Most average 7/6es are natural comedians. The sevenish desire to entertain others is enhanced by the sixish desire to be liked. Driven by sixish anxiety into wild, sevenish schemes, they can at times become panic-stricken if their impulsive plans lead them into difficulty. Sevenish gaiety is more powerful than sixish mistrust, so they might not choose their friends wisely. Unlike the power-oriented 7/8, 7/6 would rather move away from conflict than into it.
Balanced 7/6 finds a centered calmness, as impulsivity and the desire to entertain begin to fall away. Instead of shifting to another mood, there is a willingness to wait and see where this one leads. The slippery, happy-go-lucky quality is replaced by a smooth feeling of attentive watchfulness. There is a kind of directed, joyful intelligence to the healthy 7/6, like a sure presence, with an unlimited attention span.
Extremely integrated 7/6 becomes the master of many talents because of fiveish perceptivity, combined with deep fulfillment and pleasure from the experience of being fully present. 7/6 is profoundly grateful for the continuing opportunity to take part in the unfolding drama of life. (What a gorgeous, unpredictably fantastic world! What incredible beauty there is in even the smallest details of this universe! How excitingly alive I feel, and how at-one with the world! Let’s celebrate together the deep abundance of life and love.)
When 7/6 stresses, the search for ever-increasing levels of excitement and stimulation seems at first like a way out of the apparent trap of boredom and unease, but it brings only temporary relief. (Perhaps another kind of fun will help me avoid this increasing sense of hopeless ambivalence. Maybe I should start a new company, or have a great big party!) Unbalanced 7/6 tries to find the answer in increasingly grand plans for great, exciting events.
But the ever-growing fear and boredom keep coming back, as excessive stimulation approaches dangerous levels. Without increasing awakeness, this course of exciting overload leads to extreme exhaustion, and a kind of despairing depression that totally incapacitates. At the bottom of the scale of health, 7/6 becomes a worn-out husk, utterly debilitated, whether by drugs, sexual excess, or general overstimulation, and totally incapable of self-care. At every opportunity, every means available is used to provide some escape. Without some kind of external help, such a person will ultimately die of excess.
7/6 wants to be colorful and noticeable, but also entertainingly different. Like 4/3s, they want to be distinctive, but they usually lack the aesthetic finesse of the four, so they could combine patterns and colors in ways that might cause fours to cringe. Because of the six-wing, they want to be liked, so they are not as far-out as 7/8, but they can still radiate color and excitement. The healthier 7/6es do not always dress so loudly, and in fact can be quite subdued.
Some 7/6es find work that is fun and visible. Comedians, clowns, singers, actors, travel reporters. Entertainers of many kinds. Others live more private lives as technical writers, computer engineers, event planners, PR specialists, salespeople, or various kinds of creative designers. There are 7/6 advertising consultants, pianists, chefs, talk show hosts and stage directors. Of course, 7/6es can also be found doing many other kinds of work.
Being a seven means looking for the bright and exciting side of life. If I am a seven then it is quite likely that I lead an active life, full of adventures and happy friends. I am good at enjoying life, and I know how to celebrate when the times are good. This is both a powerful talent and possibly the most dangerous trap I may face in my personal journey.
At my best, I experience each moment as if it were my first, thankfully receiving the universe’s gifts. I can see the magnificent, colorful glory of the world, and my childlike enthusiasm and boundless joy spread easily to my friends and everyone I see. When I am operating from my real Essence, I can become a brilliant beacon of energetic appreciation, generously sharing the abundance of life with all of my friends.
At my worst, I become overly attached to stimulation and excitement, causing me to lose sight of more important aspects of life. It might be tempting to ignore what is painful or sad in favor of some attraction of the moment — which tragically sacrifices depth of experience for temporary pleasures, thus preventing further growth. When my real Essence is clouded by attachment to stimulating experiences, I might fall into excess, indulging myself in food, drink, drugs, or sex as a way to escape from painful but important truths.
communication and orality If I am a seven, I might be a rather oral person. I like to talk, I like to eat, I like to drink. I might be a heavy smoker. My mouth might be one of my most valuable assets. There are powerful talents associated with an oral nature, and one of the most useful is an ability to speak well.
If I am true to myself and honest about who I am, then my ability to speak in ways that are entertaining and interesting can be harnessed for whatever causes I support. I can become a consummate performer, effortlessly able to hold audiences rapt in enthusiastic attention. Once I have reached a stage where I am using myself as a tool for the improvement of the world, my speaking skills can become a useful adjunct to my other talents.
But the oral focus can be a problem if I am not aware of it. Talking (and being listened to) can become a dangerous addiction. It can take me away from connection with my real essence, by distracting me through the ego-pleasure of getting others to pay attention to me.
I might want to tell stories and entertain simply because there is a gap in the flow of the conversation. This “oral confetti” can get in the way of real interaction between me and my friends. If I can resist the urge to tell just one more interesting story, I may find that I begin to see new depth in situations where before I might have been distracting myself by talking.
Am I more oral than most people?
Do I eat, drink, smoke, and talk all at the same time?
Am I overweight?
Do I smoke too much?
Have I had a lot of dental work?
Do I have digestive difficulties?
Do I enjoy oral sex?
Have I spent too many hours using my mouth for talking when I could have been listening (and learning)?
spontaneity If I am a healthy seven, then I am probably a person who lives in the moment. I value my ability to move quickly, deciding right now what to do in the next minute. If I am aware enough to avoid using this talent as a way to escape painful thoughts and situations, then my talent serves me (and others) well.
Living in the moment means being minutely sensitive to the shifts in energy that are happening right now within me. It means experiencing what is coming in through my senses at this moment, not thinking about what will be happening a minute from now, a week from now, or a year from now.
It means, for example, that if I am having sex I am completely centered in this moment’s pleasure, not planning what I am going to do next. When I am centered in the moment, each action flows naturally from the last one, with little or no thought or anticipation. By living this way, I open myself up to delightful possibilities that are not perceived by those who are busy planning the future.
When things are going well, I probably find it easy to be here and now, experiencing the moment. But if things become uncomfortable, then staying present can become much more difficult. If I am not totally self-understanding, then it is likely that I may fall into the trap of using my quicksilver mind to veer away from discomfort into more pleasant thoughts. My mind can step in before I even notice, deceptively pulling me into thoughts and plans, generating mental distractions to obscure the real issues, putting me to sleep by taking me away from the present moment.
I might find that suddenly a new idea appears. “Hey! Let’s go for dim sum!” The idea is the result of a desire to avoid the moment. This is the difference between spontaneity, which happens without any sort of advance consideration in the mind, and impulsivity, which is the result of a mental avoidance function.
How can I be sure that when I act in the moment I am being spontaneous, and not impulsive?
What is the difference between the need of the moment and my impulsive desire?
