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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, everyone. I've always been incredibly skeptical about the directions of integration and disintegration on the Enneagram, since I haven't seen anything that really backs it up other than idealized suppositions and eye-catching flow charts.


As a 4, I have actually observed myself acting clingy and manipulative when I'm at my worst, like the 2. This probably isn't true of every 4, but it makes enough sense considering human psychology that lonely, miserable people would reach out to their loved ones by any means necessary.

That being said, I resent any suggestion that I should try to channel my inner 1 in order to accomplish anything (no offense to any 1s here!). I tend to associate 1s with a few of my relatives who I consciously strive not to be like, and I view my own occasionally 1-ish behavior as overwhelmingly negative. Yet I'm supposed to try to be more like one, because I'm obviously too stuck in my own emotions to ever get anything done??

Complicating matters is the fact that I'm an INFP, so my inner 1 manifests in the dark, hidden Te side of my personality that only comes out under stress. But that's a desirable thing, according to this?

Is anyone else offended or skeptical about this theory of the Enneagram?
 

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The integration lines are supposedly about adopting parts of the healthier aspects of a type's mindset. An integrating 2 or 9 isn't supposed to draw on the needy aspects of 4/3, the integration represents finding a healthy sense of one's own needs and wants and pursuing them directly instead of overrelating to others.

Likewise, the move to 1 isn't about turning into a neurotic OCD monster, but it's rather saying "okay, I know what I want or need to do. Time to go and do something about it instead of wallowing in self-pity."
 

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@throughtheroses


I am of the opinion that our ultimate goal is to personify (as best as we can) all the types. I figure the healthier we are, the more we can pull from the positive sides of all our wings/lines-of-connection/tritypes. Conversely, when we are less healthy, we pull from the negatives sides of these things.
 

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I think of the lines more like drawing attitudes towards the world from them so a healthy 4 would draw from the energy of 1 to see that things are already perfect and fine as they are from type 1 which 4 struggles with because they think that they and the world is flawed in some way. Similarly, unhealthy 4 takes on the prideful qualities of 2 and turn bombastic and constantly seek affirmation from others to validate them and their identities and they may begin to dote on people like a 2 in order to get that from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Brains @Entropic

Thank you for your responses. I already know that on a logical level, and I have researched this a bit. The problem is that I'm not a terribly logical person (shocking, I know) and I can't help but feel offended by any suggestion that tells me to not act like myself. Why can't I just strive to be the ultimate healthy 4? Why am I encouraged to summon my inner 1 instead? The arrows don't even mean anything; they're just lines on a circle that someone attached numbers and directions to. Is any of this actually backed up with psychology?

@Entropic, how do you feel about the 8's directions of stress and growth? Do you associate 5s with bad behavior and 2s with good, even just in your own life? @tanstaafl28, what about the 5's integration and disintegration? Is this something that you two consciously strive towards in your lives, if I may ask?

Also @tanstaafl28, you sound like a true 5w6 in your post. :D
 

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Let me address your concerns while adding my own perspective.

As a 4, I have actually observed myself acting clingy and manipulative when I'm at my worst, like the 2. This probably isn't true of every 4, but it makes enough sense considering human psychology that lonely, miserable people would reach out to their loved ones by any means necessary.
It may seem like a human commonality to you, but it doesn't to me. I'm very spiteful when lonely and miserable. I tend to tell myself I didn't need them anyway and that other humans are lame. Or I sit there alone, pining away and never once reach out or make my needs known...my logic being that they don't really care enough for it to matter anyway.

I mean, you're right to some degree, because broadly speaking, the types are also human themes. But not everyone identifies with everything in the same way.

That being said, I resent any suggestion that I should try to channel my inner 1 in order to accomplish anything (no offense to any 1s here!). I tend to associate 1s with a few of my relatives who I consciously strive not to be like, and I view my own occasionally 1-ish behavior as overwhelmingly negative. Yet I'm supposed to try to be more like one, because I'm obviously too stuck in my own emotions to ever get anything done??

