Reserve Mode

Also Known As Repression

reserve mode
reserve traits

The Ordinal Inspiration Mode is Reserve. This has nothing to do with arranging hotel accommodations. It has to do with being reserved in temperament. People in this mode tend to act low-key and nonchalant about everything. The manner is "toned down" and lacking in enthusiasm. A person in this Mode almost never shows enthusiasm, and he is generally easygoing, gentle, and mild-mannered. If he gets excited, he certainly does not show it. The body movements do not demonstrate enthusiasm, and the voice itself lacks animation and inflection.

Positive Pole (Restraint)

The Positive Pole is +Restraint. In its best expression, Reserve in this Pole shows up as self-control. Here is a person who never "flies off the handle". He "keeps a lid on himself", and doesn't get "carried away" with anything. He doesn't "go overboard" at any time. Things over which others might display some excitement are met with coolness. The manner is unruffled and conservative. He keeps a "tight reign" on himself — he is "in check" at all times. One might even say he is tame. Indeed, he behaves gingerly and tenderly. His behavior is unaffected and plain. Psychologists would say he has a "flat affect".

Negative Pole (Inhibition)

The Negative Pole is -Inhibition. Here the Restraint is taken to an extreme, or perhaps it would be better to say that it is perverted or distorted since the Reserve Mode disallows behavior being taken to an extreme. The behavior is totally uninspired and drab. There is no excitement or enthusiasm for anything. The person goes through life as if it were all just shades of gray, with no color in it. He is low-spirited and halfhearted in everything he does. The facial expression is deadpan and the voice lacks all emphasis. Here the word "repression" might truly apply. This is the name given by psychologists to a type of neurosis where a person refuses to admit or allow a thought, feeling, or behavior to be expressed. Such a person is indeed psychologically stifled and smothered to his own detriment.

The fear that drives -Inhibition is the fear of excess. The way to overcome the Negative Pole is to consider and apply the Positive Pole of the Passion Mode, which is +Self-Actualization. Cast off the constraints and throw off the shackles of confinement at least a little bit. Exhibit some excitement and animation. Of course it would seem to someone in this Pole that even a little was wildly overdone, but with practice, it will become more reasonable, and one can at least get to the Positive Pole of +Restraint.

The complementary opposite of the Reserve Mode is the Passion Mode. People in Reserve avoid behaving like people in Passion. They don't act passionate, intense, extreme, fervent, eager, wild, outlandish, loose, outrageous, expressive, or blatant.

The counterpart of the Reserve Mode is the Reevaluation Goal. Reevaluation seeks what Reserve has: an uncomplicated and economical lifestyle, without adornment and frills, never going to excess or extremes. They are different in that a person in Reserve has himself efficient and orderly, whereas a person in Reevaluation would like to make his environment this way. A person in Reserve applies the principle of conservation to his own actions, feelings, and thoughts, rather than seeking this in the outer world as does the person in Reevaluation.

The advantage of this Mode is that people in it are unlikely to go overboard on anything and get themselves in trouble. On the other hand, it seems they do not get the most out of life because their experience of it lacks intensity.

It is difficult for other people to "read" a person in the Reserve Mode because they are subdued, muted, and even lackluster in their behavior — it is difficult for one to pick out the Traits of a person in this Mode. Since the "body language" is so undemonstrative, this can make it difficult to deal with such a person. They tend not to reveal what they think or feel through their behavior. The person may actually feel something very strongly, but not express it strongly, so others misunderstand, and the relationship is jeopardized.

Phil Wittmeyer

Reserve Mode

Channeling About Reserve Mode

The inspiration axis is about the inner world. The inner world is feminine; the outer world is masculine. Male genitals are mostly external--they can be seen. Female genitals are mostly internal--much happens within them before there is any result, such as the nine-month gestation of a baby.

The most internal mode is reserve. The original term for it is "repression mode," which was not meant negatively, although it is sometimes interpreted thus. It is simply the opposite of passion. The positive pole of passion is "self-actualization." Passion is about letting the inner world take its course without restraint. Reserve, on the other hand, has a positive pole of "restraint." Obviously, there is a place for restraint. In reserve mode, a person operates in such a way as to create an inner world of refinement and beauty. If you compare modes to dance, reserve would be ballet, in which there is, ideally, full control of every muscle in the body to express something graceful and lovely. Reserve is chosen when a person wants to wake up consciousness in the subtlest levels of his inner world. However, when this mode operates without consciousness, it simply shuts things down, and that is called "inhibition." Like the role of server that it correlates with, this is the most ordinal mode, so it can be very contractive. A person in the negative pole of reserve can be crippled by an inability to feel anything, so rather than being an elegant, gracious expression, it is blocked, unable to have enjoyment and a free flow.

A person in reserve mode is not usually too hard to spot. There's often a graciousness, but there can also be an uptightness from not being able to let go internally, to feel freely (whereas in the negative pole of perseverance, a person can't let go of what she's doing, and in the negative pole of caution, of his expression).

Where Passion mode seeks to minimize boundaries in order to discover a truer boundary, one that will emerge from within, Reserve mode is about exploring the self that has already been created, and discovering that it is beautiful rather than a straitjacket. They are like the two goals on this axis, reevaluation and growth. Growth adds new experiences, and reevaluation processes the old ones, bringing them to their highest state.

You might compare this to the way progress occurs in music. In his day, Johannes Sebastian Bach was considered old school; he did not pioneer new techniques; he took old ones and did everything he could with them. That is like reevaluation and reserve on the ordinal inspiration axis, working with old forms and making them beautiful. Beethoven came along not much later, built on Bach's work, and pushed into new, more passionate and expansive experiences, which is like growth and passion.

Progress always has some of this back-and-forth. You need a lot more growth than reevaluation, but reevaluation balances the growth; it makes sure that it is really growth. Likewise, you need more lifetimes in passion mode than in reserve, but occasionally going into reserve helps you to make sure that the passion is real and under control. Another analogy is pruning a garden: most of the time, you want the plants to grow freely, but once in a while, you cut things back. Reevaluation, reserve, and the stoic attitude are like pruning shears, whereas the more common growth, spiritualist, and passion are expansive to the inner world.

Shepherd Hoodwin -- From Michael On Modes

Souls in the repression (reserve) mode are unable to experience either joy or sadness to any noticeable extent. There is an air of poignancy or wistfulness about them that is unmistakable.

Repression can certainly be used for the impetus to propel a soul forward. The sadness of repression is a powerful motive for seeking a teaching.

Michael Teachings Transcripts

Next page | Passion Mode

The Seven Modes: Reserve, Passion, Caution, Power, Perseverance, Aggression, Observation

About Phil Wittmeyer

Phil is a long-time Michael student who has written several book-length manuscripts about the Michael teachings, many of them featured on this site. He has been an active member in the community for many years and can be found at most Michael gatherings.

Phil currently lives in Colorado.

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