Getting Help: When the Pupil is Ready …

Warren Kinston 3. March 2013 10:00

Warning: This blog is a human story but it has a lot of references to taxonomic architecture.

I know that I can never complete the Taxonomy myself, but it seems important that I get the basics sufficiently clarified so that others can continue and complete the work.  In that regard, I recently had an interesting and gratifying experience that I would like to share with you.

When I talk about «basics», there are two sorts of «basic»: basic principles (not the focus of this blog), and basic content.  In terms of content, the underpinning forms to be discovered and formulated are the single Root Hierarchy, the 7 Primary Hierarchies and their 7 Principal Typologies.  From these 15 patterns, a couple of hundred frameworks await reflective investigators.  (I promise myself that I will use the TOP Studio to provide members with an exact count.)

The Principal Typologies are of enormous importance because  of their impact on our identity.  They have the potential for creating conflict and misunderstanding on the one hand, and for optimizing possibilities and progress on the other.  Also, they each spawn a very large number of frameworks via the Spiral and its derived hierarchies and trees, and via their Q-expansions. So they have been quite a preoccupation.

I am comfortable about most of them: Decision (PH’1) and Inquiry (PH’2) systems were developed decades ago, with identity development (PH’4) and ethical choice (PH’6) following soon after.  Change was initially identified via its Typology which was about approaches to represent reality (PH’3).  This one is interesting because, although I could see an intuitive order of types, long-standing confusion about the primary hierarchy meant that I couldn’t establish the formal taxonomic order. 

I had speculated on approaches to using language (PH’5) in the 1980s, and started working again on this a few years ago.  I have now reached the point where I am modestly confident and members will soon be able to see the result in the TOP Studio.

So that left just one Principal Typology: the one nested within the 6th Level of Willingness-RL7.

This stumped me.  

I was pretty confident about the Primary Hierarchy, and if my conjectures there are correct, then L6 is learning i.e. learning is the rational-logical expression of willingness.  The Principal Typology can then be predicted to be a set of nested systems within learning i.e. a special form of learning.  These would be alternative methods that indicate how to use the 7 willingness elements for best effect.

I called them «learning systems» for want of anything better.  But what are these learning systems?  How do they manifest in our everyday life?  What is their impact on us?  The truth is that I didn’t have a clue.  Like everything else in THEE, it had to be obvious.  But like everything else in the taxonomy, it is only obvious after you know the answer!

Could learning theory help give me any insight?  I Googled and read a bit around ideas of learning but I got no joy there.  I dug through my notes and found various approaches to learning that had appealed to me in my general reading over the years.  Ever heard of “illuminative learning”?  The academic literature was simply a blooming buzzing confusion.  Too complicated for me.  I made contact with a colleague on who is an academic in the field and seemed oriented to practicality.  Perhaps if I worked with him the answer would become clear.  At least it would save me the effort of reading masses of arcane academic material.  He was keen but currently too busy, so we set a date for reuniting later this year. is a social network for researchers.  It encourages people to ask and answer questions.  I have now and then answered, but never asked about anything.  So I thought "why not ask now?"  Perhaps someone will have the answer or can point me in the right direction.  What have I got to lose?  I have been impressed by the general level of goodwill there: unlike many dogmatic interactions found on popular science websites like Big Think.

So I worded my question carefully as I didn’t want to frighten anyone away, and I posted it in the “Pedagogy and Education” section.  There was a variety of interesting replies, but mostly tangential to my concerns.

But suddenly I realized that I was in the presence of a THEE-natural.  Actually it was the very first respondent.  He suggested a set of fundamental learning methods which were so obvious that I barely gave it any attention.  But he came back again into the discussion and I suddenly realized that he had provided at least 4 or 5 of the PH'7 methods/types, and his natural way of explaining made it easy for me to see how they corresponded to the levels of willingness.

In a fever, I worked excitedly on my previous notes and re-ordered and re-adjusted and re-named.  And there it was: the 7th Principal Typology.

And what is it about?  The answer jumped out at me.  It is about “becoming personally effective”. That is obviously based on focusing on something and learning about it.  As others have noticed, most recently Robert Greene, willingly learning is the basis for mastery of your chosen field.  As you become more effective at something, you say you have learned the ropes, or learned the trick.  Your mentors and friends say you have learned how to write, or play the market, or do research, or handle your marriage.  Of course, mastery won't make you a genius, as Americans selling books so often seem to suggest with their examples of Goethe, da Vinci, Darwin, Picasso, Curie and such like.  But it can certainly make you a fine cabinet-maker, or manager, or psychotherapist, or golfer, or musician or whatever.

Whatever it is you want to do, you have to apply willingness if you want to do it as well as possible i.e. become as effective as possible.  These approaches to effectiveness look like learning, because they do indeed involve learning.  But learning functions here uniquely by engaging willingness in particular ways.

So that’s it.  I now have all 7 Principal Typologies.

That’s a great relief.  I can die easy—once I post it.

What about my helper at  I looked him up and you can too.  He has a breadth of knowledge, wide interests and research skills.  His primary disciplines are physics, engineering and computer science.  He works in IT and has mastered over 50 computer languages: but he has also involved himself in other more personal, social and imaginative projects.  Anyway, obviously a great guy!  There have to be more where he came from.



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Warren Kinston is the creator of the THEE-Online website as an open forum for the further discovery and development of THEE. He writes this blog as an escape valve for the excitement and frustrations of the work. More info here.

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