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  1. #1
    Digital ambition Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Default Can Political systems remake the Ennagram types ?

    Since people have shown interest I guess I can make a thread about this. Because this problem has manifested itself in a number of threads where I posted and it is probably too big for any of them.



    Ever since I started to post about enneagram I found myself in the situations that the Enneagram doesn't fully grasp what I am seeing in reality. Which I see in the fact that logic of Enneagram is written by the standards of the English speaking countries, while I am from Eastern Europe. Even if world is much wider area than these two historical circles I can only really talk about my part of the world. However the basic logic behind each type is relatively the same but manifestation and desires can be radically different.



    The most obvious are perhaps 8s that want to avoid being controlled. However in the world where we are all much more glued together through taxation, universal healthcare, public safety and in the most radical cases private property is even abolished as a legal concept it is questionable what really happens here ? Since this means that the 8 lives in it's worst fear 24/7, what means it will probably play along if the ride is okish, or it will run away if possible. Neither are stereotypically 8ish strategies. Also there is an option in my country that allows you to make a deal/contract with the government that it pays your healthcare insurance completely for totally free as long as you are collage student. So that you have easier time and focus more on actually studying, therefore it is interesting what happens here since the odds are that 8 would not be against such dependence, since this is really good deal/option. So the reactivity might happen if you would call this programe into question with desire to cancel the programe in order to make people individualistic. Or, you can turn all of this around and say "Are there really any 8s in this system ?"



    The large differences can also be spotted in Enneagram 1. Basic idea about perfection can stand but I don't think I know a single person that fully fits the profile of this type. Since I don't know anyone who is so moralistic for the sake of morals. First reason for that is that the social conventions as well as laws are more flexible, while another is that the state seriously bashed the religion a few decades ago and religion never ideologically recovered from that. It lost the rigidity and authority since it had to beg for mercy constantly so that the state does wipe them of the map completely. Actually having a Christmas tree in Christmas time was punishable with a few year in prison, while many priests were killed and temples of all religions were demolished by good margin. However the irony is that people in charge of all that were probably 1s by good margin, which defined the religion as something bad that should be removed.


    Since there is less emphasis on earning money or owning stuff e3 can also take major hit in profile. They can join 1s in their political crusade, be perfect citizen by standards that are currently in force or they can go for popularity hoarding through culture, art, sports … whatever.


    Because everything is more merged the 5 may not fully fit the profile as well. Since system has so much more social programs and therefore you should pay more attention to the world around you. It is even possible to get money for starting a business, repairing your roof or money that helps you with mortgage. Plus since the government is providing education and it is likely to give you decently paid intellectual job as well as money for the projects. In a way the differences behind all head types are lowered in this setting and differences can be harder to tell.


    While 9s, 4s and 2s remain relatively the same, but with somewhat stronger institutional focus.



    Of course individually there are exceptions but this would be the wide generalization. Desires of the types remained the same however how the whole thing manifests did change to some degree. What actually opens the question: what exactly is type? What is it's core and what is it shell/culture ? While basically all enneagram literature/lore thinks in a way that the people involved are middle class America or at least 1st worlders.
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  2. #2
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    This is an interesting concept. I very much suppose it is only natural for the types to appear differently when raised in different cultural, political, and social environments. This goes for any typology system.

  3. #3
    Give me a fourth dot. The Tsarevich's Avatar
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    I think you’re touching on an interesting point—how does culture (including political culture) affect presentation of the types? All I can do is try to answer your questions with my observations as a chronic expat and traveller:

    - First, people adapt to their surroundings, and this includes adapting their enneagram-influenced persona.

    - Social culture matters a lot more than politics per se. Yes, of course both influence each other—the political culture gets incorporated into society, and is likewise based on the values of a given society. But, as per your 8 example, I think it is a lot harder for an 8 in a culture where directness and expressions of anger are absolutely discouraged, rather than a in a polity that asks everyone to pay taxes and follow the regulations. More on that in a sec.

    - Enneagram type is readily identifiable (at least to me, a middle-class American individual) in people in every country I have gone. I’m currently in a relationship with a Sri Lankan in the 278 tritype—who still likes people and believes they’re “good at heart” despite 30 or so years of warfare. The patterns are archetypal.

    - Cultures also appear to have enneagram types, which influence the parlance individuals may use in public. For example, the America I was raised in was primarily 6 and 3—so people from other countries would probably have noticed my sense of gloom toward the future and issues with authority figures, and my attention toward “how things look professionally” before I deprogrammed myself. Yet, I am neither of those types, and someone who knew me and understood enneagram would have known that.

    - Cambodia is predominately a 9-culture. I have a friend there who is 269 or even 261…I thought he was 9 at first owing to culture. It wasn’t until I a) acquainted myself more deeply with enneagram and b) really started to notice “how he works” that I saw he was really an ESFJ 2w1.

