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MicroscopeA Cognitive Model of Christian Theology

Cognitive Theology

—  A Cognitive Model of Christian Theology



Cognitive Theology  —  A Cognitive Model of Christian Theology. 1

Introduction. 3

An Overview.. 3

Experiences, Objects, and Personal Identity. 12

Practical Contributor Thought 20

Teacher Words and Server Actions. 28

Intellectual Contributor Thought 32

Building a Mental Image of God. 44

The Direct Path. 56

Mental Operation and Facilitator Thought 66

The Indirect Path of Christianity. 70

Christianity as Blind Faith. 86

Divine Spirit 94

Examples of the Path of Salvation. 98

The Supernatural 108

A Summary of Cognitive Psychology. 120

Mercy. 120

Perceiver 121

Teacher 122

Server 122

Exhorter 123

Contributor 124

Facilitator 125



Copyright © 2011, Lorin Friesen


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Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers-Briggs, and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., in the United States and other countries.


This is a partially rewritten version of the technical analysis on Christianity which I placed on the web earlier. The first 83 pages (until Christianity as Blind Faith) have been either edited or rewritten for clarity. I will postpone the rest of the editing because it seems that even this is not clear enough. Therefore, I will now turn my attention to rewriting everything in the simplest way that I know how. However, I believe that the editing which I have done does improve the readability significantly, and so I am putting this up on the web. (The most recent integrated presentation of Christian doctrine can be found in the book Natural Cognitive Theology, written in 2015. Almost all of the concepts remain the same, but some of the terminology has been changed. In addition, concepts have been clarified as well as extended beyond the religious realm to include secular thought and history.) 

We will be presenting a step by step analysis of both the human mind and the doctrines of Christianity. My goal is not to prove the theory of mental symmetry, but rather to explain how it can be used to explain human behavior and derive Christian doctrine. As Thomas Kuhn points out in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions, it is not possible to prove a new general theory or paradigm, because of a chicken-and-egg sort of problem: Each general theory contains its own set of built-in rules. Therefore, one cannot use the rules of one theory to prove another theory, because the rules of one general theory or paradigm do not apply to another general theory, just as one cannot use the laws of one country to prosecute the citizen of another country. The theory of mental symmetry is a new paradigm, a novel way of fitting together concepts of human personality. Therefore it cannot be proven. However, it is possible to explain this theory, test it for logical consistency, examine it for internal cohesiveness, demonstrate its power to explain behavior, and observe its elegance and simplicity. However, in order to truly test the theory of mental symmetry, you the reader are going to have to allow this theory to enter—at least temporarily—into your mind. Having said that, let us begin with a brief overview before looking at the history of the theory and then moving on to a discussion of the details.

An Overview

Mental symmetry says that the mind contains seven different modes of thought. In the newborn infant, the physical brain is present, but the mental content is not. In computer terms, the hardware is there but not the software. In order the use software on a personal computer, one has to write a program and then run it. In contrast, cognitive science has discovered that the physical brain is formed in such a way that a mental program actually writes itself. In technical terms, mental content is self-organizing. This simply means that memories which are similar become connected together. When a new memory enters the mind, it becomes stored together with similar memories. And, when enough similar memories become connected in this way, then that network of memories will ‘turn on’ and become alive. A living network of memories is the mental equivalent of a running computer program.

Mental Life: As a habit demonstrates, once a network of memories becomes alive, it will want to stay alive; it will want to express itself, and it will want to be ‘fed a diet’ of compatible information. One can see this mental transition in the young child. The newborn baby which began life as a cuddly food processor inevitably turns into an infant with specific likes and dislikes. Cognitive style strongly affects the development of mental life, because each person is driven to bring to life the mental mode in which he is conscious and to preserve and protect this way of thinking. In contrast, subconscious modes of thought often function at a fairly basic level, or may even be ‘stillborn’. Thus, the Server person, for example, will focus upon developing and using Server thought, whereas Perceiver thought, which is deeply subconscious in his mind, often functions at a far more rudimentary level.

Once mental modes become ‘alive’, they can then begin to cooperate with one another, leading to the development of mental circuits. Mental symmetry suggests that the seven modes of thought can cooperate in one of two primary ways, leading to the emergence of two major fundamental mental circuits. Both of these mental circuits use all seven modes of thought, but they use them in different ways.

Cp and Ci: I refer to these two mental circuits as practical Contributor thought and intellectual Contributor thought, which we will abbreviate as Cp and Ci. Cp is the mental circuit of behavior which is used to live and act in the physical world; the person using the circuit of Cp exhibits goal-oriented behavior. Ci, in contrast is the mental circuit of understanding; it is used to communicate, learn and build theories, and it is used in a technical manner in math and logic. If you examine the diagram of mental symmetry, you will see that Contributor strategy lies at the center of the diagram. It receives direct information from three modes of thought, and indirect information from two additional modes. In order for Contributor strategy to function adequately, these five modes of thought must all be operating—at least to some extent. Like the driver of a car, Contributor strategy is the part of the mind that chooses; as the central ‘will’ of the mind, it controls the operation of the two mental circuits of Cp and Ci. The Contributor person, who is conscious in Contributor mode, is capable of being exceptionally stubborn, and he usually believes strongly in the concept of free will and stands up for personal freedom.

Developing the two mental circuits of Cp and Ci is not easy, because it means programming and coordinating several modes of thought. As a result, these two mental circuits are only partially functional in the typical human. This places the Contributor person in a rather difficult position. Conscious thought for him means ‘sitting behind the wheel’ of the car of thought, driving one or both of these modes of thought. But, his mental car is subconscious; ‘building’ this car means developing subconscious modes of thought, something which no person likes to do. Therefore, the typical Contributor person will spend the minimum amount of time that is required to build his subconscious car of thought so that he can get behind the wheel of conscious control as soon as possible in order to start ‘driving’ somewhere.

The result is that most of the ‘successful’ people in the world have the cognitive style of Contributor. This happens naturally when mental development is incomplete, because the Contributor person can use conscious control to get behind the wheel of a partially constructed mental vehicle and force himself to ‘go places’ in life. But, the success of such a Contributor person is usually restricted to some narrow area of expertise, because the mental car that he has constructed is not complete. Because it is the Contributor person who tends to use these two mental circuits today, I refer to them as practical Contributor thought and intellectual Contributor thought. In a world where everyone developed his mind to its full potential, it might be more appropriate to label them simply as the two mental circuits of practical and intellectual thought.

It is possible for all seven cognitive styles to develop these two mental circuits, but the process takes longer and is more involved, because, unlike the Contributor person, other cognitive styles cannot use conscious control to force a partially constructed mental vehicle to begin moving. However, if another cognitive style does manage to develop one or both of these mental circuits, then his behavior will tend to be far more ‘broad-minded’ than that of the Contributor person. Because he has been forced to construct a more complete mental vehicle, he will be able to drive to more locations in better comfort. Similarly, it is also possible for the Contributor person to go beyond the narrow confines of specialization, but that requires losing control, at least temporarily, to subconscious modes of thought. 

For the Facilitator person, the situation is even worse, for he is conscious in the final stage of human thought. (He is also highly aware of his physical senses, something which is not indicated on the diagram of mental symmetry.) As the diagram of mental symmetry shows, his mode of thought occurs after the Contributor. He takes the completed structures developed by Cp and Ci and adjusts them and fine-tunes them to fit the current context. In terms of our driving analogy, he customizes the vehicle of thought and works out the itinerary for the journey. When the vehicle of human thought or society is not functional, then the Facilitator person is strongly driven to bring order to his environment. For instance, the genus and species system of organizing biological life was developed by Linnaeus, a Facilitator person. The Dewey Decimal system of organizing human knowledge also was the result of a Facilitator person. Similarly, the Facilitator person is also attracted to systems of philosophy and bureaucratic organization, because they provide the mental structure that he needs to use conscious thought effectively.

Mental Rebirth: Once mental modes become alive and begin to function, then mental growth is no longer simply a matter of tacking on new modules to the existing ones. Instead, what is now required is rebuilding and remodelling, which means tearing apart living mental networks in order to put them back together at a higher and more integrated level. But, remember that we are not dealing here with a computer or a robot, but rather with a living human being. When a living mental network is torn apart and reassembled, then this will be experienced as personal rebirth, a process which goes through mental death and mental resurrection. And, as anyone who has tried to break a habit knows, this is neither easy nor painless.

It appears that this process of mental rebirth can be driven by either a mental ‘stick’ or a mental ‘carrot’, corresponding to the two mental processes of suffering and patience. Suffering destroys existing mental structure before building a new structure. It forces a person to change by removing his existing way of thought. One could compare the path of suffering to being kicked out of your home, having your house demolished, and having to live out on the street until you build a new house. Obviously, such a path is rather painful. The path of suffering can be short-circuited by the mental trap of bitterness. An attitude of bitterness refuses to let go of the old house, continuing instead to cling to the memories of what once was. Instead of building a new house, it attempts to survive in the ruins of the old. 

The path of patience, in contrast, is driven by the ‘carrot’ of a new home. Instead of forcing a person to move by destroying his existing house, patience lures a person to change by building a new and better house beside his existing home. The attractiveness of the new home encourages a person to move into it and to allow his old home to crumble and be torn apart. The path of patience has a mental cost associated with it, which is an attitude of patience. Patience accepts that the old house is not the same as the new house. It continues to live in the old house while the new house is being built, accepting that the existing house is worse than the new house and not pretending that the old house is the new house. The path of suffering can be disabled by bitterness. Similarly, I suggest that the path of patience can be halted by worship. Worship stops the mind from wanting to build a new house and moving into it by pretending that it is already living in the new house.

I have used the allegory of living in a house to describe the process of mental rebirth. These principles apply whenever attempting to replace one living mental network with another one. However, when dealing with the mental circuit of Cp (practical Contributor thought), living mentally within a house is not just an allegory, but the real thing. That is because the core of Cp involves personal identity. The goal of Cp is to improve and develop personal identity, fixing up the mental home in which ‘me’ lives by taking it from where it ‘is’ to a better ‘location’. 

Christian Salvation: It is at this point that Christianity, personal salvation, and the two fundamental mental circuits of Cp and Ci enter into the picture. As any theologian will tell you, the primary goal of Christianity is personal salvation—saving ‘me’. In addition, that same theologian will tell you that personal salvation comes from the universal being known as God, and that personal salvation comes through the god/man known as Jesus. But, Christianity also teaches that the process of personal salvation requires internalizing these concepts in order to construct an mental image of God, Jesus, and the path of personal salvation. And, once we are dealing with mental images, then we have entered territory which can be analyzed rationally and logically by a model of the mind. 

And that is where the story starts to get really interesting, because there appears to be a very extensive correspondence between the mental steps required to reach mental wholeness, as generated from the diagram of mental symmetry, and the mental steps required to reach mental wholeness, as described by Christian doctrine.

Here is the big picture: We will begin by describing the problem. As I have already mentioned, Cp is the mental circuit that build and improves personal identity. In other words, Cp describes the way in which the modes of the mind cooperate to produce personal salvation. However, once a mental circuit tells me where I am and allows me to improve my personal situation, it will also inform me where I am not and it will let me know where I have not improved myself. Thus, the same mental circuit that produces the joy of personal satisfaction also enables the pain of personal guilt. And, guilt is an unpleasant feeling which most people try to avoid; it is the mental warning light on my personal dashboard that warns me of impending doom. And how does the untrained mind typically respond when the warning buzzer sounds? It tries to turn off the buzzer, because it finds the din annoying. Similarly, the very word ‘guilt’ has become a politically incorrect term which today’s society try to avoid.

Ci, the other major mental circuit, is used to build theories and gain understanding. The personal identity of Cp is very specific; it deals with ‘me’ and not with other individuals or experiences. A theory, in contrast is general. It wants to tie everything together with a general explanation; it wants to find a universal theory. When Ci, the circuit that deals with universals, begins to integrate with Cp, the circuit that works with personal identity, the result is a mental image of God, for God is universality interpreted as a personal identity. 

Adding a mental image of God to the equation of personal existence raises the stakes, both in the positive and the negative direction. On the negative side, failing to improve ‘me’ in Cp will no longer just trigger feelings of personal guilt. Instead, when I have a moral shortcoming, I will now feel as if I have sinned against God. However, on the positive side, it now becomes possible to ‘call upon God for personal salvation’. This sounds religious, but our modern technological society does it all the time. What happens when Cp reaches a dead end in its quest to improve personal identity? It looks to Ci for new understanding. For instance, suppose that I want to better myself so that I do not have to work at a fast food restaurant for a living. What do I do? I go to school and get an education. After I graduate from school, I will be able to get a more pleasant and better paying job. What happened mentally? Living within Cp, the best job that I could find was flipping burgers. I tried to use Cp to improve my personal situation, but I could only go so far. Therefore, I went to school in order to develop Ci by learn and gaining general understanding. The knowledge and skills gained from developing Ci opened up new doors for me in Cp, allowing me to improve my situation more than before. 

Similarly, suppose that society threatens to run out of some resource, or that some other major problem brings a halt to personal growth and improvement. What do we do? We look to science to come up with a new and improved technology which will solve our problems. In other word, when Cp and its plans of personal improvement reach a dead end, then we turn to Ci and universal understanding for new possibilities. In terms of an analogy, if Cp is like the car that drives ‘me’ to a better location, then Ci is like an airplane that flies me to a different continent, where I can get back into the car of Cp and drive to a whole new set of locations.

Jesus: But, using Ci to help Cp will only be possible if Ci and Cp are both functioning and cooperating with one another. And that is where Jesus enters into the picture. The name ‘Jesus’ actually means ‘salvation’, and if you analyze the behavior of Jesus as described in the Bible, you come to the conclusion that Jesus was a Contributor person. Cp corresponds to Jesus the man; it is Contributor strategy driving the mental circuit that improves personal identity. Ci, in contrast, corresponds to Jesus the God, because it is Contributor strategy controlling the mental circuit that builds universal understanding. If Ci is to help Cp with its personal crises, then Jesus the man has to become integrated with Jesus the God—and that describes the Christian doctrine of incarnation.

If we examine the various major elements of today’s society, I suggest that they all form partial examples of this solution. Economics, with its emphasis on personal progress and development, uses Cp to pursue individual growth, but instead of improving ‘me’ it limits itself to the external goal of increasing what is ‘mine’. Science, with its analysis of natural cause and effect, does use Ci to construct universal theories and build general understanding, but by remaining objective, it also avoids dealing with what is ‘me’. Pop psychology talks about personal identity and self-improvement, but it tries to do so in a way that removes guilt and personal failure from the equation. As for holy book Christianity, it may talk about God and Jesus and even describe the solution being presented here, but by basing its words in religious fervor, it leads to an attitude of religious self-denial which makes it impossible in the end to improve personal identity.

That, I suggest, is the big picture. It is really quite simple and fairly obvious. Now we need to add the details. We will look at the various components which make up both Cp and Ci, we will examine how these two mental circuits develop, and we will describe in detail the process by which these mental circuits become integrated. Our analysis will include Christian concepts and terms, but it will be based upon the theory of mental symmetry and not upon quotes from the Bible.

Why? One final question before we plunge to look at the details. Why? Why do we need to tie everything together with a universal theory? Why do I need to write this book and why should you read it?

Because, our present world is being destroyed by partial solutions. Capitalism has brought us personal wealth, but at great personal, societal and environmental cost. Science and technology have transformed our physical worlds, but have left us emotional infants. Like little children, we still have temper tantrums, but now we express our rage by lobbing hi-tech weapons at our enemies. And, as holy book based religions become intellectually marginalized, they are attempting to re-impose their messages upon the populace through the use of political and military force. Meanwhile, the elite and the super-rich are emerging from the shadows and trying to take the place of God so that they can impose their ‘solution’ upon the rest of society.

But, as far as I can tell, all the pieces for a complete solution already exist. We don’t have to start again from scratch. We only need to put these various pieces together. And that is what I am trying to do: Put the pieces together.


A Brief History:

This model of human thought was not developed overnight. Instead, it is the result of years of careful research into cognitive styles, and the model itself was tested with many more years of interdisciplinary study. This research went through three distinct stages.

Cognitive Styles: During the first stage, we focused upon the topic of cognitive styles, using a system which categorized people into the seven different personality types of: Teacher, Server, Mercy, Perceiver, Exhorter, Contributor, and Facilitator. The behavior of these seven types of people was then analyzed through an exhaustive study of over 200 biographies, and this information was checked with feedback from dozens of seminars given on the subject. That research was not done by me, but rather by my brother Lane Friesen. I arrived on the scene as a research assistant sometime in the middle of this work. This initial stage culminated in the development of the diagram that you see illustrated here.

The Diagram of Mental Symmetry was initially used as a handy shortcut for describing the behavior of the seven cognitive styles. For instance, I am a Perceiver person. You can see from the diagram that the Perceiver thinks associatively with abstract facts, and labels each fact with a measure of confidence. Thus, if you tell him about cognitive styles, he may respond that he thinks that it is a valid concept because it reminds him of what he studied in psychology, but he is not certain, because he knows that psychology is an inexact science.

The arrows and lines in the diagram are also significant. For instance, you can see that there is an arrow running from Mercy to Perceiver. This indicates that the Perceiver person is somewhat aware of Mercy thought; he can ‘see’ it happening ‘next door’. In contrast, the Mercy person is not aware of Perceiver thought but is influenced by it in some hidden manner.

I also discovered that the behavior of each of these seven cognitive styles corresponds to the functioning of a different region of the brain. For instance, the right parietal region of the brain works with object identification, maps, and self-image. All of these describe aspects of Perceiver thought. In contrast, instructions for carrying out physical actions are stored within the left parietal lobe of the brain. This describes a major aspect of Server thought. Left and right parietal lobes occupy opposite sides of the human brain. Similarly, Server and Perceiver thought occupy opposite sides of the diagram of mental symmetry. In general, this kind of symmetry plays such a major role in describing human behavior that the model itself is called the model of mental symmetry

This means that these seven ways of thinking can refer either to a person with that cognitive style or a module within the mind of every person. Each individual possesses all seven modes of thought. But, a person’s cognitive style is the module in which he is conscious. The other six modes of thought operate autonomously in his mind, under the surface. The Perceiver person, for instance, is conscious within Perceiver thought. Every human mind is capable of using Perceiver thought, but only the Perceiver person lives within the Perceiver module.

The diagram of mental symmetry is called the diagram of mental symmetry because of the deep symmetry which exists between the left and right halves of the diagram. Perceiver thought is the mirror image of Server thought, and Mercy mode is the ‘opposite’ of Teacher mode. Similarly, the three middle composite styles of Exhorter, Contributor, and Facilitator can each function in one of two symmetrical modes of thought. The two major mental circuits of Cp and Ci are also mirror images of one another, related through principles of mental symmetry. Finally, theory suggests that alongside the human mode of existence exists a supernatural realm, connected to the human realm through the principle of symmetry.

Cognitive Psychology: Continuing with our brief history, the second research stage of cognitive psychology was carried out primarily by myself. During the first stage, we used the diagram of mental symmetry to describe different types of people and different ways of thinking. During the second stage, I used it to analyze different fields of knowledge. I took several years to study topics such as artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, music, art, sociology, the history of science, and the history of civilization. In each case, I tested the theory of mental symmetry to see if it could explain the fundamental aspects of that particular field. In every instance, the theory survived.

What emerged from that second stage was a sense of time. Instead of just taking a snapshot of human behavior and describing it, I began to see how the mind could develop over time. In addition, I started to realize how deeply mental development was influenced by the interaction between different modes of thought. That eventually led me to the third stage of research, which is the focus of this summary.

Cognitive Theology: One could refer to this third stage as cognitive theology, or Scientific Christianity. I need to emphasize that I did not set out to prove Christianity. Rather, Christian principles kept making an appearance as I was studying other topics. As this continued, I eventually realized that it was possible to explain all of the core aspects of Christianity using only the diagram of mental symmetry. While it is true that I was raised in a conservative Christian home, I have a Master’s degree in Engineering, and I have always tried to approach every topic with an attitude of relentless logic.

References: Anyone who has done academic research will immediately notice that I do not include a number of references to other works. That is because I really truly have done decades of original research. While I was testing the theory, I did do extensive reading in many different areas, but that was back in the 1980s and 90s. Now, when I want to check something out, I simply look it up on the internet. Very recently, after I wrote the first part of this book, I looked again at Kant in some detail, and discovered a number of parallels between his model and mine, which I include here. For that, I found the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to be the most helpful. In addition, I have also examined the writings of Ludwig von Mises on economics, the philosophy of science as described by Thomas Kuhn, and the individualism preached by Ayn Rand, and have found that these all fit very well into the model of mental symmetry as partial descriptions. 


The Diagram of Mental Symmetry: All of the information in this summary relates to the diagram of mental symmetry. If we are focusing upon one specific aspect of the diagram of mental symmetry, I will indicate this by circling the appropriate portion. A thick circle indicates that we are looking at general thought. A dotted or dashed circle means that information is being provided artificially through some external means.

Before we look at the various aspects of the diagram, we need to examine the diagram as a whole. The labels at the top indicate two ways of thinking: Analytical thought works with time, sequence, structure, and order; it occurs within the left hemisphere of the brain. Associative thought is performed by the right hemisphere, and works with connections, space, and individual differences.

The terms on the left describe two ways of labeling information: On the one hand, it is possible to deal with everything emotionally. “How do I feel about this? Does it make me feel good or bad?” On the other hand, it is also possible to place a label of confidence on information. “How certain am I about this? Is it right or wrong? Is it correct or incorrect?”

Mercy and Teacher thought work with emotions. Mercy strategy associates experiences with emotions, while Teacher strategy uses emotions to label words and theories. Perceiver and Server strategy, in contrast, work with confidence. Perceiver thought places a label of confidence upon knowledge and facts; Perceiver confidence indicates how well I know a piece of information. Server strategy places a label of confidence upon actions and other sequences; Server confidence indicates how well I can do something.

The diagonals indicate two kinds of information: Teacher and Perceiver thought work with abstract information; whereas Server and Mercy strategies deal with concrete situations. Concrete thought works with specific experiences from the real world, whereas abstract thought looks for general concepts that lie behind these experiences.

Finally, the Exhorter, Contributor, and Facilitator use modes of thought which are combinations of the other four ways of thinking. The four simple styles of Teacher, Mercy, Perceiver and Server focus upon programming the mind; the three composite styles of Exhorter, Contributor and Facilitator are more concerned with running the mind than with filling it with information. The four simple styles are also responsible for interpreting sensory information, whereas the composite styles decide what to do with this information. In terms of neurology, the four simple styles are responsible for cortical processing, whereas the three composite styles use the information in the cortex to perform subcortical thought, with Exhorter and Contributor using the basal ganglia, and Facilitator using the thalamus.

We will now begin our detailed analysis. We will start by focusing upon different aspects of the diagram of mental symmetry. We will describe the function of each part and then discuss the decision and growth points that are related to that region of thought. Our starting point will be the interaction between Mercy and Perceiver thought, because this relationship plays the most fundamental role in determining human behavior.

Remember, each of these seven modes of thought can refer either to a person or a module within the mind. Each individual possesses all seven modes of thought. But, a person’s cognitive style is the module within which he is conscious. In contrast, the other six modes of thought operate autonomously in his mind, under the surface.

I should also explain a writing convention which I have adopted. Instead of saying simply ‘experience’ or ‘theory’, I will talk about a Mercy experience or a Teacher theory. I do this in order to remind us which mode of thought is being used to work with that type of information. Technically speaking, this is redundant because all experiences are Mercy experiences and all theories are Teacher theories. However, by saying ‘Teacher theory’, I am emphasizing the fact that there is a mental strategy called Teacher thought which works with theories. Similarly, I will be referring to Exhorter excitement, Contributor plans, Facilitator mixing and so on. 

And, just to make sure that no one is confused, when I am referring to a part of the mind, I will use one of the following synonyms: Mercy part, Mercy mode, Mercy strategy, Mercy module, Mercy thought. These terms all mean exactly the same. When I am referring to a person with a specific cognitive style, I will say either Mercy person or Mercy individual. Similarly Perceiver knowing and Perceiver confidence are also synonyms, as are Mercy feelings and Mercy emotions.

One additional point, of a legal nature. The theory of mental symmetry uses the four divisions of MBTI® in a very important, yet subsidiary way. I consider these four divisions to be accurate descriptions of the mental splits that result from the influence which the physical body has upon the mind. Thus, mental symmetry views these four divisions as the four biggest hurdles in the task of becoming mentally whole. Because these four splits are seen as mental barriers which need to be bridged, I suspect that mental symmetry will never receive official permission to use the word MBTI® without adding a ®. However, the terms Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers-Briggs, and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., in the United States and other countries. Thus, when I use the word Thinking, Feeling, Perceiving, Judging, Sensing, iNtuition, Introverted or Extraverted with a Capital First Letter, please be advised that I am referring to the appropriate MBTI® division.

Experiences, Objects, and Personal Identity

We will begin our detailed discussion by looking at the circuit of Cp, the mental circuit which handles physical action, practical thought, personal activity, and goal-oriented behavior. In all of these cases, personal identity exists within some sort of map and moves from one location in the map to another. As I mentioned before, Cp is a mental circuit which requires the cooperation of several modes of thought. We will start by looking at Mercy and Perceiver thought, the two mental strategies which are responsible for constructing the mental map upon which Cp is based, as well as defining where ‘me’ is located within this map. While our discussion will start with simple cognitive psychology, this will lay the foundation for our analysis of Christianity. 

Object Detection: Memories about individual experiences are stored within Mercy thought. Perceiver thought ‘looks’ at these Mercy experiences from ‘next door’ and organizes them into categories. That is how the mind learns how to recognize objects. Perceiver thought arranges Mercy experiences into facts and objects by connecting and reconnecting individual Mercy items.

For example, a bicycle consists of two wheels, a frame, a seat, pedals and a handlebar for steering. Mental images about these individual items are remembered within Mercy thought, while Perceiver thought groups these specific items together to form the fact of ‘bicycle’. Whenever a person encounters this combination of items, he knows that he is dealing with ‘a bicycle’. As Perceiver thought continues to formulate facts about bicycles, an imaginary image of the ‘idealized bicycle’ gradually emerges within Mercy memory.

This describes how the mind builds what Plato, the Greek philosopher, called the form of an object. When the Perceiver person thinks about ‘a bicycle’, he will generally think of an imaginary, composite image of ‘the archetype bicycle’. In contrast, the Mercy person will probably be reminded of the green ten-speed racer that he had in high school, along with the painful event of skinning his knee when he slipped on a patch of gravel as he was racing home from school.

I should point out that this entire process occurs non-verbally. We may be using words to describe this process, but this verbal description is actually being generated by other modes of thought. The process of formulating the facts themselves occurs apart from words.

Facts, Truth and Knowing: Perceiver thought works with facts and truth. However, there are actually two distinct ways of filling Perceiver thought with information. These two methods result from the interaction between Mercy emotions and Perceiver confidence. One way is based in emotions, and the other comes from repetition. With emotional knowing, Mercy feelings tell Perceiver thought what to believe. With repetition, Perceiver thought works out the facts for itself.

Emotional Knowing: If the Mercy emotions of a specific situation are much stronger than the level of Perceiver confidence within that context, then Perceiver thought will become mesmerized into accepting the specific arrangement of that situation as Universal Truth. For instance, this explains how the Perceiver fact of ‘bicycle’ could become defined as ‘the incident with the green ten-speed racer’. The strong emotions associated with ‘skinning my knee’ turned it into a defining experience which burned its way into Perceiver thought and literally defined the Perceiver fact of ‘bicycle’.

Emotional ‘knowing’ is the primary way in which a child learns information. That is because the human mind lives within a physical body which fills Mercy strategy with emotional experiences. As a result, Mercy thought is the first mental mode to ‘wake up’ and ‘become alive’. As a child grows up, the rest of his mind builds upon this foundation of childish ‘knowledge’. It is only later on that the child gains the mental tools that are needed to question the Mercy foundation that he gained as a child.

An idol is a Mercy experience, memory, object, or person which has sufficient emotional intensity to mesmerize Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ what is true. When an idol programs the mind, a person does not just feel in Mercy thought that he is right. Instead, he also ‘knows’ with great certainty within Perceiver strategy that he is correct. When we are talking about emotional ‘knowing’ in which Mercy feelings overwhelm Perceiver confidence, I will put the word in quotes: ‘truth’, ‘belief’, ‘faith’, and so on.

Emotional knowing can itself be broken down into three subvarieties:

Defining Experience: With a defining experience, the strong Mercy emotions come from the incident itself. For instance, if a vicious dog bites me on the leg, then Perceiver thought will be mesmerized into ‘knowing’ that all dogs always bite. A sufficiently strong positive emotion will also produce a defining experience. This happens, for instance, when a couple ‘falls in love’. The intensity of their feelings for each other mesmerizes Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ that they will always stay together.

Blind Belief: Here the strong Mercy feelings are associated with some person whom I respect highly, such as a parent, teacher, pastor, political leader, or some other authority figure. Perceiver strategy accepts what the person says as ‘truth’ simply because it comes from a respected authority. For instance, if my parents say that there is a Santa Claus, then I will accept this as a proven ‘fact’. Whenever a person says, “I know this is true because that person said it,” then he is following a form of blind belief.

The person who follows blind belief is often unaware that he is practicing blind belief. That is because Perceiver strategy is the part of the mind that gives a person the ability to look at himself. Thus, when Perceiver thought is in a mesmerized state it loses the ability to analyze all facts, including facts about ‘me’. This means that is much easier to see blind belief when it is being practiced by another individual than it is to recognize where I am following blind belief myself.

Revealed Truth: As with blind belief, revealed truth attaches strong emotions to some person who is respected as an authority, but the information that comes from this expert is now being written down in book form, or recorded in some other way. This gives far more permanence to the facts which come from the expert, and also places some emotional distance between the source of truth and his facts, making it much easier for the mind to use this information as solid building material for constructing a general understanding (which we shall see resides within Teacher thought.) Permanence encourages the development of Perceiver thought, because Perceiver strategy looks for facts and connection which do not change. Emotional distance discourages the use of emotional ‘knowing’ because it separates Perceiver ‘facts’ from Mercy feelings.

Revealed truth may come from the words of a Holy Book such as the Bible, it may come from a textbook that is being used in education, or it may come from the words of some newspaper or magazine. Whenever a person says, “I know that this is true because I read it in such and such a book,” then he is following revealed truth.

Mercy Idolatry and Teacher Idolatry: It is also possible to categorize idolatry based upon the mental strategy that is being affected. Mercy idolatry focuses upon the effect which important people and defining experiences have upon Mercy thought. For instance, a shrine in the jungle, a holy picture on the wall, or even ‘that brand new car sitting in my driveway that defines my identity’, are all examples of Mercy idols.

A Teacher idol, in contrast, is a Teacher word or theory that is given prominence through the help of strong Mercy feelings. For instance, this may be a holy book, a verbal endorsement from some famous person, or a diploma from a well-known university.

While Teacher emotions feel the same as Mercy emotions, Teacher and Mercy thought do not interpret emotions in the same way. When a memory has a strong emotion, Mercy thought feels that it is important. Teacher thought, however, associates a strong emotion with universality. This is a very important concept which bears repeating: Both Mercy and Teacher thought have emotions. These emotions feel the same. But, each interprets feelings in an entirely different manner. For Mercy strategy, feelings indicate status, value and importance. For Teacher thought, emotion indicates generality, domain, and universality.

Rational Knowing: The main feature of rational knowing is that Perceiver thought is ‘awake’ and functioning. Perceiver thought looks for connections that are repeated. For instance, Perceiver strategy will notice the repeated visual appearance of ‘two wheels within a frame’ and make factual conclusions about bicycles. Perceiver thought will notice that letting go of an object is connected with it falling to the ground and come up with the fact of gravity. Ultimately, this is a search for absolutes—Perceiver facts which do not change over time and which remain fixed in all situations. Whenever a person says, “I know that this is true because I have found it to be consistently reliable,” or “I have seen this pattern again and again, and I know that this is how things fit together,” he is using rational knowing.

Perceiver thought can be interpreted in several different but equivalent ways: It can be seen as a search for connections: These items are connected; those are not. Put enough connections together and you end up with a mental map. It can also be viewed as separating items into different bins or categories: red balls go in this box and white balls go in that box. Object detection is a form of categorizing, for it takes raw sensory information and divides it into categories such as ‘chair’ and ‘table’, Perceiver thought is also a search for truth or error: This fact connects to a piece of information which I know is false, therefore it must be false. That fact is similar to data which I know is true, therefore I know that it is true. Finally, it can be viewed in terms of same/different: These items are the same; this is different than that.

Tested Belief (or Confidence): Rational knowing can only operate if the level of Perceiver confidence is higher than the current level of Mercy emotions. Confidence grows gradually as a Perceiver fact encounters emotional pressure and survives intact. In contrast, if a fact falls apart when it is being tested, then the level of Perceiver confidence in that region of thought will go down. Because Perceiver confidence can only develop gradually as facts are tested, one uses the term tested faith, tested belief or tested knowledge. (Technically speaking, faith and belief are not identical. Belief involves Perceiver facts, whereas faith uses Contributor thought to add Server actions to these Perceiver facts. Blind belief describes the mental approach; blind faith describes the behavior that results from this approach. Because ‘blind faith’ is the more common phrase, I use it elsewhere as a generic term to describe both blind faith and blind belief.  However, I will try to be more precise in our discussion here.)

For example, suppose that I see a ten dollar bill on my neighbor’s table. Perceiver thought in my mind knows that ‘the money’ and ‘my neighbor’ belong together. This is a Perceiver fact. If I see a $1,000 bill lying on my neighbor’s table, the Perceiver fact has not changed, but the Mercy emotions that are associated with this fact have risen considerably. If I decide not to take the bill, then my Perceiver confidence in associating that money with my neighbor will go up, along with my overall Perceiver confidence in respecting facts of ownership. This is called resisting temptation. However, if I take the money, then my level of Perceiver confidence will go down, and I will find it harder to resist temptation the next time I encounter someone else’s possessions.

Similarity and Symmetry: If Perceiver thought has confidence in one specific fact, it will also have confidence in facts that are related. That is because Perceiver thought operates associatively. Whenever encountering a new fact, Perceiver confidence will be influenced by confidence in facts that are similar. Thus, learning not to steal my neighbor’s money will also give me confidence when facing other situations that involve personal integrity. Within each context there is usually one fact that is held as absolute, because it is the confidence in this fact which gives confidence to related facts. Symmetry is a more advanced form of similarity, in which general rules are used to relate one Perceiver context with another.

Both blind belief and tested belief use absolutes to evaluate information, but they do not interpret absolutes in the same way. For blind belief, Perceiver absolutes are derived from emotional Mercy sources. Any Perceiver fact which links directly to a defining Mercy experience is regarded as absolute. If Mercy thought regards this source as good, then the Perceiver absolute will be regarded as true. If Mercy strategy views this source as bad, then the Perceiver absolute will be judged as false.

Using Perceiver thought in such a context is like building upon a foundation of permafrost. Perceiver thought is permissible as long as it does not melt the underlying foundation of blind belief. Thus, peripheral facts can be discussed logically while core truths must still be accepted by blind belief.

Tested belief, in contrast, views absolutes in terms of connections. Absolute truth describes a connection which always occurs—items which always belong together. Falsehood is an absence of connections. A fact is false when the items never belong together. This is closely related to Immanuel Kant’s concept of the categorical imperative.

Objective Truth: Perceiver thought can only function if it has sufficient confidence to survive emotional pressure. Tested belief builds Perceiver confidence in order to gain the ability to deal rationally within increasingly emotional situations. However, it is also possible to protect Perceiver thought by avoiding feelings—especially personal feelings. This is called remaining objective. Objective thought assumes that if a person becomes emotionally involved, then he will lose the ability to think rationally.

Modern science usually follows the method of objective truth. It realizes the value of Perceiver thought and tries to protect Perceiver processing by remaining objective. When a researcher comes up with new Perceiver facts, these are subjected to peer review, which is based in the concept that it is far easier to detect blind belief in another person than it is to detect when I am pursuing blind belief.

Notice that both objective truth and tested belief use the same mode of processing: Perceiver thought. However, objective truth lacks the confidence that is needed to use Perceiver strategy in the presence of strong Mercy feelings. For this reason, I have generally found the first writer in some field of thought to be more helpful than those who follow after. Developing a new field of thought is a mental struggle, and that struggle helps to build Perceiver confidence. Those who come later often lack this Perceiver confidence and so they tend to be more objective, and they may even censor aspects of the original research which are deemed to be ‘politically incorrect’.

MBTI®: One of the four Myers-Briggs divisions is the split between Thinking and Feeling. The person who pursues objective truth is applying Thinking. In contrast, the person who uses emotional truth is using Feeling. These two modes of thought are naturally opposed each other, because Feeling embraces strong emotions whereas Thinking avoids them.

In contrast, tested belief combines Thinking and Feeling by bringing head and heart together. Combining Thinking and Feeling is not easy because it requires the development of Perceiver confidence. My level of Perceiver confidence will determine the extent to which I am able to pursue Thinking in the midst of Feeling.

Personal Identity: Personal identity is also the result of interaction between Mercy and Perceiver thought, and it too is comprised of two different components. The actual personal identity itself, which I refer to as ‘me’, resides within Mercy strategy. It is composed of all the Mercy experiences that are related to my physical body, along with all of the other experiences that continue to follow me around. Perceiver thought notices the repeated presence of these Mercy experiences and decides that they belong together, resulting in the mental Perceiver object known as self-image. Notice the precise difference between these two. ‘Me’ is a collection of Mercy experiences, while self-image is a Perceiver fact.

The Two ‘Me’s: Combine personal identity with the split between Thinking and Feeling and you conclude that there are two natural aspects to personal identity. The physical ‘me’ is related to Thinking. Here, self-image is dominant. Common sense from the physical world helps to develop Perceiver thought, and these Perceiver facts define ‘me’—as long as Mercy feelings are not too strong. Thus, I may know that I am six feet tall, or that I am an expert in cars. The emotional ‘me’ is related to Feeling. Here, ‘me’ and its emotions rule and emotional experiences define the facts about ‘me’. Thus, the emotional ‘me’ may be defined by my first date, or by the disapproval that I received from my father. For the physical ‘me’, the emphasis is upon having an accurate self-image. For the emotional ‘me’, the focus is upon a good self-image.

Self-deception: Mercy idolatry can be used to build a self-image in one of two basic ways. In both cases Perceiver thought is being mesmerized by strong Mercy emotions. First, Perceiver thought can be fooled into ‘believing’ that a good Mercy experience belongs to ‘me’. For instance, suppose that I meet a famous movie star. Even though this Mercy experience may have occurred only once in my lifetime, it will still define part of my personal identity: “I met this famous person and actually talked with her.” In contrast, Perceiver confidence would look at this isolated incident, notice that it was not repeated, and conclude that it only describes a minor aspect of ‘me’. This provides the mental basis for emotional identification, in which I suspend factual knowing and identify with some person or experience. For instance, I may be watching a movie and suddenly feel as if I am one of the characters being depicted on the screen.

