Hunziker, Depth Typology: C.G. Jung, Isabel Myers, John Beebe and the Guide Map to Becoming Who We Are
Write Way Publishing Company, © Mark Hunziker, 2016
Right as Beebe finally publishes his first volume on specifically his eight function model, Mark Hunziker, who had briefly mentioned the model in his earlier Building Blocks of Type (and on his “VTWellness” page) comes out with his own book largely on Beebe’s model. While Beebe’s book is given a June 17 publishing date (on Amazon, at least) Hunziker is listed at July 30. Still, he mentions Beebe’s book as not out yet, at least at the time of writing. In any case, this really makes a great primer for Beebe’s model and thus his book, and for anyone really not familiar with it, they should read this one first!
He starts out (chapter 1) introducing the concept of “Depth Typology”, which is basically the name of this whole, extended theory, completed by Beebe’s model. Its root, of course, is Jung’s “psychological type” theory published in 1921. He points out “Until now, the scope of typology was limited to the conscious side of the psyche”, represented by “the first four functions” or “ego-dystonic” or “primary” stack in the older four-process model. Myer’s “focus was on the conscious side, so she did not speculate about how the framework and dynamics of type might apply to the unconscious”. (Kindle location 553; no “page” numbers available at all for some reason). I note, that to them, the inferior represented the unconscious or “shadow”, even though it has now been placed, technically, on the “conscious” side.
Chapter 2 goes into the development of our sense of “science” and its “assumptions”, based on “the Cartesian World View” of the Newtonian universe, which is “materialistic”, consisting of “objects” which exert influence on other objects, which is what we base our notion of “reality” on. The more accurate view, citing researcher Valerie Hunt, is that the reality of the world “likes in fields which interact with other fields of energy” (in “dynamic chaos patterns that are always evolving to higher levels of complexity”). Also mentioned, as part of “the new sciences”, is “reductionism”. “The great reluctance of scientists to deal with subjective phenomena is part of our Cartesian heritage. Descartes’ fundamental division between mind and matter, between the ‘I’ and the world, had us believing that the world could accurately described without ever taking the human participant/observer into account.” This became the “ideal of all science”. Yet particle physics is one thing calling this into question!
He goes on to discus “systems theory”, and then “Me and not-Me”; the latter, what our theory here (of “consciousness”) is founded upon. “It seems to me that the ‘Me versus Other’ conundrum is at the heart of most of the personal and social dysfunction in our ego-centric modern culture. (#859) Continuing in this “”without/within” division, citing Wheatley & Kellner-Rogers, “We cannot stand outside a system as an objective distant director. There is no objective ground to stand anywhere in the entire universe”. This is basically something Einstein’s “Relativity” taught us, or should have taught us!
(The next section is on a “higher power”, though it’s pretty vague, and basically in terms of “a holistic process of physical/psychological/spiritual human evolution”_)
In “Depth Typology in the New Cosmos”, “Jung envisioned a psychological system in which the Conscious and Unconscious are as real—and as illusory—as the empirical and transcendental realities they reflect. Consciousness is best adapted to processing and coping with the empirical experience of our day-to-day lives; unconsciousness has a greater capacity for connecting to the intangible background reality. Specifically, it is the Collective Unconscious that maintains an awareness of the energic reality around and within us. This awareness is represented to our conscious awareness through the metaphysical feeling-toned-idea imagery that we call archetypes”.
He then discusses the “self-invented ‘I'”.
Similar to trying to swim across a powerful river, “psychology, including typology, is a matter of attention to the subtle energies at work in us, around us, and upon us, rather than about bolstering our defenses against them. It’s about understanding and feeling what we can and facing and embracing what we can’t. It’s about cooperating and collaborating with forces vastly more powerful than ourselves rather than attempting to control them. Ultimately, our psychological mandate is to grow into who we can be rather than defending who we think we are”. The part of our psyche that knows “the rest of the story”—that knows of the reality of our environment and our Selves and remembers the time-tested wisdom accrued by our ancestors—is mostly unconscious.” (#1029) The goal then is to “integrate” the input of the unconscious. Beebe’s model aids this, by addressing those “other four” functions for each type, usually left out of common four-process discussions.
Chapter 3 is “Psychological Type: Evolution of the Model. This covers Jung’s story, basically. We see that “Psychological type itself grew out of his effort to investigate that the differences between his theories and Freud’s and Adler’s might be explained by the three men’s subjective biases“. Recall, as we saw in the Beebe review, to Freud, “the study of the unconscious could only be accomplished rationally through a dialectic of thinking and feeling” (where Jung was using intuition). As we’ve seen in Beebe writings, Jung types Freud as what we would call an INFP, with evidences of “demonic Ti” in the way he named psychological categories. Adler (whose theory included “four styles of life” based on a expressive/responsive-style matrix similar to Interaction styles or DISC), was IIRC, said to be ISTJ. Jung would also see these different types of consciousness in his clients.
At location 1151, he points out that testing out his empirical observations is what led Jung to “incorporate disparate ancient religious, mythological and philosophical texts”, traveling across the world to African, Asian and Native American traditions, and of course incorporating alchemy, as well as theoretical physicists.
This of course would explain why he seems so “pagan”, particularly to Christians, who are often wary of him (I’ve pointed out that the Christian temperament theorists I entered the field through, Arno and LaHaye, don’t even mention Jung, —though LaHaye did briefly in passing mention the four functions as suggested comparative “temperament” categories). When mentioning him to Christians, I try to argue that I’m not so sure how literal his “spiritual” lingo is to be taken; like if he really believed that stuff, like a religion. Being an introverted iNtuitive as it is, the language is often cryptic and hard to know how literally to be taken. Though one person I’ve discussed this with does mention that he did seances. Still, I don’t know if he really believed in it, or was just using it for his studies of these things.
He also mentions “the legacy” of Jung, as embodied in both his own (with Leona Haas), as well as Berens’ models. Two of the principles he then lists (#1251) is that
•”the healthy psychic system is balanced in every aspect [i.e. i/e and j/p] and contains mechanisms of compensation and growth to maintain or regain that dynamic equilibrium”
•”It is the tension between opposites that pulls us toward balance and toward growth”.
Next section is Myers’ and Briggs’ Contributions, which explains the rationale for their readaptation of Jung’s system. The difference between the functions and attitudes are more obvious than the difference between the particular attitudes of the functions, and since identifying the basic preferences was the goal, the increased simplicity and clarity of their instrument was more desired.
This then brings us to Beebe and the “depth” he “brings to the model”, by reintroducing the function-attitudes, extending the hierarchy to all eight of them for each type, adding the archetypes (“fields of emotional energies“) and “axes” of compensatory pairs of functions and archetypes.
“No one before Beebe had ventured to extend the map of typology beyond the inferior (4th) function-attitude, the ‘gateway to the unconscious'”. We also see Jung even expressed skepticism about the possibility of doing so, since he assumed the unconscious portion of the personality cannot be grasped cognitively. No wonder everyone shied away from “the bottom four”!
He reiterates the point I had always cited in Building Blocks, that the sequence of development does not necessarily follow the “linear hierarchy”. “It is more accurate and useful to think of each function-attitude as being integrated with ego to the degree that it is conscious, while at the same time, it will have a shadowy and independent nature to the degree that it’s unconcious” (#1395).
Chapter 4 is “Key Terms and Concepts”, such as “personality” and “consciousness”, and the definition of the “ego”. It’s pointed out that “even when we can’t ‘prove’ the existence of something or agree on all the details of its nature, we can still use it as a theoretical construct to aid in our understanding and promote our investigations.”(#1538). It’s later established that “it is the dominant and auxiliary function-attitudes that form the typological core of the ego of most adults”. Also mentioned here is Western society, and its extraverted Thinking “ego-stance”.
In the discussion of the Persona, we get a good example of an undifferentiated function:
For someone who has not fully developed her extraverted feeling function into conscious accessibility, promoting a harmonious environment ill not actually be a major consideration in her egoteam’s decision-making process. But she still may be able to slip on an Fe mask temporarily, conscientiously attending, for example, to the needs and emotional wellbeing of her guests when hosting a party. Likewise, someone who has not differentiated his extraverted intuition into routine consciousness use won’t normally think about future possibilities though he can still participate n a conversation about the likely consequences of an action that’s being considered. (#1706)
Next is the discussion of the unconscious, whose content is “based on the unfiltered raw data of experience and the human condition, which the ego filters “based on what is comfortable and acceptable to us. It is limited to the emotions we are willing to admit to ourselves that we feel, the thoughts that we deem okay to think, acceptable behavior, what fits with our belief system, our cultural/social/moral constraints, what ‘makes sense’ to us, and who we conceive ourselves to be”. So the unconscious part of the psyche “continues to work behind the scenes to attempt to balance the biases and blind spots of the ego”. Without a framework for embracing this, “modern man is rarely prepared to integrate it in healthy ways”. (#1774)
This gets into discussion of the collective unconscious, which is “the part of us where we are psychologically indistinguishable from one another. Jung also entertained the possibility that the source material and nature of the collective unconscious may extend beyond humankind, tot he laws of basic nature, the repeating patterns of the universe itself, to what quantum physicists often refer to as the ‘source field’ and philosophers call the ‘universal substrate'”.
We also along the way see the function-attitudes described in terms of “mental processes that we have not developed into conscious ‘skillsets'”. Again, the functions themselves are “forms of consciousness”, where I think it is better to focus on the complexes or “ego-states”, which are the personalized “archetypes” themselves, as the “lesser senses of ‘I'” to form awareness (of which the ego itself is one).
Then, “projection” and “shadow”, which is “the personification of” and “an active manifestation of certain unconscious contents [which could be added to the ego complex, but for various reasons are not], not the unconscious itself” (#1908), as it is often described as. Where repeated is the point that any unconscious function can be considered part of the shadow, “it is the predictably oppositional, shadowy nature of the ego-dystonic function-attitude-archetypes that earns them the designation of “the Shadow” in the depth typology lexicon”. (#1939) Also, “trying to deal with our shadow directly simply doesn’t work. Everyone’s notion of such an interaction is formed by their ego—and it is precisely that ego stance tho which the shadow is usually reacting”.
Under “Ego-syntonic and Ego-dystonic, it’s pointed out that the simple labeling of the “ego syntonic” half as “conscious” and the ego-dystonic half as “unconscious”(or at least “relatively” so) is misleading, as a gross oversimplification. All are partly conscious and unconscious, and the mix varies from person to person. The ego-syntonic functions are simply “congruous with each other, and therefore with one’s sense of ‘who I am’. They may contradict and battle with each other at times, but they are still on the same team”.
Regarding the ego-dystonic functions:
Because of their incompatibility with the orientation of the ego, the egodystonic function-attitudes can rarely, if ever, be truly integrated with the conscious side of the personality, no matter how well ‘developed’ they may become. In fact, “development” of the ego-dystonic FAs is usually more a matter of accepting their limitations and their primitive, archetypal nature and cultivating our ability to roughly translate their messages while we struggle to use the associated practical skills that would naturally become well-honed if those function-attitudes were well developed.
Archetypal energies “carry” each function-attitude to the degree that the FA is unconscious; a function-attitude that we can engage consciously can be used relatively free of the archetype that carries it when unconscious…freer of the associations and emotional colorings of the archetypes. (#1974, emphasis added)
It’s then mentioned how Jung seemed to engage both extraverted and introverted Thinking, “Hence, the endless debate about whether he was an INTJ or an INTP”. Yet, “if you look closely”, Jung’s use of Ti “always seemed somewhat tortured and convoluted, and a bit tinged with the didactic tone of the Senex archetype”. This is perhaps why I and some others find him so hard to digest!
From a personal communication between him and Beebe, the ego-dystonic functions are portrayed “They work, as do all functions, to support the wellbeing of the entire psyche—trying to compensate for the imbalance of an ego-dominated personality”. This gets into the question of whether the lower archetypes are dispatched by the ego (As “defenses”, as is mentioned here, or rather the Self, as I will address again). So they are almost always “heavily laden with the primitive emotional energies of their associated archetypal complexes”. So it’s the “emotional tone” that will be easier to recognize when they appear.
The chapter concludes with a discussion of the Self, the archetypal complex of “wholeness” or “the true Me”.
Chapter 5 is “Individuation, Differentiation and Type Development”. Cited is Jungs’ definition of “individuation” as “the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology”. Later, Beebe’s eight function model is pictured as making the model of psychological type fully capable of encompassing the concept of individuation. (It’s then reiterated from a quote of Jung, that this process will be essentially short-circuited by “conscious intention”, because of the “typological attitude that excludes whatever does not fit in with it”. So this, on its own “can never be more than an attempt to better understand and pick up some coping tricks and an opportunity to practice some unfamiliar skills…and emulate function-attitudes that remain essentially as unconscious as ever. It does not create a fundamental shift in that ego standpoint, which is what individuation is all about.” (#2285)
Also discussed is how “differentiation” means functions being separated from the other functions (whether the “natural” ones, that is; S, N, T, F, or the two attitudes of a particular function). It’s pointed out that to bring one function-attitude into consciousness will involve some differentiation of the opposite attitude, even though one will be four places lower from the other in the stack. But the lower one, not so much that it is developed “into skillfull, conscious use or cleanly separated from the unconscious”. There will be an “energic readiness” to to engage the [“natural”] function in general, but one of the attitudes will be honed in and relied on more, as it will be more successful.
Now we enter Part II, on “Beebe’s Depth Typology Model”. Chapter 6 is on “the Function-Attitudes”. This begins with the basic definitions of the four “natural” functions, and then moves into the specific “attitudes”. The unconscious ones “don’t behave in the clear, skillset-related ways that we have learned to identify”. They’re more like “primitive predecessors”.
This, I point out for Fi (which is tertiary or lower for the Thinking types teaching the models, and thus often colored by that “primitive” form) would be the “screw everyone else; only what I feel/value matters” often described. But if you read FP type profiles (where it is dominant or auxiliary, and thus developed into its most “mature” form), you can see the evidence of a completely different manifestation; of using that “selfish” feeling to “put yourself into the other person’s shoes” and thus infer their needs or wants, and thus “respond to them” just as much as an extraverted Feeling type. (Hunziker soon mentions that “they would not tend to try to win others over to their point of view” —as some assumptions of the functions imply, though, again, this is more likely the TJ types’ less developed form of it. “They’d often go along with what they assume to be others’ deeply held convictions—as long as their own are not violated”). So it often leads to the opposite of “selfishness”, in them going along with people against their [lesser] wishes or values. (basically the “Supine” or even “Sanguine” ‘weak will’, since the FP types comprise those temperaments).
Next is “The Sequence of the Eight Function-Attitudes”. Starting with just the first four commonly discussed, with no one attempting to explain how the other four fit in, “because the focus of MBTI users was on the issues of the ego-syntonic side of personality, the incompleteness of this picture was not considered problematic, indeed it was hardly even noticed”. (#2581)
Next is discussed how the order is based on the need of “balance”. The tertiary was believed to be the same attitude as the auxiliary and inferior (the opposite of the dominant, to basically counter the “powerful dominant function-attitude” with “the collective weight of all three” of the others. But Beebe’s view forms a more elegant, and more plausible balance. What wasn’t thought of, was that if #2, 3 and 4 had to balance the dominant with an opposite attitude, then their shadows, #6, 7 and 8 would end up the same attitude as the dominant. How would the “shadow” end up so in sync with the dominant?
Of course, it should really be pointed out that the people disputing the orientation of the tertiary were likely not thinking strictly in terms of solid “function-attitude” units like we do, but thinking of the “natural” functions separately from the two attitudes. So you stack S, N, T, F for each type, and then ask which attitude each function bears, separately. Whatever the dominant one was, the other three would be opposite (or maybe the tertiary, the same as the dominant). The “other four” were really the “other attitude” of these same four, and not anything stacked separately from them.
In this juncture, we get another clarification of something we’ve heard Beebe cited on before, but now given a specific reason: “It is not uncommon for children to develop some skill and comfort in using their seventh (Trickster) function-attitude in response to the overwhelming power of their parents“. Now that explains everything! (including, as he will point out later, that this is why the attitude of the tertiary became ambiguous to begin with!)
Also mentioned, is that to think “opposition” to the heroic tendencies comes solely through the fifth function-attitude (the “Opposing Personality) would be to misunderstand the nature of the model because the shadow functions are too indistinct and unseparated to operate consistently like coherent, differentiated entities. They “rarely operate as discrete units. More often, they’re confusingly mixed together or form ad oc alliances“. (#2638) This, I take it is referring to even when they are attached to the archetype. I would again point out that it’s the archetypal complexes or “ego-states” that make the distinctions.
But then remaining still “mixed together” somewhat would make sense, and explain for instance, when I’m trying to think of examples of Ni (which I would expect to be involved in the negative premonitions I get in a “Senex” state), and then I have to wonder if it’s really Ne; Ni being the hardest to understand and distinguish from its opposite attitude. I notice that whenever I think it’s Ni, there’s always some “object” I’m comparing it to, and I figure it must “become” Ni, when I come out of Senex mode and am trying to analyze it with my normal TiNe. But this point here gives another explanation as to why shadow functions are hard to pin down, and can be easily confused with their more conscious counterparts.
He soon acknowledges the point I’ve been emphasizing, that “Unconscious function-attitudes are carried by emotional energies that tend to form archaic mini-personalities known as ‘archetypal complexes'”.
Also, “Unconscious function-attitudes usually operate as defenders of the Self. When our conscious resources are not able to take care of our normal business, or if an inflated ego is itself the source of dysfunction, our unconscious resources rise to combat the problem.
Defending the Self often conflicts with the ego-syntonic function-attitudes’ orientation toward supporting and strengthening the Ego.”
This again gets into a bit of confusion I have about this, because most of our “shadow” reactions seem to be defending the ego-position. (As I’ll show below). Under traumatic stress, or in the later stages of the individuation process, is when the Self dispatches the shadow complexes, from what I was told.
Also, “Unconscious function-attitudes, but their connection to the collective human experience, can draw upon a deeper and broader wisdom than the relatively limited experience and perspective of our conscious side.” They “defend us from outside threats and from internal imbalance”. That “outside threats” part is what I would think would be dispatched by the ego rather than the Self.
Chapter 7 goes onto the Archetypes.
The “energy factor” that gives the function-attitudes life, is said by Beebe to lie in “the innately archetypal nature of the unconscious—and therefore of all unconscious content, including any function-attitudes that are not fully conscious” (#2712). The archetypes manifest in “specific down to earth physical, emotional and cognitive embodiments”. To Jung, they are assumed to be “the deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity. Endless repetition has engraved these experiences into our psychic constitution, not in the form of images filled with content, but at first only as forms without content, representing merely the possibility of a certain type of perception and action (1953/1966 ¶109; 1959/1969a, ¶99)”. (Thinking they themselves consisted of “images” was a mistake I made when Lenore was explaining this stuff to me. The way she put it was “images freighted with emotion“. Her correction said pretty much the same thing, that S, N, T and F “are just names that we’ve given to different ways of bringing experience into cognitive awareness. They’re not things [as I, following much of the rest of the online type community, had fallen into seeing them]. They’re perspectives, ways of determining what matters in a situation.”)
So Hunziker, quoting John Gianni soon points out one of the main things Lenore had taught me, that “the complex is a historical experience and a particularized manifestation of an archetype. A complex is a complete incarnation of each archetype (2004, p 143)”, They are “given concrete form by real-world experience”.
Along the way, the “collective unconscious” is discussed, and the role of “the residue of the experiences of our ancestors”, and then, the notion of a “higher power”, being “something much bigger”, being implied by the archetypes, and thus this informs our notions about the nature of God, in addition to “our sense of place in the universe”, “our entire world view”, etc. So “In daily life”, “we are profoundly influenced by the psychological frames that make our lives manageable, as well as the energies that give our experiences their impetus and emotional flavors. And these energies/frames are largely predetermined by the archetypal forms and the related experiences that crystallize them into complexes”. (#2814)
In “the case for eight particular archetypes”, he cites Beebe as saying the archetypes are “roles” the individual enters when expressing a particular consciousness. He acknowledges that thinking of them as “roles” (which is basically what Berens replaces them with in renamed form in her re-framing of the model) might be seen as a bit of a simplification. But:
We’re all aware that we slip from role to role in our lives. We go to work and slip into the role that fits our job description; we came home and move into a parental role with our kids and another role with our partner; and into other roles in our various civic functions, social activities, and relationships. So we can relate to the idea of playing multiple roles. And to the extent that we carry unconscious associations into them, they are all archetypal. That is to say that if we were completely conscious at any given moment, we would not be playing a role at all. We would be supremely present, acting from our core true selves, seeing them with unadulterated clarity and empathy, and relating to them with complete authenticity. But the reality is that everything we do is tinged and clouded by our sense of the archetypal roles in play. (#2878)
This corresponds perfectly to the description of “ego states” as I discussed from the Hartman/Zimberoff article “Ego Surrender” (see https://erictb.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/a-quantum-explanation-of-the-soul/#comment-1247 and https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/a-start-to-understanding-complexes).
But then again, the focus is in practice shifted back to the function-attitudes themselves as “the actors in our personal drama, each possessing certain traits and skillsets”, and from there, “each assigned a certain archetypal role through which they can apply those talents.”
This again is where I differ, seeing the complexes themselves (which are but the concretized or “filled with personal experience” archetypes, as just discussed above) as the “actors”, which then take on the different FA perspectives as their “world views”. The “ego” itself is but the main one taking on the dominant function and attitude, and the “Hero” and “Persona” go along with it. The Parent takes on the opposite attitude, and then the opposite rationality (j/p) of function. As the other six archetypes involved are but reflections and/or “shadows” of the first two, they take on the opposite functions and/or attitudes. And from there, we have Beebe’s “eight archetypal complexes using the eight function-attitudes” model!
But what I think should be ‘personified‘ are the complexes, not the functions.
Next is questioned “Why would eight particular ones be the ones that tend to carry our function attitudes?” and the answer, as discussed in the last review, was that Beebe “arrived at this configuration from personal reflection, dream interpretation and observation, and has validated it by decades of insights and feedback from clients and workshop participants.” Also, a clue from Jung, that “the archetypes most clearly characterized from the empirical point of view are those which have the most frequent and the most disturbing influence on the ego (1959/1969b ¶13)”. So Hunziker concludes
the roles that most routinely color our conscious business do indeed fit with the heroic, parental, childlike, or idealized opposite gender patterns. And those archetypes that he subsequently linked to the ego-dystonic function-attitudes, seem to fit the description of “most disturbing” to the Ego. The Opposing Personality, Witch/Senex, Trickster and Demon/Daimon, once we come to understand them, seem to encapsulate most of our disturbing eruptions from the unconscious.
Just as the eight function-attitudes of type are the eight narrow primary ‘personalities’ available within us for playing out life’s drama, Beebe’s eight archetypal images describe the key roles that these eight actors inevitably need to fill. Every whole human being needs to be part heroic leader, part nurturing parent, part carefree child, part idealized mate, part oppositional anti-hero, part fearsome old crone, part untrustworthy trickster, and part dark “Other”.
Here we see more clearly that the function-attitudes are the “personalities”, and the archetypes are the “roles”. Again, I would reverse that. Using the term “complexes” more, rather than “archetypes”, and especially emphasizing that they are “ego-states”, helps understand how this works. He continues “There are many other archetypal images beyond Beebe’s eight, but this particular collection appears to cover the basics”. They make “a balanced and effective team for inner collaboration”. (The way Lenore put it, the eight are simply “the complexes that structure an ego identity”. At http://www.personalitypathways.com/thomson/type3-3.html “As far as I’m concerned, Beebe’s model is a very good one, but only if it’s clear that it’s talking about complexes. Complexes are the way in which instinctual energies become available to consciousness. The model, in this respect, doesn’t show us how the type functions operate. Rather, [it tells us what happens in the psyche when we borrow instinctual energy from the unconscious to further our ego-based choices.” original e-mail version: “…it shows the archetypal structure underlying an established ego identity“]. And now, Beebe himself has stated this in his book, as mentioned in the other article).
Next is pointed out that the eight archetypes aren’t inexorably tied to the hierarchy positions. “Like most elements of Jungian psychology, and indeed in modern science in general, it’s a matter of probability.” The scheme “tells us which archetypal energies are likely to be carrying which function-attitude in a given typology”. They also, as stated earlier, become harder to identify the further down in the hierarchy the FA resides, being a defining characteristic of the unconscious is the lack of differentiation of its contents.
Next is the “Eight Archetypes of Typology”. We get a table with Beebe’s three columns of names (“Persona level”, “ego level” and Self-level”) for each of the FA’s, as was mentioned in the previous review, then descriptions of each archetype. For the Hero, “the greatest danger for the Hero/Heroine is inflation, an exaggerated sense of the heroic function-attitude’s ability to take care of everything, without help from other people or from other function-attitudes”. This is linked to Einstein’s definition of insanity; trying to solve a problem using the same way of thinking that hasn’t been working.
For Mother/Father (i.s. Parent) he discusses how the archetype gets confused with extraverted Feeling, because of the connotation of “nurturing and support”, and addressing people’s needs. Now, FA gets defined as “a mode of thinking and operating” which “doesn’t relate to a particular role or the drive to fulfill that role”, which lies in the “feeling-toned archetypal energy complex”. So people for whole Fe is ego-dystonic are no less capable of being great parents; they just might not but, support and protect in as “warm and fuzzy” a style as an Fe preferrer might.
In “possession” by the Parent archetype (i.e. inflation), as we read briefly in Berens, we become “overprotective”, or “parenting” when not appropriate to take that role. Posession by the Child (Puer/Puella) “usually involves refusing to take responsibility for the results of our actions. Likewise, projecting the Child (usually done by people who are stuck in overly-responsible, too serious mode) means regarding the target of our projection as refusing to ‘grow up’ and ‘act like an adult’.”
Under Anima/Animus, we see another great point Lenore had given me, that “Jung was likely reflecting the cultural bias of his day in associating ‘Eros’ with Feeling function and primarily with women (who would therefore be presumed to have a ‘Logos’/Thinking-oriented Animus) and vice versa for men“. Then, in the 80’s and 90’s, “there appeared to be a movement to redefine Jungian eros as the drive to connect or merge and logos as the drive to separate, discriminate or distinguish“. (#3062) This I have seen a lot, in online sites about the Anima or Jung. He then provides better ways of describing the anima and animus, given the entanglement with cultural assumptions that have shaped the notions of “masculinity” and “femininity” often used to describe them. (this also touches upon something Lenore was saying).
Also mentioned is “one of the main reasons why one develops a persona is so as not to expose inferiorities, especially the inferiorities of the fourth function”. The “persona” is usually portrayed as an alternate “dominant place” archetype alongside the hero, and here we see its purpose is to essentially counter the inferior.
Relatively unconscious, but still ego-syntonic, it is still consciously accessible, meaning we can connect with it. Also, Jung is quoted “It is because we are not using them purposefully as functions that they remain personified complexes. So long as they are in this state they must be accepted as relatively independent personalities (1953/1966 ¶339)”.
Of course, projection of it is what drives attraction to people who exhibit inverse qualities where we “form archetypally idealized ideas of them, (and to then be disappointed when they fail to live up to that ideal)”
The Opposing Personality “is most often activated in defense of the personality from real or imagined outside threats. The different attitudes of each function “senses the other as an encroachment on its own province” (Jung). Again, the contrasexual nature of the complex is mentioned (which along with sharing the same i/e attitude makes it difficult to distinguish from the anima/animus, as I’ve realized in my own projections and fantasy life), but nothing about this coming from it being energized by the anima.
The Witch/Senex, or “critical Parent” “can be a necessary attitude to take toward the Eternal Child in others (and perhaps in ourselves)—the ‘tough love’ needed to avoid overindulgence”. But it lacks a governing mechanism of consciousness to ensure it’s only used appropriately. Citing Beebe, it “moves shame into guilt, and “makes us ashamed of our shame”.
