Personality Type: An Owner's Manual: A Practical Guide to Understanding Yourself and Others Through Typology (Jung on the Hudson Book Series)
Product Description :
Lenore Thomson has written a book that includes the best descriptions of what the functions mean of any book I have read. -- Myers-Briggs Personality Type on the Web, April 12, 1999The theory is made clear by great stories that catch the reader's interest and imagination, and give a chuckle at the same time. -- The Enneagram and the MBTI, November 1998Thomson's type descriptions are unusually full and can be mined for information and suggestion even by seasoned practitioners. -- Bulletin of Psychological Type, Summer 1999
From the Inside Flap
As readers of "Personality Type: An Owner's Manual" will discover, despite the myriad books, monographs, and articles on the subject of psychological type, Ms. Thomson's work stands in a category of its own when it comes to originality and depth. Drawing on her strong background in such fields as psychology, literature, and popular culture, utilizing her knowledge of computer technology, and injecting a most impressive creative element in the combination of thought and image, Lenore Thomson has given us a rare gift. This book will close the door to such arguments that one need be a particular type or from a specific field to understand, appreciate, and most important, apply Jung's concept of type to one's daily life and professional activities. --Aryeh Maidenbaum, Ph.D., Director, New York Center for Jungian Studies
About the Author
Lenore Thomson, M.Div., has written extensively on theology and psychoanalysis for the past twenty-five years. Formerly managing editor of the Jungian journal Quadrant, she has taught courses on psychological types and popular culture at the C. G. Jung Foundation in New York City.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Excerpt from Chapter One, "This Door Is Not the Door" This book is for those who believe that living can be an art--a project whose outcome is ourselves, the person we are meant to be. But how does this happen? How do we become uniquely "ourselves"? Is it possible to create a life in which we are acting from our deepest values--doing the best that we know how? How do we figure out what those values are? Where do they come from? It may seem strange that these questions should even arise. Why is it so hard to figure out "who we really are"? A Chinese wisdom story addresses this question with particularly subtle insight: An evil warlord has kidnapped a young woman. In an ostensible attempt to demonstrate goodwill, he offers her a choice between two doors. One door, he tells her, leads to his garden. If she chooses that door, she may follow the path beyond it to freedom and sunlight and he will never bother her again. The other door leads to his bedroom. If she chooses that door, she must stay with him forever. Now, the young woman knows very well that the man is lying. Both doors in fact lead to the bedroom, and it doesn't matter which one she chooses. For a long time she's silent, contemplating her options. Finally, she makes her choice. She points to one of the doors and says, "This door is NOT the door that leads to the garden." Like the young woman in the story, we can't choose something that doesn't yet exist. If our potential is not being lived out, it doesn't have any external form. It's simply raw possibility. Raw possibility comes to our awareness only when we realize that something is missing. It takes our attention away from the things we already know and do and love. We usually experience this diversion of attention as a vague feeling of boredom or restlessness--the sense that our lives aren't what they could be. Sometimes this happens because circumstances have pushed us to develop traits and values that aren't consistent with our real personality. But it happens for another reason as well--to all of us. We're born with many possibilities for development, and one lifetime is too short to make the most of all of them. Thus, we usually concentrate on the ones that come easiest to us, cultivating our strengths--the possibilities that feel most "like us." When we do this, we're filled with energy and engaged with life. In the process, however, we necessarily sacrifice other possibilities, which are equally valuable and part of our human heritage. Thus, we're likely to feel that something is missing even when we've done exactly what we set out to do! We all contend with potential left behind, and it's not easy to figure out how to deal with it. For one thing, our society is relentlessly external. When we feel frustrated or dissatisfied, our first impulse is to blame our job, partner, or environment for our lack of interest. We're encouraged at every turn to solve the problem by embarking on a new career, finding a more exciting love life, or starting a hobby. Usually, however, a feeling of restlessness or dissatisfaction occurs not because our outer situation has lost its appeal but because our unexpressed potential has no other way to get our attention. If anything, our unlived possibilities claim our attention most insistently when we've built an outer life strong enough to withstand their realization. The theory of psychological types offers a kind of vocabulary for recognizing and talking about the different ways this sort of thing happens to people. It tells us how our personalities take shape, depending on the gifts and strengths we put into play, and what kinds of inner possibilities may be trying to get our attention.
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