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THE FIRST SECTION is devoted to what nature has dealt you, either through accident or design. Many feel that the time and the place of your birth, the pattern at that moment in the heavens, the shape of your body, your hands, your head, are part of a basic blueprint that you have to work with in life.
As you proceed through the different assessments you will discover how your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual characteristics entwine. For just as our body types influence our emotions, our minds and our attitudes, so the reverse is true--our ideas, ideals and unconscious strategies also mold our bodies. But remember, when exploring the various typologies in the four parts of this book, that the distinctions between body, emotion, thinking and spirituality merge and meld. Each part of the book is a gathering of similar typologies under one roof in order to highlight certain aspects of your individuality, which, in reality, remains a seamless whole.
The human family
The traditional system of racial typology on the opposite page is still widely recognized today. While the human family is in a continual state of genetic flux, and historical scientific theories about race have long been discredited, the perception of racial differences still can play a powerful role in an individual's sense of identity.
Race is one of the great dividers of peoples, especially when individuals are in a minority and thus don't match the norms of the dominant social group. In this waymany fundamental life strategies can be forced on us by our own physical appearance. So, before embarking on your quest to know who you might be, first consider your own racial heritage, paying attention to how it might differ from those of other races.
Different geographic, climatic, and material conditions have shaped the peoples of this world. A heavily built, sturdy Inuit from the Arctic would face a real physical handicap in the heat and sun of central Africa, just as a tall, lean, Ibo tribesman would suffer badly from northern cold. Yet the people of earth are increasingly nomadic, and racial types move freely from one geographic location to another. Consider how these migrations might have shaped your own sense of self, especially if you have been brought up within a minority group.
How much do you think your racial make-up has contributed to your mental, spiritual and psychological view of the world? Would you say that it has:
1. allowed you to fit easily into your social group?
2. alienated you from your peers?
3. given you a social advantage?
4. given you a social disadvantage?
5. made you feel proud to be part of your race?
6. made you feel ashamed to be part of your race?
7. helped you to become outgoing?
8. forced you to look inward?
9. allowed you to excel in a chosen occupation?
10. deprived you of an opportunity to excel?
11. allowed you to merge easily into society?
12. made you aware that you differ from the norm?
13. made you feel joyful, thankful and accepted?
14. made you feel wretched, unworthy and rejected?
15. allowed you to fit in wherever you go?
16. forced you to join like-minded exiles?
17. made you feel superior in a different country?
18. made you feel inferior in a different country?
19. made you feel attractive to other races?
20. made you feel unattractive to other races?
21. made little difference to how you are?
22. made all the difference to how you are?
23. made you glad you were born as you are?
24. made you wish you were of some other race?
Key: The questions are designed to test whether you are comfortable with yourself as you are, or whether you have some doubts as to your intrinsic worth. If you answer "yes" to 9 or more odd numbered question it suggests you are confident and find your race no obstacle. If you answer "yes" to 9 or more even numbered question it suggests you feel unaccepted and even unacceptable to others within your society.
There have been many attempts throughout history to classify human body types. In the 1940s Harvard psychologist William Sheldon' formulated a system based on three distinct "ingredients" which he believed were to be found in every human body.
Sheldon detected three body types as the most extreme morphological departures from the average. Each seemed to be made of an intrinsically different "substance" from the other two. He named these types endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph, after the endodermal, mesodermal and ectodermal layers found within embryonic development. He suggested that these three discrete constituents were the building blocks of the body. Each of us is built in varying proportions of all three. When one component becomes dominant it creates the extremes we see below, on the left for males and on the right for females. However, most of us have a roughly even mix.
These types are easily recognized in myth and legend. The fat, jolly innkeeper, the muscular hero and the tall, lean wizard are time-honored archetypes, as are the plump, rosy-cheeked baker's wife, the athletic heroine and the thin, wicked aunt.
The three body types shown below are the most extreme variants for both men and women. Read the descriptions of each and choose the two that are least like you. The remaining type is most likely to be your own.
Soft roundness over all the body and skin. Organs and digestive functions tend to dominate the body economy. Stores easily gained fat around the abdomen. Endomorphs have the smallest surface area relative to their mass, giving the least sensory exposure to external stimuli, and the smallest central nervous system, signifying less overall sensitivity. Their legs are often shorter than the torso and they have a heavy bone structure.
Oriented toward imbibing the outside world.
· soft body, smooth skin
· underdeveloped muscles
· rounded shape
· overdeveloped digestive system
· difficulty in losing weight
Hard, heavy rectangularity with a greater thickness of skin. The muscles, boners and connective tissues tend to dominate the body economy. Usually of medium height with developed shoulders.
Although the surface area relative to mass gives an average sensory exposure, thicker skin and connective tissue allows a greater tolerance to extreme conditions, but insensitivity can be a trait.
Oriented toward action.
· hard, muscular body
· overly mature appearance
· rectangular shape
· thick skin
· upright posture
Linearity, fragility, and sensitivity in the body. Tall and thin with long legs in proportion to torso. The central nervous system tends to dominate the body economy.
A larger surface area relative to mass gives the greatest sensory exposure to external stimuli. Ectomorphs have the largest brains and central nervous systems, making them both sensitive and nervous. Oriented toward interiority.
