Being Human: A Catalog of Insights
Brief Orientation

By using this wheelbook, you will come to recognize that any single human behavior which you identify fits best in only one of the eight types that are shown here, because it fits the "flavor" of the fundamental themes that characterize that type. If you'd like to learn, by study and live practice, to recognize the flavors of these eight characteristic types, you will then be able to use this catalog of insights at any time from recollection, to study your self and any other person that you would like to understand better on the spot.

The arrangement of these wheels is designed to teach these themes to you progressively. Each new wheel page shows the characteristics of the eight types in a different typical context in life. The bottom wheels on most pages show examples of the elements that are identified on top. The sets of four wheels on facing pages amplify the themes of each type. Together, the whole collection of wheels fleshes out clear composite portraits of each of the types, as they are seen in most of the common situations that happen in everyday contemporary life.

No one type is any better or worse than any other. This is a good thing to keep in mind. Each one is vital for human life as we know it, and has its part to play in every gathering of humans, small or large. Each has its typical essence, and each has its typical personality--which you will find to be the trouble-maker in our daily lives. The Can-Do Person is the essence that underlies the Dictator personality; the Teacher underlies the Con-Artist; and so on, around the wheel. Usually people are relating with each other from their personalities, forgetting that the esence is always there and available, as well. This approach describes a method for using the personality less and less, and relying on the essence more and more.

Although browsing at random in the wheelbook can be fun and can provide spontaneous insights into people that you know, you will be facing a plethora of unrelated information as confusing as life itself, unless you follow the recommended reading approach. The eight types are to be read counter-clockwise, starting with the Dictator/Can-Do Person. In that order, they present a sequential story of what human beings do together, beginning with standing up and stepping forth (1), and finishing up by patching any wounds that have occurred (8) in the course of all the human dramas that lie in between (2 through 7).

The top four types are more aggressive and the bottom four are more passive. You can also read all the wheels as four pairs of reciprocals--that is: as you are reading each of the top four, going to your left, compare them to the bottom four that are across the wheel from each of them. You will see how these reciprocal types often play to each other in many typical events in life--pushing around and being stepped on (1 and 5); taking advantage and being a "sucker" (2 and 6); punishing and being hurt (3 and 7); being uncooperative and being over-protective (4 and 8); as examples.

Reading through all these wheels without keeping this simple, coherent, counter-clockwise thread, may prove rather daunting, if not mind-boggling. Yet by this coherent approach, reading around to the left, all this data can be "kept straight," so to speak--become organized, simplified, and classified so that you can absorb it all and see.

Reading these wheels, one page after another, is like learning to recognize and get to know eight characters in a novel, or a television series. You can stop reading whenever you like and leave a marker. As the different dramas unfold, the whole struggle and story of each type is told by the end of the personality wheels, and then harmonized in the essence wheels that follow.

The process provided here can also be compared to learning to touch type on a keyboard, where you have all the characters available to you at the same time. The advantage of learning them all at once as you go along is fluency. You will be able to use the whole wheel at the same time as a model in studying any and all parts of whole live situations that come up in your life. You will be able to take any single behavior that you notice and ask: "Is this the Dictator? Is it the Con-Artist?" "Is it the Judge?" etc. as you go around the wheel in your mind, until you recognize the type that that behavior clearly fits into. Then you can take the next behavior that you observe, put it into the wheel and go around in the same way, and so on, as the insights continue. Before long, you can see the patterns in a person (your self, or another), standing out in high relief.

Each of us has some of all eight types of essence in us. And we may each, perhaps, do any of the behaviors of personality described here with certain others that we know. However, people usually "specialize" in three of these patterns of personality, which are their "primary types." These three will include the manipulations that they most often do during the days with other people, especially when there is any upset or tension going on. One of these three may be seen to take the lead, as a "chief personality feature."

In ongoing human relations, each type matches up against all the other types in different scenes that take place. When you can recognize your own primary types, and the primary types of a given other person, you can read through the wheelbook and see the whole story of your relationship with them--both in personality, where you are manipulating each other and causing each other pain--and in essence--where the potential for the greatest harmony and companionship for you both together lies.

As you proceed through the wheels that describe the personality in the first part of the wheelbook, the behaviors and their consequences become more extreme and unpleasant, as the stories of the types get more painful. Please remember that even though a person definitely displays the themes of a given type, it doesn't mean that their life will go to these more devastating consequences. Yet a reader may know, either personally or historically, of people who fit the type and have come to these critical impasses in their lives.

Also remember that if you don't like what you see in any person's personality, including your own, you can go to the section of essence wheels in the back and recognize right away the corresponding strengths and qualities that underly the behavior that you don't like. The essence always provides clues to what you can work with, both within your own being, or within the whole human being of the other person--when you are studying each other's selves, and seeking to have more harmonious relations with them.

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©1999 Teaching Tools For Mindfulness Training