Classifying

File:Cezanne Harlequin.JPGHow is it going, this journey through blogging, “a witnessed place from which to process and make sense of the multi-varianced complexities of [my] experiences” as Beth put it for herself- I could not put it better.

I realised years ago that

I lie to myself

 in order to see myself as a good person

because who I was, certainly was not. Over this year I have seen so much more of myself. I would not have seen myself as an introvert, really, until now, but a friend did- obvious, really, except to me. And I read that ours is a society valuing extraversion, perhaps from having extraverted kings in the past.

I glimpse my reality, I see it more clearly, I see it and realise it, and through all that process I have to value it-

this is who I am,

this is a good way to be

as it is because of not valuing my real self that I have tried to deny who I am- blocked out of consciousness as a self-protection mechanism- until I do not know what I want. I cannot perceive it-

Oh.

Oh, right.

Mmm. Email from said friend, just as I am writing this: “I don’t think you are an introvert- but people who have been through a lot of trauma as you have have a similar way of responding”.

Ha! Having found a name for a characteristic, a way of classifying, I have it challenged. And indeed she had said that she did not think her thoughts on introversion exactly relevant, “but the withdrawal pattern is the same”.

File:Amandus Faure Artistin und Pierrot.jpgAnd I told J that my work is self-acceptance, and she replied, “Yeah, I have my own version of that. I’m always hoping for the day I open my journal (which is all about working through my shit), and say, ‘Nope. I got nothing. All those lessons I keep having to learn over and over again? Done’.” Indeed. Perhaps an end to this is never possible, but I hope I am moving forward in some way.

Always we begin again.

The purpose of all this is to function better and achieve aims.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Clowning workshop. We played Zip Zap Boing and the counting game: in a group of ten, we attempt to count to twenty, but if two people speak at the same time we go back to one. It works. Then we walked around, making eye contact or not, and then made a caricature of our own walk, something idiosyncratic, not the entirety of us but a part, exaggerated. Then we developed this into a clown character. Already that Sunday I have climbed the Eucalyptus tree, with its branches sticking out like a ladder, and now I stand, taking in the pine, looking at just one leaf: there is just me, and it- or We.

A simple task: we have to guess a mime. The audience choose it without my knowing, and I mime and play until I guess what it is: as I get closer, they clap. I got nowhere near, but made a little eye contact, then danced about, then noticed the tree again and stood absorbed in it. This is the state of No-mind, spontaneously responding out of body and feeling in the moment, without words. My strength is in classifying, and I want to do more of this.

Extravert/ introvert

Robin Robertson asserts that after reading his account “The reader should be able to say with some confidence whether he or she is an introvert or an extravert, and probably be able to identify the attitudes of many others who are significant”. I can’t, actually. I don’t have a clue. Have I understood?

One type of person instinctively draws back when the world approaches him or her, another instinctively reaches out toward the world… Though we are all able to pick either of the two approaches when the situation demands it, we vastly prefer one or the other.

Extraverts may be unaware of their inner world. They can never get enough experience of the outer world to satisfy them.

Introverts prefer their own company. They are more interested in their inner world than the outer world. They need to know the Rules before they may function comfortably in the outer world.

The “inferior function”- extraversion in an introvert, and vice versa- is our gateway to the unconscious, the source of everything which is magical and wonderful in life. It has all the energy which has been diverted to the unconscious whenever consciousness was unable to deal with something.

-A paraphrase of Robin Robertson.

So, which might I be? I love to perform, and I have always loved to perform, and here I am, secluded away in my living room most of the time, in my solitary pursuits. My physical exercise is either solitary- cycling and walking- or individual in karate. I need the company of others, though less so than when younger. A balance of both, as Robertson says: a few are at the edge of the bell-curve, but most are a mixture, though with a stronger or weaker preference to one or the other.

It is what he says about the “inferior function” which makes me think I am introverted. Picture us hippies away at camp, “making community”, a nice, safe space where we may be happy with our own kind of people. Tim brought us into an Awareness of the world, which I named Presence to myself, and have sought since. That complete sense of being in the outer world and shutting off the Monkey Mind seemed like a spiritual way of being. That would make me introverted, but extraversion, when I access it, is my way into the Unconscious.

Freud saw introverts as narcissistic. Jung, with more sympathy for both, realised that narcissism exists, but not everyone who spends as much time navel-gazing as I do is narcissistic: they may simply be introverted. That is a relief. Narcissism is Bad, and I am pleased to be absolved from its taint. And all the introspection I have done has been necessary to my self-discovery and self-acceptance, and to address the question of what sex I am. I have not found that question as easy as most people do. This is particularly introvert: in a conversation, I had to remind myself- ‘Andrew is talking about his stuff now. This is the time I ought to Listen.’