Table of content
- 1 Your integrated identity – The 49 core identities
- 2 Michael’s rebirth
- 3 The balance between being and doing
- 4 The 49 identity types
- 5 Core identities and the four quadrants
- 6 Exercise: What groups do you belong to?
Your integrated identity
– The 49 core identities
In this chapter, we will look at the important psychosynthetic task of integrating the soul and personality.
Our personality anchors us to the everyday physical world, while our soul connects us to a wider world, of deeper meaning, within which we each have a unique role to play. Therefore, if we are to manifest our total being in the world, it is essential that we bring together personality and our soul – and this integration of our personality type with our soul type is what I term our core identity. It follows that this process will often involve the integration of a different combinations of types, as Assagioli (1983: 51) explains: “…mixed types can and do exist. One person can possess essentially, in the depth of his being [i.e. soul], the quality of a certain type, while his external personality can demonstrate the traits of another type.”
Janus, the two-faced god of Roman mythology, illustrates this duality. According to one account, Janus was created by the sky god Uranus as a gift of love to Hecate, the goddess of the underworld. But Janus hated his new life in the underworld; he longed for the heavens, so he ignored the gods and fled from the underworld. His punishment was thereafter to occupy the space between the two worlds, being never wholly in the heavens or in the underworld. The plight of Janus is our plight: we all long for a better world (soul) but find ourselves living in an imperfect one (personality). These are the two forces we must unite.
It is not possible to flee the world. On the contrary, the challenge facing us is how to introduce into this world more of the true, the good and the beautiful, not as impractical idealists or narrow-minded materialists but rather, as the saying goes, we should aim to keep our head in the clouds and our feet on the ground. This chapter will explore how we can do this.
But before we proceed, let’s remind ourselves of how Assagioli (1983: 21) described the difference between soul and personality:
Before considering the characteristics of the personality and those of the Self [i.e. soul], I would like to explain how I distinguish between the two… I consider as characteristics of the personality those that can be regarded as egocentric and separative qualities which the human personality has before it comes into conscious contact with the Self and feels its influence. On the other hand, the characteristics of the Self are those that possess a true transpersonal quality and that are expressed when the Self permeates the personality with its light, shining through and working in it to some extent.
The soul awakens when we realise that life is about more than just looking after ourselves and our family. When we truly see this, our heart opens to a wider sense of meaning. Often, we discover our soul’s calling during a life crisis when we start challenging our values only to find them inadequate: we are no longer satisfied with our former way of life – our soul, which has lain dormant, has woken up from its slumber! Most self-help literature is based upon a general sense of yearning for something more, for something better in life – this is a yearning for our soul to manifest. To use the terminology of the Seven Types, we might say that what millions of people need is the integration of their soul type and their personality type.
The development of our personality is largely governed by a sense of lack; we have a needs deficiency, as Maslow showed, and our personality is the driving force that compels us to meet these needs and, in the process, our personality becomes more robust, effective and grounded. But while the personality is concerned with our active engagement in the world, we cannot ignore our soul, which is a constant underlying essence, our essential being. From within our soul we can sense a deep calling to become all we can be and to fulfil our life purpose. However, as we can see, soul and personality can have quite different agendas – hence the need for synthesis.
Psychosynthesis believes that we must learn to harmonise our soul and personality. The image presented is that of the personality as a chariot that must be driven by the soul, the charioteer. When this happens, self- realisation has taken place.
Figure 23 illustrates the optimal interaction between soul and personality. This diagram was inspired by an important article by Vargiu and Firman (1977) that explores in detail the crisis of awakening. The vertical axis represents being and charts the new values and possibilities that are available to us in the spiritual domain. The horizontal axis represents doing and depicts our actions and behaviours as we progress along our life path (diagonal line). The nature of the interaction between these two axes will determine the extent to which our talents and qualities manifest in the world. Let’s look at this diagram in more detail.
