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The Stubbornness Feature


The Stubborn one resists external influences.  He doesn't need any outside "interference". He prefers to go his own way, make up his own mind, follow his own instincts. He is slow to respond to external correcting measures, and so he remains in inappropriate patterns of behavior, thought, and feeling. All of the Chief Features have to do with self-image, and in the case of Stubbornness, the person is self-contained. He prefers to operate/function on his own, without regard for others or the environment. You can't tell him anything. He rarely asks for advice or seeks counsel when making a decision. He rarely seeks knowledge about his situation to make an informed decision he just does what he wants, following some internal stimulus that has no rational, emotional, or behavioral basis. He is arbitrary and inflexible in his thoughts, feelings, and actions.

The underlying fear that drives Stubbornness is the fear of dealing with new situations. The person might try to make new situations as much like the old as possible, or else find ways to avoid new situations. The way to overcome this is to contemplate and apply the Positive Poles of all the other Features. If the new situation involves behavior, then contemplate +Selflessness and +Audacity. If it involves emotions, then contemplate +Humility and +Pride. If it involves thoughts or beliefs, then contemplate +Sacrifice and +Egotism.

The Positive Pole is +Determination. The person sees himself as the proverbial "irresistible force". No matter what anyone says or what the situation is, the person is determined to have his way. He is staunch and stalwart in his purposes, resolute and tenacious in his thoughts and beliefs. The motto is, "Yes I will and you can't stop me." He takes a notion out of the clear blue sky and goes for it with all his might. He regards himself as a power whose will won't be denied. Nothing can deflect him from his predetermined path, once he has started on it. It is as if he is in motion, and cannot be stopped. Obviously this can be dangerous or detrimental if the person happens to be on the wrong course.

In the Negative Pole of -Obstinacy, the person sees himself as the proverbial "immovable object". No matter what anyone says or what the situation is, the person cannot be budged. It is as if he is at rest and cannot be started. This is like the stubborn mule who sits down on his haunches and refuses to rise and move on. The harder someone pushes at him, the harder he digs in and resists. If someone says to him "Yes you will", his automatic reaction is "Oh no I won't and you can't make me", and a contest of wills is begun. He regards himself as a bastion or stronghold that cannot be overthrown. He is balky, refractory, unyielding, incompliant, rigid, and mulish.

Stubbornness is the Counterpart of the Scholar Role. Stubborn people see themselves as Scholars are, in the sense that they are disconnected from the environment, aloof. They observe and study it, but are not affected by it.

The lesson to be learned from Stubbornness is to flow gracefully with circumstances, rather than resisting change. Remember the proverb about mighty oak trees, which often break if they do not bend with the wind.


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


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