Monday, December 22, 2008
- Is Mary Beth really still alive?
Yes; she is, black rose lapel pin and lack of blogging to the contrary. Come to the class and see for yourself.
- When, exactly, is the class?
It will meet Wednesday nights, January 7 - February 18th, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm.
- Where is it?
It's at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, at 1808 Woodmont Blvd.
- Can anyone come?
Yes; the more the merrier. We hope to have plenty for Enneagram beginners and a little something for old hands, too.
- Does it cost any money?
No. This is a free class.
- A free class, you say? What's it about?
According to the listing in the church newsletter, it's about exploring the nine different Enneagram life strategies on relationships, personal fulfillment, and spiritual growth. I also happen to know that it will be about the search for an effective holistic personality typing test, cute puppies, and gnip gnop. I will post a full syllabus soon.
- Is there a text?
We will probably make use of Riso and Hudson's The Wisdom of the Enneagram. It is not necessary that you buy the book, but if you want to, it might be helpful.
Any other questions? Leave them in the comments section.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Recently, this article was brought to my attention. It talks about the candidates' relationships to ambivalence and decision-making. Here are the parts that make McCain seem especially sixy:
"McCain's oppositional dynamics seem to dominate the process he uses to make decisions and take action. They reveal themselves in his reflexive defiance of authority, his inability to control his temper, his aura of anger and his touchiness." (From Riso and Hudson's Personality Types, pgs. 218-219: "Of course, in one way or another, all nine personality types have some kind of relationship with authority figures and need some guidance and reassurance in life, but whether supporting authority, rebelling against it, or fearing it, Sixes seem to have the most issues in this area... The key to understanding Sixes is that they are ambivalent: the two distinct sides of their personalities oscillate between aggressive and dependent tendencies.")
"He has been known for nastiness as well. In a private school he attended, his peers called him ' McNasty" and "the Punk." Neither his Vietnam POW experience nor his adult life as a politician cured him of this nastiness, and he gained something of the same reputation among his fellow senators." The article goes on to mention some crude sexist remarks of McCain's. (In describing type Six in the low-average level of mental health, termed "The Authoritarian Rebel" by Riso and Hudson, page 241 of Personality Types reads, "One of the uglier aspects of Sixes at this stage is their need to have a person or group on whom they can release their pent-up anxieties. Their scapegoats are always assigned the basest of motives so that Sixes will feel justified in dealing with them in whatever way satisfies their emotional needs. This can occur in office politics, in a family system, between the sexes, or in national politics.")
As a member of the Senate POW committee, ""He browbeat expert witnesses who came with information about unreturned POWs. Family members who have personally faced McCain and pressed him to end the secrecy also have been treated to his legendary temper. He has screamed at them, insulted them, brought women to tears. Mostly his responses to them have been versions of: how dare you question my patriotism?'" ("... average Sixes are far from innocent. Counterphobia makes them overcompensate; they blame and berate whatever threatens them. They become rebellious and belligerent, harassing and obstructing others however they can to prove that they cannot be pushed around. Sixes at this stage are full of doubts about themselves and are desperate to latch onto a position or stance that will make them feel stronger and dispel their feelings of inferiority." -- PT 239-240.)
"McCain's frank awareness of his own dark inclinations has made him understandably endearing to both press and public. McCain's honesty can be disarming, as when he confessed in his 2003 biography, "Worth Fighting For," that he has "a tendency to overreact" to "slights" in a manner that is "little changed from the reactions to such provocations I had as a schoolboy.'" Although Sixes can be nasty, they are also often disarming and endearing. As Personality Types puts it, they are "sweet and sour."
"His biography suggests young McCain had deep reasons to rebel. He was expected to follow his father - who eventually made four-star admiral - into Annapolis and a Navy career. McCain's grandfather had been an admiral and key leader in the Pacific campaign during World War II. A McCain ancestor had served on George Washington's staff during the Revolutionary War. McCains had fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. But young John McCain didn't want to attend the Academy and endure its regimentation. As McCain's biographer, Robert Timberg, dramatizes it in "John McCain, An American Odyssey," McCain "knew that if he said what he thought - hold it, screw Annapolis, the place sucks - shock waves would reverberate through countless generations of McCains, shaking a military tradition." So, instead, he went and acted passive aggressive. ("Passive-aggressive indirection shows up in all their social interactions, even in their humor, which now has an edgy sarcastic note. Passive-aggressive humor allows Sixes to get in a jab at people indirectly, by saying the opposite of what they mean ('Of course I respect you -- I treat you will all the respect you deserve.')")
According to the article, "At the Academy, McCain's insubordinate behavior with superior officers would have gotten any other cadet expelled. But he was a McCain. Ironically - an irony probably not lost on McCain - he could get away with such cheekiness precisely because of his father and the family history he was rebelling against."
