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What's Your Type?: Personality & Paranormal Experience

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Michael Larkin View Post
    The view that Shah had about Gurdjieff was that he was for a time trained by Sufis, but left them too soon, so his system was defective. Sufism, Shah held, came in different presentations suitable for different times, place and people.
    Thanks for this, Michael.

    Recently, I was listening to Buddha at the Gas Pump and heard the episode with Puran and Susanna Bair who claim to represent the Sufi tradition and to have received some transmission from a Sufi master. On that issue, Rick Archer brings up Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee and the Bairs both mow Vaughan-Lee down, saying the guy is some pessimist and ultimately seem to dismiss him.

    I am no Sufi expert, but I've bumped up against Sufi concepts a number of times and find them appealing. Vaughan-Lee is one of the few living Sufi teachers I have ever heard of. Do you know anything of any of these individuals? Is Indries Shah the go-to person? Are there any others?

    In Jungian circles, I regularly hear about Henry Corbin and Corbin's discussions of Ibn 'Arabi. Gurdjieff is someone I know of thanks to multiple, multiple "bump ins" in the musty, old bookstores that I peruse for spiritual treasures. As someone who has looked to the Western Esoteric Tradition for wisdom and insight, I know of Gurdjieff as the moral superior of Aleister Crowley who Gurdjieff was hospitable toward while Crowley was cleaning himself off of drugs but ultimately was glad to see him go when Crowley left Gurdjieff's community once getting sober: Introduction to Gnosis #20

    On the other hand, Gurdjieff does not seem to have been concerned with the empire-building so beloved of contemporary gurus in the United States; he drove away as many students as he attracted; and many of the people who stayed at the Prieure were Russian refugees whom he had to support. True to his Caucasian heritage, he dispensed hospitality in abundant qualities. To Aleister Crowley, for example, who came to the Prieure for help with his drug addiction, Gurdjieff showed all due consideration - until Crowley was about to leave.

    "Mister, you go?" Gurdjieff inquired. Crowley assented. "You have been guest?" - a fact which the visitor could hardly deny. "Now you go, you are no longer guest?" Crowley - no doubt wondering whether his host had lost his grip on reality and was wandering in a semantic wilderness - humored his mood by indicating that he was on his way back to Paris. But Gurdjieff, having made the point that he was not violating the canons of hospitality, changed on the instant into the embodiment of righteous anger. "You filthy," he stormed, "you dirty inside! Never again you set foot in my house!" . . . Whitefaced and shaking, the Great Beast crept back to Paris with his tail between his legs
    Nonetheless, whenever I read Gurdjieff - or about him - I'm regularly struck wondering why this man is singularly held above so many other persons. It seems no one knows anything about him and that he intentionally kept up an air of mystery about himself. There is this idea that he consulted with some secret brotherhood of adepts at some point... but this just kicks up ideas you hear about in regard to Blavatsky who the SPR apparently caught engaged in trickery.

    Anyway, any leads toward genuine Sufi teachers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by Philemon View Post
      Thanks for this, Michael.

      Recently, I was listening to Buddha at the Gas Pump and heard the episode with Puran and Susanna Bair who claim to represent the Sufi tradition and to have received some transmission from a Sufi master. On that issue, Rick Archer brings up Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee and the Bairs both mow Vaughan-Lee down, saying the guy is some pessimist and ultimately seem to dismiss him.

      I am no Sufi expert, but I've bumped up against Sufi concepts a number of times and find them appealing. Vaughan-Lee is one of the few living Sufi teachers I have ever heard of. Do you know anything of any of these individuals? Is Indries Shah the go-to person? Are there any others?

      In Jungian circles, I regularly hear about Henry Corbin and Corbin's discussions of Ibn 'Arabi. Gurdjieff is someone I know of thanks to multiple, multiple "bump ins" in the musty, old bookstores that I peruse for spiritual treasures. As someone who has looked to the Western Esoteric Tradition for wisdom and insight, I know of Gurdjieff as the moral superior of Aleister Crowley who Gurdjieff was hospitable toward while Crowley was cleaning himself off of drugs but ultimately was glad to see him go when Crowley left Gurdjieff's community once getting sober: Introduction to Gnosis #20

      Nonetheless, whenever I read Gurdjieff - or about him - I'm regularly struck wondering why this man is singularly held above so many other persons. It seems no one knows anything about him and that he intentionally kept up an air of mystery about himself. There is this idea that he consulted with some secret brotherhood of adepts at some point... but this just kicks up ideas you hear about in regard to Blavatsky who the SPR apparently caught engaged in trickery.

      Anyway, any leads toward genuine Sufi teachers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
      You seem to know quite a lot already, Philemon: maybe more than I in some areas. I wish I knew of any genuine extant Sufi teacher, but I don't. There may conceivably be some working within immigrant Islamic communities, but if so, not apparently with a projection of the teaching tailored for non-Muslim Westerners.

