Understanding People

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Ever since I was a kid, the overarching theme of my life has been to understand 'Why people are the way they are?' and 'What is the peak of Human Development?'

Apart from being a peoplewatcher all my life, I quenched my curiosity with books on Astrology, Jung, self-help, biographies of great men and from the past few years, Personality types systems (Jungian model, Freudian model, Myers Briggs, Objective Personality System, Enneagram, Big 5) and Developmental models (Self-Actualization, Spiral Dynamics, Piaget, Hero's journey, etc.)

It is clear to me that while each individual has a unique genius, strengths, challenges, and blindspots; there are identifiable patterns to one's journey and the awareness of those patterns alone could rapidly accelerate one's growth in all domains of life. 

I have decided to dedicate a good part of my life identifying and drawing those patterns, or 'Archetypal paths of Growth', and offer them to the public in an accessible, implementable format.

My job is that of a Cartographer. I explore the terrain, evaluate where the landmines and the oases are, and design custom maps - so that everyone who takes the journey spends less time walking in circles (or getting blown up) and more time climbing. 

This journal is a scrapbook for quotes, bad diagrams, half-baked wisdom and insights, and interesting tidbits I find on the internet.


Archetypal paths of Growth.jpg

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What is motivating me to understand Personality types?

People in wrong jobs, people facing the same issues that have been dealt with millions of times before, same blindspots, same opportunities, same hot buttons, all of these already researched, understood, documented, and put away. People thinking they are special and unique when they are actually running age-old patterns.  In essence, what motivates me to do this work is seeing the sheer squandering of human potential all around me, and the possibility of all that potential put to making earth a better place. 

Only if there was a solid system that can identify a person's strengths, their unique genius, and help them align it with the greatest positive impact they can make on the world. Integrate that with the existing education system so we don't waste spend so many years programming children with outdated paradigms, and youth is spent living their purpose instead of being lost and depressed. With education going online and self-learning becoming the norm, I see 

Research in personality types is promising and is ONE of the lenses for identifying a person's patterns. There are a number of other factors to consider and a multi-model approach is crucial. In order to be effective, the focus is on 20% of the models that get 80% of the results: MBTI (Cognitive Functions to be precise -), Enneagram and the Big Five and integrate them for a clearer picture - as far as required.

The system as I envision has a lot of moving parts. I have started with a very specific niche; and the one that is closest to me. 

About a month back, I started brainstorming a book on INFJ men - their values, strengths, aspirations and . I have been interviewing, coaching and working with other people in one way or another. I will start publishing the data I have collected in this journal tomorrow onwards. 


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Once upon a time, in a not-so-far-away land, there was a kingdom of acorns, nestled at the foot of a grand old oak tree. Since the citizens of this kingdom were modern, fully Westernized acorns, they went about their business with purposeful energy; and since they were midlife, baby-boomer acorns, they engaged in a lot of self-help courses. There were seminars called "Getting all you can out of your Shell." There were woundedness and recovery groups for acorns who had been bruised in their original fall from the tree. There were spas for oiling and polishing those shells and various acornopathic therapies to enhance longevity and well-being. One day in the midst of this kingdom there suddenly appeared a knotty little stranger, apparently dropped "out of the blue" by a passing bird. He was capless and dirty, making an immediate negative impression on his fellow acorns. And crouched beneath the oak tree, he stammered out a wild tale. Pointing upwards at the tree, he said, "We...are...that!"

Delusional thinking, obviously, the other acorns concluded, but one of them continued to engage him in conversation: "So tell us, how would we become that tree?" "Well," he said, pointing downward, "it has something to do with going into the ground ... and cracking open the shell."

"Insane," they responded. "Totally morbid! Why, then we wouldn't be acorns anymore."


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Before we do the conscious work of self-development, we are the seeds of what we may become. To transform from our "acorn-self" into our "oak tree-self", we must traverse our underground territory - allow our defenses to crack open and break down - and consciously integrate our disowned feelings, blind spots, and Shadow traits so that we can shake off the limiting outer shell of our personality and grow into all that we are meant to be. 



Beatrice Chestnut, The Complete Enneagram 

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3 phases of Self-transformation:

1. Dis-identification from the Personality through self-observation 

Through meditation, contemplation, psychedelics, etc. create the inner "space" in which to watch myself, thereby creating a separation between my witnessing consciousness and the habits and patterns that I observe. The higher up I go, the more clearly the patterns are seen. The defenses are loosened and the fear of losing the comfort of a Personality-construct arises.

Practice: Questioning my life story. Reading type descriptions, highlighting what clicks and contemplating the universality of those elements. (My life story is not so unique after all) Watching my habit loops (Cue -> Routine -> Reward). Noticing my emotional triggers. Set up hourly chime and log every hour - with honesty and non-judgment.

