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
In the Christian world “gluttony” is included among the seven “cardinal sins,” yet its usual understanding as a gluttony for food only makes it appear somewhat less sinful than others. It would not be included among the basic sinful dispositions, however, if the original meaning of the term were not—as is the case with avarice and lust—something beyond the literal. If we understand gluttony more broadly, in the sense of a passion for pleasure, we may say that this definitely is a capital sin—inasmuch as it implies a deviation from an individual’s potential for self-actualization; hedonism is binding upon the psyche and involves (through confusion) an obstacle in the search for the summum bonum and a snare. We may say that a weakness for pleasure constitutes a generalized susceptibility to temptation, and in this light we can understand Chaucer’s statement in his “The Parson’s Tale” to the effect that “He that is addicted to this sin of gluttony may withstand no other sin.”
When I first heard Ichazo’s ideas of Protoanalysis, this was in Spanish, and he used the word “charlatan” for the ennea-type VII individual (and “charlatanism” for the fixation). This word also needs to be understood in more than a literal manner: that the glutton is one who approaches the world through the strategy of words and “good reasons”—one who
manipulates through the intellect. Ichazo’s later word for this personality, “ego-plan,” makes reference to the fact that the “charlatan” is also a dreamer—indeed, his charlatanism may be interpreted as a taking (or offering) dreams as realities. Yet I think “charlatanism” is more evocative, for planning is a prominent trait of ennea-types I and III as well, and “charlatanism” conveys additional meanings, such as expressive ability, the role of a persuader and manipulator of words, deviously overstepping the boundaries of his knowledge. More than a mere planner, ennea-type VII is a “schemer,” with that strategic character that La Fontaine (a bearer of this disposition) symbolized in the fox.
Ichazo characterized gluttony as a “wanting more”: I leave it up to my gluttonous readers to decide which may be the deeper interpretation. My own impression is that, though this description is characterologically apt, it points to an insatiability that gluttons share with the lusty. Also, although it is true that sometimes gluttons imagine that more of the same would bring about greater pleasure, it is also true that they more characteristically are not seekers of more of the same, but (romantically) seekers of the remote and the bizarre, seekers of variety, more of the same, but (romantically) seekers of the remote and the bizarre, seekers of variety, adventure, and surprise.
In the language of DSM III, the ennea-type VII syndrome receives the name of “narcissistic” —yet we must be cognizant ofthe fact that this is a word that has been used by different authors for other personalities as well.
2. Antecedents in the Scientific Literature on Character
It is in the picture that Schneider paints of those that he calls “labile” that I find the closest approximation to our ennea-type VII.3 I think that in Schneider’s classi!cation an ennea-type VII individual might be diagnosed either as that variant of the “hyperthymic” labeled “hypomanic” or as labile. The latter kind of person he describes as “sensitive, highly
in)uenced by the outer world, inclined to self-analysis. Not a depressive, but one who is subject to occasional excesses of sadness or irritation.” At a more ordinary level of mental health, he draws attention to a trait of “being easily satiated and bored with things … A restlessness seems to invade this subject, especially in spring; an impulsive longing for variety
and novelty … A special manifestation of this personality is the manifestation of vagrancy.” He also quotes Stier who has made a special study on desertion: “In all these investigations one finds very different things; partly the fear of punishment or nostalgia, partly the purely social vagabonding of the lonely, partly a romantic love of adventures and the pursuit of novelty.”
Since gluttony may be approximately translated into modern terminology as “receptive orality” it is appropriate that as we turn from the literary sources to the psychological ones we begin by considering the orally grati!ed type of Karl Abraham,4 characterized by “an excess of optimism which is not lessened by reality experience; by generosity, bright and sociable social conduct, accessibility to new ideas and ambitions accompanied by sanguine expectations.”
The following statement from Abraham addresses itself to the characteristic verbal ability of ennea-type VII:
“their longing to experience gratification by way of sucking has changed to
a need to give by way of the mouth, so that we !nd in them besides a permanent longing to
obtain everything, a constant need to communicate themselves orally to other people; this
results in an obstinate urge to talk, connected in most cases with a feeling of over)owing.
Persons of this kind have the impression that their fund of thoughts is inexhaustible and they
ascribe a special power of some unusual value to what they say.”
