You’ve said it is important think beyond just the twelve basic type categories. What does this look like?
For ease of communication, the personality descriptions here have been made as if there are 12 relatively discrete personality categories. In fact Early, Middle, Late-Axis dynamics lie along a continuum. And there is no such thing as a purely Upper or purely Inner personality; we are always dealing with inter-plays between upper and lower poles, inner and outer aspects. To honor the subtleties of our differences, we need to think in terms of dynamic balances.
A few examples help illustrate how “pure types” are the exception rather than the rule. Most political leaders, for example, have Upper/Outer personalities centered about mid-way between Middle and Late-Axis. They need both the Middle’s capacity to manage people and the Late’s skills with detail, abstraction, and appearance to be successful. We see a continuum ranging from Jessie Helms on the far Middle-Axis end of the spectrum to JFK toward Late. President Clinton has more lower than most politicians (Middle with a touch of Late) as evidenced by his propensity for Big Macs, his Saxophone, and his comfort in talking with the “common folk” in town meetings. George W. Bush shares this characteristic though with a dead-on Middle temperament and lower Capacitance.
We can use the sexuality of familiar Hollywood figures to illustrate styles along the continuum between Middle/Lower and Late/Lower. The sex appeal of a Demi Moore or Michelle Pfeiffer is pretty purely Late/Lower. Each exudes an easy, refined sensuality. The sexual appeal of a Madonna or a May West, on the other hand, is largely Late/Lower, but with a distinct Middle/Lower edge. We are never too far from the rebel and a certain need to shock—to the drama of good and evil. Witness Madonna’s crucifix and May West’s pushing of taboo in her famous line, “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just glad to see me.” Dolly Parton takes us even a bit over the line into Middle/Lower. The touches of Middle/Inner and Middle/Upper in her personality make her attraction more “down home,” less seductive, less something of taboo.
Clark Gable or Robert Redford exemplify nearly pure Late/Lower male sexuality—the romantic ideal. With Tom Cruise or Richard Gere we get a touch of Middle; with Tom Selleck or Harrison Ford a bit more; with Burt Reynolds, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Clint Eastwood we again begin to move over the line into Middle. (Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson each have quite a bit of Early).
A few examples of people with primary energetics at the cusp between Early and Middle: Billie Holiday, Mark Twain, Janis Joplin, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Gates, W.C. Fields, Bessie Smith, Mick Jagger.
A few more from the cusp between Middle and Late: Lee Iacocca, Arnold Palmer, Geraldine Ferraro, Sigmund Freud, Barbra Streisand, Dr, Ruth, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sandra Day O’Conner, Princess Diana, Sean Connery, Pat Schroeder, Arthur Ashe.
Occasionally we find “bimodal” personalities, where the primary energetic has dual points of emphasis. The latter can happen when, for example, a person with an Early-Axis personality is born into an Late-Axis family, or where there is a strong cultural influence, say a Late-Axis personality with strong roots in a Middle or Early-Axis culture.