" The public doesn't know much about what is in the psychiatric reports drawn up on McCain after he returned from Vietnam, but we do know that one psychiatrist concluded McCain had been in a long struggle to escape "the shadow of his father.'" ("Because they are connected to the protective figure, Sixes powerfully internalize their connection with that person, whether it is a loving, supportive one, or a difficult, destructive one. They continue to play out in their lives the relationship with the person who held authority in their early childhood years... if Sixes experienced their protective-figures as abusive, unfair, or controlling, they will internalize this relationship with authority and feel themselves always at odds with those who they believe have power over them. they walk through life fearing that they will be 'in trouble' and unjustly punished, and adopt a defensive, rebellious attitude from the cruel protective-figure they project into many of their relationships." -- PT, pgs. 224-225.)
The article also mentions McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate, saying:
"Palin is clearly more popular with most Republicans than he is, so that at times it appears that she is the top of the ticket and not he. He seems forced and secondary standing beside her. If McCain's first reflex in a charged situation is to rebel against whatever authority he perceives is in control, when he is the authority he engenders a problem" and then goes on to say: "At this point, the two sides of McCain's ambivalence - conforming versus rebellion - have become so inextricably confused that the Obama campaign and the press could accuse McCain of being "risky" and "erratic" as he lurched from one idea to its opposite, his obedient angels and his rebellious angels at war with each other. " -- a perfect metaphor for Six-ishness.
As for Obama, the article's emphasis on his mythologizing of his absent father makes him seem like a 4, its mention of his habit of watchfulness makes him seem like a 5, and its talk of his careful questioning makes him seem like a 6. What a tough nut to crack.
Friday, October 17, 2008
First, let's look at how introversion versus extroversion plays out in these two candidates. Obama is an introvert. People close to him say he is hard to get to know; by contrast, those aboard the extroverted McCain's Straight Talk Express bus say he is constantly talking, often telling the same jokes and stories over and over. During the debates, McCain interrupted Obama more than Obama interrupted McCain, although McCain did show a lot of polite restraint. During this last debate, I noticed that McCain used his notepad a lot more than Obama did. He wrote things down -- either what Obama was saying that he wanted to respond to, or the things he himself planned to say -- processing the information externally. It wasn't simply a matter of being more diligent; if anything, I thought Obama's responses were more targeted toward what the interviewer asked and what the other candidate said, but Obama processed the information internally -- he made the notes inside his head. Critics of Obama sometimes say that he hesitates as he begins to speak (I have heard people say he must be lying or making it up, since he has to think so hard about it, but we introverts know that internal processing takes time.)
The combination of introversion plus the judging trait made Obama's responses have the following well-organized pattern: first, a statement that establishes what I am talking about; then, a statement of my position on that issue; then, a transition to the side issue the other candidate raised; then, a statement of my position on that issue, etc.
McCain, an extroverted perceiver, speaks very differently. Sometimes, he moved from one idea to another so quickly that I had trouble following the line of thought. One example -- he was talking about the need to end our dependence on foreign oil and the role that offshore drilling would play in reaching that goal; mid-sentence, he thought about how it was fine to buy oil from Canada, and he said so, and that made him think about how Obama wanted to add some regulations to our trade agreement with Canada, so he mentioned that, and also how he disagreed with telegraphing our intentions to other nations by saying such things and how that might lead to bad relations, so he said all of those things right then and totally lost the thread of his plan to eliminate our dependence on middle Eastern oil.
A result of this speaking style is that McCain gets more ideas into a smaller space of time, but they are expressed less fully and less coherently. Not only is McCain's speech more dense with ideas, his ideas are more specific. This is because he has the sensing preference, so he focuses on facts -- specific bills, particular incidents, concrete proposals. The first question of the third debate was about the country's economic woes. In answering, McCain focused narrowly on the mortgage crisis, and outlined a specific plan to renegotiate mortgages based on the reduced values of homes so that people could afford to stay in their houses.
Obama, by contrast, took the question more broadly. He talked about housing prices, but he also talked about job creation, tax relief, and investing in the future of our economy with educational programs. This is because Obama has the intuitive preference. He focuses on overarching ideas and principles. Critics of his say he is vague and never outlines concrete plans for achieving his goals, and he never defines what "change" means. As a fellow intuitive, I am not bothered by this. I think that once you establish the principles by which you will lead, you can apply those principles to the particulars as they come up; I don't need to hear all the details of every little policy. My criticism of McCain is an intuitive's criticism of a sensor -- much of what he talks about seems small, boring, obscure and tedious. Where is his vision for the country?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Barack Obama Supporters Come In All Types
by Elizabeth Wagele;
href="http://www.wagele.com/obama/">YOUR ENNEAGRAM TYPE INDIVIDUAL OBAMA CARTOON IS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR BLOG OR WEB SITE
She, uh, didn't make one for McCain.
So, what do you guys think? Do these reasons in any way resemble your reasons for voting (or not) for Obama? As a 5, I must admit that I do like it when Obama "uses his brain."
Friday, August 29, 2008
I think what we'll do is gauge the level of interest for a while, then announce an organizational meeting where we, um, meet up and talk about what we'd like to do in the group. I suspect we'll read books, watch videos, play games, and have discussions, all about the Enneagram. Plus, Mary Beth and I would like to keep you in little cages and run experiments on you. It's all in good fun, but seriously, JOIN.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Is Obama more like this:
These badges, by the way, were created by Brad and you are welcome to add the badge representing your type to your blog or web page. (I have added the badges for my type and Mary Beth's type to the sidebar of this blog.)
