Faith / Spirituality / Religion

Issue 07 | The Artistic Leader

Artisan Composer ISFP - Martha Graham

Different Kinds

What does it mean to be spiritual? The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, which means “breath.” Where there is breath, there is life. And when breath ceases, there is death. To put it simply, to be spiritual means to truly live. The great William Wallace (in Braveheart) once said, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” To live, we must be surrounded by air, and to live, we must pursue that which gives us life. Dr. Keirsey believed that different temperaments each pursue life differently. What invigorates one person’s life, can be the very thing that destroys another’s. What one breathes in can be wonderfully intoxicating, while for another the very same ingestion can be utterly toxic.

We believe that temperament has a significant impact on what will make a person feel most alive. And we believe that the spiritual pursuit must include elements of connection with what brings life for you. Life will have greater meaning to the extent that you engage your nature. To live with all of you, to know the good, the bad, the lovely, and the ugly that is you. Just like we need to be surrounded by air to stay alive, each of us needs to be surrounded by certain elements that are life giving for us if we are to thrive. In this article, we explore some of the intricacies of what gives life and breath to each of the temperaments.

as Sensuality.

The pursuit of the Artisan is sensuality. We are to, “Eat, drink, and be merry.” Artisans believe that, “Life is short.” And they want to live with total freedom, to be able to fully express themselves, the way they want, when they want, without restriction. They seek to be intoxicated by all that life has to offer. To live sensually and hedonistically. They are enthralled by the physical, wanting to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell that which is beautiful. The human body is meant to be naked, and to be stimulated to the max as often as possible, in ways that are new and exciting. For Artisans, spirituality is about surrendering to the moment that brings deep delight. In sacred literature Artisans were the ones who struggled with lust. They celebrated the sexual nature of being, and creatively explored the different ways to make life orgasmic.

as Respectability.

The pursuit of the Guardian is respectability. We are to, “Earn our keep.” Guardians believe that, “Life is unpredictable.” And they want to be prepared for the rainy days, to create safety, and build security in the midst of uncertainty. They seek to restrain themselves from wasteful indulgence. To exercise prudence and discretion. They are disciplined and approach life carefully, believing that any misstep can derail them from the path of godliness. The human body is meant to be clothed in righteousness, and covering one’s shame is what restores dignity to one’s being. For Guardians, spirituality is about surrendering our will to the greater good. In sacred literature Guardians were the ones who struggled with fear. They celebrated honor and purity of being, and did whatever they could to uphold a higher standard for living.


The pursuit of the Idealist is love. We are to, “Love one another.” Idealists believe that, “Life is miraculous.” And they want to live authentically and in harmony with others, to live in ideality and wonder, away from the hurts and wounds of life. They seek to engage the soul, and to live from the heart. To find their true selves and live their best lives. They are full of wonder and view life romantically, believing that there is a reason for everything. The human body is meant to be transcended, yet is to be taken care of, for it is an earthly vessel that carries that which is eternal. For Idealists, spirituality is about surrendering to the mystical, and to be nurtured by the divine. In sacred literature Idealists were the ones who struggled with inner peace. They celebrated the wonder of being, and engaged intimately with the divine.

as Knowledge.

The pursuit of the Rational is knowledge. We are to, “Seek wisdom and to gain understanding.” Rationals believe that “Life is explainable.” And they want to unravel and solve the mysteries of the universe, in order to provide those explanations and solutions. They seek to use the full capability of their minds. To innovate and to evolve. They are intellectually curious, utterly willful in their quests, and supremely self sufficient. The human body is meant to be studied, analyzed, dissected, scrutinized, and explored in order to gain greater insight into the nature of humanity. For Rationals, spirituality is about surrendering to no one. In sacred literature Rationals were the ones who struggled with pride. They celebrated the advancement of the human being, and were irreverent to the suppressive establishments of their times.

Temperament and the Inner Life

All of us have inner voices. We listen, ignore, resist, or yield to them all the time. Some believe in hearing from God directly, while others believe that it’s just self-talk, or it’s the residual of past influences imprinted on our psyche. Irrespective of what you believe, what is certain is that we all have thoughts.

Making Sense of Spirituality

Each of the temperaments finds comfort in the divine when it does something for them. What makes sense for one person may not seem all that sensible to another. That is why spirituality is a different journey for each of us. In this article we take a glimpse at the central themes of the spiritual pursuit for each of the temperaments.