Right Vs Left: Personality Differences

Here is a video on one of my favorite subjects or rather my favorite intersection of subjects. It’s an interview with Jonathan Weiler who recently wrote a book about the sociological study of authoritarianism in terms of US politics (I just bought his book and so I probably will be writing more about it). This is the same area of study that Bob Altemeyer has written about (Altemeyer’s research having been referenced in John W. Dean’s writing about contemporary conservatism).

Here is an article Jonathan Weiler wrote about all of this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-weiler/from-soup-to-nuts-the-aut_b_762558.html

“It is not that all Republicans are authoritarians; nor that all Democrats are non-authoritarian. Far from it. And people adopt party affiliations for a variety of reasons. But whereas those with the authoritarian cognitive style used to be more evenly split between the parties, decades of appeals for “states rights”, “law and order”, and against ERA, gay rights and immigration reform have concentrated this particular personality type in the GOP. And the consequence of that decades-long process has been the emergence of a Republican party that is, to a remarkable degree, built on viscera — on appeals to anger and resentment, and a deeply-felt conviction that America is breaking down irretrievably and that the way to stop that process is to demonize and marginalize outgroups deemed responsible for that breakdown. And this is no longer a geographically confined phenomenon, but a fully national one.”

“The fact that the more and less authoritarian now find homes in opposite political parties has made our politics almost impossibly acrimonious. When Democrats raise what they view as legitimate concerns about tolerating those who are different, the base of the Republican Party does not understand. And when Republicans bring up what they view as legitimate views about safety, security and threats to our way of life, the base of the Democratic party does not understand. Party loyalists are no longer wrangling over policy differences. Instead, they represent fundamentally opposed personalities, which prioritize, in many ways, incommensurate, values.”

If you find this as intriguing as I find it, then you might enjoy some of my other posts (which reference research about personality besides just authoritarianism):

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/violence-vs-empathy-indifference-vs-unhappiness/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/social-indebtedness-strict-father-morality-hierarchical-authority/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/moral-righteousness-intent-vs-results/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/responsibility-choice-vs-obligation/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/divide-and-conquer/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/conservative-moral-order-the-lazy-unemployed/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/psychology-of-politics-development-of-society/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/political-identity-myers-briggs-spiral-dynamics/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/morality-politics-and-psychology/

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/political-party-morality-personality-gender/

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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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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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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MBTI: INFPs & INTPs, Global Chatter & Theory

I was talking to someone online about INFPs and INTPs.  It reminded me of my days at infp.globalchatter.com which is a now defunct forum.  😦  *sigh*

It was nice to summarize my experience and understanding.  So, I thought I’d share my thoughts here with some links to cached pages from the INFP forum.

 – – –

FIRST RESPONSE:

Hello.

Your query amuses me. I understand. Life is more confusing than the strict personality types can portray. It took me a long time to make sense of it all.

I guess theoretically I could be a Thinking person. It doesn’t really matter to me how I’m labelled by others, but I’ll give you the reasons I identify with INFP.

I took many online tests and I always tested as INFP. I joined an INFP forum and it was utterly amazing how similar I was to many people there. I did meet some other INFPs who were more of an intellectual bent (afterall, INFPs have Ne just as much as INTPs). I finally took the official test (including the Step II) and I tested as INFP.

I’ve had to study theory to a great extent to understand my sense of being an INFP (by the way, many INFPs love theory especially as it relates to psychology as the MBTI was developed by an INFP; I had my best discussions on an INFP forum with a mix of INFPs and INFJs).

There are two ways of understanding an extremely intellectual INFP.

First, there is Beebe’s function roles. The auxiliary for INFPs is Ne which when strongly developed can lead to an intellectual bent. INFPs use Ne to deal with the world and so intellectuality is one way INFPs learn to adapt (and to protect their Fi). This especially makes sense when you consider that the INFP’s inferior (Te) is also (according to Beebe) their aspirational. INFPs, as long as they don’t become psychologically stunted, will always feel lacking in the Te department and will be drawn towards this ability (either in developing it or attacking it).

Apparently, I inherited my grandmother’s INFP-like genetics; but, as I was raised by two Te parents (one being a dominant Te intellectual), I had Te modelled for me. I aspire to prove myself to my dad through intellectuality, but in INFP fashion I see intellectuality as an ideal of truth (i.e., authenticity; there is no greater ideal for an INFP).

Secondly, there is MBTI Step II. I’d recommend you check out this test and maybe take it as it gives a much more nuanced view of type. Each function is broken down into 5 factors. Very few people fit perfectly into a specific type, but on any given factor it isn’t unusual to be strong. A factor that goes against the overall function description is called out-of-preference (OOPs).

There were only 2 OOPs in my test. I was strongly Questioning rather than Accomodating (which the latter is a factor of Feeling). And I was strongly Methodical rather than Emergent (which the latter is a factor of Perceiving). So, to be precise, I’m a Questioning, Methodical INFP: who is precise, challenging and wants discussion; and who is more intellectually organized.

However, there is one further aspect to consider. In the MBTI Step II results, it is also shown how your results compare to others who test as the same type. It’s perfectly normal for an INFP to test as strong in Questioning and Methodical. Interesting!

Furthermore, from a traits viewpoint, type theory doesn’t make any sense at all. Most people test in the middle rather than strongly to either side. Barcode (barcode9588) points this out in her later videos and as INTP she is drawn to the scientific precision of the traits model. However, as an INFP, I think the Jungian model captures a more subtly nuanced understanding that science as yet doesn’t know how to test for.

I hope that is helpful. If you want to study it more for yourself, I can give you some website and book recommendations.

I’d be curious to know what type you’ve tested as. Are you wondering about Thinking and Feeling in your own experience?

Nice to meet you,
Ben

 
 – – –
  
SECOND RESPONSE:
 
Hello
 
Do you ever visit online typology forums? I learned the most about typology in discussions with people of the same or similar type as it helped me to understand why differences exist. Maybe it’s an INFP thing, but I appreciated seeing how people wrote about their experience as it related to type descriptions and theory.
 
That relates to your first question. For an INFP, subjectivity and objectivity aren’t as easily separated… and it seems somehow different than it is for most INTPs.  But, in general, my observations are that a less mature INFP will have less sense of objectivity and a less mature INTP will have less sense of subjectivity. 
 
The difference is that both an INFP’s auxiliary Ne and their aspirational Te can attract them to objectivity (logic, rationality, etc.), but an INTP also has auxiliary Ne and so is more rooted in the abstract.  The INFP’s Fi balances the abstract Ne whereas the INTP’s Ti magnifies the abstract Ne.  Or that is how it seemed to me when dealing with INTPs on various forums including INTP Central.
 
It’s hard to describe the difference and I don’t know if you understand what I’m trying to communicate.  There are different aspects to this.
 
First, INFPs’ greater potential for mixing subjectivity and objectivity allows for them to be (when mature and confident in themselves) more aware on multiple levels. What I mean is that INFPs can divide or spread their focus on what to an INTP may seem like unrelated areas. 
 
