12 pages of commentary
Paradoxically, this is one of the four "passive" types because, albeit excitedly, *they follow the lead of others*.
[This is a good place to point out that, whereas people generally have three principal types, their behavior in any present moment may display the characteristics of only one of those principal types. So if a person has both the Hard-Worker/Doormat and this present type, the Student/Believer, as two of their principal types, for instance, then, some of the time they will seem quite low-key and quiet, like the former, and some of the time they will be jumping around with energy, like the latter.
[All the possible combinations of these eight types occur in different people that you meet. So a given person may have blatant characteristics of primary types that are the opposite of each other. In one part of the conversation they are doing this type, and in another part of the conversation they are doing that type, which may be quite in contradiction to the former. In your mindful studies of your own self and other people, try to keep track of *the several types that interplay* in the ongoing behavior of you and anyone you are studying. With practice you will get the hang of doing this.]
Students are the type that gets interested in things easily. They are more genuinely interested in what other people do than the other types. They are "wide-awake." They pay close attention. They are good listeners. They get excited about things. They admire others unselfishly, and give sincere praise. They become "fans," and/or "followers." They *like* to learn. They are definitely "cut out" to be students! "Enthusiasm" and "excitement" are key words in this.
Students dance through life with a constant healthy vigor that is what they are most easily recognized for when observed in mindful study. This is the quintessential dancer in the crowd. They are "light on their feet." They may also be the fastest runner. They have a kind of high-strung nervousness like a thoroughbred race-horse. They always seem to be "on the go."
Ballet dancers, and indeed all professional dancers, as well as athletes playing positions where speed and quickness are the chief requirement--are usually Students by type. This is the most common type for secretaries and special assistants of all kinds, who have to move fast to support getting their boss' work accomplished quickly.
Waiters and waitresses are often of this type, stewards and stewardesses on ships and planes. (They can aspire to higher jobs, yet often don't realize that they can do that. It's all a question of pursuing where their talents lie. And they always have talents because *these* are what they have intuitively become students of. And some secretaries realize--intuitively--that they could replace their boss and do a better job of it. Yet they don't aspire to this because they may think, mistakenly, that they are not a type that can bring it off. They can! They would make "a different kind of a boss," and one that could work *exceptionally well* in rallying spontaneous support from everyone.)
Students are punctual, and can do it promptly. "I'm ready to go!" They are very *cheerful*. This is one of the easiest ways to recognize the type when it is going on before your eyes. They inspire others. They bring out the best in you with their enthusiasm for what you are doing. They are "the dancers" in life, who leap with excitement, the cheer-leaders. The ones in junior high school who teach the kids who are too shy to dance how to dance are always Student types.
Students look up to authority. They are exceptionally loyal. They show loyalty to their family, their school, and other institutions. Mom and Dad are their first heroes. They are very patriotic. They follow their leaders. They turn to authorities for new ideas and knowledge, always looking for more and more of the best. It is as if they are "on the trail" of better and better teachers during their whole lives, yet always loyal to all of those who went before. They are the ones who have the deepest faith in others. This is the area in the spectrum of our humanity where inspiration lies. Students become greatly inspired by others' brilliance. And this is also the area of "the Muse." Students inspire others by the excitement and enthusiasm that they have about their work. They are the most appreciative audience members. When others stop applauding, they go on.
Students bring out the best in everyone they know! "You can do it!" (Ah, these are the greatest words, you parents out there.) This is a great gift that they bestow in the spectrum of essential human strengths and qualities. Students inspire greatness. But even *more important* than this is the talent that they, themselves, possess inwardly. *Students are very talented*! They have some great skills of their own that can carry them far. In other words, what they are looking for doesn't actually reside in the teachers that they admire so very much. It's in them! (That is the answer to the riddle that Students face in life!) (And this is especially because so many teachers *do* have "feet of clay.)
Although not "intellectuals" in the sense that Teacher/Con Artists are "eggheads," Students are very "bright." And they catch on fast to their lessons. They are "quick studies." They can deal with complexities and keep track. In school, they will do more homework and written assignments than the other types. They like to get their efforts appraised. They do it neatly. They make all the corrections. They get it in on time. They always put in extra efforts. (Put them in any job and you will hear these same praises said about them.) Students get top grades, and excel in whatever they do.