Second, Perceiver thought can be deceived into ‘believing’ that bad Mercy experiences do not belong to ‘me’. For example, suppose that I have problems overeating. Perceiver thought will look at all of the experiences of my hand reaching into the fridge, or all the situations in which I am in the company of food, and decide that these experiences belong to ‘me’ because they are repeated. But, this makes ‘me’ feel bad. So, every time that I reach out for food, the Mercy feelings of shame and hunger will combine to overwhelm Perceiver thought, which will then be fooled into ‘believing’ that ‘me’ and ‘overeating’ do not belong together.

Education and Growing in Faith: Every child begins life with a mind that based in idols—Mercy memories with strong feelings that mesmerize Perceiver thought into knowing what is true. Education and ‘growing in faith’ both involve replacing idols and blind belief with confidence and tested belief. Note that this mental transition must occur even if the ‘facts’ that a person learned as a child are totally correct, or even if the information that was acquired from blind belief in a holy book actually is the Infallable Word of God. That is because Perceiver thought has learned the right information for the wrong reason. It may believe the right facts, but it was mesmerized into believing this truth. Such a person may know what he believes, but he will have no idea why he believes it.

The premise of this book is that it is possible to take all major Christian doctrine and place it upon a foundation of tested belief instead of revealed truth. How far can this path be followed? I do not know. However, I do know that every time I rewrite this material, I am able to use the diagram of mental symmetry to come up with an analysis of Christianity that is both more comprehensive theologically and more logically coherent.

Tested belief uses Perceiver thought. Perceiver thought looks for facts that are repeated. An integrated theory of natural theology looks for Perceiver truths that are repeated, and then extends this repetition through similarity, analogy, and symmetry. This makes it possible to base the doctrines of Christianity upon solid Perceiver facts that can be learned using Perceiver thought because they are repeated in many different contexts.

Most students, religious believers, and even theologians approach knowledge with a combination of blind belief and tested belief. In certain areas, they are experts who have tested the facts and have discovered what is solid. In other regions, they defer to the expertise of others who are more knowledgeable. The goal of personal transformation—and Christian rebirth—is to digest the defining experiences and blind belief of one’s childhood, and to replace the core of childish Mercy identity with tested belief. While it is true that no single individual can become an expert in all areas of knowledge, it is possible to use the Perceiver knowledge that one does have as a starting point for rethinking the defining experiences of one’s childhood together with the fundamental principles of human growth and development.

I should emphasize that Mercy idolatry is a normal stage in the development of the human mind, because it takes the empty mind of the infant and turns it into the functioning mind of the child. The childish mind may be organized around defining Mercy experiences and important people, but at least it is operating, which it was not doing before.

Threshold of Uncertainty: Moving from emotional truth to rational truth is not a direct process. Instead, a person will only be able to look for information that is solid and repeated after he starts doubting his emotional experts. This describes the mental transition that a teenager goes through when experiencing his teenage crisis. If a person is unwilling to let go of his emotional experts, then it is not possible for him to develop tested belief.

In general, this means that childish knowing must first fall apart before it can be reintegrated. First, I will doubt the experts as Perceiver thought emerges from its childish slumber. Then, I will experience confusion as Perceiver strategy is semi-awake. Finally, I will regain certainty when Perceiver strategy gains sufficient confidence to handle the emotional pressure.

The ‘knowing’ of emotional truth is both instant and certain. When a defining experience strikes, I ‘know’ instantly what is true and what is false, and this knowledge has no doubts. The knowing of Perceiver confidence, in contrast, must be built up over time. And, even if I know what is true today, I may have doubts tomorrow when an emotional experience comes along that threatens my Perceiver confidence.

The Childish ‘me’ and the Adult ‘me’: Combine the threshold of uncertainty with personal identity, and you conclude that the maturing ‘me’ must itself go through a threshold of uncertainty, a process commonly referred to as ‘dying to self’ or experiencing mental rebirth. This process is always painful and it is always deeply personal. However, there are at least two ways of going through this process, and one of these ways is definitely more painful than the other. I refer to one of these routes as the path of suffering. This happens when the childish ‘me’ falls apart before the structure of a new personal identity has been constructed. It is like tearing my house apart and then living in out in the open until my new home has been constructed. In contrast, the path of patience builds the structure of a new ‘me’. The attractiveness of this new potential personal identity motivates ‘me’ to abandon its old hovel and move into the new mansion.

This dying to self applies primarily to the emotional ‘me’, because this is the aspect of personal identity which is defined by Mercy idolatry. In fact, it is possible to use the physical ‘me’ and its Perceiver logic as a bridgehead for reprogramming the emotional ‘me’. However, the emotional ‘me’—by definition—contains all of the emotional experiences that are related to personal identity, and this is where Perceiver thought will find it the most difficult to ‘wake up’ from its mental slumber and build Perceiver confidence. Thus, one could think of the physical ‘me’ as a mental seed out of which an adult ‘me’ can be grown.

I should emphasize that the ultimate purpose of constructing an adult ‘me’ is not to destroy the emotional ‘me’ but rather to transform it so that it is driven by the adult feelings of value and meaningful love.

Value: A mental map of value emerges as Perceiver thought gains sufficient confidence to build connections between emotional Mercy experiences. Value uses Perceiver facts to compare the features of one desirable Mercy experience with another. For instance, suppose that I am thinking about cars. Perceiver strategy learns facts about cars by building connections between Mercy experiences with cars, while Mercy strategy attaches an emotional label to each of these Mercy experiences. It is the combination of Perceiver facts and Mercy feelings that generates a sense of value—which in this case allows me to compare the value of one car with that of another.

While Perceiver strategy is aware of Mercy experiences, Mercy strategy cannot see Perceiver thought. This is indicated on the diagram of mental symmetry by the one-way arrow which extends from Mercy to Perceiver thought. Instead, Mercy thought will notice the development of Perceiver confidence as the reconnecting of emotional Mercy experiences into categories that are more stable and long-term. Mercy strategy will view this as a redefining of love. When childish identity rules, then Mercy thought may feel that it knows all about love, but it will confuse idolatry and infatuation with love. As adult identity grows, Mercy strategy will realize what it means to love truly and to love deeply. Thus, love and value will increasingly acquire similar meanings.

Self-image and the map of value lay the mental foundation for Cp, the mental circuit of practical thought. Remember that the simple styles program the mind, while the composite styles run the mind. We have looked at mental programming and how it relates to the two simple styles of Mercy and Perceiver. We will now turn our attention to the operation of the mind and the role that is played by Exhorter and Contributor thought in running Cp.

Practical Contributor Thought

As I mentioned at the beginning, Contributor thought can operate in one of two modes: practical Contributor thought, and intellectual Contributor thought. These two Contributor modes correspond to the two major ways in which the mind functions. Each of these mental circuits involves the cooperation of several modes of thought. However, each circuit is under the ultimate control of Contributor strategy. The interaction between these two mental circuits forms the core of our analysis of Christianity. We will now look in more detail at Cp, the practical side of Contributor thought.

Contributor strategy ties together Perceiver and Server thought. In the circuit of Cp, Perceiver strategy works with facts while Server strategy deals mainly with actions. Whenever a person does something, Server strategy is responsible for performing that movement.

Mercy and Perceiver strategy cooperate to construct a map of value. However, they view value as a static description of facts and experiences. A Perceiver/Mercy map of value makes it possible for Contributor thought to begin functioning. Contributor thought starts with a map of value and approaches it actively, using it as a guide for moving through the map in order to achieve more desirable Mercy results. This is called pursuing the bottom line.

Contributor thought is the part of the mind that chooses. Contributor strategy will look at the Perceiver/Mercy map of value, and then choose the Server action that leads to the best Mercy result. Another name for this is goal-oriented behavior. Goal-oriented behavior is driven by Exhorter strategy, which provides mental energy, drive, imagination, and excitement. This is shown by the arrow that leads from Exhorter thought to Contributor mode. Contributor thought ties together several other modes of thought. This makes Contributor thought—and the Contributor person—often rather complicated. 

Practical Contributor thought (or Cp) could be compared to driving a car: Perceiver strategy builds the map that connects the various locations; Mercy thought fills in this map with interesting locations; Server strategy is the motor that propels the car; Exhorter mode provides the energy to move the car; Contributor strategy sits behind the wheel and chooses where to go. Because Contributor thought makes the choices, the Contributor person often thinks that he is in charge. However, Contributor strategy can only choose between options that are provided by the rest of the mind.

Sinful Nature: Contributor thought cannot function without an integrated map of value. Therefore, if the mind does not actively construct one, then Contributor strategy will take the existing content within Perceiver and Mercy thought and treat it as a map of value. This explains why the typical Contributor person spends most of his life pursuing a childish bottom line. Instead of rethinking the idolatrous assumptions that he acquired as a child, he bases his definition of value upon his childish ignorance. Later on, he has a mid-life crisis when he realizes that he wasted all of his youthful energy climbing the wrong ‘ladder of success’.

The Contributor person is not the only one who makes this mistake. We all grow up with a childish mental map of value and then use this childish stupidity as a guide for ‘achieving personal success’. This is a major aspect of what it means to be born in sin. However, it is the Contributor person who dedicates his life to a single-minded pursuit of the worthless. He is the one who becomes the professional child. Similarly, the Facilitator person, who is conscious in a mode of thought which assumes a fully functioning mind, can take the idolatrous behavior of the child and package it in a way that appears very elegant and civilized. One is reminded, for example, of the French diplomat Tallyrand, whom Napoleon famously referred to as ‘sh-t in a silk stocking’. 

The sinful nature of childish idolatry warps Cp in several major ways: First, emotional experiences mesmerize Perceiver thought into accepting a single emotional experience as universal truth. As a result, long term growth and development is replaced by a fad-driven taste for short-term immediate gratification. Second, the pursuit of short-term goals leads indirectly to the development of inappropriate Server skills. Finally, Cp spills over into Ci (intellectual Contributor thought) by replacing rational thought with rationalization, using Teacher theories to ‘clothe’ childish behavior with the sophistication of complex words and concepts.

Exhorter and Contributor Cooperation: The diagram of mental symmetry shows an arrow running from Exhorter strategy to Contributor thought. This means that Contributor strategy is driven by Exhorter thought and that the thinking of the Contributor person is strongly motivated by subconscious Exhorter strategy.

Personality research indicates that the Contributor person can either operate with control or with confidence. The controlling Contributor does not give freedom, either to other people or to other modes of thought.

I interpret the MBTI® Judging/Perceiving split as a division between work and fun, or between freedom and control. Pure Exhorter strategy is fun; pure Contributor thought is work. These two can be integrated by having fun within the rules—doing useful work that is also enjoyable. When Exhorter and Contributor work together, then Contributor thought feels confident, because it is able to channel and guide Exhorter energy, imagination and excitement without falling apart.

Integrating Thinking and Feeling requires the development of Perceiver confidence. Bridging Judging and Perceiving appears to be related to Contributor confidence. Perceiver confidence is the ability to hold on to facts in the middle of emotional pressure. Contributor confidence, in contrast, is the ability to hold a plan together in the midst of Exhorter excitement. When Contributor thought has confidence, then Contributor strategy can give Exhorter thought the freedom to pursue excitement knowing that this freedom will not derail or destroy the plan that uses Perceiver facts and Server actions to reach a Mercy bottom line. The person with Contributor confidence looks and acts confident; he is the one with the wide smile of confidence on his face.

Because practical Contributor thought requires a mental foundation of value, and because building a map of value means integrating Thinking and Feeling, this implies that it is only possible to bring Perceiving and Judging together after the gap between Thinking and Feeling has been successfully bridged. In terms of an analogy, integrating Thinking and Feeling forms mental building material that can handle emotional pressure, whereas bringing Perceiving and Judging together uses this mental material to construct a ‘boiler’ which can contain and channel the mental stress of Exhorter excitement. 

I should point out that the word ‘Perceiver’ refers to a cognitive style, whereas the word ‘Perceiving’ describes an MBTI® category. These two are not the same. This confusion over terms is the result of attempting to integrate two different theoretical models of human personality.

When Perceiving and Judging are not integrated, then a common ‘solution’ is for the Contributor person to find excitement by operating on the edge of disaster. The possibility of disaster gives excitement to subconscious Exhorter strategy, while carrying out the plan uses Contributor strategy. Such a Contributor person lives in Judging on the edge of Perceiving. This lifestyle is common for the Contributor person who gets his map of value from the physical ‘me’. This map contains few Mercy emotions, and so Contributor thought adds the feelings along with the Exhorter drive and energy by courting physical disaster. This type of Contributor person will engage in foolhardy behavior such as climbing up a sheer cliff without a supporting rope, thinking that he is only alive when he is staring death in the face. Unfortunately, when dealing with natural cause and effect, death never blinks, whereas Contributor persons sometimes do—even when they are completely confident that they have covered all of their bases and that nothing could go wrong.

It appears that the Contributor person is not aware of either Perceiver or Server confidence.  For the Perceiver person, every fact carries with it a level of uncertainty. A similar sense of uncertainty applies to the Server person and Server actions. The Contributor person, who builds upon a mental foundation of Perceiver facts and Server actions, does not seem to sense this underlying uncertainty. If he knows a Perceiver fact, then he knows it for certain, without any doubts. Similarly, if he has worked out a Server action, then he is confident that he can perform it. This mental lack of awareness makes it much easier for the Contributor person to tempt fate with his death-defying stunts.

Cause and Effect: We have seen how Perceiver thought organizes Mercy experiences into groups and categories, allowing the mind to distinguish one object from another. These Perceiver facts are purely spatial; they deal with static bits of information. Contributor strategy adds a sense of time to Perceiver facts by connecting Server actions with Perceiver facts. This leads to the mental concept of cause and effect: “If I let go of the vase, then it will fall to the floor and smash.” When dealing with cause and effect, Perceiver thought is still looking for lasting connections between Mercy experiences, but these Mercy experiences are now separated by time. Principles of cause and effect, or sowing and reaping, form the basic building blocks of practical Contributor thought, who uses these principles to maneuver his way through the Perceiver/Mercy map of value. 

This is a significant concept, so it needs to be repeated: Perceiver and Mercy strategy can cooperate to build a map of value. But, this mental map will not contain a sense of time or action. In order to add time to the map of value, Contributor strategy must take the Perceiver facts that are contained within the map of value and connect them with Server actions. This leads to a sense of cause and effect, sowing and reaping, or investment and dividend.

Conscience and Guilt: Conscience is a principle of cause and effect that affects ‘me’ in Mercy thought. For instance, cause and effect says that throwing a stone off a cliff will cause it to hit the bottom at great speed, whereas conscience says that jumping off the cliff will cause me to hit the ground with great speed. Just as cause and effect adds time to Perceiver facts, so guilt adds Server actions—which occur over time—to painful personal Mercy experiences. For example, falling to the ground is a painful Mercy experience. Guilt says that I stumbled, or that someone pushed me. In either case, some personal identity is responsible for performing the Server action that lead to the Mercy result.

Practical Contributor thought is vulnerable to feelings of guilt. That is because it uses principles of cause and effect to improve some aspect of ‘me’. The typical Contributor person finds it very difficult to apologize or admit guilt. He deeply loves personal success and abhors personal failure. For the Perceiver person, self-image is largely static; it describes what he is. The Contributor person, with his additional sense of time and action, views himself in terms of what he has done. This is how Ayn Rand, who appears to exalt Cp as the ultimate mode of human thought, defines self-image. According to her, personal value is determined solely by what a person has accomplished. 

Approval Conscience and Natural Conscience: Because Perceiver truth comes in two different flavors, conscience also takes on two major forms. With approval conscience, the punishment or reward comes from a person, and the Perceiver connection between cause and effect is defined by a person. Thus, mother tells me that taking a cookie from the cookie jar will lead to a spanking, and she is the one who delivers the spanking when she catches me with my hand in the cookie jar. The emotional ‘me’ tends to be ruled by approval conscience: “What will she say if she finds out? What do they think of me?”

With natural conscience, the Perceiver link and the Mercy reward come from natural law. It is not enforced by any person: “If you play out on the freeway, then a car will hit you and you will get hurt.”

Approval conscience requires the presence, knowledge, confidence, and follow-through of people in order to function. For instance, consider mother’s rule that she will spank me if I take a cookie. Someone must see me taking the cookie, mother must know that I took the cookie, and mother must ignore my insistence that I did not take the cookie along with my pleading not to be punished. Finally, mother is the one who must apply the board of education to my seat of learning.

It is possible to combine aspects of approval conscience with natural conscience, but it appears that such an admixture is not stable. Instead, one or the other will eventually predominate.

When the mind is governed by approval conscience, then it is very difficult to integrate Perceiving and Judging. That is because the rules of approval only govern external behavior; they only affect how I appear to others. Therefore, whenever approval conscience attempts to channel behavior, the temptation will be to bypass these constraints internally or privately, by pretending, lying to others, or breaking a rule in secret. Natural conscience, in contrast, applies all the time, even when there is no person around to know or enforce the rule. Because it applies all of the time without any loopholes, it can trap and channel Exhorter drive and behavior.

Science and common sense teach us principles of natural conscience. The theory of mental symmetry, I suggest, describes a system of natural conscience that applies to the mind. This bears repeating. It is impossible for me to escape from my mind. It follows me around wherever I go. Therefore, if there are principles of cause and effect that apply to the mind and are based in the structure and wiring of the mind, then these principles describe an inescapable system of natural conscience.

Shielding People from Natural Consequences: One of the purposes of civilization is to protect humans from the painful consequences of violating natural conscience. Therefore, if I fall off a cliff and break my leg, then an ambulance will pick me up and take me to the hospital. However, if this shielding is taken to the extreme, then natural conscience becomes masked by approval conscience, because every potential cliff has in front of it a fence with a warning sign forbidding people from crossing the fence—and outlining the possible punishment of being caught on the wrong side of the fence. While this may have the immediate effect of reducing the number of people who fall over cliffs, it also has the long-term effect of crippling the development of natural conscience, because approval conscience forbids the individual from ever coming into contact with natural cause and effect. This will also make it much more difficult for a person to let go of childish identity and move into adult identity, because principles of natural conscience that help to develop the physical ‘me’ have been replaced by principles of approval conscience which reinforce the childish emotional ‘me’.

I suggest that the solution lies in the concept of the ‘back yard’. In the back yard, it is possible to stumble and skin your knee or even fall out of a tree and break your leg, but you are protected as much as possible from the more serious consequences of life. This ensures that natural conscience and the physical ‘me’ can develop, while still providing the external protection that is needed to survive the process of growing up.

If parents or government try to shield people from all natural consequences, then the next generation will conclude that there is no such thing as natural conscience, because all they will ever encounter is man-made barriers backed up by human imposed punishment. They will conclude that all rules are imposed by authority figures in order to stop people from having fun. The instinctive response will be to rebel from morality, leading to an environment of lawlessness and chaos which is even more toxic than the painful consequences from which the rules of society were originally designed to protect people.

I should mention in passing that I am not the only one to be concerned about the current Western obsession for personal safety. I lived in South Korea for several years and children there are allowed to travel alone by bus and subway far more than in North America. And, in countries like Korea, this works, because the typical North American attitude of societal rebellion is not present. 

Bottom Line: The bottom line is the specific emotional Mercy experience—within the overall Perceiver/Mercy map of value—that Contributor strategy is attempting to achieve, avoid, improve, or acquire. When the Contributor person is pursuing his bottom line, he will specialize, ignore unrelated fields, and even modify his personal character in order to gain better results in this particular area.

When Perceiver facts are determined emotionally, then the Contributor bottom line will involve power, fame, status, hedonism or personal prestige. The bottom line will be to increase my emotional status compared to other individuals. For this type of mindset, success is defined by the opinions of people. What really matters is the appearance of success, and failure only exists if one admits that one has failed. Put this paragraph together with the previous one and you end up with a person who may sacrifice his own soul in order to look good—convinced that he is a winner and that those around him are losers with no sense of value.

A more subtle error occurs when the bottom line is associated with the physical ‘me’. These Perceiver facts may be logical and may be based in rational Perceiver thought, but they are also objective and not associated with any strong Mercy feelings. This leads to a mental contradiction. How can one pursue an emotional bottom line, when the facts which define value avoid strong emotions. The solution is to add these Mercy feeling indirectly through status or association.

For instance, think of the runner who is trying to set a new world record. What inherent pleasure is there in running around a track for a few minutes? Very little. But, this bottom line does relate to the physical body, and it easy to compare, measure and quantify. Therefore, the athlete will give up many valuable experiences and items in order to shave a few seconds off his time. If he succeeds, then he receives the Mercy pleasure of status and personal recognition.

The most obvious example of an objective bottom line is money. You can’t eat it or wear it, but it describes the primary bottom line of many of the world’s Contributors. Where does the emotion come from in money? Through association. The piece of paper with writing on it can be used to purchase items of great value. But, the Contributor person whose bottom line is money does not use money in order to acquire items of value. Instead, his tendency is to refrain from using his money to purchase valuable items and experiences so that he can make more money, and to continue making money even when he already can buy everything that he would ever need or want.

Money is very useful as a medium of exchange—a way of comparing one item of value with another. But, when people—mainly Contributor persons—hoard it and lust after it, then I suggest that this will eventually destroy the economy. That is because money becomes disconnected from the items of value that money represents. Think, for instance, of how much banking and trading involves buying and selling the permission to buy and sell, without any stocks or items actually exchanging hands. This leverage allows people to create a virtual economy that is much larger than the real economy. But, when this virtual bubble pops, then it takes the real economy down with it.

I have mentioned that Cp requires the cooperation of several modes of thought. Contributor strategy controls this circuit; in business it is the part of the mind which actually performs the exchanges. When the mental circuit of practical Contributor thought is used primarily by Contributor persons, then they will naturally tend to emphasize the aspect of this mental circuit which is used by Contributor thought. As a result, business activity, an expression of practical Contributor thought, will become biased in favor of the Contributor person, emphasizing the exchange of wealth instead of the creation of wealth, leading inevitably to the creation of virtual economic bubbles.

When Perceiver facts come from tested belief, then Contributor thought will pursue character growth and personal development. Practical Contributor thought may gain possessions and acquire emotional status, but these will be viewed as secondary goals subservient to the primary goal of mental maturity. This is the type of practical Contributor thought that is preached by Jesus in the Gospels: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul?”

Notice that this entire process occurs automatically. Each cognitive style has its own strengths and weaknesses; no cognitive style is inherently superior to another. However, when the average human mind is partially developed, then the major mental circuit of practical Contributor thought will only be partially functional. However, because the Contributor person is conscious within the module which controls this circuit, he will be driven to use this partially developed mental circuit, and because he is using a mental circuit which integrates several modes of thought, he will be more successful than other cognitive styles, and because he is more successful, the sense of conscience and self-worth which accompanies the circuit of Cp will make him feel that he is superior to other people, which will make him feel justified in setting the standards for others, and because he is more successful and projects the aura of self-accomplishment which comes from using Cp, others will accept his standards, but because he is using Contributor thought to force Cp to function, and because it is primarily Contributor persons who are managing to achieve success, societal standards of personal success will become biased in favor of the Contributor person and the role which Contributor thought plays in the mental circuit of practical Contributor thought, making it more difficult for other cognitive styles to become successful, reinforcing the Contributor person’s feeling of inherent superiority and causing him to become instinctively attracted to other Contributor person’s who project similar auras of personal competence and Contributor confidence, making it possible for Contributor persons to gain control as a group over society. And if that seems like a long sentence, it is nothing compared to the sentence of societal and monetary inferiority which ends up being imposed upon the typical non-Contributor person who does not submit to the Contributor person’s standard of success.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: The circuit of Cp compares all Mercy experiences with the current bottom line. If a specific Mercy situation has the potential of increasing this bottom line, then it becomes an opportunity.

Seeing an opportunity usually occurs automatically and subconsciously in the Contributor person as subconscious Exhorter strategy finds excitement in the emotions of some Mercy opportunity. The practical Contributor person often looks at a situation and responds, “Someone should do something here. There is an opportunity waiting to be pursued.”

Once an opportunity has been spotted, then the next step is cost-benefit analysis: ‘me’ is currently ‘here’. The opportunity is ‘there’. Reaching ‘there’ has an emotional payoff. Letting go of ‘here’ has an emotional cost. Getting from ‘here’ to ‘there’ also has a cost—in this case the cost of performing the Server steps necessary to complete the journey. If the benefit is greater than the cost, then the practical Contributor may choose to pursue the opportunity.

Opportunity spotting is driven primarily by Exhorter strategy and Exhorter imagination. Cost-benefit, in contrast, uses Contributor strategy to examine the path that was uncovered by Exhorter imagination and evaluate it using Perceiver facts and Server skills. Thus, the typical Exhorter person finds it easy to discover opportunities, but his naturally tendency is to plunge in without performing detailed cost-benefit analysis and then to move on to the next opportunity when problems arise. 

Contingency Planning: Once an opportunity has been checked out using cost-benefit analysis, then the path that leads to this opportunity needs to be explored for possible dead ends. Therefore, the Contributor person who is constructing a plan will use conscious thought to walk through all aspects of the plan and see if subconscious Exhorter strategy is attracted to any potential problems. For each possible Mercy disaster, Contributor strategy will then work out a Server step that can put the plan back on track. Similarly, other cognitive styles will use conscious thought, sensory input, or advice from other individuals to ‘jostle’ their minds into exploring the various side roads and byways of a potential plan.

Optimization: The final aspect of practical Contributor thought is optimization. This takes an operating plan and replaces elements of it with equivalent parts that perform the same function but improve the Mercy bottom line.

Using the analogy of a trip to summarize, opportunity spots an attractive location on the horizon, cost-benefit checks my wallet along with the price of gas in order to see if it is worth going there, while contingency planning examines the route for potential potholes and bandits. Finally, once the trip has been taken several times, then optimization looks for a better route or a more economical vehicle. 

Because the Contributor person is conscious at the center of this mental circuit, he is naturally better at performing these various technical steps, but his analysis also tends to ‘narrow-minded’, getting all of the details right, but unaware of the larger picture. When Contributor persons set the standard for society, then personal success becomes defined as the ability to achieve technical excellence within some restricted area. Thus, for instance, the Olympic athlete is celebrated because he can run the fifty yard dash a few milliseconds faster than his opponent. 

Teacher Words and Server Actions

We began our discussion of Cp, the mental circuit of practical Contributor thought, by looking at the foundational role played by Mercy and Perceiver thought. We saw that these two modes cooperate to build the map of value which guides personal behavior. We will now turn our attention to Teacher and Server thought, the mirror images of Mercy and Perceiver strategies. I suggest that these two modes of thought provide the basis for Ci, the mental circuit of intellectual Contributor thought, by building an intellectual map of value. After describing these two specific modes of thought, we will then look at the circuit of Ci and compare it with Cp.

In simplest terms, Teacher mode is the part of the mind that works with words, whereas Server strategy deals with actions. Teacher and Server thought can both extend beyond these fundamental elements, but these provide the initial building blocks.

Teacher and Server Interaction: Because Teacher is the opposite and Mercy and Perceiver is the mirror image of Server, the interaction between Teacher and Server thought is similar to the relationship between Mercy and Perceiver thought. In both cases one of the pair operates emotionally, while the other uses confidence. And, just as Perceiver facts can only survive intact it they have sufficient confidence to handle emotional pressure, so Server sequences can only survive if they have sufficient confidence to deal with emotional intensity.

Perceiver confidence has to do with knowing. How certain am I that a specific fact is either true or false. I may know the facts when I am studying at home, but become uncertain when trying to answer a question on an exam. Server confidence involves primarily doing. I may be able to play a certain musical piece in private when no one is watching me, but become uncertain when asked to perform the piece in public in front of an audience. 

While the interaction between Teacher and Server thought is similar to the relationship between Mercy and Perceiver strategies, there are also major differences. These differences are not the result of the modes of thought themselves but instead are caused by the asymmetrical manner in which the mind interacts with the physical body. On the one hand, the physical body primes Mercy strategy with experiences from the real world that are associated with physical sensations of pain and pleasure. Thus, the primary struggle for Perceiver thought is to survive pre-existing emotions that are already present within Mercy memory.

On the other hand, Teacher emotions are only encountered when Teacher thought discovers order within complexity. When a number of elements fit together, then Teacher thought feels good. When there is chaos or when one item is out of place, then Teacher thought feels bad. While even a baby knows about Mercy feelings, it appears that the physical body does not teach the mind about Teacher feelings. Instead, a person only discovers the world of Teacher emotions when he takes a number of items, puts them together in an integrated way and discovers that this feels good. Mathematicians and other theoretical researchers know about Teacher emotion, for that is what drives them emotionally when they perform their esoteric manipulations. The uninitiated commoner observing these ‘eggheads’ from the sidelines assumes that the theoretical mind is free of emotion, a conclusion which is only half right. Theoretical work may be free of Mercy feelings, but it is full of Teacher emotion, which the average individual does not sense because he has not learned how to feel Teacher emotion in that specific area of thought.

Therefore, let me repeat myself so that the basic concept truly sinks in: The mind actually has two entirely different ways of generating feelings—a Mercy way and a Teacher way. There is no obvious mental way of distinguishing these two types of emotion. Instead, emotion feels the same, no matter what its source.

However, as I mentioned before, Teacher and Mercy thought each have their own way of interpreting emotions. For Mercy thought, emotion is associated with personal desire—wanting to get somewhere or have something. As every economist will tell you, the circuit of Cp is driven by personal, subjective Mercy feelings. Teacher strategy, in contrast, associates feeling with universality. Thus, if I look at an object or person of beauty and think, “I want that for myself,” or “I want to be like that”, then Mercy thought is driving emotions. However, if my reaction is “that is beautiful,” and “I want others to share in my concept of beauty,” then Teacher thought is driving the process. Immanuel Kant makes this distinction in his description of emotion, and it fits in well with the concept of Mercy and Teacher emotion. As we shall see later, Ci is motivated by Teacher emotions, and not by Mercy feelings.

Moving on, unlike Mercy and Perceiver thought, both Teacher and Server modes are capable of using the physical body to express themselves. The main building block for Teacher thought is words, which Teacher thought is able to express through speech. The main content for Server strategy comes from actions, which Server strategy expresses through physical movement. The typical Teacher person, who appears to be the most rare of all the seven cognitive styles, loves words and immerses himself in a theoretical world of words and symbols. In contrast, the average Server person, who is far more common, spends most of his time performing physical action. Because both Teacher and Server thought have their own ‘private lines’ to the outside world, the natural tendency is for these two modes of thought to live in their own private worlds, oblivious to the existence of the other. As we have all discovered, there is often very little connection between what a person says and what he does.

MBTI®: The separation between actions and words lies at the heart of the Myers-Briggs® division between Sensing and iNtuition. Sensing uses Server actions and sequences to plod along one step at a time. In contrast, iNtuition uses words to construct grand theories, leaping from one concept to another, while ignoring the Server actions that are needed to get from here to there. Thus, one could say that the left hemisphere split between Sensing and iNtuition is the mirror image of the right hemisphere division between Thinking and Feeling. However, the reason for these two mental ‘divorces’ is not the same. Thinking and Feeling separate because Perceiver and Mercy thought are continually bickering and arguing with each other. In contrast, Sensing and iNtuition split because Server and Teacher strategies gradually drift apart, each content to live in their own separate worlds.

However, Ci, the mental circuit of intellectual Contributor thought, requires a combination of Teacher and Server content. Teacher content provides the feeling while Server sequences add the stability. Because Teacher and Server thought each live in their own separate worlds, the natural tendency is for each to complete itself by ‘occupying’ part of the territory of the other. Server stability can be added to Teacher words through the repetition of memorization or the act of writing. Moving from the other side, Server actions will produce Teacher feelings of generality if a number of similar actions are performed. We will examine this in more detail later on.

The fundamental premise of science is that it is possible to combine Teacher words with Server actions, thus integrating Sensing and iNtuition. Scientific education is guided by the Teacher feelings that are associated with mathematical equations and the laws of nature, but scientific skill is acquired by solving scientific problems—carrying out Server sequences guided by the Teacher emotions of a Teacher paradigm or general theory. Thomas Kuhn describes the process of scientific education in some detail in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Server confidence: Server actions, along with other Server sequences, are all associated with a level of confidence or knowing. For instance, I may know how to walk along a path, but lack the confidence to perform this action when the path is on a bridge that is suspended fifty meters above a river. Or, as I mentioned before, I may know how to play a musical instrument when I am alone, but lack the confidence to play in front of a large audience. Both Perceiver and Server confidence can be increased through repetition. In the human individual, Perceiver strategy is incapable of affecting the external world directly, therefore Perceiver confidence is primarily gained by observing which facts are repeated. However, because Server strategy can express itself externally through action, Server confidence can be gained simply by repeating an action, otherwise known as practicing. As the saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect’. Actually, that is not quite accurate. Practicing does make an action more rehearsed and easier to do, but practicing only makes perfect if Server actions are evaluated and adjusted using feedback from Perceiver and Mercy feelings of value. My experience as a professional musician has taught me that this is a general principle which most amateur athletes and groups have not learned, because they think that practicing means continually repeating the same mediocre level of performance, without ever stopping and fixing the mistakes.

This means that both Perceiver and Server thought are capable of being fooled—though usually for different reasons. Mercy pressure can be used to mesmerize Perceiver thought into ‘believing’ facts which are not true. And, practice and repetition can be used to ‘fool’ Server thought into thinking that a Server sequence is universal, simply because I have repeated it so many times using my own body. Thus, a new Server sequence may be rejected simply because ‘we do not do things that way around here.’

Because Teacher emotion must be constructed by the mind and is not acquired initially by the body, the emotional pressure that threatens Server confidence usually comes from Mercy experiences. When walking above a chasm, for instance, the emotional threat comes from the horrible Mercy experience of falling off the bridge. Similarly, when playing in front of an audience, the emotional pressure comes from the emotional status which Mercy thought has assigned to the people in the audience.

Instruction: However, if societal interaction becomes sufficiently structured, then it is also possible to mesmerize Server thought into accepting Teacher words, just as Mercy experiences can mesmerize Perceiver thought into accepting facts. This is calling obeying instructions or following the recipe. When obeying instructions, the words are usually spoken directly by an authority figure. In contrast, a recipe is generally set down in written form.

Server confidence grows as a person learns to do things by himself without following instructions. Instructions, recipes, and procedures may be a good way of teaching Server skills, but Server confidence will only be acquired as an individual goes beyond instructions, lays aside the recipe, and decides not to follow procedure. One thinks, for instance, of the child who says, “Don’t do it for me, daddy. I want to do it myself.” Or, “Don’t tell me how to do it. I want to figure it out for myself.”

Notice that this step of growing Server confidence is required even when the instructions that are given are perfect. Even if a person has been taught the correct way of doing something, he still needs to do it on his own without looking to the expert or reading the instructions. In general, Server thought develops as a person learns how to work out his own Server sequences by adjusting, reordering, and recombining the Server steps that he was taught.

Martin Heidegger and Personal Identity: I have mentioned that Perceiver thought creates a self-image by looking at all the Mercy experiences that form a part of ‘me’ and deciding that they belong together. Because humans live in a physical body which exists as a physical object within a world of Mercy experiences, that is the normal way for self-image to develop. However, it is also possible for Server and Teacher thought, the mirror image of Perceiver and Mercy strategies, to form a self image based upon what I can do. Server strategy examines my personal skills and decides that they form a package which defines my personal identity. Server strategy then organizes other people and objects guided by what they can do: Each person is viewed as a collection of skills, and an object becomes a tool with a specific function. These various skills and tools are then placed within the overall framework of a general Teacher understanding—the ‘world’ within which they ‘live’.

It appears that the writings of Martin Heidegger make sense when viewed from the perspective of Server thought. On the negative side, Heidegger insisted that Perceiver truth did not exist, and he rejected the Perceiver concept of objects and physical space. On the positive side, Heidegger did an impressive job of defining personal existence in terms of Server skills and Server sequences. Heidegger referred to personal identity as Dasein, which describes my personal possibilities. My present location is not spatial, but rather temporal, existing at a specific time within the general Server sequence of birth, life and death. Objects are not related to me in terms of spatial distance, but rather in terms of how available they are for use as a tool. A chair in which I can sit is ready-at-hand. If a bookcase stands between me and the chair, then the chair becomes present-at-hand.

That brings us to a general principle. There are two basic ways to approach someone like Heidegger, who on the surface is clearly anti-truth and anti-Christian. The Mercy way is to place an emotional label of good or bad upon his Mercy person and his Perceiver facts: “Heidegger did not believe in truth, therefore he is evil and everything he says is wrong.” However, it is also possible to approach the subject from the viewpoint of Teacher universality: “Heidegger has a piece of the puzzle. His big picture may be inaccurate but he does describe some valid puzzle pieces which need to be placed in their proper location and tied together with other puzzle pieces.” If God is a universal being, then one concludes that the Teacher method is the godly approach.


Intellectual Contributor Thought

Now that we have looked briefly at Teacher and Server strategies, let us look at the mental circuit that is related to these two modes of thought. As I have mentioned, Contributor strategy can operate at the helm of one of two fundamental mental circuits: Cp and Ci—practical Contributor thought and intellectual Contributor thought. These two mental circuits are mirror images of one another. Generally speaking, the Contributor person who develops practical thought does not use intellectual strategy, and vice versa. It is unusual to find a Contributor person who has developed both practical and intellectual Contributor thought. That is because integrating these two circuits requires extensive mental development, whereas the typical Contributor person is using conscious control to force these circuits to work. And, when mental force is used to enable one of these mental circuits, this tends to shut down the other circuit. As a result, the intellectual Contributor person is often physically clumsy, mentally crippled at carrying out Server actions, whereas the practical Contributor person tends to be mentally clumsy, verbally repeating the same forty or so anecdotes to his listening audience.

We have seen how Cp builds upon a Perceiver/Mercy map of value by adding Server actions. Similarly, the circuit of Ci begins with a Server/Teacher structure that is based in Teacher words and adds to this Perceiver meanings. Note the mental dichotomy that results from the distinction between Server actions and Teacher words. Cp uses Server actions, whereas Ci is based in Teacher words.

Sensing and iNtuition: This distinction is very significant, so it needs to be repeated. Server and Teacher thought will naturally operate in one of two modes: Sensing and iNtuition. Sensing is developed by Server actions, and Server actions play a major role in practical Contributor thought. The Server actions of Sensing also lead to a form of Teacher emotion; when a Server skill or set of Server actions is developed, then Teacher thought will sense feelings of order within complexity. When this happens, then it is possible for Server actions to become disconnected from Mercy goals, for actions will be performed simply because doing them produces good Teacher feelings and not because they accomplish anything or lead to any worthwhile goal in Mercy thought. This explains the rise of bureaucracy. Initially, a bureaucracy is set up to provide a more efficient way of meeting a Mercy need. Eventually, the bureaucracy develops a life of its own and the bureaucracy will then start expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy—all driven now by Teacher emotions of order within complexity.

