Thank you to my cousine for reminding me about the Enneagram! Of course I had to put it in the context of astrology. Enneagram is based on the 9 planets, and yes, I included Pluto. Scorpio deserves her own planet, dammit. On that theme, Leo is ruled by the Sun, not a planet (and Cancer is ruled by the Moon… non-planet). Enneagram places the Sun at the center, and proposes that separation from the center results in a [negative modality]. In my breakdown, planets and signs are in consecutive order if two are listed at one number.

Aqua is a fixed sign, so 6 seems to fit, but it’s also all about breaking down the establishment so… could be persuaded that Ouranos belongs elsewhere. I originally had it as 1, but Pluto/Scorpio was too perfect there, Pluto being the planet of death and transformation. Libra could also be discussed as a 9, but doesn’t fit into the Instinctual category in my opinion.

I didn’t like putting Sun and Saturn together at 3, they seem totally incompatible– the Ego and the Taskmaster?! But, it’s the best I can figure at this point based on the number descriptions.

What do you think?

Feeling Types [shame]
2. Giver = Moon
Cancer (cardinal)
3. Performer and Achiever = Sun & Saturn
Leo & Capricorn (fixed, cardinal)
4. Individualist & Romantic = Venus
Taurus & Libra (fixed, cardinal)

Thinking Types [fear]
5. Thinker and Investigator = Mercury
Gem and Virgo (mutable, mutable)
6. Loyalist = Ouranos
Aquarius (fixed)
7. Enthusiast = Jupiter
Sagittarius (mutable)

Instinctive Types [rage]
8. Challenger = Mars
Aries (cardinal)
9. Mediator = Neptune
Pisces (mutable)
1. Reformer = Pluto
Scorpio (fixed)

What we talk about when we talk about post-truth

The issue is one of trust, not verification.

This Aeon article by Diana Popescu discusses the role of facts in today’s world. Her argument focuses on the political effects of this “fake news” phenomenon; people are less likely to act according to facts, instead relying on their willingness to agree with the facts. Among 45’s supporters and other such far-right ilk, the denial of climate change and the denial of Trump’s psychopathic behavior illustrates the danger of this mode of being. However, belief in personal ideals over reality (which is directly related to reliance on self experience at the cost of the facts) can also lean left. For example: every communist despot ever.

Conspiracy theories have made their way into the spotlight through TV, books, and social media in the past 20 years, and Popescu’s article makes a good point: trust is the main issue–not the facts themselves. In an age where information (and “information”) is readily available online, nobody knows you’re a dog.

Our beliefs face the tribunal of experience not one by one, with each matched to facts that directly confirm or disprove it, but as a layered body or web that interacts with observable facts only at its margins.

I consider myself an archetype astrologer (in contrast to a predictive-type), and a related, more secular, archetype platform exists in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I prefer astrology because it allows for more dynamic interpretation, recognizing the many facets, roles, and phases of human personality. Eg: the planet Mercury as representative of communication skills, Venus’ role in Western-style romanticism, sun sign as “I/Ego,” and moon as emotional core, vs. ISTJ: you’re essentially a robot.

No person is one personality all the time. Jung’s personality aspects (he popularized the terms extravert and introvert) informed Myers and Briggs while they developed their test, and his types further recognize distinct personality roles within each person: the Ego, extraverted Persona, inner mother and father, inner child, and so on. I love to categorize and organize, and so much of my time working in astrology and Jungian psychology is taken up with creating maps of corresponding titles, matching up symbols, and establishing synonyms between the two schools. See, I already did it above: sun sign as “I/Ego.” Further, I believe that ascendant signs correspond to Jung’s Persona, and moon signs to a person’s Unconscious.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that the Myers-Briggs index and an easily accessible off-brand version of it here, recognize a spectrum of “Information” personality characteristics directly related to Popescu’s article on beliefs.

Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

If your Sensing aspect is stronger, you may write off conspiracy theories as ridiculous, relying on observable facts proven by someone else to form your own belief. A person with a dominating Intuition faculty would be less likely to trust the establishment, relying on their inner experience over the words of others.

Exhibit A: Are you a Mulder or a Scully?

