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1. Originally Posted by Planetary Walker
Read it all, very interesting points. You have done well comparing 7 to gut types and 1 to thinking types, i thought that was especially interesting. I agree that it's not a well cut system, as I've been forever stuck between enneagram 9 and 4, and seem to behave more like a 9w4 than 9w8 or 9w1. I don't relate well to the hedonistic ways of wing 8, and seem to sentimental to have a 1 wing, though I see that in me more than an 8 wing. It seems the enneagram can't square in the exact essence of people as well as the MBTI can. MBTI is much less complicated so I suppose that's why it works better.

Interesting about the division of 1 by 7. A shame it doesn't work with 3/6 however.
Law of 3. 1/3 = .33333..., 2/3 = .66666..., 3/3 = .99999....

2. The human mind is naturally attracted to symmetries, and the enneagram is full of them. The numbers on the septagram (the 7-pointed star represented by the secondary types) represent passive and active types from their respective triads (or centers). 8 is active, 1 is passive; 2 is active, 4 is passive; 7 is active and 5 is passive.

Wings can conflict with their respective primary types in a way that is pleasantly symmetrical.
1w2 no conflict
2w1 conflict
2w3 no conflict
3w2 conflict
3w4 no conflict
4w3 conflict
4w5 no conflict
5w4 conflict
... and so on, the exception between 1w9 which both conflicts and doesn't conflict.

3. Originally Posted by Planetary Walker
I have several questions about the enneagram and have been mulling them over a bit. I will organize the questions into two categories. Maybe someone has the answers to them or at least something to contribute, so feel free to do so! These questions are merely here to spark up a debate about the programming of the enneagram, I havn't got any conclusions yet but I'll think over it more later.

1.) Why is the enneagrams enneatypes placed the way they are? For example, why is an enneagram 7 placed in between 6 and 8?
If you download and expand the diagram I posted above, you will see exactly why 7 is placed in between 6 and 8. It's hard to see it even then. But it's all in the numbers, and remembering the patterns 1/7, 2/7, 3/7, 4/7, 5/7, 6/7, and 1/3, 2/3, 3/3.

4. Originally Posted by Octavarium
tl;dr: The Enneagram is a neatly structured theory and it has a lot of interesting insights, but it doesn't always work very well as a system. I've been thinking about this stuff a lot recently so I took this opportunity to write and post my thoughts. I know it's a ridiculously long post, and I won't be offended if no one reads it all, but I'm posting it all anyway in case it's of interest to anyone.
Thanks for that. I always appreciate what someone else has to contribute, so you're doing well. I'm sure the enneagram is but I still don't know why it supposedly works. I'll probably find out something more insightful as I continue to read and edit my post (which will hopefully be inordinate and helpful).

The placement of the types is not arbitrary. As you probably already know, the types are divided into image/heart/shame types (2, 3 and 4), head/fear types (5, 6 and 7) and gut/instinctive/anger types(8, 9 and 1).
I just recently saw that the 3-6-9 group has one of each triad and the rest either enforce the psychic apparatus or soften it with one of the other three coping mechanisms. I'm kind of having a revelation why for example, a type 1 has either a super-ego wing or a ego wing. Because e9 is essentially the opposite to e2; type 9s merge with others, and type 2s actively seek to help others. One is a sort of slothful neglectful numbing (ego) and the other does the opposite by adhering to cultural norms mostly and pleasing the others actively (super-ego). You could say an e5 is the opposite, because they are secluded and detatched, which I suppose is true because it also is an ego type, and an 8 could be the opposite because it is about lust mostly, also being an ID type. But the opposite of numbing one self and to go with the flow with others passively is really actively seeking what I call good sportmanship (being friendly and forgiving, a trait of e2s). So someone who is on top of their impulses and lusty desires, can either be assertive or passive. I hope that makes sense, I could be completely off or missing something, but I suppose that clears up that.

And for the other type disintegration and integration points, only 1-7-5, 5-8-2, 8-2-4 integrate/disintegrate into one of each psychic apparatus. I'm not as sure as my earlier opinion why this is, but I assume there is a meaning behind it as well. I'm not going to make any tomfoolery guesses though.

