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Oct 17, 2015

The 4 Dimensions & Personality Types

There is in fact considerable research to suggest that our personality is formed by our psychological responses to very basic physiological needs. In other words our physical, emotional and intellectual dimensions constitute a 3 dimensional body/mind that contains and maintains the psychophysical structures of what becomes known as our personality ‘types’.

These ‘type’ structures are both inherited and conditioned, in that they are reproductions of our ancestor’s experiences and intentions, coded through epigenetic processes, and reinforced once we engage and interact with the world. After birth these structures develop very quickly and autonomously.

As we grow and develop we may unconsciously continue to reinforce a particular set of inherited physical, emotional, cognitive and intentional type structures and we may also unquestioningly take on the conditioning of the social and environmental inputs we experience. Particularly if the environment of our family unit is resonating with the psycho-genetic structures already present in our 3D body constellation.

Our self-center of gravity (or sense of I am-ness) may then become identified with a constructed 'persona' that emerges in consciousness as we respond to the vagaries of existence. As a result, our sense of self becomes entangled in specific behavioural, emotional and cognitive patterns that repeat in response to our experiences in a world that just ‘happens’ to us.

There are many personality profilers on the market today and choosing between them can become more art than science. An example of an inreasingly popular model is the Enneagram. The following information about the 9 Enneagram personality types is from Helen Palmer’s website Enneagram.com.

‘With a history of centuries, the Enneagram is arguably the oldest human development system on the planet.  During the past decade, the system has undergone a renewal of scholarly attention within the context of current personality typologies.  The result is a reliable integration of psychological insight about human differences, set alongside a non-sectarian body of spiritual practice that relaxes inner resistance while encouraging inner receptivity. The word enneagram means a graph of nine.  Each of the nine Enneagram personality profiles has a distinct, well-developed coping strategy for relating to self, others and the environment.  In addition, each of the nine types has its own precise path to psychological and spiritual freedom, the key being compassionate and guided self-observation.’

1. PERFECTIONIST  

There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything.  

They live with a powerful inner critic that monitors every thought, word, and deed.  

They worry about getting things right and are unusually sensitive to criticism.  

They strive for perfection and feel responsible.  

They focus on being good and repress their impulses and desires for pleasure.  

They can be rigid, overly controlled, seeing virtue as its own reward.    

2. THE GIVER  

Love and survival depend on ‘giving to get’.  

They put their focus on other people’s needs.  

They take pride in giving and helping.  

Sometimes feel taken advantage of.  

They have a hard time expressing their own needs.  

They can be manipulative by altering their self-presentation to meet the needs of important others.  

3. THE PERFORMER  

Love and recognition are only for ‘champions’.  

Tasks, roles, & results focused.  

Their primary identification is with accomplishment and success.  

They seek approval and acceptance based on performance.  

Image is vitally important.  

They feel constant pressure to perform.  

There is an inattention to feelings.  

4. THE ROMANTIC            

They believe others enjoy the happiness that they have been denied.  

There is a constant longing for the missing ingredient for personal happiness.  

Their focus is on the best of what's missing, what’s distant, and what's hard to get.  

The ‘ordinary’ pales by comparison.  

There is a deeply felt abandonment that translates into a belief that ‘I am un- loveable’.  

They can feel special and elite.  

Their suffering sets them apart from others.  

5. THE OBSERVER            

Love and respect are gained by practicing self-sufficiency.  

They have a marked need for privacy.  

They limit intrusion from a world that wants too much from them.  

They hoard time, space, energy, knowledge and themselves.  

They detach from feelings and observe rather than participate.  

They are minimalists.  

6. THE LOYAL SKEPTIC  

Love and protection are gained by vigilance and endurance.  

They are preoccupied with safety and security concerns.  

They greet everything with a doubting mind, and contrary thinking.  

They report active imaginations that amplify questionable areas.  

They question people and authority.  

They procrastinate because of fearing the outcome, failing to complete projects.    

7. THE EPICURE  

Pain and frustration can be avoided and the good life assured by inventing options, opportunities, and adventures.  

They focus on the positive in all things.  

Life is an adventure!  

They are are pleasure-seeking and gluttons for experience and enjoyment.  

They are optimistic, active, and energetic.  

They see multiple options.  

They have difficulty with commitment.  

They do not want limits on themselves.    

8. THE BOSS  

Protection and respect are gained by becoming strong and powerful and by hiding vulnerability.  

They focus on power, injustices and control.  

They want stimulation and excitement.  

They are concerned with strength and protecting the weak.  

They are direct, confrontational and express their anger immediately.  

They can be aggressive, intimidating and impulsive.  

They deny their own vulnerability and weakness.    

9. THE MEDIATOR            

Belonging and comfort are gained by attending to and merging with others and by dispersing energy into substitute objects.  

They focus on what’s inessential and the agenda of others.  

They see all sides to every issue as peacemakers and harmonizers.  

They avoid conflict and want the comfortable solution.  

They have difficulty saying ‘no’.  

They are ambivalent about their own needs and wants.  

They ‘go along to get along’.    

While we may recognize ourselves in one, two or all nine of these types we do not have to be limited by this or any other, 3D typology. We can consciously choose to create our selves and the impact we make in the world by developing our choosing faculty. The 4th dimension of intention.  

The creative Intention to ‘happen’ to the world.  

Through expanding our capacity for choice we can loosen our identification with given or conditioned personality ‘type’ structures and develop a new identification with three, intentional ‘types’ or selves:

The Creative, The Unique and The Limitless.

We may then choose to transcend and include our given personality, while also evolving it in alignment with our conscious intentions.  

The Creative. It is by embodying the qualities and characteristics of The Creative that we can begin to substantially modify and even change the ‘type’ patterns coded in our 3 dimensional body/mind by looking for creative ways to break conditioned responses to life events. Regularly attending classes in improvisation can be helpful for freeing the heart, mind and body from predictable patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving.  

The Unique. Identifying as The Unique is the feeling and recognition that we each have only one chance in all of time to ‘be’ in this moment. Having transcended and included The Creative, we can begin to develop a considerable ability to create new, innovative ways of being and responding to people, places and things as we shed old, predictable, redundant patterns of feeling, thinking and doing. We can practice this capacity by using our imagination to creatively visualize our feelings, thoughts, skills and talents as a unique expression of the energy and intelligence of the cosmos at the interface of the infinite and the finite dimensions of existence.  

The Limitless. Identifying with The Limitless allows us moments of almost total freedom from the contraction of the 3D body/mind and having to embody a personality not of our choosing or making. Regular mindfulness meditation practice can help us to touch the limitless space of the infinite and identify with an eternal dimension beyond both the banal and insurmountable, everyday challenges and return, refreshed and envigorated. This means we can focus our energy and intention on creating a deep, intra-psychic transformation at the cellular level and fully realize who and what we want to become. Rather than just doing and being what the ghosts in our genes and the other people in our lives want us to do and be.

This is the shift from living as a 3D human just doing, to a 4D human fully being.

Posted by TBM