Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A psychology of transformation

I had a conversation with my priest tonight, Mother Rita, www.motherritasmusings.blogspot.com, we talked about my frustration in talking with psychologists and others whereby my personality type, ENFP on the Myers-Briggs scale, was used repeatedly to explain all manners of my behavior. Now it is my experience, and reading of many mystcs, Christian, Zen, and Vedanta, that the personality is a shell, a narrow tube which we mediate experience through. A relationship with God has a way of transforming that narrow view. Spirituality is always a process of unlearning the narrowness that our conditioning and ourselves have set upon us. I invite any comments...


Chez Bleu Maison said...
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Chez Bleu Maison said...

My dear,
I find it interesting that you are an ENFP and I am an ISTJ. We are so similar in thought and mind that it seems surprising to have the M-B come out so very differently. The real test of a personality is how it responds to God's voice. Certainly, Peter and John responded differently. One could spend a lifetime marveling at the response to the voice at different times in our lives especially as it relates to the layers that maturing brings to us. Question: As we mature in the Lord, do we peel away layers like an onion or do we add layers like the fruit of the Spirit?

Anne said...

I, too, am an ENFP--no wonder I love listening to you. Well at least 30 years ago I came out an ENFP and that lable has never been removed. I suspect that age and experience may have altered the profile. However, my friend John a M-B expert, trained and certified, contends it never changes. I have taken the interior stance that they can think what they want, it matters not to me. I will just be who I am at the moment I am in. However, I admit to unease at times when with John because I suspect him of judging me against that profile of long ago. It just puzzles him when I act against type. More often he rationalizes the action into the type. Isn't the personality an expression of the ego? If that is true, then as we connect with God and release the ties to the ego the personality will alter, and that is where I believe that we are to direct our energy. BUT remember not to confuse spirituality and the organized church. I am not convinced that "the church" has been able to marry the process of entering the ordained clergy with the process of growing spiritually strong people.
Courage to you as you walk the line of spiritual truth and growth and attempt to join the ranks of ordained clergy. God will be with you and I believe will never let you be irreparably harmed.

Unknown said...

I think, through experiences in mediatation and contemplative prayer that the personality is stripped away. This seems to happen in the momoent of meditation. In the meantime, though, in daily life it seems that God has a way of setting our personality aflame, in a good way. This allows us to develop that noisy part of our spirits: the prophetic call to Justice.

And, Anne, if only the priesthood could positively grow spiritually mature people...we can dream.