The Seven Centers and Functions
Deborah Ooten, Ph.D. and Beth O’Hara, B.A.
The Enneagram of Personality teaches three centers of intelligence, the body, mind, and heart. Gurdjieff originally taught the Enneagram as a system of transformation through awakening and integrating the seven centers of intelligence and their functions: instinctual, moving, sexual, emotional,...Read More »*
by Eric R. Meyer
The psychology of Enneatype Two seems simple enough. The characteristic helping behavior is obvious and Twos are generally aware of feeling poorly cared for themselves, so we infer that they unconsciously “give to get”, offering care in order to receive it in return. That would make sense,...Read More »*
Descriptions of Enneatype Five concentrate so much on solitary, avoidant habits that people can feel unsure how to relate to Fives in their lives, and as a Five myself, I might wonder why I wouldn’t just prefer to be a hermit in the wilderness. I too kept saying that I...Read More »*
“Spring can really mess you up the most.”
Is that a line from an old song?
Wherever it’s from, it happens to me a little, each Spring…but in a good way.
When the earth is rising to her Spring glory on a sunny day with soft and sumptuous floral scents mingling with the...Read More »*
An Archetypal Journey
Symbols open our mind to new, introspective perspectives. According to Carl Jung, symbols are key to the comprehension of human experience. Myths, dreams images, and various kinds of art all might be considered meaningful expressions of the Archetypes. To say it briefly, the...Read More »*
Living with accountability involves being true to our best selves. Sure, the Enneagram teaches us to pinpoint and work on what’s difficult for us, but it’s also important to stay positive. Chugging through our daily lives and simply trying to survive, we often get settled...Read More »*
Copyright 2017 Version 1
The Core Suffering and Dilemma of the Nine in Recovery
You see the Type Nine—the peacemaker, the easy-going, self-effacing type—sitting at an AA meeting, initially withdrawn and distant, but with a little time clean and sober, a sort of likable, relaxed, I-won’t-bother-you-character, emerges. Gentle, kind, unobtrusive. Not quick...Read More »*
Copyright 2017 Version 1
The Healthy Type Nine
Marty, a lanky Type Nine addiction’s counselor, glides across the room, his presence so seamlessly interwoven and in-flow with the texture, depth, and the psychological energy of the space you hardly see him. He’s beside you, he’s in you, he flows past you, a...Read More »*
Got some conflict?
In organizations, by far the most common request for help we receive is, Can you help us with communications and how to resolve our disagreements without hurt and anger?
There are three main elements people bring to conflicts to solve workplace disagreements. These elements are...Read More »*
I’ve only seen lie detector tests in movies. I think they work by somehow measuring whether you believe what you are saying. If that is the case, a polygraph would not be helpful in revealing the lies that we believe about ourselves. Don’t worry, we have our friend the...Read More »*
If you’re reading this, you’re probably an entrepreneur or interested in becoming one. There are many compelling reasons to forge your own work path, and I invite you to take a moment to think about yours. What outcome are you looking for? What strengths do you bring to the table?
My...Read More »*
The 2016 IEA Global Conference began with a pre-conference conversation between Russ Hudson, Jack Killen, and Mario Sikora about how we come to know what we think we know about the Enneagram. For anyone who may not initially have been interested in such an abstract issue, a panel discussion of...Read More »*
(Note: This article is adapted from a letter Mario Sikora wrote to the IEA board of directors. It is published with his permission as the Nine Points editor felt it might be of interest to our readership.)
Bringing contemporary science and sound scientific methods, logic, and reason to the study of Enneagram...Read More »*
One of the greatest temptations in working with our enneatypes is to judge or blame ourselves for having them. This is common, but futile. We all have types and we all have judgments. And we all have something more than either of these.
David Daniels MD holds that...Read More »*
Crises are some of the most significant human experiences. All of us have encountered them at times. Crises might last from a few short moments to days, even years. However, the primary significance of a crisis is not how long it lasts, but what it means to us. In general,...Read More »*
You know the saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”? Well, in many ways that would be critical thinking transferred to everyday life. There’s nothing strange or academic about it. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Why? Because in that...Read More »*
Type behaviors aren’t merely outdated habits based on simple misperceptions; they continue to be driven by a persistent low-level sense of wrongness in relationship that can be identified and addressed. The type experience is described as regularly failing to achieve the results we want, but no actual result could make...Read More »*
Enneatype patterns are widely understood as childhood “survival strategies”. While the resulting accounts can sound plausible enough, I will argue that this notion is essentially mistaken on both counts. First, type patterns are specifically shaped and driven by negative feelings about relationship that need to be better understood, rather than...Read More »*
The Exquisite Symmetry
Human Biology & the Enneagram
The Enneagram is remarkable in the elegance of its overall symmetry and internal unity. In this essay I wish to examine both the internal unity as well as the symmetry, both in light of the...Read More »*
About the Methodology
The Enneagram is a wisdom of symbols. Understanding its symbols is having a new insight about our human condition. Through the ages, the symbol of the Enneagram has been the target of complementary understandings and insights.
