THE SEVEN ATTITUDES
The Attitude determines a person's primary perspective on life. Although the Attitude mainly influences the personality's intellectual perspective, it does in turn affect the emotions and the way we act. The Attitude is also pivotal. If a person is in the positive pole of her Attitude, she is more likely to remain in the positive poles of the other Overleaves. A positive Attitude can even neutralize one’s chief negative feature, or Obstacle. This teaching encourages students to try to stay in the positive pole of the Attitude in order to avoid becoming trapped in unproductive patterns. Because Attitudes are related to our ways of thinking, and the Intellectual Center is the easiest to control of all the centers, we have more control over our Attitude than we do other Overleaves.
Idealist and Skeptic are the Expressive Attitudes. The Idealist‑Skeptic axis encompasses the Attitudes that would most like to see the world be different than the way it is. As a result, the Idealists and Skeptics are the people who effect changes in the world more than the other Attitudes. The Idealist views the world from the point of view of how things "should be," ideally. The Skeptic views the world from the point of view of how things "might not be" what they appear to be.
THE INSPIRATIONAL ATTITUDES
"It could be." Visionary, which used to be called "Spiritualist" is the attitude that brings one to consider higher possibilities, leading to a "spiritual" point of view. Visionaries are more oriented towards the higher planes than toward the Physical Plane. They tend to look at life from the point of view of what "could" exist. In one sense, this attitude takes idealism to the extreme. Visionaries see the world in terms of its perfection and are perfectionists in their accomplishments. Some of history's most powerful and effective leaders were Visionaries.
Visionaries remind people of the interconnectedness that exists beyond the Physical Plane. They also see the larger picture, including possibilities that reach far into the future. Visionaries, however, have the most naive of all attitudes as to the realities of the Physical Plane, and they tend to neglect the mundane in order to see the greater possibility. In the positive pole, this attitude verifies the possibilities that it perceives and brings those possibilities into fruition. In the negative pole, it takes things on faith, or through naive belief. Those with this attitude can be disappointed or confused when life doesn't work out according to their expectations.
Verifying what really could exist. Seeing the greater possibilities. Understanding of one's spiritual nature. Feeling connected to the higher Planes of Existence. Perfectionism.
Tranquility. Surrender, in the positive sense. Accepting the world the way it is. Willingness to make the best out of life the way it is. Understanding of the other attitudes.
Stoic and Visionary are the Inspirational Attitudes.
"Whatever." The Stoic Attitude is the enduring approach to life that says, "I can deal with whatever happens―I can handle it." The Stoic will not express her feelings openly, so it is difficult to tell what she is thinking. People who are Stoics are able to pass through difficult situations seemingly unscathed, because they are willing to not make a big deal out of problems. They may suffer internally, but rarely visibly. The Stoic, like the Visionary, is an Inspirational Attitude and allows the personality to see the larger picture. The Stoic will slide to Visionary to see how life "could be."
While most Attitudes give one the tendency to be pro-active in life, the Stoic is more willing to accept the world as it shows up and work with the cards they are dealt. In the positive pole, the Stoic is tranquil and accepting. In the negative pole, she is resigned, or has surrendered without complete acceptance or with a feeling of defeat. The Stoic in the negative pole says, "Things aren't great, but what can you do about it?"
Resigned. Emotionally suppressed. Not willing to confront situations and deal with them. Overly quiet. Not willing or able to express fully.
Taking things on faith or belief. Naive to the rigors of the Physical Plane. Ignorant of details. Impractical. Easily influenced.
THE EXPRESSIVE ATTITUDES
Cynic and Realist, are the Action Attitudes.
"It should be!" Idealism is one of the most popular Attitudes; it is used by about 20 percent of the population. Idealists see the world through the eyes of how it "should be"―in other words, their ideal pictures. Idealism is the most energetic attitude and affects the Idealist on an emotional level. Idealists are noticeable because of their high energy and the enthusiasm behind their approach to life. Even when thwarted, the Idealist will not stay in a slump for long, but will bounce back with new energy. In the positive pole, Idealists create the world into something that satisfies their pictures. In other words, they make their pictures coalesce with what really happens. In the negative pole, they do not see that things are not working out according to their expectations.
Having the ability to coalesce ideals with reality and manifest their desires. Persuasive. Having a marked effect upon the world around them. Able to see the brighter side of life. Optimistic. Good‑willed.
Naive. Having false expectations. Being disappointed. Unrealistic in outlook. Unable to achieve or meet their pictures of how things "should be." Unable to be satisfied with reality where it does not fit their pictures.
