religion & philosophy

Which periodic table element are you?

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When I was a kid, someone pointed out that the shape of the inside of your ear was similar to the shape of how you looked as a fetus. At the time, I chalked it up to one of those fantastical things kids say to exaggerate a correlation. But years later in advertising school, one of my professors had us gather the leaves from a lemon tree and then look at how it compared to the shape of the tree itself. Amazingly, the veins of the leaf seemed to match the branches of the tree, and the leaf’s shape was similar to the tree’s overall shape. Could it be possible that the parts of a living object represent the whole? And if so, how far back could we go to see similarities of ourselves as a society—to the lines in our palms, the DNA in our genes, or even the atoms in our bodies?

2a.FetusShapedLikeEarear

Shortly after my design teacher pointed out the correlation between lemon leaves and the tree, I began to notice many more correlations. First with the shape of an orange and the round orange trees they came from. Then how maple leaves looked like spiky-topped maple trees and oak leaves had more rounded edges like an oak tree. It got me thinking about the science behind reflexology and if there was something to palm reading. In kabbalah they say that just as an entire lake is reflected in one drop of its water, so too is all of reality reflected in ourselves.

4a.MapleLeaf4b.MapleTree

Over the years, I’ve noticed patterns within patterns within patterns—in how cycles of history continually repeat themselves, how the patterns in our minds reflect the patterns in our lives, and how the patterns in smaller objects relate to the bigger whole. More recently, I became aware of how the functions of an electron mirror our spiritual growth, which I wrote about in “The Science of Raising Your Vibration.”  Even more recently I noticed how the properties, organization, and categorization of the periodic table elements seem to relate to the different kinds of people in the world.

The periodic table has always fascinated me in how all the elements that make up our world fit into this nice and neat categorization as opposed to being completely in disarray and random as our world appears to be. It makes the creator of this universe out to be pretty anal—whether that creator be God, some computer programmer, a higher version of myself, or plain old random mutations and science. Not so random methinks.

Perhaps even more fascinating for me, is that the man generally credited with the publication of the table is a guy by the name of Dmitri Mendeleev. My Hebrew (really Yiddish) name is Mendel, and it means to heal—as in “mend.” I’ve discovered that throughout history, the name Mendel continually pops up for those who’ve managed to seemingly make sense out of chaos.

So Mendeleev organized all the elements into a neat periodic table; Gregor Mendel took the complexities of heredity and simplified it into a four-box grid; Lafayette Mendel broke down foods to their nutritional aspects, discovering Vitamins A & B, and deciphered how they related to diet, Menachem Mendel Schneerson simplified the ancient stories, rituals, and traditions of ancient Judaism and made them relevant to modern society. Then there’s me, a Mendel who’s attempting to translate the complex workings of our universe into a way the average layman can understand.

There seems to be a power in a name—all names. That’s why they’re so important. Just as the day that you are born relates to your horoscope, the definition, symbolism and numerological significance of your name relates to who you are—almost like a sort of programming code. Science shows us that every element in this universe has a coded signature that relates to its properties and potential. Much like periodic table elements, I believe that we too can be broken down based on our birth date, name, and energy signature—the composition of who we are. I believe that this signature is shaped and reshaped by our soul, but it’s not even necessary to believe in the spirit to see patterns within peoples’ personalities that correlate to periodic table elements.

As a quick review of eleventh grade chemistry, the periodic table is a tabular configuration of the basic elements that make up all the matter on our world…and beyond. Each element is organized chronologically according to its atomic number and electron configurations and grouped according to its recurring chemical properties.

6.periodic table

For example, the column at the far right are the noble gasses. They are odorless, colorless gasses with low reactivity. Noble gasses have a complete outer shell, meaning that their last orbit of electrons around the atom’s nucleus is already complete, so they don’t need to combine with another atom for fulfillment. Each shell can contain only a fixed number of electrons. The 1st shell can hold up to two, the 2nd up to eight, the 3rd up to 18, the 4th up to 32, etc. Just like people, the atoms want to be complete. In the case of the noble gasses, they feel like they already are, so, they act just like nobility—they don’t interact with the mere common element.

The noble gasses remind me of the types of people who are more introverted and don’t need to interact with others to feel complete. I often wondered what makes some people more social—enjoying the feeling of striking up conversations with others and being around people, while others are perfectly content to be left alone and rarely initiate conversations. I think it has to do with our various energy signatures. Some people need energy and so must seek it out from interactions with others. These people actually tend to do very well in our social society where networking is key. Those who tend to prefer their alone time gravitate more towards solo careers as freelancers, writers, artists, accountants, scientists, designers, and various desk jockies and Mac monkeys. These people can be very successful at what they do, but usually rely purely on raw talent, intelligence, and skill rather than who they know.

While I enjoy interacting with interesting people, I actually fall into this more introverted category. I don’t socialize in gyms or fraternize at bars after work. I’m usually surprised when people reach out to me—initiating a social connection—as it has usually never even crossed my mind to do the same for them. Nothing personal, I just feel like I have enough to keep me busy on my own. Usually, however, I’m glad when people decide to connect.

