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Could Einstein be a self-preservation 9w8?

audio clip of Einstein (427 kb)
"I simply enjoy giving more than receiving in every respect, do not take myself or the doings of the masses seriously, am not ashamed of my weaknesses and vices, and naturally take things as they come with equanimity and humor. Many people are like this, and I really cannot understand why I have been made into a kind of idol." - Albert Einstein, in Einstein, a Life by Denis Brian, p. 389.
"...we know from daily life that we exist for other people - first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent." -Einstein, in Einstein, A Life, p. 196
"I feel so much a part of every living thing that I am not in the least concerned with where the individual begins and ends." - Einstein, spoken to Heidi Born, wife of physicist Max Born Einstein, A Life, p. 159.
An agreeable, childlike demeanor:
It may seem heretical to question whether Einstein, that epitome of scientists, is actually a 5, the epitome of scientist personality types. Einstein was clearly an introvert and a shy person, like many 5s, but the other withdrawn types 4 and 9 can appear shy as well, particularly self-preservation subtypes. Many who knew Einstein were most struck not by his intellect, but his cheerfulness, child-like demeanor, agreeable good-humor, playfulness, plain-spokenness, and absent-mindedness. Close friends, neighbors, children, and complete strangers universally noted these qualities in him. These qualities, for better or worse, are often seen in healthy 9s, but it is rare for even a healthy 5 to be so widely seen in this way, for so long, and by so many people, and I challenge anyone to give me an example. One contemporary journalist said:
"...Einstein is a jolly fellow in company. He enjoys a good joke and readily breaks into peals of rollicking, childish laughter, which momentarily change his eyes into those of a child. His remarkable simplicity is so charming that one feels like hugging him or squeezing his hand or slapping him on the back..." (a jounalist quoted in "Einstein, a Life", p. 151)
This is just one of many such reports. The writer Upton Sinclair noted:
"I report him as the kindest, gentlest, sweetest of men. He had a keen wit and a delightful sense of humor and his tongue could be sharp - but only for the evils of the world." (ibid, p. 215)
A family friend, Thomas Bucky, recollected:
"With Einstein, there was always humor. Almost everything was turned to be funny. The face was always smiling ..." (ibid, p. 290)
The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (a social 5), once spoke to Einstein for two hours. Afterward he judged Einstein to be:
"Cheerful, sure of himself, and agreeable ... very pleasant. He understands as much about psychology as I do about physics." (ibid, p. 157).
Stories about Einstein's neglectfulness and absent-mindedness are legion in his biographies (e.g. forgetting his own address, failing to notice a broken vase in his house for 3 years, etc.). Both 5s and 9s can seem absent-minded, for different reasons, so this point does not decide the issue on its own, but just adds another wrinkle to our view of Einstein.
What 4 wing?
One might argue that Einstein's gentle qualities came from having a strong 4 wing. However, Einstein's emotionality lacked the drama of most 4s, and I can find almost no specific evidence of a 4 wing in Einstein. His emotionality seems to have been more positive than 4s, or 5w4s, who are more likely to explore both positive and negative extremes of the emotional spectrum. It is notable that other 5w4s, like Freud, had strong introspective tendencies which they used to great advantage, while Einstein did not, and wrote that introspection was not particularly important to him.
Comparison with other 5s:
Einstein lacked the intellectual combativeness of some prominent 5s. For example, Freud (a social 5) fought mightily with dissenters, and had titanic disagreements with professional collaborators such as Jung and Adler. Einstein, by contrast, seems to have maintained relatively serene friendships, both personal and professional, throughout his life, despite having prominent critics and disbelievers (e.g. Nikola Tesla). Of course, Einstein's profession, physics, is based more on empirical verification than Freud's arena, and hence Einstein had less need to assert personal authority to prove his point. But Einstein's interests in later life expanded into the political sphere when he became interested in world peace and Zionism. Even in this more politically charged arena, he still coexisted amiably with an wide range of people.
Unification and World Peace:
Science is an intellectual pursuit, which attracts many 5s. But science is also about explaining nature, which draws many 9s. Einstein's Theory of Relativity is particularly notable for its pervasive unifying principles: it weaves time and space together, and equates mass with energy (E=mc[SUP]2[/SUP]). But Einstein didn't stop there - he spent the last decades of his life searching for a grand unified theory of physics, as well as world peace; both were attempts to resolve conflict in the world. Today many physicists are seeking a grand unified theory of physics, but Einstein was one of the first to see it as an important goal, possibly because his personality was already oriented in that direction.
Couldn't Einstein be an extremely healthy 5w4, who overcame the cynicism of the average 5 and the inner emotional turmoil of the average 4? Perhaps, but Einstein did have some unhealthy qualities, including his absent-mindedness, and benign neglect of his first wife and their two children. I find it hard to believe that any 5 can be both healthy enough to transcend the average 5's cynicism and acquire an upbeat and soothing 9-like effect on others, while also deteriorating so much as to reject the 5's alertness and adopt a 9-like absent-mindedness, neglect, and forgetfulness. It seems simpler to suppose that Einstein was simply a 9.
Every-man appeal - an 8 wing:
Finally, I think Einstein has more of the 8 wing than the 1 wing. The 9w8 expresses more of the plain-spoken, straight-shooting, "homey", yet passionate quality in Einstein's conversations and writings, unlike the 9w1 which is often less spontaneous and more cautious. 9w8s are not usually considered intellectual, and it may be hard to imagine a 9w8 as genius. However, Einstein was considered a thick-headed youth - he did not show the early brilliance of his 5 contemporary Freud, a brilliant student even as a boy. This was part of Einstein's charm - that such an "ordinary" person could also have done such great work. It is notable that Einstein came from a Jewish heritage (as did Freud) that emphasized intellectuality and learning, which may also have influenced the expression of his personality.
Caveat: I am a self-preservation 9w1, similar to the 9w8 type I'm arguing for Einstein. Many people have biases regarding their own type, and I cannot rule out such a bias in my own view.

controversial figures
 

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I can see this. However I'm not sure about the wing. Einstein was very imaginative and very idealistic. Unlike 9w8, he was not really very grounded. 9w1 also far more commonly resembles e5 than 9w8 does. 9w1 is generally considered more cerebral and less physical. There was a dark side to Einstein that I think not many people are as familiar with, but he didn't seem very... defensive over his personal space the way a 9w8 might be.

