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  1. #1
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Default Type, Wings, Instinctual variants, Tritype, and the Childhood Law of Three

    I've ignored enneagram for a long time. If someone can help make it clear what the enneagram theory is attempting to measure, I'd appreciate it. That said, at a glance there are so many additions to each type. For example, if someone were type 4, they could have no wing or two wings. That's 3 combinations. Now add instinctual variants and you have 3 combinations for each of those 3 combinations (9 combinations). Then add tritype and there's 9 tritype combinations for each of those previous 9 combinations, giving 81 combinations per type...

    That said, how does each portion of the theory justify itself from the other portions so that they aren't being superfluous and overlapping? Just to get this started, I'll ask some questions.


    Questions

    Type
    What constitutes an enneagram type? Is it nature or nurture or a combination that creates an enneagram type?

    Wings
    Why does an enneagram type relate to the two wings around it in forming a wing? Is it nature or nurture or both? Does it supplement the core type or does it compensate for the insecurities of the core type? Or is it just a choice? And if it is just a choice, then why does it have to be only the two wings around the core type?

    Instinctual Variants
    What does instinctual variant measure? Is it a separate motivation that stacks on top of the core type and distinguishes the behavior of the core type at the same time? Why would this be different from a wing?

    Tritype
    How does tritype justify itself when there are already so many of the above ways to describe a type? I understand the heart, gut, and thinking triad idea and that we all present the behavior of them all, but doesn't that kind of undermine the core type? Or is it just a way to understand our inclinations in the other triads categories?

    Childhood Law of Three
    And lastly, there is this http://pstypes.blogspot.com/2010/01/...types-law.html, which someone posted about before. I wonder how wings and tritype and instinctual variant would relate to it. Someone's tritype could include Responsive, Active, and Neutral, which I thought was a little strange, unless this idea is only to represent how the core type emerges. But even so, considering that the relationships were described somewhat negatively (I guess maybe the enneagram is though), why would somebody keep such a nature? Say, for example, a person is Active and the parent Neutral, resulting in 4; why would the 4 continue to be Active if it never works? Might they learn to become withdrawn and more Neutral as a defensive mechanism, like a 5? Or become more Neutral, but status conscious to feel valued, like a 3? But that would have more to do with nurture in combination with how someone chooses to be and then adding in the other enneagram ideas makes it unclear what is supposed to be what. Would this make wing more like a mask? And would it help support tritype or contradict it?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    I've ignored enneagram for a long time. If someone can help make it clear what the enneagram theory is attempting to measure, I'd appreciate it. That said, at a glance there are so many additions to each type. For example, if someone were type 4, they could have no wing or two wings. That's 3 combinations. Now add instinctual variants and you have 3 combinations for each of those 3 combinations (9 combinations). Then add tritype and there's 9 tritype combinations for each of those previous 9 combinations, giving 81 combinations per type...

    That said, how does each portion of the theory justify itself from the other portions so that they aren't being superfluous and overlapping? Just to get this started, I'll ask some questions.

    How the Enneagram is frustrating

    I agree that the Enneagram does not feel nearly as inevitable of the MBTI/JCF. The MBTI/JCF is kind of elegant conceptually because it is mostly built up from three or four mostly independent axes (depending on how one counts). There's a lot of elaboration on the basic theory which gets increasingly dubious but it's pretty clear that the component parts are, and they are reasonably amenable to measurement and (somewhat) scientific study (at least compared to the Enneagram).

    The Enneagram is less reducible to entirely discrete component parts. It's also less amenable to instruments and measurements, partially because it is largely about psychological defenses.

    There's also more mysticism around the Enneagram, which can be frustrating for those who are wary of that kind of thing (which I can certainly be). There's a lot of talk of "essence", "spirituality", "virtu", etc.

    Also, nine is an unwieldy number to master all at once, much less the various "lines of connection" between the nine types. It's not immediately (or perhaps ever) obvious how the nine types were arrived at, how the lines of connections were decided upon, etc.

    Despite this, there are a lot of interesting patterns among the 9 types, and that helps makes the types more manageable.

    How the Enneagram is useful (to me, anyway)

    (the following section is all my opinion, some people are really into the positive aspects of Enneagram types, but for me that's not the useful bits)

    For me the fundamental, useful part of the Enneagram is how the types correspond to habitually used, unhealthy (at least when used reactively or in excess) psychological defense mechanisms. It provides a model for identifying those defense mechanisms in a more neutral, not excessively pathological way. Since everyone has a type with associated issues, struggling with those issues is not a sign of sickness. In many way, it's a sign of working towards greater health.

    Each person's defensive type structures tend to become rigid over time, and become an impediment to being vulnerable, intimate and present. As one becomes aware of one's type's habitual, often unconscious defenses, one can eventually choose whether to engage them. This helps open the door to growth, intimacy and living a life, rather than just sleepwalking through one (on some levels).

    I don't think the Enneagram is the only route for working through one's issues and defenses, but it is one of the more accessible ones. The Enneagram types give one a reasonably fine-tuned approach towards ways to think about and work through one's issues.


