occasionally he misses the mark big time, for example
- correlating type 7 with INTJ (@Boss is the only person I can think of who is a likely INTJ 7)
- correlating type 5 with ISTJ (there are a fair number of ISTJ 5w6s, but it's far more common in INTs)
- typing Napoleon Bonapart as a 2 (though, to be fair, he also brings up a whole other side of 2 that most of the descriptions completely miss. most 2s are far more covertly controlling and domineering than pseudo-9-ish demeanor most descriptions would have you believe they possess. unhealthy twos combine the explosivity of 8, the self righteousness of 1, the emotional train wreckage of 4 and, sometimes, the attention whoring antics of 7.).
- saying Social 8s are the only intellectual 8s (they're not going to sit discussing Plato's republic with you for 2 hours, but many Self Preservation 8, particularly 8w7, become well learned, strategic and cunning in their pursuit of power and material gain. your typical mastermind villain, if not a 6w5, is probably an Sp dom 8w7)
like all theorists, he's not without his flaws, but his work is by far the most useful imo.
I see. Perhaps it amounts to something on a large scale then. I haven't found it a good predictor of type, but if people are finding something to it perhaps it's more substantial than his MBTI correlations.
Fair enough. As a source on Holy Ideas though, I think Almaas fairs better on his cloud.
No, because you can find a disorganized form of the meat of his ideas here:
Enneagram of Holy Ideas at The Almaasary
(Reverse-time quoting, but I'm already editting this =p)
Well, to give an idea, Almaas's work centers around the issue of basic trust (or more to the point, loss of basic trust as being fundamental to the loss of essence). Everything in his book, especially when it comes to the elaboration of the Holy Ideas themselves, is written in terms of his personal philosophy. Most people, myself included, are given the impression that he goes to great lengths to explain something that could be conveyed in a fraction of the writing; however, I think if you did, you'd inevitably be elaborating the issue from a dualistic perspective, which is at odds with Holy Truth. Were you to internalize his way of seeing things, you could very well reverse the loss of basic trust (though to actually do that takes more than simply reading his work).
On the subject of his philosophy, note that Facets of Unity is precisely what it sounds like: a book about 9 facets of reality (as experienced by "enlightened consciousness," a.k.a. from an "objective view"). It is secondarily about the Enneatypes. Yes, he elaborates on each type in terms of specific difficulties and delusions based on the loss of the Holy Idea, but this all maintains the perspective of from the Holy Ideas. It can seem very removed if you don't understand how your development is a manifestation of what he describes, and even then I'm not sure it really follows. (For example, it took quite a while before I could recognize how my 9-dilemma could be an inferiority complex. I wasn't even defensive; I just felt like it was off until I really looked, and I still feel it misses the point.)
On the other hand, it's exactly for this reason that I put him on par with Naranjo (and find it impossible to say one or the other is my favorite). He doesn't paint a picture for you of what the type is like, but that's more the realm of the ruling passion. Each type is fixated on one of these ideas and responds to a loss of that idea. It's one of those "call it what you like" sorts of things. You understand what the Holy Idea is and how it can be lost, you have a feel for the type's core dilemma. How the type reacts to that is an open-ended question, even if there are strong trends (i.e. what the ruling passions sum up).
Anyway, that gives you an idea of what to expect. I don't really subscribe to the notion that these are objective views of reality (I'd argue they're just the idealistic notions beaten out of us by reality), but I think this book sets a great palette for how people come to develop their enneatype.
- most 5s are Ns
I think the avarice has more to do with holding oneself back and hoarding energy. Basically not getting emotionally involved with others or what Naranjo referred to as pathological detachment. Taking it one step further, Naranjo also mentioned being greedy with learning. @FigureAs for S and 5, the "avarice" has always seemed very Pi-ish to me - equally Si and Ni. If you consider the American Gothic, Mr. and Mrs. Average kind of ISTJ then no, absolutely not 5. But the focused, detail-oriented, actuarial licensed kind of ISTJ - yes. Same thing for ISTP, both in addition to INTJ.
A 5 wouldn't have to prefer those functions, but the archetypes match. Naranjo isn't saying there are more Sensor 5's anyway, he's characterizing MBTI and neurosis as a matched archetype.
I don't prominently use Te, however. All types have perceiving functions as well...That's still in line with both Pi and Te. Pathological detachment goes along with judging by objective facts (Te), and greed with learning and hoarding with one's reflex of immediately managing information in a subjective way (Pi dominant).