Whether or not we share Freud’s and Abraham’s view in regard to the stages in the development of the libido and the role of sexuality in the shaping of character, not only is the syndrome that psychoanalysis labels as “oral-receptive” an observable fact, which corresponds to ennea-type VII psychology (just as passive-aggressive syndrome corresponds to ennea-type IV), but its association with happy breast feeding has been statistically ascertained. It may be of interest to note that when Freud used the word “narcissistic” in connection with a particular type of individual, his image corresponded to ennea-type VII features and to the narcissistic personality in the DSM III, more than to those of the narcissistic personality disorder as described by Kernberg.
In “Libidinal Types” Freud says: “The main interest is focused in self-preservation. The type is independent and not easily overawed. People of this type impress others as being personalities. It is on them that their fellow men are specially likely to lean. They readily assume the role of leader, give a fresh stimulus to cultural development or break down existing conditions.”
In spite of the widespread use of “narcissism” in connection with a characterological disposition corresponding to a variety of our ennea-type V, it is ennea-type VII that receives the label “narcissistic” in the DSM III or, at least, we may say thatthere is in it a juxtaposition of meanings that needs to be pointed out. I will examine the issue in the form of a revision of Millon’s description of the narcissistic personality:
“Narcissism conveys a calm and self-assured quality in their social behavior” Millon begins “Narcissism conveys a calm and self-assured quality in their social behavior” Millon begins by saying, and in this way de!nitely portrays an ennea-type VII person rather than the typically awkward, self-doubting, tense ennea-type V.
“Their seemingly untroubled and self-satis!ed air is viewed by some as a sign of confident
equanimity. Others respond to it much less favorably. To them, these behaviors reflect
immodesty, presumptuousness, pretentiousness and a haughty, snobbish, cocksure, and arrogant
way of relating to people.”
Whereas we may speak of covert arrogance in the case of ennea-type V individuals, this is not suggested by their behavior so much as by the content of their speech. Behavior involving a nonchalant sense of being OK is typical of our “charlatan,” in contrast with the awkward shyness of ennea-type V. I continue with Millon:
“Narcissists appear to lack humility and are over self-centered and ungenerous … They
characteristically but usually unwittingly exploit others and take them for granted and expect
others to serve them without giving much in return. Their self-conceit is viewed by most as
unwarranted. It smacks of being uppish and superior without there being substance to justify
Though an expectation of receiving not matched by generosity is something that could be applied to avarice, the style is di+erent in gluttony, as is also the level of exploitation. While in ennea-type V the feelings of superiority exist side by side with even greater feelings of inferiority, in the narcissist the balance is the converse: feelings of superiority being more visible and present to the individual’s awareness, while feelings of inferiority are hidden, denied, and repressed. Only of the gluttons it may be said, as Millon says of narcissists, that “their behavior may be objectionable, even irrational. And that their self-image is that they are superior persons, extra special individuals, who are entitled to unusual rights and privileges. This view of their self-worth is fixed so firmly in their minds, that they rarely question
whether it is valid. Moreover any one who fails to respect them is viewed with contempt and scorn.”
The following paragraph from Millon evokes the planning aspect of ennea-type VII as well as the optimism of the oral receptive:
“Narcissists are cognitively expansive, they place few limits on either their fantasies or
rationalizations, and their imagination is left to run free of the constraints of reality or the
views of others. They are inclined to exaggerate their powers, to freely transform failures into
successes, to construct lengthy and intricate rationalizations that in)ate their self-worth or
justify what they feel is their due, quickly depreciating those who refuse to accept or enhance
their self-image.” Most characteristic is the observation that “roused by the facile workings of
their imaginations, narcissists experience a pervasive sense of well being in their everyday life,
of buoyancy of mood and an optimism of outlook. A+ect though based often on their
semigrandiose distortion of reality is generally relaxed if not cheerful and carefree. Should the
balloon be burst, however, there is a rapid turn to either an edgy irritability and annoyance
with others or to repeated bouts of dejection that are characterized by feeling humiliated and
Ennea-types V and VII not only contrast in terms of awkwardness vs. self-assurance but also differ in regard to a mental atmosphere—that is predominantly pleasurable in the former and painful in the latter:
“Narcissists suffer few conflicts. Their past has supplied them perhaps too well with high
expectations and encouragements. As a result they are inclined to trust others and to feel
confidence that matters will work out well for them.” Yet “reality bears down heavily at times.
