This article describes the four personality scales used in the Layers of Aloneness personality theory; aloneness, urges, insight, and evidence. These scales also show how the Layers connect aloneness to human nature.
What follows is a brief explanation of four personality scales used in the Layers of Aloneness drawings. Each scale is a way to see how aloneness affects a part of human nature.
What parts of human nature do these four scales describe?
For each layer, these four personality scales describe:
First the Aloneness / Connectedness scale.
the First Scale: Aloneness / Connectedness(how alone people feel)
The first Layers of Aloneness scale is made up of two opposing, vertical, orange-to-red arrows. These two arrows represent the degree to which people are aware of their aloneness.
Why do these two arrows point in opposite directions?
The upper arrow represents the direction human nature ordinarily takes us in as we try to deal with our aloneness; we de-personalize our lives in order to avoid feeling it.
In other words, it is simply in our natures to talk about our aloneness in more and more vague and generalized terms so as to feel it less and less. In fact, taken to its limit, we end up totally detached from our experiences of aloneness and so, feel no aloneness at all.
And the lower arrow?
The lower arrow represents the direction human nature takes us when we connect to someone else. When we do, we tend to move inward towards feeling more and more “connected,” at first, to each other, and ultimately, to what is divine.
Finally, notice how these two arrows point with regard to the oval layers themselves.
The outward pointing arrow points toward the outer layers of our personalities, where we ultimately feel no aloneness because we become totally detached from it. The inward pointing arrow then, points toward the deepest parts of ourselves; in essence, toward the beginnings or our lives. Here too, taken to its limit, we feel no aloneness. However, here, we feel no aloneness because we are not alone. We are consciously connected to another or to the divine.
the Second Scale: Inner Self / Outer Self(what kinds of urges people feel)
The second Layers of Aloneness personality scale is represented by a vertical dashed-orange line, which divides peoples’ urges into two categories.
To the left of the line are their inner urges (their primary, internal responses), and to the right of the line are their outer urges (their primary urges to act on their inner urges.)
In other words, what is written to the left of the dashed orange line are peoples’ inner urges; their Experiential Urges; their primary, internal reactions to life experiences; (inner life.) And what is written to the right of the dashed orange line are peoples’ outer urges; their Behavioral Urges; their primary, external reactions to their inner life experiences.
Please note, these things are “urges,” not actions. Thus, people can feel anything from mild interests to full fledged compulsions, but neither implies they will act on these urges.
Also, please note the direction of the red-striped arrow: It points right. This indicates that external urges (urges to act) follow internal urges (experiential urges.)
Does this order ever change?
No. However, there are times wherein the order is difficult to determine.
What difference does this order make anyway?
It determines where to start the healing process, the learning process, the forgiveness process, and so on.
With the person’s nature, not the person’s behavior.
So is there a point to reversing this focus?
Yes. Whenever people need to do “damage control” rather than healing.
the Third Scale: Outsight / Insight(how personally insightful people are)
The third Layers of Aloneness personality scale is represented by a vertical white, up-pointing arrow. This scale is a measure of how aloneness affects peoples’ abilities to be personally insightful.
Please note my emphasis on the word “personally.” Why? Because it is human nature to strive to become more impersonally insightful, which is just to say, we tend toward becoming more philosophically insightful.
What makes us do this? Very simply, we do this because it hurts less. In other words, human nature is such that it is normal for us to look for philosophical, psychological, political and or religious generalizations about ourselves. At the same time, it goes against our natures to search within ourselves for personal insights.
Of course, people can and often do override this bias.
What creates this bias away from personal insights and toward impersonal insights, which I am here calling, “outsights?”
Our built-in bias toward resolving the pain of “aloneness.”
By looking more and more away from ourselves and out toward humanity at large. Thus, in general, the more we group our experiences in with others, the less we personally experience our aloneness. Conversely, the more we look inward at our personal experiences of aloneness, the more we experience this aloneness. And the pain it causes us.
As for the scale itself, people experience the most personal insight when they are in the inner most layer, layer 10. Conversely, people experience the least personal insight when they are in the outer most layer, layer 1.
Finally, please know, this scale in not meant to indicate that “Outsight” is bad or less desirable than “Insight.” It simple shows the connection between aloneness and where we focus as people.
the Fourth Scale: Empirical / non Empirical Theories(what kind of evidence is there for the layer)
The fourth Layers of Aloneness personality scale is represented by a horizontal dashed-blue line which divides theories on personality into two categories. Above this line are the parts of these theories which are empirically based (the parts based on facts), and below this line are the parts of these theories which are non-empirically based (the parts based on personal metaphors.
What makes this so important? The idea that many theorists base their theories on metaphor rather than on fact. For instance, most people now speak as if there actually were a personal metaphor called the “unconscious.”
Not really. In fact, if you were to substitute the metaphor which preceded it, the “devil,” for the “unconscious,” you’d be surprised at how many times these two made up “characters” sound alike.
What is different here?
The idea that nine out of the ten layers are empirically based, meaning, they are based on observable facts. For instance, the Layers of Aloneness states that Layer 6, “Blocks,” is the source of all injury.
What is empirical?
“Blocks” are reliable and observable information. Thus, regardless of what the symptoms and or painful events, people will always experience a selective inability to picture of the screens of their minds.
Likewise Layer 8, “aloneness.” Thus, all people will experience an observable “still point” when approaching and leaving Layers 9 and 10 (“connections.”) And all people who experience the sequence of Layer 9 then 8 will experience a character based “need” (Layer 7).