A group of INFPs discussing a topic will be just as wide-ranging as a group of INTPs in terms of ideas.  But the INFP group won’t focus as exclusively on just the ideas.  INFPs love ideas and love abstract theory.  It’s just INFPs also love relationships, emotions, and subjective values; and INFPs are equally trusting of rational thought and non-rational hunches. On top of that, INFPs (along with INTPs) love imagination and considering possibilities, and so they’ll go where ever their curiosity leads them.
 
For INFPs, they simultaneously think and feel out a set of ideas and the people discussing those ideas. INFPs are very aware of the subjective and inter-subjective.  They can learn to be very good at reading people, and so they look at what is assumed/implied and not just what is overtly stated.  INFPs can be downright paranoid about the unstated. They want to know a person’s motivation… the person’s true, authentic self even. A discussion is not only an opportunity to learn new information or a new perspective but also an opportunity to observe human nature in action.
 
This is why INFPs love MBTI. It allows them to simultaneously explore the subjective and objective.  INTPs, on the other hand, love MBTI maybe just as much but they focus on theory and data to the extent that (especially in a debate) they can almost forget that psychology is about real people (i.e., non-abstract entities; although well-developed INTPs can be extremely perceptive of others; as it’s their aspirational, INTPs potentially could develop Fe more than INFPs).
 
Furthermore, there is also an element in how ideas are seen to be connected and how they’re communicated.
 
Thinking causes INTPs to be more competitive and it can give an aggressive (or even snarky) edge to their Ne (this is more how an INFP perceives it and not how another INTP might perceive it). Feeling causes INFPs to be more collaborative and it can give a more child-like imagination/playfulness to their Ne (also, it causes the INFP to become more emotionally invested in or even identified with the ideas/views being discussed or rather what is perceived as being behind those ideas/views). Of course, the situation can be entirely different when other function roles are in play such as being in the grip of the inferior (when INFPs can become very intellectually combative and dismissive; I recently wrote a blog post about Beebe supposedly considering INFPs to be the most judgmental type – https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/infp-most-judgmental-type/).
 
Also, INTPs can at times be extremely nitpicky. If an INTP isn’t relaxed, it’s hard to know what they actually think because when INTPs feel uptight or on the defensive they can become overly analytical and confrontationally contrarian.  Even when relaxed, INTPs often act less immediately friendly (i.e., easygoing, inviting, emotionally open; especially a group of INTPs where they can sometimes require a hazing period for new members).  INFPs, however, want to be included and want others to feel included (i.e., touchy-feely; on an INFP forum, smiley faces and *hugs* are very common and new members are made to feel welcome). They would rather laugh with you than at you. 
 
INFPs are less concerned about analytical details or even the exact logic (although they can learn to highly appreciate those things if it becomes central to their value system).  INFPs have a slightly more holistic way of thinking than even INTPs because for an INFP thinking includes the subjective.  Ideas are about abstract and objective thought, but ideas are grounded in human experience and profound feelings/values which aren’t always so easily communicated.  If the INFP never fully develops their intellect and never learns to integrate their Fi and Ne, then they might feel very divided and pulled in too many directions.  Some INFPs avoid this fate by simply not developing their intellects and dismissing objective thought by idealizing something else (love, peace, God, universal health care, etc.).
 
Of course, both types are similar in that they use Ne to perceive connections and patterns, to create models that express their internal understanding.  The main difference to understand is between Thinking and Feeling.
 
INTPs will appear more formalized in their thinking (more analytically careful, more logical, more concerned about precise definitions).  As such, INTPs focus on distinctions (which applies equally to people as to ideas… meaning that many INTPs probably feel more autonomous or even isolated than INFPs).  INTPs have more clear sense of what is intellectually correct or false, and so temd to be very intellectually opinionated.  I think this can lead to a hierarchical way of thinking we’re ideas are ranked according to their superiority (this may be even more true for NTJ types). 
 
INFPs, on the other hand, are more accepting of different ideas as simply being different intellectual perspectives.  They’re less attached to intellect in general (but specific intellectual ideas or theories may become entangled with their deeply held values) and so are more open to trying to understand another’s perspective (as long as the other is willing to do the same).  INFPs have a clear sense of right/wrong, but it just plays out differently on the intellectual level.  Instead of focusing on distinctions, INFPs want to know how ideas (like people) relate (because ideas also are experienced subjectively… not just thought but felt and contemplated upon, and must be translated into their personal Fi understanding).  As a model of thinking, relationship leads to a more lateral (rather than hierarchical) way of determining truth.  INFPs are emotionally snesitive and so they don’t enjoy heated debate as much as INTPs.  INFPs, instead, seek out agreement and common ground.  A correct idea is only as meaningful as it’s connection to authentic understanding (which includes the authentic truth of what it means to be human).

 
Did I end up answering your questions?  Much has been written on these topics in books, websites and forums… certainly, my view is just one of many.  I’m not sure if I’m in a position to conclusively answer your second question about the possiblity and commonality of rational/logical INFPs.  I have met many intellectual INFPs, but extremely intellectual INFPs do seem relatively uncommon as compared to INTPs.  According to theory, no INFP is primarily intellectual in the sense of the NT pairing.  A more practical possibility to consider, using trait theory, is whether there are people who not only are in the middle of Thinking and Feeling but who are born with or learn early on a proficiency in using both.  To tell you the truth, I haven’t looked extensively into trait theory and so I don’t know what researchers have concluded.
 
Anyways, all that I’ve written is based on my studies of the typology theories of others, but it also includes much of my own theorizing based on my own observations.  I can’t claim I’m absolutely correct in my conjectures.  It’s just what has made sense to me up to this point. 
 
If you’re interested in seeing the origins of my personal theorizing, I did manage to dredge up a few cached pages from a now defunct forum (infp.globalchatter.com).
 
INFP subypes?
Page 2 (not found in Google cache)
 
Thinking Styles and You: Part II
 
Levels/Layers of Individuality
 
As I remember it, I started the “INFP subtypes?” discussion thread before I had heard of the MBTI Step II.  So, my theorizing in that thread probably can for the most part be explained by Step II’s more detailed factor analysis, but it was fun to look back at my developing thoughts on the matter.  I mentioned in that thread Dario Nardi’s subtypes as presented in his book Character and Personality Type.  Nardi claims he based his subtypes partly on his own observation of working with clients combined with some theoretical knowledge such as life themes, but I’ve never come to a conclusion about whether Nardi’s subtypes make sense to me (I will say I like the series of books that were made by Dario Nardi and Linda V. Berens which are some of the best introductions to type theory, and I’m very intrigued by Berens’ Interaction Styles).  I generally prefer to think in terms of Beebe’s role functions (see these articles: Evolving the eight-function model; and Type and Archetype – Part One and Part Two). 
 
There are a lot of other good resources out there: Personality Type by Lenore Thomson and The Lenore Thomson Exegesis Wiki, Compass of the Soul by John L. Giannini, Facets of Type and Functions of Type by Gary Hartzler and Margaret Hartzler, Building Blocks of Personality Type by Leona Haas Integrity in Depth by John Beebe, and Pathways to Integrity by Blake Burleson.  If you prefer learning by discussing with others, then I’d recommend the forum Typology Central which has a good mix of different types and is a very active community.  If you want an even more detailed understanding about personality, I’d research other models such as Trait Theory (Big Five, for example, has been correlated with MBTI) and Ernest Hartmann’s Boundary Types (there are some books and research papers on the topic, but here is a short introductory article, How “Thin” Are Your Boundaries?; also these types have also been correlated with MBTI and are similar with many other psychological categorizations).  The closest to an overview on my thoughts on personality types can be found in my post Psychology and Parapsychology, Politics and Place.

