Just as Alchemists of old looked for symmetries in the the world to understand the laws of nature, so I feel I’m finding symmetries to understand the laws of HUMAN nature. Indeed, the process of creating the Nockwood archetypes was a process of identifying symmetries, across time, in our attempts to understand human behavior.
My latest post "Beyond Behavior" found symmetries between “Social Intuitionalism”, and the ideas of Jonathan Haidt, which asserts an intuitive foundation to our ethical and moral values. This morning, connected to another project I’m working on, I was reading materials regarding modes of persuasion and negotiation. This led me to some interesting pieces written by Maria Popova at Brain Pickings summarizing works by Blaise Pascal , Daniel Pink and David McRaney.
Once again, the psychic synchronicity of these concepts felt meaningful to me and opened my mind to some new, potential uses for the Nockwood Archetypes.
Here’s what I discovered. There are 6 core principles that help us change the minds of other people. Persuasion is a much researched topic and there’s a lot of agreement on the core principles. Overall, people do not change their minds based on facts or rational reasoning — we think throwing facts at people will cause them to change the mind, but it rarely works. I’ve spent 30 years evaluating advertising and I’ve learned this is true. What works are the following human, intuitive approaches which work, not because of any causal relationship but because of what Jung might call ‘acausal synchronicity’ — because of ‘synchronicity’, observers believe there is connection, even when one doesn’t exist. What I was most interested in is that these principles of persuasion also seem to align with the six suits of Nockwood (as identified below):
Hearts = Empathize with your opponent. Look into their hearts. Find the truth that matters to them and start from there. Show you understand what they are feeling and connect with this.
Coins = Inspire others to look up from the details. Help them see a bigger picture or an opportunity of which they can be part.
Diamonds = Imagine a better future. Raise their expectations. Look ahead optimistically. Take them to a new world full of new possibilities.
Shields = Defend an irrefutable truth. Revert to an core truth that cannot be denied. Expose tensions between their current position and this truth.
Spades = Shift perspective so that you come at the problem from another side. Counter simplicity of argument with a more complex reality.
Flags = Align to the collective rather than individual temperament. Align to what the group feels/needs/wants rather than your/their personal point of view.
If the Nockwood Archetypes are valuable for anything they are valuable for framing decisions, choices and actions. We tend to think these things as absolute and objective when in reality they are totally contextual (at least that’s what most of the latest thinking and research suggests). Context is everything and how we see things depends on how they are framed. Our mind defines how we see the world and how we see the world is how the world is to us. Inner perception and outward reality are, in this sense, connected…possibly even the same thing. Despite what we’ve been taught by economists and cognitive psychologists, our relationship to the world is subjective, in the same way that the physical world, in the form of quantum physics, can only be explained by the inclusion of subjectivity.
This, I believe, helps to explain the power of the Nockwood Cards. It provides a framework that links the world as we see it to the world as it is. The symbolic framework, and the ritual, makes connections for us between our objective view of the world and our subjective one. The Nockwood Cards are therefore a tool that helps intuition inform our reason and reason inform our intuition.