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As I read more about using the enneagram as a spiritual tool, one of the beginning steps that is mentioned by several theorists and people who have worked with the theory for a long time is to learn how to defend oneself from the attacks of the Superego.

We all know that all 9 types (not just 1, 2, and 6) have a Superego, and that it informs us in some way of where we aren't sufficient in some area. The overall idea seems to be that the Superego (in the enneagram sense of the term) is one of the latest "layers" you develop as an adolescent, and hence is one of the most accessible layers of non-true self that one can access as part of the enneagram journey in finding one's true nature. Once you learn to identify what your Superego is, and what its function is to you in everyday life, you realize it's one shade of self-forgetting and that you don't have to buy into it. Certainly true for Superego types, but an equally important first and continuing step for the other 6 types as well.

What I'm interested here is to see what kinds of practices and experiences you all have had, if any, in learning to firstly identify, and then "defend against" your Superego. What does your Superego tell you, and what works for you in responding to it? Do you find that completely going against your Superego is really as empowering as Almaas says below?


Here are a few quotes I have found to add commentary to the idea:

A very interesting piece here:
As well as:
Almaas said:
The first way works well during the stage one of the journey when our awareness is not strong, our presence is not developed, and our inquiry is not yet skillful. That’s when we need to directly defend ourselves, to own up to our aggression and to use its strength and energy to throw the superego out, to create space to be where we are. In this way, we defend ourselves consciously—by using our strength instead of erecting walls, defenses, and resistance to protect us from dangers of the superego. In the early years of our practice of being where we are, we need to constantly recognize the superego and its ploys and learn how to defend against them. Basically, we need to tell the superego where to go: “Who cares what you think? Go to hell.” Okay, so you feel deficient, and the superego keeps insisting that you’ll never amount to anything. You can tell it, “Good—if I’m never going to amount to anything, why are you bothering me? Go find somebody else.” This is a way of disengaging, but with strength, with energy, with awareness.
Almaas said:
When you're learning to defend against your superego, you really need to be an impeccable warrior. You can’t do it in a haphazard way. You can’t do it at one time and not at another, a little bit now, a little bit later. It won’t work. You have to do it constantly, all the time, impeccably. That means if you really want to learn about defending against your superego, you make it your number one aim …you are always aware of defending yourself against your superego and you do your best.
And from Maitri:

As we begin exploring the terrain within us, one of the first things that we typically encounter is our inner “shoulds” that come from our internal critic, the superego. This voice inside of us, which is the internalization of composite authority figures from childhood,was the final layer of the personality to develop, and so it is the first that we encounter.

As Freud’s name for it in the original German—the Über-Ich—implies, its function is to oversee the Ich, our sense of “I.” It preserves the status quo of the personality through its injunctions and admonitions, telling us what to do and how to be, what is all right within ourselves and what isn’t. It evaluates our experience into good and bad, right and wrong, okay and not okay, and soon. It keeps alive the hope that if we only become “better,” we will get the fulfillment we are seeking.

Because of this, our superego blocks the unraveling of the personality structure that the experiential inquiry I have been describing facilitates, because it dictates what should and shouldn’t be occurring within us. One of the first orders of business on our inner journey, then, is learning to defend against the superego. This is essentially a matter of feeling the suffering inflicted upon ourselves through judgment and criticism, as well as recognizing that this approach to ourselves is completely counterproductive. We need to see that the means here—criticizing and judging ourselves—determine the end: a perpetuation of the inner sense of deficiency.

The superego of each of the ennea-types has a particular flavor, as well as a particular relationship to what is experienced as oneself. We will explore this as we discuss each of the types. As we learn to defend against the superego, staying with the contents of our consciousness—regardless of what arises—becomes easier. Following the thread of an issue,reaction, or physical contraction will lead us through the related psychological structures and their history to the hole in our consciousness where contact with the associated quality of Essence is missing. An example might be useful to help understand this process.
 
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