    My personal uncertainties about the Enneagram

    While I think the types (and the psychological defenses they represent) are solid, I'm not deeply sold on the exact layout type layout on the circle and lines of connection. Because I don't know how they were arrived at or if they've ever been empirically verified, there seems to be an arbitrariness about them. This is despite there being plenty of neat patterns one can draw out (although after a point this seems a bit like numerology to me).

    [As an aside, I was happy to read that Naranjo (nd more recent enneagram folks) have loosened up a bit on the "line of integration" and the "line of disintegration" and talked about them as simply "lines of connection", since for me personally I don't seen a real positive/negative patterns insofar as I see myself moving between the expected types at all.]

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Questions

    Type
    What constitutes an enneagram type? Is it nature or nurture or a combination that creates an enneagram type?
    I think there are varying opinions on this. I think most folks involved in the Enneagram agree it's at least somewhat nature (with some folks seeming to fall on the "mostly nature" side). Some folks feel like your center (head/heart/gut) is nature, but your exact type within your center-triad is nurture.

    There's definitely not real consensus, but most folks claim that your basic Enneagram type is set for life, although you may develop aspects of other types (such as those on your wings, lines of connection, etc).


    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post

    Wings
    Why does an Enneagram type relate to the two wings around it in forming a wing? Is it nature or nurture or both? Does it supplement the core type or does it compensate for the insecurities of the core type? Or is it just a choice? And if it is just a choice, then why does it have to be only the two wings around the core type?
    I haven't heard a great (in my opinion) theory on this. I've never heard of someone calling it any kind of a choice, though. Wings do seem to be the earliest, most basic "subtyping" mechanism in Enneagram theory. Wings effectively split each Enneagram type into two subtypes (or three, if one includes a no-wing/dual-wing option).

    As far as whether it's a supplement or compensation, it seems to depend on the type. For an e9, for example, each adjacent type is contrasting (both very action oriented as opposed to the passive e9). Conversely, a e4, for example, has a possible wing that is more cerebral and detached (e5) and the other is more image-conscious and driven (e3). Is that supplemental or compensating? Seems arguable either way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post

    Instinctual Variants
    What does instinctual variant measure? Is it a separate motivation that stacks on top of the core type and distinguishes the behavior of the core type at the same time? Why would this be different from a wing?
    The instinctual variants are mostly orthogonal to Enneagram type (any Enneagram type can have any variant), but does fit with the "rule of three" themes of the Enneagram. The instinctual variants are generally associated with the "gut" center of intelligence, and represents a dysfunction or lack of development in that area. So, someone who is an So-dom is overly concerned with social aspects because that's the area that is most blocked and so requires more attention.

    I think instinctual variants are considered to be more fluid than core Enneagram type. If one is lacking safety, food or shelver, one is going to be Sp-focused, whereas if one has just moved into a new social environment, one is going to be more So-focused.


    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post

    Tritype
    How does tritype justify itself when there are already so many of the above ways to describe a type? I understand the heart, gut, and thinking triad idea and that we all present the behavior of them all, but doesn't that kind of undermine the core type? Or is it just a way to understand our inclinations in the other triads categories?
    So tritype is a new theory/take which is taught by the Fauvres. They claim it came out of observation and statistical analysis. The idea is that we each of us tends toward a particular type in each center of intelligence.

    Tritype is a separate theory from wings (so combining wings and tritypes is a bit silly, although it does yield huge whopping number of combinations... especially if you then combine it with instinctual subtypes).

    I think it can distract one from one's core Enneagram type issues, but conversely, can "fine tune" the flavor of one's Enneagram type a bit. I think tritypes can also be used to represent secondary or tertiary defense strategies that aren't otherwise capture by wing or lines of connection (although I agree that it feels somewhat arbitrary).

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Childhood Law of Three
    And lastly, there is this http://pstypes.blogspot.com/2010/01/...types-law.html, which someone posted about before. I wonder how wings and tritype and instinctual variant would relate to it. Someone's tritype could include Responsive, Active, and Neutral, which I thought was a little strange, unless this idea is only to represent how the core type emerges. But even so, considering that the relationships were described somewhat negatively (I guess maybe the enneagram is though), why would somebody keep such a nature? Say, for example, a person is Active and the parent Neutral, resulting in 4; why would the 4 continue to be Active if it never works? Might they learn to become withdrawn and more Neutral as a defensive mechanism, like a 5? Or become more Neutral, but status conscious to feel valued, like a 3? But that would have more to do with nurture in combination with how someone chooses to be and then adding in the other enneagram ideas makes it unclear what is supposed to be what. Would this make wing more like a mask? And would it help support tritype or contradict it?

    Any thoughts?
    So, this is some theorizing based on Karen Horney's Three Trends. They classify types as:

    Moving against(aggressive): 8 3 1
    Moving towards (dependent): 2 6 7
    Moving away from (withdrawing): 5 9 4

    So, those childhood scenarios attempt to assign type based on childhood role plus parental role combination. To me, this gets back to where Enneagram type comes from, and whether our environment helps created our defensive system, or whether our defensive system leads us to experience our childhood in various ways.