*Students like to please*! They show appreciation. They bring out the best in their teachers and become the "teachers' pets." They are the majority of valedictorians in their high schools. And this is important for them to realize: they *go farther* than their teachers! Students surpass their teachers. Yes!
They are likely to be the ones in any group who have the most real faith in God that truly helps them--enthusiasm ("en theos"). They experience intuition that even their best Teachers (as a type) do not themselves possess. Students go beyond their most brilliant teachers, carried along by this superior inspiration. (If they don't realize this when they are younger, they may not get started preparing for it until late in their life. And it may pass them by.)
Although generally not "the star of the show" (as Teacher/Con Artists most often get to be that), Students, because of their talent (and their fair grace, which is usually also considerable) make up the most vital other part of "the cast." In theatrical analogy, the Student plays "opposite the star"--the "love interest," or the person who is in trouble and needs to be rescued, or "brought along" by the "star." They may epitomize *the ingenue*, the intern, the "rookie." They can also be "the faithful sidekick," the assistant, the apprentice.
Students make terrific co-workers. They can be counted on to hold up their end, and more. They give 110%. They only aim to please. They become the "right-hand person" of the boss because they are so bright, and quick to learn. They add immensely to the overall power of those leaders that they follow. Students are "the pulse" of any organization, those who make any undertaking exciting by stirring up the enthusiasm of everyone involved.
Students are innocent. They live by wondering, getting curious about things, having fantasies that spark interests in them. They appreciate the *wonder of life*. Students dream, and become excited again and again about things. They keep "hope chests" and "scrap books" of many various kinds, representing aspirations and dreams of reaching to be at the top. There is something innate in Students that likes to do their "personal best" to get to the top.
Although all of the eight types *do have* intuition, the Student is the only one of the types that is very cognizant of this. This is an important reference to the type in understanding where they are coming from. Students regard themselves as highly intuitive. And they are. The other types often cannot understand this. (Don't forget that each type can really only understand itself, anyway!!!). Judges will laugh at them about their intuition. Con Artists will attempt to play on it to take advantage of them. And all the types except for the Students are a little uneasy about "believing in intuition" as a real human function.
In this school, as you know, *seeing is believing*. "Believing," if you stop and reflect on it, actually means that you *don't know*! Yet, when Students have intuition, they know it. Even if they can't communicate it to others, or others aren't sympathetic about it, it is not a matter of "believing" for them; they know it.
They sense it in the tapestry of life that they have sensed around them. Students see omens. They see synchronicity. They see patterns. They are aware of "the electric sense of it" in their own bodies when intuition is occurring. This is not about guessing that the next car to come around the corner will be blue. It is somehow *knowing* that it will be blue. How? Students can't explain it. They just know it in their bones. (It is not even a matter of keeping track of how many times they have been "right" before, or even *if* they have been "right" before. When it happens, they know it because they pick up on "something" that others don't see. And they recognize that it is *somehow significant* and "ties in" in the interconnectedness of it all.)
Intuition lies in the realm of "superstition" for other types, until they, too, can open up somehow to its discovery. Students are the ones who are born most open to this--thus, theirs is the part of the spectrum of our humanness where psychic powers reside and may come through.
[As a side note: in the East, some of these powers are called "the siddhis," or "the unnecessary powers." And students of most classical Eastern approaches, are warned not to spend their energies "fooling around" with the siddhis. They are regarded, formally, as "dangerous." I have heard this advice myself from several of my own teachers. This is NOT because these exceptional experiences are not bona fide, or even because they are not learned in one Eastern enlightenment training, or another now and then. It is simply because the work in classical spiritual schools is about enlightenment and transformation--that is, learning to wake up in mindful awareness, and work on "slipping" one's egoistic self--to become "liberated," "free," "delivered," "saved," etc., on the spot, in any situation during practice . . . and as a way of life.
[Gurus, roshis, masters of Eastern approaches are concerned that enthusiastic students can become so wrapped up in the excitement of "paranormal phenomena" that they will not use their valuable time in their schools struggling to keep waking up and working on themselves more and more often. The same advice is given, by the way, in regard to the use of drugs and alcohol.]
So, no offense intended! Intuition is real. All methods cultivate it. And Students are born with a great big helping of it already. That's the point here. Students are fortunate. They sometimes recognize omens and are guided by them. They are very trusting. Their trusting openness is what makes this fortune possible.
