This was taken from Dr. Claudio Naranjo's book called Character and Neurosis. You may find the complete book here.
1. Core Theory, Nomenclature, and Place in the Enneagram
Ichazo’s words for the passion and the fixation of ennea-type VI, as mentioned in the Introduction, were “timidity” and “cowardice” respectively. Timidity may be taken to mean an anxious hesitation or inhibition of action in the presence of fear, but if this is so, then the meaning is not very different from that of “fear” which I am using to designate the ruling passion in this character.
If we use fear or cowardice to designate the ruling passion of ennea-type VI, however, we need to point out, as in the case of anger and other emotions, that this important emotional state need not be directly manifested in behavior. It may be, alternatively, manifest in the overcompensation of a conscious attitude of heroic striving. The counter-phobic denial of fear is no different in essence from the covering up of anger through excessive gentleness and control, the covering up of selfishness through excessive yielding, and other forms of compensation manifested throughout the range of characters, particularly in some of the sub-ennea-types. More characteristic than fear and cowardice, in many ennea-type VI individuals, may be the presence of anxiety—that derivative of fear that might be characterized as fear without the perception of external or internal danger.
Even though fear is not among the “deadly sins,” the transcendence of fear may be a cornerstone of the true Christian ideal inasmuch as this involves an Imitatio Christi to a point that is necessarily heroic. It is interesting to observe, however, that the Christian ideal shifted from that of the early martyrs to one pervaded by attitudes which Nietzsche criticized under the epithet of “slave morality” (though lately, in South America at least, the church has become heroic again to the point of martyrdom). Unlike the Greek notion of virtue (arete) which emphasized courage, as Nietszche pointed out, the ideal of Christian society supports an excessive obedience to authority and an imbalance in the direction of Apollonian control over Dionysian expansiveness. Just as we may witness a degradation in Christian consciousness along the specific path of courage to cowardice, we may speak of a degradation in its understanding of faith. While faith is, in Protoanalysis, the psychocatalyst that lies as a gate of potential liberation from the bondage of insecurity, this is an altogether different thing from what the word has come to mean in average religious discourse: which is a firm holding on to a set of beliefs. As I will elaborate in the psychodynamic analysis, I think that the cognitive counterpart of fear may be found in an attitude of self-invalidation, self-opposition and self-blaming—abecoming an enemy to oneself—that seems to imply that it is better to oppose oneself
(siding with anticipated opposition outside) than to meet an outer enemy.
The DSM III definition of paranoid character is narrower than ennea-type VI, for the latter comprises three
different varieties of paranoid thinking that involve different ways of dealing with anxiety. The phobic character of psychoanalysis, now echoed in the DSM III “avoidant” personality and also in “dependent” personality disorder, is another; yet there is also a more obsessive style, usually diagnosed as a mixed personality disorder, between the paranoid and the obsessive.
2. Antecedents in the Scientific Literature on Character
In Kurt Schneider’s classification of personalities, it is the description of the fanatic that fits our ennea-type VI, though it fails to describe the whole range of the character. We may say that paranoid or suspicious character is a subtle form of what in the extremity of mental pathology was already known to Kraepelin as paranoid schizophrenia.
Addressing the pre-morbid character of paranoid schizophrenics Kraepelin mentions, along with the sense of being an object of hostility, and so on, the observation that it involves “a combination of uncertainty with excessive valuation of self, which leads to the patient being forced into hostile opposition to the influences of the struggle for life and his seeking to withdraw himself from them by inward exaltation.”
Today’s widely shared conception of paranoid character became enriched through Freud’s studies and observation of paranoid schizophrenia. What Freud said of the latter, particularly in reference to the famous Schreber case, has been extended to the characterological syndrome corresponding to it. While not many today continue to uphold the sexual interpretation of paranoia as a defense before homosexual surrender to a parent, Freud’s broader interpretation indeed has been confirmed in general experience: that paranoid hatefulness is a defense against love. I think that this view is correct if we understand such a defense against “love” not as one primarily directed at instinctual or erotic love but a defense against the temptation of a seductive “love through surrender” that fear inspires in the growing child.