Horror and Typology

This post will just be a jotting down of connections.  I ordered some books recently and they came in the mail today.  New books mean new thoughts.  Yeah!

Okay.  Two of the books are Metaphysical Horrorby Leszek Kolakowski and The Thomas Ligotti Readeredited by Darrell Schweitzer.  They’re more or less related in their respecitve subjective matters.

Kolakowski writes about the problems of philosophy and the question of meaning.  Many philosophers have come to the conclusion that philosophy is at a dead-end.  Kolakowski calls this anti-philosophy.  It seems to me that the Pessimistic philosophy of Zappfe and Ligotti could be categorized as anti-philosophy.  So, Kolakowski’s analysis and response would be helpful in seeing Pessimism in the larger context of the development of Western thinking.  He writes about Descartes and horror which reminded me of Cartesian anxiety, but I don’t think he uses that specific terminology.  I first heard of Cartesian anxiety in discussions about the relationship of enactivism and integral theory (which are theories that speculate about the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity).  Kolakowski also writes about the phenomenologists (i.e., Husserl and Merleau-Ponty) who tried to respond to Descartes’ mind-body dualism.  Phenomenology was a major influence on enactivism and is of interest to integral theorists.  Also, in the volume of the Collapse journal that published Ligotti, there was an essay related to these ideas (“On the Horror of Phenomenology: Lovecraft and Husserl” by Graham Harman)… and Ligotti considers Lovecraft to be one of his most important influences.

The Thomas Ligotti Readerhas an essay by Ligotti: “The Dark Beauty of Unheard Horrors”.  In it, Ligotti references Lovecraft quite a bit and he uses a specific quote from Lovecraft that I’ve seen in a blog by Matt Cardin (Autumn Longing: H.P. Lovecraft).  This isn’t surprising as Cardin is a fan of Ligotti’s writing and he even has several essays in the Ligotti Reader.  Both Ligotti’s essay and Cardin’s blog cover a similar set of ideas.  This dark aesthetic appreciation of the world can be put into the context of phenomenology and enactivism (autumn longing is an experience that I’m sure many phenomenologists and enactivists would understand).  In the essay directly after Ligotti’s, Cardin discusses the topic of liminality in terms of Ligotti’s fiction.  The liminal is another concept that deals with the meeting of and mixing of categories such as subjectivity and objectivity and also the personal and the collective.

One further thought involves something Ligotti brings up in his essay.  He describes two tendencies in horror writing… that of making horror concretely specific and that of making horror emotionally evocative.  This relates to Ligotti’s desire to present the horrific directly which he acknowledges as ultimately being impossible.  He, in a sense, wants to decontextualize the experience of horror.  A horror that has no form is all the more horrific, but a horror story by its very nature needs form.  In the essay, he recognizes that “Of course, mystery actually requires a measure of the concrete if it is to be perceived at all: otherwise is only a void, the void.”  This sense of a hard to grasp truth that must be approached subtly also reminds me of his style in writing about Pessimism in the Collapse journal. 

There is a sense I get from Ligotti’s non-fiction writing (and his writing in general) that feels like he is circling around some singular insight.  Along with his desire to free this insight from the constraints of the concrete, what it makes me think of is my experience of dealing with a particular person who was a very good example of dominant Introverted Intuition (Jungian typology).  I use Extraverted Intuition (Ne) much more and there is a clear difference to the two styles of thinking.  When Extraverted, Intuition thinking style goes off in a million directions sometimes simultaneously.  It scatters and looks for connections, for context.  When Introverted, it’s the complete opposite.  It focuses in such an inward fashion that it attempts to leave the concrete entirely and so it’s hard to communicate.  The Introverted Intuition type (Ni) has a very convoluted communication style that is plodding and meandering, but there is a core insight around which it all revolves.  Going by Ligotti’s fiction and non-fiction and his interviews, that is the way his thinking seems to me (according to my Ne-biased view). 

Also, there is the aspect of pessimism in Ligotti’s writing (by which I’m not referring specifically to his ideas about philosophical Pessimism).  In that Introverted Intuition causes a desire for freedom from context, there can be a conflict with exterior reality, the concrete world (Extraverted Sensation).  Ligotti’s story “The Shadow, The Darkness” seems to be an expression of what I’m sensing.  The way Ligotti describes Grossvogel’stransformation feels like a dominant Ni type’s experience of an eruption of inferior Se (or something like that… anyways, not the way a dominant Se type would experience it).   Ne types are often just as detached from the concrete, but their abstract and imaginative thinking is focused outward.  The expansive nature of Ne can lend a quality of optimism as there is a sense of infinite possibilities (although this would also include negative possibilities as well).  For example, I’m a very depressed person with Ne (althought it’s secondary/auxiliary rather than dominant).  The expansiveness of Ne counteracts my depression all the while the abstractness of Ne exacerbates it, but no matter how dark my thinking when I consider possibilities I feel inspired and even a bit hopeful.  Ligotti’s thinking challenges me and I meet that challenge by seeking to give his ideas a larger context.

I could go on with my thoughts, but those are the basic ideas rumbling around in my brains.

Fox and Hedgehog, Apollo and Dionysus

I’ve been thinking about the difference between types of thinkers which is a continuation of my analysis from the post prior to this one.

 Just Some Related Ideas and Writers

 

Systematizers and Non-Systematizers

One distinction I made was between those who tend towards the systematic and those who don’t. 

The systematizersmay be wide-ranging in their interests or not, but either way they have a focused mentality.  Even if wide-ranging in their interests, they’ll still try to connect everything not just as a set of relationships but in the context of a specific theory or model, a single idea or belief.  They may expand outwards, but the core of their thinking remains solid and everything new is judged in terms of it.  This kind of intelligence can seem clever in that it’s complex (or simplistic depending on your perspective) to organize so much data into a single view, but it also can have a practical side to it as it’s part of a desire to bring order. 

Quite differently, the non-systematizer has a methodology that would appear (at least from the outside) as random.  They may end up with quite a variety of things and yet the only clear connection between them all is simply the person them-self.  The non-systematizer’s methodology is more personal and intuitive which means it might not make much sense or seem worthy to anyone else.  Still, they may make new discoveries that the more methodical person would never come across.  Non-systematizers are the artists who lives in creative chaos, and so the ups and downs of their lives may tend to be magnified.  The unexpected good can come from this attitude of faith, but a lack of planning can lead to immense troubles.  It’s not that they can’t see the big picture, but rather they see too big of a picture without the ability or desire to focus in.  They see so many possibilities (and they don’t want to discount any of them) that it’s hard for them to make judgments of probability.  They’re reluctant to consider what the systematizer might point out as inevitable consequences.

The systematizer is more conservative, more careful.  They don’t just trust fate, but would rather take control of events.  The systematizer is a bit of a pessimist.  In being systematic, they make clear judgments about what does and doesn’t belong, and if it belongs they want to know precisely where it should be situated.  This is the conservative mindset that believes if things are left to their own accord bad things will happen.  The conservative prizes order and furthermore believes that order must be continually reinforced. 