Go to www.enneagrambook.com/badges/ for the html code.
Monday, August 18, 2008
On the last day of the IEA conference, the IEA announced a new initiative, which was then reiterated in their latest e-newsletter:
"At a time when conscious awakening is much needed, we believe it is essential to make the Enneagram available to a larger number of people worldwide. To this end, the IEA is embarking on a fundraising effort to organize and promote an annual 'World Enneagram Day.' Starting in July, 2009, we envision this to be a very special day in which a significant number of Enneagram teachers and practitioners around the globe will offer free classes, talks, and workshops to spread the word to local communities. Our goal is to make a significant impact on the world with the Enneagram, while enlarging our circle and inviting more people in... we believe it’s time to reach out beyond our familiar community and invite the world to experience the profound benefits of the Enneagram. This is why we will be embarking on these organizational and fundraising efforts to establish the 'World Enneagram Day.'"
Ever since I heard this, I have had that feeling you get when, you know, there you are, watching a train barrelling toward a brick wall, and the people inside the train don't know they're headed for a brick wall, and the brick wall doesn't know a train is headed for it, and even if they did know, they can't stop the train, and the wall can't move, and there's nothing you can do about it either. Surely the Germans have a succinct word for this. Let's just call it dread.
Why dread, you ask? Well, part of it's because my philosophy of life can pretty much be summed up as, "Let's not call attention to ourselves," but in this case, there is a special degree of dread because the Enneagram has a pr problem and it's like the IEA has no idea. I suspect it's because the IEA is mostly made up of people who do Enneagram stuff for a living and who therefore have limited contact with the hamburger-eating, television-watching masses on whom they are about to foist their ideas.
Let me explain the problem by means of comparison. Let's examine three fringe spiritual systems for potential pr landmines. I have chosen A Course in Miracles, the Ennegram of Personality, and Unitarian Universalism because (1) I am somewhat involved with all three, and (2) they are somewhat similar in that they all have their modern origins in the 1960s. Here we go:
Category 1: What's in a Name?
A Course in Miracles: Sounds great. I want to learn about miracles. Sciencey, secular humanist types may beg to differ, but I believe in miracles, you sexy thing. Points: +1
Enneagram: Indian-gram? Ennea-what? Idio-who? -1
Unitarian Universalism: A church's name should mention Jesus. -1
Category 2: Symbols
Course: None. Nothing ventured; nothing gained. Points: 0
Enneagram: It really looks a lot like a pentagram, and the pentagram has some rather notorious pr problems of its own. -2
UU: The flaming chalice. Check it out here. It's attractive, but it smacks of paganism. - 1
Category 3: Origin Story
Course: (From the Wikipedia article): "In 1965, Helen Schucman, an associate professor of medical psychology appointed to the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, experienced a series of particularly vivid dreams. Soon thereafter, she began to hear a 'Voice' she identified as Jesus which would speak to her whenever she was prepared to listen. Schucman reported that she heard from the Voice the words, 'This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.' Schucman then began to write down what she described as a form of 'rapid inner dictation. Between 1965 and 1972, Schucman filled nearly thirty stenographic notebooks with words she received from the Voice." Kooky, but at least it mention Jesus. Points: -1
Enneagram of Personality: Oscar Ichazo is the originator of the Enneagram of Personality (as distinct from earlier uses of the Enneagram symbol.) Unfortunately, he claims to have gotten the idea while under the influence of Metatron (who, as it turns out, is a real Archangel and not the leader of the Decepticons, as I had previously believed.) Ayyyy. -2
UU: In 1961, after a century of committee meetings, the American Unitarian Association (Christians who didn't believe in the Trinity) was consolidated with the Universalist Church of America (Christians who didn't believe in Hell) , thus forming the Unitarian Universalist Association, which more or less threw out Christianity altogether. -1 for dispensing with Christianity.
Category 4: Famous People Associated with the Movement
Course: Marianne Williamson, who wrote A Return to Love, which you have to admit is a catchy title. Also Oprah Winfrey. Points: 1 for Williamson, 2 for Oprah. +3
Enneagram: Here, I have to return to Ichazo, who is still alive and well and causing trouble in Chile. There are those who say the Arica Instuitute is a cult; there are those who say they do all kinds of drugs down there; there are those who have accused Ichazo of bad sexual misconduct. I'm not saying it's necessarily true, but I am saying it's not helping. -1 each for sex, drugs, and cult activity, for a whopping -3.
UU: The most famous Unitarian Universalist is Robert Fulghum, who wrote All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten. It's quite palatable. +1.
Course: a repectable +3
Enneagram: having lost every category, it comes in at -8
UU: a totally manageable - 2
So, you see we have a problem. Here are some possible solutions:
(1) Perhaps, instead of calling it "the Enneagram", we should just refer to it as "that circle star thingy", which is less threatening and what we call it a lot of the time anyway. From now on, I will be calling this blog "Mary Beth and Cindi's Holistic Circle Star Thingy Agency."
