Asperger's to ADD. Autism to OCD. Ever wonder how these folks think? The answer? They think just like we do, only more intensely. This series of six articles introduces the four Emergence Decision Trees, the four patterns within human nature with which we make our decisions. Not why we make them. But how we make them. Do you know which pattern drives your decisions?
"How" (not "Why") Do We Make Our Choices?
Almost everyone questions, at one time or another, why they make the decisions they make. Have you ever wondered, for instance, why you chose to eat what you ate this morning or what made your spouse decide to clean the car today?
We all make decisions. Each and every day. And we frequently ask ourselves why we make these decisions.
Few of us ever question "how" we make these decisions though.
"How," not "why?" Am I being confusing? What I'm saying is this. We all try to understand the reasons for what we do. This "knowing why we do what we do," in fact, is one of the more significant drives in human personality. Few of us, however, seem interested in uncovering the patterns beneath "how" we come to these reasons, the formula by which we make our decisions. For instance, by what method do you analyze the possibilities from which you decide to eat what you eat? And what makes you believe this particular method is logical? Or even useful?
Again, I am not referring to "why" we chose to do these things; the "reasons" for what we ate, for instance. I am instead referring to how we processed the possibilities, the basic pattern by which we assembled these facts into a cohesive list of choices.
It turns out there are four basic patterns in human personality by which we humans process the possibilities. I call these four patterns, the Four Emergence Decision Trees.
Why "trees?" Well, for one thing. because "trees" are the most commonly used metaphor when referring to decisions. I guess this is because if we imagine a tree upside down, our thinking patterns somewhat resemble the branching. And this is true. We all do have this tendency in us, which, if overdone, gets us lost.
In a sense, then, if we climb too high up into the tree, we get lost in the branches; meaning, we get lost in trying to process too many facts. Moreover, we've all done this at one time or another.
So why am titling this article, "Asperger's to ADD, Autism to OCD" though?
Well, if you have read any of my articles on these four conditions, you know that I have made a strong case for that they are all simply an exaggerated instance of what is a normal part of all of us; the four Social Priorities. Comfort (Autism); Neatness (OCD); Understanding (Asperger's); and Freedom (ADD). In addition, several years of testing now confirms this as being true. More important, it turns out that knowing your Social Priorities is quite useful in that, if you know your Social Priorities, you can potentially guide yourself in everything from your career choices and education methods to how you respond to your injuries and to the injuries of others.
So what do we gain from knowing the four Decision Tree patterns?
To be honest, we Emergence Practitioners are too earlier in the discovery process to offer a comprehensive answer. What I can say is this. Preliminary work in talk therapy situations has shown, we can potentially alter the course of all four diseases. For instance, in the case of Asperger's, I have used paper Decisions Tree worksheets to help several adults learn to visually recognize where they get stuck. In other words, they have learned to literally picture their thinking process. And change it.
I have also done this same thing with a number of people who have the ADD pattern. In every case, they were amazed by how literally the pattern matched their thinking process.
Please know, I am not referring simply to having taught these folks some after-the-fact way of cognitively analyzing their thinking processes. Rather, I am referring to their having learned to make real, genuinely conscious choices, choices which have altered their very lives.
So what actually changes in these people? What emerges?
They learn to see the visual-to-experiential pattern of their thinking. In other words, they internalize a visual model for how they process their thoughts. Including the thought patterns which feel best to them and those that get them lost.
And how do these people use this visual-to-experiential pattern?
They use it to consciously guide themselves in pretty much everything they do, from deciding what to eat and what to wear, to deciding who and how they want to relate to others. Exciting, to say the least.
In a sense, I guess you could call this knowledge, a "cognitive" therapy. However, unlike normal cognitive interventions which require ongoing will power and attention, these interventions require no ongoing maintenance nor will power. Why? Because like all emergences, these "aha's" permanently alter peoples' ability to visualize some portion of their personality.
So am I saying people can heal these conditions?
Again, it is too soon to know for sure. But it looks possible.