Intuition, in contrast, is initially developed by Teacher words, which play a major role in intellectual Contributor thought. Teacher words and verbal theories can acquire mental stability through the Server act of writing or typing. Thus, words, which began as ways of describing reality, can be built into vast intellectual edifices of order within complexity which transcend reality. This allows the mind to escape the finite world of human existence and to contemplate universal concepts and grand theories. If the mind is not integrated, then it is easy for intellectual Contributor thought and iNtuition to become completely divorced from reality, leading to the intellectual and his ‘castle in the air’.

Intellectual Contributor thought operates by adding Perceiver meaning to verbal iNtuitive Teacher/Server thought. One sees this with language. The words themselves are stored within Teacher thought. Server strategy then gives stability to these Teacher elements by categorizing them into solid grammatical sequences of letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. When a person memorizes words or sentences, he is using repetition to give Server stability to Teacher language. The end result of words, grammar, and memorization is an integrated Server/Teacher structure of language. While this combination is sufficient to produce speech, the mind does not yet know what is being said, because Perceiver meaning has not yet been added to any of the Server elements. That is what intellectual Contributor thought does—it adds Perceiver meanings to Server sequences of letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and theories.

Once Perceiver meaning has been added, then communication becomes possible. It also becomes possible to rephrase speech and to convey the same meaning using different words and different phrases. This difference is illustrated clearly by mathematics. Math can be learned solely as a combination of Server equations and Teacher symbols, without ascribing any Perceiver meaning to either the equations or the symbols. The individual with this type of understanding is able to perform mathematical calculations, but he has no idea what these calculations mean. When questioned, he will reply ‘it is obvious’ and then proceed to repeat verbatim what he said before. It is generally known that such an approach makes both a poor mathematician and a lousy teacher.

Compare this with the mathematician who ascribes meaning to what he is calculating. When asked to explain an equation, he will think for a moment, reply ‘it is like this’, and then attempt to add meaning to his equations by describing an example that is similar or analogous.

Logic and Meaning: In the same way that the practical Contributor uses Server actions to reach Mercy goals, so one can view intellectual Contributor strategy as using Perceiver thought to move from one Server sequence to another. This is illustrated by math and logic, which consists of equations and logical statements. The rules of math state how one equation can be transformed into another, while the rules of logic determine how one moves from one logical statement to another.

Notice that logic and math form a rigorous version of intellectual Contributor thought, in which intellectual movement is tightly constrained. The bottom line for logic and math is Teacher emotion, attaining the Teacher pleasure of a general theory while avoiding the Teacher pain of a logical contradiction. The ultimate goal of logic and math is to produce a theory that is both universal and internally consistent.

With normal speech, the Perceiver content is provided by meaning and not by rules of logic. When Perceiver thought operates within Thinking or else when Perceiver thought has sufficient confidence to handle Mercy feelings, then it is possible to relate the loose Perceiver meanings of every day speech with the tight rules of Perceiver logic. However, when Mercy emotions mesmerize Perceiver thought through Feeling, then Perceiver ‘meaning’ will inevitably collide with Perceiver rules of logic.

For instance, the philosopher Wittgenstein attempted to use the tight rules of Perceiver logic to explain the messy thinking of normal existence and concluded that the project was meaningless. Unfortunately, instead of admitting that normal existence is guided by childish identity and Mercy idolatry and that this ‘sinful nature’ needs to be transformed, he concluded that one needs to abandon philosophy and then spent the rest of his life playing the ‘game’ (using his word) of attempting to categorize the messy world of normal speech.

It is also possible for Perceiver meaning to be provided by automatic Perceiver thought in the back of the cortex. Most speech falls into this category, because the average person has never consciously considered the meaning of most of words but simply picked up these meanings ‘through osmosis’ as automatic thought organized what he was hearing.

Automatic Thought: That brings us to a fundamental concept which needs to be described, but which is not shown in the diagram of mental symmetry. Each of the four simple styles (Perceiver, Server, Teacher and Mercy) is associated with an automatic part in the back of the brain cortex and an internal world in a portion of the frontal lobes. In the back of the brain, it is fairly obvious to conclude from basic neurology that Teacher thought uses the left temporal lobe, Mercy strategy uses the right temporal lobe, Server mode uses the left parietal lobe and Perceiver strategy uses the right parietal lobe. Similarly, the neurological evidence is now fairly solid to suggest that the internal Mercy world is located within right orbital Frontal cortex, the internal Teacher world within left orbital Frontal cortex, the Perceiver internal world within right dorsolateral Frontal cortex, and the Server internal world within left dorsolateral Frontal cortex.

Automatic thought and the internal world both function in the same way. For instance, both automatic Server thought and the internal Server world work with repeated, practical sequences. Thus, it makes sense to consider both automatic Server thought and the internal Server world as aspects of Server thought. But, this thinking occurs automatically within automatic thought apart from conscious effort. Information comes in and becomes self-organized as the automatic module functions. 

In contrast, information appears to enter the internal world through conscious decision. Each of the four styles has its own guidelines for evaluating information. For Mercy thought, it is identification; for the Perceiver, it is belief; for the Teacher it is understanding, and for the Server it is commitment. (I use the word commitment to distinguish from the decisions of Contributor thought, which appears to be the core of the human will.)

There also appears to be both an automatic and in internal world version of personal identity. Remember that Perceiver and Mercy thought cooperate to build personal identity. Self image is defined by Perceiver thought, but the actual experiences that make up ‘me’ reside in Mercy strategy. Neurology tells us that there is an aspect to personal identity in the back of the brain, in a region that lies between the temporal lobe (automatic Mercy thought) and the parietal lobe(automatic Perceiver thought). Neurologists talk about ‘mirror neurons’ in this area which allow one person to mimic the behavior of another.

In the front of the brain, personal identity is associated with the medial frontal cortex, a region which appears to combine the internal Mercy world of the orbital Frontal region with the internal Perceiver world of the dorsolateral Frontal region.

I should emphasize that we are only describing half of the picture. What I just mentioned applies to the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere also appears to be capable of building a form of self image based upon my personal Server skills and how they relate to Teacher words and Teacher understanding.        

Science: Science is a search for universal Teacher theories that can be used to describe natural process. Scientific thought began when pioneers such as Galileo made a critical breakthrough in two areas: First, they stopped studying Perceiver objects and began to examine Server sequences. Thus, Galileo began his work by observing the swinging of a pendulum, and his famous demonstration involved dropping two different cannonballs from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Second, these scientific pioneers used Perceiver logic to compare one Server sequence with another. Galileo, for instance, discovered that it took the same amount of time for both balls to hit the ground.

Notice again the intermediate role played by Server sequence. When Perceiver facts are used to compare one natural process with another, then one discovers that similar Server processes are at work, leading to the discovery of universal Teacher laws of nature.

In contrast, Greek thinkers, such as Aristotle, never discovered science, because they ignored Server actions. On the one hand, the Greek philosopher was expected to be a man of leisure—in a time when all ‘dirty work’ was performed by slaves. On the other hand, Aristotle, and those like him, studied Perceiver objects and Mercy specimens, leading to classification instead of science.

Words, Theories, and Perceiver Thought: I have mentioned that words form the basic building blocks of Teacher thought. I have also stated that Teacher thought works with general theories. These two are closely related. For instance, suppose that I say, “The rose is red.” I am using Teacher words to make a statement about some specific Mercy experience. However, suppose that I modify this and say, “Roses are red.” I have now made a general statement that applies to all roses; I am verbalizing a general Teacher theory. The very nature of Teacher words is to generalize. The word ‘rose’ itself, for instance, describes many individual flowers.

Perceiver thought can either limit the generality of a Teacher theory or make it more universal. For example, if I say that ‘Roses are red’, I am implying that Perceiver thought in my mind has compared many individual Mercy experiences involving roses and has found that they share the common trait of having the color red. On the other hand, suppose that Perceiver thought encounters the Mercy experience of a yellow rose. If Perceiver strategy asserts this counter-example, it will make Teacher strategy feel bad. That is because Perceiver thought has discovered an exception to the rule. No longer can Teacher strategy say that ‘Roses are red’, because all roses are not red.

This conflict puts Teacher and Perceiver thought into a sort of ‘love/hate’ relationship. On the one hand, Teacher thought hates it when Perceiver facts ruin a perfectly good theory. However, Perceiver facts and Perceiver rules of logic can also be used to build Teacher theories that are far more solid and long-lasting. On the other hand, Perceiver thought hates it when a Teacher theory extends into a new field of thought because this forces Perceiver strategy to learn all about a new set of facts, and Perceiver strategy feels disoriented when forced to enter a new realm for which it has no mental associations. However, Perceiver thought likes having learned about a new field because this increases the breadth of Perceiver facts and connections. Thus, Teacher and Perceiver thought cooperate to build abstract thought, which is why they are labeled as ‘abstract’ on the diagram of mental symmetry.

I know all about this interaction because I, a Perceiver person, worked with my brother Lane Friesen, a Teacher person, to develop our theory of human personality. This type of interaction may be extremely fruitful for developing a general theory, but it is also very tiring. In my experience, such a  relationship can only continue to function as long as the underlying goal is to build solid, universal Teacher understanding. If the Teacher person decides that he does not want to deal with some subject because it makes him feel bad or brings to mind the wrong emotional associations, or if the Perceiver person decides that he does not want to study a certain topic because it is too much work or because the topic contains too many irrational facts, then the interaction will break down.

One also sees the tension between Perceiver and Teacher thought in the scientific method. Perceiver thought observes the natural world in order to gather solid facts; Teacher strategy then uses these facts to build a hypothesis. A good Teacher hypothesis will make predictions which can then be tested by using Perceiver strategy to gather more facts. The problem is that Perceiver thought can never check all of the facts. For instance, I cannot test the ‘law of gravity’ by dropping every object on every planet. Similarly, I cannot test the theory of cognitive styles by all examining all the behavior of every person to see if it fall into the categories of Perceiver, Server, and so on. Instead, Teacher strategy has to extrapolate from a limited pool of Perceiver data. This places both Perceiver and Teacher thought in a vulnerable situation because Perceiver strategy has to allow Teacher thought to extend from limited information to general theory, while Teacher thought has to realize that new information could come in which would destroy the Teacher theory. When a theory is well-established or widely accepted, then this tension is not apparent. However, it is very obvious when working on a new theory or trying to extend or modify an existing one.

Stages of Ci (Intellectual Contributor Thought): When we looked at Cp, we divided it into the stages of opportunity, cost/benefit, contingency planning, and optimization. It appears that Ci also goes through similar stages. Before we look at these stages, I should re-emphasize that Contributor strategy does not operate in isolation. Instead, both Ci and Cp are mental circuits which require the cooperation of all seven modes in order to function to their full potential.

First, there is the intellectual opportunity. This emerges when Exhorter strategy is attracted to the strong emotions associated with some general Teacher concept. Because Perceiver facts tend to limit Teacher theories, Exhorter strategy is often attracted to Teacher theories which contain the most uncertain Perceiver facts, because this is where Exhorter strategy has the most freedom to exaggerate, and exaggeration increases the generality of a Teacher theory, which inflates its Teacher emotion, making it more exciting for Exhorter strategy. If Perceiver facts are totally absent within a certain context, then Exhorter thought is free to exaggerate without restriction, and Teacher thought will state its premise in universal terms. The Exhorter person can be prone to making grand statements which lack solid factual content.

Next, there is the intellectual equivalent of cost/benefit analysis. The benefit of building a Teacher theory is the Teacher emotion of having a grand theory. The cost is the emotional price of letting go of the current explanation combined with the cost of learning a new set of facts. Going through a paradigm change is extremely costly, because it involves major tearing down and relearning. That is why graduate students tend to be the most open to learning new theories. They have the skills that are needed to build general understanding, while they have not yet invested major time and effort in any specific theory. Professors, on the other hand, are often remarkably close-minded to new paradigms, because the cost that they would have to pay to learn a new Teacher theory is usually too great. Thomas Kuhn comes to a similar conclusion in his analysis of scientific thought. Likewise, it tends to be the younger person who is most willing to go through religious conversion.

Intellectual contingency planning examines a theory for potential holes and logical contradictions. This describes what one does when preparing for a debate or argument: “If he says this, then how will I respond?” “What is my counterargument for his argument?” As with practical Contributor thought, Exhorter strategy is given freedom to explore the various mental pathways for potential crises, to which Contributor strategy responds by coming up with Perceiver facts that will bring the discussion back on track. The Contributor person can excel at debate and will do almost anything to avoid losing an argument. Unfortunately, when Perceiver thought is mesmerized and Mercy emotions determine Perceiver ‘truth’, then winning a debate turns into using Mercy emotions to establish the Perceiver ‘facts’ that back up my Teacher understanding. Therefore, the ‘successful’ debater will make frequent references to ‘sacred cows’ such as God, country, apple pie, and The American Way—or whatever describes the local version of this combination.

Intellectual optimization occurs when theories or systems of order are well established. For instance, this is the type of thinking that is used when setting up a process for assembly line operation. The goal here is not to achieve some Mercy bottom line, but rather to increase the Teacher order within complexity, by eliminating unnecessary steps, reducing periods of inactivity, shortening movement, or using new processes.

Notice that the same process can be subjected to both intellectual and practical optimization. Intellectual optimization tries to increase Teacher feelings of efficiency and avoid the Teacher pain of unreliability; practical optimization attempts to increase the Mercy pleasure of benefit and reduce the Mercy pain of cost. These two methods often come to similar goals, but not always. There is an old Engineering proverb that says: “It is not possible to make something quickly that is reliable and cheap. You can have any two of these qualities, but not all three.”

Thomas Kuhn, Normal Science and Revolutionary Science: In our discussion of Cp, I suggested that when human minds are partially developed, then a natural process occurs by which the Contributor person uses his conscious ability to control Cp to modify societal standards in his favor. Thomas Kuhn, in his book Structure of Scientific Revolutions, describes precisely the same process occurring academically with Ci. Of course, Kuhn does not use the word ‘Contributor person’, but if you look at the type of mental processing which he is describing, the correspondence is rather striking.

According to Kuhn, scientific research can be divided into normal science and revolutionary science. Normal science involves running the circuit of Ci, which generally involves using the technical rules of logic and mathematics to look for intellectual opportunities, practice intellectual contingency planning, and perform intellectual optimization. All of this occurs within an existing general Teacher theory or paradigm. Kuhn says the typical scientist spends most of his career doing this type of intellectual problem solving. In other words, most science consists not of constructing intellectual vehicles, but of getting behind the wheel of an existing intellectual vehicle and using it to ‘go places’.

However, when it comes to actually testing a new general Teacher theory or using Perceiver facts to construct a general Teacher understanding, Kuhn says that this only occurs during rare episodes of what he calls revolutionary science. Even though science officially defines itself as using Perceiver facts to build Teacher paradigms, and even though science claims that it is completely driven by logical thought and that it is willing to re-evaluate any Teacher theory if it encounters Perceiver facts which contradict that theory, Kuhn concludes that the typical scientist is not skilled at evaluating theories and that when it comes to either testing or adopting a new general theory, the attitude of the typical scientist is rather like that of the religious fundamentalist, for both claim to be the servants of truth but both go to great lengths to defend and modify an existing general theory, even when faced with extensive counterexamples. And those are Kuhn’s conclusions, and not just mine.

In other words, it appears that science has redefined intellectual success so that it favors technical analysis within some narrow specialization—the aspect of Ci which emphasizes Contributor thought, while making it much more difficult to use Ci as a general purpose mental tool for using Perceiver truth to build general Teacher understanding. In fact, Kuhn describes in some detail the antagonism which the researcher experiences who attempts to move beyond technical problem solving in order to introduce a new general Teacher theory, precisely the sort of opposition which I have encountered while attempting to disseminate the theory of mental symmetry.

Integrated Contributor Thought: One might think that it would simple to integrate the two mental circuits of Cp and Ci. After all, they both use Contributor strategy, they both combine Perceiver and Server thought, and they are both driven by Exhorter imagination and balanced by Facilitator mixing. However, unifying these two mental circuits appears to be very difficult. It also seems to be rather important, because the mental steps that must be taken to form and integrate Cp and Ci correspond to the core doctrines of Christianity. Therefore, now that we understand these two mental circuits, we will be spending much of the rest of this book analyzing the process of tying together these two mental circuits. We will begin with an overview using the language of mental symmetry, and then we will look at the details adding the theological concepts.

The fundamental problem in bringing these two circuits together is that Contributor thought is a secondary strategy, based upon the mental foundation of Perceiver strategy and Server thought. Contributor thought cannot create its own memories. Instead, it can only build connections between existing Perceiver memories and Server memories.

Unfortunately, Perceiver thought is split by the division between Thinking and Feeling, while Server thought is divided by the separation between Sensing and iNtuition. Therefore, integrating Cp and Ci really means integrating Thinking and Feeling along with Sensing and iNtuition. This means that the task of bringing these two mental circuits together is more than just a series of Contributor choices. It does involve that but it also includes a Perceiver component and a Server component. This explains why the typical Contributor person emphasizes either Cp or Ci. He wants to use Contributor thought to run the circuit; he does not want to spend years developing and integrating Server strategy and Perceiver strategy—modes of thought which are subconscious in his mind.

In the circuit of Cp, Perceiver thought constructs the map of value which guides personal behavior: This is my present emotional state. This is where I would like to go and how it will feel. This is how I get from here to there and how the journey will feel. In the circuit of Ci, Perceiver strategy plays a different role. Ci uses Perceiver strategy to define the meanings of Teacher words. If these two ways of using Perceiver thought are to be unified in my mind, then I must be honest about myself and I must describe this personal honesty accurately using words. This may sound simple, but it is not, especially this verbal honesty means admitting to personal failure. The typical Contributor person finds it very difficult to apologize.

On the Server side, Cp uses Server actions to get from here to there, while Ci uses Server thought to form the structure of speech and theory. If these two aspects of Server thought are to be combined, then what I say should match what I do. In other words, I must not be a hypocrite, for a hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does another. Since both of these mental strategies function over time, it will also take time to make them compatible with each other, which means continuing to act and talk in a consistent manner for an extended period of time.

Thinking and Feeling fight each other. Perceiver thought has to gain the confidence that is needed to handle the continual onslaught of Mercy emotions. But this also means that Perceiver and Mercy modes are interacting. They know about each other and they know what the other is doing. Therefore, if this fighting can be turned into cooperation, then the Perceiver aspect of Cp and Ci will become unified.

In contrast, Sensing and iNtuition ignore each other. This may make their mutual antagonism less obvious but it also makes the task of bringing them together more difficult. Because each is ignorant of the other, they must first be made compatible with one other before they can be brought together. Thus, it is not enough for what I say to match up with what I do. That may make the Server aspects of Cp and Ci compatible with one another, but they are still leading a parallel existence, similar yet unattached. Instead, the actual integration will only occur if one aspect falls apart and is put back together by the other. Only then will the ‘gluing together’ occur.

One sees this contrast illustrated in marriage. The Perceiver side of marriage is reflected in the vow: I take you to be my lawfully wedded spouse. This Perceiver connection is created at a specific time, and is reinforced by specific incidents during which I choose to remain faithful to my partner. The Server aspect of becoming a couple, though, occurs over time. Two separate ways of living have to become one. And, two partners living under a single roof each doing their own thing does not constitute a successful marriage. Instead, the two partners have to abandon what they were doing before in order to start doing things together as a team. The newlywed couple that wants to build a successful marriage has about three years to accomplish this Server unity. If they do not find a common plan which requires them to work together within that timeframe, then they will start drifting apart, each going their own separate Server ways. 

This illustrates an important mental principle which needs to be stated explicitly: The mind will always take the easy way out. Whenever there are two alternative ways of doing something, then the mind will instinctively take the easier way, and will only choose the more difficult path when the easier path becomes blocked.

Rebuilding Intellectual Contributor Thought: If integrating Cp and Ci ultimately means that one of these two mental circuits has to fall apart and be rebuilt by the other, then that leads us to pose the question: If a person wants to achieve mental wholeness, then which of these two circuits needs to fall apart and which one needs to do the rebuilding? This, I suggest, is a deeply moral choice, because the easy and obvious choice is not the best choice. Generally speaking, a person would far rather hold on to Cp than attempt to keep Ci intact. That is because Cp is the human circuit; living as a human being within the physical world requires this mental circuit. This is the circuit of personal identity, emotional experiences, and physical action. It hurts when these fall apart. Thus, when a person tries to reach a personal goal and fails, then the typical response is: “Never give up. If you fail, try, try again.”

However, the circuit of Cp is also fatally flawed, because it was brought into existence through the Mercy idolatry of the child. Emotional experiences from the physical body filled Mercy strategy and fooled Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ what was ‘true’. The goal of Cp is to improve personal identity. But, the childish mind does not even have a personal identity. Instead, Perceiver ‘facts’ about ‘me’ are defined by the latest emotional experience that comes along. When the idolatrous mind encounters a pleasant Mercy experience, the strong emotion mesmerizes Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ that this experience belongs to ‘me’. Similarly, whenever personal identity encounters painful experiences, the emotion convinces Perceiver thought that this does not belong to ‘me’. And this crazy quilt of idolatry and self-deception is what guides Server actions as the childish mind attempts to pursue what it thinks is a goal in order to bring pleasure to what it thinks is ‘me’. In simple terms, ‘If it feels good, do it’. Ayn Rand accurately states that this type of behavior, which she refers to as ‘whim-worship’ and ‘selfishness-without-a-self’, has nothing in common with the ‘rational selfishness’ of Cp.

So, what happens when Ci falls apart and is put back together by Cp? An individual becomes able to describe himself and his personal behavior accurately in theoretical terms. But, what sort of practical identity and what type of behavior will such a person be describing in intellectual thought? Childish identity and childish behavior. Generally speaking, when one examines psychology and philosophy, one finds a lot of childish attitude and childish conduct being described. But, instead of calling it childish and suggesting that it needs to change, it is usually described as normal behavior which everyone does. Thus, my personal feelings are interpreted as universal truth, and I assume that everyone should act the way that I do. Yes, some writers, such as Immanuel Kant, Ayn Rand, or Jean Piaget do make a clear distinction between childish identity and adult identity, but the more common response seems to be to take the approach of Nietzsche, who idolizes the childish ‘me’ and turns it into a superhero.

In fact, logic tells us that when Cp is guided by Mercy idolatry and childish identity, then building or rebuilding Ci upon this inadequate foundation will lead to extended personal disaster. The shortcuts of childish Cp already lead to personal failure. Adding Ci to this simply allows me to rationalize my personal failure and feel good about it in Teacher thought—perpetuating my inadequate responses.

Thus, when a Contributor person such as Ayn Rand states that the circuit of Cp needs to be reprogrammed so that it is used rationally and logically, then she is right. However, when a Contributor person uses Contributor control to force Cp to operate at a higher level, then the personal success will generally be limited to the realm of the objective. The businessman may say that he is trying to improve himself and attempting to build value, but he will actually pursue the external symbols of value and achieve the external signs of success. Ayn Rand, in fact, bases her entire philosophy upon the concept of objectivism: building my mind upon a foundation of external facts and physical objects. Therefore, the primate Mercy feelings of the child remain intact, buried but still present under the surface, shown only to family and close friends. In addition, we have seen that the ‘successful’ Contributor person actually ends up setting up a social approval system which makes it more difficult for other cognitive styles to develop the circuit of Cp.

Rebuilding Practical Contributor Thought: The other option is for Cp to fall apart and be put back together by Ci. When functioning by itself, Ci works with words and verbal theories. However, when Cp becomes added to Ci, then Teacher theories are no longer composed of just words. Instead, normal life and personal activity become illustrations and expressions of general Teacher understanding. In addition, Cp is no longer limited to using only Server actions to reach a goal in Mercy strategy. Instead, intellectual Contributor ‘supercharges’ practical thinking by allowing the development of new methods and strategies.

In brief, we have a problem, a false solution, and a possible solution. The problem is that while childish idolatry performs the job of getting the mind started, it also twists Cp with its idolatrous mindset. The false solution is to use twisted Cp as a basis for intellectual Contributor thought. This is the path of rationalization, which feels like a solution because it covers the Mercy pain of childish behavior with the pleasure of Teacher order and understanding. But, it is false because it extends childish behavior into childish thinking.

The possible solution is to use Ci to rebuild Cp. It is a solution because it permits the mind to start afresh from a fairly clean slate. Why is Ci a clean slate? Because, the body does not fill the mind with prefabricated Teacher emotions and words are separate from actions. Thus, an individual is reasonably free to use words to fill Teacher strategy with any general theory that he wishes, regardless of what he has done, with no pre-existing Teacher feelings emotionally warping his theorizing. And this is what also makes it only a possible solution. If I can fill my mind with any theory, then I can also fill my mind with a rotten theory. Obviously, there is no point in using Ci to rebuild Cp if Ci has been programmed with a rotten theory.

So, what makes a Teacher theory good or rotten? The answer is rather simple. First of all, a good theory must be a good theory. In other words, it should be capable of generating positive Teacher emotion. This means that it is more than just a semi-random collection of words, but instead it ties together many concepts in an ordered and elegant fashion. Secondly, if a verbal Teacher theory in Ci is to rebuild Cp, then it must talk about Cp. It must not avoid dealing with the subjective but it must include concepts such as subjective emotions,  personal identity, value, conscience, setting goals, and reaching these goals. Third, a good theory will encourage a person to use Cp in an adult and responsible fashion and not just applaud the childish behavior of Mercy idolatry. After all, how can Ci help to rebuild Cp if Ci says that Cp does not need to be rebuilt? Finally, a good theory will recognize that a mental gulf exists between childish identity and adult identity, it will realize that Cp needs to be torn down and rebuilt and not just remodeled.

But how does one know that such a method will work? First, I suggest that we have just outlined the essence of the doctrines of Christianity. Second, this method has been applied and it did work so well that it transformed the entire world. The only problem is that this application was limited to the objective. Therefore, instead of rebuilding ‘me’, it only  transformed ‘mine’.

Science and Technology: I suggest that exactly this sort of integration occurred—in the objective—as a result of the scientific and industrial revolutions. We will be examining this in much more detail later on, so I will only introduce the concept here. The Perceiver side of the integration between Cp and Ci took place during the scientific revolution, when scientists changed the way that people thought. The essence of the circuit of Cp is cause and effect. Scientists used Perceiver logic to observe natural cause and effect and then described these natural processes using mathematical theories in Ci. The essential breakthrough occurred when Isaac Newton came up with his universal laws of motion. 

The Server side of this integration happened during the industrial revolution, when people changed the way that they acted. Before then, most industry was cottage industry, taking place in the cottage using traditional methods. In the language of mental symmetry, Mercy feelings of culture governed the Perceiver facts and Server actions of Cp. The industrial revolution overturned all of this. Server actions were no longer guided by Mercy feelings of culture and tradition, but rather by Teacher emotions of structure, order, and efficiency.

Scientific thought literally invaded the practical world with new machines that were concrete expressions of Ci: They were driven by a new source of energy—corresponding to a new Teacher source for Exhorter drive. These machines were constructed out of parts that each carried out a Server sequence, which were combined using Perceiver thought to form objects with general functions. By working together to perform a single unified function, the parts of the industrial machine became practical examples of Teacher order within complexity.

Thus, the structure of Ci became translated into concrete form within Cp. Using the language of Christianity, the word became flesh. In the terms of MBTI®, iNtuition reached down to integrate with Sensing.

Summarizing: The concepts in this section are fundamental to our analysis of Christianity. Therefore, let us recapitulate before continuing. There are two fundamental mental circuits: Cp and Ci. Cp uses Server actions to improve Mercy experiences; Ci uses Perceiver facts to build general Teacher understanding. These two modes of thought will only come together if one of them falls apart and is reintegrated by the other.

Cp is the mental circuit that needs to fall apart, because it pursues childish Mercy experiences in a childish way. However, it is also the mental circuit that a person usually tries to protect, because it contains personal identity. However, it is possible to use a general Teacher understanding in Ci to rebuild Cp, if a person learns the right theory and if he allows Cp to fall apart. This describes the transformation that occurred during the scientific and industrial revolutions. Galileo, Newton, and other scientists used observation of natural cause and effect to construct a general Teacher understanding of science within Ci. Then, during the industrial revolution, this intellectual structure was used to rebuild Cp. Unfortunately, this transformation was limited to the objective and did not affect the emotional core of ‘me’; it led to the integration of Sensing and iNtuition, but limited itself to Thinking while avoiding Feeling. 

Immanuel Kant: It is interesting to note that Immanuel Kant did attempt to extend the scientific revolution to the subjective realm of Christian doctrine; he did not limit his analysis to Thinking but rather tried to include Feeling. And, he managed to come up with some major breakthroughs. First, his concept of the categorical imperative describes personal morality using the scientific language of Perceiver logic and Teacher universality. In essence, the categorical imperative says that any action is morally good if it can be stated in universal terms. Thus, for instance, stealing is morally bad because it is not possible for everyone to steal, for if everyone tries to steal, then there will be nothing left to steal. Second, Kant explicitly referred to an old man and a new man, with the new man guided by universal Teacher theory and the old man driven to pursue immediate Mercy goals which violate Teacher universality. And, with his transcendental argument, Kant realized that the human mind automatically pre-interprets the world in terms of space, time, identity, generality, and cause and effect, essentially describing the modules of Perceiver, Server, Mercy, Teacher, along with the practical side of Contributor thought.   

However, several fundamental elements appear to be missing from Kant’s model of human thought and his analysis of Christianity. First, he did not know about Contributor thought and its various permutations. This is understandable, because it took my brother and me years to work out the various parameters of Contributor strategy. As we are beginning to see, if you want to make sense of the Christian description of Jesus and personal salvation, then you have to understand Contributor thought and the role that it plays in the mind.

Second, Kant had no rational explanation for the supernatural. He viewed God as the ultimate source of universal order. If a miracle is an exception to the universal rules of natural order, then how can God perform a miracle? How can the source of universal order violate universal order? However, it appears that it is possible to use mental symmetry to come up with a rational explanation for the supernatural as an expression of universal order and not a violation of it. This point is rather significant because, as the apostle Paul points out, Christianity without the supernatural is useless. 

Finally, Kant lived after the scientific revolution but before the industrial revolution. The scientific revolution used intellectual Contributor thought to change the way that people looked at the natural world, but it was the industrial revolution that transformed the way that they acted within this new world. The scientific revolution described the existence of a new ‘me’ and how it should think and act, whereas the industrial revolution actually changed personal behavior in order to live within this new ‘me’. Similarly, Kant described the existence of a new ‘me’ and the system of universal morality under which it should live, but he did not take the further step of actually using this new ‘me’ to transform the old ‘me’. Instead, according to him, the highest form of behavior is to use Ci to suppress the old ‘me’. As far as he was concerned, behavior that is driven by Mercy feelings of personal reward is always inferior to behavior that is driven by the Teacher universality of the categorical imperative. In contrast, the industrial revolution showed us that it really is possible to live within a new personal identity that expresses Perceiver truth and Teacher universality.

This is one of the reasons why Ayn Rand referred to Kant as ‘the most evil man in the world’. She deified the self interest of Cp whereas Kant suggested that the highest form of morality was driven by duty to Ci and not motivated by personal rewards in Cp. Mental symmetry suggests that both Kant and Rand have part of the picture. Kant is right in suggesting that a person should stop being driven by the subjective Mercy desires of Cp and instead be motivated by the universal Teacher understanding of Ci. However, the ultimate purpose is not to replace Cp with Ci but rather to use Ci to rebuild Cp, and that will only happen if Cp falls apart and is put back together by Ci. How can one know that Cp has fallen apart? Because, personal behavior will be motivated solely by the Teacher emotions of universal understanding that are provided by Ci and not by the personal subjective Mercy feelings of Cp. Once that point has been reached, then it is possible to start rebuilding Cp and begin following the personal Mercy emotions of personal reward that are associated with Cp, because Cp will now be integrated with Ci and an expression of Ci. In simple terms, the rational selfishness depicted by Ayn Rand can only be reached by going through the duty to the categorical imperative described by Immanuel Kant.

Building a Mental Image of God

I have claimed several times that it is possible to use the theory of mental symmetry to derive the key doctrines of Christianity. Now that we have now finished our introductory look at the theory of mental symmetry, we have the tools which are needed to analyze Christian doctrine. While we have alluded to several Christian topics, we will now turn our attention explicitly to religion and the doctrines of Christianity. However, we will continue to use the same approach. We will still use the diagram of mental symmetry to describe and analyze human thought. But, we will expand this discussion to include Christian topics and use Christian vocabulary.

Hypothesis and Certainty: Before we begin, I need to mention that as Immanuel Kant originally pointed out, one must make a distinction between phenomena and noumena—between what one senses and the external reality that lies behind sensation. It is not possible to know for certain anything about God, other humans, reality, or even whether or not any of these actually exist, for all of these inhabit the unknowable realm of noumena. But, it is possible to use observation, logic and rational thought to construct a mental model of what lies outside of the mind and then use this model as a hypothesis for explaining God, people, and reality. This is what science does with its analysis of the real world, this is what mental symmetry does when using the diagram of mental symmetry, and this is what we will do when looking at the topic of God and religion.

In other words, the theory of mental symmetry cannot prove that God does or does not exist, but it can be used to analyze how the mind develops an internal image of God. In addition, it can describe the type of image of God that emerges when mental wholeness is achieved along with the steps that must be taken to reach mental wholeness. If an existing religion describes this same sort of God, and if this religion also describes the same steps of reaching mental wholeness, then one can hypothesize with reasonable certainty that this religion is correct.

Before we go on, I should mention that I have just described the other main reason why Rand called Kant ‘the most evil man in the world.’ Rand insisted that it is possible to know facts for certain about the external world, and her philosophy of objectivism is based upon this assertion. However, I suggest that this sense of certainty is actually a function of cognitive style. For the Perceiver person, no Perceiver fact is 100% certain. Instead, as the diagram of mental symmetry indicates, every piece of information carries with it a label of certainty which can vary from 0.0001% to 99.9999%, but which never hits either 0% or 100%. However, after years of observation, I have come to the conclusion that the Contributor and Facilitator persons are not aware of this labeling. Instead, it appears that they view Perceiver and Server knowing as digital. In their minds, a Perceiver fact is either true or false; a Server skill is either known or not known. Thus, for instance, the Contributor person is confident that he knows exactly what to do, until subconscious Server knowing in his mind falls below the threshold and he is suddenly plunged into uncertainty. Therefore, when I say that truth cannot be known with 100% certainty, I am not suggesting that it is impossible to know anything. Instead, I am simply recognizing that I am a finite being who is capable of being in error and making mistakes. That is why I have taken so many years to test the theory of mental symmetry. I had to be certain beyond a reasonable probability of doubt that it was correct.

A Mental Image of God: As I have mentioned before, me’ resides within Mercy strategy and is composed of all the Mercy experiences that are related to my physical body, along with all of the other experiences that follow me around. Perceiver thought notices the repeated presence of these Mercy experiences and forms the Perceiver object known as self-image. In a similar way, Mercy and Perceiver thought will also form mental images of other people, such as family and friends. In general, whenever Perceiver strategy encounters a collection of emotional memories that appear to act intelligently, it will assign them to the category of ‘intelligent creature’, and Mercy strategy will build a relationship with this new person.

Now suppose that Teacher strategy comes up with a general theory. Teacher thought will feel good about this theory and this emotion will be sensed by Mercy thought. This Teacher emotion will not just be a static feeling, but it will react intelligently to circumstances, feeling good when its understanding grows and bad when it encounters a discrepancy. Eventually, Mercy thought will come to the conclusion that some sort of intelligent being is ‘living in my mind’. However, Mercy thought will also notice that this Teacher-based ‘intelligence’ is not associated with any specific physical body. Instead, it shows up wherever and whenever specific incidents touch general Teacher understanding. Thus, Mercy strategy will conclude that this invisible person transcends space and time, leading to the formation of a mental image of God. And because Teacher strategy works with words, Mercy strategy will find it natural to associate God with words and verbal revelation, and will also discover that it is possible to communicate with this Teacher structure through the use of words, leading to the concept of praying to God.

But why will Mercy thought interpret everything in terms of people? Surely Mercy strategy can see that a general Teacher theory is not a person, right? Wrong. It appears that both Teacher and Mercy strategies are locked within their own private world, influenced by the rest of the mind, but unable to see the parts of the mind that are doing this influencing. This is indicated by the one-way arrows on the diagram of mental symmetry. One can see a similar sort of mental ‘blindness’ when one examines the behavior of the Mercy and Teacher persons. I should add that while these two cognitive styles appear to have the least awareness of the subconscious thought, it appears that they are also capable of the most original thought. For the Facilitator person, exactly the opposite is the case. He can see almost all of the mind, but finds it the most difficult to escape the mental confines of the current context. 

In general, one can say that an image of God emerges whenever a universal Teacher theory impinges upon Mercy identity. That is why I have taken so many pages to describe mental symmetry as a general theory of personality instead of just limiting my discussion to religious topics. If the theory of mental symmetry is to be used to derive Christian doctrine, then it must be capable of generating a mental image of God, which will only happen if mental symmetry is a universal theory of human personality, which means expanding our analysis to include as many aspects of human behavior as possible.

Finite and Infinite: The primary characteristic of human identity is that it is finite. Humans have limited knowledge and live in physical bodies that occupy a specific location at a specific time. A Teacher theory, in contrast, is based in generality. Ultimately, Teacher strategy would like to be able to explain everything with a single universal theory, placing all of complexity within a single structure of order. When Teacher strategy encounters an item that contradicts its current theory, it will feel emotionally driven either to remove the discrepancy or to expand the theory so that it can include the new material. Thus, we see that the primary characteristic of an image of God is that it is infinite or universal.

As I mentioned at the very beginning of this book, it is impossible for a finite being to construct a truly universal Teacher theory about anything. Instead, the most that a finite human can do is learn many things about a number of topics and look for common patterns. If a general theory is discovered, then one can make the hypothesis that this general theory is in fact a universal theory. Thus, I present the hypothesis that the theory of mental symmetry is a universal theory of human personality.

Similarly, it is impossible for a finite human to construct a truly universal image of God. However, if a person learns about general patterns which apply to personal identity, then these general patterns will form the basis for a mental image of God. And, as a person’s Teacher theory about the subjective becomes more general, it then becomes increasingly reasonable to make the hypothesis that this general Teacher theory is actually a universal theory of the subjective, leading to the mental image of a universal God. Similarly, as one builds an increasingly valid mental image of God, it then becomes increasingly reasonable to hypothesize that a universal being exists which corresponds to a person’s mental image of God.

But, what if God does not exist, or what if the real God does not correspond to a person’s mental image of God? Then one is caught in a dilemma which cannot be resolved, because mentally speaking, one is being driven to believe in one type of universal being, but physically and externally, one is subject to another Universal Being, one which the human mind by its very nature is incapable of knowing. Thus, I suggest that one is caught between the two alternatives of believing that existence itself is a cosmic joke or else asserting the Christian doctrine that man is made in the image of God.