In this 9-Step Enneacoaching methodology, an interpretation of the movements and stations of...Read More »*
Mid-day on Sunday our cable went out. Not just the cable TV, but the phone and internet connection that come in with it as well. It was a rainy day and my four sons had all invited friends over—mostly to watch the football playoffs. Eight boys in total with no...Read More »*
Protective Mechanism of the Eight: I’m in Charge—You Will Not Mess With Me
The Eight defends himself against being rejected or hurt by instinctively creating a protective barrier around him, actually, an impenetrable shell which he mistakes as ‘power.’ He exudes an intense force-field that unwittingly says, “Touch this force field...Read More »*
The Doorway Home: The Path of Surrender
At AA meetings he begins to hear the broken stories of other men, men who have sat where he sits, who have learned one primary lesson: Recovering from addiction is never a solo journey. Never. Ever. It’s a team journey. (Gurdjieff’s words, in In...Read More »*
Copyright 2015, Version 1.0
The Heart and Soul of Type Eight
When men enter Mercy House rehab they meet Dominic, a tall, broad-shouldered, kick-your-ass-swaggering, confidant-as-God, pony-tailed Dominican. An addiction’s counselor with eighteen years clean from heroin, his fierce intensity and street-smart-bust-your-balls-courage greet you like a head-high fastball on the inside corner of...Read More »*
(An excerpt from the upcoming book “The How & Why: Taking Care of Business with the Enneagram: A Practical Framework to Drive more Effective, Efficient, and Sustainable Business Results and Relationships” by R. Karl Hebenstreit, Ph.D.)
One of the most common questions I am asked by fellow Organization Development practitioners is...Read More »*
A Correlation of the Enneagram's Personality Typology and the Holy Ideas with Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter Thirteen, Verses One through Three - Joseph Howell, PhD
Love is the energy from which all other Divine energies flow and therefore can be said to be the mother of all being. In many religious teachings, Love is equated with God and is known as the origin of all creative activity. Paul, an apostle of Christ in the first...Read More »*
Third force blind
Race in the United States. Family secrets. An argument with my husband. Irritation with my friend. A frustrating habit that repeatedly gets in my way.
These all have something in common. They are fraught with inner and outer conflicts which seem insurmountable when I’m in the thick of it.Unsettling....Read More »*
Both the Enneagram and the Chakras are “maps” for consciousness evolution. In other words, they are broad schemes of the integral human development process. However, there are some essential differences between them, namely:
- While the Enneagram distinguishes and describes in detail psychological features for each of nine personality “types” (ennea-types),...Read More »*
I was dining with friends the other night who knew nothing about the Enneagram but were intrigued. (Ah yes, that’s how it starts for many of us.) As I briefly explained the worldviews of the nine types, one asked an insightful question. “Does it help if your partner or...Read More »*
– David Whyte
Author’s note: My desire is to introduce the Enneagram to a wider audience. Connect Ur Dot is an attempt to create curiosity around personal change and increasing self-awareness. I’m using a dot as a metaphor to...Read More »*
So many of the Enneagram enthusiasts that I meet proudly proclaim that they almost never access their stress points. It seems that there is some confusion about movement on the diagram to stress and security – e.g. stress points are bad and security points are good. Likely, this is partly...Read More »*
The traditional “Levels of Development” as taught by Riso and Hudson are not really a description of a developmental process but rather identify levels of psychological and spiritual health and functioning. As Don Riso originally wrote about them, there are nine Levels that define the degree to which the...Read More »*
Achieving meaningful change in our lives is difficult. Shall we be curious why? In a recent article I described how attention to basic scientific method could benefit Enneagram studies, because there’s a large empirical component to this interesting mixture of psychology and spirituality. Here I want to suggest how...Read More »*
There is a saying in zen that becoming enlightened is simple:
Sit straight and breathe. And in 20 years or so you will become instantly enlightened.
Work with the Enneagram strikes me the same way. There is a lot to be said for focusing on the basics. Those basics, to me, are continuing to...Read More »*
It can be baffling when one is trying to determine his/her Enneagram type. Initially, we try to find ourselves in the lists of characteristics. Some fit from all of the types, others don’t fit at all. We may also have thought of ourselves in a particular way. I often thought...Read More »*
There is an old story about a man who finds a bottle on a beach. He uncorks it and out comes a genie who offers the man a choice between...Read More »*
How Can the Enneagram Community Stay True to Its Roots and Embrace Science? Part 3 of 3 by Jack Killen, MD, Eric Meyer, PhD, and C.J. Fitzsimons, PhD
This is the third part of a report on a session at the 2014 IEA Conference, which grew out of an essay in the 2013 issue of the Enneagram Journal. The session used World Café methodology to...Read More »*
Not only clients get stuck in boxes. So do coaches. Each Enneagram style has a corresponding coaching style that will be...Read More »*
It’s easy to become so enamored with the descriptive power of the Enneagram that people skip over its most useful application–equipping us for change. But if we are only navel-gazing and obsessing over the details of description, we are doing little more than counting angels on the head of a...Read More »*
Editor’s Note: For those of you who are coaches, here’s an article about “closing the deal” using your knowledge of the Enneagram.