    I think it's a difficult to answer question, but I think looking at things like attachment theory give an indication that the quality of parental emotional attunement and feedback does make a big difference in how we relate to others as adults. So, I suspect it's a combination for Enneagram type, and attachment probably relates to levels of health and our ability to put aside our defenses.

    Also, it seems like traits like introversion/extraversion tends to push one towards or away from particular Enneagram types (a super-extraverted e5 seems difficult to imagine, for example) and studies claim that introversion/extraversion is 40-60% genetic.

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    Only SolitaryWalker himself has written more long and technical walls of text on this forum than the one I just read above my post.

    Let's make this a bit more simple:
    Type - Cognition
    Enneagram - Motivation
    Instincts - Intention

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    I've ignored enneagram for a long time.
    I did the same thing.

    Now, I think it's equally as, if not more important than, Jungian type.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    If someone can help make it clear what the enneagram theory is attempting to measure, I'd appreciate it.
    I wouldn't say it necessarily "measures" anything -- it points to various fixations that humans tend to have.

    The more fixated one is, the more unhealthy one is (lower health level).

    The less fixated one is, the more healthy one is (higher health level).

    When people are in lower health levels, they are neurotic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    That said, at a glance there are so many additions to each type. For example, if someone were type 4, they could have no wing or two wings. That's 3 combinations. Now add instinctual variants and you have 3 combinations for each of those 3 combinations (9 combinations). Then add tritype and there's 9 tritype combinations for each of those previous 9 combinations, giving 81 combinations per type...
    Now add instinctual stacking, and you have to multiply by 2.

    And add health level, and you have to multiple by 9...

    You can even add double wing, and have tritype ordering matter.

    Then you could even add in full-type tri-type (i.e., 6w5 8dw 3w4).

    And there's more shit that people add onto that (is the 5 of my 6w5 a 5w4, or 5w6?).

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Type
    What constitutes an enneagram type? Is it nature or nurture or a combination that creates an enneagram type?
    Jungian type seems to be more nature; enneagram type seems to be more nurture.

    To be completely accurate, I'd probably have to say "both", but if I had to point to one or the other, I'd say nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Wings
    Why does an enneagram type relate to the two wings around it in forming a wing? Is it nature or nurture or both? Does it supplement the core type or does it compensate for the insecurities of the core type? Or is it just a choice? And if it is just a choice, then why does it have to be only the two wings around the core type?
    There are different thoughts about the wings.

    Many enneagram theorists barely mention, or don't mention at all, the wings.

    What I would say is that, if you look at each type, often times people tend to have a certain flavor, one side or the other, of their primary enneagram type. I know that I am definitely a 6w5, not 6w7. Might I have a little 7 flavor to me? Yeah. But definitely more 5. I also know other people for whom I know their ennegram type, and they have a flavor on one side or the other. There could be a lot of reasons for this. I could get into some technical stuff that Armando Molina brings up in his writing (it relates to three centers, and each type's manifestation within that center), but, at this point, it would probably be going a little far into the weeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Instinctual Variants
    What does instinctual variant measure? Is it a separate motivation that stacks on top of the core type and distinguishes the behavior of the core type at the same time? Why would this be different from a wing?
    Instinctual variant measures which of the three instinctual energies is most dominant within an individual: sexual, social, or self-preservational.

    It likewise adds a flavor to each regular enneagram type, so that two 6s will be alike in a certain manner (anxiety/worry/doubt/fear is their fixation), but a 6 sx will deal with that similar fixation in a different manner than a 6 sp or a 6 so.

    It's different than a wing because it has nothing to do with the wing.

    That being said, a 6w5 sx will be different than a 6w7 sx.

    And a 6w5 sx/so will be different than a 6w5 sx/sp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Tritype
    How does tritype justify itself when there are already so many of the above ways to describe a type? I understand the heart, gut, and thinking triad idea and that we all present the behavior of them all, but doesn't that kind of undermine the core type? Or is it just a way to understand our inclinations in the other triads categories?
    The last part.

    Take two 6w5 sx/so's.

    One is a 693 tritype, the other is a 684.

    You'd expect a different vibe from each of them.

    They'd be similar in a lot of ways, both being 6w5 sx/so, but they'd still be different too.

    Add in different MBTI type, and they'll be even that much more different than one another.

    Remember, there are 7 billion people on this planet: even if there are some 64,000 enneagram+MBTI combinations, there's still, on average, 125,000 of each of them walking around this rock.

    (And that's not even taking into account degrees of introversion/extroversion, instinctual variants, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Childhood Law of Three
    And lastly, there is this http://pstypes.blogspot.com/2010/01/...types-law.html, which someone posted about before. I wonder how wings and tritype and instinctual variant would relate to it. Someone's tritype could include Responsive, Active, and Neutral, which I thought was a little strange, unless this idea is only to represent how the core type emerges. But even so, considering that the relationships were described somewhat negatively (I guess maybe the enneagram is though), why would somebody keep such a nature? Say, for example, a person is Active and the parent Neutral, resulting in 4; why would the 4 continue to be Active if it never works? Might they learn to become withdrawn and more Neutral as a defensive mechanism, like a 5? Or become more Neutral, but status conscious to feel valued, like a 3? But that would have more to do with nurture in combination with how someone chooses to be and then adding in the other enneagram ideas makes it unclear what is supposed to be what. Would this make wing more like a mask? And would it help support tritype or contradict it?
    These are good questions.