It may help to focus my attention on the momentary thoughts and feelings that precede action. As difficult as it may be to keep monitoring my own thoughts, it is essential if I am to become an integrated person. I must be able to spot the difficult thoughts before I cover them over with impulsive acts. I must stop myself while I am in the uncomfortable place so that I can take the time to register and acknowledge the discomfort. I can use discomfort as a trigger to wake me up.
The more clearly I can see myself facing discomfort, the sooner I will be able to accept (and handle) uncomfortable thoughts, and the sooner I will be able to take charge of my life, finding deep satisfaction instead of swinging wildly from impulse to impulse.
Is it OK to consciously experience unpleasant (but necessary) thoughts?
This, too, shall pass.
depth of experience Too much flitting around is counterproductive. I may have noticed how the pursuit of momentary stimulus only provides temporary satisfaction. Soon enough, the pleasure is past and I may well be left with a hangover (or worse). There is a cycle to this stimulus-addiction, and part of it is decidedly unpleasant.
The problem is in the focus of my thoughts. If I am always looking into the future, hoping for even more pleasure or excitement, then what is happening now loses most of its punch. My habit of distracting myself from difficult thoughts gets in the way, pulling me away from what I really want to experience. But there is a way out, although I might not want to try it at first.
The deepest way to experience pleasure is to think of nothing at all. If I can completely empty my mind of any sort of thought, something will change. It is not easy to find this emptiness, but it will be worth it.
When my mind is not pulled out of the present moment by thoughts about the future, the present moment expands and becomes deeper. I may feel new depths of experience, and reach new levels of satisfaction. I may discover that even comparatively small pleasures can be overwhelmingly wonderful if I really pay attention to them.
What am I actually thinking about when I am having a good time?
Can I move deeper, so that my experience becomes satisfying on its own merits, rather than being no more than a series of brief encounters with sensation and intensity?
When I am having fun, do I immediately start thinking about the next fun thing I’m going to do?
Do I always seem to look forward rather than looking at the immediate experience?
Can I see how looking into the future takes me out of the moment?
Next time I am in a pleasant situation, what if I think of nothing at all?
If I can stop the internal chatter, even for just a moment, what will I find?
shining through If I am like most sevens, then I have a tendency to expect that inner growth will mean ever-increasing pleasure and ever-decreasing difficulty. But as I study myself, I might discover that I have grown the most during times of difficulty, especially if I was awake enough to accept the problems and try to deal with them as they occurred, rather than thinking of something else.
Why do I need hardship to grow? It’s because the ways that I protect myself from reality involve a denial of what is true about myself and the world. I use ineffective ways of feeling OK about myself.
It can be difficult to admit to myself that I have been wrong. Finding and correcting my mistaken views means waging an inner struggle. I must harness my sincere desire to be a better person, finding the strength to move deeper into myself. I must not be satisfied with a shallow life of deceptive fun and games. I must take myself seriously.
People who become deeply aware do not become excited. They become calm and serene and full of joy. If they were intense people before, they become deeply passionate. If they were excitable, they remain energetic. If they were lovers of stimulus, they remain connoisseurs of sensation. Because they live completely in the moment, they gain the most pleasure possible from every experience. But they are no longer addicted to ever-increasing thrills. They find new meaning in the experience of being embodied, because it takes on new depth.
Once I begin to accept the reality of pain on the path, somehow the path becomes easier. I am able to feel good about the progress I am making. Knowing that I am working toward healing myself helps me to have faith in the process. I am more willing to go through the experience of growth, knowing that pain is only a temporary phase.
Eventually, if I am patient and willing to experience myself fully, I will find a peaceful, centered place. The universe reveals its endless bounty, and I am free to share the celebration with my friends.
at their best Healthy sevens are ecstatic and insightful. Because they don’t compulsively seek stimulation, the pleasures they experience are deeply satisfying and completely felt. They add value to the world by finding new ways to enjoy life, and sharing them with others. The ability to enhance experience by being fully present in the moment ensures that their lives are rich and rewarding. They undistractedly and gratefully contemplate a world that provides them with everything they need.
Seven in balance is joyful and calm. Here’s a person filled with love, humor and delight. There’s an aura of anticipation, but there is also patience. Everything is fine just the way it is, this moment is delicious beyond imagining. Healthy sevens are the essence of celebration and joy.
average sevens When healthy sevens misuse or misunderstand their innate talent of enjoying life, they can begin to fear that their pleasure might be diminished or even taken away altogether. They may begin to use their talent compulsively, at times when it is inappropriate. In times of difficulty, they might use their pleasure-seeking as a way of distracting themselves from the important but painful truth. If it hurts, crack a joke. Let’s do something else, I’m bored with all this crying. Others may be forced to place limits on sevens as they become increasingly impatient and demanding, responding to fears of loss by reaching for more, right now, dammit.
Sevens often wear bright colors, usually within reason but sometimes to incredible extremes. Others dress more normally, especially if there’s a strong six wing. Most sevens like to wear lots of different kinds of clothes. Sometimes they change clothes several times during the day. The extreme dressers might combine their clothes in ways that seem designed to shock. They might wear starkly clashing patterns with bright, bright colors. Most sevens are either fat or thin, but seldom in between. I think there are more thin sevens. What do you think?
unhealthy sevens The more compulsively they seek distracting stimuli, the harder it becomes for sevens to ignore the ever-increasing pain in their lives. They may bounce wildly from one momentary passion to another, racing panic-stricken away from anything that reminds them of the real problems they still have not faced. Whenever they find themselves suddenly face-to-face with their problems, they may project their fear out onto others, blaming them and then coming up with wild schemes to fix everything. They may make vastly unreasonable demands of others and then become violently judgmental and punitive (like an unhealthy one) when their demands are not met. Ultimately, sevens can fall prey to utter dissipation and sheer exhaustion from mania, panic, drugs, and other forms of excess.
When natural joy starts to become forced, sevens become scattered and distractible. Their movements might get jerky and unpredictable. Clothing might be poorly chosen. They talk and talk and talk, with great animation. They’ve always got something in their mouth. The hands never stop moving. What energy! Emotions are highly volatile and intense. They whirl faster and faster through their lives, and if it goes on they eventually flash into a white blur and explode. After that, there is a burned out husk. Unhealthy sevens are the essence of gluttony and mania.
questions for sevens
Do I value joyful celebration of life, sincere gratitude for good fortune, playful enthusiasm and the abundant wealth of experience?
Do I see the world as fun and games, food and drink?
Do future plans distract me?
Does immediate pleasure distract me?
How do I measure the value of pleasure?
Are there times when pain is healing?
Are there times when escape is entrapment?
Am I a fun-loving robot?
Do I entertain other people?
Do other people entertain me?
Do I make other people into providers and withholders?
Is it possible to love someone who bores me?
Do my role models welcome difficulties?
Do I find clarity through deep gratitude?
Do I find ecstasy through profound understanding?
Does not getting what I want make me intolerant?
Does judging others steal the joy from my life?
Do I deserve endless abundance?
Am I ready to acknowledge my pain?
Do I invent imaginary celebrations?
Do I test the limits of experience even if it means burning out?
