiences of cosmic integrated unity, the apprehensions of the “divine” omniscient state, became more and more profound and began to color all my other perceptions. By this time I was one of the leading (investigative) journalistic experts on Native American legal and political issues in the USA, and beginning a career as a private legal investigator. Under fairly heavy psychological pressure as a result of these visions I made the decision to investigate for evidence that an overarching “really real,” integral and unifying principle existed. From my experience I had learned that theory was little more than insubstantial words, blue smoke and mirrors. Law, for example is the theory that attempts (poorly) to regulate the present and future by regulating (poorly) perceptions and interpretations of past facts. Facts are created by what people do. The rule of thumb for lawyers is that one never argues the law unless a really bad circumstantial case prohibits them from arguing the facts. So I went out to find the facts of this matter–are there facts here on the ground that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is an overarching, really real, unifying principle. I spent about five years at it. I took it seriously, I had to if I was going to maintain my reputation as a highly skilled investigator, and hope for any credibility in writing the obviously best-selling, revelatory book that would follow a positive conclusion.  

4. Along the way, quite by accident, I stumbled across the writings of Carl Jung that sparked: a) my first more than passing interest in psychology; b) an interest in psychological types; c) an 18-month period in which I began dreaming three or four “big” dreams a week. Also quite by accident, I began study of Taoism and the benefits of contemplative practices particularly those that developed and enhanced phenomenological awareness, internally and externally. (Both of these contributed to my investigation and resulted in a continuing 31-year-old dream journal and meditation habit.)  

5. At the end of the five years  I had not found one single mote of irrefutable evidence for the really real unifying principle that I, as a reputable, self-respecting investigator, would even consider taking to my client/attorney with the expectation that they would put it to a jury. There went the dream of fame, fortune and beautiful lovers that would accrue from writing that book. The best thing I could come up with was a theory lifted out of Jung: the visions of the divine unification-through-omniscience Hoo-Ha were a self-reflecting glance at, and projection of, the perceptual organizing functions of my mind, a satisfying conclusion in that it tended to confirm rather than diminish hubris. (One of the reasons why I tend not to take Wilber all that seriously is that I have found no evidence in his writing to show that he ever seriously considered or researched the possibility that AQAL might be a manual and map for the form and functions of his psyche and nothing more.)  

6. Early in 2005, while waiting a week or so for a client couple to finalize design and budget approval for a proposed sculpture, I googled “enlightenment” and got some Andrew Cohen hits that lead me to Wilber-land. I studied up on his latest (I hadn’t read any of Wilber since about 1989) and wrote my first lengthy Integral Naked post that proposed–based on the findings of my own search as a bad example–and the fact that Wilber had managed it (good example) that most anyone with a few years in a liberal arts school and a facility for words, blue smoke and mirrors could undertake the development of a Unified Field Theory for the Human Condition if not Everything itself.  And I urged folks to not worry in the least about their theory being right or wrong because that’s not the point. The point is to publish an interesting book, make a little money and attract beautiful lovers. I should have pointed out then, and do so now, that the chances for one’s success will be enhanced if they are iNtuitive, preferably Introverted iNtuitive. Part of the reason my effort failed was that I went about my grand search in the way I tested out on the typology scales: ESFP. So I make my money these days doing art. And as for beautiful lovers? I’ve got mine, Jack.  

theurj : dancer  

Re: Integral and Types

theurj said Jul 7, 2008, 2:03 PM:  

  Nickeson: I see you’re a blacksmith-artist. One of my New Mexico dancing associates, Ward Brinegar, is also into this type of art. See his site at this link.
Balder : Kosmonaut  

Re: Integral and Types

Balder said Jul 7, 2008, 2:19 PM:  

  Thanks for providing that link, Nickeson.  I loved having a chance to see your work – and to see you at work.  The railings you’ve wrought strike me as similar to you in spirit:  strong and unruly, with a graceful flair.
Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 7, 2008, 2:32 PM:  

  Edward,
Ward is a friend of mine, though I haven’t seen him for years. Last time I heard he was living broken-hearted in Albuquerque.  I learned the art in Santa Fe, spent eight years doing it there. I can see by his web site that he is doing good work and doing well. This is really good to know.Balder, thanks for the kind words.  S.  

p.s. I just remembered that I wrote a piece here on my other blog that goes directly to this typological difference thing. (Part of it has been excerpted to the Kabiri site.)  

theurj : dancer  

Re: Integral and Types

theurj said Jul 7, 2008, 5:03 PM:  

  Ward has been in SF for many years, living and working. I know he got a divorce years ago but he’s gone through a number of girlfriends since then. Not sure of his current love life status. I see him once a year at the Albuquerque Dance Fiesta, the next of which is at the end of September. I’ll try to remember to say hello for you. Or you could do so yourself at his website and tell him I referred you.
Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 7, 2008, 3:12 PM:  

  Nickeson,Nice iron work.  I had a great interest in art growing up, but as an NP I was more interested in the creative possibilities than the finished product.  🙂  Do you think that Ns are particularly structuralist or transcendentalist?  

I wouldn’t think Ns would particularly be structuralist as I’d think that might have more to do with whether the person was Judging… to put it simply, whether they seek out conclusion.  I would think, though, that Ns are particularly transcendentalist as N is about abstraction, imagination, and possibilities.  Ns look past the obvious data of physical experience, but also Ns are less satisfied with the world as it is because they’re so capable of seeing how the world could be otherwise.  

Do you think there is anything social, or spiritual that transcends your own being?