While the “weak” (outwardly coward) individual offers loving obedience to parental authority and the “compulsive” or dutiful subtype obeys an abstract principle through legalistic or ideological obedience, the “strong” and fanatical subtype of suspicious character (usually called paranoid) defends himself from the temptation to surrender just as vehemently as he is counter-phobic. He protects himself from doubt, ambiguity, and indecision through a “true believer” excessive certainty. While the acknowledgment of a flight/fight reaction is widespread in the language of experimental psychology, the polarity between the “weak” and “strong” varieties of suspicious character correspond, rather, to a flight/surrender dichotomy
that is also present in animal life—familiar from the behavior of dogs (or wolves) who offer their throats to the aggressor as expression of subordination.
Without mention of paranoid character, we find a similar personality disposition described by Kurt Schneider under the label of “fanatics.” He observes of fanatics that “their affectivity is restricted, and they may appear ‘cold’ to others. They have no true sense of humour and are usually serious. They may pride themselves on always being objective, rational, and unemotional.”
Another observation of Schneider is that it is typical of all fanatical trouble makers to attribute a “sort of public importance” to their concerns, and that “there is a tendency for the fanatic ideas to issue in schemes and programmes. If the over-valued idea relates to a personal difference or a civil dispute, every effort is concentrated on laying low the oender utterly… .” difference or a civil dispute, every effort is concentrated on laying low the offender utterly… .”
Today the DSM III acknowledges an aspect of ennea-type VI psychology under the diagnosis of paranoid personality, except that this DSM III syndrome may be said to represent the pathological form of only one of the possible varieties of fearful disposition. In DSM III Paranoid Personality Disorder is characterized by the essential feature of “a pervasive and unwarranted suspiciousness and mistrust of people, hypersensitivity, and restricted affectivity not due to another mental disorder, such as Schizophrenia, or a Paranoid Disorder.”
Says Millon:“Individuals with this disorder are typically hypervigilant and take precautions against any perceived threat. They tend to avoid blame even when it is warranted. They are often viewed by others as guarded, secretive, devious, and scheming. They may question the loyalty of others, always expecting trickery. For this reason they may be pathologically jealous … They are concerned with hidden motives and special meanings. Often, transient ideas of reference occur, e.g., that others are taking special notice of them, or saying vulgar things about them … They often find it diffcult to relax, usually appear tense,
and show a tendency to counterattack when they perceive any threat …”
Shapiro contemplates a wider range of suspicious character when he writes of paranoid character in his Neurotic Styles. At the beginning of the chapter he observes that “aside from the dimension of severity there are descriptively and quite roughly speaking two sorts of people who fall within the category of this style: furtive, constricted apprehensively suspicious individuals, and rigidly arrogant more aggressively suspicious megalomaniac ones.” These correspond to the pugnacious and cold “paranoid personality disorder” of the DSM III and the warmth-seeking avoidant and dependent syndromes in which suspiciousness or doubting are turned mostly inwards and take the form of insecurity. Avoidant personality is distinguished from schizoid personality in that an active detachment in the insecure person who doesn’t dare to approach others contrasts to the passive detachment of the schizoid, who is a true loner and whose distance betrays not a conscious conflict but indifference. Whereas the schizoid is best characterized by deficits such as underarousal, undermotivation, and insensitivity, in the case of avoidant personality it is a matter of overarousal, overmotivation, and hypersensitivity. As Millon observes,6 the essential feature of avoidant personality is “hypersensitivity to potential rejection, humiliation or shame; an unwillingness to enter into relationships unless given unusual guarantees of uncritical acceptance; social withdrawal in spite of desire for affection and acceptance; and low selfesteem.”
Unlike the schizoid person who has diffculty in attaching himself or herself to others, the avoidant or phobic type is only cautious yet with a great potential for attachment. Also, there is a greater emotionality both in the capacity to experience pain and warmth: “They feel their loneliness and isolated existence deeply, experience being ‘out of things’ as painful, have a strong though often repressed desire to be accepted. Despite their longing to relate and to be active participants in social life they fear placing their welfare in the hands of others.”
The label “phobic” character has been used in psychoanalysis. Thus Fenichel writes, “phobic characters would be the correct designation for persons whose reactive behavior limits itself to the avoidance of situations originally wished for.” Beyond these two varieties of paranoid style (which we might characterize with the traits of strength and weakness respectively) there is still another (corresponding to a third subtype according to instinct dominance) which we might call a “Prussian character” in reference to the
stereotype of dutiful and authoritarian German rigidity. We do find its description in Millon’s “companion volume” to the DSM III that I have often quoted throughout this book—there explained as a “paranoid-compulsive mixed personality”:“Despite their growing hostility and the repudiation of conformity and submissive respect as a way of life, they retain their basic rigidity and perfectionism. They are now all the more grim and humorless, tense, controlled and inexible, small-minded, legalistic, and selfrighteous.
