Nov 10, 2007

Transcending Type

To what degree can type be transcended? Is "overcoming" or "moving past" one's type a worthy cause? Does this allow one to change one's type or one's intertype relations?

Somewhere in the book In Search of the Miraculous, Gurdjieff (a well-known 20th century mystic) said something to the effect of, "as a person I may not like many of you -- the way you walk, the noises you make, certain habits of yours, etc., but as your teacher I have the responsibility to treat you a certain way regardless of my personal sentiments." This statement, I think, sums up well the possibility of "transcending" one's type:

  1. One will always have uncontrolled personal sentiments that cause them to be attracted to or put off by people on a personal level.
  2. Thus, in personal relationships one will never be "free" from the laws of intertype relations, no matter how much personal growth takes place.
  3. Outside of one's personal relationships, however, there is great room for learning to manage one's behavior and treatment of other people and "disassociate oneself" from one's type-related attitudes and sentiments.
  4. One can, through understanding, come to appreciate the value of other people regardless of one's personal sentiments towards them, which can come to be ignored on a mental level, though remaining important in one's private life.

A hierarchy of development or understanding could be created showing how much people at different 'levels' let their type-related sentiments color their view of life, but I won't do that here. For instance, a low level would be someone who believes that entire categories of people should be eradicated, disciplined, remoulded, etc. because they "serve no purpose" and "only make life worse" (specifically for the speaker, but he projects his personal sentiments onto society as a whole). A high level of development would be someone who recognizes the limitations (i.e. subjectivity) of his personal sentiments and is able to limit their influence to his private life and personal decisions. The more one is able to separate oneself from one's personal sentiments (including type-related likes and dislikes, type and quadra values, etc.), the greater objectivity one is able to reach in one's understanding of other people and life in general.

So, transcending type is not about "changing" one's type or freeing oneself from the "restrictions" of type behaviors and intertype relations, but rather about learning to apply personal, type-related sentiments only to one's private life and personal decision making where they are truly useful and necessary.

1 comment:

Peter Damoc said...

There is a very interesting book by Carol Dweck: "Mindset"... provides very interesting insights in this transcendence.

As I was reading it, I thought a lot about the "fixism" of socionic types BUT then I realized that it doesn't have to be a conflict. Socionics speaks about tendencies but, with practice, one could control this tendencies.

You might not want to have to control yourself all the time in a personal relationship as this might waste a lot of energy... but with other people... it could be done.