    Now I'd recommend getting some enneagram books.

    http://www.amazon.com/Personality-Ty.../dp/0395798671
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Wisdom-Enn.../dp/0553378201
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Enneagram-.../dp/0062506838
    http://www.amazon.com/Character-Neur.../dp/0895560666
    http://www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?BookId=VIBS%2053

  5. #5
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Enneagram Type

    I believe that type is most likely a combination of nature and very early nurture. Our core motivations are without a doubt heavily influenced by our cognition patterns, but the growth and development of our mind itself is also affected by our environment. By mid-childhood, however, I suspect that the mind has grown enough to become fairly well set in its Enneagram pattern.

    Enneagram Number Order

    An Enneagram type generally relates to the wings simply because, like MBTI, no one really fits perfectly into any single group. It's probably both nature and nurture. I think it could easily both supplement and compensate for the core type, but no, I doubt it's a conscious choice. As for being the numbers adjacent, that's just part of the structural basis of the theory. I understand it seems needlessly limiting, but I have a hard time abandoning it without understanding why.

    My personal favorite explanation of the progression of the numbers frames it as a developmental pattern of human life:

    1. The Father Figure, who needs to identify life principles.
    2. The Mother Figure, who needs to guide and nurture.
    3. The Child, who needs to successfully carry on the family lineage.
    4. The Sibling, who needs to discover their unique identity.
    5. The Adolescent, who needs to observe and prepare to become self-sufficient.
    6. The Peer, who needs to decide who to ally with and what they can trust.
    7. The Experimenter, who needs to discover how to live a personally fulfilling life.
    8. The Adult, who needs to be self-sufficient.
    9. The Great Unity, birth and death, the collective of Being.

    In this kind of light it makes sense why you would lean towards a wing as you do - you have to pass through certain developmental phases to get to the next. You can't nurture very well if you don't have a solid basis of principles to follow. You can't prepare to be self-sufficient if you haven't figured out who you are. You can't return to the collective until you've been an individual. You can't identify world principles until you've been a part of the universal knowledge source.

    Instinctual Variants

    IV measures/qualifies the extent to which you prioritize 3 "arenas" of life, which are derived from three major animal behavior strategies for ensuring continuation of life: maintaining one's own physical existence (Self-Preservational / Sp), being a part of a greater whole (Social / So), and creating synergistic connections through which we can outlast our individual lives (Sexual / Sx). Yes, it is a separate system, and it adds a different "flavor" to motivation. Think of it as completely separate from type and wing, which describe primary defense strategies. IV tells you where - to what issues in life - someone is most likely to apply those defense strategies.

    An easy way to think of it is generally what a person is going to spend the most time attending to. An Sp/Sx will spend the most time making sure their affairs are in order, that they've gotten enough food and sleep, that they have stable shelter, etc., and secondarily they will attend to their intimate relationships and passions. An Sx/So will spend the most time attending to intimate relationships and passions, and secondarily will attend to where they stand in the larger alliances they are part of - family, school, political group. An So/Sp will attend to where they stand in the larger scheme of things, making sure it's a secure and useful position, then concentrate on their personal wellbeing, and so on.

    Tritype

    It's just more information. Some people say it's bogus; others say it's helpful. I think it's fairly useful when it comes to observing your core motivations when confronted with fear, anger, and shame (head/gut/heart). Z explained the bit about "vibe" well - a 648 is going to be a more open, confrontational 6 than the more diplomatic, chameleon 639, since 648's primary defense strategies are security-seeking, differentiating, and challenging, while 639's are reacting, performing, and peacekeeping. The wing, on the other hand, tints only the core defense strategy: 6w5 adds more isolation, detachment, and expertise - more investigation - to 6's security-seeking. 6w7 adds more novelty, variety, and keeping options open - more freedom - to 6's security-seeking. To illustrate, 6w7 639 would probably be a friendly good citizen type. 6w5 639 would be more of an intellectual negotiator type. 6w7 648 would be probably more of a canary in the coal mine, 6w5 648 more of an outspoken critic.

    Law of Three

    There's conflicting evidence on attachment styles and influence on personality. Some claim attachment style is permanent, but others claim it's mostly learned and therefore likely to stay the way it is unless deliberately changed. In my opinion, this is an interesting theory, but it doesn't necessarily have much practical application besides identifying how you attach and how others attach, and how you can improve your personal relationships. To me, it seems complicated by the fact that people can have several close caregivers with different styles present in their early life, as well as extenuating circumstances that change the environment so drastically that attachment is heavily influenced.

  6. #6
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    Type
    What constitutes an enneagram type? Is it nature or nurture or a combination that creates an enneagram type?
    The general idea is that it is nurture. People experience something of a "wounding" during the formation of their ego & personality that causes their ego to revolve around a false belief about reality & themselves, a belief this wounding communicated. People also get "messages" during this time about what life & the world is like from people around them.

