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  1. #1
    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    Default Challenging the enneagram

    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.
    Last edited by Eugene Watson VIII; 03-28-2014 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Typos

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    Well here's my two cents, Planetary Walker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Planetary Walker View Post
    1.) Why is the enneagrams enneatypes placed the way they are? For example, why is an enneagram 6 placed in between 7 and 8?
    I guess you mean why is 7 between 6 and 8?

    I believe the person who placed the types was Oscar Ichazo. He used the enneagram as part of a much larger body of psycho-spiritual work, presumably derived from Gurdjieff. This was then corroborated by Claudio Naranjo, who claims you should see yourself in the psychologies surrounding your type (hence, we resemble the mindsets of the types on either side of us without being that type). This seems to work for any number of people, though why, none of us is in any position to say.

    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?
    That's a fair question, and you're not the first person to ask it. I only have the following information:
    - Naranjo's belief was that our neurosis of the integration point was "precisely the cure" for the neurotic elements of our core type. Thus the 6 would be well served by becoming "chill" and feeling deep inside that everything will be alright, somehow--like a 9.
    - Tom Condon states that the Point of Integration/Point of Disintegration seems to have originated with the Jesuits (hence, popularized by Riso and Hudson) and actually, this part of the theory is not necessarily accurate.
    - Many theorists also feel that we draw influences from both points of connection and that "integration and disintegration" is a myth. If you read the theory--without even putting it into practice IRL--you can easily see how one might draw influences from both.
    - I personally identify with my supposed point of disintegration enough that I considered it as my core type for many years. Yes, I did take on these strategies in response to extreme stress so the theory works in my case.
    - The theory of connecting points seems to be supported by widespread observations. Again, no one knows how it works, it's just an observed phenomenon.

    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?
    There are some who don't even believe in wing theory. If you believe that you should see yourself in the mindset and psychologies of the types on either side of you, then it seems foolish to claim one over the other.

    In my experience, some people have a clear wing (my mom's a 9 with MANY 1ish qualities), and some clearly have influences of both (my stepdad does a lot of both 8ish and 1ish things). As with the placement of the enneagram, no one knows why this is, but it does seem to work if you really stop to observe yourself and where your attention goes.

    As to non-adjacent types, well, if you believe in tritype theory, you can be heavily influenced by some random type. I personally seem to be a double type, but again, looking at where my mind is, it's clear one of those is only a secondary (and non-adjacent) fixation.

    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
    Having a withdrawn wing doesn't necessarily mean the 6 in question MUST be an introvert. The 6 is still a core 6 and is prone to having whatever MBTI type(s) may correlate with that. Also worth noting that some folks are only cognitive extroverts (I am an ENTP, for instance, but didn't know this until I started reading about Jung's Cognitive Functions. I am introverted, as fuck).

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

    That's all for now.
    What do you mean, what do I make of it? Looking at the psychologies of the surrounding types, ego ideals, my personal sense of life, probable integration and disintegration patterns over the course of my life, reading lots of books, journaling, and correlating my MBTI to likely enneagram types has led me to certain conclusions about what corner of the enneagram I am likely to reside on. But the conclusions were so ridiculous I just stopped talking about it.
    *Need enneagram questionnaire?
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ml#post2218641
    Likes BlackDog liked this post

  3. #3
    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    I guess you mean why is 7 between 6 and 8?
    Yeah sorry about that, I've fixed it though.

    I believe the person who placed the types was Oscar Ichazo. He used the enneagram as part of a much larger body of psycho-spiritual work, presumably derived from Gurdjieff. This was then corroborated by Claudio Naranjo, who claims you should see yourself in the psychologies surrounding your type (hence, we resemble the mindsets of the types on either side of us without being that type). This seems to work for any number of people, though why, none of us is in any position to say.
    Most of the wings sort of make sense to me now, but I'm still wondering why they are the way they are. I assume the only way to find out really is to ask the designers of the enneagram . I feel like the standard wings should be w7 and w5 since they have the most distinguishable characteristics and seem to make pretty standard subtypes. An introverted (w5) or extroverted (w7) enneagram 2 makes more sense than a 2w3 or 2w1. I probably shouldn't be using the words introverted or extroverted since ISTPs (introverts) can test as 7s, but I guess you'll get my drift.

    Good input though, anyone else feel free to chime in.

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    Member atlascatcher's Avatar
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    Not sure if you have seen these but they might be of interest to you:

    http://www.equip.org/articles/tell-m...m-o-enneagram/
    http://www.cfpeople.org/apologetics/page51a076.html
    [ 4(69) "The Seeker"; IEI-2Ni (INFp) ]


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    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atlascatcher View Post
    Not sure if you have seen these but they might be of interest to you:

    http://www.equip.org/articles/tell-m...m-o-enneagram/
    http://www.cfpeople.org/apologetics/page51a076.html
    Thank you, I'll check those out later after finishing my assignment

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    Senior Member Retmeishka's Avatar
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    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.

