Friday, August 29, 2008

Come Play with Us

If you live in the Nashville area and are an Enneagram fan, you should go to and join up. This is a meetup group Mary Beth and I are putting together.
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

Remember Brad?

Hey, do guys remember Brad Spencer? He's the nice guy who writes the Enneagram Book web site. Back in January, he wrote a post for this blog about Obama's Enneagram type. (Check it out here.) He thought Obama was a 3, and I have been leaning in that direction as well, but in January, most of y'all claimed Obama was a 9. Does everyone still feel that way?
Is Obama more like this:

enneagram type 3 Enneagram Type Three

Or this:

enneagram type 9 Enneagram Type Nine


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 for the html code.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Little Public Relations Problem

Warning: humor ahead.
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

The Enneagram and Emotional Maturity

After Patrick O'Leary's talk at the IEA conference, Mary Beth and I attended a session led by Edward Morler. It was called "Integrating the Enneagram of Personality with the Levels of Emotional Maturity." Here's some of Morler's bio:

"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
being passive-aggressive
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

Arica and Everyone Else

If you read Friday's blog post, and last Monday's blog post, you may have realized that there was some tension in the room during Patrick O'Leary's presentation on the history of the Enneagram.
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

A Pair of 3s?

Way back when, Mary Beth typed politician John Edwards as a 3. Today's New York Times seems to corroborate. It contains an opinion piece by Gail Collins titled "Ken Doll in Lust" and is basically saying that after hearing about other politicians' sex scandals, Edwards should have used that knowledge to handle his own better. Despite the word "lust" in the title, the article is actually about deception, and contains plenty of evidence supporting the 3 theory.
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)

And this:

"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

A Fairly Clear History of the Modern Enneagram

Continuing with the IEA conference, Mary Beth and I next attended a session called Historical Evolution of Enneagram Theory. This was probably my favorite session of the conference. The speaker was Patrick O'Leary. Here is part of his bio:
"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

A Couple of Free Tests

I thought this was timely enough that the history lesson could wait:

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: When it asks you to enter your coupon code, use Tritype808.

Another free Enneagram test you can take is at See how long it takes you to figure out this test's methodology.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Highlights of the International Enneagram Association Annual Meeting

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.)