(2) Well, there's really no getting around our symbol, so I suggest coating it in sugar whenever possible. The cookies (as in our logo picture) were a good start. Also, it never hurts to utilize the power of cute puppies. (See Saturday's post.)
(3) Origin: Whenever anyone mentions Metatron, we'll all just laugh like it's a big inside joke. And return their attention to Claudio Naranjo, who is a medical doctor and a Guggenheim fellow and who has studied at Harvard and UCLA.
(4) Let's all encourage Ichazo to tone his, um, intensity down a bit as he emerges onto the world stage. Here in the US, we have an evil President who got elected twice basically because he was more folksy than the other candidate. All Ichazo needs is a big belt buckle, some cowboy boots, and an anti-intellectual sneer. Then, he'll be able to get away with murder.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
"Edward E. Morler, M.B.A., Ph.D., is President of Morler International, a management training and development firm specializing in integrity based interpersonal effectiveness. His focus is the custom design and delivery of bottom-line, functional skill enhancement programs that simultaneously integrate the principles and dynamics of integrity, emotional maturity, motivation, leadership, and the Enneagram."
Here is my (admittedly sleepy) account of what he said:
According to Morler, Enneagram theory, particularly Riso and Hudson's Nine Levels of Development, describes healthy and unhealthy levels of emotional health, but does not offer much in terms of how to move from one level to the next.
Morler laid out the following ways of dealing with a problem, arranged here from best to worst:
seeing it as an opportunity
coping with it
being antagonistic toward it
being angry at it
fearing it (Morler defined fear as "considerations of potential loss.")
being anxious about it
sinking into apathy
These, he correlated with the Nine Levels of Development for each type. He talked about how, once you have identified the level someone is working at, you can move them up the scale, but no farther up than where you are. Here's the method he suggested: when someone is in apathy, remind them of a reason to grieve (he gave an example of seeing his mom lying on the bed in apathetic depression and reminding her of a house they once had and lost); when someone is grieving, bring up something anxiety-provoking; and so on, until they are in a much better place than before.
Then, Morler gave us another scale of emotional health:
Leader (one who is emotionally mature; when something isn't right, they respond by doing what they can to make it better)
Manipulator (the most dangerous of people -- a con artist who pretends to be a doer)
(You can find a lot more info on this scale here.)
According to Morler, if you're not proactively creating something, you are dropping down this scale, which he also correlated with the Nine Levels.
Here are Morler's steps to change when dealing with a problem: (1) recognition of the problem, (2) ownership of the problem ("What am I contributing to this?"), (3) forgiving oneself and acknowledging one's positive contributions, and (4) doing something different.
Here are some of my critiques:
In my opinion, the Riso/ Hudson material does offer a method of getting healthier; it's simply usually dismissed in favor of more gimmicky approaches. What it doesn't offer is a way of moving another person between levels, but Riso and Hudson would probably say that that's not the point of the Enneagram anyway.
Also, the technique Morler presented seemed like a quick fix. He admitted that his mom, for instance, stayed stuck in the anxiety state most of the time. It seems like his method could be good for talking someone out of a suicide or even just putting someone in a temporarily better mood, but without the hard work of self-observation (advocated by Riso and Hudson), that person is probably never going to become emotionally healthy.
Another thing Mary Beth and I noticed is that some of the responses to problems did not seem entirely logically arranged from best to worst. For instance, why is anger a better response than anxiety? Perhaps Morler has a good reason, but allow me to advance a theory: the arrangement plays into his type bias.
Let me explain. Morler is an 8, the overexpressor of the gut triad. That means he's got a double-dose of preferring the body center (once, because he's a gut type, and again, because he's an aggressive type.) The aggressives repress the heart center. So, as an 8, Morler's preference goes: body, head, heart. And his levels of appropriate response prioritize anger and passive aggression (body center issues) over fear and anxiety (head center issues), which are in turn, placed above grief (a heart center issue.)
Just a theory.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Tato Gomez, who is associated with the Arica Institute, was present, and disputed some of O'Leary's statements about Arica and Oscar Ichazo. Here is an excerpt from Gomez's bio:
"Originally from Chile, Tato is the first producer of 'baby music' in the world. He is also a Trainer and Sponsor of the Arica System and Integral Philosophy. Produced with the help of Oscar Ichazo, the CD The Sound of Light introduced Ichazo's 'sound mysticism' concept and the work with the Seven Sacred Vocals of the ancients." Gomez was a co-presenter of the pre-conference program on the Arica Teachings, which Mary Beth and I did not attend.
Here is the first of O'Leary's statements that Gomez disputed:
O'Leary said that Ichazo learned about the Enneagram from a Gurdjieff group. Gomez said he did not. The way O'Leary put it (because he was using an evolutionary metaphor) was that Gurdjieff "inseminated Ichazo." Gomez insisted that Gurdjieff "never inseminated Ichazo." It was quite humorous, actually, for those of us with Beavis and Butthead mentalities. Eventually, O'Leary allowed that the "insemination" might not have been direct, but that Gurdjieff's ideas were out there in the culture and that Ichazo could have, in some way, picked up on them. Gomez seemed to accept this okay.