    The ego is sort of poised to cope with reality in these terms. Integration broadens the ego to see reality in less narrow & threatening terms, which allows one to be happier, healthier, etc.

    The enneagram represents the main categories that egos occurring in humans can be classified with. Compare it to physical human traits - we hav only 5 basic categories of hair color: blond, brown, black, red & grey. Yet in reality, there are infinite hair colors. Still these terms helps us to describe people pretty well, and most fit neatly into a category or subcategory (ie. red-blond or strawberry blond). We see connections here too - how come there's no blackish blond hair? Because they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Is this arbitrary? There is some order to it, and we see it as obvious, because it's visible. It's harder to see the obviousness with intangible things like egos & personality.

    I personally do not feel that any Jungian type can be any enneagram type for this reason. I think Jungian type is more innate & will influence how you experience & interpret these "woundings" and "messages".

    Wings
    Why does an enneagram type relate to the two wings around it in forming a wing? Is it nature or nurture or both? Does it supplement the core type or does it compensate for the insecurities of the core type? Or is it just a choice? And if it is just a choice, then why does it have to be only the two wings around the core type?
    The enneagram is based on an understanding of patterns in humans concerning their egos, emotional & psychological motivations and personality traits stemming from them. The enneagram is set up in such a way as reflects how these relate & how one "moves" towards integrating (expanding the ego, becoming healthier) and disintegrating (contracting it, becoming less healthy).

    For instance, a 5 experiences themselves & life through a lens of "not enough", and so they "hoard" their time & energy. This is why avarice is their "passion", or the negative, defining trait that is primary way they "cope" with the falsehood of "not enough". When they integrate at 8, they see that life has plenty for the taking, that they have the power & right to take, and that they also have the power & enough to give to others, like a healthy 8 who has a sense of power & uses their power for good towards others. This broadening of their ego lessens the pull of this false belief & they can then function better in life, be happier, reach more of their potential, etc.

    A person who believes there is not "enough" may also be prone to envy (e4) of those who appear to have/receive enough or they may fear (e6) threats to what they have or could have. This influences how they deal with that false belief and adds to their primary means of dealing with it.

    Some theories suggest proximity of a type influences the core type, but that there is no dominant wing. Others suggest one wing predominates to the point of blocking the other, and others feel while one predominates, both can influence core type. I'm of the last school of thought.

    You do not choose a wing any more than you consciously choose your core type. It develops, probably in response to environment & cognitive preferences/orientation.

    So the arrangement of types, how they connect, where each sits, is not arbitrary nor logical, because emotions & egos aren't arbitrary nor logical either. There's a rhyme & reason to it, and you'll see it more clearly as you study it.

    Instinctual Variants
    What does instinctual variant measure? Is it a separate motivation that stacks on top of the core type and distinguishes the behavior of the core type at the same time? Why would this be different from a wing?
    The instincts are referring to basic human physical survival instincts and how they affect a person's psychology. A person's way of dealing with reality in terms of their ego & trying to survive tends to be focused in one of these areas, secondarily in another, and then having a blind spot for the last. This means each instinctual stack will play out differently within a core type & its wing & creates something like "subtypes". It's all interconnected.

    Tritype
    How does tritype justify itself when there are already so many of the above ways to describe a type? I understand the heart, gut, and thinking triad idea and that we all present the behavior of them all, but doesn't that kind of undermine the core type? Or is it just a way to understand our inclinations in the other triads categories?
    Some of us think so! :P
    The triads can be seen as ways to understand inclinations, yes. It can help you see how types relate & connect.

    Having a tri-type or fix in itself does invalidate the way types connect through the enneagram symbol. Your core type & its wings will connect you to all the other types on its own, and that more clearly shows how your ego can grow/shrink & what signs to look for, etc. For example, as a 4, I integrate at 1 & disintegrate at 2. My 5 wing integrates at 8 and disintegrates at 7. My weaker 3 wing integrates at 6 & disintegrates at 9. This makes me the least connected to the 3-6-9 triad, which could explain blindspots/weaknesses, strengths (their go fixes have little pull on me), and how I deal with individuals in that triad. But ALL of the types are covered & my core type tells me how they connect.

    Tri-type seems to suggest you take on a type's approach in different areas of life (heart/head/gut matters), but this is conflating instincts with triads, IMO, and it encourages mistyping.

    You could say:
    sx=heart, creating individual significance/impact (2=seducing, 3=attracting, 4=repulsing)
    sp=head, taking care of the your own needs (5=denying, 6=sustaining, 7=indulging)
    so=gut, connecting to others (1=discriminating, 9=submitting, 8=dominating)

    Instead of someone being a 269, they may simply be a 2w3 who is so/sp or something like that. They see 6 in relation to their wing's integration & 9 in relation to its disintegration, and their so instinct feels 6ish while their sp instinct feels 9ish.

