Systems Thinking and Personality Types LO22627
Tue, 7 Sep 1999 12:36:34 EDT

Replying to LO22527 --

Dear Learners,

Re: Systems Thinking & Personality Types.

Dorothy Martin wrote on the above subject,

>I can only re-emphasize that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a
>PREFERENCE instrument. Anyone can easily make it indicate whatever he or
>she wishes. It is only useful to the individual, and to others, if the
>individual is completely honest about their preferences on each indicator
>item. IT IS NOT A TEST. Therefore, it is difficult to use in a work
>setting--in hiring, firing, etc. It is quite useful if individuals are
>struggling in any setting, and want to find a setting--work or
>otherwise--that fits their preferences; which makes life more pleasant
>for all.

-Those words, "It is quite useful if individuals are struggling in any
setting, and want to find a setting -work or otherwise-that fits their
preferences, which makes life pleasant for all."

That 'setting' would be a kind of heaven, would it not?

>From time to time I work for/with people who are disastrously poor. You
can know poverty in many ways, but one of the closest most intimate is
when you get close enough to smell it. You have to be close and sharing of
it then, it is not 'pleasant'.

There are miracles I find to be had from working among and for the poor.

This is a cliche. But I can put a cliche to work. One can even turn the
miracle that is a cliche into another miracle and I will work my 'free
energy' at that.

I had a friend, she worked long and tedious hours in a shop, and she also
has a child and a husband. They lived in a much too-small, damp, cold,
windy, concrete, hardly heated, unpleasant flat/apartment. (The word
apartment dignifies it in a way that the builder does not deserve, 'flat'
is poetically more true, and it FITS).

This woman struggled at cost to learn the skill I could teach her; she
needed the skill to lift herself up. To do better. To do 'better' for her
child. Not 'best', better would do; she was a Realist, not a Romantic.
The strain of the struggle sometimes overcame her and she would need to
cry. (The wine of angels). We rested then. But the chains that bind are
powerful and sometimes are even called love/agape. Finally the strain of
the burdens of love/agape and responsibility, (mother, wife, supervisor,
coach and employee) overcame her and the learning was put to one side. So
any day you might, passing this lady if you lived in my town be able to
'classify', 'type' or 'preference' her at a distance and without her
permission or requiring of her own sovereign 'honesty' with some accuracy
this way or that, nor would you require a 'licensed' methodology.
(Whatever that is or may mean in the murky world of the preconscious
archetypes that are supposedly at the aspirational core reasoning of this
indicator.) Her current occupation would never be 'dignified' with a
licensed Myers Briggs assessment.

At her supposed level of occupation in my country anyway, people are not
encouraged to 'play' with such notions.

As a wise counsel to HenryV111 once advised Sir Thomas More, "Take special
care what you put into his head, because once it is placed there you may
find it devilish difficult to get it out again." Hmmm.

Let me tell you a little secret that she let 'slip'.

When she was first moved to the area and into her 'flat' she had to change an
appointment, giving the reason she had to 'give a class'.
I thought to myself, " Ah, a teacher and pupil, I wonder what kind of class
this lady would be giving?"
She replied, "I am training a group of young girls to dance. A community
heard I could do this and they asked if I would teach a group of their
Mmm, I was now more curious. "How much does this pay you?"
"Oh, I get no money for it, in fact it costs me money but I do it because the
children get so much from it and I love to do it for them."
"So where do you do this?"
"In a town about twelve miles away, I go by public bus either at the week-end
or in the evening after work"
"And you pay for that too?"
"Well, you must love these kids very much and you must be very good for them
to want you so much?"
"Well," Her final remark is coming up for the word/bean countersā^Ą¦" I have
trained the National Champions for the last eight years and we have also won
at the World Championships in London several times and, you know, the Town
Hall in the town where I used to live before we moved here now house and
display all the trophies we won in their display cabinets because in our
small flat I just don't have room for them."

And I thought, how very strange that the 'Town Hall' as an institution
here in the UK which is responsible for housing policy among other things
'houses' the tin and silver plated symbols of 'excellence' more grandly
than the 'creator' of that excellence. Hmmm.