Even the routine demands of everyday life may be viewed as annoying incursions by
narcissists. Such responsibilities are experienced as demeaning for they intrude upon the
narcissist’s cherished illusion of self as almost godlike, alibis to avoid ‘pedestrian’ tasks are
easily mustered since narcissists are convinced that what they believe must be true and what
they wish must be right. Not only do they display considerable talent in rationalizing their
they wish must be right. Not only do they display considerable talent in rationalizing their
social inconsideredness but they utilize a variety of other intrapsychicmechanisms with equal
facility. However, since they reflect minimally on what others think, their defensive maneuvers
are transparent, a poor camouflage to a discerning eye. This failure to bother dissembling more
thoroughly also contributes to their being seen as cocksure and arrogant.”
I think it will be relevant to include here some reflections of David Shapiro 8 on the impulsive styles in general, since these apply as he himself remarks, both to “most of those persons usually diagnosed as impulsive characters or psychopathic characters” (VIII), and “some of those who are called passive neurotic characters and narcissistic characters”(VII).
While we may say that one is a tough impulsive and the second a soft one, in both of them we may speak of “an impairment of normal feelings and deliberateness and intention.” He includes those conditions described as passive in his discussion because of “the formal qualities of the two sorts of conditions, that marked by impulsiveness and that marked by extreme passivity, shows them to be very closely related. In fact I believe it would be in keeping with the formal similarity of the two sets of conditions to speak of a general passive impulsive style on the experience of impulse … It is an experience of having executed a significant action, not a trivial one, without a clear and complete sense of decision, motivation, or sustained wish. It is an experience of an action, in other words, that does not feel completely deliberate or fully intended.
“These are not experiences of external compulsion or submission to moral principles,” he explains, “but experiences of wish.” Yet “experiences of exceedingly abrupt, transient and partial wish, wish that is so attenuated as to be hardly comparable to the normal experience of wanting or deciding, and so attenuated as to make possible or even plausible a plea of ‘guilty but without premeditation’.” Thus the typical statement “I don’t want to do it but I just can’t control my impulse” which Shapiro comments may be translated as “I don’t feel I ought to do it and I would shrink from doing it deliberately, but if quickly and while I’m not looking my feet, my hands or my impulses just do it I can hardly be blamed” in passive characters frequentlytakes the form of “I didn’t want to do it, but he pressed and somehow I just gave in.”
Just as the Freudians have become aware of this ennea-type VII syndrome in the light of their theoretical assumptions, Jung and his successors have been acquainted with it in the light of their own frame of reference. This eminently future-oriented type is characterized by intuition: “The capacity for intuiting that which is not yet visible, future possibilities or
potentialities in the background of a situation.” I quote from Jung’s Psychological Types:
“The intuitive is never to be found in the world of accepted reality-values, but he has a
keen nose for anything new and in the making. Because he is always seeking out new
possibilities, stable conditions su+ocate him, he seizes on new objects or situations with great
intensity, sometimes with extraordinary enthusiasm only to abandon them cold bloodedly … it
is as though his whole life vanished in the new situation. One gets the impression, which he
himself shares, that he has always just reached a !nal turning point … Neither reason nor
feeling can restrain him or frighten him away from a new possibility, even though it goes
against all his previous convictions … he has his own characteristic morality, which consists in
a loyalty to his vision and in voluntary submission to its authority … Naturally this attitude
holds great dangers, for all too easily the intuitive may fritter away his life on things and
people, spreading about him an abundance of life which others live and not he himself.”
Jung’s characterization of ennea-type VII as introverted intuition is only incompletely confirmed through testing, for we recognize the personality pattern in Keirsey and Bates’ portrait of an INTJ (introvert with more intuition than sensing, more thinking than feeling and a predominance of judgment over perception). They observe that INTJ are the most selfconfident of all the types, that they look to the future rather than the past, and that they are both builders of systems and appliers of theoretical models.
“To INTJs, authority based on position, rank, title or publication has absolutely no force. This type is not likely to succumb to the magic of slogans, watchwords, and shibboleths As with the INTP, authority per se does not impress the INTJ …
“No idea is too far fetched to be entertained. INTJs are naturally brainstormers, always open to new concepts and, in fact, aggressively seeking them.
“INTJ manipulates the world of theory as if on a gigantic chessboard, always seeking strategies and tactics that have high pay off … theories which cannot be made to work are quickly discarded by INTJ… .
“INTJs tend, ordinarily, to verbalize the positive and eschew comments of a negative
I find that ennea-type VII matches the personality associated in homeopathy to Sulphur. According to D. Demarqwue’s Concordances Homeopathiques (published by the Centre d’Etude de Documentation Homeopathique) “the character manifestations found in subjects that are sensitive to Sulphur are not pathogenic. They exist, aside from any important episode of sickness. Gaiety, optimism, the enjoyment of life are not, of course, pathological symptoms, neither is selfishness nor an inclination for philosophical speculation.”
