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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.
 

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

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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.
 

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

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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.)
 

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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 :)happy:), 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.
 

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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 :)happy:), 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."
 

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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?
 
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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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Discussion Starter #11
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.
Fewer variables doesn't equal a more insightful test :O

As for the Big 5, it's quite the opposite. The big 5 actually measures EVERY SINGLE TRAIT KNOWN TO HUMANITY, not just the five. I wrote a thread about the big 5 too, check it here if you got time (it's kinda lengthy, but informative fersher) http://personalitycafe.com/general-psychology/8799-kevinaswells-big-5-break-down-get-educated.html

Anyhow, I just skipped the rest of my class so I could make time to play FFXIII during midterms...cuz I have no time 'till spring break and I was just stoppin' in to see what was up. I'll more thoroughly go about these things in a while if the discussion is still being carried out :)

EDIT: Also I noticed you said enneagram was correlated with measurements of dopamine--NOT TRUE. The concepts enneagram is describing (people--der) correlate, nothing at all it does itself describes things like dopamine.

I think you'll like the big 5 :O it kinda does everything you're describing....but it's actually empirical and not 100% ambiguous and meaningless outside of personal interpretation >.<
 

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It seems to me that whoever wrote that article picked up on a few disagreeable terms and then made the focus of the system. I call this "normalizing the margin." It's a pretty weak practice.

Who said the enneagram was a psychological system? Sure, people talk about it in psychological terms, but we talk about everything of this nature with psychology. I think it's something more subtle than that that is mostly useful for the individual to understand the underlying cause and solution to life's problems based on how your personality forms. As far as the "three brains" misrepresentation goes, before the dawn of symbolic representation in our species, each portion of the body communicated to the rest through chemicals and powerful feelings. If the animal needs to eat, the stomach would send the body a message as would any other hub of the body. In Hinduism, these are the cakras, which are investigated and understood in a way that is very similar to the enneagram. However, I think the enneagram has put far more effort into understanding how all of these feelings play off each other to form our personality. The personality then seems to be how the symbolic representation of the self (ego) favors which bodily sensations, such as emotional dominance, fear response and self-identity.

As far as the list of ideologies go, could you imagine having one way to talk about something as wild as a sentient being analyzing itself and its problems? This may very well be the greatest challenge facing our species. Any fool can conquer other people, but it takes a hero-saint to conquer him/herself. Any advice as to how to accomplish this is useful. Also, it is not absolute, but merely some guidance as to how to directly one's attention inward towards these issues.

Numerology is bunk. I have no idea why this is even included. The enneagram as I know it would lose nothing if this was taken away.

The idea of "essence" is sorta bunk too. Of course environment influences how you develop. Much of it reads like Erickson's stages of childhood development, so they are clearly allowing for what needs were not me for children by their parents. To not acknowledge this is a misrepresentation.

The tests are junk. The only way to find your type is to study the book. I did, and I'm a believer because it alerted me to something emperical about myself that I otherwise did not notice. I find this to be self evident. My problems in my life and my strengths are exactly explained by the book. I cannot overlook this, as suspicious as the enneagrame is. This is not something that I believe but something that I can empirically verify through self-examination.

I'm still working on trying to figure out why it works the way it does. I'm worried that I won't find an answer and get disillusioned. But for now, I find the enneagram very useful.
 

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Fewer variables doesn't equal a more insightful test :O

As for the Big 5, it's quite the opposite. The big 5 actually measures EVERY SINGLE TRAIT KNOWN TO HUMANITY, not just the five. I wrote a thread about the big 5 too, check it here if you got time (it's kinda lengthy, but informative fersher) http://personalitycafe.com/general-psychology/8799-kevinaswells-big-5-break-down-get-educated.html

Anyhow, I just skipped the rest of my class so I could make time to play FFXIII during midterms...cuz I have no time 'till spring break and I was just stoppin' in to see what was up. I'll more thoroughly go about these things in a while if the discussion is still being carried out :)

EDIT: Also I noticed you said enneagram was correlated with measurements of dopamine--NOT TRUE. The concepts enneagram is describing (people--der) correlate, nothing at all it does itself describes things like dopamine.

