A run down of the Enneagram--and why it's not too great at all.

A run down of the Enneagram--and why it's not too great at all.

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This is a discussion on A run down of the Enneagram--and why it's not too great at all. within the Enneagram Personality Theory Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Inherent Flaws in The Enneagram Tests Proponents of enneagram tests believe that you get an essence from your birth which ...

  1. #1

    A run down of the Enneagram--and why it's not too great at all.

    Inherent Flaws in The Enneagram Tests


    Proponents of enneagram tests believe that you get an essence from your birth which determines your real self. However, your environment, education and culture develop behavioral trends which may be in consonance of your essence or conflicting.

    The enneagram personality tests claim to measure not only your essence but also various dimensions of your acquired personality. This way they try to assess how you will behave in future. Having spiritual kind of background, the enneagram tests are still not very popular for screening purposes. However, the craze for ‘the right person for the right job’ may force employer organizations, corporations and other such institutions adopt them.

    They must not ignore important flaws in the enneagram tests philosophy, typology and interpretation.


    Not a Real Psychological System

    Myers Briggs Personality Tests, Big Five Personality Tests (Kevinaswell's preference) and DISC follow some kind of psychological theory. Of course they are ambiguous too but they have conviction of practical observations.

    On the other hand the enneagram tests don’t possess such kind of psychological pseudo-authenticity. The enneagram model was originally construed a source of knowledge of the whole universe. Gurdjiif and his student Ichazo claim that they had learnt the system in some kind of mystic trance. Gurdjiif claims:

    “All knowledge can be included in the enneagram and with the help of the enneagram it can be interpreted. And in this connection only what a man is able to put into the enneagram does he actually know, that is, understand. What he cannot put into the enneagram makes books and libraries entirely unnecessary. Everything can be included and read in the enneagram.”

    However, later developments, works of Helen Palmer, Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson have given it modern psychological flavor.

    Determinism

    Like other psychological instruments, enneagram tests strive to determine your future behaviors with the help of enneagram personality types. They believe that you ‘have to’ fit in one of the nine enneagram personality types.
    Whatever you think, say or do is predetermined by your type. When you are responding to your environment as specified for your type, an enneagramists would suggest that your personality is in conflict with your essence. However, your real self or essence remains the same throughout you life. You can’t change your type ever. (Silly, really....)

    Origination of 9 Enneagram Types


    Gurdjiif believed that you have three brains; instinctual, intellectual and emotional. Your personality is determined by the dominance of either of the three brains.
    Spinozian school of thought believes that your instincts and intellect lead you to will a thing and your emotions help you to do. However, you know, the basic urge of life is survival. In all forms, it adopts two secondary instincts; self-reproduction and self aggression. Your intellect searches the ways and your emotions help you to achieve whatever you desire.

    Ichazo explained these three brains into nine descriptions. It was Helen Palmer who drew 9 enneagram types.

    Later on Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson introduced ideas of wings, stress and security points and levels of development. They stated that there are three development levels for each enneagram type; healthy, average and unhealthy. And each of these three levels has three sub-levels. This way they increased the number of types to eighty one.

    Personality Development

    The enneagram model is mainly used to bring your personality in consonance with your essence. You are considered made of a physical body, an essence and a personality.
    The enneagram model suggests that you can develop your overall personality by creating harmony between your nature and nurture. Ichazo termed this process of harmonization as ego fixation. The modern experts call it personality development.

    Some enneagramists suggest that you don’t carry an essence but a behavior that dominates your life. You continue getting influenced by your wings and by your points of security and stress.

    To develop your personality you need to believe that you have one of the nine types. Then you will have to read how you react to your environment. Then you need to remove those influences which your environment has developed in you since your childhood. This way you can develop your personality.

    Some exercises suggested for your self-control, ego fixation and personality development are similar to concentration practice, Yoga and magical.

    The philosophy is similar to that of mystics of almost all religions. They suggest that you are given a spirit and duty bound to cleanse it. You can purify your spirit by abandoning the world, killing your desires and getting rid of environmental influences.

    Gurdjiif suggests:

    "Essence in man is what is his own. Personality in man is what is 'not his own.' 'Not his own' means what has come from outside, what he has learned, or reflects, all traces of exterior impressions left in the memory and in the sensations, all words and movements that have been learned, all feelings created by imitation -- all this is 'not his own,' all this is personality"

    (Gurdjiif quoted by Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous)

    Different Ideologies


    The enneagram model has gone through so many ideological revolutions that its originality has been overshadowed (This basically means the initial idea has been bastardized by so many differing interpretations). Currently, different people like to explain it with different context.
    Some believe that your type is your:
    • Fundamental strength
    • Basic evil
    • Basic sin
    • Basic energy
    • Biological instinct
    • Emotional direction
    • Essence
    • Ego fixation
    • Motivational force
    • Spiritual direction

    What is the truth?