Could not the same be said of the oral-optimistic ennea-type VII, by a person without psycho-therapeutic sophistication? It is a fact that type IV and type V seem sicker than the happy characters—type VII, type III, type II, and type IX. Yet pathology or not, homeopathic experience has recognized the ennea-type VII pattern: a sel!sh enjoyer with a love for explaining and generalization.
Turning to Matière Medicale Homeopathique by Michel Guermonprez, Pinkas, Tork, (Doin Editeur, Paris, 1985), I !nd “cyclic behavior, euphoria, imagination, inaction, irritability, selfishness” as characteristics of those for whom Sulphur is the remedy of choice. “Cyclic behavior” is then explained as an alternation of euphoric phases (“sociable, optimistic,
charlatan”) and depression.
Particularly interesting, in view of our conception of ennea-type VII as a charlatan, is the observation: “the student believes that he knows everything and does everything well, while being in fact lazy, confusing and negligent.” Also “Illusionof a superior intelligence: systems, techniques, synthesis, inventions, exuberant but erroneous theoretical imagination. Metaphysical and philosophical speculation. Mythomania: beautifully illustrated frauds.”
Along with recognizing that the characteristics of Sulphur people in the experience of homeopaths are the best match to type VII, I notice a di+erence in emphasis between their view and Coulter’s description (which originally inclined me to connect Sulphur to ennea-type V) for in Coulter’s character description of Sulphur hedonism is not prominent. Since the
ennea-type conscious homeopaths I have questioned confirmed the correspondence of Lycopodium to type VI, I have deemed Coulter’s Sulphur the closest to type VII among the Polychrests. I have inquired further and reconsidered the possibility that the loquacious Sulphur (“philosopher” in rags) might correspond to type VII, and I have been pleased to learn of the association of Sulphur to euphoria, which has con!rmed this alternative hypothesis.
There is still a difference between my conception of ennea-type VII, and the homeopathic picture: the emphasis on sel!shness in the latter. While I have spoken of type VII as a fox whose selfishness is well hidden under a lambskin, homeopathic literature I have consulted doesn’t seem to pay attention to the fox’s clothing. Or rather, it only reports that there are exceptions to Sulphur’s self-interest. Says Coulter11: “Some Sulphurs, moreover, demonstrate a
complete lack of interest in material things or !nancial matters. They can be almost simpleminded in this respect. They are not slow, but their heads are so far in the clouds, they are engrossed in thought, that the ‘real life’ around them passes by unobserved.”
To clarify this it is necessary to point out that only the self-preservation subtype of enneatype VII is visibly an opportunist with a keen nose for advantages; in the social subtype selfinterest is more hidden behind a friendly brotherliness, while the sexual subtype is that of a dreamer whose interests are not of this world.
3. Trait Structure
Ennea-type VII individuals, are more than just open minded, exploratory; their search for experience takes them, characteristically, from an insuTcient here to a promising there. The “insatiability” of the glutton is, however, veiled over by an apparent satisfaction; or more precisely said, frustration is hidden behind enthusiasm—an enthusiasm that seems to compensate for dissatisfaction as well as keeping the experience of frustration away from the individual’s awareness.
Whether in the question of food or in other realms, the gluttony of the glutton is typically not for the common, but, on the contrary, for that which is most remarkable, for the extraordinary. In line with this is the characteristic interest in what is magical or esoteric itself, a manifestation of a broader interest in what is remote—either geographically, culturally, or at the fringes of knowledge.
Also, an attraction to that which is beyond the boundaries of one’s own culture reflects the same displacement of values from here to there; and the same may be said of the typical anticonventional tendencies of type VII. In this case, the ideal may be in a utopian, futuristic, or progressive outlook rather than in existing cultural models. Hedonistic Permissiveness. A pair of traits inseparable from the gluttonous pleasure bias, are the avoidance of suffering and, concomitantly, the hedonistic orientation, characteristic of ennea-type VII personality. Intrinsically connected to these traits are permissiveness and self-indulgence. In connection with permissiveness it may be said that it not only describes a trait of the individual with regard to himself, but a characteristic laissez-faire attitude toward others; such permissiveness sometimes even becomes complicity when gluttons seductively become friends of other people’s vices.
