Four classic spiritual temperaments

SOME people hear God in Mozart or Mahler. Others in George Michael or Motley Crue. Who is right?
Psychologists say our spiritual temperament determines how we approach faith.
In the late 1940s, Isabel Briggs, working with the psychological theories of Carl Jung, found there were generally four classic spiritual temperaments – the romantic, the detailed, the visionary and the can-do.
According to authors Chester Michael and Marle Norrisey in their book Prayer and Temperament, the types basically correlate to sensory-judging, sensory-perceiving, intuitive-feeling and intuitive-thinking.
The faithful ones – who are sensory judging – are the believers in belonging to a church.
The spontaneous ones – those who are sensory-perceiving – generally worship God in nature and are involved informally in charitable works, according to the theory.
The loving ones – those with intuitive feelings – want to find God in solitude and contemplation.
The intuitive thinking types like justice and truth and are often church leaders.
A teaching of the Kabbalah, the sect of Jewish mysticism, is that each person’s soul is directly rooted in one of the 10 manifestations of God’s personality.
The 10 manifestations – including wisdom, understanding, caring and compassion – are supposedly parts of the perfect whole.
Your dominant characteristic is part of the whole. When you understand which part you are and pursue the correct discipline, you can start the path to a saintly life, according to the Kabbalah.
Sufi mystics talked of the nine personality types that define spiritual inclinations.
IN the system adopted by some Jesuit communities in the ’60s, a Type One is a perfectionist, a Type Two a helper, Type Three an achiever and so on.
Temperament tests have sometimes been criticised as superficial, stifling and self-indulgent.
Theologian Thomas Long once asked: “Why is it that so many in the Christian church, with its long and rich history of understanding persons in the most profound way possible, should fall into the trap of allowing for a moment those theologically enduring and wondrously mysterious understandings to be displaced by something as superficial as a grid of artificial personality types woven out of a questionable and all-too-fashionable theory of human temperament?”
The value is, perhaps, in understanding that we are all different. And all blessed in different ways.


7 thoughts on “Four classic spiritual temperaments

  1. This is nothing new. Jesus told us of 4 types of spirituality in the parable of the sower:
    – The seed fallen by the wayside. These people believe all religions are equal, truth is relative, and so Satan gets the advantage of robbing them of the Word of God before it had the opportunity to take root in them.
    – The seed fallen on the Stony Ground. The type of spirituality that only accepts religion when it is popular and/or gives some sort of worldly advantage. When persecution comes, this lot is the first to abandon religion because their religious foundation was not rooted in the truth.
    – The seed fallen among Thorns. Those who are more concerned with the cares of this world,deceitfulness of riches, lusts of the world, that the word of God is choked before it had a chance to grow and develop.
    – The seed fallen in good ground – Those in whom the word of God takes root and develops into full fruit.


    • The seed fallen by the wayside never takes root, is blown away or instantly dismissed. There is no justification Davinci, to ascribe such a cause as you have.


      • You’ve obviously never driven bush roads, Dreamweaver. Even stuff people have trouble cultivating in their garden take root by the wayside.
        eg. roses ~ originally a wayside weed.
        The wild seed is always tougher and more adaptable that the carefully cultivated hothouse variety.


    • ….and I wouldn’t get too excited about the alleged comments of Jesus on physical matters. He was abysmally ignorant of any of the basic natural sciences.


  2. So the proposition is that who/what you are and become is decided randomly??
    ….which is the very accusation quite falsely levelled at ‘natural’ development of life and the universe.


  3. Quote: “The value is, perhaps, in understanding that we are all different. And all blessed in different ways.” end of quote.
    We are as individual as we possible can be. There is not one duplicate in this Universe. Not a single one. How would I know? Also simple, we are all individual expressions of god. So we are all different and highly individual.
    Here also is the root of our great problem, totally understand the other. How can we really know hat is motivating someone else? We grew in different environments, received different upbringing, education, were in rich or poor families, different countries.All of that has shaped our perceptions, our believes. On top of that we mostly holding on our values out of familiarity, since we know it we better stick to it. Our fear from the unknown is usually greater that our curiosity.
    We here to evolve ourselves possibly in harmony with others. But we not here to judge someone else journey, even it it rubs against our hair. For they are traveling different road, different journey from ours. Bless them on their way.
    Was Jesus really ignorant of basic natural sciences, or was he able to overrule the basics? He was highly evolved being, who fully remembered who he was. He had at his disposal the power to change anything we call matter. Simply because he fully understood what this “matter” is. I would be careful here to call anybody ignorant if I don’t know really who I am and why I am here in the first place.
    At the same time though I am excited about all of you participating. It shows a sign of interest. Even if you choose to disagree is a sign of progress. Much better that apathy. Go on people, Think clearly and be tolerant to each other. create dialogue not an argument.


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