Some factors, needs, desires, traits, goals that seem inconsistent can be reconciled with a simple double axis chart like the one I have drawn above. This reconciliation can occur among two or more people, or inside one person. The chart helps us to see the conflict or inconsistency in a more visual way, or, as I often say, to solve it pictographically. (Click for more about the pictographic path.)
Let's use the example of a child custody dispute between divorcing parents. One parent wants much predictability in the agreement and the other wants more flexibility. Put predictability on the vertical axis (the lines labeled "x" and "y" are axes) and flexibility on the horizontal. The goal might be to find a solution in box 3 which is high in both predictability and flexibility. Far to the right on the "x" or horizontal axis and high up on the "y" or vertical axis is represented by box 3, just as low in both factors would be box 1.
Often, the parents discussing and describing what each of the boxes looks like for the family will help to resolve the conflict. Perhaps they will tell stories about the future in each box. For example, as they describe how box 1 would play out in their children's and their lives, both parties will probably agree that is not a solution either would choose. The discussion though can bring clarity and understanding. Discussion of each of the boxes can be enlightening.
The double axis method can be used for individuals, too. Let's say you want to engage in both stillness
The higher you go on the "y" or vertical axis, the more stillness you experience.The farther right you go on the horizontal axis, the more action you are engaging in.
At least each hour of the day, check to see in which square you are functioning. Before you start the day, you may want to imagine what each box looks and feels like. Perhaps write those descriptions in a journal. You may find that as the days go by, your descriptions will change.
You may ask how one can be both still and active at the same time. How can one function in box 3? The answer to that question is part of the beauty of the double axis method. The two factors begin to synthesize—and at a higher level so they are no longer in opposition.Try it with two seemingly opposite factors you desire; you will see synthesis can happen.
Just like the parents in the above example can synthesize their opposing goals and desires.
If you have been reading my blogs, you know that I value Roberto Assagioli's psychosynthesis. (Click to read some posts from the past about psychosynthesis.) One reason I incorporate psychosynthesis in several of my approaches is because, when using Assagioli's philosophy and methods, the irreconcilable becomes resolvable.
Click to read an article by Assagioli: "The Balancing and Synthesis of the Opposites." The diagrams he uses in the article are triangles but the opposites he describes could easily be placed on a double axis graph with synthesis being in box 3.
Although I don't think double axis charts can help you rule the world as stated in the title of Alan Weiss's book The Great Big Book of Process Visuals (Or, Give Me A Double Axis Chart and I Can Rule the World), I have seen the chart method create some surprising and beneficial real-world magic. If you use it, let me know what happens.