What Is Your Spiritual Type?

Previously, we learned that our souls incarnate here to learn to balance the three spiritual forces of Love, Wisdom and Power. We don’t get just one crack at this — it’s not enough. We come back as many different versions of ourselves expressed as various spiritual types to learn about the right use of these forces. What is your spiritual type?

What is your spiritual type?

I just finished reading a book called “Soul Types: Matching Your Personality and Spiritual Path,” in which the authors described four spiritual paths, based on the Jungian cognitive functions of Thinking, Feeling, Intuition and Sensing. The types can be arranged as a “spiritual wheel” made of Type 1 (theologian), Type 2 (charismatic), Type 3 (mystic) and Type 4 (crusader).

  • Type 1 describes Thinking (Head) Spirituality, which is all about learning or experiencing God through knowledge, insights and beliefs. They seek clarity of the Word through rational analysis, reading, theological reflection, study groups, education and publication (e.g. Martin Luther, Thomas Aquinas). They account for about 10% of the population.
  • Type 2 describes Feeling (Heart) Spirituality, which is all about gathering together, group affiliation, prayer and devotion in a structured setting. They like to share emotionally moving experiences, sing and eat together to have a community feeling (e.g. organized religions). They comprise 45% of the population, and account for 50% of churchgoers.
  • Type 3 describes Intuitive (Mystical) Spirituality, which is about seeking union with God through the inner world, being receptive to mystical experiences in solitude and silence. They prefer to meditate, contemplate or do rituals to induce transcendent experiences. They comprise 10% of the population, and account for 50% of those that go to retreats.
  • Type 4 describes Sensing (Action) Spirituality, which is all about living in the now, having a passion for justice and social concerns. They focus on doing good works (e.g. Mother Teresa, Peace Corps), and are here to melt boundaries. They are decisive activators and drivers of change that show us love in action. They make up 35% of the population.

Each of us has had lifetimes as all four types in order to learn about the right use of Love, Wisdom, and Power. The fact that we’re still here means we’ve still got some learning to do.

What are the potential dangers of each spiritual type?

Each type has a lower acting (“holier than thou”) side or extreme expression. For example:

  • Type 1 (theologian/clarifier) may overdo their head trips and get caught up in rationalism or scientism. They can over-intellectualize their life without feeling or inner conviction. They can become cold, indifferent or condescending to others.
  • Type 2 (charismatic/stabilizer) may overdo emotionalism or get stuck in pietism, anti-intellectualism, and “us versus them” thinking that leads to intolerance, fear or distrust of other religions and spiritual styles. They can be over-controlled and tend to resist change.
  • Type 3 (mystic/unifier) is prone to spiritual bypassing, reclusivity (exaggerated retreat from reality and from interacting with the world) or quietism (being almost lifeless within the body). They can be dreamy, self-pitying or feel more “enlightened” than others.
  • Type 4 (crusader/activator) may have a moralistic tunnel-vision that judges or excludes those who don’t share their vision and passion for action. They can be self-righteous, inattentive or even minimize the value of organized religion that works for others.

The antidote is to explore the opposite type in the spiritual wheel. For example, the head types benefit from exploring the mystical path, and vice versa. The heart path benefits from exploring the action/crusader path. We’re here to integrate all paths to embody wholeness, while still retaining our dominant functions in this particular lifetime.

You can learn more about the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, and how the 4 functions (dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior) develop in the first half, midlife and second half of our lives. You could also read my enneagram posts (see How To Know Thyself? – Big Picture Questions.com & Do Enneatypes Reflect Soul Blueprints? – Big Picture Questions.com).

Final Thoughts

The point of this post is to show that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to spirituality. Many of us have experienced or can relate to parts of all four paths, but have a preferred spiritual style that is more compatible with the current version of ourselves. Things can and often do change, as we continue to experience, learn and evolve in this lifetime. That’s alright.

My hope is to bring more awareness and tolerance of the spiritual styles of others, particularly within a family setting or a group of friends, neighbors, communities, etc. There are many roads to Rome, and there are countless equally valid roads to God, just as intended by God.

The ultimate goal for ALL of us is to learn integrated mastery that can be summarized as:

  • Know thyself (Wisdom).
  • Love thy neighbor (Love).
  • Do good deeds (Power).

The ideal condition is where all three forces are blended and balanced within us, so that our Power is tempered with Love and saturated with Wisdom. In a nutshell, that’s why we’re here.

Lest you forget; you are the Divine…………..animated. ~ Creator (via Jennifer Farley)

For more information, please see:

Sandra Krebs Hirsh & Jane AG Kise: Soul Types: Matching Your Personality and Spiritual Path, 2006

Personality Junkie (excellent website for understanding lifelong development of the four functions): 16 Personality Type Profiles

Corinne D Ware: The Spirituality Wheel (carollanfear.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/5/1/10516291/the_ammended_spirituality_wheel.pdf), Discover Your Spiritual Type, 1995

Robert P Vande Kappele: Dark Splendor: Spiritual Fitness for the Second Half of Life, 2015

Patrick Comerford: Matching prayer life and spirituality with temperament and personality

Leslie J Francis & Giuseppe Crea: Churchgoers and Non-Churchgoers in ItalyComprehensive Psychology – Leslie J. Francis, Giuseppe Crea, 2016

Robert A Masters: Spiritual Bypassing, 2010

Jennifer Farley: Divine! | The Creator Writings

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