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Teacher and Mercy Compared

I suggest that Teacher and Mercy thought are mirror images of one another. Here is a list of traits from these two persons, illustrating this mental symmetry.

These two sets of traits are related by the following principles of symmetry:

  • Teacher strategy handles generality; Mercy strategy works with specifics.
  • Teacher thought uses words and theories; Mercy thought handles experiences and events.
  • Teacher strategy works with time and sequence; Mercy strategy deals with space and objects.

Here is the list in table form with the Teacher trait on the left and the corresponding Mercy trait on the right.

 

Teacher Trait

Mercy Trait

Lives in words; needs universal understanding

Lives in experiences; needs love

Has a good memory for past theories and conversations

Has a good memory for experiences and people

Has an excellent verbal imagination

Has an excellent visual imagination

Concentrates on his current theory

Concentrates on his current group or situation

Drops old theories for new theories when intellectual priorities shift

Leaves one task for another when personal priorities shift

Identifies with his understanding

Identifies with people and experiences

Can fall into deep moods when his understanding is inadequate

Can fall into deep moods when faced with hurt or rejection

Emotionally sensitive; tries to avoid intellectual conflict

Emotionally sensitive; tries to avoid personal conflict

Tempted to focus solely on his theory and ignore the needs of others

Tempted to focus solely on his own personal problems and ignore the feelings of others

Hates double-mindedness—people who hold on to a theory inconsistently

Hates insincerity—people who broadcast inconsistent non-verbal clues

Prefers humor that touches Mercy feelings; pokes at peoples’ personal sensitivities

Prefers humor that touches Teacher feelings; enjoys puns and word plays

Better than anyone else at developing original theory

Better than anyone else at generating original experiences

Often appears wooden or artificial when dealing with people

His theories often do not make the most sense

Excels at working with theories; may reject the steps that are needed to construct a universal theory

Excellent at taking a ‘snapshot’ of a person’s emotional state; may reject the steps that are needed to reach emotional maturity

Commits himself 110% to his latest theory

Commits himself 110% to a person or group

Feels that others will accept his theory if he uses their ideas

Feels that others will love him if he does what they want

Focuses on one aspect of a theory and then magnifies it until it is the main element

Feels that if some item is good, then he should get ten times as many or apply it ten times as much

Wants close friends who share his theories

Wants ‘kindred spirits’ who share his loves

Can be a dictator who tells others to love theory but who controls this theory by withholding or dispensing information

Can be a dictator who tells others to love people but who controls what love is by withholding or dispensing approval

Tempted to block off people who do not accept his definition of theory

Tempted to block off people who do not accept his definition of love

Prefers to build his theories upon the facts of accepted experts

Prefers to buy items from established brand names