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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Default Why I Am No Longer An Enneagrammist

    In the past on this forum I have stated that I am not Jungian, or MBTI, but an enneagramist. That's because I fell in love with the enneagram over 20 years go when it helped me through some rough times, and I loved the theory for itself.

    But nowadays, with pages online such as this Enneagram with Type-Color Associations, it just seems really campy to me. The references to Freudian object/relations theory on that page are just plain silly and out of context, an obvious attempt to lend serious credibility to a theory that often lacks credibility.

    The only thing I like about the enneagram are the lines of integration and disintegration, but only because I believe these are in some way related to JCF. In other words, the enneagram has credibility only in reference to another theory that has credibility.

    Enneagrammists' attempts to relate the enneagram to some ancient teaches is also silly. The whole thing was invented in the 1960s, although it has its roots in G. I. Gurdjieff's teachings. But these teachings themselves don't necessarily lead to an enneagram, as he was apt to teach about either 3 or 4 centers of intelligence.

    As a system of personal growth, teaching about enneagram colors, or forcing other typologies to conform to its pattern as Riso did, are either silly or dogmatic and not conducive to personal growth. There are a thousand systems of personal growth out there that are likely to be more effective because the practitioner won't get caught up in any of the same kind of campy silliness that surrounds the enneagram.

    As for Riso's type descriptions, they could be brilliant attempts to fuse other theories into a single description for types. For those who don't know, the original enneagram descriptions were brief, one-page essays on types that were distributed from person to person. By all rights, it should have died out as all such fads eventually die out. But in order to build the enneagram into something bigger, it was necessary for Riso to borrow ideas from other typologies, such as the famous personality disorders of the DSM category system. In this way, the enneagram could elevate its credibility. At the same time, in order to avoid the criticism that the enneagram is not a novel discovery, Riso had to separate the enneagram from these systems by dogmatically reducing them to the enneagram.

    I like JCF now. The only problem with this is avoiding getting caught up in the Socionics interpretation of it. That however won't be a problem for me.
    "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.”

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    My favorite / most useful part of enneagram theory for me was also the directions of integration/disintegration, while your criticisms seem to be along the lines of my own.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Google "chemtrails" Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    Neat take on the history and borrowings of the Enneagram, lots of stuff that I didn't know. Would be interesting to hear more about how the directions of integration/disintegration, rather than the types themselves, could be connected to JCF.

    All of these typologies could have bullshit tacked onto them by other people, though; such as this Enneagram color theory or Socionics's DCNH subtype nonsense. Doesn't change the core ideas for me.

    I'm surprised that y'all found the directions of integration/disintegration to be useful. You know more about Enneagram than I do, but they seemed to me to be more of a way to justify the use of the shape. The most useful part of the system to me is the type descriptions themselves.

    I also find the connections to DSM, placing them all circular-like, to be intriguing and not so far from the truth. At least they didn't try for a one-to-one correspondence between DSM diagnoses and Enneatypes; that would've been suspicious.
    Last edited by Bush Did 9/11; 08-29-2014 at 09:53 AM. Reason: i did lots of edits
    J. Scott Crothers
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post
    Neat take on the history and borrowings of the Enneagram, lots of stuff that I didn't know. Would be interesting to hear more about how the directions of integration/disintegration, rather than the types themselves, could be connected to JCF.

    I'm surprised that y'all found the directions of integration/disintegration to be useful. You know more about Enneagram than I do, but they seemed to me to be more of a way to justify the use of the shape. The most useful part of the system to me is the type descriptions themselves.
    The directions of integration/disintegration could well be an ad hoc way to justify the shape, or to squeeze out a theory by forcing some facts of human nature to suit the symbol. Or the shape could really be the result of human observations. I kind of doubt the latter, though. But the ad hocness of the theory does not falsify it.
    "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.”

  5. #5
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post
    Neat take on the history and borrowings of the Enneagram, lots of stuff that I didn't know. Would be interesting to hear more about how the directions of integration/disintegration, rather than the types themselves, could be connected to JCF.

    All of these typologies could have bullshit tacked onto them by other people, though; such as this Enneagram color theory or Socionics's DCNH subtype nonsense. Doesn't change the core ideas for me.

    I'm surprised that y'all found the directions of integration/disintegration to be useful. You know more about Enneagram than I do, but they seemed to me to be more of a way to justify the use of the shape. The most useful part of the system to me is the type descriptions themselves.

    I also find the connections to DSM, placing them all circular-like, to be intriguing and not so far from the truth. At least they didn't try for a one-to-one correspondence between DSM diagnoses and Enneatypes; that would've been suspicious.
    I'm more with you on the lines of connection. They don't seem particularly inevitable. I do agree then when one is particular stressed one may shift into alternate defense mechanisms. When one is feeling particularly secure, one may be able to break out of one's habitual defensive structure, and engage in new and more healthy strategies.

