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  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default Enneagram 4 Relationship to the Sacred & Profane



    I saw this video and found it interesting for E4, but wanted to elaborate on the ways it presents the relationships of the E4 to the idea of suffering. I know this guy is making a light-hearted criticisms for all of the types, and I think what he describes could sometimes be the case, but I think the relationship to suffering goes deeper instinctively than a dramatic play of "Oh Lord, I've got the vapers".

    In my own experience I cannot say that I 'enjoy' suffering, and do not consider that I have suffered more than others. Suffering is a problem for humanity to the extent I would suggest that in most cases: to live is to suffer.

    As an E4 I find that I have a fixation on suffering because it presents a problem for existence. It compromises the search for beauty on such a deep level that it demands resolution. The man in the video mentions E4s as 'suicidal tendencies', and I would say that were I to allow myself to comprehend the reality of suffering in the world, I could not exist. So, there is an ongoing awareness of beauty and suffering that tears apart the comprehension of the E4. At first glance suffering is intolerable and extinguishes existence, so it poses the deepest instinctual threat.

    For this reason it has to be addressed. This can first be done by looking at the suffering in one's own life unabashedly, which to others can look like a needless fixation, a desire to suffer and be sad, to dwell on the negative. What is not seen is that until there is some way to resolve the problem of suffering, it arrests attention. But this isn't the only place it has to be addressed because each of us has a finite suffering that doesn't deal with the larger problem of suffering in reality. Even if I can resolve the issues of my own suffering, and in many ways have, still, there is a fixation outward on the insistent horrors in the world.

    Because of the drive to search for beauty in reality, this natural instinct attempts to search for beauty in the profane. Sometimes it can find it and sometimes it cannot. The fixation isn't based on love or desire, but primarily instinctual fear. It is also a question that defies resolution. It is the unanswerable question and the unsolvable problem. In the way others are driven to solve other questions, this is the primal question for the E4. Why is there suffering? Is there any meaning, any beauty to be found? Can one exist in a reality where there is none? As soon as one starts to grasp the answer, the questions re-introduce themselves with greater force.

    What I as an E4 and perhaps others deal with is the need to compartmentalize these global questions away and manage to be happy in a world while always having a level of comprehension of every beauty and horror in the background. It is a struggle to create those inner compartments, but also necessary to avoid negative obsessions and unhappiness based on pain that is outside our control.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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  2. #2
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I will also venture to say that the speaker in the video reveals his own instinctual preference for dealing with suffering by denying it as a game, or artifice, drama, and mostly unreal. I would hesitate to make that judgment on E4s because from observation, I would say that E4s without trauma will tend to have a more singular focus on the sacred, ideal, and beautiful. It is often the case that it is real trauma and pain that triggers the E4 obsession on the profane. It isn't that the pain is dramatized or unreal, but processed differently from other types.

    Take one of the more dramatic E4s in the media: Marilyn Manson. He had some disturbing childhood events including molestation and having a neighbor poison his dog. Most people with those experiences still go into a sensible profession like law or business, wear a suit, perhaps get some counseling, or if not, they have some emotional issues in private. In the case of an extreme E4 like MM, he takes the suffering and makes it personal identity and art. It isn't about enjoying it as a novelty, but it is an attempt to control a deep fear. Turning one's greatest fear into identity is a way to control and dominate that fear. It shows that it cannot control or dominate you. It doesn't mean that the E4 suffers more, but they deal with it more directly, with a tendency towards fixation and identity integration.

    Any more thoughts are welcome....
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)


  3. #3
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I created this image/saying combo a while ago, and it expresses something of the E4's attempt to resolve the sacred & profane dichotomy. It doesn't always apply to reality though.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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  4. #4
    Honeyed Water thoughtlost's Avatar
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    This is super stream of consciousness ...but I don't care lol. This is the best I could do ...in like 4 hours =P

    For the average 4, suffering is all they know. Think of that Britney Spears song "Lucky".

    They are lost in an image. They are lost in a dream. And no one can save her from it. You'd think that a dream is a pleasant place to be ...why would they want to be saved?? Of their connection with one. Nothing is perfect. They are always comparing something to an ideal. So them retreating back into their fantasies only means that they are super focuses on how defective they and everything in their life is. …even when things are really ok.

    I agree with the dude in the video (they are negative downers) but and I realize that he’s exaggerating most of what he’s saying to be cheeky. But there are some good points they can take away.
    I don’t think that suffering isn’t simply suffering for 4s. They are an image type first and foremost, so their deal is how do they look to themselves. Are they living up to that ideal image? The suffer as the ideal gets further and further away from reality. The goal for all 4s is to just be themselves. Then they are a heart type so that means, to me, they live through passion/desire.

    I think SP fours are more likely to force their uniqueness in tangible ways by having things feel right to them, dress how they feel and express themselves as authentically as possible in tangible ways to assert their uniqueness/sense of difference. I agree that for SP 4s, once they can scale back …the that’s a sign that they’ve let goal of an image. They overcompensate by “being themselves” too much and being rigid, as the dude said. This is not to say that they are loud. I perceive it the same way the dude in the video says …they are rigid in their perception of themselves. It doesn’t come across as them feeling defective or depressed though …it’s appears to come across as a proud statement of who they are. They are truly regal and seemingly untouchable …so you don’t see them being super depressed and down on themselves.

    Social 4s …just whine about how they aren’t like everyone else and about how disappointing life is. They aren’t outlandish. They feel forced to be a part of society, but they assert their uniqueness by feeling like they can’t be like everyone else. Interestingly, I don’t see these 4s attempting to find a social “niche” that they can fit into …because they belong nowhere. They can finally grow out of it when they can proudly be themselves without worrying that it doesn’t fit a norm or letting negative opinions of themselves stop them from living. Surprisingly, they aren’t proud about this. They didn’t ask to be different. It provides them with a sense of shame that they cannot fit in. They just sit there wondering what is wrong with themselves. THEY ARE SUPER SELF-CONSCIOUS …always wondering how people perceive them. And they are prone to critiquing the “popular norms” of their times. One thing that will show me that my social dominant 4 friend that she is getting better is if she stops lumping people in this pool that she just can’t somehow join if she wanted to. They are defeatist. They are known to be melodramatic and it’s this type that can truly tire people out about how no one understand them or how they can’t fit in or unhappy they are. I think it’s the social 4 that will wail the loudest about their suffering and you can’t get them to see the positives. They will improve once they can start seeing the positives in themselves and in life.

    Social 4s also stop themselves before they get what they want. They’ll say they lack ambition. They apparently are less comfortable with having desires …so they are the least assertive. They won’t go after what they want or they’ll say “meaning doesn’t exist” or feel like they are not living because there is nothing they want from live/live doesn’t owe them anything.

    Sexual 4: I think I might have known some, but I’ll ignore that for now. They don’t show much shame or negativity. They can immediately come across as a bit into themselves, but you won’t really hear them talking down on themselves. This is all I know so far about 4 who are sexual dominant.
    You are so arbitrary.
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