When the conscious “I” (orange circle) harvests the energies and resources available from both dimensions – being and doing, soul and personality – tremendous personal power is generated. The six arrows show how the conscious “I” is supported by our qualities of body, feeling and thought (doing/personality) as well as the qualities of intuition and inspiration (being/soul). This confluence of qualities provides us with the power to realise our dreams and visions and to discover our inner selves.
The sun (large yellow circle) represents our vision: it symbolises our need to balance being and doing. When this balance between our conscious “I” and our vision is achieved, we are inspired to act creatively and selflessly in the world.
The diagram depicts an optimum balance between being and doing. Sadly, this rarely occurs. In the Western world because our lives are typically focused on our work, status and achievements in the world, which pulls us towards the doing axis, creating a materialist culture and causing stress in our personal lives. The symptoms of this imbalance can be seen in a widespread sense of emptiness and boredom which people try to escape through work, drugs and entertainment.
Happily, there is another way. When the soul awakens, we have an opportunity to integrate and balance being (soul) and doing (personality). But the personality is not easily won over: when the soul starts to exert its influence, the personality fights back. So how does this relationship between personality and soul play out in real life? In answering this question, I want to begin by presenting a case study from my clinical practice as a psychotherapist.
From my first session with Michael, it was clear his life was in chaos. He was an attractive, fit man in his mid-30s. He was charming and energetic, with a sense of humour and a great appetite for life. People admired his self-confidence and he was often the centre of attention. But beneath this confident exterior, Michael was far from happy. His girlfriend had left him, he had no family, and his friends did not fill his inner void. He dreamed of success as an actor but his career had stalled; and even after a great performance, he did not feel happy. Alarm bells were ringing; something was missing. So what was wrong?
During our sessions, it became apparent that Michael was avoiding something. Through awareness-based psychotherapy, Michael slowly learned to observe, identify and communicate with his key motivators. While aware that he craved attention, but he also realised that no amount of attention could fill his emptiness. I suggested to Michael that we work together using the Seven Types. We discovered that Michael was a creative personality, embodying this type’s finest qualities, as well as its inconsistency and restlessness. For example, he’d had many girlfriends but none had been able to satisfy him, so he was constantly moving on in search of new adventures; he was flying from flower to flower like a honeybee, never committing to anyone – and, like someone who has overeaten so that the sight of food becomes sickening, Michael’s affairs began to produce a kind of nausea in him.
When I explained to Michael about the creative type, the pieces of the jigsaw started to fall into place. Michael strongly identified with this type. He loved beauty and being surrounded by happy people, but he also realised his life was superficial. Living was easy and he had endless opportunities, but he started to realise that quantity of relationships is not the same as quality. Michael realised that his inner void could only be filled by a kind of love that would provide him with a deep and consistent connection to life and other people. We worked with this realisation for some time and eventually concluded that his soul was motivated by love. So here we had a creative personality type with a sensitive soul type.
As we continued to work together, Michael’s need for attention was gradually replaced by a longing to give attention. During these important months of therapy, his sensitive soul type began to emerge, manifesting the Illuminator and Teacher archetypes. Michael decided to remain in the world of acting, but he became a drama teacher, helping others to improve their craft and develop their careers. There was also a change in his attitude to love and relationships, such that he was prepared to stay in relationships for longer. Michael started to be able to contain his sense of emptiness; he could still feel pain, but he no longer felt the strong need to escape it. Indeed, he was able to make use of his pain, realising that part of his journey was to help heal the world’s pain by being love and through offering a love that could accept the imperfect.
When our sessions together concluded, Michael was still working on certain issues, but he had undergone a transformation and his life had taken a new direction. He had found new meaning and purpose, and this would see him through life’s challenges. Now it was up to him to be the captain of his ship. This was possible because he had begun to integrate his creative personality type with his sensitive soul type. Integrating the soul and personality can be a slow process – perhaps taking many years, depending on the types involved and the effort applied – but, ultimately, the reward is a kind of rebirth.