    I find the most useful bit of the enneagram to be its not overly-pathologizing approach to unhealthy coping strategies. I also like the emphasis on mindfulness, which can help one be more aware of when one is reacting rather than choosing.

    Some of the mysticism around the enneagram makes me roll my eyes, and I find the positive side of the enneagram to be not particularly useful.

    I think it's interesting that Dan Siegel (of The Developing Mind fame) is working with some others on actual research to see if the enneagram describes someone real. His early perspective is that perhaps it's about a dominate emotion (anger, fear, sadness) combined with a direction of attention (inward, outward, or both inward and outward). I'll be curious to see if anything comes of that, since I think Siegel isn't particularly invested in the enneagram.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post
    Neat take on the history and borrowings of the Enneagram, lots of stuff that I didn't know. Would be interesting to hear more about how the directions of integration/disintegration, rather than the types themselves, could be connected to JCF.
    All you would have to do is toss out a JCF-based correlation, but yes, you do have to know something about how JCF and the enneagram already correlate, in theory.

    The first thing to do is throw away Riso's correlations, as they don't make sense. There are other correlation systems out there, but rather than merely imitate them, which would flatter them more than they possibly deserve, I prefer to take the independent-thinking route.

    If you read the type 7 description, and compare it to Jung's functions, you will honestly find that the 7 does not correlate with any specific function, but definitely with extroversion as an attitude. So that eliminates half of the functions as possible candidates, leaving: Te, Fe, Ne, and Se.

    Upon further reading, it's easy to boil these candidates down to Ne and Se, after which the distinction between them is blurred by the intense focus on extroversion and perceiving: Pe.

    Ne and Se are the auxiliary types common to those of us who identify with the 5 more than any other e-type. So it is natural for those of us who use too much Ti to become detached from external evidence (Se and Ne). The 5's attention span decreases as he or she is more easily distracted by the non-thinking, perceptive elements of consciousness; the mind races to keep ahead of these distractions. This is described in Riso's terms as disintegrating to 7.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
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  7. #7
    is indra's Avatar
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    not a number, i'm a free man
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    don't care where the past was
    i know where i'm going... out!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunyata View Post
    not a number, i'm a free man
    and my blood is my own now
    don't care where the past was
    i know where i'm going... out!
    The best way to be an enneagrammist is not to be one! Because we're not supposed to be "a type," or a false self.
    "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.”

  9. #9
    Google "chemtrails" Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    What the hell? I thought I already replied to this thread. Here it is again. In condensed form though, because screw writing it again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    But the ad hocness of the theory does not falsify it.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I do agree then when one is particular stressed one may shift into alternate defense mechanisms. When one is feeling particularly secure, one may be able to break out of one's habitual defensive structure, and engage in new and more healthy strategies.

    I find the most useful bit of the enneagram to be its not overly-pathologizing approach to unhealthy coping strategies. I also like the emphasis on mindfulness, which can help one be more aware of when one is reacting rather than choosing.
    Bam, there it is. There are two good goals behind studying typology: studying it for its own sake because it's neat and interesting, and/or using it for awareness of one's own deep-seated biases.
    I'll be curious to see if anything comes of that, since I think Siegel isn't particularly invested in the enneagram.
    Same.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    The first thing to do is throw away Riso's correlations, as they don't make sense.
    Definitely. They seem like guesses.
    Ne and Se are the auxiliary types common to those of us who identify with the 5 more than any other e-type. So it is natural for those of us who use too much Ti to become detached from external evidence (Se and Ne). The 5's attention span decreases as he or she is more easily distracted by the non-thinking, perceptive elements of consciousness; the mind races to keep ahead of these distractions. This is described in Riso's terms as disintegrating to 7.
    I can see that reasoning. But I can see others, too.

    What about, say, that 5 integrates to 7 by letting the outside world in (perhaps via Pe)? That 8 (and maybe 1) integrates to 6 by incorporating 'community' input? That 3 disintegrates to 4 when he breaks and clings to a sense of identity?

    Those may not be the best examples, but I'm sure that you see where I'm coming from.
    J. Scott Crothers
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    - Elevenetics

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post
    What the hell? I thought I already replied to this thread. Here it is again. In condensed form though, because screw writing it again.
    Agreed.


    Bam, there it is. There are two good goals behind studying typology: studying it for its own sake because it's neat and interesting, and/or using it for awareness of one's own deep-seated biases.
    Same.
    Definitely. They seem like guesses.
    I can see that reasoning. But I can see others, too.

    What about, say, that 5 integrates to 7 by letting the outside world in (perhaps via Pe)? That 8 (and maybe 1) integrates to 6 by incorporating 'community' input? That 3 disintegrates to 4 when he breaks and clings to a sense of identity?

    Those may not be the best examples, but I'm sure that you see where I'm coming from.
    I can see that you're no longer talking about the enneagram except for the idea of 5 integrating to 7.
    "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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