      I always got the impression from reading Shah that he thought traditional modes of transmission were now defunct: mere empty containers that have lost their power or baraka: no longer organic and effective, mostly just bodies of empty ritual. His aim, apparently, was to bring a formulation of the teaching that was suitable for the modern Western mindset: but I'm not entirely sure that his own groups were successful.

      It's a strange world one enters when trying to assess Shah, his mission and his work. He wrote a number of books under pseudonyms that, did one not know it, seem to independently corroborate his standing. The Wikipedia article on him is quite interesting and informative. Frankly, at this juncture, I do not know whether or not he was the real deal, but for all that I can't deny nor underestimate the influence he has had on me. No one wrote like he did, was able to make one question oneself and one's society--all societies--quite like he did.

      The whole issue of identifying a genuine teacher is a very difficult one. Vaughan Lee? Irina Tweedie? Idries Shah? Omar Ali Shah (Idries' brother) or Arif ali Shah (Omar's son)? Someone of no fame whatsoever, maybe a housewife or businessman who lives down the street? One guy who I only ever heard utter one prosaic statement to a customer (which totally blew me away) on his market stall in a Northern English town? Who knows. But one thing Shah mentioned was that the time was coming when, for the first time in human history, a teacher would not be necessary: that the teaching would be able to come to human beings direct from Source without needing to be couched in terms of a particular system viable only for a limited time for particular people with a particular mindset in a particular geographical location.

      The world is becoming increasingly homogeneous, facilitated by modern communications technology: maybe tying in with Teilhard de Chardin's concept of the noosphere? The idea of a new epoch, of the Age of Aquarius perhaps? The sense so many of us have that we are on the threshold of transition to a new stage of being? The ideas of Spiral Dynamics with its yellow and turquoise phases? Even secular humanism, Marxism's dialectical materialism, or Environmentalism?

      In a sense, maybe all such things are attempts at some kind of new formulation that may be no less and no more effective than conventional religious formulations have been for millennia, and which may in essence be no different. We've always been after the Answer, the One True Way, a way to shoehorn the rich potential of reality into one little box or another.

      Shah averred that a carefully tailored formulation (perhaps containing some conventionally religious elements) can act as a stepping stone, but at some point, one has to dispense with it: it's just a means to an end. The perfected human being--insan-i-kamil--wouldn't be constrained by any kind of formulation: would be free to act with optimal appropriateness and effectiveness in any given circumstance. It's a barely-comprehendible concept: we're all so limited by our world views, containing large elements of conditioning, that we comparatively rarely actually experience true freedom of thought or action. We all have the potential to exercise free will, but most of the time we don't: are asleep whilst thinking we're awake.

      Here's an experiment: watch this video:

      Sultan Mohd Arif Ali Shah (R.A) - YouTube

      How does it affect you? The music, the images of the shaykh? Is this guy the real deal? Personally, I have no idea. Read Shah and you will discern contradictory possibilities. Sometimes the guy who looks archetypically the part may actually be genuine. Other times, he may be a fraud. Few people have the discrimination to make an accurate judgement.

      Then again, it's held that one's guide may be the spirit of a dead teacher, even that one may be guided without being aware of it. And even, that there are always just a very few insan-i-kamil present on the earth who were born that way but don't know that's what they are: they don't teach, they don't claim to be anything special, and live ordinary, undistinguished lives. One day, maybe we'll all be like them. Add to this the fact that it's claimed some genuine adepts (known as malamati) consciously adopt blameworthy behaviour to deter spiritual tourists, and one can see the whole issue is a minefield.

      So most of us are forced to confidently acknowledge only the all-time (and known) greats: Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Suhrawardi, Rabia... whose messages are largely lost to us because couched in terms of formulations specific to a particular time, place and people. For all we know, we may be surrounded by those who could teach us, but simply unable to recognise them. And Shah also allows that, in a sense, life itself is our teacher and that ordinary human love can lead to enlightenment.

      I'll point you to a few resources--you may already be aware of them:

      The Institute For Cultural Research (the Institute for Cultural Research, set up by Idries Shah: look under "Publications", including the monograph archive, from which one can download many of the monographs for free).

      ISHK Home page (the Institute for Human Knowledge, set up by Robert Ornstein, a pupil of Idries Shah).

      If you haven't already read Doris Lessing's sequence of five books, the Canopus in Argos series, I can thoroughly recommend it: it is suffused with Shah's influence (Lessing was also a pupil of Shah's when he was still alive). I happen to believe the sequence has some developmental potential for the human psyche: it's effect is very subtle and after reading it I had a noteable spiritual experience that lasted a couple of weeks.