Closely related to self-indulgence is the trait of being “spoiled,” usually employed in reference to an attitude of entitlement to grati!cation. Also the “play-boy” orientation to life falls in here, and, indirectly, the exaggerated sense of okayness that the individual develops as a protection of hedonism against pain and frustration: the “optimistic attitude” that not only makes him and others OK, but the whole world a good one to live in. In some cases we may speak of a “cosmic okayness,” in which the individual’s contentedness is supported by a view of the world in which there is no good or evil, no guilt, no shoulds, no duties, and no need to make any efforts—for it is enough to enjoy.
Of course, without rebelliousness self-indulgence would not be possible in the inhibiting world of present civilization. The main things to be said of type VII rebellion are that it manifests most visibly in a keen eye for conventional prejudices and that it usually finds a humorous outlet. Also, the rebelliousness is mostly embodied in an anti-conventional orientation while intellectual rebellion goes hand-in-hand with a good measure of behavioral acquiescence. This characteristic makes type VII people the ideologists of revolutions, rather than the activists.
Ennea-type VII is typically not oriented towards authorities. It might be said that the glutton has “learned” early in life that there is no good authority, yet adopts toward authority an attitude that is diplomatic rather than oppositional. An aspect of implicit rebellion is the fact that the type VII individual mostly lives in a non-hierarchical psychological environment:
Just as type VI perceives himself exaggeratedly in terms of his relationships to superiors and
inferiors, type VII is “equalitarian” in her approach to people. Neither does she takes authority
inferiors, type VII is “equalitarian” in her approach to people. Neither does she takes authority
too seriously (for this would militate against her self-indulgence, permissiveness, lack of guilt,
and superiority) nor does she present to others as an authority, except in a covert way which
seeks to impress while at the same time assuming the garb of modesty.
Lack of Discipline
Still another trait that is both independent enough to be considered as such and yet dynamically dependent on gluttony and rebellion, manifests through the lack of discipline, instability, lack of commitment, and the dilettantish features of ennea-type VII. The word “play-boy” re)ects not only hedonism but the non-committed attitude of an enjoyer. The lack
of discipline in this character is a consequence of his interest in not postponing pleasure—and, at a deeper level, rests on the perception of pleasure-postponement as lovelessness.
The cathexis of fantasy and orientation to plans and utopia, are part of the gluttonous bias that, like a child at the nipple, clings to an all too sweet and non-frustrating world. Closely related to the above and also an escape from the harsh realities of life is the attraction towards the future and the potential: gluttons usually have a futuristic orientation for through an identification with plans and ideals, the individual seems to live imaginatively in them rather
than in down-to-earth reality.
There are two facets in the ennea-type VII personality, each of which has given rise to the popular recognition of the character (“happy” and “amiable” respectively) and which together contribute to the characteristically pleasing quality of type VII character. Just as ennea-type VII is a glutton for what is pleasant and has come to feel loved through the experience of pleasure —he seems bent on fulfilling the pleasure-gluttony of those he wants to seduce. Like type II on
the antipodes of the enneagram, type VII is eminently seductive, and is bent on pleasing through both helpfulness and a problem-free, cheerful contentedness.
The amiable aspect of this character is alluded to by such descriptors as “warm,” “helpful,” “friendly,” “obliging,”“sel)essly ready to serve,” and “generous.” Gluttons are very good hosts and can be great spenders. In the degree to which generosity is a part of seductiveness and a way of buying love rather than a true giving, it is counterbalanced in the psyche of the glutton by its corresponding opposite: a hidden but effective exploitativeness
that may manifest as a parasitic tendency and perhaps in feelings of entitlement to care and affection. The state of satisfied well-being of ennea-type VII rests partly on the priorities of an enjoyer, partly on the glutton’s knack for imaginary fulfillment. Yet, “feeling good” also serves the ends of seductiveness and seductive motivation may at times make type VII especially cheerful, humorous, and entertaining. The good humor of type VII makes other people feel lighted-up in their presence, and this contributes e+ectively to the pleasure they cause and the attractiveness of being near to them, to the extent that happiness is, at least in part, seductive and definitely compulsive. The happy bias of ennea-type VII (as in the case of type III) is maintained at the expense of the repression and avoidance of pain, and results in an impoverishment of experience. In particular the “cool” of type VII involves a repression of such anxiety as chronically feeds the attitude of taking refuge in pleasure.
Another group of traits that may be discerned as an expression of seduction may be called narcissistic. It comprises such descriptors as “exhibitionist,” “knows better,” “well informed,” “intellectually superior.” Sometimes this manifests as a compulsion to explain things, such as Fellini seeks to portray in movies where a narrator constantly puts into words everything that is taking place.