Complicating matters is the fact that I'm an INFP, so my inner 1 manifests in the dark, hidden Te side of my personality that only comes out under stress. But that's a desirable thing, according to this?
I resent being told I should try to be like my point of integration, too, because I see much of it as detestable and everything I don't want to be/can't do. But luckily, no one says you should try to be like that. In fact, Riso and Hudson specifically say you should NOT try to emulate your point of integration. Instead, you should work on making yourself the best you can be, and its healthy qualities will arise in you naturally.

(Also, small note--Te is not the same as enneagram type 1. If you think they correlate in you, you can always work on developing your Te. But they're not necessarily the same...ENFP and INFJ 4s have a 1-connection, too.)

Is anyone else offended or skeptical about this theory of the Enneagram?
Not offended, but I can understand what you mean by that. It seems to me, though, that it's incomplete. Although I've experienced disintegration, I can also attest that we draw influences from both connecting points. Always use your own observations and come to your own conclusions on it.
 

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I think we integrate and disintegrate both ways, but I do think there is truth for ME in saying I grow towards 2. and I think it is TOTALLY true for me that it was not obvious the lines of growth.
As an 8, I try to get shit done. But what I choose to work on has changed. I do want to help people. and I do want to help people be the most they can be. It shows in my occupation, it shows in my interaction with others, it shows in what has become apparent o me.
However, it was NOT obvious to me. It was hidden, and I denied it, and I disagreed. But because of enneagram, and because the rest of the theory works, I looked closely, for a while at it, and considered my growth towards 2. And it became apparent to me.
It is obvious to you that "lonely miserable people reach out to their loved ones." Not to me. When I am wounded, I retreat to gaining knowledge, and numbing myself by learning about inane shit like enneagram and MBTI.

Likewise, and sent with friendship to my buddy Tans, when he is feeling healthy as a 5, he starts looking at his environment and adjusting things around him to make it the way which suits him. He lives more in the moment and in reality.

I also believe when I am healthy, I grow and become stronger in both my core, my disintegration point, and my integration point. So, when healthy, I pick up healthier attributes of a 5, and 8, and a 2. When I'm beat up and torn down, I act more like a fucked up 5, 8, and 2 and demonstrate those attributes.

I'm pushing here. But, to the OP, when you are feeling good, do you look inward to ways to improve yourself? Do you focus on ways to make yourself a better person, to drive yourself to be better? Pick up and perfect new skills and techniques?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
@LordBullingdon

Thank you for humoring me. That's a very interesting way of looking at all of this, and I appreciate your contribution to the thread.

(Also, I know that Te does not equal type 1 at large, but that's how/when it tends to manifest in me.)
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Thank you for your response as well. When I'm feeling good, it actually manifests in a positive, 3-ish energy of getting things done and more importantly, ahem, gaining public admiration/acclaim for it. Similar to the 1, but different in motivation. I'm not trying to change the world, really, and I'm not a perfectionist. I don't necessarily seek to improve myself, because I know that all the motivation I need is already locked in here somewhere. Simply getting things done is associated with several types, not just the 1. Also, that bit that you posted about perfecting new skills could also be associated with 5. All that I'm saying is that these directions of integration and disintegration come across to me as arbitrary, overly vague, and similar to astrology for those very reasons.
 

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From one Frustration type to another, rest assured you will act like yourself whether a theory tells you to or not :)

The enneagram has little to contribute in terms of explaining "how you should be" aside from helping people who have those feelings and suffer from them let go of them a bit more than they may have been able to do on their own. "Integration" is a debated topic in the enneagram, because the need for having a diagram to begin with is itself contested.

With that, you were spot on when you said that the best route would be to be the absolute best, and most at-ease type 4 you can possibly be. Especially since you won't ever become a 2 , a 1, or any other type. The theory happens to promote the idea that doing this would make you look like a healthy type 1, but instead of "transforming into" a type 1, what will actually happen is a letting go of some of the parts of a being a 4 that cause you suffering in some way. In so doing, you would be accessing part of yourself that has always existed, but been clouded by the self-image, various ego mechanisms, delusions, and biases that type 4 has funneled you into assuming to be reality. At a high level this would work similarly for all enneatypes.