Do I pretend to be okay even when I’m in a panic?
Am I here to party?
Am I here to entertain everyone?
Am I here to teach people how to celebrate life?
Is it okay if life is uneventful for a while?
Is boredom painful?
Do I distract myself from important problems by having fun?
Do other people’s needs seem excessive at times?
Are there any pleasures in my life that can be experienced while sitting quietly, motionless and alone, in an empty room?
Do I compulsively tell stories?
In a social situation, am I more comfortable if I have something in my mouth?
When an average 6/7 feels anxious, the reaction is likely to be immediate and colorful. Unlike the more subdued 6/5, 6/7 is likely to react impulsively to stress. Instead of fiveishly analyzing, 6/7 is more likely to sevenishly jump into action, sometimes in inappropriate ways. However, because the cautious sixness is more powerful than the flamboyant seven-wing, 6/7 usually pulls back from extremes before they become too threatening. This inner conflict between flamboyance and caution can produce a person who is emotionally rather volatile, similar in some ways to 4/3.
Balanced 6/7 has a feeling of firm steadiness, sure-footed and quiet. As sevenish impulsivity and sixish anxiety diminish, they are replaced by a calm deliberateness. Although fun and companionship are still highly valued, the desperate longing for security has been converted into inner strength. This is someone who can become a true brother or sister, or a genuinely loving parent.
With further development, 6/7 finds a deep sense of belonging to the universe, and to mankind. Nineish calm and sixish faith combine with sevenish joy and fiveish perception. This is a person who values the relationship with the One Greatest Authority over all others. Through gentle, tolerant brotherhood, extremely balanced 6/7 shares with others a sense of eternal companionship and security.
Unbalanced 6/7 is usually visibly desperate. Anxiety and insecurity become powerful controlling influences. Jumping from one colorful emotional state to another, trying to find any way to quell the increasing sense of uncertainty and vulnerability, stressed 6/7 looks for someone out there who will help, but finds no one who can be trusted.
As tension mounts, highly stressed 6/7 will try anything to escape from the increasingly intolerable situations that arise. Others move away from a person whose impulsive grabbiness and dependent gestures become unpleasantly intrusive. Physical illness, car troubles, boyfriends, girlfriends, landlords, all become scapegoats for the real problem of inner helpless dependence. (You are either all-good or all-bad, and whether I like you or not can change from moment to moment. My very identity splits into fragments as I desperately cut myself into pieces to escape the horrible sense of impending catastrophe.)
6/7s can be quite physically attractive. The sixish desire to be liked combines with sevenish sensuality and vanity, and the result could be someone who can dress and act in a highly appealing way. There is sometimes a shy sort of cuteness, even in the males, or perhaps a macho sort of masculine charm or a coyly innocent feminine sexuality. 6/7 usually likes to be clearly of one gender or the other, unlike the more gender-neutral sevens.
Some 6/7s find work that lets them have fun while feeling safe. Cartoonists, actors, comedians, magicians, social satirists, talk show hosts. Movie reviewers, baseball players, singers and performers. Others deliberately dive into adventure, becoming explorers, test pilots, tour guides, or travel reporters. There are 6/7 security guards, police officers, airline pilots, secretaries, bus drivers, and sports announcers. Of course, 6/7s can also be found doing many other kinds of work.
In average 6/5, the need to feel safe among friends is colored by a fiveish desire to pick things apart into their components. As a result, 6/5 is more likely than 6/7 to join groups whose memberships are highly homogeneous, and thus easier to understand. Unlike the more analytic 5/6, 6/5 is more interested in being liked than in understanding the situation, although both are important. 6/5 is typically a traditional, conservative person who wants to fit into a safe, trustworthy group.
As balanced 6/5 becomes free of anxiety and reductionistic analysis, an endearing kind of gentility and good humor begins to emerge. Here is someone who laughs easily, with almost a sense of relief. Can it really be so simple to live and enjoy life? There is a feeling of relaxed good nature and certainty. This is a person you can trust, someone to rely on for true friendship.
With still further depth of understanding, 6/5 turns into a warm and deeply loving brother or sister, someone who is in touch with a real universal authority, internally and eternally available. 6/5 acts with quiet confidence, coming from a place of peaceful faith. Essential sixness brings deep interpersonal bonding, essential fiveness builds penetrating perception, and nineish tranquility combines with eightish personal power.
Unbalanced 6/5 begins to feel anxious and wants to run away to some protected place. Unable to trust inner or outer authority, a search begins for some explanation for the constant tension. Others are easy to blame, and by projecting the causes of anxiety outward, 6/5 can find a temporary kind of release.
But with increased stress, 6/5 loses faith in the blaming. No explanation for the anxiety satisfies, and the world begins to seem like a horrible, frightening game. Paranoia escalates. Very unbalanced 6/5 bounces rapidly from fearful withdrawal to tense, overconfident pretense. (Everyone is out to get me, and there is no place to run. I’m frightened out of my wits, and I know I am headed for a complete breakdown, but maybe if I can get myself into enough trouble someone will come and rescue me.)
6/5 has the sixish desire to be attractive and likable, but the five-wing’s withdrawing, analytical nature sometimes makes it hard to know what it takes to be appealing. 6/5 can be extremely attractive, or somewhat scruffy, depending on level of health and the strength of the wing. Sometimes 6/5 puts on a show of false toughness, dressing in utilitarian, unattractive clothes and assuming defensive, accusatory postures. Others prefer nonthreatening but stylish attire. It is rare to see a 6/5 who stands out because of exceptionally colorful clothing.
Some 6/5s find work that combines belonging to a group with being alone. Janitors, forest rangers, taxi drivers, bus drivers. They might like to be involved in serious, dangerous protection activities, as police officers, fire fighters, spies, private investigators, paramedics, or ambulance drivers. Others pursue risky hobbies like hang-gliding, rock climbing, skydiving, or scuba while working as architects, train conductors, or electrical engineers. Some find ways to protect underprivileged people, becoming defense attorneys, politicians, or other sorts of advocates. There are 6/5 construction engineers, sanitary engineers, and evangelical ministers. Of course, 6/5s can also be found doing many other kinds of work.
Being a six often involves movement between trust and suspicion, duty and rebellion, anxiety and courage, charm and accusation. If I am a six it is likely that I am a loyal and reliable friend for those who are close to me. It is fulfilling to belong to a group of close companions in whom I can place my faith, and who can rely on me as well. This is both a powerful talent and possibly the most dangerous trap I may face in my personal journey.
At my best, I can align myself with a worthy cause and courageously pull together with my compatriots, feeling (and helping to generate) within myself and my fellows a powerful sense of community and belonging. The feeling of working together with others who are dedicated to achieving a worthwhile goal is deeply fulfilling. When I am operating from my real Essence, my inner state is peaceful, serene, and quiet, and I can feel that I am part of something much larger than myself. Then I can find my place in the human race, a place where my own contribution is valued and highly effective.
