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Thread: Enneagram PBA

  1. #1
    Creepy-male

    Default Enneagram PBA

    Enneagram Possible Bullshit Alert....

    Forgive the Stupid Acronym....

    But recently I've been having trouble juggling the enneagram and I really am begining to think that is largely bullshit, but useful bullshit, like manure or something (forgive the bad analogy)

    The thing they don't do a good job of motivating why you can only be 1 type and not have traits of 2 or 3 or possibly all 9 types.... why being a 9 means not being a 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.... it doesn't have that duality that MBTI/Socionics/Jung has... like the whole "You either think or you feel, never both at the same time" idea.... it doesn't allow for exclusion

    Second they don't do a good job of explain why its closed, why there isn't say a mysterious type 10.... or a type 11.... why there is only 9 types, the only reason I can find is that they wouldn't be able to draw some neat little mystical shape if there were 10 types.

    Because of these 2 problems I am just thinking that its possible that the enneagram is just a sham and the 9 types tells us something about human nature in general. 8's are all about being aggresive and angry, being protective, heroic, a person of action, a leader.... 4's are about being that creative artist no one understands, being brilliant and prolific, fanciful, romantic, individualistic, etc..... 1's are about being disciplined and idealistic.... blah blah blah, but I see all 9 types in every person and really I see them in myself alot, the only thing I can say for sure is which types I heavily identify with and which types I weakly identify with.... its hard to choose one type and stick with it, plus I think its bullshit, its not like I was divinely marked at birth with a single type.

    My problem in specific is I'll go through phases, I'll say .... HEY I am an 8! Then I'll approach life and I'll reflect and be like that is so 8! Man am I 8! Then pretty soon I won't be paying attention and bam, I'll do something very 4 and I'll get tired of doing 8 things..... and then I'll get all confused, reanalyze myself and then repeat the cycle with being a 4! Sometimes this works negatively like when I feel I am failing or having problems at life... I'll be like .... only a 5 would have a problem like that, its because your a 5, man your so 5..... but eventually I'll find something negative I do that is so 3 or 2 or something then I'll have to re-evaluate..... really I think because of this, why force my mind to think in terms of 1 type when its obvious from self-observation I tend to act like all of the types from time to time.... maybe each type is just a lesson on basic human nature, and our identity isn't a matter of identifying ourselves on some stupid 9 sided mystical shape.... but rather is a matter of being, and by that I mean, stop for a second and reflect honestly on your life, look at it like a story, as if you were to die today and go somewhere where you discover your entire life was a film being observed and you were the main character.... what would your character be like? Bam as soon as you get a sense of that, you've found your identity, its that simple imho, and the enneagram can help describe that but it can't really fully express the depth of a person's identity.

  2. #2
    Creepy-male

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    The "Everyone acts like every type from time to time" comes from both misunderstanding the enneagram and treating it as a rigid system. The enneagram is like Psychodynamics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for newbies. It very simply looks at the sort of defences you build up to deal with the world as you're developing, and what implications they have when you carry those into adulthood.

    Let's say I'm a Nine. I'm having a trancey sort of day and spend it indoors, in the dark, writing a really long journal post where I meander through everything that I can remember happening to me. That doesn't mean I'm a Four, it means I'm manifesting Four-like behaviours. Being a Four would entail seeking to defend and fire up my emotional responses due to a need to affirm my existence. (One thing that can shape Fours is feeling deleted or totally overlooked.)

    Each type's learned defences obviously manifest as predictable behaviours, and you can use these behaviours to get back to the defences that cause them, but you need to remember that a type is those set of defences, not the behaviours.

  3. #3
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    about there being only 9 types..

    I read this explanation and it seems to make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalCrash@Typewatch.net
    Okay, so the theory begins with the fact that all human beings are made up of an Id, an Ego and a Superego. You can't really quite disprove them because they make a part of yourself. You can't say you lack an id, because it represents your most immediate feelings towards life. That's part of what it is. You have that. And you can't say you don't. An easier way to describe them is through senses. So, I guess... here's a short description of each:

    Id - The Beast
    Every human being can be said to be made up of 3 parts. Id, Ego and Superego. This actually widely recognized and widely accepted. Just what are they though? We can always start with the Id.

    The Id is the part of us that represents our most natural feelings and reactions. Our rage, our anger, our sadness, our grief, our happiness, our joy, etc. Every feeling that we hide and repress, and even those feelings that we allow ourselves to express. It is the part of us that reacts to life, and is what makes us sensitive to life.

    It can be thought of as our most immediate reactions to life. If someone punches you in the face, what is your most immediate and most natural reaction? That is, if you were to disregard your morals, how would you immediately react? Since the id is the most natural part of our minds and bodies, I refer to it as "The Beast". Heck, id even means "the thing". It doesn't really represent us though, it represents our feelings and our reactions.