    What do the enneagram types stand for?

    The exponents of this model don’t give any practical and logical reasoning for the enneagram tests. They suggest that you need to study the system instead of depending upon your test results.

    You have only two options.

    Either accept the enneagram test results without any question or reject them altogether. Frankly speaking it seems a lot easier to reject the model instead of accepting it.


    Does Background Matter?

    The proponents of the enneagram tests claim that it doesn’t matter how Gurdjiif and Ichazo realized the system. However, they argue, you should focus upon the benefits and results of the model.

    However, a building constructed upon marshes is destined to be drowned (Truth!). If enneagram model is understood in the light of modern psychology and the original structure is ignored then these issues become more important.

    1- ‘Essence’ is the main idea of Gurdjiif. Modern day enneagram model can’t be explained without this idea.

    2- Personality development in the enneagram model is different from psychological personality development.

    3- A system without belief is groundless.

    Advice

    Read enneagram types and their descriptions. Then choose the description that fits or dominates you. It is your type.
    However, never make an important career decision on the results of enneagram tests. They are useful to visualize your strengths and remove your weaknesses. This model is not only a bit complex but more idiosyncratic.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So there ya go! With a few interjections by myself cuz I just couldn't help it...

    I edited some stuff out of the article for entertainment purposes (some of it was kinda dry) and shit like dat.

    But you can check out the source here:

    Enneagram tests are weaker than any other psychological instrument.

    (I disagree with the title of the article itself because....astrology exists. But I rightfully think they just simply aren't even considering the notion.)

    EDIT: Removed something that was retarded. Muh bad.
    Inky, pinkrasputin, Jorge and 9 others thanked this post.



  2. #2
    Type 9w1


    Interesting.
    I suppose you agree with most that's said in the article?

  3. #3

    Yea, I've always thought it was pretty much hogwash.

    I said this in another thread, but I just think it's incredibly silly that it's just like 9 groups of cliches spread around a glyph >.<

    I could do the same damn thing with 10, and call it Kenneagram.
    Tucken, Saboteur and Angelic Gardevoir thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    Unknown


    I still prefer my blog on it. Because the images from the development from it are teh lulz.

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Promethea View Post
    I still prefer my blog on it. Because the images from the development from it are teh lulz.
    You got pictures from when they were all trippin' out or whatever?!?!?

  7. #6
    Unknown


    Yep. I will paste it.

    Check this out. On tha ril.


    Caption: Holy damn you 6s and 3s got nothin. That sucks.

    Did he make this shit up on the fly to fuck with people? Click the link. Read.

    Enneagram Talk by Gurdjieff

    "Figure 9. The Enneagram Tones

    That is how the matter stands as regards the outside geometrical structure of the symbol. Its form is pre-determined by the fact that it serves to express the law of the 7 whereon the octave is built. It is septimal relative to the tone "Do", that is, in a certain sense the tone "Do" may be considered neutralizing. When it was a question here of applying the laws of the octaves to the structure of the chemical elements, every substance derived on the basis of laws was symbolically termed a "hydrogen" of various gradations of density and other qualities which went to define it as a substance. By the law of the 3, it was built up from active, passive, and neutral substances correspondingly termed "oxygen", "carbon", and "azote" (or "nitrogen"), that is, the following structure was obtained:

    C+O+ N > H"


    Caption: He calls this one a partial enneagram. Rocket ship? Maybe it can take us to the.....


    The sun!

    I have two words: Heavens Gate.

    (And I was joking.. but.. its still pretty hilarious to me.)
    Kevinaswell, Saboteur, Jerick and 1 others thanked this post.

  8. #7
    Type 9w1


    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinaswell View Post
    Yea, I've always thought it was pretty much hogwash.

    I said this in another thread, but I just think it's incredibly silly that it's just like 9 groups of cliches spread around a glyph >.<

    I could do the same damn thing with 10, and call it Kenneagram.
    I think alot said in the article is stupid. It works around the enneagram theory, it doesn't say the enneagram is bad, it says tests that determine enneatype are bad. And so forth.

    Enneagram or Kenneagram (), don't you think the personality types are accurate? Especially considering stackings, health and wings.
    If you do, do you doubt it's usefulness when it comes to personal developement? That's what it's supposed to be used for, it's not just a personality typing, as you might know.
    I've never heard anyone say "The advice given by the enneagram suck, they ruined my life!". And with religious and spiritual teachings around the world, for thousands of years, it's at the very least worth consideration. That is yoga, awareness, etc.
    silverlined thanked this post.

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucken View Post
    I think alot said in the article is stupid. It works around the enneagram theory, it doesn't say the enneagram is bad, it says tests that determine enneatype are bad. And so forth.