The Trickster, like the Eternal Child “is puerile, but not in a timid or helpless way”. It’s often what “defends our vulnerable Eternal Child from the Senex attacks from others”, which is a great specification, and of course, often does this by catching the attacker in double-binds. As Lenore explained to me regarding the more Kalsched-ian notion of the archetype for when a person is ready to grow, it’s a “catalyst for individuation” and “breaks down self-limiting structures, creating disorder, in order to open up new options that lead to a new order“. So it ignores boundaries including self-imposed, societal and parental limits, representing “autonomy from parental patterns”. It “can be activated in compensation for an attitude of hyper-responsibility, a characteristic of the internal Senex” (#3254).
The Demon/Daimon is essentially, “our inferior inferior”. It’s “what we need to be ashamed of—the flaw in our character for which integrity exists and is needed”. Patterns of its projection are often at the root of social inequities and wars, as we saw at the very end of Beebe’s book; with the most demonized enemies of ESTJ American typology, typically condemned for “assumed perceived lack of or misguided and perverse values“. (He says “not for flawed logic, intuition or perception of facts”, but they certainly do throw the “logic” and “facts” charge at the “liberals”. Perhaps this is the projection of the OP and Senex. Those are basically the side issues, at the most emotionally fervent charge, regarding “values”).
As I’ll mention again, I wonder if these are supposed to be “Self”-dispatched defenses, but they sound a bit like ego defenses.
Chapter 8 is “Depth Typology Dynamics”. This covers Myers-Briggs and the relationship between Cognition and Emotion. Here, we have another subject Lenore had discussed, and that’s the role of the cerebral cortex in conscious thought, while archetypes are more heavily influenced by the older limbic system, the seat of emotions”. “A great deal of what we see in depth typology, then, may come down to an ongoing process of two distinct and differently functioning neurological systems, striving to collaborate.” (#3387) So, “Once we have intellectually grasped the nature of the eight archetypes, function-attitudes are often most easily recognized by the emotional energy of the archetypes that carry them. If we ask ourselves whether what we’re experiencing feels heroic, or nurturing, immature, embarrassing, oppositional, hypercritical, manipulative or undermining, we can often detect the emotional tone of what’s going on typologically before we are able to grasp it intellectually.”
Next is the claim that function-attitudes “trigger” the archetypal complexes, and that the archetypes trigger the function-attitudes. Citing Beebe, 2010, “the most common trigger for any function-attitude archetype is when we engage the function-attitude”. This includes when others engage a function attitude associated with a particular archetype for us. “Obviously, often it will be difficult to know which aspect—archetype or function-attitude—is the cause and which is the effect”.
This, I’ve seen (especially from my discussions with Lenore) we have to be careful with, as it can be overgeneralized. It makes it sound like every time I have to look at/hear/touch, etc. something, or if someone else does it in interaction with me, I’ll go into “Trickster” mode. (Again, as I said in the other review, I really wish she had some input in these book projects.
Meanwhile, as we saw above, Hunziker did acknowledge that when conscious, the FA is then more able to be used free of the archetype. But it’s easy to forget this in the above statement; and he also said that they’re rarely truly integrated with consciousness. I would go with “general” [versus “special”] uses of the functions, as the “conscious” uses, where no particular archetype is constellated at that moment. Beebe on the other hand had also acknowledged to me these regular “generic” uses of the functions; that “the function attitude is not fated to be equal to its archetypal carrier”; “the archetype is the shell in which the function-attitude lives and grows, and out of which the ego can scoop the function-attitude for its own purposes”).
Se being in “7th place” means I might be less likely to pay full attention to current sensory data (and I now notice this all the time), and this is not necessarily something “observed by its archetypally-tinged symptoms, which are somehow the same in everyone”, as Lenore put it. It’s just less conscious, or less relevant to the ego. I also notice that NJ’s tend to be pretty averse to revisiting old conflicts. Some testify to being poor at remembering certain things (not that they can’t remember anything at all, outside of the archetype). Again, there is no specific “Trickster” or “Demon” necessarily constellated at that point. It’s a more “generic” form of [partial] “unconsciousness”.
So it may be more that it’s the complex that constellates first, and being a “lesser sense of ‘I'” (i.e. “ego-state”), it then sees the situation through the perspective of the associated FA. What I find is that a situation calling for the given FA might constellate the complex if it is tied with a longstanding “issue” regarding that functional perspective. Hence, people’s “self-contented” form of “moralizing” triggering the Demonic Personality for me (because of issues of guilt stemming from experiences), or certain physical situations making me feel tricked or trapped (based, again, on experiences).
We next get some personal examples, such as that Mark himself once reported as an introverted Thinking type on the MBTI assessment, and determined that this was from his Senex being constellated at the time, due to a task that required a lot of Ti, which was making him cranky, impatient and inflexible.
“Archetypal baggage”is described “Whenever we enter into a situation that seems to fit a common theme and whenever we unconsciously engage a function-attitude, a certain amount of archetypal energy engages as well. Since most situations fit one or more archetypal patterns and since we rarely if ever, engage our function-attitudes in complete consciousness, archetypal complexes are essentially always part of the type dynamic”. If not aware of this, the archetype may dominate the situation and we respond to the archetypal preconceptions more than to reality.
Next, “Axes of personality” deals with the tandems, including the arm and spine concept, and later, “Interpersonal friction between differently oriented axes”. He shows how each FA needs to work in conjunction with its opposite, like his dominant Ni “anchored in present reality” via inferior Se, etc. Discussed are dynamics like how types that look like they have a lot in common (because of common dichotomy preferences) may really be very different and clash.
This is also where he discusses the phenomenon Beebe had called “crossed spines” (though that term isn’t used here). I had mentioned this on my intro to type page, though later had some reservations about it after thinking about my own marriage experience, and this would be a good place to discuss what I believe is a needed qualification of that concept. As INTP and ESFJ, we are both “rational” types” (and thus “rational spines”), both having Ti/Fe dominant/inferior, though reversed. I do often find that I think she’s making a judgment, when she then claims to be simply making an observation or seeking information. This is what supposedly happens when two people have “crossed spines”. Since I once had to grapple with whether I was really Ne dominant or not, then I had to figure this out. (Or perhaps if she were really Se dominant).
Hunziker gives an example of an ENTJ and ISFJ. Both “J” types, but J refers only to the extraverted judgment function, whether dominant (as for the ENTJ) or auxiliary (As for the ISFJ, who is actually a dominant “perceiving” or “irrational” type). Since the ISFJ will be “‘all about’ gathering information, even though this may not be apparent from interacting with him”, and the ENTJ will be about making decisions, this can create conflict. Not just on the dominant “spine” level, but even on the arms, such as the auxiliary), where they’ll be reversed in rationality. (The ENTJ will now relate by perception, and the ISFJ through judgment. So “the ISFJ may ‘hear’ the observation as a call to act on information”).
But since this carries across both spine and arm, it assumes the two parties always being in spine or arm “mode” at the same time. But if different complexes or ego-states (and here’s another case where thinking in this term helps) are in executive control in a given moment, then the rationality may still end up getting “crossed”. So I notice when I’m deep in dominant or Heroic mode, and my wife will then try to “Parent” with Si, or make a playful suggestion with Ne (or in more stressful times, the Witch or Trickster may even get involved); I’ll hear it as a call to make a decision. She’ll then protest that “It’s just an observation”. Or “I just want more information”. Making this more complicated, is that part of the reason this happens, is because there are times when, particularly with that “childlike” idea, that she switches back into “spine” mode, and the perception does become a judgment. So (perhaps in my “vulnerable” Si “child” mode that holds on to past incidences), I anticipate that, and then it figures for my spine orientation, and I guess it’s often when I’m too immersed in dominant mode, and so really averse to any disruption.
(Plus, there’s also the old J/P difference, where even though we’re both “rational” types, my domniant judgment is introverted, and perception extraverted, while her dominant judgment is extraverted. This leads her to want action, while I need to take in more information first before making a decision).
In “Dynamics Within the System”, “When an extraverted Sensing Hero becomes inflated, the introverted sensing Opposing Personality rises to object, and the introverted Intuitive Anima insists ‘Hey, don’t forget about me!'”.
“Beebe says that the target of the harsh, belittling, limit-setting criticism of our sixth function-attitude Witch/Senex is usually the Eternal Child in others and ourselves. In fact, he has observed that this ‘problem of the Witch/Senex and Eternal Child’ is behind many self-limiting psychological issues” (#3872). I can definitely see this, in the perpetual battle between trying to redo the past, and the premonition of the inevitable repeat of the issues that caused the pain in the first place. I begin countering these premonitions of “what’s [apparently] meant to be” (based on [a model of] “the way it is” that the Child perceives and is hurt by) with exaggerated descriptions of situations (and often consciously recognized as such, but the emotions keep driving the distortions; it “feels so good”) with the purpose of proving that I’m being “cheated” in the [Senex’s] big “scheme” of things.
So here we see the surprising point that, “It appears that in order for the tertiary function-attitude Child to develop, the seventh function-attitude Trickster must first become sufficiently differentiated to come to its defense—to make it safe enough for the Child to come out of hiding and become conscious.” (This corresponds [in part] with Lenore’s “Crow’s Nest” that gets replaced with the tertiary function when we mature. Though the crow’s nest also included the 8th function, which is omitted here).
So the realization, mentioned before; “This might very well explain the ongoing debate regarding the attitude of the tertiary—i.e., that the seventh could easily be mistakenly assumed to be the ego-syntonic tertiary due to its level of development“.
Now we enter Part III, about applications of the model. Chapter 9 is on the value of teaching the Beebe model. It’s actually easier to understand type by the FA’s than remembering sixteen type profiles. It yields more of a “Here is how it may work for you” dynamic rather than “Here’s who you are”, as profiles seem to imply. Every time we talk about a “trait”, we can backtrack to the basics of the [natural] function and explain why its engagement in one or the other attitude would logically result in such a trait.
Chapter 10 is on its usefulness in Counseling, Coaching, and Psychotherapy. (Again, we see the FA’s portrayed as “little voices” and “some other parts of me” that operate in the background of consciousness. The complexes themselves are the “other parts of us”; the other, lesser senses of “I” under the main ego).
Here is a part that raises questions of understanding for me. “In response [to FA’s being “called”, or archetypal energies “triggered”], our existing ego-centric toolkit typically becomes energized to defend itself against the threat to the status quo. The harder the unconscious, “internal Other” elements work to get our conscious attention, the more threatening and invasive they seem to the ego—and the more the ego digs in to resist the invasion”. (And when the relatively developed “ego-identified” FA’s become over-energized, “we become caricatures of our normal selves” trying to fix the problem with our normal approaches. The hero may become a “super-Hero”, etc. The basic dilemma that has most people seeking counseling or therapy is that “the Ego/Me views the very parts of oneself that hold the solution, the No-Me shadow, as the threat to be defended against”).
I wonder, isn’t the “egocentric toolkit” using the shadows to “defend itself” then being dispatched by the ego, and not the Self at that point? Lenore had described the Kalsched concept of the Trickster and Demon, in either trauma, or the later stage toward individuation, being dispatched by the Self (see http://www.personalitypathways.com/thomson/type3-3.html), but then that to me left open the question of whether at the other times, the shadows were being dispatched by the ego. It sure feels like it, when I get those OP, Senex, Trickster or Demon reactions, ruminations or projections, specifically defending ego against the threat. But then the thing is that she doesn’t really believe any below the OP are constellated in normal situations. Like the Demon, she said, was “so far from the Ego that it can never be integrated or controlled” (or “so far from the Heroic self-image that they’re more like intrapsychic messengers from the unconscious”, ibid). The Senex, she would later tell me, is present in any function that becomes too one-sided, and that too would be presumably Self-dispatched.
But then this seems to be left ambiguous by Beebe and Hunziker (unless I’ve missed something). I guess, the complexes themselves are dispatched by the Self (since it “owns” them, where the ego thinks it owns them, which is the definition of “inflation”), and while it’s the ego that essentially is “using” them for its defenses, since they are out of the ego’s conscious control, they don’t come out the way the ego wishes, and hence why they are so problematic. The “message from the Self” then is that these “problematic” manifestations are what the Self is trying to “get the ego’s attention” through).
So what I was really looking for here, was a clear distinction between the Beebe “everyday” constellations of the archetypes, and the Kalsched [via Lenore] “trauma” or “individuation” constellations. I guess it’s all dispatched by the Self, but Beebe’s theory simply has the Self dispatching lesser constellations of them for everyday ego defenses, in order to try to make the ego aware of how its defenses are coloring its perception and judgment. That is what makes perfect sense.
These last chapters now getting smaller; Ch. 11 is on Self Development and Self-Help. In projection, “Our internal rationale insists that since these thoughts, feelings, attitudes and desires don’t fit with our idea of who we are, someone else must be responsible”. (#4319) Tying in with the question I just raised, “We protect our Ego rather than our Self”.
Chapter 12 is on “Relationships and Communication”.
Chapter 13 is “cultural Personalty Type”. In a quote, it’s pointed out that humans were designed for cooperation, but only with some people, that is within groups, in the context of personal relationships. Our brains didn’t evolve for cooperation between groups.Hence, all the “Me vs Other” played out on a societal scale, where the “Me” becomes “Us”. So “Without some perceived OTher, we’d have no one to carry our projections; we’d be forced to face the truth that the unacceptable Other is within each of us.” (#4603)
(Next is mentioned the influence of Christianity and its ego-syntonic members of the “trinity” [which he says “systematizes” denial of the “unacceptable Other”], on the shaping of Western culture, and how other religions have a quaternity of deities, with one representing that base, unacceptable side. But this ignores that the Son, though “good”, still bore the Shadow of sin for us. A fourth Person was not necessary.
[This can lead to the debate of whether the “Azazel goat” of the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur (which is today!) ritual, who ultimately had all the sin symbolically placed on him, and sent off into the wilderness, represented Christ or Satan. “Orthodox” apologists generally protest that that would essentially add Satan as a fourth entity in our redemption, in addition to the Father, Son and Spirit. However, those who say it is Satan, which I’ve seen among the sabbatarian groups, point out that Satan is the one banished in the end, never to return].
So whenever projecting onto others, we can ask “what function-attitudes does the ‘threat’ seem to be acting out…? What archetypal energies do we associate with this “Other? What archetypal reactions are triggered in us?”
There’s also the possibility of cultural typology influencing this as well. Mentioned is that the split between US conservatives and liberals seems to be according to “two different family models”. The conservatives take a “strict father” model where human nature is flawed and must be tamed and molded into “right behavior” by rewards and punishments to train people to survive in a hostile world. As I’ve been pointing out for years, it’s a “scarcity-based view”, where there must be “winners” and “losers”, and that right behavior leads to success, while wrong behavior leads to failure. (Hence, social “entitlement” programs promote laziness). Of course, this is supposed to be based on “the Biblical doctrine of ‘sin'”, which liberals had long rejected. But what the conservatives fail to remember is that this “flawed nature” includes they themselves, and this whole approach is based on Law, which was necessitated by the “knowledge of good and evil” that marked the Fall to begin with. It lacks “Grace”, and then one’s own ongoing sin (or societal sin) must be denied, in order to prove that one has “earned” success. This is why, for instance, they deny racism and its effects, while then casting blame on the victims of it (and then proceed to put down “victimhood”).
So the liberals use the “nurturing parent” model, which is more in accord with Jungian thought. Human nature is basically good if properly guided and supported (which we see is what the conservatives have long condemned them for). They have an “abundance-based” view that assumes individuals will succeed if their parents protect, support and enable them to find out “who they are”. (And the conservatives are right to an extent, that this is an ideal that fails to take into consideration human sin. But again, they too as well, in setting up their own ideals).
Of course, there are flipsides of this, like Christian writer Michael Horton criticizing conservatives for one of the same points as liberals, in that human nature is basically good, if properly guided. It’s just that their “rewards and punishments” are the “proper guiding” in their view! This again, is where they fail to see their ideal is no better than the liberals.
So Hunziker points out that both groups exist within the prevailing ESTJ American typology, where Si takes on the Parental role, and its shadow, Se, the Witch/Senex. So they see each other as “shadowy Bad (Se) Parents of our society”. Liberals see conservatives as lacking empathy that a parent should have, while conservatives see liberals as overly permissive . (But they also see them as overly authoritarian, toward the general, tax-paying public. Liberals can charge that conservatives are overly permissive to corporations and banks). He points out “the trouble is, that the current U.S. culture is a no-very- functional version of ESTJ typology“.
In this chapter, he also cites Lenore’s book, p.8, that societies tend to favor some typological configurations more than others. “Types that are well represented will have more options for using their strengths, but they are also less likely to see the limits an possibilities of social institutions”, while uncommon types will have to “work harder to be understood, but are less likely to be seduced by a collective illusion”. (Earlier, in the ch. 5 section on “Individuation” he also cited her from p.24 on us being “hardwired for the kind of tension that makes change possible”).
Chapter 14 is on Spirituality and Creativity and 15 is Health and Wellness
“Spirituality is about engaging our human body/mind to attain deeper awareness of what our lives really are and how to live them happily and successfully—to remember our ‘original instructions’ rather than arrogantly attempting to impose our ego will in an attempt to control our lives. Instead of trying to dam and redirect the flow of the river of live, the spiritual part of us humbly accepts the capriciousness of that river and seeks to swim with the current”. (#4729)
“Being ‘responsible’ doesn’t imply that we have complete control and therefore are culpable for everything that happens. Our responsibility is simply to participate in our well being. Blaming is ego-directed judgment, always based on the flawed assumption that we know, from our ego-perspective, what we should do and things should be. It seems out sense of who we could be—an idealized self-image—raises our expectations of ourselves and thus increases our disappointment and frustration when we fall short”. (#4979)
This is what I’m grappling with. It seems unbalanced, as some types (like Se and Te-preferrers) have more of a talent for “swimming with the current” (or at least seeing the opportunities to exploit it with the least resistance), and thus gaining the most power and influence in the world (this would be the “temperament” part of “Timing-Talent-Temperament”, and it also makes the “talent” part easier to cultivate, and then “timing” or forces out of our control get dismissed, and then they often get credited as if it were pure will on their part), and then the rest of us have to bend our will and “roll with the punches”.
At #5238, is discussed from Myers’ Gifts Differing how “satisfaction can and must be earned”, which children don’t learn if they are never allowed to fail, or “everything works for them”,so they become “spoiled” and don’t learn that it must be be earned) , where if they are never allowed to succeed, or “nothing works”, and thus don’t learn that it can be earned. But I believe that our notions of “earning” are skewed to begin with, ignoring these factors that are beyond our control. Yet the “narratives” created and widely held still posit that some have completely “earned”. The above quote acknowledges that we don’t have complete control, but in practice in the world, the message is that we do. This makes it difficult to know how or when to just “participate”, and what “swimming with the current” or “our proper role in the system” (as mentioned at the end, below) really means.
(Then is mentioned “increasingly or predominantly ego-initiated volition”, which reminds me of the shadow constellations, which are said to be Self-dispatched).
Also covered is addictions and compulsions, which stem from a sense of “incompleteness”, and the focus on punishment assumes it’s all a matter of “will”. “The Me is successfully resisting the internal ‘Other’, perceiving it as a threat. Facing an entrenched, fortified ago-resistance, the natural response of the unconscious is increasingly insistent and powerful attempts to break through and the ego in turns, with increasingly desperate defense, including, at some point, even other unthinkable destructive behaviors”. As we demonize and resist the activities of the activated unconscious functions, what we’re really yearning for is the integration of the Anima or Animus ‘soul function'”. “the ‘hole’ that addictive and compulsive behaviors are making a misguided attempt to fill is the felt shortcoming of the integrity of the self that results from such a sense of inferiority. And the perceived ‘pain’ is the associated shame”.
Chapter 16 is Decision-Making and Problem-Solving. The eight FA’s are listed as an outline of “steps” in a decision-making process. It’s pointed out how in four “natural” function processes, “it tends to be the extraverted versions of each function unless individual typology or team culture brings certain introverted functions to the fore”.
Chapter 17 is on Parenting, Teaching and Learning Styles. Early childhood is a period of experimentation, where they learn which mental processes work best for them, and then go back to them more an more, thus “developing” skillsets” around them. Any dynamic of power and responsibility versus incapacity and dependence (such as employees and bosses, political leaders and followers, and even spouses) may be an occasion for the possible interactions of the Parent and Child functions. If it’s coming from the Child, it will have an emotional tone of helplessness and vulnerability. Yet it will also take on more than it can handle and then become overwhelmed and withdraw in fear. This is what has elsewhere been called the “inflation and deflation” specifically described for the tertiary. Given are examples of several FA’s in the Child position. We are cautioned “In dealing with someone; Eternal Child…the nurturing, supportive and protective energy of the archetypal Mother or Father is not always what’s needed. Sometimes, the Critical Parent role must be assumed to set necessary limits”.
Chapter 18 is Cultivating Effective Leaders, Workers and Teams, and the final chapter, 19 is “saving the World”, which shows how “ego inflation” is humans’ “Achilles heel”. “We can and do operate on self-constructed, inaccurate ideas of who we are, we ignore information that does not reinforce our faux self image, and we live in false relationship with our environment. The three basic requirements for successfully participating in any system are thus distorted by our mistaken notions of who we are—of our proper role in the larger system”. (#5436) This then becomes collective also, such as religious and political “isms”, which further reinforce flawed notions of our place in the world. “We project our problems and waste most of our precious time and energy blaming and fighting ‘Them’. Humanity is in a state of collective hubris with an unjustifiably inflated notion of its own wisdom and importance”.
So if the roots of the problem is in ego inflation and shadow projection, then what’s needed is “depth typology”.
So again, this is a must read for anyone trying to understand or introduce or familiarize themselves with Beebe’s model, and Jungian theory in general. It certainly will help one understand Beebe’s book better.
Beebe, John Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type: The reservoir of consciousness
Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), NewYork, 2016  232p.
Finally; the long hoped for book by the creator of the full “eight-function” extension of the MBTI type model! It’s been out for three months already, and I just happened to stumble across it, from a Facebook friend in the type field who posted this article: https://www.routledge.com/mentalhealth/posts/10266 (this was almost a month ago now).
Part I Theoretical contributions
Introduces the eight function-attitudes (Chapter 1, “Eight Function-Attitudes Unpacked”), and adds names, like Berens/Hartzler and Witt/Dodge (Personality Hacker) do. In fact, he has three levels of names for each, (adding “wing words” to the “heart of the process”. Like: Se: engaging, experiencing, enjoying; Ti: naming, defining, understanding; Fi: judging, appraising, establishing the value. These are supposed to be triangles, but he made them columns for each function as a row, to make it easier to read).
These, again, are pretty similar to what Berens (who has drawn heavily on Beebe) uses. I like the idea of handy one word terms, and he says that using three words helps listeners grasp what each of the “mental processes” are about, but I’ve seen that they can sometimes get taken too literally and make people think that only people of that type can do those activities, or if someone is doing it, it’s a differentiated “use” of the function that will figure in their type search.
Chapter 2 “Once More With Feeling” discusses the Feeling function, and mentions “Jung’s closest analytic follower” Marie-Louise Von Franz.
The difference between “Feeling” and “feelings” (emotion) is that Feeling is “the function that sorts out feelings”. Or, to quote Jungian writer William Willeford, the function that “discriminates affect”.
(He also frequently in his writings mentions Joseph Wheelwright, who had developed a typological theory and instrument, the Gray-Wheelwright Jungian Type Survey, based on Jung, even before Myers-Briggs. This version of the theory held the auxiliary function, along with the tertiary, to be in the dominant attitude).
Chapter 3 Understanding Consciousness through the Theory of Psychological Type
This is one of the papers I had long linked to in the list of “Beebe resources” I had scraped together from online on my type pages, in lieu of a single book from him on the archetype model.
It discusses the whole concept of “consciousness”: Jung “relatedness of contents to the ego…insofar as they are sensed as such by the ego. Consciousness is the function or activity which maintains the relation of psychic contents with the ego”. It’s not identical with the psyche, which is the totality of all the psychic contents; many of which are beyond the ego.
(This is regarded as part of an “unfortunate statement” that leads students of Jung to “look for a structure called ‘ego’ and a process called ‘ego development’ that is not exactly supported by phenomenological observation…”)
I liked how he framed things in terms of “thinking”, “feeling, “sensation”, or “intuitive” “problems“, and that dreams reveal to us “the actual situation in the unconscious” (Jung) which we can then actually ‘type‘ as T, F, S or N “situations“. (p25)
I’ve been having trouble interpreting my dreams, which simply seem to be rehashed places, and now not able to remember most by the time I’m fully awake.
He also mentions a distinction between a “‘little-s’ self“, which is the common understanding of “self” (basically, your ‘person’, or even perhaps ego), and the “‘big-S’ Self“, which is of course, the Jungian “center of consciousness” that includes the whole unconscious and is “trans-personal”.
Establishes the basic four function positions and the spine (dominant/inferior) and arms (auxiliary and tertiary), accompanied by his familiar simple cross diagrams.
Discusses the discovery of his dominant intuition, and how the Gray-Wheelwright JTS had both his dominant, along with auxiliary Thinking as extraverted.
In this chapter he sorts out the whole issue of which attitude the auxiliary and tertiary would take and points out that Jung’s assumption was that “only function, the superior is likely to be particularly differentiated. Therefore, the other functions all take on the unconscious character of the inferior function and operate in a crudely compensatory way”. (p.34)
From what I’ve learned, we can say that it is the puer complex that orients the tertiary into the dominant attitude. So from there, the “ego syntonic” half of the stack is complete!
Ne/Ni difference: “seeing possibilities in what was consciously shared with me that others might never have imagined”.
“Look[ing] at the big picture of the unconscious where the gestalts that moved nations, religions and epochs lay, even in the midst of apparently individual experience”
(and other function i/e distinctions) (p.31)
Si “lives on the inside of the body, and seeks to keep it from getting overstimulated, too tired, too hungry, or too filled with the wrong foods. etc.” (p32)
Because Myers was working out a type assessment instrument that focused on “easily identifiable in the outer world”, this is why she retooled Jung’s “rational/irrational” into the J/P dichotomy pointing to the leading extraverted function, “whether superior or auxiliary” (p35).
Introduces archetypal role, hero, parent, child (puer/puella, and the “child” can be either “divine” or “wounded”, which are two separate sub-archetypes) and anima (including the embodiment of his in a Chinese laundress)
Paul Watsky and Laura McGrew raise the need for the other “40 acres” of a person’s psychological “field” to be hoed, at 1983 conference, and at the following year’s “Ghost Ranch” meeting, McGrew produced a sketch of the diagram with the names of the archetypes of the four shadows, one of which was “witch” (which he determines was usually for females, while “senex” was more for males). He discusses it as a “problematic” term because of its magical connotation. (I had been told once that a better, more analogous archetype not carrying the magical sense, yet nevertheless having an equal “neglected wise elder” role as the Senex, was “the Crone”. Don’t know why he never considered that one). He determined that the Witch could fit, because it “fights dirty to defend the personality”, casting “spells that immobilize in an underhanded way”, while the senex similarly “exerts the same limit setting control when he ‘pulls rank'”. Both “can appear in both genders as a kind of ‘withering authority’ (Frey, 2011). Yet there is wisdom in this limit-setting.”
Beebe and McGrew had already agreed that the shadow of the puer aeternus was the trickster. But they weren’t yet satisfied with the designations for the shadows of the hero and anima/animus. He doesn’t say what they were in McGrew’s initial sketch; if they were the final names or not. He then would embark on a seven year work on his own dreams and outer behavior, and finally, in 1990 completed the shadow cross, with the positions of “opposing personality” and “demonic personality”. The former he chose over a more traditional archetypal name such as “the Adversary” or “the Antagonist”, in order to convey “the unconscious and undeclared quality with which this archetype usually operates”. It was once pointed out to me, that this is thus not really an archetype (an age-old “ruling pattern“, and it was suggested that the archetype that fits this position was the classic “Warrior” or “Amazon”, which makes a lot of sense.