    Due to the fact that it is what we sincerely feel (what we most sincerely immediately feel; our natural response), it also makes a part of our immediate satisfaction towards life. Our stress basically. When it rages out of control, we are filled with so many moods and reactions within us that in the end, we hold in a lot of angst. In this case, angst doesn't really mean worry, it just means stress. We feel so stressed out and tired... and affected by life... that... well... that's what we feel.

    And that's what the Id is. Our beast. Our angst. Our stress.

    Ego - The Substance
    The next one in line would be our Ego. What is our ego really? Our ego is everything that makes us up. It seems to include both our id and our superego, since in the end both id and superego do make us up. So, you could say that the Ego is a summary of everything that makes us up. For this reason, it is our substance. What we are.

    I consider the Ego the true "it"... because... what is the ego? It's just... "it". It's something. For example, if you look at a chair, it is created by something. Ok, imagine a world where we didn't give anything a name? What would you call a chair? You wouldn't give it a name, really, the chair would just be "it" to us. It would just be something. That's exactly what the ego is. It's just something. The part of us that makes us something. We'd have to judge ourselves though before we can say that we are something in specific. The best way to define it would be to say that... without an ego we wouldn't exist. Like, if that chair lacked its own substance... it wouldn't really exist now would it?

    So what is the Ego? The Ego is our substance; our presence in this world actually and our existence (which involves both our id, our superego and our reality&condition). When God created us, he made us out of clay. The Ego is the clay. (Or was it dirt? Idk, don't read the bible).

    Superego - The Conscience
    So, we have established that what makes a human being is both their substance, and their reactions to life. If we lacked a superego then that would mean that the only substances that make up the ego would be the id and reality. We would literally be a living personification of our feelings and reactions. This is actually rather crucial to us a human beings, because as human beings we have a highly developed superego. Animals, then, are a good example of what an ego+id+reality mix is. Their superego isn't as developed as ours, so, really, their substance is only based on their id & their reality. They are their emotions and most natural reactions.

    As humans though, we have a third sense... well, technically, there's no doubt about it that animals probably have this third sense as well, though it's probably not as developed as ours. It is our sense of judgment and discernment, as well as an ability to discern between "what is" and "what isn't". It is in the end our sense of guidance and our tendency to make the right choices and our perception of reality.

    Discernment in general. It was probably formed as an understanding to reality. Think of it this way: at some point in time, we used to think the Earth was flat. Now, we know that we were wrong, and feel that it is right to think that the Earth is actually round. If someone were to say that the Earth was flat, then certainly, they would be considered wrong by many people.

    Thus, it is how we discern between right/wrong reality ("what is" and "what isn't"), and our perception of the way reality works. When we know that something is wrong... we can say it's wrong, because... in our eyes... it's wrong. It just simply the way reality is. 2+2=4, you can't say anything else, and be right. Hence why I said that it was probably formed as an understanding towards reality. I would assume that over the years, as we further developed our understanding of reality, we developed our superego more.

    So, in the end the superego could be said to be our discernment between right and wrong, our discernment between "what is" and "what isn't", and our perception and understanding about reality (and the way it works) in general. The ego and id making a part of our reality (thus, it is also our ability to judge ourselves, and discern what we are feeling).

    The Mechanics
    The mechanics between the three are rather interesting. I sort of went over then while describing them, but I guess I'll try to go a bit more in-depth in this section. Basically, the ego is made up of both the id and superego (as well as reality), because that's just what it is. Our superego is then our understanding of reality, and therefore is also responsible for judging the ego & id and discerning its condition. Kind of like a doctor. A doctor know what conditions are what and is capable of determining whether your sick or your healthy. Thus, when we combine both ego and superego, we establish a self-awareness. That is, our superego is our sense of perception, and our ego is our presence itself. So, when we have the superego's perception on the ego, it makes up our self-awareness. Even our identity. Since our ego is made up of the id as well... this duo is what allows us to determine whether we feel sad or not. It goes something like "I am sad" or "I am happy". You see it? The ego, being made up of the id, is judged by the superego and the superego, just like a doctor, determines the condition of the ego and establishes its state. If you feel convinced that you are happy, and somebody tells you you are actually sad, well... you'll pretty much have to say that they're wrong, because you're happy.