At my worst, I might alternate between depending on others and feeling that others cannot be trusted, possibly causing me to fall into ambivalence when faced with important decisions. I may find that I cannot act without first asking others for their opinions, because I am anxious about doing what I am “supposed” to do. When my real Essence is clouded by attachment to rules and the expectations of others, I bounce between anxiety and rebellion, trying unsuccessfully to find a compromise between my fear of making the wrong decision and my fear that other people are not trustworthy. I might wonder then what happened to the faith and friendship that I used to feel.
anxiety and courage If I am a six, the tension between anxiety and courage is a fundamental part of my personality. Even when I am in balance, my natural serenity comes from paying attention to sources of anxiety and dealing with them courageously, rather than shrinking into myself or running away.
Anxiety is a fear that has no definite source, because it seems to come from deep within. The flip side of anxiety is true courage, a monumentally powerful talent that carries with it firm resolve, forceful action, and calm acceptance.
If I can break through into the realm of courage, I will have found an inner wealth beyond measure. But before genuine courage arrives, I must conquer anxiety, and the uncertainty and despair that come in its wake. I must discover how to use anxiety as a force for personal growth.
Have I found the secret for turning anxiety into courage?
When I am anxious, what is my response?
Do I move away from whatever seems to be creating the anxiety?
Do I push my way through the situation, hoping to get it over with?
Am I able to turn the tension into a force for positive change within myself?
Courage comes from acceptance of the world the way it is, combined with ever-growing freedom from preconceived notions of “how things should be.” People who are courageous are not necessarily free of anxiety. But they have learned how to use the anxious feelings as a clue that they need to look deeper into themselves. They become more aware of themselves, of their goals and the obstacles that may stand in the way.
Where do truly bold people find their inner resolve? Turning anxiety into courage involves a kind of inner shift. If I can step outside of my immediate feelings, in order to look at the world from a less personal perspective, then I may notice ways that my anxiety colors my view.
When I am anxious, I tend to pay much more attention to parts of my experience that seem to make me uncomfortable. I might focus on people who seem threatening in some way, or maybe on environmental threats. When I feel anxious, it’s perfectly natural to start examining the world to figure out where the unease is coming from.
These external threats may be very real, but there might be a problem with the way I pay attention to them. Because whatever I look at naturally tends to seem larger, the selective attention to what seems threatening reinforces my anxiety, starting me in on a loop that might lead eventually to a real panic attack. If I can learn to look at the world more objectively, I might be able to help myself escape the loop of anxiety, so that my real inner courage can manifest.
Do people look different from a point of view that is detached from personal concerns?
When I am anxious, do I remind myself to stand outside of the immediate situation, so that I can look at it as if I were someone else?
Can I balance my perspective so that I deliberately look not only at what is threatening but also at what is reassuring and safe about my life?
ambivalence and overcompensation If I cannot see honesty in others, then I cannot see it in myself. I may find myself unable to trust even myself. I might lose faith in even my own motivations. Faced with decisions, I may bounce back and forth from one option to another, unable to decide. I could mistrust my own judgment. I might begin to doubt my own worth.
If the self-doubt continues, I might try to deal with it by switching tactics. Where I was full of doubt before, I could become defiant and rebellious. But it is a strange sort of defiance, because it is founded on a deep fear that I am wrong. If I am awake enough to examine my feelings, the fear that is behind my boldness might jump out clearly.
Am I trying to cover my anxiety by putting on a brave face?
Do I feel better when I do this, or does it increase the anxiety?
How do other people respond to my defiant appearance?
Is there another way of being that might produce a more useful response?
being persecuted and being liked
One of the results of deep anxiety can be a feeling that other people are “after” me. I might not be consciously aware of these feelings of persecution, but if they are there they will come out in an inability to trust others. There are several ways to respond to persecution anxiety.
If I can be sure that the others like me and find me pleasing, then the persecution anxiety becomes less. The ability to be likable, appealing, and endearing is a natural talent of type six. But if I become addicted to the anxiety reduction that comes as a result of being liked, my friendly nature can become a trap.
Overcompensating in the direction of friendliness is not usually the most effective way of restoring a friendship. What would it feel like if someone were to behave that way with me? Wouldn’t I wonder what this other person wants from me?
If I feel that something has cooled in my friendship with someone, how do I react?
Do I choose the response of becoming increasingly friendly?
Do I become more ingratiating, trying to make it right?
Do I go out of my way to be cute, handsome, innocent, funny or otherwise harmlessly attractive?
Is there another way to allay persecution anxiety that empowers me rather than making me into a harmless, likable shell of a real person?
activism and authorities As a six, I am probably very interested in helping to ensure that people are not oppressed or treated unjustly. It matters to me, probably a great deal, whether my brothers and sisters are receiving fair treatment from those who are in power.
People might think of me as someone who sticks up for the underdogs of society. I may be an activist of some kind, or if not, then it’s still likely that my opinions about such matters as human rights, discrimination, and justice are strong and carefully considered. I may be willing to engage in heated discussions about such matters with relatively little provocation.
This whole attitude reflects an innate talent for identifying myself with groups, especially groups who are subject to control by authority figures. In the process of identifying with the group, I become very sensitive to those who might act against the interest of the group. I watch carefully for signs that the authorities have some kind of hidden agenda.
If I think about my feelings and opinions and watch how I interact with others, I can understand why it is so important for society to contain people with my talents. By being especially sensitive to hypocrisy and hidden agendas in others, people like me offer a valuable balance for those who are focused on using their power in broad, visible ways. My talents can help to keep power-oriented people (who are not necessarily bad people) from falling prey to the great temptations of their positions. But there is a dangerous trap associated with this talent for spotting hidden messages.
Because I naturally tend to identify with my group, it might be easy for me to get carried away in an endless quest to uncover the hypocrisy in others. If I lose myself in the quest, I might become convinced that no one can ever be trusted. I start to see hidden motivations in even the most innocent activities. I fall into a pattern of doubt, unable to know how to spot real honesty in others. Then I might become cynical, negative, and possibly severely depressed. Nothing seems worthwhile because everyone seems to be acting out of pure self-interest.
Am I quick to assign unstated motives to others?
Do I start out suspicious of new acquaintances, only trusting them after they have proved themselves trustworthy?
Do I look for signs that even my closest friends might be hiding something?
Is there someone in my life whom I completely trust? Should there be?
self-defeating behavior and real self-interest When things go wrong in my life, who is at fault? If I am a six, I might want to watch myself to be sure that I am not acting against my own best interest. It’s possible that I have a masochistic streak that can bite me when I am not completely awake.
I should think carefully before I accuse someone else of anything, because suspicion of others is one way of hiding self-defeating behavior patterns from myself.
If I can be honest enough to see, accept, and forgive self-damaging behavior, then I will gain access to deep, intuitive insight into what is really good for me. Real self-interest helps not only me but also everyone around me. I become a well-integrated, useful member of whatever group I choose to join (or form around myself).
Can I find examples of self-sabotage in my past?