The balance between being and doing
Michael’s transformation demonstrates that we can bring new qualities and motivations into our lives without losing old ones. The positive aspects of the creative type were retained, with Michael learning how to express them differently and for a different purpose. Deciding that love would be the foundation of his life meant Michael had to abandon everything superficial. He could still enjoy himself, but he would steer the chariot in a new direction.
Doing comes naturally to creative types – they are motivated by success, love and a need to be the centre of attention – but when Michael started to listen to his soul’s calling, the peaceful, sensitive and holistic qualities of the sensitive type emerged and he felt inspired to discipline his personality to serve a higher purpose. Being aware of his underlying motivations meant he could learn from his mistakes.
As mentioned, the ideal balance between being and doing is not a 50/50 split because the soul should be guiding the personality. At the centre of our being, our soul is an eternal source of energy that flows into the world through our persona, which is our mask or personality. And when personality and soul are integrated, the life energy of the personality is sublimated into the flow of energy from the soul. Over time, as the influence of the soul qualities increases, our personality evolves and matures so there is a fuller expression of who we are. In Michael’s case, he became a calmer person who was able to take other people’s needs into consideration, which are qualities arising from his soul – Michael now sees his role in the world as being a source of truth, beauty and goodness.
The integration of soul and personality can happen naturally, but knowledge of the seven types and guidance from a trained counsellor can support this process. We can begin by identifying our energies and types, and with this understanding we can learn to master and channel our energies. Broadly speaking, this process of integration follows two stages. The first stage is the integration of the personality, which Assagioli called “personal psychosynthesis” – this provides the foundation for a good and stable life. The second stage involves the opening of the heart to experience the soul, leading to its integration with the personality, which Assagioli termed “transpersonal psychosynthesis”. Out of this two-stage process arises our core identity, with soul and personality, doing and being, in optimum balance.
Sometimes, people experience energies emerging from their soul before they are an integrated personality. Such people tend to become impractical idealists or dreamers who lack will and stamina. They may dream of a better world but they lack the power and grounding necessary to make their vision a reality – their heads are in the clouds, but their feet are not on the ground. To fulfil their soul purpose, they first need to strengthen their personality. Idealists might sometimes feel guilty about having an ego with needs – they don’t understand that they need a sturdy chariot if they are to have any hope of reaching their destination. In practical terms, it is helpful to establish a sturdy personality – which can help us achieve financial security, emotional fulfilment and a sense of self-esteem – because then our soul can manifest in a manner that is grounded, which will help us to be of service to the greater good.
Hopefully, the reader will now have a clearer understanding of what is meant by the integration and harmonising of the personality and soul. You can find case studies in chapter 12 that show what this integration might look like in lived experience, while chapter 9 to 11 will look at how the personality forms via the integration of our dominant types at the levels of body, feeling and thought. In the following section we will explore some of the different combinations of soul types and personality types.
The 49 identity types
When the personality type and the soul type become integrated, we discover our core identity. Given that there are seven different soul types and seven different personality types, this means there are 49 possible core identities, or, as we will refer to them, identity types.
The top half of Figure 24 shows how seven types in relation to the seven psychological functions and the sorts of behaviours they manifest. The bottom half of Figure 24 lists the seven soul types and the seven personality types, with their respective primary motivators indicated in brackets, and shows the full range of combinations that are possible.
I describe identity types with two numbers. Highlighted within Figure 24 is the example of Michael (see above), who has a 2-4 core identity, i.e. an Illuminator soul type (2) combined with a creative personality type (4). (Note: the real picture is more complicated given that each personality type has an introverted and extroverted aspect, but I am not going into that level of detail at this point.) As well as giving a number-code to each of the identity types, I have also given each of them a name to describe their core qualities. In Michael’s case, the 2-4 identity type is a Sensitive Performer.