The two men had totally different impressions of Ichazo. When O'Leary first heard about Ichazo, he seemed to be "a terrifying individual."O'Leary described learning about the Enneagram in ways that mirror Genesis -- "A very tempting thing -- here's this knowledge, but don't use it. And there's this figure waiting with lightning bolts." Of course, those of us who know this story know that O'Leary does use the knowledge, and that Ichazo sues him.
By contrast, Gomez described Ichazo as "an enlightened individual" who was treated by shamans and saw 108 Enneagrams in a vision. Hearing Gomez talk, I began to entertain the idea that the whole Metatron business might have just been a snide comment that got blown out of proportion, like Ichazo's version of "bigger than Jesus." Anyway, Ichazo and Arica simply didn't want the Enneagram to be spread to early, before it was proven. However, Gomez said that now it sees that it should have been done. At this point in the conversation O'Leary and Gomez hugged. O'Leary attributed some of the rift to the difference between an Eastern and a Western perspective, between elite mysticism, in which knowledge is esoteric, and public science, in which it is disseminated for criticism.
Gomez gave the impression that whatever it is the Arica Institute has been working on for all this time is almost ready and will be released to the public very soon. I, for one, am on the edge of my seat.
Whether the Arica trainings are affordable (Gomez) or expensive (O'Leary) is a matter about which the two men will have to agree to disagree.
While O'Leary typed Ichazo as 9w8, Ichazo's story seems like classic 5 stuff to me, what with the secrecy, the delaying of closure, and the attempts to scare others away from his niche.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Here it is, if you want to read it in its entirety:
Here's the first statement in the article that makes me think 3:
"As to why he did it, Edwards blamed 'an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want.' ” This is apt, as type 3 is the type most associated with narcissism. Quoth Riso and Hudson's Personality Types: "Average Threes are the most narcissistic of the personality tpes.... Narcissists care principally about themselves -- and about other only to the degree that they reflect well upon themselves. They remain intensely self-centered, with a limited ability to empathize with anyone else's feelings or needs. That is why they have little capacity for love and why -- once they have become narcissistic -- average Threes have little capacity to form lasting, mutually satisfying relationships. Relationships are one-sided because both parties are in love with the same person -- the Three."
And then this, from the NYT piece:
"His 2 a.m. visit with the woman, Rielle Hunter, at a Beverly Hills hotel last month was a secret mission to keep her from going public about their liaison, the briefness and meaninglessness of which cannot be stressed too often. " (emphasis mine) I find this statement interesting because it indicates that the affair itself was a lie, since I suspect Edwards gave Hunter the impression that their relationship was, in fact, meaningful. Edwards seems to be defending himself by saying "I wasn't really lying to you -- public wife, etc. -- all that much; I was actually lying to her -- big time!"
Continuing with the article, "Edwards met Hunter in a bar in New York in 2006, and paid her $114,000 to follow him around, documenting his every move for campaign videos." How could a 3 reasonably be expected not to fall in love with a person employed to take pictures of him? And then, in the same paragraph:
"Said videos were posted, then mysteriously disappeared from the Edwards Web site, with officials muttering something about campaign finance rules." This might be a little dishonest.
As for the videos, "They exist today on YouTube, where you can see the candidate sitting on his plane, grinning like a hound dog in heat, while he tells Hunter that he doesn’t want to be 'some plastic Ken doll that you put in front of the audience,' and pokes himself in the chest while announcing, 'I actually want the country to see who I am — who I truly am.' " This just about speaks for itself, doesn't it?
From Personality Types:
"Because Threes adapt themselves to the desires and expectations of others to validate themselves, they can lose a clear sense of who they actually are... because their sense of their authentic self becomes increasingly blocked, average Threes begin to engage in internal 'pep talks' to convince themselves that they actually are the outstanding person they are trying to become."
Back to the NYT article:
"If Edwards’s political career is toast, it will be because he has always seemed to be less than a sum of his parts: the position papers, the 'Two Americas,' the photogenic grin, the supersmart wife. The only piece of the package that consistently disappointed was the man himself. He wasn’t a very good running mate for John Kerry, and as a presidential candidate, he always struck me as being about 2 inches deep."
Personality Types on how Threes can appear to others:
"Fear of rejection causes average Threes to abandon themselves as they search for the 'right combination' of factors which they believe will enhance them and make them more acceptable... there is an element of slickness, an emotional hollowness about average Threes because much of what they say and do is not a true reflection of who they actually are. 'Who they are' is becoming ever more difficult to identify, both for others and for themselves."
And a final word from Collins:
"how much less damage would have been done if the offender had taken the inventive tactic of not lying."
And now, lest you think we don't know our audience and realize that what you really want is to know Barrack Obama's Enneagram type, I am ready to do some public speculating. Obama is something of an enigma. Mary Beth and I wonder whether he is a 3 or a 9. We also occasionally wonder whether he is a 1 or a 5. We feel that types 2, 4, 6, and 8 are right out.