I think you'll like the big 5 :O it kinda does everything you're describing....but it's actually empirical and not 100% ambiguous and meaningless outside of personal interpretation >.<
I skimmed through your sticky and did the test. It seems rather accurate. I liked it.

Alright the big 5 measures all known variables/adjectives but it gathers them into 5 cathegories. As few as possible, basically. My point was that it's no use to have 12,16 or 20 numbers, 9 is good and I doubt you could make any smaller groups. Less is better.

The enneagram doesn't have anything to do with dopamin and other substances in itself, but it seems like you can make the connections with research.
E.g. high dopamine levels (assertive) are in common for 3, 7 and 8 (link in former post). I don't know how reliable these studies are, someone could have made it up, but it seems logical to me so I brought it up anyways.
There are other tests that do the same thing. There is one called the TCI that measures personality traits this way, it's rather acknowledged.

@ETG. I agree with most you said. The article was idd weak practice!

But why do you think the essence concept is bunk?
I'm not very convinced myself, but seeing how accurate the enneagram teachings are I now very much consider it. Maybe I'll find something if I ever 'wake up'.
History is full of people who searched for truth within themselves. Searching for soul, essence, truth, presence etc. through the mind/body even heart.. I now believe there's some truth to it.

At the very least it's illustrative like the symbol and the numbers! Figuratively speaking
 

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@ETG. I agree with most you said. The article was idd weak practice!

But why do you think the essence concept is bunk?
I'm not very convinced myself, but seeing how accurate the enneagram teachings are I now very much consider it. Maybe I'll find something if I ever 'wake up'.
History is full of people who searched for truth within themselves. Searching for soul, essence, truth, presence etc. through the mind/body even heart.. I now believe there's some truth to it.
Any time anyone tries to sell the notion of life-force, soul, or essence, my B.S. detector starts screaming. It mostly comes down to the fact that there are far better ways to articulate this notion. Also, essence carries with it just so much baggage! Can essence be changed? Do I have to identify with my essence? Am I my essence? By its definition, essence is fixed, which seems suspicious. I prefer something softer like, "emotional/bodily dispositions" or something like that or just something to allude to the composure or configuration of the mind-body and its neuroses.
 
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Sure it's useful, but you could make those same ascertations about astrology >.< Which people ALSO use to 'discover' themselves (for completely no reason at all).

Iunno I gotta go to class so I can't say much now (midterms), but there is a reason that every single psychologist/researcher/anyoneatallinthefield/anytextbookyou'lleverread/anystudyyoueverhear of involving people's personalities DON'T even consider using the enneagram whatsoever at all because it doesn't even MEASURE anything at all.

(I go to school for these types of things, and the only good thing ANYONE can ever say about ennegram in any textbook I've read or any lecture I've been to is "well...it helps people discover themselves I guess.") That's assuming it's even MENTIONED. Most researchers/text/etc. in the field don't even CONSIDER enneagram :O

It's only useful because it's there, and it caught on >.< There are like 342093432 BETTER personality tests than enneagram that are also not even used because they aren't good enough.

Also as you said for the Big 5, they 'grouped' them that way for a reason, but if you don't like the way they are grouped you could check out the MMPI too.

The MMPI is THE most popular assessment test and it's HUGE. It seriously measures like hundreds of traits. It takes 90 minutes (and it was developed in MN baby :p w00t!).

Anyhow, ennegram isn't much of anything other than...what it is >.<
 

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Sure it's useful, but you could make those same ascertations about astrology >.< Which people ALSO use to 'discover' themselves (for completely no reason at all).

Iunno I gotta go to class so I can't say much now (midterms), but there is a reason that every single psychologist/researcher/anyoneatallinthefield/anytextbookyou'lleverread/anystudyyoueverhear of involving people's personalities DON'T even consider using the enneagram whatsoever at all because it doesn't even MEASURE anything at all.

