[Enneagram Type 5] Reconciling these two Maitri quotes (type 5 inner world)

Reconciling these two Maitri quotes (type 5 inner world)

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This is a discussion on Reconciling these two Maitri quotes (type 5 inner world) within the Type 5 Forum - The Investigator forums, part of the Head Triad - Types 5,6,7 category; In The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram , Sandra Maitri says the following of type 5s: Originally Posted by Maitri ...

  1. #1
    Unknown


    Reconciling these two Maitri quotes (type 5 inner world)

    In The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram, Sandra Maitri says the following of type 5s:

    Quote Originally Posted by Maitri
    Her inner world feels empty, devoid of the juice of life. This is the particular deficiency state at the core of her personality, her particular hell realm, which she will do everything she can to avoid experiencing. It has a dry, stark, depleted, sterile, and empty feeling to it, filling her soul with a sense of deprivation and inner poverty. Like a vast inner desert with no oasis in sight, she feels barren, thirsty, and desiccated. In contrast to wetter--more emotional--types, she is in no danger of drowning in grief but rather is in danger of evaporating from lack of anything life-giving. She feels very much alone and unreachable here, isolated and separate from the rest of the world, and profoundly ashamed of her inner sense of scarcity. Exposure of it, both to her own awareness and to others, feels utterly humiliating since she believes she should have known what to do about it.
    In The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues, she says this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Maitri
    They are especially sensitive to intrusion, and prone to be very private, safeguarding and protecting their solitude. It is here that they feel safe, with a minimum of input from others. While some Fives seem quite gregarious on the surface, a part of them always feels withdrawn, kept for themselves alone. Too much exposure seems threatening, and to defend themselves from it, they pull back.

    Their withdrawal, originally a defense mechanism to protect the preciousness of their souls, ends up cutting them off not only from outside impingement but also from their very aliveness. They seem to live in their own inner world, which to them may feel quite rich and deep, seemingly without the need to experience that dimensionality interpersonally. But this is a bit of a red herring, since their withdrawal, like any psychic process, can never simply be from the outside world without also being from some aspect of their inner world.
    How can we reconcile "Her inner world feels empty, devoid of the juice of life." with "They seem to live in their own inner world, which to them may feel quite rich and deep"? Does a 5s inner world simultaneously feel "empty, devoid of the juice of life" and "rich and deep"? How do those quotes match with your own experience? She does say "their withdrawal, like any psychic process, can never simply be from the outside world without also being from some aspect of their inner world." and that might go some way towards reconciling the two quotes, if it means that a 5s inner world isn't quite as "rich and deep" as it may seem, but I'd still say she's contradicting herself on the specific issue of how the 5s inner world feels, how it is subjectively experienced. I've always found that first quote odd in any case; type 5s are known for living in their inner world and feeling safest there, even though "It has a dry, stark, depleted, sterile, and empty feeling to it" and "she will do everything she can to avoid experiencing" that feeling. It's just strange to say that a type loves solitude so much when their inner world is so unpleasant.
    counterintuitive and suchfluorescent thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Sandra Maitri self-identifies as type 2. I sense that much or her take in those quotes comes from that type 2 perspective where the emotional center is dominant. Maybe the type 5 intellectual world just looks that way when looking at it from the emotional world.

    "...devoid of the juice of life" may have to do with a perceived lack of emotional "juice" or connection

    "...which to them may feel quite rich and deep" seems to me a type 2 bias in that type 5 may experience a rich and deep intellectual world but type 2 may see it as a world lacking the "juice" that's so important to type 2

    It's funny how often the deficiencies seen in one type are a result of another type comparing it to their own.

  3. #3

    Speaking solely from my own experiences, I find both the above quotes to be fairly accurate when it comes to describing my inner world. What may seem paradoxical on the surface is really simply a juxtaposition of perspectives with regards to one's inner world.

    While at times my inner world can feel like (and in some cases, in fact is) a sanctuary from everything about life that is too bright, too loud, too garishly overwhelming, if I stay locked up behind my walls for too long it ceases to be a sanctuary and becomes a prison. That's when I become aware of that inner sense of lack that she talks about. It's an awareness that as much as I would like to think I'm self-sufficient and that I don't need anything except what is within myself and within my own mind to sustain me, that is woefully untrue. I do crave connection with others, I do crave interaction, I do crave action, as it were, not just contemplation. And at the moment I come to realize that I do indeed need those things, that is also the moment when they feel the most beyond my reach. As a result, it then seems like a monumental task to try and reconnect with the world, one that you're not sure you have the strength to rise to meet.

    It all boils down to balance, in the end. Withdrawal is a sanctuary, but it cannot be a permanent one. Everything in moderation, and so forth.
    Octavarium, Immolate, Aletheia and 1 others thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    Type 5w4

    I relate to both. I also appreciate the part about how we can be gregarious at times, while simultaneously being internally withdrawn. There's a stereotype about 5's being just about the most introverted type. Not always true.

    I used to call that dry place in me the "Chilean Desert" the driest place on earth. As if there's nothing in existence. But the sense of the inner world being a place of refuge and richness is a false richness. Like a mirage of an oasis. An avoidance of the reality of the dryness. I feel that the lack of "juice" is not just lack of emotionality, but of the deeper energies and passions of the 8.

    I like how you said above that you do want to reach out and connect and have a life, despite your character that makes things otherwise. It's been my experience too.
    suchfluorescent thanked this post.

  6. #5

    Most social demands stem from a place of power, not balance. I don't see the benefit in pandering to social expectation if I'm not being sufficiently gratified for it.

    There is a bias by way of a compliant perspective in many of these descriptions. A five functioning at the average health level still seems to struggle to meet their basic needs much more so than any other type (except maybe fours). But then, if a particular type's pathology seems more extreme, than perhaps it should be considered whether that imbalance is actually in the environment. 'Give and you shall receive' applies both ways. We're not slaves.

    The two quotes contradict each other, because she is not acknowledging the subjectivity of a person's individual needs. Again, a compliant bias.
    Jamie.Ether thanked this post.


     

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