Friday, May 09, 2008

Let's Address That "Yearnache"

"An 'aching' what?" you will now be asking. To which I point to your own sense of Yearning. Yours, mine, all of ours. Our Yearnings. How seldom it is that we hear (if, indeed we ever hear) any mention of yearning. The word conjures the absolute sense of that always present yet silent and unassuming vacuum within that wants, endlessly, for filling. David Keirsey in his wonderful work "Please Understand Me" (particularly the book 2) artfully presents, in his explanation of our "“values", the YEARNING facet of our total BEING.

"“Why" you may ask "“is this attention to individuality so important that you continually insist that we are repeatedly revisit it?" I am so glad that you asked. The importance (in part) lies in the necessity of avoidance of a malady that plagued me through my first forty years. Here I will present, for your consideration, the idea of preventing the debilitating nemesis: YEARNACHE. That'’s right! The all-encompassing aching that has its roots in the absence of fulfillment of Ones individual aspect ... Yearning. Hence, I am, hereby and forevermore, coining the never-before-known Yearnache to establish an identity for a naturally recurring reality in my life (and, I might add, something that I have recognized in the lives of many, many others all about me over the years.)

You see, each of us has, as a major influence on our inborn value systems, a knowable and predictable Yearning element. The fact that such a consideration is not a part of our daily transactional vocabulary (nor is it something that we even know how to address inwardly) leaves the matter unaddressed (most often for the entire duration of our lifetimes.) Thus, it is my absolute conviction that we are, most likely, apt to live lives of, not only unsatisfied but also, unidentified Yearnings. We are presented with social, cultural, religious, family, and moral standards by which we are taught to establish and measure our Desires. But far too often we are left (after satisfying those commonly accepted and recognized Desires) with an empty and sadly unsatisfied sense that we are not, somehow, complete.

Most often the answer to our sense of dissatisfaction is provided in the assessment of that 'wonderful' (NOT), guilt inducing charge of "Self-Centered-ness." "“So you are feeling unhappy, then just get over yourself"” I oft hear repeated. Herein lies the rub. Your Self is just exactly who You are supposed to be. Your Self is the individual identity with which you were wondrously created. And, my dear Reader and all-enduring Friend, your Yearnings are a valuable, integral part of the completeness ... the totality of ... You. (And the same is most assuredly true of each Child, whose development and nurturing, is the responsibility of each of us, with whom that child has even the briefest of contact.)

We can be attuned to each other'’s yearnings and make an effort to encourage and strengthen or, by default, leave that Yearning to wither and produce a 'Yearnache' in the Spirit of the other. To the end that we do not do that ... please allow me to introduce you to the four basic Yearning Identities. From there it is my hope that you will; first, recognize and honor your own Personal Yearning ... then grow to respect and edify the yearnings of those presented, by Life, to You.

Where do yearnings play in the business of the orderly stratagem of providence? I understand it to be generally accepted that the seventy-six percent majority of all of us humans are fairly equally divided into two camps.

Thirty-eight percent of the Concrete Thinking world yearns to make an impact while seeking constant stimulation. The other half of this empirically functioning group yearns for belonging and is motivated by a quest for security. The former were referred to, by Aristotle, as the Hedonics (Artisan). The latter he called the Proprietary (Guardian).

Of the equally divided Abstract Thinkers (the remaining twenty-four percent of the Population), one half Aristotle knew as the Ethicals (Idealist) while the other half were, to his thinking, the Dialecticals (Rational). The Ethicals (Idealists) are driven by a yearning for idealized love best defined as romance, while seeking Identity in their lives. Dialecticals (Rationals) yearn for Achievement and are compelled to seek it in knowledge. While the labels for these four (the Hedonic, Proprietary, Ethical, and Dialectical) have been revised by many who have studied them over the millennia, there has been a consistency of definition and a concurrence in the interpretation of their respective natural traits.

I think it highly unlikely that we will have a natural comfort level with Friend Aristotle's terms of identity in our own day-to-day contemplation's. Being the image-oriented creature that I am, I find it more workable for me to relate the divers types to people who exemplify their types.

Truman (the concrete thinking/ Guardian/ Proprietary) said:
"I never give them [the public] hell. I just give them the truth, and they think that it is hell."
Churchill (the concrete thinking/ Artisan/ Hedonic) gave us:
"“In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity.
In peace: goodwill."”

It was Gandhi (the abstract thinking/Idealist/ Ethical) who said:
"“Freedom and slavery are mental states."”
And the consummate abstract thinker; the Rational/ Dialectical Einstein left us his:
"“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Perhaps relating your thinking to these so-well-known figures will make the consideration of the four types more agreeable to you ... such is my hope. So, to summarize (I do enjoy the exercise of replaying the '“tape'” to reinforce the image.) We have:

*Einstein - the Dialectical/ abstract thinking/ Rational who yearned for
achievement and was compelled to seek it in knowledge. His happiness came in a life of logical investigation. [12% of us]

*Gandhi - the Ethical/ abstract thinking/ Idealist who yearned for idealized love (romance) in his world while seeking identity for himself and his people. He found happiness in the employment of moral virtue. [12% of us]