He at this point mentions how the OP is “oppositional, paranoid, passive-aggressive and avoidant”, and also “easy to project onto…especially a person of the opposite sex”. He in a later chapter says “Projecting the opposing personality will cause a man to see the woman in a negative or troublesome light as she seems to embody the man’s own antagonistic traits” (which I have testified to). He also mentions here that Jungian analysts have identified this oppositional quality in a man as his “negative mother complex” or “negative anima”. I had hoped he would mention and elaborate on something I gleaned not too long ago from an e-mail query, that the OP can be energized by the anima (where it should be creating an axis with the Self instead of the Shadow), and I wondered if this could be where the contrasexual connotation might come from. This I found pretty interesting, and I then began really taking into consideration in my own shadow struggles. He does add in this vein that “unlike the anima, the opposing personality is antagonistic to the ego rather than helpful in connecting it to he needs of the Self.”
He then gives examples of the shadows in his own life. Like the “oppositional” Ni came up in his practice “as a tendency to ‘tune out’ in the face of affects I didn’t know how to deal with…to find some kind of image that would make sense of emotion for me, but mostly my patients experienced me at such moments as leaving them”.
It was in a “feeling context” (learning the difference between his Fe and Fi) that he came to understand the difference between extraversion and introversion (of functions) in general.
In meeting a situation that involves another person, extraversion moves to create a shared experience, by reaching out to ‘merge’ in some way with the other person (Shapiro & Alexander, 1975), whereas introversion steps back from the experience to see if it ‘matches an archetype within that carries an a priori understanding of what an experience like this is supposed to consist of (emphasis added)
He would later describe Fi as working “at the archetypal (not personal) level“. (The term “personal” is often used for introverted functions. I find it is a better description for Feeling itself, in either attitude, but avoid it because of the ambiguous usage).
He points out that the “shadow” also “carried consciousness, but consciousness used in antagonistic, paradoxical, depreciating and destructive ways”. This is an important point, because we often associate the “shadow” with “unconsciousness”; the shadow functions being “unconscious”. But this matches the notion I learned that they do enter consciousness when aligned with “the ego structure”, which is basically these eight archetypal complexes. He himself says on p.126 that his numbering scheme is based on the implication that “there are, rooted in the structure of the psyche, eight positions, one for each function-attitude”.
He does mention throughout that these are complexes, as Lenore Thomson had emphasized to me in my discussions with her. She also spelled out that a complex is specifically an archetype (which is a “ruling pattern” in the collective unconscious”) that becomes “personalized”, meaning “fills up” with a person’s own experience. The term “complex” made it a bit easier to understand, since that is a more common term psychologically, than “archetype”. What made it even more clear was a paper I ran across, “Ego Surrender” (David Hartman, Diane Zimberoff) that further expounded “complexes” as basically “ego-states” or essentially, “lesser senses of ‘I’“, which they built up the concept of from our very first simple ego-states, such as being “mad at mommy”. Archetypal “complexes” are just that. More complex constellations of these emotional patterns, that have formed anciently recognized “ruling patterns” such as “Mother”, “Father”, “Child”, “Hero”, “Warrior”, etc.; some of these making up the particular eight that we have associated with the “ego structure” that carries the cognitive perspectives of the eight function-attitudes, along with countless others as well.
He lays all eight out on a table showing what “area” they cover, and what they do:
|Hero/heroine||strength and pride||Organizes adaptations, initiates individuation|
|Father/mother||fostering and protecting||Nurtures and protects others|
|Puer/puella||immaturity and play||endearing, vulnerable child who copes by improvising|
|anima/animus||embarrassment and idealization||Gateway to the unconscious|
|Opposing Personality||frustration and challenge||defends by offending, seducing, avoiding; self-critic*|
|Senex/Witch||limit setting and control||defends by refusing, belittling, inactivating; sets limits|
|Trickster||manipulation and paradox||Mischievous, creates double-binds, circumvents obstacles|
|Demonic/Daimonic||undermining and redemption||Undermines self and others; creates opportunities to develop integrity|
*(One thing I noted here, and he says, is how the OP is said to be the “self-critic”. The Witch/Senex is also described that way. Though since this position lies on the arm, which is more about others, where the spine is about self, this would make more sense, and I had wondered about that occasionally).
He then mentions something I had quoted from the paper that became this chapter, that what James Hillman considers “inferior feeling” might be better understood as demonic introverted feeling in an introverted thinking type (Which I could always certainly testify to, but most other ITP’s would assume as a form of extraverted Feeling).
He cites von Franz regarding how the demonic shadows the inferior, which according to Franz, “is what contributes to the sum of collective evil in the world”, as in the example of the Nazis. (Also, p.43: “Evil is the quality of being undermined”). The Jews being insulted as “destructive intellectuals” convinced all of the Feeling types, who projected their inferior thinking. The whole “moneymaking” stereotype convinced the intuitive, who projected their inferior sensing.
What she is describing here is a relation between the inferior function and a demonic function that tests the integrity of the inferior function. To the degree that the inferior function has not been taken up as a problem by the individual in the course of the development of his consciousness, it is no match for the demonic aspect of the unconscious, rather like the Chinese laundress in my dream who has no power to stop her [Se carrying] husband from spending all his money drinking and gambling.
Hitler himself isn’t mentioned in the book. I’ve seen Beebe cited as typing him as an Si dominant (with demonic Ni), and of course wish he had elaborated on that here, as I’ve never seen the full rationale. But most people assume him to be INFJ, which would place him in the “intuitive projecting inferior sensation” category. While he probably did play off of the “moneymaking” stereotype, most people will argue his main motive was “the harmony of the people”, (which they would assume, using Beebe’s model, as “parenting with Fe”), but to me, this always pointed to demonic Feeling in a dominant Thinking type. (People believe his Thinking was what was lower, because of his “poor military decisions”, but I think that was from other factors, such as him simply being mad with power. But when it comes to the inferior/demonic projection, it seems to me to concern Feeling values).
Chapter 4 deals with the masculine side of archetypal adaptation, with sections on each archetype (including “the Shadow”, which itself is an archetype, though in Beebe’s model has become a larger category of the four ego-dystonic archetypes).
In passing, he described Fi as “very sensitive to imbalances of power”, and discriminating the appropriate uses of power”, which “is something people with strong introverted feeling are good at”. This I had to think on, as I seem to always be complaining about imbalance of power. I have this whole entry on it, even: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/glossary-of-lifes-power-struggle. To me, the notion of “balance” it stems from is really a Ti product. If you demand something from me, and then issue some form of consequence, then I should not be snubbed with “that’s life” or something else like that, when I’m the one expecting something from someone else. It’s a totally mechanical or “impersonal” judgment, that can be criticized for not considering other people’s standpoints or situations. (And then my producing a whole glossary of terms and definitions would also be typical Ti). But I would say it fits for me, a demonic/daimonic form of Fi, borne of all the instances of my heroic viewpoint being dismissed, and my feeling my ego is in jeopardy of destruction, which is what constellates this complex. (A lot of this is exacerbated by Asperger’s, which creates greater problems dealing with people).
A good statement is :
The shadow is repressed because it is felt to be incompatible with a person’s moral values. It retains, and from time to time expresses, feelings, motives, desires and ambitions that the person has long since decided are unworthy, because they do not accord with the individual’s idea of how people should feel, let alone behave. Since it is usually not owned as part of the person, the shadow has a great deal of autonomy, which allows it from time to time even to escape repression, so that it can act out the very strivings that the ego has rejected as incompatible with its standards
He then gives the terms “ego-dystonic” and “ego-syntonic”.We must keep in mind that it’s the complexes, or better, “ego-states” that are being described here (not the functions). An “offensive” opposer, a grumpy old man or “witch”, a sneaky, devious “trickster” and a destructive “demon” are all “roles” that none of us likes to think of ourselves as falling into.
He also mentions along the way, a hypothetical gay man who would strike back at culture’s hostility to homosexuality with a “false-feminine opposing personality”, which attacks against patriarchal assumptions about masculinity. I had always wondered how these “contrasexual” figures would figure for a gay person.
I liked his description of the Father complex (which of course is the male “parent” associated with the auxiliary function): “A vital part of a man’s masculinity is caught up in how potent or impotent he feels as a man with something to impart, and that may be the archetypal definition of what a father is” (bold added; and “applies equally to men who have never had children and to men who have”. This is what makes it as an “archetype” or “ruling pattern” a product of the collective unconscious. It transcends our individual experiences in that way).
Under “the Senex”, now he does mention it as “a withering critic”. It “has the same silencing and deadening effect on the feminine figure inside the man, the anima” (a point I had never heard. Though Lenore did speak of societies that oppress women as being aligned with “the Senex”). It has a “reiterative insistence on life’s lack of meaning, value and future”, and as such, is “the voice of major depression”. It “emerges when a personality feels itself to be going into decline“, and “to be losing control of the situations in which it must continue to function” What it’s seeking is “Longings for superior knowledge, imperturbability, magnanimity”. This ties into something else Lenore had told me, that the Senex personifies the human drive to make conscious order within the limits of human nature — to develop an ego to begin with! Becoming “one sided”, our dominant functional awareness will harden into a brittle egocentricity around the power of “I know.” (So to her, the archetype is not as specifically associated with the “auxiliary function in the opposite attitude”. I had so wished Beebe and Lenore would collaborate on this book, as they do differ in some places, but they really fill in each other’s expression of this stuff).
All of this makes it sound like it fits the definition for the spine rather than the arm. It’s all about the ego. It then even “resorts to strategies that simulate heroism”. But the way I understand this, is that it’s about the ego inasmuch as its recognized by the outer world. So she would use the term “negation” in connection with the archetype, which made perfect sense. The Senex and Crone are once-respected old figures of wisdom, whom no one pays attention to anymore.
I have been grappling a lot in this ongoing midlife crisis, with the larger “story” of the way life goes, inasmuch as it has affected me. So an Ni Senex that is depressed about this story (to the point of wanting to give up a lot of the time, and especially now, give up hope on my wife getting her counseling license and making money, after all the time-delyaing and costly hoops the state has made her jump through) seems to perfectly fit my experience. (Even down to “the therapist [or anyone else offering counsel or support] is usually not allowed to breathe a word that might expose the fictions by which the patient is living”).
For the demonic personality, a great discovery here is that “it is an image of undermining pathological narcissism“, and that narcissistic men “will readily set up people to imagine that they can easily save him from his pathological narcissism by carrying for him the integrity his demonic personality craves. (He then goes into his archetypal interpretation of the movie As Good As It Gets, which had described to me, with the the Melvin character as the demonic personality, and Carol as the anima. I know nothing about this movie, as I’m not into most live action fiction).
These are groundbreaking definitions for me, especially looking back on what I was discussing here: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/solar-vs-lunar-in-gender-dynamics-and-individuation/, regarding the subject of Beebe’s previous book, integrity. So we see now, the demonic personality is the part of us or at least a main part of us that is narcissistic (enamored with the ego’s achievements), and also “seeks integrity”! This explains a lot for me. Particularly the major upheaval I was coming out of and still trying to sort through at that time, when I had projected my anima onto someone online, and then lost the friendship for a time, and had experienced a definite eruption of a “demonic” constellation, particularly at one point the previous summer, even naming it after one of the person’s own recognized deeply shadow subpersonalities (and thus, identifying, which this was all about). Expecting this person (or others at other times) to “carry” a [symbolic] integrity for me was precisely what I was doing. There was also a a direct demonic projection earlier, onto someone who attacked me for sharing my ideas on type, and then tried to pit a group against me and portray me as completely culpable for the whole conflict. As I had confessed at one point, it was a “big thing” for me to “win”, which was identified as Fi, but it was clearly an “undermining” manifestation of the function).
It was during this time (beginning four years ago) I was reading Robert Johnson’s books on Jungian principles, and he mentioned “depression compensates for inflation”, and I then had to figure, what exactly was being “inflated” in my psyche. Of course, “inflation” is often associated with the tertiary archetype, and Beebe explains this in this book as well. But the main definition is any attempt to “credit the ego-identity with content that actually belongs to these complexes.” as Lenore had explained to me.
This would certainly be a kind of “narcissism”, and we see now that the demonic personality is directly involved with it. (Though in her view, the demonic personality remains more connected with deeper trauma). Take away ego’s self-importance, and it feels it is being destroyed, and thus will seek to somehow “destroy” the threat in turn.
Basically, I seem to feel “I am a good person if things go my way”. If they don’t, then the complex turns against myself. It also goes after others who seem to be able to flout all the rules and get away with it (especially if they preach those rules themselves. Hence the “balance of power” issue, and I also recognized a whole “courtroom” and “judge” in my thinking years ago), or make themselves “good” while demonizing some group I identify with. (As in politics. Final point below). Now, in midlife crisis, it seems all my “losses” in life just collapsed onto me, and I began looking for a model of “integrity” (meaning “untouched”, as in “unconquered”) to identify with.
The opposing personality also heavily figured, which I had already identified in myself as a witty, sassy extraverted Thinking female figure who “bucks the system” of “life”, basically embodied by “this man’s world” and all its rules and demands.
Like I explain here http://www.erictb.info/superfriends.html, how I project this into the cartoon superhero “Jayna”, who has a lot of wit and notably greater powers than her brother Zan. But that’s in a negative sense, as I for some reason identified with Zan, I guess just for being a male underdog in a way, so female characters like that were always irritating to me, just as Beebe described OP projections. (Don’t even get me started on that old Danielle Spencer obnoxious little girl character from the 70’s!) A positive projection was this aforementioned particular person online, in a “[negative] heroine” or “my own Amazon ally” sort of way, from seeming to perfectly embody this for various reasons, and I thus wanted to “identify“, and the person initially was very responsive to friendship, which was so unexpected and unusual for me as it was. Identifying as INTJ also made her fit this image as well
This conflation of the anima and the OP in the same projections further illustrates my need to try to come to terms with what the process of individuation requires. Though Beebe points out that the more integrated a person is, the harder time he may have in recognizing the demonic side of his personality. I would think it became easier to recognize it when you had integrated (or “owned”, as popular lingo says) it.
If the ego could possess the “wholeness” the demon seeks, it would have a lot to be narcissistic about! So the demon’s “narcissism” compensates for the vulnerability of the inferiority complex. We feel inferior in a particular perspective in one attitude, but surmise that we’ve really mastered the perspective in the other attitude (which again is the right or left brain “alternative” or one of the “crow’s nests”). It’s really the furthest from consciousness of all, and when this is exposed, we again feel our very ego is being disintegrated, and then go on the attack.
Basically, the “demonic personality” looks for “integrity” in all the wrong places, or goes about it the wrong way!
He in the following chapter mentions how the position is “undermining, unless it is held to a standard of integrity, in which case it can become daimonic, an opportunity for spirit to enter the psyche from a shadowy place that had once only been an occasion for fear. He uses as an example prayer; “the integrity that accompanies the humility of praying to a power Other enough to be potentially destructive, and which may in its own way have already visited destruction of some aspect of the life of the person now praying”, which then “often moves the very same deity enough to offer illumination, compassion and a transformative intervention”.
This I definitely struggle with, especially as I deal with the role of God in all this, with Christians often citing scriptures like Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him”. This gets into the whole issue of whether all of our pains and difficulties are things God “does” to us, or are “just life”, and in that case, what God’s role in it is, and whether people’s success or failures in this life are indicators of some “favored” status before God, which has been the source of much assumption. It is basically the issue of “fate”, which is one of those things that are “too big for the ego”. The problem has been that a lot of Christians citing scriptures and principles like this have ended up becoming “Job’s friends”, who often don’t help out much, if not plunging a person deeper into depression, as we saw in his story.
He also mentions, in the section on the anima, that it is “the place in a man’s psyche where the dream of integrity of personality can become a reality”, via “the plumb line of personhood that develops between superior function hero and inferior function anima…making ‘integrity in depth’ possible”, citing the earlier book. So somehow, the answer is Fe for me, but I still haven’t figured what I can do for people in that area. My wife says my writing, but it’s taking time for people to really notice.
Other points on the anima: creatng the axis between the dominant and inferior is “to know greatest strength and weakness”.
Relatively unconscious functions generally cannot operate well without the anima.
Chapter 5 is on the Wizard of Oz. The overall “type” of the story is an ENFJ, with Dorothy as the Fe “heroine”, Glinda the good witch as the Ni “Great Mother” the Scarecrow as the Ti animus, the Cowardly Lion as the Se “puer aeternus”. The Tin Man, Almira Gulch, Aunt Em, Wicked Witch of the East, and even the grouchy apple tree and the ruby slippers are all the Fi opposing personality. The Wicked Witch of the West of course, the Ne “witch”, Toto is the Si trickster, and the Wizard is the Te demonic personality. (He actually cites Lenore here, using one of her descriptions of the ENFJ [Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual, p.357] to support his assigning the type to this story).
The first thing I thought, was that it was odd to break up the four central “good” characters, with three of them on the ego-syntonic side, and the Tin Man falling into the “shadow”! (While then assigning slots to the dog and objects such as a tree and the slippers). But he gives his rationale, and it gives a good example of the dynamics between the archetypes.
I guess it figures, if the Scarecrow wanting a brain represents inferior Ti (and the lion wanting courage represents a similarly ‘vulnerable’ Se), then the Tin Man wanting a heart would represent a less than developed Fi. I guess, as OP/backup, it is still close enough to ego consciousness to fit.
Chapter 6 is “The Stretch of Individual Typologies in the Formation of Cultural Attitudes”. The attitudes (“four contrasting stances…as traditional orientations to culture”) outlined by one time Jung analysand Joseph Henderson (who also became the great grandson-inlaw of Charles Darwin) in Cultural Attitudes in Psychological Perspective were the social, religious, aesthetic, and philosophic. These right away remind me of the other similar “four kinds of men” groups put together, beginning with Plato’s version, which of course became the basis of the Keirsey temperaments. We would think “aesthetic”=SP (Artisan), and “philosophical”=NT (Rational). “Religious” was actually the term used for Eduard Spränger’s counterpart for the NF. SJ could be seen as “social” in the sense of “the need for belonging” to a “concrete structure” unit, such as family, etc. though that does seem to be a bit of a stretch. Katherine Briggs, on the other hand, had started trying to develop a similar four type model, and as she began integrating Jung and transforming it into the MBTI model, “Sociables” supposedly evolved into F types, and others think NF is the most “social” temperament. (“Sociability” would actually be covered by the Berens Interaction Styles more than the conative Keirseyan groups).
Beebe doesn’t mention Keirsey’s temperaments, and I’ve never seen him address them, so I really don’t even know where he stands on them. (As a solid Jungian and not focused on the “16 types” theory in itself, he likely doesn’t recognize them).
Instead, he assigns these social attitudes to function-attitude tandems. At first, I thought we were going to get an alternative set of names to the new tandem groups Berens and Montoya recently introduced as part of their “Intentional Styles” model. But rather than tandems of diametric opposite functions (opposite function and attitude), that would make up the spine or arm tandems, these are the opposite function in the same attitude. What would create a “grand tandem” of the Hero and the Demon, or what I once called the “superspine” (or aux/trickster “superarm”, tert./Senex “compensatory arm”, or inferior/OP “contrasexual core”).
(So “Aesthetic” is associated with the “SP” after all, through the function-attitude preference it denotes. It figures to me that Si or SJ would be “religious”. Also, Ne as “aesthetic” as Se, which resonates with me. It’s simply more “abstract”).
It seems the primary representatives of the attitudes are an NFJ or STP (“Customizing” style)’s primary functions, and their “right/left brain alternatives” in the STJ/NFP (“Authenticating”) functions as secondary.
His point is, each function actually needs the other.
In describing the Ni-Si tandem, we get some good descriptions of Ni. It “trusts one’s own interpretation of what is real, fundamental, and of lasting importance over what others may see and think”. He quotes from Henderson on the difference between the two functions: “Introverted intuition perceives the variety and the possibility for development of the inner images, whereas introverted sensing perceives the specific image which defines the psychic activity that needs immediate attention”. (emphasis added). Extraverted intuition is shortly afterward described as spotting “the still unrealized possibilities in things” While I had heard “possible” used for S; particularly Se; I had recently figured that a better term that is trying to convey is “doable”. The possibility is already realized.
Part II, Type and the MBTI;
Chapter 7 Evolving the Eight Function Model.
This is another of the online papers I’ve cited (now at http://www.jungatlanta.com/articles/winter08-evolving-the-eight-function-model.pdf)
One thing here I sort of disagree with is his framing it in terms of the functions “expressing themselves”. Like the same functions with the opposite attitudes to his four primary functions will “express themselves in shadowy ways”. Then, he inquires on “the archetypes that carried these repressed shadow functions”.
But the thinking I have adopted is that it is the archetypes themselves, or more accurately, the archetypes filled up with personal experience to become complexes, or “ego-states“, that do the “expressing”. He’s not denying this, but I believe that a greater emphasis on this is really key to really help understand and explain these dynamics. He even a few pages later says “Although the actual casting of specific function-attitudes in the various roles will be governed by the individual’s type, the roles themselves seem to be found in everyone’e psyche. Hence I regard them as archetypal complexes carrying the different functions, and I like to speak of them as typical subpersonalities found in all of us” (p. 122, bold added), and “the role the individual enters when expressing a particular consciousness” (p.126; it’s the individual who does the expressing, through a particular “role”). Basically, the “lesser senses of ‘I'” again, separated by the process of “dissociation”, as Hartman/Zimberoff articulate.
The functions, as forms of “consciousness” as has been established here, are but divisions of reality; the undivided reality that in its totality is not completely accessible to the ego. I compare it basically to the spacetime dimensions of left vs right; back vs forth; up vs down, past vs future, and inside of us vs outside as a direct spatial counterpart to the attitudes. We wouldn’t say “my left went that way” or “my up is looking at a cloudy sky”; but rather, “I went left”, and “I looked up at a cloudy sky”.
Chapter 8 “Type and Archetype” (the spine and its shadow) goes further into the model, and we get some ground already covered, like how he put together his model. We get some more very useful details on the archetypes. The superior function “is the part of the ego we are most ready to claim ownership of, because it is associated with a sense of competence and potential mastery”. Thus associated with the “hero” or “heroine” archetypes. “This is a part of the psyche that welcomes facing challenges, that takes pleasure in recalling its past successful exploits, that revels in its unflagging reliability“.
The shadow archetypes “serve not to realize the aim of the personality, but to defend it, usually by managing people in oppositional and underhanded ways”. The anima “represents the instinct for soulful connection and reflection”. It’s “also a place of great idealism in the psyche. The higher cause or mission that seizes our energy is often associated with this area of the psyche where we are ourselves weak and inept (p.130) Hence, Berens renaming the “role” as “aspirational“.
“The opposing personality is a primary resource of defense, a part of us that tends to lurch forward first when we feel our heroic superior function and its most cherished values to be under attack”. (p132)
The shadows “form the realistic basis of the ‘unfair’ judgments we sometimes experience ourselves receiving from others”. We should then assume “that person has seen my shadow”.
Chapter 9 then deals with the arms and their shadow.
The auxiliary “takes the lead in fostering the development of other people [and hence “parent”]. The tertiary “tends to be acutely aware of its need for the stabilizing influence of another person”, and thus (as the “child”) is “more associated with vulnerability than competence”.
Here’s another groundbreaking revelation. On Mark Hunziker’s site (vtwellness.net), he had eight-function/archetype templates for each type (which have apparently been taken down now. Hunziker, BTW also has a new book now), consisting of tables similar to the one I remade above. Under “Good parent”, it said something about “helpful to others, but not so helpful to self“, which I was always unsure of, since it was usually said to be helpful to self and others. It seems Beebe possibly clarifies this here, by saying the auxiliary function “is not so good at taking care of the third function in oneself, but it operates like a good parent to everyone else…”. (p134) That really clears that up, to me.
He then acknowledges something that always needs to be pointed out; that “not all of the eight functions follow hero psychology in being measurable by their degree of strength“. This is what people need to remember especially when taking “cognitive process” measuring tests, such as Nardi’s “Keys2Cognition”. Only the “Hero” (dominant) we should expect to be necessarily “first” in the place of “strength” order (and even then, the tests are not perfect, and neither is our own self-awareness, or “clarity of preference”). “Rather, the strength, and the kind of strength, a function of consciousness displays is a consequence of the archetypal role associated with it, and archetypes are differently developed in different people” (p.135)
The senex “Takes on the quality of everything that has stood the test of time, and now resists change” (p.137). It often “pulls rank” and “sets limits” when we are “confronted with a person or plan whose basic direction strikes us as fundamentally destructive and dangerous to the things we value”. Here we see where it represents the ego’s desire to “be”, in the world.
He also then mentions the “inflation/deflation” pattern in terms of a “third function crisis”, which brings to mind Lenore’s “Tertiary problem”. To Beebe, this third function “operates as if in a double bind”, which is what we are put into by its shadow, the trickster, which he is discussing here (“so long as it remains unconscious, in which case one is vulnerable to being taken advantage of”. To Lenore, from our conversations, the trickster, like the demon, is more about trauma, or at least a Self-initiated need to grow, later in life).
Part III, the History of Type
Chapter 10 gives a “historical overview” of “Psychological Types”.
This is an excellent summary of Jung’s concepts for those (like me) find his writing too “dense”. It really helps to understand the concepts.
Beebe starts off describing the “common assumption” that the “types” are types of people, when they’re really “types of consciousness, that is, characteristic orientations assumed by the ego in establishing and discriminating an individual’s inner and outer reality”.
Carl Jung developed his theory, basically 100 years ago this decade. He initially equated feeling with extraversion, and thinking with introversion, but was convinced to split these into separate axes.
I find this interesting, because when I first looked at the types, trying to find how they really correspond to the classic four temperaments, which were based on I/E and the other factor being “people vs task focus”, T/F looked like the natural representative of the second axis. In the Arno Profile System I was familiar with, I/E was mapped to FIRO-B’s “expressed behavior”, while people or relationship/task was “wanted behavior” aka “responsiveness”. The temperaments’ different “wanted” poles were even termed as forms of I/E: “responding as an introvert or extrovert” (where I/E is “expressing as” such). So it would here make sense that E and F would be confused (these are the most involved with “people”), along with I and T (basically withdrawn from people and “in the head”). Even today in mainstream MBTI type discussions, we often have to explain why extraverts are not always to be expected to be so “people-oriented”. That’s really more connected with what in Berens’ Interaction Styles, is called “Informing” (in contrast to “Directing”), which for the S types, does actually line up with T/F! (While for the N’s it lines up with J/P, which I also recognized as representing a kind of “responsiveness” scale).
His theories led to the breakup between himself and Freud, for whom, “the study of the unconscious could only be accomplished rationally through a dialectic of thinking and feeling” (where Jung was using intuition. Here we see why mainstream psychology does not respect type theory! It also took on a heavy S “empirical” focus).
In 1916, he was then persuaded to add intuition as a third type of consciousness. At the same time, realizing that sensation was “more than an organ function…subordinate to feeling”, the “irrational axis” of S/N was now complete, in additional to the rational axis of T/F (and the original orientations of I/E). This of course also generated the fourth dichotomy; rational/irrational, itself. Thus, his type model was complete, and Psychological Types published in 1921.
In basic (natural; i.e. without attitudes) function definitions, according to Jung, S “registers reality as real“. This is a great way of putting it. Then, of course, T “defines for us” what we are perceiving “is” there (both S and T involve “what is”, as I’ve been pointing out, and this is how they are differentiated), and F “assigns a value” to it.
Jung found it easier to define these, than the remaining function, intuition. He connected it with time; that things have a past and a future, and thus “come from somewhere and go to somewhere, and you cannot see where they came from and you cannot know where they go to, but you get what Americans call a hunch”. Beebe concludes “the ability to get, and to a certain degree to trust, the hunch is what Jung meant by intuition“. “Intuitives” are “people who are naturally disposed to use their intuition to orient themselves to reality“. (Where the S, again, only appeals to “reality” itself). So this function “divine[s] the implications or possibilities of the thing that has been empirically perceived, logically defined, and discriminatingly evaluated”. (And recall, N’s “possibilities” can be contrasted with S’s “do-ability”, which is like a condensed form of technical intuition in seeing what is immediately “possible” given the current state of the tangible world).