I've always felt that the idea of (dis)integration was a little too symmetric to be exactly as-is. Along with that, times where my worst has looked like both unhealthy 4 AND 7. As well as times when I've been "stressed" as texts talk about, but acting more like an unhealthy 1 than a 4. And, times when "stressed" wouldn't be the best word to describe my inner state, yet still acted 4-ish.
 

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All that I'm saying is that these directions of integration and disintegration come across to me as arbitrary, overly vague, and similar to astrology for those very reasons.
I agree. The directions of integration/disintegration are only taught by one school of the Enneagram types (The Enneagram Institute). The majority of schools/authors of the Enneagram types don't use that theory. Most seem to be leaning toward simply saying that the types connected by the lines offer an additional influence upon your personality.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a bias on the Internet toward the Enneagram Institute interpretation of the types (they've been very successful at marketing themselves on the Internet). People too often don't know which school's interpretation they're looking at and assume it to be representative of the Enneagram types as a whole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Figure

Thank you for your response. I'm glad I didn't offend you, since I see that you're a 1. :D I really like what you wrote about your interpretation of the directions of integration, and I think that's a better way of looking at it than what is usually presented.

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@enneathusiast

That's very interesting about only the Enneagram Institute teaching it. I didn't know that, but it makes a lot of sense.
 

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@tanstaafl28, what about the 5's integration and disintegration? Is this something that you two consciously strive towards in your lives, if I may ask?

Also @tanstaafl28, you sound like a true 5w6 in your post. :D
Thanks! I think being a social dom 5w6 makes it difficult for me because I have this urge to be a part of something bigger than myself, but only on my terms. My gut fix is also my line of connection to 8. I often tested as 7 when I was younger, so I do have an adventurous streak, but I'm just as happy to curl up with a good book! Another person with the same tritype as me described us as "Byronic Heros," and I can't help but ponder how accurate that description is. There's so much "push-pull" involved in connecting with both 7 and 8. The actual "blind spot" for me is my heart center. I have no natural line of connection to it. I think this explains why 5s can seem so detached from their emotions.

When you analyze it, the types with the most naturally "balanced" lines of connection is 3, 6, and 9. No matter which one of those three you are, you have a type in both of the other centers.

Next is 1 (4-7) and 8 (5-2), but that only works for types 1 and 8.

If you're a 2, your lines of connection are 4 and 8, no mind center connection.

If you're a 4, your lines of connection are 1 and 2, no mind center connection.

If you're a 5, your lines of connection are 7 and 8, no heart center connection.

If you're a 7, your lines of connection are 1 and 5, no heart center connection

And this is how I make the argument for tritypes, but that's a topic for another post.

 

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Hello, everyone. I've always been incredibly skeptical about the directions of integration and disintegration on the Enneagram, since I haven't seen anything that really backs it up other than idealized suppositions and eye-catching flow charts.


As a 4, I have actually observed myself acting clingy and manipulative when I'm at my worst, like the 2. This probably isn't true of every 4, but it makes enough sense considering human psychology that lonely, miserable people would reach out to their loved ones by any means necessary.

That being said, I resent any suggestion that I should try to channel my inner 1 in order to accomplish anything (no offense to any 1s here!). I tend to associate 1s with a few of my relatives who I consciously strive not to be like, and I view my own occasionally 1-ish behavior as overwhelmingly negative. Yet I'm supposed to try to be more like one, because I'm obviously too stuck in my own emotions to ever get anything done??

Complicating matters is the fact that I'm an INFP, so my inner 1 manifests in the dark, hidden Te side of my personality that only comes out under stress. But that's a desirable thing, according to this?

Is anyone else offended or skeptical about this theory of the Enneagram?
I'm not offended or skeptical of it, because I find it to be very true of me. I don't like being given a lecture about what I should do, but at the same time I need help in this area of life. I've been told by many people that I need to have more discipline and structure in my life, and I don't really take offense at it, because it's true, but putting it into practice and being consistent on a regular basis is difficult for me. I can see how one might be offended of it, because the integration point is threatening to the ego, but one can learn a lot from others who embody this type provided they are healthy examples and one has an open mind. With 4s and the shift to 1, it's about seeing yourself as a practical idealist, and putting one's ideals into action, rather than as only an "idealist," who dreams away their life, which 4s are prone to do. I think Riso-Hudson's suggestions are meant to connect one to the integration point. Very helpful for 4s, I would think.

