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  1. #11
    Senior Member Nara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andante View Post
    Understood but one of the initial premises was inaccurate about Enneagram so it had to be clarified. In clarification, it defrays many of your arguments.

    That said, I don't buy into Enneagram in its entirety. But some of the empirical observations are interesting.
    Yep but I think I've clarified it with the previous post (and the idea didn't change so...)

  2. #12
    Unapologetic being Evolving Transparency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Most enneagram theories have to do with how one's enneagram style comes from one's early childhood experiences.

    Hence, its relation to neurosis and psychotherapy.

    One developed this fixation to protect the ego from the environment in one's early life...
    But what causes a 6 to say "I don't want to accept nurturing from my parent, so that I don't ever have to fear it being taken away from me again."

    Compared to a 2 that says "Parent's needs come before my own."

    ?

    What makes us decide that, and at such a young stage of development?

    I would think it's in our nature.
    "Once the game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box"

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  3. #13
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nara View Post
    Every books on enneagram I read support your type is innate.
    The question is if wether or not innate = genetics. Now it's verified, innate = we don't really know what we're talking about.
    Heheheh.

    Well, by the time one figures out one's type, it's already pretty innate, so people can be forgiven for thinking so. In the psychology profession, it's generally believed a lot of our really low-level gut-instinct reactions/fears were formed very early in childhood (< 6 months), and it's these reactions that the Enneagram types/classifies. I don't put much stock in the assertion that Enneagram type is strongly based on one's relationship with one's parents; I think it goes much deeper than that. Parents certainly play a strong role in early childhood, but other circumstances come into play, too.

    So here comes the hypothesis of the environment factors.
    Well. But the problem is: how come twins who grew up in the same environment, with the same cares, and the same genetic basis could be so different with their temperament (and this can be noticed VERY early)?

    And also, why, from the same experience, one is more prone to develop a substance dependence/abuse or depression traits than the other ?
    If you're talking about "temperament", then you're talking about personality, in general, which implies that all factors of personality are in play, both learned and genetic.

    So perhaps there's a butterfly effect, therefore the predictive power of enneagram is really poor in itself.
    What do you believe that Enneagram is trying to "predict"? (This isn't a facetious question: it goes to the core of what a typology really is.)

    But the belief that there's something definitive in our patterns is really strong.
    There doesn't have to be something "definitive". One of the useful things about noticing patterns, and noticing that there are only a limited number of patterns, is that once you know what pattern is in play, you also know that the other patterns are generally not in play, and those two things together become a solid basis from which to make progress, whether in terms of figuring out how to deal with someone else or how to deal with yourself.

    That said, there exist many people who don't need those "patterns" at all. The "patterns" are just stupid, primitive, nearly mindless rote memorization of rules that work in specific cases, but don't keep track of all the nuances, and often lead one to very incorrect conclusions.

    I'm reminded of how I taught physics several years ago. I had to incorporate two different styles of teaching. One style was the "rote memorization" version of physics. I essentially gave the students a "typology" of the physics problems they'd encounter on tests, and then showed them the pattern of how to solve that TYPE of problem. The other style was where I could really connect with the students on how to think about physics, so I could just say, more or less, "It works like thus and so" and wave my hands around, and give a general idea how varying circumstances modified things. To these students I could give a completely NEW problem they'd never encountered before, and they'd be able to solve it.

    The "patterns" are really just the baby steps to figuring out something that's really much more complicated and nuanced. But compared to knowing nothing, the "patterns" are a huge leap forward in knowledge, in this case about human nature and psychology and personality. They let complete amateurs begin to understand things that were incomprehensible, before. But this "pattern knowledge" isn't the same as having 8 years of schooling/training in psychiatry, for example. These are laymen's tools, simple recipes that usually work; a simplification of a much deeper body of knowledge. Jung, in fact, explained his typology as a means for the practical psychologist to explain his findings to his patients, a means to take a very sophisticated set of observations and boil them down to something that anyone can use. But as with any simplification, the typology ends up dropping a lot of the information that explains why it is true, and instead just asserts that it is true. Thus when a particular application of typology results in an apparent (even obvious) error, it is not understood why it is an error: this is when the naysayers usually chime in and say that the typology is a bunch of nonsense.

    But the typology isn't "nonsense": it is an incomplete representation of knowledge. By the way, mathematics is also incomplete: it is indeed more complete than most typologies, but it is still remarkably incomplete. If we generalize to "systems of knowledge", all systems of knowledge are necessarily incomplete, but vary in degrees of completeness. Typologies are very incomplete, while more hard sciences such as math and physics are very complete, but have some obvious gaping holes.

    And why our psychological foundations would stop developing after childhood ? Because of habits ? Ok, but habits can possibly be changed, as we know more and more about brain plasticity, and that nothing's strongly determined in early childhood.
    Things are still changing after early childhood, but psychologists will still tend to zero in on childhood factors in order to differentiate how ingrained various qualities are. The early childhood factors are very, very ingrained.


