Scholar

Does character ever change?

15 posts in this topic

I've recently had someone tell me that character doesn't change in people, or at least that it cannot really change significantly. My first thoughts were that this couldn't be the case, seeing how people go through stages in life, and that especially the Spiral Dynamics model wouldn't even be a thing if that was the case. On further reflection though I don't quite see it the same way anymore. If I look at Leo and his first video, and his most recent video, Leo is still Leo. He has the same character as he did back then, just that now he is more developed. There is change but there is also something that stayed constant, and I wonder what exactly that is. We could all point the finger to Leo whether he was at stage red or at stage yellow, and I'm not merely talking about looks. The manner of speech, and the subtleties of the way he thinks and expresses his reality.

Is there a model that accounts for this seemingly constant attribute of the human mind? Because it seems to me like character itself also has influence on how one goes through the Spiral. Some of Leo's characteristics probably made it more likely for him to end up where he is at now, so that also must mean that there are characteristics that will make it more difficult. As far as I know many personality traits are imprinted in the very early years of human development, and biological predisposition must also play a big role.

Does personality change in the very late stages of the Spiral, like turquoise? Or maybe with the usage of psychedelics? In other words, is it actually possible to fundamentally change the character of a human being after full age has been reached? And is there a model that accounts for character traits in relationship to spiral dynamics?

Edited by Scholar

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I feel that my character has changed. I saw no problem doing some stuff that I wouldn't do again, for example: cheating, stealing, selling my body and manipulating + telling bold lies to myself and others.

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1 hour ago, SpyAquamarine said:

I feel that my character has changed. I saw no problem doing some stuff that I wouldn't do again, for example: cheating, stealing, selling my body and manipulating + telling bold lies to myself and others.

Yes but that is not what I mean by character, there are many things that change. Do you not agree that there is part of you that has stayed the same way? I think it's better when you actually look at others, because one can be more unbiased. Look at Eckhart Tolle for example, or any enlightened masters. Yes, they have changed fundamentally in terms of consciousness, morality etc., but there is still something very distinct about them that did not change, wouldn't you agree?

That's what I'm trying to figure what, what exactly that is that stays the same, because I have not yet seen a human being who actually changed that which does not change. It's hard to explain because maybe character is no the right word, it does definitely have to do with personality though.

I have a few ideas that it might have to do with how one learns language and how that language is then connected to "personality structures", partly because I notice myself actually have change of personality that I experience when I speak in different languages. That's just an idea, but I think language and the entire structure that links to that, that especially grows in the younger years of a human life, is somehow related to these personality traits, or whatever is that thing that does not change.

Maybe the personality structure is deeply linked to the linguistic structure that informs our subjective reality, so that the process of thought itself is already an expression of the personality structure.

 

Are there books/resources that actually address this?

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@Scholar I was really wondering that myself and began my own investigation on this. I think that guys on https://www.objectivepersonality.com/ are really on to something. They are not targeting Spiral Dynamics in particular but you can see that the way they talk about human  functions that most likely stay your entire life. For example I am Ne/Ti (ENTP) which means that my natural function is GATHERING. I was very surprised to learn this because that is what I was doing my whole life. Gathering information and knowledge. I always think that I need more and more information so I could make one gigantic map of everything. Other functions are ORGANIZER, TRIBE and SELF. These functions show quite different behavior among the same level people, though they still share the same values. SD model is more for human values. It does not track everything and it does not tell you how individuals are going to act on these values. Let me know if you find something related to human types and levels ;)      Take care!

Edited by Sistema

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48 minutes ago, Sistema said:

@Scholar I was really wondering that myself and began my own investigation on this. I think that guys on https://www.objectivepersonality.com/ are really on to something. They are not targeting Spiral Dynamics in particular but you can see that the way they talk about human  functions that most likely stay your entire life. For example I am Ne/Ti (ENTP) which means that my natural function is GATHERING. I was very surprised to learn this because that is what I was doing my whole life. Gathering information and knowledge. I always think that I need more and more information so I could make one gigantic map of everything. Other functions are ORGANIZER, TRIBE and SELF. These functions show quite different behavior among the same level people, though they still share the same values. SD model is more for human values. It does not track everything and it does not tell you how individuals are going to act on these values. Let me know if you find something related to human types and levels ;)      Take care!

Wow, that seems to be a really good resource, thank you! I also always had the suspicion that looks somehow were connected to behavior, this seems to be a goldmine!

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3 hours ago, Scholar said:

That's what I'm trying to figure what, what exactly that is that stays the same, because I have not yet seen a human being who actually changed that which does not change. It's hard to explain because maybe character is no the right word, it does definitely have to do with personality though.

I have.

Risking drifting into New Age mumbo jumbo, it apparently was what they call a soul exchange.  One soul left, another entered (tho in this specific case I have strong evidence that they coexisted for a number of years).  Original personality markers became much more extreme and dysfunctional (where there was once insecure shyness, we now have paranoid secretiveness, for example).

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Character becomes more and more purified and authentic.

Because most people have been so brainwashed by culture, their true character has become so corrupted and obscured that just through lots of purification it can appear as though the character changed a lot, when really all that happened was a polishing of this diamond in the rough.

Imagine an ancient archeological object which is covered in 5 layers of grime and rust. Once you strip all that crap away, the original object will finally be revealed. And it could look very different than you first imagined. But also, the shape is still basically the same.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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I studied the Enneagram for about 10 years and never heard of anyone who changed their type or subtype. Eckhart Tolle for example is still a (selfpreservation) 5, even though he is relatively free and evolved.

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Think about what would happen if someone went through an abundance of trauma, you would probably not be able to see that part of their character that stays the same. Same if they became a vegetable

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1 hour ago, Toby said:

I studied the Enneagram for about 10 years and never heard of anyone who changed their type or subtype. Eckhart Tolle for example is still a (selfpreservation) 5, even though he is relatively free and evolved.

Isn't there a difference between personality type and character though?

From an uneducated standpoint I would consider character displayed behaviour. 

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7 minutes ago, SFRL said:

Isn't there a difference between personality type and character though?

From an uneducated standpoint I would consider character displayed behaviour. 

It's a matter how you define the words. In working with the Enneagram usually the "personality" is actually something more superficial while the "character (fixation)" (aka "type") is more fundamental. "Personality" can be changed, type can not.

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4 minutes ago, Toby said:

It's a matter how you define the words. In working with the Enneagram usually the "personality" is actually something more superficial while the "character (fixation)" (aka "type") is more fundamental. "Personality" can be changed, type can not.

Ok I got it backwards then. Thanks. 

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Ever heard of the self-image? It is said that our self-image governs our peraonality and not vice versa. Let alone the fact that we have beliefs, values and our own models of reality, and that all of these (including self-image) can be changed radically. 

After all, if personality change was not possible, why would personal development even exist?

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I feel like the notion that character hardly changes or, as Leo puts it, rather becomes "polished" over time, is because most of us would not define traits that "need changing" like, for example, SpyAquamarine cheating, stealing etc. as character. So we don't think of it as character changing, but rather us working out our flaws, if traits like these change.
Favorable character traits don't need changing, therefore in most cases we don't have a desire to change them significantly.
 

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