Do I blame other people for problems that I caused myself?
outrage and acceptance of differing views There is much suffering in the world, certainly. It is not easy being made out of flesh, and we are prey to a great many traps. My brothers and sisters vary widely in their virtues. Many of them have been treated unjustly, and many have been outright oppressed. Of course, it is valuable to feel compassion for those who are suffering because of someone else’s persecution. My sensitivity to the plight of the oppressed is a powerful tool I can use to help the world.
By speaking out on behalf of those who are in pain, I can help them and I can make the world aware of the injustice.
As a six my nature is such that delivering a “message of outrage” tends to temporarily reduce my own feelings of anxiety. I sometimes might amplify my outrage, thinking I can reduce the anxiety still further. I might become more of an activist for the cause than is really useful. Unfortunately, once I begin to overdo the message, my anxiety begins to increase again. I can become addicted to outrage, so that I need repeated “fixes” just to stave off panic.
If I become so rabid that I push my message on people who are not ready to listen, then I am defeating my purpose by wasting my message on deaf ears. I might be better off waiting until I have a really interested audience before I begin foaming at the mouth.
When I talk about my favorite injustices, do people look away?
Do they fidget or try to change the subject?
Is my message being heard?
Am I being too forceful?
enemies and allies If I become even a little bit carried away while supporting some cause, I may begin to view people with an “us versus them” mentality. You are either on my side, or you are one of Those People. Of course, They can’t be trusted. Their agendas are alien to ours.
One of the biggest problems with this dualistic view is that I must automatically involve everyone in the dualism. If you are One Of Us, then you must be against Them just the same as I am. Otherwise, maybe you’re one of Them. My own lack of trust can make it difficult for me to be friends with people who are not on either side of my self-imposed duality.
Maybe there are some people in my life who can be more useful to me as good friends than as motivated allies in my quests for justice. Maybe some of them are on The Other Side.
Do I turn people away from me as friends when it becomes clear that they disagree with my views?
Is it possible to have a friendship with someone who has no interest in the causes that matter so much to me?
Could I be friends with someone who actively disagrees with my most cherished views?
Would there be any value in such a friendship?
finding faith As a baby, I was completely innocent and trusting. But it’s very likely that somewhere along the way something happened, and I began to feel anxiety and mistrust. The world that seemed so safe and nurturing took on a different appearance. Other people, the environment, perhaps even my own inner self began to seem threatening.
How can I escape from the cycle of mistrust and cynicism?
How can I begin to place more importance in trust than in doubt?
How can I restore the faith I used to have in basic human nature?
Before I can begin to trust others, I must learn to trust myself. If I continue to doubt myself, then I am acting in such a way that I hide myself from myself. By doubting myself, I create an inner tension that prevents me from knowing what I really want. Every time I look to someone else to tell me what to do, every time I act the way I am “supposed to” act, every time I defer a decision to someone else, I add another brick to the wall separating me from myself.
peace and security When I have made full contact with the solidly reliable inner authority, then I will no longer be enslaved by anxiety and ambivalence. I will feel a deep inner peace that comes from certainty about my own decisions. No longer in doubt about other people’s motivations, I will also lose all doubt about my own. I will know my path surely and clearly, and walk among my trusted, beloved brothers and sisters with a quiet mind and a calm heart.
at their best Healthy sixes are courageous and incorruptible. Because they do not compulsively search for unspoken messages, they are able to trust people fully and completely when it is appropriate to do so. Their deep faith in the process of reality enables them to live fluidly and gracefully, with a kind of inner tranquility that erases anxiety. They are impeccably honorable and loyal to their friends, utterly genuine in their brotherly love.
Balanced sixes are truly delightful. Their desire to be your friend comes from a deep faith in human nature. They are easy-going, soft-spoken, and genuine. Their eyes smile. Their good humor is innocent and utterly charming. Sexy in distinctly masculine or feminine ways, natural and unposed. Totally reliable, completely calm, and endlessly faithful, healthy sixes are the essence of brotherhood and courage.
average sixes When healthy sixes misuse or misunderstand their innate talent of sensing the honesty of others, they can begin to fear that their trust is misplaced. They may begin to use their talent compulsively, at times when it is inappropriate. They might manufacture reasons to mistrust others. Their failure to recognize their real talents makes it increasingly difficult to trust themselves, leading to anxiety and ambivalence when they need to make important decisions. They may look out into the world, hoping to find some authority who can offer security by answering their questions, only to find that they do not trust the answers when they get them.
They want to be part of the family, so they dress in ways that appeal without seeming threatening, unless they are in uniform, in which case the implied threat is to those who don’t follow the rules. Most sixes dress to fit in. Sixes like clothes and behavior that help them feel like they belong. They often like sports teams, and might wear their names. They like to work in jobs where they get to put on a uniform, especially if the uniform shows that they do dangerous, scary work. Most sixes like to dress up, especially the 6/7s. Some of them really know how to turn on the charm. What sweet, coy darlings. What affable, friendly buddies.
unhealthy sixes The more compulsively they look for hidden motivations, the harder it becomes for sixes to believe anything they hear. Even their own thoughts and feelings become suspect. Their fear that others are “out to get them” is reflected within and without, until the whole world becomes an endless hall of mirrors where everyone must constantly lie and cheat just to stay alive. Eventually, the horrifying anxiety and insecurity might become intolerable, with several possible results, ranging from masochistic attempts to secure protection in prison or a mental hospital, to violent acts, like those of an unhealthy three, designed to deal with imagined (or real) persecutors.
When trust becomes work, sixes get anxious. Neck muscles might tighten up. Maybe the stance becomes more tense, and little tics and movements accumulate. Obsessive hair-pulling, scab-picking, pencil-tapping. Eyes dart back and forth, or stare right at you with a direct, penetrating gaze. (Can you be trusted? Can you look me in the face? Do you like me?) Paranoia can lead to wide eyes and prematurely gray hair. Alternately tough and shy, never sure whether to withdraw or stand bravely, terminally ambivalent. Eventually frantic with indecision and overwhelming fear, ready to self-injure if necessary just to gain the protection of official custody, unbalanced sixes are the essence of terror and panic.
more questions for sixes
Do I value faithful companionship, the peaceful wisdom of inner authority, courageous action and the serenity of innocence?
Do I see the world as rules and enforcement, criminals and cops?
Do scofflaws distract me?
Do big decisions distract me?
How do I measure the value of loyalty?
Are there times when fear is courage?
Are there times when decision is effortless?
Am I a dutiful robot?
Do I trust other people?
Do other people trust me?
Do I make other people into victims and criminals?
Is it possible to love someone who wants to injure me?
Do my role models have role models?
Do I find serenity through decisive action?
Do I find courage through natural faith?
Does anxiety make me more aggressive?
Do competitive urges heighten my insecurity?
Do I deserve to be punished?
Am I ready to make my own rules?
Do I fold fear into a paper prison?
Do I insist on finding a guilty party even if it means losing a friend?
