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MOTM Feb 2010
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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve been doing a bit of research on the Enneagram but I have still gotten nowhere with what it really represents. One of my greatest hang-ups now is how it is organized. Why must the wings be adjacent to the type? Why is a 2w4 impossible. On a similar note, when moving towards excellence or stress, why does the 6 move towards either 9 and 3. Why cannot a 6 move more towards 1?

The answers to these seem to deal with the structure of the psyche and I have not been able to reduce this to anything intuitive. If anyone has any insight into the matter, I am eager for you to share it with me.
 

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MOTM Feb 2010
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Discussion Starter #3
No, your instincts are correct. Systems like MBTI and the enneagram are bullshit. Fun bullshit, but bullshit nonetheless. Don't confuse concepts with realities.
MBTI, I can take for what it is; 4 unrelated categories of information processing. This, to me, is intuitive as it asks the user to accept little or nothing. But the enneagram just bugs. This system does make very specific claims about how different functions of consciousness relate. If this is the case, there must be a why.
 

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Iron Fist
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The Enneagram Blogspot: Scientific Proof for the Enneagram

I found this to be somewhat intriguing when I too was searching for scientific proof of the enneagram. The one thing I noticed in the variation between the three neurotransmitters is that each type and it's adjacent type only have one level in common.

example:

Type 7: high high high
Type 8: low low high
Type 9: high low low

It's still unfinished analysis, but I thought I would share.
 

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MOTM Feb 2010
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Discussion Starter #5
The Enneagram Blogspot: Scientific Proof for the Enneagram

I found this to be somewhat intriguing when I too was searching for scientific proof of the enneagram. The one thing I noticed in the variation between the three neurotransmitters is that each type and it's adjacent type only have one level in common.

example:

Type 7: high high high
Type 8: low low high
Type 9: high low low

It's still unfinished analysis, but I thought I would share.
That's very interesting. Not what I was expecting, but it does give me some leads. Thanks!
 

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This, to me, is intuitive as it asks the user to accept little or nothing.
I'm not sold on this. Consider analysis, synthesis, or synposis-- decomposing a given into elements, or combining two unrelated ideas, or seeing the total view. Imagination. Hypothesis. Inductive and deductive reasoning. Wholes and Parts. Apprehension of properties, relations. Remembering. Association. Seeing probabilities, possibilities, necessities. Conceptual innovation. Definition. Verification. Introspection.

Are these intuition? Thinking? Or both? One thing is for sure-- MBTI as a psychological instrument is conceptually imprecise. Enneagram is in even worse shape-- at least Jung was influenced by Schopenhauer, Kant, and other thinkers.
 

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MOTM Jan 2010
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The enneagram has been criticized for having roots in numerology and other such pseudosciences. Honestly, if you can get some help out of it, who cares whether it's true or not?
 

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MOTM Feb 2010
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The enneagram has been criticized for having roots in numerology and other such pseudosciences. Honestly, if you can get some help out of it, who cares whether it's true or not?
Let me let you into my mind for a moment...

-ETG opens a magical portal into the inner recesses of his noodle-

Why!? Why?! Why do I relate the way I do to my family? Why do familial relationships exist at all? Are they learned, are they genetic? How can I understand this better? Why do I want to understand this better? Will I be able to understand this better? Who has done work to make this more understandable? What systems exist that help us understand our minds? Can a mind reflexively understand itself? Can a mind reasonably understand itself at all? What are the Enneagrams? Why do they function? How do they function? They seem useful, but why? What do they say about consciousness? Are they a means to better understanding the mind or are they just pragmatic and Liontiger suggests? How thoroughly dissatisfying! If they represent reality, there must be a reality that represents them. Introversion and extroversion spell out opposite poles of a phenomenolgical landscape, this makes sense, but what on earth are the Enneagrams and why are they set up the way they are? They are so specific, so unique! Why? Can I pull back the event horizon of my own knowledge and expand it to what lies beyond? I must! I will! There has to be a reason and I will find it! Why are there limitations and constraints placed on how personality functions in the enneagrams? These constraints must mean something. If not, they are arbitrary and thus garbage. What is this something? What is the shadow that sustains the system? What is the space that defines shape? To see only one side of this is horribly frustrating. I have to figure this out! How? I must do this? But how? Who knows? Read more! Think more! You can do it! Don't stop!

