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Conclusions About the Teachings

BY PHILLIP WITTMEYER

In Part Two of the book there was discussion of the Process Aspect Chart and how it relates to the personality of the individual. One might recognize in the Traits many of the ingredients of other personality interpretations, of course, and the Process Aspect Chart has them systematically arranged in a meaningful and elegant pattern.

But wisdom and beauty are not the only good things about the Process Aspect System. It is also useful. It is appropriate in this Conclusion to repeat and summarize the important uses and benefits of the System presented thus far.

First of all, the System allows a person to find out what his True Personality is. This can aid him in eliminating any False Personality he may have which is contrary to it. The two layers of False Personality and Illusion can be in conflict with the True Personality. If False Personality is acquired which is contrary to this inborn True Personality, neurosis could result. For instance, it is not considered feminine in most cultures for a woman to be dominant or aggressive. If a female is born with the Goal of Dominance or the Aggression Mode, the False Personality acquired from cultural influences might suppress the True Personality, and internal conflicts could result. The truth might only come out in extreme situations, and then only in a distorted form, such as the Negative Poles of -Dictatorship and -Belligerence. Shakespeare said "To thine own self be true". This could be rephrased, "express your True Personality". By so doing you will avoid one of the causes of neurosis. It is not legitimate to exhort a person in the Repression Mode to be more enthusiastic. It is not proper to say to a Skeptic that he ought to believe more readily. For them to do these things would only generate conflict between True and False Personality. It is unwise to reinforce behavior which is contrary to True Personality in yourself and in others. It is wise to make the best of one's Array.

The theory of psychology called Behaviorism seems to acknowledge the two layers of personality, False Personality and Illusion, but seems to have no room in the theory for True Personality the Traits. Behaviorists presume there is no inherent, inborn personality. Behaviorism's methods can be used very effectively in reprogramming the biocomputer, but are not useful against the inborn Traits. Indeed, there is no reason to alter the Traits, but the goal of shedding inappropriate False Personality and Illusion is a legitimate pursuit. Many people in their thirties cast off a lot of the False Personality of childhood training, and often make some dramatic changes. This is one of the forms of the so-called "mid-life crisis". During this time, the True Personality overtakes the False Personality. This results in a healthier personality in the long run, although it can be very traumatic during the procedure. My purpose in mentioning this is so that the reader can begin to distinguish between his True Personality and his False, so that he can use Behaviorism's techniques to eliminate conflicts between the two if necessary. This will allow the Traits to be expressed in their pure form, the Positive Poles, and thus help a person find fulfillment. Herein lies one of the great values of this System helping a person separate the true self from the false self.

The second use and benefit of the System is that when a person knows his Traits, it allows him to learn to recognize when his personality is expressing the Negative Poles of his Traits, so that he can circumvent this manifestation.

Thirdly, the System allows a person to be wary of his Feature, so that he can do whatever he senses is appropriate toward transcending or extinguishing it.

Fourthly, the System allows a person to realize that what may be true for himself is not necessarily true for others. What is true for a Child Server in the Power Mode is almost never true for an Old King in the Observation Mode. Other people's perceptions aren't necessarily truth, nor are yours or mine.

Fifth, the System answers the question: Where does a person fit with regard to others and the environment? Some may say a person should be this or that, but if he knows himself he will not be swayed by this type of influence to his own detriment or insincerity.

At one time I toyed with the idea that if a person knew what his Traits were, he could override them if he found himself in a situation where they were not appropriate. For example, I thought that if a person were by nature in the Caution Mode, but found himself in a competitive sport situation where the object was to win, he should adopt the Aggression Mode to attain this goal, even though it would not feel natural to him. I have since come to think that it would be better (for me at least) to always fulfill true identity the inherent Traits rather than fake some other Traits. My belief is that I will fit best within the grand cosmic scheme of things if I fulfill my true identity rather than artificially assuming some other identity that I may rationalize is more appropriate. This answer is consistent with my sense of identity. One of the greatest values of this system is to find this true identity, fulfill it, and then flow with the universe with the least amount of physical and psychological suffering. Others may have a different notion, however, and attempt to assume or adopt different Traits that they think are appropriate for certain situations.

As noted before, just one of the Traits in each column is a true trait of a person's Personality, which remains a part of his genuine nature during an entire life. The Traits are inborn the brain cells are pre-wired to produce them. They may be genetically determined like hereditary body characteristics. If a person is a Pragmatic Priest, for instance, rather than an Idealistic Warrior, this is just as much an unchangeable part of his identity as the fact that he may be a Caucasian male redhead rather than an Oriental female brunette. Every mother of more than one child knows that each baby is different in its behavior even in the womb. There is a long-standing controversy among psychologists and biologists about how much personality is inherited and how much is environmentally influenced. This question is called "nature versus nurture". There is not much consensus of opinion among professionals on this point. According to the tenets of this System, the environment after birth can greatly modify the manner of expression of the Characteristics, but the fundamental nature of the personality is set for life at conception.