Do I pretend to be brave even when I am quaking in terror?
Am I here to obey someone else’s laws?
Am I here to be taken care of?
Am I here to teach faithful courage?
Can I tell whether or not someone can be trusted?
Can I trust myself?
Is it tempting to lie to my friends so that they will like me or be impressed?
Is it important to have a set of clear rules for living?
Do I talk about the ways that other people break the rules?
Do I secretly break the rules myself?
Do I do dangerous things as a way of convincing myself that I am brave?
Suspicion combines with analytical detachment in average 5/6. The fiveish desire to know the reasons for everything combines with sixish skepticism to create a dry, sometimes intolerant personality. Because the six-wing wants to be liked, they want to be sociable and have friends. But the interaction of the sixish mistrust and the fiveish analysis makes it difficult for them to get close to very many people. They usually have more trouble approaching others than the more sociable 6/5. Unlike 5/4, 5/6 is often more interested in politics than nature, more interested in conspiracy theories than physics theories.
Balanced 5/6 gains social ease. Deep perception and serene faith combine for a kind of knowing that focuses on the truth of human interactions. Healthy 5/6 overcomes the fear of intimacy and finds satisfaction in genuine relationships. A balance is struck between the urge to withdraw to sort things out and the desire to feel safe among trusted friends. The need diminishes to protect against deceit by constantly analyzing people, leading to greater comfort and depth in friendships.
The best of 5/6 brings together the powerful insight of five, the stamina and leadership of eight, the deep faith and genuineness of six, and the inner peace of nine. Extremely advanced 5/6 is a leader, using a magical level of perception to help others see themselves or the universe more clearly. Inspiring trust and respect, they see the wholeness in the parts, demonstrating through their actions that society and the universe is one body.
Unbalanced 5/6 becomes afraid of people. Mistrust interacts with reductionistic analysis, and the world begins to seem more and more threatening. Threeish competitive urges emerge, combining with sevenish mania to create a kind of intense, argumentative combativeness that hides a deep sense of inadequacy. This unbalanced state turns people away, leading to a greater sense of isolation. Unhealthy 5/6 tends to rationalize that most people are not honest anyway, and since other people fail to recognize the value of their brilliant ideas, they are not worth knowing at all.
In the worst cases, paranoia and anxiety lead 5/6 into a terrifying spiral in which increasingly bizarre fabrications are used to explain hallucinated meanings into even the most mundane events. Numbers, names, and shapes can take on enormous significance. Vast, intricate, imaginary conspiracies are clearly seen as Truth. The whole world is warped into a shape that supports an increasingly baroque inner model. There is a time during which violent acts are possible, just before the inner system collapses. In the end, the house of cards can fall suddenly, leaving 5/6 in a trembling fugue of total withdrawal.
5/6 is interested in fitting in, but not standing out, unless there is extreme identification with ideas, in which case there can be a tortured kind of threeish social aggression. Clothing is usually conservative and often quite understated. Sometimes there is a coarse, gritty sort of appearance. Hair might be a bit messy, glasses askew. The six wing (and its threeish stress) sometimes brings in a desire to look sharp and professional, but it is not usually carried off anywhere near as smoothly as a real three would do it. Healthy 5/6 often likes to dress well, although there usually must be a conscious effort.
Some 5/6es find work that combines non-threatening social interaction with rigorous intellectual exercise. Technical test engineers, chess players, historians, museum curators. Others use their social perceptions more directly, becoming psychologists, social commentators, novelists, social theoreticians, science popularizers. Many become scientists of different kinds, from embryologists to materials specialists. There are 5/6 magicians, psychic debunkers, computer engineers, interpreters, and math teachers. Of course, 5/6es can also be found doing many other kinds of work.
Average 5/4 is the prototype personality for research scientists. Analytical and detached from their emotions, but passionate about beauty and truth, they want to find the ultimate, simple explanation for everything. Their intellectual fiveness makes them likely to engage in long, professorial monologues, while their four-wing gives them a shy self-consciousness. Unlike the more depressive 4/5, they are likely to have a generally optimistic view, although they can get depressed if they become overwhelmed by the world’s demands. 5/4s are usually less interested in social interactions than the more other-dependent 5/6.
Balanced 5/4 is able to participate in life. When the fiveish desire to withdraw and sort things out is no longer compulsive, then the consciously chosen time alone becomes a tool for understanding the world, rather than an entrapping habit. The fourish passion for beauty emerges as the conscious result of harnessing the emotions rather than being their slave. Healthy 5/4s begin to deeply understand the simple, elegant way that the awesome complexity of the world emerges from fundamental principles. They find great joy in watching and learning.
When the perception of five and the passion of four are augmented by eight‘s power and leadership, plus one‘s intuitive wisdom, clear comprehensions can be transmitted to others. Very balanced 5/4s can be tremendously creative teachers of How The World Works, who explain things with clean, elegant sentences. Yet for all its simple clarity, their teaching carries with it a profound appreciation for the subtle beauty of Creation. (Come with me on a journey of discovery. Let’s look together at the awesome profundity of Nature and Consciousness.)
Unbalanced 5/4 gets lost in the details. The compulsive analysis of five can lead to elaborate pseudo-logical constructions designed to explain everything. The four-wing’s emotionality adds a flavor of dramatic hopelessness. Others Simply Do Not Understand. No one could understand. So 5/4 retreats to a place of safety, hoping to escape from view, continuing to uncover the truth. There is little to no social involvement.
In the extreme, the panic and scattered mania of seven combine with twoish self-congratulatory hysteria. In a seeming reversal, 5/4 can come back into the world, awkward and excitable, ready to bolt but equally ready to passionately defend a bizarre, baroque fantasy world. As inner tension builds, schizoid withdrawal becomes more and more likely. The end result is a kind of terrified fugue, completely cut off from reality. The only escape from the constant overwhelming chaos is inward.
5/4 is generally not much into appearance. Reasonable, ordinary clothing, not too bold. Comfort is quite important. Thick glasses are common — maybe a result of a great deal of careful examination of tiny objects during childhood? There is often a rumpled, dissheveled quality. The exceptions are those well-dressed 5/4s whose four-wings impel them towards an aesthetically appealing appearance. Also, note that sometimes unhealthy 5/4s can dress and act in sevenishly colorful ways.
Some 5/4s find work that combines intellect and aesthetics. Cosmologists, futurists, science fiction authors. Others dive deeply into some highly specialized discipline, becoming computer programmers, nuclear physicists, theoretical scientists, molecular biologists, surface scientists, or any of a thousand other highly technical jobs. There are 5/4 science reporters, poets, painters, and photographers. Of course, 5/4s can also be found doing many other kinds of work.
Being a five is a profoundly intellectual experience. If I am a five I probably attach great importance to deeply understanding the world. I might spend much of my time alone, thinking deep thoughts and improving my internal model of reality. This is both a powerful talent and possibly the most dangerous trap I may face in my personal journey.