This is normally what my internal chatter sounds like on a good day. I can not imagine a more dissatisfying answer than "just because." That is my nature. If I cannot find the why, I will reject the system. But, my intuition tells me there is something there worth investigating. Thus, my current state of inquiry. I am an INTP and a 6w5. I seem destined to the systematic analysis of just about everything.
 

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MOTM Jan 2010
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Perhaps an aspect of growth for you, then, might be accepting that there are some things in life that are beyond our ability to explain, and that we must often operate without knowing the "why's." To always be skeptical about everything is draining and impossible if one wants to maintain some semblance of sanity.
 

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MOTM Feb 2010
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Discussion Starter #10
Perhaps an aspect of growth for you, then, might be accepting that there are some things in life that are beyond our ability to explain...
Never!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Iron Fist
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MOTM Feb 2010
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Discussion Starter #13
Okay. As long as you enjoy being as wound up about it as you are. Not so good in old age :wink:

I am quite comfortable not understanding things. I love the mystrey and amazement that it brings. I don't know where I came from, I don't know where I'll go when I die and I sure don't know why I am conscious. Its just that I feel that the enneagrame is intrinsically understandable. This is knowable and I want to know more. I'm not trying to come up with a proof for God or making some fine point in quantum mechanics here. There's a closed system that makes sense and seems intuitive that I can directly study theoretically making numerous comparisons to other similar fields. To just accept it and not analysis it, to me, is like throwing in the towel. Its like telling Galileo, hey, don't worry, maybe we weren't meant to understand celestial movement. Seems terribly short-sighted to me. I firmly believe this is knowable and will exert energy into its understanding until I figure it out or I flat-out fail.
 
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You might try looking at the source.


Gurdjieff uses a lot of allegory though...I admire how how merges Eastern and Western philosophies.


The only sources of scientific study that I've seen concerning Enneagram has come from the Enneagram Institute. They have a number of articles available on their website.
 

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You bring up good questions. The enneagram and its structure is complicated and we can still discover more about it. I'm not so sure this is what you are looking for but perhaps it will answer some questions and give you a few more:tongue:I base the following of what has been said by Don Riso and Russ Hudson.

First of all the enneagram symbol (circle+triangle+hexad) and the 9 personality types have different origin.
We don't know when the symbol was created, but a man named Gurdjieff was responsible for rediscovering it. He taught that it's 3 parts represented 3 "divine laws". The circle is "unity/wholeness" or~god is one. The triangle tells about the "law of three", that everything exists as a result of 3 forces. The hexad is "the law of seven" - the idea that everything changes into somthing else over time.
Ichazo discovered the personality types and it's place in the symbol. Old knowledge speaks of "9 divine attributes represented by humanity". An idea that is found in Plotinus "The enneads" from 270 B.C.

Alot has been added and improved since Ichazo. There are now many ways to read the enneagram. Tri-typing with 1 number of each triad is being tested, as an example. The old way of using it has worked for me and my closest people though. In the end the enneagram is not a personality test but a spiritual modell for growth. The typing is just a part of it. It's supposed to be used to help people "lift off" their personality "goggles" and see the world more clearly.
Also the link to serotonin/dopamine and norepinepherin levels were interesting:wink:
 

