Kinkajou: : You have some very strong feelings about the self-pres enneagram subtype. So tell us about it.
Erasmus: I believe the self-pres gene is common in the Australian aborigine or the New Zealand Maori population subgroups. This is a very powerful gene indeed. The action of this gene is perhaps best seen in the actions of the Maori in New Zealand when faced with British belligerence.
Lone Surfer: having fun:
in a self pres way. Lone sports may well appeal most to lone (self-pres) people.
This gene is the “self-pres” gene. The self pres gene removes confidence and optimism in the future. There is no conviction that things will go well. The future cannot be taken for granted. Our destiny is what we make of it.
Kinkajou: How can such a gene make a difference?
Erasmus: How many movies have you seen where the native peoples line up against the British and stand there to be shot and killed. Many. Even the Americans fighting the British did this. I believe the self -pres gene, pushed the Maori to act differently. The self pres gene would give you the feeling that you cannot be confident that things will work out well for you, if you stand there waiting to be shot. The self-pres tells you “don’t do it”.
Alone in Yourself
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The Maori built a fortification outside the British city. The British mobilized their army and heavy artillery and attacked. They shelled the Maori fortification and then sent the infantry in to mop up the survivors. Unfortunately the Maori had “dug in”. This was well before the advent of the First World War. One historian commented that there was more artillery fire directed against the Maori fort than at any point on the frontline of the trenches in the First World War.
SelfPres is one of the newer genes. Not like these
The Maori had not only dug in on the surface but they had also dug in underground as well. They were effectively immune to artillery fire. The artillery fire failed to penetrate the entrenchment. However when the infantry moved in on the fortification to mop up the Maori defenders they found themselves in even more trouble. The Maori had built firing emplacements within their fortifications. They were firing within the trenches through slits in their firing emplacements at the invading British troops. The British infantry never had a chance.
The final outcome. The Maori were the only native people in the world to fight the British Army to a standstill. The British were forced to deal with them and to make a treaty. They had to follow their own treaty, something that did not happen very often to native peoples in the rest of the world.
The self pres gene is the key element that probably gave these native peoples the self preservation Drive to organise against the British, form coalitions, rotate their troops to the fort and even plan that each fortification has an escape route. Often in many battles the Maori were surrounded by superior British forces, but at the last minute they would slip away.
Doing things alone- the self pres way
Kinkajou: The self pres gene is a very important gene indeed.
Erasmus: Yes. However by itself the self pres gene, is not usually a driving or volition gene, except where danger or self-preservation is crucial.
Self pres can be a very vicious gene as well. I remember reading reports of how cannibalistic Australian aborigine tribes treated captives. To stop escape and keep the meat fresh, they would break the legs of their captives. The captives could then be eaten at leisure.
Kinkajou: Any more stories with self-pres?
Erasmus: I remember one of my staff who was a social. On one weekend she had arranged breakfast ,morning tea, lunch and dinner on each day of the weekend with different groups of friends.
As a self pres three, I would look on this type of activity with horror. Why would you do it? But let’s make the point: A self-pres can be just a social as the staff are, if there was a reason to do so. As a self pres three, I would just normally not seek to do so. A duck loves to swim but that doesn’t mean it can’t walk. There is a distinction between capability and preference.
Doing things alone- the self pres way
A self pres usually can relate to a “social” person but would have difficulty forming a relationship with a social. There are too many conflicting goals.
Loner: Jim Kiel: Wolfling
Goo: A Typical focus on the self pres is survival. There is nothing in life to be optimistic about. Good things don’t happen, they are made to happen.
Choices are made with an assessment of risk, a point of view that blends well with this genes world view. Self pres does accentuate self-interest. Why return lost property if it can help you? Make sure you’re okay first, before getting involved. Individuality is okay. Self pres thrives on aloofness.
Kinkajou: Everyone needs someone. No one really prefers to be aloof.
Erasmus: Over the years, I have seen many novels written about space travel. One of the problems that writers always travail with is the concept of aloneness. How can someone survive so alone and so far away from others? For a social, to be away from one’s social group and one’s support people would indeed be difficult. For self pres, the problem is more along the lines of "where do I sign up"?
I remember reading about an experiment with students who were left absolutely alone with their thoughts in a soundproofed environment. They had no interaction with anyone or anything. They did have a buzzer which they were told they could press if they felt any distress or discomfort. They were also told that this buzzer would deliver them an electric shock. Many of the experimental subjects shock themselves rather than be absolutely alone for a few hours. A self pres however would thank you for the chance to be alone and to get paid to be alone at the same time.
I remember a young attractive girl I knew who graduated with a computer science degree. She told me she had just been awarded a very prestigious computer maintenance position in a city insurance company. She would be working in the basement with the computer systems. I kept quiet, because I knew it would not last. Indeed within a few months, this "social" girl had quit her job. She had obtained another job again in computers / IT,but this time working in a call centre.
A self pres would probably prefer working in the basement but could quite happily work and call centre. A social would prefer working in the call centre but would have extreme difficulty working in the basement. Horses for courses.
Self pres is a common gene in specific populations but usually is affect swamped by the presence of the more dominant social genes.
The "self-pres" perspective: the vision in isolation
Kinkajou: Strange how a gene with low optimism can help survival. But the price is a different sort of social cohesion: in fact social non-cohesion. Like the enneagram types ( 1-9), the social / sexual / self-pres genes can substantially alter the nature of a society. Witness the difference between Japanese culture and typical western culture: the differences likely to relate strongly with this gene.
But if your head has low opioid levels, surely you would have a different pain threshold as well.
Erasmus: I think you are right. Self -pres is likely to be much more prone to pain issues- and pharmacotherapy as in the enneagram type examples (1-9) can probably make a big difference as well. Adding opioids to a self-pres would likely have the effect of making them a lot more social.
Goo: It appears that we are our brain chemistry. Not really surprising.
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