APRIL 25, 2016


Individualist, that's what came up for me in a personality test I took today, a system that sorts people out into nine basic personality types. It's popularly called the Enneagram and has been around in its modern form since the 60's. Most people looking at it would likely call it just more craziness and scientific types would be quick to point out that there is no scientific proof of its validity, which strikes me as a point in its favor.


In any case, if you were curious you could search out the Enneagram Institute and go from there. They have a short online test you can take for free in maybe ten minutes just to see what turns up for you. I wasn't surprised by mine, tho maybe surprised that it was recognized as a type. Perhaps the one characteristic shared most by people in this category is the feeling that they are unlike anyone else, which can be both good and bad as it works out. I intend to follow this out further.


A few of the other people who are listed in this category would be Miles Davis, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, J D Salinger, Hank Williams, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Amy Winehouse, Marlon Brando, Jackie Kennedy, and the late Prince. There are more, not all of whom would have enjoyed sitting down with each other, but all being basically of an artistic bent with a romantic twist to how they saw life. Okay, I'm not rich and famous, don't think I want to be, but I'm in good company here from my perspective. I know there are many who would say, mothers, don't let your kids grow up like this.


I got to thinking as I was poking around this afternoon, this sounds like Janis Joplin. So I did a search and she did indeed turn up in other lists of notable examples of Individualists according to this particular scheme. The more I think about Janis, the more I think she typified this personality and led the way for its modern manifestation. If anything she was driven to encourage people, especially young people, to be themselves, to express themselves authentically. That was radical, revolutionary thought back in the 60's. It came to be called counter cultural, which is exactly what it was. Authenticity is playing a big part in the current American presidential drama.


The postwar culture of the 50's was based on conformity. I remember being called a non-conformist in high school as if this was a very bad thing to be. In many ways conformity was the best practical solution to a successful society, especially if you were white and middle class, but it was not good for the progression and spiritual growth of the human race. It was a good, often necessary, survival mechanism to get us to the point we had reached with Dwight Eisenhower at the helm of a prosperous and successful culture. The price we were paying was suppression of individuality. This was a time when if you hadn't gotten a hair cut in three weeks, there were plenty of people to point this out, even people your own age.


Times change, whether we go along or oppose. Eisenhower and his balanced budget were replaced by John Kennedy, representing the wave of the future. This was not allowed by the powers that be, but the 60's happened anyway. We're still waiting to see just how this all turns out. It may be unstoppable but the jury is still out. Janis paid the price along with JFK and a lot of other people, some of whom died, some acted like narcissistic idiots, some survived to try and find a better way.


It's all still going on today as best I can sort out. I do think we've got a better handle on things than we did back in the 60's when we were more or less winging it, and while it made a difference, it didn't turn things around. Those things just might be turning around today, at least I have hopes for the first time in a very long time. It's too early to tell for sure, but there are many indications lurking under and behind the news programming that a tide is turning, a big one.


Possibly wishful thinking. Still and all, there's a lot of shuffling going on world wide, and indications that the 1% are getting nervous or worse. Good. It's hard to tell who's who and which side everyone is on, even if you have a program, but it does look like things may be coming to a head finally. Well, that's what we thought back in the 60's and we see how that turned out.


Actually it didn't turn out all that bad in retrospect. Yes, a lot of stupid people did a lot of stupid things, but that's the price you pay for being part of humanity on Planet Earth. A stupid and tragic war that no one has ever been able to justify came to an end. People of color were given a fighting chance to bust out of the ghetto for those able to take advantage of it, certainly not all. The powers that be who were on the verge of establishing total central control were pushed back on their heels and had to regroup. You no longer had to get a haircut every three weeks.


I wasn't surprised when the 60's petered out in the 70's. You might call it cynicism, I would prefer to call it being realistic. But that spirit never died, and I'm not just talking about the occasional old hippie you might run into. There has been a gradual and ongoing spiritual growth in the human race since then, and it is poking up today all over the world like spring flowers. Young people have their own idiots but I have great hope.


One way of looking at things is to see ongoing events happening in ages, which last more or less two thousand years, and which can be subdivided into 500 year segments. Whether or not this can be proved scientifically is beside the point. Whatever your opinion and relation to Jesus of Nazareth, his brief stay on this planet two thousand years ago marked the beginning of once such age.


We may be witnessing the beginning of another, emphasis on "may". There seem to be an astounding number of extraordinary events coming together these days if you keep track of things beyond what the 1% want you to think and believe. Of course the main thing they would like you to think and believe is that all is normal, things are going to keep on happening just as they have for thousands of years, work hard and save your money, everything is going to be all right, nothing to look at here, keep moving, this is the best of all possible worlds, have you checked out what's on TV tonight?


I bought another poster of Janis Joplin and put it up in my living room. Yeah, I know, that's a little weird, an old man living by himself with a picture of some chick from the 60's. It's a picture of a happy woman, something I find a rarity these days, certainly in my life, and yes, I know that Janis was not always happy. Still, there it is. You can stop by and see it for yourself. It comforts me as I observe the ongoing turmoil in the world, even as I know that if by some extreme stretch of the imagination she were here alive today sharing this house for real instead of by poster, I would probably be more stressed out than by my old dog and old cat.


I send blessings her way and trust that she is a lot hipper to what is really important today than when she was young and fine and captivating crowds and shooting up to make it thru the night. This life is not easy. I'm thinking it may be coming to a head but I could be wrong. That personality type of Individualist tend to think in terms of being here on Earth for some particular reason that only they can take care of. Weird, I know. It more or less sums up my feelings but I'm waiting to see just how this all plays out. Quite possibly I could be out to lunch.