Going by the gist of your question, I’d answer in the affirmative.  But I don’t think of it exactly as transcending.  That reality isn’t based on isolated individuals feels like a basic immanent experiential truth to me.  However, as an INFP, N (Extraverted Intuition) is my secondary function.  My direct sense of reality has to do with Fi (Introverted Feeling).  

Your statistics are fascinating, but not surprising.  

They didn’t surprise me either. Based on type theory and on personal experience, it was what I was more or less what I was expecting to find.   One interesting discovery I made was that INTJs are more prevalent on atheist boards than they are on type boards.  Typology is probably a bit too woo woo for many INTJs.  The INTPs, altough Thinking types, are one of the most active groups in the online typology community.  INTPs are a bit more open to the soft sciences because they enjoy endless speculation, enjoy considering possibilities without a need to come to an absolute conclusion.  

This is why on these boards 99.63% of all topics involve “I think” or “she/he thinks” or “they think,” and only 0.39% involve “I etc. did/do.”

 

   

I agree.   

Interestingly, though, my ISTJ mom would take a different perspective from both you and most integralists.  To her, life isn’t about enjoyment, but is instead about responsibility and routine.  Your ideal of making some money and attracting beautiful partners would be utterly alien to her worldview.  

Another interesting example is my ENTJ dad.  He does like to think and speculate, but first and foremost he is an Extraverted Thinking type.  He wants to do things and accomplish things.  He wants to help, inspire, and organize people.  He might find Integralism mildly interesting, but he wants to know the hard facts and the practical application.  He can think outside of the box, but in many ways he is contented with conventional thinking (he is very status conscious as TJ appreciates hierarchy and authority).  

Both of my parents are very action-oriented, but in very different ways.  The only commonality they have is that they’re both Judging types, and they both have Te as their preferred Judging function.  But neither is action-oriented like you although my dad comes closest to you in wanting to enjoy the good life… I suspect for totally different reasons though.  

Blessings,
Marmalade  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 8, 2008, 2:42 PM:  

  I find it curious that so far the only significant response I’ve had to this thread is from Nickeson and he is critical of integral theory.  I have great interest in types and I have likewise used it as a critical perspective of integralism.There is obviously a lack of integration of type into integral theory, but is there also a lack of interest?  Do integralists perceive types as less important than lines of development or the quadrants?  Why have integralists focused so little upon something that has more scientific backing than other elements of integral that have less scientific backing?  Do integralists simply not know how to integrate types?  Or is it merely a paradigm bias of integralists idealizing transcendence?  Is personality not all that significant if your goal is transpersonal?  Could it be that most integralists simply don’t know much about types and they just don’t know what to make of them?  Or are many integralists actively critical of thinking too much in terms of types?  If so, what is the criticism of types from an integral perspective?  I don’t see types and integralism as being in conflict.  If anything, I think this might be one of the most fruitful avenues that integralism hasn’t yet explored.  

I’ve focused on Myers-Briggs in this thread because that is what I know best, but of course there are probably thousands of different kinds of type theories.  If Myers-Briggs doesn’t interest you, what type system does?  Beyond the brief summary of Wilber, how might the Enneagram be more fully integrated into integral theory?  

If you don’t like type theories whatsoever, then what do you think of trait theories which is a slightly different take on personality (and academically more respectable)?  Does Wilber or any other integralist speak much about personality traits?  

Blessings,
Marmalade  

Balder : Kosmonaut  

Re: Integral and Types

Balder said Jul 8, 2008, 3:06 PM:  

  Marmalade, unfortunately, most members of this pod are actually critical of Integral theory!  I am probably more strongly supportive of it than most of the other active members here.I am interested in this topic, and believe it actually is a very fruitful area to explore – particularly since I think greater sensitivity to types may help lessen the current tendency to almost impulsively evaluate everything in terms of “rank” or “level.”  I think the level-distinctions are valid, but as you and others point out, factoring “types” in may complicate those evaluations in significant ways.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m trying to write a blog entry in between my work and school duties, and I’m almost done with that.  That is what has kept me away from active participation here.  But I will be back!  

Best wishes,  

B.  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 8, 2008, 5:12 PM:  

  Balder,Yeah.  From comments you’d made, I was assuming you were probably busy.  But there are other active members in this pod.  I was just wondering what people thought even if it was merely to say they’re not interested.  Even though many here are critical of integral or at least Wilber’s integral, they obviously have enough interest in integral to post here.  

As I said, the only significant response I’ve had has been from Nickeson.  And he doesn’t see much merit in integral as its presently forumlated.  But I do get the sense that he isn’t dismissing integral theory entirely.  Nevertheless, he certainly doesn’t seem hopeful about integrating types into integral, and maybe he is right.  

I like integral theory for the most part, and I like type theory for the most part.  Both systems have their flaws, but they’re good enough for basic understandings.  I’d like to think that the two can somehow inform eachother… and maybe even be included within a single theory.  

I don’t know.  I’d like to explore this some more.  At the moment, I was purposely focusing on only one aspect of types.  There are two other aspects that are more directly related to integralism, but I wanted to feel out the waters first.  One of those aspects is types not as types per se but as perspectives (eg Lenore Thomson).  The other aspect is the developmental.  Many type theories (eg Myers-Briggs and Enneagram) explicitly theorize how development commonly occurs.  

I guess I’ll just sit on it for the time being.  

I appreciate what you’re trying to do here with this pod.  I realize its difficult.  I hope that discussion can get past criticisms (even if insightful) and point towards new possibilities.  That was my hope for this thread anyways.  How might types allow new innovation within integral theory?  

