Liberation: An Advaita Approach to Being Free of Personality
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Excerpts from LIBERATION
Various teachers use various approaches (or various yogas) for guiding proteges to Realization and Liberation. Why? Because there are three types of learners: auditory, visual, and kinetic. Also, the three body types among humans call for different approaches for different persons. The first body type is contemplative while a second type is more active. The third type includes students or proteges who are driven to be vigorously active. A variety of approaches are justified as attempts are made to provide methods that take into account the variety among proteges and their varied learning methods.
FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality) is an approach that can work well with contemplative and analytical seekers. For those who are prone to action and who learn best by an action-based approach, the book LIBERATION (Attaining Freedom from Personality via Realization) offers specific actions that can taken by those seeking to be free.
Being Trapped in Personality vs. Being Realized and Free
Personality is (1) that which generates personas and (2) that which allows things to be taken personally.
A persona is an assumed social role or a character played by an actor, the term having been derived from the Latin word for "mask" or "character." Personas are all of the false identities that persons think define "who they are." In fact, they define everything that one is not.
"Taking anything personally" can only happen when a persona is assumed as a false identity and then takes offense at the words or actions of another when an assumed identity thinks that it is being hurt, interfered with, or threatened. What conclusion can be drawn from knowing that? All instances of feeling hurt, interfered with, threatened, fearful, desirous, miserable or in pain originate from assuming false identities and then wanting to defend or protect false identities. Therefore, to be free of feeling hurt, interfered with, threatened, fearful, desirous, miserable, in pain or defensive requires being free of personas...being free of the entrapment in personality.
Thousands of personas are assumed by persons: husband, lover, homeowner, employee, employer, wife, son, ad infinitum; however, as a result of genetics and environment and other factors, all persons develop one dominate persona while assuming scores of others. Often, that dominant persona is overlaid onto (or combined with) all other assumed roles.
Only nine primary personality types exist, and since persons become most driven by their type, most separated from Self by that type, and most absorbed in "self" via that type, then the "journey" to liberation can begin with an effort to be rid of the influence of the dominate personality type. Then the secondary types and personas might be abandoned more easily.
Why Understand Personality Types?
Psychotherapist Marie Lachney explains it this way: "You may as well learn all that you can about your primary personality type as well as the related types that influence you. For most people, it will determine everything they do and everything they feel during their entire lives. Only a small percentage will ever be liberated from the dominance of personality."
Of course each individual is "unique," but unless people understand the way that personality type dictates behavior, then they will never fully understand why they do the things they do and why they feel the way they feel. Nor can they understand why others do the things they do and why they feel the way they feel-which can be quite different from person to person-depending on personality type. Nor can they ever break free of unconscious influences.
Early in life, we learned to feel safe (and to cope with unhealthy family situations and circumstances) by developing a strategy based on natural talents, genetics, and abilities.
Personality's Power over Behavior and Feelings
People of the same type have the same basic motivations, the same basic liabilities and assets, and the same basic view of the world in some fundamentally similar ways. It's almost "textbook" the way people demonstrate the exact traits of their type. It is amazing to see how infrequently people choose to do the things they do and how often they are predisposed to certain behavioral patterns. (When you add programming, conditioning, acculturation, and the effects of trauma to the mix, "free will" and "choice" become reduced to the level of theory.)
The Benefits of Knowing and Understanding Your Type
This understanding can provide release, if not comfort, in knowing that millions of people who share your personality type have the same coping strategy as you and have done exactly what you did when faced with the same circumstances. But by understanding personality, millions have also been able to say, "Oh my gosh! So that's why I do what I do!" and then they have become free of the overwhelming influence of personality which has unconsciously driven them. At some level, "That's totally insane" can give way to "That's perfectly understandable, all things considered." Blame and guilt and anger directed at self can end and a shift toward sanity can begin.
The more persons sees the insanity of being driven by personality, the more receptive they might become to considering the "path" to Realization in order to attain freedom from personality via that "journey" and thereby allow Full Liberation to happen.
To find your actual type, how that type drives most persons' thought and words and actions, what your type's assets and liabilities are, what type you will be most compatible with, and a wealth of other information, visit
What is the Enneagram and What Are the Nine Personality Types?
