Well - no. Definitely not any sort of Myers Briggs. To be clear - today's post is much lighter-hearted than most of the previous ones. Seriously. This book came from the humor section of the Borders bookstore located near my hometown once upon a time. You can read about it on Amazon.com here. And - I promise - if you actually do the little puzzle in it with some friends - you'll get a laugh or two at least.
What I like about this book - or any other sort of personality or temperament test or sorter - whether it's hilarious or scholarly - is the simple way they reveal how differently we each think and see the world. That this particular book came from the humor section of a bookstore makes it, maybe a little less intimidating - there are no lengthy or expensive tests to take on-line with endless clicking and clicking ... and more clicking - only in the end to find that the test-creators refuse to give you your results until you've duly handed over your e-mail, phone number, address, first born etc. Pfft.
The origins of this are possibly ancient Sufi, or Greek, or late 90's New York City yuppies. This book is surely a mix of all of that with a dash of Freud tossed in. You can make your own mind up. I picked the book up from Borders one morning when I'd dropped my car off for repairs at a garage nearby and wandered into the store as a more engaging and suitable space for me to pass the time and wait than the garage's lobby.
"The Cube" is supposed to reveal your perspective on life and more through merely six questions about how you see or visualize. Obviously - since there are only 7 questions - this is a see-into-your-mind game that is long on questions and offers zero answers. I'm not actually sure it really belonged in the humor section of Borders - but I understand why they didn't place it in the psychology section. (no - it wasn't mis-shelved). To cube someone - and I bet you will cube someone - is to ask them these six questions and compare what they see to what you see.
Since the cube is heavily visual - you'll want to start by clearing your mind. Here are the six questions. It may be helpful to take notes on your answers. You'll only get to "cube" yourself for the first time once - so don't scroll to the bottom and then do it - do it as you go. It'll only take a couple of minutes.
1. Picture a desert.
With this question and all the subsequent ones - you'll want to actually pause and imagine this desert. You'll want to take note of all that desert's features as well as time of day, etc. There is no "right" kind of desert to imagine - so whatever you picture - is what you picture.
2. There is a cube in the desert.
As above - you want to give yourself time to note all the details you can about the cube you see; size, position, material, ...
3. There's a ladder in the desert.
Again - note size, condition, type, material, color etc. about what you see.
Once you've got that ...
4. A horse is in the desert.
So now you have a desert with a cube, a horse and a ladder. We're over half way done. Got your picture clear in your mind?
5. Somewhere in the desert is a storm.
Once again - note what kind, where, size, severity etc.
And now - after all that - Lastly ...
6. Flowers appear in the desert.
You know what to do by now - what kind of flowers, where, how many, color, and so on.
Okay. That's it. That's the whole cube.
Here's the key.
The way you see the desert - is the way you see life. The way you see the cube - is the way you see yourself. The way you see the ladder - is the way you see your friendships. The way you see the horse is the way you see your significant other. The way you see the storm is the way you see life's difficulties. And the way you see the flowers is the way you see things of your creation - either children, projects or ideas.
That's the whole thing. The book notes - and in my experience this is true - there's little error in how people picture what. For instance - I've never "cubed" someone who said "I'm the desert" or "the cube is my husband." Which - is interesting. The cube uses basic association to interpret the way you see things - so someone who sees their cube on the ground - is "down to earth" or "grounded" whereas someone who sees their cube as floating in the air is "out there" maybe - whereas someone who sees their cube as precariously balanced on one edge is - you guessed it - on edge.
So - for instance - I've always pictured my desert as very hot, devoid of plants and animals, with huge mountain-like dunes - and my cube, a house-sized acid-washed metal thing in the shade of one of those dunes.
So - there you go. Have fun. Enjoy. Don't take it too seriously. :D