We may speak of a “seduction through superiority” which most usually takes the form of intellectual superiority, though (as in Moliere’s Tartu+e) it may involve a religious, good, and saintly image. The apparent lack of grandiosity in such saintly image is sometimes manifest even in the case of those who actively seek to assert their superiority, wisdom, and kindness. This falls in line with the fact that gluttons tend to formequalitarian brotherly relationships rather than authority relations. Because of this, their pretended superiority is implicit rather than explicit, masked over by a non-assuming, appreciative, and equalitarian style. As in the case of pleasingness, the superiority of ennea-type VII expresses only a half of the glutton’s experience; the other is the simultaneous perception of self as inferior, and the corresponding feelings of insecurity. As in ennea-type V, in both cases splitting allows the simultaneity of the
two sub-selves, yet while it is the deprecated self that is in the foreground in type V, it is the grandiose self that has the upper hand in narcissistic personality. A psychological characteristic that is important to mention in connection with the gratified narcissism of the “oral-receptive” is charm, a quality into which converge the admirable qualities of ennea-type VII (giftedness, percep-tiveness, wit, savoir-vivre, and so on) and its pleasing, non-aggressive, vaseline-like, cool, and contented characteristics. Through charm the glutton can satisfy his gluttony as e+ectively as a !sherman succeeds with bait, which implies that pleasing and charm are not just seductive but manipulative. Through his great charm the glutton can enchant others and even himself. Among his skills is that of fascination—hypnotic
fascination even—and charm is his magic.
Along with the narcissistic facet of ennea-type VII it is necessary to mention the high intuition and frequent talents of type VII, which suggests that such dispositions may have favored the development of their dominant strategy (just as the adoption of the strategy has stimulated their development).
We may think of ennea-type VII as a person in whom love seeking has turned to pleasure seeking and who in the necessary measure of rebellion that this entails, sets out to satisfy his wishes through becoming a skillful explainer and rationalizer. A charlatan is of course one who is able to persuade others of the usefulness of what he sells. However, beyond the intellectual activity of explanation, which can become a narcissistic vice in type VII, persuasiveness rests in one’s ownbelief in one’s wisdom, superiority, respectability, and goodness of intentions. Thus only arti!cially can we separate traits that exist in close interwovenness: being admirable serves persuasiveness, as also does pleasingness.
The qualities of being a persuader and a knowledge source usually !nd expression in type VII in becoming an adviser at times in a professional capacity. Charlatans like to influence others through advice. We may see not only narcissistic satisfaction and the expression of helpfulness in charlatanism but also an interest in manipulating through words: “laying trips” on people and having them implement the persuader’s projects. Along with a manipulative motivation to influence others we may consider the high intelligence, high verbal ability, capability of suggesting, and so forth, that usually characterize type VII individuals.
We have discussed the polarity of feeling OK (and better than OK) and of being at the same time driven by an oral passion to suck at the best of life. We have spoken of a rebelliousness as described in Fritz Perls’ observation that “behind every good boy one may rebelliousness as described in Fritz Perls’ observation that “behind every good boy one may find a spiteful brat.” We have encountered in ennea-type VII a confusion between imagination and reality, between projects and accomplishments, poten-tialities and realizations. Then, we have encountered a pleasingness, a persona-hiding anxiety, a smoothness hiding aggression, a generosity hiding exploitativeness. The word “charlatan” of ennea-type VII in its connotation of fake knowledge and confusion between verbal map and territory has thus an appropriateness to the character beyond mere persuasiveness. Taken broadly, it conveys a more generalized fraudulence (to which all the above add up). Indeed the conceptual label “fraudulence” may be more appropriate than the symbolic or metaphoric “charlatanism” for the ennea-type’s fixation.
4. Defense Mechanisms
More than one defense mechanism seems particularly pertinent to hedonistic-narcissistic character. To say that the type VII individual learns early in life to excuse the indulgence of his wants through “good reasons” implies that the mechanism of rationalization acquires an important strategic function in his life.