Pointers that I am on the right path: Humility. More aligned with the natural rhythms of body-mind, less attached to my ideas. More Flow, less resistance. 

2. Surrendering to the fear and emotional suffering associated with loosening ego defenses

As the hold of personality starts loosening, allowing myself to experience the emotional territory underneath my defenses in a conscious way in order to integrate my shadow and move forward in my evolution.

By allowing myself to recognize your unconscious patterns and feel the emotions my Personality has helped me avoid, I release considerable energy that I have been (unconsciously) expending to keep my defenses in place. 

Practice: Being a superconductor of emotions yet being able to detach from them. 'Checking in' on my body with an hourly chime and letting go of any tension consciously. Working through complex memories / emotional triggers by writing them out in detail. 

Pointers that I am on the right path: Emotional discomfort that turns into wisdom with love and acceptance. Feeling lighter and more alive every passing day. Reduced self-sabotaging behaviors. Alignment of thought, emotion, speech, and action. 

3. Actively working towards transcendence and Union

Being in a more conscious, integrated state. Develop a greater ability to call on the strategies and strengths of all nature's archetypes instead of just being preoccupied with one way of doing things.

Practice: Contemplating the food cycle. Contemplating death. Contemplating Archetypes. 

Pointers that I am on the right path: Creating more yet being emotionally detached from what I create. Immediate awareness of multiple POVs of looking at a situation and all the actions I can take (including not taking any action at all) instead of automatically doing what I have always done. Sense of inner completeness "wholeness". A sense of connectedness with everyone and everything. A sense of constant expansion. 


New Project (17).jpg

Edited by Himanshu

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On 26/06/2020 at 7:27 PM, Himanshu said:

People in wrong jobs, people facing the same issues that have been dealt with millions of times before, same blindspots, same opportunities, same hot buttons, all of these already researched, understood, documented, and put away. People thinking they are special and unique when they are actually running age-old patterns.  In essence, what motivates me to do this work is seeing the sheer squandering of human potential all around me, and the possibility of all that potential put to making earth a better place. 

@Himanshu Sounds like you're doing awesome work buddy. That's a great project to be working on and you'll benefit a lot people with your findings. Can't wait to read more

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@Himanshu  Ive been slow to express it but I completely dig your Journal! 


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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@Wisebaxter I appreciate the kind words. A lot more on the way. 

@Zigzag IdiotThank you! That's good to hear.

Refining the purpose behind studying psychological types (and human nature in general):

  • Enhancing my ability to jump back and forth between perspectives.
    • How do I know when I am seeing something from a fresh perspective?
      • The original 'problem' itself ceases to exist. 
      • New 'problems' become visible that were not there before. 
  • Being an effective Coach. Being able to fully empathize with the person I am coaching. 
    • How do I know when I am truly seeing from someone else's perspective and not deluding myself?
      • I am convinced that I would do exactly what they are doing in this situation. 
      • I am able to speak their language in a way they get it.
      • I am able to detach myself emotionally from my personal philosophy when offering advice. 
  • Being an effective communicator
    • Building bridges: Be the mediator when there is a misalignment in communication.
      • All of us live in our own subjective bubbles - often unaware and incapable of seeing reality in any other way than our own. 
  • Being a more integrated and conscious individual deeply aware of my own biases.
  • Being more responsible for my contribution to society and culture. 
  • Create independent systems that help align people along the most optimal path for their inner growth and highest contribution.
  • Enhancing my ability to experience AND articulate the entire spectrum of emotions possible as a human being: the agonies and the ecstasies. There is nothing too pleasurable, too painful or otherwise too extreme to know or experience. 
  • A lot has changed over millennia, Human Nature hasn't. Its perennial nature makes it a subject worth mastering.  



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Why do Inner Integration? What is the outcome?

Balance. Wholeness. Alignment of thought, emotion, speech, and action. Personal effectiveness. Alignment with the natural flow of life itself. 

Integration means everything works as a well-coordinated whole. A well-integrated individual has access to all his capabilities equally, is centered, spontaneous, and effortless in day-to-day living. He doesn't fight the natural forces, yet align himself with them. The result is minimum resistance and maximum flow. 

List of psychological dualities to integrate. Words are fuzzy, there may be repetition:

  • Conscious - (subconscious) - Unconscious
  • Love - Fear
  • Good - Evil
  • Dreams - Reality
  • Masculine - Feminine
  • Body - mind
  • Persona - Shadow
  • Intuition - Sensing
  • Feeling - Thinking
  • me - other
  • Body coordination 
    • Physical grace and ambidexterity
  • Emotions - Logic
  • Divine nature - Animal nature
  • Rationality - Impulses
  • Intuition - Instincts
  • Strategic action - Spontaneity
  • Systematic - Random
  • Inductive reasoning - Deductive reasoning
  • Natural - Artificial
  • Lack - Abundance


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Highlights and notes from Carl Jung - Psychological Types:


The primary function of intuition is simply to transmit images, or perceptions of relations between things, which could not be transmitted by the other functions or only in a very roundabout way. 



