Conclusions about the Teachings
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
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
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"
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.
Phil Wittmeyer is a longtime Michael student and scholar of the teachings.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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