Differing Gifts of Consciousness

By Walter Geldart

This is a companion article to my “Conversations on Consciousness” interview with Jessica Dibb for the 2020 Enneagram Global Summit. I discussed aspects of the MBTI, Enneagram, Five-Factor Model Personality Type/Trait systems, and the EPIC (Emergent Patterns of Individual Consciousness) Roles of Consciousness (Geldart, 2010). The EPIC mathematical theory of consciousness and personality is a game changer because it describes ten consciously used Jungian functions and mathematically specifies relations between twelve different subroutines composed of four of the different functions of consciousness including attention necessary for us to be present.

Consciousness is a gift because it permits us to be aware of external real objects in public events, internal subjective objects in private events, and intersubjective intentional objects which are dynamically created in mind when two people know and understand what the other person is thinking about or experiencing using language. An agent participates in events by using specified subroutines of consciousness for processing information about real public objects, subjective private objects, and intentional intersubjective objects. The Jungian functions are the core psychological gift, but our human nature, common language, and brain does not allow functions to float around in mind by themselves like different vegetables in a bowl of soup. The psychological functions are integrated by attention and intention so they work together like members of a team. The agent’s intentionality steers the ship as roles are played. 

It is important for people to work together towards common goals in their personal, social, and business role. The Jungian based Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is widely used today for understanding how individuals and groups can work cooperatively and effectively. I was introduced to the MBTI in 1970 at Bell Telephone Laboratories in a training session for new engineering supervisors. Each person has different gifts which are psychological preferences based on Carl Jung’s Psychological Types. The MBTI instrument tests for four pairs of preference shown in Figure 1, and uses positive statements to identify these preference gifts needed by a team for successful problem solving. These are summarized visually in the Zig-Zag model. The first two steps on the top line of the Z are perception by Sensation and then Intuition. The next two steps on the bottom line of the Z are rational judgment by Thinking and then Feeling. There should be no judgement by Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) until the facts (S) and possibilities (N) have been described. Every person and group would be better off if they understood and used the Zig-Zag model for more effective problem solving in their work and play.

I found the Jungian theory very interesting and thought, if there really are functions of consciousness, then someday it might be possible for someone to come up with a predictive mathematical theory. Little did I know that 40 years later I would publish a book on this theme, and in 10 more years the EPIC mathematical theory would predict and confirm cognitive patterns found in fMRI research on people as they answered questions, or predict and confirm four distinctive clusters of Five-Factor Model (FFM) data from one million people answering FFM questions via the Internet.

The MBTI test instrument forces a choice between pairs of questions to identify a person’s preference for one side of each of the four complementary opposite pairs as shown in Figure 1. The four preference pairs are shown in the format of the Five-Factor Model of Personality Traits because MBTI researchers and FFM researchers discovered by 1990 that these different systems have the same underlying Jungian theory as applied by the MBTI. This lead to recommendations for a revised FFM with a complementary opposite structure for each factor as in the MBTI (Reynierse, 2013). This was followed by a non-mathematical revised structure of the Five-Factor-Model based on the eight specialized Jungian functions and the six great philosophical ideas (Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, plus Liberty, Equality, and Justice) to clarify ambiguous low poles of the FFM (Geldart, 2019). Next, the EPIC mathematical theory specified a Five-Factor Theory based on the three complementary opposite phases of consciousness and their subroutines in Figure 3. These phases are a mathematical quantization (quantum) effect when the hexagon spatial geometry in Figure 2 is divided by prime number 101 (Geldart, 2020). Remarkably, the EPIC knowledge system confirms aspects of Jungian and MBTI theory although it was not intentionally put into the model. For example, the Concept subroutine contains two intuition (Nr and Ns) function-types in the Potentiality phase but the Action subroutine contains two sensation (Sr and Ss) function-types in the Actuality phase. The S vs N whole functions are expected to be complementary opposites in MBTI and Jungian theory and they are predicted to be this way by the EPIC theory. Remarkably, the EPIC theory confirms the fMRI based Opposing Domains Hypothesis and its mutually exclusive cognitive networks. Details on these developments are on the conscious.person.com website.

Enneagram Personality Type teachers interpret human personality using nine points on a circle as shown above in Figure 2. The EPIC hexagon pattern holds ten functional contents of human consciousness as shown on the right side in Figure 2. I studied the Enneagram system at the Enneagram Institute in the 1990s, and published the Enneagram of Consciousness and Jungian Psychology in the on-line EMBTI edited by John Fudjack (Geldart, 1997). The EMBTI article specified the dominant and inferior functions that are complementary opposites on the “spine” of personality discovered by Jungian John Beebe. The spines specify dynamics of 16 MBTI preference types. I interviewed Katherine Downing Myers for the EMBTI and she remarked these were two different systems although there are similarities. “The Enneagram seems to start with the “shadow” side while the MBTI focuses on Jung's theory of psychological type.” (Geldart,1998).

Personality type and trait models can be helpful and the Zig-Zag problem solving model is a good place to start. The EPIC model of three mutually exclusive Potentiality, Actuality, and Rationality phases of consciousness covers many practical situations. Descriptive models of personality are helpful but the individual should test descriptive knowledge against their own experience about real, subjective, and intentional objects. Meditation practice is helpful to develop attention and intention for being present during events as the need arises for work or play with others.

Walter Geldart has developed the EPIC theory of consciousness and personality which uses 10 Jungian psychological functions of consciousness with mathematics to specify subroutines that contain four functions, including attention. EPIC, which means Emergent Patterns of Individual Consciousness, is practical for understanding yourself, the MBTI, the Enneagram, and the FFM (Five Factor) models of personality.

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This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 25: Enneagram Global Summit