    Childhood Law of Three
    And lastly, there is this http://pstypes.blogspot.com/2010/01/...types-law.html, which someone posted about before. I wonder how wings and tritype and instinctual variant would relate to it. Someone's tritype could include Responsive, Active, and Neutral, which I thought was a little strange, unless this idea is only to represent how the core type emerges. But even so, considering that the relationships were described somewhat negatively (I guess maybe the enneagram is though), why would somebody keep such a nature? Say, for example, a person is Active and the parent Neutral, resulting in 4; why would the 4 continue to be Active if it never works? Might they learn to become withdrawn and more Neutral as a defensive mechanism, like a 5? Or become more Neutral, but status conscious to feel valued, like a 3? But that would have more to do with nurture in combination with how someone chooses to be and then adding in the other enneagram ideas makes it unclear what is supposed to be what. Would this make wing more like a mask? And would it help support tritype or contradict it?
    Bolded 1: I would say yes.
    Bolded 2: Because we often aren't aware of our nature or how much we can control/change. It just feels like being yourself, and people tend to kick their feet up at having to be something else (especially if that false belief really grips them).
    Bolded 3: I think you've caught onto how wings influence a type. They don't mask so much as color how a core type's passion is expressed. I don't even see how this related to tritype. If you mean it further makes it unnecessary & a block to really understanding how types relate/connect, then yes, it contradicts.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

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    Hot damn.

    Who knew that if you asked a serious, well-composed question on this forum, you'd actually get serious, well-composed answers...

    *is impressed*
    Last edited by Zarathustra; 03-05-2013 at 01:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Hot damn.

    Who know that if you asked a serious, well-composed question on this forum, you'd actually get serious, well-composed answers...

    *is impressed*
    Well, yeah. The OP's questions aren't framed as thought experiments, nor are they clearly intended to appeal to the subjective underpinnings of responses. Though, if the OP wants a straightforward answer, void of subjective mesh, I'd agree with your suggestions for enneagram books.

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    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    edit: Oh yeah, sorry for not responding before. I figured after awhile that no one was going to respond and forgot about this. I guess I should check the quote notifications more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    There's also more mysticism around the Enneagram, which can be frustrating for those who are wary of that kind of thing (which I can certainly be). There's a lot of talk of "essence", "spirituality", "virtu", etc.
    I don't really mind mysticism because I don't agree with treating consciousness as if it can be objectified by science. Part of being aware is that our brain interprets reality and itself; analyzing how a brain works on a scientific level doesn't tell us how we are interpreting reality, but only what parts of our brain we are using. And then correlation not always implying causation is the biggest mistake of neuroscientists that would claim to know what you are thinking or how you are feeling by looking at your brain activity.

    Some people are really perceptive of other people and even though they can't prove their intuitions (Mystics) because they are fleeting with the moment, such perceptions can be really useful to hear or know in that moment. In that sense, I prefer to learn things that can teach me to perceive things more clearly and accurately, rather than expect everything in life to be made explicit through science.

    For me the fundamental, useful part of the Enneagram is how the types correspond to habitually used, unhealthy (at least when used reactively or in excess) psychological defense mechanisms. It provides a model for identifying those defense mechanisms in a more neutral, not excessively pathological way. Since everyone has a type with associated issues, struggling with those issues is not a sign of sickness. In many way, it's a sign of working towards greater health.

    I don't think the Enneagram is the only route for working through one's issues and defenses, but it is one of the more accessible ones. The Enneagram types give one a reasonably fine-tuned approach towards ways to think about and work through one's issues.
    So if someone has worked through their issues, do they still have a type? It seems like they wouldn't have anything in common with that type anymore.

    [As an aside, I was happy to read that Naranjo (nd more recent enneagram folks) have loosened up a bit on the "line of integration" and the "line of disintegration" and talked about them as simply "lines of connection", since for me personally I don't seen a real positive/negative patterns insofar as I see myself moving between the expected types at all.]
    It does seem like the theory is grasping at straws with that. I guess if you put the types into a circle and explain how they neatly relate to one another, people might be more inclined to accept it as somehow more inherently truthful though...

    So, this is some theorizing based on Karen Horney's Three Trends. They classify types as:

    Moving against(aggressive): 8 3 1
    Moving towards (dependent): 2 6 7
    Moving away from (withdrawing): 5 9 4

    So, those childhood scenarios attempt to assign type based on childhood role plus parental role combination. To me, this gets back to where Enneagram type comes from, and whether our environment helps created our defensive system, or whether our defensive system leads us to experience our childhood in various ways.
    So is enneagram a defensive system and an offensive system? It sounds like withdrawing types are automatically introverted (defensive) in nature; aggressive sounds like an automatic extrovert (offensive).

    I think it's a difficult to answer question, but I think looking at things like attachment theory give an indication that the quality of parental emotional attunement and feedback does make a big difference in how we relate to others as adults. So, I suspect it's a combination for Enneagram type, and attachment probably relates to levels of health and our ability to put aside our defenses.
    That makes sense.

    Also, it seems like traits like introversion/extraversion tends to push one towards or away from particular Enneagram types (a super-extraverted e5 seems difficult to imagine, for example) and studies claim that introversion/extraversion is 40-60% genetic.
    I guess that goes with what I said above. Withdrawing seems to be introverted and aggressive extraverted. Maybe that's wrong for a reason I don't understand though?

    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    Only SolitaryWalker himself has written more long and technical walls of text on this forum than the one I just read above my post.

