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The Negative Poles


I would now like to point out that in the following sections I do not present just a bunch of dead facts or dry descriptions of each Trait. There is more to this System than head knowledge — information to analyze the hell out of the people you know. There is something you can actually do with your newfound understanding of the dynamics of personality, and that is: make yourself a better life. (This was a polite way of saying: analyze the hell out of yourself.) You have probably seen the claim in books and magazines that you can get happy by applying the information they present. Well, I am making the same claim, but I will not hype the presentation. My book may change your life and it may not. As the old maxim says, you will get out of this what you put in. As I describe the Traits hereinafter, I will simply point out what you can do with the information to improve your personality and improve how your personality interacts with other personalities. It is up to you to apply it or not.

The primary benefit that I hope you get from this System is the understanding that no Trait is bad in itself, but there is the situation of the Negative Polarizations of the Traits. As I mentioned briefly in Part One, each Trait has a "Positive" and a "Negative" Pole. The Positive Polarization is the happy and psychologically "healthy" manifestation, and the Negative Pole is the unhappy and psychologically "unhealthy" manifestation. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to weaken the unhealthy Negative Poles of your Traits and strengthen the healthy Positive Poles.

The source of the Negative Poles is fear . This word should be understood in its broadest meaning, not just in the sense of the Negative Pole of the Caution Mode, -Phobia. By looking over the names of the forty-nine Negative Poles, you can get a sense of the general meaning of the word "fear" used in this way. In the System, fear is said to be the opposite of love. Here also, the word "love" has to be understood in it's broadest sense: the meaning of the forty-nine Positive Poles. In fear, we operate from what is often called the "lower self". In love, we operate from what is often called the "higher self". As I said, if you just take a few moments now to compare the names of the Positive and Negative Poles of each Trait on the Chart, it will give you an understanding of what the difference between fear and love is in this System.

Although I do not like to be judgmental and name things "good" or "evil" (I am a liberal engineer), others might like to put this designation on the Positive and Negative Poles of the Traits. Almost every television show or book or movie that dramatizes the struggle between love and fear, good and evil, depicts fear and evil that can be related to one of the Negative Poles of a Trait. This does not always mean gross acts like murder and robbery, but it often means more subtle things like hatred (-Prejudice), insincerity (-Ingratiation), anger (-Intolerance), escapism (-Withdrawal), lethargy (-Inertia), rigidity (-Immutability), violence (-Belligerence), cowardice (-Phobia), intimidation (-Oppression), ridicule (-Denigration), superstition (-Faith), apathy (-Resignation), and so on. The overcoming or defeat of these fears and evils is depicted in the media and in the arts as a great achievement, and so it is. Are you up for the challenge in your real life?

I would like to share with you a few other of my thoughts concerning fear and evil, and then we will move right on. Psychologists tell us that the only things that can hurt us psychologically are "illusions ": that is, false perceptions. Whenever a person is suffering psychologically (unless there is a physiological cause), it is because he is being disillusioned about something — he is learning about reality; he is learning the truth, which is a good thing, although we may not enjoy it at the time. The suffering of disillusionment yields the same results as the joy of enlightenment — both are ways of learning. In this sense both are beneficial and neither is truly hurtful in life, but obviously suffering is the less desirable way to learn. The forty-nine Negative Poles are a systematic tabulation of the fundamental falsehoods which cause suffering. Whenever a person is experiencing some mental or emotional anguish, he would do well to check to see if he is expressing the Negative Pole of one of his Traits. The Positive Poles are truth and light and freedom and goodness. They cause no suffering. 

The following descriptions of the Traits are of their "pure" forms, which are necessarily exaggerated and stereotypical. No one actually fits the description exactly because their Traits are colored by all their other Traits and other personality factors. As you read the descriptions, you will probably try to figure out where you fit in. Just pick the one that fits you best in each Aspect, but do not expect a perfect depiction.

Another thing is that I only have one of the Traits in each Aspect, so I only have an "inside" experience of that particular Trait. I can give a pretty accurate description of the Traits I have. What I know about the other six Traits in each Aspect has come through study of the abstract meaning of the system and observation of people with those Traits. This makes my description of them less accurate and/or complete. I am pleased that people who have these other Traits shared their insights with me, because their insights have often been more succinct and incisive than what I was able to come up with.

You can learn a lot from a study of each Trait by itself, but you can learn a lot more by contrasting and comparing each Trait with the other three Traits in the same Quadrate. For instance, as you read the descriptions, notice the differences and similarities between the Quadrate members of Reduction, Repression, Growth and Passion. I will point some of these things out, but you might notice some other things, especially if you have one or two of the Traits themselves.

You will notice that the following exposition is riddled with cliché's. This is not because I have no original thoughts. It is because these phrases, though trite, nevertheless succinctly express some basic and universal factors, or archetypes — just as the Traits are themselves archetypal. One of the reasons phrases become clichés is because they strike a chord in the psyche. The clichés will help you to understand the fundamental nature of each Trait.



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


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