At my best, I can be a gifted perceiver of the truth, able to deeply penetrate reality by picking up amazingly subtle clues from my observations of the world. My inner talent for intuitive understanding combines with powerful outer perceptions, producing a kind of effortless near-omniscience. When I am operating from my real Essence, the universe seems to open up like a beautifully illuminated text, becoming the glorious self-fulfilling answer to the question of its own existence.
At my worst, I become overly attached to my private ideas about the world, possibly causing me to mistrust (and eventually ignore) the constant flow of sensory impressions that led to those ideas in the first place. When I lose sight of the real world, I might create elaborate systems that bear little relationship to actual truth, unconsciously ignoring evidence that does not support my carefully constructed fantasies. When my real Essence is clouded by attachment to imaginary systems, I might sometimes block out the world in favor of my own internal models, perhaps eventually retreating into a kind of fearful, pathologically detached, semi-autistic fugue.
paralysis and courageous action If I am a five, it is likely that I am a very careful, thoughtful person. I take the time to consider my actions before I begin, so that I can be sure to make the right decisions and avoid complicating mistakes. I want to live lightly, minimizing my impact on other people’s lives so that I can keep my own life simple and comfortable, and I am willing to wait before acting if it means that my actions can be more well-considered. This careful, gentle way of being can be a great talent, if it is used correctly. But it can also be a trap.
I may feel paralyzed when there is some action that I know I should take. It could feel as if I am afraid to start for some reason, or as if I want to do anything other than what I know I should do. I might start some new project, only to put it down as soon as it begins to seem like it’s well under way. I might pace back and forth nervously, or possibly get lost in television or use drugs. In every case, what I am doing is avoiding the task — which doesn’t get it done.
Do I avoid tasks that I know I should do?
Am I afraid of being noticed?
Am I afraid that other obligations will be incurred?
Do I start finding dozens of reasons why projects can’t be completed?
Do I give up on projects when I encounter minor difficulties?
Is it simple psychological inertia?
Whatever my reasons for delaying action, it is vitally important that I develop the ability to act when action is called for. I must become able to courageously take charge of my life, so that I can confidently pursue worthwhile goals.
It might help me if I can list all the things I would like to accomplish. I can take a systematic approach and do first the things that I feel most confident about. Once I have broken the inertia, I might be able to move to some of the more difficult challenges on the list.
Another approach is to take the most difficult task of all and break it down into smaller sub-tasks. By doing this, I give myself a little breathing room, so that I don’t feel like I have to do everything without pausing. Then I can feel the satisfaction of crossing off items from the list, one by one.
Yet another useful approach is to simplify my life as much as I can. Do I have too many projects? Perhaps it is time to clear the decks and focus only on one or two of them. Maybe I can help myself by physically getting rid of some percentage of my “stuff.” I could go through my library and give away half of the books. Do I have huge boxes or drawers of papers and files? Maybe it’s time to clear out some of that mass. Strangely enough, if I lighten my personal load of possessions, my ability to act may be enhanced dramatically.
I must be honest with myself about what I can and cannot do. Sometimes, especially when life may have been a little more difficult than usual, I might make “grand plans” for future projects. Are these plans allowing me to escape the needs of the moment? Life is generally more pleasant if I frequently ask myself what the highest immediate priority is, and address that before anything else.
Are there any projects at this moment in my life that are languishing untouched because I have not been able to get past my own inertia?
Have I ever found myself stuck and blocked from acting by some kind of inner hesitation that prevents me from moving forward?
Once I overcome the inertia and get moving, how does it feel?
detachment and emotional depth If I am a five, then I probably have a strong tendency to separate myself from my feelings. When others are experiencing great stress, I can be a stable point of reference for them, because I have the ability to remain calm in the midst of emotional turmoil. I can step outside of myself, looking at myself as if I were someone else, which enables me to view the situation objectively. If I have developed genuine compassion, this detached attitude can help me to help others deal with painful feelings in a useful, growth-oriented way.
But habitual emotional detachment can also be a tremendously dangerous trap. If my natural ability to detach from my feelings becomes compulsive, then I might spend long periods, perhaps even my entire life, without any conscious feelings stronger than an occasional chuckle or sigh. My life can become a dry imitation of a real life, where intellectual pursuits provide a kind of pseudo-passion that substitutes for real feelings.
Do I substitute intellectual stimulus for real emotions?
Why does this happen?
Am I so afraid of real emotions that I must shove them down into some hidden box deep inside myself?
Do I fear that too much emotionality might be overwhelming, perhaps preventing me from seeing myself and other people clearly?
If I am a five I might find that the times when I have the most trouble feeling real emotions are the times when I am involved in social interactions, especially with groups. Being on display in front of a group can be a terrifying experience. So I might pull into my shell of detached intellectualism, saving all of those troubling emotions for later.
Are social situations (parties, family dinners, etc) difficult for me?
Am I afraid of the attention from others that might result if I were to show obvious emotion in a social situation?
What happens when I find myself alone after a lot of social interaction?
Do I suddenly begin to feel some of the repressed emotions?
I can help myself by remembering to stop and breathe deeply, to let my feelings through so that I can sense them clearly. If I practice at it, I can develop the ability to feel my emotions without being overwhelmed by them. Then I become a more complete person.
Sometimes I will have feelings that are unpleasant. It is especially important to let the unpleasant feelings come through clearly, because otherwise they can become all bottled up inside of me. When that happens, my entire emotional mechanism can clamp down because of the effort to avoid the bad feelings. I might become a dry, argumentative person, because all that I can feel are the “safe” emotions (and unfortunately, even love might not be “safe” because it opens me up to potential pain).
Once I have become able to feel my emotions with depth and clarity, they will no longer be so overwhelming, even though they have become much more powerful. That is because I have become emotionally stronger myself.
By learning how to be truly and completely in my feelings, I become able to know them much better. And because of my innate talent of intuitive knowing, once I understand something I no longer fear it. Then I will be able to step into my emotions when that is useful, or move out of them (without denying them) when being detached and analytic is more useful. Of course, I must always remind myself not to become so detached that my feelings begin to get bottled up again.
When things get difficult, do I react by “clamming up?”
When I feel annoyed, am I more likely to go away or to confront the person who is causing me to make myself feel annoyed?
Are there emotions that I have great difficulty letting myself feel?
Can I feel anger? Hatred? Fear? Sexual lust? Raw unadulterated joy?
Can I feel genuine love?
being the expert As a five I probably have a highly developed ability to explain things to people. Sometimes this can be a great advantage, especially if the audience really wants to know what I have to say. But it’s possible that, far more often than I might realize, I am not addressing people who are listening well.
I must remember to be connected with my audience, watching them carefully to see how they are responding. If they seem the least bit uninterested, I should stop for a while until they ask for more. They may not be as interested as I am in what I have to say.
It is difficult to be someone who knows a great deal about many things, because of the continuing temptation to step in with a more complete explanation of something. Recognizing this, I should probably make a conscious effort not to engage in long monologues about anything (unless I am being paid to do so…!)