   

Re: Integral and Types

Jim [no longer around] said Jul 8, 2008, 6:55 PM:

  Hi Marmalade. You wrote to Balder: “I was just wondering what people thought even if it was merely to say they’re not interested.” 

I’m well familiar with Jung’s typology (I had to study Jung in depth and was tested by teachers who’d trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich as part of my training in Arnold Mindell’s Process Work). I took the Myers-Briggs type test in the eighties. I read Almaas’s book, Facets of Unity: The Enneagram of Holy Ideas, and I’ve had people who are into the Enneagram as Helen Palmer teaches it talk to me about my Enneagram type. 

But I’m not interested in reading about, studying, or discussing type theory any more than I already have, and that’s why I haven’t commented on your posts where you discuss typology. 

🙂 

Jim 

  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 12:43 AM:

  Hey Jim,Your post makes me curious all the while making me a bit sad.  You know about types and seemingly have an opinion on the matter, but for whatever reason don’t wish to share.. or maybe you just don’t have any clear thoughts on the matter.  My sense is that you see no value in types for the time being or maybe entirely.

Oh well… if you don’t feel like participating, then you don’t.  But if you ever do feel like sharing, I’d love to hear about your doubts or criticisms… or about your lack of interest for whatever reason.  I’ve enjoyed your views in other integral discussions.

I wonder if there are many integralists like you… people who know a fair amount about typology but it simply doesn’t relate to their interest in integral theory.  Its good to keep in mind that a lack of dicussion about types in the integral community doesn’t necessarily imply a lack of knowledge.  If that is the case, then what is the disconnect between the two?

Anyways, thanks for the reply.  Even though you didn’t say much, it still gives me some feedback.

Blessings,
Marmalade 

   

Re: Integral and Types

Jim [no longer around] said Jul 9, 2008, 11:41 AM:

  Hi Ben (if I may call you Ben),

Your post makes me curious all the while making me a bit sad.
I’m sorry to hear that my post makes you a bit sad.

You know about types and seemingly have an opinion on the matter, but for whatever reason don’t wish to share.. or maybe you just don’t have any clear thoughts on the matter.  My sense is that you see no value in types for the time being or maybe entirely.

It’s not that I don’t wish to share, it’s that I’m not interested in getting into a discussion on types and typology. I’m happy to share my opinion that a working understanding of Jung’s typology is important for anyone who wants to work in a helping capacity within a transpersonal – or integral if one prefers – context.

I had a private therapy practice working with individuals, couples, and small groups. My approach, largely based on my training in Process Work (which as I think you know was created by Jungian analyst Arny Mindell – his initial research into what he calls PW or Process Oriented Psychology was funded by the Jung Institute in Zurich where he trained budding Jungians to be Jungian analysts), was hands-on, experiential, and non-interpretive. Talking about types, thinking about types, and typing clients and participants in group work simply played no role in the work I did, just as my beautiful, expensive watercolor brushes played no role in the electrical and plumbing work I did no my house last week.

Oh well… if you don’t feel like participating, then you don’t.  But if you ever do feel like sharing, I’d love to hear about your doubts or criticisms… or about your lack of interest for whatever reason.

In addition to a lack of interest in the topic, my focus of late has been on neuroscience (among a few other things), the learning curve is steep, and I only have so much time. I don’t have doubts about typology (beyond my general doubts about “folk psychology”), and my lack of interest is no different to me than my lack of interest in spectator sports. I’m not against spectator sports any more than I’m against typology, but I’m not interested. I don’t know the names of sport teams or players, I don’t know what sport season it is, I don’t watch spectator sports on TV and I don’t attend live spectacles (I always fell asleep at Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium whenever I was taken there when I was growing up in NY), and to me Superbowl Sunday is just another Sunday and a good day to go grocery shopping because the markets are usually empty during the game.

I wonder if there are many integralists like you… people who know a fair amount about typology but it simply doesn’t relate to their interest in integral theory.

I don’t consider myself an “integralist,” and I’m definitely not a Wilberian (and I find it difficult to hear the word “integral” without thinking of Wilber; IMO he has appropriated the word). I think that Wilber gets a lot of things right (and some things incredibly wrong), I participated in a series of Integral Institute meetings at his home in late 2000 and I corresponded a bit with him before that, but being into Ken Wilber’s integral theory of everything is just not a part of my path.

(I parenthetically mentioned having doubts about “folk psychology.” Some cognitive scientists and philosophers maintain that our “commonsense” or “folk” understanding of mental states constitute a theory that enables us to predict and explain the behavior of ourselves and others. Ken Wilber borrows the term “myth of the given” from Wilfrid Sellars. It so happens that Sellars’ ideas on the myth of the given are a source of the idea that folk psychology is a theory and is therefore subject to revision or even replacement.)

I hope that makes where I’m coming from at least a bit clearer.

Jim 

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 2:37 PM:

  Jim,Sure… call me Ben if you’d like.  Call me almost anything you want as far as I care.

Neuroscience, eh?  I’ve come across research on neuroscience and personality.  Traits research goes into this quite a bit.  What kind of neuroscience are you interested in?

I would agree “that folk psychology is a theory and is therefore subject to revision or even replacement.”  That is why I like to study and research the subject.  Also, its the reason I prefer Myers-Briggs over the Enneagram.  I haven’t found any academic research about the Enneagram, and so I have no way of making sense out of all the differing opinions.  Myers-Briggs is closer to traits theory than to the Enneagram, and traits theory has been researched to a great extent and across cultures. 