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/personal-growth-recommendations-for-enneagram-type-fours/

You're not becoming a 1, or trying to be a 1, but it's about expanding one's self experience when you become "stuck" in only one way of being.

Likewise, the move to 1 isn't about turning into a neurotic OCD monster, but it's rather saying "okay, I know what I want or need to do. Time to go and do something about it instead of wallowing in self-pity."
Yep.

I believe this song lyrically captures the 4 shift to 1:

No more going to the dark side
With your flying saucer eyes
No more falling down a wormhole
That I have to pull you out

Wriggling, twiggling worm inside
Devours from the inside out
No more talk about the old days
It's time for something great

I want you to get out
And make it work

It's interesting because earlier in their career Radiohead had a song that was representative of the shift to 1 but seeing it in negative terms as a stifling/depressing way to live:

Fitter, happier, more productive
Comfortable, not drinking too much
Regular exercise at the gym 3 days a week
Getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries

At ease, eating well
No more microwave dinners and saturated fats
A patient better driver, a safer car, baby smiling in back seat
Sleeping well, no bad dreams, no paranoia
Careful to all animals, never washing spiders down the plughole

Keep in contact with old friends, enjoy a drink now and then
Will frequently check credit at Moral Bank hole in wall
Favors for favors, fond but not in love
Charity, standing orders, on Sundays ring road supermarket

No killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants
Car wash also on Sundays
No longer afraid of the dark or midday shadows
Nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate
Nothing so childish

At a better pace, slower and more calculated
No chance of escape, now self-employed
Concerned but powerless
An empowered and informed member of society

Pragmatism, not idealism
Will not cry in public
Less chance of illness
Tires that grip in the wet
Shot of baby strapped in back seat
A good memory

Still cries at a good film
Still kisses with saliva
No longer empty and frantic
Like a cat tied to a stick
That's driven into frozen winter shit

The ability to laugh at weakness
Calm, fitter, healthier and more productive

A pig in a cage on antibiotics

I think of the lines more like drawing attitudes towards the world from them so a healthy 4 would draw from the energy of 1 to see that things are already perfect and fine as they are from type 1 which 4 struggles with because they think that they and the world is flawed in some way. Similarly, unhealthy 4 takes on the prideful qualities of 2 and turn bombastic and constantly seek affirmation from others to validate them and their identities and they may begin to dote on people like a 2 in order to get that from them.
I would agree with this in terms of shifting to Type 1, which gives them a better sense of "objective" reality. Rollo May talks about this in his book "Man's Search for Himself":

"Freedom is involved when we accept the realities not by blind necessity but by choice. This means that the acceptance of limitations need not at all be a "giving up," but can and should be a constructive act of freedom; and it may well be that such a choice will have more creative results for the person than if he had to struggle against any limitation whatever. The man who is devoted to freedom does not waste time fighting reality; instead, as Kierkegaard remarked, he "extols reality."

For me, the shift to 2 comes out in ways of: I can't take care of myself, and expecting/needing help, or a giving up/hiding aspects of my identity to please others, so they won't leave me, or doing for others in order to prove I'm "good" or to be liked more in order to fill the emptiness. I think this song is also a pretty good example of 4 going to 2. Sorry for all the Radiohead.

 

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@Brains @Entropic

Thank you for your responses. I already know that on a logical level, and I have researched this a bit. The problem is that I'm not a terribly logical person (shocking, I know) and I can't help but feel offended by any suggestion that tells me to not act like myself. Why can't I just strive to be the ultimate healthy 4? Why am I encouraged to summon my inner 1 instead? The arrows don't even mean anything; they're just lines on a circle that someone attached numbers and directions to. Is any of this actually backed up with psychology?
I think of integration being less to do with enneagram at all, personally, and I think of it more as trying to integrate aspects of yourself that you repress or deny in order to become a more wholesome person.

@Entropic, how do you feel about the 8's directions of stress and growth? Do you associate 5s with bad behavior and 2s with good, even just in your own life?
I don't associate either point with good or bad behavior because I don't think of the enneagram as being much about behaviors as much as I think of each point as attitudes or life strategies, if you will, which color the way we view and approach the world.