(I go to school for these types of things, and the only good thing ANYONE can ever say about ennegram in any textbook I've read or any lecture I've been to is "well...it helps people discover themselves I guess.") That's assuming it's even MENTIONED. Most researchers/text/etc. in the field don't even CONSIDER enneagram :O

It's only useful because it's there, and it caught on >.< There are like 342093432 BETTER personality tests than enneagram that are also not even used because they aren't good enough.

Also as you said for the Big 5, they 'grouped' them that way for a reason, but if you don't like the way they are grouped you could check out the MMPI too.

The MMPI is THE most popular assessment test and it's HUGE. It seriously measures like hundreds of traits. It takes 90 minutes (and it was developed in MN baby :p w00t!).

Anyhow, ennegram isn't much of anything other than...what it is >.<
I think I see the problem here. This is something I encountered with a friend of mine who teaches psychology (and a personality course this semester) at a MN university. The issue for people in the biz, as you pointed out in bold, is MEASUREMENT. What good is a personality system if it cannot predict and objectively articulate what a person is? Right? The enneagram does not deliver in this department, nor was it intended to do so. To hold the enneagram to the standards of prediction and articulation is to impose foreign catagories onto it.

Personally, I read through your write up on the big five and... wait for it... I found it to be absolutely worthless. Why? Because I don't care about measuring traits or predicting other people's behaviors. What does this accomplish? What is the cash value of this theory? What happens once you enumerate your traits? It seems that it just stops there. Me, I'm in personality for self-cultivation, so of course I'm not going to be impressed by the Big 5!

You mention yourself that MBTI measures "outlooks" or what I would prefer to call "phenomenological data organization" or the like, the Big 5 measures traits, and I would say that the enneagram explains one's psycho-physical organization or constitution for the sake of personal development and self-cultivation.

Is it not painfully obvious that each of these theories attempts to accomplish different things? To hold the other two systems to the standards of one is just foolish. The enneagram is inefficient because it does not measure personality traits? No shit! One could just as easily say that the Big 5 is inefficient because it does not function as a tool for personal growth. This is almost like saying that bicycles are inefficient because they don't play DVDs and DVD players are inefficient because they don't give you much exercise. How absurd!

The bottom line here is that each system will appeal to different people depending on what they hope to accomplish. This has nothing to do with the intrinsic value of the systems themselves and everything to do with the person using them and what he/she hopes to accomplish.
 

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@Kevin
Sure it's useful, but you could make those same ascertations about astrology >.<
That's no good argument and you know it. It's all backwards.
Iunno I gotta go to class so I can't say much now (midterms), but there is a reason that every single psychologist/researcher/anyoneatallinthefield/anytextbookyou'lleverread/anystudyyoueverhear of involving people's personalities DON'T even consider using the enneagram whatsoever at all because it doesn't even MEASURE anything at all.
I think that's mostly because it isn't scientific. When you take a class the class has to follow certain guidelines. I don't believe there are many schools/countries that include non-scientific material in their teachings. Except possibly the few dimm cases of religion and such.
But discoveries are not always made scientifically with research and studies and peer reviews. Such instances could actually be in the way for discoveries- think Galilei.
And once again I want to point out that it seems to be somewhat measurable =P. I'm curious to what they find out.
The MMPI is THE most popular assessment test and it's HUGE. It seriously measures like hundreds of traits. It takes 90 minutes (and it was developed in MN baby :p w00t!).
I'll check it out, I'll even do the test if it's free :)

Gl with midterms!

@ETG
I used to be very sceptical and denying when it came to essences, souls, spirits and such. Everything that faintly smelled religious and spiritual. The enneagram has certainly made me open to the concept of essence, something I didn't think possible before.
The good thing is that we can reject it, as with the symbol and numbers if we don't buy into it. I will be open to the idea though, the enneagram has proved to be very convincing to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm just saying enneagram doesn't accomplish anything special, novel, interesting, insightful (that would set it apart from anything else), or anything like that. It's just there.

I get that it's interpretable, and what it's true intentions are, but...it's intentions are not special by any means, nor do they even approach the situation in anywhere close to a way that is related >.< The three triads for example are completely baseless :O It's JUST like the way astrology differentiates between seasons as well.