These features of their makeup are even more deeply embedded and internalized as righteous. These features of their makeup are even more deeply embedded and internalized as a fixed habit system. They may have found it necessary to discard their dependence on others as their primary source of reward, but the remnants of their lifelong habit of overcontrol and faultlessness are not as readily abandoned. Thus, they continue to seek the clarity of rules and regulations, cannot tolerate suspense, and impose order and system on their life. Deprived now of the guidelines of those others they have spurned, these paranoids lean increasingly upon themselves and become their own ruthless slave drivers in search for order and power.”
In view of the similarity between these ennea-type VI individuals (who could well be loosely called “obsessive”) with the obsessive personality proper (i.e., ennea-type I), Millon seeks to understand the dierence between them and proposes that it lies in that these paranoid-compulsives have renounced their dependency aspirations and have given up hope of achieving protection through the good oces of others. Whatever the truth of that, it cannot be questioned that the paranoid are more inner-directed and introverted. Yet “they continue to seek the clarity of rules and regulations, cannot tolerate suspense and impose order and system in their life.”
Among Jung’s psychological types the most closely matching 9 the ennea-type VI personality is his introverted thinking type, who “is strongly influenced by ideas and whose judgment appears cold, inflexible, arbitrary and ruthless, because it relates far less to the object than to the subject.” A covertly suspicious and pugnacious characteristic is observed by Jung, as he remarks: “He may be polite, amiable, and kind, but Jung, as he remarks: “He may be polite, amiable, and kind, but one is constantly aware of a certain uneasiness betraying an ulterior motive—the disarming of an opponent, who must at all costs be pacified and placated lest he prove himself a nuisance.”
The fanatical aspect of the type is also observed by Jung: “In the pursuit of his ideas he is generally stubborn, head strong, and quite unamenable to influence.”
In the realm of test profiles I find the counter-phobic variety of ennea-type VI represented in the ENTJ.
In Keirsey and Bates it is an interest in authority that dominates the picture of this personality: “If one word were used to capture ENTJ’s style it would be commandant. The basic driving force and need of ENTJs is to lead… .” They also point out that “ENTJs have a strong urge to give structure wherever they are—to harness people to distant goals.”
“Their empirical, objective, and extraverted thinking may be highly developed; if this is the case, they use classification, generalization, summarization, adduction of evidence, and demonstration with ease.” I do not find a single personality description in homeopathy matching ennea-type VI, but two. Though on the basis of Coulter’s portrait of the Lycopodium personality in homeopathy I had found it the best approximation to the ennea-type VII pattern, I cannot help heeding the unanimous view of homeopaths I know in Mexico and Spain, and also the opinion of Dr. Iain Marrs in his otherwise favorable and even enthusiastic review* of my book in a homeopathic journal in Canada. Since they agree that Lycopodium is a type VI medicine, I have turned once more to Coulter’s chapter13 to see whether in her description there may not be a juxtaposition
of type VI and type VII observations. I find that, rather, most of her description refers to a “divergent type” that “graces contemporary homeopathic practice.” I think that it is clearly the classical type that ennea-type conscious homeopaths have had in mind, however: “The classic picture of Lycopodium found in the homoeopathic literature is as follows: the patient is thin, muscularly weak and lacking in vital heat; the hair is prematurely gray or balding; deep furrows (from much thought and worry) line the forehead; the sunken skin of the face is sallow and earthcolored, with premature wrinkles; the worried expression may make
him look older than his years; the child will resemble a wizened little old man, while the young man may appear distinguished but somewhat whitened. The mind may be developed at the expense of the body and yet the opposite is also found: mental degeneration, early senility, failing brain power, weak memory. Finally, the individual has been described as melancholy, failing brain power, weak memory. Finally, the individual has been described as melancholy, morose, despairing, defiant, suspicious, inclined to take things ill, excessively irritable, misanthropic, cowardly, and so on. All these characteristics are encountered in the type and must be recognized when present.”