    What's interesting to note is that when we are happy, well... due to our superego, we are convinced that we are happy. In the same fashion, when we are sad, we are convinced that we are sad. Sometimes, if we were to go against our identity... it would feel wrong. Like if we were to tell ourselves that we are wearing a red shirt, when we're really wearing a yellow one, it would feel wrong, because that's not "what is" going on. Naturally, if we have a good sense of our identity, and tried to stray away from it... it wouldn't make sense to us, because our perception (superego) tells us that that's not who we are. Like, if you go to sleep one day, and wake up a completely different person... you'll notice the difference, and may say "I don't feel like me. This isn't right". So, it's because of this that we generally stick to an identity. A specific one. Though, I probably won't go to in-depth on that.
    3w4-5w6-9w8

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    Anyhow, at least based on my understanding of it.

    So, now... how does this fit in with the enneagram?

    Well, in the enneagram we have three triads: Instinctive, Feeling and Thinking

    In each of the three triads we have perceived something about ourselves, and have developed a desire to obtain something that we lack, that will allow us to feel superior (because we always want what's best for us).

    It sprouts from feeling that our substance lacks something that we feel we should or are suppose to have. This makes part of the mechanics. (A need to keep our psychological integrity)

    So here are some short descriptions for each triad;

    Instinctive Triad - Desire to get rid of stress; Desire for relief
    This is an id-based triad that focuses mainly on the id. They have understood that they feel stress, and seek to get rid of it. Their main desire therefore becomes a desire to rid themselves of their stress, and automatically also becomes a desire to find and seek relief. They feel that they lack relief, and is the theme this triad is mainly focused around.

    Theme of the triad: Stress/Relief; Lacking the ideal id.

    Feeling Triad - Desire for substance; Desire to get rid of emptiness
    In the case of the feeling triad, an ego-based triad, the person feels a lack for substance. In other words, that their substance lacks substance. Their main desire therefore becomes a desire for substance, and anything that they feel will give them substance. Naturally, they desire to get rid of emptiness, which could also be stated as fearing emptiness as well as fearing the loss of substance itself.

    Theme of the Triad: Substance/Emptiness; Lacking the ideal ego.

    Thinking Triad - Desire for good discernment/security; Desire to rid themselves of insecurity
    In the case of the thinking triad, the superego-based triad, they feel that they lack judgment, and a well developed perception in this world. Naturally, this insecurity also leads them to believe that "anything" could happen, since they are unable to establish "what is" and "what isn't". This often leads them to feel insecure, thus they seek security.

    Theme of the triad: Security/Insecurity; Lacking the ideal superego.

    Those are three short descriptions that describe the three triads. Of course, these three descriptions describe the problems we encounter, and what we desire. It doesn't really say much about how we resolve it.

    Our desire to resolve it is what ends up making us dependent people. It ends up in three more triads: Compliant, Assertive and Withdrawn. Since the problems from the previous triads result from the fear that we lack something, it only goes to show you how important we feel our substance is to us. In the end, we end up relying on one of our three senses again (senses being: id, ego and superego; since you can say that our id is our immediate sense of satisfaction, our ego our sense of existence and the superego our sense of perception).

    Here are descriptions I made for each triad.

    The Compliant Triad - Dependence on "Reality"
    First off on our list of what I like to call "dependency" triads is the compliant triad; another superego-based triad, but this time dependent on the superego. What this means is that they feel that they have to rely on what their perception of "reality" is in order to resolve the problem set upon by the former triad, and find what they are lacking. For this reason, they feel a need to be in accordance with "reality" and "what is" or else they'll feel that they are going to lose their chances of getting what they lack. They end up being strong and stable, and try to will things into being, needing them to be in order, the way they should be. Of course, they will also avoid contradicting reality, and therefore follow what they believe is life's natural course. The interesting thing about the superego though is that when we make a wrong decision, we usually end up getting negative consequences. This understanding of reality, that bad choices lead to negative consequences, is what makes the compliant triad feel that if they make a wrong choice they should get the negative consequence they should get. If they didn't, then a contradiction to reality has just occurred, thus injuring and hurting their perception of reality. Basically, they are reliant on understanding what reality is and what it isn't. Any contradiction to their perception would mean that they don't truly understand, and since they're so reliant on understanding what reality is and isn't, then they tend to break apart and lose security. (To comply with reality)

    Theme: Right/Wrong

    Withdrawn/Sensitive Triad - Dependence on Experiences/Life
    This is the id-dependent triad. It relies on the id, and therefore ones reactions to life. Due to the fact that the id isn't really that stable, this triad ends up "wandering" a lot, constantly reacting to what is experienced. Basically put, since it's reliant on its id, its reliant on its experiences, and they end up needing to live first before they can react. In other words, this triad allows themselves to bombard themselves with many sensations/experiences in order to resolve their problem. As stated, the problem with this would be that this makes them immobile. Needing to keep still in order to allow life to hit them so they can react, rather than moving along without relying on life. The basic fear of this triad therefore becomes a fear of being desensitized. They want to *feel* life. They try hard to feel life too.