Students are luckier than the other types. They get lucky breaks, partly because they are alert for them, partly because they deserve them, and partly because of their intuition. And when they get their chances, they try very hard to please. One of the ways they may be the luckiest is in finding the right teachers for the talents they are seeking to develop. They are the quintessential "seekers after knowledge" (cf. "Seek and ye shall find."). Some may go into monastic life in their search, especially the esoteric forms. There is an old spiritual saying that "when pupils are ready, teachers appear." (Notice that it is not the other way around!) This type bodes well for a search into esoteric understandings. As apprentices, Students have an indispensible part to play in the greatness of their teachers.
At some point in their life, however, they need to concentrate on the development of their own greatest talents. After years, the Student does take over for the teacher at the top, and even supercedes the best their teachers have done bsefore them. They like to be appreciated, and will excel for that approval. And in the end they will come out at the very top!
The greatest essential strength of Students, their openness to intuitive knowledge, if taken too far, can become their greatest vulnerability and liability in personality. They can become "believers" by habit, and even "true believers." Intuition is *not* believing. Instead of waiting for insights to come to them in intuition whenever they may happen to, Believers may go about looking for things and people to believe in. And, Believers can trust and believe much too easily! In this, they may have a habit of looking for *all* the answers outside themselves, instead of within. This is a passive and very limiting posture to adopt.
Believers can be na‘ve, and set themselves up to be disappointed, fooled, and even taken advantage of by others who recognize their vulnerabilities this way. They are *too trusting*. They are "suckers" for promises. "If you promise to take care of me, you can lead me anywhere!" They may advertise their vulnerability by "being "nervous out loud." -- "Are you sure that's true?" "Really???" "I can trust you, can't I?" "You wouldn't fool me, would you?" Believers do get lied to more than the other types. Figuring out if they can trust someone can be a daily preoccupation. Much of their unhappiness in life is brought about by painful deceptions. What they want more than anything in others is for them to tell them the truth and deliver on what they promise. Believers remember a long history of people who have "let them down," and "haven't come through."
One out of every three of us has this type as one of our three primary types. The Student/Believer is the chief personality feature of about twelve percent of any population, one out of eight of us. Believers indulge in "hero-worship." Their life might be built around having dependent security. They are looking for leaders to follow, "fanatically," rescuers to make their lives secure, and prophets to tell them what their life is going to be like. They can't wait to find the future out. Enthusiasm may turn into anxiety at any time. Believers consult astrologers and all the various popular media of divination.
Such is their hurry to be reassured about the future that they forget entirely about their own genuine intuitive abilities in the present. And in anxious situations they will place a higher value on the predictions of nearly anyone else, rather than rely on their own good advice. "What's going to happen to me?" One may see them "reading the cards" in desperation. (Most of the fortune tellers that they may pay for "readings" are Con Artists with some clever system of convincing generalizations, who actually have *less genuine intuitive ability* and *less of a "gift of prophecy"* than most of the Believers, themselves, who patronize them. That's right.)
Believers tend to have a hard time making up their own minds about things, and they compulsively turn to others for advice. "Tell me what to do." The advice that some types give them is designed to suit the aims of the advice-givers, rather than the Believers who ask for it. Believers can "play the sucker," especially to Con-Artists. The high-energy excitement and enthusiasm of their essence (this is the expansive positive emotional feeling associated with the Student) can become tightened up into nervousness, impatience, and anxiety (these are the negative emotional patterns associated with Believers). And the more they are tight with anxiety in any situation, the more vulnerable they are to be fooled. In desperate situations, they might believe *almost anything*! "Really???" "You wouldn't lie to me, would you?"
These patterns may give rise to superstition, which is the *opposite of* intuition. Students have intuition. Believers are the ones who have the most superstitions. They believe in the efficacy of "magic charms" that are sold in the stores. They are always on the look-out for new secret formulas, never heard of before, and occult rituals that have just been invented by certain self-designated "swamis" to instantly save them. They may "believe in magic" that isn't magic. The knowledge that comes to the Student through intuition can be used in making powerful choices for appropriate actions on their own. That which comes from the Believer's superstition promises salvation or healing from some designated "magical" external source alone. The recipient isn't told to do *anything* for himself or herself (except to *believe*, and to pay, of course!) Tough work on oneself isn't required by charletons. The "magic potion" will do it all. This dependency on outward sources of rescue is the Achilles' heel of this type. The secret of the balanced maintainance of one's life always lies within, and through one's own hard and sustained efforts at achieving internal growth. This is the real "secret method," called "transformative work." It is the real "magic" of spiritual, metaphysical, and shamanic trainings.