So it's certainly an elegant theory, but does it actually work as a system for describing real people? Well, if we assume that head/heart/gut and id/ego/superego are the most significant divisions between the types, it makes some sense to assume that most people's secondary type will be one that has one of those groups in common. But that raises more questions than it answers; why should we assume those are the most significant groups? The types in each of the head/heart/gut triads are conceptually linked, but I don't think they are meaningful groups in terms of having personality traits in common. What does it mean to be, for example, a gut type? that you are motivated by anger? That applies to 8s and 1s, although in very different ways, but applying it to 9s is stretching it. That you are focused on the boundary between yourself and the outer world, and WTF does that even mean? That you have strong personal boundaries? So do 5s, and 9s generally don't. In other words, if I said, "My friend John Smith is a gut type," would that give you much of a sense of what he's like? I think not. I do think id/ego/superego are significant groups, although I think it's better to view id/superego as a dichotomy (like MBTI's J/P, although some I/E stuff has got mixed up in there) and withdrawn-ness as a separate thing, essentially introversion (although it probably applies better to INs than ISs).
Yep.

Even if we assume they are significant groups, why couldn't a 1, for example, have an 8 wing (since they're both gut types) or a 6 wing (since they're both superego types)? How do we know the types are correctly placed? For example, 1s tend to identify with their minds, are often intellectual (especially 1w9s) and Sp 1s, (according to Naranjo, I think) are often more anxious than 6s, so there's a case for putting 1s with the head types; even Riso and Hudson say 1s tend to think of themselves that way. Meanwhile, 7s are a much more physical type who, like 8s, enjoy the pleasures of the senses. Many of them like their activities to be intellectually stimulating, but I don't think that's a core part of the type. They tend not to be very anxious (they fear being trapped and in pain, but all the types have a basic fear) so that's not a good reason for classifying 7 as a fear type. As for the Freudian groups, Naranjo talks about the "high super-ego" of 5s, and he portrays 2s as an id-ish/hedonistic type whose giving is about being seductive, rather than out of a sense of duty, or to earn love, as you'd expect from a superego type (and from the way sources like Riso and Hudson describe them).

As for the dis/integration points, if you divide 1 by 7 (7 being, of course, 1's integration point) you get 0.142857, and as you've probably noticed, that's the sequence of disintegration points. So I think it's another case of it being an elegant theory that doesn't necessarily apply all that well to real human psychology. A few of the dis/integration points make sense, but mostly I don't think it adds much to the theory. I believe the thinking among some people is that the patterns in the Enneagram symbol apply to human personality because they apply to any system or process and capture the inherent order within the universe. I'm sceptical of that.

I've had trouble settling on one type, and I've started to think that's mostly because of the discrepancies in the ways that different authors describe the types. There are several that accurately describe something about my psychology, but all of them have some key trait that I don't relate to (a trait that, according to some people, if you don't relate to it, you're not that type). I've mostly been flipping between 1 and 6. 1 because I relate to the perfectionism/criticality, inner critic, the sense that things are never as they should be, inability to accept my own mistakes, strong convictions, ETC, and I really relate to what Palmer says about how 1s pay attention. What I don't relate to is reaction formation. I can't think of a single example of a time when I've done that. And yet, the entire type 1 personality is a reaction formation against anger. Also, I don't relate to those SJ-ish descriptions saying that 1s are obsessed with neatness, manners, social conventions, ETC. Although some sources say that whether any particular 1 even cares about those things depends on their own individual standards.

For type 6, I've found that some profiles of the type describe me really well, and others are totally off. I'm not just talking about having a couple of traits that I don't entirely relate to, I mean that they're pretty much the opposite of what I'm like, what I value, ETC. Typewatch's 6w5 description is one of the best descriptions of myself I've come across, but most of what Riso and Hudson say about 6s is not me at all. Maybe that is to be expected, because of the phobic/CP distinction, but I don't really relate to either side of that dichotomy. I am far too cautious to be CP, and I don't relate at all to the idea of doing things that scare me to prove I'm not afraid or throwing myself into action when I'm anxious, but I also don't relate at all to the phobic descriptions about "warmth" and submitting to/wanting to be protected by some authority. On the other hand, the anxiety, worst case scenario thinking/contingency planning, not easily trusting and wanting open and clear agreements, dislike of uncertainty/ambiguity/unpredictability, even the "yeah, but..." way of thinking, I relate to completely. My way of thinking, and many of the assumptions I make about the world, seem very 6, but I don't relate to the 6's authority issues.

