Four Type Systems

This blog is about all sort of personality systems based on four categories.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Greek Humors and the Elements:

The elements are correlated with the humors in many ways, as previously posted.

sanguine is hot (yang) and wet (yin)
phlegmatic is cold and wet (both yin)
choleric is hot and dry (both yang)
melancholic is cold (yin) and dry (yang)

"Blood / Sanguine Humor / Air

     Blood is Hot and Wet, or Warm and Moist.  It is the very essence of vitality and health, nutrition and growth.  Blood is perfect nourishment perfectly digested.  Its receptacle or home is in the arteries and blood vessels.  Blood carries the Vital Force and Innate Heat, which power cellular metabolism.  The essence of blood is exchange and contact, as it is the basic nutritional and metabolic currency of the organism.  Blood has an Attractive virtue, or force, since all cells, organs and tissues have an absolute need for it, and are therefore attracted to it.

Phlegm / Phlegmatic Humor / Water

     The Phlegmatic humor is Cold and Wet.  It includes not just phlegm, but all the other clear fluids of the body:  mucus, saliva, plasma, lymph, and serous and interstitial fluids.  Together, these fluids cool, moisten, nourish, lubricate, protect, and purify the organism.  The Plegmatic humor has an Expulsive virtue, or force, which flushes out impurities, transports vital nutrients, and helps eliminate wastes.  The home of the Phlegmatic humor is in the veins and lymphatics.  The Phlegmatic humor nourishes the body on a deep and fundamental level.

Yellow Bile / Choleric Humor / Fire

     The Choleric humor is Hot and Dry.  It is produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder.  Bile has a hot, caustic nature and a Digestive virtue, or force, which gives it a strong affinity with the other digestive secretions of the middle GI tract.  Fire and bile digest and consume, metabolize and transform.  Digestively, bile powers digestion; digests, assimilates and excretes fats and cholesterol; and acts as a natural laxative to stimulate intestinal peristalsis and defecation.  It also colors the stool brown.  Systemically, Choleric residues in the bloodstream thin the blood, enabling it to penetrate through the finest capillaries; empowers the inflammatory response; and opens up the lungs and respiratory passages as a surfactant. 

Black Bile / Melancholic Humor / Earth

     Black Bile is Cold and Dry.  Healthy black bile is a normal sediment of blood, or the Sanguine humor.  Black Bile has a Retentive virtue or force, and a cooling, drying, astringing, precipitating, condensing, coagulating, solidifying effect on metabolism necessary for building the bones, teeth, and all dense, solid structural connective tissues of the body.  Digestively, Black Bile awakens the stomach and appetite, solidifies the stool, and enables the digestive organs to hold on to their contents long enough to process them properly.  Systemically, Melancholic residues in the bloodstream thicken the blood, enabling it to clot; this is vitally important in wound granulation, scar tissue formation, and all structural repair of the body.  Black Bile also governs mineral metabolism and bone formation.

The Psychological Effects of the Humors

     The Four Humors are not just gross, physical substances.  They also pervade the whole organism as subtle vapors, even affecting the mind, thoughts, and emotions.  And so, the Four Humors also have psychological effects, making them capable of affecting both body and mind:
     Blood promotes a feeling of joy, mirth, optimism, enthusiasm, affection and wellbeing.
     Phlegm induces passivity, lethargy, subjectivity, devotion, emotionalism, sensitivity and sentimentality.
     Yellow Bile provokes, excites and emboldens the passions.  Being inflammatory, irritating and caustic, it provokes anger, irritability, boldness, ambition, envy, jealousy and courage.
     Black Bile makes one pensive, melancholy and withdrawn.  It encourages prudence, caution, realism, pragmatism and pessimism.
     The Four Humors tend to have negative effects on the mind and emotions only when they're excessive or aggravated.  Otherwise, they can also strengthen positive aspects of character."


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