· thin and often tall, flat chest
· delicate and lightly muscled build
· youthful appearance
· large cranium in proportion to body
Body ~ mind type
There has been a persistent tradition that the physical shape of a man or woman corresponds to his, or her, personality. Sheldon suggested that the three body types (see the previous assessment) were directly associated with particular characteristics of the personality.
His method to designate a person's body-mind type was based on a numerical system. The number 1 was assigned to the least degree a component was exhibited, and 7 to a maximum manifestation, with 4 being halfway. Each individual could then be described by three numerals, denoting the proportion for each component. Thus, reading left to right as endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph, 117 would describe a physical type where the dominant strain would be ectomorphy with a minimum score for the other two. A number 444 would describe an individual at the mid-point of all scales.
Read the descriptions and choose the type that corresponds most to you. Then construct your designated number. For example, are you essentially an endomorph with a persuasion toward mesomorphy but no ectomorphic traits (531), a dominant ectomorph (117), of a mesomorph who has equal amounts of the other two (252)?
Amiable and easy-going expression.
Earthy, unhurried, deliberate, predictable, amiable, warm, generous, heavy, gluttonous, relaxed, habitual, realist, practical and with a tenacious grip on the phenomenal world.
This is a person centered in the gut with a primary desire to assimilate the phenomenal and merge with it. As endomorphs live to eat, there is an inbuilt tendency to grow heavy if there is insufficient exercise. A need for confirmation of the tangible and the physical world is combined with an excellent spatial awareness and orientation.
Love of food · tolerant · evenness of emotions love of comfort · sociable · good humored relaxed · need for affection · slow to anger
Appears open, powerful and guileless.
The mesomorph craves vigorous action and a desire to control both the environment and others. They make great leaders and conquerors and love the challenge of overcoming obstacles, especially through physical hardship. Muscular and energetic, even as infants, self-assertive, dynamic, and at times aggressive, mesomorphs often lack introspective insight, preferring to think in well-ordered and time-honored ways. They rarely change their ideas. They eat in order to move and take delight in athletics and most other sports.
adventurous · desire for power and dominance courageous indifference to others' demands assertive · bold · zest for physical activity competitive
Appears lean and hungry-looking.
Often over-sensitive (perhaps from the relative predominance of exposed surface skin to body mass).
High nervous energy, finds it difficult to relax, acutely attentive, cerebral, intense, inhibited about the body and personal feelings. Sleeps lightly, sees physical action as secondary to an awareness of internal tension and sensitivity. Finds it difficult to harmonize body and mind and tends to be split. An ectomorph eats in order to live.
self-conscious · preference for privacy introverted · inhibited · socially anxious artistic · mentally intense · emotionally restrained
G ~ Factor type
Gynandromorphy is a term coined by a group of Italian clinical anthropologists to signify bisexuality. Every human body begins life essentially as a female, and the dominant sex becomes apparent as the embryo develops. So we all have both male and female sexualities within us. Ordinarily one set of sexual characteristics is dominant and functional, but in most bodies there appear to be traces of what might be termed secondary traits of the other sex.
A man with a high "G-index" has distinctive feminine traits, while a female with a high "G-index" will be conspicuously masculine.
Many people with high G-indexes often feel confused by their bisexuality, which can exclude them from their more conventional peer group activity. Yet it would appear that a very low G-index--in which a man is all man, a woman all woman--is just as rare as a high one.
Although the media brainwash us to accept the all-male and all-female models as being the norm, it appears that these archetypes are far less common than supposed.
This assessment is one of the most delicate to make since our society remains traditional in its view of an ideal man or woman. Also, many of the descriptions could equally be of people who are either under- or overweight. However, there are usually, clear indications of bisexuality if you are honest in your observations. Often, the very reasons certain people are attractive or have charm and charisma are due to a unique blend of male and female characteristics. This is especially so in behavioral traits in which a man might be nurturing and gentle and a woman strong and athletic.
A low index suggests that you have virtually, no characteristics usually attributed to the opposite sex while a high index denotes a strong element of the opposite gender.
Score yourself between 1 (low G-index) and 7 (high G-index).
If you feel that this inherited factor has created a psychological problem for you, keep the score as a reference and mark it on the unstable axis of the mandala in Assessment 35 at the end of this section.
High g-index in a female
Masculine facial features--harder, thicker and angular.
Rectangular shoulders, and strong arms, relatively long compared with the legs.
Bones are large and developed.
Narrow hips. The ribcage is wider, and the buttocks and lower abdomen are muscular. Low waist.
Abundance of secondary hair, less pubic hair.
Hardness and thickening of the subcutaneous quality of the whole body.
Little breast formation.
Muscularity of thighs and lower leg.
Square- or wedge-shaped body.
High g-index in a male
Feminine facial features--softer, rounder, smaller.
Long eyelashes are a conspicuous feature.
Slightly rounded shoulders, relative weakness of arms. The bones are often small, the arms underdeveloped compared with the legs.
Wide hips. The ribcage is narrower. There is a fullness and rounding of the buttocks and lower abdomen. High waist.
Sparsity of secondary hair, fuller pubic hair.
Softness of the subcutaneous quality of the whole body. Presence of breast formation.
Prominence of outer curve of thighs and inner curve of lower leg.
Hourglass- or pear-shaped body.