Category Archives: Psychology

The Square of Epictetus

Here is a nice two-by-two matrix by engineer David E. Goldberg derived from the stoic philosophy of Epictetus. For each and every concern, it’s the cross product of one’s Activity (control vs. no control) and State of Mind (concerned vs. not concerned). And so we have the four combinations:

  • Concerned with Control: Accomplishment
  • Unconcerned with Control: Forgone Opportunity
  • Concerned but No Control: Needless Worry
  • Unconcerned and No Control: Peace of Mind

Of course the key is to dwell within the positive Accomplishment and Peace of Mind regions, and not to inhabit the negative ones of Needless Worry and Forgone Opportunity.

Further Reading:

http://entrepreneurialengineer.blogspot.com/2006/11/square-of-epictetus.html

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141007110433-722904-worry-less-accomplish-more/

More Accomplishment, Less Worry: Follow the Epictetus Square

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epictetus/

Epictetus

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The Four Tendencies

In a new spin on the four temperaments, here is a book that describes four “tendencies” for personality profiles, based on meeting or resisting inner and outer expectations.

  • Upholders: Meets inner expectations, meets outer expectations
  • Obligers: Resists inner expectations, meets outer expectations
  • Inquirers: Meets inner expectations, resists outer expectations (Questioners)
  • Dissenters: Resists inner expectations, resists outer expectations (Rebels)

Further Reading:

Gretchen Rubin / The Four Tendencies: the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better

The Four Tendencies Quiz

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_temperaments

Two Factor Models of Personality

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Who Do You Love?

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

— From Who Do You Love by Bo Diddley

The constituents of this list had pretty much congealed in my mind when I ran across information on the eight kinds of love. I thought that in this difficult time it might be useful to consider what is most important by examining all the people and all the things one can love as well as their myriad ramifications. Indeed, love may be the most considered and talked about emotion. Might one even say it is at the root of all of human action?

I know that in order to substantiate my claims I should justify these particular selections by comparing and contrasting them with each other, or to show their association to the eight kinds of love, and to do both would be a worthwhile effort. If I just show my diagram and my little list no one will think much of it. I could say I would return later but we all know how I tend to be distracted by the next bright shiny thing.

At the very least I could do some research, or do some hard thinking about why I’ve chosen these particular eight. I’m not sure if such diligence will reap any benefits but all one can do is try their best. So therefore I invite you to continue reading and perhaps you will be enlightened or perhaps you will be disappointed by what I say in the following analysis, if it even manages to appear at all.

I see that there are some modern analyses of love like Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, based on concepts of passion, intimacy, and commitment. This theory seems to be devoted to interpersonal relationships but maybe so is the Greek Eight types. But I’m thinking of love in a broader sense than just interpersonal, although maybe that doesn’t agree with certain definitions of love.

Love doesn’t have to reciprocated, of course, or directed towards another loving entity. For example, Agape is love of humanity in general, but humanity in general cannot return one’s love. One can also love negative things, like hate, or strife, or friction, and some even make a career out of it. But I’m going to leave that out for now. Alas, my interest has waned on this post and so I will have to try again at a later time.

  • Love of Self
  • Love of Leader
  • Love of Group
  • Love of Other
  • Love of Nature
  • Love of Ideas
  • Love of Gods
  • Love of Things

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Do_You_Love%3F_(Bo_Diddley_song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_theory_of_love

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Love

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Philosophy_of_love

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The Eight Kinds of Love

There are several mentions of eight types of love purportedly discussed by the ancient Greeks, but I’m short on the actual references.

In no particular order:

  • Agape: unconditional love
  • Eros: romantic love
  • Philia: affectionate love
  • Philautia: self love
  • Storge: familiar love
  • Pragma: enduring love
  • Ludus: playful love
  • Mania: obsessive love

I had an earlier post on The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis, but now I see that he just left out half of them for some reason. Missing are Philautia, Pragma, Ludus, and Mania, which seem important, but since I haven’t read the book, I don’t know his reasons.

