|Sir Galahad by Arthur Hughes (1832-1915)|
What provoked me recently is the horror of the Norway slayings and the report that the alleged perpetrator supposedly perceived himself as some sort of modern Knight Templar crusading against the forces of ("Muslim") evil. Great. Of course he is also supposedly a Mason, Christian Fundamentalist, organic farmer, and a follower of the Austrian School of international Libertarianism. I don't think it's really fair to blame any of those factors for his horrific and evil personal choices. Although a slightly more cynical mind than mine could say:
The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.— Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum)
What's to be done? I don't know. But I'm pretty much with Sheryl Crow on this:
Here is a good overview of the INFP Personality-type. We are, of course, the consummate fantasists, wildly inspired with noble aspirations and great abilities to see those grand landscapes of eternal view and sometimes even to have the language in art or word to share them with others. Yet for the most part we remain apart from our fellow mortals, never really understood even as we think we understand all of them (we do have that streak of arrogance in us.)
One of the best parts of Meyers-Briggs is the confirmation that oftentimes opposites attract and are even good for each other. My wife has not been tested (she's not the type for that), but if she were, I bet she would come out pretty much my exact opposite of the sixteen personality types, an ESTJ. She is well-grounded in pragmatic organizational skills, well-educated and bright in her own way if rather different from mine. We are a great complement to each other as she keeps me grounded and I try to keep her inspired. Also, our kids get their science and math support from her and their language, literature and history from me. We make a great balance. And it's a good thing we do love each other.
There are many reasons why I like this picture of Galahad above: the dark and rugged landscape of mountain and moor reminiscent of my ancestral lands on the Black Mountains; the vision of the three angels, holy guardians of the grail and their glow reflected on Galahad's armor; and most of all, the steadfast, determinedly strong yet humble face of Galahad as he bows his head to shield his eyes from the mountain wind around him and the brilliance of heavenly messengers. There's no Teutonic arrogance of the Wagnerian Hero so easily corrupted by delusions of Fascist grandeur. And of course, he's mounted on a white horse! The British tradition of the nobility of heart, with all its flaws, suits me well as I continue my personal quests.
Wish me luck.