Just as extraverted sensation strives to reach the highest pitch of actuality, because this alone can give the appearance of a full life, so intuition tries to apprehend the widest range of possibilities, since only through envisioning possibilities is intuition fully satisfied.



When (intuition) is the dominant function, every ordinary situation in life seems like a locked room which intuition has to open. 



(The Extraverted  Intuitive type) seizes on new objects or situations with great intensity, sometimes with extraordinary enthusiasm, only to abandon them cold-bloodedly, without any compunction and apparently without remembering them, as soon as their range is known and no further developments can be divined. 




Introverted intuition is directed to the inner object, a term that might justly be applied to the contents of the unconscious. The relation of inner objects to consciousness is entirely analogous to that of outer objects, though their reality is not physical but psychic. They appear to intuitive perception as subjective images of things which, though not to be met with in the outside world, constitute the contents of the unconscious, and of the collective unconscious in particular.




... Introverted Intuition perceives all the background processes of consciousness with almost the same distinctness as extraverted sensation registers external objects. 



The introverted intuitive moves from image to image, chasing after every possibility in the teeming  womb of the unconscious, without establishing any connection between them and himself.



The introverted intuitive has little consciousness of his own bodily existence or of its effect on others. The extravert would say: "Reality does not exist for him, he gives himself up to fruitless fantasies."



Naturally the intensification of intuition often results in an extraordinary aloofness of the individual from tangible reality; he may even become a complete engima to his immediate circle. If he is an artist, he reveals strange, far-off things in his art, shimmering in all colours, at once portentous and banal, beautiful and grotesque, sublime and whimsical.

Reminds me of Zaha Hadid, most famous for her iconic architectural style.. lesser known for her abstract paintings 1460142540423Blue-Beam-Victoria-City-Aer




If not an artist, he is frequently a misunderstood genius, a great man "gone wrong," a sort of wise simpleton, a figure for "psychological" novels. 




His judgement allows him to discern, though often only darkly, that he, as a man and a whole human being, is somehow involved in his vision, that it is not just an object to be perceived, but wants to participate in the life of the subject. Through this realization, he feels bound to transform his vision into his own life. 




What the introverted intuitive represses most of all is the sensation of the object, and this colours his whole unconscious. It gives rise to a compensatory extraverted sensation function of an archaic character. The unconscious personality can best be described as an extraverted sensation type of a rather low and primitive order. 



The Principal and Auxiliary Functions


(The) absolute sovereignty always belongs, empirically, to one function alone, and can belong only to one function, because the equally independent intervention of another function would necessarily produce a different orientation which, partially at least would contradict the first. 



.. besides the conscious, primary function there is a relatively unconscious, auxiliary function which is in every respect different from the nature of the primary function. The resulting combinations present the familiar picture of, for instance, practical thinking allied with sensation, speculative thinking forging ahead with intuition, artistic intuition selecting and presenting its images with the help of feeling-vales, philosophical intuition systemizing its vision into comprehensible thought by means of a powerful intellect, and so on. 


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Domain of Mastery: People Patterns 

Human beings are complex. A non-exhaustive list of different approaches to understanding a person:

  • Level of Consciousness (LOC)


  • Preference for cognitive functions 
    • Sources: Jung, Beebe, Linda Berens, OPS, etc. 



To bring this home, Leo (INTP) is Ti - Ne / Contemplating - Creating



  • Specific delusions
    • Related to childhood trauma / disconnection from God (or Wholenesss)
    • Sources: Enneagram


  • Specific difficulties
    • Related to childhood trauma / disconnection from God (or Wholeness)
    • Sources: Enneagram



  • Primary Center of Intelligence (Body, Mind, Emotions)
    • Sources: Enneagram, Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, "The Fourth Way", Triune Brain model



  • Body language, 
    • Direct correlation between one's posture and digestive system, nervous system, etc. 
    • Sources: Hatha Yoga, Amy Cuddy, Jordan Peterson "Stand up straight with your shoulders back", Desmond Morris, etc. 
  • Evolution of values over time (Spiral Dynamics)


  • Evolution of needs over time (Maslow): 


