The same life on other planets

See this diagram?

It's the "Directed Creativity" model done by Paul Plesk. This is good stuff! It's pretty much the manual for operating that wind machine I discovered last week. I read about it this morning over at Write to Done, a blog by Leo Babauta of "Zen Habits" fame.

This diagram fascinates me because I am looking at the same life on another planet - again! This is one of those wheel within a wheel things.

The ancients noticed four basic types of personalities and named them after the humors. Here's wikipedia's chart about the four humors.
Humour Season Element Organ Qualities Ancient name Modern MBTI Ancient characteristics
Blood spring air liver warm & moist sanguine artisan SP courageous, hopeful, amorous
Yellow bile summer fire gall bladder warm & dry choleric idealist NF easily angered, bad tempered
Black bile autumn earth spleen cold & dry melancholic guardian SJ despondent, sleepless, irritable
Phlegm winter water brain/lungs cold & moist phlegmatic rational NT calm, unemotional

Jung expanded on this, and the mother-daughter team of Myers and Briggs expanded on Jung because it just seemed like a good idea to get people into jobs where their natural strengths would thrive (as opposed to exploring only underdeveloped or deviant development), and then science brought us brain scans, and now we talk about right and left brain activity, preferred "functions" in personalities ...

and Keirsey's four categories are fairly useful in real life when we use the "Z" for making group decisions.

The Z:
Start at the upper left corner with the Thinkers who can see the problem, go across the top to the upper right and ask the Intuitives to find three solutions, cross the diagonal by asking the Sensates to choose among the options and find the most workable one, and then run it by the Feelers to make sure all the people concerned have been included and the social network is still intact. That's the problem-solving technique I learned in class this spring.

Now, (still with me?) arrange that Z as the four corners of a four-square box, and what do you get? You get Martha Beck's "Square One" theory for personal development. In Finding Your Own North Star, she notices that every time life throws us a shocker that knocks us off our feet, we end up at back at Square One. The stages of life changes are:

Square One: death and rebirth - everything seems to have gone to hell in a handbasket, you've got no idea what's going on and not idea what to do about it. The way to the next square is through a rebirth into a new self-image.

Square Two: dreaming and scheming - ideas begin to be generated for some kind of life as the new you.

Square Three: the hero's saga - a lot of stuff has to be tried and you have to be Edison here - you have to find your 10,000 ways that don't work and keep going.

Square Four: the promised land - when you finally move into the new stage of your life.

Do you see what I see? It's the same! Beck's squares are obviously the individual's equivalent of the personality types, played out in one person's change cycles. The world's "Artisans" (to use Keirsey's terms) are most at home in Square One, and tend to stay there. They like it when none of the boats have anchors because that way no one's "stuck" with anything. The Intuitives will generate Square Two ideas, the Sensates will try them in the real world, and the Guardians will maintain the successful lives until something comes along and slams the whole thing back over to the Artisans, who inevitably drive everyone crazy by not recognizing what a disaster all this free-floating chaos really is.

And THAT is why we need each other. The same life on other planets has a huge influence on our own. In my personal life, I can find momentum in my own continuous directed creativity cycles. In our families and in our countries as well as in ourselves, we will function best if we use all four Squares, all four humors, all of the Z. We need each other - and we become more fully human when we learn to communicate with the other life forms - inside us and all around the galaxy.

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