    Let's make this a bit more simple:
    Type - Cognition
    Enneagram - Motivation
    Instincts - Intention
    If I use Jung's ideas honestly, that gives me a framework for understanding my motivation and intentions. I guess that means cognition supersedes motivation and intention. But it does make me wonder then, does type help frame enneagram? I would think it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    The more fixated one is, the more unhealthy one is (lower health level).

    The less fixated one is, the more healthy one is (higher health level).

    When people are in lower health levels, they are neurotic.
    Okay, that makes sense. So enneagram is about fixations?


    Instinctual variant measures which of the three instinctual energies is most dominant within an individual: sexual, social, or self-preservational.

    It likewise adds a flavor to each regular enneagram type, so that two 6s will be alike in a certain manner (anxiety/worry/doubt/fear is their fixation), but a 6 sx will deal with that similar fixation in a different manner than a 6 sp or a 6 so.

    It's different than a wing because it has nothing to do with the wing.

    That being said, a 6w5 sx will be different than a 6w7 sx.

    And a 6w5 sx/so will be different than a 6w5 sx/sp.
    The thing that bothers me is how someone will describe, say a 6, as having six (is that right?) different instincts, but as soon as someone adds wings, they not only double the descriptions, but invalidate the descriptions without wings. It also seems to imply that there is a natural order to having the types ordered as they are. It would be easier to accept wings if there was a good reason why they are ordered the way they are.


    The last part.

    Take two 6w5 sx/so's.

    One is a 693 tritype, the other is a 684.

    You'd expect a different vibe from each of them.

    They'd be similar in a lot of ways, both being 6w5 sx/so, but they'd still be different too.

    Add in different MBTI type, and they'll be even that much more different than one another.

    Remember, there are 7 billion people on this planet: even if there are some 64,000 enneagram+MBTI combinations, there's still, on average, 125,000 of each of them walking around this rock.

    (And that's not even taking into account degrees of introversion/extroversion, instinctual variants, etc.)
    It seems like a bit too much to differentiate between people like this. Is the added precision worth the mental effort in thinking about it, especially if enneagram is about a fixation that might change?


    Would you recommend one out of the five that you think was the most insightful? I'm jaded by the MBTI books that seemed to reaffirm stereotypes (I really don't like Keirsey).


    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    My personal favorite explanation of the progression of the numbers frames it as a developmental pattern of human life:

    1. The Father Figure, who needs to identify life principles.
    2. The Mother Figure, who needs to guide and nurture.
    3. The Child, who needs to successfully carry on the family lineage.
    4. The Sibling, who needs to discover their unique identity.
    5. The Adolescent, who needs to observe and prepare to become self-sufficient.
    6. The Peer, who needs to decide who to ally with and what they can trust.
    7. The Experimenter, who needs to discover how to live a personally fulfilling life.
    8. The Adult, who needs to be self-sufficient.
    9. The Great Unity, birth and death, the collective of Being.

    In this kind of light it makes sense why you would lean towards a wing as you do - you have to pass through certain developmental phases to get to the next. You can't nurture very well if you don't have a solid basis of principles to follow. You can't prepare to be self-sufficient if you haven't figured out who you are. You can't return to the collective until you've been an individual. You can't identify world principles until you've been a part of the universal knowledge source.
    Do you think these are [slash]right[/slash] ... accurate of each type though? Something about nine being the pinnacle sounds kind of creepy. Heh, I know why, it reminds me of the unitologists from Dead Space. Well, thanks though. That is a conceptual explanation at least, even if I'm not sure about it.

    An easy way to think of it is generally what a person is going to spend the most time attending to. An Sp/Sx will spend the most time making sure their affairs are in order, that they've gotten enough food and sleep, that they have stable shelter, etc., and secondarily they will attend to their intimate relationships and passions. An Sx/So will spend the most time attending to intimate relationships and passions, and secondarily will attend to where they stand in the larger alliances they are part of - family, school, political group. An So/Sp will attend to where they stand in the larger scheme of things, making sure it's a secure and useful position, then concentrate on their personal wellbeing, and so on.
    That makes a lot of sense.

    It's just more information. Some people say it's bogus; others say it's helpful. I think it's fairly useful when it comes to observing your core motivations when confronted with fear, anger, and shame (head/gut/heart).
    I see. So it sounds kind of negative then.

    There's conflicting evidence on attachment styles and influence on personality. Some claim attachment style is permanent, but others claim it's mostly learned and therefore likely to stay the way it is unless deliberately changed. In my opinion, this is an interesting theory, but it doesn't necessarily have much practical application besides identifying how you attach and how others attach, and how you can improve your personal relationships. To me, it seems complicated by the fact that people can have several close caregivers with different styles present in their early life, as well as extenuating circumstances that change the environment so drastically that attachment is heavily influenced.
    That's true. I guess I like the effort of the idea though, since it ties in nature and nurture.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    The general idea is that it is nurture. People experience something of a "wounding" during the formation of their ego & personality that causes their ego to revolve around a false belief about reality & themselves, a belief this wounding communicated. People also get "messages" during this time about what life & the world is like from people around them.