The non-systematizer is more liberal.  Their outwardly haphazard ways may seem irresponsible to the conservative systematizer.  However, the non-systematizer has something of a faith that is grounded in an intuitive insight.  Such a person makes up for a lack of organizational thinking with an intuitive grasp of what matters.  They could be thought of as more individualistic and idiosyncratic simply for the reason that their vision of life is hard to articulate. 

The liberal non-systematizer believes there is something inherently good to people and if not disturbed this goodness will naturally manifest.  The conservative systematizer, on the other hand, worries about all of the ways things can go wrong.  It’s hard to surprise them because they see the consequence of actions from a mile away (or at least think they do).  While systematizers are aware of boundaries even when they cross them, the non-systematizer might simply not notice or else not care.  The systematizer might be inclined to say that the non-systematizer is oblivious in not noticing the seemingly obvious, but the non-systematizer might simply feel that they’re focused on what is important at the moment.  They follow what inspires them, what excites them.  This may not seem responsible, but it does have its practical benefits in that the non-systematizer might notice specific details that the systematizer would miss by looking at the “big picture”.  Even though the systematizer may think of themselves as a realist, they may actually be taking in less data from the real world.  The apparently irrelevant that the non-systematizer wastes their time on might turn out to be relevant afterall.

Foxes and Hedgehogs

This distinction I’m making is somewhat related to the fragment of writing by Archilochus:

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”

Isaiah Berlin used this quote to divide people between two kinds of thinkers.  It’s sort of useful.  The fox survives by its wits and by ranging widely.  So, the fox can’t just focus on one thing but must apply its intelligence to a broad array of sensory detail.  The hedgehog is a simpler creature having one good talent.  It doesn’t need to worry too much about the larger world because it has its spines to protect it.  So, the hedgehog can focus narrowly. 

Approximately, the hedgehog is the same as my systematizer and the fox is the same as my non-systematizer.  The only difference would be that I believe Berlin was arguing that foxes are more practical and can make more realistic judgments for the very reason they’re not filtering the world through a single idea or theory.  This may sometimes be true.  Someone too attached to a particular theory will be obviously biased, but on the other hand someone who entirely lacks theoretical knowledge won’t have the context to make sense of the data.  Even though I see hedgehogs as being more practical in terms of the basics of life, the fox might have an easier ability to learn and integrate some of the hedgehog’s talent than the other way around.  The foxes talent is mental flexibility and so this would be helpful in learning abilities outside of one’s natural talent.  So, potentially a fox could make a better expert in that they could have a broader range of tools.  Although, it seems reasonable that some hedgehog types might gain some fox abilities such as if they were raised by a fox type.

Jung’s Typology and Nietzsche’s Dionysian and Apollonian

So far, I’ve only given two broad generalized types.  I feel the need to use the more defined ideas of Jung’s typology to clarify my sense of these categories.

The two functions that get the most attention in our society are those of Thinking and Feeling(maybe for the reason that they most closely associate with gender differences).  These are the Judging functions and they roughly equate with the conservative and liberal attitudes.  Thinkers (I’m specifically focusing on the combination of Thinking and Judging which translates as Extraverted Thinking) idealize principles and judge by principles.  Feelers (specifically, Feeling Perceiving; Introverted Feeling) idealize values and judge by values.  Thinking is about objective order.  Ideas and people need to be ranked.  Something is socially acceptable or not and each thing must be subordinate to its proper place.  People should first consider their social role and its attendant responsibilities.  Feelers see things less clearly as the significance of values can only be determined according to each specific situation.  A simple way to think about this is that a Thinker believes people should serve principles and a Feeler believes values should serve people.  In terms of thinking styles, its a question of whether ideas connect people or people connect ideas.  Also, it relates to a difference between a focus on the objective versus a focus on the subjective (which would include the inter-subjective).

These two types can also be thought of in terms of the Jungian functions Sensation and Intuition.  These originated from Jung’s study of Nietzche’s understanding about the Dionysian and the Apollonian.  Jung’s theorizing seemed to at least initially to conflate Sensation and Intuition with Extroversion and Introversion.  For Jung, Intuition had an inner quality that particularly connected it to the unconscious.  Others have pointed out how our society idealizes the ESTJ type (Extroversion Sensation Thinking Judging) and particularly identifies this as a masculine ideal.  As such, the systematizing hedgehog seems more or less correlated with the ESTJ type and the non-systematizing fox with the INFP type (Introverted iNtuition Feeling Perceiving).  By the way, the distinction between Judging types and Perceiving types doesn’t originate from Jung.  The J/P distinction comes from MBTI and I sense that this particular distinction might fit best the categories of systematizing hedgehog and non-systematizing fox.  (For my purposes, I’ve decided to emphasize the connection between all of these categories and so I’m using the ESTJ and INFP types as generalizations to portray a larger trend within our society, but these are only 2 of the 16 MBTI types.)

Going by Intuition (in particular the Extraverted Intuition of the INFP), the fox is ruled by an expansive curiosity.  Going by Intuition and Feeling, the fox has a strong aesthetic sense (represented by the fox’s playfulness).  This means the fox sees value beyond what is rationally useful and rationally explainable.  To return to Nietzsche’s division, Apollo isn’t about rational order but rather aesthetic order: beauty and balance.  The Dionysian is pure sensual experience but not aesthetic appreciation.  The Dionysian sensuality is embodied and so active rather than contemplative.  On the other hand, the Dionysian is also the tragic because it’s so clearly grounded in the concrete world of limitation and death.  Dionysus is the god of masks, but he isn’t separate from those masks.  Dionysus is precisely what he presents himself to be and nothing more.  Apollo, however, points beyond the obvious. 

In terms of Jung’s typology, it’s useful to clarify rationality.  Intuition is about abstractions and this connects with the common notion of Apollo as being the god of rationality.  It’s true that Intuition is about the world of ideas, but it’s also the world of imagination.  Rationality, in a more objective sense, is clearly a product of Sensation which is concerned with concrete details and facts.  A Sensation type tends towards literalism in that something is what appears to be.  Sensation is the rationality of the typical research scientist.  They think the data should speak for itself, but of course hidden in this attitude are certain conservative assumptions about the data and the world in general.  This lack of subtlety and nuance is what leads to the tragic.  A hero is tragic when they can’t see outside of their situation.  This is the connection between the scientist obsessed with studies of causation and the tragic hero who is trapped in a world of fatalistic causation.  This is the vision of Noir in particular.  The Apollonian, from a very different perspective, sees the forces or ideas that are greater than them, but these greater things help to transcend the mind beyond the predetermining causes of matter and society.  As such, it’s less of an issue of resignation or struggle.  Rather, it’s an attitude of possibility.  (By the way, I’d say that Neo-Noir includes examples of these two attitudes of utter nihilism and hopeful quest which is an aspect that; Thomas S. Hibbs writes about this.)  Then again, maybe the Dionysian only seems tragic from the perspective of Apollonian.  From the perspective of the Dionysian, it’s simply reality.