    Theme: Alive/Desensitized

    Assertive Triad - Dependence on Substance/Presence
    The Assertive triad relies on the ego, or their substance. Whenever we feel we lack substance, we feel inferior and smaller than we really are. For this reason, the assertive triad relies on the fact that they have substance, presence, and a sense of superiority. This was the missing thing that I just realized today. The way to describe the Assertive Triad. It is indeed a theme of superiority/inferiority, and a desire to be on top. When they feel that they are fading, that they lack substance, they feel that their desire won't be accomplished. Thus, they need to continuously assert their presence, and somehow "shine". To be above.

    Theme: Superiority/Inferiority

    Now with those triads... when you cross them... you create 9 types:

    Type 1 - Who resolve their stress through conforming to reality. Relieving their stress through their will.
    Type 2 - Who resolve their emptiness through conforming to reality. Seeking recognition/Recognizing themselves for their own personal will.
    Type 3 - Who resolve their emptiness through superiority. Seeking recognition/Recognizing themselves for their superiority.
    Type 4 - Who resolve their emptiness through sensitivity to life and their own personal experiences. Seeking recognition/Recognizing themselves for their own sensitivity and their own personal experiences.
    Type 5 - Who resolve their insecurity through their own sensitivity to life and personal experiences. Establishing security based on their experiences.
    Type 6 - Who resolve their insecurity through conforming to reality. Establishing security based on their will.
    Type 7 - Who resolve their insecurity through superiority. Establishing security based on their own superiority.
    Type 8 - Who resolve their stress through superiority. Relieving stress by being superior.
    Type 9 - Who resolve their stress through their sensitivity to life and personal experiences. Relieving stress through their experiences.
    .
    3w4-5w6-9w8

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    Yeah, it's kinda long... but it's interesting.
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  6. #6
    Creepy-male

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    That is interesting, but I think it's trying to impose structure on something that was based on numerology (and is thus arbitrary... much like Socionics's 16 types, from my understanding).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolanzon View Post
    That is interesting, but I think it's trying to impose structure on something that was based on numerology (and is thus arbitrary... much like Socionics's 16 types, from my understanding).
    so then you don't think the enneagram is true? (and socionics for that matter)

    If it is in fact based on numerology, then I don't see why it would be true.
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  8. #8
    Creepy-male

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    Just because the structure is really artificial doesn't mean a given system doesn't work in practice, and I think that's what's important. Both the enneagram and socionics work, whether they're "true" or not.

    The stuff you posted works too. I was just commenting that it's an attempt to justify the structure of the enneagram when the structure is arbitrary. And anyway, my attitude is that such stuff is a pointless exercise because the enneagram works regardless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolanzon View Post
    Just because the structure is really artificial doesn't mean a given system doesn't work in practice, and I think that's what's important. Both the enneagram and socionics work, whether they're "true" or not.

    The stuff you posted works too. I was just commenting that it's an attempt to justify the structure of the enneagram when the structure is arbitrary. And anyway, my attitude is that such stuff is a pointless exercise because the enneagram works regardless.
    I agree, but the pursuit of truth is something worthy in and of itself as well. I'm just questioning whether or not the enneagram is actually based on numerology.
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  10. #10
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azeroffs View Post
    I'm just questioning whether or not the enneagram is actually based on numerology.
    Ah. I understand that the diagram itself is based on numerology. 1/7 is a recurring decimal that goes 0.142857... (which would happen to be the lines of disintegration).

    The section that was in on the wikipedia page seems to have been removed, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolanzon View Post
    Ah. I understand that the diagram itself is based on numerology. 1/7 is a recurring decimal that goes 0.142857... (which would happen to be the lines of disintegration).

    The section that was in on the wikipedia page seems to have been removed, though.
    Yeah, I did a quick search and I can't really find any origins for the types. Just the symbol. I'll have a hard time accepting the system as true if the psychological types aren't founded in psychology. Integation/disintigration isn't as crucial to enneagram theory as the types themselves are. At least to my understanding.

    The explanation above seems quite plausible at this point though.
    3w4-5w6-9w8

  12. #12
    Creepy-male

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    wow that is alot, I'll look it over and share my thoughts, but I still think the structure is just an arbitrary organization.... its useful like coolazon said, I don't disagree with that, I am just saying that it doesn't seem to be derived from first principles beyond numerology, and that to me makes me skeptical of its validity in some ways.

    I have a feeling people confuse; useful with valid, and valid with useful.

    I mean my fundamental claim is that a person's identity can mirror a multitude of types, rather than a single type
    My claim is not that the enneagram is useless, you can learn alot about things from it, its highly useful and you can easily characterize people's personalities with it.

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