    - Enneagram teachers have a worldwide presence and have reported that culture shapes social expectations so much that it leads to certain biases in typing (hence the 4 and 5 mistypes in the Anglosphere where being quiet, sensitive, and introverted is stigmatised—these aren’t universal trends).

    - This leads me to my main point—enneagram type is an orientation toward life—the types describe one’s psychological underpinnings. Secret things in the inner recesses of your mind. The mental patterns, super-ego compulsions, values, and even somatic qualities that an individual exhibits. Archetypal patterns showing how you work. Now you’d be fair in saying that this very understanding of type is culturally biased in and of itself—it is. The original intent of enneagram was to give us the tools for spiritual transformation. It has become a good deal more clinical because of Naranjo, a psychiatrist—but the point stands. It is the inner pattern of an individual rather than the outer pattern. The “shell” you reference is the outer pattern. We all have to adapt to our surroundings—so look at how the person functions on a personal (inner) level, NOT outer adaptations, behaviours, or characteristics. Any enneagram source worth its salt will emphasize that the inner constructs take precedence over the outer.

    - Also, the enneagram was first used in the modern era (albeit in a rudimentary form) by G I Gurdgieff, an Eastern European of Armenian extraction. It was then shaped into its modern form by two South Americans—Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian, and Claudio Naranjo, an Chilean. So, it really doesn’t seem fair to say the enneagram is a solely “American” phenomenon. Its foundations have a very different source.

    - That said, many enneagramists admit a bias as to the types of people involved with the subject.

    Also, one quote in particular caught my eye:
    The most obvious are perhaps 8s that want to avoid being controlled. However in the world where we are all much more glued together through taxation, universal healthcare, public safety and in the most radical cases private property is even abolished as a legal concept it is questionable what really happens here ? Since this means that the 8 lives in it's worst fear 24/7, what means it will probably play along if the ride is okish, or it will run away if possible. Neither are stereotypically 8ish strategies. Also there is an option in my country that allows you to make a deal/contract with the government that it pays your healthcare insurance completely for totally free as long as you are collage student. So that you have easier time and focus more on actually studying, therefore it is interesting what happens here since the odds are that 8 would not be against such dependence, since this is really good deal/option. So the reactivity might happen if you would call this programe into question with desire to cancel the programe in order to make people individualistic. Or, you can turn all of this around and say "Are there really any 8s in this system ?"
    When sources say 8s wish to avoid being controlled…it’s more that they want to maintain autonomy. I know that 98% of what happens around me is something I cannot control—yes, including governmental policies. I don’t care. As long as I get to direct the course of my own life and maintain my personal sphere, whatever. I get far more upset when my boyfriend barges into my room and starts telling me how I "should" dress and when to shower…and, for that matter, with the overall hypocrisy of “polite” society and how I am expected to conform to it…than I ever do with governmental infrastructure and political policies. I understand power, and I understand the importance of national stability. I understand that my life is the way it is because of the status quo—and I can use the status quo to support my personal agenda. I’m fine with paying my taxes. I’m fine obeying the ordinances and regulations in most cases. This is really not my worst fear, nor would I bother fighting the establishment when it would prove to be so futile and so against my own interests.

    What you mention here is interesting:

    means it will probably play along if the ride is okish, or it will run away if possible

    Interestingly, you’ve alluded to two sub-strategies the type can use—the 9-wing/2-connection (going along to get along), and the 7-wing/5-connection (running away/retreat). Yes, these things are possible, and yes there are 8s in the system. They may not form the stereotype of what you think 8s are “like” based on descriptions, but I guarantee they are there.
    *Need enneagram questionnaire?
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ml#post2218641
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  4. #4
    Digital ambition Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tsarevich View Post

    When sources say 8s wish to avoid being controlled…it’s more that they want to maintain autonomy. I know that 98% of what happens around me is something I cannot control—yes, including governmental policies. I don’t care. As long as I get to direct the course of my own life and maintain my personal sphere, whatever. I get far more upset when my boyfriend barges into my room and starts telling me how I "should" dress and when to shower…and, for that matter, with the overall hypocrisy of “polite” society and how I am expected to conform to it…than I ever do with governmental infrastructure and political policies. I understand power, and I understand the importance of national stability. I understand that my life is the way it is because of the status quo—and I can use the status quo to support my personal agenda. I’m fine with paying my taxes. I’m fine obeying the ordinances and regulations in most cases. This is really not my worst fear, nor would I bother fighting the establishment when it would prove to be so futile and so against my own interests.

    What you mention here is interesting:

    means it will probably play along if the ride is okish, or it will run away if possible

    Interestingly, you’ve alluded to two sub-strategies the type can use—the 9-wing/2-connection (going along to get along), and the 7-wing/5-connection (running away/retreat). Yes, these things are possible, and yes there are 8s in the system. They may not form the stereotype of what you think 8s are “like” based on descriptions, but I guarantee they are there.