Further Reading:

https://lonerwolf.com/different-types-of-love/

https://www.lifehack.org/816195/types-of-love

https://www.ftd.com/blog/give/types-of-love

https://www.organicauthority.com/energetic-health/learn-the-8-types-of-love-according-to-the-ancient-greeks

8 Types of Love – Which One Are You?

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The Four Philosophy Ensemble

A woman came up to me and said
“I’d like to poison your mind
With wrong ideas that appeal to you
Though I am not unkind”
She looked at me, I looked at something
Written across her scalp
And these are the words that it faintly said
As I tried to call for help…

— From Whistling in the Dark, by They Might Be Giants

  • The Cynic
  • The Realist
  • The Optimist
  • The Apathetic

Further Reading:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FourPhilosophyEnsemble

The Utopian vs. the Dystopian

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_(They_Might_Be_Giants_album)

https://genius.com/They-might-be-giants-whistling-in-the-dark-lyrics

Notes:

Since these pair up nicely (Realism and Apathy, Optimism and Cynicism), perhaps one could combine them as Optimistic Realism, Optimistic Apathy, Cynical Realism, Cynical Apathy.

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Carl Jung’s Alchemical Tetrameria

Jung’s diagram of his alchemical tetrameria is supposed to represent the evolving self, and suggests movement, succession, and change and yet stillness, consistency, and renewal. His own diagram is quite different from mine, but I do think that mine has some merit.

What are those elements A, B, C, D, and a, b, c, d, and the subscripts 1, 2, 3, 4, indicating the modification of them? I’m not quite sure that it matters, except that for the relationships between the two, and the relationships between the four squares, and the relationships between the four parts of the four squares.

In Jung’s diagram, A equals a cycle of a, b, c, and d, and likewise B a cycle of a1, b1, c1, and d1, etc., and so we can instead say A is a cycle of Aa, Ab, Ac, and Ad, and likewise B is a cycle of Ba, Bb, Bc, and Bd, etc. In that sense my diagram denotes much the same as Jung’s.

Nevertheless, I’m going to have to cycle through some more thoughts about why one should spend too much time contemplating this diagram.

Further Reading:

https://elements.spiritalchemy.com/t3-Ch3.html

http://finitegeometry.org/sc/ph/imago.html

http://www.log24.com/philo/Jung/Aion14.html

Murray Stein / Jung’s Map of the Soul: an introduction

Leslie Stein / Becoming Whole: Jung’s equation for realizing God

Carl Jung / Aion

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The Utopian vs. the Dystopian

Crime. Pollution. War. Climate change. Corruption. Lies. Overwhelming, isn’t it?

It’s easy to be cynical these days. Reading the newspaper or watching the news on television informs us all of the myriad ways the country and the world are going down the tubes. And watching your favorite entertainments on your beloved media devices shows you all sorts of dystopian futures and worst case scenarios that you’d rather not be in the middle of in a few years time.

It’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to feel disenfranchised and helpless by the onslaught of problems that we are facing every day, every week and every year. It’s hard enough to manage our own issues and get through the day without feeling like we’ve lost ground to disorder and entropy. It’s hard to be happy about a future that will be hardly worth catching up to, a future less happy and less hopeful than we thought we had earned and even deserved.

Utopianism is out, and Dystopianism is in. Nobody seems to want to hear about bright and shiny possibilities for everybody. It’s either pie-in-the-sky or it’s flat-out impossible. Human nature and economics collude to block us from hoping for better days, for a sustainable progress in our quality of living, learning, and planning. No words to the contrary, because that’s not being “realistic” of how the world works, or how it is run. All we can do is wait for ruination.

Happy reading and watching!

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopian_and_dystopian_fiction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_Now

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The Interpersonal Circumplex

May I have your attention please. The following citizens have been declared unmutual: Number 6.”

— From the TV show The Prisoner

Here we have another diagram based on the work of Timothy Leary (the other being the Eight Circuit Model of Consciousness), a simple chart defined by two axes. The vertical axis is currently and commonly thought of as agency (as well as power, control, assertiveness, and dominance) and the horizontal axis as communion (as well as love, agreeableness, friendliness, and affiliation).

