Session 8a - Temperament affects love & marriage Sang & Chol
Transcription of session 8 – Human temperaments, research interview conducted by Miss Sleeping Beauty. Interviewee: Merlin.
Sleeping Beauty (SB): “Good Morning Merlin, please can we confirm that you are aware your session is being recorded for research purposes?”
Merlin: “Morning, Miss Beauty, yes, we can.”
SB: “Perfect. Thanks. Now I realise that you are in a hurry to get back to the Land of Far Far Away and continue your work with Snow White, so I shall try and keep this brief.”
Merlin: “Thank-you, I’d appreciate that, but I’m more than happy to share my wisdom. Snow White thought my insight would be of value as part of your research on love and marriage. She mentioned that you had queries after Cupid’s interview.”
SB: “Ah yes, so pleased she gave you a bit of background information. It all started with the whole “happily ever after” ending that children receive when parents read them our stories. Looking at our realities versus their perceptions and creation of alternate realities for us, or rather telling incomplete stories, left me with a desire to find some truth in the matter as to what love is and the truth in the stories being told about us. Will they end happily? Can they be truthful if they are incomplete? Is it better to simply tell children that all ends perfectly, when we don’t know how it ends, or if there even is an end? Or is it better to update the stories continually as they unfold in truth, so children have real knowledge and are able to learn the realities of “love” and the distorted concepts of it? Is it possible to find a truth in the variety of stories and conceptualisations out there? How do different people perceive aspects of love, marriage, life etc? Is it all a way to joy, or just an illusion? My questions are all over the place right now and I really do need to start getting some point of focus, but I don’t know where to begin.
All I seem to have found out so far is that discussing one aspect of love simply opens doors to other aspects that need consideration. Therefore, my verdict thus far, and all I think I’m going to come up with, is that love, life, marriage and stories require a lot of work!
I asked Snow White about your expertise because Cupid mentioned the Four Temperaments of personality and in my research I found that these have been developed from 3000 odd years ago where Proverbs is noted to say that the wise man saw four kinds of people (30v11-14), although I didn’t find those verses to be a link to the temperaments at all. Those verses seem to me to link to individual faults, thus I’m not buying the writer’s perspective. Further to this, research claims that Hippocrates gave the temperaments their names and then in 200AD Galen, a Greek doctor, wrote a list of strengths and weaknesses to go with each temperament. Basically, seeing as you’ve been around for millennia, and have observed so much of human nature, I’d love to hear your take on the temperaments.”
Merlin: “Well, you seem to have covered the origins quite well. Hippocrates was truly a great thinker and I still use a lot of his writings today. I think the best way to work through the temperaments is in a simple lecture style. I’ve presented the temperaments in lecture format on many occasions to the Hogwart’s graduate classes. I think their so-called ‘Muggles’ would be better off listening to the content, but an old dodger like me would probably have them staring more than listening! I’d have to get into a “Night at the Museum Movie” for any of them to pay attention.
Oh well, let’s see. After Galen there was Freud and his spin, then the Norwegian theologian Ole Hallesby threw in a different take and then Tim LaHaye developed Hallesby’s concepts to create what he called the ‘blend’s of temperaments. In other words, no-one only fits with one temperament. We all possess varying degrees of 2, 3 or all of the temperaments. Then, of course, there are the effects of ill health, parents, background, upbringing, educational level, varying faith-approaches and the like. In other words, it’s no exact science. It’s merely a way for human beings to understand themselves, each other and why they do things the way they do. The temperament approach works by way of category, because people love categories, they love being able to put something in a box. The truth is though, and I don’t expect anyone to believe me, that there are no boxes at all. No one is the same as anyone else, that’s impossible. So a big problem when people apply the temperament theory to love is that with love people don’t realise or accept that it’s already inside them to love and that they are already loved. This could then also mean that the temperament theory could be used as a categorical excuse not to love. For example, Melancholies are seen as the least likely to get married, so that would be an excuse in a way, not to get married, I’ll explain more later. Overall, people seldom seem to be able to accept everyone’s uniqueness; they want boxes, comparatives, reasons, logic, explanation and the like. Yet, in the right light and context, these temperaments work well as a means to help a person discover things about themselves in a society that has taken them away from knowing themselves and the fact that they are amazing human beings made to do great things.