*Churchill - the Hedonic/ concrete thinking/ Artisan who yearned to make an impact while seeking constant stimulation. His happiness was derived from sensual (visual, auditory, taste, tactile, and aromatic [cigar smoking not excluded]) pleasure. [38% of us]

*Truman - the Proprietary/ concrete thinking/ Guardian who yearned for belonging as a responsible "“member in good-standing"” of his society while pursuing his quest for security. His happiness was centered on the acquisition of assets (to include honors, position, and authority.) [38% of us]

I take considerable comfort in the obvious significance of each of these types to the history of our world. (You will, no doubt, note my frequent reference to terms of "“comfort" or "“comfortable"” in my writing. For, My Friend, it is to this state that I seek to guide you; first, in your mind, and then in your life. Your recognition of; acceptance of; embracing of; then (ultimately) comfort with ... your SELF.) No credit, acclaim, respect, admiration, or honor can be legitimately taken away, from any of the exampled individuals, for their non-conformance to any set of measures, based on someone else'’s set of "“norms"... nor from You (with your own unique Personhood.) They each played a part of great consequence in the symphony of history.

You and I have our own part to play in this, our life'’s 'composition'. I smile to consider the irreplaceable tone of a singly struck Triangle in the midst of an orchestra'’s performance of a great work. So small the instrument. So limited the time of implementation. Yet the effect on the listening sense of the audience makes the musical experience whole. I encourage you to "strike a note" on the Instrument of your Uniqueness and enhance our shared experience of Life's Symphony with the resonance of ... YOU.

Vive la difference (YOUR difference)

IMAGES Through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton,


lime said...

ok, so what category holds the one who hates to be pigeonholed into one simplified definition of all they are? (because to be honest there are certain ways in which i can fit into multiple categories) no, i am not asking that to be snarky and contrary (although i have a pretty strong contrary streak in me ever since I was small and i take a certain delight in shaking up the way people look at things, just ask my mom. she will roll her eyes and sigh with a mix of amusement and exhaustion over the memory of my contrarian ways). no, i ask because i have taken a bunch of professional personality inventories over the years and while they do accurately pinpoint some of my tendencies i always feel they leave a bit to be desired. they also make me want to tear my hair out when i have to make an absolute choice between 'are you this way or are you that way?' so often i am neither way at any time or either way depending on the situation. (who knows, maybe i am just being contrary again). there was one that i looked into once that had the 4 categories and also covered to a degree how they overlapped...that one made the most sense to me.

yearnings...yeah, i got em. but they're all dusty and musty from being packed away. still i can hear some of them scratching at the closet door to be let out.

John-Michael said...

And can you (from even the limited 'exposure' to who I am that you have to date) imagine that yours truly is One "easily pigeon holed?" I think Rather Not! But I have (after accumulating a file folder several inches thick with the 'results' of a very wide assortment of tests, evaluations, surveys, and analysis of my Self over many many years. And the ONE that I have found validity in is the good ol' Myers/Briggs Temperament Inventory that is used by Keirsey, and Personality Page, which I have linked on my side-bar. I have done the FBI "graphoanalysis" (handwriting), all the way to "social profiling" in various devices. I have submitted myself to countless tests from a ridiculous spectrum of vendors and sorts (thanks to 20 years in the sales industry that just loves to play these games.)

The Myers/Briggs (which I was introduced to by my third-grade girlfriend/become PHD [UF] in psychology, PHD [Yale] Theology) is the absolute BEST tool that I have found for managing my Self by unraveling the many elements that make up the totality of me. And Keirsey's book is the hands-down "Bible," in my opinion, for Self-Management. It has taken me many years to become comfortable with all of the variables that make up the complexities of who we are created to Be as individuals. But with the present level of competency that I now enjoy in the subject, I can accept everyone on terms of their identifiable nature. (And avoid those who I respectfully know to be of a nature that is innately a clash with me. Quite a valuable device, indeed!)

I am available to anyone and everyone who has an interest in working with such tools in coming to a grasp of the elements of who they are. i am convinced that there is no better investment of efort or time than in attaining an uncluttered understanding of who we are. This enables us to relate to and enjoy all aspects of our lives and our world in a responsible and reasonable way.

And I am responsible for Loving You, darling Lime by reason of simply wanting to and liking the election!! [smile]

Suldog said...

Comfort. That's always where it's at for me. I continually seek comfortable situations. My yearning is always for the easiest road available. That I sometimes take a harder one is undeniable, but I am always seeking the easy one.

Ah, I could go on and spout all sorts of mumbo-jumbo self-analysis, but that's the bottom line. And you know what? I'm comfortable with it :-)

Thanks, as always, for the interesting thoughts.

John-Michael said...

Jim, My marvelous SulDog Friend. You may well have illustrated beautifully the guiding influence that, when "listened" to, can ease us along the path that is in accordance with each of our individual Yearnings.

If it is natural ... fitting with our innate inclination ... unforced and not in response to outside pressures ... if, in fact it is "Comfortable for us ... then it is in all likelihood, in harmony with our Personal sense of Yearning.

You keep singing that beautiful bass ... and I will fill with whatever harmony is required, My friend. I love the music that we make together!

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