In geometry, the enneagram is a star polygon with nine sides. In psychology or philosophy or sociology, it is a means for studying the nine basic personality types that have been recognized for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The personality types are plotted on an enneagram structure in order to illustrate how they interact and interplay.
Some believe that the Sufis first used the tool in the Middle East hundreds of years ago. Others believe that the roots can be traced to the Far East and were transmitted orally even thousands of years ago. The former is the more popular theory.
It is known that the modern use of the enneagram can be traced to the Russian teacher Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff in the 1920's. The tool has found widespread used in the U.S. since the 1960's.
More significantly as far as the pointers in this book are concerned, it is just that...simply a tool. The tool can be used to understand the forces that drive persons to do the things they do and to feel the way they feel. It can also be used to promote understanding of others and their behavior and also to catalogue the disintegration of persons who move downward from the stages where they can function in society through the declining
stages and into the dysfunctional stages. It can also provide a series of actions that can be taken to "undo" that process and return to a stage where one can be functional or even totally liberated via Realization.
As noted, the nine types (and their interactions with each other) are typically illustrated by use of a star polygon. [See front cover]
For the purposes of this study, little information will be offered to explain the ways that the types adjacent to your own type influences behavior or the way that other types connected by lines to your own can affect your conduct. Much information is available on the web if you are interested in those other aspects.
Traits, "Assets," and "Liabilities" among the Nine Personality Types
[TYPES 2, 3 AND 4 ARE CENTERED IN THE HEART, IN FEELINGS, IN IMAGE]
WHEN HEALTHY: Demonstrative, Sensitive, and Generous. WHEN NOT: People-Pleasing, Martyr-like, Manipulative, Hysterical, and Possessive.
THE ACHIEVER / THE PERFORMER
WHEN HEALTHY: Adaptive, Energetic, Optimistic, Assured, Excelling, Goal-Oriented, Driven. WHEN NOT: Image-Conscious, Vile-Tongued, Narcissistic, Pretentious, Vain, Superficial, Vindictive and Overly-Competitive.
THE INDIVIDUALIST / THE ROMANTICIST
WHEN HEALTHY: Expressive, Strong Feelings, Warm, Dramatic, and Perceptive. WHEN NOT: Self-Absorbed, Depressed, Guilt-Ridden, Moralistic, Isolationistic, Stubborn, Moody, and Temperamental
[TYPES 5, 6 AND 7 ARE CENTERED IN THE HEAD, IN THINKING, IN FEARS]
THE INVESTIGATOR / THE OBSERVER
WHEN HEALTHY: Analytical, Persevering, Wise, Objective, Perceptive, and Innovative. WHEN NOT: Secretive, Intellectually-Arrogant, Stingy, Distant, Critical, Unassertive, and Negative.
THE LOYALIST / THE QUESTIONER
WHEN HEALTHY: Engaging, Responsible, Loyal, Caring, Compassionate, and Practical. WHEN NOT: Anxious, Suspicious, Controlling, Unpredictable, Paranoid, Defensive, Rigid, and Self-Defeating.
THE ENTHUSIAST / THE ADVENTURER
WHEN HEALTHY: Spontaneous, Energetic, Optimistic, Versatile, and Lively. WHEN NOT: Distracted, Scattered, Impulsive, Histrionic, Undisciplined, Self-Destructive, and Restless.
[TYPES 8, 9 AND 1 ARE CENTERED IN THE GUT, IN INSTINCTS, IN ANGER
THE CHALLENGER / THE ASSERTER / THE BOSS
WHEN HEALTHY: Self-Confident, Direct, Self-Reliant, and Decisive. WHEN NOT: Willful, Confrontational, Controlling, Domineering, Aggressive, and Self-Centered.
WHEN HEALTHY: Receptive, Good-Natured, Reassuring, and Agreeable. WHEN NOT: Passive-Aggressive, Complacent, Lazy, Spaced Out, Obsessive, Judgmental, and Users with a Sense of Entitlement.