    Then, enneagram isn't about behaviors but motivation: enneagram has a strong explaining power (like some other theories of personal growth) but:
    - is it worthy to predict yesterday's weather ? :/
    Hahahahah!
    - if motivation depends on our neural circuits (motivational mechanisms are connected to the reward system for instance), and there're some alterations, then your motivation and type'll also change or what ?
    Phineas Gage was a 6 before turning into an unhealthy 7 ? lol

    Let's say ennagram is a mix of protoscience and pseudoscience (I was looking for the right terms). But this idea of an innate potential, even if it's conditioned later in the childhood, doesn't hold true.
    Well, it depends on what you mean by "innate potential". I'm hoping my above description of where typologies fit into the scheme of things helps.

    I like your choice of words: protoscience and pseudoscience. Many times a typology is very much a protoscience. For example, Aristotle's classical four elements, earth, air, fire and water: this is essentially a typology of matter. As far as things go, it's not that bad. The problem with the typology is that it was then assumed to predict that things were "made up of" these kinds of elements, that something was made of various fractions of earth and water, for example (e.g., gelatin). In reality, however, the four elements were the four main states of matter: earth = solid, water = liquid, air = gas, fire = plasma. (There are other "states" as well, depending on how you want to classify things, e.g., supercooled fluids.) Thus Aristotle's elements were initially a protoscience, but eventually became a pseudoscience when conclusions were derived from it that were never really tested until many centuries later.

    Sometimes, however, a typology is neither of these, but instead is a simplification of science (or rather, deeper knowledge in general), conveying enough knowledge to be useful, but not enough knowledge to be insightful (cf. my earlier remarks about Jung).
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  4. #14
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urarienev View Post
    But what causes a 6 to say "I don't want to accept nurturing from my parent, so that I don't ever have to fear it being taken away from me again."

    Compared to a 2 that says "Parent's needs come before my own."

    ?

    What makes us decide that, and at such a young stage of development?

    I would think it's in our nature.

    Maybe that's why there are obvious patterns in what Jungian types tend to be what enneagram types - our cognitive preferences are innate & influence how we see & judge things? I personally don't believe any enneagram type can be any Jungian/MBTI type, as if they don't develop in relation to each other.

    ------

    I don't think enneagram is at odds with brain plasticity. It would actually be in support of it, as it often teaches incorporating new thoughts & behaviors (like CBT) to broaden the ego (lessen the fixation) & make you a higher functioning person.

    In a way, MBTI/Jungian theories suggest something similar. You start off with a preference for one function, which differentiates to become your ego, and then you begin to slowly incorporate the lesser functions in varying degrees, according to how much they complement or oppose the ego. Basically, the lesser functions begin to differentiate (reach a conscious control & are not rejected as a threat to the ego), which would likely form new thought patterns & behaviors, and at best would increase how functional you are as a person, making you come closer to your potential.

    The ideas of "self-actualization" & transcending the ego is in both of these philosophies. Both would hold that you don't lose personality when reaching these theoretical states, but rather that you're not limited by it. Since you likely will have developed strengths & qualities in areas your ego previously limited you to, then perhaps this was your innate self, but in rudimentary form & not developed enough to operate in a wider sphere yet. It would be a natural/normal spiritual growth, not that everyone is unhealthy or made so by early nurturing & environment.

    FYI, I obviously think this is more of a philosophy & spiritual thing that science is unable to explain because it's not made to deal with those realms, although I don't think they contradict each other when understood well.
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  5. #15
    Unapologetic being Evolving Transparency's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Maybe that's why there are obvious patterns in what Jungian types tend to be what enneagram types - our cognitive preferences are innate & influence how we see & judge things? I personally don't believe any enneagram type can be any Jungian/MBTI type, as if they don't develop in relation to each other.

    ------

    I don't think enneagram is at odds with brain plasticity. It would actually be in support of it, as it often teaches incorporating new thoughts & behaviors (like CBT) to broaden the ego (lessen the fixation) & make you a higher functioning person.

    In a way, MBTI/Jungian theories suggest something similar. You start off with a preference for one function, which differentiates to become your ego, and then you begin to slowly incorporate the lesser functions in varying degrees, according to how much they complement or oppose the ego. Basically, the lesser functions begin to differentiate (reach a conscious control & are not rejected as a threat to the ego), which would likely form new thought patterns & behaviors, and at best would increase how functional you are as a person, making you come closer to your potential.

    The ideas of "self-actualization" & transcending the ego is in both of these philosophies. Both would hold that you don't lose personality when reaching these theoretical states, but rather that you're not limited by it. Since you likely will have developed strengths & qualities in areas your ego previously limited you to, then perhaps this was your innate self, but in rudimentary form & not developed enough to operate in a wider sphere yet. It would be a natural/normal spiritual growth, not that everyone is unhealthy or made so by early nurturing & environment.

    FYI, I obviously think this is more of a philosophy & spiritual thing that science is unable to explain because it's not made to deal with those realms, although I don't think they contradict each other when understood well.
    Yea, I tend to believe that both the enneagram and MBTI start off from the innate nature of the person. But I agree, that does not necessarily make either one of them at odds with brain plasticity. I do think that comes in a little later though.

    I am inclined to think that there are patterns in their correlation for a reason, as well.
    "Once the game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box"

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    "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ Orwell
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