    Enneagram or Kenneagram (), don't you think the personality types are accurate? Especially considering stackings, health and wings.
    If you do, do you doubt it's usefulness when it comes to personal developement? That's what it's supposed to be used for, it's not just a personality typing, as you might know.
    I've never heard anyone say "The advice given by the enneagram suck, they ruined my life!". And with religious and spiritual teachings around the world, for thousands of years, it's at the very least worth consideration. That is yoga, awareness, etc.
    Well sure all of those things are without a doubt, but it's just. None of those things set it apart from ANYTHING else in any way >.< The only thing special about this, is that this dude made it when he was apparently tripping :O

    I mean if I WERE to make the Kenneagram, it would ALSO do all of those things just as well :O Even if I used 12, 16, or even like 20 numbers. I could drawn a shape with even that many, and it would still serve the same purpose of the enneagram glyph >.<

    If anything, a system like this would be even MORE accurate, as there would be more specification necessary to distinguish between them.

    Which is why it's pretty worthless >.< I think it kind of just complicates things by adding a system to interpret things that isn't even necessary. If you know computer-y things, it'd be like running a copy of linux within an already running copy of linux >.< Or something silly and pointless (put probably still fun to do :P).

    Have any of you really been surprised by any of your enneagrams? The things the descriptions said? Or was the value mostly simply in seeing where you stand in comparison to the other variants?

    And if the descriptions WERE shocking/self-actualizing/whatever...can it really be certain that they were only so shocking because they didn't really apply, and perhaps all enneagram does is makes 'suggestions' to live up to when someone doesn't fit into the 9 categories with wing?

    It can't, because the basis of enneagram supplies absolutely no justifiable reason to assume that it would or should do such a thing >.<

    I liked when they said something along the lines of "if you construct a building on a marsh, it will fall."
    Tucken, eithnii and Teen Rose thanked this post.

  10. #9
    Unknown


    My issue with it, as I always say, is in the development of it. I can certainly see a lot of truth in the type descriptions. If anything at all its a collection of really brilliant observations of people. What I don't get, is why the types are numbered as they are - when you can clearly see that much was pulled straight from the arse. Its why I don't really care to get into wings too much.

    Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti.. and some random shape determined that my wings must be either-or? -_- Srsly?
    Phantomhive thanked this post.

  11. #10
    Type 9w1


    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinaswell View Post
    Well sure all of those things are without a doubt, but it's just. None of those things set it apart from ANYTHING else in any way >.< The only thing special about this, is that this dude made it when he was apparently tripping :O

    I mean if I WERE to make the Kenneagram, it would ALSO do all of those things just as well :O Even if I used 12, 16, or even like 20 numbers. I could drawn a shape with even that many, and it would still serve the same purpose of the enneagram glyph >.<

    If anything, a system like this would be even MORE accurate, as there would be more specification necessary to distinguish between them.

    Which is why it's pretty worthless >.< I think it kind of just complicates things by adding a system to interpret things that isn't even necessary. If you know computer-y things, it'd be like running a copy of linux within an already running copy of linux >.< Or something silly and pointless (put probably still fun to do :P).

    Have any of you really been surprised by any of your enneagrams? The things the descriptions said? Or was the value mostly simply in seeing where you stand in comparison to the other variants?

    And if the descriptions WERE shocking/self-actualizing/whatever...can it really be certain that they were only so shocking because they didn't really apply, and perhaps all enneagram does is makes 'suggestions' to live up to when someone doesn't fit into the 9 categories with wing?

    It can't, because the basis of enneagram supplies absolutely no justifiable reason to assume that it would or should do such a thing >.<

    I liked when they said something along the lines of "if you construct a building on a marsh, it will fall."
    If you were to make the kenneagram, you should work towards limiting the personalities available instead of expanding on them. Just like the big 5 (don't know much about it, I admit) you want as few variables as possible.
    Chopping them into tinier pieces, if you can make the enneagram go from 9 types to the kenneagram of say 6 types I will be VERY impressed.

    And you can't just create more ego fixations, 9 seems to be it as far as I can tell.. Haven't yet met anyone that doesn't fit into either of them. It's more accurately thought of as fixations and not personality types I think.

    The really interesting aspects of the enneagram are it's flexability(main types, wings, health levels, instinct stackings, integration, disintegration) and of course the possibilities for developement.

    It's one thing to be EACNO % but what use do I have of it? It's good if tests are measurable but they have to be useful, you want to be able to evolve (I'll try out the big 5 later).

    The enneagram is useful, in so many ways. It's one way to further understand the world, and people.
    It may require a little bit of faith, curiousness, will or similar, at least if you want to accept essence and such. It seems to be measurable though, dopamine levels and such. The Enneagram Blogspot: Scientific Proof for the Enneagram

    @Promethea. I guess we don't know much of it's origins. Do you consider numerology a science? Math seems to be able to explain a lot, anyways. Even if the symbol is very questionable you could just ignore it and think of it as illustrative.


     
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