At one point I typed myself as a 5, and I can't entirely remember why I decided I couldn't be that type. It might have been because I relate to the compliant/superego group (when the descriptions aren't too SJ-ish, anyway). I relate to the withdrawn triad too, but lots of introverts mistakenly think they're withdrawn types, so they say. It might have been because I thought I wasn't detached enough (I've read quite a few forum/blog posts from people who are knowledgeable about the Enneagram, talking about someone who thought they were a 5 because they were introverted, intellectual and emotionally detached, but still weren't detached in the same way 5s are). Also, I don't think I have the pattern over my life that 5s tend to have, of avoiding obligations. However, I do relate to the search for knowledge, the strong need for privacy, the hoarding tendencies (I think; I don't collect things, but I do tend to hold on to things I haven't used for a while because of a vague sense I might need them someday), even the 5s attraction to/fascination with what disturbs them. I think there's a bit of 4 in me too, but I'm quite sure that's not my core. So I still take an interest in the Enneagram because I think it's got some insights the MBTI has missed, but there are a lot of intelligent, self-aware people who can't figure out their type, and that makes me think we probably don't all fit neatly into one type. Tritype isn't an entirely convincing solution because of what I said about head/heart/gut not being particularly significant groups.
TL;DR, not really, but I don't have much else to say and am merely tinkering with all the pieces that constitute the enneagram. I am in accordance with what you've said though, so there's nothing else to say really. I will get round to adding more to my post once I have the time.

5. I discovered that the shortcut to finding your enneagram type with fewer mistakes on average is to roll the dice for your initial typing. Before you read any descriptions or anything, because otherwise you will be biased, roll the dice. Two dice. If you get 10-12 it means it is the will of the universe that you never learn your type. If you get 1-9, whatever number you get, do the following computation to find your enneatype:

2. multiply by -3.

3. divide by 2.

4. square this number.

5. At this point, you have 5 different numbers that you have computed. Add them all up and calculate the mean.

6. Now, take each of the 5 numbers, and subtract the mean from it.

7. Square each of those numbers.

9. Divide by n, in this case 5.

10. Take the square root of this number.

11. multiply by 0.

That should start you off real well!

6. Originally Posted by Planetary Walker
1.) Why is the enneagrams enneatypes placed the way they are? For example, why is an enneagram 7 placed in between 6 and 8? Why are the integration and disintegration points so impeccably positioned so that they form along with the other points, the entire geometric pattern and why does, for example, a 6 only integrate to 9 and disntegrate to 3? What is it about a 6 that gives off the impression that when they become 'disintegrated' they take on the traits of an arrogant and competitive spirit? Why does the enneagram 6 have a wing 7 or wing 5 and not allow a combination of say enneagram 2 or 4? What is it thats in the 6's DNA that makes them either a bit more intellectual or gluttonously fun?
The placement of types has to do with a type being a blend of the fixations on either side. In a sense, all of the fixations exist within everyone, but your core type is the one that's the strongest & which comes to define your personality. The wing is sort of the side you lean on with your core type (it helps to think of it like a spectrum, so the wing is like a shade of your type). The other lines shows how people integrate or disintegrate. This "makes sense" in that the integration point means adopting behaviors & thinking with counter your fixation, or broaden you ego, so you're less constricted by it & are a healthier person; disintegration is the opposite, where you take on behaviors & thinking which sort of indulge the fixation or narrow the ego when its threatened with something which challenges the fixation's truth, and this constricts people so they operate in a less healthy way.

This likely is not about DNA either. The jury is out on nature/nurture. Enneagram tends to teach that the fixation is something you develop early in life, and integration helps you move towards self-actualization (a theoretical transcending of the ego, to be your whole, true self functioning at your highest human potential).

This symbol represents the inner structure of people's emotional makeup & psychology. It's a symbol of something intangible.
As an illustration - why are the legs connected to the butt & the head on top of the body? We identify the basic physical structure in people as normal, yet people have a great variety of appearances still. You might compare human psychology to the physical body that way.

I see why they have a more introverted type 6 and a more extroverted type, but you even get ENTJs testing as 6w5 so somethings not adding up (or appearing to). I havn't thought about these questions deep enough but it was an interesting passing thought as I was drinking my thai chicken soup
The enneagram is about psychological fixations that color our emotional view of ourselves & reality. Jungian/MBTI types, which deal with introversion/extroversion, are about cognitive preferences & the ones which are "favored" so as to color our mental view of ourselves & reality. These two philosophies cover different aspects of human psychological makeup & the ego, but they are also complementary & can't fully be separated because in reality the emotional & mental aspects of human psychological orientations (for lack of better words) are not independent one each other. So this is why many Jungian types can share an enneagram type, yet we don't see any Jungian type as any enneagram type (there are obvious patterns as to what cognitive preferences develop alongside certain emotional fixations).