Mentally speaking, a Teacher theory of the subjective can only claim to be universal if it includes all aspects of human personality. Obviously, a Teacher theory of human personality which only explains part of the mind is not a universal theory. But, a mental image of God comes from a universal Teacher theory of the subjective. Thus, a valid mental image of God—one which describes a universal being, is associated with mental wholeness. And, if one achieves mental wholeness, then the image of God which emerges corresponds to the Trinitarian God of Christianity. Thus, it is reasonable to make the hypothesis that the Christian God is the real God, because any other hypothesis requires the denial of human reason.

And, why is it reasonable to hypothesize that the real God is compatible with rational thought? Because, when science uses rational thought, it is able to come up with universal Teacher theories—the mental basis for an image of God.

That describes the situation when a person pursues rational thought, using Perceiver facts to build general Teacher theories. If one demands a logically tight solution, then it appears that ultimately there are no answers. But, if one is willing to accept a reasonable answer and make a rational hypothesis, then it is possible to come up with solutions that make sense.

This leads one to the Christian doctrine that the Christian believer must live by faith. This does not mean that one is forced to take a blind existential leap off the cliff of Thinking into the nebulous unknown of Feeling. Instead, one must take the intelligent step of faith off the curb of contemplation onto the street of life. 

However, in order to take an intelligent step of faith regarding God, one must be capable of rational thought in the realm of the subjective, and that does not describe the childish mind. And, every individual begins life as a child, with his mind twisted by Mercy idolatry and his personal identity defined by Mercy idolatry. So, now that we have taken a few paragraphs to address the philosopher, let us return to the topic of childish identity and a mental image of God.

Sin and rebellion: Because Mercy thought and Teacher thought are so different, there will naturally be major conflict between ‘me’, which resides within Mercy strategy, and my image of God, which is based in universal Teacher understanding. On the one hand, ‘me’ is finite, living within a physical body which occupies a specific time and location. Personal identity lives within the circuit of Cp, which is driven to come up with specific Mercy experiences that will make ‘me’ feel better, regardless of the effect that this has upon others or upon general structure. In the words of Ayn Rand, the prophetess of Cp individuality: “I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” On the other hand, a mental image of God is rooted in Teacher universality, the realm of Ci. A universal Teacher theory hates exceptions to the rule because an exception contradicts the Teacher concept of universality. In Christian terms, finite man will rebel from infinite God and infinite God will view finite man as sinful.

Such a conflict is inevitable when Mercy identity is built upon defining experiences and idols. That is because an idol is a specific Mercy item, and specifics are, by definition, not universal. in addition, each Mercy idol will define its own specific set of Perceiver ‘truths’, and these various collections of Perceiver ‘beliefs’ will inevitably contradict one another. Furthermore, bridging or reconciling these various islands of ‘truth’ will be impossible, because Perceiver strategy—the part of the mind that builds connections between one Mercy experience and another—is asleep. The end result is a fragmented mind which lacks the mental content needed to build a universal theory, is incapable of building a universal theory, and is unaware of its inability to construct a universal theory.

Let me repeat: The childish mind is incapable of forming a mental image of a universal God because its very mental structure is defined by specific Mercy idols. And, the childish mind is incapable of submitting to system of universal morality, because each Mercy idol defines Perceiver truth within its own specific context, thus creating its own set of Perceiver rules. So, ‘if it feels good, then it must be right.’

Notice that we have now come up with several fundamental Christian doctrines: Man is born in sin. Sin separates man from God. Sinful man worships idols instead of God. Sinful man is incapable of submitting to the law of God.

Morality and Kant: As I suggested earlier, Immanuel Kant came to the same conclusion.  (And, because my training is in Engineering and my research began with cognitive styles and psychology, it was only recently that I looked at Kant in more detail and discovered this similarity.) He relates God to the categorical imperative, connecting Deity with universal laws of morality. According to Kant, the ‘old man’ is driven by what Kant calls ‘radical evil’ to violate the universal laws of the categorical imperative in order to achieve beneficial personal results. Thus, childish identity with its focus upon specifics ends up violating the universal laws of God.

Let us tie this down with an example. A few pages back we used stealing to illustrate Kant’s concept of the categorical imperative. Using Kant’s reasoning, stealing is wrong because it is not possible for everyone to steal. For, if everyone stole, then there would be nothing to steal. Instead, stealing only works if some people steal, and stealing is only possible if theft occurs within an overall context of honesty. Kant says that childish identity tries to be one of those ‘some’ that do the stealing, acting in a way that assumes universal law while at the same time violating this law. He refers to this attitude of deliberately violating a universal rule in order to gain personal advantage as radical evil. Mental symmetry says that a person follows radical evil because he has a childish mind which has been programmed by Mercy idols, and that the mind which submits to Mercy idolatry is not capable of escaping the condition of radical evil.

Kant adds another aspect to his definition of morality, which is the idea that humans have inherent dignity and should always be treated as ends, and not merely as means to an end. The theory of mental symmetry puts an additional twist to this concept of human dignity, because it extends the concept of human life and dignity to the seven modules of the mind. According to mental symmetry, each of the seven cognitive styles is conscious in a different module of the mind: The Teacher person is conscious in Teacher thought; the Server person is conscious in Server thought, and so on. Thus, when I treat a Teacher person with dignity, I am actually treating Teacher thought with dignity, and this will only happen if I treat Teacher thought within my own mind with dignity. If I squelch a certain mental mode in my mind, then I will also respond similarly to another person when he consciously expresses that mode of thought.

Mercy Idolatry: The childish mind receives its initial content and structure from emotional Mercy experiences. Each emotional Mercy experience defines its own set of Perceiver ‘facts’. When the mind is divided into fragments, each based upon a different Mercy idol, then the only way that Teacher thought can construct a general theory is by choosing one Mercy idol and rejecting all of the others. The result is polytheism and tribalism, in which each tribe has its own god—written with a small ‘g’.

A tribal god feels divine because Mercy strategy is fooling Teacher thought and Teacher thought is misinterpreting Mercy strategy. Let us look first at the Mercy fooling. People are choosing some specific object, experience or person within Mercy thought and attaching great emotional fervor to it. Teacher thought senses the object, notices the strong feelings and interprets this emotion in terms of Teacher generality. Because Mercy strategy acts as if the idol is important, Teacher thought will feel that it is universal.

This emotional deception can be maintained as long as the idol is kept separate from other Mercy experiences. In order for Teacher strategy to realize that the carved tree is not universal, Perceiver strategy must point to the next tree and say, “Look, there is another tree just like the one that I am worshipping.” But, as long as Perceiver strategy is prevented from doing this, then the idol will continue to feel universal to Teacher thought. That is the purpose of the religious taboo. It uses emotional pressure to keep Perceiver thought mesmerized so that it is incapable of noticing these similarities.

Remember that we are looking here at a mental image of God. In the same way that Mercy strategy is locked into its world of experiences, so Teacher strategy cannot see the rest of the mind. Therefore, what matters to Teacher thought is not whether a theory is universal, but rather whether it feels universal. As long as a general Teacher theory explains everything within the current context, and as long as the rest of the mind does not remind Teacher thought of anything outside of this context or bring to mind anything that contradicts this theory, then that theory will feel universal.

One could compare this to the petty tyrant who is ‘absolute monarch over everything that he surveys’. This local chief may only rule over a small valley, but if everyone within the valley submits to him and if he cannot see outside of the valley, then he will be able to call himself an ‘absolute monarch’.

Teacher Idolatry and Revelation: Idolatry comes in two major flavors: Mercy idolatry uses Mercy emotions to lift up Mercy experiences, whereas Teacher idolatry uses Mercy emotions to exalt Teacher words. Mercy idolatry plays a key role in turning the empty mind of the infant into the operating mind of the child, resulting in childish identity. Teacher idolatry takes the mind through the next step in personal development, leading from the blind worship of the primary school student to the blind belief of the elementary and middle school student.

What matters to Teacher idolatry is the appearance of education. It listens to the words of the important person; it honors the diploma from an ivy league university; it appreciates the system of education that was set up by a respected expert. In all cases, Mercy feelings are being used to evaluate Teacher words and theories.

Revealed truth takes the words and theories of Teacher idolatry and records them in the form of a holy book or textbook. Remember that with childish identity, Perceiver thought is mesmerized by Mercy feelings, whereas with adult identity, Perceiver strategy has sufficient confidence to think, even when surrounded by the emotional pressure of personal identity. Putting the words of the expert down in written form helps Perceiver thought to wake up from its mental slumber: First, the written word is more stable, because the words on the page do not change. Second, it is more universal, because many people can be given the same book. Third, it is less emotional, because the words of the expert are physically separated from the expert and his emotional status. These three factors all help Perceiver thought to develop because Perceiver strategy looks for facts that do not change. 

Teacher idolatry, especially when it occurs in the written form of revealed truth, also allows the mind to develop Teacher theories that are more universal than those that are based in Mercy idolatry. First, Teacher words are inherently more universal than Mercy experiences. The word ‘desk’, for instance, describes far more items than the Mercy memory of that old oak desk sitting in the corner of the room. Second, a book contains many words arranged in an ordered structure. Instead of pretending that an old rotting log in the jungle encapsulates everything, a number of general items can be arranged to build an overall concept of universality. Thus, it is possible to use written revelation to produce a mental image of God that is fairly universal.

Is a book really universal? Of course not. But, a book can be used to describe universal concepts. I suggest that this subtle distinction summarizes the error of the theoretician and the theologian. They may think that they are working with universal concepts, but they are only dealing with a verbal description of universal concepts, and this verbal outline will only start to become truly universal as it is filled in with examples from the real world.

Before we continue, let us step back for a moment and look at the big picture. I have suggested that the mind contains two major circuits: Cp and Ci. Mercy idolatry provides the initial content for the mind. But, it also leaves Cp in a form that is fatally flawed, mindlessly grasping after the latest amusement, instead of working out personal goals and intelligently pursuing them. Cp uses Server actions to reach personal Mercy goals. Ci, in contrast uses Perceiver facts to build general Teacher understanding. We have just seen that written revelation can wake up Perceiver mode and present Teacher thought with general theories. This means that Teacher idolatry can use words to jumpstart the circuit of Ci. And, because of the separation between iNtuition and Sensing, the words that are being learned in iNtuition will remain untarnished by the childish actions that have been done in Sensing.

Saying this in plain English, the person who studies a holy book will start out as a hypocrite: he will talk about God but his verbal religiosity will have little effect upon his personal actions. However, if he continues to talk and study and learn about God, then this may teach him how to think, and if he learns how to think then this may eventually change his behavior. Using Christian language, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. A person is saved by faith and not by works. However, true faith will eventually lead to works.

Holy Book versus Textbook: Continuing now with our discussion, the tendency is to view a holy book as religious and a textbook as secular. That is because a religious holy book talks about God whereas a secular textbook presents general Teacher theories of knowledge. However, remember that an image of God forms as general Teacher theories touch personal identity, and the Mercy reverence which the beginning student has for his textbook will add the personal element to the general Teacher theories which are being taught by that textbook. Therefore, even though a secular textbook may not talk about God, it will still end up either creating an image of God or affecting a person’s image of God, because it describes general Teacher theories and it is being approached with an attitude of Mercy reverence. Thus, for the beginning student, there is no real difference between a holy book and a textbook, for he regards both with the same Mercy attitude of personal awe and respect.

The transition from holy book to textbook occurs within the mind of the student as his mental circuit of Ci begins to function. The mind of the beginning student is governed by Mercy status, and such a mind will think automatically in terms of holy books and revelation. However, as the student begins to learn the Perceiver facts contained within the book, and as these Perceiver facts lead to a general Teacher understanding, then the student will stop viewing his written revelation from the Mercy driven attitude of the holy book and start seeing it from the Teacher driven viewpoint of general understanding.

Obviously, this mental transition from holy book to textbook can only occur if the holy book does contain Perceiver facts and does describe general Teacher theories. Any book can be given the emotional status of a holy book. But, only a logically coherent, theoretically integrated book can make the transition from holy book to textbook. Thus, by presenting the doctrines of Christianity as a logically coherent integrated Teacher theory, I am trying to stop people from regarding the Bible merely as a holy book and to encourage them to start treating it as a textbook, worthy of careful study and analysis.   

Limitations of a Holy Book: A holy book is ultimately rooted in Mercy status. This Mercy importance mesmerizes Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ that this book describes ultimate ‘truth’. This has several implications: First, a believer in written revelation will lack intellectual curiosity. He will feel that the words of his holy book define a level of Perceiver ‘truth’ that is higher than the truth contained in other books. He must feel this way in order to keep Perceiver thought mesmerized in an attitude of blind belief. If he compares the facts of his holy book with the facts contained within other books, this will wake up Perceiver thought, causing him to lose emotional reverence for his holy book. Studying an opposing holy book will have an even stronger mental effect, for it directly questions the emotional Mercy status that supports religious ‘truth’. If a holy book does not describe rational logical theory, or if the reader of the book thinks that it does not describes rational logical theory, then this waking up of Perceiver thought will cause him to doubt the content of the book.

For instance, during the 19th century, scholars began to approach the Bible with an attitude of rational skepticism. Because they did not realize the logical structure that lay behind Christian dogma, in part because Kant’s rational analysis of Christianity was incomplete, they ‘lost their faith’ through the path of liberal theology. In response, the fundamentalist believer tried to defend Biblical ‘truth’ by claiming that it could only be ‘known’ through the blind ‘faith’ of emotional fervor. Thus, the liberal theologian questioned the Bible because he did not know how to make the transition from holy book to textbook, while the fundamentalist locked his mind into a holy book mentality by insisting that it was not possible to treat the Bible as a textbook. However, by limiting the Bible to the realm of the subjective, an area which objective science was attempting to avoid, the fundamentalist thought that his emotional approach was protecting the Bible from scientific attack. Instead, it ended up deepening the mental split between Thinking and Feeling.

Second, as I have suggested before, a believer in a holy book will practice self-denial and will suppress personal pleasure. That is because Perceiver thought will only ‘know’ that the writings of the expert are ‘true’ if this expert has much greater emotional status in Mercy thought than ‘me’. If a believer comes up with his own Perceiver facts, then his personal status will rise in Mercy thought and he will begin to have emotional doubts about the ‘facts’ that he was taught. Similarly, if ‘me’ experiences too much personal pleasure, this will also increase personal emotional status compared to the emotional status of the source of ‘truth’. Thus, the believer in a holy book will attempt to protect his Teacher understanding by avoiding selfishness and hedonism.

This mental effect of self-denial will be strongest when the holy book teaches explicitly about God and personal morality, because both of these topics apply directly to ‘me’. The very information that addresses personal identity most directly is being presented in a manner which demands the continued suppression of personal identity. Notice that this attitude of religious self denial is totally independent of the content of the holy book. It does not matter what the holy book says about the subject. Instead, it is the attitude of treating the holy book as a holy book which leads to the mindset of religious self-denial.

This creates a paradox: The purpose of Christianity is to use verbal doctrine to program Ci so that this can be used to rebuild Cp. Unfortunately, the childish mind is mesmerized by Mercy idolatry. Therefore, the only way to program Ci is through the Teacher idolatry of a holy book. But, if a person believes in a holy book, then he will also believe that personal identity should be suppressed. But, suppressing personal identity makes it impossible to use Cp, because the very purpose of Cp is to improve personal identity. Thus, the method of the holy book—the only method which appeals to the childish mind, ends up contradicting the message of Christianity.

Thus explains why a Contributor person like Ayn Rand was so vehemently opposed to Christianity. She saw the attitude of religious self-denial and realized that it prevented Cp from functioning. But, as a Contributor person, she had to use the circuit of Cp, and so she rejected the whole concept of religious faith.

What is the solution? One must stop treating the Bible as a holy book and start treating it as a textbook. If Christianity requires blind faith in a holy book, as the fundamentalist asserts, that it can only remain successful by being unsuccessful, for the Christian believer who applies the message of Christianity will end up doubting the method of blind faith. Otherwise, the only way to combine personal prosperity with Christian blind faith is through the use of various mind games, an option which does not lead to mental wholeness.

Finally, I suggest that a believer in written revelation will always possess a core of Perceiver truth that is undiscussable. The stability and objectivity of a book can help Perceiver thought to develop, but Perceiver thinking will only gain sufficient confidence to apply logic to peripheral concepts. If a holy book is to remain a holy book, then the core doctrines of this book must still be supported by emotional status. Thus, the Christian scholar may deal rationally with topics such as archeology or history, but he will still accept doctrines regarding God, Jesus and salvation by blind belief. Attacking the emotional status which supports this core of revealed truth is known as blasphemy.  The theory of mental symmetry attempts to address all of the core doctrines of Christianity.

Can a holy book survive such critical analysis? Yes, but only if it really does contain absolute Perceiver truth and describe a universal Teacher theory. When that is the case, then the content of the book survives while the attitude of blind belief changes. Blind belief protects absolute ‘truth’ by talking louder and more insistently; logical belief protects absolute truth by looking for more areas where truth applies. After all, if absolute truth is true everywhere, then it should be true everywhere. Blind belief makes a Teacher theory feel more universal by adding Mercy fervor; rational belief makes a Teacher theory more universal by increasing its depth and breadth. Saying this in religious terms, blind belief proclaims God’s law and enforces God’s law, whereas intelligent belief discovers God’s law and demonstrates God’s law. Blind belief says that God is universal; rational belief shows that God is universal.

Inflating Speech: When dealing with a holy book, it is easy to use Mercy feelings to fool Teacher thought, because a holy book, by definition, uses Mercy feelings to influence Teacher thought. For instance, suppose that the pope makes a statement about God. He has great emotional status as a person. Therefore, when he makes a proclamation, Teacher strategy will sense this strong Mercy emotion and feel that he is making a universal statement. Similarly, if Stephen Hawking says that God does not exist, then his emotional status will also give Teacher thought the impression that a statement of universal significance is being made.

In more general terms, when a person bases general Teacher understanding in the words of a holy book, then it is possible to make a Teacher theory appear more universal by using connotation words. God, or religious doctrine, will be described using words that that have great emotional significance—but lack precise meaning. For example, the worshipper may say that God is ‘awesome, magnificent, and unsurpassed’. Or he may compose and perform songs about God which place religious words within a setting of great non-verbal beauty. In either case, Mercy feelings are being added to the Teacher words, which Teacher thought will interpret in terms of Teacher generality, giving the emotional impression that these Teacher words possess Teacher universality. And, because the Perceiver meanings are vague, Perceiver strategy will not step in to limit this Teacher feeling of universality.

Massive Human Organization: It is also possible to construct an artificial image of God by combining the activities of humans in a grand extravaganza. Remember that a mental image of God emerges as general Teacher theory impinges upon Mercy identity. This artificial method constructs an image of God by operating the process in reverse. Thus, if many ‘Mercy identities’ demonstrate Teacher order within complexity, this will lead to the formation of an image of God. One thinks, for example, of the May Day parades of the communists, or the awe-inspiring North Korean ‘Games’ in which 150,000 people perform in perfect synchronization. A similar effect happens when the actions or words of a single person are broadcast simultaneously to the television sets of millions of viewers. This repetition gives a specific action or experience the appearance of universality.

Monotheism: If an image of God forms as general Teacher theory touches Mercy identity, then a monotheistic image of God will be created when a universal Teacher theory affects Mercy identity. Which branch of knowledge has been most successful at building universal theories? Science. However, current science is objective. The scientific theories of today may be universal, or at least almost universal, but they do not touch ‘me’. If these universal theories could be expanded to include ‘me’ and the subjective, then a single image of God would emerge.

Notice that a truly monotheistic image of God can only be formed by a mind in which the two mental circuits of Cp and Ci are both functioning and integrated, because each of those modes of thought deals with one half of an image of God. Cp deals with ‘me’, whereas Ci builds universal theory, and monotheism requires a universal Teacher theory that touches ‘me’.

Obviously, monotheism is inherently incompatible with any form of idolatry, and that is another major Christian doctrine. That is because monotheism believes in the existence of a single universal being, whereas idolatry takes a specific object, event, or book and pretends that it is universal by separating it from other objects, people, events, or books. If there is one God, then that God rules over all objects, all people, all events, and all books. If God is only related to one object, one person, one event, or one book, then the other objects, persons, events, and books must be ruled over by other gods. How can a person say in Teacher thought that there is one universal God when he is acting in Mercy thought as if there are many specific gods?

The doctrine of monotheism is presented in the Bible in a rather strange fashion. On the one hand, there is the shema, the fundamental doctrine of Judaism: “Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God is one.” On the other hand, the first (or second, depending upon how you count) commandment says, “you shall have no other gods before me.” If there is only one God, then how can this God be before other gods? The key is to realize that the mental concept of a universal being can only be constructed one piece at a time. Thus, when a person encounters a new aspect to universality, he must believe that it is possible to integrate this new fragment into his existing understanding, and he must not allow this new fragment to overthrow his existing Teacher understanding and become the new universal theory. In religious terms, he must believe that there is one God and he must not allow other gods to be before that one God.

The Old Testament is full of individuals discovering new attributes of God, and these individuals are lifted up as heroes of faith. But, the Old Testament also condemns those who abandoned the God of Israel for other Gods. Similarly, the Old Testament says that God is the God of Israel, but it also contains numerous passages and even books which are addressed to surrounding nations. Thus, we see the Mercy idolatry of a tribal God gradually being replaced by the Teacher idolatry of a God of written revelation. Eventually, we find Christianity attempting to let go completely of the Mercy idolatry of a tribal God in order to begin with the Teacher idolatry of a holy book and its description of a universal God. Higher criticism observes these transitions and concludes that God is changing. Mental symmetry, in contrast, suggests that people are developing mentally and that their image of God is becoming increasingly valid.


The Contradictions of Teacher Idolatry: Suppose that some book contains Perceiver truth about the subjective and that it presents this information as a universal Teacher theory. In other words, suppose that it contains enough information to build a reasonably valid image of God, develop the circuit of Ci and use this to rebuild Cp. What will happen if believers in this book continue to treat it as a holy book and refuse to approach it as a textbook? I suggest that the method of blind belief will lead to a progression which will end up contradicting the message of the book in increasingly obvious ways.

First, believers in this book will claim to teach universal Perceiver truth, but they will refuse to take this truth and apply it universally. Instead, they will feel that the truth of this book is too ‘holy’ to apply to normal situations. That is because they are viewing Perceiver truth as something which is spoken by an important person, and not as a guide for Perceiver thought.

Second, religious believers will claim that their book can lead people to a knowledge of the universal God, but they will restrict the domain of this universal God to religious events, religious books, religious times, and religious persons. That is because they are using ‘holy’ truth to build a mental image of God and not using universal truth. If the Perceiver bricks of ‘universal’ truth are limited to the religious realm, then obviously any image of God that is constructed using these bricks will also be restricted to the realm of religion.

Third, believers will claim that the highest goal of humanity is to worship their universal God. Because believers have an image of God which is limited to a religious ghetto, they actually possesses the mental contradiction of a finite God. Attempting to increase the status of such a God by increasing the generality of Teacher understanding would unmask this Teacher contradiction, and demonstrate to the believer the limited extent of his image of God. Therefore, the only way to add emotional stature to the image of God is by using Mercy tricks to artificially inflate the image of God. Thus, the focus will be upon worshipping a specific group’s concept of God.

Fourth, people will rebel from religious belief in order to achieve personal success. This is because the message of the book is being contradicted by the attitude of blind faith. The content of the book instructs people how to rebuild Cp, whereas the attitude of self-denial that accompanies blind faith insists that anyone who uses Cp to improve ‘me’ is creating doubt in the holy book. Thus, in order to apply the message taught by the holy book, the believer will have to reject the Mercy status of those who claim to ‘believe’ in this book.

Fifth, most believers will spend the majority of their time ignoring the God whom they claim to worship as a universal being. That is because no one can spend all of his time singing religious songs in a church building. Instead, a person also has to eat, work, sleep, and live a normal life. But, none of these activities are connected with the believer’s image of God. Thus, those who leave the church will explicitly rebel from religion, while those who remain will implicitly rebel.

Sixth, religious believers will become distracted by the ‘godless’ pleasures of the secular world. That is because people who are leaving the church in order to apply the message of the holy book are using the circuit of Cp to improve ‘me’. As a result, they will produce Mercy experiences which personal identity finds attractive. Religious worship, with its focus upon Mercy thought, will become distracted by this secular progress, fun and entertainment.

Finally, religious worship will turn to secular entertainment to ‘prove’ the supremacy of the religious God. Worship is using Mercy emotions to inflate a person’s image of God. But, the best Mercy experiences are now being produced by the ‘godless’ world. Therefore, worship will attempt to co-opt these Mercy experiences in order to build up its mental image of God. When this stage is reached, then the method of blind faith has destroyed the message which it claims to teach, and the tendency will be for religious faith to forget about its message entirely and turn into a second rate copy of secular entertainment.

One could add more details, but the main point is that a holy book which contains the message of personal salvation can only be treated as a holy book for a finite length of time. In fact, it is the very truth of the holy book which leads to its demise as a holy book. Because it  describes the path of personal salvation, it is forcing believers to have to choose between blind faith and personal success. And, because its message is rebuilding Cp, ex-believers are creating a world of personal pleasure that is distracting believers from their worship of God.

My premise is that the Christian Bible accurately describes the path of personal salvation. Because the message of the Christian church is correct, mental symmetry states that the method of the Christian church has a finite lifetime. And, that is what history demonstrates.

 Does this mean that church itself has a finite lifetime? If by church one means a religious temple where one goes to worship God, then according to the Bible, that type of church does have a finite lifetime. Turn to the end of the last book of the Bible and it explicitly states that the city of the New Jerusalem does not contain any temples. But, if church means getting together in order to learn more about who I am, how I need to be saved, and the process by which I can be saved, then that sort of church needs to survive. Similarly, if worshipping God means personally expressing Teacher understanding in ways that are elegant, refined, and uplifting, then that type of worship will always be appropriate. But, logic says that a church is probably doing more harm than good when it insists upon a restricted view of truth and a limited concept of God and then uses Mercy tricks to pretend that it believes in a universal Being.

The Direct Path

We began our discussion of religion by describing the way in which the mind forms an image of God. We then looked at this in the light of how the childish mind receives its initial programming and concluded that there would be irreconcilable conflict between childish identity and a person’s image of God. We then examined how information about God could be packaged in a way that was compatible with childish thinking. This led us to Teacher idolatry, revealed truth, and holy books. Finally, we outlined what would happen if the student of a holy book focused upon the method and ignored the content.

Throughout our discussion, we have assumed that the ultimate purpose is to unite the two mental circuits of Cp and Ci. However, it is also possible to unite ‘me’ with my image of God by using a direct method which bypasses both Cp and Ci. That will be the topic of this section. We will begin by discussing Exhorter thought, the mental mode which works before Contributor strategy.

Exhorter Thought: If you look at the diagram of mental symmetry, you can see that the shortest way of integrating Teacher and Mercy thought is through the direct path that goes through Exhorter strategy.

Exhorter thought works with excitement. Excitement differs from emotion in two major ways: First, excitement finds pain and pleasure equally stimulating, whereas Teacher and Mercy strategies try to avoid bad emotions and embrace good feelings. Second, when there is no change, then excitement eventually gets bored. In general terms, Exhorter strategy is the mode of thought that provides the energy, excitement and imagination for the mind.

Exhorter thought ties together Mercy and Teacher modes. Like Contributor strategy, Exhorter thought also operates in one of two modes. In one, it holds on to some Teacher theory while moving through Mercy experiences. Here, theory is being turned into practice, and whenever the Exhorter person is given a theory, he wants to know how it applies in real life ‘where the rubber meets the road’. In the other mode, Exhorter thought looks at Teacher theory in the light of some fixed Mercy situation. Here it is ‘learning lessons from life’, deriving general Teacher theories from Mercy experiences, and the Exhorter person is naturally skilled at turning emotional Mercy situations into grand Teacher theories.

Unlike the Contributor, the typical Exhorter person does use both modes of thought. It may take the Exhorter person several years before he stops ‘having fun’ with Mercy experiences and discovers that he is capable of working with Teacher theory. But, most Exhorter persons eventually make this transition. Exhorter strategy will then alternate between these two modes of thought, usually spending several hours or days in one mode before switching to the other.

Contributor thought builds precise connections between specific Server and Perceiver memories, emphasizing formal contracts in Cp and tight logic in Ci. In contrast, Exhorter connections between Teacher theory and Mercy experience are imprecise. The Exhorter person is famous for coming up with what one could call proof by example, in which a single Mercy experience is used to develop a universal Teacher theory. An Exhorter generated theory may be imprecise, but it does provide a starting part for thought, which can be developed further by Contributor strategy. This is shown by the arrow that runs from Exhorter mode to Contributor mode.

Similarly, Thomas Kuhn describes in his analysis of science how the formal problem solving of normal science is preceded by the semi-rational formulations of pre-scientific thought. For instance, the system of cognitive styles upon which the theory of mental symmetry is based was originally proposed by an Exhorter seminar speaker known as Bill Gothard. As far as I know, he was the first to treat a list of traits in the Biblical book of Romans as a list of seven different ‘motivational insights.’ Like most Exhorter persons, Gothard’s concepts are thought provoking but they lack scientific rigor. 

Monism: Suppose that one wants to add good Teacher emotions to personal identity in the most direct manner possible. How would one go about doing this? Well, remember that Teacher strategy likes general theories. Teacher strategy feels good when many specific items fit together smoothly and elegantly. The easiest to make everything fit together into one package is simply to assert that everything fits together into a single package. In other words, the simplest universal Teacher theory is the theory that ‘all is one’. In essence, this takes every specific detail, places it into a mental blender, and presses the puree button. In philosophical language, this is known as monism.

Monism comes in two main flavors: Substantival monism says that everything is part of one big Mercy object, while attributive monism states that everything belongs to a single category, thus placing a more abstract Teacher flavor on ultimate unity. However, in both cases, Teacher thought can observe all of the details and complexities of life with a bemused smile and feel that every connects together.

This Teacher feeling of cosmic unity can then be attached to ‘me’ in Mercy thought by asserting that everything is an aspect of ‘me’, and that ultimate universality has its seed within personal identity.

Did Teacher thought do any of the homework that is needed to actually build a universal Teacher theory of the subjective? No, instead it ignored all of the questions on the exam, wrote a mark of 100% at the top and then signed its name to the paper. Or, in the language of the Zen koan, how does one get the goose out of the bottle if it is too big to fit through the mouth of the jar? “There, it is out!”

As far as I can tell, the essence of Eastern mysticism can be reduced to these two simple mental tricks: First, how do you construct a universal Teacher theory? You simply say that you have constructed a universal Teacher theory and then make that your universal Teacher theory. Second, how to you connect this universal Teacher theory with personal identity? You simply state that the universal Teacher theory is an aspect of personal identity.

But, whenever a universal Teacher theory touches personal identity, this produces a mental image of God. Therefore, these two mental tricks will be expressed in religious form: The assertion that ‘all is one’ leads to the religious belief of pantheism, which states that God is everything. And, the statement that universal Teacher understanding is an aspect of personal identity corresponds to the religious statement that I am God—that every individual person carries within himself the essence of the divine being.

Beyond Logic: But how could a logical mind perform such an irrational leap of faith? A logical mind cannot, but an illogical one can. We have seen that Perceiver thought divides Mercy experiences into various categories: this is a chair; that is a mountain, you are a human. These Perceiver categories sort the world of Mercy experiences into bins that are separated by mental walls. Teacher strategy is then forced to use these Perceiver bricks as the building material for constructing universal Teacher understanding. The mystical solution to this mental fragmentation is to declare that all Perceiver categories, objects, and facts are illusion. If Perceiver thought can be convinced to believe in the ultimate Perceiver truth that there is no such thing as Perceiver truth, then Teacher strategy is free to assert that All is One. Thus, Eastern mysticism declares that it is beyond logic and that it goes past truth.

Obviously, it is a logical contradiction to believe strongly that one must not believe strongly. Therefore, it appears that Buddhism does its best to strongly believe in a non-strong way that there is no such thing as strong belief, using various non-verbal indirect methods to teach the ultimate illusion of Perceiver thought.

Similarly, Server thought can also fragment Teacher thought by dividing a theory into distinct steps: If I want to light a match, I must first take the match from the matchbook, then close the cover of the matchbook, and finally strike the match against the matchbook cover. Patients with brain damage in the left parietal cortex, the location for automatic Server thought, can have problems carrying out sequences like this. Because Server thought is closely linked to physical action, the easiest way to stop Server thought from functioning is by sitting still and doing nothing. Thus, Eastern mysticism is associated with meditation.

On the Positive Side: Stated in these terms, the core beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism, and other forms of Eastern mysticism seem rather juvenile. That is why they are not stated in these terms, because belittling a universal Teacher theory will attack its status as a universal theory. However, from a technical viewpoint, Eastern mysticism is a form of higher religion. That is because it does use Teacher thought to build a universal Teacher theory. It may be the simplest theory possible, but it still is a theory. Tribal religion, in contrast, uses Mercy experiences and Mercy idols to build its view of God and reality. Stating this in terms of our school analogy, the mystical student may be cheating on his exam by writing down a perfect mark and refusing to answer any question, but he is still attending school and agreeing to write an exam.

In addition, the mystical student does get three basic things right: First, he recognizes that the ultimate goal is to get a mark of 100%. Unlike the Christian who worships the Bible as a holy book and thus limits his concept of God to a small subset of personal existence, he realizes that the ultimate goal is to construct a universal Teacher theory and he accurately associates such a universal theory with God.

Second, as we shall see later, the mystical worshipper also recognizes a key aspect of the doctrine of incarnation, which is the realization that the universal God must express himself in finite form. In Christian terms, he acknowledges that ‘Jesus has come in the flesh.’ His concept of Jesus may be totally non-Christian, but at least he states that the essence of God must be contained in a form that is compatible with humanity. In contrast, the self-denial that accompanies holy book Christianity makes it difficult for the Christian believer to really believe that the holy God actually inhabited a human body which ate, drank, went to the bathroom, and experienced other normal human desires. However, that is what the Bible clearly teaches.

Third, the mystical worshipper accepts that there is more to human existence than just physical reality. He may have no concept of what lies beyond the physical world, but at least he is building his mind upon a foundation that goes beyond mere physical stuff. And, here too the holy book Christian tends not to practice what he preaches. He may pronounce in church on Sunday that ‘I am a pilgrim in this world and my home is up yonder’, but he spends the rest of his week living a secular life unaffected by his image of God, guided instead by the materialism of natural existence.

So, why do so many people practice the mental self-deception of Eastern mysticism? Because, it works. If a person manages to apply these two mental tricks, then he will sense the presence of God and he will occasionally feel deep religious ecstasy.

This ecstasy will only be felt occasionally because mystical worship implicitly has two requirements which it cannot itself provide. First, it needs a complicated world upon which it can turn its back. Teacher pleasure comes from order within complexity. The mystical theory of ‘Oneness’ can provide the order, but it cannot provide the complexity. Therefore, mystical worship works best when practiced in front of the backdrop of a complex society. The mystical worshipper will then turn his back on the complexities of society in order to embrace the Teacher theory that All is One. In the language of MBTI®, mysticism lives in Feeling but assumes Thinking.

Second, mystical worship needs a physical body which can do the worshipping. This sounds rather obvious, but if the mystical worshipper ever were to reach its ultimate goal of reaching Nirvana and being reunited with the infinite, then there would be no ‘me’ left to contemplate infinity. And, this physical body needs to be fed and bathed, and pampered in other physical ways. The Hindu or Buddhist monk may try to minimize his physical attachment, but his mind is still parasitic upon his body.

Zen Buddhism: Zen Buddhism is a variation of Buddhism which manages to preserve the mystical concept of ‘Oneness’ while simultaneously performing Server actions. It does this by acting spontaneously. If action is carried out spontaneously without conscious planning, then Server thought will not fragment a Teacher theory, because Server thought is not thinking. In addition, if the Zen master emotionally identifies with his tool or weapon, then Perceiver thought will not separate Mercy experiences into distinct objects. In fact, the mental unification of actor and object actually helps to reinforce the Teacher concept that ‘All is One’. Thus, the Zen Master is his sword as he wields it flowingly, selflessly, and without hesitation. Finally, Zen Buddhism uses the koan to help break Perceiver thought of its ‘addiction’ to rational thought. Thus, for instance, the Zen master may meditate on ‘the sound of one hand clapping’.

Western thinking tends to idolize the Zen master and his graceful expertise, and learning to perform a skill effortlessly and gracefully is a worthy goal. When the average Western individual acts, personal identity does get in the way. That is because Perceiver logic is being used to guide physical action, while personal identity is being defined by emotional ‘truth’. When a person acts, his professionalism tries to keep Perceiver thought awake, while his self-image is simultaneously attempting to put Perceiver thought to sleep. However, when I lived in Korea, I received a different visual impression of Buddhism. I would see the Buddhist monk sitting on the steps at the entrance to the subway, dressed from head to toe in a gray uniform, usually with a shaved head, banging rhythmically and ceaselessly upon a small drum: bang, bang, bang, bang, and so on, hour after hour, trying to fool his mind into feeling that he, the colorless human metronome, was actually the God of the Universe.

Exhorter Thought and Meditation: Eastern Mysticism is not associated with any specific doctrine. In fact, Buddhism clearly teaches that one can only reach God by letting go of religious doctrine.  Thus, it appears that Eastern mysticism is a sort of default religion that emerges whenever Perceiver facts and Server sequences step out of the way.

I suggest that it is Exhorter strategy which drives the mind to discover mystical worship. Exhorter strategy likes excitement, and it is attracted to strong emotions. When it encounters a mental path which leads to potent emotion, it will follow this train of thought as far as possible. What determines how far Exhorter strategy can go in its search for emotional extremes? Perceiver facts and Server sequences, for these construct the mental ‘road system’ upon which Exhorter strategy travels on its search for Teacher and Mercy excitement. 

In the left hemisphere, this leads to exaggeration. Exhorter strategy provides the drive for mental circuit of Ci in its search for general Teacher theory. When Exhorter strategy encounters a general Teacher theory, it will try to make it more exciting by increasing its generality. The Exhorter person has a natural tendency to overstate theories and to make sweeping generalizations. Exhorter exaggeration is limited by Perceiver and Server content. If Perceiver or Server thought can come up with solid information, then this will place a roadblock in the path of Exhorter strategy and stop it from further exaggeration: “Things don’t work that way. You can’t say that because it contradicts the facts.” As a result, the Exhorter person often has conflicts with the Perceiver person. On the one hand, the Exhorter person views the Perceiver individual as a wet blanket who is always trying to deflate his ideas. On the other hand, the Perceiver person regards the Exhorter person as a loose cannon who is always shooting off at the mouth. If all Perceiver and Server roadblocks can be removed, then Exhorter strategy can make the ultimate Teacher exaggeration, which is stating that All is One.

In the right hemisphere, Exhorter drive leads to identification. Exhorter strategy provides the drive for the circuit of Cp as it attempts to improve personal identity. When it encounters a path that leads to pleasant Mercy experiences for ‘me’, then it will try to increase the excitement by bringing the experience closer and making it more vivid. Normally, Perceiver facts and Server skills prevent Exhorter from identifying fully with a desirable experience: “That car does not belong to you. You have to get to the goal one step at a time.” This leads naturally to conflict between the Exhorter individual with his exciting schemes and the Perceiver and Server persons with their dull facts and tedious skills. If all Perceiver and Server roadblocks can be removed, then Exhorter strategy will identify fully with the Mercy goal and pretend that the experience is part of ‘me’.