If I can rush onto the temperaments now and start with Sanguine, apologies for my jumbled up thoughts on the temperaments, but I don’t have my PowerPoint presentation with me. So I’m speaking from memory, as this old memory serves me anyway wink and chuckle. Smilely Sanguine I call him/her. Warm, lively and fun-loving. Lives in the now and bases decisions on feelings. Has the ability to keep conversation flowing and is an excellent story-teller, which often makes them the light of the party. Sanguines have the ability to make others feel special, whilst in their company that is. A Sanguine is energised by people, though openly sincere, s/he often speaks without thinking. They are erratic and have no interest in detail or being an accountant, for example, as numbers wouldn’t satisfy their cheerful nature, natural charisma and desire to work with people.
Their strength is that they enjoy life and wake-up to the day in a lively mood. They aren’t weighed down by the past and are naturally optimistic. They are also friendly and compassionate. After taking these points into consideration, their weaknesses are understandable, they have a restlessness about them which does not make them very good students, as they can be impractical and disorganised, which echoes their mental restlessness too, which leads on to their weak-wills. Often the façade of a dynamic personality covers the weakness of their character and hidden desire for approval from others. I think of the Death of a Salesman plot and also of how the American footballer with all his charisma and ‘the most likely to succeed’ yearbook quote, doesn’t succeed.
Sanguines are good at starting things, but not at finishing them. They usually cannot be depended upon to keep a time-schedule or meet deadlines. Still ,their egos have been buffed by the reception their charisma gets from others which creates emotional instability and a lack of loyalty in their character. In linking this temperament to love and marriage, Sanguines have the greatest problem with lust. They’re ‘touchers’ with charisma and charm and a lack of will to turn down a temptation. Their ability to live in the present makes them focus on the now and the temptation, and not on their family at home. From youth, in order to gain control of their flaws, they are advised to learn self-control, experience suffering to learn empathy and the damage they could do and step towards faith, peace and goodness. ”
SB: “Wow, that’s fascinating. Here I am picturing Snow White’s husband!”
Merlin: “Ha ha, yes, yes, but I won’t tell him you said that! I’m sure Snow White figured it out ages ago. There was a good mix of temperaments amongst her dwarves before he took her out that glass case. Happy is the ultimate Sanguine. Doc, however, is a Commanding Choleric. Cholerics are generally seen as active, quick, practical and strong-willed in temperament. They are self-sufficient and incredibly independent, decisive and opinionated within their keen minds. They will often make other’s decisions for them. A choleric will stimulate his/her environment with plans, ideas and ambitions, as s/he believes that life is activity. Your cholerics will be the ones crusading against social injustices, with no inkling of fear towards any adversaries; s/he will land on his/her feet all the time. Once the goal is set, it will be accomplished, no matter what. Neatness and details, however, are not their forte. They will assign someone else to take care of the finances.
The emotional aspect of this temperament is the least developed of the four and tears around Cholerics may cause embarrassment and/or disgust. They offer little compassion at all, thus love is not high on their priority list. Hence, one can devise that the strengths of the Cholerics are their strong-wills, their ability to be practical, their natural-born leadership traits, their take charge ability and their dedicated optimism in their adventurous nature and unshakeable confidence.
Following on from this their weakness appear, their hot-tempers, with a great deal of anger, their cruelty at putting others down and simply running over other’s feelings. Cholerics are advised to learn morals from a young age, before their strength of will takes a downward direction towards criminal activity, dictatorship and/or cruel leadership. Their impetuous nature means that even if a project is something they regret they will finish it to save their pride as they maintain their stubbornness. They need to be aware that their cruel, blunt and sarcastic statements are often very hurtful to others; and that their independence may move towards complete self-sufficiency, where: “they don’t need God”, they don’t “need” anyone. With regards to love and marriage, love is not their priority, they do not apologize or show approval and some even beat their spouses into submission. Cholerics give and get ulcers. They carry a grudge and are often revengeful in their “A-type personality”. Parents are advised to develop their Choleric child’s ability to love, find joy, practice peace, gentleness, meekness and goodness, along with suffering, to learn empathy. A challenging temperament indeed.”
SB: “And I’m thinking of Rapunzel’s kidnapper here, her ‘fake-mother’.”
Adapted from the book “Spirit-Controlled Temperament” by Tim LaHaye