"It might not be." Skepticism is that intellectual attitude that stimulates the mind to doubt, question and investigate to find out what lies at the base of appearances. Since the Skeptic believes things "might not be" as they seem, she will not take anything on blind faith, but will doubt the validity of what has been said or presented until it has been investigated to her satisfaction. Skeptics are the people who remind others that things might not work out the way they expect. They will encourage others to look for unforeseen difficulties. They are, therefore, often the people who make breakthroughs in science and knowledge in general, because they are not willing to accept things at face value. In the negative pole, however, skeptics are suspicious without investigating to find out if their suspicions are valid.
Investigating. Questioning. Not willing to take things on faith or at face value. Looking deeper to see what is really there. Pointing out unforeseen difficulties to others.
Suspicious. Having a doubtful attitude. Argumentative. Having the tendency to make things seem overly difficult. Adding problems where they do not exist.
THE ACTION ATTITUDES
Pragmatist is the Neutral Attitude.
Witty. Willing to accept the worst. Not disappointed when things don't "work out." Not naive or easily fooled. Good sense of the absurd. Good at business dealings. Skilled at pointing out potential pitfalls.
Denigrating. Sarcastic. Refusing to see the brighter side. Thinking everything is terrible with no possibility of improvement. Not able to understand or listen to another’s attitudes.
"It is." The Realist is one of the most common Attitudes, along with Idealist and Pragmatist. Realists see the world as it really is, and accept it as such. This is different from the other Attitudes in that Realists do not consciously add their own personal judgments and expectations onto how they see life. For Realists, things are not necessarily good or bad, they are just the way they are. Realists are generally the people who are able to point out the fallacies in other Attitudes. Because this attitude is on the action axis, Realists (Cynics, also) are more action‑oriented than the other attitudes and generally are able to accomplish a lot.
In the positive pole, Realists can see the world objectively. In the negative pole, they see the world subjectively, that is, how it really is from their point of view. They may also only see part of what is there and mistake that for the entirety of the situation. Realists will sometimes slide to Cynicism saying, "This is the way it is, and it is terrible." As is often the case when people slide, Realists do not handle the Cynical attitude as well as a Cynic does, and are much more prone to depression and anxiety when sliding to Cynicism.
Objective. Seeing the world as it really is. Non‑judgmental. Clear‑headed. Grounded. Action‑oriented.
Subjective. Not willing to see other points of view. Mistaking a partial truth for the entirety. Having the perspective, "What I say is right and you don't know what you're talking about."
THE NEUTRAL ATTITUDE
"It must be." Pragmatist is the practical Attitude which sees the world from the point of view of how it "must be" based an logical reasoning and perspective. Pragmatists take the view that one should do what makes logical sense in any situation. There is a tendency for Pragmatists to form rules, regulations and structures around what they think makes the most sense. They often end up being the people who also enforce those structures.
Pragmatist is the Neutral Attitude and is able to slide to the other six, giving it a degree of flexibility. Because of this flexibility, they can occasionally "hide out" in one or two of the other Attitudes, but give themselves away when they resort to logical argument in a debate. They can also be astounded by people deliberately choosing options they admit are illogical. In the positive pole, Pragmatists are practical, organized, calm, rational, and competent. In the negative pole, they are dogmatic, overly structured, and can seem patronizing and unimaginative to those who operate from hunches or intuition rather than logic.
Practical. Worldly. Organized. Methodical. Structured. Logical. Relaxed. Neutral.
Dogmatic. Stodgy. Pedantic. Boring (from the point of view of those with other attitudes.) Patronizing.
"It probably isn't." Cynics look at life from the point of view that every gift has a challenge in it, and, since that is true, challenge should be sought out and handled immediately. If someone gives them a pony, they immediately start looking for manure and worrying about costs of feed and stabling. This does not mean that they don't enjoy the gift, they simply have a predilection to look at and handle inherent problems whenever anything new shows up in their lives. In one sense, they take Skepticism to the extreme: rather than being just doubtful, they are sure that they should expect the worst, then be pleasantly surprised if things turn out to be less problematic. They are contrary by nature, and tend to automatically take a devil's advocate position in any discussion or debate.
Cynics have a distinctive sense of humor―what is called "black humor." They expect the worst and feel vindicated when their expectations prove true. They are not as upset about a negative outcome as Skeptics, since they don't expect to be able to change the world into something better, they simply want to get by with less hassle by being prepared for a negative outcome. In the positive pole, Cynics are wary and apprehensive, but mildly amused. They can be wickedly funny, and are the quickest to point out the fallacies in a point of view, and the issues that will develop into potential problems in a project. In the negative pole, they will denigrate others and situations without cause. Being an Ordinal Attitude, Cynics are sometimes less outgoing than those with Exalted Attitudes.