    The ego is sort of poised to cope with reality in these terms. Integration broadens the ego to see reality in less narrow & threatening terms, which allows one to be happier, healthier, etc.

    The enneagram represents the main categories that egos occurring in humans can be classified with. Compare it to physical human traits - we hav only 5 basic categories of hair color: blond, brown, black, red & grey. Yet in reality, there are infinite hair colors. Still these terms helps us to describe people pretty well, and most fit neatly into a category or subcategory (ie. red-blond or strawberry blond). We see connections here too - how come there's no blackish blond hair? Because they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Is this arbitrary? There is some order to it, and we see it as obvious, because it's visible. It's harder to see the obviousness with intangible things like egos & personality.
    Right, so enneagram is pretty much about identifying the negative aspects of each type?

    I personally do not feel that any Jungian type can be any enneagram type for this reason. I think Jungian type is more innate & will influence how you experience & interpret these "woundings" and "messages".
    I think it's kind of stupid when people pretend any enneagram can fit any Jungian type too. I saw people try to do that on another site and I didn't even want to read what they wrote because it's just creating categories with no thought into how they relate...or they wouldn't need all those categories...right?


    For instance, a 5 experiences themselves & life through a lens of "not enough", and so they "hoard" their time & energy. This is why avarice is their "passion", or the negative, defining trait that is primary way they "cope" with the falsehood of "not enough". When they integrate at 8, they see that life has plenty for the taking, that they have the power & right to take, and that they also have the power & enough to give to others, like a healthy 8 who has a sense of power & uses their power for good towards others. This broadening of their ego lessens the pull of this false belief & they can then function better in life, be happier, reach more of their potential, etc.
    So fives are like pack-rats? Seriously though, if they become like an 8, they lose their 5 fixation, right? Then are they supposed to be eights without negative aspects?


    The instincts are referring to basic human physical survival instincts and how they affect a person's psychology. A person's way of dealing with reality in terms of their ego & trying to survive tends to be focused in one of these areas, secondarily in another, and then having a blind spot for the last. This means each instinctual stack will play out differently within a core type & its wing & creates something like "subtypes". It's all interconnected.
    I guess I get how that would be separate from type. Thanks.


    Tri-type seems to suggest you take on a type's approach in different areas of life (heart/head/gut matters), but this is conflating instincts with triads, IMO, and it encourages mistyping.

    You could say:
    sx=heart, creating individual significance/impact (2=seducing, 3=attracting, 4=repulsing)
    sp=head, taking care of the your own needs (5=denying, 6=sustaining, 7=indulging)
    so=gut, connecting to others (1=discriminating, 9=submitting, 8=dominating)

    Instead of someone being a 269, they may simply be a 2w3 who is so/sp or something like that. They see 6 in relation to their wing's integration & 9 in relation to its disintegration, and their so instinct feels 6ish while their sp instinct feels 9ish.
    Right, yeah. It does seem like instincts cross over into tritype. It would be hard to explain them separately when they seem to describe similar tendencies. When I considered some type descriptions before with instincts verus tritype descriptions without too much thought, they seemed to cross-over a great deal. But I don't know what the justifications are for doing that, so I thought I'd ask. I guess other than to further distinguish, there doesn't seem to be any or no one who posted is aware of any.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    Right, so enneagram is pretty much about identifying the negative aspects of each type?
    It's more about identifying the false ideas your ego is founded on. First, it gets you to identify your ego, using the common personas people form off an ego fix. Then it identifies the coping strategy your ego has constructed & the negative traits which come from this (because it limits you), and then it shows you what attitudes/beliefs/behavior can counter the false fixation so you have a broader ego (function better, reach potential, etc).

    "Negative traits" is too static a view, too surface also. The point is to get to the bottom line of why you are the way you are so you can improve.


    I think it's kind of stupid when people pretend any enneagram can fit any Jungian type too. I saw people try to do that on another site and I didn't even want to read what they wrote because it's just creating categories with no thought into how they relate...or they wouldn't need all those categories...right?
    Yes, I agree with this....such a view REALLY makes such classifications arbitrary.


    So fives are like pack-rats? Seriously though, if they become like an 8, they lose their 5 fixation, right? Then are they supposed to be eights without negative aspects?
    No, they do not become 8s, nor would they want to (8 is an ego fix also). Rather, the healthy 8 behavior/mindset is founded on ego fixations which counter the 5's, so one could't be extremely fixated at 5 & possess some of those traits. When 5s integrate, they don't look like 8s so as to be confused with them; positive 8ish traits are just indicators of becoming healthier. They're still 5s because their identity & experiences have all been shaped as a 5, but they've shed the 5 fixation (as much as anyone can).

    As a metaphor, think of an interest someone has that is obsessive. They're so focused on it they miss out on other things, including developing their own potential & really living a full life. If they were to take an interest in different things, especially things totally unrelated to their obsession, it would not only show the obsession has less pull, but the focusing on things opposite of the obsession will naturally lessen the influence of it. Does the person totally become someone else? Not really, not likely. They're just more well-rounded. Even if they gave up the obsession, any expertise or skills or whatever they acquired by means of it are there, & it shapes their personality.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

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