I sense this is part of the context of my thinking about how Freud and Jung relate to pessimism and optimism, but I’m not sure exactly how.  Maybe the Dionysian concrete world is only tragic when isolated from the Apollonian, when the apparent is taken literally.  The Dionysian should be taken at face value, but Dionysus’ face value is a mask that must be looked through (by putting it on).  Maybe the Freudian tendency to pathologize is to make a literalistic judgment instead of imaginally entering the experience itself.  The Jungian view in some ways seems Apollonian in that it looks beyond but maybe the only way one can look beyond is by looking within.  I’m thinking that Apollo and Dionysus are two sides to the same thing, but you can only see the one you’re not inhabiting.  The Dionysian seems tragic from the view of the Apollonian, but to put on the mask of Dionysus one can then see the beauty of the Apollonian.  As Kafka said, maybe the only suffering we can avoid is our own resistance to suffering. 

In my own world of ideas, Ken Wilber and Carl Jung personify the hedgehog and the fox.  Both have studied widely, but the former systematizes according to very clear models and theories whereas the latter spent decades slowly spiralling around ideas that interested him.  Even as Wilber’s ideas evolved, his central conception remained unchanged and his new thinking merely accreted to it.  Wilber methodically built upon what he perceived as solid ground.  Quite differently, Jung’s ideas often seemed ungrounded and yet somehow still very tangible.  Jung was very much interested in helping people (and it could be easily argued that he has helped more people than Wilber), but much of his philosophizing had no direct practical value (such as his writing a book about UFOs).  Related to the Freudian and Jungian distinction, I’ve read some critics who have argued Wilber pathologizes the types of experiences Jung focused on.  Wilber’s over-arching model is based on his desire for the transcendent.  Freud wasn’t interested in the transcendent, but maybe what Wilber and Freud share is a resistance to entering the depths.  To enter the depths is risky as Dionysus can be a violent god, but going by the stories of Dionysus it might be even riskier to resist his power.

In case anyone is curious to study Jungian typology further, there are a few books that are helpful in elucidating types in terms of ways of viewing the world.  Most pertinent might be Lenore Thomson’s Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual (trust me, it’s much better than it’s title conveys) and there is also a very useful site about her work (The Lenore Thomson Exegesis Wiki), but three others that I’d recommend are Compass of the Soulby John L. Giannini, Integrity in Depth by John Beebe, and Pathways to Integrity by Blake Burleson.  These books explore Jung’s ideas about personality beyond simply categorizing people as types.  There are also several books about the ideas of Jung and Nietzsche which would discuss the Apollonian and Dionysian.  The book I have on the subject is Nietzsche and Jungby Lucy Huskinson, but another one that might be good is The Dionysian Self by Paul Bishop and there are at least a couple of books about Jung’s seminar on Nietzsche’s Zarathustra.

Prodigal Son, Boundaries, and Trickster

Let me add another set of thoughts.  

I have a friend who is attracted to the story of the prodigal son and so I was wondering if it works as another example of what I’m trying to articulate.  In terms of that story, maybe the prodigal son would be the fox and maybe the son who stays home would be the hedgehog.  This relates to boundaries for the prodigal son leaves the boundary of home.  He must leave in order to return changed.  The home is often a symbol of self-identity, of consciousness and ego.  To leave that behind is to enter the unknown, the unconscious.  And in the process he lost everything he had been given.  But the story seems to imply that he also gained something by his experience.  It seems to me that this isn’t a story about the journey everyone has to take but rather about the journey of a certain kind of person. 

It’s similar to the fairytales about the three sons who each individually try to accomplish some deed.  The two older brothers try first.  They have specific talents and plans, but they fail.  The last to try is the youngest son who isn’t strong, brave or smart, but he succeeds.  The point apparently is that he succeeds because of his openminded attitude towards life and other people.  As such, he seems more like a fox.

There are many ideas that relate to boundaries.  Hartmann’s boundary types correlate with Jungian typology to an extent.  People tend towards thick or thin boundaries which is a basic element to how people relate to the world.  George P. Hansen, in analyzing the paranormal, writes about these boundary types and connects it with the Trickster archetype(Keith Thompson also writes about the Trickster and boundaries in terms of the paranormal and further uses the difference between allegory and literalism).  The Trickster is involved with both the creation and the breaking of boundaries.  The Trickster is somewhat of a tragic figure at times and seems more connected to Dionysus than Apollo, but in certain ways he is more in between them (and in between any sets of opposites).  The Trickster is something like Adam in that in some stories he brings death into the world.  The Savior, on the other hand, is the Second Adam in that he transcends death (although, Saviors tend to have Trickster qualities as well).  In the book Christ In Egypt, Murdock writes about the Christian conception of the savior as it relates to Egyptian mythology.  Horus is the corollary to Christ and the name Horus relates to the term horos which means boundary.  The boundary has much significance in religion and in ritual.  Boundaries create liminal spaces and also create order in the world.

Some Previous Thoughts

This is an excerpt from an old blog post:

A recent discovery of mine is research showing that the MBTI correlates with Ernest Hartmann’s boundary types.  Let me go into more detail here because this is an important part of my viewpoint.  There are four components to the MBTI: Introversion vs Extraversion (E/I), Sensation vs Intuition (S/N), Thinking vs Feeling (T/F), Judging vs Perceiving (J/P).

(1) Introversion and Extroversion seem to have the least correlation to boundary types, but there were some aspects to it that seemed to fit.  Introverts tend to have more of an ability to focus intensely and for long periods of time, and they tend to be more territorial about personal space.  Extraverts, on the other hand, are drawn outwards and so are more easily distracted by their environment.  Here is a relevant quote from Hartmann’s book Dreams and Nightmares:

“Those who have taken psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, report that under the drug’s influence they have thinner boundaries in a number of senses.  On the other hand, taking stimulants such as amphetamines, or for some people, antidepressants, definitely produces a thickening of boundaries.  In the most extreme case, people given large doses of amphetamines first become intensely focused; they are the opposite of distractible, keeping their thoughts entire on one line of thought.”

(2) Sensation and Intuition have the highest correlation to boundary types according to the studies.  Simply put, you can think of the difference here being between those who tend towards the concrete and those who tend towards the abstract, but there are many other dimensions to it.  Another interesting aspect is that Sensors tend to be more conservative basing their decisions on past experience, whereas Intuitives are more innovative because they can more easily see future possibilities.  Obviously, Sensors (and in particular the SJ temperament) are the practical sort of person who sees reality for what it is (based on what it was).  Some Intuitives, on the other hand, may seem like daydreamers, but Intuives also tend to be the innovators.

The concrete preference of Sensors is what makes them thick boundary types.  Things are clearly what they are and each thing is clearly distinct from other things.  Sensors have commonsense.  The abstract preference of Intuitives lends them to thin boundaries.  Distinctions are more blurred.  Because they can more easily shift distinctions, they can see new relationships between things.

In this symposium, I’ve definitely noticed the contrast between the practical-minded realists and those drawn to more theoretical understandings and far-reaching (or over-reaching if you prefer) possibilities.  As I believe, it’s not a matter of either style being more correct.  To speak from a green vmeme perspective, it takes all types.

(3) Thinking and Feeling are slightly less correlated to boundary types, but there are some important connections.  Thinking is about principles and rules with a focus on autonomy.  Feeling is about values and morality with a focus on relationships.