Another personality description in homeopathy matching the ennea-type VI is that associated to Psorinum—connected to a sense of deficiency, fault, or flaw. One of the deficiencies commonly observed is that of vital heat manifesting in the symptom of chilliness, aversion to open air, and over-sensitivity to drafts. This is very true, I have observed, of the more timid type VI individuals, who not only seek emotional warmth but seem to translate a psychological sense of solitude into a yearning for heating and a tendency to protect his or her body with warm clothes. Also the allergic tendency of Psorinum individuals seems to fit what I
have observed among the more timid and preservation-oriented type VI individuals. These are the people who are more susceptible to remorse, acknowledgedto be a Psorinum tendency. Kent speaks of “anxiety of consciousness” and Coulter reports a traditional association between Psorinum and the notion of original sin. She also reports symptoms of fearfulness, insecurity, dejection, and a sense of being forsaken. She also observers that “duress, combined with inherent weakness and numerous environmental sensitivities can provoke ‘irritability’” (one of the symptoms noted by Kent). When this is expressed as an outburst of anger it is likely to lead, in turn, to remorse. More characteristically of the more self-protective form of ennea-type
VI is the observation that other patients “may not complain but rather display a needless difidence and faint-heartedness, being frightened of their own shadow. Such an attitude breeds ‘irresolution’ (Kent).”
Coulter speaks of the Psorinum individual as one “who can bring himself to act only after carefully weighing every step and every conceivable consequence, knowing precisely where he stands and what he thinks” and quotes an intelligent female graduate student whose fear and timidity had been aided by Psorinum as observing “I used to fear to act because of all the possible ramifications. But recently I have realized that even if you don’t act, there are consequences. So I might as well assert myself more and enjoy it!” Most typical of ennea-type VI is the observation “he worries unduly about events which may never transpire, depleting his limited energy anticipating entirely improbable vicissitudes.”
3. Trait Structure
Fear, Cowardice, and Anxiety
A central characteristic among the descriptive traits of ennea-type VI is the peculiar emotion that contemporary psychology has described as anxiety. This may be likened to a frozen fear or a frozen alarm before danger that has ceased to threaten (though it continues to be imagined).
Examining type VI descriptors I find, aside from anxiety, many in which fear is the explicit psychological characteristic: fear of change, fear of making mistakes, fear of the unknown, fear of letting go, fear of hostility and trickery, fear of not being able to cope, fear of not surviving, fear of aloneness in a threatening world, fear of betrayal, and fear of loving. Paranoid jealousy might be included in the same group.
Closely connected to these are the traits that have to do with the expression of fear in behavior: insecurity, hesitation, indecision and tentativeness (a consequence of the fear of making mistakes), being paralyzed by doubt, immobilized, out-of-touch with impulse, avoidance of decisions and the inclination to compromise, being over-careful and cautious, prone to compulsive double checking, never being sure, lacking self-confidence, overrehearsing, and having diffculty with unstructured situations, (that is to say, those in which
there is no set guideline for behavior).
If fear paralyzes or inhibits, the inhibition of impulses feeds anxiety, as was Freud’s contention; and we may say that fear is a fear of one’s own impulses, a fear to act spontaneously. This “fear to be,” to borrow Tillich’s expression, is typically complicated by a fear of the outer world and a fear of the future consequences of one’s present actions. An additional way in which fear, through immobilization, re-kindles itself is through the sense of impotence that plagues an individual who dreads giving free rein to aggressive or sexual impulses. Not being able to rely on one’s power, distrusting one’s abilities and the capacity to
cope with situations—with the consequent insecurity and the need to rely on others—may be regarded as not altogether irrational but as the result of knowing oneself to be, in a psychological sense, “castrated.”
Over-alert Hyperintentionality closely related to anxiety but not identical to it is the hyper-alertness entailed by a suspicious and over-cautious disposition. Unlike the confident over-alertness of type III which
orients itself to having “everything under control, “this is a hyper-vigilance that is on the lookout for hidden meanings, clues, and the unusual. Aside from constituting a state of chronic arousal in the service of interpreting (potentially dangerous) reality, it serves an excessive deliberation concerning what forothers would be a matter of spontaneous choice. I have borrowed Shapiro’s word “hyper-intentionality” for the extraordinarily rigid and tense directedness of behavior (of suspicious character) as well as for the exaggerated need to rely on rational choices.
