A Reflection: Eau de Psychological Types 

            Recently, I have tapped into the self-care aspect of the extraverted sensing type. I found myself getting lost in the universe of fragrance. During this adventure, I curated and edited down my favorites and gave away the perfumes that did meet my expectations. I realized during this process; I was drawn to fragrances that shared similar notes along with the hierarchical placement of the top, middle, and base notes. Contingent on where the notes are placed determines their projection and affect of the wearer. The subjective and harmonious blend, for me, serves as a metaphor to Jung’s and Beebe’s framework of psychological types and functions and the archetypal relationship to complexes.

A Metaphorical Glimpse into Psychological Type

The notes of perfume often remind me of the types of a personality. Notes of perfume are combined to create a fragrance that is marketable to a consumer who desire warm, spicy, floral, earthy, woody, citrus, fruity, aquatic, or gourmand. The chosen notes are then curated and then sequenced based on a hierarchical framework: top notes, middle notes, and base notes. The top notes are the scents one notices immediately after spraying the perfume. The notes expire around thirty minutes. Top notes are often scents of citrus and ginger. The short appearance is a vital factor as they are the selling notes of perfume. The middle notes are considered the heart and body of a fragrance. The middle is noticeable when the top notes turn inward. The middle notes last up to sixty minutes after fully developing. These notes are comprised notes of lavender and rose. Finally, the base notes offer depth and solidify the overall product. 

The notes and the hierarchical structure offer an in-depth insight into the archetypal within the personal and collective unconscious. These notes, similar to the attitudes, types, and function of personality are universal patterns that are either harmonious and inharmonious if activated. More importantly, addressing the activated complexes in the realm of education attests to the educator/ facilitator ability to hold space for mostly all psychological types.

From Fragrance to Classroom: Exploring Typology Education

Typology plays a significant role in understanding the human condition. I am now cognizant of typology’s role outside the realm of academic articles and conference paper presentations. Having the opportunity to apply, observe, and reflect on the integration of typology in the classroom has been an eye-opening experience. Re-visioning classroom culture through the understanding of the relationship between typology and complex incites productivity while providing tools to navigate fear and constellations of the archetypal core in the classroom. John Beebe’s writings have imparted a fresh typological perspective in looking at and processing political and social issues that concern my students. 

As an educator of the arts, sciences, and humanities this course has reaffirmed the educational pedagogy learned and experienced as student and teacher. Exploring psychological types informs educators of the possibilities of transference and countertransference in the vessel of learning. Further, like the metaphor of perfume, Beebe's model connects the functions of each type to complexes molded in the course of developing a conscious ego-identity.

            To close, I must share an impactful statement that Carol has kindly gifted to me. She reminds,” there is a difference between theory and applying theory into practice.” This is vital in the expansion of merging disciplines and making use of the knowledge accessible to those we interact with. 

A Reflection: The Sacredness of Sameness

" Anybody depending on somebody else's gods is depending on a fox not to eat chickens."     Zora Neale Hurston

The Greek goddesses and gods that were addressed this quarter in Depth Psychology doctorate program sparked an interest in seeking the equivalent goddesses in traditions such as Haitian Vodou, Yoruban Mythology, and Egyptian Mythology. I have resonated explicitly with the goddesses of love and their consciousness. The transmigration, the passage of a soul after death into another body, applies to the mythic evolution of the Goddess tradition. For instance, the goddesses of the Greek tradition and the Lwa, Orishas, and Deities of African goddess tradition share similar aspects. We witness this by the evolution of time and space in societies.

I have become interested and enamored by the many similar aspects of the goddess narrative and how it is integrated into literature written by African American writers and scholars like Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston proposes that " the present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell." This statement reflects that mythological traditions inform our present and future and shape our collective reality. The egg is the Hestian container that holds the narratives of our matriarchal ancestors. It is the connective tissue that binds us over time. The diverse but similar goddess traditions permit the reframing and rediscovery of narratives that are contingent on time and space. Furthermore, honoring the diverse goddess traditions is contingent on how we form our realities and consciousness.