So, to the extent that Myers-Briggs correlates with this academic research, it isn’t folk psychology.  However, there is still much research that needs to be done on Myers-Briggs theory.  For example, there is good reason to question the orthogonal view of the functions which traits theory disagrees with.

If you ever feel so inclined, it would be nice to see a thread about what you’ve learned from your neuroscience studies.

Blessings,
Marmalade 

 

Re: Integral and Types

Jim [no longer around] said Jul 9, 2008, 5:10 PM:

  Ben, I’ve been working, as time allows, on a response to Balder’s request (to any members of this pod) for “a positive formulation of your own spiritual vision,” and I may touch on neuroscience in that. Blessings to you too, Jim 
Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 8, 2008, 5:54 PM:

  Marmalade,Quickly;

1)  “…my ISTJ mom would take a different perspective from both you and most integralists.  To her, life isn’t about enjoyment, but is instead about responsibility and routine.  Your ideal of making some money and attracting beautiful partners would be utterly alien to her worldview.”

Your mom is not just an S, she’s an SJ! Keirsey says this is the “Guardian temperament.” 

  • Guardians pride themselves on being dependable, helpful, and hard-working.
  • Guardians make loyal mates, responsible parents, and stabilizing leaders.
  • Guardians tend to be dutiful, cautious, humble, and focused on credentials and traditions.
  • Guardians are concerned citizens who trust authority, join groups, seek security, prize gratitude, and dream of meting out justice.

(For more read here.)

But then here, for comparison, is a Keirsey run-down of SPs, the “Artisans,” a category more like me–

  • Artisans tend to be fun-loving, optimistic, realistic, and focused on the here and now
  • Artisans pride themselves on being unconventional, bold, and spontaneous.
  • Artisans make playful mates, creative parents, and troubleshooting leaders.
  • Artisans are excitable, trust their impulses, want to make a splash, seek stimulation, prize freedom, and dream of mastering action skills.

(For more read here.)

And then there are the NFs, the “most integralists”–

  • Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
  • Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
  • Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
  • Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.

(For more read here.)

On almost every site here in the on-line Integral Province one finds evidence that the ideal person is an Idealist, every site is preaching to this choir, seeking their approval  love. Novelist James Mitchner, speaking of everybody, once said to the effect of “It is not that everybody wants to be a writer, everybody wants to have been a writer.” Here one could say similarly “Its not that every Integralite wants to be Ramana Maharshi, every Integralite wants to have been Ramana Maharshi.” On these overviews (I left one out) the word “spiritual” only shows up as an Idealist quality. And descriptions of the ideal citizen of Yellow or Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna or whatever the popular, upper-berth color here in the Province is this season boils down to the ideal Idealist; run-of-the-mill Idealists are still stuck in Green. Maybe in a Type Theory of Integral the first thing to do is factor out the cultural confounders and run a horizontal analysis of the colors.  How different would that look from the Jungian types, or as someone pointed out on the Integral Praxis Sosh Ntwrk site, how different would that look from the primary and recombinant qualities of the Zodiac?

I guess all of the long posts I have made on this thread have just been wordy ways of backing into the same question…one that has been implied in each, and since failing to get an answer I will ask it directly: Do the precursory qualities for transformation and enlightenment favor NFs? From a blending of what we see of types and the Integral givens it would appear that would be the the logical working hypothesis. Does this mean that Bio-spiritual and cultural evolution as defined by what is generally considered core Integral Theory promote NF, or at least the top cut of the catagory, as more evolved than any other type?

There are times when I, as an SP in the land of NFs, feel like an itinerant anthropologist, or wandering writer a la Paul Theroux or Peter Matthiesson, sending dispatches back to a home far, far away. As you know I have been writing from the virtual sovereignty I call Integral Province. If the answer to my question can any way be construed toward the positive then I might have to rethink this name, perhaps drop “Province” and adopt “Ghetto.” 

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 1:55 AM:

  Nickeson,Yep, my mom is an SJ.  I brought it up as a counterexample to your SP slant on the differences between S and N.  I’m willing to bet that a SJ would feel like even more of an outsider in the integral community than an SP would.

How I see all of this is that Wilber is more likely an NT than not and so there is a NT bias at the heart of integral theory… whether or not NFs are also attracted to integral idealism.  Of the NFs, INFJs have the most interest in systematic theorizing.  But even INFJs don’t come close to most NTs when it comes to systematic theorizing.  I know INFPs particularly well and few would be interested in integral, but maybe the ideal Idealist… I don’t know.  So, its true that integralism is idealistic and NFs are known as the Idealists, but Thinking has its version of idealism in its focus on principles.  And the hierarchical structure of integral theory is more in line with the Thinking function as I understand it.

Here is the breakdown in terms of religion.  Most theology professors are probably NTs.  Most ministers are probably NFs.  Most of the congregation is probably SJs.  I don’t know where the SPs might be… probably doing missionary work in a third-world country.

So, Wilber and other integral theorists are probably NTs.  However, many of the advocates of integralism in a forum may be NFs.  In a pod like this maybe its pretty even between NTs and NFs, but I’d say that there is still an NT bias to integral theory overall.

MBTI was created by an INFP.  Even though it took a lot of intellectual thought (ie statistical analysis), its a very NF model.  Its not hierarchical for one thing.  Instead, its about seeing the good in everyone exactly as they are.  It has its developmental aspect, but the equality aspect is emphasized more.

Integral as the ideal from the top cut of Idealists?  It could be.  I do have the suspicion that many spiritual visionaries are NFs.  But how many of them would turn their spiritual vision into an all-encompassing hierarchical abstract theory?