Fear makes the coward unable to be sure enough to act, so that he never has enough certainty and wants to know better. He not only needs guidance, but also typically (distrusting guidance as well as needing it) solves this conflict through appeal to the guidance of some logical system or of reason itself. Ennea-type VI is not only an intellectual type, but the most logical of types, one who is devoted to reason. Unlike ennea-type VII who uses intellect as strategy, type VI is likely to worship intellect through fanatical allegiance to reason and reason alone—as in scientism. In his need for answers in order to solve his problems, type VI is more than any other a questioner, and thus a potential philosopher. Not only does he use the intellect for problem-solving, but he resorts to problem seeking as a way to feeling safe. In his hypervigilance, his paranoid character is on the look-out for problems; he is a trouble-shooter in regard to himself and has diculty in accepting himself without problems. While there is hope in seeing oneself with problems—the hope of being able to solve them—there is also a trap in problem making that manifests, for instance, as an inability to go beyond the role of patient in the therapeutic process and a diffculty in just letting oneself be.
Not only is the ineectualness or generalized problem with doing of the more timid type VI individuals a consequence of an excessive orientation to the abstract and theoretical, but seeking refuge in intellectual activity is also a consequence of fearful holding back, indirectness, vagueness, and “beating around the bush.”
Other groups of descriptors point to generalized traits understandable as ways of coping with anxiety. Thus we may understand the warmth of most ennea-type VI individuals as a weakness: a way of ingratiation. Even if we do not agree with Freud’s interpretation of friendship as paranoid banding together in face of a common enemy, we must grant that there is such “friendship.” The compulsive search for protection of cowardly affection falls into this category.
Together with the descriptor “affection” I list in this cluster “seeking and giving warmth,” “being a good host and being hospitable,” and “generous.” “Pathological piety” may be also listed here, along with "exaggerated faithfulness” to individuals and causes. Also the traits of “considerateness,” “gentleness,” “obsequiousness,” and the need for support and validation of the more insecure cowards falls in with the above. I notice that ennea-type VI individuals in whom these traits dominate are also prone to sadness, forlorness, and a sense of abandonment, much as in ennea-type IV.
Related to the ingratiating obsequiousness and the warmth of ennea-type VI is the need for association with a stronger partner, that gives them security yet typically frustrates their competitive inclinations.
Closely related to the affectionate expression of cowardice is an accommodating quality. The trait of obedience itself, however, I have grouped with characteristics of a more generalized dutifulness, such as an obedience to law, a devotion to fulfilling responsibilities as defined by external authority, a tendency to follow rules and to value documents and institutions. Ennea-type VI individuals in whom these traits predominate may be said to have a “Prussian character,” in reference to this stereotype of rigidity and organization. The fear of authority and the fear of making mistakes causes them to need clear-cut guidelines as to what is right and wrong, so they are highly intolerant of ambiguity. These guidelines are never those
of popular opinion, as in the “other directed” ennea-type III, butthe rules of present or past authorities, such as the set of implicit inner rules of Don Quixote, who follows the knight errant in his imagination. Along with the above I have listed the traits “controlled,” “correct,” “well informed,” “hard working,” “punctual,” “precise,” and “responsible.”
An alternative to both the soft, obedient, ingratiating style of coping with anxiety and the rigid, principled, rule-bound style, we nd a cluster of traits that may be understood as a pugnacious intimidation through which the individual (as Freud described in connection with the oedipal struggle) competes with parental authority—and later in life uses the position of authority both to feel safe and to obtain what he wants. To the extent that competitive usurpation is involved, there is guilt, fear of retaliation, and a perpetuation of paranoid insecurity. Belonging in this category are, aside from the denouncing of authority and the competitive wish to stand in the place of authority, “argumentativeness,” “criticality, “skepticism,” and “cynicism.”
Along with these I have listed the descriptors “they think they know the right way,” “pressuring others to conform,” “bombastic,” “blung,” “strong,” “courageous,” and “grandiose.” The trait of scapegoating appears to be related to this “strong” expression of type VI rather than the warm and weak style. We are in the presence of the counter-phobic manifestation of type VI—a strategy comparable to the barking of a dog.
Orientation to Authority and Ideals
What the aggressive, the dutiful, and the affectionate safety maneuvers have in common is their relevance to authority. We may say the fear of ennea-type VI was originally aroused by parental authority and the threat of punishment by the power-wielding parent—usually the father. Just as originally his fear led to sweetness, obedience or defiance (and usually ambivalence) toward his parents, now he continues to behave and feel the same in the face of others to whom he assigns authority or towards whom he (consciously or unconsciously) becomes one.