Also mentioned is that Jung did not sustain other psychologists’ “opposition between reason and passion”; “feeling” was a rational process, assigning value just as “rational” as defining and creating logical links, which is “thinking”. So it’s “neither affect (or what we sometimes call ‘feelings’) nor the result of more unconscious emotion-based processes, even though he admitted our complexes are ‘feeling-toned'”. (p148)
Also, “there is an introvert and extravert in each of us”, which is something I have started pointing out, as each of the “ego-states” are basically sense of “I” (like the main ego), and thus can be considered themselves “introverts” or “extraverts”. I/E only tells us which attitude the “hero” state bears.
Introversion, citing Psychological Types, is dependence “on the idea, which shields him from external reality and gives him the feeling of inner freedom”. The term “idea” is used to “express the meaning of a primordial image, that is to say, an archetype. An introverted function, therefore, is one that has turned away from the object and toward the archetypal ‘idea’ that the object might be closely matched to. This archetypal idea, residing in the inner world, can be understood as a profound thought, a value, a metaphorical image, or a model of reality“, depending on the respective introverted function being T, F, N or S, and when orienting something external, “it is in the end, the comparison to the archetype, not the stimulating object of situation itself, that finally commands the attention of the function“. (I would again say it’s the ego-state that bears the “attention”).
To translate, an ‘image’ of “true/false”, “good/bad” (as he elaborates on further, below), an image itself (i.e. “an image of an image“, and there we see Ni’s “meta-perspective” again!), or “what is”.
This is what I’ve been trying to say for awhile now. “Archetypes” are sometimes regarded particularly as N products, and I had been using “images” for general perceptive products, with “ones that match tangible reality” as determining S, and ones that don’t, as N. Images that match how reality once was, but not necessarily match any more determine Si, while ones that still match determine Se. Ne and Ni are distinguished by whether the images are conceived by the object or the subject’s unconscious.
But here, we see all four introverted functions associated with inner “ideas”/”images”. For the judgment functions, rather than them being “images” just to observe; they are the “frameworks” used to determine “right” or “wrong” (true/false or good/bad). Hartzler’s “conscience” would be such an internal image, for Fi (while Ti, Si and Ni are named after active roles: “Analyst”, “Conservator” and “Visionary”).
These “ideas”, being internal are what, as Lenore had put it, are “learned individually or through nature” (where the outer “objects” lie in the “environment”, including being learned “through culture”).
“the ideas introverted thinking dwells on…are notions that may either be sui generis, or if once cultural, long out of circulation, which may seem entirely appropriate to the exact definition of a situation at hand, since they fit better than the currently accepted dictates of extraverted Thinking.” (What comes to mind for me, is liking the idea of the pinnipeds as a separate suborder of carnivore, making a trio of “cat form”, “dog form” and “seal form”, though empirical science has more recently concluded it is really part of the greater dog suborder. It still seems different enough from and equally similar enough to both the felids and canids to be separate). “These ‘new’ thoughts however, take effort to explain, and the introverted thinking function frequently goes on refining its conceptions when the patience of others has been exhausted: it does not know when to stop.”
For me, the 2D “expressed/wanted” matrix is the [“impersonal”—T/”profound thought”] “image” or “idea” that I’ve measured the “truth” of comparative typology systems by. (Which are metaphorical objects. And while once more popular, is barely known about today. Metrical symmetry is a primordial archetype, being it’s what mathematics [number theory] relies on, and can be seen in visual reflections, and reflections of reflections).
When Keirsey claimed NF was “Choleric”, for instance, it was obvious it didn’t fit the image, as the NF’s behavior seemed more low in expressiveness and high in responsiveness, where the classic Choleric temperament is the opposite. Mapping Keirsey’s factors to e/w, with cooperative/pragmatic as “expressed”, and “annoying/contagious” (structure/motive) as “wanted”, then it fit, with NT as Choleric, and NF as Phlegmatic. (But not in surface “social” behaviors—which are the Interaction Styles, but rather leadership and action [i.e. “conative” as per Berens], matching both of those models to the multi-level FIRO-based matrix [i.e. via “Inclusion” and “Control”] that made up my complete inner “image”).
For Si, the person’s happiness at a meal might be affected by “a dissonance with the archetype of a good meal that has been constellated by the excessive stimulation” of the internal body sensations or the audibility of others at the table.
For Ni, “unconscious images acquire the dignity of things” (Jung). It naturally “apprehends the images rising from the a priori inherited foundations of the unconscious” (where Ne’s images arise from looking at objects), and thus rather than thinking about, experimentally comparing, or feeling the archetype that arises in relation to a situation, Ni “becomes directly aware of the archetype as an image, as if ‘seeing’ it”. Later, (p.184, citing Jung) it “peers behind the scenes, quickly perceiving the inner image”, and is “directed to the inner image”, and observes “how the picture changes, unfolds and finally fades” (and is the consciousness most consistently devalued in contemporary Western culture).
When Fi feels “bad”, “it is feeling the entire archetypal category of ‘bad’” (or as he later puts it, an “archetypal standard of appropriateness”, often represented in dreams as a “judge”, p173, and that Fi “works art the archetypal (not personal) level, compels us to feel the rightness or wrongness of images” p221). So this shows that “archetypes can be felt every bit as much as they can be thought about, directly intuited or experience somatically”. Jung stated “Fundamental ideas, like God, freedom and immortality, are just as much feeling-values as they are significant ideas”.
This of course reminds us that we all do this, not just FP types (or mature TJ’s or TP’s and FJ’s only in “shadow” mode). So he says “Perhaps we all get into our introverted feeling when we are depressed”. The way I express the typological differentiation of the function, is that for FP’s it will naturally figure in their “heroic” or “parental” ego states, and for TJ’s, in the “tertiary or inferior states. For TP’s and FJ’s, it will figure in shadow ego-states, to the point, that they will likely only be associated with “general” or more technically speaking, “undifferentiated” uses.
Depression, reaction to imbalances of power, and other forms of subjective valuation will be common experiences to them, but not connected with any specific typological state, unless those shadow complexes happen to be constellated. (And of course, there’s also Lenore’s “Crow’s Nests” [brain-lateral “alternatives”] and “Double Agents” as possible roles for them).
Also, p202 Fi “tends to be more thoroughly original and thus appear ‘quirkier’ than its extraverted sibling. Fe can be charming, but not usually through originality and rough-edged sincerity”. This will also be similar to Ti being “quirkier” than Te, and thus showing “quirkiness” as a common “P” trait.
For the extraverted functions, Fe, of course, involves the “feelings—that is, the emotions and prejudices—of others, and often society at large” (it also “seeks concrete gratitude and validation”). Te “tends to become enamored of established ideas, frequently neglecting the duty to think freshly about what is being expressed”, so that “there is no brake, against insisting that these ideas should given everyone’s behavior”, and be made [Jung]: “into the ruling principle not only for himself, but for his whole environment”. (this so brings to mind my work environment!)
Se can be so “in the moment” in the reality “out there”, that it might not recognize other things that may be going on, or “notice that someone is about to say or do something unexpected”. (I didn’t realize this about Se. p.185 also describes it: “objects are valued in so far as they can excite sensations the sole criterion of their value is the intensity of the sensation produced by their objective qualities”).
Ne is compared to a traffic signal, with a red, yellow and green aspects, telling us to proceed, proceed with caution or stop. Other types “may not perceive the presence of any signal at all and thus cannot understand why the person led by such intuitions is rushing ahead, stopping or pausing when he does”. This I can identify with, in dealing with S types, particularly SJ’s, who try to impose their own sense of order on me, thinking I won’t know when to stop doing something they think is potentially dangerous, apart from their way of thinking or doing things. Of course, it’s true that the perspective’s “failure to heed sensation cues can undermine its claim to have ‘seen’ anything at all”.
In leading into the way functions develop (in the process of “individuation”), he next discusses Jungs’ treatment of “undifferentiated functions”, which is when they are “fused” with each other. Like the “general” feeling of depression any type can have, when not wed to one of the complexes. It contains the “products” of all the functions; a “sensory” feeling of the emotion of pain, which then leads to the “bad” assessment of “feeling”, and includes negative “thinking”, and as I call it, a negative “story” made up of “ideas”.
He mentions along the way that von Franz indicated that “one can choose to develop the second or third function next” after the dominant. (This touches upon the dispute I have seen, as to whether Jung considered the auxiliary and tertiary to be “two auxiliaries”).
He later says “My model implies that development of all eight function-attitudes will involve a significant engagement with each of the archetypal complexes, and a differentiation of each function out of its archetypal manifestation” (p.157). He acknowledges that shadow function-attitudes, in borderline and narcissistic conditions, “can be associated with archetypal defenses of the Self” (which is basically what Lenore had said regarding the Trickster and Demon, from Kalsched’s usage of the complexes). I’m assuming, that otherwise, they are defenses of the ego. The eight complexes are basically part of the “ego-structure”.
He then cites the contributions of several people, including Jungian writer I. N. Marshall, that S/N are “functions of the given”, and T/F as “functions of option”. Willeford insisting on “the primacy of feeling in the hierarchy of functions” (because it is the function that discriminates affect).
He later hails Berens as “a unifying leader in the types movement, integrating multiple approaches…into an intellectually consistent framework”, and then her and Chris Montoya for their “cognitive styles lens” (by now, renamed “Intentional Styles”).
Chapter 11 is on Jung’s “Red Book”. I didn’t know anything about this book, but it of course gives more insight into Jung’s theory. This is where he recognized both T and F as “rational”, and made the irrational functions of equal value to them.
The most interesting thing (to me) that we get here is a treatment on Jung’s type, which has actually been a source of much debate in the online type community. Beebe reveals that Jung was in fact an INTJ, but one whose “thinking was never his true superior function. Rather, his using it as if it were a superior function was a ‘falsification of type’, a not uncommon consequence of ‘abnormal external influences'” (p171). Jung himself has often been ambiguous on this. People who see his Thinking as superior (and introverted) would then surmise he was actually an ISTP, with a strong tertiary Ni yielding his “abstract” focus. Others, thinking he had a primary Ti would say INTP, or if wanting to hold onto Ni dominance, even INFJ .
Chapter 12 is “Psychological Types on Freud and Jung”
Freuds’ “types”, of course were his stages of psychosexual development (oral, anal and phallic, which he developed into a typology of character).
“To be unaware of the types is to risk unnecessarily pathologizing what may actually be adaptive and healthy”.
The rest of the chapter deals with stuff like their relationship to the anima.
Part IV applications of type
Chapter13 Difficulties in the recognition of psychological type
Discusses Jo Wheelwright and himself
Points out his auxiliary Ti is trying to “take care of us” by getting us to draw the stick figure of his type, to visualize both the type theory and the man explaining it to us in the terms he has found most helpful. Whether we feel taken care of depends in part on our own typology.
(So with me, figures I make, while aiming to help others understand, are first, visualizations of the technical “images” ⦅logical “archetypes”⦆ that I like. I then try to “cake care of others” by throwing the theories they are illustrating out there as a possible ways to look at things. I’ve noticed that I don’t always want to to help people with Ti directly. I tend to assume or at least expect them to already know; like to have the same sort of internal “map” of the subway or streets that I do, like when we’re at 34th St. and they ask if the train is going to 42nd (the next stop on every line, and the information must be given and the person make the decision to get on or not in a short time before the doors close). Also, having to explain what I have learned people are slow to understand; so again, it would be easier if they already did).
When making a type assessment we need to take into account the archetypal stance that accompanies the deployment of a particular function. (p201)
With patients, the analysts often have to distinguish inbetween the way the patient asserts self, and the way the patient takes care of another (p203) This of course will determine dominant vs auxiliary.
When in the grip of complexes, this can produce “a reduction of the mental level, such that the energy that normally attaches itself to the superior and auxiliary functions, allowing them to surface, is absent. When these functions are not active, the tertiary and inferior functions emerge (p204).
“The person who constantly obsesses about small feeling matters, finding other people’s feelings an endless burden, may not be an extraverted feeling type, for whom other people’s feelings naturally matter and are thus relatively easy to deal with, but someone with inferior extraverted feeling, that is, an introverted thinking type, who is in constant danger of ignoring the feelings of others.” (p 205, emphasis added)
“To discover a patient’s type, it is better to wait until the patient shows an original gift for accurately construing or managing some aspect of what comes up in therapy, rather than attempt to ‘type’ the person when he or she is manifesting a collective persona that could belong to anybody in the patient’s situation, or when the patient is so evidently suffering from psychopathology that a syndrome has all but replaced the person.”
Here’s one I’ve noted: “Introversion when used consciously, is not as easy to discriminate, and thus the functions are easily confused with each other.” (p206)
Chapter 14 An Archetypal Model of the Self In Dialogue, which was another paper he had online, but the link I had provided was one where you had to subscribe to a journal.
Again supporting the “lesser senses of I”+, we have mention of “multiple centers of agency/awareness” and “splinter psyche”, which is “part persons in our psyche”. “Each subpersonality has its own emotional stance”. (p210)
“Feeling is often (even by Jung) spoken as if it were a synonym for valuing, but it is not only function associated with making a valuation; it is merely the function that places the highest premium on the psychological act of assigning value.” (p211. While “‘Thinking’ places the highest value on the logical processes of defining, conceptually discriminating, and reasonably deploying ideas. ‘Intuition’ places the highest value on establishing potential connections between things, even when such connection seem to fly in the face of reason. ‘Sensation’ puts the highest value on the efficient management and sensuous appreciation of things in time and space”).
Si “empirical observation of other is used to enhance the experience of self” (p213)
He pretty much in this chapter just reiterates the eight archetypes, and the arm/spine function tandems, with the diagrams, and discusses Woody Allen’s Husband and Wives.
Finally, 15 Identifying the American Shadow (typological reflections on the 1992 LA riots).
Now this is an interesting topic!
He says Fi is “traditionally prevalent in American black culture, but is sometimes suppressed in favor of” Te, in order to “adapt to the prevailing values of economically empowered whites”.
Being that there is experiential and even statistical evidence of ISTJ being the prevalent type of people in the black community, any “prevalent” Fi likely being observed would be a strong tertiary, with aux. Te often suppressed in them by the dominant society. It seems to come naturally in the majority of the people, and thus the whole environment. (It certainly comes out amongst each other, and especially in families from parents). It’s the larger society that has suppressed that function in the subjugated people (and then judges us for not using it enough, basically!)
It’s what I talk about all the time in the political posts; only whites have “rights”, and are to be given the opportunities to “pull themselves up”. Many blacks want to, but are forever remaining frustrated (and then the society uses this to prove its stereotypes of blacks being all lazy and refusing to take opportunities available. Which might even be shaping the perception that there are a lot of ISFP’s, which are often portrayed as “dreamy” types, with the ISF “Interaction Style” being a passive “Behind the Scenes” [Phlegmatic]. Most blacks are clearly “Chart the Course” [serious, dutiful Melancholics]).
Any Se (as he suggests next) is likely “opposing” (i.e. dealing with all the massive obstructions faced).
Basically, white society is agreed to be dominantly Te. People watching the attack on the truck driver basically reflected a demonic Fe, “that is so prevalent in the white collective”. Viewers simply “put themselves in the young driver’s place”. (This, to my understanding, is really Fi. The question to ask is “who‘s doing the feeling?” If it’s the “object”, meaning the other person, it’s extraverted. If it’s the subject, then that would be them “putting themselves in their place”, and thus doing the feeling for them, which would be “introverted”.
You could say it is what the “shadowy” Fe is shadowing to begin with. Many whites have played off of a portrayal of blacks as menacing beasts, clearly indicating feelings of a kind of “inferiority” ⦅morally, socially, etc.⦆, which they then project onto the blacks as lacking in morals or intelligence, what they supposedly excel with, in brute strength. Which also might be a projection of “childlike tertiary”, or “senex” Se [think Limbaugh’s “they’re angry…”], depending on whether the particular portion of the collective Te dom. is Ni or Si. aux. which both figure strongly in American society, though ESTJ usually granted as the dominant type).
The inferior projection of Fi is what the nation “let[s] blacks carry, keeping ‘them’ wherever possible, in an ‘inferior’ position, where ‘their’ feelings can be despised or at least selectively honored”.
Yet this is not society’s darkest shadow. “That shadow is carried by the smiling, sinister white man at the base of the American character, the man with the demonic extraverted feeling”, which is what some blacks call “the man”, as in the “series of undermining moves that finally provoked the conflagration”, such as the actions of the police chief, and the change of venue of the trial to Simi Valley for a ‘fairer’ hearing by peers.
I would say the Demonic Fe is also conveyed through the conservative ‘moralism’, which has long seen itself as “exceptional” (there’s that narcissism we’ve identified with the demonic personality!), and with blacks as destroying the civilization (as the alt-right will openly profess believing, and the rest of conservativism conveying this indirectly through the moral and economic rhetoric). Clearly, as I’ve long been saying, they are projecting their own destructive, morally undermining pathologies onto others! (e.g. their history of violence and crime, which they try to sweep under the rug, focusing on their goodness in contrast to what they see blacks on the news doing in urban areas now).
Recall also that the Demonic Personality, according to the Kalsched use, involves the real or perceived disintegration of the ego. So it’s the realization that white male Christian dominance is coming to an end (hence what they call “destroying their nation or civilization), that naturally is what’s constellating this archetype so strongly in the first place.
So inferior Fi is also projected onto blacks in the form of the total character judgment they often level at “the community”, where “black lives apparently don’t ‘matter’ to blacks themselves”, because we have shootings of each other in the cities, and ‘lay around’ poor, “whining” about “racism”, and “waiting for handouts”, instead of just “pulling our bootstraps”. Again, this purportedly “colorblind” sort of judgment really can’t see its own shadow of maintaining all the classic racist stereotypes, and bending all the relevant “facts” to make them fit; but everyone else can see it, leading to the defensive “race card!” cry when it’s called out.
(This Fi judgment is basically from them looking at blacks and saying “if I were in that situation, I would just pull myself out of it [or in fact, I —or my grandparents were, and in fact did pull ourselves out if it], and so they should do the same. If I were acting as they do, it would be because I would have to be feeling ‘entitled‘, and so that must be what they feel”).
Using both attitudes of Feeling, they are judging us inside and out, but it’s really a projection of their own sins, that they have rationalized and tried to hide behind their achievements (superior Te) as if it justifies it (confusing a Thinking with a Feeling judgment; what’s “true” must be “good”).
So this is a must have for anyone who wants Beebe’s full treatment all in one volume. Whether one agrees with the way he types stories, or some of the descriptions of functions or archetypes, it still gives the best view of his concepts.
Just ran across this; yet another “objective black”
While I’ve always thought “white privilege” was a potentially inflammatory term that’s easily misconstrued, here, my fears are right, as this guy turns it completely around, to the black side of the issue.
•We get the simplistic “Just do what the police tell you”, ignoring all the cases where there was no resistance. Tamir rice “twirling a gun” was used as one of these “almost every one of these instances” of “someone resisting arrest”.
•”All the talk of racism” is absurd because of all the black officials in Baltimore
•Claims “University of Washington study” that cops are reluctant to shoot blacks (for fear of being accused of racial profiling) and that they are more likely to shoot whites (“under certain circumstances”), and that shooting of blacks is going down compared to whites.
•Blacks “not getting into school” is “BS”; with “Affirmative Action” and loans and grants to the poor, they get into school faster and easier than whites, and thus have an “easier route to the middle class”
The whole problem to him is the lack of fathers, which by itself causes every other problem (crime, etc.)
I’ve always said that these “facts” are always put out there, as speaking for themselves as to the proper course of action (which is then not really given). Well, now he is directly asked what should be done about it, and actually gives the straight answer for a change, which all boils down to “reverse the welfare state” (which of course figures to us anyway).
Added is how everything was better for blacks in the 19th century, including slavery, because at least they had “intact nuclear families”. The “War on Poverty” in the 60’s is what brought it all down; the moral and economic costs being a “neutron bomb dropped on this country”, and even spreading to white kids, whose single parent statistics have gone up somewhat. Of course, the Moynihan Report becomes the pinnacle of the observation, careful to note that he was “liberal”.
(What’s conveniently ignored is how government assistance programs were generally seen as good earlier on when they benefited only whites. The 60’s is when they were expanded to blacks and then THAT’s when they were turned against as destructive to the nation. And handkerchief heads like this guy and Allen West perpetuate the lie that blacks on these programs are what’s ruining the nation! He rebuffs such terms [below] but they are fitting to anyone who will tell these lies on black people to validate the “angry white” narrative).
Then goes into how “the left has made language a problem” (fear of being labeled racist). This is what the host “agrees” on, but then Elder actually disagrees and says the reason is because then the left “would have to look at themselves and say “Jesus H. Christ; look at what I’ve done”. (And then mentions inviting on his radio show Jackson, Sharpton and Maxine Waters, “another loud mouthed black woman”. This sort of racial invective is not surprising, considering he has a book entitled “Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card–and Lose“ , since re-titled to What’s Race Got to Do with It? [wonder why?] with most chapters starting with “Stupid Blacks…”).
Of course, it’s all about comparing “facts”, which he challenges them to bring (just like he challenges the host to do, and he could only fumble around and come up with police violence and after deflecting a bit, finally starting to try to lead to something else —”well I don’t know that it’s systemic in that…”, which the guy then runs right over with his statistical “facts”. It’s the perennial caricature of liberals and their lack of logic they thrive on. Though he calls himself a “classical liberal”, which Elder points out is really conservative; or more accurately, more of a libertarian).
Because he can appeal to both liberal and conservative foundation studies showing it’s ALL about not having dads, it proves it’s not a “liberal or conservative issue”, but a “real world” kind of thing, that they “don’t want to have a conversation on”; why? “For fear it will cause you to have to rethink your assumptions”, which is “cognitive dissonance”, and we don’t want to do it simply because it’s “uncomfortable”.
But for one thing, the usual conservative charge is that the “Democrats” are just doing all of this to try to “gain votes”. To some, it’s to “destroy the country” (i.e. they are really closet Communists, basically trying to continue what the Soviet empire aimed to do when they were vying against us. Just control for the sake of control, in opposition to the abstract ideal of “freedom”). If that were the case, then it’s not cognitive dissonance, of something they are trying to suppress into their own unconsciousness; (which is what’s called a “shadow”). In that case, they know what they are doing, and are simply trying to hide it from everyone else. So they would still “not want to have the open conversation”, but the motives would be different from what he’s here assigning. (This also parallels Trump or someone’s question of whether Obama “knows what he’s doing or not” in “ruining the country” or not).
This right here shows a hole in the thinking, as you’re starting with a predetermined bias that the other side is doing evil, but have not really decided what the base motive is. They’re “just wrong”, because, well, they just are! So it changes according to the talking point being promoted at the moment. When trying to convince blacks that they should follow conservatives, it’s an evil plot to “keep them on the plantation”. When speaking generally, on the “facts” of the matter, it’s because they “don’t want to look at themselves” and be cognitively “uncomfortable”. (Which, BTW, reminds me of the gist of much of the Unabomber’s ramble; in the form of a psychoanalysis of liberals).
But this can easily be turned around. For if it’s true that liberal democrats simply care about “votes”(power), they they won’t have such a personal stake in the issue, regarding “what they’ve done” to the country. They’re just milking it for power, and don’t care (which describes the corporate powers who are really the ones milking us dry. The reason they don’t want to be pointed at, and thus get everyone to point at blacks, is not so they won’t look at themselves, for obviously, they apparently don’t even have that level of conscience. It’s so others won’t see and turn against them and stop them from milking all of us. They’ll be too busy trying to control the blacks! This is the “strategic” racism!)
Though at the very end, he does shift to a more “deliberate”, even “diabolical” motive assignment, in the border issue. The Democrats want weak borders so that illegals can come in and change the electorate (having lost the white vote since 1964, as he points out), so they can win. Again, if that’s the case, it’s not really about not wanting to “look at themselves”.
However, it’s conservatives who identify with the institutions being accused of racism; from the nation itself on down to the police and businesses! Which they have been insisting are “exceptional“. So we can see that they would be the more likely ones to have such a personal stake in the matter, that they “cannot look at”; not themselves directly (as they remind us they were not around to own slaves), but rather the collective entities they identify with (see as an extension of themselves, that they defend as if it were their own personal lives). THIS is what they (conservatives) “do not want to look at and say ‘My goodness, what have WE done?'”
All of those pictures of lynchings, with the children looking on as entertainment, and even some of those people still being around today (and whether they were there or actually guilty of it or not) would surely be something people would not want to “look at” and truly absorb how evil it was. Not when we have the high “exceptionality” ideal to live up to (which itself is likely yet another cover for that deep shadow of the civilization).
This answers the question that’s often raised in my mind, when seeing figures like Giuliani and Limbaugh, of what blacks have ever done to them, to garner the utter resentment you can see in their faces when discussing race and blacks’ “problems”. Blacks are a testament to the evils of the early nation (and that period of the larger “Western Civilization”, which they also hold as “exceptional”), which they identify with. This they cannot accept, so they have to make the blacks entirely at fault for the problems, but done in a way they can disguise as “colorblind”, and thus not “racist”.
Also why they so thoroughly disowned Obama as “their” president. Him being accepted as President would obviously run counter to “the original values of the nation” (that is, being both black and liberal, at least. If a black were conservative enough, the exception would be made; but as we saw with Cain, and also what Powell likely feared, the party will not allow him to actually get to the nomination).
Obama being a good president, or anything above “the worst in history”, really, proves early American beliefs and “values” wrong. (And their attempt to have it such that the “worst” one “just so happened” to be the black one [and also happened to not be American and thus disqualified from the presidency to begin with], but it’s “just the facts”, doesn’t fool anyone, yet they just can’t see that, and so insist it’s the other side “playing the race card”. I think it’s subconsciously an attempt to have “fate” prove their supremacy).
Again, there is never any sense that the “truth” always being in their favor, or that they even had the superior wisdom to always favor “truth”, and never be swayed by “emotion” or “ego” (like “everyone else”), is just “too good to be true”. It’s the full fruition of a mindset of “superiority”.
But instead of shutting the discussion down with “political correctness” like the liberals do, they simply deflect, and hide behind statistics to promote the “facts” that are falsely accused of being “racist” (as he facetizes here) that somehow manage to just happen to always agree with old racial stereotypes, while yet being truly “colorblind”.
Again, the “discussion on race”, they want is really the “Negro problem in America” as the alt-right loudly admits.
Speaking of that movement, two of the comments state:
“Who is this cuckold white host? Love the way Larry just stayed on point with facts. Would pay to see him debate Colon Paperneck.”
“This pathetic white cuck has no facts, no specifics, no statistics, no brains, and no back bone whatsoever, which is why “he” is a spineless white liberal. Larry Elders had to school her ass.”
When you see that term “cuck”, you know you’re likely dealing with the alt-right. But actually, part of the whole concept of cuckery is the indirect approach of most conservatives, of using “facts” yet not spelling out the conclusion; namely “the Negro problem in America”. And this is what is being done here. They are maintaining the “colorblind” approach, which is really anathema to the alt-right, which insists the COLOR (genetics) is the central issue, and everything done in the name of white supremacy was right and justified because of it. The statistical “facts” are only used to support this; not to support some other abstract premise, such as economics or morality or even “US ideals of ‘freedom'” or “the Constitution”, as mainstream conservatives have done. But even the alt-righters know that some cucking (i.e. subdued “dog whistling”) is necessary to sneak the ideology in unawares, though they pretend to be solidly against it.
(I’ve even seen suggestions that a lot of alt-right rhetoric and social media memes is actually “trolling“; where young kids who really don’t care about the actual issues are just trying to get a rise out of everyone; both sides, just for the fun of it. ⦅The guy who harassed the Ghostbusters star is said to be one such troll. Of course, while simply “having harmless fun”, they have the power to create a total race war, if we just follow whatever meme or talking point appeals to whatever frustration we have, and then lash out at others. Any war will then simply be blamed on the other side, “proving” the need to have had a war against them in the first place⦆).
So to repeat, the “discussion on race” that is ultimately desired, is to isolate blacks, and excoriate them for their “lack of morals” (and the rest of the character “lacking” the alt-right adds), such as their just wanting handouts. Then, of course, to take the necessary steps to fix the government, hijacked to give these rogue people all the nation’s resources. It has wrongly been made “easier” for them to climb the ladder, but the real reason they haven’t, is because they are just too lazy, which in turn is because their “pathological” culture” is too immoral to teach the boys to raise families and obey the police. (Elder acknowledges blacks as being “conservative” on some issues, but of course, only swayed to the Democrats by the “social justice warrior” (SJW) rhetoric. Even though he doesn’t say it here, others will fill in this as part of the blacks’ lower intellect, favoring anyone who gives them something or tells them what they want to hear).