Your viewpoint is intriguing.  Even though integral theory came from the mind of a probable NT, maybe its slowly being hijacked by NFs.  But of course the NTs see it as corruption from the green meme.

So, how would you create an integral theory from an SP perspective?  Or is your SP perspective that such theorizing is pointless?  If you could somehow organize your SP brethren, how would you attempt to hijack the integral movement?  🙂

Blessings,
Marmalade 

Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 9, 2008, 10:16 AM:

  Maramalade,I’m just going to jump around here a little:

And the hierarchical structure of integral theory is more in line with the Thinking function as I understand it.

This might be debated. I think it might have more to do with N aligned with J.  Jung was a Thinking type (INTP, I believe) and he wasn’t big on hierarchies except cultural and moral ones.


Most ministers are probably NFs.  Most of the congregation is probably SJs.  I don’t know where the SPs might be…

Have you ever read Sinclair Lewis’s novel Elmer Gantry? It mostly concerns the relationship between an SP evangelist and an NF faith healer.

I do have the suspicion that many spiritual visionaries are NFs.  But how many of them would turn their spiritual vision into an all-encompassing hierarchical abstract theory?

Excellent point!

Even though integral theory came from the mind of a probable NT, maybe its slowly being hijacked by NFs.  But of course the NTs see it as corruption from the green meme.

This is one of the reasons I sometimes wonder about the depth of Wilber’s here and now consciousness. In one aspect of the theory he gives the NFs what they need because they are NFs and they will support him. But in another aspect he bites the hands that feed him because they aren’t intuitively rational enough, and they in turn will forgive him because they are who they are. Co-dependence, no?

If you could somehow organize your SP brethren, how would you attempt to hijack the integral movement?

I don’t think most would consider it worth hijacking. It isn’t effective enough, it doesn’t do anything,  its too academic. That is why politicians might give it a nod and then move on. It is void of solutions for the here and now. But it is a good place to stock-pile NFs until they are needed to march in the streets.

So, how would you create an integral theory from an SP perspective?

I’ll have to give that more thought. I have been thinking of  whipping up a little something vis a vis Balder’s call for papers on a ”positive formulation of your own spiritual vision.” Maybe I can organize it about this question…we’ll see.

S. 

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 3:43 PM:

  And the hierarchical structure of integral theory is more in line with the Thinking function as I understand it.This might be debated. I think it might have more to do with N aligned with J.  Jung was a Thinking type (INTP, I believe) and he wasn’t big on hierarchies except cultural and moral ones.

I understand why you’d say J and I would add the Judging functions of Thinking and Feeling.  I’m surprised by your thinking it would be N aligned with J (ie Ni).  From my understanding of Lenore Thomson, Ni wants to free an idea from larger contexts especially external contexts… because Ni wants to focus more narrowly.  However, within their own personal understanding, their thoughts can be more structured (depending on how well their Judging function is developed).  My ENTJ dad can be more structured and hierarchical in thinking, but I always interpreted that as a result of his being Te dominant (ie EXTJ).

I was basing my statement largely on personal observation of an INFP forum and some NT forums (in particular an INTP forum).  Its somewhat of an issue of debating style.  NFs (especially Feeling dominants) can have a hierarchical side, but its a hierarchy of values.  NFs don’t seem overly hierarchical with ideas and abstract theories.  However, to the extent that an idea stands in for an Idealist value, an NF could become attached to a hierarchical theory.

I’m not sure what type Jung was.  I’ve heard of him being an INTP, but Beebe thinks he was an INTJ.  I know that he didn’t like social hierarchies, and that may have more to do with his Introversion than with anything else (although my ISTJ mom likes social hierarchies).  I think Beebe’s assessment makes sense.  An INTP’s dominant Ti gives them a strong internal sense of structure and also a tendency towards methodical analysis.  Jung seems more Ni dominant to me.  He was a deep thinker, but there is somewhat of a looseness to all of his thinking.  Jung never had an overarching systematic theory as Wilber does and I see Wilber as being more of an INTP.

Have you ever read Sinclair Lewis’s novel Elmer Gantry? It mostly concerns the relationship between an SP evangelist and an NF faith healer.

No, never read it.  Sounds interesting.  What did you think of it?

In one aspect of the theory he gives the NFs what they need because they are NFs and they will support him. But in another aspect he bites the hands that feed him because they aren’t intuitively rational enough, and they in turn will forgive him because they are who they are. Co-dependence, no?

The social dynamics of the situation is very intriguing.  I could imagine that Wilber’s most loyal followers might be NFs, and maybe he has encouraged this to an extent.  An NF could be very forgiving about Wilber and his ideas if they projected their idealistic values onto the ideal of integralism.  Most NFs don’t care about a theory being perfect and they might be willing to ignore any gaps that aren’t too obvious.

BTW INFPs are very individualistic, but they also are considered the most idealistic of the Idealists.  If a theory captures their sense of idealism, they very well might throw themselves into it without reservation.  INFPs more than any type want something overarching to believe in.

But it is a good place to stock-pile NFs until they are needed to march in the streets.

Very good point.  NFs can be pacifists and passivists, but once their idealism is challenged its a different story.  I’ve had an interesting discussion on why INFPs would make good terrorists and guerilla fighters.  The discussion started because bin Laden seems like a possible INFP.  He combines cultural analysis with fiery righteousness, and a patient indirect way of challenging authority.  INFPs, when the situation is right, can make good leaders of small groups.  They inspire the loyal SJs to put the NF’s ideals into action.

So, how would you create an integral theory from an SP perspective?

