Seven Energies that drive Your Personality

Divining the reasons behind our actions is a very natural desire. To this end, there are many tests that classify basic personality types, test one’s suitability for a job, or test for some particular traits. All these tests are called “psychometric” and are based on research in the field of occupational psychology, which is meant to give these tests credibility.

When we deal with people, we want to know as much about them as possible so that we can avoid unpleasant surprises. Similarly, we want to know about our own true nature, so that we can focus on our strengths and manage our weaknesses. Since time immemorial, philosophers and psychologists have attempted to understand human nature with these very goals. One of the oldest methods is found in Indian philosophy, based on Samkhya. The Samkhya system provides an interesting and novel approach to the prediction of our actions. The RST Personality Quotient test is based on the Samkhya philosophy of Triguna.

What is Samkhya school of thought? A major objective of Indian philosophy, especially the Samkhya, is to explain methods that can lead us to acquire prefect knowledge – not just about objects existing in this world, but also the rules of the world and the events happening in it. Samkhya is one of the oldest of Indian philosophies. The doctrines of Samkhya philosophy are found in the Bhagwat-Gita, the Upanishads and the Mahabharata. The basic tenets of Samkhya can be clearly seen in Jainism, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisesika and Vedanta.

According to the Samkhya School, the universe is made from three Gunas, called Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The Sanskrit term “Guna”, in its ordinary sense, means the ‘quality’ or ‘energies’ or ‘characteristics’ of nature. Sattva(S) defines goodness – the energy that is ‘spiritual’ in nature. Rajas(R), on the other hand, is concerned with passionate action – the emotional energy that drives action. Tamas(T), in a similar vein, is associated with inertia – the inertia of the body – i.e. potential energy. These three energies are eternally bound to one another and are in a constant state of flux; they each try to overpower, support, produce, and intimately mix with one another.

Logically, if we determine the different levels of these three energies and their combinations within us, we would be able to predict, to some extent, the basis of our true nature and the play of our personality. The figure below explains these three basic energies and their four combinations that drive our personality.

Recall your grade school art classes, and the idea of the ‘color palette’, with three primary colors. A combination of any two primary colors - in this case the principal energies –produce a different color. Finally, a combination of all three primary colors would again create a new color. In this analogy, the color palette would be your personality. In essence, we must focus on understanding and managing the presence of these energies within us. Thus, our personality is the outcome of the play of these three energies – Spiritual, Emotional and Potential. Thus, the entirety of our energy composition can be broken down as follows:

Figure: Seven energies that drive your personality

Principal Drivers:

  •  Spiritual energy (S): It is your spirituality that inspires one’s understanding of goodness, truth, purity, and knowledge through reason and perception.
  •  Emotional energy (R): Your emotions and their intensity provides the energy to realize a cause, or pursue an interest, or fulfill a purpose in life.
  •  Potential energy (T): It is the stored energy of your physical body – your present state. It is also linked with the inertia – the power of resistance through which everybody tries to preserve their status quo.

Composite Drivers:

  •  Transcendental energy (RS): the combination of your spiritual and emotional energies. It drives your spiritual emotions which determines your focus on worldly, religious and virtuous actions.
  •  Active energy (RT): The combination of your emotional and potential energies. It drives your physical activity which determines how physically energetic are you. Your energetic efforts have a direct influence on your skill-set.
  •  Intellectual energy (ST): It is the combination of your spiritual and potential energies. It drives your mental activity which influences your mind in the pursuits of learning, research and innovation.

Key Driver: Values, beliefs and attitudes

  •  Vital energy – Prana (RST): It is the source of our emotional, spiritual and potential energies. Prana bridges everything external and everything internal together as ONE. So anything even your breath is capable of affecting and altering every other thing. Your vital energy influences your values, beliefs and attitudes that shape your actions toward yourself, one another, the planet and the universe.

The levels of these energies define the way you express yourself to the outside world. These seven energies have different levels in each one of us, and can be broadly classified in a five-point scale ranging from very low to very high. All seven energies are always operational, and drives our actions. Some energies are more pronounced at some times. Every one of us have a unique combination of these seven energies which becomes the driving force of our personality.

Based on the range of each energy for a person, we arrive at a unique set of energies for each one of us. Mathematically speaking, the Samkhya school of thought, interpreted through the RST Personality Quotient, leads to a distinct possibility of 78,125 types of personalities. This seems certainly more realistic than the 16-personality scale of personality tests based on Jungian psychology!

Our personality is a sum total of these seven energies driving our true nature. However, at any given time only one of the principal drivers is dominant, be it spiritual energy or emotional energy or potential energy, along with its combinations. Therefore, one’s personality will be driven by one of the following three sets at a given point in time:

  1. Spiritual energy is dominant with its combinations: S with RS, ST, and RST.
  2. Emotional energy is dominant with its combinations: R with RS, RT, RST
  3. Potential energy is dominant with its combinations: T with RT, ST, and RST.

Therefore, this TEQ®model represents the dynamic nature of an individual’s personality.

TABLE: The seven energies, their attributes and influences

Spiritual energy (S) Spirituality It influences us toward goodness, truth, purity, knowledge through reason and understanding.
Emotional energy (R) Passionate action It provides emotional energy for action to realize a cause, or pursue an interest or fulfill a purpose in life.
Potential energy (T) Inertia The physical body and its power of resistance to preserve the present state.
Transcendental energy (RS) Spiritual emotions Spiritual emotion is basically a state of experiencing Divine within ourselves and others.
Intellectual energy (RT) Ideas/opinions It influences our capacity for imagination, recognition, and appreciation, and is also responsible for processing feelings and emotions.
Active energy (ST) Skills This energy builds our essential skills (communication etc.), work skills (domain specific) and life skills (Interpersonal).
Vital energy(RST) Values, beliefs, attitudes Also called ‘Prana’ - this influences our values, beliefs and attitudes. It shapes our actions toward ourselves, one another, the planet and the universe.



The RST Personality Quotient is meant to understand our true nature at a given point in time; think of it as a ‘milestone’ in our journey of personal growth and the understanding of others.

© 2017 Copyright Satish Modh

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