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The Self-Destruction Feature


People with the chief feature of Self-destruction are always aware of their faults. This can particularize in several ways. They might dislike their body, for instance: it is too short or too tall, too fat or too thin, the ears are too big, the hair is too curly, and so on. They might be self-critical about their work: they are not thorough enough, not fast enough, not accurate enough, and so on. They might be displeased with their personality: they are not smart enough, not funny enough, not likable enough. In whatever area or areas it is expressed, people in Self-Destruction see their flaws rather than their perfection, their blemishes rather than their beauties, their evils rather than their righteousness.

In many cases Self-Destruction can show up as a suicidal tendency or behavior which is deliberately harmful to oneself. People who often do things that hurt themselves, who get in a mood where they do things that are to their own detriment, are likely to be in this chief feature. They regard themselves as damaged merchandise, and may damage themselves further. In its most extreme form, this is masochism. Sometimes it takes the form of suicide, and if not overtly that, at least a person who is accident prone careless to the point of often hurting himself, and not seeming to care that he is hurt.

I call this feature Renunciation because the person renounces or denies or neglects himself. People with this feature believe that it is not possible for others to love them. They dislike, even hate themselves. They are always self-critical, overly conscious of their defects. They expect to be hated because they hate themselves. They think they are ugly and others are beautiful. They condemn themselves for their defects.

In the Positive Pole of +Sacrifice, the person thinks others are of greater merit and so they are willing to give of their own time and/or resources so that those others can have. He is very conscious of loss and gain, and sees himself as the one losing in most transactions. He spends himself for others, works hard and gives away too much. He takes no time for himself and refuses to spend money on himself, but may spend all he has on others. In its best form, this is unselfishness. He enjoys giving gifts, even to the point of his own detriment. He would rather go without if he can then give to others. Most often he gives tangible things, but he is also willing to sacrifice time and effort for the sake of others. He is not possessive about what he owns and willing to share he can be very generous. If others ask, he gives it away "what's mine is yours".

The Negative Pole is -Self-hatred. People in this Pole see themselves as blemished, damned, abused, exhausted, and cursed. To others who view behavior driven by this Pole, it seems the person is deliberately trying to punish himself for not being beautiful and pure. It is the kind of person who hurts himself when something goes wrong in his life. Maybe he gets drunk or goes on an eating binge, for instance. This is the person who tends to blame himself for everything that goes wrong in his life, rather than blaming circumstances or other people. He thinks the universe itself hates him. He believes everybody thinks he is ugly, foolish, and despicable. Perceptions are distorted such that a fair and objective comment by others may be perceived as a negative criticism.

The original name of the Negative Pole is "immolation", which is a word for a certain type of sacrifice, implying one being consumed by fire a burnt offering. In +Sacrifice, the self is given up for others, but in -immolation, the self is destroyed or consumed, and nobody benefits. An extreme form of this is the person who renounces his worldly goods and pledges himself to poverty to owning nothing. He becomes an ascetic.

Self-Destruction is the complementary opposite of Greed. Renunciats do not like to be the center of attention like people in Greed do others may notice their flaws. They are focused on the exterior universe rather than being self-centered. They want others to be on the receiving end, rather than themselves. They dedicate themselves to the benefit of others. They do not allow possessions to accumulate, because if they do gain something, they then give it away. Even if they do not go to this extreme, Renunciats, when they do come into some money, tend to spend it rather than save it, but not on anything that they will have something to show for their money. It pleases them to be able to say "I can't afford it" even if they have to spend all their money to be able to say this. They do not feel comfortable with money in the bank. They deny themselves any luxury.

Self-Destruction is the counterpart of the Artisan Role. Artisans craft things in the environment. Renunciats in their best expression craft themselves by casting off any ugliness in themselves.

A person in Self-Destruction tends to pick himself apart. It can be constructive criticism that the person uses to purify and purge himself. Since he is so conscious of his faults and defects, he can work on these for self-improvement. Often times the person in Self-Destruction is very picky about personal grooming practices, for instance. He may do many things to make up for his imagined ugliness. On the other hand, in the Negative Pole, his self-analysis can be destructive and judgmental.

The basic fear that drives Self-Destruction is the fear of loss of self-control. This may seem surprising at first, since this might seem more appropriate for Warriors, but the reason for it is that the self-denial which is a part of Renunciation leads to self-discipline. Renunciates are ruthless with themselves, showing no mercy. People who do not "indulge" themselves do not lose control of themselves: give in to their desires. Renunciates regard it as a sin to reward themselves, spend money on themselves, or do what they want they must do for others instead. They find it difficult to ask others to fulfill their needs. It is very difficult for them to relax, let go, and enjoy themselves. They are exacting and fastidious about themselves. Thus they control themselves and deny their personal fulfillment. Because they restrict themselves, they prefer situations and relationships which are limited and controlled. The way to conquer this fear is to contemplate the Positive Pole of the Complementary Feature, Selfishness, which is +Egotism. If the person in Self-Destruction will not worry so much about what other people think of him, but thinks more about his own desires, he can control his fear.

Renunciates worry a lot about what other people think of them. They judge themselves by what others think of them, rather than disregarding what others think. Because they notice their own deficiencies, they think other people do also. It matters a lot that others do not notice their faults and blemishes, so they may work to conceal them. They are hungry for compliments to prop up their negative self-image. They think they need to be told they are attractive, but even when they are they rarely believe it because they believe they are repulsive.

People with this Feature let themselves be used, and hate themselves for it when they see it, but keep on letting it happen because if fulfills the self-image of one deserving of hatred. (This is the typical deceptive perversity of the Feature.) Others may subconsciously detect this and take advantage of the Renunciate especially people in Greed. The lesson to be learned from this Feature is that every transaction between people and with the universe should be mutually beneficial. Neither should gain at the expense of the other. This Feature distorts the perception of love with the lie that one can be of benefit to others at one's own expense. Self-sacrifice is not noble.

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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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