There is a fairly strong split with most Thinking types being male and most Feeling types being female.  This same division comes up with boundary types.  Thick boundary types tend to be male and thin boundary types tend to be female.  To understand this archetypally, this relates to the animus and the anima.  To understand this in the real world, this relates to the conflict between Integralists and New Agers.  It has been pointed by others how the Integral movement is dominated by men.  Also, you could think of this division in terms of Ken Wilber’s Grace and Grit or the movie The Fountain.

(4) Judging and Perceiving are an interesting division that was original to Jung’s typology.  Studies have shown that J/P doesn’t test as separate from S/N with young children, and so there is some developmental aspect to this (whether biological or psychological).  In MBTI, J/P simply determines which function you Extravert, but it can be looked at as its own category and there is some correlation to boundary types.  Judging types like order and conclusiveness.  Perceiving types are more about creative chaos and they prefer to keep their options open.

With J/P, I sense a similarity to a division between two kinds of thinkers which brings me back closer to this symposium.  I’ve seen distinctions (here and here) made between Ken Wilber and William Irwin Thompson.  This partly seems like a difference between a systematizer and a bricoleur.  Interestingly, William Irwin Thompson’s son (Evan Thompson) co-wrote some books with the enactivist crowd.  So, this made me think of the possible differences between enactivism and tetra-enactivism.  From what I’ve read, Varela seems to have intentionally avoided systematizing his ideas, but then Wilber took Varela’s ideas and systematized them for him.

The bricoleur is a term I’m using in its relationship to the George P. Hansen’s book The Trickster and the Paranormal(2001).  Hansen uses the term bricoleur as one way of describing the Trickster archetype.  Hansen also brings up Victor Turner’s ideas of liminality, anti-structure, and communitas.  Enactivism questions the traditional assumptions of science and so blurs the boundaries somewhat.  Varela was influenced by phenomenology, and Hansen says that ethnomethodology was similarly influenced.  Ethnomethodology (along with sociology of scientific knowledge and studies of experiment expectancy effects) puts the scientific endeavor into a very different context.

   —

There are also some other blog posts that cover similar territory as this one.

Political Party, Morality, Personality, Gender

Morality, Politics, and Psychology

Jung and Typology, Gnosticism and Christianity

Concluding Thoughts, Personal Context

These are just some thoughts, some connections… tentative as they are.  I haven’t fully articulated the possible significance of this line of thinking.  I’ll surely be returning to this more in future posts.

By the way, going by some of my blog posts, someone might conclude I was a hedgehog.  I do have a slight tendency at times to systematize, but it isn’t exactly my inherent nature.  When younger, I had an extremely unsystematic mind, but was raised by two extremely systematic parents.  I not only learned how to be systematic, but learned to highly value it.  My mind is a chaos of ideas and impressions.  I’m more systematic in the way Jung was.  Jung was capable of thinking systematically in order to clarify some set of ideas, but he wasn’t attached to the results.  Jung’s thinking was eternally tentative.  Likewise, ideas in my head tend to constellate together organically rather than my trying to fit them into a particular theory.  Also, I’m an INFP type.  INFPs are the penultimate artist living in creative chaos (you should see my room), but INFPs have Thinking as their inferior which means (according to Beebe’s theory) its what we aspire towards (for example, the systematization of Jung’s typology in the form of the MBTI was accomplished by an INFP).  This aspirational Thinking was magnified in me as my parents are Thinking types.  So, I may aspire towards systematic thinking, but unlike my parents I’m completely impractical about it.  Even when being systematic, I’m lost in the abstractions and imaginations of my mind.  My systematizing still is subordinate to my creative chaos.

I’ll add some last thoughts.  There are many reasons for thinking styles.  Personality type and traits are just some of the most obvious or at least the easiest to understand. 

In light of this, I’d say that hedgehogs may or may not be systematizers, but their one big idea or belief would tend towards the systematic in that everything is filtered and ordered accordingly.  However, a hedgehog may or may not inherently have a systematic personality.  For instance, someone who experiences some trauma or life changing experience can become a crusader fighting against or for something.  If someone was abused as a child, they may become an advocate for children as a career and they may take this on as their central sense of identity.  Another type of experience would be something like a spiritual vision or an alien abduction.  If the person openly speaks of this experience, they might become polarized into an extreme position because of negative reactions from others.  There is an attraction to becoming a hedgehog for having such a clear sense of vision or purpose can be very motivating and comforting.  This often happens in conversion experiences where a person actively prosyletizes their new found belief and organizes their whole life around it.  Brought to the extreme, this one big thing becomes their whole reality (like a conspiracy theorist).

Foxes too can become the way they are through life events and experiences.  If someone rebels against some belief system they were raised with, then they may become the complete opposite and try to deny all belief systems.  Or else psychiatric conditions can create tendencies.  Personally, depression has probably encouraged a fox attitude in me by how it scatters my psychic energy.  But another depressed person might turn to a belief system to conserve their energy or else become obsessed with something to counteract the lack of focus.  I do at times become obsessive with certain subjects which does seem a direct response to depression, but the scattermindedness always prevails.  I know that for me it’s a combination of personality, moods, and general life experiences. 

I’ll say I wouldn’t mind having some transformative experience that turned me into a hedgehog because I’d probably get a lot more done.  Plus, most great thinkers who are remembered as being great by historians are almost exclusively hedgehogs.  Rightly or wrongly, hedgehogs have the most direct influence on society.  The experts with strong opinions are the ones that get to be the talking heads on tv.  The foxes who can see multiple perspectives have a hard time getting to a clear point and so their opinions don’t make for good sound bytes.  Foxes probably make for bad debaters as well.  Foxes either end up creating convoluted websites or else writing tomes that few ever would read (or writing blogs).  If a fox can’t learn some hedgehog abilities, they might as well give up trying to communicate.

There are reasons to be critical of typing people at all.  Most people don’t perfectly fits into any given category.  Hartmann talks about this in terms of boundary types and MBTI practitioners recognize this.  People may act differently in different situations.  Someone may have a focused mind at work where they’ve learned to implement a particular model or system, but at home they may pursue a wide variety of subjects and ideas completely outside of or even contrary to their work mindset.  So, an academic might simply accept a hedgehog-like attitude just to fit in, but secretly hold doubts or alternative views.  A religious person, in particular, may act like a hedgehog, not just to convince others but even to try to convince themselves.  As such, this person would look for all the ways this belief system can be supported in order to assuage their doubts.  On the other hand, a person who is confident in their hedgehog thinking may be less vocal and so may not even be noticeably hedgehog-like.  Still, despite situational behavior, most people probably have a basic personality or personal preferences in their thinking style and will act that way when given the freedom to just be themselves.

Jung and Typology, Gnosticism and Christianity

The following are excerpts that I thought were related.  I specifically was considering Jung and his views on various ideas.  These excerpts give an interesting context to how Jung came to his understanding about the structure and development of the individual.  In particular, I found fascinating the connection between trinity as representing hierarchy (including hierarchy as development) and quaternity as representing non-hierarchical structure.  By this, it can be shown how the tripartite division of Platonism and Gnosticism relates to Jung’s typology.  I was also thinking about Jung’s consideration of Catholic ideas in terms of his relationship with Father Victor White.  Jung felt the Trinity was incomplete and conjectured that Catholicism was denying a fourth element in its theological conception of evil.