Thus, the two fundamental doctrines of Eastern mysticism are simply a combination of Exhorter exaggeration in Ci and Exhorter identification in Cp. Exhorter exaggeration creates a universal theory in Teacher thought, while Exhorter identification says that this ultimate theory is part of ‘me’ in Mercy strategy.

Having won the battle, Exhorter strategy ends up losing the war. That is because an empty theory quickly become a boring theory, and when a person can immediately get what he wants, then he quickly tires of it. Thus, when it comes to actually practicing Eastern mysticism, then much of the battle lies in taming Exhorter thought. The person who attempts to sit still and meditate will quickly find his mind wandering and his body moving as Exhorter strategy attempts to escape the boredom of doing nothing and thinking about nothing. Saying this another way, the person who can meditate has perfected the skill of taming Exhorter thought. He has gained the Contributor confidence that is needed to guide Exhorter strategy through the boredom of nothingness to the emotional high of identifying with infinity. 

That explains why the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are concerned mainly with the task of controlling Exhorter thought: Life is full of suffering; suffering comes from desire; get rid of suffering by removing desire. Saying this in the language of mental symmetry: Life is full of painful Mercy experiences; the problem is that Exhorter thought finds excitement in emotional Mercy experiences; the solution is to tame Exhorter strategy.    

Functional Buddhism: This means that any type of worship of God which suppresses Perceiver facts and Server skills and which encourages empty words and spontaneous Server action will end up promoting the direct path of worship and will result in what I call functional Buddhism. Functional Buddhism may use the words of Christianity or some other religion or philosophy, but if these words lose their Perceiver meanings and turn into mere connotation words, then this will open the door to the direct path of Eastern mysticism. When religious words become sufficiently vague and undefined and Perceiver rules of morality become sufficiently relative and ambiguous, then functional Buddhism can openly embrace and proclaim the teachings of Eastern mysticism.

I suggest that a significant portion of CCM, or Contemporary Christian Music, falls into the category of functional Buddhism. In order to understand the reasoning for this statement, we need to review the mindset of blind belief. When a person says that the Bible is a holy book, he is doing two things. First, he is worshipping a holy book. He is using emotional fervor to mesmerize Perceiver thought into an attitude of blind faith. Thus, he is following Feeling and not Thinking. Second, he is worshipping a holy book. He is using the words of a book to build a verbal understanding of God within Teacher thought. Thus, he is using iNtuition and not Sensing.

When Mercy emotions are being used to support Teacher words, then the natural tendency will be to express these words through music, because music takes Teacher words and places them in a nonverbal emotional Mercy package. Basic neuropsychology tells us that speech has a verbal left hemisphere component and a non-verbal right hemisphere component. Therefore, holy book Christianity will lead to singing songs about God and religious doctrine. Adding Mercy music to Teacher words can be helpful, as long as the music ‘says’ the same thing as the words.

But, suppose that society reaches the stage where the Mercy experiences that are being produced by the secular world are more exciting than those which come from the church and Christian worship. Remember that what matters to holy book mentality is two things: Teacher words and the Mercy emotional status that is being used to support these words. Therefore, if the average person finds secular music more emotionally appealing than church music, then secular music will be combined with Christian words in order to increase the emotional impact of these words.

If someone responds to this musical juxtaposition by using rational thought to analyze musical style, then the worship minister will insist that ‘musical style is simply a matter of personal taste’. That is because his music lives within Feeling, and Feeling does not appreciate rational facts from Thinking. If a person suggests that it is inappropriate to combine Christian words that tell a person to leave childish identity with a musical style that is an expression of childish identity, then the worship leader will state that what matters is the words and not the musical package. That is because the Christian message is being limited to verbal iNtuition and has no connection with the physical actions of Sensing. 

But, the words are not saying the same thing as the music. There is now a blatant contradiction between the verbal and the non-verbal meaning of the songs. This contradiction will erode the meaning of the words, until they turn into empty terms with vague meanings. In essence, the juxtaposition of mature words with childish music will act as a ‘koan’ which frees the worshipper from logical thought. When words about God lose their Perceiver meaning, then Exhorter strategy becomes increasingly free to use exaggeration to build up the Teacher understanding of God, and people will attempt to describe God using connotation words which sound magnificent but which have no precise meaning. One can tell that this shift has occurred because most churches have replaced Sunday School, which taught logical Perceiver facts about God and Christianity, with ‘wee worship’.

Meanwhile, the very act of religious worship will encourage personal identification with God. In the words of one popular chorus, “Just forget about yourself, and concentrate on him, and worship him.” Therefore, instead of viewing God as a source of moral rules which should govern behavior, the worship service will convince believers that the goal of Christianity is to ‘feel close to God’. How does a finite individual actually become ‘close’ to an universal being? By behaving in ways that are consistent with universal Teacher understanding. In Christian terms, how does a person become the friend of God? By acting and reacting in a manner that is consistent with the character of God. Worship is a mental shortcut, because it makes me feel that God and I are close buddies when in fact God and I have very little in common.

Half of the typical Christian church service now consists of the functional Buddhism of singing CCM songs of worship to God. Today at the beginning of the 21st century, a new form of ‘Christianity’ is emerging, known as the emergent church. The emergent church is currently making a transition from functional Buddhism to actual Buddhism, as many mainstream Christian leaders are abandoning Christian words and openly proclaiming Eastern mystical meditation and Buddhist doctrine. Thus, when I suggested earlier that the method of holy book Christianity has a finite lifetime, I was not just making a theoretical statement. Instead, I was also making a painful observation.

Male and Female: Let us move on to a subject which appears to be completely different but is actually quite related. It appears that the mental difference between male and female thought can be stated in simple terms. As far as I can tell, the female mind emphasizes the three emotional modes of Teacher, Exhorter and Mercy, whereas the male mind focuses upon the three confidence strategies of Server, Contributor and Perceiver. The effect of gender is independent of cognitive style; cognitive style determines the mode in which an individual is conscious, whereas gender causes a person to emphasize one set of mental modes instead of another. biases mental processing  but is independent of it. Thus, for instance, Mercy strategy tends to be dominant in the female Mercy person, while subconscious thought operates more strongly in the male Mercy person.

Enumerating some of the psychological differences between male and female thought, the typical female is more emotional than the average male. The female mind is more aware of people and their Mercy feelings, and uses more Teacher words. The female mind tends to use feminine intuition, which leaps directly from Mercy experience to general Teacher theory, but is often unable to give the precise reasoning behind these mental leaps. Females tend to make less of a Perceiver distinction between ‘me’ and you, and are more likely to share experiences and personal items. In addition, females are more willing to cooperate with each other, which creates Teacher feelings of order within complexity.

The male mind tends to emphasize confidence and certainty. It is better at working with Perceiver facts and maps, and places a greater emphasis upon Server skills. The male mind avoids intuitive leaps and prefers logic and rational thinking. The male talks less and is often unaware of Mercy etiquette or social convention. The male places a greater emphasis upon individuality, is more strong-willed, and tends to compete more. Finally, male thought often lacks wisdom and tends to pursue goals that lack emotional depth.

The same dichotomy seems to apply to the female and male bodies. The female body emphasizes Mercy feelings of sensitivity and vulnerability, while the integrated curves of the female form together with the grace of female action provide a visual example of Teacher order within complexity. The male body, in contrast, has more Perceiver power and greater Server strength.

Three Stages of Learning: The two mental circuits of Cp and Ci both involve a cooperation between male and female thought. But, the differing strengths of the male and female mind show up in the development of these two mental circuits. In general terms, I suggest that mental development goes through three main stages: a female stage, a male stage, and then a final stage which combines both male and female. 

First, there is the ‘female’ stage of the beginner. The beginner expresses himself emotionally but his performance is crude because it lacks Perceiver knowledge, Server skills and Contributor control. Similarly, the beginning student thinks that he ‘knows everything’ with his grand Teacher theories, but there is little content behind his understanding. In childrearing, it is the mother who plays the major role during the early years of development. In religion, I suggest that the direct path of Eastern mysticism is a ‘beginning’ form of religion, because it naturally emerges when mental content is lacking.

Second, there is the ‘male’ stage of the technician. Unlike the beginner, the technician focuses completely upon Perceiver facts, Server skills and Contributor control. But, what he loses is personal Mercy emotions together with overall understanding. In other words, he spends so much effort perfecting each tree that he forgets about the forest and his purpose for being in the forest. As a musician, he plays every note right, but his performance is cold and it leaves the listener emotionally  untouched.

When a Contributor person uses conscious control to force either Ci or Cp to operate, then this will tend to emphasize male thought. Such an individual can become a great technician, but his perfection tends to be godless and objective, suppressing both Teacher universality and Mercy sensitivity. In keeping with this, Ayn Rand, the Contributor prophetess of Cp, did not know how to reconcile her feminine gender with her masculine philosophy. In fact, she considered it to be a great compliment when she was called ‘the most courageous man in America.’  

Finally, there is the third stage of the expert. The expert combines the perfection of the technician with the emotional expression of the beginner. He has done the practicing and the homework that is needed by develop Ci and/or Cp, but he is now allowing the mental circuit to be driven by emotions. He used masculine thought to build a Perceiver and Server network of roads, but he is now permitting feminine emotion to drive the car.

For the Contributor person, this describes a method of operation which feels out of control, but which is still totally professional. The book Inner Tennis, written back in the 1970s, outlines this form of professionalism. Unfortunately, the author presents his solution as a juxtaposition of Western technical perfection with Eastern mysticism instead of as a mental marriage of male and female thought, but he still recognizes that true expertise can be found by going beyond the Contributor control of the technician.

Putting this all into religious language, we conclude that the woman should submit to the man, just as the beginning student needs to submit to schooling in order to gain technical expertise. For the beginning student, the temptation is to stay out of school, remain spontaneous, and to refuse to learn technique or content.

In our current Western male-dominated world, the focus is upon Contributor control. If the woman submits to the man, then the assumption is that the man is in control of the woman. However, the real reason that the beginner becomes a technician is not so that he can stay an technician, but rather so that he can emerge on the other side as an expert. Similarly, the real reason that the woman submits to the man is not so that the man can dominate the woman but rather so that the woman can be superior to the man. The male expert is going beyond his natural abilities; the female expert is expressing her true abilities. In keeping with this, the Bible states that woman was created out of man. Mentally speaking, one must go through the male stage of technician to reach the female stage of expert; the expert is expressing a form of female thought that was constructed out of male thought. Saying this another way, the man conquered the Wild West, while the woman civilized it. Conquering comes before civilizing, but civilizing goes beyond conquering.  

The Garden of Eden: In the summary back at the beginning, I suggested that mental growth can be driven by either the ‘carrot’ of patience or the ‘stick’ of suffering. It appears that these two paths can help us to decipher the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. A garden defines patience. You plant the seed and then you have to wait until the fruit matures and is ready to eat. There was no suffering in the Garden of Eden, because ‘Eden’ means paradise. Therefore, the learning was purely through the path of patience. When a person has only good experiences, then he does not have a knowledge of good and evil. Instead, he only knows good. And, when a person does not experience evil, then he also does not have any feelings of personal shame and failure. Finally, because the path of patience builds the new ‘house’ for personal identity before tearing down the old one, the personal pain of dying to the old house is minimized.

The path of patience has several requirements. It is driven by Teacher understanding, for it uses the positive emotions provided by a general Teacher theory in Ci to help a person let go of childish Cp. We are told that Adam was given the job of naming all of the animals. Thus, he had to examine his subjective Mercy surroundings, for animals exhibit Mercy emotions, and he had to describe them using Teacher words, laying the mental foundation for a general verbal Teacher understanding in Ci. And, he was taught how to integrate these various Teacher fragments, for it states that God, a being based in universal Teacher understanding, walked in the garden and talked with Adam.

In order to follow the path of patience, I  must allow Perceiver rules to limit ‘me’. If something does not belong to ‘me’, then I must not reach out, grab it, and identity with it. But, that is exactly what Eve did. She was told that they should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That was the Perceiver rule. She saw that the fruit looked good, picked the fruit and ate it. Why did she eat the forbidden fruit? Because the serpent said that eating it would make her like God. And that in a nutshell describes the temptation of Eastern mysticism. It turns to female thought and promises the ecstasy of the direct path: “You can be like God.” And, this path does create pleasure; the fruit does taste good.

But, there is a price for pursuing the direct path of divine identification. When a person identifies with the ultimate goal, then he can no longer learn through the path of patience because he is pretending that he has already arrived at the destination. Therefore, he gets demoted to the school of suffering. In Biblical language, he gets ejected from the Garden of Eden. And, because identification responds to the sight of something attractive by reaching out and trying to take it and control it, then the relationship between male and female become defined in terms of domination and submission.

The path of suffering knows both good and evil, for it has to go through evil to reach good. It also involves death, because personal identity will only be motivated to build a new home if it is first kicked out of the existing one. Finally, the path of suffering is driven by the stick of pain. Thus, the Bible declares that farming will now be a struggle for Adam, and childbirth a pain for Eve. 

Mental Operation and Facilitator Thought

Before we return to the details of the two circuits of Ci and Cp and the Christian path of personal salvation, I would like to take a few paragraphs to present an overview of mental processing, beginning with an official description of Facilitator thought.

Facilitator mode: Facilitator strategy lies at the bottom of the diagram. This is because Facilitator strategy takes the streams of thought that have been developed by other mental modes and blend and mixes between them. Thus, Facilitator strategy could be compared to the mixing board in a recording studio, ‘turning up the gain’ on channels of thought that need emphasizing, while ‘turning down the gain’ or even ‘shutting off’ channels which it deems to be less acceptable.

Facilitator balancing appears to involve four main areas: First, as the diagram shows, Facilitator strategy blends the information that comes from Contributor strategy. Second, Facilitator thought controls the strength of four of the five senses (except for smell) as they pass through the thalamus on their way to the cortex. Third, Facilitator thought uses Perceiver facts within the internal world of Perceiver thought to guide the mixing of Mercy experiences. Fourth, Facilitator uses Server sequences within the internal world of Server thought to guide it as it mixes Teacher words. Neurology tells us that these four types of mental mixing occur within the thalamus under the control of the reticular nucleus of the thalamus, which itself is guided by the dorsolateral frontal cortex (which I relate to the internal world of Perceiver and Server thought), along with the insula (which is the location for the mental representation of internal body state).

Finally, Facilitator strategy lies at the edge of the diagram. In a similar way, Facilitator strategy also lies at the edge of the mind, and the Facilitator person often feels as if he is standing at the periphery, observing himself go through life.

The Mental ‘Pump’: I mentioned earlier that the three composite styles are responsible for running the mind. Stating this another way, the mind is driven by a three-stage ‘pump’ composed of Exhorter, Contributor, and Facilitator. This is shown in the diagram by the set of arrows that run from Exhorter to Contributor to Facilitator.

Exhorter excitement and imagination provide the initial concepts. Exhorter thought has access to both Teacher and Mercy memories and finds its initial concepts by looking through these memories. With the circuit of Cp, the initial ideas are emotional Mercy experiences. With Ci, they are general Teacher theories. The Exhorter person finds it easy to come up with an idea or to start a project, but he is not naturally good at developing a concept or finishing a project. Often, the Exhorter person will communicate his concept to others through the use of Teacher words, and they will add the details to his initial concepts, turning them into reality. Exhorter is also responsible for coarse body movement, and for performing the initial lunge that begins a series of movement.

This first stage appears to be related to the brain neurotransmitter dopamine, which neurology tells us is related to energy, drive and addiction. Parkinson’s disease appears to be a paralysis of Exhorter thought, because the dopamine producing cells die, energy is lost, there is poverty of imagination, and it becomes very difficult to start an action or make a mental or physical transition from one set of steps to another.

Contributor strategy develops an initial Exhorter concept into a plan. The Contributor person has a strong imagination, which is generated within his mind by subconscious Exhorter thought. The Contributor person is very good at taking the ideas of other people and improving them and optimizing them. Serotonin appears to be related to the operation of Contributor thought. Contributor thought generates its plans through the two mental circuits of Cp and Ci, which we have already discussed and will examine further.

Exhorter Contributor Interaction: The relationship between Exhorter drive and Contributor decision can be seen in Tourette Syndrome, in which a person is driven to perform certain actions and say certain words. These impulses can be temporarily suppressed, but eventually they must be expressed. Using the terms of mental symmetry, Exhorter strategy expresses itself as a drive that can be temporarily suppressed by Contributor control but which must ultimately be expressed in some way. In addition, the person with Tourette Syndrome often feels that he must say words and perform actions which are highly inappropriate, demonstrating that Exhorter strategy is attracted by excitement and strong emotion, and does not care whether this emotion is positive or negative.

Moving on, I suggest that phobias and panic attacks illustrate the interplay between Exhorter drive and Contributor confidence. In both cases, Contributor strategy is being overwhelmed by Exhorter drive. But, a phobia is driven by an excess of Exhorter thought; Exhorter strategy is focusing upon the strong feelings associated with some Mercy or Teacher terror. A panic attack, in contrast, is triggered by a deficit of Contributor confidence; Contributor strategy is finding itself unable to handle the normal stresses of everyday life. What makes the panic attack unnerving is that it is not triggered by any specific incident or trauma, but rather results from an overall lack of mental confidence. Using an analogy, a phobia is like water spilling over a dam because the water level is too high, whereas with a panic attack the water spills over the dam because the height of the dam is too low. 

The chemical way to treat these two disorders is by increasing serotonin. In essence this artificially raises the height of the dam. However, the underlying problem still remains, which is a lack of Perceiver and Server confidence. The dam may be higher, but the material out of which the dam is constructed has not been strengthened. In contrast, the approach of cognitive behavior therapy attempts to strengthen levels of Perceiver and Server confidence by teaching an individual how to handle frightening situations.

Mental symmetry also provides a simple way of analyzing obsessive/compulsive behavior. I suggest that these conditions emerge because the wrong mental strategy is being used to solve a problem. Consider the person who must check the door repeatedly to see if it is locked, the individual who has to wash his hands repeatedly until he feel clean, or the person who feels mentally driven to repeat a certain sequence of words or numbers. In each case the solution that is being applied involves Server action and Server sequence. But, the underlying problem is a lack of Perceiver confidence. The person does not know that the door is locked, he does not know that his hands are clean, and he does not know that his personal identity is in a certain mental state. One cannot use Server thought to solve a Perceiver problem. Instead, one must build the Perceiver confidence that is required to know in the presence of emotional pressure.

I have mentioned that Exhorter and Contributor processing appear to be taking place in the basal ganglia. Neurology has recently discovered that the basal ganglia contains a ‘direct path’ and an ‘indirect path’. Dopamine, the Exhorter neuromodulator, emphasizes the direct path and inhibits the indirect path. Thus, one would associate the direct path with Exhorter strategy and the indirect path with Contributor thought. Contributor control appears to function through the subthamalus, which acts like an emergency brake for the basal ganglia.

Moving on to the third and final stage of the mental pump, Facilitator thought takes the plans that have been developed by Contributor thought and makes them smooth by applying Facilitator blending and mixing. Facilitator mode may mix elements of ‘plan A’ with ‘plan B’, adjust a plan to meet specific circumstances, or tailor it to fit the unique abilities of those who will implement it.

Normally, movement is initiated by Exhorter thought, controlled by Contributor thought, and then fine-tuned by Facilitator strategy. However, when there is a physical crisis which demands immediate attention, then noradrenaline, the Facilitator neuromodulator, kicks in and gives Facilitator strategy control over movement. This makes sense because Exhorter strategy is good at changing context whereas Facilitator strategy makes the best of the existing context. When a crisis strikes, then one must do the best that one can with what one has within the immediate surroundings. Thus, the typical Facilitator person may feel muddled in an emotional crisis because that is the domain of Exhorter thought, but when he finds himself in a physical crisis, then his mind becomes crystal clear.

Finally, I would like to define more precisely the interaction between the simple and the composite modes. I have mentioned that Exhorter strategy is a combination of Teacher and Mercy thought and that Contributor combines Server and Perceiver. It appears that this mental cooperation involves the use of shared memory. For instance, both Perceiver and Contributor have access to Perceiver memories. But, they approach these memories in different ways. Perceiver thought builds the memories and looks for connections between these memories. Contributor strategy, in contrast, uses the memories and forms connections between Perceiver memories and Server memories. Saying this in more general terms, the simple styles build memories and work with memories, whereas the composite styles take these same memories and use them to run the mind.

In terms of brain location, neurology tells us that memories are being created, stored, and interconnected within the cortex. This leads one to conclude that the simple styles are located within the cortex. The composite styles have access to these cortical memories, but they appear to be doing their mental processing outside of the cortex, either within the basal ganglia or the thalamus. 

Evolution: Contributor strategy controls the two mental circuits of Cp and Ci. If these two mental circuits are not functioning, then the Contributor person may use conscious control to force one of these circuits to operate. Facilitator strategy is responsible for modulating the operation of the entire mind. If the Facilitator person grows up in an environment which does not program the mind sufficiently, then Facilitator strategy will use conscious thought to force his mind to operate.

We could spent a lot of time on this subject, but I will limit our discussion to a few critical points. Facilitator thought mixes and blends. The rest of the mind presents Facilitator thought with a rough sketch, and Facilitator thought shades in the colors and smoothes the rough edges. Thus, thinking for the Facilitator means shading, blending, mixing, smoothing, averaging, and adjusting. When Facilitator thought encounters a gap, it fills it in; when it sees a sharp edge, it rounds it off.

What happens if the Facilitator person uses Facilitator thought to program the mind? You end up with a mindset which says that there are no solid categories in Perceiver thought and that there can be no gaps in Server thought. Instead, everything flows smoothly together. In other words, you get a universal Teacher theory of evolution. Evolution says that the blending and averaging which occurs within the current context can be extrapolated to explain everything. Why is evolution being regarded as a universal theory?  Because, Facilitator thought is using Facilitator blending to program his entire mind. Therefore, as far as his mind is concerned, it is a universal theory.

But, the childish mind is defined by Mercy idolatry. If it is to develop further, then childish identity must die and be reborn. And that will only happen if Perceiver thought is permitted to divide and categorize Mercy experiences into distinct categories and if Server thought is permitted to walk along a mental path which requires leaping over a personal chasm. And that, for Facilitator thought, is unthinkable. Therefore, when the Facilitator person uses Facilitator thought to program the childish mind, the end result will be a sophisticated, polite, and civilized childish mind.

Does this mean that the path to mental maturity is incompatible with Facilitator thought? If a person insists that the theory of evolution is a universal theory, then I suggest that this is the case. However, if a person accepts that personal change means going through personal rebirth and lifts this up as a Teacher theory that is more general than the theory of evolution, then I suggest that it is possible to pursue personal transformation in a way that is compatible with Facilitator thought.

Let me explain this with the help of an analogy. Suppose that I am in New York and that I want to travel by car to Paris. Is that possible? No. That is because these two cities are separated by a huge chasm known as the Atlantic Ocean. There is no evolutionary way of traveling by car from New York to Paris by staying in the car and simply driving faster or further. Similarly, there is no ‘evolutionary’ way of transforming childish identity by using Facilitator blending to extrapolate from the methods of childish identity. Instead, if I want to cross the ocean, then I have to get out of my car, step into a plane and fly across the ocean. The journey then becomes a smooth journey that is compatible with Facilitator mixing, but it is not an evolutionary journey. Similarly, the path to mental maturity can be made smooth by making a personal transition from childish Mercy emotion to Teacher understanding and then back to adult Mercy emotion, but it is not an evolutionary path because it requires a personal transition from the ‘ground’ of Mercy emotion to the ‘air’ of Teacher understanding and then back to the ‘ground’ of Mercy emotion.

The Indirect Path of Christianity

We have looked at the direct path connecting Teacher and Mercy modes and have seen that it is associated with Eastern mysticism. We will now turn our attention to what I call the indirect path. Instead of connecting Teacher and Mercy thought directly through Exhorter strategy, it takes an indirect path from Teacher to Server to Contributor to Perceiver and then finally to Mercy.

The direct path is a temporary way of bringing infinite Teacher and finite Mercy together through the emotion of worship, but as we saw in our look at mysticism, such worship cannot be maintained continuously. Instead, the material needs of the physical body make ceaseless worship impossible. Thus, finite man may worship the infinite God on Sunday, but during the rest of the week he has to work for a living. Of course, if a person could become free of physical necessity, then it might be possible for him to ‘bow down before the throne of God in ceaseless worship’. But, even this is a mental contradiction, for how can an infinite God reside on a finite throne? It is interesting to note that the Bible does talk about this form of worship at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, but it also describes it as a limited mental strategy that will be superseded by other forms of thought.

Instead, it appears that the only permanent way to bring infinite Teacher and finite Mercy together, or in religious terms to reconcile God and man, is through the indirect path. Instead of attempting to go directly from infinite to finite, the indirect path forms a sequence in which each step adds one more level of specificity.

Religion and Mental Reprogramming: Notice that we have returned to the topic of integrating Cp with Ci, except that this time we will be approaching the subject from a religious angle. That is because the indirect path is a combination of Ci and Cp and it can only be pursued by developing these two mental circuits and then integrating them together. We saw earlier that Mercy idolatry warps Cp by mesmerizing Perceiver thought, filling Mercy strategy with distorted feelings of value and encouraging Server strategy to learn inappropriate skills. We then concluded that the solution lies in programming Ci with the correct theory and then using this as a starting point to rebuild Cp.

But, we have now added two additional factors to this process: First, we now know that bringing a universal Teacher theory in Ci together with personal Mercy identity in Cp will end up creating a mental image of God. Therefore, what we initially described as a task of mental reprogramming will actually be experienced as reconciling ‘me’ with my image of God.

Second, we now realize that the task of developing Ci itself involves a shortcut together with incomplete information. The shortcut is Teacher idolatry. We have to use Mercy emotions to convince the beginning student to study. That is because education suffers from a ‘chicken and egg’ sort of problem. Learning is supposed to be motivated by Teacher emotion, but Teacher emotion will only be felt after the child has acquired a critical mass of rational information. Thus, the only option is to use Mercy emotions to motivate learning until Teacher strategy has developed to the point where Teacher emotions of order within complexity can take over. In other words, if the school teacher says, “I want you to learn this because it is interesting and exciting,” then the student will probably stop listening after a few sentences. However, if the instructor says, “You need to learn this because you will be tested on this and your marks will go into your permanent records and that will determine how well you do in life,” then the student will learn. 

The incompleteness of developing Ci comes from the use of words. As I mentioned before, words can only describe general concepts. They are not the same as general concepts. But, it is possible to use words to describe a universal Teacher theory and then gradually ‘flesh out’ this Teacher understanding by adding situations from the real world.

The Constraints of Mental Reprogramming: Summarizing, we conclude that mental development is subject to the following constraints:

1) The childish shortcut of Mercy idolatry develops the circuit of Cp to some extent but also leaves it warped and twisted.

2) The solution is to use Ci to reprogram Cp.

3) Ci must be developed using the shortcut of Teacher idolatry.

4) The functioning of Ci will be limited to the realm of words.

5) Integrating Cp with Ci is a three stage process: First, Perceiving meanings have to be integrated with Perceiver principles of cause and effect. This means bridging Thinking and Feeling. Second, Contributor strategy has to build Contributor confidence by choosing repeatedly to act in ways that are consistent with Ci and not to act in ways that express Cp. This will bring Perceiving and Judging together. Third, Server actions have to be made consistent with intellectual Server sequences. This will integrate Sensing and iNuition.

6) Mercy strategy interprets everything in terms of experiences, objects and people. Because both Teacher idolatry and Mercy idolatry are ultimately rooted in Mercy thought, this means that this entire process must described in terms of experiences, objects and people.

When these six constraints are combined with the diagram of mental symmetry, then I suggest that the end result is the Christian doctrine of incarnation and personal salvation. However, remember that Ci and Cp are mental circuits, which combine the operation of several mental modes. Therefore, before we study these circuits, we need to examine the mental modes which make up these circuits. We will first look at the stages of the indirect path. This will lead to some general conclusions about the relationship between God, Israel, and the church. Second, we will examine the interaction between modes of thought. This will allow us to make some statements about the nature of incarnation, help us to analyze the Christian doctrine of atonement, and eventually lead us back to the two mental circuits of Ci and Cp.

Let us begin by looking at Israel and the church. The Bible presents itself as a history of God reaching down to man. According to mental symmetry, this means following the indirect path, which begins with God in Teacher universality, goes through Server actions, Contributor choice, Perceiver truth, and then finally arrives at finite human identity in Mercy thought. And, if one is moving from infinite to finite, then it is also logical to conclude that each of these steps will be more specific than the previous one.

Judaism and Server Thought: Our sequence begins with God living in universal Teacher understanding. The first step is to go from Teacher to Server. The Bible states that the infinite God began reaching down to finite humanity by working through the Jewish people. Read through the Jewish Tanach, otherwise known as the Christian Old Testament, and you find an account of God leading the Jews through history, guiding their Server actions and sequences with divine Teacher understanding. The Jews were given the law in written form by God to Moses at Mount Sinai—an extremely detailed verbal outline of exactly what the Jews are supposed to do. Jews refer to Jewish religion as halacha—which means doing. Thus, we find the Teacher words of a single universal God guiding the Server actions of the Jewish people.

Notice first that there is an integration of Sensing and iNtuition, with iNtuition guiding Sensing. Notice also that God deals with Jews as a group. He chooses them as a nation, and not as individuals. When one is starting from infinite and moving to finite, then the first transition has to be as general as possible. Hence, one is dealing here with the complete history—extending through most of human civilization—of an entire group of people.

Jesus and Contributor Thought: The next transition is from Server to Contributor. If you examine the personality of Jesus as described in the Gospels, you find that it fits the profile of the Contributor person. Jesus was always talking about opportunity, cost and benefit, contingency planning, and optimization. And, like most Contributors, he often communicated by means of the story and the parable. His life was driven by a plan and he focused upon this plan.

The Christian doctrine of incarnation states that Jesus was both infinite God and finite man. The diagram of mental symmetry leads us to the same conclusion. An image of God is based in universal Teacher understanding; Ci builds Teacher theories. Personal identity resides within Mercy thought; Cp improves personal identity. Mentally speaking, when Ci integrates with Cp, then you end up with a Contributor god/man. The Contributor person sometimes likes to think and act as if he is a god, but becoming a god/man is not so simple. The direct path is based in emotion. Therefore, all it cares about is feeling that I am one with infinite God. In contrast, the indirect path uses confidence. If a Contributor god/man is to tie together infinite God with finite man, then Server strategy in his mind has to have sufficient confidence to give stability and expression to all aspects of universal Teacher understanding. Similarly, Perceiver strategy has to have sufficient confidence to handle any emotional Mercy experience

And this is exactly what the Bible says about Jesus. According to the Gospel account, two factors governed the behavior of Jesus: On the Server side, he ‘only did what he saw the Father doing’. Thus, his Server actions were guided by his Teacher understanding of God, indicating that Sensing was totally consistent with iNtuition. Jesus is also referred to as ‘the word made flesh’—the iNtuitive realm of ‘words’ expressing itself through the Sensing realm of ‘flesh’. On the Perceiver side, we are told that ‘even though he was tempted like any human, he was without sin’, indicating that Perceiver strategy always had sufficient confidence to handle Mercy pressure.

In addition, Jesus was also an observant Jew, indicating that he was building upon the previous Jewish step of going from universal Teacher understanding to Server action.

Christianity and Perceiver Thought: The final step from infinite Teacher to finite Mercy is from Perceiver truth to personal Mercy identity. Jesus was a Jew, but he also founded the religion of Christianity. Unlike Judaism with its focus upon Server doing, Christianity is rooted in Perceiver belief and personal morality. And, while Judaism takes a wide-angle view of the civilization spanning history of a group of people, Christianity focuses in on the specific individual and his personal relationship to truth.

How does one become a Christian? According to Christian doctrine, one must submit to conscience, admit that one is a sinner, and ask for salvation from God through Jesus. In the language of mental symmetry, personal identity in Mercy thought admits that it was driven by Mercy idolatry, it acknowledges that Mercy idolatry mesmerized Perceiver thought and twisted Server actions, it accepts the operation of Perceiver strategy no matter how bad this makes ‘me’ feel, and it believes that God has reached down from Teacher universality through a Contributor god/man to provide a solution to the problem.

So, is this process from universal Teacher to personal Mercy internal or external? Yes. The diagram of mental symmetry suggests that this is the mental path that needs to be taken to reprogram a personal identity that has been warped by childish idolatry, whereas Christianity says that this is the external path that God took in history to save people who were born in sin. But, Christianity also says that Jesus is not just a historical figure but also a mental image that forms within the minds of the individual Christian believer. Similarly, mental symmetry says that when Teacher thought comes up with a universal theory that explains the mind, Teacher strategy will feel emotionally driven to extend this theory to include the external world as well.

In other words, we are dealing here with an aspect of the final MBTI® division which is between Introverted and Extraverted. Mental symmetry suggests that it is possible to bridge this gap with a step of faith: First, you build an internal model of mental reprogramming. Then, when you look at the doctrines of Christianity—the dominant world religion, you find that it makes the same claims about the external world. You then make the reasonable hypothesis that internal matches external. In the words of Kant, you accept Christianity because it appears to describe natural religion. In the language of MBTI®, you allow Introverted and Extraverted to become integrated. Using Christian words, you ask God to glorify you by allowing the internal transformation that has occurred within your mind to be  expressed externally.

The Structure of Incarnation: I have suggested that a Contributor incarnation can only integrate universal Teacher understanding with personal Mercy identity if his mind is held together by Perceiver and Server confidence. But, this mental confidence only provides the mental ‘glue’ which makes incarnation possible. One still has to fill this mind with mental content which brings infinite and finite together.

So how can one bring finite and infinite together? I suggest that the answer lies in using similarity. Obviously, it is not possible to stuff all of infinity into one finite package. But, if one can find something finite which is similar to everything else, then this single item can be used to represent everything. When using the indirect path, we have two types of similarity at our disposal: First, Server similarity looks for actions and sequences which are similar. Second, Perceiver similarity looks for objects and experiences which are like one another.

Server Similarity: Let us begin by looking at Server similarity. We need to find is a universal, doable, personal, saving Server sequence. First, it must be universal in order to tie in with the universal Teacher understanding of God. Second, it must be doable in order to bridge the gap between iNtuition and Sensing, including both the realm of Teacher words and theory and the Server realm of doing and action. Third, it must be personal because it will provide the foundation for rebuilding personal identity in Cp. Finally, it must be saving because it will have to renew personal identity and rebuild the circuit of Cp.

So, what is the fundamental Server sequence of personal reprogramming? Let us work it out. First, Mercy idolatry programs Cp and brings the mind to life. But, this childish means of existence is not sustainable because it is lawless and self-deceptive. This brings us to the second stage where childish identity ultimately comes to a dead end, either because of internal contradiction, painful consequences from the external world, or because it submits to the Perceiver truth of rational thought. Saying this in the vocabulary of Kant, the old man is driven by radical evil and cannot continue its mode of existence because a lifestyle of radical evil is by definition incapable of living forever. But, there can also be a third stage, in which universal Teacher understanding reprograms personal identity and brings it back to life. And, because this new ‘me’ is now consistent with rational universal Teacher understanding, this new way of living no longer has to die. Using the language of Kant, a new ‘me’ that submits to the categorical imperative can live forever, because the categorical imperative is defined as the type of existence that is capable of living forever.  

The Ultimate Server Sequence: Thus, we end up with the fundamental sequence of birth, death, and resurrection. If we were to describe it in a single word, we could call it the sequence of rebirth. According to Christian doctrine, this defines the essence of Jesus’ earthly life. The name ‘Jesus’ itself means ‘salvation’, which we have seen can only be achieved by going through some form of personal death and resurrection. On the one hand, this Server sequence is definitely physical and personal. According to the Bible, a physical person called Jesus lived during Roman times and was physically crucified and physically resurrected. On the other hand, the sequence of birth, death, and resurrection also appears to be one that is universally replicated in many different ways and forms. Lasting existence requires the birth of some sort of integrated structure, be this an organic life form, a body of knowledge, a mechanical structure or a societal organization. However, this structure will only continue to grow and thrive if it is periodically remade—torn apart in some way, and then put back together in ‘new and improved’ form.

And this appears to be how Hegel originally defined the sequence which his followers called ‘thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.’ Even though he himself only used this phrase once, this is how most modern readers view Hegel’s analysis of history. Instead, Hegel said that human solutions contain inherent contradictions. It is these built-in contradictions which cause a societal split between ‘thesis’ and ‘antithesis’ to emerge. And, it is the Perceiver knowledge that grows from having to live under the personal strain of such a societal split which makes it possible for a higher level solution to emerge.

Using the language of mental symmetry, a childish ‘me’ that is programmed by Mercy idolatry is filled with contradictory desires. Why are there contradictions? Because Mercy identity is driven by specific needs and desires, and childish identity does not care if these specific desires contradict one another or are exceptions to the general rule. However, when one of these contradictions becomes obvious for a long enough time, then Perceiver thought eventually gains the confidence to work out the Perceiver facts and think logically in this area. This rational thinking leads to Teacher understanding along with the development of some aspect of adult Mercy identity.

For instance, think of the communist party member and the communist worker. Communism stated that these two were equal partners, but the comrade and the party member ate different foods, shopped in different stores, living in different apartments, and had different privileges. Thus, Perceiver thought in the comrade’s mind gradually realized that he was different than and inferior to the party member. This Perceiver confidence eventually led to a general Teacher understanding about human dignity. 

Rebirth and Science: So, is rebirth a scientific theory? According to Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, rebirth describes the history of science itself, as well as numerous other fields of thought. Because the concept of rebirth as a general Teacher theory is a touchy issue, I will take the liberty of quoting a few paragraphs from Kuhn’s book: “To the extent that the book [Structure of Scientific Revolutions] portrays scientific development as a succession of tradition-bound periods punctuated by non-cumulative breaks, its theses are undoubtedly of wide applicability. But they should be, for they are borrowed from other fields. Historians of literature, of music, of the arts, of political development, and of many other human activities have long described their subjects in the same way. Periodization in terms of revolutionary breaks in style, taste, and institutional structure have been among their standard tools. If I have been original with respect to concepts like these, it has mainly been by applying them to the sciences, fields which had widely thought to develop in a different way.”

Kuhn then tells us that educators rewrite history to make it appear as if scientific revolution never occurs: “Textbooks refer only to that part of the work of past scientists that can easily be viewed as contributions to the statement and solution of the texts’ paradigm problems. Partly by selection and partly by distortion, the scientists of earlier ages are implicitly represented as having worked upon the same set of fixed problems and in accordance with the same set of fixed canons that the most recent revolution in scientific theory and method has made seem scientific. No wonder that textbooks and the historical tradition they imply have to be rewritten after each scientific revolution. And no wonder that, as they are rewritten, science once again comes to seem largely cumulative. Scientists are not, of course, the only group that tends to see its discipline’s past developing linearly toward its present vantage. The temptation to write history backward is both omnipresent and perennial.”

