Late Axis

Picture 1Late-Axis patterns correspond to the finishing and polishing stage in formative process—the developmental period that turns our attention to questions of detail.  Rational/material intelligence orders experience, bringing emphasis to the intellect and to the more refined (manifest) aspects of the emotional and the esthetic.  Being that Late-Axis is the most natively outer of energetics, Lates tend to function most easily and efficiently in the external world.

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A few words from well-known Lates:  From Francis Bacon, “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.” From Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “’Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” From Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “In a word, I am always busy, which is perhaps the chief reason I am always well.” From John F. Kennedy, “In times of turbulence and change, it is more true than ever that knowledge is power.” From Bill Blass, “When in doubt wear red.”  From Ted Koppel, “Look … ours is a business of appearances, and it’s terribly important to appear to be self-confident … the minute you give evidence of doubt, people are going to eat you alive.” From Alexander Dumas, “Nothing succeeds like success.”  From T.H. Huxley, “Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense.” From Sophie Tucker, “I have seen poor and I have seen rich.  Rich is better.” And from Bertrand Russell, “To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization.”

Lates often become professors, writers, lawyers, CEOs, scientists, fashion models, ballet or modern dancers, Wall Street financiers, marketers, or actors.  More than with any other Axis, various individuals can differ widely in their inclinations.   Within Late-Axis we find the people who are most rational in their perspective, and also those who tend most toward the romantic.  We find the people who are most materialistically driven, and at once many of those most committed to artistic and intellectual pursuits where monetary remuneration is often slight.  We find the people most aggressively in the world, and also many of those most internal and reflective in their proclivities. (A look to the patterning diagram helps explain.  It is here that we see the greatest natural separation between poles.)

Some familiar Lates include:  Walter Cronkite, Marie Curie, Carl Sagan, Julia Roberts,  Sammy Davis, Jr., Elizabeth Taylor, Jonas Salk, Donald Trump, Alistair Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Bertrand Russell, Mikhail Gorbachev (really more Middle than Late, but notable because he embodies significantly more late than any previous Soviet leader), Ted Turner, Harry Belafonte, Gloria Steinem, Woodrow Wilson, Johnny Carson, Steve Martin, Michael Jackson, Peter Lynch, Clark Gable, Kenneth Clark, Mikhail Borishnikov, Peggy Fleming, William F. Buckley, Norman Rockwell, and Robert Redford. (The word “celebrity” most always refers to a Late.)  Less savory sorts tend to engage in white collar crime, so are less visible and less often prosecuted than Early and Late lawbreakers—Michael Milkin comes to mind, along with those involved over the last decade in the Enron and savings and loan debacles.

Of all temperaments, Lates tend to move most efficiently in the world of form and structure.  This is so whether the focus is ideas, social interaction, or material accomplishment.  When we say someone is scholarly or intellectual, most often we make reference to a Late.  Lates are frequently articulate, able to organize detailed information and to speak persuasively.

Many Lates are quite creative, though their creativity tends to be of a different sort than the whole-cloth originality of Earlies.  Late-Axis scientists are more likely to be recognized for the skill of their experimental work or their ability to bring together existing work to reach new conclusions.  Late-Axis visual artists, dancers, and musicians tend to work from established traditions or written scores and make their primary creative contributions through refinement and subtlety of aesthetic expression.

Because Lates tend to value external achievement, they are usually good at setting and realizing goals, and more often than other temperaments, materially successful.  Of all temperament groups, they tend to be most natively competitive and the most likely to value external reward.

Lates also exhibit the greatest appreciation for grace and the skills of social discourse.  This can take highly formal expression—etiquette and the fine art of diplomacy come naturally to many Lates in a way they don’t with other temperaments. (From Lord Chesterfield, “Politeness and good breeding is absolutely necessary to adorn any, or all, other good qualities or talents.”) As often, it manifests in a simple ease and comfort in the social sphere.  Lates commonly have an interpersonal adeptness and flair not found with other temperaments.  When we say someone has “personality” or “style,” when we say someone is sophisticated or looks “sharp,” we are usually referring to a Late.  More than other temperaments, Lates tend to value and attend to physical appearance—and pull off looking good.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson reflected on having “heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared that the sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.”  Estee Lauder offered this advice: “Never just ‘run out for a few minutes’ without looking your best. This is not vanity—it is self-liking.”)

The qualities that most stand out with Upper pole, Late-Axis personalities are clarity of thought, verbal facility, and the ability to deal easily and effectively with the material world.  With Late/Upper/Inners, the more intellectual of these qualities stand out.  Late/Upper/Inners are particularly adept at cognitive abstraction. University professors, scientific researchers, and non-fiction writers commonly have Late/Upper/Inner personalities.  Late/Upper/Inner is also where we find the greatest appreciation for the formal.  Refinement and etiquette are Late/Upper/Inner notions.  (In the words of Lady Montague, “Civility costs nothing and buys everything.”)

With Late/Upper/Outers, more external and material concerns take center stage.  It is here we find the individuals who are most facile with money and the complexities of the business world—corporate executives, economists, media moguls, and stock brokers.  We also find “serious” media personalities such as television newscasters.  While for Late/Upper/Inners the intellect resides most comfortably in the ivory tower, Late/Upper/Outer apply it to the most worldly concerns.  (In the words of Donald Trump, “As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big.”