So for me, 5 is being drawn from especially when I feel very strongly affected by something in a negative way, so I become withdrawn, reclusive, may adopt a very cynical attitude about the world and life etc. I also get very focused on preserving my own resources such as my time and energy. I feel this logic of "it's mine and no one else has the right to take it away from me" and similarly, I can feel that I am constantly lacking so I need to get things from my environment, that it is being withheld, so there's this idea of needing to wrestle it away from its grasp. Instead of caring for other people, I keep to myself.

For me, type 2 is the opposite of this. It's more of a "sharing is caring" attitude, and needing to help and cater to other people, to be receptive and giving of yourself to them. I don't experience this side all that much outside of a more caring way of being because I am still developing it I guess, but it comes with a perception of the world actually being a good place to be in and you can trust others to satisfy your needs instead of thinking it will never provide you so you need to get it yourself.
 

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I agree with @throughtheroses . It's so random.

I'm a Four, and feel like I have a bit of each type (of some types a lot more than others), both positive and negative aspects.
I personally have a hard time with Ones, and I do like type Twos. I like recognizing a few Two-traits in me. That's the opposite of the theory, because people are meant to like the type at their integration arrow.

Also, according to this logic, when I meet someone with strong Six and Nine, he's either extremely healthy (if he's a Six and has moved a lot on the line of integration) or he's extremely unhealthy (if he's a Nine and has moved in the other direction). That does not make sense!

I prefer to ignore these lines completely. But then I'd have to drop the cool symbol ...
 

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I am skeptical of people who aren't skeptical of enneagram. lol. How could you not be?


What is "healthy" first of all? Who is to make that claim? Who decides what is "healthy" for people?


The reason that people believe in these particular integrations and disintegrations is because there is a plethora of literature making a case for it. If there was tons of books saying 8 integrates to 5, then people would believe 8 integrates to 5. I would bet money on it. What you have is one prosecutor making a case for one side with no defense picking it apart. Like Dostoevsky said, "Psychology is a double edged sword." We only see one edge here. One person can look at a set of facts and and come to totally different, logically consistent conclusions. Like in the novel this lawyer takes all the facts of the case and constructs them into a narrative that shows this guy is a murderer. It is a logical argument. Then the other lawyer takes the same facts to show the man is not a murderer. Double edged sword. The numbers dissolve and you are talking psychology and ethics. Other shit.

But it is too symmetrical as somebody said. Reality is curved.

“Nature creates curved lines while humans create straight lines.”
Hideki Yukawa
 

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I think they are arbitrary as well. I think its silly to make broad assumptions on a persons healthy and unhealthy habits and their causes. Then you have to factor in tri-types. Since I'm a 5-8-4 does that mean I have to act like an 8-2-1? That doesn't make much practical sense to me.
 

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True. I believe people have aspects of different types, but I don't believe in any of the classifiers such as wings, tritypes and (dis)integration arrows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm a Four, and feel like I have a bit of each type (of some types a lot more than others), both positive and negative aspects.
I personally have a hard time with Ones, and I do like type Twos. I like recognizing a few Two-traits in me. That's the opposite of the theory, because people are meant to like the type at their integration arrow.

Also, according to this logic, when I meet someone with strong Six and Nine, he's either extremely healthy (if he's a Six and has moved a lot on the line of integration) or he's extremely unhealthy (if he's a Nine and has moved in the other direction). That does not make sense!

I prefer to ignore these lines completely. But then I'd have to drop the cool symbol ...
I totally agree.

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What is "healthy" first of all? Who is to make that claim? Who decides what is "healthy" for people?


The reason that people believe in these particular integrations and disintegrations is because there is a plethora of literature making a case for it. If there was tons of books saying 8 integrates to 5, then people would believe 8 integrates to 5. I would bet money on it. What you have is one prosecutor making a case for one side with no defense picking it apart. Like Dostoevsky said, "Psychology is a double edged sword." We only see one edge here. One person can look at a set of facts and and come to totally different, logically consistent conclusions. Like in the novel this lawyer takes all the facts of the case and constructs them into a narrative that shows this guy is a murderer. It is a logical argument. Then the other lawyer takes the same facts to show the man is not a murderer. Double edged sword. The numbers dissolve and you are talking psychology and ethics. Other shit.
I especially agree with what you said about the arbitrariness of the integrations. It mostly seems like they're supposed to encourage the "harder" types to become "softer" and vice versa, but the specific pairs are completely random.