And there really aren't ANY more benefits that enneagram can provide that astrology doesn't. None. Or even any additional insight. Or even anything >.<

When it comes to astrology as well as the enneagram, I've always said "I think people would be much better off discovering themselves if they just sat fucking down and wrote 2 pages of introspection rather than trying to 'identify' with the ambiguity of a system like enneagram or astrology."

I didn't always say it like that, hahaha. But that's my general stance :p

It comes from a HUGE bias of hatred I have towards systems which capitalize on ambiguity and interpretation when they are in reality completely unfounded.

"Sweet, I'm a 5w4. I must like thinking. Blahblahblah." like it just does nothing at all for self discovery for me but state the obvious >.< I see absolutely zero benefit between having that type of knowledge, and just simply being able to be all "Hi, I'm Kevin. I like to think." you know what I mean?

ESPECIALLY because it's so ambiguous!!! It's seriously next to worthless--apart from 'discovery'. With a system that is SO INCREDIBLY DEPENDENT on interpretation/etc., me being a 5w4 and someone else being a 5w4, well, we very well may be COMPLETELY different people :O MBTI has this too, but not nearly to the extent of the enneagram--mbti does things just enough to make me think it's actually a good worthwhile thing. Enneagram just does nothing at all >.<

Things like measurement and real life relevancy are needed for me in a system like this, because without those it's a completely pointless system for me that isn't special in any way in comparison to regular ass daily life....I suppose it's also because I am a man of little faith--I need a reason for the faith. And enneagram provides zero reasons for anything at all that aren't pretty much complete bullshit.

I'm not trying to hate, honestly I am really glad it exists and has helped people with self discovery :) It just kind of gets me down how mostly all I see regarding the enneagram is confusion, and yet how it still seems to be so prevalent on this personality forum when actual personality RESEARCHERS (the same ones who do every single study about the brain) have completely rejected the 'test' themselves for many many years >.<

It just makes me wanna go "does not compute" and explode.
 

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MOTM Feb 2010
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I'm just saying enneagram doesn't accomplish anything special, novel, interesting, insightful (that would set it apart from anything else), or anything like that. It's just there.
You seriously believe this? What does the expression "self-cultivation" mean to you? What does it mean to you to "be a person?" I find that the enneagram resonates powerfully with confucianism, daosim and neo-confucianism. What are you takes on them and how they thematize individuality and self-cultivation? What do the cakras mean to you? I think many of your biases will come out if you answer these.

The three triads for example are completely baseless :O It's JUST like the way astrology differentiates between seasons as well.
Again, seriously? It may be flawed, but it is not base less in the least! Do you know what the basis for the triads are? (or at least what modern writers have to say about them)?

And there really aren't ANY more benefits that enneagram can provide that astrology doesn't. None. Or even any additional insight. Or even anything >.<
This if flagrant misrepresentation and personal bias that sounds just absurd. You're just making baseless associations now to slander the system.

When it comes to astrology as well as the enneagram, I've always said "I think people would be much better off discovering themselves if they just sat fucking down and wrote 2 pages of introspection rather than trying to 'identify' with the ambiguity of a system like enneagram or astrology."
Ah, here's your bias. Is all introspection done through words in such a way that can be written down? I would say that little or nothing can actually be said about what is at the core of the human experience. James goes so far as to call it "ineffable." Also, our western culture is utterly un-prepared, vocabulary-wise to talk about the inward experience.