Believers may often perceive themselves as being "in distress." They may be looking impatiently to another for rescue. This is "the fair damsel in distress." -- "I trust you, so please rescue me, and don't take advantage of me" might be their message. Yet if they are obviously in a hurry, their vulnerability calls attention to itself. It can be seen when they are "running after it." They may be trembling with impatience. "I can't wait!" they might say. Is someone going to take advantage of that?
And Believers may also come across at times as being "spoiled," which invites self-justified aggression towards themselves. They may stamp their foot with impatience. They are "too deserving" to put up with this insecurity. They are "special." They are "the little prince," "the little princess." They may need "instant gratification." They might have an "anxiety attack," or "throw a tantrum" if the security or perquisites of the life they are accustomed to appear to be threatened in any way. Anxiety can be a highly aggravating, almost "toxic" vibration when they put it out upon others. It "jangles other peoples' nerves." And it may draw bitter resentment or cruel treatment, even from types who don't usually act that way. Believers may be shocked to see that they are sometimes unceremoniously "dumped" (their worst nightmare). Acting anxious and frantically clinging is probably what did it.
The Believer is the area of the spectrum of human personality where some of us are very dependent upon other people. Believers can cling. "Don't leave me!" "What's going to happen to me if you go?" They may depend on others for advice, reassurance, or their actual security, which they put first of all.
Dependent security is the stake that they have in any encounter with others. In the moment, they may only be looking for the reassurance of approval, or for advice, if not for actually being taken care of by the person they are with. They become easily attached to those who provide shelter from their anxieties. They might become "clinging vines," clutching onto those who provide their security. They could become frantic if that security is lessened or withdrawn and possibly "freak out," or maybe "swoon."
Believers will do everything they can to please certain people, so that they will continue to take care of them. Their pleasing behaviors are designed in part to make them "indispensible" to those others. Those who have no role to play in their security might be ignored completely. They will be "brushed off," as if they don't exist. Believers want to be approved of, but by the right people, the ones with authority who might actually help them.
They need repeated reassurances of approval and acceptance. "Is this good enough?" "Does this measure up?" (They may have what is called "performance anxiety.") They become anxious about things that might make them seem to be less likely to be approved of by others. They are compulsively polite, and punctual. They are neat and very groomed. These are "the slaves to fashion" (as well as being most of the actual fashion models on the runways). Miss America, and all the runners-up are almost invariably Believers. Highly patriotic, they are chosen by: "What I believe is . . ."
This is the type which--although perhaps the most physically attractive of all the types (this is most often a primary type of any person that is called "cute")--is the most anxious and upset about his or her own attractiveness at any time. It is the type most prone to diet (especially if they "don't need it"), exercise frenetically, and, sometimes, engage in eating disorders to stay thin. They feel insecure easily. Even a "little blemish" is like a loud fog-horn. For some Believers, so-called "ritual activities" may seem to be a palliative for this fast-paced life of theirs. They need lots of opportunities to let off the excess energy of enthusiam that keeps turning into anxiety. They can run, ride a bicycle, or dance for hours and hours. They may often appear nervous, or "hyper." At rare times they may seem to be "a nervous wreck," "shaking like a leaf."
One can sometimes see their nervousness and impatience in habitual gestures like hand, or foot tapping, doodling, twirling a lock of hair, a persistantly waving foot on the leg that's crossed over the other leg at the knee, "milling," that's called, squirming. They may seem "fidgety," on the edge of their chair, about to "jump out of their skin," "bursting to jump." Nervous gestures are a way of letting off little bits of the excess energy that accumulates in the muscles along the long bones of their arms and legs. This trembling, nervous energy *is* the actual "anxiety," by the way. The body needs "something to do" with the hands and the feet. They can get short of breath and become dizzy, or faint. This is what happens when their approval is put greatly at risk, or their security is dangerously threatened.