I’ll have to give that more thought. I have been thinking of  whipping up a little something vis a vis Balder’s call for papers on a ”positive formulation of your own spiritual vision.” Maybe I can organize it about this question…we’ll see.

I look forward to whatever you may come up with.

Blessings,
Marmalade 

Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 13, 2008, 6:18 PM:

  Maramalade,Not long ago you asked these questions of me:

So, how would you create an integral theory from an SP perspective?  Or is your SP perspective that such theorizing is pointless?

And I answered that I would address that question in a post re: Balder’s request for papers on a positive Spiritual vision. But I’m not going to do that now, times have changed. However there still might be an indirect answer to those questions in various excerpts from the following blog posts. Most people around here might have read them by now, but since you asked–

First, the last five or six paragraphs of ”Integral Dissipation” are pretty explicit on the matter.

Second, the whole of ”To One in the Dark V” looks at the same thing from a slightly different perspective

Third, the implications of ”No Reason to Believe” add nuances, and,

Fourth, so do the implications of ”Vultures Copulating on the Roof” particularly this bit:

M has been reading Bhagavan Das and thinking back. The two of us are easing toward sleep, her head, my shoulder conjoined. She wonders why he or anyone else wants things to have meaning when meanings just enforce limits.  

From M—Wholeness: no limits, no meaning. Make a note of it. 

S.
 

Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Integral and Types

Marmalade said Jul 9, 2008, 5:49 PM:

  I don’t want this discussion about types to be limited to typology.For instance, what does anyone think of archetypes as horizontal types?  I realize that archetypes also can be seen vertically and the pre/trans fallacy can be invoked.  But for the moment what do you think of archetypes as general categories of human cognition and experience?  And can archetypes be a part of Integral theory?

Blessings,
Marmalade 

Nickeson : Easy  

Re: Integral and Types

Nickeson said Jul 10, 2008, 6:35 AM:

  Marmalade,I understand why you’d say J and I would add the Judging functions of Thinking and Feeling.  I’m surprised by your thinking it would be N aligned with J (ie Ni).  From my understanding of Lenore Thomson, Ni wants to free….

You are no doubt correct and also way ahead of me here. I am not familiar with the details of Thomson’s work and I’ve never heard of Beebe before your mention of him. I believe the last theory I read with anything more than passing curiosity was Bolon’s and that was long ago. I can see why there is equivocation on Jung’s J or P as those two seem to be the most mercurial and culturally mutable aspects. My statement on the matter was remembering what one or another of his student/colleagues, like von Franz, et al, wrote of him. Speaking of archetypes and hierarchies in this light, Jung’s intellectual position on the basic quaternary of personal archetypes (Hero, Wise Old Man, King, Puer, etc) was fairly horizontal but as a conscientious Swiss by culture he elevated the Wise Old Man and the King (to a lesser extent) and was disparaging of the Puer. This is where theory and training diverge after a time from experience and folk psychology. I am with Jim who said a working knowledge of the types is a good thing for liberal humanist style therapists. I suspect that in five years or so following training most of these clinicians are practicing folk psychology to some extent. (To me folk psychology is of a difference order than pop psychology which is just out there for its entertainment value.) Whether it is positively effective or damaging to the client is a function of the therapists’ abilities and not the source of the style/theory. Of course it is not going to play well for the theorists or those in the labs, but the same can be said of anthing that arises outside of their immediate venues.

Elmer Gantry is probably as entertaining, instructive and thought provoking as any professionally written 82-year-old novel is these days. I read it when it was only 33-years-old so it had different things to say at that time.

And can archetypes be a part of Integral theory?

I think anything that can be said of types can and should be said about archtypes. And by definition anything and everything can be a part of Integral Theory and that drops the hint that Integral might not qualify as a theory at all.

Self-Made Man

Self-Made Man

Posted on Mar 18th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade

This book is about a lesbian who dressed up as a man.  Its not my normal kind of reading material.  The premise of it sounds like superficial amusement, a catchy idea in a world glutted with such books.  I was very surprised by how insightful she was, and not a bad writer either.

The subject of this book is sorta in my realm of interests.  Gender roles is a fascinating lense through which to see the world.

I’ve read many of the popular books in this field.  There is the clasic Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.  John Gray’s ideas are mostly stereotypes with some decent observations.  In the integral field, David Deida and Carol Gilligan are often talked about.  Deida’s advice may be good for manly men, but from reading him I came to realize that I must not be a manly man.  He does admit that his advice is for the masculine… which equally applies for women as for men.  Anyways, his ideas didn’t fit my self-understanding.  Carol Gilligan is more interesting to me, but I haven’t studied her too closely.

I wonder to what extent these gender theories are about actual biological differences.  I’m sure genetics play a big part, but so do culturally-learned roles.  Even on the genetic level, there is great variety.  I think about this primarily from a Myers-Briggs perspective.  The gender theories I’ve come across seem to be speaking about the same division as Jung’s Thinking and Feeling.  A majority of men have a Thinking function preference. and a majority of women have a Feeling function preference.  But its not a large majority in either case… approximately around 60-70%.  So, that leaves 30-40% of people who don’t fit the expectation.  That ain’t small potatoes.

To get back to Vincent, she said she was a tomboy growing up and people perceived her as a masculine woman.  And she was surprised that, as a man, she was perceived as effeminate.  This also fits in with function preferences. Women who prefer Thinking still don’t come out as strong on that preference as most Thinking preference men, and ditto for men who prefer Feeling.

In case you’re wondering, I’m one of those Feeling type of guys which would probably explain why Deida didn’t do much for me.