It comes from a HUGE bias of hatred I have towards systems which capitalize on ambiguity and interpretation when they are in reality completely unfounded.
It's good that you recognize that, but I find the notion of the ennegram being unfounded to be itself unfounded. Are you sure that is as strong of term as you'd like to use? Turns out, not everything can be objectively discussed. Do you realize that the qualitative experience of being human is unfounded in the western scientific method? Sure we can vaguely correlate experience to materialism, but it can in no way be reduced to it. But many accept this unfounded "explanatory gap" uncritically. This worries me infinitely more than the enneagram. If you put the qualitative experience of being human first, the world looks differently. This is a message that is lost on our culture but was the core tenet of Confucianism and Daoism. Of course they were then incapable of deriving a scientific method, but they developed elaborate systems of self-cultivation and some other interesting methods. These two need to work together. If one is absent, imbalance arises. Most people avoid introspection in this self-cultivation sense because it does not correlate with language or the scientific method. As per the bike/DVD player analogy from my last point, it is absurd to assume that it should.

This is not something that is frivolously postulated, it is a means of examining one's own psyche from the inside.

"Sweet, I'm a 5w4. I must like thinking. Blahblahblah." like it just does nothing at all for self discovery for me but state the obvious >.< I see absolutely zero benefit between having that type of knowledge, and just simply being able to be all "Hi, I'm Kevin. I like to think." you know what I mean?
It doesn't end there. The enneagram also explains what sort of negative personality traits may be influencing your life and they all neatly correlate with your personality. As I crack open "The wisdom of the enneagrams" it tells me, that if you're a 5, that you should "observe yourself and others without judgment or expectation" (48) while you have a disposition to "...focus on the process, objective facts, and maintain clarity and detachment" (66) and tend to withdraw from reality into concepts and mental worlds. (80) "Fives attempt to cope with stress by becoming increasingly narrow in their focus and by retreating into the sanctuary of their thoughts. (226) Call it hoaky, but your enneagram seems to resonate strongly with your argument, position, worldview and agenda. :wink:

ESPECIALLY because it's so ambiguous!!! It's seriously next to worthless--apart from 'discovery'. With a system that is SO INCREDIBLY DEPENDENT on interpretation/etc., me being a 5w4 and someone else being a 5w4, well, we very well may be COMPLETELY different people :O MBTI has this too, but not nearly to the extent of the enneagram--mbti does things just enough to make me think it's actually a good worthwhile thing. Enneagram just does nothing at all >.<
Yeah, there's really no pin-pointing a person. I like to blend the enneagram and MBTI together. That's a little more meaningful for me.

Things like measurement and real life relevancy are needed for me in a system like this, because without those it's a completely pointless system for me that isn't special in any way in comparison to regular ass daily life....I suppose it's also because I am a man of little faith--I need a reason for the faith. And enneagram provides zero reasons for anything at all that aren't pretty much complete bullshit.
I understand your disposition, but you have to be aware that there are other people who experience themselves far differently than you do and that there are ways of perceiving reality that are vastly different from your perspective. You may find the enneagram worthless, but is that a carefully weighed critique or a reflection of your disposition?

[quoteI'm not trying to hate, honestly I am really glad it exists and has helped people with self discovery :) It just kind of gets me down how mostly all I see regarding the enneagram is confusion, and yet how it still seems to be so prevalent on this personality forum when actual personality RESEARCHERS (the same ones who do every single study about the brain) have completely rejected the 'test' themselves for many many years >.<[/quote]

Well, here's another take on my worn out message. If you want to understand, you'll need to think in ways that make you very uncomfortable. The best thing you can do to facilitate this is to meditate and cultivate the mental space where these ideas are no longer absurd. This does not mean that you will change, but it may broaden your internal experience of yourself where no words or thoughts may tread.

It just makes me wanna go "does not compute" and explode.
I'm in the same boat. I posted an "ontological basis for the enneagram" thread trying to figure it out. I'm working on it still, but I'm realizing that the enneagram has more to do with Neo-Confucianism than it does with western psychology. Being that this is a way of experiencing reality that our culture ignores, I believe that there is an element of consciousness that is closed to us. If we can begin looking inward and our human experience and couple that with our scientific power, I think we will make science-fiction like jumps in our culture and science.

If you don't get it at first, it may take a long time. The inner mode of thinking if not intuitive may take a while to come around to. I can promise you thought that it does pay off.
 

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^Great post. That "Neo-Confucianism" sounds interesting when you speak of it. I'll look into it.. Could you recommend some site or litterature?
 
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