From Chapter 12 of Mary Bast and Clarence Thomson’s Out of the Box Coaching with the Enneagram, 4th Edition, soon to appear at Amazon.com in paperback and digital...Read More »*
Suggestions to the Type Seven
- Become aware of your emotional habit—gluttony—and begin to disidentify with it. Gluttony is the drive to fill up your emptiness—the hungry heart of the Seven—with stuff, like the stuff of food, or material objects, or sex, or whatever appears as the object of pleasure. It could...Read More »*
Years ago, I was privileged to be part of a group of Enneagram teachers who met monthly to swap ideas and insights on how to break free of type. One meeting just before the holiday season stands out in my mind. Our resident counterphobic Six announced that he was...Read More »*
How Can The Enneagram Community Stay True to Its Roots and Embrace Science? - Part II by Eric Meyer, PhD
REPORT FROM A SESSION AT THE IEA CONFERENCE – PART 2 OF 3
Eric Meyer, PhD
Perspectives of a historian and philosopher of science
The IEA’s mission envisions a world in which the Enneagram is widely understood and constructively used. Given the central role of science in modern culture, we might like to...Read More »*
Type Seven in Addiction—Life at Level 6 & 7
When the Type Seven is caught in addiction, mired in the prison of Level 6 and 7 of the Levels, he is like...Read More »*
REPORT FROM A SESSION AT THE 2014 IEA CONFERENCE – PART 1 OF 3
This session at the 2014 IEA Conference was developed as a forum in which to explore the proposition that science offers knowledge, tools, and methods that should be embraced in our efforts to further progress toward the...Read More »*
The ENTHUSIAST—The Excitable, Variety-Seeking Type
Copyright 2014 by Michael Naylor, CCPC, LADC, CCS, M.Ed/Version 1.0
“Happiness comes from Inner Peace…nowhere else!” Dalai Lama
The Healthy Seven
I watch Peter, a true type Seven, walk into the basement of St. Jude’s Church where other members of AA are arriving, sitting, talking, being. Effervescence and...Read More »*
Recently, our daughter came to us and declared that she would not have survived her high school and college years without the help of the Enneagram. As a One, she was able to recognize her tendency for self criticism as well as her drive for continual improvement. Using the Enneagram...Read More »*
My objective for this article is to share some of what I am learning in my ongoing research and involvement with Enneagram communities. I hope to encourage the members and the facilitators of Enneagram communities to observe the functioning of their communities from the perspective of the three basic laws...Read More »*
Skype interview with Michael Goldberg by Viviana Trucco
-Viviana Trucco “I felt very honored when I received a message from Michael Goldberg offering a Skype call on account of an article we had discussed in our monthly meeting “Conversando with the Enneagram”. Michael’s pen is priceless. His prose provides a narrative aesthetic...Read More »*
I was delighted to have the opportunity to present this experiential workshop at the IEA conference in July 2014. In it we animated the inner dynamics of the Enneagram defense mechanisms using drama and movement.
The workshop began with an explanation of the defense mechanisms. What they are, how they work,...Read More »*
The Enneagram and Spiral Dynamics: How Types and Lenses Bring a New Focus to Understanding by Mary Ann Plunkett
This past July at the IEA Global Conference I had the pleasure of watching Dr. Deborah Ooten and Beth O’Hara present on “The Big Three: Sex, Power and Money.” I think most would agree that we don’t need the Enneagram (or Spiral Dynamics for that matter) to know that these...Read More »*
Point One – The Perfectionist
When their Nine wing is predominant, Ones will be more oriented toward harmony and balance. The drive to get things just right is mediated by a desire to be comfortable. They may become calmer, adopting a slower pace. A possible drawback to this wing...Read More »*
Part 2: Science, Spirituality, and the Enneagram; or, On Different “Ways of Knowing” by Mario Sikora
-Part Two (Part One was published last week in NPM)
Continuing on to the second epistemic domain:
Philosophy literally means “love of knowledge.” It is the way we “know” the things that we have to think about or truths that we have to reason our way to that don’t fall into...Read More »*
The Enneagram community is rife with those who telling other people which type they are or even telling them that they have mistyped themselves; they are also often the very people who castigate others who do the same thing. At the recent IEA Global Conference in Burlingame, CA, I was...Read More »*
The Enneagram and Ayurveda: Key Insights from Our IEA Presentation By Melanie Bell and Kacie Berghoef
This July at the IEA Global Conference, we shared the practice of Ayurveda which we use as a complement to our Enneagram work. The Enneagram is an amazing tool, but it also helps to have a regular, structured practice that builds up our capacity to observe ourselves so...Read More »*
In my work with clients, I often come to the point where the person cannot move on due to an internal conflict; it is as if two parts of them want two different things and, of course, they end up with neither. The conflict has to be resolved somehow....Read More »*
“Are we just one personality type?” is a common question in Enneagram workshops. The answer is “Yes and no!” The Enneagram is a dynamic system, meaning that we are not limited to just one point on the diagram; we often move around to other Enneagram points depending on our...Read More »*
Summary of an IEA Conference workshop - "All Stressed Out and No Where to Go" by Curt Micka and Diana Redmond
During the presentation that we did at the recent 2014 IEA Conference in Burlingame, CA – “All Stressed Out and No Where to Go” – we explored how the Inner Critic shows up for each of us and how we might work to change our relationship with it....Read More »*
Two recent sessions at Enneagram conferences have me thinking a lot about the intersection of the Enneagram, spirituality, science, and rationality.
At the IEA conference in San Francisco at the end of July, Jack Killen, Eric Meyer and CJ Fitzsimons...Read More »*
When my long-term client (a social subtype 7) wrote me an email asking if I could create a hiring process that would hire large numbers of excellent candidates that could be up and running quickly and that also would use the Enneagram, my internal reactive answer was NO! I...Read More »*
Workshop Title: The Practice of Presence for High-Performance Leaders
We hope that we offered our workshop participants an intriguing look into leadership coaching, based on the awakening and alignment of Belly Center, the Heart Center, and the Head Center. Our focus for this year’s presentation was the Belly Center, discovering...Read More »*
Editor’s Note: Below is the summary of the workshop that Peter O’hanrahan presented at the 2014 IEA Conference. In following weeks, I’ll be posting additional articles that he has written about the Enneagram lines and wings, the topic of his IEA workshop Thank you Peter!
At the recent IEA conference...Read More »*
Last year, the Brazilian affiliate of the IEA initiated a book project that was coordinated by board member Marilena Bigoto to bring together various Enneagram teachers in one volume. That project has resulted in the recently published “O Eneagrama Em Uniao” (“The Enneagram in Union”). The...Read More »*
After “How do I find my type?” the question I hear most is “What Enneagram personality type is best for me to be with? What type goes best with a One? Or a Five?” There is even an Enneagram dating site called EnneaMatch.com which purports to help you...Read More »*
When we first learn the Enneagram and discover our type, it may shatter our worldview even as it illuminates it. With awareness come dramatic insights and aha moments of clarity. It may seem as if we are “awake” or “seeing”for the first time.