So if they then “sink”, then it is all their own fault, and if they react with violence, then we have to justification to kill all of them if necessary.
As the alt-righters clearly point out, it’s not just the better morals of the past, but the racial institutions (slavery or Jim Crow) that promoted the morals. They were unable to maintain the morals on their own, just as they cannot have a prosperous nation on their own. Again, the same appeal to “just fact”, as what Elder is doing. (Though an alternate tactic I’ve seen somewhere recently is to pit Africans against “African Americans”, making us even lower than those from our own motherland, who reportedly don’t even want to be associated with us). Why do these “objective” conservatives (white or black) pretend that part of the ideology just never existed?
So I just have to wonder, whether Elder (along with the others like him, such as West, Sowell, etc) really thinks that if they got their way, and they abolished all social programs, and then mowed down all the angry blacks in the unrest that would ensue, if the nation would then live happily ever after, and he would be hailed (like he is here) as a hero who fought the good fight of the oppressed white nation, and thus be respected (as a “good one”).
When you look at the pure ideology behind “exceptionalism”, the problem is blackness in itself, and if all of these rabid Trump supporters got their way, I don’t think many of those people would make him an exception, just because he argued their cause for them. The colorblind and the alt-right alike would initially do the same things, but then the alt-right is going to go further and appeal to genetics, and I don’t see the “colorblindness” advocates then turning against them on that (as you never see them criticize them now. They are basically on “the same side” of the political spectrum, against the liberals). It will be likely “oh, well! It’s for the betterment of the nation”. THEN what will speakers like this do when trapped in a society among such people? This is why they get called the names he rebuffs such as “Uncle Tom”. (Which to him is just as “racist” as the N word. But “another loud mouthed black woman”, and “Stupid blacks” isn’t?)
He then goes on, sitting back in the chair with this smug look the whole time, to extol himself ,”I am a bigger threat to their whole ideology than almost anybody else”, and being “a black guy who is not a victim, believes in hard work and personal responsibility, doesn’t believe in handouts…I am the antithesis of everything they stand for”, which is the only reason anyone would oppose him. It’s not even “we” (him and other black conservatives), considering he started the statement as defending a black FOX host being called a “token”. It’s all “I”. Sounds like pure self-promotion, and perhaps why he’s so blind to the whole ideology he’s pitching. (That would likely explain “what’s in it for him”, as well as others like West, and the self-absorbed marketing entrepreneur I mentioned recently, who despised Chicago blacks. In order to build up themselves, they must put others down, and have found the rest of “the black community” the perfect object, which they of course dissociate themselves from. But what they don’t realize, is that this is in turn being exploited by white supremacists, who pretend to cheer them on as comrades, but are only using it for their own agenda, which would not be favorable for you).
Again, I’d love to see how all that would stand up in the ideal society the Right would create if they could have all they wanted, with blacks put back in their place if not eradicated! Your sense of personal “self”-worth and achievements may mean nothing, then, because you still share the same inferior genetics, and there would be no more liberals for you to join with them in fighting.
He has just reiterated all of the classic racist stereotypes, pasted onto “blacks” as a whole (i.e. the “community”, and based solely on a bunch of statistical figures that are easily skewed or spun. Notice, how in the beginning, he built up a whole premise of blacks being the ones everything favors; “black “privilege” basically, based solely on (loosely cited, at that) figures (that to me don’t seem to necessarily or definitely say as much as he’s claiming. But in a talk show discussion, who can go and look all that up and then determine what they really mean.
It’s a shame that the liberals have traditionally only had advocates like this host, the just further prove their whole premise. But thank goodness for new figures like Wise and Lopez now!
Here’s, BTW, is yet another person openly flaunting de-facto white superiority, black inferiority, but in terms of colorblind “fact, not racism” and “I have black friends who aren’t like that”:
(And see some of his other titles. It brings to mind Rush’s “they’re angry…” aimed at blacks. So tell me this guy and countless others like him aren’t dangerously “angry”; what, just because they claim it’s based on “truth”, right? I guess “angry”, along with “whining”, “entitled”, etc. only means “without just cause”, and only people like this have any cause or violated rights).
But to answer the question as this host obviously couldn’t, the biggest form of “racism” today is the whole “exceptionality” premise (which is just another term for “superiority”, with “Western” or “American” representing “white” in a “traditional” or “original” sense), that leads people to justify past or present evils, and then demonize the other people to further justify it. It’s really the same, original belief system behind racism to begin with!
THIS is what needs to be driven home by liberals, instead of stumbling over various issues that are ultimately symptoms rather than causes. (The reason liberals have ended up providing so much fodder for conservatives is because they often treat the “systemic” symptoms instead of the ideological causes).
Last year, after 9-11, I had thought of an article idea, but figured I’d hold off until this year since the date had already passed, and figured the 15th anniversary would be a better occasion (being a half-round number; i.e. divisible by 5, as we see this is being made a special anniversary).
With the site being slowly rebuilt, and still looking like a construction site from Church St., I only recently (last month) finally get down to see the new memorial park and the waterfalls. And this only from heading to an MBTI Meetup group, that decided to meet at the Winter Garden, instead of midtown that month, and probably reading the phone or something, missed the stop at Cortlandt, and figured I’d get off at Rector and walk back up instead. (I did a few months earlier get to explore the new “fish skeleton” oculus, as I call it (also looks even more like a “claw” style hair clip), and the extensive maze from the entrances on Liberty or Vesey Sts. required to get to it before the connection to the new Dey St passage opened more recently).
Since then, the stores have reopened in the concourse (now under the oculus), and the new 1 WTC tower looks nearly complete. Still remaining to be rebuilt is the 1 line station.
I had earlier last year finally joined Bitstrips, posting some of its personalized memes to my Facebook. Now having weekends off (which I’ve just lost this upcoming pick beginning in November, where I’ll be working Sun-Thurs again), and there would be strips taking place in the office, like having a desk and cubicle and dealing with “the boss”, and welcoming Friday, the end of the week. This reminded me of the court job (being NYCT-RTO is very different of course. When 9-11 occurred, I had just left the courts that past winter and started Transit, and had been out of training, on “on the road” for only two months. It takes about this long to be able to get a “regular office”-like M-F AM schedule, and the current pick is my first AM w/Sat-Sun off; but apparent cuts to weekend RDO slots in the picking for my district, believed to be connected to the reshuffling of districts being done in anticipation of the upcoming Second Avenue Subway opening, have sort of set me back).
On my WTC memoir http://www.erictb.info/wtc.html I started off mentioning how on certain Fridays (one per month basically), I would leave the old job at quitting time and work my way over to the NYD-ERA railfan meeting at what’s now St. John’s, and was then “College of Insurance”, literally in the shadows of the towers. After the meeting, I would head across Murray St. to one of the subways, taking note of the cool “Friday evening” atmosphere, of people in the bars and restaurants, and the cool scene looking down West Bway at the towers.
This whole “Friday” imagery would now remind me of the WTC, and how the towers (and the rest of the complex, of course) were basically regular office buildings (that I even worked a summer in; my first true job, in fact) that these “office life” comic scenes take place in.
(More recently, Bitstrips just discontinued itself one day, though Bitmojis continue).
Last year this week (vacation both years) was also when I started my exploration of the entire career of Steely Dan, which included the song “Black Friday” (reflecting the financial crash, which had the big business leaders in their offices “dive from the fourteenth floor”, which of course that week, watching 9-11 documentaries matched images of people falling from the towers. (9-11 was a Tuesday, but the point right now is not the actual day of the week it occurred on). The song (written from the perspective of it being a future day) makes it sound like something to look forward to, when he’ll do various fun things, that “satisfy my soul”. Each line starts with a joyful sounding “When Black Friday comes…” This group’s lyrics being as they are, where you never know what exactly it’s about (and then “Black Friday” has now gained a more positive connotation, at least in the retail world, where as part of a four day holiday weekend it is a day of making a lot of sales), I just removed it from its context, and it reminded me of that whole “end of the office week” theme. Of course, Friday night is followed by Saturday, which also became a time to look forward to (https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/2055)
But then all of this made me think of people who worked in the towers with that weekly routine, the same as in my court job, or any other regular “working hours” office; only for it to then be cut off like that, right after the weekend.
I also discovered an unreleased song, on YouTube, called “the Bear”, which was apparently about Wall st. and the video included images of the area, and thus reminded me of WTC, as did something about the sound. I think it was a different sound for them, and sounded interesting (especially with the Clavinet, which I always like), but then took on a haunting feel. The lyrics are certainly haunting, with this character who is going to “get you”, and “wants your a__”. It was said to be recorded in the sessions for either Gaucho, or even the album before it, the definitive Aja (Hard to imagine that on there. The more rockish sound would stick out so much from the smooth, jazzy feel).
The only thing I could compare it to was the title track of the album before that, “The Royal Scam”, whose cover is graced with a somewhat haunting image of a Hispanic immigrant (the subject of the song) sleeping on a bench, as these huge office buildings tower over him; and looking down from the tops of each of the four of them are the huge heads of a lizard, a bear(!) or rat (looks like the inflatable labor dispute rats, though a bear would make more sense, being a large predator), a python or cobra, and I think a cougar or other large cat. (Another one I more recently took note of, that sounds even more like it is the later Fagen solo “Big Noise, New York”, made for a Spike Lee Film that was never produced).
Didn’t want to ramble on this side stuff too much, but the point is that all of these images came together to represent the enjoyment of the “cool” aspects of average working class life (good office job, ending the work week and enjoying downtown nightlife with cool music afterward), and how it could all end suddenly, horribly, in the middle of the weekly cycle.
While listening to the song, and with the images of people falling from the towers from the documentaries (which also included audio transmissions of the doomed firemen inside, trying to come up with ways to fight the fire and evacuate people in dead elevators) still in my head, it conjured images of some young person, who perhaps may have have grown up feeling rejected and powerless. He somewhere along the way gets a big break in his career, moves up in a company, has his office near the top of one of the towers, and thus seems literally “on top of the world”. Everything seems “cool”; “perfect”. (I think of the Michael J. Fox character on Family Ties, who while always aspiring to be a big business entrepreneur, did strike me as a typical nerdy kid who rose up to that stature; having those business calls where he’s yelling at the other person on the phone, or whatever).
Yet on that fateful morning, the planes hit from below, and now he is trapped, waiting for the inevitable.
This could have been me, if things had been different. It could have been any of us.
It just shows how fragile this life is, and how we’re all part of the same vulnerable humanity, and those who such horrible things happen to are basically just like us, working to live, and then trying to get through their week, and (hopefully) recreate.
(In fairness, I’m also seeing things addressed more from the perspective of those in the mideast countries we have been fighting, where “9-11”-like situations are a common frequent occurrence).
America’s Original Sin (Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America)
Jim Wallis, Brazos Press, division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, 2016
Here’s one I find about just a few months after publication, rather than missing it for a year or more, as has been happening recently.
It’s a powerful title, aiming to answer the point I have noted ever since I first took notice of conservative Christian politics and preaching over three decades ago; that they focus on a lot of “sin”, but racism was always excluded (except to oppose liberal programs aimed at ameliorating the problem, as much as possible). And not that it’s just any other sin, but in fact our “original” sin, starting from the much heralded age many Christians believe was especially “Christian” or “godly”, and the “par” that all the sin of today is judged by.
It begins (The Preface) on the gruesome Charleston killings, which occurred right as he had just finished writing the book, which then became the perfect illustration of the problem being addressed.
He discusses how the title, “America’s original sin” was a term coined in a 1987 Sojourner’s magazine article. The language “helped me understand that the historical racism against America’s indigenous people and enslaved Africans was indeed a sin, and one upon which this country was founded. This helps to explain a lot, because if we are able to recognize that the sin still lingers, we can better understand issues before us today and deal with them more deeply, honestly and even spiritually—which is essential if we are to make progress toward real solutions.”
He wrote the book because “I believe truth-telling about America’s original sin of racism must not be left to people of color alone. Crossing the bridge to a new America will be a multiracial task and vocation”. When talking with black friends about the book, even their reaction to the statement “If white Christians acted more Christian than white, black parents would have less to fear for their children” were “Are you really going to say that”, “Oh my, what are white Christians going to say about that?”, “that’s going to stir things up”, and that he would need us to “have your back on this one”.
Chapter 1, gives his story about being a teenage in Detroit in the 60’s, and visiting the home of a black janitor on the job, and how they told their children that if they were lost and see a policeman, to duck and hide.
Gives a bit of history, like with ML King and the black church.
Next goes into “The Talk”. (That black parents have to give their children, about the danger of being confronted by the police. This is basically what the white NYC Mayor DeBlasio angered the police department by feeling the need to do with his own black (biracial) son. On one hand, they complain our “problem” is parents not teaching our kids anything, but when we show that we do, it apparently stirs up guilt, and they yet again claim to have some “race card” being played on them.”Damned if we do, damned if we don’t”. I think I’ve said, for me, this “talk” was not so much about the police directly, but rather some old white lady falsely accusing me of a crime).
He suggests the best way to change that old talk is to start a new talk, between white and black parents.
He discusses “Racism as a Faith Issue”, with 1 Cor. 12’s discussion of “parts of the Body”.
Next, in “The American Pilgrimage”, points out how colonialism and slavery became America’s greatest economic resource. “Therefore,our original racial diversity was a product of appalling human oppression based on greed” [emph. added]; a point that should never be forgotten, especially when tracing this to modern economic beliefs; i.e. why racially coded “dog whistling” and defense of capitalism always go hand in hand.
Chapter 2 deals with the “parables” of Ferguson and Baltimore. “It really said it all when the defense put up as a witness a white woman who had been robbed by a black man as an ‘explanation’ for why Zimmerman picked out Martin to follow and stalk”. You would think this would right away rule the person out as an “objective, unbiased” juror!
He also points out, from a report
Instead of focusing on protecting the public, the Ferguson Police Department’s mission was revenue generation—extracting money from the black residents of the town, using methods that were often legally questionable, sometimes outright unlawful, and certainly morally reprehensible. The report painstakingly reveals unconstitutional and consistently abusive policing aimed at balancing the city budget on the backs of its poorest citizens. The Ferguson police went beyond even racial profiling to direct racist targeting and exploitation for a profit, with city and police leadership apparently more concerned about “fill[ing] the revenue pipeline” than protecting public safety. The use of traffic stops, citations, court appearances, fines, and even arrests that overwhelmingly affected black residents revealed a profound contempt for black people, with repeated racial slurs and verbal abuse also reported by residents. Disgusting racist “jokes” even aimed at the president and first lady, circulated in the e-mails of police supervisors and court officials. One joked about a black mother getting a crime prevention award for having an abortion.
He concludes “when you get beyond the specific circumstances of the Brown shooting and look at the larger context of law enforcement in Ferguson, it’s impossible to disagree with Holder’s statement that ‘some of the protesters were right'”. This is the point missed by the “fact” crowd.
“The Ferguson parable also teaches us that racially biased criminal justice systems and practices don’t need ‘perfect victims’ to be wrong. Even if criminal suspects are guilty of crimes or are running away from the scene of a crime, this doesn’t excuse police officers for using lethal force when other methods might be used to deescalate conflict and still protect public safety. Even when force must be used, it does not always need to be deadly force, and seldom should be”.
(He mentions being in Ferguson when the Staten Island jury announced it would not bring criminal charges in the Eric Garner case, and cites Irving Kristol that the greatest problem is not with flat-out white racists, but with the far higher number who believe intellectually in racial equality but are oblivious to injustice around them and unquestioningly accept a system that disproportionately punishes blacks.
Next, chapter 3 “The Original Sin and Its Legacy”
White responses to the book he mentions are that standard “I/my family/ancestors never owned slaves”, or simply (the most common) “I am not a racist”, and asking what do “they” (black and brown people) want. Blacks would then give their experiences. “In my experience the motivation of black friends and colleagues isn’t to make white people feel guilty, to beat us up over our racial history, or to just complain about it. What I hear is deep concern for their children and for their future, and the reasonable expectation that white people not defend themselves from the past but join efforts to build a better multiracial future.” [emphasis added].
So he says “we” (he and white brothers and sisters) should look deeply into their inner selves, “which is a practice people of faith and moral conscience are rightly expected to do”. And to go deeper than individually overt forms to covert forms, especially in institutions and culture. This then gets into “white privilege”. “To benefit from oppression is to be responsible for changing it”. Issues of radicalized policing and the unjust criminal justice system as addressed by his black friends “matches their experience—experiences white people don’t have”. Yet,”When people of color speak the truth about the realities of race in our culture and politics, they are often accused of ‘playing the race card’. White racists accuse other white people of doing the same”.
“Many older, white conservative voters are acutely aware of being in a country that is becoming less white with each passing year. For some, a black president has become the symbol of the demographic changes they fear”. This leads to the gerrymandering of congressional districts along racial lines to protect majorities, and shutting down the government they believe to be too generous to minorities through Obamacare and food stamps.
He then mentions what he calls “the true meaning of sin and repentance”.
Now here’s what we’re waiting for, but doesn’t start on this right away, aside from a brief reference to the universality of sin in Romans 3. Sojourners actually hosted a premiere for the faith community of the film 12 Years a Slave, which he then discusses reaction to.
“Historically Systemic Racism”, discussing the reality beginning with the Native Americans, and continuing even with Asian Americans. A book published by Zondervan played upon a Kung Fu theme and was criticized as insensitive and had to be repackaged, and the company appointed a new editor in chief. “This was a genuine act of repentance on Zondervan’s part and a great example of how truly listening to people with different cultural and racial backgrounds can lead to changes in perspectives and actions”.
Regarding blacks, he goes into the economic “underclass”, and mentions how inequality is both caused by and can be measured by factors beyond mere dollars and cents, such as home-ownership, unemployment and education, and the criminal justice system. (He then mentions the LA Clippers owner incident).
Prejudice may indeed be a universal human sin that all races can exhibit, but racism is more than an inevitable consequence of human nature or social accident. Rather, racism is a system of oppression for social and economic purposes. As many analysts have suggested, racism is prejudice plus power.
In the United States, the original purpose of racism was to justify slavery and its enormous economic benefit. This particular form of racism, inherited from the English to justify their own slave trade, was especially venal, for it defined the slave not merely as an unfortunate victim of bad circumstances, war, or social dislocation, but rather as less human, as a thing, an animal, a piece of “chattel” property yo be bought, sold, used and abused.
(This is a point that needs to be reminded to those who insist “Africans enslaved and sold each other to the West”).
“The professed high ideals of AngloWestern society could be allowed to exist side by side with the profitable institution of slavery only if the humanity of the slave was denied and disregarded”. That’s what it was all about. (And in today’s criminal justice system, many still feel like “three-fifths of a person”, as he points out).
What follows is more examples of systemic injustice, especially economic.
Then, he addresses “The First Black President”, which of course leads people to ask “what racism?” and feel American has finally reached the amazing milestone of the end of racism. Yet “the far-right wing in America never supported racial equality”, voting against the Civil Rights and Voting acts, “and most have never repented of it”, with the loudest voices of right-wing talk radio and cable television appealing to the core, with subtle and not-so subtle racial appeals (i.e. “dog whistling”).
We see so many racial subtexts in the intensity of the attacks on Obama—not in the disagreements per se but in the viciousness of the rhetoric. Racism shows itself in disrespect, and many African American citizens feel that the first black president has been widely disrespected. They see it in the disrespect shown a black president by white members of Congress, many from the South. They see it in the “birthers” movement, who try to stir up doubts about Obama’s citizenship. Questioning Barack Obama’s birthplace and parentage, calling him a Muslim and naming him as a “foreigner” and not a “real American” are all ways to define this president as “the other” and not one of “us”. The hatred goes far beyond his policies and extends to his very person as the wrong kind of American. Obama shows them that they are losing national elections, and they fear that means losing “their” country. [emphasis added]
This is the subtle dynamic that the people are not even aware of in themselves. The aim, to make him “other“; “not us“ (recall “He’s not MY president!“; the focus on “MY”), but since “racism” has been publicly condemned, they have to put it on his “policies” instead. But they never did this with any other president whose policies they merely didn’t like.
He next discusses challenging Franklin Graham for lecturing on how police shootings can be avoided, by simple “respect for authority and obedience”. Just do what they tell you. This of course ignores all the times the person wasn’t resisting, and still got shot. (And again, negates the existence of “The Talk”). An open letter written by black evangelical leaders offered “forgiveness” for his “sin” of “insensitivity”. “Your instructions oversimplified a complex and critical problem facing the nation and minimized the testimonies and wisdom of people of color and experts of every hue, including six police commissioners that served on the president’s task force of policing reforms”. (IIRC, it doesn’t even say he ever responded or acknowledged it).
Getting Serious: Calling out the “sin” (idolatry) and the call for Repentance
This now leads finally to the subject of “repentance”.”In spiritual and biblical terms, racism must be named as a perverse sin that cuts to the core of the gospel message. Put simply, racism negates the reason for which Christ died—the reconciling work of the cross, first to God, then to one another. It denies the purpose of the church: to bring together, in Christ, those who have been divided from one another—particularly, in the early church’s case, Jew and Gentile—a division based on racial ethnicity, culture and religion.
There is only one remedy for such a sin, and that is repentance. If genuine, it will always bear fruit in concrete forms of conversion and changed behavior, with both rejections and reversals of racism”, which “white America has yet to recognize the extent of, especially institutionally…and have yet to fully repent of our racial sins” (which are tied to the “economic, social and political purposes still served by the oppression of black and brown people”, and thus responsible for the fact that “systemic racism continues to shadow American life”.
This now leads to chapter 4, “Repentance Means More Than Just Saying You’re Sorry”. He now gives out biblical examples of repentance, starting with Ezekiel 14:6, 18:30, 33:11 and references to other prophets Isaiah 45:22, 1:16-17 and Joel 2:12-13.
He points out how in many churches, especially evangelical ones “repentance was more related to an acceptance of doctrine than to a change of behavior. Often only internal sins—mostly private and sexual sins—were involved. I gained little knowledge from my home church in Detroit about how my Christian faith leads me to behave in the world (other than to abstain from sex). Repentance would never have been applied to the racism and racial conflicts going on in Detroit that the whole world would learn about in the Detroit ‘riots’ of 1967. To that monumental social uprising, my church was clueless about our response as Christians, so it just reacted in the ways most white Detroiters did—with fear, condemnation, and a complete lack of empathy”. He then cites N.T. Wright on “the tendency to focus on personal sins”, where the phrase “repent and believe the gospel” to Josephus meant “give up your agendas and trust me for mine”.
Next is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and that if the sins we repent of are just “general” and not “concrete”, then the Church will “have no credibility when it talks about its faith, forgiveness and salvation”. The failure to see the “stern reality” of racism in the US, indeed, is when white churches in America lost their credence. (And Wallis wonders if this was what was on Bonhoeffer’s mind as an example of what he was trying to say).
He next mentions James Cone’s God of the Oppressed (and who had also done Malcolm and Martin in America, which is one of my all time favorite books), and mentions the need to “die to whiteness”, which is to “be reborn”, which is “the biblical language of repentance and conversion.
This is all true in a large sense, but is an area that raises questions for me. He also says speaks of repentance, in light of the race issue, as “a transformation so fundamental that Jesus would later refer to it as a ‘new birth’ (John 3:3-8)”
He cites Wright on “the real meaning of repentance”, a turning away from patterns of life which “deface and distort our genuine humanness”. “Sin” is then defined “not as breaking the rules”, but as “missing the mark”, which is “failing to hit the target of complete, genuine, glorious humanness”.
Soon is the section on “The Hard Work of Repentance”, which features Karl Barth, and Reinhold Niebuhr, who wrote “it is suggested that repentance is the beginning of redemption, even that it is synonymous with redemption”. So “all this suggests that repentance isn’t possible until we name the sin to be repented of. Admitting, naming and confessing sin is the first step in repentance. The sin of white racism must be named, directly and publicly, especially by white people, for the process of genuine repentance to begin. Just saying sorry won’t be enough.”
Again, “From a religious perspective, racism is also a sin against God, who requires fairness for all God’s children, and even against oneself, as it is contrary to the image of God in which we are created and hinders us from becoming fully human, conformed to the fullness of Christ (Eph.4:13). Quite simply, this American sin must be repented of and turned from; and the American faith community cannot rest until that repentance is done”. [emphasis added]
Next is chapter 5 “Dying to Whiteness”, which touches upon some of what Lopez and Wise touched upon, regarding “ethnicity”. They started out as their different national ethnicities (English, Italian, etc.), but became “white” when they arrived in America, “which in reality was merely a social and political construction, created to supply the ideology and justification for slavery and racial oppression. Because if you were ‘white’ in America, it meant you were not ‘black’ or ‘brown’ or ‘yellow’.” He reiterates “To put it bluntly, racial ideologies had to be created to cover up greed”, by denying the people’s humanity. Prior to English slavery, categories of “white” versus “colored” did not exist. (I can hear someone out there pointing to the Bible’s mention of “the Ethiopian’s skin” ⦅Jeremiah 13:23⦆, but all this shows was that the Ethiopian’s skin was notably different, in being particularly dark [of course]. It does not establish any “white vs colored” dichotomy, nor suggest that the Israelites the OT was written by and to, were on the “white” side, let alone, any supposed “curse” or “inferiority” of anyone).
Next, we continue with history, “after Slavery”, and come back to the present, with figures like Limbaugh and others, who “regularly say or write things that suggest they truly believe whites are superior to other races”. Examples are Limbaugh’s “they are angry. And they want to use their power as a means of retribution”, and a Florida State professor who claimed Obama has single-handedly turned America into a “Ghetto Culture”. He then acknowledges that “The approach that ‘we are all racists and need to repent’ is neither good theology nor honest history” (being that “racism” is “prejudice plus power”. I myself believe the term can hold for any individual who is “prejudiced”. Still, some blacks I’ve seen go too far, with the “all whites are guilty, just for being white”, which is the same generalization that drives racism against us. They may benefit from the “privilege”, but the whole concept of “racism/ist” suggests a more active prejudice that not all are guilty of).
He then discusses that it’s “idolatry”. “It give us an identity that is false, one filled with wrongful pride, one that perpetuates both injustice and oppression. Whiteness is an idol of lies, arrogance, and violence.” The idol blinds us to out true identity as God’s children, which are of every color, and to believe otherwise is to “separate ourselves from God and the majority of God’s children on this planet who are people of color” (then quoting Gen.1:27-28. On the flipside, it’s also a sort of negative “worship” of blacks, in the form of an inordinate obsession with them, where they’re attributed almost divine power, though negative; and so all of the nation and world’s hope is in corralling them, rather than in God. Columnist Gary Wills once pointed out: “Obviously, blacks occupy a large amount of psychic space, no matter what their numbers are. All in all, if blacks could really do what people are claiming, they would be superhuman, and we should yield to them as our natural leaders”). Also mentioned is that “all humans being are to have dominion over the earth and all its other creatures. But they are not to have dominion over one another” [emph. added] (which is “against the very meaning of creation”, and “dominion” really means “not to dominate”, but to “serve and be good stewards of” the earth. So “Any notion of white supremacy and domination of other people is nothing less than a denial of God’s creation and its stated purpose”. Quoted is a Washington Post article talking about the “spiritual “lie” that blacks and other people of color are less human, and, as a result, “have less character, capacity, and calling to steward and lead” (which we hear more and more these days, especially with the ascendancy of the “alt-right”), and that whites are “more like God than others—uniquely equipped and called to exercise dominion on American soil” (which is the virtual insinuation of much conservative rhetoric).
He next addressed “I’m Not A Racist”, Am I”, which is “the wrong question”, as it’s not an individual matter, but rather a social and structural one. After that, is “Implicit Bias”, with its well known visual tests. He says along the way, “We must get to the place where racism and our response to it are not identified as liberal or conservative issues”.