Diplomats and Analysts (70%, 71%, 27% and 56%, 71%, 22% agreeing on telepathy, undetected life-forms, and magic/spells, respectively)

“Highly unlikely, but not outside the realm of extreme possibility?” – Fox Mulder

Unsurprisingly, Diplomats and Analysts were the most likely Roles to agree with our three metaphysical questions. The Intuitive trait – the only one shared by all Diplomat and Analyst personality types – played the most significant role in responses for each question. Intuitive types were 18% more likely than Observant types to believe that people can communicate telepathically under certain circumstances, 21% more likely to believe that there are life-forms on Earth that evade detection, and 13% more likely to believe that some people can change the course of events through magic or spells.

My own personality results are conclusive: INFP-A.
That’s right, I’m a Mulder. B-)

Systemic Violence and Toxic Masculinity

After yet another horrific school shooting last month, an article from psychologist Michael C. Reichert addresses the underlying issues of systemic violence and toxic masculinity: Why men are gaslighting this celeb for suggesting ‘boys are broken’ in the wake of Florida shooting. In the article, Reichert mentions the White Ribbon Campaign, a nonprofit whose website proclaims: “Toxic masculinity hurts everyone. White ribbon is changing that.”

What does normative masculine socialization, built into boyhood, have to do with preventing violence? Boys first learn to assert themselves with aggression and even violence to “ward off or eliminate the feeling of shame and humiliation,” in the view of psychiatrist James Gilligan, author of Violence: Reflections on a National EpidemicThe problem is that from very early on boys contend with peer norms legitimizing meanness, putdowns, and domination. To survive, each boy learns to harden his heart, suppress natural feelings of empathy, and exhibit a public face meant to deter efforts to take advantage of any weakness. Violent men are not monsters, Gilligan argues, but become nearly unrecognizable as experiences of profound loss and violation degrade their humanity.

Boys are “broken” by the system. No one is born a killer, our culture creates them by withholding affection and encouraging emotional repression, disconnectedness, and egocentric, capitalist values.

But this morning, as I spend time with my toddler grandson, I cannot help noticing the warmth in his countenance, how alive he is, and how much faith he has in the goodness of the world. From my many years of listening to boys of all kinds, I know that each was once just like this. A commitment to ending violence requires us to do a better job at protecting such openness.

These themes are further discussed in books that I’ve mentioned here before, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by bell hooks, and How Can I Get Through to You? by Terrence Real. I’m also looking forward to reading James Gilligan’s Violence (mentioned above).

Communicating like a Grown-up

This article from Farnam Street tells the story of Carl Braun, a businessman who seems to understood the language of cooperation and respect. Gender roles in American society tend to encourage these language skills in women more than men. Though in my experience, women are encouraged to make more “concessions” than men.

Invite Acceptance
If we want our opinions or beliefs to be accepted, the worst thing that we can do is to press too hard for them, or to make a personal issue of them. Better not crowd for acceptance, but rather invite it. Better tender our advice with a softening  It seems to me. Or an It appears. Or a Perhaps. Or with some similar concession to the ideas of our listener. True, there are times when we must speak as authorities in no uncertain terms. Even then, reasonable humility is seldom amiss.

This can lead to the inward-turning criticism, lack of assertive boundary-enforcing, and low self-esteem that plague us. In contrast, men often lack the skill to recognize their own ego and the egos of other people, leading to insensitive and narcissistic interactions.

The most common narcissistic cognitive pattern I encounter in people of all ages and genders is the belief that people are not to be trusted. That for some reason, every action from any stranger or loved one is personal, speaks to the “evil” of mankind, and is taken as an affront to the “victim” (actually, the victim’s unrecognized ego).

Assume Good Motives
No matter how clear and fair a case may seem to us, somebody is apt to disagree. And this is good, for we need the stimulation of disagreement. Let’s question his information, his reasoning, his conclusions — but never his motives. If we start assuming or imputing ill motives, we lose all chance of influencing our listener. But even worse, we degrade ourselves.

I don’t want to live in a world where I “trust no one,” or believe that humans are intrinsically “bad,” in need of “saving.” So, by observing my own motives, I trust others’.

I would love to find one of Braun’s books; his advice is timeless.

Full Article

Happy Birthday Meher Baba!

💌The Avatar of the Age was born in Poona, India in 1894 at 5am.💌

The fact that God, being one, indivisible, and equally in us all, we can be nought else but one, is too much for the duality-conscious mind to accept. Yet each of us is what the other is.

Three Incredible Weeks with Meher Baba, pp. 1-12.