Time goes on. We become more facile...Read More »*
Self Preservation Nines
• Often preoccupied with physical comfort, maintaining routines and satisfying appetites.
• Exceptionally good receivers and appreciators; the best things in life are free
• Grateful for what they have and treasure it
• Can be reliable, dependable and consistent
• Specialize in a defense of...Read More »*
We know about the danger of putting people into boxes. We have been trained not to say, “Women are emotional” because that stereotype leads to sexism. We know not to say, “Asian people are the best at math and science” because while statistics may suggest that, that statement is...Read More »*
Self Preservation Eights
• Strongly focused on physical security; very hard workers.
• When healthy they are exceptionally self-reliant, independent and responsible.
• Self-preservation Eights can be implacably determined to prosper. • Momma Bear or Poppa Bear; both fiercely protective and tenderly nurturing.
• Eights with this subtype can be homebodies...Read More »*
Self Preservation Sevens
• Self-Preservation Sevens are confusing since they tend to be highly sociable and gravitate toward groups like Social Subtypes do. Specialize
in “chosen family” in that they tend to create a network of people around them.
• They enjoy sharing on a circuit of interesting or like-minded...Read More »*
Self Preservation Sixes
• Self-preservation Sixes can be warm and ingratiating; have a graceful, diplomatic sociability.
• Try to bring out the best in others and speak well of most people.
• Good communication skills; can tell people hard truths in a skillful or funny way.
• Generally more phobic...Read More »*
Self Preservation Fives
• Often exceptionally knowledgeable, possibly about obscure subjects
• Use their knowledge to contribute to the world
• Sensitive to being saturated, feel overwhelmed by people’s expectations • Lose their sense of privacy more easily and can quickly feel overstimulated
• Chief defensive tendency is to...Read More »*
• Self-Preservation Fours are often risk takers
• They take chances to stir up emotional intensity, collect new experiences, play out inner dramas or learn about themselves
• Open advocates of the passionate life
• Social and artistic courage; the high side of this subtype brings daring
The Enneagram is a powerful tool for self-observation and a way for me to observe how I think, feel and behave as well as my underlying motivations. Without observing myself I’m prone to act habitually from an unconscious script that plays all the stories that I...Read More »*
What if the personality itself were a helpmate in the journey of becoming? Using the natural bias of the unconscious default mode in a conscious, purposeful manner might be one of our greatest assets in breaking the hold of Enneagram type. Tom Condon has said that our personality type...Read More »*
Self Preservation Threes
• Self Preservation Threes are unusually capable, organized and efficient.
• Especially good at discovering the best strategy for getting a job done, getting from point A to point B as quickly and effectively as possible.
• Think of Olympic athletes who are utterly focused on goals...Read More »*
Disney’s latest animated blockbuster, Frozen, occupies a major role in my house right now. I took my four-year-old daughter to see this film just before Christmas, and it has become a bit of an obsession for her. We have near-nightly reenactments of the movie, and since purchasing the soundtrack,...Read More »*
Self Preservation Twos
• Healthy Self-preservation Twos are often more in touch with how they feel and what they want.
• Have the courage and social skills to express their preferences.
• Appropriately “self-referenced” – know what they want and yet include the wishes of others.
• Can be unusually materialistic.
•...Read More »*
The Journey to Health in Addiction Recovery 14 - Type Three in Recovery - The Achiever—The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type - Michael Naylor
The Healthy Three
The healthy Three is a radiant motivator of others, encouraging them with skill and faith to do their best, to see their capacities, to shine as they are capable of shining. Effortlessly, and with grace, they support others, championing them to celebrate the talents they’ve...Read More »*
Self Preservation Ones
• Talented at getting things done and attending to practical detail.
• Ultra-reliable; do what they say they will on time.
• Tend towards worry and negative anticipation about material well being. • Can catastrophize about money; could be “penny-wise and pound- foolish.”
• A petty, finicky...Read More »*
As you learn more about the Enneagram you’ll notice that while you have a distinct core personality style, you will occasionally react as though you have another one altogether. Other Enneagram styles will be evident in your temporary responses to immediate situations and more continuously, as “sides” to your character.
Your...Read More »*
A man approached me some years back at the IEA conference in Atlanta and complimented me on the book I had recently coauthored. He then asked me to read something he had written and handed me three typewritten pages.
“I know Eights don’t read—my wife is an Eight—but it is short...Read More »*
Your dominant Enneagram style also has a relationship to its neighboring styles, called wings. If Four is your core style, you will have an intuitive built-in connection to both Three and Five. Your sensitive, subjective Fourish orientation would be modified by a preoccupation with action and image (Three wing) or a...Read More »*
Each Enneagram style has three further suborientations called subtypes, related to three realms of life – survival or how we take care of ourselves, the realm of close relationships, and how we relate socially to the larger world.
Your primary subtype is determined by whether you are unconsciously preoccupied with personal...Read More »*
Nines may be motivated to change for a variety of reasons. Presenting problems to counselors can include: depression, procrastination, lack of focus, a sense of dispossession, addictions, problems in relationship, attempts to change themselves for other people, confused priorities, life-direction issues and household messes or other practical dilemmas that others...Read More »*
Now that we’ve shared abbreviated life stories from our forthcoming book on transformation with the Enneagram, C.J. Fitzsimons and I thought Nine Points readers might be interested in excerpts from our own stories.