Let’s take another example. The 1-1 identity type is the Brave Redeemer. It is worth noting that it is rare for someone to have the same type at the levels of both soul and personality, but it is not impossible.
Assagioli brings to our attention another particular combination of types, namely when a person’s soul type and personality type are both masculine (type 1-3-5-7) or both feminine (Type: 2-4-6) in nature. Assagioli (1931b) describes how this can lead to a particular sort of awakening crises:
We find that when the Ray of the personality and the Ray of the Ego [soul] belong to the same group the life of the individual is generally harmonious; it has a definite line and homogeneity, but it is apt to be one-sided and static. Instead, when the personal and individual Rays belong to different groups, there are often inner strife and difficulty of adjustment. The man is divided within himself; his conscious and sub-conscious tendencies clash and, in the language of psychoanalysis, he is particularly subject to repressions and complexes. Yet while these complications and struggles entail much suffering, they often produce richer and more vital experiences, and result in greater spiritual progress.
In light of this observation, we can deduce that when soul and personality are both masculine types or both feminine types then integration will be smoother compared with when one is masculine and the other feminine.
To help give us a sense of this journey of integration, I have selected seven identity types for us to examine in more detail. In each case, I will describe the personality type, then the sort of crisis that will typically arise when the soul begins to awaken, then I will describe the consequences of integration. A full description of all 49 identity types is included in the identity profile available at the JivaYou website.
Michael Robbins’ article Combinations of Soul Rays and Personality Rays also offers a good introduction to this theme.
1-2: The Heroic Guide
You have excellent people skills (sensitive personality type) and crave warm, nurturing relationships characterised by mutual care and understanding. You are a good listener who values and respects others, which gives you a great capacity to help others, meaning you might typically choose a career as a teacher, counsellor or caregiver. However, despite your many competencies, you are limited by a fear of being disliked: your ego needs to feel appreciated, loved and secure. The awakening of your soul can be disturbing for someone with your gentle and considerate personality.
The dynamic soul type awakens in you an inner pressure to attain more influence in the world and accomplish something great. The Hero insists that you fight for a cause and that, as a powerful leader, you dare to enter into conflict. Your personality fears becoming unpopular, but an emerging need to show courage and leadership and to take risks becomes more important. You seek holistic solutions and fight for enlightenment and education. Once integrated, the archetype of the Hero will help you to meet your goals as the Heroic Guide.
2-1: The Wise Leader
Decisiveness, focus, power and resilience characterise your dynamic personality type. You are motivated by a need to take charge and exert yourself. You have got to where you are in life by aiming for the top within your chosen field. You often find yourself in a position of leadership, whether formally or informally, and you easily dominate your surroundings. You are strong and independent and enjoy being on the frontline. You seek out challenges and enjoy testing your strengths against competitors. You accept risks that prove your courage.
Your domineering character will most likely lead you into a power struggle, which will become the trigger for a crisis that will awaken the quality of love-wisdom that abides in your soul. The continuous exertion of your power may have ruined your relationships and led to a sense of frustration and emptiness. But when the soul awakens you start to sense that your power could be used for the greater good. You start to feel you no longer need to control everything, your hard shell softens, and peace and tranquility enter your life. You receive inner wisdom, feel inspired by positive role models, and recognise opportunities for spiritual growth. This love-wisdom comes from the Illuminator archetype, which invites others to work with you to achieve your goals. Once integrated, you become the Wise Leader.
3-4: The Intelligent Storyteller
Your sense of humour and ability to entertain have shaped your character and they help you to attain success, a characteristic common to the creative personality type. You influence your environment with a spontaneity and charm that helps to create a relaxed and positive atmosphere. You want to be the centre of attention, and it does not matter whether this means being admired or being seen as a tragic figure. For you, the world is a stage and you feel alive when you are able to draw attention to yourself and create more beauty and harmony. However, a lack of harmony disturbs you and motivates you to seek peace and balance. For this reason, emotional tension tends to attract you, often drawing you into conflicts that you want to resolve.