During the time that my friends and I were having children, it was obvious to me that babies were born with distinct personality traits. They were not born as blank sheets that were then written on with life experiences which alone entirely shaped their personalities. It surprised me that in my reading on psychology I saw nothing about this phenomenon, until very recently when I encountered some material concerning what is called "Sociobiology". This science has only come into existence during the last decade or so, and it shows that much of human behavior is genetically influenced in the same way that animals have instinctive behavior patterns. Fundamental personality characteristics are inherited, and these personality traits are then modified and shaped by environmental factors. The Process Aspect System is a chart of some of the inherited traits that a person may have.

The Traits operate much like instincts in animals, since they seem to be inherited behavior patterns, but instincts do not allow options in animal behavior. Instincts only permit a distinct type of action and exclude other types. For instance, each kind of bird builds a special kind of nest, and not some other kind. The pattern is rigidly preprogrammed and stereotyped. This is not so much the case in human personality. The Traits are definitely real patterns of behavior that feel perfectly natural to the people who have them (if they do not have contrary False Personality), but humans have a self-consciousness which allows them to transcend or override any behavior pattern if it seems appropriate, and if they are aware of the options and alternatives. They can make decisions in a way that animals cannot.

However, the Characteristics are an incomplete list of possible inherited personality factors. Talents and intelligence are most likely inherited traits. Some learned people believe nationalities and tribes have certain inborn propensities, but others dispute this.

Some people might object that it is "limiting" people to declare that the Characteristics cannot be changed. They might also object that it is "condemning" people if they have "bad" Characteristics. I have three responses to these comments.

First of all, no Characteristic or Trait in its Positive Polarization is evil, neurotic, abnormal, or even psychologically unhealthy. Therefore it is wise for a person to learn to distinguish Characteristics that he personally does not like from characteristics of the truly sick mind. There are not "bad" Characteristics.

Secondly, the Characteristics do not represent restraints, but are in fact a device toward fulfillment to the person. They are thus a means to growth and unfoldment, not a preventive of it. The Trait of Cynicism, for instance, is fulfilling to the Cynic, and it is a legitimate Attitude in some situations and with some people. Life experiences teach the Cynic when and with whom it is appropriate. Since all the Characteristics have both advantages and disadvantages, no Trait is superior or inferior to any other. A person simply reaps the benefits of the advantages and suffers the consequences of the disadvantages of his Characteristics. In the process of learning from mistakes in life, people with Positive Characteristics are more likely to commit "sins of commission" because of the essential "yes-ness" of the Positive Polarity, whereas people with Ordinal Traits are more likely to commit "sins of omission" because of the essential "no-ness" of the Ordinal Polarity. Because every Trait has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, they are best viewed in terms of their appropriateness depending on circumstances, rather than seen as absolute blessings or curses. Even the Features should be regarded as challenges rather than as problems.

Thirdly, the Traits should not be thought of as overly stereotypical or definitive. Two people might be identical in terms of Traits and yet quite different in temperament and behavior because each person expresses his Characteristics in his own unique way, colored by numerous other factors such as age, background, gender, education, race, ethnic origin, physical appearance, sense of humor, intelligence, special interests and talents, socioeconomic status, etc. and some would include such things as past life experiences (karma), astrological influences, and biorhythms. Thus the Characteristics are far from the sum total of personality. There is always more to a person than can be analyzed and interpreted, and although I do believe this System goes a long way in defining the foundations of personality differences, it is a matter of emphasis and de-emphasis, or predisposition or propensity, rather than a matter of rigid limitation. There is no such thing as a "bad" identity in terms of the Process Aspect System.

Much of what is said in this book is a broad generalization. The spectrum of humanity is incredibly rich and varied, so the Characteristics should not be used to stereotype people. Not all Skeptics are agnostic, and not all Scholars are learned. Each person is unique in how he expresses his Characteristics but the essence of the Characteristic is there also, and it colors and flavors everything in the person's life. Because of the bewildering variety of expression of personality, it often takes time to discern the essential ingredient of each Characteristic in any given individual.

Some people might object that the use of this System to categorize people is judgmental that it is contrary to the principle of unconditional positive regard, or against love. I do not think this is so. Judgment in the above sense implies condemnation, and in no sense is anything on the Chart intended to condemn. To be discerning in picking out a person's Characteristics is not the same thing as an adverse accusation. To distinguish between male and female is not judgmental. To distinguish between a Skeptic and an Idealist is not judgmental. To distinguish between a King and a Server is not judgmental. I believe people would tend to be less judgmental about others if they knew their Array. They may understand better what motivates them. One should never let seeing a person's Chart get in the way of seeing the person and relating to the person the way he is in his uniqueness and individuality.

One of the first things people learn about others is that they are not all concerned about the same issues. Different people are interested in and exploring different areas of reality. These various realms are legitimate, valuable, and significant for those involved therein, whether or not any one else finds them so. Every person is limited, and his experience is fragmentary. No one can encompass all of the possibilities. Each individual perspective, given by an inherent Array of Characteristics, is not the final synthesis and true conception of the way things really are. Everyone has an equal but different places in the scheme of things, and this System can help one understand himself better, and help him see where he fits within the overall pattern, so that he can make the best use of what he is.

 
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Phil Wittmeyer is a longtime Michael student and scholar of the teachings.  He can be reached at: wittmeyer@hotmail.com

 



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