Next is “I Am a Beneficiary of Affirmative Action”, where he discusses how his family and many others benefited from :The US government’s biggest affirmative program so far, the GI Bill, which were often written under Southern auspices and local white officials, deliberately designed to accommodate Jim Crow. Also mentioned is discriminatory housing practices and policies. “To refuse to admit that the white families of my generation were beneficiaries of affirmative action—and then for these same white people to complain about the affirmative action blacks would later receive—is nothing but complete and utter hypocrisy“.
He quoted Robert Jensen on “rugged individualism”, that people have complete control over their fate (which you would think conservative Christians would reject as denying Christ and encouraging “human pride”, but when it comes to economics, they have bought into it completely and become one of its main foot-soldiers!)
In “White Fragility”, we get an interesting point that “White people tend to see racism as an individual issue, about good and bad behavior by moral or immoral people. And because most white people don’t think we are ‘bad’ or ‘immoral’, and certainly not deliberately ‘racist’, racism can’t be applied to us”. (emphasis added; see also https://erictb.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/humanitys-biggest-pitfall-merit/#comment-3953). Citing someone else “And the thing is, it feels good. Even though it contradicts our most basic principles and values. So we know it, but we can never admit it. It creates this kind of dangerous internal stew that gets enacted externally in our interactions with people of color…”. (I have been pointing this out, or at least mean to, more).
In “What Color are the Children of God”, he mentions “color-blindness”, which is not the answer “as many suggest”. God created the diversity, so it is important.
In Chapter 6 “A Segregated Church or a Beloved Community”, he discussed “the Most Segregated Hour of the Week” (11:00 Sunday morning, from ML King):
“The Biblical Narrative: From Genesis to Revelation” discusses “the movement toward inclusion” that started “at the beginning of biblical history”, with man being created “in the image of God”, and mentions the secular theory of human civilization beginning in Africa and the skin color developing in different climates. He says “sin” entered [“in what Christian tradition calls ‘the fall'”] “When humans sought to have dominion—or domination—over one another, even over creation itself. Choosing not to trust God, we decided to trust ourselves instead”. I would say choosing to trust ourselves came first (manifest in their trying to hide), and the “dominion” emanated from that. It was basically “conquer and rule them before they conquer and rule (and perhaps destroy) you”. “Nature” now took over, and man lost his “integrity”.
This then leads into a treatment of the Bible and its diversity, including treatment of “strangers”. The Church’s mission of erasing the line between “Jew and Gentile” is considered “racial integration” as “an original mission of the first disciples of Jesus”. (Xenophobes might appeal to God’s frequent condemnation of mixing with “heathens”, but have ignored that if they converted, they would be allowed into the nation with full privileges; so the issue was obviously not “racial”. It’s amazing that you had fundamentalist schools, who (as late as 2000!) in the name of “Biblical separation” [2 Cor.6:4] practice racial segregation. But if everyone in the school was [presumably, or at least as far as anyone knew] Christian, then that scripture didn’t apply to them. Of course, they get angry at the rest of evangelicalism for not listening to them on the issue of ecclesiastical “separation”, which they may have had more of a biblical justification for).
He along the way mentions how:
•”whites often believe they are cultureless”
•”there is no otherworldly heavenly culture and certainly no superior human cultural identity in God’s reign”
•”the sociology of many white communities shapes the theology of their churches, making them ‘conformed to the world’ and disobedient to the gospel”.
He then discusses King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, and how there was no clergy response until the 50th anniversary of the letter.
In “A Future Multiracial Church”, he makes the great statement
For a very long time, white evangelicalism has been simply wrong on the issue of race. Indeed, conservative white Christians have served as a bastion of racial segregation and a bulwark against racial justice efforts for decades, in the South and throughout the country. During the Civil Rights struggle, the vast majority of white evangelicals and their churches were on the wrong side—the wrong side of the truth, the Bible and the gospel.
Ever since, when evangelical Christians gathered to draw up their theological concerns, the sin of white racism was nowhere to be found. In recent years, when conservative white Christians began to construct their political agendas, a recognition of racism’s reality was absent from the issues list of abortion, homosexuality, tax cuts for the middle class, and yes, opposition to affirmative action.
(Emphasis added. He then acknowledges that some of this seems to be changing, like in the NAE’s confession of the sin of racism. There was also, notably the SBC, years ago. And as was pointed out by Horton Beyond Culture Wars, which before this, contained the strongest rebuke of racism in the Church I had seen; that “We have never repented of that silence [regarding racism] as a body”, pointing to how the church in South Africa finally came around and named apartheid “sin”, as “only the Church could”, and that we should not have expected the world to take us seriously in moral matters, when we were “proven bigots even when morality was not the issue”).
This is basically the central issue. I have said, that all the political dispute we see today, with the dog-whistle racism is a matter of repentance. What they’re holding onto is the “exceptionality” of “their” nation, “culture” or “civilization”. So they can’t admit that the stuff done in the past (and the remnants of it that linger today) were wrong, because that calls into question the exceptionality stance. So they must justify everything that happened, including demonizing the descendants of oppression today, by proving that the nation is so good that even they could lift themselves out of the negative cycles if they wanted to, but the problem is that they don’t want to, which of course, is some moral or “character” deficiency in them. To maintain the “colorblind” deflection (that they are the true “anti-racists”, while their opponents, including the blacks themselves, are the true racists), they wrap all of this up in a partisan criticism of other whites (“liberals” or “Democrats”), deemed exploiting the situation for their own gain.
The theme of Makers-Takers (http://www.erictb.info/makers-takers.html) was how racism is more “The desire…to elevate themselves rather than put down others”. This makes it all clear. The “exalting of one’s self” is the sin that needs to be repented of, and conservatives are always the first to point this out —when it’s some other group of men exalting themselves! A critique of this issue is not complete without going after the self-glorifying and anti-scriptural notion of “exceptionality” driving all the animosity toward others they feel are eroding it.
A Problem I See (Liberal vs Conservative handling of scripture)
All of this is what I’ve wanted to see from the Church for 30 years. It’s the first time I’ve seen a really strong message of “repentance” from the “religious left”. When you think of that term, you think of the opposite movement, fiery conservatives, especially the perennial “fire and brimstone preaching, Bible-thumping fundamentalists”. Or at least the Grahams, who are the more popularly familiar representatives of “fundamentalism”, though seen as already having softened and “compromised” from the old ways, even decried as “no longer preaching Hell”, by the more “old-line” fundamentalists Graham senior began drifting away from in the 50’s, when what became more properly, “new evangelicalism” began splitting off into its own category.
These more conservative types then also respond in an actual reversal, accusing this message of being “legalistic”. You would think the more “liberal” or “moderate” would be the ones putting down “works” in going against conservative “moralism” or “pietism”. The tables have completely turned!
But they actually do have a point. Especially what I’ve displayed in blue, above: “Dying to whiteness” being connected to being “reborn” and the “new birth”. Somewhat related, is “the Fall” in which “sin entered” being defined by “dominion”, and defining Christ’s death itself, and the purpose of the Church, purely by racial “reconciliation”.
I had for the whole 30+ years been aware of conservative ideology (even before becoming a Christian), because it is what gets preached the loudest. This included hearing their frequent criticisms of “liberal” (whether political or religious) belief. And now I can see some of what they were talking about. To them, it all gets lumped in with a generalization that the liberals “reject the Bible”. So of course, “the gospel”, and its theme of “sin and salvation”, get “redefined” into some “liberal agenda”, such as a “social gospel”.
Whatever the liberals say about race, using these principles, then gets readily, “safely” dismissed as “anti-scriptural”, and they go on with their beliefs, feeling completely unchallenged and unrefuted.
Also, skewing the purpose of creation or the Cross only adds to the conservative deflection. This criticism of racism starts with “All men are in God’s image”, but racism didn’t start and become entrenched in the Church because people simply forgot that point in scripture. They had OTHER scriptures, which they believed qualified “God’s image”. Man was created in God’s image, but didn’t remain “good” like that, but rather FELL into sin. That “image” was then “marred” into “evil”! (This is what conservatives will then use to claim liberals and “modernists” reject scripture, believing all men are “good”, or at least not “taking seriously” the universal nature of sin). God then “chose” certain peoples out of this, for His Plan.
This is where they themselves then begin going off track, and essentially overriding the universal Fall they so loudly preached at others. They surmise that the “chosen” make a good “race” (in practice embodied in a group of [“converted”] nations via “culture” or regional “civilization”); where the effects of the Fall are essentially, or at least, ideally reversed (through the reverencing of God and teaching and “following” His “principles” leading to outward “morality”). Ps.33:12 seems to be a big inspiration for this, not realizing this was another parcel of the Law that nations of men would never be able to live up to. Many then go on to insist some other groups or nations of people (in contrast) are even further “cursed”.
So you end up with “good” people vs “bad” people every bit as much as what a liberal or non-Christian who doesn’t believe in the Fall might believe in; only the conservative gets to pose with the Bible, which they hold up as making them “right” and having God’s “Truth”
I now have gone in a totally different way, of the “Fulfilled view”, which may on the surface seem like “universalism”, and thus another kind of “liberalism”. But the difference, is as writer Tim King pointed out, is maintaining “the covenantal framework of biblical eschatology”, with “the concept of salvation[‘s] Hebraic roots, the victory of God…and Christ as the central figure in the victory of God”. (Rather than “The victory of God reinterpreted through the lens of human worth and Christ removed as the central figure in the victory of God”)
Even here in Wallis, we can see, subtly, man, or human endeavors such as [racial] “reconciliation” being made the central focus of both “creation” itself, as well as the Cross; precisely as conservatives charge.
However, to conservatives, in practice, the focus is “moral” reformation, which is really just a different aspect of the same thing the liberals are focusing on. In fact, both positions deal with “morals”, (and both thus become “man-centered”); the difference is in which commandments they focus on in defining them. To conservatives, the Fall generally was all about an “act” of “disobedience” from basically, an apparently random command, perhaps just a “test”; to which God then retaliated by cutting man off, and cursing the formerly “good” world into a corrupt universe of pain and violence, followed by an even worse “Hell” when we die. The Gospel, to many, would be the means where our slate could be cleaned by “believing in Christ”, but this becomes in practice something we must “give back” to God, in order to have the debt forgiven (give up this world to gain entrance to the new one), or at least “show” (prove) we were “really” converted. “New birth” ends up meaning new behavior, which of course, becomes their focus on the “personal” sins (rather than collective ones like racism). So now here is a liberal also making it about behavior; only a different set of behaviors, which the conservatives dismiss as unimportant, and thus “legalistic”. But conservatives should realize, if they want to criticize liberals on this, they essentially got it from the same earlier (and more conservative) expression of the faith that conservatives got it from!
So, as I pointed out in the followup to the Sword of the Lord review (https://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/further-thoughts-on-race-issue-and-the-gospel-in-light-of-two-books) both racism (as well as economic injustice) are dismissed with “well, there’s sin in the world, and as long as you have sinful men, you will have these problems”, while “saving souls” became a totally separate issue, that is much more important. However, when it comes to sexual sin (and opposing religious/scientific/political beliefs), this and only this, they believe, can be preached away! Then, souls —and “the nation”— will be saved!
Yet neither approach is right. Both racism, as well as sexual sin and the rest of the so-called “sins of the flesh” that one segment or another of the church focuses on, violate the [divine] Law, which defines and condemns “transgressions” of it, which are “sin”. Between “Right” and “Left”, each side just chooses its most important issues, and then makes them issues of “conversion”.
But it’s still lopsided so that we’re probably also not accustomed to seeing racism as an issue of “repentance”, like the familiar “personal” sins. (But for one thing, racism is “personal”, for it is something you can adopt and have in your heart, and no one can make you adopt it, or repent of it for you). James 2 addresses precisely this mindset. That if you refrain from sexual immorality yet commit murder, you have still broken God’s Law! (Racial ideology and the resulting tensions have certainly become murderous, both spiritually, as well as often literally!) Now “the world” believes the opposite— that murder is wrong but fornication is OK. Yet James is addressing the “religious” (those who uphold “God and His Law”), who have tended to think sexual sin is what (almost by itself) defines “morality”!
Typical example of the selectivity of sin in “traditional conservative Christian” preaching
So to address this, the Fall resulted from man taking upon himself something specific: knowledge of good and evil. (Gen.3:4-22). This then led men to establish a sense of “give and take”, and then often cheat and violate it, for the sake of raw “survival”. So they would feel the need, as stated, to rise up and conquer each other. (It must be kept clear that this is the effect, not the cause!)
“Sin” is “breaking the rules” (1 John 3:4), which is what defines “missing the mark”. (Rom. 3:20, 7:7). Both are true, and there is no conflict. Christ is the one who imputes His righteousness to us, so that we don’t “miss the mark”, even in spite of our inability to hit it on our own. (This explains many passages that speak of “not sinning” or that those charged with sins “will not enter the Kingdom”. Either one was “covered” or they weren’t).
To make “complete, genuine, glorious humanness” into “the target” is to make man the measure. If this is from defining this human ideal by God’s desire for us, then it’s better to just put it that way, where it’s clear that He is the standard.
From here, it should also be pointed out, that the reason the Gospel is grace and not works is because so many things we do violate the Law, and would amount to lack of “conversion” and “new birth” if consistent.
So the reason to not be racist is love, which fulfills the Law; not to fulfill “conversion” (as if for its own sake), or just some human standard.
The “Reconciliation” Christ came to establish is between man and God. (Romans 5:10-1, 1 Cor. 5:18, Col.1:21-2, Eph.2:16). He does say “first to God, then to each other”, but the reason why there was a distinction between “Jew and Gentile” in the first place (which is the only ethnic separation between people the Bible addressed), is because God, in working out the Plan leading up to Christ, chose one group of people to spread His Word through. That of course, didn’t really work, but rather “wrote the lesson” in how more Law (more “knowledge of good and evil”, actually) was not the solution to man’s problem (as we often assume; Prov.14:12). Of course, this was to be eliminated by the “reconciliation” Christ brought (which would also eliminate any separation between all races and thus support racial reconciliation), but unfortunately, what happened, is that the Church (after the apostolic age) ended up “spiritualizing” this distinction into “the Church vs the World”, with “Church” as the “New Israel” (the “true Jews”, according to Rom.2:29), and the “world” as the new “heathens” (which it had already defaulted to anyway). That appeared to conform to the Gospel, in eliminating a hard ethnic division. Jews would now be revealed as alienated from God if they rejected Christ (and they could remain that way), while gentiles could accept the Gospel and be reconciled.
This was taught by the New Testament, but to make a long discussion short, was to be temporary, but has created all the problems we see in the religious world, by being extended over the centuries, with the Church (now beyond the period of supernatural apostolic guidance) reshaping itself, either “still waiting” for the Kingdom, or at times, teaching that the Church itself was the Kingdom.
So from there, the “spiritual” categories actually ended up becoming ethnic all over again, as Western [i.e. European and American] nations, which “accepted” the “Gospel” (as taught by the large institutional Church), were assumed to be the “New Israel”, with everyone automatically born into “the faith” (precisely what Paul taught so much against, and that’s even assuming the parents and the rest of the environment taught it to them properly to begin with), and also, whose mission was again, like Israel under Joshua, to “conquer” the “heathens” in order to “spread the Gospel” (and also, the spoils of conquest being the “reward” for “the elect”).
And so that brings us back to what was mentioned earlier, the “black vs white” distinction created, to justify this, or basically back it up. (To be brutally honest, this was necessary in case people’s underlying conscience was correct, and it proved not to be so “biblical” after all. I’ve even elsewhere cited a quote of a colonial era French political theorist expressing the rationale that they had to dehumanize black slaves, else people would suggest they were not Christians).
It is true, however, that if conservatives were consistent with their “dying to the old man” emphasis, then according to scripture, this would be “dying to whiteness”. That would actually be “the flesh“, that has been taken overly literally as the physical body and its “desires” (especially sexual, but also including the other commonly mentioned ones, such as what leads to gluttony, sloth, anger, etc.) But “flesh” in Paul’s usage meant physical inheritance, assumed to be what made one a “child of God”, and which of course, would include physical “skin color”.
But none of them ever seemed to see it that way. (They do have black preachers telling people of an Afro-centric mindset that they must “choose Christ over [their] culture”, and of course this is also behind the condemnation of various music styles by the old-line fundamentalists, in favor of traditional hymns only. [Another area the more moderate I feel should have been more strong in responding to]. In each case, “traditional Western/white Christian culture” is always the “sacred culture” [proven by its “exceptionality”] that one must adopt as the “new life”, while everything else is assumed to be the the “old life” people need to give up. So the “colorblind” will say it’s not the physical “skin”, but rather the “culture” itself, but they still miss the point that human culture in itself, even if it could convey the whole truth of the Gospel, cannot justify anyone, and this they should know, as every evangelical tract and sermon points out that you cannot be saved by the righteousness of your family or background).
So again, when it comes to the “active” aspect of “repentance”, we see this liberal position equal, or even possibly topping the conservative one!
I’ve elsewhere been discussing a lot “behavior change” as a mandate that often, at least in practice, is used to determine “true conversion” or basically, “salvation”. And coming from conservative teachers, it usually is the “personal” sins, often greatly focused in the sexual area. Even down to our “thought life”, based on the Sermon on the Mount.
But if it’s wrong to stake one’s “walk” on “personal” sins, then it’s also wrong to do the same for racism, and focusing on all the “works” repentance requires. It leads to them dismissing this message as “just more liberal agenda”, contrary to the Gospel by virtue of denying “Grace”. (Of course, they don’t see the strict sexual and other rules that way. They are more likely to see them as “God’s work”, now telling us at that point about how it all depends on our “dying to self daily”, which they then admit is “hard”, to the point of being “The Cross”. They never make the extension of this to racism. It just doesn’t figure).
But it is just about as strict as any generations ago conservative message of personal “morality” (and “personal sins”-based political public morality).
Also, while it’s nice to see the use of scripture in opposition to the “conservative” assumptions, I believe that being scriptural includes “tearing down” (2 Cor.10:5) the wrong use of scripture, not just ignoring it and assuming that pitting new proof-texts against this automatically refutes them. (Often, when this is done in debates, the other side is accused of simply “making scripture contradict scripture”. You have to show how one set of texts works with the first set, in harmony. But liberals and moderates are trying not to be too confrontational. From what I see, both in religion and politics, this is what allows the stronger arguers to sway the most minds to their view. Then, we wake up to this monster before us, such as all the racial issues, and now, even the political candidate, and those following him, coming out of the woodwork all boldly).
So to really address racism, we must start at its theological source. For that is what the conservative drives his beliefs on (even if erroneously). Gen.9 I’ve never seen addressed by anyone. Even the author of Sword of the Lord, chronicling the racism of the IFB “fundamentalist” movement he saw growing up, granted the proper reading of this scripture as “God cursed Canaan” (which then was assumed to spread to the entire black race). As I pointed out in the review of that book (https://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/review-the-sword-of-the-lord), the issue was made that you either accept the “divine curse” on “the [uncle of, essentially] the black race” as “the literal reading of the Bible”, or you accept “modernism” so that all men can be “equal” (And thus can be dismissed as “rejecting the Bible”). This passage [to them] effectively overrode “all men” being in “God’s image”, so that you could reject that with “scriptural” sanction. Either it was true or it should be able to be shown from scripture that they were reading it wrong.
To address this “curse”; if you actually read the account; God never said “cursed be Canaan”! None of verses 25-27 are God’s words! V.24 says “and Noah awoke from his wine; and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he [NOAH!] said “cursed be Cannan. A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren…And God shall enlarge [margin “persuade“] Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant”. Not only is this not some universal curse that God had placed; still, there is nothing to even suggest that this has anything to do with descendants (even such as being the cause of their later sins and judgment), and that this goes anywhere beyond just the literal brothers! (And that assuming that God even honored it; which is not mentioned! God certainly would not be “honoring” it millennia later on distant descendants who moved to other continents; with perhaps all races having some Cannanite blood in them by then! And even if He did; why would this even get past the Cross; which ended such things?
Yet for centuries now, the actions of “Christian” civilizations and racist laws have been justified by these things; thus bringing a mountain of disrepute onto the Bible and God! All based on a complete failure to even read the simple context of the passage and its pronouns right! And they got mad at the modern society or church’s “biblical illiteracy”! “Search the Scriptures, for in THEM you think you have eternal life”, Christ warned in John 5:39. Even Satan quoted scripture, at Christ! Their real significance: “they are they which testify of ME“. All the proof-texting in the world doesn’t do any good, when you interpret it in self-glorifying ways, and lose sight of what or WHO the revelation is all about!)
The current leaders of that movement have all shied away from that interpretation of Genesis, now following the rest of conservativism in denouncing “the race card”, yet still holding “dog-whistle” beliefs that something is just wrong with black
people er, “culture”. (And still deflecting or “isolating and splitting” the charges of racism. Many years ago, I saw in one of leading creationist Henry Morris’ books the blaming of racism on his particular foe, evolutionism. Recently seeing an online copy of the February Sword of the Lord magazine, I see an ad for a book [Lawwell] saying the same thing [in addition to euthanasia, genocide and abortion].
So this is probably now the official narrative of fundamentalism on the problem of racism. Evolutionists created it in teaching blacks hadn’t evolved as much as whites and perhaps others. Conservative Christians taught “the truth” of Genesis, that all men were created in God’s image, and are fighting racism simply by fighting evolution!
While it’s true many people did believe that, you cannot erase the religious origins of the doctrine, from that “godly” past “Christian” civilization, long before Darwin, and from the same Bible book [Genesis] Creationism fights evolutionism over).
So now, in “colorblind” fashion, they substitute “culture”, as if it is incidental and not inbred. But the original basis is still Gen.9, which they have probably never heard refuted, and rather than focus on the “curse” on the blacks, they instead look the opposite way, focusing on the “exceptionality” of the traditional white Western “Christian” cultures (the “enlarged Japheth” basically?), particularly America (which we have of course “turned away from” in adopting multiculturalism and different “moral” standards).
In a similar issue, apparently [I had not heard this yet] “several universities and science institutes suggested earlier in August that billions of years ago Venus might have once supported life”
So I recently read that today’s leading “Creationist”, Ken Ham’s response to this is “Since Earth, not Venus (or any other planet), was designed to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18), our presupposition implies that we wouldn’t expect to find life on Venus in the past or the present,” Ham argued in a blog post on Answers in Genesis.
Isaiah 45:18 God “fashioned and made the earth…he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited”
This says nothing about ONLY earth is to be inhabited. But this is the way they read scripture, completely sure it is an absolute statement of their belief, and others are “willfully ignorant” of it.
The other argument is that there can’t be any other life, because “death” then would be unrelated to Adam, and they wouldn’t have a savior. Clearly, the plan of salvation, from Adam to Jesus is clearly for God’s creation on earth, and to say He couldn’t have created anything anywhere else with a separate divine Plan is to limit Him to us. It makes us the center of His existence, which they would criticize otherwise (like in modern worship).
But the liberals who don’t accept young earth literal creation don’t seem to ever point out how these proof texts don’t actually prove what they’re claiming they do.
The rest of the book: calls to action
Chapter 7, “From Warriors to Guardians” he starts off with Plato’s Republic, which is basically the source of the David Keirsey “temperaments” in the popular MBTI “16 types” theory. The four types of people essential to the ideal state were the “Artisan”, “Idealist”, “Rational” [not mentioned] and finally, the “Guardian“. In Keirsey’s mapping to type, this correlates into the “_S_J” types, which in translation back to the Jungian functions (which Keirsey rejected, but most of us use both theories together), represents the “introverted Sensing” types (or the classic “Melancholic” temperament, in the area of leadership, responsibilities, and by extension, action). This is those who focus on the tangible world more than the world of abstract ideas, but draw upon individual reflection more than emergent sensations, and thus like familiarity and “guard” what is “tried and true”, and authorized.
Of course, this archetype is not just a [presumably inborn] temperament, but also a classic “role” anyone can play (which is basically what makes an “archetype”). Another archetype and classic role is the “Warrior“. This one did not become a temperament in the 16 types, but does likely correspond to what Jungian type theorist John Beebe calls the “Opposing Personality Complex”. It basically shadows the “dominant” ego state, and becomes associated with the dominant function (sensing, intuition, thinking or feeling), but in the opposite orientation (introverted or extraverted. The female counterpart of the Warrior is generally the “Amazon”. Also, having finished Wallis, I got Beebe’s new book, and reading that now!) This will then be what the ego uses to fight off obstructions to its agenda.
The point of Wallis’ chapter is how police end up becoming “warriors” instead of “guardians”, which causes a lot of the problems we have in racially driven policing. One section is “Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter”. (Many people find it insensitive to respond to “Black Lives Matter” with some other category of “lives” that “matter”. Which has usually been “All”, but then police and their supporters came up with the concept of “Blue Lives”. Which is not even really accurate, because that’s a job, with a uniform color, that you take off when your shift is over, not a skin color that you are born—and die—in. So the point of BLM is that yes, all lives matter; black, white, and blue, but black lives are the ones that have in practice not mattered).
He also goes into the actual points of discrimination, “The Clear Data on Racialized Stops, Arrests, Sentences, Incarcerations, and Recidivism” and quotes someone making the much needed point that there is no evidence that young men of color drive faster, so why should they be pulled over more? It’s obviously “profiling”. He concludes that section on “a broken justice and mass incarceration system that is not ‘reforming’ or ‘correcting’ those whom it imprisons, much less empowering them with the basic life skills they need to succeed when they return to society” .
Remaining sections are “Establishing Trust”, “Community Policing” and “School to Prison Pipeline” and concludes the chapter on 14 points in “Lessons and Solutions”.
Chapter 8 is “The New Jim Crow and Restorative Justice, which of course mentions Michelle Alexander, author of the book The New Jim Crow (see https://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/review-the-new-jim-crow). He says “Alexander’s historic work has caused many of us to wake up to this twenty-first century caste system”.
In “restorative justice”, he cites Howard Zehr, “the grandfather of restorative justice”, and contrasts the different understandings of wrongdoing and our reaction to it. Basically, instead of just creating “guilt” for “violation of the law and the state”, and focusing on giving offenders “what they deserve”, restorative justice is focused on violations of “people and obligations”. So the “focus” is victim needs and offender responsibility for repairing harm. This should be familiar from the Old Testament commandments for the punishment of many violations of other people. Of course, that’s “the Law” (the same one that “Grace” counters), and yet, even the OT Law had more restorative “grace” than the cold system of today’s punitive justice, which I’ve long though is just “disposing” of criminals (and often those who so much as cannot afford bail). Just this morning, I run across this http://www.suggest.com/lifestyle/1534852/ex-cons-share-their-craziest-experiences-while-locked-up on Facebook. All that goes on in prisons among inmates is the same crime of the streets [and worse, like the same sex rape] that put them there in the first place. That’s not “reform”; it’s actually perpetuating criminal atmosphere. So of course they’re going to do the same if or when they get out, and it just feeds into the conservative dog whistle of “pathological black culture”.
Chapter 9 goes more into “Welcoming the Stranger”, regarding the immigration debate. It’s pointed out that immigrants are the ones who are “growing the churches”. This then leads to the subject of chapter 10 “crossing the bridge to a New America”. This is what conservatives are afraid of, and the crossing of the bridge at Selma is used as the precedent for this.
Another thing I would still like to see, is someone drive the point home on how fearing a demographic change totally contradicts the standard conservative Christian teaching that this world ultimately doesn’t matter; only Heaven ultimately does. This has been used to pacify others, including blacks, and even other sufferers of things in life. But if “God’s peace” can make us “content” in suffering oppression or financial or even physical ailments, then why is whites becoming a minority in 50 years when you likely won’t even still be here something that needs to be worried about and fought against? And that’s not even taking into account the whole “futurist” eschatology that says Christ is coming back “soon” (with all the decay of morality in this country, as well as the election of people like Obama or the Clintons as proof that this time, it really is before us). So if we’re all “falling away” just as the prophecy said (which would include the admission of so many “heathens” into the nation, including the Muslims supposedly intent on destroying us), and this is the prerequisite to Christ returning, then why are you fighting it, and not as Christ’s soldiers following His direct orders, but rather as scared humans fighting for identity, which is what everyone else is told they need to “give up for Christ”? This is really what needs to be highlighted, else, all of this will just pass right over them.