Vincent did come to the conclusion that there are distinct differences between men and women, but she also observed how much gender roles are taught… sometimes to a harsh degree.  She was playing a role and she found dressing the part was important.  Especially for men, clothing such as a suit can act as a uniform and people will treat you accordingly… even when they claim and seem to consciously believe they’re treating you gender-neutrally.

From her experiment, Vincent learned something maybe even more important.  She got into the mindset of her character to the point that she considered it self-hypnosis.  Later on, she became a bit lazy and partially let her disguise down, but people still treated her like a man.  She found that people to an extent believed what she believed.  Even she, after the experiment was over, had difficulty getting back into her normal mindset.  Even though it didn’t feel natural to her, she became used to acting that way, the role became an ingrained habit.  She had only tried this for a year or so, but just imagine about the identity role one pretends to be for years and which is constantly reinforced by everyone around you.

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Online Debates: Ideology, Education & Psychology

Internet discussions more often than not drive me bonkers.  I’ll mention some data and immediately someone will question and criticize the data.  If they’re a more worthy opponent, they’ll ask for specific sources.  I usually comply and then add even more data just to further support my argument.  The other person may offer data too, but they rarely cite the data and it’s even more rare for them to offer multiple sources.  Most “debates” never get past mere opinionated nitpicking.

I mentioned one example in a previous post.  I gave specific data and quotes from specific sources and framed it within the larger context of scientific consensus… and the other person acted like it meant nothing at all.  As a person who respects facts, I find it odd that many adults (who are potential voters) have such a dubious relationship to facts.  If someone shares facts with me that prove I’m wrong, I accept my being wrong and I do further research to better inform myself.  This attitude of intellectual humility and curiosity seems not to be shared by many people… or at least not many people I meet online which may or may not be a representative example of the American public (but if I had to guess, I’d think that the average internet user is more intelligent and better informed than the average non-internet user).

I just experienced another example.  This one was on Youtube and it was also about the scientific consensus of climatology experts.  Youtube has very limited word count for comments which makes intelligent debate a bit constrained, but I was up for the challenge.  I first mentioned some facts withou citing them, partly because Youtube doesn’t allow comments with url addresses in them.  Some person questioned the validity of my data and offered some other data which they didn’t cite either.  I felt lazy and didn’t want to try to figure out where he was getting his data, and I wasn’t in a mood for debating to any great extent.  So, I just offered the url addresses (by replacing the “.” with “DOT” which Youtube allows) of several scientific articles and Wikipedia articles (and the Wikipedia articles cited many scientific articles). 

My “debate” partner responded by saying that what I was referring to wasn’t peer reviewed and I assumed he must be talking about the first set of data I mentioned.  I had been looking at this data recently and I knew it came from the University of Illinois, but I didn’t know if it was or wasn’t peer reviewed.  I did a quick websearch and found it had been peer reviewed.  This is so typical.  If you look at people’s nitpicking, it is often unfounded.  I suppose people like this just hope you won’t actually check it out for yourself.  Why would this person lie to me just to try to win a debate?  It only took me maybe a minute or so to disprove his claim.  Does this person normally get away with such lies?  Are most people unwilling to check the facts for themselves?  Do most people not know how to use a search engine to find information quickly?

The ironic part was this person said the media is always lying.  So, I pointed out to him that, whether or not the media was lying, it appeared that he was lying or else uninformed.  He never responded back to further challenge me nor to admit to being wrong.  His only objective was to “win” the debate at all costs.  When it became apparent he wasn’t going to “win”, he simply abandoned ship.

I have an online “debate” like this probably on average of once a week (sometimes less when I’m not in a commenting mood).  I don’t go looking for idiots.  It’s just that the idiots are often the ones most willing to brazenly challenge any opinion (no matter how factual) that disagrees with their opinion.  To be fair, there are also many reasonable people online.  My experience, though, that the line between idiotic and reasonable often becomes rather thin when it comes to political and religious ideology.  Even when faced with the facts, few people are willing (or able?) to change their mind.

Why is this?  I’ve studied psychology enough to realize that humans are mostly irrational creatures, but I’m constantly amazed by how irrational certain people can be.  I seem unwilling and unable to accept the fact that most people aren’t capable of intelligent debate.  Part of me thinks that if I present the facts in a fair manner and make a reasonable argument that I can expect the same in return.  Apparently, I’m the irrational one for feeling frustrated by the inevitable irrationality of human nature.

But I do have reason for my irrational hope for rationality.  I occasionally have very intelligent debates with people online and these people even sometimes change their minds when offered new information… I even change my mind sometimes when presented with new information by an intelligent person.  Most often these people seem to be more liberal, libertarian or independent-minded. 

I’ve found that the only subjects that regularly attract intelligent conservatives are economics and sometimes philosophy/theology, but these are subjects that aren’t as easily determined factually according to scientific research (including psychological research).  Conservatives tend to argue more from a perspective of principles that they support with historical examples.  To conservatives, the past is where they look to verify a theory or claim.  I guess that is fine as far as it goes, but it makes for difficult debating because the attempt to understand principles and history is easily swayed by subjective biases.

For example, many libertarians and fiscal conservatives like to talk about free markets.  The problem is that it’s almost impossible to ascertain what this means.  The idea of a “free market” is highly theoretical if not outright idealistic.  No free market has ever existed.  Furthermore, no free market could ever exist because it’s merely a relative label of a market being more free than some other market.  There is no ultimate freedom of markets.  So, these debates lead off in all kinds of directions such as referencing “experts”.  The issue I have with experts in fields such as economics is that expertise is much more subjective in that there is less hard data.  Many of the economic models that have been relied upon have been proven wrong.  It’s almost impossible to scientifically study markets in that confounding factors can’t be easily controlled.