And then, what does Thomas Kuhn do in the last three pages of his book on scientific revolution? He turns his back on everything that he has written so far and reaffirms his belief in evolution as the ultimate Teacher theory.

So, why does science insist upon believing in evolution, and why would a scientist like Thomas Kuhn end his excellent analysis of scientific revolution by proclaiming the theory of evolution? It appears that there is a Teacher reason, a Contributor reason, and a Facilitator reason. The Teacher reason is that universal Teacher theories hate exceptions. Therefore, once Teacher thought comes up with a general Teacher theory, then it will feel emotionally driven to explain everything—past, present, and future—in terms of this Teacher theory. The Contributor reason is that the circuit of Ci, which Contributor thought controls, works within an existing theory. As Thomas Kuhn outlines, this mental circuit breaks down when changing from one general Teacher theory to another, and no one likes it when conscious thought breaks down. Finally, remember that conscious thought for the Facilitator person is evolution. It takes all gaps and smoothes them over. Furthermore, Facilitator thought requires a functioning mind. Therefore, if the Facilitator person uses conscious thought to develop his mind, then, by definition, his mind will end up governed by the general Teacher theory of evolution.

Ironically, the Bible-believing Christian is also forced to deny the Teacher theory of rebirth. That is because religious self-denial is an inevitable byproduct of blind faith. How can God ‘reach down’ and pick ‘me’ up if an attitude of religious self-denial insists that ‘me’ remain insignificant compared to my image of God? Therefore, the Christian may talk about life after death, but when it actually comes to living this resurrection life, he either postpones it to the ‘sweet bye and bye’ or else enjoys the objective resurrection life provided by science and technology, where he can forget about God and religious duty.

The Sequence of Mental Life: So, is birth, death, and resurrection the most fundamental Server sequence? When it comes to the mind, then it appears to be. We have already seen that it applies to the transition from childish identity to adult identity. However, I suggest that the principle of rebirth continues to apply even when the mind is fully developed. That is because thought involves the cooperation of different modes of thought. Whenever any mode of thought controls the mind, it will eventually come to the point where it cannot go any further. It must then release control of the mind to another mental mode. Thus, each mental strategy takes charge for a while and then passes the mental ‘baton’ on to another mode of thought until eventually receiving the baton again at a higher level of mental functioning. Passing control of thought from one mental strategy to another always involves some death. For instance, as a Perceiver person, I am good at learning facts and building mental maps. But, if I want to implement a map of value, then I must allow subconscious Contributor thought to take control of my mind; I must commit myself to a plan of action even though I am not 100% certain. Similarly, if I want to gain understanding, then I must allow myself to get emotionally attached to a Teacher theory, even when I am not completely certain about all of the underlying facts.

Hegel also refers to this higher type of ‘thesis, antithesis, synthesis.’ As I mentioned, he suggested that lower level cycles of rebirth are driven by inherent contradictions. But, Hegel also stated that a point is eventually reached where the various sides that are involved in the process of rebirth no longer contradict each other but rather complement one another.

So, is rebirth a universal Teacher theory? I do not know for certain. However, when dealing with the mind and personal identity, then we can conclude that it is universal, and it is this combination that produces a mental image of God. In other words, if a person wants to reach mental wholeness and continue living in mental wholeness, then he must believe that personal rebirth is a universal Teacher theory, and if it is a universal Teacher theory, then he will view it as God. Saying this in Christian language, if a person wants to be saved, then he must believe that Jesus is God. And if a person believes that his mental image of Jesus is coexistent with his mental image of God, then he will be emotionally driven by Teacher thought to use his mental image of God to explain external reality as well, just as the Facilitator person who uses conscious thought to program his mind is driven by Teacher thought to insist that his mental theory of evolution also applies to the entire physical universe.

What exactly is the difference between God and Jesus? That is a tricky question to answer, but mentally speaking, an image of God comes from a universal Teacher theory, whereas a mental image of Jesus-as-God comes from realizing that the process of personal rebirth begins with a universal Teacher understanding and that it applies universally to all of personal existence. Putting this in practical terms, believing that Jesus is God means approaching every situation with an attitude of honesty and personal integrity and believing that this will lead ultimately to lasting personal success, even if the short term result is personal failure and disaster. Stating it this way, very few individuals, Christians included, actually believe that Jesus is God.

Perceiver Similarity: We will return to this subject in a moment, but first we need to look at the Perceiver side of similarity. I have suggested that the Server requirement for incarnation is for the Contributor incarnation to embody a Server sequence that occurs universally. Moving on to the Perceiver side, the goal here is for the Mercy experiences of one individual to represent the Mercy experiences of all individuals. In other words, Perceiver thought will see that these situations are similar, and will view the situation of the one individual as a test case which represents all other possible situations. First, is there a Perceiver similarity between the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the experiences of other humans? Yes, like Jesus, all humans have minds which are governed by the principle of rebirth. And, all humans live in physical bodies which are born, which die, and which are in need of resurrection.

Second, is the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus a valid test case? Obviously, the only valid case is the most difficult one—the one that requires the most Perceiver confidence. It would not make sense to drive slowly down a straight road and then claim that one has endured the ultimate driving experience. However, if one successfully drove through the mountains at night in the middle of a storm, then that single experience could represent many other driving situations. Similarly, Jesus’ representative experience of death and resurrection would have to take place in the most vivid manner, the most hostile location and the most difficult way. Physical death and resurrection qualifies as the most vivid manner, and Earth, with its obsession upon natural existence and its abhorrence of God, certainly qualifies as a hostile location for someone who comes from God and who is the word made flesh. As for dying in a difficult way, I would say that crucifixion definitely qualifies.

Third, it is only possible for Perceiver thought to know that the experiences of one person are similar to the Perceiver experiences of another if these experiences are themselves defined using Perceiver thought. Something that is undefined is incapable of representing anything. This means that the personal existence of Jesus had to be defined by Perceiver facts that remained untwisted by Mercy idolatry. His identity had to start free of Mercy idolatry, and it had to continue free of Mercy idolatry. In other words, Jesus had to be born sinless, and he had to resist temptation.

If a person is to be ‘born sinless’, then he must receive Perceiver and Server structure at birth, unlike a normal human, who begins life with Mercy feelings in charge. Thus, we conclude that Jesus had to receive Perceiver and Server structure from a non-human source. If Perceiver and Server strategies are associated with male thought, then this means that Jesus had to have a non-human father. In Christianity, this is known as the doctrine of virgin birth, which states that Jesus had a human mother, but a divine father.

So, how can a person be sinless and yet grow physically and develop mentally? His Perceiver and Server confidence must always keep pace with his Mercy and Teacher emotions. As long as Perceiver and Server thought are never overwhelmed by emotional pressure, then a person can be both sinless and continue to grow. In Christian terms, Jesus was tempted like a normal human, but he never succumbed to temptation.

Jesus as a universal Teacher theory: Let us begin by reviewing the problem of human sin. An image of God is based in a universal Teacher theory. Mercy identity, in contrast, looks for specific experiences for ‘me’. Childish Mercy identity is driven to pursue specific Mercy goals, even when this violates universal Teacher order. Teacher strategy hates exceptions to the rule; childish Mercy identity is an exception to the rule. In Biblical language, God is holy and cannot look at sin. This is consistent with Kant’s concept of the categorical imperative and radical evil.

I suggest that atonement solves this problem by using the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus to turn the lawless exceptions of human sin into a universal Teacher theory of law and order. When I follow childish identity, I will eventually reach a dead end. This describes the first two stages of birth and death. If this is followed by accepting the Perceiver truth about myself, then personal identity will be put back together in adult form, leading to the third stage of personal resurrection. Even though the first two stages may contain behavior that contradicts universal Teacher order, the third stage rebuilds personal identity into a form that accepts Perceiver truth and is now able to think rationally.

The key is to view these three stages as a single Server sequence: the birth of childish behavior; the death of childish behavior; the rebirth of adult identity. Viewed in isolation, the first two stages of this sequence violate universal Teacher order. But, seen as a single Server sequence, these three steps illustrate a universal process and end up creating a Mercy identity that does behave in a way that is consistent with universal Teacher understanding. And, because Teacher strategy works with sequences, and not with isolated experiences, this method works. The Server sequence of birth, death, and resurrection covers the sins of childish identity and packages them in a form that is compatible with universal Teacher understanding.

Names: In order to develop this concept further, we need to introduce the idea of a name. Mercy strategy works with objects and people; Teacher strategy works with theories and words. We are looking here at the name of Jesus; we are examining personal salvation not as a person, but rather as a theory embodied by a person; we are describing the sequence of birth, death, and resurrection viewed as a verbal Teacher theory and not just as a series of events that happened to a person.

For instance, think of the name ‘butcher’. This describes a person who is able to take dead animals and turn them into pieces of meat. The butcher may be 52 years old, tall and balding with a wife and three children. All of that is irrelevant to the name of butcher. Similarly, what matters to the name of Jesus—a name which means ‘salvation’—is the sequence of personal salvation.

Turning Personal Chaos into Universal Order: When a universal Teacher theory looks at childish personal identity, it sees chaos and disorder. But, when this chaos is viewed as a subset of Jesus’ name of birth, death and resurrection, it then becomes an aspect of a universal sequence—the sequence of birth, death and resurrection. Therefore, when the childish mind ‘confesses its sins and calls on the name of Jesus’, it becomes reconciled with God. This is Christian doctrine and it is also mental symmetry, because to ‘confess’ simply means to ‘say along with’ or to verbally acknowledge the Perceiver facts.

Is this reasoning legitimate, or is it just another example of using Mercy feelings to fool Teacher thought and rationalize childish thinking? First of all, nobody is being fooled. Perceiver thought is being allowed to describe childish identity with the full force of personal honesty. Secondly, childish identity is not being allowed to continue its childish behavior, but instead, it is being told that it must fall apart and die. And, when universal Teacher understanding puts personal identity back together again, then one assumes that Teacher thought will reassemble ‘me’ into a form that pleases God by submitting to the categorical imperative, because such a form is consistent with universal Teacher understanding. Thus, we conclude that calling on the name of Jesus is a legitimate method of turning childish rebellion into universal Teacher order—if a person truly submits to the name of Jesus and follows this sequence to its conclusion by ‘accepting Jesus as lord’.

However, if one merely mouths this ‘confession of faith’ as a religious formula, then we are dealing with a form of religious self-delusion. The Biblical book of James says the same thing, comparing a verbal confession of faith that is not followed by action to a person looking in a mirror, turning away, and then forgetting what he looks like. According to James, such ‘faith’ is dead, and mental symmetry would agree, for the person remains stuck in mental death, the second stage of birth, death, and resurrection.

If the name of Jesus is to turn all personal chaos into an aspect of universal order, then it must be possible to apply this name to all possible people and all possible circumstances. In other words, the specific name of Jesus must become a universal name that is more general than any other name. Again, we find ourselves back at Christian doctrine. The Bible says that God gave Jesus a name that was above every other name because Jesus went through the process of birth, death, and resurrection.[1] As humans, we tend to think of this in terms of Mercy importance, but this passage is clearly referring to the name of Jesus—a person viewed as a Teacher theory. When Mercy thought lifts up a person, it makes him more important than anyone else. When Teacher thought lifts up a person, it makes the name of that person more general than any other name.

This same passage also says that the name of Jesus is above every name both in this age and in the age to come. Thus, birth, death, and resurrection is the ultimate theory when moving from childish identity to adult identity, and it is also the ultimate theory when functioning as an integrated human in which mental control continually passes from one mental strategy to another.

We can use mental symmetry to make a further statement about the name of Jesus. I have suggested that mental reprogramming begins with universal Teacher understanding. If the name of Jesus is an essential aspect of mental reprogramming, then the name of Jesus must also begin with universal Teacher understanding. And if an image of God comes from universal Teacher understanding, then Jesus must also be an aspect of God. Thus, as the gospel of John states, one concludes that Jesus is the ‘living word’ who is God and who was with God.

In addition, if Jesus started out as an aspect of universal Teacher understanding, then it must be possible to explain the existence and life of Jesus as a Teacher theory, which is precisely what we are attempting to do here.

Confessing my Sins: So, what is the practical benefit for personal identity when ‘me’ submits to the name of Jesus? It will now feel good to be honest about myself. Childish identity does not like Perceiver truth, because personal honesty forces ‘me’ to face personal failure and prevents ‘me’ from worshipping idols. But, Perceiver honesty about ‘me’ now becomes the turning point that turns the Teacher chaos of personal failure into an illustration of universal Teacher order. Thus, instead of just triggering Mercy pain, personal honesty now also leads to Teacher pleasure.

In religious language, I feel good when I confess my sins to God. The word ‘confess’ means to ‘verbally agree with’. In plain English, I get caught for speeding and I feel happy that the system is working.

This Teacher pleasure only kicks in after the Mercy pain of personal honesty. Being honest about myself and ‘confessing my sin’ still makes Mercy thought feel bad. But, this Mercy pain is now followed by the Teacher feeling of forgiveness. When I confess my sins, I then feel clean and forgiven because the inner strife between Teacher understanding and Mercy identity has now been resolved.

Notice also that this process is driven verbally. That is because the developing mind uses words to learn about God and universal Teacher understanding. Therefore, if childish identity wants to interact with an image of God, it must use words. I must say that I am a sinner, I must call on the name of Jesus, and I must ask for forgiveness from God. Hence the word ‘confess’, which means to verbally agree with. Does this mean that I have to verbalize every sin? No. We are dealing here with internal speech and Teacher strategy thinks in terms of generalities. Therefore, what is far more important than confessing individual sins is admitting in universal terms that I am a sinner, driven by Mercy idolatry.

However, if a specific situation comes up where I am still holding on to Mercy idolatry, then this specific situation will act as an exception to the universal Teacher theory, and it then becomes critical to confess that specific situation.

Of course, all of this will only work if I accept personal rebirth as the ultimate Teacher theory. If I believe that personal evolution is more universal than personal revolution, then the entire mental process will break down. Stating this in blunt, politically incorrect, religious terms, a universal theory of evolution is fundamentally incompatible with Christian salvation. Is there a valid theory of evolution? Of course! Evolution occurs within a local context, but that local context is established by processes which are not subject to the theory of evolution. Similarly, Facilitator thought plays an essential role within the current mental context. But, that context is established by other modes of thought which do not function in terms of evolution.

This does not mean that mental development has to violate Facilitator thought. For, if these other modes of thought are permitted to control the process of personal growth in a unified manner, then it is possible to turn personal development into a relatively smooth process that does not destroy Facilitator thinking, just as an airport transforms flying into a fairly smooth process whereby a person can step from the ground onto the airplane. But, if an individual wants to cross the ‘ocean’ separating childish identity from adult personhood, then he still has to let go of the ‘ground’ of Mercy idolatry and allow it to be replaced by the invisible ‘lift’ of a universal Teacher theory.

The Limitations of Verbal Salvation: Remember that our ultimate goal is to rebuild Ci so that it can be used as a base for reprogramming Cp. In order to do this we are taking advantage of the mental split between the Sensing and iNtuition. On the one hand, Sensing, which resides within Cp, is filled with all of the inappropriate actions that were done in order to satisfy childish Mercy identity. On the other hand, iNtuition, which belongs to Ci, is being programmed by a verbal description of God, the name of Jesus, and the process of personal salvation.

Saying this more simply, the verbal Christian plan of salvation assumes that what a person says is mentally disconnected from what he does. What he does has been twisted by his childish nature, but it is possible for him to study a new verbal Teacher theory about God, because his verbal understanding is disconnected from what he has done. Therefore, Teacher thought will not sense all of the Server actions that contradict the Teacher theory of God. As long as the split between iNtuition and Sensing remains, then verbal theories will feel general to Teacher thought, because these theories are disconnected from the actions and events of Sensing. In Christian language, such a person will know about God but he is not a Christian because he has not ‘asked Jesus for salvation’.

However, once a person ‘calls on the name of Jesus for personal salvation’, then Sensing and Cp will come into contact with iNtuition and Ci. That is because the name of Jesus is part of the general iNtuitive Teacher theory of God in Ci, whereas personal salvation involves personal identity, Sensing, and the circuit of Cp.

Normally speaking, when Server thought comes in contact with Teacher words, then ‘actions speak louder than words’, because actions give stability to words. Words that are not backed up by actions are ephemeral. As a result, a person will usually call on the name of Jesus only when Server thought is in a weakened state.

Saying this another way, a person will usually call on the name of Jesus only when he ‘reaches the end of his rope’ and ‘does not know where to turn’. Normally, ‘actions speak louder than words’, If words are to change actions, if the verbal message of personal salvation is to ‘speak louder’ than the Server actions of the childish ‘me’, then Server thought in the childish ‘me’ must fall apart. Server confidence must crumble. The childish sinner must ‘reach the end of his rope’.[2]

When a person does ‘call on the name of Jesus’ and make a verbal request to Teacher thought, then Teacher strategy will respond by transferring personal identity to a different general Teacher domain. Before, ‘me’ was regarded by Teacher thought as a violation of universal Teacher order, which Teacher thought had to ignore in order to remain sane. Now, ‘me’ becomes a specific example of the general Teacher theory of rebirth—but only when viewed through the name of Jesus.

This means that there are actually two levels to the process of verbally ‘calling on the name of Jesus’. There is the global level, during which personal identity as a whole becomes transferred to the Teacher domain of universal Teacher understanding. This global shift is triggered by a general admission of personal sin and inadequacy, and a general calling on the name of Jesus. This describes what happens when a person ‘becomes a Christian’. However, ‘calling on the name of Jesus’ also functions at a local level, during which the process of personal honesty and divine forgiveness is applied to specific situations and experiences.

The global confession to God must occur first, because Teacher thought works with generalities and will not even consider dealing with specific discrepancies until the general state of rebellion against Teacher thought has been resolved. The local confessions take care of the specific exceptions to the rule that will continue to be produced by childish behavior as it is in the process of being transformed. In other words, the global confession transfers ‘me’ into the domain of universal Teacher understanding, while the local confessions ensure that ‘me’ remains consistent with universal Teacher understanding.

If a verbal call for personal salvation is to produce lasting results, then it must to lead to new Server actions. That is because actions do speak louder than words, and if a verbal ‘confession of faith’ is to survive, then it must be backed up by Server stability. In Christian language, confession, which means verbal assent, must be followed by repentance, which means a change in direction. This repentance will be assisted by grace from God, another Christian concept. Using the language of mental symmetry, when childish identity becomes viewed by Teacher thought as a specific example of the general Teacher theory of rebirth, then Teacher thought will feel good when ‘me’ goes through the process of personal birth, death and resurrection. Personal identity will feel this positive Teacher emotion as a pleasure that is associated with carrying out this sequence. In theological language, this Teacher derived pleasure is ‘grace from God’.

If the ‘penitent sinner’ continues to act in ways that violate universal Teacher understanding, thinking that he can repeatedly make things right with a verbal confession then, in the words of the apostle Paul, he is ‘continuing to sin so that grace might abound’. He is performing the first two steps of the general sequence of birth, death and resurrection, but he is not following this through with the change in personal direction which makes the third step of resurrection possible.

And that brings us to the problem of Sensing versus iNtuition. When a person accepts a verbal plan of salvation, he is bridging Thinking and Feeling by acknowledging Perceiver facts about Mercy identity, but he is still functioning within the context of a general split between words and actions. On the one hand, this split allows him to develop adult sane thinking, even if his actions are guided by childish insanity. On the other hand, this split also means that his sane thinking is vulnerable to being overwhelmed again by his insane doing.

We saw this same process when looking at the integration of practical Contributor thought with intellectual Contributor strategy. Gluing these two together is a three step process. First, Perceiver facts are made consistent. Then, Server actions and Teacher theories are made consistent over a period of time by a series of Contributor choices—since Server and Teacher thought work with time and sequence. The final step is triggered when practical Contributor thought falls apart because no more Server actions are possible. Teacher understanding then reaches down and revitalizes Server strategy.

The Divine Perspective: This three stage process can be viewed from two angles: intellectual Contributor thought and practical Contributor thought. Let us begin with intellectual Contributor strategy, the viewpoint of universal Teacher understanding and the perspective of an image of God. Remember that this mental image is limited to the realm of words, because words were used to build universal understanding. If Teacher words are to become united with Server actions, if iNtuition is to reach down and integrate with Sensing, then Teacher thought must leave the realm of words and express itself through Server actions. In educational language, the professor must leave his university classroom and live within the real world. But, these Server actions must all be consistent with Teacher understanding; they must be concrete expressions of abstract theory.

However, Sensing and iNtuition operate in parallel. Words and actions are completely independent of one another. Applying verbal concepts through action makes the two compatible with one another, but in order for these two compatible fragments to become glued together, Sensing must reach a dead end and be put back together by iNtuition. This is when a word becomes a name; this is when a verbal theory becomes a verbal description that describes someone.

Saying this in Christian language, Jesus began as the living word with God and as part of God. The living word then ‘became flesh’ and lived among humans. As a human, Jesus did nothing on his own initiative but only did ‘what he saw the Father doing’. Eventually, Jesus reached a dead end where he was literally nailed down and could not do anything. He was then brought back to life by God and was given a name that is above every name.

Let us tie this down with a partial analogy. Suppose that I own a large company and that I want my son to run the company. If I simply pass on the reins to my son, then there is a good chance that he will ruin the company, because he does not know how to run it. Therefore, I have to make sure that my son knows how to live and work as a normal employee within the company, in which he is forced to act like any other worker and is not allowed to take any shortcuts. But, that is not the end of the process. Eventually, my son will have to stop being just a normal worker and start being in charge, integrating what he learned while being a worker with his new responsibilities as a manager. Originally, the son lived in words and iNtuition. He then labored within Sensing. Finally, he brought these two together. However, the only way to bring two mental strategies together is for one to fall apart and be put back together by the other. 

The Human Perspective: Now let us look at this process from the human viewpoint of practical Contributor thought and childish identity. A person learns about personal salvation as a verbal theory. He then ‘calls on the name of Jesus’ and feels that his ‘sins are forgiven’. But, he discovers that this is only the beginning of a process of learning a totally new pattern of behavior. His verbal Teacher understanding of God has reconciled Mercy identity with Teacher understanding, but his Server actions within Sensing still contradict his iNtuitive verbal Teacher theory of God. He has been declared righteous, but in fact he is unrighteous. (‘Righteous’ means acting in a way that is consistent with nature of God, or performing Server actions that are consistent with universal Teacher understanding.)

He is then expected to ‘walk by faith’, accepting the Perceiver facts about personal identity, and allowing the resulting rational Teacher understanding to guide his personal behavior. Notice that the best strategy for such a person is not to try to use practical Contributor thought to produce the desired Server actions for that would be ‘saving himself through works’. Instead, he should continue to accept Perceiver facts about ‘me’, allow rational Teacher understanding to grow and then permit the resulting Teacher feelings to guide personal behavior. 

During this intermediate stage, a person will experience a continual struggle between two different natures, one based in the Perceiver honesty of the new ‘me’ and the other guided by the Server habits of the old ‘me’. The Bible refers to these two natures as ‘spirit’ and ‘flesh’. What a person must do during this intermediate stage is to feed the new ‘me’ and starve the old ‘me’. In Biblical language, he must ‘walk according to the spirit’ and ‘put to death the deeds of the flesh.’

The first stage is associated with Perceiver confidence. The final stage requires Server confidence. This intermediate stage, I suggest, is associated with Contributor confidence. That is because Contributor strategy is the part of the mind that chooses. It decides whether to feed the old ‘me’ or the new ‘me’. Contributor choices are usually very specific. Similarly, this intermediate stage will require making a lot of specific choices.

The end of this process of personal change is ‘death to self’, which occurs when practical Contributor thought reaches a dead end and cannot go any further. This is when a person stops being ‘declared righteous’ and becomes righteous; this is when Sensing and iNtuition come together; this is when a person becomes the ‘friend of God’ and is not just ‘reconciled with God’.

Remember that the mind always follows the lowest strategy. A higher strategy will only come into play when a lower strategy falls apart. Thus, the goal of ‘dying to self’ is not to destroy practical Contributor thought but rather to produce greater mental integration. Once the connection between intellectual Contributor thought and rebuilt practical Contributor thought is sufficiently solid, then it is possible to ‘reanimate’ the lower practical strategy, because now both strategies will be able to function in harmony with each other.

As far as personal identity is concerned, this three stage process will actually feel like a personal journey—a ‘journey of faith’, if you will. First, there is the decision to strike out in a new direction, by deciding in Mercy strategy to permit Perceiver facts to define, label and judge ‘me’. Second, there is the long path from this starting point to the final destination. At each juncture of the ‘road of life’, Contributor strategy must decide whether it will ‘take the low road’ of expressing childish identity and its perversion of Cp, or choose the ‘high road’ of allowing Cp to be redefined by Ci and Teacher understanding. Occasionally, this rod will be ‘smooth sailing’ when it seems effortless and obvious to ‘walk in’ the new path. Other times, life will be an ‘uphill battle’, with childish identity doing its best to drive personal behavior. And, there will also be moments when a person ‘backslides’ by choosing to express childish identity and then feeling guilty or experiences bad personal consequences as a result of this choice. And, a person may even choose to ‘walk apart from God’ for a while, as Cp attempts to function without Ci and a person mentally ‘turns his back’ upon the new God-driven mental circuit of Ci.

Finally, at the end of this personal journey there is rest. The Biblical book of Hebrews talks about ‘striving to enter God’s rest’, and that apparent contradiction makes sense in the light of this three stage journey. Rest occurs when the old childish finally ‘breathes its last’ and falls apart. When a person achieves rest then he naturally acts in ways that are consistent with his general Teacher understanding of God. In Biblical terms, he becomes righteous, and a friend of God.

Thomas Kuhn implies that a similar process occurs in the education of the scientist. First, the budding scientist accepts that his natural world is governed by Perceiver principles of cause and effect described by the universal verbal Teacher ‘laws of science’. Mentally speaking, this is an objective version of the ‘salvation decision’. While it does not affect ‘me’ directly, it does share with the Christian conversion experience the decision to accept Perceiver truth and a submission to universal Teacher theory.

For the student of science, life consists of building a verbal Teacher understanding of the laws of science together with a lot of problem solving. According to Kuhn, the science student spends an inordinate amount of time learning from textbooks and solving scientific problems. The Christian equivalent is studying the Bible and applying Biblical principles in life. In both cases, the long term goal is to make the Server actions of Sensing consistent with the Teacher words of iNtuition.

For the student of science, the final stage is reached when he thinks naturally in terms of science. He has carried out so many Server sequences of solving various sorts of problems in a scientific fashion that when he encounters a new situation, he naturally is reminded in Server thought of the appropriate sequence. Similarly, the righteous Christian has ‘acted in a Godly fashion’ so many times that when he encounters a new situation, the appropriate Server response naturally comes to mind.

Introverted versus Extraverted: It appears that the final mental split to integrate is the division between Introverted and Extraverted. As a person grows up, he become increasingly driven and held together by internal content. The ultimate struggle is to act or think in a certain way entirely for internal reasons, not depending upon any external reward or motivation. Again, the mind will always follow the easiest way out. Therefore, if someone does reward me for my behavior, then I will not become internally driven. Instead, I must act, think or behave in a certain way only for internal reasons, despite the lack of approval from anyone else. When this happens, the External thought will fall apart and be put back together by Internal content. This is how one integrates Introverted with Extraverted. According to Kant, this type of behavior describes the highest form of morality, and the Bible agrees.

However, Kant suggests that moral behavior must continue to be motivated only by internal standards. Mental symmetry, in contrast, suggests that it is only necessary to act for purely internal motives long enough for Internal and External to become integrated. After that, Internal and External will begin to function in a unified manner. Similarly, the Bible clearly teaches that personal death is followed by personal resurrection and that those who walk by faith will eventually be rewarded. I suspect that Kant was mentally blinded—as most Christians are—by the attitude of self-denial that always accompanies revealed truth. For, when blind faith rules, then ‘me’ must remain insignificant in order to protect the ‘facts’ of ‘truth’.

Christianity as Blind Faith

So far we have looked at the way in which the process of personal reprogramming is modified by verbal understanding. This describes the situation that arises when someone learns about personal transformation as a rational theory, such as described in this book. To some extent, this also occurs when Christian doctrine is taught as systematic theology.

Unfortunately, traditional Christianity is actually dealing with a double handicap. Not only is the Teacher theory about God limited to the realm of words, but these words are being supported through Teacher idolatry, lifted up as the special revelation of a holy book.

I should emphasize that I am making a clear distinction here between the content of Christianity and the method in which it is taught. This book attempts to show that the content of Christianity can be described in terms of a rational, integrated Teacher theory of human thought. But, the method by which Christianity is taught is generally that of blind belief: ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’ The content is consistent with rational understanding; the method is not.

So, what happens when the doctrines of Christianity are taught as blind belief? Remember that rational understanding is given emotional stability by Teacher emotions of order within complexity, whereas blind belief is held together by Mercy feelings of personal importance. Therefore, the salvation message will be taught primarily as a series of events occurring to an important person, instead of as a set of integrated doctrines that tie together to form a coherent theory.

Christianity and Theory: Before we go on, let us pose the question. How does the typical Western individual view Christianity? As a set of integrated doctrines? This may be the viewpoint of theologians and some believers, but most people, both Christian and non-Christian, do not connect Christianity with systematic theology. Instead, Christianity is seen primarily as a Mercy relationship with an imaginary person. And, when I suggest to people that it is possible to analyze Christianity apart from the holy book of the Bible, then most individuals are very skeptical. Even though the laws of nature can be described by an integrated Teacher understanding, and even though Christians say that the same God wrote the Bible and created the world, we tend to assume that rational analysis applies only to God’s world and not to God’s word. But, if that is the case, then we are dealing with two God’s, one rational and the other irrational.

So, does this mean that there is no Mercy component to Christianity? No, there is a Mercy component. The essence of mental reprogramming is intellectual Contributor extending down to practical Contributor thought in order to revitalize childish identity. This means that the ‘word’ has to ‘become flesh’; it must be possible to translate Teacher theory and word into Mercy experience and person. But, the ultimate source is not Mercy experience but rather Teacher theory. The Mercy person is the expression and not the foundation. In contrast, blind belief does exactly the opposite and sees the Mercy person as the foundation and the Teacher words as the expression. 

Using Mercy Language: So, what does it mean to view Christianity as words that are based in an important person? It means that the theory of Christian salvation will be reduced to the following personal story: “Jesus created the world with God. Jesus lived with God. Jesus came down to earth and was born as a human baby. Jesus lived a human life. Jesus died on the cross. Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Jesus is now in heaven. Do you believe that this story happened? Jesus wants to come into your heart. You must admit that you are a sinner. You must ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive your sins. Do you want to ask Jesus into your heart right now?”

Does this story contain the same crucial elements as what we derived using the theory of mental symmetry? Yes. It says the same thing—using the Mercy language of people. Does the person telling the story or the person hearing the story understand what is being said? Probably not. All they know is that it works. Therefore, it is taught as a magical formula that is verbally repeated which mysteriously turns a person into a Christian.

But, how can it work if I do not understand what is happening? Because the functioning of my mind is determined by my mental wiring. Just as the operation of my eye does not depend upon me understanding how it works, so my mind continues to function even when I do not understand how it functions. The main point is that abstract Contributor thought based in a universal Teacher understanding is reaching down to transform childish identity and rebuild practical Contributor thought. It does not matter whether this process is stated as a Teacher theory or as a Mercy story; as long as the same elements are there, the process will work...

...To a certain extent. What happens is that the missing elements have to filled in somehow with a substitute, this substitute has limitations which do not apply to the real thing, and these limitations can destroy the process. First, Mercy feelings of importance must substitute for Teacher emotions of understanding. An image of God is based in universal Teacher understanding. When I associate God with metaphysical magic, then these Teacher feelings are not present. Instead, they must be provided by Mercy thought. Therefore, one has to use the mental tricks of worship to inflate words about God and to exaggerate them into cosmic significance: “God is marvelous; God is incredible; God is magnificent. Let us all sing together about how marvelous God is.”

Second, blind belief must substitute for Perceiver confidence. Somehow, Perceiver thought has to filled with content that is solid enough to build Teacher understanding. The proper way is to temper Perceiver knowledge through the testing of emotional pressure. But, it is also possible to freeze Perceiver thought with the emotions of Mercy importance into blindly ‘believing’ the right facts.

Does this method employ mental tricks? Yes. Teacher thought is being fooled by Mercy feelings of importance into interpreting these feelings as Teacher emotions of generality. Mercy thought is saying “God is important” and Teacher thought is hearing “God is universal.” Similarly, Perceiver thought is being mesmerized into accepted the words of a specific book as absolute truth. But, when Christianity is taught as a magical formula, then there is no alternative.

Holiness and Self-denial: Notice that both the problem and the solution are now rooted in Mercy feelings of idolatry. Normally, the new ‘me’ is connected with Teacher emotion and the old ‘me’ with Mercy emotions. But, in this case, both the problem and the solution are being held together by a form of idolatry. The problem is rooted in Mercy idolatry and the solution is based in Teacher idolatry. Therefore, it is imperative to keep these two completely separate from one another and to make especially certain that the childish ‘me’ does not contaminate the source of Teacher idolatry. This will happen if the words about God are placed within a package of holiness. Holy means separated unto God. Thus, God and the Bible will have to be associated with holy places, holy people, holy events, and holy times.

And how can one stop ‘me’ from contaminating this holiness? This occurs automatically with blind faith. Whenever Mercy thought gives great importance to some holy book, then by definition ‘me’ must remain insignificant: “The Bible is everything. I am a worm. I must deny myself to serve God. If I ever think that I am something, then I will begin to doubt God’s word.”

We have looked at the substitutes. Now let us turn our attention to some of the limitations and the ways in which they can destroy the process. Let us begin with an obvious weakness. If holy people, events, places and objects are being used to give emotional importance to the words of God, then it is very easy to confuse the holy messenger with his holy message. After all, worshipping an invisible God is mentally obscure. It is much simpler to focus upon the person leading this worship and start worshipping him, especially since idolatry naturally fixates the mind upon the nearest object of worship. When this happens, Teacher idolatry will degrade into Mercy idolatry and the solution will become no better than the problem. Actually, the situation will now be worse, because people will think that they have a solution while they are simply wallowing around in another form of the problem.

Is it possible to follow Jesus’ path of birth, death, and resurrection within an atmosphere of holiness? To some extent, yes. Religious self-denial does a wonderful job of motivating a person to die to childish identity. But, it does a rotten job of bringing the new ‘me’ back to life. Instead, if one wants to combine an adult ‘me’ with blind faith, then one has to play mind games: “God loves me so much that even though I am a worm and not at all worthy of his affection, he still blesses me with good things. Praise Jesus.”

Monks and Monasteries: When holiness combines with religious self-denial, then over time a specific form of Christian church will emerge. First, some individuals will feel so drawn to the message of Christianity that they will try to follow God completely by denying anything that relates to the old ‘me’, which includes Sensing and practical Contributor thought. Therefore, they will leave civilization, throw away their possessions, live in caves in the desert, and think and pray about God, Christianity and Jesus. Anthony the Great of Egypt was the first Christian monk to practice this extreme lifestyle, leaving behind the comforts of civilization in 285 AD to live in the wilderness. For twenty years he barricaded himself in an abandoned Roman fort, praying and focusing on God. His example became followed by many others and helped to establish the path of Christian monasticism.  

Second, men such as these will be regarded by others as holy and become associated with God and Christianity. For instance, even the emperor Constantine heard about Anthony, praised him and asked Anthony to pray for him. Third, the average individual will practice religious self-denial by donating to those whom they regard as holy. Put this together, add a few hundred years and you have communities of monks who have taken vows of poverty and celibacy living amidst great wealth. Obviously, people will start to view the monastic life as an easy way to put bread on the table—say a few prayers and you can eat all you want. These monks will then tell other people to practice religious self-denial—because that is their source of wealth, while at the same time they will live a life of blatant self-enrichment.

Losing Faith through Success: We have looked at what happens when the religious self-denial that is inherent in blind faith becomes dominant. In that case the method ends up overwhelming the message. Suppose instead that the message of Christianity is successfully applied and that intellectual Contributor thought does manage do reach down and transform practical Contributor thought to a substantial degree. Such a person will stop following childish idols, he will begin to form goals and he will reach these goals. Practical Contributor thought will grow up, goal-oriented behavior will emerge, and the person will be successful.

But, when someone is successful, then his personal identity is also important, and when ‘me’ is  important, then the Bible is no longer far more important than ‘me’, and if the Bible is no longer that important, then Perceiver thought will begin to wake up from its attitude of blind belief and begin to doubt what the Bible says. However, once someone doubts what the Bible says, then he will see no reason to follow the path of Christianity and its denial of childish identity. Instead, he will decide to enjoy his wealth and will refuse to grow up inside. But when a person pursues the idols and shortcuts of childish identity, then he experiences personal pain and failure. Eventually, the wealth that was gained through hard work will be lost.

Usually this cycle occurs over several generations. The first generation gains the wealth, the second generation enjoys it and the third generation loses it. One could think of this as the charging and discharging of a mental battery. The charging occurs when Mercy feelings are used through Teacher idolatry to build up respect for the Bible and its message, whereas the discharging occurs because of the Mercy idolatry associated with childhood and childish identity.

But why is childish identity still around to keep reappearing? Because blind faith can only suppress childish identity, it cannot replace it with adult identity. Plus, the method that is being used to suppress the old ‘me’ suffers from the same fundamental flaw as the old ‘me’—it too is based in a form of idolatry. And, even if people do manage to hold on to the mental maturity that they have gained, their children will start afresh from Mercy idolatry, surrounded now by the wealth that was acquired as a result of the hard work of their parents. 

Traditional and Contemporary Church: This type of cycle between religious self-denial and personal enjoyment is common within church circles. On the one hand there is the traditional type of church service which focuses upon denying self, suffering for Jesus, studying the Bible, and looking forward to living the good life in heaven after physical death. For this type of Christian, the prime message is that God wants the old ‘me’ to die.

On the other hand, there is the contemporary type of church service which focuses upon enjoying life now, experiencing the benefits of the Christian message, and making church fun. This kind of Christian emphasize the fact that God wants the new ‘me’ to live.

Attending contemporary church is fun, but it discharges the battery of emotional respect for Christianity. Eventually the Teacher idolatry that supports blind faith will run dry. At that point, most people either to leave the church or to start attending traditional church. Traditional church builds up emotional respect for Christianity, but it isn’t much fun and so eventually one leaves the stifling atmosphere.

Following Approval Conscience: Let us move on to another error that can result from blind faith Christianity. The essence of adult identity is conscience: allowing Perceiver facts to label ‘me’ accurately, even when this makes ‘me’ feel bad. What is the ultimate source of conscience? Natural law and mental law. If I play on the freeway, I will probably get hurt. If I satisfy one mental strategy at the expense of another, then I will experience painful results. What holds these Perceiver rules together? Ultimately, the Teacher understanding of a universal theory, otherwise known as Kant’s categorical imperative. I refer to this as natural conscience, because it is based in natural physical and natural mental law.