The diagram is usually shown with concentric circles centered on the intersection of the axes, inviting continuous twofold measurements and plotting for the factors of dominance and affiliation. Thus it allows comparisons for the different quantified interactions of individuals within a group, perhaps as a metric for social cohesion and its opposite, fragmentation.

It is quite similar to the scheme for CM/CR (Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution), except that the Interpersonal Circumplex (IC) is a tool for understanding psychological and sociological behavior and traits, and CM/CR is apparently more often used in the business and political world. The IC also has commonalities with Grid-Group Cultural Theory, a notion used in sociological studies.

I first ran across something very much like the IC in Anthony Stevens’s “Ariadne’s Clue,” being used as a model for mythological solidarity and divergence. However, Leary is not credited but instead the primate studies of Chance and Jolly (1970) are cited for their work in intimidation and attraction, or agonic and hedonic modes of attention and interaction.

I would think that the IC could be used effectively to analyze the sorry state of politics in these “United States”, as domination and affiliation play their tug-of-war for superiority. I see some interesting papers by Kenneth Locke (2013), and of course I’m also thinking of the political work of George Lakoff as well, but I don’t see any use of the circumflex for Lakoff’s work.

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpersonal_circumplex

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Leary

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5045262/

https://psychology.wikia.org/wiki/Interpersonal_circumplex

John M. Oldham, Andrew E. Skodol, Donna S. Bender (eds.) / The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Personality Disorders

Christopher J. Hopwood, Abby L Mulay, Mark H Waugh (eds.) / The DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorders: Integrating Multiple …

Anthony Stevens / Ariadne’s Clue: a guide to the symbols of mankind (1998)

M. R. A. Chance and C. Jolly / Social Groups of Monkeys, Apes, and Men (1970)

Kenneth D. Locke / Circumplex Scales of Intergroup Goals: An Interpersonal Circle Model of Goals for Interactions Between Groups
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167213514280

Images of the Interpersonal Circumplex:
https://www.google.com/search?q=interpersonal+circumplex&client&tbm=isch

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2019/07/19/conflict-management-and-conflict-resolution/

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2019/08/19/grid-group-cultural-theory-v2/

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2019/02/07/the-eight-circuit-model-of-consciousness/

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The Twelve Houses of the Zodiac

How does one circumscribe the totality of human experience, both for the individual as well as for culture? One of the oldest ways is the twelvefold division of the Houses of the Zodiac, which may have its origins in Babylon. Other similar systems were used in India, China, Europe, etc. In my diagram above I’m using Latin numerals along with the Latin names of the houses.

For Western Astrology, four groups of three houses are divided by the four classical elements and then into triplicities (from Wikipedia):

  • Fire : Identity (I, V, IX)
  • Earth : Material (II, VI, X)
  • Air : Social and intellectual (III, VII, XI)
  • Water : Soul and Emotional (IV, VIII, XII)

And somewhat similarly for India, the divisions of Vedic Astrology are broken into four Bhavas or “needs” (from Wikipedia):

  • Dharma : (Duty) The need to find our path and purpose
  • Artha : (Resources) The need to acquire the necessary resources and abilities to provide for ourselves to fulfill our path and purpose
  • Kama : (Pleasure) The need for pleasure and enjoyment
  • Moksha : (Liberation) The need to find liberation and enlightenment from the world

There are more recent and scientific divisions of human universals, such as those by George Murdock, Robin Fox, and Donald Brown, as mentioned by Jungian analyst Anthony Stevens in his book “Archetype Revisited”. These are also grouped into four categories (from Wikipedia):

  • Language and cognition
  • Technology
  • Society
  • Beliefs

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_(astrology)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_astrology

https://www.dimension1111.com/astrology-the-houses.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_universal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Stevens_(Jungian_analyst)

Anthony Stevens / Ariadne’s Clue: a guide to the symbols of mankind

Note that John Crowley’s “AEypgt Quartet” uses the Latin names of the Houses as “books”, three to a volume.

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2013/12/20/aegypt/

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You Are What

Identity, simplified? Pop psychology? Truth by Google search suggestion? Go to http://www.google.com and type in “you are what you”.

Further Reading:

https://www.blog.google/products/search/how-google-autocomplete-works-search/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Are_What_You

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