Rationalization was described by Ernest Jones as the invention of a reason for an attitude or action the motive of which is not acknowledged. Though it is not always regarded as a defense mechanism, there is enough reason to claim that it is, for even though it does not entail the inhibition of impulse (but, rather, the opposite), it does involve a distraction of
attention from the “real reasons” for a person’s attitudes and actions, and in making such actions appear as good and noble, it satisfies the demands of the superego. As Matte-Blanco12 writes: “Dissipating suspicion concerning the ignificance of an action, it facilitates the pacific maintenance of repression, and thus it can be considered a manifestation of it.” Rationalization is the more striking, in that it operates and constitutes a way of life—an “explainer” uses persuasion to get around obstacles to his pleasure. Rationalization may be contemplated, however, as a rather elementary defense mechanism that supports the more complex one of idealization. Just as rationalization has not been universally regarded as a defense mechanism, the same is the case with idealization, prominent in ennea-type VII
First of all there is self-idealization, which in the mind of the type VII person is linked with the denial of guilt and also with the narcissistic attitude and its claims. It may come across as self-propagandizing, even though the self-congratulating individual believes in his idealized version of himself. Idealization also operates importantly in relation to people, and particularly in regard to the mother and mother surrogates. (Just as type VI males tend to be father lovers or father idealizers, tender-minded type VII individuals are characteristically devoted to their mothers and rebellious in the face of authority wielding fathers. In relation to authority figures in general, type VII seems to have adopted a de-idealizing attitude, implicit in its non-hierarchic orientation.)
It is possible to say that the optimistic attitude characteristic of type VII and the joyful mood that is habitual to them would not be possible without the operation of idealization in regard to the world in general and the more signi!cant people in it. In relationship with others as in connection with oneself, optimism entails the suspension of criticality and blaming, and an assumption of lovingness as well as loveability. There is a strong bias toward the feeling expressed by the slogan “I’m OK, you’re OK.” Beyond that, there is a tendency to entertain a “cosmic optimism”—the sense that everything is all-right in the world and that there is no need to struggle.
Beyond rationalization and idealization, we may also mention a relevance of the defense mechanism of sublimination and type VII psychology, inasmuch as sublimation is defined as a turning of instinctual energy to socially desired ends, and the glutton is characteristically one whose self-interest has been relabeled as altruistic motivation. The operation of sublimation helps us to understand the orientation of gluttons towards fantasy, which involves a substitution for the real goal of their impulses by images, plans and the cathexis of their own resourcefulness (i.e., in virtue of which, furthermore, they tend to accumulate tools for doing rather than simply doing).
5. Etiological and Further Psychodynamic Remarks
In Sheldonian terms ennea-type VII individuals tend to be predominantly ectomorphic with endomorphia as the secondary component, yet as a whole seem to be the most balanced in the distribution of the three components. This matches a personality in which intellectual and spiritual interests exists side by side with social extroversion and an active or even restless disposition. Perhaps a constitutional predisposition through a balance between the intellectual, emotional and active orientations explains the intuitiveness of ennea-type VII (highlighted by Jung in his picture of the type). Yet I think it likely that the highly strategic type VII arises most commonly from a background factor in which a good intellectual endowment and genetically determined verbal ability are also present. Just as it is natural for an inborn fighter to settle on “moving against” people in the case of type VIII, it is natural for one who is clever and good with words to become an explainer in his approach to getting his way.
It is appropriate to begin the consideration of the environmental aspect of the nature/nurture equation with theissue of breast feeding, for there is evidence of the correlation between prolonged and happy breast-feeding and a trusting and optimistic personality. As in the case of the relation between unsatisfactory breast feeding and the oral-aggressive shown in the same study, I think that we may consider the finding paradigmatic for a more general relation between happiness in early childhood and cheerful optimism in later life. It is common for ennea-type VII people to report prolonged childhood satisfaction.
When we look at the life history of the cheerful and trusting individual, however, we find that there frequently has been a fall from paradise even more distinct than in the case of type IV, so a regression to the passive and trusting attitude of the child at the breast has taken place in response to the frustrations of later life. Just as type VII does not want to see the harsh aspect of life, it seems that the child has not wanted to deidealize his mother or sometimes his father. Memory in such a case supports fantasy to deny suffering.
I have described such a transition from a happy early childhood to a less happy situation in the life of a type VII individual in The Healing Journey.15 I was a witness to my patient’s remembrance (in the course of psychotherapy) of the idyllic relationship he had sustained with his nanny before he was old enough to share his meals with his parents and was exiled from the warmth of his nanny’s kitchen to the cold atmosphere of the dining-room, when he was for
the first time exposed to sustained contact with his not-so-welcome mother.