Mary and CJ, you’re both Nines, you’ve known each other for years. What stimulated your decision to...Read More »*
Eights may be motivated to change for a variety of reasons, among them: boredom, a desire to help other people, a shock of recognition when the outer world reflects their inner vulnerability, accountability to others, when others threaten to leave them, shame at their own behavior, especially when they harm...Read More »*
The Journey to Health in Addiction Recovery 13 – Type Five in Recovery - The Investigator—The Intense, Cerebral Type - Michael Naylor
The Healthy Five
Terry, a Type Five Investigator extraordinaire, walks through the back door of the 8 AM, Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a gangly softness to his movements. A well-navigated precision to each step, he quietly moves through the rag-tag Oregon crowd, a blend of all-ages, genders and backgrounds—street drunk to scientist...Read More »*
Sevens may be motivated to change for a variety of reasons, among them: boredom, feedback from others, problems with commitment, weight loss or substance abuse, problems with impulse control, because they are worried negative future consequences or because life is good and they want to make it better. Some Sevens...Read More »*
Anxious Sixes are often motivated to change because of the intensity of their fears and because of the sheer number of behavioral limits they endure when hostage to their fears. Most Sixes change because they fear a worse alternative.
Presenting problems to therapists and counselors can include anxiety, problems with authority,...Read More »*
This ninth life story from the forthcoming book co-authored by C.J. Fitzsimons, is condensed from an interview with a Nine. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style
“The word transformation definitely has a positive meaning for me. Also sometimes I think of...Read More »*
Dans le monde des idées, mon amour pour l’Ennéagramme n’a d’égal que celui que je porte à l’œuvre du grand philosophe écossais David Hume. Désigné par l’Encyclopédie de philosophie de Stanford comme “le philosophe le plus important qui ait écrit en langue anglaise”, Hume est connu pour ses...Read More »*
Active listening is a technique that is good as far as it goes....Read More »*
Fives may be motivated to change for a variety of reasons usually rooted in fear and potential loss – of people, time and opportunities. Explaining why he sought counseling one Five said, “I began to fear that I would coop myself up and end up living only half a life.”...Read More »*
The Journey to Health in Addiction Recovery 12 – Type One in Recovery - The Reformer: The Rational, Idealistic Type - Michael Naylor
The Healthy One
John, a Type One, is a delight when he’s healthy. Light-hearted, kind, reasonable, fair, wise, discerning, Jon Stewart-funny (of The Daily Show) and self-effacing, he can laugh at his tendencies to be a perfectionist, and to take himself way too seriously. Although he has an eye on what...Read More »*
Procrustes was a nasty fellow.
The mythological innkeeper had strong opinions about beds, believing that a bed should fit perfectly. Of course one can’t get a new and perfectly fitting bed for each guest, so he created the perfect bed that would fit all guests. He would then kidnap travelers, feed...Read More »*
Fours may be motivated to change for a variety of reasons: conflicts about their identity; to resolve their sense of alienation and mismatch with the outside world; creative blocks; to overcome psychic pain, especially born out of low self-esteem and self-hatred; chronic, mysterious or bizarre medical ailments.
Many Fours are “learners,” especially...Read More »*
This abbreviated life story from my forthcoming book with C.J. Fitzsimons is condensed from an interview with an Enneagram Eight. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style.
I can remember the exact date of what was probably my biggest transformational experience. It was gut-wrenching! I...Read More »*
Threes may be motivated to change for a variety of reasons, among them: a brush with mortality that gives the Three a sense that life is short; a medical problem that requires her to slow down; a professional failure or a “midlife crisis” in which the Three achieves a major...Read More »*
Broadly speaking, a Two’s basic life choice is to be either honestly selfish or blindly selfish. In the former case, he takes direct responsibility for meeting his own needs and giving what is left over to others – lending himself to others but giving himself to himself.
Two’s need to be...Read More »*
This abbreviated life story from my forthcoming book with C.J. Fitzsimons is condensed from an interview with an Enneagram Seven. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style.
“My transformation has been in ideas about what is, learning something that all of a sudden convinced me,...Read More »*
Ones may be motivated to change for a number of reasons. Presenting problems to therapists and counselors can include: depression, a sense of maladaptation or melancholy, creeping alcoholism, romantic instability, feeling driven, a desire for stress reduction or wanting a spouse to change. Since Ones have trouble knowing when they...Read More »*
This sixth life story, from the forthcoming book co-authored by C.J. Fitzsimons, is condensed from an interview with an Enneagram Six. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style.
“One of my friends had told me several times you can’t fundamentally change – all you can...Read More »*
The Journey to Health in Addiction Recovery 11 – Type Two in Recovery - The Helper, The Caring, Interpersonal Type - Michael Naylor
Core Relapse Wound—I Do Not Deserve nor need Love, you do!
When the Two enters recovery he is driven by the heart-breaking feeling that he has lost contact with all love, that he lives in a love-empty world, and that he himself is utterly beyond being loved. This is his core...Read More »*
In the 1945 French film Children of Paradise, there is a pivotal moment when all seems lost. The story concerns a love triangle set in a theater company involving a shy mime, a glamorous actress, and a flamboyant actor who is a Seven. Late in the film, after much heartache...Read More »*
The Journey to Health in Addiction Recovery 10 – Type Two in Recovery - The Helper, The Caring, Interpersonal Type - Michael Naylor
Martin came into addiction recovery twenty-four years ago, and it shows. Sitting at an AA meeting, his angular face and body embody stillness, grace, strength and gentleness. One hears the moment he speaks, a depth of compassion and kindness towards the men in the room struggling...Read More »*
Going directly from a Nine culture (Hawaii) to a Three culture (US Mainland) can be somewhat jarring. I know. I migrate that direction every summer. However, add going from a rural island to a cocktail party of movers and shakers and it elevates the shift to a true culture shock.
I...Read More »*
This fifth life story, from the forthcoming book co-authored by C.J. Fitzsimons, is condensed from an interview with an Enneagram Five. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style.