 

Quodlibet Journal: Volume 4 Number 2-3, Summer 2002
Carl Jung and the Trinitarian Self
Michael J Brabazon

As the alchemists discovered, the spirit Mercurius can be a good friend (as in the Liverpool dream) or the “dark tricephalus”[f], the tempter, deceiver and adversary of the universal hero.  By overcoming the chthonic trinity the saviour not only becomes a demi-god but, in bringing the fruits of his victory to the tribe, ensures the spiritual and physical well-being of mankind. One of the stories from Hindu mythology seems to prefigure the struggles of Buddha and Christ with the Evil One.  In the case of Hinduism the Christ-like person is the son of a Brahman, Tvashiri, who is eventually killed by the god Indra.  Tvashiri, in a bid to outdo Indra, created a three-headed son who possessed wondrous spiritual power which grew at such a rate it promised to absorb the universe.  The three heads had the separate functions of reading the Vedas, feeding himself, and observing all that existed:  a combination of intellectual, physical and divine sustenance – the totality of life.  As in the accounts of the temptations of Christ and the trials of Gautama, the tricephalus Brahman is attacked three times: firstly through seduction by Heavenly maidens; secondly by a thunderbolt thrown by Indra which kills the hero; and lastly by a triple decapitation.  The final onslaught, ordered by Indra because the body continued to glow with the light of spirituality, released a great flight of doves and other birds, symbolising the resurrection of the perfected spirit and is analogous to the enlightenment of Buddha and the defeat of Satan in the wilderness.  The attacks on Gautama by Mara are variations on the same ideas of seduction, attack by the actual god and attack by the god’s henchman.  The Buddha now becomes an enlightened being, losing his old material desires, and brings salvation to mankind.

In the Middle East there existed other notorious examples of the triple heroic test, and cannot be unconnected with the  temptations of Christ.  In ancient Egypt one of the stories of Se-Osiris (reputedly the greatest Egyptian magician) from the 13th century BC show him in psychic battle with the Ethiopian the Son of Tnahsit who is the agent of Apophis, the Egyptian Devil.  As in the other stories, Se-Osiris has to overcome his satanic adversary three times in order to prove himself and gain total victory.  Firstly, the Ethiopian manifests a huge serpent in front of the Pharoah, but Se-Osiris picks up this giant cobra, turns it into a small white worm and throws it out of the window.  Next the evil protagonist summons a large black cloud which resembles the darkness of the tomb or the dark cloud of smoke from burning bodies.  Again, the hero easily decreases the threat to an infinitesimal size and throws it out of the window.  The final threat is in the shape of a sheet of flame moving towards Pharaoh, but the good magician reverses its movement back in the direction of his adversary, who is subsequently engulfed and totally defeated.

Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, writes of the triple life force released by the universal hero upon completion of his struggle with the internal monster; the bestowing of the secret treasure, the Holy Grail:

The effect of the successful adventure of the hero is the unlocking and release again of the flow of life into the body of the world.  The miracle of this flow may be represented in physical terms as a circulation of food substance, dynamically as a stream of energy, or spiritually as a manifestation of Grace.  Such varieties of image alternate easily, representing three degrees of condensation of the one life force.[37]

The hero’s encounters infer a triality of character, with ramifications for typological classification.  Tripartite man is a theme as old as that of the trinity, the two being inextricably linked in the relationship of micro and macrocosmic.  The origin of much of the tripartite formulations is to be found in the works of Plato, originator of the archetype theory of Form or Idea.  Plato’s own threefold division of the soul is into spirit, reason and desire.  It is from these three segments that the layers of society in the utopian Republic are derived: the Guardians, the Auxiliaries and the Plebs.  Broadly, the philosophers, the spiritually enlightened, rule over and guide society, the military types carry out the directives of the elite, applying the rules to the governorship of the materialistic majority.  This hierarchical view of tripartness is counter-balanced by an egalitarian formulation allegorised in the Phaedrus by a charioteer and two horses.  One horse is an expression of honour and modesty whilst the other stands for man’s animal desires, with their unity in the hands of the charioteer, the middle conjoining factor.  The Gnostics use this platonic schema in their soteriological explanations – the saved spiritual type, the pneumatic, the damned materialists, the hylic, and those with the possibility of  choice, the psychic – described in the Jung codex of the Nag Hammadi library.

The multiplication of tripartite theories has produced an overwhelmingly extensive list of variations on the same theme, including Freud and beyond, but I think it worthy of note to mention that it was part of Carl Gustav Carus’ thinking.  I say this because he was one of the old-school of psychologists much admired by Jung.  Interestingly, Dostoyevsky was also a great fan and one wonders if the three Karamazov brothers, Dmitri, Ivan and Alyosha, characterising respectively blind social obedience, the human intellect and mystical-propheticism, were not Carus-inspired. 

In Toynbee-like fashion, it does not seem unreasonable to look for the external organisations and trends associated with the different types.  I had initially made a deduction from studies on the history of religious thought that a threefold division could be made along the lines of fundamentalist, developmentalist and prophetic, when I read with interest the post-Jungian division of schools made by Andrew Samuels in Jung and the Post-Jungians[38]: Classical, Developmentalists and Archetypal.  Perhaps a trinitarian view could be taken of the foundation of modern psychology employing the God, Man, Nature schema (or as C S Hall and G Lindzey would have it in Theories of Personality: primordial thought patterns; social interest; and sex) for Jung, Adler and Freud?  Jung certainly had no qualms about such a unity; he could be both Adlerian and Freudian as the need arose (see Memories, Dreams, Reflections).

The fourfold typology posited by Jung was an update of the ancient Greek formulation based on the humours of the body, which makes perfect sense seen from an homeostatic point of view.  However, just as valid is the Vedic counterpart using three humours which also describe three character types, namely kapha, vata and pitta, and restated by the god Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita when he tells Arjuna, “Each has the duty, ordained by his nature, born of the gunas [the threefold, hierarchical hypostases of prakriti]”.  Again, both are inherently logical – and apparently complete – systems, but the latter schema is hierarchical and the former egalitarian.

A real hierosgamos would be if tripartite typologies could be synthesised with the four Jungian types with a resulting twelvefold system[g] satisfying both viewpoints and giving a psychological raison d’etre to the zodiacal system, much beloved by Jung.  He himself hints at a desire to unite his quaternity with the astrological method:

Since the earliest times, attempts have repeatedly been made to classify individuals according to types and thus to bring order into what was confusion.  The oldest attempt of this sort known to us was made by Oriental astrologers who devised the so-called trigons [sets of three star signs] of the four elements, air, water, earth and fire.[39]

 

James Hillman
EGALITARIAN TYPOLOGIES
VERSUS THE PERCEPTION OF THE UNIQUE

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A closer look at the way Jung speaks of the types, however, suggests that they too are archetypal.  For what determines type?  Here the a priori element enters: Jung speaks of a “numinal accent” falling on one type or another (§982).  This selective factor determining type is unaccounted for it is simply given.  A numinal accent selects our bias toward what becomes our superior function which drives the others into the background (§984).  We begin to see that the four types are more than mere manners of functioning.  There is something more at work in them, something numinal – and “numinal” means “divine”.  And surely when in the grips of our typical set, as we cannot help but be when we imagine ourselves typologically, the structuring power of the type is like that of an archetype or mythologem.  Especially the experience of the inferior function, also referred to as numinous, brings with it a radical shift of perspective, as if there has been an ontological shift, an initiation into a new cosmos or archetypal seinsweise.