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MOTM Jan 2010
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You bring up good questions. The enneagram and its structure is complicated and we can still discover more about it. I'm not so sure this is what you are looking for but perhaps it will answer some questions and give you a few more:tongue:I base the following of what has been said by Don Riso and Russ Hudson.
First of all the enneagram symbol (circle+triangle+hexad) and the 9 personality types have different origin.
We don't know when the symbol was created, but a man named Gurdjieff was responsible for rediscovering it. He taught that it's 3 parts represented 3 "divine laws". The circle is "unity/wholeness" or~god is one. The triangle tells about the "law of three", that everything exists as a result of 3 forces. The hexad is "the law of seven" - the idea that everything changes into somthing else over time.
Ichazo discovered the personality types and it's place in the symbol. Old knowledge speaks of "9 divine attributes represented by humanity". An idea that is found in Plotinus "The enneads" from 270 B.C.
Alot has been added and improved since Ichazo. There are now many ways to read the enneagram. Tri-typing with 1 number of each triad is being tested, as an example. The old way of using it has worked for me and my closest people though. In the end the enneagram is not a personality test but a spiritual modell for growth. The typing is just a part of it. It's supposed to be used to help people "lift off" their personality "goggles" and see the world more clearly.
Also the link to serotonin/dopamine and norepinepherin levels were interesting:wink:
That aspect of the enneagram makes me a little uneasy: the fact that we must continue to make discoveries about it. Who is to say that what we are "uncovering" about the enneagram is valid or was even intended to be interpreted the way we interpret it? Does the strength of the enneagram come from the fact that it is ancient? Are we not capable of divising our own system in the present that does not rely on theorizing that's thousands of years old?

I would much prefer a personality system whose entire methodology and reasoning is clearly laid out. One that has a reasonable balance between general and specific: general enough to create categories of people but specific enough to not pigeonhole them too much. Though, I realize that a system that meets all my standards doesn't exist yet. (I'm going to make one some day.)
 

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That aspect of the enneagram makes me a little uneasy: the fact that we must continue to make discoveries about it. Who is to say that what we are "uncovering" about the enneagram is valid or was even intended to be interpreted the way we interpret it? Does the strength of the enneagram come from the fact that it is ancient? Are we not capable of divising our own system in the present that does not rely on theorizing that's thousands of years old?
But through life we continue to make discoveries about everything. It's 'just knowledge'. It's not like we're uncovering the secrets of the atom bomb, it's knowledge of the soul and how to be a more concious person. I dont see anything fearful about it, its just interesting. The fact that much of it is so old and the connections to the bigger world religions also adds to it. Maybe I'm Boromir but I say we learn more about it and use it for good:tongue:

I would much prefer a personality system whose entire methodology and reasoning is clearly laid out. One that has a reasonable balance between general and specific: general enough to create categories of people but specific enough to not pigeonhole them too much. Though, I realize that a system that meets all my standards doesn't exist yet. (I'm going to make one some day.)
Yeah, I guess we are not entirely there yet. We don't know enough about the human mind or of psychology. We do know alot, but maybe SLOAN and similar tests are as far as we can get atm. Though honestly, that doesnt bother me much. As long as it works in practice that's good enough for me. The enneagram works for me:happy:
 

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MOTM Jan 2010
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Haha, nice LotR reference :laughing:
 

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Never!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love it. Don't post much myself but I've read a lot of your stuff and.. <3<33


On topic; I have had a tab open in my browser for a litte while on the "origins" (Gurdjieff, but he himself claims other origins as previously stated) of the enneagram. I go back and read a bit of every now and then but I haven't read it all, so I won't comment. It's very slow reading. Here it is: Enneagram Talk by Gurdjieff

Tucken said:
Yeah, I guess we are not entirely there yet. We don't know enough about the human mind or of psychology. We do know alot, but maybe SLOAN and similar tests are as far as we can get atm. Though honestly, that doesnt bother me much. As long as it works in practice that's good enough for me. The enneagram works for me
I don't agree.. I think that system is emerging through collaborative effort not much unlike this here.

Tucken: You say the "old way of using it", would you like to elaborate a bit? This is all very interesting
 
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I don't see why you can't be a 4w2. I like the idea.

What else is fun in the enneagram is usng the mandala to go on mind journeys like from 8 to growth point 5 from 5 to scattered 7 and on and on.. I'ts a wonderful waste of time. Completely useless.

I don't want to be a 5 or a 6 or a 7 or an 8 or any of them really. I'm going to be a 10 to the 7th power wing 4
 
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