  • Big 5 Personality traits


  • IQ
  • etc



  • What is the level of consciousness of this person? How conscious is this person of his everyday activities? What is the predominant emotional state that this person is in?
  • Where is this person's energy predominantly directed? Towards the subject (inner world) or the object (outer world)?
  • Where does this person get his information from? What does he rely more on while making decisions?
    • Abstract principles, theory, and Big-picture thinking OR Concrete, physical-tangible reality?
    • What are decisions weighed upon: Values or Logic?
  • What is the life story that this person is attached to? What is the specific neurosis that he/she is suffering from? What does he/she keep seeking but never quite gets? What is the recurring pattern in their life?
  • Of body, emotions, and mind, what is this person naturally and predominantly centered in? What is the order in which the other two centers are developed?
    • Examples:
      • Leo (Ti-Ne) and Eben Pagan (Ni-Fi) are first centered in conceptual mind (most developed /sophisticated), then the physical body, then emotions (least developed/sophisticated)
      • Emerald Wilkins (Ni-Fe) seems to rely primarily on her emotions, then mind, then her body 
      • Annie Lalla (Fi-Ne) seems to go emotions, mind, then her body  
      • TJ Reeves (Ne-Ti) seems to go body, mind then emotions 
      • Joe Rogan (Te-Se) - Body > Mind > Emotions
      • Tony Robbins (Te - Se) - Mind > Body > Emotions
      • David Goggins (Se - Te) - Body > Mind > Emotions
      • Jocko Willink (Se - Te) - Body > Mind > Emotions
      • etc
  • Where is this person in their hierarchy of needs? What is it that they think they want? What will they desire after this is fulfilled?
  • What does this person see as important and valuable? Is he/she mainly agentic or communal?
    • Agentic: "I" am the real entity. Decisions based on the individual's desires, needs and ambitions
    • Communal: "We" is the real entity. Decisions primarily based on keeping group harmony.
  • How well-coordinated are this person's movements? How comfortable does this person to be in his/her body?
    • Lack of coordination suggests lack of body-mind integration (predominance of one over another)
    • A physically graceful person (a dancer, a martial artist, )
      • Examples: Sadhguru, Peter Ralston, Leonardo Da Vinci
  • What are the traits that have more or less remained the same over his/her lifetime?
    • Openness to new experiences
    • Conscientiousness
    • Extraversion
    • Agreeableness
    • Neuroticism
  • etc

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I like your stuff! I'm an INFJ (like you?) and Life coach too.

About Being an effective communicator - Did you take Joseph Rodrigues "How To Transform Yourself Into An Effective Communicator For Influence Course?" I think it's an awesome course (and super cheap...)

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are made for"    - John A. Shedd

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Posted (edited)

Value Category Definitions

SELF-DIRECTION: Independent thought and action — choosing, creating, exploring

STIMULATION: Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life

HEDONISM: Pleasure or sensuous gratification for oneself

ACHIEVEMENT: Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards

POWER: Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources

UNIVERSALISM: Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature

BENEVOLENCE: Preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the ‘in-group’)

TRADITION: Respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that one's culture or religion provides

CONFORMITY: Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms

SECURITY: Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self

Edited by Himanshu

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WhatsApp Image 2021-05-20 at 12.30.43.jpeg

Although the theory discriminates ten values, it postulates that, at a more basic level, values form a continuum of related motivations. This continuum gives rise to the circular structure. To clarify the nature of the continuum, I note the shared motivational emphases of adjacent values:

a) power and achievement--social superiority and esteem;

b) achievement and hedonism--self-centered satisfaction;

c) hedonism and stimulation--a desire for affectively pleasant arousal;

d) stimulation and self-direction--intrinsic interest in novelty and mastery;

e) self-direction and universalism--reliance upon one's own judgment and comfort with the diversity of existence;

f) universalism and benevolence--enhancement of others and transcendence of selfish interests;

g) benevolence and tradition--devotion to one's in-group;

h) benevolence and conformity--normative behavior that promotes close relationships;

i) conformity and tradition--subordination of self in favor of socially imposed expectations;

j) tradition and security--preserving existing social arrangements that give certainty to life;

k) conformity and security--protection of order and harmony in relations; l) security and power--avoiding or overcoming threats by controlling relationships and resources.

In sum, the circular arrangement of the values represents a motivational continuum. The closer any two values in either direction around the circle, the more similar their underlying motivations; the more distant, the more antagonistic their motivations. The idea that values form a motivational continuum has a critical implication: Dividing the domain of value items into ten distinct values is an arbitrary convenience. It is reasonable to partition the value items into more or less fine-tuned distinct values according to the needs and objectives of one’s analysis.4 Conceiving values as organized in a circular motivational structure has an important implication for the relations of values to other variables. It implies that the whole set of ten values relates to any other variable (behavior, attitude, age, etc.) in an integrated manner.

Source: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1116&context=orpc

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