Continuing with the tactic of using op-ed pieces from The New York Times, here's one by David Brooks about Obama:
While you can find plenty here that will support the 9 theory or the 5 theory, here's the stuff that seems like 3 to me:
"He became a state legislator, but he was in the Legislature, not of it. He had some accomplishments, but as Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker wrote, he was famously bored by the institution and used it as a stepping stone to higher things." (emphasis mine)
"He has not had the time nor the inclination to throw himself into Senate mores, or really get to know more than a handful of his colleagues. His Democratic supporters there speak of him fondly, but vaguely."
3s are famous for not having long-lasting relationships, despite their apparent popularity.
And, finally, this:
"Obama’s 'Dreams From My Father' is a journey forward, about a man who took the disparate parts of his past and constructed an identity of his own."
Identity formation is an issue of the heart triad.
Here's my question:
If 3s are shape-shifters who lose their identities trying to give people what they want; 9s are ghosts who merge with others' agendas trying to avoid conflict; and 5s are blanks screens reflecting others' desires, trying to not be seen, what is Obama? Anyone have a theory?
I will go on the record now as saying I think John McCain is a 6 -- counterphobic, 5 wing.
Friday, August 8, 2008
"Patrick H. O'Leary, M.S., M.Div., co-authored the first Enneagram text, The Enneagram: A Journey of Self-Discovery, in 1984... O'Leary integrated his studies in environmental biology, physiology, psychology, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), individual counseling, spiritual direction and organizational development into his understanding of the Enneagram. He began offering various seminars on the Enneagram in 1972."
O'Leary is both a scientist and a theologian (he is a 3 and as is typical, seems to have changed course many times throughout his life, but in this seminar, he was emphasizing his scientific point of view.) As such, he attempted to trace the history of the development of the modern Enneagram using evolution as a metaphor. (i.e., ideas were passed from person to person in a "genealogy" and "tested by the environment" via lawsuits, etc.) I tried to follow the main thread of this "genealogy", but at times, O'Leary sketched out some interesting offshoots that "became extinct." I will not discuss those here, as my goal in recounting his presentation is to clarify the events leading up to the Enneagram materials and schools that are available now.
O'Leary was an interesting speaker in that he could provide a first-hand account of events that I have only read about. He noted that he had met all of the key figures (other than Gurdjieff and Ouspensky) in the development of the modern Enneagram. Here is the history, as O'Leary recounted it:
The first important figure was G.I. Gurdjieff, a mystic who gathered ancient wisdom. Gurdjieff had the Enneagram symbol, but was concerned primarily with cosmology (an attempt to explain all things), not psychology. Although he did develop "the work" -- a system of spiritual transformation, he never applied the Enneagram symbol to psychology. We only know about Gurdjieff second-hand, primarily through P. D. Ouspensky.
According to O'Leary, Oscar Ichazo learned about the Enneagram from a Gurdjieff group. (This point was disputed by an individual in the seminar; I will write more about this issue later.) Ichazo then took a group of disciples to Arica, Chile. An American group of 60 people (known as "Chile Peppers") also came to study. The Arica Institute, which still exists, was formed in Chile. It was Ichazo who first connected the Enneagram to psychology. He added the fixation/ passions and virtues to the diagram.
One of those who studied with Ichazo was Claudio Naranjo. Naranjo is a psychiatrist and he connected the Enneagram to modern psychological understanding. Interestingly, it was he who added the arrows connecting points 3, 6, and 9 on the Enneagram diagram. These arrows were not present in any earlier version of the diagram and ran in the opposite direction of the ones we see now (indicating the directions of integration and disintegration for the primary types). When asked about the arrows later, Naranjo said they were "a doodle."
Naranjo left the Arica study group before the teaching was complete and went to Esalen in California. He began teaching in the San Francisco Bay area and Helen Palmer learned from him. Naranjo was using panels of exemplars of the types, which Palmer observed. Today, she is the primary practitioner of this method of teaching.
Robert Ochs, a Loyola University professor, also studied with Naranjo. In 1971, Ochs taught a graduate class on Religious Experience. Patrick O'Leary and Jerome Wagner were students in that class. As student questions along the lines of "Who am I?" and "Why do I have problems relating to others?" began to emerge, Ochs began to talk about personality types 1 - 9. The material was compelling. Religious Experience II became a course in the Enneagram.
O'Leary described a great excitement about the Enneagram among these students. Much like myself and Mary Beth, they had hundreds of acquaintances in common, and thus, hundreds of exemplars of the types to study and discuss.
O'Leary noted that Ochs did not want the information about the Enneagram to be disseminated casually. However, he did decide to open the teaching up beyond the Loyola campus by offering a class over spring break in 1972. A group of Jesuits from Milford, Ohio attended. This group included Richard Rohr (author of The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective and Experiencing the Enneagram) and Maria Beesing. Another group of Jesuits, these from Toronto, were also in attendance. Don Riso learned about the Enneagram from them. Later, Riso would found The Enneagram Institute and bring in Russ Hudson as a co-teacher.
(Note: See the comment thread concerning the accuracy of the previous paragraph.)
From studying with Ochs, O'Leary had produced a series of handwritten notes. He was also doing some counseling and using the Enneagram types in role play with clients who then asked about how he came to his understanding of personality. O'Leary's notes began to be photocopied. Some of the people who got ahold of them were missionaries, and in this way, knowledge of the Enneagram spread around the world.