However, when Mercy importance is being used to teach the Christian message, then it is very easy for natural conscience to be replaced by approval conscience. On the one hand, people do not know the natural laws that lie behind the rules; on the other hand, they are very aware of the Mercy importance of those who are teaching these rules. Thus, instead of following conscience because of the painful consequences of violating natural law, people will follow conscience because Reverend Smith, Father John, Mayor Bill, Teacher Jones, mother or father may find out and punish them.

A variation of this attitude could be called ‘maintaining my testimony’. In this case, the goal is to make sure that I do not look bad in the eyes of non-Christians, because I don’t not want my personal behavior to prevent them from ‘saying the prayer of personal salvation’. Notice how this follows logically from the previous point. If I am trying to gain approval from the teachers of the message of salvation instead of programming my conscience with the message itself, then I will assume that others are looking at me in the same way. Therefore, I will try to act in a way that is consistent with the words of my Christian message in order to avoid offending potential believers. Thus, I try to integrate Sensing and iNtuition—a noble aim—for the wrong reason—looking good in the eyes of people who do not believe in the message of salvation.

However, people are not omniscient. They cannot read minds; they cannot see what is done in private; they can be convinced to change their minds; and, they can be fooled—especially when they themselves are being guided by childish identity. The whole purpose of the Christian message is to make permanent changes to internal identity. Approval conscience motivates a person to make temporary changes to external appearance, while leaving the core of childish identity untouched and unchanged.

The solution to this problem is to view God as the source of conscience: “Remember, even though I am not around to watch you, God is still there. God sees everything that you do and can even read your mind. And, if someone thinks wrongly about you, then remember that ultimately you must obey God rather than man.” This turns Mercy-based approval conscience into a form that is compatible with universal Teacher understanding, because it applies all of the time, and not just when people are watching.

Unconditional Acceptance: Another possible error associated with blind faith Christianity is change the content of the Christian message into something that is more ‘friendly’ while maintaining the overall plan of salvation. Remember that the plan is to use intellectual Contributor thought to rebuild practical Contributor strategy, allowing the image of God that is based in universal Teacher understanding to help ‘me’ in Mercy strategy to avoid personal pain and failure. Unfortunately, the message that God is telling ‘me’ is that childish identity needs to ‘die’ and be replaced by personal honesty.

Positive thinking replaces this message of personal death and resurrection with one of unconditional acceptance: “God loves you. He has a wonderful plan for you. He wants you to succeed. Say positive words about yourself. Believe in yourself. Tell yourself that you can be successful. God wants you to stop condemning yourself and to start believing that you are special.”

To some extent, this approach will work, especially when delivered to an audience that has been attending traditional church. But what it really does is transform God into an image of ‘me’. Instead of bringing ‘me’ in Mercy thought up to the level of God in Teacher thought, it brings Teacher understanding down to the level of childish identity.

Putting this another way, Christian salvation uses intellectual Contributor thought to rebuild twisted practical Contributor thought. Positive thinking does exactly the opposite, remolding intellectual Contributor thought into the image of twisted practical Contributor strategy. One can tell that this is the case because the core of the message of positive thinking focuses upon changing a person’s image of God and not on changing ‘me’. The positive thinking preacher does not say “you are a sinner. God is holy. You need to change.” Instead, he says, “you are accepted. God loves you. Your image of God needs to change.” Unfortunately, this attitude that ‘God loves me unconditionally and accepts me no matter what I do’ is quite prevalent in Western churches today and is basically nothing more than childish identity clothed in religious language.

Praise and Worship: Another common error is to limit the self-denial of the Christian message to religious events, times and places. This leads to a religion of ‘praise and worship’. When a person comes to church, he will begin by singing songs of praise to God. These songs are loud and exciting, and they talk about the greatness of God, how much bigger he is than ‘me’, and how I ‘forget about myself and concentrate on him and worship him.’ Such songs of religious self-denial will give a temporary boost to the Teacher idolatry that supports my ‘belief’ in God. Praise is followed by worship. Songs of worship are much more quiet and personal and they talk about how much God loves ‘me’ and cares for ‘me’, allowing the newly boosted image of God that is based within Teacher thought to give emotional comfort to ‘me’ within Mercy thought. Thus, religious self-denial becomes reduced to singing about religious self-denial, and personal transformation is limited to feeling for a few minutes that God has touched ‘me’.

Non-verbal Amorality: Finally, there is also the error that results from the very concept of Teacher idolatry—using Mercy emotions to support a verbal Teacher message. Remember that the message of Christianity is a verbal one that is limited to the realm of words and iNtuition. When this verbal message is combined with a lack of Teacher understanding, then these words will be viewed as a magic formula to be recited: “Our primary goal is to get people to say the Christian prayer of salvation.” But what is being used to support this verbal message? Mercy status. So, some famous person may be asked to endorse the Christian message: “You need to say the prayer of salvation because an Olympic Gold Medal winner says that you should.” More commonly, the verbal message of salvation will be packaged with the nonverbal message of popular music: “People will want to say the prayer of salvation because we are singing about it using a musical style that everyone likes.”

This may be fine when the non-verbal musical style matches the verbal message. But, what happens when the Christian message, which demands the death of the old ‘me’, is combined with a musical style that celebrates the childish ‘me’ and its arrogance, crudeness, anger, lust, ugliness, and attitude? The non-verbal message will probably win. Why? Because ‘me’ is non-verbal; it lives within the Mercy world of experiences and attitudes and emotions. How can one tell that the old ‘me’ is still in charge? Because any attempt to use Perceiver logic to label, categorize, or analyze this musical style will be rejected. But, without Perceiver logic, there can be no new ‘me’ for Perceiver thought defines the new ‘me’.

Summarizing the Pitfalls of Blind Faith Christianity: Before we continue, let us briefly summarize. We began with the observation that practical Contributor thought is warped by Mercy idolatry. The solution is to program intellectual Contributor with a logical universal theory about human behavior and personality and then reach down from intellectual Contributor thought to rebuild practical Contributor thought. What makes this possible is the mental split between Sensing and iNtuition. Sensing may be warped by the wrong Server actions of childish identity, but iNtuition can be programmed by the Teacher words of rational understanding.

This means that mental renewal has three stages: First, there is the stage in which you ‘ask Jesus into your heart’. The goal here is to integrate Thinking and Feeling—to have law in your heart and to be honest about yourself. If this personal honesty leads to a change in action, then a new ‘me’ that is guided by rational Teacher understanding will gradually grow alongside the old ‘me’ that is motivated by Mercy idolatry. During this time, what matters is Contributor choice, for ‘the dog that grows will be the dog that you choose to feed’. Eventually, it becomes possible to follow the final step, die to the old ‘me’ and allow iNtuition to reach down and be integrated with Sensing.

That describes the process of personal salvation when it is understood as a rational Teacher theory. However, if it is taught as blind belief in a holy book, then additional factors come into play. First, because there is no Teacher understanding to produce good emotions, then Mercy emotions must be used to inflate Teacher words. Second, because Perceiver thought is not functioning, then Mercy feeling must be used to mesmerize Perceiver strategy into ‘believing’ the right ‘truth’.

When the method of blind faith is followed, then the process can derail in many different ways: The holiness and self-denial that accompanies blind faith can lead to the trap of monks and monasteries, while applying the message successfully can cause blind faith itself to falter. Even maintaining a balance between self-denial and personal success leads to the cycle which one sees illustrated today by traditional and contemporary church.

It is easy for blind faith to confuse the message with the messenger. If idolatry is being used to give emotional status to the holy words, then some of this Mercy status may rub off on people who are teaching these words. Following conscience then degrades into looking good in front of people.

And because the messenger of God’s word himself acquires emotional status, it is tempting for him to change the message from one which demands the death of the old ‘me’ into one which accepts childish identity and is satisfied with cosmetic improvements.

The Christian message of salvation can also be quarantined to the religious ghetto of church and worship services, reducing personal transformation to the religious experience of feeling as if I have changed. And it can also be limited to the verbal realm of religious words, causing it to be associated with a non-verbal component that may completely contradict the verbal message.

The solution to all of these problems is to replace blind belief with Perceiver confidence. This will only happen if a person holds on to Perceiver facts in the absence of personal support or in the presence of personal opposition. That is because Perceiver strategy can only grow in confidence as facts survive being subjected to emotional pressure. Religious persecution is a very effective way of building Perceiver confidence, as is attempting to hold on to conscience and morality within a secular environment. The main point is that the believer must be separated from his emotional support group.

Because of this need to develop Perceiver confidence, the most successful Christian church tends to be the one that is either undergoing religious persecution or has experienced religious persecution in the recent past. Personal suffering will also provoke the development of Perceiver confidence, because it forces me to hold on to Perceiver truth even when my personal experiences do not line up with the idea that ‘God loves me and wants to save me’. This type of pressure will take the external truths of a holy book and turn them into internal Perceiver beliefs that are solid enough to rebuild childish identity.

When Christianity is described as a rational Teacher theory, then the process of personal transformation is driven by Teacher emotions. When it is taught as blind belief in the words of a holy book, then rational Teacher understanding generally comes at the end of the process. Looking back, the growing Christian is able to understand what happened to him. However, while he is going through the process, it usually makes no sense. A common Christian analogy is to compare Christian growth with the weaving of a tapestry. Viewed from the human underside, it looks like a random collection of threads. However, when seen above from the divine side, the picture emerges and everything makes sense.

Divine Spirit

I have mentioned that an image of God emerges whenever a general Teacher theory touches personal Mercy identity. This combines infinite Teacher with finite Mercy. It is also possible for a universal image to form directly within Mercy thought. This mental image is known as spirit, and because it is associated with universal thought, it will also be viewed by the mind as a divine spirit, or an aspect of God.

Spirit of this World: A mental image of divine spirit will emerge whenever humans interact with each other to form something that is larger than their individual efforts. For instance, the tribal member who is living in the middle of the jungle will view his world in spiritual terms, because he lives in the midst of animals and plants that cooperate to support life. For such an individual, his mental image of divine spirit will be far stronger than his mental image of God. That is because he does not understand what is happening around him, but he knows exactly how to interact with other living creatures in order to get what he needs. Thus, he may feel that he lives in a world in which everything is alive and intelligent, even the rocks and the trees.

I should point out that Mercy universality, like Teacher universality, is a relative concept. The native in the jungle may spend his entire life within fifty kilometers of his birth place, but as long as his concept of divine spirit covers all of his personal Mercy experiences, then as far as his mind is concerned, this small patch of jungle is universality.

The advent of civilization changes this, because humans now live in an artificial environment in which they cooperate to fulfill each others’ needs. The civilized human no longer gathers fruit from jungle plants or hunts wild animals for his sustenance. Instead, he grows his own grain and raises his own livestock. Thus, he understands what is happening, and this Teacher understanding is backed up by Server action. As a result, he no longer feels that he lives in a world ruled by Mercy spirits. Instead the image of a tribal god will form within Teacher thought.

Modern Spirit: It is said that ‘technology that is sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic’. Therefore, if technology continues to grow, then individual humans will understand less of it and interact with more of it, increasingly meeting their needs by getting help from the appropriate person and his technological tools. This will cause a sense of divine spirit to re-emerge.

Using this same logic, it appears children have the strongest sense of spirit, because they understand nothing and they have to go to adults for everything. It is only as a child goes to school and gains an education that his sense of Mercy spirit is replaced by Teacher understanding. Some children never grow up, but continue to view their world in personal terms, ‘hugging trees’ and ‘meditating with crystals’ in order to become ‘one with nature’.

Impersonal Spirit: Today’s city dweller lives in a totally artificial environment in which he almost never comes into contact with nature. Instead, he is surrounded by incomprehensible machines and gadgets that meet his needs when he presses the right buttons. However, today’s technology is the result of objective science—which ignores personal Mercy feelings. This creates the contradiction of an impersonal Mercy spirit, the feeling that one is nothing more than ‘a meaningless cog in the cosmic machine of existence’. Imagine what it is like to grow up in today’s world. Today’s youth may know what buttons to press on their gadgets, but everything around them conveys the message that they are nothing, understand nothing, and can do nothing.

I suggest that this is why the Western teenager listens to angry music, defaces his body, and imbeds metal into his skin. He is caught on the horns of a mental dilemma. On the one hand, his worldview is one of personal meaningless in the midst of machine existence. On the other hand, he dare not verbalize this mindset, because it is too horrific. Thus, he supports his inhuman mindset nonverbally with noise, ink and metal. But, if some adult comes along and tells him that he is worshipping inhumanity, then he insists that black is white, ugliness is beauty, and inhumanity is comforting. He must maintain this self-delusion, or else ‘me’ will die inside.

The Bible says that the ‘spirit of this world’ comes from three sources: the ‘lust of the eyes’, the ‘lust of the flesh’ and the ‘boastful pride of biological life’. The ‘lust of the eyes’ describes the primarily visual source of Mercy idolatry; the ‘lust of the flesh’ relates to Sensing and the feelings and pleasure that are provided by the physical body, while the ‘boastful pride of biological life’ describes a mindset that studies natural process and then insists that this is the sum total of human existence. In each case, the external world is holding the mind together. In general, one could say that a ‘spirit of this world’ is based upon what is, because it is a spirit of this world.

Holy Spirit: Perceiver thought, as we know, builds connections between Mercy experiences. Perceiver strategy tries to sort the experiences of life into solid categories that do not change over time. As this sorting process continues, Mercy strategy notices that some hidden mode of thought is tearing its memories apart and putting them back together in a different way. The end result is that instead of just seeing what is, Mercy strategy begins to notice what could be and what lies behind what is. Instead of remembering the ‘green plush chair in the living room’, Mercy thought begins to ‘see’ the ‘archetype chair’, one which combines various elements of real chairs and which embodies the essence of ‘chairness’, leading to Plato’s concept of form.

Perceiver thought can use facts to connect and reconnect Mercy experiences, but by itself it cannot tie all of these various facts together. However, if these Perceiver facts are used to construct a general Teacher theory, then Mercy memories will also become unified—as a byproduct. In Christian terms, this means that a mental image of God will emerge first, followed by an image of the Holy Spirit. In Biblical language, God is a Trinity composed of God the Father, Jesus the Incarnation, and the Holy Spirit—otherwise known as the third Person of the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit is also called the ‘spirit of truth’ which ‘only the believer can receive’. In the language of mental symmetry, this means that Perceiver thought is required to build a mental concept of Holy Spirit and that this can only emerge when personal identity becomes willing to accept Perceiver facts.  And why is this Spirit called holy? ‘Holy’ means separated to God. The Holy Spirit is different than the ‘spirit of this world’ and it is a byproduct of a mental image of God. Thus, it is holy.

Looking at this from the viewpoint of intellectual Contributor thought, notice that the general Teacher theory behind an image of God is constructed out of Teacher words, whereas an image of Spirit is related to Server actions, and we know that words and actions do not really get together until intellectual and practical Contributor thought become united.

The theological implication is that the Holy Spirit will only become apparent to humanity after incarnation has gone through the step of integrating practical and intellectual Contributor thought. Consistent with this, the Bible states that the Holy Spirit only began to ‘indwell’ humans after the death and resurrection of Jesus and the start of Christianity.

Both Kant and Hegel talk about God as a Trinity. However, they each have a different version of this Trinity. Kant, in keeping with his categorical imperative, defines the Trinity in moral terms, with God the holy legislator, the benevolent ruler, and the righteous judge, or using the language of mental symmetry, Perceiver rules as a universal Teacher theory, Perceiver rules guiding Contributor choice, and Perceiver rules affecting Mercy experiences.

The ‘Death and Resurrection’ of God: Hegel defines God the Trinity in terms of dialectic, starting with universality, going through particularity and returning back to individuality within community. Relating this concept to the theory of mental symmetry, God the Father lives in Teacher universality, he expresses himself through Jesus the incarnation as a particular individual, and this leads to a universal Mercy community in which individual Mercy people are connected together by Perceiver thought. Hegel himself suggested that God is not an actual Being, but the divine unfolding concept of Hegel definitely resonates with the theory of mental symmetry.

Here is the logic: If God is universal and Jesus is God, then Jesus’ sequence of birth, death and resurrection must apply to everyone—including God. But, how is it possible for a universal being such as God to die? The answer is that the infinite God expresses an aspect of his nature temporarily in finite form in order to become reintegrated at a higher level.

One could rephrase this in terms of Teacher emotion. Teacher thought feels good when there is order within complexity—when many items fit together in harmony. An infinite being can provide the order but not the complexity. Instead, the only way to produce order within complexity is to create a number of finite beings, give them autonomy, and then bring order to the resulting complexity. But, as every parent of the growing child knows, this means dying to the concept of being in charge of one’s children as a master and learning how to cooperate with them as partners.

In Biblical language, God created finite beings and gave free will to humans. He then reconciled humanity to himself through Jesus who will eventually hand everything back to the Father.

But, being a universal being, God would not limit such a principle to just the physical life and death of Jesus. Instead, it seems to be a universal theological principle that some finite creature must always work through a principle for himself before God steps in and applies that principle more generally. If you want a Biblical example, I suggest looking at the story of Job.

Nietzsche popularized the phrase ‘God is dead’. By this he meant that the average person no longer had a mental image of God to guide personal behavior and bring order and meaning to human existence. This happens whenever a person uses blind belief to build a mental image of God and then follows rational thought or personal success. Eventually, the mental ‘warmth’ of continuing Perceiver thought will lead to mental ‘global warming’ and melt into oblivion the ‘polar ice cap’ of frozen truth upon which the God of blind faith is based.

One normally associates ‘God is dead’ with the mind of the agnostic or atheist. However, I suggest that such a divine death will also occur within the mind of the Bible believing Christian who attempts to move beyond blind faith to a rational understanding of Christianity, such as is described in this book.

Let me say this again in plain English. If someone is a Bible-believing Christian and if he tries to apply the material in this book, then his mental image of God will die. Even though he says that what really matters is the content of the Bible and even though he claims that this content can be translated into any language, including the language of science and theory, the fact that I am not quoting from the Bible will leave him with a deep sense of religious unease. Somehow, he will sense that God is displeased with what I am doing. And he is right. A God of blind faith is displeased with rational thought, because it melts the frozen ‘truth’ upon which such an image of God is based.

May I make two observations: First, a God of blind faith is a contradiction in terms. God is infinite; blind faith is finite and limiting. Blind faith, by its very nature, limits a person’s image of God. Second, the goal of following a rational version of Christianity is not to kill God but rather to transform a mental image of God into something that truly depicts an infinite being and does not just talk about one.

Again, let me state this in plain English using concepts that can be understood by Teacher thought. Teacher strategy loves a universal theory. Teacher thought hates it when a universal theory becomes limited or obsolete. Science and technology make the gods of blind faith look limited and obsolete. But, if one follows rational thought, then one can take the same Christian doctrines and use them to build a Teacher understanding of God that is far more universal and far more God-like. 

Universal Prayer: The Bible talks a lot about prayer. If an image of God is based in universal Teacher thought, and if a universal Teacher theory is constructed using words, then it makes sense that ‘me’ can communicate with Teacher thought by using words. However, the Bible also describes another type of prayer. It says that ‘the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings that are too deep for words’. What divine language can the Holy Spirit speak that ‘me’ cannot? The language of universality. Both God and the Holy Spirit are mental images of universal thought. Thus, the Holy Spirit can sense the overall state of Mercy thought and communicate this to universal Teacher strategy using a universal description.

Examples of the Path of Salvation

A few pages back, I suggested that intellectual Contributor thought became partially integrated with practical Contributor thought during a process that began with the scientific revolution and culminated in the industrial revolution. Now that we have examined this process in the light of Christianity, I would like to revisit this topic in more detail.

Idolatry and a Universal Theory: When idolatry is used to support Perceiver truth and Teacher understanding, then a distinction must be made between holy Mercy experiences and normal Mercy experiences. I revere the holy shrine, the holy person, or the holy book, and I make sure that this holy reverence is not blasphemed by contact with normal life. This is how Mercy idolatry and Teacher idolatry function. This attitude of holiness within Mercy thought gives Teacher strategy the illusion of universality. Teacher strategy interprets the strong Mercy emotions as generality, while the walls separating the holy item from other experiences prevent Perceiver thought from destroying the Teacher feeling of universality by mentioning that other shrines and books exist and that the holy item is not unique but rather only one specific item among many others.

The solution, of course, is to replace the fake universal Teacher theory with a real universal theory. This involves two aspects: First, this Teacher theory must explain both holy and normal Mercy experiences. Second, this Teacher explanation must be in general terms. The bridging of holy and normal in Mercy thought will destroy the Mercy idolatry, while the general Teacher explanation will replace the Mercy feelings of importance with Teacher emotions of generality. I should mention in passing that destroying Mercy idolatry is not for the faint of heart, for those who attempt to do this tend to get shunned, excommunicated, or even lynched. Therefore, such a transition generally occurs with idols that are already tarnished and tottering.

The Scientific Revolution: This is precisely what Isaac Newton accomplished with his three laws of motion. Before Newton, physical existence was divided into the normal realm of earth and the holy realm of the stars and the planets. On human earth, movement and existence were imperfect, in keeping with the flaws of childish identity. In the celestial realm, angels moved crystal spheres and beyond these flawless spheres lay God and his holy saints.

Newton said that the same equations could be used to analyze both movement on earth and the orbits of the heavenly planets. Thus, he bridged the wall of Mercy holiness that separated earth from space with a single unified Teacher theory. This emotional transition from Mercy reverence to Teacher universality triggered the scientific revolution.

We find the same two features in the life of Jesus. When he was brought to trial and killed, the main charge against him was blasphemy, because he claimed to be the son of God and said that he would rebuild the holy temple. And, his final act on earth was to ascend into heaven to be with God. Thus, he attacked holiness in Mercy thought and replaced it with Teacher universality.

A similar transition happens when a person begins the process of personal transformation. Childish identity is defined by its idols; it clings to its Mercy defining experiences. It hurts to let go of these idols. But, this Mercy pain is balanced by the Teacher pleasure of general understanding. Understanding the process makes letting go of the idols less painful. Stating this in religious language, when a person truly becomes a Christian, he abandons his idols and asks for salvation from God.

I am attempting to make a similar transition with the theory of mental symmetry. Christianity talks about personal change using religious language and a holy book. Psychology analyzes personal development in secular terms. I am presenting a single unified Teacher theory that bridges Christianity and psychology. The goal is to replace the fake Teacher ‘understanding’ of Teacher idolatry with the real Teacher understanding of a genuine theory.

One can see in retrospect that the computer revolution that we are currently undergoing was sparked by a similar shift in thinking. The division that it bridged was the separation between mind and machine. Machines occupied the realm of normal life. They could be torn apart and put back together. The human brain, in contrast, was ‘holy ground’, something that should not be tampered with and that could not be understood. In this case, while one cannot point to a single person and a single unified Teacher theory, one does find two similar breakthroughs occurring at the same time. Coming from the viewpoint of the brain, there was Donald Hebb, who suggested in 1949 that neurons which ‘fire together wire together’, also known as Hebb’s postulate. Thus, Hebb was the first to present a simple rational theory that explained how brain neurons could store memories and organize themselves into neural networks. On the machine side, there was the development of the first practical transistor by Shockley, beginning with the point-contact transistor in 1947 and the more usable junction transistor in 1951. The transistor is the ‘neuron’ of the computer, and just as brain neurons interact to form neural networks, so transistors are wired into networks in order to drive computer ‘thought’.

Notice that all of these mental transitions from Mercy idolatry to Teacher understanding signaled the start of a time of extended transformation, the first stage in the process of tying together practical Contributor thought with intellectual Contributor thought. In the case of Jesus, his ascension triggered the transformation of religion and the founding of Christianity.

This first stage involves mainly Perceiver thought and leads to a paradigm shift—a new way of viewing the world, a mindset governed by Teacher understanding and not by Mercy idols. The change in action comes later. This concept of starting with Perceiver truth and then leading to Server action is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity: Salvation is by faith, but faith leads to works.

Industrial Revolution: Let us turn now to this final step describing the outworking of faith. This is the Server side to gluing together practical Contributor thought with intellectual Contributor. During the first stage, the emotions of Feeling become united with the facts of Thinking. In the final stage, the Server actions of Sensing becoming unified with the Teacher theories of iNuition.

Let us start by looking at the industrial revolution, which completed the transition started by the scientific revolution triggered by Isaac Newton. Before we begin, let us remind ourselves of how intellectual Contributor thought functions. First, Server strategy brings stability and repeatability to the realm of Teacher words. Second, Contributor thought connects each Server sequence with a Perceiver meaning. Third, Perceiver thought uses rules of logic and meaning to construct these Server sequences into general Teacher theories. Think, for instance, of a book. It is composed of sentences that have been written down—stable Server sequences of words. Each sentence and each paragraph conveys a specific Perceiver meaning. These sentences are arranged in a logical fashion in order to communicate a general Teacher understanding.

When intellectual Contributor thought affects practical Contributor thought, then the same mental structure occurs: Teacher to Server to Contributor to Perceiver to integrated Teacher understanding. However, what changes is the specific nature of these Teacher, Server and Perceiver elements. Instead of beginning with Teacher words, one starts with the raw Teacher component of energy, such as steam, wind, electricity, human muscle, or animal power. The Server element is not sentences and paragraphs but rather a repeatable movement or skill. And, the Perceiver gluing is not done with logic, but rather using objects and space.

The prime example of this is the machine. A machine is driven by some source of energy. That is the Teacher raw material. A machine is composed of parts, with each part performing a repeatable Server function, such as moving back and forth or spinning around in a circle. Each Server function is crafted as a part with a specific Perceiver shape. For example, the flywheel that goes around in a circle may be three centimeters thick and the size and shape of a dinner plate. Finally, Perceiver thought is used to assemble these various functioning parts, resulting in a complex machine in which the actions of each part combine to carry out a unified purpose, leading to Teacher feelings of order within complexity. When a machine breaks down, then this order falls apart, leading to Teacher feelings of unpleasantness.

Now that we understand the mental processing that lies behind the machine, let us look at the industrial revolution. Several factors stand out: First, scientific knowledge was applied to technology and encyclopedias and lexicons were published describing the new science and technology. In other words, rational understanding with abstract Contributor thought was being used to change the actions of people; iNtuition was affecting Sensing. Second, complicated machines were invented to produce goods, and machine tools were invented to produce these complicated machines. As we know, a machine is a physical example of Teacher order within complexity. Thus, both mentally and physically, rational Teacher understanding transformed Server action.

Third, assemblies lines were set up. The actions of people were also organized rationally, with Server strategy dividing up a manufacturing task into a sequence of small steps, and Perceiver thought arranging these steps into the best spatial arrangement, guided by a desire to increase Teacher feelings of order and structure. Fourth, people started to work in factories. Until then, most goods were made at home in the cottage, a location associated with Mercy feelings of personal identity. The factory, in contrast, was an environment whose very structure was driven by Teacher feelings of efficiency and production.

Fifth, knowledge became specialized. Instead of having one worker assemble an item from start to finish, each worker would only be taught how to perform one step in the process and would spend most of his time repeating a limited set of Server actions. Thus, the worker himself became a cog in the machine. Sixth, Server skills were standardized and workers were taught interchangeable skills, making it much easier to replace one worker with another. Seventh, items were manufactured using interchangeable parts. Each part with its Server function also had the same Perceiver shape, allowing pginning with the point-contact transistor in 1947 and the more usable junction transistor in 1951. The transistor is the ‘neuron’ of the computer, and just as brain neurons interact to form neural networks, so transistors are wired into networks in order to drive computer ‘thought’.

Notice that all of these mental transitions from Mercy idolatry to Teacher understanding signaled the start of a time of extended transformation, the first stage in the process of tying together practical Contributor thought with intellectual Contributor thought. In the case of Jesus, his ascension triggered the transformation of religion and the founding of Christianity.

This first stage involves mainly Perceiver thought and leads to a paradigm shift—a new way of viewing the world, a mindset governed by Teacher understanding and not by Mercy idols. The change in action comes later. This concept of starting with Perceiver truth and then leading to Server action is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity: Salvation is by faith, but faith leads to works.

Industrial Revolution: Let us turn now to this final step describing the outworking of faith. This is the Server side to gluing together practical Contributor thought with intellectual Contributor. During the first stage, the emotions of Feeling become united with the facts of Thinking. In the final stage, the Server actions of Sensing becoming unified with the Teacher theories of iNuition.

Let us start by looking at the industrial revolution, which completed the transition started by the scientific revolution triggered by Isaac Newton. Before we begin, let us remind ourselves of how intellectual Contributor thought functions. First, Server strategy brings stability and repeatability to the realm of Teacher words. Second, Contributor thought connects each Server sequence with a Perceiver meaning. Third, Perceiver thought uses rules of logic and meaning to construct these Server sequences into general Teacher theories. Think, for instance, of a book. It is composed of sentences that have been written down—stable Server sequences of words. Each sentence and each paragraph conveys a specific Perceiver meaning. These sentences are arranged in a logical fashion in order to communicate a general Teacher understanding.

When intellectual Contributor thought affects practical Contributor thought, then the same mental structure occurs: Teacher to Server to Contributor to Perceiver to integrated Teacher understanding. However, what changes is the specific nature of these Teacher, Server and Perceiver elements. Instead of beginning with Teacher words, one starts with the raw Teacher component of energy, such as steam, wind, electricity, human muscle, or animal power. The Server element is not sentences and paragraphs but rather a repeatable movement or skill. And, the Perceiver gluing is not done with logic, but rather using objects and space.

The prime example of this is the machine. A machine is driven by some source of energy. That is the Teacher raw material. A machine is composed of parts, with each part performing a repeatable Server function, such as moving back and forth or spinning around in a circle. Each Server function is crafted as a part with a specific Perceiver shape. For example, the flywheel that goes around in a circle may be three centimeters thick and the size and shape of a dinner plate. Finally, Perceiver thought is used to assemble these various functioning parts, resulting in a complex machine in which the actions of each part combine to carry out a unified purpose, leading to Teacher feelings of order within complexity. When a machine breaks down, then this order falls apart, leading to Teacher feelings of unpleasantness.

Now that we understand the mental processing that lies behind the machine, let us look at the industrial revolution. Several factors stand out: First, scientific knowledge was applied to technology and encyclopedias and lexicons were published describing the new science and technology. In other words, rational understanding with abstract Contributor thought was being used to change the actions of people; iNtuition was affecting Sensing. Second, complicated machines were invented to produce goods, and machine tools were invented to produce these complicated machines. As we know, a machine is a physical example of Teacher order within complexity. Thus, both mentally and physically, rational Teacher understanding transformed Server action.

Third, assemblies lines were set up. The actions of people were also organized rationally, with Server strategy dividing up a manufacturing task into a sequence of small steps, and Perceiver thought arranging these steps into the best spatial arrangement, guided by a desire to increase Teacher feelings of order and structure. Fourth, people started to work in factories. Until then, most goods were made at home in the cottage, a location associated with Mercy feelings of personal identity. The factory, in contrast, was an environment whose very structure was driven by Teacher feelings of efficiency and production.

Fifth, knowledge became specialized. Instead of having one worker assemble an item from start to finish, each worker would only be taught how to perform one step in the process and would spend most of his time repeating a limited set of Server actions. Thus, the worker himself became a cog in the machine. Sixth, Server skills were standardized and workers were taught interchangeable skills, making it much easier to replace one worker with another. Seventh, items were manufactured using interchangeable parts. Each part with its Server function also had the same Perceiver shape, allowing parts to be chosen at random and assembled together. All of these steps made it easier to create Teacher order within complexity and simpler to restore this Teacher order when it broke down.

Eighth, traditional skilled labor became obsolete and was replaced by the factory worker. Here we see the struggle between the old ‘me’ and the new ‘me’. Entire classes of skilled laborers were put out of business, with their Server skills rendered obsolete. Ninth, new sources of energy, such as the steam engine and hydroelectric power, started to be used, replacing human and animal effort. Thus, instead of everything being done by ‘me’ in Mercy thought and physical effort from Sensing, new sources of energy were tapped which had nothing to do with ‘me’. Tenth, communities were interconnected through the development of railroads, canals and steamships. Thus, instead of each personal Mercy identity living in its own isolated world, one community became tied to another, leading to a larger feeling of Mercy community and a new sense of ‘divine spirit’. However, this new spirit was a spirit of logic and rational thought. Finally, for the first time in history, the average standard of living started to grow. Until then, the rich had always gained their wealth at the expense of the poor. Now, the total amount of wealth began to increase and it continued to increase; the overall benefit of applying Teacher thought to Mercy identity was positive and cumulative.

The effect which the industrial revolution had on human existence cannot be overemphasized. With the possible exception of crop and animal domestication, nothing else had such a huge, pervasive, and long-lasting impact. However, this effect was limited to the realm of the objective. It transformed objects and Thinking, but it ignored and suppressed the subjective realm of Feeling. There was an incredible increase in wealth, but this wealth was limited to objects and things and did not touch personal identity.

Before we continue, let us summarize. When intellectual Contributor thought transforms practical Contributor strategy in the objective, this leads to the development of machines. Humans also become treated as machines and organized as parts of a machine. Similarly, the Mercy goal is to produce physical wealth, an objective target.

Flipping Modes: In addition, there is another effect which I refer to as ‘flipping modes’. Until now, we have looked at humans as finite elements within Mercy thought and associated God and generality with Teacher strategy. Now we find exactly the opposite starting to emerge. Instead of being valued for their personal Mercy identities, humans are being known for their specific Teacher names. When running a factory or an assembly line, what matters is the name of each human. One does not care if he is tall or short, ugly or beautiful, black or white, or even where he lives or what he likes to eat. Instead, what is his skill? Is he a plumber, a carpenter, or a weaver. Instead of using Perceiver thought to define his physical body and personal experiences, Server thought is being used to define his specific function. And, who is my comrade? Not the person who is physically close to me, but rather the person who shares a similar name. Thus, we see community being replaced by labor union as the organizing force.

Second, we see the emergence of Mercy universality. Railroads and canals, and later telegraphs and telephones, created a web of transportation that tied people together into a much larger community. In other words, there was a flipping of modes as Teacher universality and Mercy specifics became transformed into Mercy universality and Teacher specifics.

Is such a transformation good or bad? Well, it depends. However, one can definitely say that it is inhuman, and when humans live in an environment that is totally inhuman, then that is bad—very bad. That is because the human physical body requires a human environment in which specific Mercy needs can be satisfied within a general structure of Teacher order. When this humanity is taken away, then the result can only be described as alien.

For instance, my most frequent encounter with alien inhumanity is the immigration official at the border. That is because my home town in Canada is about ten kilometers from the American border and I cross the boundary quite often. For the official manning the border, individual Mercy feelings and personal Mercy life are totally and utterly irrelevant. All that matters to him is the specific Teacher rule that applies, combined with the physical country in which one resides. As those who have had to navigate a bureaucracy know, When Teacher specifics get combined with Mercy generality in such a total fashion, then the result is inhuman. We will explore this concept of alien thought and inhumanity in a few paragraphs, but first we need to look at other examples of using iNtuition to transform Sensing. Our analysis will not be as detailed as our look at the industrial revolution, but I suggest that the same fundamental elements will be present.

Spiritual Gifts: Let us turn our attention now to the topic of Jesus and Christian salvation. Does one find the same elements that we encountered in our look at the industrial revolution?

In order to answer this question, we have to look at the passage in the Bible which talks about cognitive styles: Romans chapter 12. It is from this list of seven types of ‘spiritual gifts’ that the theory of mental symmetry began: “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”[3]

If you look at the beginning of this chapter, it appears to be describe precisely the step of using rational iNtuition to reach down and transform Sensing: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.[4]

Translating this into the language of mental symmetry, people are being asked to present their physical bodies—the core of Sensing—to God, which is based in universal Teacher understanding. Then, two ways of action are being contrasted. One is the method of the old ‘me’ which is driven by the external world, while the other uses renewed thinking to determine with increasing accuracy the will of God, or in the words of mental symmetry, uses rational thought to discover Server actions that are expressions of universal Teacher understanding. 

When we looked at the industrial revolution, we saw that it was preceded by the paradigm shift of the scientific revolution. And, if we examine the three chapters that precede Romans chapter 12, we find it describing—a major paradigm shift.

And what type of mental shift is occurring? From an attitude that uses practical Contributor thought and Server action to one that allows Server action to be guided by universal Teacher understanding. Or, as the Bible says, referring to the shortcomings of the old mindset: “For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”[5]

As for the industrial revolution leading to a specialization of Server skills, in which Perceiver thought is used to tie together specific Server functions, the passage in Romans that describes cognitive styles is introduced by the sentence: “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”[6] In other words, the various Server functions are being assembled into the Perceiver object of a metaphysical body.

Finally, I suggested that this specialization leads to the development of bureaucracy and Teacher based ‘inhumanity’. In keeping with this, the chapter that follows—Romans 13—describes government as the ‘minister of God’ which punishes those who refuse to submit to Teacher order.

So, why are cognitive styles mentioned at the end of this entire process? Why not at the beginning? Because, childish identity is incapable of analyzing itself accurately. Instead, it is only after ‘me’ submits to rational, logical Teacher understanding—after he goes through the paradigm shift of thinking logically about ‘me’—that he is able to think about people in terms of cognitive styles.

Before this point, people will divide humans into different categories, but these divisions will reflect aspects of the natural world, such as the four temperaments, or else describe the fundamental mental splits of childish identity, as the system of MBTI® appears to do.

Romans 12 says the same thing: “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”[7] In other words, if you want to analyze yourself accurately, you need ‘grace’—help from universal Teacher understanding, together with ‘faith’—behavior guided by Perceiver truth.

The Computer Revolution: Let us look now at the computer revolution which began in the 1970s. What exactly is a computer? It is a machine that executes a computer program. And, what is a computer program? Boiled down to its very essence, it is lines of written instructions joined together by branches and loops. Thus we have words turned into solid Server sequences, and we can use Perceiver logic to test values and jump from one set of Server sequences to another. If the program has no bugs in it, then all this code will combine to carry out an overall function. In other words, we see our familiar form of abstract Contributor thought: Teacher elements being structured into solid Server sequences, and Server sequences being joined together by Perceiver thought to build a general Teacher theory.

A computer takes this abstract theory and makes it real, by constructing a machine within the world of Sensing which can actually carry out these iNtuitive instructions. Just as science uses abstract mathematics to describe processes in the real world, so a computer takes abstract logic and makes it physical and concrete.

But, a computer is more than just a calculating machine. Instead, the modern world now contains literally billions of tiny computers embedded within most of our machines, each using a written algorithm within iNtuition to tell the device what to do in Sensing. Thus, we are surrounded by machines whose Server actions are being guided by general Teacher theories.

And, like the machines of the industrial era, computers are also manufactured using the same guidelines of repeatable functions and replaceable parts. For instance, whenever you buy a PC, you assume that it will function exactly like any other PC and be able to run all of the same programs. And, when building a computer, you assume that you can mix and match parts from various manufacturers.