The pattern of “authoritarian aggression” and “authoritarian submission” noted by the authors of The Authoritarian Personality may be mentioned here: type VI manifests aggression towards those below and submission to those above in the authority hierarchy. Not only do they live in a hierarchical world: they both hate and love authority consciously (being, in spite of anxiety in the face of ambiguity, the most explicitly ambivalent of all character types). In addition to traits of submissiveness, the demand for obedience and love, hate and ambivalence toward authority, ennea-type VI exhibits, to a larger extent than any other, an
idealization of authority figures—manifest either in individualized hero-worship, in a generalized attraction to the great and the strong or in an orientation to impersonal greatness, which causes some to over-mythologize life so as to indulge a passion for archetypal sublimity.
This penchant for what is larger than life seems not only to underlie a divinization/demonization of the ordinary (observed by Jung in connection with the introverted thinking type) and the perceived sublimity of ideals of fanatics, but is a characteristic of ennea-type VI people in general, who in view of this may be described as “idealistic.”
Accusation of Self and Others
Guilt is as prominent in ennea-type VI character as in types IV and V, only that in type VI the mechanism of guilt production goes hand-in-hand with a prominent mechanism of exculpation through projection and the creation of outer enemies. It is not only anxiety, but guilt, we may say, that seeks to be alleviated through ingratiation, through dutiful appeasement of potential accusers, through submission to personal or intellectual authorities, or through an assertive bluffng behind which the individual hides his weaknesses and imperfections. In usurpation of parental authority and becomingan authority, just as in placating authority, the individual acts not only self-protectively but blame-avoidantly.
We may say that guilt manifested in such traits as defensiveness, self-justification, and insecurity, involves an act of self-accusation, by which an individual becomes an invalidating parent to himself. It is in this act of self-opposition through which an individual becomes his or her own enemy, that I see the fixation proper of type VI, i.e., the cognitive defect that developed as a consequence of fear and has ended by becoming its root. Accusation is not only a type VI characteristic in regard to self, but also to others—perhaps through the
operation of projection in the service of avoiding the torment of too much guilt. Not only does ennea-type VI persecute himself and feel persecuted, but also he is a suspicious and critical persecutor—and he may arm his grandiosity precisely in view of the entitlement that it affords to pronounce judgment on others.
Doubt and ambivalence
To speak of self-invalidation is to speak of self-doubt, just as suspiciousness implies a doubting of others. Beyond the attitude of an accusatory inquisitor of self and other, the word “doubt” brings to mind the uncertainty of ennea-type VI in regard to his views: he both invalidates himself and he props himself up—feeling subtly as paranoid schizophrenics feel in the extreme: both persecuted and grandiose. To say it differently: he doubts himself and he doubts his doubt; he is suspicious of others, and yet he is afraid that he may be mistaken. The result of this double perspective is, of course, chronic uncertainty in regard to choosing a course of action, and the consequent anxiety, need of support and guidance, and so on. At times—and as a defense against unbearable ambiguity—he may take before the world the position of a true believer who is absolutely sure of things. When not a fanatic, though, ennea-type VI is characterized by
ambivalence, more strikingly than any other character; and his most striking ambivalence is that of hating and loving his “authority bearing” parent at the same time.
Intellectual doubt, it seems, is only the expression of that emotional doubt in virtue of which he is torn between his hateful and his seductive selves, the wish to please and the wish to move against, to obey and to rebel, to admire and to invalidate.
4. Defense Mechanisms
The close association between paranoid functioning and projection is so well established that Shapiro observes: “the mental operation or mechanism is so central to our understanding of paranoid pathology and symptoms that it has almost come to define what is called paranoid in psychiatry.”
Though “projection” is a word that has been used with a variety of meanings, that which is appropriate in this context is that of attributing to others motives, feelings, or thoughts not acknowledged in oneself. In some cases (“super-ego projection”) it is self-accusation that is disowned, through the implicit pretense that punitive ill-will comes from an outer source (as is most striking in the persecutory delusions of psychotics). The sense of being watched, judged, and so on that is part of type VI suspiciousness can also be interpreted in terms of externalization: the mechanism of transferring an intra-personal event to an inter-personal relationship. In other instances, (“projection of the Id”) it is the person’s unaccepted impulses
that are disowned and attributed to others, so that self-condemnation becomes the accusation of another.
In either case, projection may be understood as a mental operation aimed at selfexculpation or blame-avoidance, and thus something in the nature of an escape valve for excessive guilt. The generation of such guilt—which I am proposing to regard the core of type VI psychology—may be understood in relation to the defense mechanism known as “identification with the aggressor.” The psyche of the coward is that which best embodies the meaning of “diabolus,” the devil: the adversary, the enemy.