7. Originally Posted by Retmeishka
I'm very cynical about the enneagram, and I don't even try to use it anymore. When I was trying to use it in the past, I decided I was a: 7, 5, 1, 9, 6, 3, 4 ... basically, every single type except 2 and 8. The descriptions of 2 and 8 were 'not me' strongly enough that I could feel pretty sure I wasn't either of those types. Then I read that 'Type 9 thinks it's everything.' But that wasn't very helpful either. I had almost exactly the same questions you did (why is number 6 in between 7 and 5, etc, why does it integrate this way but not this way)...

I'm out of my territory here, because I have never actually read about the history of the enneagram and how it developed over time. So I am just speculating. I strongly suspect that the directions of integration and disintegration, along with the concept of 'wings', were just added on later, but were not there originally when it was first created. Those concepts were added to make up for weaknesses, such as the fact that you can type yourself as just about anything, and you always have some resemblance to some other type. I could say I'm a 9 with a 1 wing, and I'm integrating to a 3 (with a 4 wing?), and disintegrating to a 6 (with a 7 wing?), and I've already covered almost all of the types! It's a way of saying you're like every single type, without actually saying you are every type. That's my theory.

I think it got added on to the enneagram symbol merely because it looked cool. Somebody invented the symbol separately from the enneagram. It just so happens that it has nine points, and somebody created nine enneagram types, so they said, 'Wow, the number nine! I think I'll use this!' and they took the symbol. After the numbers are on the symbol, you then start to get the concept, by looking at the image, that the types are 'next to' each other, and therefore they 'blend' with each other. If you only have a concept of numbers by themselves, without a symbol, then you wouldn't necessarily think to yourself that each number 'blends with' the numbers beside it. This is an artifact of having put it onto the symbol.

Basically, to make a long story short, I myself gave up on the enneagram completely, and nowadays I refuse to use it at all...
Well, pretty much everything you wrote above speculating about the enneagram is completely false, so...

8. Originally Posted by Planetary Walker
I have several questions about the enneagram and have been mulling them over a bit. I will organize the questions into two categories. Maybe someone has the answers to them or at least something to contribute, so feel free to do so! These questions are merely here to spark up a debate about the programming of the enneagram, I havn't got any conclusions yet but I'll think over it more later.

1.) Why is the enneagrams enneatypes placed the way they are? For example, why is an enneagram 7 placed in between 6 and 8? Why are the integration and disintegration points so impeccably positioned so that they form along with the other points, the entire geometric pattern and why does, for example, a 6 only integrate to 9 and disntegrate to 3? What is it about a 6 that gives off the impression that when they become 'disintegrated' they take on the traits of an arrogant and competitive spirit? Why does the enneagram 6 have a wing 7 or wing 5 and not allow a combination of say enneagram 2 or 4? What is it thats in the 6's DNA that makes them either a bit more intellectual or gluttonously fun?

I see why they have a more introverted type 6 and a more extroverted type, but you even get ENTJs testing as 6w5 so somethings not adding up (or appearing to). I havn't thought about these questions deep enough but it was an interesting passing thought as I was drinking my thai chicken soup

and

2.) What do you make of your enneagram type?

That's all for now.
Oy vey... I could have a field day with this...

I'm gunna read some of the prior posts before I do, tho...

9. Originally Posted by Retmeishka
I'm very cynical about the enneagram, and I don't even try to use it anymore. When I was trying to use it in the past, I decided I was a: 7, 5, 1, 9, 6, 3, 4 ... basically, every single type except 2 and 8. The descriptions of 2 and 8 were 'not me' strongly enough that I could feel pretty sure I wasn't either of those types. Then I read that 'Type 9 thinks it's everything.' But that wasn't very helpful either. I had almost exactly the same questions you did (why is number 6 in between 7 and 5, etc, why does it integrate this way but not this way)...

I'm out of my territory here,
That was a strong beginning, because it is both true and factual, but after that it was all down hill.

10. Why is type 6 so paranoid?

Because 7 8 9.

Bah dum DUM.

Seriously, Enneagram is a catalog of common neuroses. Everyone has one. Figure out which one you have, and Enneagram can help you. Otherwise, it's going to look like numerology or other equally ridiculous approaches to self-understanding.

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