With Late/Lower temperaments, qualities such as gregariousness, talent, sensuality, and emotional presence often most stand out.  Of all personality groups, Late/Lowers are most likely to enjoy being “on stage.”  People in the performing arts most always have at least some Late/Lower in their makeup, as do the great majority of fashion models, and television entertainers.   Late/Lowers often have a rich sense of the dramatic, as well as the smoothness and presence needed to pull it off.  Sophia Loren once observed that “sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got, and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.”

Where the energetic balance is Inner, the dramatic focus highlights emotional and esthetic nuance.  Late/Lower/Inner is the most common personality style for people involved in artistic performance—dancers, actors. (Martha Graham called dance “the creative language of the soul.”) Novelists and visual artists of a more realist bent also often find their creative source in Late/Lower/Inner sensibilities, as do interior and fashion designers.  (Note that even the most inner of Late-Axis personalities may pursue what might seem outer pursuits.  Because Late energetics are the most manifest, even sensibilities that are particularly internal may manifest in the world of form..)

With Late/Lower/Outers we find the people with the greatest capacity to project and be visible.  Late/Lower/Outers are those most successful at marketing and promotion (both of things and themselves).  They define the entertainment industry—glamour and celebrity are Late/Lower/Outer words. The more glittery and flamboyant of actors and actresses have Late/Lower/Outer personalities, as often do the more packaged and promoted of popular musicians.  More day-to-day, Late/Lower/Outers may work for advertising agencies or sell high-end clothing or real estate.

As before, partialities express the flip side of common strengths.  Lates who are either highly intellectual or materialistic can have a difficult time with emotional closeness, or anything that requires creative depth.  It is not so much that they fear these things (as can be the case with Early/Uppers and Middle/Uppers), than that they often live a long way from where these things reside. Also, Late/Uppers can lose perspective in their obsession with detail and the ideal.  The other side of the Late/Uppers’ valuing of objectivity and excellence is a common tendency to be overly perfectionistic and often critical.  Achievement is the Late/Upper’s great two-edged sword.  While they tend to do very well at climbing the ladder of success, often they have a difficult time stepping away from it.

Late/Lower failings are related, but more personal.  Excessive outgoingness can translate into feeling distant from oneself—and paradoxically also from others.  Breezy can become only superficial; smooth only slick; romantic seductively manipulative (Oscar Wilde wrote—only half in jest that, “It is only shallow people who judge by appearances.  The true mystery of the world is the visible not the invisible.” His words capture a piece of the truth, but also point toward where the dangers for Late/Lowers lie.) Competitive spirit can become cattiness and backbiting. (Bette Davis once remarked of a fellow actress, “There goes the good time that was had by all.”).  Late/Lowers are often tormented by self-doubt—particularly in relation to physical appearance (ironic in that it is they who most easily succeed at accepted standards of beauty.)

With significant splitting, the most common Late/Upper pattern is the “workaholic,” one who uses activity as a way to stay high.  When life situations challenge the ascendant posture, we can see marked anxiety and often suicidal degrees of despair.  The recent popularity of concepts like “stress” and “burnout” point to an increasing willingness to examine the partialities of these patterns.

Splitting with Late/Lower patterns may leave a person feeling estranged, both from themselves and from others.  This can take others by surprise as Late/Lowers are characteristically outgoing and expressive.  Because their connection with feelings, both within themselves and in others, is from the more surface layers of the emotional, it can be easily disrupted. Late/Lower/Inners especially can become frightened and withdrawn.  One of the great  traps for people with this energetic is that their identity is often so tied to being visible, being “on stage,” that they can’t take off their smile and admit their aloneness and confusion..  Not surprisingly, eating disorders are especially common in Early/Lower young people.  For related reasons, Late/Lowers often have a difficult time with the changes of life’s later years.

The person with a Late/Upper personality tends to carry their Aliveness predominantly at the body surface, and vertically in the regions of the face, head, and hands.  Whereas the either/ors of Middle-Axis dynamics divide the body in the general region of the diaphragm, Late-Axis distinction occurs more cervically, giving us the classic separation of mind and body.  The musculature tends to be taut and the body lean.  Where there is significant splitting, both movements and tissue quality tend toward the rigid.

For Late/Lower personalities, charge tends to be distributed fairly evenly over the body surface, with some concentration in the face and genitals.

Some Creative Systems personality cards we might expect to find selected by people with primarily Late-Axis personality structures:

Late/Upper/Inner:

“I feel very at home in the world of ideas.  I have a keen analytical mind and value few things more than a good concept.”

“I like to relax listening to classical music or reading a well-written essay.”

“I make lists.  Sometimes I even make lists of lists.”

Late/Upper/Outer:

“I set clear goals and I generally know what I want.  Because of this, I usually get it.”

“Most of the world’s problems are, in the end, economic.”

“I don’t like to admit it, but I can be pretty competitive.  I like to win—at work, at play, at love, at life.”

Late/Lower/Outer:

“I would make a good TV news person.  I’m articulate, concerned, and present myself well.  And I suspect I would feel quite comfortable in front of a camera.”

“I was usually quite popular in school.  Social things came easily for me, and people responded to my outgoing personality.  I’m still the kind of person who can take a dull party and bring it to life.”

“Dressed to kill.”

Late/Lower/Inner:”I like performing.  There are few things more exhilarating doing something that has deep beauty in a way that really connects with an audience.”

“I love the feel of silk pajamas.”

“I can be a bit over-excitable.  People say they like this in me—they see me as a “fun” person.  But sometimes it gets in the way.  I get scattered and people think I’m less intelligent that I really am.”

Famous Lates within the various quadrants of poles and aspects:

 

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