Eventually, O'Leary joined with Maria Beesing and began teaching a series of workshops. Robert Novosek was a student who took detailed notes. Together, the three of them wrote the book The Enneagram: A Journey of Self Discovery. (Here, we have the 3 - 6- 9 arrows in their current form.) Published in 1984, this book was the first to bring the Enneagram to the public at large. (I will have much more to say about the surprising history of this book in a later post.)
In 1988, the Arica Institute sued for copyright infringement. In 1990, the suit was dismissed with prejudice and the writers were ordered to acknowledge Ichazo's contribution.
Riso and Hudson published their book Personality Types in 1987. Palmer followed with The Enneagram in 1988.
Today, we have three major schools of Enneagram thought in the United States: (1) Helen Palmer teaching with psychiatrist David Daniels on the West Coast, (2) O'Leary and Beesing in the Mid-West, and (3) Riso and Hudson on the East Coast.
At first, these authors. teachers did not communicate much with one another. However, this changed in 1994, when Palmer invited them all to attend an Enneagram conference in Stanford. 1500 people met there. The IEA was founded shortly thereafter, in 1995.
O'Leary went on to talk about "mutations" to Enneagram theory that are still needed. In particular, he talked about the need for more intuitive ways to self-discover type. With this, I heartily agree.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
For just this week, Katherine and David Fauvre are waiving their usual $10 fee for their complete online Enneacards test. The results of this test will give you an idea of your Enneagram type and wing, your Tritype, and a lot of other information.
What is a Tritype, you ask?
Well, here's the Fauvre's explanation: ". The Tritype concept suggests we have three Enneagram Types that we use in a preferred order. These three Enneagram Types will always be located one in each of the three Enneagram centers: head (5,6,7), heart (2,3,4) and gut (8,9,1)... Your Tritype is like your own unique Enneagram thumbprint. It shows the strategies you employ to negotiate life and what motivates you. Further, it reveals why you are different from others of the same Enneagram Type with a different Tritype. Although one of the three Types in your Tritype is dominant, or your primary Enneagram Type, the other two Types play a large role in your life. "
According to the test, my trifix is 5 - 4 - 8. This means that, when I am confronted with a problem, I will first use the 5 strategy (searching for understanding), then the 4 strategy (searching for meaning), and then, when that fails to work, the 8 strategy (searching for solutions.) Frankly, I'm not sure I buy it, but it makes interesting food for thought. I'd like to hear how the test turns out for other people.
To take it, go to: http://www.enneagram.net/tests/paidlogin.aspx. When it asks you to enter your coupon code, use Tritype808.
Another free Enneagram test you can take is at http://ephil.org/enneaquiz.php. See how long it takes you to figure out this test's methodology.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Mary Beth and I are just back from the IEA's annual conference, healed, refreshed, and ready to blog about the Enneagram. In upcoming blog posts, I plan to take you through what happened at the conference day by day, but here are some of my personal highlights:
- I felt, for the first time, that I was part of a worldwide community of Enneagram enthusiasts, and that this enthusiasm might be leading somewhere.
- I heard a fairly clear history of the modern Enneagram and gained a better understanding of the issues that are in dispute. Until now, these matters have been quite obscure to me.
- I witnessed, firsthand, some conflict between the Arica Institute and, like, everyone else, but there was some conflict resolution. And hugging.
- I heard the surprising history of a very important book.
- I finally understood the law of seven well enough to explain it to others.
- I ran into old acquaintances from another Enneagram workshop and got to argue about the types of the characters from Sex and the City with them.
- I found that, at times, Mary Beth's hair can look even weirder than mine.
- I remembered why I liked meditation in the first place.
- I heard a teacher acknowledge some of the problems with Enneagram typing and propose an innovative solution.
- I learned that, much like American 4s, Australian 4s also talk with fake British accents.
- I heard about the Genneagram.
- I saw some famous Enneagram teachers bust a move on the dance floor.
- I was privy to a plot to take over the world.
There will be plenty more on all of this later. Perhaps Mary Beth will even chime in. (Nudge, nudge.)
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Anyway, if you would like to become similarly enthralled, he is teaching a workshop on the instincts at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, North Carolina later this month. More details are here.
Monday, May 26, 2008
You may have noticed that Mary Beth and I don't blog much lately. The main reason is our jobs. You see, we work at the same place, and it's the kind of place where half the year is like "Hmmm... whatever will we do with all this extra time?" and the other half is like "Clear a path; I don't have time to step around you, much less talk." It's been a little close to the latter lately, although frankly, not as terrible as all that. Laziness and distactibility were also to blame.
Nonetheless, there is a Philip Larkin poem I like to reference at times like these. Indeed, the toad is squatting on our lives. (About Philip Larkin, by the way: Tom Condon apparently thinks he is a 4, but I believe Mr. "Nothing, like something, happens anywhere" is a 5.)
... But... we haven't outright abandoned the blog. We'll get back into it, I'm sure, especially now that blogging has been scientifically proven to be good for you.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
You Are a Colon
You are very orderly and fact driven.