“Transformation is moving from one consistent and orderly psychic state to another more consistent and more integrated...Read More »*
Out on the plains of the African Serengeti, near water holes, clusters of animals come to drink. There zebras will gather in small herds close to their most obvious enemy, the lions, who are most likely to pounce and devour them.
Lions hunt in short swift charges. So whenever their natural...Read More »*
Suggestions to the Type Four
1. Begin to notice how you unconsciously confirm your feelings of being a rejected outsider. Because you feel flawed and insignificant you look for your environment to confirm these feelings. For instance, you’re at an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting and you’re certain that everyone there thinks you...Read More »*
This fifth article in the series on critical thinking and the Enneagram is a bit of a potpourri and will touch briefly on a few common logical fallacies I see people (including myself) commit when talking about the Enneagram.
The “Argument from Authority” is the mistake people make when they assume...Read More »*
In America we have something called the “Adopt-A-Highway Program” in which an individual or an organization can volunteer to sponsor litter collection on a mile-long section of a highway. In return for paying a monthly fee, the sponsor’s name is posted on a sign visible from the road. The money...Read More »*
The Ongoing Shocks of Recovery—Embracing the Shadow
Recovery for the Four truly begins when he sees he has erroneously imagined himself being sensitive, compassionate, and emotionally honest while under the influence of his addiction—when his real behavior has been self-absorbed, hateful, and self-centered (Level 6 and 7 behavior)....Read More »*
This fourth life story, from the forthcoming book co-authored by C.J. Fitzsimons, is condensed from an interview with an Enneagram Four. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style.
“Transformation is a word we use in the West because we want to get someplace. I think...Read More »*
Four is one of what I jokingly call “nature’s Enneagram styles.” In extreme old age people often slow down, grow laconic and mellow; turning Nine-like, no matter what their true personality style. In their early twenties, many young adults pass through a natural Sevenish phase when they first venture into...Read More »*
Protective Mechanism of the Four: Hiding Out in My Imagination & Intensity
The Type Four protects himself and his shame-filled heart (“I’m a nobody…I have no significance”) by withdrawing into his imagination, avoiding real contact with life which he anticipates will cause him more shame. He creates an...Read More »*
Every four years the Olympic games convene somewhere in the world. Although usually described as a pan-national event, in which athletes from every culture gather to compete, that description is actually wrong. The Olympics are the occasion when Threes from every nation travel to one place to celebrate their values...Read More »*
The Individualist, – The Sensitive, Introspective Type
The Healthy Four
Thomas came into recovery eight years ago. He was a 30-year-old-heroin addict and alcoholic and homeless, not a penny to his name. Raised in foster homes, and living on the street since age sixteen, this intelligent, creative, big-hearted Type Four represents the...Read More »*
I once heard of an incident on a subway in New York City. A small elderly woman was riding home chatting pleasantly with the people around her. At one stop a large man in a dirty trench coat entered the subway car. He had a glazed look in his eyes...Read More »*
This third life story, from the forthcoming book co-authored by C.J. Fitzsimons, is condensed from an interview with an Enneagram Three. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style.
“Until I started doing some real work, all my energy had gone to being a success, putting...Read More »*
While the Enneagram has long been a tool for personal and relational development, it is only recently that its transformative abilities are being researched and supported in neuroscience (e.g. Schulze & Thomas, 2011). A strong neuro-biological understanding of how the Enneagram supports change is beneficial for three main reasons:
a)...Read More »*
As a young adult who has studied the Enneagram for seven years, I believed myself to have an in-depth understanding of its nine personality types. Then a chance encounter led me to learn Reiki, a form of healing in which practitioners transfer energy to a recipient, who absorbs as...Read More »*
Years ago I saw a television program about a convention of people who were skeptical of paranormal phenomena. The group meets yearly to evaluate and generally debunk claims of unusual possibilities and powers including psychic phenomena, spoon bending and the existence of alien spacecraft or UFOs. The skeptics gathering...Read More »*
What it Mean to Become Conscious
When an individual is living at level 5 or below they are living in a state of unconsciousness. (This doesn’t mean they don’t have times during their day when they are more conscious and present.) What does being “conscious” of oneself mean? If an individual...Read More »*
I once spent a week at a resort hotel on a remote part of the Oregon coast. It rained every day and presumably the guests knew that Oregon is famous for its rain. Nevertheless, at mealtime the topic on everyone’s lips was the bad weather and how it was...Read More »*
When individuals drop to Level 7 and below, they are fully leaving the track of reality, in fact, you could say they are off the rails, having lost contact with objective reality. Here they act out the distorted versions of their innate gifts and become...Read More »*
This second life story from the forthcoming book co-authored by C.J. Fitzsimons, is condensed from an interview with a Two. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style
Style Two: Staying Awake
“To me transformation is becoming anew, changing from where you are or have been...Read More »*
Humans have an uncanny ability to detect patterns: Two dots and a crescent are not just two dots and a crescent, they are a smiling face that elicit feelings of warmth and well-being. The random sounds generated by a record played backward sound like “Paul is dead.” The random...Read More »*
The Gut Triad-Types Eight, Nine, and One
Eight, Nine, and One are the types that make up the gut center triad. The underlying emotion associated with the gut center is anger. It fuels the drive or passion for each of these gut types.
Straight Shooter Eight
Emotion: Anger externalized
Energy: Larger than...Read More »*
‘Oh yes, you do,’ the Eight replied, ‘I can’t serve you liquor unless you’re old enough. The legal drinking age is 21.’