8.02_helium

Besides not having this built-in urge to be social, like the independent noble gasses, I just so happen to be an air sign, which seems to relate pretty clearly to gasses since they’re invisible and light like air. This got me thinking. If I fit into the noble gas archetype, does the periodic table represent all kinds of personalities?

Dividing the zodiac elements into the periodic table groups, air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) could be the noble gasses, halogens, and other nonmetals groups. Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) could correlate with the alkali and alkaline earth metals, fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) could be the equivalent of the lanthanoids and actinoids groups, and finally the water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) could relate to the transition and post transition metals as well as the metalloids.

Some columns of elements need just one electron to feel complete. All of the halogen group fits into this category, and they are highly reactive. Personality-wise, they would be the most aggressive, needy people. Just as the halogens are harmful or even lethal in sufficient doses, people who are of this personality type are said to be toxic—they are the drama queens and haters always looking for a little energy to live off of. The less dramatic halogen types are energy vampires who talk and talk about themselves and their problems hoping to suck out the attention they need to feel fulfilled. For this reason, they need to be around others. They wouldn’t be able to stand living the life of a noble gas.

1.09_fluorine

One particular halogen—fluorine— is so reactive that once it reacts with something it bonds so strongly that the resulting molecule is non-reactive to anything else. Abusive and over-protective husbands are likely fluorine-types. That’s why they are so demanding and jealous of their women, but as long as they are secure in that bond they can usually keep their reactions towards others in check.

9.03_lithium

On the opposite end of the spectrum are those elements that have one electron that they need to give away to feel complete. These include both the earth sign-esque materialistic alkali metals and much of the water sign-esque transition and post-transition metals. While all of those who fit into this category would likely be “givers” those who are of the earthy alkali metals would be more likely to need to give away physical things like money or gifts to feel self-worth while those from the watery transition groups would need to care for others in a more emotional way—either through listening or helping.

11a.57_lanthanum

The fiery lanthanoides are all very reactive, burn easily in air, and are used as catalysts for synthetic products. Similarly, these personality types can act as catalysts to make things happen, or cause them to boil over. Like any other element, they can use their properties for constructive or deconstructive purposes, having both scientific and industrial uses. I would imagine that the lanthanoide personality would be similar—able to help bring about amazing inventions and start-ups but also able to destroy just as easily.

11b.89_actiniumAnother firey-type element group, the actinoides are all radioactive and release energy upon decay. Those in this personality group would likely be prone to frequent meltdowns or temper tantrums. At the same time though, when they hit it big, they can be explosive. Rock stars, divas, narcissistic politicians, and fame-feeding movie stars all fit into this group.

Obviously, this article isn’t meant as a thorough exploration of each element and its properties, but a basic introduction as to how this could all work. Those more familiar with chemistry could certainly weigh in on other correlations and how they relate to our personalities and how we interact and react with one another. Do certain element personalities or groups get along better with those that form the best molecules together—like hydrogen and oxygen? Or would it take two hydrogen types to interact with an oxygen to make an emotionally balanced H2O relationship?

I think the most interesting correlation for me is how some people seem to need energy, others seem to want to give some away, while others seem to prefer to just keep what they have. And the interactions between these various types create for some very interesting group dynamics. The various properties of each periodic table group also seem to have very similar correlations among peoples’ personality types. Who knows, there may be a whole new metaphysical genre shaping up here—a whole new school of the occult. Perhaps one day people will speak of astrology, numerology, reflexology, palmology, and elementalism—or whatever they decide to call it. Twenty years from now when it starts getting popular you’ll swear it sounds like something you read about years earlier but for the life of you, you won’t be able to recall where.

Even if I am onto something here, what’s the point? How could this knowledge actually help us? Well, I think knowing the forces that motivate us is very helpful. It helps us to see why we act the way that we do and gives us the power to choose whether we want to be so easily manipulated by our particular energy signature. While our personality types may initially be dictated by whatever element we are associated with, I actually think we gain the most energy by going against our set type. So those who are already fulfilled should force themselves to interact with others, those who need energy should instead give theirs away, and those who need to give should learn how to take which will be challenging for them. Going outside our comfort zone would give us the most growth, cause our spiritual electrons to jump orbits, and result in light. And that being said, I guess I should stop being so antisocial at the gym.

May Your Inner Spark Grow To Light Your Way,
The Layman

Cover image and other element caricatures by Kaycie D: http://kaycie-kcd.blogspot.ca/search/label/senior%20thesis

Marc Oromaner is a spiritual author and speaker who teaches how we can discover our destiny using clues found in the media and in our lives. His book, The Myth of Lost deciphers the hidden wisdom of the hit TV show and explains how we can use this wisdom to overcome our own challenges. His blog, "The Layman's Answers To Everything" points out the patterns that run through all great stories including our own. These patterns are clues that are meant to guide us towards a life full of love, light, and fulfillment.
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