We may say that the ennea-type VI individual once sought to placate his enemies through becoming an enemy to himself. It is as if he thought to himself that it is prudent to adopt a self-accusing attitude, since in that way he will not run into trouble with authority. Selfaccusation typically sees monstrosity where there is only nature, and to the extent that fear is part of the universal neurosis, we carry within us a Freudian Id filled with hostility and destructiveness. This imagining of monstrosity where there is potential spontaneity and the wisdom of the organism not only leads to self-inhibition, but is complicated by the fact that inhibition perpetuates the situation of not knowing oneself, which in turn makes the individual vulnerable to self-vilification.
5. Etiological and Further Psychodynamic Remarks
Though it is possible that within every character type there are some constitutional differences among the subtypes, in no other instance is this more striking than in that of type VI, where the three subtypes clearly embody the three Sheldonian components. While the counter-phobic (sexual), strong, and pugnacious form of ennea-type VI is mesomorphic, the avoidant or phobic (preservation) form shows an overall softer, more endomorphic appearance; while the duty-oriented and fanatic (social) subtype is typically, like Don Quixote, ectomorphic. It would seem that, however universal the childhood experience of anxiety may have been in
the early environment, it is the constitutional factor that determines whether this anxiety is met through a wish to be bigger and intimidating to others (in the more aggressive and somatotonic ones); through a desire to form reciprocal protection alliances (in the viscerotonic); or through the wish to find an answer to the problems of life”cerebrotonically” through reason or ideology or other authoritative standard.
In addition to perceived lack of affection there is in the background of type VI a fear of punishment, especially the punishment of emotional rebuke. Most striking are the problems of authority, generally in relation to the father who tends to be the authority-bearing parent. Yet authority, generally in relation to the father who tends to be the authority-bearing parent. Yet in relation to authority, too, the subtypes are differentiated, the avoidant one becoming the most yielding and the counter-phobic one the most competitive and rebellious.
In addition to the fear connected to rejection or punishment by an authoritarian father (frequently type VI or type I) there is also in the childhood of the fearful a contagion of fear through the internalization of an over-protective world view from the mother’s side. Bombarded by such statements as: “Be careful, you’ll fall down/ Be sure you don’t talk to strangers/ Be careful with men—never trust them,” the child learns to distrust his own resources and the world around him. Sometimes it is possible to find a life history of
invalidation such that the child learns to doubt his perceptions, as in the following: “But the first seven years of my life that’s my ongoing memory, is him coming home, them fighting, my being afraid that they were going to kill each other. One night … when I was four, it must have been a particularly bad year for his drinking and their encountering each other. Because I have since come up with other incidents from my brothers and sisters. But this one night in particular, well: my brothers had a room, my sisters had a room, and I had a small bed in my parents’ room ‘cause there wasn’t space anywhere else. So, being the youngest, I was always the first one put to bed and whenever my dad would get home, I guess when the bars closed, the fighting would start. I always knew that once I was put to bed, I was to stay there,
that you just didn’t leave. But this one night the fighting was just really bad. So I found that I would get paralyzed with the fear. But this particular night all of a sudden there was a surge of adrenaline and I ew out of bed and down the stairs. And … I thought at that moment that my fear had come to realization because my mother was flat on the floor, and my dad was sitting in a chair and I went over to her, but I couldn’t rouse her at all, and I looked at my dad and I said, ‘She’s dead, you killed her.’ And he just, he was in a stupor and he just said, ‘No. She’s faking and there’s nothing wrong. Go back to bed.’ And I can remember wanting to stay there, but I was so afraid of him that I went back to bed. And when I went back to bed I think I eventually cried myself to sleep, but the next morning I remember hearing my mother
call my one brother and sister to come for breakfast before they went to school. And so I got up real quietly ‘cause I didn’t want to disturb my father who was sleeping it. That was usual in the morning, I had to be very quiet. But when I went downstairs, nobody said anything about the night before. And that was so typical. And so it’s the whole fear thing, but also the self-doubt. Is it in your head or is it in reality?”
Sometimes inconsistency in parental behavior has contributed to the child’s anxiety. Not knowing whether he would be punished or not, for instance, the child had occasion to doubt the outer world before doubting himself. Just as most ennea-type VI individuals have grown up in an atmosphere of strong authority, most of them have been the target of distrust by their parents—and thus we may think that self-doubt is the end result of an internalization.