      You might also like to read:

      The Sufis and Idries Shah
      A Sufi Metamorphosis:: On Sufism and Idries Shah By Doris Lessing

      or listen to:

      Doris Lessing on the Sufi Way, 1 of 3 - YouTube
      Reflections part 1 of 4 - YouTube
      Sufism and Psychiatry by Arthur Deikman - YouTube
      Evenings with Idries Shah, part 1 of 2 - YouTube
      The Teaching Story and The Dermis Probe part 1 of 2. - YouTube
      On the Nature of Sufi Knowledge part 1 of 2 - YouTube
      Tales of the Dervishes part 1 of 2 - YouTube

      And a lot more shown on this and successive pages:

      Evenings with Idries Shah, part 1 of 2 - YouTube (looks the same as an above link, but isn't)

      BTW, thanks for the mention of the Buddha at the Gas pump interview: I've located it and am about to listen to it here:

      Puran & Susanna Bair - Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview - YouTube

      Comment


      • #93
        I just took the test and got an INFJ. I've read that this is a very rare personality type. Perhaps that's why I've always felt different, in some imperceptible way, from so many people?

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Skippy Borzakov View Post
          I just took the test and got an INFJ. I've read that this is a very rare personality type. Perhaps that's why I've always felt different, in some imperceptible way, from so many people?
          Yes, and all of us weirdos hang out here at Skeptiko.

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Skippy Borzakov View Post
            I just took the test and got an INFJ. I've read that this is a very rare personality type. Perhaps that's why I've always felt different, in some imperceptible way, from so many people?
            Another one???? We have quite the collection of INFJ's on this site. There are more here than on the INFJ forum!

            And yes, all of us have that same feeling of being different, but not really understanding why. It goes with the territory.

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Michael Larkin View Post
              The whole issue of identifying a genuine teacher is a very difficult one. Vaughan Lee? Irina Tweedie? Idries Shah? Omar Ali Shah (Idries' brother) or Arif ali Shah (Omar's son)? Someone of no fame whatsoever, maybe a housewife or businessman who lives down the street? One guy who I only ever heard utter one prosaic statement to a customer (which totally blew me away) on his market stall in a Northern English town? Who knows.
              Michael,

              Thank you for all of this - and the links!

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Craig Weiler View Post
                Another one???? We have quite the collection of INFJ's on this site. There are more here than on the INFJ forum!
                I think this is a pretty significant finding. I've said that already once or twice, but I'm just saying it again.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Philemon View Post
                  I think this is a pretty significant finding. I've said that already once or twice, but I'm just saying it again.
                  It would be interesting to see a full breakdown of MBTI personality types not only on this site but JREF as well. The poll feature only allows for 10 choices so it would have to be two different threads. Too awkward for here. I wonder if it's something the mods can change.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Craig Weiler View Post
                    It would be interesting to see a full breakdown of MBTI personality types not only on this site but JREF as well. The poll feature only allows for 10 choices so it would have to be two different threads. Too awkward for here. I wonder if it's something the mods can change.
                    Yup would be very interesting to see.

                    I'm a member of the INFP group on facebook and a few months back someone did something similar to see if they could "profile" people. We found from talking and getting to know eachother that INFP's enjoy their own time and like relaxing and chatting on the computer... we prefer non physical discussion (internet) over physical discussion (face to fact).

                    So someone went out there to find out if that was true and found that whilst most MTBI facebook groups had about 2 - 3,000 members the INFP group we were well and truly above everyone else approaching nearly 10,000 even though percentage wise we should have been down near the bottom based on % of INFP's per capita.

                    You probably really only need 4 polls... 1 for xSTx, xSFx xNTx and xNFx I'd say JREF would be full of xSTx's

                    Comment


                    • I am ENTJ...

                      Comment


                      • 85% of Mediums are NF

                        I listened to this interview with Julie Beischel that was posted over at the Daily Grail today.

                        Beischel discusses more research about the MBTI personality types and psi. According to her:
                        16% of the general population is NF.
                        85% of mediums are NF.

                        You can hear more around the 18 minute mark.

                        Comment


                        • Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is: ENTJ, the “Chief”

                          Extroversion: 80%
                          iNtutitive: 55%
                          Thinking: 80%
                          Judging: 70%

                          Geezus, a whole science behind this. Almost like a elaborated horoscope.
                          I feel though that a few things in the ENTJ-description does not fit me really.



                          As an ENTJ, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is internal, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.

                          ENTJs are natural born leaders. They live in a world of possibilities where they see all sorts challenges to be surmounted, and they want to be the ones responsible for surmounting them. They have a drive for leadership, which is well-served by their quickness to grasp complexities, their ability to absorb a large amount of impersonal information, and their quick and decisive judgments. They are "take charge" people.