The intelligence of your soul type can emerge as a deep need for knowledge which pulls you away from the limelight, causing you to have a sudden crisis of identity. As the crisis deepens you will feel the need to retreat from life’s dramas to a place of detached observation from which you can gain a new sense of perspective. You discover a desire to approach life more rationally and you begin to understand that being at the centre of things is not always important. As your soul awakens, you become aware of a thirst for knowledge and understanding that helps you to discover new ways to make a difference in the world. The Genius archetype, integrated with your creative personality type, finds its greatest satisfaction in communicating these emerging ideas in an engaging way, and you become the Intelligent Storyteller.
4-5: The Colourful Technician
Your logical and sensible approach to life is the key to your success as an analytical personality type. You are a specialist who knows the facts and can separate real information from fake news. You are motivated by a need to hone your intellect and technique and to become the smartest in your field. You seek out knowledge that is useful and practical and that will help you arrive at concrete solutions to real problems. You pride yourself on being 100 percent reliable.
The qualities of the Artist soul type awaken in you a great longing for beauty, love and magic and an interest in things that cannot be measured or weighed. This can lead to a crisis in how you understand the world. Your former logical approach has made your world a cold place devoid of sunlight, beauty or poetry. Now you want to create space for the intuitive levels of your being to emerge. Out of this inner well arise stories, images and symbols, and your imagination inspires you to create well-crafted work that inspire others and generates a sense of togetherness. Your skill as a craftsman enables you to realise ideas in a very practical way. Giving concrete form to your intuition allows others to share your experience of beauty and harmony. Your analytical personality has integrated the Artist archetype to make you the Colourful Technician.
5-6: The Informed Advocate
As a dedicated personality type, being an enthusiastic spokesman for your cause has given you success in life. You want to be a part of something special, something you can believe in with all your heart. Your inner fire inspires you to convince others to share this enthusiasm. Your wholehearted commitment attracts followers. Your innocence and naivety mean you have a tendency to see only the best in people and situations, and this desire to see the best in everything is your strongest motivator, but also a liability. You are competitive and willing to go for broke if it helps with the realisation of your vision.
A crisis arises when you realise the cause you have been championing is an illusion. You gave your all but now you see your passion was misdirected. As the cool clear light of the Explorer soul type emerges, you start to analyse and re-evaluate your life. As a consequence, you become better able to differentiate between true and false values. You begin to view life more objectively. Rather than seeking only to achieve personal goals, you start to draw meaning from reality itself, just as it is. You start to share your research with the world and see that it can make a difference. Your newfound passion for true knowledge brings out the best in you and gives you a sense of purpose. By integrating the archetype of the Explorer with your dedicated personality type you have become the Informed Advocate.
6-7: The Practical Activist
A highly organised life characterises your practical personality type. You live a goal-oriented life that is built upon routine and a systematic approach that makes you trustworthy and reliable. Your elegant planning makes you a natural leader. You are efficient and able to take responsibility and achieve results. You are motivated by a need for order and control. You want your efforts to have practical benefits. Your ability to organise people and projects has carried you a long way, but sometimes you resent always being the one who is responsible.
As the qualities of the Visionary soul type emerge, you start to realise you don’t always need to be in control, and you grow tired of always attending to detail. For someone who has always prided themselves on being orderly and efficient, this is a crisis. You realise your compulsion to be in control has caused you to overlook your deepest values, and you start to suffer. You start to envision a new cause, one with higher and more noble goals, something you can commit yourself to wholeheartedly. Your newfound devotion to this higher cause will inspire others to join you and to share your values. You are a practical utopian seeking to bring innovation into your chosen field. Integrating the Visionary archetype with your practical personality type makes you the Practical Activist.