The Fear of Writing: Breaking through the Mold of Trauma

Writing has been one of my biggest fears since my years in high school. I really feel that it has hindered me from many projects and opportuniutes because I am anxious about the process. Furthermore, I fear that my thoughts aren't as intellectually aligned with some of my peers. The process of putting thought to paper or screen is one that is vulnerable. Indeed as a researcher I enjoy the ritual of reading in search of new knowledge that helps shape my hypothesis or argument. But this fear, an inability to incorporate writing as an outlet of creativity, is a testament of how important as educators we are central to the forming and influencing our students' mind, thought processes, and self esteem.

I will share my writing trauma with you. To be honest, I have always been a decent writer. At the age of 17, I was enrolled in a British Literature class in high school. This class was required to graduate from high school. One of the final assignments was to write a substantial analysis on a piece of literature. I chose the work, Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe. Since the age of 8, I have always been intrigued by the works of Poe and other authors like him. His beautiful and grotesque stories serve as a moral and ethical compass of how we humans deal with our own darkness. Furthermore, I was interested in color psychology, symbology and semiotics. All of these elements are exhibited in the works of Poe. 

I worked really hard on this paper. Working on this paper put me in a euphoric state of mind because I was able to fully express my passion for the literature. I followed the required protocol of formatting and attached all sources used. The day that the papers were returned in class I knew I aced this paper. You could not tell me nothing about this paper. 

When I opened to the last page of the paper I saw my grade. It was an F! I was shocked, hurt, and confused. It was like a truck hit me metaphorically and I went  into shock. Tears started to swell in my eyes as I began to read the teacher's note below the grade. I was accused of plagiarism. I grabbed my belongings and walked out of the classroom to the administration office to call my mother.

My mother who is also an academic, came to my aid at this very sensitive time and demanded a meeting with my teacher and the administration. She monitored my process while researching and writing this paper. Since all sources were attached to the paper in question and there wasn't any improperly sourced material, the question that was asked was, why do you think the paper was plagiarized ? The answer the English teacher gave was one that haunts me to this day. He stated that the writing and thoughts expressed was too intellectual and too provocative from someone like myself. Someone like myself!? Furthermore, that I was incapable to think on that level analytically and creatively. Were my thoughts and analysis too cutting edge at the time I wrote this? I do not know. And really I don't care. I've been thinking provocatively and intellectually not only as a student but as an artist for a long time. Lets just say all parties at the meeting had their mouth wide open by his reasoning. In the end, my name was cleared, I ended up receiving an A on the paper, and an apology for the incident.

This educator who was in charge of my learning experience put me in a box that I have been working so hard to break out of. He accused me of being an impostor of my own thinking. He assumed I was inferior however the reality is that I am a threat.

This experience still haunts me. I never received any formal therapy about this. I finally realized how much it affected me when I reintroduced myself to the realm of art and academia several years ago.For example, while attending the University of Alaska Anchorage, I wrote my history senior thesis on the significance and history of tattoos during the Holocaust. During a one on one thesis meeting, my professor physically assaulted me. He attempted to halt my research. It was too provocative and I stood my ground with my argument and analysis. There were established sources that supported my research so I was determined to continue. Well he did not like that. Yes, I filed a complaint and my Department Chair ended up stepping in and grading the paper.  To this day these experiences cause a level of anxiety that paralyzes my thinking. It makes me doubt myself as a critical thinker and creative to. I have to push myself to write with all my might. But I realize that the more I write and express authentic thoughts the process gets a little bit easier.

The moral of the story is do not underestimate one's intelligence, not even a young student. As educator, be cognizant to the needs and emotional/ psychological traumas you may lay on your students. This indeed is an example of education as shadow. 

Be well and Blessed