You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.
You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.
You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.
Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.
(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)
You excel in: Leadership positions
You get along best with: The Semi-Colon
Monday, February 25, 2008
We started off with most people talking about saying yes when they mean no and how it's best if you don't let drunk and/ or controlling people make your decisions for you.
Then, we briefly touched on type 1 (see pages 97 - 124 of The Wisdom of the Enneagram) before rushing out to see the moon looking like this:
Sunday, February 17, 2008
We talked about boredom, how it feels, and the need to keep the energy in a room pumped up.
We introduced the gut triad; it's all about anger (for type 8), tension (for type 1), and banana bread (for type 9).
We talked about how 8s have to have it out before they can let it go, their effect on the family dog, and their capacity for leadership.
We talked about the 9's suitability as a spouse, their forgetfulness, and their love of proverbs and aphorisms (see page 330 in The Wisdom of the Enneagram.) We visited Moronland.
We suggested the consideration of the following questions from the big book:
"Explore the various circumstances in which you have put yourself under pressure [to provide for others, to be strong for them, to never cry, show weakness, doubt, or indecision]. Who were you doing it for? Was the outcome worth the effort? What do you think would have happened if you had been a little easier on yourself?"
"Think of times in which you went along with the plans, preferences, or choices of others and submerged your own choices. What did this do to your sense of involvement?To your contact with yourself and your experience? Did you resent having to go along? How did you dispense with your own choice? What did you hope to gain by doing so?"
"Notice how many times a day you are dissappointed with yourself or others. Keep track of this for a few days. What standards are you measuring everything against? Question and examine the nature of these standards and their effect on you and the people in your life."
Type 1 gets equal time, we learn to relax, and we write with, of all things, our hands. And, oh yeah, spiritual growth. See you then.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Check out the following link: http://www.jennifercluff.com/teach.htm, then click on the topic "helpful info for new flute teachers" and read item #5.
Thanks to flautist Amy D. for this tip.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
1. Those who were present (namely Alex and Audrey) shared extensively from their journals. And you missed it!
2. Mary Beth revealed that she had responded to all six of last week's journal questions. (!@#$%&*!!! overacheiver!)
3. In lieu of meditation, I imagined drop-kicking the cd player.
4. Mary Beth talked about 6s and the interplay of compliance and withdrawal in her own life.
5. We talked about how to break out of the type 6 pattern. There is a section called "Practices that Help Sixes Develop" on pages 253 - 255 of The Wisdom of the Enneagram.
6. We also talked about type 7, the habit of collecting experiences (and handshakes), and keeping the energy up when you're feeling down.
7. We suggested a few topics for the journal, including this one (as always, from The W of the E):
"Study what you are calling boredom. What does it feel like in your body? What is the sensation of boredom? As you are able to sense it, what associations or memories does it bring up?"
Next time, we'll discuss: If birds of a feather flock together, why do opposites attract? And types 8 and 9. (See pages 287 - 340 of our favorite book.) Hope to see you there.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
We Now Take a Break from Our Regularly Sceduled Programming to Recap Enneagram Autobiography Class 2
Nonetheless, we have our responsibilities, so here's what happened in session 2 of the Enneagram Autobiography class:
1. Mary Beth and I both had diseases. In her case, it was pink eye. In mine, it was yakky-mouth-itis. As such, I proposed the following division of labor: I would hand out handouts and she would do the talking. Alas, there is no known cure for yakky-mouth-itis.
2. We went around the room sharing selected details from our autobiographies, which I will not post here. If you want to hear the juicy stuff, you have to attend the class. (Next session: Wednesday, January 30th, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville.)
3. I attempted to answer all Enneagram-related "huh?" and "what?"-type questions with this handout.
4. We talked about why meditation is an important tool for observing one's own ego at work, recommended chapter 4, "Cultivating Awareness," of The Wisdom of the Enneagram, and did a lovingkindness meditation.
5. Mary Beth talked about the emotional issues of types 2 ("I can only give help; I can't accept help") and 3 ("I really am a doctor, but it's still like I'm playing one on tv.")
6. We suggested some journaling topics. Here are a few (all are from The Wisdom of the Enneagram):
"Explore the question, 'How do I know that I am loved?' What counts for love in your life? Whose love are you looking for? What are the signs that this person is giving you love? How do you know, or how would you know that you are loved?"
"What does success mean to you? What did it mean to your parents? What does it mean to your peers? Any connections?"
"Notice your tendency to automatically focus on your differences with people. What does this cost you in terms of your connectedness with others? Does it prevent you from taking up activities that might be beneficial to you?"
We'll talk about the emotional issues of types 4, 5, and 6 and learn how to really look at things. To prepare, you might want to look over pages 178 - 259 of The Wisdom of the Enneagram. Also, please bring your journal to class.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
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Hillary Clinton Town Hall in Nashville
Tennessee State University, Kean Hall Gymnasium3500 John A. Merritt BlvdSaturday, January 26th Doors open at 8:00pm
With questions about the town hall or to RSVP, please email TennesseeforHillary@gmail.com or call our Nashville Headquarters at 615-254-2200."