Do I stop frequently during conversations to discover whether people are still interested?
Do I interrupt other people?
Do people have a tendency to get into arguments with me?
Am I able to listen closely to someone else’s point of view without commenting in any way even if I know that they are wrong?
The best way to show knowledge to others is by demonstrating it directly, not by explaining it. By setting an example for others, by directly living in my knowledge and using it to improve my own life, I can show others how it could be useful to them.
reductionism As I five I am probably inclined to want to put everything into neat categories. I want to understand the world, and I may think that the best way to do that is to take it apart and file all the bits in separate drawers of my mind.
Certainly, there is a place for that kind of analysis. If we didn’t dissect things we might never figure out what was inside them, to say nothing of knowing how they work. We’ve got to make distinctions in order to understand relationships between parts of things.
But if I examine the world (and myself) more and more closely, I may begin to see how everything is all bundled up together. There is, after all, only one reality, and everything that exists is part of it. Perhaps I can begin to see how everything depends on everything else for its very existence.
If I can stay centered while experiencing myself as if I were the whole universe (which I am) then what new insights will come?
Where is the edge of me, where I end and the rest of the universe begins?
What is the difference between me and someone else?
compassion As my emotions begin to deepen and take on new colors, I may begin to notice that other people seem deeper too. If I let this compassion grow, I come closer to finding my true calling in life.
Before we can reach our full potential, all of us must come to the point where we use what we have learned to help make the world a better place. If I examine my changing feelings about other people I may get some new clues to my own best place in life.
In what ways am I able to lovingly return value to the world?
thinking too much I probably have a very active mind. There is so much going on that sometimes it might become difficult to keep track of it all. It may get kind of noisy sometimes, which can interfere with the clarity of my thoughts.
Have there been times when my mind has gone into “overdrive?”
Do thoughts and ideas ever fly about chaotically, maybe with snatches of songs and sentences repeating themselves over and over?
Have there been times when I just wished I could turn myself off for a while and take a rest from the internal junk mail?
If I take the time to clear my mind several times a day, if I can stop what I am doing and be utterly still for even a few seconds, I may notice an immediate difference in the depth and creativity of the next thoughts. The “calm forest pool” is not always easy to attain, but it can be immensely valuable and pleasant.
How long can I let my mind be still?
Do the thoughts start up again all by themselves, or does the mind remain calm until I deliberately start thinking again?
mind Having cleared the mind, what do I find? My greatest talents can begin to emerge. Because I have lifted myself out of the “small” mind in the body, the larger mind can begin to express itself through me. The larger mind knows infinitely more than my small biological brain ever can.
This is the beginning of the omniscience of the enlightened five. Gradually or suddenly, as I let go of the need to know everything right now, I will find that I know things I didn’t know I knew. Answers will come when I need them, helping me to become ever more confident, ever more in charge of my own life. I will begin to trust the infinite knowledge that is ever more accessible to me, ever more joyfully fulfilling, and reveals ever more clearly the awesome miracle of reality.
at their best Healthy fives are perceptive and insightful. Because they do not compulsively try to understand everything, the understanding they do have is deeply penetrating and may seem almost magical to others. Their ability to intuitively comprehend things and processes is a result of an ability to see reality with tremendous clarity and sharpness. Their precise vision and ability to see the truth without excess analysis enables them to live confidently, completely present in the experience of the moment.
Healthy fives know how to relax the analysis-engine, which gives it greater power for use when it is really needed. They see with penetrating clarity, and their gaze takes on a deep solidity. They move with sure deftness. Can I walk across the meadow without leaving a trace? They develop powerful confidence, acting immediately and intuitively without needing time to think. Yet their actions reveal deep insight and comprehension of reality. Healthy fives are the essence of intelligence and perception.
average fives When healthy fives misuse or misunderstand their innate talent of understanding, they may begin to fear that they do not know enough. They may begin to use their talent compulsively, at times when it is inappropriate. If they do not immediately see how something works, they may feel that they must take it apart, reducing it to its essential components. It can become extremely frustrating not to know. In order to understand the world, they might detach from it, standing apart from emotions, and from their immediate experience, in order to see more clearly. The more they try to reduce things to smaller components, the more they need to detach so that they can keep it all straight. Analysis continues, and complexity increases still further.
They usually don’t put a lot of effort into appearance, mainly because it is just not that important to them. They are probably more interested in having as friends people who are intelligent and well-educated, not necessarily the most physically attractive ones. Average fives are usually clean but often plain. Some have a rough, scruggy feel. Others are thin and rangy. They might have a distant, distracted, somewhat absent flavor. They seem absent because their thoughts easily take them into strange, complicated spaces.
unhealthy fives The more compulsively fives analyze, the harder it becomes to understand the increasingly complex world-model they have constructed. Their theories may become incredibly bizarre, as they shore up the ever-more unstable house of cards they have built. In their desperate attempts to deal with the unpredictable world, they may act impulsively, like an unhealthy seven, further damaging their ability to make sense of it all. Eventually, the whole system may fall into ruins, resulting in a paralyzing, schizoid fugue, the only escape from an incomprehensibly complex, threatening world.
The mind’s grip tightens as unbalanced five falls. Ideas become illusions, then illusions become gods, and they make extreme demands. Unhealthy five is imprisoned behind misperceptions, trapped by imaginary walls. Everything is horribly complicated and difficult to convey, but there may be some who will listen. Wild-eyed and manic, insistently spouting complex claims and proofs, building and elaborating the model, until in the end the world collapses and the mind is disrupted, mirrors shattering all around. Unbalanced fives are the essence of chaos and isolation.
more questions for fives
Do I value deep contemplation of reality, clear and detailed perception, elegant understanding and confident mastery of truth?
Do I see the world as simplicity and chaos, form and formlessness?
Do interesting ideas distract me?
Do unanswered questions distract me?
How do I measure the value of my knowledge?
Are there times when analysis increases my confusion?
Are there times when not knowing is wisdom?
Am I an intellectual robot?
Do I analyze other people?
Do other people analyze me?
Do I make other people into geniuses and morons?
Is it possible to love someone who insistently demands something from me?
Do my role models know the limits of their understanding?
Do I find confidence through clear vision?
Do I find gnosis through self-mastery?
Does feeling overwhelmed make me act impulsively?
Does frantic mania confuse me?
Do I deserve to be omniscient?
Am I ready to admit that I know nothing at all?
Do I build precarious castles out of half-baked ideas?
Do I explain every detail even if it means losing my audience?
Do I pretend to know what I am talking about even when I am out of my depth?
Am I here to understand everything?
Am I here to take the universe apart?
Am I here to teach true perception?
Can I ask a question without immediately trying to figure out an answer?
Does the world seem overwhelmingly complicated?
Do I find convenient excuses to avoid confronting people?
Do my feelings seem more accessible when I am alone?
Can I act on intuition, trusting the process of living?
Is it possible to understand something as a whole, without trying to take it apart?