An archetypal background for the four functions has already been intimated by Jung himself.  He speaks of a philosophical typology in Gnosticism or Hellenistic syncretism (§§14, 964) by means of which human beings could be called hylikoi, psychikol, or pneumatikoi.  Jung does not document this typology but Professor Sambursky considers that these terms were applied less to actual persons than to the imaginal persons of Neoplatonism, especially by Plotinus.  These imaginal regions and their beings might thus be the archetypal imagination at work in the functions, giving to them each its nominal accent and each its ontological significance as structuring ground of consciousness.

Then hylikoi, or physis, with its attendant ideas of matter, body, actual physical reality would be the archetypal principle in what Jung called sensation; psychikoi, or soul, with its attendant Jungian description of love, value, experience, relatedness, woman, salt, colour would be the archetype within and behind what Jung called feeling; pneumatikoi, or spirit, with its attendant descriptions in terms of light, vision, swiftness, invisibilities, timelessness, would be what Jung called intuition; and finally, not expressly distinguished in this Hellenistic triad, nous, logos, or intellectus, with its capacity for order and cogni-

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tive intelligence, would be the archetypal principle that Jung called the thinking function.  (Jung himself identifies thinking with pneumatikoi, §14.)

This archetypal background gives a deeper sense to what Jung says about the four functions.  For instance, if sensation so often brings with it an uncomfortable inferiority, and intuition, superiority, the reason is not functional, but archetypal – the one being hylitic and bearing all the aspersions put upon physis in our tradition, the other, pneumatic, windy with the idealizations of the spirit. 28  Or, it is hardly a feeling function, as an ego-disposable mode of adaptation through evaluations, which can support such redemptive features that Jung claims for “feeling” (cf. CW 14, §§328-34; CW 16, §488-91; CW 13, §222, and also CW 8, §§668-69 where his discussion of evidence for soul turns on “feelings”), unless we realize that “feeling” has become a secular psychologism for soul. 29

Furthermore, we now can grasp better that connection which Jung makes between the four functions and the wholeness of the “total personality” (CW 14, §261), or Adam (ibid. §§555-57).  For now we would be dealing with the root archetypal structures or cosmoi of Western human being, our four “natures” as Jung calls them (CW 14, §§261, 265; cf. CW 11, §§184-85) which as he says there in Mysterium Coniunctionis, are an archetypal prefiguration of “what we today call the schema of functions”.  The four types are thus not mere empirical

28. Practitioners’ descriptions of the puer psychology of young men often call them “intuitive” and airy, needing “sensation” and earth.  The older language of elemental natures has been unwittingly associated with that of functional types.  Actually, the practitioner is discerning young pneumatikoi whose archetypal basis in spirit cannot be reduced to an over-developed empirical ego-function of intuition.

29. Willeford, “The Primacy of Feeling”, J. Analyt. Psychol.. 21, 1976, pp. 115-133 argues for a special place for the feeling function beyond Jung’s polar equalities.  Because Willeford takes feeling to be the function of the “subjective sphere” (an idea which brings us again to Jung’s early identification of feeling with introversion) he is suggesting that its relation with soul is different and more important than that of the other functions.

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functions.  They are the physical, spiritual, noetic, and psychic cosmoi in which man moves and imagines. 30

The ancients placed these cosmoi one on top of the other and fantasied the ideal man moving through them from below to above.  Jung too imagines the individuating person moving through the functions, not ascensionally in his model, yet still redemptively from one-sidedness to four-foldedness.  Although these archetypal powers of the ancients present themselves conceptually, they are nonetheless archetypal persons of the imaginal to begin with.

By this I do not mean to replace intuition with spirit, and feeling with psyche, etc., or to equate them or reduce them.  Rather I am maintaining that the functions have been carrying archetypal projections which gives them, and typology, a numinal accent.  Types conceal archetypes.  The contemporary cult of feeling, for instance, is a disguised psychologistic substitution for cult of soul.  The frequent attack on intellect (metaphysics and theology) through Jung’s writings and letters has resulted in poor critical thinking in the Jungian school because the archetypal principle within thinking has been devalued.  Unless we recognize the imaginal persons in our personal modes of functioning these modes lose their numinal accent.  Only an archetypal appreciation of the functions can take them out of the hands of the ego.   Unless the great root principles of Western man’s orientation are seen for what they are, as the modes in which the imaginal operates (functions) in all realms of being, they, and we, are condemned to psychological jargon without numinal accent.  Thus we must cling to the types for orientation since they do conceal the archetypal natures of our Western compass.

 

SPIRITUALITY TODAY
Autumn 1988, Vol.40 No. 3, pp. 249-261.
James Arraj:
      Jungian Spirituality:
           The Question of Victor White

LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL INDIVIDUATION

The first level is the simple discovery of our psychological type and its application in the ways just described as an instrument for understanding human differences within the field of spirituality. Of great value, this is the level at which a significant amount of the present encounter between Jung’s psychology and spirituality is taking place.

The second level can emerge from this acquaintance with typology. We begin to perceive that typology is not only interpersonal, a way we relate to those around us, but also an intrapsychic process that is no different from the process of individuation itself. We begin to feel the pull of the outgoing tide that leads to the fascinating and terrible night sea-journey of psychic transformation. It is only by means of such a journey that we truly begin to grasp what typology really meant to Jung and what are the psychic contents that exist under the names of the shadow, anima, animus, and self. It is this experience that will sensitize us to the psychological dimension that exists and must exist in the whole of the spiritual life. There is literally no place for the spiritual life to take place but in the psyche, and we row grasp this psyche in all its immediacy and in all the continual process which strives for wholeness. Here, too, there can be no objection to the employment of Jungian psychology in the spiritual life, but rather only a sense of gratitude that we can finally deal with the psychological dimension that exists in all our spiritual activities.

There is a third level where this encounter will more and more take place and has taken place in certain individuals like Victor White. The process of individuation as it is found in Jung and many of his followers is wrapped in an epistemological fabric which resists a Catholic understanding of faith. It is abundantly evident. Jung himself comments, for example,

For lack of empirical data I have neither knowledge nor understanding of such forms of being which are commonly called spiritual. From the point of view of science it is immaterial what I may believe on that score, and I must accept my ignorance . . . . All comprehension and all that is comprehended is in itself psychic, and to that extent we are hopelessly cooped up in an exclusively psychic world.(6)
Similarly, he indicates that he sees individuation as a more evolved stage of consciousness to which Christianity stands as a deficient stage. If in being guided by Jung to the experience of individuation, we unconsciously imbibe this presentation of it, we will find ourselves in the state in which Victor White found himself — torn on one hand by a living awareness of the reality of the individuation that Jung describes, but sensing that the way it was presented conflicted with his faith.