How much 'imagination' does it take to understand that we are surrounded
by an 'ocean' of people who, while their executive managers (sic) 'wither
on' about 'visions', 'excellence' and 'ratios' they are striving all the
while against all the vicissitudes of life night and day to lift
themselves to their own self created and envisioned levels of 'personal

And, if they fail to 'follow' the directives, the so called 'visions', the
'this and that's' of commercial organisational 'life and need' then maybe
they have seen a different 'point' to these others, perhaps they have to
see life in a different way, more 'round' and willingly, almost amusingly
among themselves, behind your back so to speak delighting in missing the
'point' of your 'pointedness'.

Perhaps they FITTINGLY see the DIVISIONS in the corporate VISION. They
prefer to pursue a 'differing' vision. They do not desire to be
INCORPORATED into your VISION. They are too CARING and KIND to tell you
where YOU may be going wrong? Why? Maybe because they cottoned on, long
ago as the poor acutely must do, that they have but one dispensation, one
moment of 'song to sing' and they are going to sing it, softly, gently
perhaps even unseen. I hear a cacophony of 'blame' heaped upon the 'poor'
one way or another, borne upon a sea of fear? Held aloft under a sky of

There is an old Negro spiritual that goes something like this; "I am going
to tell God all my troubles when I get home." My concern perhaps like
yours is in the question, 'Where do I CARE to FIT in the troubles of the
poor when they get to tell their stories?'

Let me share this with you for my part. There is a policy to charge a fee
when appointments are not kept without sufficient prior notice. I rarely
pursue that policy, and never with the poor. The other month we had some
bean counting going on and it caused me to reflect about what such bean
counting gets and loses. As for the LO list, IMHO I think it lost a lot of
gathering subliminal energy that was emanating from this list.

I counted my 'dollar beans' and over sixteen years of involvement
discovered that the nominal dollar/pound sterling income 'lost', had I
saved it, would have bought me a four bedroom house with five to twenty
acres of land in SW France to which to end my proverbial days in bliss.

As it is I own, bean counting wise (sic) nothing.

Not desiring things so much as simply experiencing the truth that 'owning
things becomes so easily being owned by things.'

But I RECKON that at the end of my dispensation I have no need of
property. But kindness given, even if received 'unknown' is of a KIND of
account within some one, something and somewhere. TRUTH to tell, I would
have wasted the money on food, paper, paints, wine and holidays in
pleasant rural retreats.

I sleep easy most nights.

You say it very well Dorothy, Myers Briggs is not a TEST.


Myers Briggs is IMHO often delivered as a shallow and inept 'substitute'
practice, lacking any of the ART to be discovered in the work of its true
parent, C.G. Jung; is it a bean counting exercise that fails the TEST of
LIFE but passes the TEST of Commercial NEED?

For Carl Jung, life was a journey that offered the possibility for
'individuation'. As he wrote, not every case can be successful and
stirring and not every case can be handled in a similar way. On the
contrary- every case is different. Every individual at every stage
requires unique attention. Even the same symbols require different
interpretations. But every individual case can represent an especially
impressive example of the autonomy of the unconscious processes, (that
make conscious self assessment a 'contradicto in adjecto') and take heed
when he says, the self regulating action of the psyche when not disturbed
by too much rational explanation or dissection can support the development
process of the soul.

How many on this list have seen or experienced the negative results of ill
handled and inept intervention via models of quasi scientific 'analytical
systems' that are apt to quickly dissect and re-present data but are
almost completely unable and unprepared to re-integrate through the
appropriate and CARING facilitation of what Jung knew to be the fundament
of human development, - imagination, creativity and the integrative effect
of symbolisation?

In his great works Kierkegaard revolves around the great themes of life
and living. What follows attends to his thinking and is by way of support
of those who care to attend to the 'CARE of the soul' (Thomas Merton)
before attending to the visions of the CORPORATE DESIRE.