7-3: The Leading Strategist
The mental personality type means you are an active communicator who likes to share knowledge. You have a tendency to establish networks, perhaps specialising in sales or trade or in the development of innovative ideas. Your encyclopaedic knowledge makes you a valuable source of information; your curiosity and versatility have opened doors. You know something about everything, and this gives you a unique perspective on life. You have professional and financial concerns and are motivated to develop the right contacts to help you become the smartest in your field. Being able to keep your options open has presented you with many advantages and opportunities.
However, as your soul awakens, you feel anxious that you have been spreading yourself too thinly – and the realisation that quality is more important than quantity will lead to an existential crisis. You start to feel restless and search for something you can truly value. You want to use your skills to create something that is of lasting value. You start to tune into your soul purpose, which helps you to clarify and prioritise your goals, and eventually you will understand how you can combine strategy and management to realise your vision, combining the tactical skills of a chess master with incisive leadership qualities. Integrating the mental personality type with the archetype of the Creator makes you the Leading Strategist.
Core identities and the four quadrants
Now let’s look at the four quadrants in relation to identity types. Figure 25 uses the example of Michael, a 2-4 identity type (see above), and shows some of the processes taking place during integration, highlighting both the inner-subjective and outer-objective perspectives.
The upper left quadrant shows the five inner levels of Michael’s consciousness, from body to soul. The personality type combines the influences of body, feeling and thought: Michael is a creative personality type, so this grouping is given the number 4.
The soul type incorporates the personality, hence Michael’s sensitive Illuminator soul type, numbered 2, shows a grouping of all five levels of consciousness. When the soul awakens, a broader, less egocentric, perspective emerges and begins to guide the personality away from itself and towards others. In Michael’s case, the emergence of the soul has made love his central purpose in life, and all his resources are being called upon to fulfil this purpose.
As a consequence of this soul awakening, we can see in the upper right quadrant that Michael’s behaviours begin to change. This will be seen most visibly in changes to Michael’s lifestyle, career goals and relationships; his motivations have been transformed.
The lower quadrants depict Michael’s social world. Before his awakening, Michael’s social circle was dominated by creative types (green circle), but now he has a new interest in education and psychology (blue circle).
With the awakening of Michael’s core identity, his entire psychological environment will change because now the soul is in charge instead of the ego or personality. As a consequence, Michael will become more concerned about his physical environment and the world in which he lives (lower right quadrant) and this will typically express itself as a concern to be environmentally conscious. Relationships will also be affected, with his need for self-esteem lessening and his consideration for others growing. When the soul awakens, we start to consider how our choices impact on others; we become less self-conscious and more focused on the group and the collective consciousness. In this way, the soul moves us to identify as a global citizen, but without losing our capacity to love and take care of those we are close to.
Exercise: What groups do you belong to?
Your relationship to your social groups, and the types of groups you are engaged with are a reflection of your level of consciousness because they reveal the values and interests that determine how you relate to the world.
- Make a list of the groups and communities that are most important to you, which may include family, religious groups, work, social clubs, etc.
- What interests or values hold these groups together? What are the concerns and interests of these groups and what are their qualities? Try to describe these groups in terms of the types they exhibit.
- Make a list of groups you don’t belong to but would like to join. What are the values, qualities and concerns of these groups?
- Examine both lists – your current groups and the groups you would like to join – and summarise the key qualities of each.
- Now consider that you are on a soul journey in which you are transitioning from the first set of groups (which represent your personality type) to the latter (which represent your soul type). What might this tell you about your identity type?
- Consider any crisis that you are currently facing and consider what this challenge might mean with respect to the awakening of your soul. (Spiritual crises often arise in connection with our social world.)
We will now explore the different qualities of our types at the psychological levels of body, feeling and thought. Once we know more about our body type, feeling type and thinking type we can combine this information with our identity type to provide a more complete five-fold typological profile – which we will discuss later in this book.