WHEN HEALTHY: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, Realistic, Conscientious, Productive, Honest, Orderly, and Self-Disciplined. WHEN NOT: Extremely Perfectionistic, Judgmental, Inflexible, Dogmatic, Obsessive-Compulsive, Critical, Overly-Serious, Anxious, and Jealous.
If you notice that all nine types are centered in some areas that are not especially conducive to being at peace and at ease (IMAGE, FEAR, OR ANGER) then one can understand the rationale behind the statement that:
THE LESS WE ARE INFLUENCED OR DRIVEN BY PERSONALITY, PERSONAS, EGO, or EGO-STATES, THEN THE GREATER CHANCE WE HAVE OF BECOMING TRULY FREE AND TRULY HAPPY; ADDITIONALLY, IT CAN ALSO BE SAID THAT THOSE WHO ARE HEALTHY AND INTEGRATING CAN EXHIBIT "THE BEST" OF ALL NINE TYPES AND THOSE WHO ARE UNHEALTHY AND DISINTEGRATING CAN EXHIBIT "THE WORST" OF ALL NINE TYPES.
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The "Key" for the discussion of "National Personality Traits / Styles" discussed in the book "GOING CRAZY / GOING SANE" follows:
Country / Countries #1: England is Country #1, but because of that country's history of global conquest and colonialism (controlling at one point 40% of the populations and occupied lands on the planet), their traits were exported and imposed on people around the globe for centuries and can also be observed now by people in those countries where British "subjects" adapted to the white, Anglo-Saxon values and traits of those occupying their lands, including but not limited to many parts of Africa, and especially South Africa; the British Caribbean Islands; British India and Pakistan and Singapore and Hong Kong; parts of Canada; the eastern part of the U.S., and the many other nations that made up what the British called "The Commonwealth" or "The British Empire."
Additionally, there are nations in which their citizens exhibit many of the same traits as the English. Because the Anglo-Saxons, Germans, and Teutonics and others developed from a common lineage, they often exhibit the same characteristics and traits. ("England" was derived from the term "Angleland," a name applied for a time after those Germans occupied the island.) The same "British-style" personality traits are also often observable among the Swiss, The Dutch, The Austrians, and The Scandinavians. There is a 1:1 correlation which can be observed with considerable frequency around the globe in regards to weather type and personality type: in areas with colder climates, colder traits develop; in areas with warmer climates, warmer traits develop.
Country # 2 is Japan
Country # 3 is Germany
Country # 4 is the U.S.
Country # 5 is Italy
Country # 6 is France
Country # 7 is China
Notice also how often common traits are shared by The Germans, The British, and / or the "Americans."
Is that an accident? Hardly. The Aryans marauded lands in the east but many later settled in what is known now as Germany where some came to be known as Angles or Saxons. They invaded what is now called Great Britain where the population's roots are actually Germanic. (The presently-ruling "House of Windsor" was a name that was adopted to replace that family's actual Germanic name - "The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" - the belief being that "Windsor" SOUNDED English and would help the ruling family distance itself from its actual Germanic roots after the Germans' warlike actions rendered them unpopular around the globe).
The British / Germanics also eventually invaded another land to the west and took control of what was known as "The British Colonies," now known as the Eastern United States.
In many respects, these are all one people: White / Anglo-Saxon / Aryan / Teutonic / Germanics; of course, then, they often exhibit the same traits. (One can also include the Northern Europeans as well as the Dutch, the Swiss, and the Austrians because their cultures are so similar to that of white Anglo-Saxons.) Note the traits they all share in common:
Exhibit self-doubt (thus, lacks the confidence to open up, to be close, to express Love)
Reactive / Excessive ("You attack us once, we'll attack you one-thousand fold")
Vacillate between a need for closeness and a need for distance, so often unpredictable and unstable
Insist on personal space and non-interference
Manipulate by staying preoccupied with ideas and projects and by detaching emotionally from others
Manipulate by complaining and by testing others' commitment to them
Insist on postponing the making of commitments
Manipulate by staying upbeat and hyperactive
Insist that others meet their demands for gratification
Insist on maintaining control of others
Manipulate by dominating others
Demand that others do as they say
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