An argument started and the bartender...Read More »*
At the Average levels of development (Levels 4 to 6), when an emotional trigger is touched by another or by a stressful circumstance, the individual frequently blames and judges the external source for the suffering they are experiencing (As in…”It’s your fault I feel so badly....Read More »*
The Heart Triad-Types Two, Three, and Four
Two, Three, and Four make up the heart center triad. The emotion that fuels their drives is grief. Other Enneagram authors also refer to this triad as the “image” triad, due to these three types’ concern with how others perceive them. Grief or sadness...Read More »*
In the Enneagram’s organization, Twos, Threes and Fours form an ’emotional trio’ as do Fives, Sixes and Sevens and then Eights, Nines and Ones. The personality styles in each of these groups share childhood themes, emotional habits and general worldviews.
Eights, Nines, Ones – Confusion of Thinking
Eights, Nines and Ones...Read More »*
Awake, Present, and Alive
When we are functioning in the Healthy Levels we are flexible, spontaneous, joyful, open-minded, heart-felt, compassionate, understanding of others and self, and more often objective in our interpretation of reality....Read More »*
This first life story from the forthcoming book co-authored by C.J. Fitzsimons, is condensed from an interview with a One. In the book there will be eighteen life stories, two for each Enneagram style
...Read More »*
Let’s examine descriptions of each type and how their energy or ‘force field’ feels to the rest of us. In so doing, we gain another map reading tool in finding another individual’s type on the Enneagram map. Meeting another and honoring his/her energies vis a vis Enneagram type may...Read More »*
This is a reposting of an article written by CJ Fitzsimons, Ph.D. on his Leadership Sculptor blog.
In a recent essay I wrote together with Jack Killen, M.D., recently published in the Enneagram Journal, we explore ways to...Read More »*
In the Enneagram’s organization, Twos, Threes and Fours form an ’emotional trio’ as do Fives, Sixes and Sevens and then Eights, Nines and Ones. The personality styles in each of these groups share childhood themes, emotional habits and general worldviews.
Fives, Sixes and Sevens – Confusion of Action
Fives, Sixes and...Read More »*
Anyone in 12 Step recovery knows about the Levels of Development from their daily life. It’s as simple as this: on good days I’m clear headed, serene, not emotionally reactive, less self-absorbed, can relax and do my best work, and am less distracted. In essence, I am more present...Read More »*
We trust that the ones we post on Nine Points will provide readers with companions along their own paths, and a better understanding of all...Read More »*
Energy. It sounds like a woo-woo term, indistinct, ineffable. Not measurable nor quantifiable. We don’t easily have language to describe it. Yet, anyone who has seen Enneagram panels or groups of a particular type has felt it. Ones will tell a similar story, even use similar language. And they...Read More »*
In the Enneagram’s organization, Twos, Threes and Fours form an ’emotional trio’ as do Fives, Sixes and Sevens and then Eights, Nines and Ones. The personality styles in each of these groups share childhood themes, emotional habits and general worldviews.
Twos, Threes and Fours – Confusion of Feeling
Twos, Threes and...Read More »*
(This is part of a series of articles on critical thinking skills and the Enneagram.)
There is a syndrome that happens to many martial arts students (interpret that as, this is what happened to the author): You take your first belt test (orange belt, in the author’s case, many, many...Read More »*
If you look inside what do you find?
How do you know if it feels really right?
Ever wonder why that is?
Using the well known psychological phenomenon of Basic Trust as the core of our personality development and of our ego defense system during childhood, there are...Read More »*
In the world of ideas, my love of the Enneagram is rivaled only by my love of the work of the great Scottish philosopher David Hume. Called “the most important philosopher to ever write in English” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Hume is best known for his writings...Read More »*
What does it mean to have chops, “Enneagram” or otherwise? “Chops” mean that a person has “expertise in a particular field or activity” (Mirriam-Webster dictionary) to the extent that they are considered a virtuoso. This term is also used in the field of music to suggest a musician’s high...Read More »*
A recent post on Facebook asked the question: Is the Enneagram a science? The 2013 edition of The Enneagram Journal, includes an excellent article by CJ Fitzsimons and Jack Killen titled, “How Science Can Help Solve the Enneagram’s Credibility Problem.” I have written numerous blogs and articles and given...Read More »*
Mortificatio, Killing Ego Attachments
Mortificatio—killing or dead-making, consciously working on reduction of ego attachments; in Jungian terms ‘bringing home’ our projections, going inside ourselves to embrace the shadow so our being reflects the whole instead of a dissociated part.
Before I knew anything about mortificatio, I thought only of “mortification,” as in...Read More »*
Solutio uses the purifying and dissolving properties of water to return to its most basic state the whitened ash left from burning away our ego-based illusion of reality. This dissolution works on the heart to release buried emotions.
Some people find it particularly difficult to acknowledge and...Read More »*
First published in Enneagram Monthly, October 2011
Our collective predicament depends much on individual human transformation and… we cannot afford not arousing the potential and motivation of individuals to work on themselves to the extent that they can.” Claudio Naranjo, “Suggestions for Further Work on Self,” Character and...Read More »*
The Enneagram is such a rich and complex map of personality that we could spend a lifetime studying its every nuance. And therein lies the rub. The wealth of discoveries and ahas offered by delving into its heart can be oh so seductive. Insights and knowledge are fine, but if...Read More »*
The future of leadership development will not be about building “horizontal” capability – that is, the skills, abilities and behaviours needed to lead others. What has become obvious in current leadership research is that managers have already become experts on the ‘what’ of leadership but are novices on the “how” of...Read More »*
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Leonardo Da Vinci
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple…that’s creativity.”