In the COMMON (often and especially the poor) I have often found it COMMON
that FAITH overcomes REASON. The mother instinctively and uncomplainingly
knows the source of her hardship and therefore that of her child. Through
LEARNING/TEACHING she may try to climb the personal mountains that
constitute her complex living landscape.

When the child grows up and becomes a man or woman he or she may become a
famous and wealthy entrepreneur and untroublingly prefer to forgive and
forget that and those that oppressed him or her, and his parents and his
dear mother for that matter. But the mother, as Kierkegaard wonders,
could she forgive the perpetrators of her son's current suffering that
which could as easily have lead to illness and then premature death?

He RECKONS in a very UNBEANCOUNTING UNPOINTING way this answer (;-)YES!

BUT that it would 'take a MIRACLE.'


The greatest prizes come from the LOVING/GIVING that is AGAPE.

So to be 'pointy'; as one contributor asks us to be for a moment, I ask

Who among any can BEANCOUNT the INFINITE that this POOR woman's HEAVENLY
CLICHE of HEAVENLY FAITH above EARTHLY REASON represents? (I mean, really,
'who the H*** wants to?)

And don't just too many of us anyway COUNT on this amazing generosity of
spirit every day so as to sleep at night safely and dream our own private

And who the H*** am I to call her POOR?

And who the H*** is anyone to make the measure of another whom they do not
LOVE or CARE for.

"And what is good, Phaedrus,
And what is not good-
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?"
R.M. Pirsig

I think the crux is this, those who commission these things desire quickly
to know and have known because they themselves have not taken the CARE
that this form of knowing demands of us. Emerson wrote, But do your thing
and I shall know you.

What about we give people space/place to become that which they can, to do
their thing.

Do not commission others for this work; to KNOW another by second hand
when you do not even KNOW YOURSELF.

Is this not arrogance and what does this tell of you and your ways and
your visions?

"It is quite useful if individuals are struggling in any setting, and want
to find a setting--work or otherwise--that fits their preferences; which
makes life more pleasant for all."

YES, how pleasant it would be if, under the cool canopy of complete
integrity in honest self-knowing and awareness such an 'indicating'
instrument were to point the way to this setting that is more pleasant for
all. But the instruments I suspect destroys in too great a part the
integrity of the client so rendering him defensive and not open. In short
the unconscious sees the test coming -

Developing what is natural to elicit the same outcomes that one finds
presumed might be a more royal road to such accomplishment. That would be
IMHO the utilization of the 'creative unconscious' through the discovery
of sign and symbols through no more complex a methodology than can be
articulated on the phrase by Paul Klee, "taking a line for a walk." This
may provide " a wider meaning to one's existence that raises man beyond
mere getting and spending, which if he lack this sense he will be lost and
miserable." Jung.

To illuminate as best I can from western theology, Jung points us to this
sense of vision, purpose and overcoming the struggle that is life, that in
the discovery and projection of collective but individually integrated
images (symbols, signs and myths) pointing us the way, even those that are
as simple as spirals, squares, circles and crosses we can autonomously
delineate our true inner visions and aspirations, -The myth of a man
becoming as in the case of St Paul, the messenger of the Lord when
realised, can lead us to a life something greater than that of, in his
case, a wandering weaver of carpets.

It is not what vision is, but what vision does. Release the vision and
then change (create) the world you inhabit.

The so inferred in-completely honest response to a Myers Briggs is, IMHO
indicating a total personality searching beyond the need for the
opportunity to expressively SO reveal himself/herself. Why? Because he or
she intuits the deeper truth that, dreams like visions do not just mean
what we want to manipulatively (as instrument) and consciously 'know' them
to mean but they also live and exist within their own deeper richer
meanings. They live us as much as we live them. Dreams and visions like
symbols by their nature mean more than what they represent, it is far too
round (complex) for that. It is in one profound sense quite pointless.

'The Dream like the Vision is its own interpretation.' (The Talmud)

"Imagination is more important that intelligence." Einstein
-Which is lucky for people like me
Best wishes,

Andrew Campbell.


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