What is certain at this point is that these four Decision Trees can potentially better the lives of every one who suffers with one of these four conditions. And the lives of everyone who loves someone with one of these four conditions. How? Simply by making them aware, in real time, of how they make their decisions. And how they fail to make them. Not why. But how.
Interested? I certainly am. In fact, this interest is what is prompting me to write this article. Hopefully, we'll both make some new discoveries along the way.
As for where we'll begin, we'll begin with a brief look at the Four Decision Trees in the diagram you see below.
The Four Decision Trees
You can start by noticing how each decision tree is comprised of the same four processes, each simply arranged in a different order. Thus, within each tree, there is a  Precision process,  a Correction process,  a Digression process,  and a Bluntness process.
What are these processes like? Let's start with the Precision process.
When you are in the Precision process, you focus on seeing the beauty in perfection. And while the word "perfection" is an exaggeration, at the same time, it is pretty much on the mark in that, we see beauty in things largely based on how perfectly balanced they are. Even within ourselves. Which is probably a big part of what attracts many people to spiritual practices. Which brings us to the process in which we try to attain this perfection, the Correction process; truly a potentially spiritual process.
What happens in the Correction process? Here, we focus on what is imperfect and on how we can correct what we are seeing so as to make it perfect. Of course, a big part of what drives us to do this is the desire to learn to find the beauty in imperfect things. Like ourselves.
In a way, though, what happens is, Precision represents our ideals, and Correction, how we intend to get there. Correction, then, in its ideal form, is really the combination of seeing what prevents us from being spiritually perfect. And physically perfect.
The down side of course is that most of us not only fail to see the beauty in imperfection. We blame when we see it. Which is the part of the Correction which makes it hurt so badly. And why most of us hate being "corrected." At least, by blaming people. Which often includes ourselves if we are so inclined.
The third process, then, is the Digression process. Ideally, here, we would focus on the beauty in diversity. Unfortunately, because we, by nature, have some pretty serious limits as to how many things we can do at one time, we often feel pretty bad while in this particular process. Why? Because we can often take on more than we can handle, sort of like what would happen to us if we were to climb too high up into a tree. You know. Get ourselves "out on a limb" and all that.
In reality, we do this only because we want to be comprehensive. And this is a good thing. But because of our limits, and because we have an inability to see ourselves approaching these limits, we often exceed these limits. And get ourselves into trouble.
What I'm saying is, we enter the Digression process wanting to be certain we won't miss any important part of the decision. A good thing, to be sure. However, in the course of gathering data as to what we need to correct, we branch out too far, and forget why we went there in the first place. We went there wanting to perfect something. In the course of this, we forgot this and instead, tried to perfect our searching process.
No one searches perfectly. No human, anyway. And when we try to search perfectly, we digress. Which gets us lost. This, then, is the third process, the Digression process.
Finally, the fourth process is the Bluntness process. Here, we focus on escaping from the Digression process. Why? Because by digressing, we get lost. And because getting lost feels painful. Very painful, at times.
This pain then leads us to feel very frustrated and angry. At which point, we make efforts to burst out of this frustration, most of them rather rude and abrupt.
"Stop!" we shout. "Let me out of here!" we beg. This is the nature of the Bluntness process.
Precision. Correction. Digression. And Bluntness. The four processing patterns which exist within every human mind.
Some would now ask, but aren't there others? The truth? Not really. And to understand why, we'll need to digress into a bit of our personality theory, The Layers of Aloneness. And for those at all familiar with it, you'll be interested to know that these four Decision Trees comprise the third of the four levels of Layer Seven, the Layer of Need. Thus, the four levels are,  "Character Type,"  "Social Priority,"  "Decision Tree Type," and  "Gender Identity." These four levels are the four successive developments which occur in us during the formation of Layer Seven. End digression.
So how do these four Decision Trees play out in peoples' personalities? To see, let's start with the upper most pattern in the diagram, the Asperger's Decision Tree. We'll explore this pattern in the next article of the series.