“The New Talk” of this “New America” is to take place in “schools”, “sports” and “congregations”. Along the way, a point is mentioned “Often, in the liberal white world, comments like this are made: ‘My son’s teacher is African American, and she is really good!’ The ‘and’ is often a code word for ‘but’, and implies levels of expectation. Recall how many times you have heard admired blacks talked about as ‘articulate’, implying that most blacks aren’t, or as ‘clean’ and ‘smart’, as Barack Obama was described by some when he was first running for president.”
The book closes on “Walking While We Talk”, meaning “doing and not just talking” in crossing the bridge into a new America.
(Here, we can see how the more liberal or moderate viewpoint, which can be embodied in an “Idealist” role, represented by _NF_ types, and particularly NFP, which is defined by “introverted Feeling with extraverted iNtuition”, has another side to it, which can be seen as its “shadow”, which resembles the conservatives they are arguing against. Introverted Feeling is an internal assessment of “good” or human want or need by “empathy”, or putting yourself in another person’s shoes, and then responding to them accordingly. It yields the most “responsive” or “people-focused” types or classic temperament combinations. It’s coupled with the taking in of more “conceptual” data from the environment, which leads to envisioning possibilities of what the Feeling judgment can be applied to. However, introverted Feeling is reflected by the diametric opposite extraverted Thinking which drives the purely “directive” or “task focused” temperaments or viewpoints preferring it, in which we often see the cold conservative rhetoric of “facts”, “objectivity”, “instilling the fear of God in society”, and “rugged individualism” and its “bootstraps” claims, and the charge for the sufferers to “stop whining”, and that the rich and powerful are more “deserving”, and should rule, however unequally over others they possibly can.
So in this liberal manifestation, where Thinking backs up the preferred Feeling judgment, we see it nevertheless come out as strong commands for action, and even defining “conversion” by it, much like the opposite side. It then explains why liberalism often becomes “authoritarian” when implementing their otherwise good-intentioned ideals).
So even though I believe it could be stronger in a couple of areas, this is a good and much needed read for the Church, and a perfect companion for all the other books on race coming out in the secular arena.
In the entire history of the race issue in America, what’s always preached against is “hate” (the opposite being “love”, of course). Naturally, when you conjure up images of Civil Rights marchers, what they faced, as they marched past angry crowds throwing things, spitting, and even the law enforcement attacking with hoses and dogs; that’s the picture of “hate” we usually have. (Which my father, participating in marches testified to, and then was convinced that peaceful marches were futile, and a more “revolutionary” approach was the solution). Even in a heated lover’s quarrel, one will say, with rage in their face and tone, “I hate you!”
As I pointed out here: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/division-between-mans-soul-and-spirit/ “hate” was identified as one of 11 primary emotions. Divided between “humane” (specific to humans) and “utilitarian” (also shared in common with animals), “hate” was on the “humane” side, and thus only available to humans (where animals can have plain “anger”, which seems similar, but is less focused).
The word is from Old English, and meant “regard with extreme ill-will, have a passionate aversion to, treat as an enemy,” and is of Germanic origin, traced to the Proto-IndoEuropean root kad– meaning “sorrow, hatred” (which is also the source of Avestan sadra– “grief, sorrow, calamity,” Greek kedos “care, trouble, sorrow,” Welsh cas “pain, anger”).
In the Biblical Greek, it’s often said to mean “love less”, which can explain the infamously confusing command of Christ to “hate” one’s parents. (Luk 14:26) The actual word: μισέω miséō, mis-eh’-o; from a primary μῖσος mîsos (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension, to love less:—hate(-ful).
So still, today, black and liberal speakers addressing the latest incident of race or police violence against blacks (or gays, or Muslims), will often issue the general statement against “hate”. People will often throw the term back at blacks. I had recently linked to an alt-right site called “Black people hate whites”. I was taken aback years ago, upon reading Rowan’s account in The Coming Race War, of a school teacher, who had just rattled off to him crass classic racist stereotypes of black kids, and then tells him to “preach love, not hate”. Forward 20 years after the book was written, and it’s clear that this is the universal narrative on the Right, now. It started with accusing blacks of “playing the race card” in calling out racism. Then, it was turned completely around, so that they are the “racists”, and white males the “hated” minority now. This is what they are driving into the ground these days.
Most racists (and “dog-whistlers”, who adamantly deny racism) don’t operate from a premise of “we just don’t like those people”. They rely on “hard fact” (often not really answered thoroughly), and the issue becomes “there’s a good reason why we think or act the way we do toward these people“. (Such as why the cops do what they do).
Ian Lopez, Dog Whistle Politics also points out that a lot of dog whistling deflection comes from assuming “racism” is “hate” only, and lists three kinds of racism: “hate”, “structural” and “implicit bias” (See https://erictb.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/book-review-dog-whistle-politics). Another way to break racism down is into the levels of political sentiment:
Mainstream Right: “We honestly gave them a chance, trying to be postracial/colorblind, but they just have this problem of ‘cultural‘ lack of character, and our political enemies (white liberals; who are the ones we’re really against) are taking advantage of it” (i.e. giving them “free stuff” at our expense, and for their benefit; i.e. to gain votes, or destroy the nation out of envy).
More radical “dog whistling” Right (Giuliani, Limbaugh, Reagan, John Wayne, anti-BLM, etc). Similar sentiment, focusing on “lack of character” that should be overcome, but with more of an antagonistic resentment and deliberate infusion of racial overtones into discussions (Giuliani paraphrase: I’ve done so much for ‘these people’ [by having cops persecute them; it’s what they need, and the only way to tame them], so they should be happy they’re alive and behave themselves; and you can see the utter contempt on his face).
Alt-right openly spewing superiority/inferiority belief, and now increasingly criticizing the mainstream Right as too passive (“cuckservative”). They use the same “facts” of “black problems”, but employs it to prove integration altogether is a mistake, as the people are hopeless. (But nevertheless show open hostility over stuff like crime and “dependency”, but as genetic traits).
Opportunists (Trump). Just tell people whatever they want to hear (doesn’t even sound convincing about it; don’t sound like his heart is really in it. “Yes, we’ll make America great again. We will build the wall…” etc). This is Lopez’s “strategic” category.
Alt-right is definitely full of “hatred” (to the point of even trashing both the founders, for bringing blacks here to begin with, as well as the Constitution, which I’ve seen some talk bad or dismissive of. Most conservatives are strongly patriotic, but among these radicals, their race comes before country). The second group, which is full of contempt, may also cross over into hatred. It’s just more latent. Whenever I hear Giuliani or Limbaugh talk about blacks, the thought that keeps coming to mind is “what the hell have we ever done to you?” Most of the opportunists might not even care enough to have any feelings. They just use others’ hatred, contempt or fear to build up their own power (support) base. I’m not sure if Trump really “hates” people. He’s just full of himself, and it seems that clouds out any genuine feelings toward people.
The first group, the mainstream, is the least guilty of “hate”. They, like the others, are bound in self-exaltation, trading “supremacy” for “exceptionality”, which is just a softer version of the same thing, but focuses more on the extended (collective) self than the other people.
So in order to defend their nation, they have to come up with an explanation for why some people do not seem to be doing well in it. So they start going after the people’s collective character (e.g. the “community” and its “pathology”), thinking this is based on [“colorblind”] “fact” and not prejudice/bigotry. To accuse them of “hate” is to judge their motives, which makes the one doing it look biased and ignorant themselves. And thus, this is what they play off of. Of course, they don’t realize that the “fact” they appeal to is slanted by their own flawed sense of “exceptionality”. But that is not really “hate” (except in a very loose sense based on the biblical “love less” idea).
I myself, as a doctrinally conservative evangelical before adopting the Fulfilled view, agreed that homosexuality was a perversion (and this, inherited even from a secular culture that looked down on it). I never had any inkling of “hatred” toward them. That was their business, and did not affect me (with all the stuff people in the world do, that was a bigger concern to me). As a Christian, it was between them and God. I did feel conservative Christians were way overboard in their hostility toward them, and making that the cause of “curses” on our nation, as with every other sexual issue, but homosexuality seen as the worst. (On the other hand, it was at times an amusing taboo, like at my old job, with a guy who moonlighted as a DJ and knew all the clubs, and we used to joke about the names of the gay ones, such as “The Ramrod” and “the Mineshaft”). But I came to see that any belief that they were going to Hell was seen as “hatred”. (And the Christians would in turn play off of this in their “end times” prophecies and fictions, where persecution would be based on Christians getting labeled as “haters“, which then becomes punishable by imprisonment or death. It turns all of actual reality on its ear, for the Christians, who had been the authoritarian ones, condemning others’ choices, now become the “victims”, and those resisting their control become the persecutors).
I felt in a bit of a bind there, as the doctrine did seem to have an element of hatred. We’re saying God hates that sin so much (sort of more than anything else), which people assume is us simply projecting feelings that are only inside of us. We tried to argue that we’re simply passing on the “truth”, that is from outside of us (i.e. “objective”). But I couldn’t help notice way deep in my consciousness that this was the same thing the racists were saying!
With the fulfilled view, I’m now free to try to “live in peace with all men” (Rom. 12:14, Heb.12:14) rather than having to proclaim them “wrong” [i.e. in violation of the divine Law] and trying to get them to change their behavior (that does not affect me) out of fear of a hateful divine vengeance (that is apart of the Law, which had a purpose that has been long fulfilled). The hatred or “enmity” came from the Law (Eph. 2:15), which came as a result of sin UNTIL the Seed [Christ] came (Gal. 3:19. And the New testament was an overlap period where Grace was being proclaimed, but the Law still had some authority, and those who rejected Christ in favor of the Law, would end up judged by it in the end. That is why there’s still “hatred” and “vengeance” seen in the New Testament).
So likewise, with some conservatives and race, they have been taught faulty interpretations of scripture (like one race being “cursed”, or another nation [after Israel] being “chosen” and thus infused with righteousness) that they have not challenged, or even among those not necessarily religious, have adopted these ingrained notions, and so don’t realize it is denigrating to other people, and is not factual. It feels good to believe, however, and has just enough “hard truth” (the sinfulness of man before God, or the necessary “delayed gratification” of the “work ethic”) to appear not to be a “feel-good” belief, and so they take it as “gospel truth”.
So racism is any belief that your race is somehow “better” than others; whether accompanied by active feelings of “hate” or not. Even if you change it from innate “genetics” to hypothetically changeable “culture”, and even if you try to support it with “fact”. (Just think; what “racists” ever really claimed to base their beliefs on anything but “facts” they could cite?) If you paint someone else’s culture as particularly bad, and set yours up as “par” they are to be judged in comparison with, or “exceptional”, and don’t see them as just as human as everyone else (in the positive sense); and that you’re just as human as anyone else (in the negative sense), so that there’s always a negative side of what you hold up as “exceptional”, then this denial of your own sin/sinfulness is what amounts to “racism”. (And crediting God for your “exceptionalism” only makes it worse. “If you did receive [from God], why do you BOAST as if you didn’t?” 1 Cor.4:7).
If you’re tired of the term “racism”, then the biblical term “self-righteous” is better, covering all bases of our problem. But it’s not something you’ll want to own any better. But that’s what’s at the heart of the issue.
All of human behavior can be summed up as adaptation to the situations they find themselves in. Both environmental and internal (neurological, etc.) It does no good for me to look forward to anyone being “punished” for their actions, whether affecting me directly, such as political, business, agency or interpersonal offenses, or stuff not affecting me such as others’ sexual practices; any more than I want to be judged for however I adapt. If God were to judge by the Law, we’d all perish. It was not given as motivation for creating a good society, it was given to show us we will fall short.
As much as I may get annoyed at people like racists, or capitalists and criminals who prosper by exploiting advantages I have not been able to seize upon, I see that I can’t deny that I would probably do many of the same things if I did have those opportunities.
The Race issue
As far as race, growing up as someone not “street-wise”, and having to constantly worry about tougher kids, especially when, on top of it, having my father (and some others) constantly warning me about being so vulnerable or “weak” (not only not being respected in general, but also not being respected by girls); and then tying it to “black culture” (especially as the 80’s progressed, and rap turned from a more conscientious countercultural voice to just a reflection of all the worst stereotypes of blacks, and the street life), I could have easily turned against the whole “culture” in resentment, and become like an Allen West or Thomas Sowell, who are actually prominent advocates of white conservative “dog-whistling” rhetoric against the entire “community”.
It was likely my own identification with the “underdog” from my own life experiences, especially the dire financial straits under capitalism with its rising prices and lowering quality, being put off by all the unjust political rhetoric against blacks, still, and my own future trying to enter the work force (and realizing that white history and pop-culture is just as mean-spirited or “bad” in its own ways), as well as the nostalgia of the good parts of the “growing up black” experience (such as the music, and the pre-teen periods where I did manage to fit in better) that always kept me aggravated with the white conservative platform. This is what made me more “centrist” in seeing the “problems” of both white and black “pop culture”, and both Christian and non-Christian [in-practice] world views.
So from there, I could try to imagine being white. Would I be so “balanced” and supportive of the black community? I would like to think so, but if I for years resented “tough” street culture, as a black male who came from that environment, then imagine if I came from outside of it, where it was something “over there”, you hear about on the news with the latest crimes every night. It might even be worse if I was close to the community, and had to brave whatever reactions from the people because of the racial difference, and not being able to fit in as much as I did. I must embarrasedly confess that I actually favored Bernhard Goetz, the infamous white-on-black defensive shooter of the mid 80’s. If a non-tough black male was so vulnerable in the streets, with guys who would just see you and start something just because of how you look, then this skinny, geeky white guy was the epitome of the “weak” thug-bait. I remember thinking (borrowing a line from my father about the streets), “the only thing they understand is death“, and thus that what they needed was for someone they pick on like that for looking “weak” to go crazy on them. And sure enough, it happened. Even though I was becoming increasingly aware of dog-whistling at the time (right in the middle of the Reagan era), I still didn’t piece this together with the larger problem of racism, but rather with my own experience, where you did have to worry about being victimized by other blacks directly (on top of the larger white system. Like everybody was “against you”).
By the time of the Central Park Jogger case, I was much more aware of racism, but still felt that that particular incident was the consequence of those kids being in the park “wilding” in the first place. It looked like they were guilty, whether they were or not. They were already acting “criminal” (unless it turns out the whole “wilding” thing was a fabrication, which is certainly possible given the way things get slanted, but I’ve never heard that even claimed. Funny, but as silent as we were in answering all the “welfare queen” and general “crime” dog whistling exploding like wildfire that decade, I remember how fired up Ann Trip and Joe Bragg were on their Sunday Kiss-FM news show about the case).
We can appeal to racial “implicit bias”, but then, that should all the more motivate us to clean up senseless bad behavior that only “gives occasion” to accusers (like Christians were reminded in the Bible, regarding the Devil, who is the spiritual “Accuser”). When I was a kid, I had a problem of liking to meddle in the building superintendent’s shop, and then when something was out of place, and I didn’t do it that time, I was still suspect, and my parents told me that that’s what will happen. It’s what, in Christian biblical lingo, we would term the “appearance of evil”.
However, this will be opposed on the basis of what’s called being “twice as good” (which, IIRC, Rowan discussed in his book, and involved Martin Luther King). We have to be “extra good”, to impress the white man, and prove we are not dangerous, in order to be perceived better, and not be shot. This obviously is basically accepting “inferiority”, and trying to “fix” it (which of course, the conservatives believe is the answer to begin with). But that is granting them their flawed superiority premise, which was the original cause of the problem in the first place, and thus not what we want to do.
Unfortunately, this is likely the way many in the streets doing all the crimes feel; it’s like “F it; they’re racist and hate us and the cops are going to come and kill me anyway, and they’re evil; I’m not going to follow ‘their’ corrupt laws, so I might as well be bad” (even though it’s other blacks they more often end up killing, as the dog whistlers repeat incessantly).
And hence, to address the point of this topic, the way they are “adapting”, that I can’t self-righteously dismiss. And so we’re in a catch-22.
So again, imagine how I would have felt if I was white. I imagine if I was of a liberal persuasion, I would try to bury those feelings behind a fired up altruism; you know, let’s do all we can to help ‘those poor people’. (And yet still nevertheless getting nervous and clenching my belongings, hoping no one notices, when thuggish looking kids pass by). I would still, deep inside feel just as defensive when hearing blacks complain about whites as I do now when whites cite black “problems”. And of course, that’s the “at best” scenario. (I even knew a few individual moderate evangelicals, who lived in the city, and tried to “reach out” to the urban kids, but eventually got frustrated with, I guess, the attitudes, or the “lack of hope” one described, and then all moved to the heartland, basically, which to them looked more receptive to the Gospel).
If I were conservative, I could imagine feeling put upon, and taking for granted the whole “exceptionality” premise, which as I’ve argued, is what drives all dog whistling. It’s like “Well, our forefathers are the ones who built this great nation; that’s the way it happened, what do you want from me? It couldn’t have been that bad; your ancestors had wars and conquests, and sold each other as slaves, so we’re no worse than you all were, and all the good we’ve done more than makes up for it. Yet these liberals (who promise you so much, and yet have accomplished nothing for you) ruined it all, and now I’m struggling to maintain my standard of living, and here you come asking for things because of what was done in the past. Just get over it already! At least our system is still good enough that one can succeed if they try.”
(Of course, this is skewed on several points, by splitting all problems off onto someone else; it was all good, but then these rogues, called “liberals” came and messed it up —for me, that is, but it still would work for you, if you weren’t being so “lazy”. They never make the connections between the problems of the past and present, [basically summed up in “greed“] and the resulting struggles of all of us. Everything is always attributed differently).
I can also imagine inbetween groups on the “whiteness” hierarchy scale, such as Jewish, on the white side, or even Hispanic, on the “colored” side. While able to identify with the black experience at the hands of white supremacy to different extents (in which both groups fare right above blacks, basically), I’m pretty sure a part of myself would muse at the idea of at least not being as low in perception as blacks. When hearing them totally smeared with the reputation of “crime” and “dependency”; feeling good that at least I’m not seen as “that bad”. That conservative heroes like Zimmerman, and political candidates Cruz and Rubio were on the “white side” against those “problematic” blacks.
The point is, as annoyed as I get at conservativism, I realize they’re adapting to natural human fears. And the same with the much despised “black thugs” themselves, as stated. I grew up with that traditional “nuclear family”, where my father was always there (despite actually being a small time hustler at one point), and my mother a respectable educated and cultured lady, who taught me well, despite all the problems. But many others even as early as my generation, did not have it like this, so I cannot say I’m so much “better” than the “thugs”. (1 Cor. 4:7)
“Choice”: the engine of Judgment
The whole fulcrum of the issue of judgment is the matter of human “choice“. I could have said “I chose to not get involved in the streets and become a thug/gangsta, or a junkie, etc.” (and then naturally look down on those who did), or “I chose not to hold onto resentment and turn against the black community altogether and become a black conservative” (who used to be labeled “[Uncle] Toms”, but are now called “coons”). On the other hand, my father and others thought I chose not to become tougher or more self-confident, and the conservatives would claim I chose to do what I’m doing and not to rise up and simply take hold of the maximum opportunities of capitalism. And it would be true (in part, to a very limited extent), but it ignores other factors (or limitations) that simply pushed me the way I developed. (And this is of course what they say to the rest of the complaining black community, and even my father said something to that effect to me, when I was struggling to enter the work force in my 20’s. A well-off cousin said the same thing; the two of them neglecting the fact that they came of age in the liberal 60’s, when there was a more concerted effort to help out blacks, and prices and job competition weren’t so high, compared to the “backlash” paradigm I found myself in, in the 80’s. But that was just a “crutch” they, especially the cousin, said!)
“Choice” is what the whole concept of “merit” is based on. (See https://erictb.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/humanitys-biggest-pitfall-merit)
Of course, “choice” is the whole weapon in the religious world of Christian doctrine. Everyone deserves Hell, because they all “chose” to sin, and they could have “chosen” Christ for salvation, but instead “chose” to “hold on to their sin” instead. Initially, it’s because the first man (Adam) chose to “disobey”. The Fall is often seen in terms of a single act of “disobedience” (that somehow the rest of us got charged with), rather than its effect; knowledge of good and evil. (I think I remember seeing at least one teacher [perhaps in Armstrongism?] say that the “tree” was a “test” of obedience). It’s all about the tree and the physical fruit itself (assumed by nominal folklore to be an apple, even though scripture never says that), and not what that fruit represented (we have to keep all of Genesis “literal”, after all, so we can’t allow “represent”, for that may open the entire book up to mere “allegory”).
Then, you often heard it shorthanded into simply “tree of knowledge“, which fit in perfectly with the Church’s fear of modern knowledge (science). Carl Sagan’s “A Universe Not Made For Us” video is an example of how people in the world think “knowledge” itself was what was deemed evil in the Fall story. (I even once saw a political cartoon (basically the forerunner of today’s internet “memes”) showing the “fruit” as a science textbook! But it’s not just any “knowledge”; it’s knowledge specifically of good and evil. That, ironically, ended up getting assumed by religion, to be the solution to “disobedience”, where scripture itself portrays it as essentially the cause of our “sin” afterwards.
Even among various groups professing Christ, there is doctrinal difference, which often ends up amounting to a forfeiture of salvation of one group in the view of the others. (If the doctrine in question is not seen as too fundamental, then it might not question salvation, but still ends up as something they come close in the rhetoric to denying salvation, such as Calvinism and Arminianism’s portrayals of each other’s “monstrous” or “weak” ‘god’). Whether it’s “how to be saved”, or the Trinity or deity of Christ (disputed by so-called “cults” who are “beyond the pale of orthodoxy”), or various points of “obedience to the commands of God”, one group “chose” the clear “truth”, while the other group (or everyone else in the “world”) allowed “human ego” or its components such as “the wicked heart” [emotions] or the “sinful mind” [“faulty human logic”] to take over, and thus they’re “blind”, while we “see”. All by our own “choice”!
What’s wrong with those “sinners” (in general), or homosexuals, or leftists, or “rebellious compromising ‘neo’ Christians”, or holders of whatever other doctrine or philosophy, for their “blindness”? For rejecting the “clear truth”? Of course, the “reprovers” of these sins rapidly fill in the answer: they “chose” their “sin” or “error”. You would think, if they were really so “blind”, as they call them, then when you think of blindness, that’s something the person usually couldn’t help. “Error” is a “mistake“. Yet here, they are being blamed, as “responsible” for their own blindness and error. (Of course, the Calvinists will loudly proclaim that’s exactly how judgment is meant to work!) This should really bring to mind Christ’s warning :”If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But since you say, ‘We see,’ therefore your sin remains.” (John 9:41)
I’ve noticed that the entire evangelico-fundamentalist world-view (from IFB’s to charismatics, with many “new-evangelicals” inbetween) relies on a whole “cause and effect” mindset as justification of their morality. That music, or those people, or that object or that belief system will lead to “sin”, and “sin” leads to “more sin”. You just keep “indulging” and “feeding” it, they claim. (Many even rejecting what they call “behaviorism” as held by secular “humanistic” psychologists, then adopt a “Christianeze” version of the same thing, differing only in that it’s “scriptural”, meaning proof-texted with passages like James 1:14-5. But then “salvation”, “regeneration”, “sanctification” etc. [depending on the group] ends up becoming a “process” of breaking bad habits. It’s claimed to be supernatural and thus only accessible to born again converts, but the “process” they describe is something that nonbelievers can engage and succeed in. It should also be pointed out, in passing, that James reflects the requirements of the “Law” to those accustomed to keeping it, where Paul focused more on Grace, and showed that Law leads naturally to the downward process James described).
So sin will finally lead to “Hell” for the unbeliever after death, and even apart from that, the “end times One World apostasy” (which professing Christians can hypothetically get caught up in), which you can see behind, for example, the entire IFB badgering on all the “compromise” they point out, in not only the new-evangelicals, but even other IFB groups, now.
At one point, I myself am warned (by charismatics, who are otherwise moderate, but with apparently a full Arminian belief that in practice denies eternal security) that if I don’t “give God [His due] time” every day (reading the Bible and praying in a “systematic” effort), then I’ll become “lukewarm” and eventually be “spat out of Christ’s mouth”. (Which some will argue doesn’t really mean lost, but rather “ineffective for being ‘used by God’ in the world”, but the context of the overall Methodistic soteriology suggests otherwise).
When I begin questioning things like this, as well as other pseudo-scriptural assumptions in common “Christian teaching” (especially in light of the way life is, and God’s role in it), then it’s suggested, essentially, “see, it’s happening!” When I adopt the “fulfilled view”, seen as unorthodox, then it’s “see, it’s happened!” Of course, next step forecasted is turning away from God altogether! From this, I’m supposed to be stricken with fear, and just drop everything I’ve come to believe (which explained a lot of things, yet still from a biblical framework), and run back to the “Commonly Accepted Message” (with all the contradictions and resulting dissension it’s plagued by, pitched as “unsearchable” “paradoxes”), all based on something that has not happened, but is surmised or hypothesized as possibly happening, based on a perceived “pattern”. Basically, just to be “safe”.
(Here’s a meme perfectly illustrating this mindset, including holiness as an effort-based “choice”):
Many people who use these tactics are “introverted Sensing” preferring types, who compare current sensory data with what they remember, and then use a lesser “extraverted iNtuition”, based on that, to figure where it’s going. (i.e. what “could ” happen in the future. And for even those who don’t prefer the function, the Church as a whole has taken on an Si mindset). A more mature extraverted iNtuition will see other possibilities and not just rely on the past, though its true that you can overlook other concrete realities that may be driving the previous patterns, so you can’t completely dismiss them. Still, it makes me feel placed in a bind, and thus makes the all-important “choice” ever so harder, rather than motivating me to make the one choice they deem “right”.
Then, “submitting to God” is held up as the ultimate answer. This is again assumed to be doing the aforementioned “disciplines” (prayer, etc.) combined with changing our attitudes toward disappointments and difficulties (assumed to be “His will”). One problem with this is how speculatory it becomes. God is not tangibly experienced, and so is in practice becomes like an “idea”. People will oppose this strongly and say He can be detected through “what He has made”; but this is indirect, and thus still an “idea”. To say He can only be “spiritually” experienced within is still indirect, and thus to everyone else, an idea. This is why the whole concept of God has been so malleable, producing thousands of different beliefs and doctrines about God, even with ‘tangible’ scriptures.
So to “submit to God” ends up being to submit to people’s idea of what God wants from us, only inferred through the tangible world, which then gets interpreted as “His will”. So this strikes me as submitting to “the way life is”, or submitting to life, meaning impersonal nature and fate, as if it were God itself. Which is basically what the atheists, agnostics, pantheists, etc. all practice by default. Christian and nonChristian alike then point to some “power” WITHIN to help you cope with having no or at best limited external power over most things. This further solidifies “me” vs “the rest of the universe”. So God becomes conflated with “the universe”, or what has been created. “The way of the world” seems immutable (one of the key divine attributes). Only something larger in the universe can stop it. Even the “serenity prayer” assumes some things in life are immutable, and God’s only action is changing our attitude to adapt (and the things we “can” change ending up more than likely the things we don’t want to).
So like what is it that’s really being “submitted” to? It’s just something people have been throwing at others when they don’t have any other answers to problems.
(God is the “beginning and the end”, and so can be seen as displaced from us through time, and hence, now in practice an N “idea” with “S” reality being what was “begun” and will have “ended”).
Of course, throw into the mix the “monergism vs synergism” argument of Calvinism, then all good “choice” is controlled by God, while bad choice or no choice is what’s been left to “sinful human nature”. That gets them around the question of “what causes you to differ” (1 Cor.4:7; which they then level at Arminians), but then, a particular clause of the doctrine (especially held by “Baptistic” and “Methodistic” Calvinists, in order to make sure to maintain maximum blame of the sinner), is that God still “holds men responsible” for the “natural” choices they couldn’t help but make. So they are still blamed for it, as if they had controlled their own choice or lack thereof.