    Of course there are always 8s around however the question is would they be recognized as such in all cases. What you say that you don't care about the politics is probably linked to the fact that your local politics allows you this. However if the government abolishes private property then this becomes muddy, because if the 8 plays along it becomes questionable if this is rally an 8. I would say yes, because such people may realize that this isn't the fight they can win, at least at the moment. However the profiles insist that the person should always bulldoze in crisis and this is where logic may start to fall apart. Also 2 years ago my government made the snap law with which it took control in the companies that in equal percentage of economy in USA would have annual income of 4 TRILLION $ and judging by impressions the nation would go crazy over this. While here … nothing, government has shown decent reasoning in difficult situation and that was it. Where is reactivity !?



    But the biggest problem probably aren't 8s that are fundamentally fairly simple type. In my opinion 1s and 3s are much bigger dilemma since they both go after what is good and that totally depends on the culture, laws and circumstances. The Communist dictator that ruled this place for many decades was probably a 3 (maybe 8) and if you judge the people in simplistic manner you can cast mistypes. Also I find e1 profiles to be weird since I don't think that I know a single person that is truly like that, since here life teaches you how to be flexible. Here if you will be 1 to the bone you will crash into the first wall and that will be it, since the culture is full of random e7 elements.

  5. #5
    Give me a fourth dot. The Tsarevich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual ghost View Post
    However if the government abolishes private property then this becomes muddy, because if the 8 plays along it becomes questionable if this is rally an 8.
    Can you develop this thought a little more? I don't see the connection between someone going along with abolishing private property and not being an 8. What do you think an 8 "would" do?

    However the profiles insist that the person should always bulldoze in crisis and this is where logic may start to fall apart.
    Well tbh, those sound like awful profiles if they insist that there is only ONE right way for each type to react. A reasonable explanation of enneagram should indicate that people also use the strategies of their wings and connecting points, and tend to shift tactics under stress. Personality is a fluid thing, and there are no absolutes.

    Also 2 years ago my government made the snap law with which it took control in the companies that in equal percentage of economy in USA would have annual income of 4 TRILLION $ and judging by impressions the nation would go crazy over this. While here … nothing, government has shown decent reasoning in difficult situation and that was it. Where is reactivity !?
    I'd be glad if my government did this actually. I feel like everything has become subordinate to some corporate agenda, and it isn't in the nation's best interest. You're probably right, though, that a majority of Americans would freak out.

    Also I find e1 profiles to be weird since I don't think that I know a single person that is truly like that, since here life teaches you how to be flexible. Here if you will be 1 to the bone you will crash into the first wall and that will be it, since the culture is full of random e7 elements.
    I will defer to an E1 on their opinion of this (I'm hoping one will comment here), but the core of 1 is really more about living up to their own standards of what's right. This can vary by culture, but also on an individual level. Sure, it's going to manifest differently between someone from a strict military culture and someone from a chaotic one...but you should still see a certain stubbornness around their own standards of integrity, a resentment towards those who don't pull their own weight, issues with repression on some level, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tsarevich View Post
    Can you develop this thought a little more? I don't see the connection between someone going along with abolishing private property and not being an 8. What do you think an 8 "would" do?
    That is exactly the point. I am not sure at what point too much is too much to play along ? But I would expect some reactivity towards the system from an 8. What wasn't always the case.

    Well tbh, those sound like awful profiles if they insist that there is only ONE right way for each type to react. A reasonable explanation of enneagram should indicate that people also use the strategies of their wings and connecting points, and tend to shift tactics under stress. Personality is a fluid thing, and there are no absolutes.
    True, but that is in a way the point here. At which point such strategies are just masking the type due to convenience and at what point we can start talking about mistype ? Typology is relatively static by definition and my environment often doesn't match this. Here U turns are everywhere.


    I'd be glad if my government did this actually. I feel like everything has become subordinate to some corporate agenda, and it isn't in the nation's best interest. You're probably right, though, that a majority of Americans would freak out.
    Is this good or bad is another issue that is the topic for another thread. However the whole issue is very complex and eventually foreign government/dictatorship took over the whole thing … what should trigger people, but it didn't.


    I will defer to an E1 on their opinion of this (I'm hoping one will comment here), but the core of 1 is really more about living up to their own standards of what's right. This can vary by culture, but also on an individual level. Sure, it's going to manifest differently between someone from a strict military culture and someone from a chaotic one...but you should still see a certain stubbornness around their own standards of integrity, a resentment towards those who don't pull their own weight, issues with repression on some level, etc.

    I know, since that is how my 1s work, since here there really isn't universal standards. Because we are currently in the 6th political system in the last 100 years and no one takes rules too seriously/strictly anymore. In one system you are a prisoner and in another you are the president. As a matter of fact I see that my people tend to score pretty low on e1, what is the source of all kinds of problems that aren't a problem in various other cultures. I personally managed to get an A for not writing my homework.


    (for years I am suspecting that I am actually 153 that doesn't recognizes itself in the "make up" of the profiles)

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