    I don't have enough time to write about this since I'm on my lunch break...

    Basically, to make a long story short, I myself gave up on the enneagram completely, and nowadays I refuse to use it at all...

  7. #7

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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Planetary Walker View Post
    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 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).
    Those types are placed together because the types within each group supposedly share similar themes/issues based on the core emotion that motivates them, and the "center of intelligence" they operate from. You may also be familiar with the Hornevian/Freudian triads: assertive/aggressive/id (3, 7, 8), withdrawn/ego (4, 5, 9) and compliant/superego (1, 2, 6). If you look at how they are structured, you may notice that 1) in each of the head/heart/gut triads, there is one type from each of the Freudian groups, for example, the head triad has 5, an ego type, 6, a superego type, and 7, an id type, and 2) where two adjacent types don't belong to the same head/heart/gut triad, they belong to the same Freudian group, for example, 1 is a gut type and 2 is an image type, but both are superego types. So, if you are a 4, for example, you can either have a 3 wing, which reinforces the image issues, or a 5 wing, which reinforces the withdrawn issues. It gets a bit more complicated with the primary types because both of the adjacent types belong to the same triad, but I believe it's explained by the idea that each triad has
    an inwardly focused type and an outwardly focused type, with the central type being both inwardly and outwardly focused. For example, 6s are both, but a 5 wing reinforces the inwardly focused side while a 7 wing reinforces the outwardly focused side.

    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).

    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.

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

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planetary Walker View Post
    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.
    1. The answer is found in a synthesis of Russian mysticism, numerology, astrology, music, and Eastern metaphysics.

    http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/Fo...8#.UzdHcKI2PGc


    Notice that the HZ numbers, numerologically, all add up to 9. 864 HZ is 8+6+4 numerologically, which = 18. 1+8 = 9.

    The following was not written by me.


    Posted - 03 Jun 2008 :

    Most things like this (such as the Enneagram itself) are not the relevant geometry but are distortions of the relevant geometry meant to highlight some properties of the actual math. The 72 is the number of vertices in the E6 polytope, if you add the 6 axes to the 72 vertices you get the 78 tarot cards. If you add the 4 axes of F4 to the 48 vertices of F4 you get the 52 playing cards; if you add the 4 axes of D4 to the 24 vertices of D4 you get the 28 Chinese Astrology points. Chinese Astrology also has the 12 "internal" points which are the D3 vertices; the 12 are also the Enneagram plus a second law of 3 like some researchers have, the 12 D3 vertices being a Law of 7 hexagon with a law of 3 triangle above the hexagon and another law of 3 triangle below the hexagon. Chinese astrology divides its 28 points into four directions worth of an octave like 7.

    Theosophical addition is kind of taking multiple digit numbers and turning them back into one digit numbers like df did with the HZ numbers, like 10=1+0=1, 11=1+1=2. Here this lets you count to 72 by repeating the numbers 1 through 9. 10=1, 11=2, 12=3, 13=4, 14=5, 15=6, 16=7, 17=8, 18=9, 19=10=1, 20=2, 21=3, etc. There's a nice one for powers of 2 using the law of 7 rearranged in the Celtic Enneagram order of 124875 since after 1,2,4,8, you have 16=7, 32=5, 64=10=1, 128=11=2, 256=13=4, 512=8, 1024=7, 2048=14=5, etc.

    Music is more complicated as explained here:

    "the 7 and 5 structures in music
    correspond to different projections of the Witting polytope
    from 8 real dimensions into lower dimensions.

    In some sense, the 7-structures are related to the 24-cell
    and therefore to the ordinary 4-dim subspace

    while

    the 5-structures are related to the 600-cell
    and therefore to the Golden sqrt(5) 4-dim subspace

    of the 8-dim Witting polytope.


    From the 4(complex)-dim point of view,

    the 7-structures are REAL
    and
    the 5-structures are IMAGINARY."

    That Witting polytope is E8 which has 240 vertices and 8 axes and contains all that E6,F4,D4 and D3 stuff I mentioned before.

    There's a pattern with the Fibonacci sequence on the outside which can give you the Enneagram's law of 7 and law of 3 also:



    It has the Fibonacci sequence in the upper right quarter and the rest comes from opposite numbers adding to 9 and opposite parallel lines of numbers adding to 9. There are 24 outer points, the 24 D4 vertices.

    The colors just seem to show besides the 12 pattern, the law of 3 and the law of 7 with the law of 7 broken in half (beginning with the 2 point as in 285-714).


    Edited by - Bluelamp on 03 Jun 2008 11:16:23 PM
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    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.

    Intriguing image, Mal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    What do I think of my 5w4 enneatype? It fits me well. But there is a good chance that my personality conformed itself to the description over time. On the other hand, I also agree with 6w5 being my subwing which is something I learned about long after. The description just fits me.

    The enneagram was an amazing personal discovery that changed my life for the better.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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