But even intelligent libertarians sometimes are wary of actual scientific data.  Libertarians don’t trust government.  Since scientists sometimes get government grants, scientists can’t be entirely trusted either.  For some reason, libertarians think corporate sponsored scientists would be more trustworthy.

Conservatives in general are more mistrusting of objectivity.  I’m not quite sure what is the reasoning behind this.  Some intelligent conservatives I’ve met actually agree with me about humans being irrational and that seems to be their reason for mistrusting objectivity, but this is a more intelligent argument and probably doesn’t represent the opinion of average conservatives.

To be fair, the smartest people of all probably are independents.  From the data I’ve seen, independents (and the American public in general) are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  The question is which is the cause?  Do smart people tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative?  OR do social liberals and fiscal conservatives tend to be smart?  Or is there a third causal factor?  MBTI iNtuition and FFM “openness to experience” correlate with testing high on intelligence and correlate with high representation in college.  Also, these psychological functions/traits correlate to liberal attitudes, but I’m not sure how they may or may not correlate to fiscal conservatism.  (There is a nice site about politics and psychological types: http://www.politicaltypes.com.)

Some of the most intelligent debaters will be the MBTI NT types (iNtuition Thinking).  I know that INTPs tend to be self-identify as politically independent and I suspect the same would be true for INTJs.  NTs probably either vote with Democrats for reasons of social liberalism or with libertarians for reasons of it being a third party, but I some NTs might vote Republican for reasons of fiscal conservatism or else for reasons of principles.  I’m not sure how many NTs vote Republican, but polls I’ve seen show that ENTJs are more conservative (probably because TJ – Extraverted Thinking – is their primary function).

So, I can presume that most often, when I’m enjoying an intelligent discussion, I’m probably interacting with a socially liberal iNtuition type.  I don’t know what good this knowledge does for me.  Maybe it helps me to be more forgivng (this person sure is stupid… it’s too bad they were born that way). 

To be more optimistic, psychological research doesn’t show that most people fit in absolute categories.  Most people can learn non-preferred thinking styles and learn to develop weak traits.  Education should teach people how to use all parts of their mind.  The fact that so many people lack critical thinking skills is a failure of our education system and shouldn’t be blamed on individuals.  College favors iNtuition types.  Most professors and college-level teachers are iNtuition types and most of the coursework is more appealing to iNtuitive types.  It’s hard for a strong Sensation type to do well in traditional schooling.  Who can blame them that they don’t go to college or have bad experiences at college?  Who can blame them for falling prey to the notion that college is controlled by liberal elites?

Considering that the MBTI shows Sensation types represent the largest portion of the population, it is quite sad that our education system has the hardest time reaching this category of person.  Sensation types don’t have as much natural talent for abstract thinking and critical thinking.  Sensation types are better with concrete information and concrete learning.  Too much of higher education deals with abstractions and theories.  Dumbing down higher education isn’t the answer.  I think we should have more alternative routes of education. 

When I was in highschool, my best friend was very much a Sensation type who took many alternative classes involving technology.  He was good working with machines and with computers, but he wasn’t extremely smart in terms of intellectuality.  Alternative classes served him well in terms of preparing him for a job in the real world.  The potential criticism, though, is whether he was prepared for being a well-rounded and well-informed citizen.  I suspect not.  The highschool I went to didn’t require students take classes in logic and critical thinking.  The classes in general seemed rather dumbed down.  Unless you were taking college prep classes, you wouldn’t be intellectually challenged.

I feel frustrated.  I don’t want to blame the average person for not being well educated, but I do feel pissed off that our education system has failed these people and so created an intellectually inferior society.  Even news reporting seems dumbed down for the masses.  Shouldn’t the education system and the media, instead, serve the ideal of uplifting the masses by informing them?

Even with intelligent people, I think the education system has often failed.  College is less focused on providing a liberal education and created well informed citizens.  College has merely become a career path.  Many have talked about the problem of specialization of knowledge.  People go to college only to become isolated in some particular field and outside that field they may be largely ignorant. 

People, whether well educated or not, seem less capable of understanding the larger context.  Maybe it’s always been that way.  If so, I hope it’s changing.  I probably shouldn’t expect the education system to do anything more than create good workers… as that seems to be its primary purpose.  My hope is more in the realm of media technology.  The traditional media has been failing for a long time, but the new media has been very successful.  The most well informed people are those who use the new media to inform themselves.  And, because of the new media, the uninformed (be they the average public or the average politician) can no longer spout misinformation without being challenged.

So, to return to the original topic of online debates, maybe a purpose is served by all of the ideological conflict found in the forums and comments sections around the web.  The people who weren’t educated well in school get confronted, whether they like it or not, with new information and with actual critical thinking skills.  Some people might just become even more ideological in response, but many others will learn to be more intelligent debaters.  Even debates where people deny expert opinions may serve a purpose in that a discussion then ensues about the definition of ‘expert’.  The question about the new media is whether the positives will outweigh the negatives.  The uninformed have the opportunity to become even more polarized and entrenched in their views by isolating themselves in forums of the likeminded, but those who want to be informed have more opportunity than ever to do so… and there are many in the middle who are neither extremely ideological nor extremely motivated to learn.

My hope is that the internet remains an open resource and open platform for public debate.  My other hope is that the internet my force the education system to improve by offering both teachers and students to become more well informed.  Students now no longer have to solely rely on the information given by teachers, and teachers no longer have to solely rely on the information that was given to them when they were students.