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Favorite Ennneagram Theorist(s)

  • Riso and Hudson

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • The Fauvres

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • Ichazo

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Naranjo

    Votes: 9 40.9%
  • Maitri

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • Palmer

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • other (please specify)

    Votes: 6 27.3%

Favorite Enneagram Theorist

9310 Views 45 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Jerdle
personally, I'm partial to Naranjo. he hits to the core and doesn't pull his punches. before coming across his work, I sorted through so much nebulous, white washed shit trying to figure out my core, but Naranjo made it obvious.
apart from practical value, I love the defensive reactions his work gets out of people when he brings up an inconvenient part of their personality. no other Enneagram theorist is as controversial :cool:
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Good stuff. I did a bit of research into temperaments & physical typologies. Fascinating stuff. Too bad they were discontinued.
Why is his correlations with body types laughable? The correlation between body types and various psychological manifestations is well documented and a valid type of research in modern psychology. The enneagram divides types into body, heart, and head types and Sheldon similarly divides human bodies into types where, for example, ectomorphy is being focused on the nervous system and the brain. And there is a predominance of ectomorphy among the head types.
Maitri has some unique insights that neither Almaas nor Naranjo have. Both of those are up in the clouds somewhere and she is more down to earth. She has the sensibilities of a normal person. She knows what he/she experiences in real life. I find them all good.
I got my basic picture through a combination of Naranjo and Almaas, actually. I find it difficult to empathize with other types, and to convey the human dilemma in my own, without referring to a loss of an idealistic notion that is ironically still fixated upon. Imo, Almaas covers this issue the best of all sources I've seen, his student Maitri being a decent second option. It's not a very good starting point for self-reflection though.

On the other hand, diagnosis of the deeper pattern of problems is probably clearest by Naranjo's C&N.
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Before anyone too quick to doubt Naranjo, he's spent years and years counseling and studying people before and after he was introduced to the Enneagram. His knowledge base of actual cases is HUGE. That was why he was able to reach the depth and breath in C&N. I think it is unfortunate that the current quick fix mentality permeates the minds of most Enneagram students. With quick online tests and look ups, charts and a myriad of nomenclatures, people just switch symbols from one week to the next: 8w7/3w2/7w6 sp/sx/so to another set after a new bit of information. They're just inundated with information. Informed but never wise nor discerning.

I mean they start polls about what they like about each type (with wings) in real life... That's 18 categories, on top of that they claim to be able to distinguish so/sp/sx for each of them. That's 6 instinct stackings for each. 18x6 = 108 (not to mention the ridiculous 27 tri-types) That comes out to hundreds distinct types. And they can pinpoint that some body is a 8w7-6w5-4w3 sp/sx/so from just reading a few posts from that person? lol. Look at it again, that's 8 levels of unique distinctions (the "so" at the end doesn't count) We're talking about computer level of processing and bookkeeping. That's humanly impossible :)

Some of them don't even know 50 people in real life left alone hundreds enough to verify these hundreds of categories. Even the most basic of these "real life" claims are dubious, for example: do you even know enough people to spread over the 18 type-wing combinations? Any mistyping will throw your whole "experience" out the window because they will cause you to draw the wrong conclusion and the accuracy of any further typing is reduced.

What if you typed the first person wrong? What if you're wrong about typing a core type? Do you really know them that well? I mean the person you know best all your life is yourself, and you're not even sure of your core type. You keep changing time after time. Then how confident are you of another person's type? We're only talking about ONE person here, not 20 or 30 or however many you claim to know in real life to even have polls on.

The most respectable answer is "I don't know... I don't know enough about types in real life to draw such universal conclusions about them, it's gonna take me 20 years or so." People should stop making polls and start reading.
Almaas has his whole school of Diamond Approach thing. Facets of Unity is the intersection of the Enneagram and that, all from Eastern philosophies. Facets of Unity is a great alternate perspective on the Enneagram that moves people away from the perspective of the ego to the perspective of the universe. I can see how people can be stuck in a rut reading all these Enneagram books from the perspective of the self. Once you move yourself up, you can get a clearer picture.

His chapter on type 9 is great and it is very different from any other author. Another example is type 2 experiences "humiliated castration" and its number one compulsion is "willful action."
Hahaha, alright.

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. ruling passions).

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 naive, childish notions beaten out of us by reality), but I think this book sets a great palette for how people come to develop their enneatype.
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