Alright, so I've been reading a bit about enneagram and I have a few qualms with the descriptions of 5 and how they seem to conflict. There's obviously mbti stuff in here too, though. I figured I'd write some stuff out to collect my thoughts and let you comment on them. For the record, I type as 5w4 and INTP.
I keep reading that type 5s indulge in avarice. That is, hoarding of knowledge/skill/whatever in order to be better prepared, and the withholding of that knowledge from others. They claim this "self-preservation" to be the primary motivation for the 5s thirst for knowledge. This makes no sense to me, I learn things for the sake of knowing the truth, never to spite others by withholding it or selfishly help myself out of a tight spot in the future (as if quantum mechanics could help me out in real life anyway)! I don't go out of my way to share my knowledge, but of course I'll share it when the situation calls for it. I'm sure we don't go around spouting facts or answers all day for no reason (although we probably could), but I don't think that has anything to do with avarice.
Detachment in type 5s and "problem dealing with emotions". Most descriptions seemed vague and described it as being anti-social, despondant, hiding from the world, etc, but that seems totally wrong to me. I did like one that went something like "taking in only what is necessary, and letting the rest go." My belief here is that the feeling of detachment comes with the 5s need to know the truth, and understanding what does and doesn't matter. Never becoming to attached to anything, whether a physical or mental construct. Not caring about superficiality, social niceties, and never becoming over-emotional over petty incidents or ideas, accepting things as they truly are in the grand-scale. I don't believe 5s have a problem understanding their own emotions. I think they have a logical viewpoint that makes their emotions less overwhelming. It's more likely that others have a problem understanding why we don't express ourselves with the same emotions they would have to certain situations. We're just objective (aka detached) and don't take anything personally!
This point is more of an observation than an argument. It is my understanding that 5's are the most intellectual of the enneagram types, and that 4's are the most emotional (that is, understand and feel their emotions the most completely). Apparently, both experience quite a bit of social withdrawal and feel unique (or perhaps dysfunctional), when compared to the rest of society. Now, compare enneagram 5 to mbti's INTP, and similarly compare enneagram 4 to INFP. It seems to me that people who experience powerful/abstract emotion or thoughts become outcasts. It's as if both types can feel their own uniqueness (emotionally or intellectually) when compared to the rest of society. Not only that, they are seemingly able to make piercing observations about other people and from what I have read, are generally very gifted in this area. It almost makes me think that exceptionally gifted (intuitive) people become introverts naturally, due to a perceived difference from the norm. Thoughts?
*I'm not quite as sure about the P/J, perhaps INFJ's or INTJ's could be similar as well.