Believers can be phobic. "Take it away!!!" They can "freeze up," or "freak out." "I can't handle it!" They can "go to pieces." They *hate to be put on the spot*, which makes them become mute, unable to speak, and "docile" like startled deer caught in headlights. "Their minds go numb." They are "dumb-founded," flustered. The various phobias are almost exclusive to this type. They can be obsessive. "I can't stop!" This accounts for certain behavioral addictions like gambling and binging and purging cycles. Believers can become compulsive. "I *have to* do it!" "I can't help it." They may have to do it over and over again (cf. hand-washing, checking that doors were locked or alarms were set, setting and re-setting the table, etc.). In the extreme, they could become "the stalker:" becoming "fixated," making one person or thing more important than everything else in their whole life.
Believers are always hoping for a "lucky break," or "their big break." They imagine themselves receiving rescuing awards. Knowing they are "lucky," they are the most frequent victims of con games. They can fall into gambling, thinking that security may come that way, against all the odds. Believers, by far, are the ones who buy most of the lottery tickets. They don't read contracts carefully to be sure of the terms, and get cheated for that. They may live, habitually, by blind faith, and believe to the end that the Con Artist will take care of them and pay later.
Craving approval, Believers may employ many striking attention-getting devices. Like ingenues in the theater who are anxious that they won't get picked for a part in the play, they attract attention to themselves. They have an anxiety about being overlooked, or being forgotten. "Hey! Over here! Don't forget about me!" They may show their bodies in doing this (but with an innocence, like Marilyn Monroe--a famous example of the type).
They believe that a "knight in shining armor" will come along, or a "guardian angel." Somehow, this set of factors can lead up to situations like the "fair damsel in distress" in the old movies, getting tied down to the railroad tracks by "the villain" and needing to be rescued by "the hero." This may come from looking for help in dangerous places (when, in particular, they ought to be looking *within*).
Starting with their whole attitude of abundant enthusiasm, Student/Believers have wonderful qualities that will enable them to succeed in any of the fields they are talented in. Relying on others for dependent security has just been an innocent trap that they have fallen into because of the circumstances and habits of their years of growing up. They don't actually need security! That's just an illusion. They can succeed on their own better than most of the other personality types! That's true.
Believers (Billy Budd is a male example in literature) can become compromised and betrayed because of their innocent trust. In such cases, they may become "the fallen angel." This is mourned by all, because one sees that there is *so much good* there that is going to waste. Under the influence of all of these kinds of liabilities, a Believer may become dependent on someone who expects them to do untoward favors in return. Some, (particularly Con Artists, who play more on the na‘vet» of Believers than any of the other types) intend to take intimate advantage of their vulnerability. "You owe me now for the favors I've done for you."
Believers may be *put on the spot*. "I didn't think you'd want that!" "I'm not that kind of girl/boy!" This is what may come from telling too many people: "I need somebody to take care of me." When Con Artists come along, hearing that gives them "lots of ideas." They can think of many unprincipled commercial as well as personal benefits, if all the other person needs to solve the problem is money. (And they'll hold on to the money, too.)
Again, the biggest mistake of Believers is in not relying on *their own* brains and enthusiasm--of which they've got plenty. They are sure to succeed by using their quickness, willingness to learn, and well-tutored skills. In job interviews they can honestly say "I'm a quick study." "And I bring excitement to my work!" "I give more than a hundred percent!" They are outstanding students, and can succeed in the fields that they have studied, as much so as in the classes that they have done so well in.
The important news here is that *there is no security*, whether at the bottom or at the top of society. Getting "promises of security" from other people can't be the way. They will only deliver so long as there is the profit that they are looking for, for them! Yet, a Student's talents alone will carry every day, if they will jump into it on their own! Grab the brass ring! No one else has as much energy as Student/Believers. They are smart without being dishonest. They take pride in doing their best.
Becoming dependent on others is a trap that eventually leads to being cheated in some ways--being kept out of the action ("a bird in a gilded cage"), being passed by when the right opportunities come along (including relationship), or possibly being led astray. Or else they may simply be deprived of rising as high as they can through *their own* high-quality efforts in achieving their *personal* best.
There's nobody like Mom and Dad.
There's nobody like Mom and Dad.