I’m often asked how I can teach a system as “complex” as the Enneagram in organizations, given the time constraints, discomfort with esoteric language, and need for direct applicability often found in...Read More »*
by Lucille Greeff and Dirk Cloete
There are different opinions regarding the centres and the way in which they relate to the nine Enneagram points. We would like to explore the centres through the lens of the fractal pattern that is structurally embedded in the Enneagram. We have observed three...Read More »*
So we see that the enneagram gives us a clear map of the different dimensions of spiritual reality. A beautiful thing about using the enneagram to describe Being in this way is that it offers a complete and balanced vision of our essential nature. Nothing seems to be missing...Read More »*
We can regard the Enneagram of Being as the primary differentiation of aspects of reality out of “isness.” However we name the fundamental divine presence – as Being, God, or Buddha-nature – it remains a presence that is beyond definition or limitation in the purest form....Read More »*
Editor: In this article Gonzalo Moran continues the exploration of the Sexual Three that he began in his first article in March this year.
Child Origins: A good and pretty boy who made things in order to be loved
Ever...Read More »*
This paper is to present the enneagram as a map of the spiritual reality of Being. This map takes us beyond the enneagram of personality types and into the realm of realisation of our...Read More »*
From Idolatry to Reality: From Worshipping the Idols of Our Personality to Following the Ideals of Our Real Self, Part Three - Jerry Wagner, Ph.D.
If we determine that the cost: benefit ratio of following the idol of our personality is not worth it, we’re giving up a lot more than we’re gaining, what other options do we have available? When all else fails, as it inevitably must, we can always return to the...Read More »*
From Idolatry to Reality: From Worshipping the Idols of Our Personality to Following the Ideals of Our Real Self, Part Two - Jerry Wagner, Ph.D.
Ones want to be good. They want to realize all their potentials and be all they can be. And they want to help others do the same. They have a passion for excellence and doing things well. They want to make the world a better place. When asked, what Ones...Read More »*
From Idolatry to Reality: From Worshipping the Idols of Our Personality to Following the Ideals of Our Real Self, Part One - Jerry Wagner, Ph.D.
I’m intrigued by the parallels among the Bible story of the Israelites turning away from the true God and fashioning a false idol in the form of a golden calf; George Gurdjieff’s statements about the personality compensating for our essence; Karen Horney’s description of an idealized...Read More »*
There’s a song from the Spanish group Vetusta Morla, the refrain of which is: “Disguising, Seducing, Becoming Handsome For You.” Nothing seems more appropriate to explain the dilemma of the character of a Sexual 3. This is a personality type category to which I belong, at least until some...Read More »*
The Enneagram has been an extremely useful tool in bringing people together to understand themselves and each other. When I first learned about the Enneagram, I fell in love with it almost instantly, from its overall framework to all of its specificities, it provides the most in depth look at...Read More »*
Expanding on the presentations to the IEA in Madrid in February 2012 “Enneagram: Vitamin of the Soul”, and to the IEA in Santiago de Chile in October 2012, “The richness of personal diversity: Discovering Egos in the Nine Dimensions of the Geometry of my Enneagram identifications”-
Which egos...Read More »*
That’s Me: Using Ennea-type Profiles to Enhance School Leader Effectiveness by Tom A. Stewart & Gary W. Houchens
In our work together as public school administrators, we employed the Enneagram to improve communication among members of our school district’s leadership team. (A reflection of that experience appeared in the January-March 2011 edition of Nine Points.) Naturally, we were grateful when that work grew to include teachers, high school...Read More »*
Imagine the form of the Enneagram projected onto a gridded crossword space — an “Enneagram Crucigram”
The result is a (roughly) circular puzzle, with 9 vertex points (gray squares): clockwise from top: 9, 1, 2, …. Black squares trace an inner 3-6-9 triangle.
The puzzle’s theme: a typical name for each...Read More »*
When people learn the Enneagram, they often feel a loss of what they considered was their own, unique, personal inner core: their personality. Our personality is no longer our unique, personal core after we learn the Enneagram because we learn that our personality is a one of...Read More »*
When I first registered for the 2012 International Enneagram Conference in Long Beach, I had to select which age range I belonged to as a participant. I selected the 20-30 year old age range despite being only 19 years old and I knew immediately that my experience was...Read More »*
The emerging Enneagram perspective of this workshop comes from the “Back to the Future” spiritual guide, Ignatius Loyola (1491 – 1556). Ignatius may not have used the Enneagram but the wisdom he describes in “motions of the soul” radiate Enneagram wisdom. While recovering from a war injury, Ignatius...Read More »*
I was out walking late last Saturday evening around the San Diego bay the night before a very early airport departure. About a month ago, I had taken a break from my nightly walks when I noticed they weren’t really keeping me in shape. But Friday, while I...Read More »*
According to Wilhelm Reich, the human body is an energy system that is made up of segments. Energy pulses through the body and is aided by each of these different segments, or inhibited by them, depending on our conditioning, our upbringing and culture. As the requirements of training...Read More »*
Perhaps the most often quoted story in the world is the story of Adam and Eve. One mystery surrounding the story is about the forbidden fruit. Everyone knows Eve offered Adam an Apple but why the apple is enshrined in our culture as the fruit in question may...Read More »*
People are wonderful; people are difficult. The Enneagram helps us make sense of both these statements. Learning about the nine personality types opens up our ability to tolerate, appreciate and love people who are different from us. There’s a lot to like about each type; human diversity really...Read More »*
I have been gratified by the number of members who have approached me about writing something for Nine Points and look forward to receiving some really interesting pieces over the next year or so. Almost as many people have been asking me for some more explicit parameters and so I...Read More »*
Have you ever tried being left with the feeling that nobody understands you – even though you believe that your message has been communicated to the best of your abilities? When you have explained again and again – loud and clear – why it is...Read More »*
This article originally appeared on The Enneagram in Business blog ( http://blog.
There is some debate about which Enneagram styles display narcissistic tendencies. Some put Sevens in the narcissistic category; some put Threes in that basket; some say any Enneagram type can manifest narcissistic leanings. I propose to completely unresolve...Read More »*