Another commonly shared experience is being made to feel guilty: “See how much your father works, you should not give him more troubles.” Religion may be an important means of accusation and sexuality a common target. Another, causing pain to their parents: “They made me feel very unfair to them through the damages that I caused them while they loved me so much and did so much for me.”
A self-victimizing and complaining type VI mother may contribute greatly to such feelings and is a common occurrence in the family of type VI individuals: “My mother was very authoritarian with angry threts and’ blackmailing (IV); she ate my father up (VI). She always spoke in the plural and always was in the foreground. I always felt from her a great disrespect toward my interests and inclinations, and she hit me a lot. My father used to say that women are absorbing.”
A common though not universal experience is the lack of communication between the parents: “At home the only conversation was complaining.” “There were always fights at home.” “My parents had many discussions, they were always trying to be right.” It is easy to see how such confiicts may be echoed in the high ambivalence of the ennea-type VI individual, which is not only an ambivalence in regard to his impulses but one linked to a dual perception of each parent, who is evaluated not only empathetically but through the other parent’s eyes.
The search for love becomes differentiated in type VI according to subtypes. The counterphobic and the aggressively paranoid individual demands obedience, just as he has understood loving his own father as obedience. The avoidant phobic person, on the other hand, has learned to equate love with protection, a source of security to compensate his/her insecurity —a strong person to lean on. The dutiful social type is too uncertain or ambivalent about individual people to give them authority and chooses instead the impersonal authority of a system as parental surrogate, an internal action that may be viewed as implying a competition with parental authority. It is as if he were telling father: “I’d rather follow Christ than follow
you, and you’ll have to understand that it is better to be a good Christian than simply an obedient son.” In shifting his allegiance or loyalty from a parent to a religion, or to reason, he is also shifting his expectation of love from the world of real people to a world of larger-than life authorities, that exists mainly in a phantasmic reality, like Don Quixote’s Dulcinea.
6. Existential Psychodynamics
This is a particularly relevant topic in the case of ennea-type VI in view of the connection between points IX and VI in the enneagram: we may say that the fear to do entails being out of touch with oneself, that a lack of grounding in being translates as a fragility or weakness in regard to self-expression.
While ennea-type III is scarcely aware of its self-alienation and types IV and V dwell on it intensely, experiencing it as a sense of insubstantiality, the experience of ontic obscuration in type VI is projected onto the future and carries a sense of fearful anticipation. It has been aptly described by R.D. Laing as the terror of looking within and finding that there is nobody there. There is in this situation neither an ignoring of the issue nor a meeting of it full face, but rather a not-quite-looking, a partial avoidance.
The fragility of the sense of being is also of such quality that it is suitably described by the expression which Laing proposed in connection with ontic obscuration in general: “ontic insecurity.” We may say that being-loss in type VI manifests as an experience of threatened being, precarious being. Also Guntrip’s expression “ego weakness” seems particularly appropriate for the paranoid nuance of being-loss.
It is possible to think that the excessive concern of type VI with security is not rooted in physical fear or even emotional fear so much as in an excessive clutching at factors of physical and emotional security out of an insecurity that is “not of this world.” Unlike the experience of the truly courageous person—the hero who can risk anything, life included, out of an implicit sense of rootedness-in-something-beyond-contingent-existence—the coward projects his ontic insecurity onto the outer layers of existence through either a generalized incapacity to risk or an excessive concern with an authority and power that serves as a guarantee for such risking.
In the case of paranoid character sensu strictu it is easy to understand loss of being as a derivative of a search for being—through proximity to “the great” and the nourishing of one’s grandiosity—as may be illustrated by the situation of Don Quixote, who in his identification with the ideal of a knight errant of chivalry pursues a life of fancy, incompatible with the all too ordinary (non-grandiose) experience of day-to-day reality. In other instances it is not the grandiosity of an ideal or internalized image that becomes
a being substitute, but the grandiosity of an external authority of the present or the past. In all such cases we may say that there is a confusion of being with authority and the special kind of power entailed by authority.
Just as it is true that at the psychological level proper the ennea-type VI individual gives up his power before authority, it is also possible to say that it is the very sense of being that is up his power before authority, it is also possible to say that it is the very sense of being that is given up through its projection upon individuals, systems, or ideas endowed with a “greater than life” importance or sublimity.