For example, let's all assume that we need to get the 4s out of their heads in order to accomplish anything. They could therefore integrate to at least 1, 3, or 8 on that level. But 4s also need to stop being so selfish and think of others... So maybe 2, 6, or 9 could work as well. Get more in touch with their logical side? 5. Have more fun and stop being so miserable? 7. Each of the types has positive attributes that could be incorporated by anyone. Why should we restrict ourselves for the sake of a snappy diagram?

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Exactly. Am I supposed to act like a 1-5-3? And what about wings? 1(6)-5(9)-3(2)? That makes no sense whatsoever.
 

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I totally agree.

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I especially agree with what you said about the arbitrariness of the integrations. It mostly seems like they're supposed to encourage the "harder" types to become "softer" and vice versa, but the specific pairs are completely random.

For example, let's all assume that we need to get the 4s out of their heads in order to accomplish anything. They could therefore integrate to at least 1, 3, or 8 on that level. But 4s also need to stop being so selfish and think of others... So maybe 2, 6, or 9 could work as well. Get more in touch with their logical side? 5. Have more fun and stop being so miserable? 7. Each of the types has positive attributes that could be incorporated by anyone. Why should we restrict ourselves for the sake of a snappy diagram?

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@BelladonnaPoe

Exactly. Am I supposed to act like a 1-5-3? And what about wings? 1(6)-5(9)-3(2)? That makes no sense whatsoever.

And that is how the larger idea is true. The details are irrelevant and I don't waste my time with them. The larger idea that is true is that some people need to soften, some need to harden, etc. We need different Gods. How the theorists want to categorize how all this stuff supposedly happens. I am gonna quote William James here. How people who sit around and talk about the attributes of God, like his perfection, all these qualities and logical arguments, causation, time and space, are wasting their time. What use is such a god to anyone? These classifiers. I have no use for all these deep classifications. The "systematic theologians".


In the middle of the century just past, Mayne Reid was the great writer of books of out-of-door adventure. He was forever extolling the hunters and field-observers of living animals' habits, and keeping up a fire of invective against the * closet-naturalists,' as he called them, the collectors and classifiers, and handlers of skeletons and skins. When I was a boy, I used to think that a closet-naturalist must be the vilest type of wretch under the sun.

But surely the systematic theologians are the closet-naturalists of the deity, even in Captain Mayne Reid's sense. What is their deduction of metaphysical attributes but a shuffling and matching of pedantic dictionary-adjectives, aloof from morals, aloof from human needs, something that might be worked out from the mere word * God' by one of those logical machines of wood and brass which recent ingenuity has contrived as well as by a man of flesh and blood. They have the trail of the serpent over them. One feels that in the theologians' hands, they are only a set of titles obtained by a mechanical manipulation of synonyms; verbality has stepped into the place of vision, professionalism into that of life. Instead of bread we have a stone ; instead of a fish, a serpent. Did such a conglomeration of abstract terms give really the gist of our knowledge of the deity, schools of theology might indeed continue to flourish, but religion, vital religion, would have taken its flight fromthis world. What keeps religion going is something else than abstract definitions and systems of concatenated ■'X adjectives, and something different from faculties of theology and their professors.




and on many Gods:


Each, from his peculiar angle of observation, takes in a certain sphere of fact and trouble, which each must deal with in a unique manner. One of us must soften himself, another must harden himself; one must yield a point, another must stand firm,- in order the better to defend the position assigned him. If an Emerson were forced to be a Wesley, or a Moody forced to be a Whitman, the total human consciousness of the divine would suffer. The divine can mean no single quality, it must mean a group of qualities, by being champions of which in alternation, different men may all find worthy missions. Each attitude being a syllable in human nature's total message, it takes the whole of us to spell the meaning out completely. So a 'god of battles' must be allowed to be the god for one kind of person, a god of peace and heaven and home, the god for another.
 
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