Tribalism

So deeply disconnected

While sharing some ideas on a science forum, I wrote the following:

“Now that we have met with paradox we have some hope of making progress.” [Niels Bohr]

I go further and argue that if the theory you are considering (e.g. to explain consciousness) is not at root a paradox, then it is a limited truth.

And no, we can never fully comprehend these paradoxes of life -- such as finite within the infinite, consciousness within a deeper collective-unconscious, part within whole, individual within oneness.

If you think you've fully understood any of the above paradoxes, you've simply demonstrated a bias of focus towards one side.

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and your box is ...

Recently at a music festival at which I was helping the organisers, I got chatting with some people (separately), and the contrast between them was stark.

First, I got chatting to a lovely woman who had (has) a deliciously cheeky sense of humour. An example: when passing by a group of young men she was asked "do you have a match?", to which she replied, easy as "what, do I look like a smoker, a girl guide?". The response: stunned silence. She then soothed, explaining she had a spare packet of matches and they could keep them. The reaction was hilarious to watch -- they thought she was the best thing since sliced bread. They couldn't stop thanking her. Impeccable timing, sure to be sure (the festival did have an Irish contingent).

But ... as much as I was attracted to this lovely woman, she ... unfortunately, was an astrologer. "Oh dear", I thought, "this ain't going to end well". We exchanged ideas, beliefs. Apparently the year I was born makes me a goat. Funny that ... I quite enjoy "acting the goat", but I'm not so sure about being a billy. She apparently was a rabbit. Funny that .. we compared palms, mine showing much more evidence of beta-carotene colouration. So here was a goat evidently more keen on carrots than this lovely rabbit. As I said, I fairly quickly concluded our little flirtation wasn't going anywhere substantial.

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Astrology, the Enneagram and Seth

Contents:

In brief

The Table of comparisons highlights a noticeable difference between the 3 methods of classifications. Column 1 (Seth) responds well to the question: "Where do those who belong to a particular category focus their energy, time and commitment for best effect and fulfillment?"

The Enneagram responds "less directly" to this question (in that the Enneagram may offer insight that one is a 'leader' but not where to apply leadership for best effect or fulfillment).

Astrological categories provide little if any meaningful answers to this question.

Astrology and the Enneagram are not in the least "systems-orientated". They do not take account of the interactive dynamics of biological, ecological or social systems, such as that of one's local community, or how the global economy impacts and influences behaviours and attitudes. They do not therefore provide substantial insights into how we ought best interact with the world around us. They, in effect, offer little guidance as to where we might apply our energy and focus for best results and fulfillment.

Introduction

Table comparison Seth Enneagram AstrologyThe fields and disciplines of psychological testing, astrology, numerology and the Enneagram, are, like all fields of human understanding, based on certain beliefs about the nature of reality.

So when we seek to group people into meaningful categories it's prudent to first establish the belief-system by which those categorisations are made. If the belief-system is unduly limited, individuals and groups will necessarily be categorised or 'squeezed' into various psychological or astrological 'boxes' to fit the observed behaviours. In the process those capabilities and potentials that lay beyond the accepted framework of belief — which could otherwise be recognised and developed for personal and social benefit — will be ignored or denied.

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The urge to categorise

UR IIWhen we reflect on the number of people (more usually women1 ) who believe in Astrology, as well as those who believe in various other 'ologies' we can be reasonably confident that there's an underlying shared trait or need — the need to belong, and to categorise people.

Personality tests (e.g. DISC, or Myers-Briggs) are widely (if not almost universally) used to help decide who's suited to particular roles in businesses and organisations.

So when a friend started extolling the great relevance and benefit of understanding the Enneagram (a process of grouping people into one of nine types, or 'tribes'), I decided to look deeper into this particular habit.

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sloppy science and tribalism

I recently had a number of highly interesting discussions with various people.

Briefly (more later) they were

  • with a good friend on the subject of self-development courses, and where most go wrong.
  • with a man who's a 'hard-nosed' engineer, and who spoke standard ideas of a mechanical, objective reality, not realising the 'hard-facts of science' are but a house-of-cards, reliant on some very very poor (and incorrect) assumptions about the detail and minutia of life.
  • with another good friend on the the Enneagram and on the subject of tribalism.

All were quite set and confident in their beliefs, until I asked some awkward questions.

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Tribalism, as old as the stars

Overview:

All matter, energy, people and populations are both feminine-wave and masculine-particle natured. Women, by being orientated towards the community-wave nature, are more naturally group-orientated (tribal). Hence their generally more refined interpersonal skills, communications abilities and relationship-orientations.1

This also leads to the higher prevalence of women using or believing in 'astrology' and other means (e.g. numerology) for assigning people to various groups (tribes, star-signs).

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In the presence of passion

I was recently having coffee with a friend when she explained how much she enjoyed doing her numerology workshops. Her energy, passion and excitement was obvious.

As I sat there, her grin and body language got me thinking about belief-systems and new-age practices such as astrology, numerology and other 'ologies'.

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