So while certain Calvinists, such as Michael Horton (who I like to cite) will scold the Church for its hostile rhetoric toward the sinful world (that’s “merely acting out its beliefs”, Beyond Culture Wars p. 70), and blame this on the “Pelagian” assumption of free will, many Calvinists do join their Arminian counterparts in aggravated blaming of “the world” (or other segments of the Church), and wanting to “take back” something they feel has been taken from them. (They never figure, when applied to themselves, that “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away” Job.1:21).
“Law”, the wielder of the “choice” club
The whole issue is centered on what defines “sin” in the first place, which is the [divine] Law (Rom. 3:20, 7:7, 1 John 3:4). One of the key scriptures regarding the Law, which was what one “served” God through, was “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”, whether false gods or YHWH (Joshua 24:15) and “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deut. 30:19).
While these are from the Old Testament account of God’s dealing with the physical nation of Israel, because New Testament people were told to “believe on” Christ, then the whole “choice” theme (with the all important “will” that defined a human “soul”), ended up getting effectively transferred over to the New Covenant in people’s view, becoming the backbone of “evangelical” Christianity. Meaning, that the Law has been transferred over, but only modified as to certain practices, deemed specifically “Mosaic” or rituals directly replaced by the sacrifice of Christ.
(In reality, the New Testament recorded the period of overlap between the two covenants, so they had to “choose” and “hold fast” to the New one [Christ], until the ‘soon’ “end” of the old age, where the complete unmerited redemption of “Grace” [God “not counting their sins against them” (2 Cor. 5:19)] they had an “earnest” of (2 Cor. 1:22, 5:5, Ephesians 1:14) would come to full fruition. The Church of course extended this to our time, and still waiting. So we are in effect still in an “overlap” of Law and Grace and this is exactly what we see in the religious world, with foreboding “judgment” and a conditional “grace”, all based on the “choices” we make, and most people deemed failing; as the Church goes on divided in which doctrines are true, including things like law vs grace and perseverance vs eternal security).
And often not only the individual “judgment” of every unconverted sinner in Hell, but also in their political views, where many of them, in total imitation of Israel, imagined they were the guardians of a new physical nation (rather than a spiritual one, as the New Testament stressed), with everyone obligated to “choose” what are deemed the “traditional values”, and if they don’t, then it’s the Christians who must then choose (through voting for the right people, or organizing around various “moral” causes) to rise up and take the nation back.
This whole issue of “will” is what has come to the forefront now, in the entire controversy of homosexuality, with it being given full marital rights recently. In order to justify the seemingly harsh condemnations of homosexual activity in certain scriptures, Christians must insist it is purely a “choice”, of the “will”. They can appeal to many otherwise seemingly “straight” people who overindulged in sex, and then started experimenting with same sex (out of being “jaded”, which has been true in many cases), and then plug this into [what they think they’re reading in] the first chapter of Romans, and thus generalize it to every person who claims to be gay. The “testimonies” of some who have turned straight (whether through “conversion therapy” or otherwise) are the ultimate proof. They need to simply “choose” to be straight, and [teachers admit] “it will be hard”, since it is such an ingrained “habit”, or merely is a reaction to heterosexual abuse (as is often assumed), —or else! But on the contrary, I’ve heard the stories of people who did just that (sometimes even violating the other “moral” rules, such as the one against heterosexual “fornication”, which I had thought would be their escape from hetero pressure), only to further confirm their aversion and preference.
The purpose of the Law
Under the divine Law, certain behaviors were considered “unfit”. Many were just common ways people adapt to situations. Some were things people couldn’t help, or that we would today not see as having anything wrong with them at all. Some precepts fit in with the need for public morality and justice. Others were ceremonial or spiritual. Only seven of these principles were original and assumed to be universal (and thus predated the big written code of the Old Covenant).
These can be summed up as: Idolatry: Gen. 31:19-36; Blasphemy: Gen. 3:1-4, Murder: Gen. 4.8-10-16, 6:11, 9:6, Theft: Gen. 3:6, Gen. 31:19, Sexual violation: Gen. 19:5-7, 20.3, Maintaining justice: Gen. 19:1-9. [The Gates of a city were where Judges sat to convene Courts of Justice], Cruelty to Animals: Gen. 9.4-5). These are what we all could agree are necessary to maintain society and relationships. (The first two, a relationship with God, and also, without specifying right away, details of what sexual “violations” are).
As these were constantly violated, God began a plan of redeeming man, through one nation, and the laws were expanded into the extensive written code. Many of them go way beyond what’s really necessary to maintain society. This is where, for instance, sexual violations (such as the forcible sex threatened by the Sodomites) became specified into harsh condemnations of homosexual practice, seen as “odd” (and yet, polygamy was still permitted, though most Judeo-Christian traditions today specify “one man and one woman” is God’s “natural order”). And many other rules were added, that most do not keep today, such as leprosy, menstruation, pork, shellfish and mixed fabrics likewise being “odd”. Properly honoring God now included a special day of the week set aside, along with annual observances. There was even a physical alteration on the male body, to identify who was in the nation set aside to follow God. (People will easily point to AIDS as the “proof” homosexuality is wrong ⦅that is, those who don’t think it’s His judgment on the practice⦆, and sabbatarians argue extensively that the dietary and even the Sabbath are for “health”, a few may even argue the same for circumcision, but none of them has really come up with a good answer for why menstruation and leprosy were unclean, though all the Christians believe those are abolished. Rabbinic Jews believe none of them are for “health”, and that keeping them merely for that purpose is to not observe the Law).
When the lesson was written through that nation, and they killed the Messiah sent to redeem man, the extensive code was phased out.
So Christ (borrowing from Hillel) said that the whole Law was fulfilled in what became known as “The Golden rule”: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matt. 7:12). Paul adds to this, that “If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men“. (Rom.12:18)
When “universal” laws are violated, such that others are endangered, then we can apprehend and penalize them, for the good of society. But not to go beyond that, and use “divine Law” to condemn acts that do or should not affect anyone, using God to control others through fear. Those laws all had their purpose, which was fulfilled in Christ. We must recognize “good and evil”, and “give and take” in order to maintain equity (fairness) as physical creatures. But realize that before God, those have been abolished, as we were not able to stand, under them. We must employ a system of deterrence, whereby we try to make people afraid to commit crimes, because of a penalty (which as it is often doesn’t work). But this is not the purpose of God’s Law, as is suggested every time a preacher or other religious pundit claims that “removal of the Law” or “relativism” is what’s allowed “sin to run rampant”.
People will say this leads to relativity (and trash it as “pragmatism”), but that assumes the purpose of “choice” is so we can follow the Law; whose purpose is supposedly to motivate good behavior through threat of divine punishment, which is then to create a good society or the divine “Kingdom” itself, or “grow” us toward perfection, which they believe is what “growing into the image of Christ” is referring to (though they admit we will never get there. The resurrection would then be what boosts us instantly the rest of the way to perfection, but then that would have nothing to do with how close we “grow” towards it in this life).
Like from Armstrong, an iconic statement, on the first of the “Four Horsemen” of the “end times” is “The false teaching of doing away with the LAW of God, and the GOVERNMENT of God, and endorsing the ways of men, led inevitably to WARS, which have grown progressively more frightening and colossal in scale, until it is now questionable whether the world can survive another war, unless God Almighty steps in supernaturally to intervene!” (Revelation, Unveiled at Last p.23) So-called “orthodox” Christians may argue against him on some of the particular items of this “law”, or whether to use the term “Law”, and perhaps not put such an emphasis on “government of God”, but most have agreed with and echoed the basic assessment.
The assumption is that God’s whole goal is about “creating order”, and that this carries over to human “moral order”. In fact, some groups will draw the analogy, that “God created the physical universe (and man in His image), and [after the Fall] now [RE]-creates us in His Son’s image, and now is creating His Kingdom in us…”. Basically, God condemns us and threatens us with Hell (or “annihilation” among some), to scare us into attention, and then offers us forgiveness and “help” by receiving Christ and the Spirit, to motivate us try to stop sinning. In practice, no one ever becomes actually “perfect” (though some groups do believe it is possible to “stop sinning”), but it’s people trying to stop, and “growing” toward a hypothetical perfection that creates a better society and also makes them more “like Christ” and thus fit for “the Kingdom”. It’s all in the fear element, and the proof is that when you remove it, the people believing this ask “well, why should anybody ‘obey’, then?” Even once converted, this is what continues to keep us in the faith. Many lament how when people leave the Church, it’s because “they don’t want to feel convicted by their sin and don’t want to be confronted with the fact that we all still need Christ and His regenerating power long after we’ve been saved” (Here, “regeneration” is clearly cast as behavioral and motivated by guilt and thus ongoing rather than “finished”. This is made the universal motive of people leaving).
So all of history ends up becoming a tug of war, with God trying to create moral order on the earth (through His Law), the Devil trying to destroy it, and man’s desire just being pleasure, which Satan then tempts him with, to get him to violate the Law. This is the basis of conservative Christian “moral” rhetoric (with traditionally “Christian” nations like America seen as representing this, and thus being “exceptional” but now being corrupted and essentially “falling” anew, because of non-Christian influences).
So “situational ethics” was derided in favor of “black and white” rules. “Black is black, and white is white; hell is hot and sin ain’t right” one verbal meme goes. This is purely legalistic thinking (since the Law is what defines sin, and condemns sinners to Hell), but [among the non-“lawkeeping” groups] just as long as it doesn’t include OT rituals they admit are “abolished”, they don’t see it as compromising “grace alone”. You also often heard “Ten Commandments, not Ten Suggestions” (which is what they would insist removing the fear of judgment will reduce them to). But if “commandments” is what you want, Paul, shows what “commandments” do to us (Romans 7:8-11). Basically, the very opposite of what we think it does for us! In this chapter, he makes it clear how effective “choice” really is!
The point he’s building up to, going into the next chapter, is that being out from under condemnation is based on Christ, not our efforts. (But the Church would only take the “spirit vs flesh” language there, and place it back onto us and our “choices”, with “walking in the Spirit” interpreted in terms of our “daily” efforts, with the Spirit somehow “helping” us to change our behavior —likely through heightened “conscience”. What Paul concludes that thought with is that what the Spirit actually does for us is to “bear witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God“, 8:16. Trusting in this is what’s “walking in the Spirit”. Trying to do it yourself through your efforts [in the Law, even if “with God’s help”] is what’s “walking in the flesh”).
Further illustrating the fruits of all of this, he earlier asks “You that preach a man should not steal, do you steal? You that say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You that abhor idols, do you commit sacrilege? You that make your boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonor you God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.” (Rom.2:21-24; and hence, this is a larger cause of all the revolt against the “Judeo-Christian ethic” they have frequently mentioned, rather than some “anti-God” conspiracy against them. Also, remember it’s not just literal adultery, idolatry, etc. that is condemned).
He had just said in v.14-5, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law to themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another)”. Yet Herbert Armstrong (who does advocate more of the Law than other Christians, but still nowhere near the whole thing) once said “Christianity…puts human conscience, actuated by Satan’s false teaching, in place of God’s law” (Which Day is the Christian Sabbath, p36). Others acknowledge “conscience”, but likely drawing upon this passage, use it as the ultimate noose around man’s neck; like a virtual new “special revelation” that is completely clear, as God appearing in the burning bush. (Of course, that passage is framed in terms of “doing the law” to be “justified” (v.13) before a future judgment (v16), but suffice it to say, other scriptures say that this event he was referring to was something they were waiting for in their lifetimes, not delayed thousands of years to yet our future. Hence, the Law being completely fulfilled, and condemnation ended).
People who speak of moral “relativity” assume that if we just preach loudly “There’s NO excuse for your behavior, and if you don’t REPENT, you’re going to HELL!!!”, then that will grip all the offenders with fear, and they’ll stop and [at least start or “want” to] change their behavior (and then embark on the spiritual “path” where they receive God’s help); and it once worked like this, but then some people wanted to go soft and “relativize” morality (likewise, to “justify” their own sin or subjective sentimental belief in “human goodness”), and that’s when morality “fell apart”.
But all sorts of evil was done in this moral “golden age”. It was just rationalized differently than today’s offenses, often even using the scriptures that are supposed to be the “moral glue”. That’s why relativists today are so suspicious of that approach.
Common practice in the “good old days”, when America was supposedly “great” (as we need to make it “again”), and morality was “absolute”, compared to today!
Fear is not the purpose; it doesn’t work anyway
And for one thing, there are plenty of people who will not be motivated by the fear of consequence. Sociopaths and/or psychopaths, are an example. (As an example, you can think of the worst internet “trolls”, “spammers” or “hackers”. This brought to mind by the guy who harassed the female Ghostbusters star on Twitter; and people like her don’t realize that crying and showing all that emotion is only “rewarding” rather than shaming them. Also, Russia yet again mentioned as where the hacking and viruses come from). They seem to be encouraged by people’s negative reactions, and only bothered by boredom, which is easily solved by hurting more people.
As someone who has always had guilt problems regarding other people (AS problems, Supine temperament, inferior extraverted Feeling), I can see that not caring at all about what other people think or feel gives individuals like this a tremendous amount of power. People functioning with other people have to worry about offending others and receiving negative consequences. To sociopaths, it’s all “fun”, so no threat is a deterrent. In the case of hackers and other thieves, the more security put in place (which often makes things more complicated for the honest users), the more of a challenge it is, and they usually eventually find a way to crack the code, and then even tighter measures are implemented. (And to us, in the middle, it seems like they’re all against us, and the problem is never able to be solved permanently).
It’s like “pest” animals, who can’t even recognize any threat of extermination, so they keep coming, no matter what. Nature keeps on driving them, and it’s relentless (unless you manage to gain the upper hand, and exterminate all of them. But when we translate this to human “pests”, that would be “inhuman”, and has been tried before by the worst regimes, and always wrong in who determining who is good or evil).
I tend to think that the only way for there to be no sin, crime or evil, is if we had a built-in “shock therapy” mechanism. Whenever we knowingly violate something, we get a little jolt. That way, the “stimulus response” that often drives us to “sinful” pleasures (or more accurately, legitimately based pleasures that can cross the line into sin, when overindulged) would work to restrain itself, against the pull to gain pleasure at others’ expense. Basically, a “secondary gain”. Of course, it would be cruel if man created something like that (like who would create, implement and enforce it?), but I sometimes now wonder why God didn’t design something like that, especially if religion was correct, in the belief that God’s aim for us is to behave, in order to create a good society or be fit for the Kingdom. Some insist “He wants us to have ‘free will'”, but thousands of years of history and scripture testimony shows where that leads.
We are often counseled about how the “evil doers” will “get theirs”. For the average “secular” people (as you can see frequently on social media memes), “karma” has been assumed. (Like as I finish this, there’s some lady in the news whose daughter was murdered, and she’s taunting him with “karma”. I’m pretty sure the guy, if he’s even watching, is probably laughing. He obviously doesn’t care about the future or the afterlife. [Edit, he has since been caught, and I believe, is mentally ill]. That’s actually a way of “reasoning” with them, and there’s obviously no reasoning with them. It’s “nature” in complete control, and you can’t reason or scare them into adopting the integrity they are lacking. Evidence for how they think; rapper KRS once portraying a drug kingpin, and how does “Just Say No” and “This is Your Brain On Drugs” strike him? “The dial I quickly turn, for with that bull— I’m not concerned”).
For biblical theists, “Vengeance is mine” (Deut.32:35/Rom.12:19) is the final answer (Psalms 37 and 73 are also often cited). Since different people have done different things; we then surmise different levels of punishment (which is what Dante played up to the hilt; and based on one verse of scripture, the “stripes” of Luke 12:48), and for believers, it’s “crowns” granted or works “burned up”. So (being frequently handed these two lines by an early Christian mentor of sorts when I first converted and was dealing with harassment from my father), I would be thinking of what will be done to make up every offense, or if a given offense against me would even be significant, amongst all the sins in an average given person’s life (many probably much greater than anything they may have done to me), which will all be “replayed out” to the person in the judgment, according to standard teaching.
I at some point began to realize it was getting petty, and that I shouldn’t be getting some sort of gratification out of this. I then took notice of Christ’s “You do not know what spirit you are of” (Luke 9:55), when the disciples wished punishment on people. The “vengeance” promise had a particular context for a particular people.
We can dismiss “excuses”, and just say the sociopaths must have “seared consciences” (which many, instead of taking that in the context Christ spoke it in, try fuse it with another passage, in Hebrews, that seems to describe a “condition” created by “sinning willfully”; which is taken in the typical mechanical “cause and effect” fashion I mentioned, as “deadening your moral senses”, but is discussing something altogether different. The more conservative fundamentalists go on to insist every form of “mental illness” is a “choice” [there’s that legalism term again!]; and hence badgering even the “new evangelicals” on selling out to “psychoheresy”).
But what does this accomplish? It doesn’t even restrain their behavior. They don’t care, remember. All it is doing is stroking our own ego; like we’re the good people, and if we don’t like how they behave, God is sure going to get them and avenge us; they’re trapped in sin and will never get out. However, it doesn’t make up for whatever they did, which we still have to live with (but is usually made irrelevant, in favor of Heaven, or “growth”).
How typological perspective shapes the world
Many Christians didn’t like psychology, because their view was that man as a whole was a rotten sinner who had no excuse for anything, while they themselves had risen above that, through their conversion and “regeneration”. Psychology removed the guilt from general mankind, and at the same time, showing how we all act from selfish motives, including the religious. This turned their world view upside down. (Right away, “excuse” is yet another term of legalism. The Law judges us, and we try to “excuse” ourselves. When religion wields this term, they’re trying to uphold the divine Law and its mandates for humans to make the right “choices”, but the Gospel shows this is futile, and we need justification “imputed” to us).
Secular self-help rejects typology because it takes psychology one step further in saying we all have our different ways of making perceptions and judgments. Self-help, much like conservative Christianity, believes there is a “right way” to perceive and judge things, and likewise accepts no “excuses” otherwise, which typology is seen as presenting. The rest of the science field, including even mainstream psychology, also takes a “right way” view, which is basically “empiricism” (“concrete: evidence), and thus, typology is too “abstract” (which is itself a category explained by the typological concept).
Empiricism is understandable, as the physical part of our existence, which is tied to the material world, has a need of maintenance that creates a necessary emphasis on the S (Sensation) perspective. We have to feed, clothe and shelter these bodies, and have to engage a system of “trade” with each other in order to afford those accommodations, and have to develop knowledge and skill to have something to be able to trade with. (And all of this deals in impersonal “mechanics”, which is the Thinking perspective).
This is why the world seems to be “geared” toward ST types, as I’ve noted. STJ’s will be the managers who run the business and government worlds, and STP’s will be the “scouts” of new territory in the “frontier”, or (if unhealthily narcissistic), the Trumps who see opportunities they can exploit, to rise up. As an N, and the “odd man out” a lot of times, I might tend to blame them for the way they run things, but it’s only their cognitive perspective.
The problem with waiting for “rewards” and “judgment”
So when I get annoyed at:
•the decisions of business, government, or especially my own agency, and particularly the extraverted Thinking—introverted Sensing perspective,
•as an example of this, the legal industry, which has everyone afraid of lawsuits, and thus reacting
•often leading to a rigid system of rules, procedures and discipline, or the extraverted Sensing perspective of the movers and shakers,
•”CYA”, where everyone covers themselves, and just passes burdens (responsibility, culpability, etc.) down to whoever is more vulnerable
•and then all the “rugged individualist” rhetoric in politics, which justifies this inordinate power,
•and then tops it off by blaming those on the bottom for not simply “choosing” to rise higher,
•and then, the utter double standards, such as corruption or bungling in those high places that place such standard on everyone else;
I would be looking forward to the day God shows them how wrong they are, how “puffed up” they were, how much pain they’ve caused, and how it was not justified, not “hard truth” that they easily accepted where others couldn’t; and under the futurist, world-still-under-condemnation-until-the-future-Kingdom belief, would imagine them at the Great White Throne, reeling in terror at the fruit of their “choices”.
But even now, under a “Fulfilled” (pantelist or “consistent” preterist) view, where condemnation has been removed (all taken upon by Christ) it seems this would simply be “busted down” to perhaps a “sorry” on their part? Or, when first confronted with their error, having been so confident they were “right”, with all the “facts” seeming to support them, now will it be “but, but, but…“. or “I didn’t mean it; I was just kidding!“? (This was brought to mind from the passage “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” Matt.12:36; where they think insensitive things they say or do shouldn’t be so “offensive”). I wonder if the open racists will tell God “But didn’t You curse the black people and “choose” the white Christians?” Cult leaders: “But didn’t Your Word say ______?” [whatever they were teaching or practicing, with the relevant proof-texts]. Atheists who bash theism in the name of “cold hard fact” will probably be left completely speechless.
I get the sense that most Christians believe the people standing before God won’t even have a chance to try to plead their case like that, but that the “truth” will be suddenly revealed to them, and then, at the most, perhaps either the “sorry” or “I was only kidding” (especially if it turned out to be true that they were still being sentenced to some sort of judgment), but more than likely, the humble acceptance of their judgment, and perhaps that’s when “every knee bows and every tongue confesses” (Rom.14:11, Phil.2:10).
That just makes me wonder, why couldn’t the “truth” be exposed to them (us) like that, now, in this life? (And why go as far as to reveal the truth to them, and force them to accept it, but then still sentence them to Hell?) Wouldn’t that have the much desired effect of creating a good moral civilization?
Most Christians will of course repeat the tome of “He wants us to have free will”. But again, where did that lead them? Which of course, the Calvinists will then take as the proof of their view; that God willed to damn most, and saved only who He wanted to save.
Some have argued that the purpose of punishment is being made to feel what others you’ve offended feel. That seems perfectly “just”, but would first, question why an eternal Hell of tremendous physical pain for a limited lifetime of mundane sins is what fulfills that.
Many Christians build up this idea of our sins “offending” Him (His “holiness”) that much, somehow, on top of the holy Son of God having to bear the sins on the Cross. (But right there, Him bearing them on the Cross would kind of speak against Him essentially “un-bearing” them for a person if they don’t respond the right way!)
This phrase is not even found in scripture. The closest to it would be “profane the holiness of the LORD” in Mal. 2:11; “profane” meaning “pollute”, of course, but this is referring to specific acts, of Judah violating the Law, in the context of the COVENANT (v8), not some whole “state” of condemnation, as the Church has used it. Of course, violating the Law, as all have done, does put us in a state of condemnation, but this has nothing to do with something being “required” of us, to have the condemnation removed. It is just a fear-stirring cliché made to shut down any questioning of the doctrine, by appealing to our innate guilt.
This has worked, because on one hand, something in us tells us that the fears of hell must be true, it’s too good to be true if we get away with our sins (hence, the opposition to that notion; “you just want to ‘get away with’ your sins”, and how this stirs up guilt, and is then handily used as proof via “conscience“), but on the other hand, something tells us that there’s something wrong with the notion of God punishing us like that, and for all eternity, for a short lifetime of bad behaviors (many of which are “personal” or “private”).
But even if we bust this down from Hell, to something more comparable to what they have done (like I would love to see racists and other conservatives get exactly the pure “exceptional” society they have been trying to get “back”, and with no blacks, liberals or any other “problem” groups to blame for anything wrong, and then see how well it goes. Like Trump supporters could have their own country with him as president, and see what that’s like); if we still speak of this as a kind of “punishment”, then I fear it might compromise the concept of Grace. Again, any of us would be susceptible to this sort of “consequence”.
Then, the flipside of this, is the “rewards” people are to get, for their “suffering”. In my case, and many others today, it’s simply “accepting the things we can’t change, and changing the things we can” (which are often what we don’t want to change). For some reason, I can’t help feeling that being “rewarded” for “rolling with the punches” (which this comes off to me as) legitimizes the whole system. (In addition to us not really “earning” the rewards if we didn’t voluntarily take on the burden, and then there’s even Christ’s statement “When you shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants: we have done what we were obliged to do.'” Luke 17:10). Isn’t expecting a reward a sense of “entitlement”, and thus feeling “owed” (by God)?
Following the patterns of a “universe” that “does not care about your feelings”, and where the “ego” is supposed to be diminished in favor of a larger reality (Where Jung and Christianity would agree), I would wonder why there would be a reward (presumably for a still differentiated “ego” identity) for suffering “just the way things are”. This would then get into the whole thing of the universe being “fallen”, and “not the way God wants it”. But being left this way for so long, it often seems it is the way He wants it (“at least for now”).
It seems the purpose of the promise of rewards originally was to encourage the Christians to get through the persecution they were suffering (at the hands of the accusing Law system, and often using the hand of the pagan Romans). The prospect was more for the “now” than for the time of actually getting them. But you wonder what the purpose of them will be for those of us not suffering that, and when we wake up in this totally new world. Teachers transfer the promises to our mundane problems of today, but as I’ve said, it just doesn’t seem to fit in many cases, and I would think trivializes what they went through. (Other Fulfilled view advocates even suggested the “crowns” were just the “legacy” of suffering for Christ. Seems very ethereal, but it’s true that “legacy” was very important to the people back then. That’s why people wanted offspring so much, to carry on their name. The whole battle between the Christians and the apostate Israelites was over who God loved; who were Abraham’s children —which was in fulfillment for the promise made to Abraham to become father of “many nations”).
I guess, for us, it might be nothing more than God “giving” us something then because He promised us something, and will never break a promise. We still have no idea what this is. But meanwhile, whether Grace is conditional or not, and whatever happens to the unrepentant sinners after this life, this current world does often look like the “truth”, even God’s truth (of how we are to suffer, or how to succeed or how to justify any action, even with God and scripture), is on their side (as they or their defenders argue).
I used to think about all of this, when various scriptures used to say our pain is “for good” were often leveled at suffering. God is “using” it (and therefore, you better be “humble” and not rage against what God has ordained for you). This then plays right into the “grand Calvinist” scheme I outlined recently (https://erictb.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/humanitys-biggest-pitfall-merit/#comment-3929)
And in that vein, it seems the system, based on what I pointed out above, encourages their behavior. It “works”. They are “rewarded” by their capitalistic shrewdness, or hacking, or trolling, or conquering in God’s name. Why should they not do those things then? This is where people, especially Christians, will bring out “conscience”, but I find even that to be weak and ambiguous at times. If God were really holding it up to human choice to enter Heaven, then wouldn’t there be a more clear counter to this than just the cloudy means of conscience, or the imperfect Church?
So as much as I get irritated by the justifications the powerful and others make for themselves (often loaded with “factual” data), I do the same thing when defensive.
We can probably sum up the whole game of life as adapting with the least expense and greatest benefit to ourselves (which is easier, the more resources you have, and a big part of the game is knowing how to exploit the situations at hand). Who can really blame those, simply for taking the opportunity for this, as it arises?
So then, it seems like everything must be tolerated if I acknowledge this, (and want “grace” for myself). Hence, I too find myself wanting to take a more “legalistic” attitude (wanting “justice”).
If I have to admit that I would do the same things, then it seems unfair that I get equal blame [in a hypothetical sense] for what they’re doing, while only they get whatever actual benefit from it. It’s like the people get to maintain “inertia” (taking the path of least resistance in their beliefs and actions while forcing everyone else to “move” around them. See https://erictb.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/glossary-of-lifes-power-struggle), and the effects of their decisions (particularly the bad ones) become themselves like “acts of God”, (when so many things men do so fundamentally violate internal Ti sense of what’s logically correct, while again, claiming rather emphatically to be logical and factual). It’s what I call the “Ice Age” mentality, which is the survival instinct adapting to harsh conditions of scarcity (even though in this case, they’ve accumulated an abundance, which is then out of reach of everyone else).
In any case, I continue to struggle with this realization, and how to cope in a world that does seem slanted. But trying to wield divine judgment at the world doesn’t make it any easier, and is really not what the Gospel was giving as the final hope (again, there was impending judgment for the system of Law in the New Testament era. But even if there was still mandatory choice and judgment, it does no good to badger the people once they make the choice, and then protest that their beliefs or lifestyles are destroying “our” culture. Christ’s followers were supposed to be “expatriates” of another kingdom, remember). All we can do is adapt the best way we can, and realize others are living beings adapting just as we are, and try to get along with each other the best way we can.