Computers have also provided us with a new source of mental energy. In times past, all calculations had to be done using human brain cells. Now, we have machines that can do our thinking for us, driven by electricity and quantum energy gaps. As for building a network of commerce and connections, there is the amazing worldwide web of computers known as the internet.

Finally, we have what I call ‘flipping modes’. With the industrial revolution, the Teacher name of a person became more significant than his Mercy body. The computer revolution has taken this to the point where all that remains of a person is often just his disembodied voice. Banks of workers sit in rows of cubicles, each manning a phone and a computer, answering a limited set of technical questions on the phone or pressing a specific set of buttons on a computer. That is specialization. If you want to know how specialized today’s knowledge is, then try to get professors to evaluate a universal theory of human thought. They will all complain that they are not qualified to evaluate the work because their knowledge is too specialized.

Computers are also utterly inhuman. Humans live in a physical world. When we travel, we use Server actions to move from one physical location to another one that is nearby. But, with the internet there is no sense of physical space. When you click on a link, the computer you access may be next door or it may be across the ocean on a different continent. You do not know. If you want to understand what it means to live within Server space, then I suggest reading the philosophy of Heidegger, who explored the concept of a function oriented universe where physical space is meaningless.

Nationalism: Before we continue, let us look at the big picture. The scientific and industrial revolutions applied the Christian message of salvation to the realm of the objective. As the industrial revolution demonstrates, when you approach the world with an integrated mind you end up generating a lot of personal wealth. But, blind faith cannot handle personal wealth and prosperity because it demands an attitude of religious self-denial.

So, what do you do when you earn a lot of money and your boss tells you to give it all away? You walk away from your boss—especially if the head of some bigger company comes along and offers you a better personal life. And so, as a result of the physical wealth generated by the industrial revolution, Western society as a whole ‘walked away’ from the boss of blind faith and religious self-denial.

And what was the ‘bigger company’ with its better offer? The ‘company’ of scientific progress. Before the industrial revolution, cathedrals and church organization appeared grand. Teacher thought in the average person was truly awestruck by the universality, structure and magnificence of church doctrine, church structure, and church buildings. But, the industrial revolution made all of this religious structure appear puny, while the Teacher theories of science that were being developed made the doctrines of the Christian church seem old and outdated. For, what technology was building and what science was thinking was far grander than anything the church had ever constructed.

If a mental image of God forms when universal Teacher theory touches me, then it makes sense that the average person will associate God with the most universal Teacher order that they encounter. When this is the church, then people will associate God with the church. However, when it is the state, then it makes sense that people will equate God with country. And, we do find today that the citizens of the world’s most powerful state do make a strong mental connection between God and country.

But, when one rebels from Christian doctrine, then the mindset of denying self and submitting blindly in obedience to God is still present. Thus, by rebelling from blind faith and religious self-denial, Western society succeeded only in replacing the master of God with the master of state. Religion turned into nationalism. The attitude, though, remained intact. Instead of serving God, people served their state. Instead of dying for their faith, they were now expected to die for their country. Rather than living a life of duty to God, the life of duty was now to the state. Instead of obeying blindly the revealed truth of the Bible, they now submitted blindly to the written laws of the state.

But is the state really a better master? Maybe not. We know that blind faith provokes religious strife, which can spill over into physical warfare. Nationalism, in contrast, leads directly to physical warfare. Add science and technology to nationalism and this warfare becomes quite deadly.

Invading the Mind: Today, a different situation is starting to emerge. On the one hand, the deadly consequences of two world wars have convinced most Western citizens that dying for one’s country is not a worthy cause, especially when this call for self-sacrifice comes from leaders living in the lap of luxury. On the other hand, the computer revolution is facing humanity with a totally different challenge.

In essence, the objective is invading the subjective. Or, using the language of MBTI®, we are moving past the issue of Sensing versus iNtuition to the final split between Introverted and Extraverted. The inner world used to be a safe haven, free from the external influence of people, science or technology. This is no longer the case. Computers allow us to understand and mimic thought, scanners permit us to observe thought, and surveillance technology makes it possible to control all aspects of human behavior.

The problem is that both the industrial and the computer revolution are objective—they are based in Thinking to the exclusion of Feeling. Thus, when such a mindset invades the subjective, it leads to deep inhumanity, backed up by a worldwide system of research, development, and production. And, when the inhumanity of building human society upon a foundation of Thinking is combined with the inhumanity of flipping modes, then the result is double inhumanity.

Mental Symmetry: With that in mind, let us look at the theory of mental symmetry. I have compared the model of mental symmetry with Newton’s laws of physics, and have suggested that just as Newton’s research triggered a scientific revolution by using a single Teacher theory to explain both ‘earthly’ and ‘heavenly’ movement, so the theory of mental symmetry has the potential of triggering a spiritual revolution by using a single integrated Teacher theory to explain both religious and secular thought.

What makes mental symmetry significant is that it is not based in either pure Thinking or pure Feeling, but rather in Thinking plus Feeling, using a rational Teacher theory to explain how Thinking and Feeling can be integrated into a single mode of thought that both conquers the physical world and transforms the human mind.

Mental symmetry also leads to a division of labor, but in this case the basic building block is the cognitive style and the mental mode. Instead of forcing humanity to fit into job-driven modes of specialization, mental symmetry says that a natural specialization already exists that is rooted in mental hardware and that people will be the most effective and feel the most fulfilled when they function in ways that emphasize their natural strengths while respecting and learning from the natural strengths of others.

Like any good Teacher theory, mental symmetry also begins with a limited set of Server functions and then uses Perceiver thought to tie these functions into an integrated Teacher theory: Teacher thought functions in a certain way; Exhorter thought functions in a certain way, and so on. These various functional modules are then assembled together and hooked up with the physical body in a specific manner to generate human thought.

Flipping Modes: That brings us to the topic of flipping modes. With normal human existence, Mercy thought deals with the finite experiences of personal identity, whereas Teacher thought builds general theories in order to enjoy the emotions that come from a universal understanding. When the mind flips, then Teacher and Mercy thought exchange roles. Mercy thought becomes filled with the big picture of human interaction, leading to a feeling for divine spirit, which can either be a Holy Spirit derived from an image of God, or else a natural divine spirit resulting from the interactions of external community. Teacher thought turns from contemplating universal theory to looking at the specific Teacher names of individual persons.

Mentally speaking, flipping modes is fine. That is because the mind appears to be completely symmetrical, and thus can operate equally well in either human mode or flipped mode. Physically speaking, flipping modes is not fine. Unlike the mind, the human body is quite asymmetrical, because it is a finite Mercy object that lives within an environment of universal Teacher order. Thus, it requires a ‘human’ mode and cannot function in ‘alien’ mode.

I suggest that we can explore this topic further by examining the asymmetrical nature of the interaction between the mind and the physical body. First, Mercy thought is filled with experiences and emotions from the physical body. In contrast, the physical body does not fill Teacher thought with prefabricated theories and emotions. Instead, Teacher strategy can be programmed with arbitrary content. Even the very words that form the basis of Teacher understanding are arbitrary—as demonstrated by the many different languages of the world. Thus, all humans share a single, solid Mercy world, while living in a number of artificially constructed Teacher worlds.

Second, Perceiver thought receives only input from the external world. Perceiver strategy can analyze the external world for objects, but it has no way of imposing its mental objects upon the external world. Server thought, in contrast, can take its sequences and impose them upon the world, for Server strategy is the part of the mind that controls action and the physical body.

One could add many lesser details to this description, but what I have just outlined describes the fundamental asymmetries.

The Four Problems of Kant: This combination of a symmetrical mind and an asymmetrical interaction between the mind and the body allows us to solve one of the basic problem that Kant faced when he attempted to use rational thought to analyze Christianity. We looked at this briefly before, but it probably does not hurt to review.

The first problem that Kant faced was the realization that the mind cannot know anything for certain about other people, God, or external reality. Instead, the mind observes everything through the lens of certain biases: it assumes space, time, identity, generality, and cause and effect. However, these mental assumptions actually describes different mental modules within the circuit of the mind. Perceiver thought works with space, Server thought with time, Mercy strategy with identity, Teacher strategy with generality, and practical Contributor thought with cause and effect. Each mental module interprets the world according to its mode of operation.

Interpreting these mental assumptions in terms of mental modules allows us to construct a model of human thought. And that model is sufficiently flexible to explain other people, God and external reality. Thus, when going beyond the mind, one no longer has to take a leap of blind faith, but instead one can take the much smaller step of an intelligent hypothesis. Let me say this a different way. Kant told us that going beyond the mind requires an irrational leap that violates rational understanding. I am saying that the external world is Perceiver similar to the internal world, that it functions in a way that is Server similar, and that expanding the theory of mental symmetry to include other people, God and external reality simply means taking an existing Teacher theory and suggesting that it is more general—a step which Teacher strategy loves to make. In other words, the leap of blind faith turns into a step of intelligent faith.

The second problem that Kant had when explaining Christianity is that he could not make rational sense of the Christian doctrines about Jesus and incarnation and atonement. Because he could not explain these doctrines rationally, he discarded them. However, we have just shown that all of these Christian doctrines are logical implications of the theory of mental symmetry. Thus, we can postulate, as Kant did, that God and religion are totally rational and we can also include the core Christian doctrines about Jesus. In fact, the theory of mental symmetry demands that these doctrines be included.

Kant’s third problem had to do with living in the new ‘me’. According to him, the highest form of personal existence was obeying the universal Teacher order of the categorical imperative. Thus, he talked about denying the old ‘me,’ he described the moral requirements of the new ‘me’, but he did not know how to take the final step of living in this new ‘me’. There are several possible reasons for this. It is possible that he was still mentally bound by an attitude of religious self-denial. After all, he did suggest that religious feelings lay outside of the bounds of rational thought. And, because he lived before the industrial revolution, he did not know from experience that rational understanding could change personal experience so thoroughly. Similarly, when I suggest to people today that the theory of mental symmetry could trigger a spiritual version of the industrial revolution, then their usual response is to reject my concept as quite unreasonable. 

Kant’s final problem was the supernatural. If God is associated with universal rules of order and structure, then God, by definition, cannot violate the rules. But, a miracle is a violation of the universal rules of natural order and structure. Therefore, Kant, along with others, concluded that religion cannot include the supernatural.

The Supernatural

Those who have read this far may have come to the same conclusion about my theory. Coming up with a rational theory for Christian doctrine may be interesting as an intellectual exercise, but what does it have to do with the supernatural? And, if a theory of Christianity does not include the supernatural, then it is ultimately worthless. The apostle Paul came to a similar conclusion.[8]

I agree. However, it appears that what we call the supernatural, including miracles, angels, demons, aliens, UFOs, and life after death, can all be included as an aspect of the theory of mental symmetry through the mechanism of flipping modes. In other words, if you take the symmetrical human mind and place it within a mirror-image container and then place that container within a mirror-image universe, then you end up with a model of existence that seems to explain the strange and bizarre experiences that people talk about when referring to the supernatural realm. Or, to borrow a term which I recently discovered on the web, humans live in space/time and are governed by the laws of physics; aliens live in time/space and are ruled by the laws of metaphysics. 

Thus, when I suggest that human salvation can be explained as intellectual Contributor thought reaching down to transform practical Contributor thought, this is mentally equivalent to saying that human salvation requires supernatural help from God. Practical Contributor thought is the natural human circuit, for it combines human bodies, physical reality, physical action, and personal desire. If intellectual Contributor thought is the mirror-image of practical Contributor thought, and if supernatural existence is the mirror-image of human existence, then when I say that personal transformation can only be achieved by using intellectual Contributor thought to rebuild practical Contributor thought, then I am saying the same thing as the Christian evangelist who preaches that a person cannot be saved by human effort but needs to call for supernatural help for personal salvation, or the businessman who supports research in the hope that science will come up with a new technology that allows him to solve his current practical problem. The only difference is that the Christian evangelist is approaching the topic magically from the viewpoint of Feeling, while the businessman is dealing with the topic objectively from the standpoint of Thinking. The real solution, though, involves a combination of Thinking and Feeling in which Perceiver thought has the confidence that is needed to handle emotional pressure.

While both God and supernatural existence involve intellectual Contributor thought, these two are not identical, for understanding about God uses intellectual Contributor thought to come up with universal Teacher theories, whereas living as a human mind within intellectual Contributor thought means dealing with specific Teacher names.

Living in a Name: Names are extremely important in the Bible. During Jewish times, the name that was given to a person was very significant. Similarly, the Bible makes numerous promises that Christians will be given a new name or that they will become identified with a certain name.

It is the name of Jesus that is above every name, and when the Bible makes this statement, it does it within the context of Teacher-based finite intelligent existence and Teacher-based reality: “which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”[9] Notice that the name of Jesus is not being compared with the names of other humans, but rather with rules, authorities, powers, and dominions. These four terms all refer to concepts of Teacher structure and domain and not to physical Mercy containers. In addition, this is all described as happening in heaven and not on earth.

The word angel comes from the Greek angelos, which means messenger. A message is a finite package of Teacher content. A messenger is a person who lives within a finite package of Teacher content.

What would it mean to live in a message? When we compared machines with verbal theories, I suggested that energy takes the place of words. In keeping with this observation, it appears that a messenger or ‘angel’ would live within a body of energy. This makes sense from a multiplicity of viewpoints. The Bible refers to people shining and radiating energy when coming into contact with the supernatural. For instance, Moses’ face shone when he came down from Mount Sinai with the tablets of law, and Jesus’ clothing shone during his transfiguration. It also is consistent with quantum mechanics, which states that every particle can be considered as a wave and vice-versa. Similarly, mental symmetry suggests that Mercy thought deals with spatial objects, whereas Teacher thought works with temporal sequences or waves. Energy is a wave. Likewise, most UFO accounts associate alien creatures with the manipulation of light and energy and suggest that aliens live in ‘bodies’ of energy. And, when I read through peoples’ theories about UFOs and the supernatural, the concept of vibration and resonance usually plays a critical role. Finally, when a person experiences a ‘miracle’, it is often associated with a sensation of heat or some other form of energy.

Action versus Power: Let us turn now to the contrast between Perceiver and Server. The human body allows a person to take Server sequences and turn them into physical action. If Server thought thinks of the sequence of ‘baking a cake’, for instance, then the body can perform each step of this sequence. We sometimes think of the physical body as a hindrance that forces us to plod step by step from here there. But, imagine being trapped in a paralyzed body that is incapable of doing anything, or being a disembodied soul without a body.

And that is how the Perceiver person feels. He can observe the world but no matter how hard he tries, he cannot take a mental object and turn it into physical matter, unless he uses a machine or a computer. That explains why the Perceiver person is naturally attracted to science fiction and fantasy with their supernatural powers, or to engineering and computers with their super-natural powers.

For a mirror-image being, exactly the opposite would be true. Server thought would be reduced to mere observation—looking at time and sequence and comparing one time and sequence with another. The Bible contains a lot of this, with supernatural beings coming to humans and telling them about time and sequence and comparing one time and sequence with another. We call this prophecy. This ability to step back and look at time from a distance also figures prominently in UFO literature. with human spatial perception being compared with alien temporal perception. In other words, just as a human can look around a room and see all of the objects with which he could interact, so an alien would ‘look around’ and see the possible sequences that a person might choose. Similarly, just as humans have the ability to move through space, so UFO literature commonly states that aliens have the ability to move through time.[10]

Humans can turn Server thought into action and can choose which action they will perform. Mirror-image beings, in contrast, appear to have the power of turning Perceiver thought into objects and choosing which object will appear where. The Bible talks about Jesus ‘appearing suddenly’ in front of his disciples and describes Philip being teleported by the Spirit of God. In a similar manner, UFOs appear out of nowhere and then disappear into nowhere, as do angels both in the Bible and in popular culture.

No Physical Overlap: When humans talk about encounters with the other side, the primary emotion appears to be one of terror. This would make sense when encountering a realm where everything that should be solid is not, and everything that should move does not. Imagine being physically paralyzed and being surrounded by inhuman creatures who can shift through solid walls. That describes the typical alien abduction scenario. Similarly, the first phrase spoken by most angels in the Bible is ‘do not fear’.

Saying this another way, there appears to be no overlap between human and mirror-image reality. One is totally and utterly alien to the other. Thus, unlike the symmetry of the mind, when dealing with the body and the universe, there is complete asymmetry: For humans, Mercy experiences are solid and produce feelings of pain and pleasure, whereas Teacher words are ephemeral with no built-in feeling. For mirror-image aliens, Mercy images would be ephemeral with no built-in feeling, whereas Teacher energy would be ‘solid’ with built-in emotions. For humans, Server thought controls the physical body, while Perceiver strategy is forced to observe and classify. For aliens, Perceiver thought would give power to the ‘body’ and Server strategy would be forced to observe and classify temporal sequences.[11]

This would also explain why it is so difficult to find physical evidence of either aliens or angels. How can one find natural evidence for something or someone which lives entirely outside of the natural universe? That is like searching through America for something which exists in China. No matter how hard you look, you simply will not find it.

The alien and human mind, in contrast, appear to be exactly the same, with the same seven modes of thought hooked up in the same way. This is strongly implied by the Bible, which talks repeatedly about the pre-eminence of Jesus applying to both humans and angels, and says that Jesus is lord of both heaven and earth. Similarly, angels in the Bible often appear for a short while as humans, which would only be possible if they and us are similar inside. And, the sixth chapter of Genesis tells us that humans and angels are able to interbreed. We will examine that passage in a moment.

If there is no external overlap between a human body and an angelic name, then this means that it would be possible for a mind to have both a body and a name. This also is strongly implied in the Bible, for Christians are promised that they will receive new bodies and they are promised that they will be given names. This would also explain why demons want to ‘possess’ human bodies. They want to add a body to their name, just as humans would love to be given supernatural powers.

MBTI® and Aliens: What happens when a mind is given both a body and a name? The result, I suggest, depends upon the maturity of the mind.[12] All four of the MBTI® splits appear to be results of the asymmetrical effect which the human body has upon the human mind, which I put in table form:


MBTI® Division

Underlying Assumption


Physical body provides Mercy feelings.


External world has fixed Mercy specifics.


Physical body uses Perceiver thought to observe facts.


External world allows freedom of movement through space.


Physical body uses Server thought to control actions.


External world has a fixed flow of Server time.


Physical body provides no Teacher feelings.


External world has fixed Teacher generality.


Let us look at these assumptions briefly. Why is there a split between Thinking and Feeling? Because the physical body fill Mercy thought with feelings of pain and pleasure which mesmerize Perceiver strategy. Why is there a division between Perceiving and Judging? Judging assumes that one can bring closure by using Perceiver thought to determine the facts, whereas Perceiving assumes that Server strategy can be used to keep moving from one situation to another. As for the separation between Sensing and iNtuition, we already know that this comes from the physical distinction between actions and words. Finally, what permits a person to be Extraverted? The existence of an external physical world.

What would be the corresponding mental splits for an alien mind? I leave that as an exercise for the reader. However, I think that we can safely conclude that a human mind is only capable of handling both a name and a body if that mind has integrated the MBTI® divisions. In contrast, if angelic power were given to a childish mind, then the result would be deep mental and societal corruption. This is illustrated by the behavior of the rich child. To a certain extent, he already has Perceiver power, because any time he wants some Perceiver object, all he needs to do is to pay some money and the object ‘magically’ appears. And, whenever he wants some object or person to disappear, all it takes is some more money.

The Nephilim: According to the Bible, when humans and aliens interbred the result was deep mental and societal corruption, so extreme that the world had to be destroyed in the flood of Noah. When we looked at the rationale for the Christian doctrine of atonement, I suggested that the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus makes childish human nature palatable to an infinite God by packaging the individual Mercy exceptions of childish rebellion into a universal Teacher theory.

I suggest that the same logic can be applied to the flood of Noah. What would happen if the average citizen had supernatural powers? Everyone would act like little gods, doing whatever they wished, mentally driven by the Mercy idols of their childish identity. When a person has the power to create his own Perceiver truth, then there is no need to submit to the Perceiver laws of nature, conscience or any of the rules of society, for each superhuman individual can literally define his own Perceiver rules. No one would discover universal Teacher theory, because there would be no universality.

According to the book of Genesis: “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”[13] The word nephilim means ‘fallen ones’ and the general consensus among Biblical scholars is that this refers to angels having sex with humans. According to the Bible the result was pure evil, and one can see why this would disturb a universal being so deeply. Similarly, the other passage that refers to this incident uses the adjective ‘ungodly’ four times in a single verse.[14] 

Perceiver strategy takes Mercy experiences and organizes them into facts, objects, and categories. What is a physical object without any internal connections? A liquid. Thus, how would a universal God universalize a group of rebellious humans which were each being driven by their own private worlds of raw Mercy desires to destroy concepts of law and order? By replacing the individual Mercy ‘liquid’ by a universal liquid that destroyed all physical structure and order. Hence, a worldwide flood of water.

At first glance, the logic of the previous paragraph may not be apparent. That is because I am associating the crime of a mental absence of solid Perceiver structure with the punishment of a physical lack of solid Perceiver structure. However, if an entire group of humans really did acquire supernatural powers, then we are not just talking about mental chaos but rather an extensive, deliberate, external overturning of natural law and order. 

So, why would male angels mate with female humans? Because that is the obvious combination when the interaction on each side is purely physical. The male partner provides only sperm, filled with his genetic DNA. That is information, something that could easily be provided by a messenger—or angel. And, the female human body is capable of taking genetic information and turning it into a live human baby. Thus, when the Bible talks about male angels having sex with female humans, and UFO literature talks about aliens manipulating human DNA, they are quite possibly referring to the same thing.

Compare this with the situation in which a person is driven entirely by internal law and structure. When morality is defined in terms of mental wholeness, then it is possible to have external freedom and not be corrupted by it. That is because a morality based in mental wholeness is internal and is not affected by either the presence or absence of external abilities. Similarly, when morality is defined in terms of Kant’s categorical imperative, then a universal God would also remain pleased. Finally, an internally constrained individual can be given both a name and a body and be trusted with it, because his morality is rooted in mental principles of cause and effect, and these laws apply equally to both human and alien existence as well as any combination of the two.

The Church and the Supernatural: In contrast, whenever one reads about supernatural manifestations within the Christian church, three factors generally appear to be present: First, the person who gets the supernatural power seems to be mentally unstable. That is because the typical human mind assumes natural law and order and can only access the supernatural realm by becoming partially unhinged from natural reality. Second, the supernatural breakthrough seems to be temporary. That is because a person cannot continue to live within two incompatible realities. One will eventually take over from the other. Finally, these supernatural movements seem to collapse into emotional manipulation and mass hysteria. When the mental structure of natural law is removed from the childish mind, then what remains? Childish identity, wishful thinking, and personal status.

One could explore this topic in much greater detail. For example, it is quite interesting to try to explore mirror-image reality in the light of quantum mechanics, or to take the human process of integrating intellectual Contributor thought with practical Contributor thought, work out the mirror-image and then apply the conclusions to alien encounters. However, my purpose is not to dwell upon strange and bizarre topics but rather to show that the theory of mental symmetry allows us to approach the supernatural in a manner that is rational, Biblically consistent, and also in accord with the observations of UFO literature.

Life after Death: Let us look now at the topic of life after death. We have already seen the contrast between the symmetrical nature of the human mind and the asymmetrical influence which the physical body has upon the human mind. And, we have done our best to describe the process by which the mind can be integrated and built around solid, lasting content. We also know from personal experience that the physical body is mortal and that it eventually crumbles and turns into dust. In addition, our analysis of alien life is based upon the concept of a human mind being placed within a mirror-image body. If the mind has solid content, if the mind is not the same as the body, if the body is mortal, and if the mind can be placed in a different type of body, then it is a reasonable hypothesis to predict that the human mind survives the demise of the physical body.

So what survives physical death, the mind, the soul, the spirit, or some combination of these three elements? I am not sure. However, the Bible is clear that the internal essence of human personality survives death, and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence strongly suggesting that this is the case. If you want a non-religious source, I suggest looking on the internet at Nurse’s forums, where professional nurses talk about the experiences that they have had with the paranormal indicating that human personality survives physical death.

So, where does a human soul goes after the physical body dies? If a human soul could live in either the human universe or a mirror-image universe, then it makes sense that if this soul lost its ability to live in the human universe, then it would be forced to move to the mirror-image realm. In keeping with this, the Bible indicates that dead humans spend time with angels or demons. Similarly, UFO literature also contains many accounts of aliens being accompanied by dead humans.

What about heaven and hell? Are these real or are they just figments of the imagination? I suggest that the answer is yes. If a person were to leave his physical body, then imagination would become very important. Here is an analogy. If a human wants to go into outer space, then he must get into a spacesuit. Without a spacesuit, his internal fluids will start to boil through his body cavities and within about two minutes he will be dead.[15] If he wants to survive, then it is absolutely imperative that his vulnerable physical body be encased within the solid shell of a spacesuit. Without this external shell, he must limit himself to an environment that is compatible with the limitations of his physical body.

Mental symmetry suggests that exactly the same principle applies to internal identity. When I program my mind, I am creating a mental world for myself and placing my personal identity within this mental world. Dying is like stepping out of the spacesuit. All that is left is mental structure along with the personal identity that it contains. In the same way that a human body can only survive in an environment that is compatible with the physical body, so the naked mind would only be able to survive within an environment that was compatible with its overall structure.

Physical Life and Death: We have walked several times through the process of integrating intellectual Contributor thought with practical Contributor thought. Let us go through this cycle once more, this time adding the supernatural to the equation. This will allow us to address the topic of heaven and hell.

We begin with the birth of childish identity. Except, this time we are dealing with the real birth of a human being in a physical body with its attachment to Mercy matter and physical pain and pleasure. As we all know, mortal life is fraught with peril. And, when the body demands our attention with physical pain, physical need or injury, then everything else comes to a screeching halt until the physical crisis is over. Thus, just as emotional Mercy experiences are able to mesmerize Perceiver thought and define their own truth and their own rules, so physical trauma has the power to redefine our personal existence and completely change the way that we interact with the external world. Think, for existence, of the individual suddenly confined to a wheelchair. That limitation redefines his entire personal world, altering his Perceiver facts and changing his Server abilities.

Saying this in more general terms, practical Contributor thought is programmed by the physical body and existence within a human body is an expression of practical Contributor thought. Is this human existence warped by physical needs and pleasures? Totally and utterly. Putting this another way, imagine how different your human life would be if your physical body had no physical needs or no physical vulnerabilities.

The next step is to program intellectual Contributor thought with rational, universal understanding. To a large extent, this is done when going to school. For twelve to twenty years, a person is expected to spend most of his productive time and energy ignoring his physical body and filling his mind with facts and theories. And, if an image of God forms when universal Teacher understanding touches Mercy identity, then secular education is almost equivalent to learning all about God. The typical student develops Perceiver logic and learns many general Teacher theories about the objective world, he just does not take the final step of personalizing this universal understanding and calling it God. He may call it nature, but not God.

Submitting to God: Now comes the process of gluing practical and intellectual Contributor strategies together. The first stage involves Perceiver thought. I allow Perceiver truth to define ‘me’, I submit my personal identity to the Contributor plan of birth, death, and resurrection, and I allow my behavior to be guided by universal Teacher understanding.

For the long term employee of a large corporation, this is exactly what happens, especially in Asian companies. The employee allows his company to define his personal identity: “I am a Sony man; I am a Samsung employee.” The employee then submits his personal welfare to the plan of the company: “Die to your individual existence and become reborn as a member of our company. We will take care of you. We will give you a good life.” From then on, the actions of the employee are guided by the general Teacher theories of his company: its policies, its ethics, its standards, and its bureaucracy.

The Bible says the same thing in the Sermon on the Mount: Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”[16]

Compare this with the words of the large corporation: “Do not worry about what you will eat, drink, or wear. The self-employed and unemployed eagerly seek all these things, but our corporation knows that you need all these things. Seek first our corporate kingdom and act in accordance with our plans, rules, and policies, and all these things will be added to you.”

The typical human finds it entirely normal to submit to this sort of human life when approached by the general Teacher order of a corporation or large bureaucracy. However, when a similar request is made regarding the universal Teacher order of an image of God, most of us consider this far too radical to put into practice. But, in both cases, exactly the same mental process is being described.

Old versus New: Next comes the struggle between the old and the new nature. Which nature will be ‘fed’? Which one will be permitted to grow? These individual choices help to build Contributor confidence. For the corporate citizen, this shows up as a conflict between corporate life and personal life. Will I allow the corporation and its structure and order to govern my existence, or will I insist upon having a personal life in which I can enjoy personal pleasure and take care of my physical needs. For the typical male Asian employee, there is basically no personal life. Almost all of waking existence is spent either at work or together with fellow employees.

Before we continue, I need to address an implication. Am I saying that it is anti-Christian for a person to work for a large corporation? No. But, I am suggesting that giving my life to a corporation is a counterfeit form of Christianity. If a person wants to follow the Christian path of submitting his personal life to the universal God, then he cannot also submit his life to a company, a country, or a bureaucracy.

Or, if you prefer the Biblical language of the Sermon on the Mount: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”[17]

This means that every other commitment to a human agency must be a limited one that falls within the domain of submission to the universal God. What is a limited commitment? It is one that is guided by contract: “I agree to work for you within this specific time frame or for this specific project. I will do the best job that I can within these constraints. I will also agree to follow company rules and policies, unless they collide with standards of mental wholeness or violate the categorical imperative. In that case, I will inform you and I will have to submit myself to the higher and more universal law of God.” Logically speaking, that is what it means to submit one’s life to a God of universal Teacher order. And, that is precisely what a corporation or bureaucracy demands of its employees when they do outside work or are faced with a conflict of interest.

Flipping Modes: Finally, we reach the stage of Server integration. Let us remind ourselves of what we learned about this transition from our look at the industrial revolution. Abstract knowledge begins to impact the practical world through inventions and industrial processes. People become surrounded by machines—practical illustrations of Teacher order within complexity. People themselves begin to be treated like machines. They are expected to act as professionals, performing a restricted set of highly refined technical actions and coordinating their labor with others in ways that are logical and efficient and they are expected to do this work within a physical environment of order and structure. New sources of Teacher energy begin to be tapped, and a massive Mercy infrastructure of communication, commerce, and transportation is constructed.

In general terms, there is a flipping of modes, with specific Mercy bodies being replaced by specific Teacher names, universal Teacher understanding being overshadowed by universal Mercy community, and the process being driven increasingly by Teacher energy and less by Mercy feelings.

Now let us add the supernatural and physical component. Instead of the old childish ‘me’ dying, the physical body with its physical needs and desires stops functioning. The person is not emotionally dead—he is physically dead. And what happens then? According to the process of birth, death, and resurrection, one encounters mirror-image alien life. One is surrounded by aliens, one is treated like an alien, one is placed within an alien environment, and one is expected to act like an alien. The old physical existence is gone, for the iNtuitive realm of alien thought has completely swallowed up the human realm of Sensing. The flipping of modes is not just mental and emotional. Instead, it is total.

But what makes me think that I can extrapolate the mental process of birth, death, and resurrection to human existence itself? Because, logical extrapolation is all that one can do. And, it is the nature of a universal God to extrapolate from an existing process. Using Biblical language, birth, death, and resurrection defines the life of Jesus, it defines the process of personal salvation, the name Jesus means salvation, the angel said to ‘call his name Jesus for he will save the people from their sin’ and God has declared that this name is above every other name. Thus, as far as I can tell, this is the only interpretation that is allowed both by mental symmetry and by the Bible. 

Heaven and Hell: So, what would it be like to live as a naked soul among aliens, demons, or angels? This is where the analogy of the spacesuit comes in. I suggest that the human mind/soul must live within an environment that preserves its mental integrity. That is because the mind experiences two types of emotion. There is the normal emotion of pain and pleasure and there is the hyper-emotion of integration and fragmentation. If a person faces a choice between feeling bad and falling apart, he will choose integration over personal pleasure.

Thus, once a soul loses the ‘spacesuit’ of its physical body, it will be forced to live within an environment that is consistent with its mental content—no matter how much this hurts.

This allows us to define heaven and hell in very simple terms: Heaven is a part of the alien realm that is compatible with humanity; hell is a part of the alien realm that is inhuman and not compatible with humanity.

This concept of heaven being an aspect of the alien realm that is compatible with humanity is consistent with the Bible. When Jesus is telling his followers about his impending death, he says, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”[18] In other words, Jesus the Contributor is going to the realm of universal Teacher thought to construct ‘dwelling places’—human friendly homes within the alien realm.

The Childish Mind and Physical Death: Now let us combine the mental aspect of personal transformation with the physical aspect. What happens if a person dies physically while still living mentally in the childish ‘me’? He does not know what it means to submit personal identity to Perceiver truth, and he does not know how to handle the light of universal Teacher understanding. Now suddenly, he finds himself in an environment constructed out of Perceiver truth and Teacher understanding—with no physical ‘spacesuit’ to protect himself. If you want a partial analogy, imagine a man born blind who is suddenly able to see. If such an individual knew about space and physical objects and physical location, he might be able to handle the transition. But, if he has filled his imagination with wishful thinking, then everything he sees will collide with the content of his internal world.

For such an individual, the only option is to find an environment that matches his mindset, no matter how painful that environment is. For, if such a person does not find suitable surroundings, then he will fall apart, and falling apart is worse than experiencing personal pain.

Summarizing, what such a dead soul needs is a domain within the alien realm that lacks universal Teacher understanding and that does not use Perceiver truth to describe ‘me’, for this combination describes the essence of childish identity. First, we can conclude that this will be a location apart from God, for God is based in universal Teacher understanding. And, it will also be away from the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit uses Perceiver truth to tie together Mercy experiences.

And what is the mirror-image of being separated from God and the Holy Spirit? Being separated from the Holy Spirit and God. Thus, childish humans will find themselves in the company of childish aliens. And, I can assure you from personal experience that when childish Mercy strategy is forced to coexist with childish Teacher thought then one will always torture and torment the other. And who will do the torturing? The one whose home turf it is. Therefore, the childish aliens will torture the childish humans, while both will be bound together by their common need to avoid facing Teacher universality and Mercy universality.

And what is a childish alien? We can use symmetry to work this out. A childish human mind is one that uses Mercy idolatry to define personal identity. By symmetry, a childish alien mind is one that use an emotional fixation upon Teacher energy to define personal identity. And who will be the alien source of this emotional fixation? An alien whose personal name is a source of Teacher light and energy.

It is interesting that the Christianity talks about three main angels: Lucifer, Michael, and Gabriel. Lucifer means ‘bearer of light’[19], Michael means ‘who is like God’, and Gabriel means ‘hero of God’. Only one of these three names is an independent source of Teacher energy, and Christian theologians conclude that Lucifer fell from heaven because of his pride and became Satan, dragging along one third of the angels with him.

Saying this in human terms, some real ‘cool’ teenager decided that he was more important than his teachers and he was idolized many of his fellow students. When he was kicked out of school, he took these students with him. He is now their gang leader, and they are his gang.

The Technical Mind and Physical Death: We have looked at what happens when the childish mind dies and goes to ‘meet its maker’. The meeting does not last very long before the childish mind scurries like a cockroach away from the light to hide in the shadows. Let us turn our attention now to the person who accepts science and technology. What happens to him when he dies? I have suggested that the scientific revolution and the industrial revolution are partial examples of the salvation plan of Jesus, limited to the realm of the objective. What happens when you try to live in an environment that takes care of your physical needs but completely ignores you as a person? It is like working with robots and being treated as a robot. It is like being imprisoned as a cog within an inhuman machine. When I read about alien encounters and the role which humans play in these encounters, that is the impression which I get. The humans are being treated like animals or biological specimens. Their physical needs are being taken care of, but emotionally they are continually being violated.

The Hard Worker and Physical Death: Next, there is the human who develops practical Contributor thought, works hard, improves himself, makes goals for himself and reaches them. What happens to him when he dies? Well, what happened to the skilled artisan during the industrial revolution? He was put out of business; he went extinct. No matter how hard he tried and how skilled he was, he couldn’t keep up with the machine, just as a man digging with a shovel will never be able to compete with the operator of a mechanical digger.

The Worshipper and Physical Death: Finally, what about the individual who uses emotional tricks to build his mental image of God? What will happen to him when he dies? It is hard to say. It depends upon what is stronger, the old ‘me’ or the new ‘me’, and the extent to which he has really followed Jesus’ plan of birth, death, and resurrection. Can he handle seeing the truth about himself? Can he continue to exist within the Teacher glare of universal understanding? Maybe. Maybe not.

So, does this mean that only modern scientific man has the possibility of going to heaven? I suggest not. That is because what really matters is not how much a person knows but rather whether Perceiver strategy has sufficient confidence to apply this knowledge to ‘me’. Similarly, it is not my skills, specialization, or even my theoretical understanding that ultimately count. Instead, what really matters is having sufficient Server confidence to act on my own initiative in ways that are consistent with universal Teacher understanding. In Biblical language, do I submit to law in my heart, and am I righteous before God. That type of personal growth can occur at any level of civilization because it depends not upon where I am, but rather how far I have come.

Saying this another way, when I die, my physical ‘spacesuit’ is gone. Instead, all that remains is my mental structure and the place that ‘me’ has within this structure. So, how solid is this mental structure, how universal is my understanding, and what place is there for ‘me’ within this mental structure?

[1] Ephesians 1

[2] This initial stage of losing Server confidence is different than the final stage during which the Server actions of Cp fall apart and become reintegrated by Ci. The first stage triggers personal honesty and leads to law abiding behavior—making it possible to act in ways that are consistent with universal Teacher understanding. The final stage leads to righteousness and a complete integration between Teacher theory and Server action—making it impossible to continue acting in ways that are inconsistent with universal Teacher understanding.

[3] Romans 12:6-8 NASB.

[4] Romans 12:1-2 NASB.

[5] Romans 10:2-3 NASB.

[6] Romans 12:4-5 NASB.

[7] Romans 12:3 NASB.

[8] I Corinthians 15.

[9] Ephesians 1:20-21 NASB.

[10] Does this mean that an alien can alter the past or future of a human being? Apparently not. Instead, there appear to be limitations on the type of interaction that is possible.

[11] What about Exhorter, Contributor and Facilitator modes? It appear that they focus upon operating the mind and are not directly responsible for interpreting sensory information or controlling physical movement.

[12] I am using the word ‘mind’ as a catch-all term for the internal person. Soul might be a better word, and there may be both a soul and a spirit. However, we are limiting our discussion to concepts that come from the theory of mental symmetry. This theory tells us that we need to make intelligent hypotheses about what lies outside of the mind, and it leads us to the intelligent hypothesis that there is a distinction between the physical body and the mind, and that the mind survives the death of the body. That is as far as I am taking the discussion.

[13] Genesis 6:4-6 NASB.

[14] Jude 15 NASB.

[15] Look it up on the internet. The human body can actually survive exposure to a hard vacuum for about 90 seconds.

[16] Matthew 6:31-33 NASB.

[17] Matthew 6:24 NASB.

[18] John 14:1-3 NASB.

[19] Or Morningstar or Daystar