                          ENTJs are very career-focused, and fit into the corporate world quite naturally. They are constantly scanning their environment for potential problems which they can turn into solutions. They generally see things from a long-range perspective, and are usually successful at identifying plans to turn problems around - especially problems of a corporate nature. ENTJs are usually successful in the business world, because they are so driven to leadership. They're tireless in their efforts on the job, and driven to visualize where an organization is headed. For these reasons, they are natural corporate leaders.

                          There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency. They may become quite harsh when their patience is tried in these respects, because they are not naturally tuned in to people's feelings, and more than likely don't believe that they should tailor their judgments in consideration for people's feelings. ENTJs, like many types, have difficulty seeing things from outside their own perspective. Unlike other types, ENTJs naturally have little patience with people who do not see things the same way as the ENTJ. The ENTJ needs to consciously work on recognizing the value of other people's opinions, as well as the value of being sensitive towards people's feelings. In the absence of this awareness, the ENTJ will be a forceful, intimidating and overbearing individual. This may be a real problem for the ENTJ, who may be deprived of important information and collaboration from others. In their personal world, it can make some ENTJs overbearing as spouses or parents.

                          The ENTJ has a tremendous amount of personal power and presence which will work for them as a force towards achieving their goals. However, this personal power is also an agent of alienation and self-aggrandizement, which the ENTJ would do well to avoid.

                          ENTJs are very forceful, decisive individuals. They make decisions quickly, and are quick to verbalize their opinions and decisions to the rest of the world. The ENTJ who has not developed their Intuition will make decisions too hastily, without understanding all of the issues and possible solutions. On the other hand, an ENTJ who has not developed their Thinking side will have difficulty applying logic to their insights, and will often make poor decisions. In that case, they may have brilliant ideas and insight into situations, but they may have little skill at determining how to act upon their understanding, or their actions may be inconsistent. An ENTJ who has developed in a generally less than ideal way may become dictatorial and abrasive - intrusively giving orders and direction without a sound reason for doing so, and without consideration for the people involved.

                          Although ENTJs are not naturally tuned into other people's feelings, these individuals frequently have very strong sentimental streaks. Often these sentiments are very powerful to the ENTJ, although they will likely hide it from general knowledge, believing the feelings to be a weakness. Because the world of feelings and values is not where the ENTJ naturally functions, they may sometimes make value judgments and hold onto submerged emotions which are ill-founded and inappropriate, and will cause them problems - sometimes rather serious problems.

                          ENTJs love to interact with people. As Extroverts, they're energized and stimulated primarily externally. There's nothing more enjoyable and satisfying to the ENTJ than having a lively, challenging conversation. They especially respect people who are able to stand up to the ENTJ, and argue persuasively for their point of view. There aren't too many people who will do so, however, because the ENTJ is a very forceful and dynamic presence who has a tremendous amount of self-confidence and excellent verbal communication skills. Even the most confident individuals may experience moments of self-doubt when debating a point with an ENTJ.

                          ENTJs want their home to be beautiful, well-furnished, and efficiently run. They're likely to place much emphasis on their children being well-educated and structured, to desire a congenial and devoted relationship with their spouse. At home, the ENTJ needs to be in charge as much as he or she does in their career. The ENTJ is likely best paired with someone who has a strong self-image, who is also a Thinking type. Because the ENTJ is primarily focused on their careers, some ENTJs have a problem with being constantly absent from home, physically or mentally.

                          The ENTJ has many gifts which make it possible for them to have a great deal of personal power, if they don't forget to remain balanced in their lives. They are assertive, innovative, long-range thinkers with an excellent ability to translate theories and possibilities into solid plans of action. They are usually tremendously forceful personalities, and have the tools to accomplish whatever goals they set out for.

                          Comment


                          • Estp. Now I feel bad about myself.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Iyace View Post
                              Estp. Now I feel bad about myself.
                              Don't feel bad. One of the criticisms of the MBTI is its apparent low test-retest reliability. About 50% of those who take the test score differently in one or more of the four categories when taking the test a second time weeks or months later. I've done so myself, getting INFP about a third of the time, compared to my "normal" INFJ classification.

                              You can read more about the test's shortcomings here:

                              Measuring the MBTI...
                              And Coming Up Short


                              Doug
                              Last edited by Trancestate; August 21st, 2013, 06:29 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Trancestate View Post
                                Don't feel bad. One of the criticisms of the MBTI is its apparent low test-retest reliability. About 50% of those who take the test score differently in one or more of the four categories when taking the test a second time weeks or months later. I've done so myself, getting INFP about a third of the time, compared to my "normal" INFJ classification.

                                You can read more about the test's shortcomings here:

                                Measuring the MBTI...
                                And Coming Up Short


                                Doug
                                I've always tested as an INFJ. It's never changed. But that complaint is common. The MBTI functions best, I think, as a social tool, not a personal one.

                                Comment

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