4. DIAGNOSTIC CATEGORIES AS MORAL ALTERNATIVES

Formal Theory identifies four wellness diagnostic categories: four relational modalities syndromes determined by two parameters of relating: dominant versus submissive and cooperative versus antagonistic, proceeding along the six-role process as the wellness syndromal personality typology.

The formal conceptualization of the unconscious revamps the field of diagnosis by identifying four relational modalities and also their psychodynamic structure as sequences of six-role states. The relational modalities unfold as wellness syndromal entities.

While the psychiatric profession disqualifies itself in passing judgment on Trump, children’s books are all about psychological profiling using metaphors. Aesop used animal stories to tell about people. Schultz introduced a simple typology with the peanuts; we remember fondly Lucy and Charley Brown.

Traditional typologies have come in foursomes. For example, in the Haggadah story of Passover, four kids ask: “what is special about this night?” The children are labeled in their differing attitudes: wise,wicked, innocent and hostile. The Greeks recognized four types based on body humors: phlegmatic, sanguine, melancholic, and choleric. The Romans also distinguished the four personality types as variations of hot and cold, wet and dry.

From all the metaphorical typologies, Baum’s Wizard of Oz story not only identifies four relational modalities, but also describes the unfolding of the patterns for each character as a sequence of interrelated episodes. Though they are all legitimate and respectable individuals, it is Dorothy that is the favorite.

Baum gave us the four characters walking down the Yellow Brick Road as excellent metaphors of four personality types that evolve in time through their journey. So while other typologies recognize the foursome of relational modalities, the Oz story sees modalities unfold syndromally. The syndromes of relating in the sequence of episodes are interrelated during each individual’s journey.

FOUR TYPES OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION

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The four modalities of relating are qualified relationally.

  1. Dorothy is an assertive, dominant cooperative type, intent on protecting her dog and leading the group to the Wizard.
  2. The Lion, the king of the jungle, is an aggressive and dominant antagonistic type by definition. This lion, however, is qualified as cowardly. The implication is that lion types projecting their innate aggression to others become scared.
  3. The Scarecrow is the submissive cooperative likable type, both pleasant and defenseless. He does not have a brain because he does not trust his judgments. Instead, he defers to others. Yet, he harbors no anger in his soul and this capacity for love enables him to develop human self-confidence and eventually become the mayor of Emerald City.
  4. The Tin Man is the hostile person armed against stressors with a hatchet. His defensiveness is his armor; we know this contrary disposition as passive aggression. The hostile person anticipates hostilities, and hence, needs an armor.

THE SIX-ROLE STATE SYNDROMAL UNFOLDING OF THE PROCESS

The personal journeys of the four characters present the syndromal structure of the process as a six-role state psychodynamic connection of behaviors and feelings. Actions generate anticipations of role reversal; yet, fears are based on actions precipitating counterphobic defenses leading to one’s reversal of fortune — eventually eliciting compromises:

  1. Stress: the four characters have a range of problems and hope to receive help from the wizard.
  2. Response: Now companions, they jointly begin their journeys of self-discovery.
  3. Anxiety: Upon encountering the Wizard, they collaborate on the scary task of killing the Witch.
  4. Defense: Once they have magically killed the Witch, they become empowered.
  5. Reversal: While standing before the Wizard, the characters experience the reality of this enigmatic figure distorted through their four perspectives. The four scenarios are well illustrated in the variation of distortions of reality experienced upon each character encountering the Wizard: the Scarecrow, a cooperative low-key person, regards the wizard as a fair lady on a throne bestowing him with a present, while the Cowardly Lion, an aggressive personality, perceives Oz as an overwhelming ball of fire.
  6. Compromise: The story ends with characters wearing corrective lenses corresponding to an undistorted perception of reality.

Distorting reality, syndromal consequences, moral alternatives

There is insight gained from the differences in the perception of the same reality;  the distortions connect to a person’s choice of actions. The Scarecrow being kind expects kindness, while the Lion, being a mad person, expects attack. Therefore, the lion fears and anxieties haunt the lion, and defensive mechanisms only serve to reinforce internal fears.

It is Trump’s lion-like aggressiveness that leads to his distorted perception of reality eliciting his drastic initiatives. Trump is the lion whose fearful suspicious perceptions generates his own aggression. Perceiving America as “carnage”, a nation engulfed in fire, generates his own aggressiveness while his forceful tendencies towards manipulation is the origin of his suspicion and distrust of others. Trump’s state of anxiety generates all his policies, thereby creating intensification of global conflicts. His massive and universal energetic defensive policies, like placing America first, originate in his own aggressiveness.

Another insight granted by this analysis is that it clarifies directives for change. Donald could benefit by decreasing his aggressiveness; that change should reduce his anxieties, his distortions and the national priorities of military spending at the expense of the societal peaceful needs.

Aristotle identified this dramatic process in Poetics as the perfect universe of a singular key action modulated along three acts: as pathos transformed to drasis reaching a reversal of fortune completed with the appearance of a Deus ex Machina evoking moral catharsis.

The Formal Theory reveals that syndromal patterns unfold as a role-state system determined by the personal relational modality. The alternative resolutions are identified by religions as their favored paths to conflict resolution: asceticism in India praises the opposite of Grecian patriarchal individualism, a power culture; Christianity praises similarly humility; and Islam advocates self-righteousness over other faiths by denouncing them as “the infidels”.

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