Category Archives: Assemblage Point

The Path of Most Resistance

In the TV series Star Trek: Voyager, the Borg told everyone they encountered that resistance was futile. Before that, Carl Jung said, “What we resist persists.” But no matter who said it or when, we resist accepting the limits of our resistance.

All we want to do is travel unobstructed along our particular garden path. So just as we move through life scanning the environment for what helps reinforce our self-concept and screening out what threatens it, we also put a great deal of effort into resisting what gets in the way on our particular path. Not only is such resistance futile, it also uses up an incredible amount of energy.

Scanning, screening out, and resisting are the triumvirate of activities that keep us assembling the world in a particular way. The more successful we are at them, the more comfortable we become in our well-worn ruts to the point where we can’t see or imagine any other way to be or think or feel. It’s like a narrowing of the arteries of the psyche. Yet all these behaviors seem so natural we may not even be aware we’re making choices or doing anything.

The other problem, of course, is that no matter how much we resist something, our resistance won’t make it go away. A great deal of what we resist persists simply because it’s an unalterable part of life. What we resist exists. Acceptance might be a more appropriate response. But whatever we resist may be so important to us that we go to enormous lengths to avoid confronting or dealing with it. That’s the biggest difference between what we simply screen out (ignore) and what we resist (actively work at avoiding).

  • Type 1s are aiming for perfection—and if not that, at least correctness. They want to be irreproachable, at least in their own eyes. Therefore, they resist criticism from the environment. Continue reading

The Assemblage Point

[P]erception takes place because there is in each of us an agent called the assemblage point that selects internal and external emanations for alignment. The particular alignment that we perceive as the world is the product of the specific spot where our assemblage point is located on our cocoon.

Carlos Castaneda, The Fire From Within

I don’t know about cocoons, but I completely understand the concept of the assemblage point. It’s the unique perspective from which we view ourselves, other people, and the world at large. It’s the perspective from which we assemble the world. We aren’t aware we’re doing it. We don’t even know we have an assemblage point. We’re under the impression that what we see “out there” is simply what’s out there. We believe that the way we think and feel and respond is entirely appropriate to whatever it is we’re thinking and feeling about or responding to. The way those other people think and feel and respond, however, is obviously just plain wrong.

Assemblage point and Enneagram type are really pretty similar. They might even be exactly the same thing. And the purpose of identifying one’s assemblage point is the same as the purpose of identifying one’s Enneagram type: to recognize it in order to escape from its trap.

[F]irst of all, one must become aware that the world we perceive is the result of our assemblage point’s being located on a specific spot on the cocoon. Once that is understood, the assemblage point can move almost at will, as a consequence of new habits.

That makes it sound easy when, of course, it’s anything but. Continue reading