Other examples may be less dramatic, such as the following: “At home child rearing ended at the age of two, then we came under the care of our aunt and our parents became like phantoms … I was breast fed until I was two without any kind of schedule. My mother went along with my father in his journeys and they took me with them until I was three, then they left me in the house of an aunt to begin my schooling.” Or:
“My mother was very overprotective and I began speaking early and was graceful and sweet. School was a shock for me. I was completely unprotected before aggression. I was a victim of my class. I sought refuge in a
world of fantasy.” Still another: “For me the family was great, life flowed very well, and I had
no cares. I think it is at school that I began to be problem ridden.”
A frequent element in the life stories of ennea-type VII people that I have heard is that of an outrageously authoritarian parent vis-a-vis whom a soft manner of rebellion seemed most appropriate. Most commonly this happened with type I fathers whose excessive dominance and sternness was experienced as lovelessness and not only contributed to an implicit judgment to the effect that authority is bad, but to the experience of an authority that is too strong to be met head-on, and also to a correlative misconception of love as indulgence (i.e. as being free from discipline). Mothers have often been experienced as over-protective and permissive (commonly type IX).
“What got my father most nervous about me is that I did not confront him, but I did what
I felt, in spite of his rules. My father was physically imposing, I did not face him, but there
was no way in which he would control me.”
In response to the question, “What circumstance led you to develop a strategic disposition in face of your parents and life in general?,” one subject explained how his parents were always right and this would have overwhelmed him if he had not cheated. The seductiveness of ennea-type VII is usually apparent in relation to the parent of the opposite sex, and type VII men are most commonly mother oriented (just as type VI men are mostly father oriented). There may be a sense of competing with father in the protection of mother, or caring for her to compensate what hurt father has caused her. “My mother was very seductive and she always presented my father as an ogre, an intimidating man.”
Of course it is also true for ennea-type VII that the presence of a similar character in the family has been a factor: “At home it is as if there were ‘VII’ values, for the things that I heard there are so fantastic and marvelous that it seems you are in another world. Now I can see it better. My father is a crazy VII, for him there is not such a thing as a pound of meat, only cows. We have an industrial refrigerator. Bedrooms, little by little, become pantries. Aside from that he has everything; in animaginary place, he does. It is as if he has a magical bag and everything becomes reality. I was celebrated for being graceful. My mother used to say that I as not beautiful, but I could conquer the world through charm. Everybody laughs at home and there is freedom to show one’s craziness. My mother likes very much when people express themselves very well and values culture.”
Another factor I have noticed in the story of “oral optimists” as a whole is the frequency with which the father is fearful. In a little piece of research, in seven out of eight instances the father was either VI, VII or V. In another, four out of five responded in the affirmative to the question, “Did you adopt a weak and gentle position because you lacked an example of healthy aggression, because you lacked the image of a strong father?”
Type VII tends to become a pleasure-seeker to the extent that love becomes equated with the indulging of his wishes. Also the love search becomes a narcissistic striving to the extent that the means of attracting love—being ingenious, funny, and clever, for instance—develop into autonomous motives, and the pursuit of a charming and amiable superiority, an end in itself. Thus as in other personality orientations, a particular facet of love becomes a love substitute, and an obstacle towards a satisfying love life.
6. Existential Psychodynamics
As in other character types, the ruling passion is supported, day after day, not just by memories of past gratification and through past frustration, but through the interference that character entails on healthy function and on self-realization. As in the case of the other passions, we may understand gluttony as an attempt to fill an emptiness. Gluttony, just as (oral-aggressive) envy, seeks outside something that it dimly perceives that it lacks inside. Only unlike envy (in which there is pronounced awareness of ontic insuffciency), gluttony fraudulently covers up the insuffciency with a false abundance comparable to that of pride. (In this way the passion is acted out without full self-awareness).
Ontic deficiency is not only the source of hedonism (and pain avoidance) however, but also its consequence; for the confusion between love and pleasure fails to bring about the deeper meaningfulness than that of the immediately available. A sense of inner scarcity is also, of course, supported by alienation of the individual from his experiential depth, which occurs as a consequence of the hedonistic need to experience only what is pleasing. It is nurtured also by the implicit fear that permeates the type in its soft accomodatingness—a fear not compatible with the living of one’s true life. Also manipulativeness (however masked by amiability this may be), presupposes a loss of true relationship, a divorcing of oneself from the sense of community, and the fradulent sense of community, that is part of seductive charm, does not completely mask over that emptiness.
Finally the orientation of gluttony to the spiritual, the esoteric, and the paranormal, while seeking to constitute the exact answer for the ontic deficiency that lies at core, only serves to perpetuate it—for, by seeking being in the future, in the remote, the imagined, and the beyond, the individual only assures his frustration in finding value in the present and the actual.