Anyway, interesting thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can see this. However I'm not sure about the wing. Einstein was very imaginative and very idealistic. Unlike 9w8, he was not really very grounded. 9w1 also far more commonly resembles e5 than 9w8 does. 9w1 is generally considered more cerebral and less physical. There was a dark side to Einstein that I think not many people are as familiar with, but he didn't seem very... defensive over his personal space the way a 9w8 might be.

Anyway, interesting thoughts.
In addition to usually being more cerebral, nine wing one actually squares more with the above argument concerning idealism and achieving global peace; nine wing one is traditionally called the idealist. As an aside, Einstein's urging Roosevelt to build the atomic bomb is a curious move for a peacemaking nine.

http://www.doug-long.com/einstein.htm
 

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yeah, I agree with 9, but 9w1 (many of his quotes display a 1-ish sort of social critique and he was far more up in his head than a 9w8). not sure of his variants. I could see So/So, Sp/So or So/Sx (he reminds me much of my father who is a 9w1 Sp/So)
 

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I can see this. However I'm not sure about the wing. Einstein was very imaginative and very idealistic. Unlike 9w8, he was not really very grounded. 9w1 also far more commonly resembles e5 than 9w8 does. 9w1 is generally considered more cerebral and less physical. There was a dark side to Einstein that I think not many people are as familiar with, but he didn't seem very... defensive over his personal space the way a 9w8 might be.
Anyway, interesting thoughts.
yeah, pretty much this
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@unctuousbutler
yeah, I agree with 9, but 9w1 (many of his quotes display a 1-ish sort of social critique and he was far more up in his head than a 9w8). not sure of his variants. I could see So/So, Sp/So or So/Sx (he reminds me much of my father who is a 9w1 Sp/So)
Whenever I see Einstein on that bicycle, just heedlessly going in circles, I think of the childish whimsicality of Socionics alpha quadra.
 

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go read his proofs. his thought experiments. his ideas. He thought of stuff to think about to ponder.

he FOUGHT for his ideas, he disagreed with others, he had conflicts with other peers and mentors, and followed his ideas where they lead.

5 growing into an 8ish type thing.
 

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go read his proofs. his thought experiments. his ideas. He thought of stuff to think about to ponder.
I'm curious as to why you think this is solely a type 5 thing. Sure, it's easy to correlate this behavour to type 5, but that correlation is drawn on a very surface level -- you're judging his type based on outward behavior, instead of looking at the core fears/motivations, which is what the enneagram is about, anyway. Last I checked, type 5s pursue intellectualism because they fear being helpless/useless, thus they 'hoard' knowledge in order to make up for their feeling of being inherently incompetent. Based on that theory alone, there is literally nothing that implies type 5 is the only type capable of being interested in pondering thoughts/ideas, especially when you keep in mind that their obsessive acquirement knowledge comes from a place of fear, (though they can certainly be genuinely interested in learning, too). I can easily see other types being interested in carrying out thought experiments/pondering ideas as well -- out of pure curiosity.

However, I don't blame you entirely for judging his type based on behavior; as outward behavior is all we have to go by when it comes to guessing a person's type, as core fears/basic desires are generally hard to decipher in a person. Hell, I'm a little skeptical of the OP's claim that Einstein was a 9, too -- as any type can have a childlike demeanor, which is not necessarily a trait limited to type 9. Though I still found his perspective to be interesting and thought-provoking, nonetheless.

he FOUGHT for his ideas, he disagreed with others, he had conflicts with other peers and mentors, and followed his ideas where they lead.
I may be biased here, but I honestly don't buy into this bullshit that 9s are inherently incapable of fighting for what they believe in, as you seem to be implying here (correct me if I'm wrong). Yes, I can see how 9s may struggle more when it comes to going against the crowd, compared to like, say, type 5 -- due to the 9's core fear. But you have to keep in mind that core fears are just what they are -- fears; which means that they can be overcome, just like any other fear. Sure, it's hard to fight back against them; but it's not impossible -- they are not the end-all be-all in terms of how we should behave.

I can even think of a theory that supports the OP's claims; Einstein was an INTP -- In other words; a Ti-dom. It's in Ti's nature to find logical consistency in everything; to form a solid, unshakable understanding of how things work. No, it doesn't find logical consistency out of fear; it just does -- it's a cognitive inclination. With that in mind, it can be theorized that Einstein's logical conclusions were solid enough to create a drive within him; a drive strong enough to urge him to fight against the crowd despite his (possible) 9-fear. The theory of Einstein being a 9 is further proven based on the fact that he argued with as little strife as possible, as stated in the OP. I can easily see a Ti-dom 9 seeking balance between going against a commonly-accepted idea/concept while keeping as much peace as possible.

But again, this is just pure theory; I wouldn't go out on a limb to state it as fact.
 
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