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Thread: I don't believe in the Enneagram

  1. #1
    Creepy-Snaps

    Post I don't believe in the Enneagram

    Ok, I know before I've mentioned that I'm not a big fan of the Enneagram personality system, but I didn't really say WHY, or didn't share my honest thoughts for almost a year and a half now on this forum. But after seeing the Enneagram-Tritypes-Do-they-exist thread, I'd like to say I don't think ANY Enneagram types exist, and you guys might honestly be wasting dozens of hours of your time, if not hundreds, in a personality system that is rooted in abstraction.

    There is nothing mathematical about it. And the origins are "a mystery", as I quote below.

    It's fictional and made up. At least with socionics, it's based on the workings of Carl Jung, Aushra Augusta, etc. The reason socionics MAKES SENSE is for one, the functions correspond with different parts of the brain... I've read MBTI studies (here's a basic link, Functions and Areas of the Brain look up some of the actual studies if you wish) , of course which is a different system, but is similar to our 16types model, of which different areas light up in the brain at different intensities, for each of the 16 different types, for various tests, including creativity, linguistics, logic, etc.

    Which isn't surprising, considering innately, logic and emotion can be opposites, so is what is real versus the theoretical, having an outside-world orientation versus the inner-world, and then a difference in decision-making, valuing more one or the other. Second, socionics is very easy to grasp theoretically, the idea that we are psychologically compatible with one other person, a dual, considering humans have evolved to have two genders, mate with two people, so it makes sense that we are subconsciously searching for our 'other half'.

    And third, the # of opposite functional areas of the brain, corresponding with a total # of types, that is, 2*2*2*2=16, makes sense.

    But the Enneagram doesn't. 9 different types? Where does 9 come from?

    It seems as though the Enneagram is a primitive attempt to describe personality differences among people... before Socionics, the obviously better model, became popular, in the 1970s. Someone just drew out 9 different descriptions and decided to make their own personality system. Where does the Enneagram originate? :

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/FAQs.asp
    The history and transmission of the Enneagram are mysterious and complicated affairs, although they become clearer if we distinguish between the Enneagram symbol and the descriptions of the nine types which are gaining such worldwide attention. The symbol (the circle with the inner triangle and hexagon) is ancient, dating back to Pythagoras or even earlier. The concept of the nine personality types has elements rooted in several traditional teachings such as the Seven Deadly Sins (beginning in the 4th century), and the Kabbalah (beginning in the 12th century) but the psychological descriptions of the types, on the other hand, are modern and are the work of modern authors.

    George Gurdjieff brought the symbol to the West around 1900, and Oscar Ichazo was the first to synthesize the symbol with elements of the teachings about the types. He was the first to identify the core qualities of each of the nine types, and his work was expanded on by the psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo who also introduced the panel method for gathering information about the types. Naranjo''s work, in turn, has been expanded on by Don Riso and Russ Hudson who added many new elements to the early Enneagram systemmost notably the lengthy systematic descriptions of the nine types, as well as the nine internal Levels of Development, the "inner logic" of each type.
    Exactly as I thought. Oscar Ichazo pretty much just "made up" the 9 types. Well, I can do that! There's nothing mathematical about it. They mention Pythagoras... for THE USE OF THE SYMBOL. Well, I can make my own personality system with 11 different types, and then use the symbol of an eagle... but that doesn't mean my system is bird-related, anymore than Enneagram is mathematics-based. Heck, Pythagoras probably used the symbol for something else, and George stole it because it looked cool, and it had 9 points, and added it to their 'system'.

    Oh, but wait! Oscar didn't completely 'make up' the 9 types, he based it on "teachings" dating back to the 12th century. So wait, these are correlated with the 7 deadly sins... so why aren't there 7 different personality types in the Enneagram, but why are there 9? :

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/history.asp
    These ideas found their way from Greece and Asia Minor southward through Syria and eventually to Egypt. There, it was embraced by early Christian mystics known as the Desert Fathers who focused on studying the loss of the Divine Forms in ego consciousness. The particular ways in which these Divine forms became distorted came to be known as the Seven Deadly Sins: anger, pride, envy, avarice, gluttony, lust, and sloth. How the original nine forms, in the course of their travels from Greece to Egypt over the course of a century, became reduced to seven deadly sins remains a mystery.
    A MYSTERY! REMAINS A MYSTERY!

    So really, the Enneagram doesn't have anything to do with the Seven Deadly Sins. The Seven Deadly Sins were derived from the idea of 9 different personality types, not vice versa. Rather, the 9 different personality types are just based on ancient ideas, of which the exact history is unknown.

    ... Many people criticize religion, but at least there are Biblical records to base your allegiance on, not to mention scientific records of a worldwide flood... so WHY do more people easily accept the Enneagram, but oppose religion? Enneagram is based on 'ancient ideas', of which nothing exact is known. Based on nothingness.

    Heck, why not study astrology then, with 12 different personality types. That is at least based upon the phases of the moon, the 12 'moonths' of the Gregorian calendar, etc., and has something mystical about it that makes sense, the revolution of the planets. It's more aesthetical in nature than just 'ancient ideas' which the Enneagram is based on.

    OH BUT WAIT! If you study astrology, you have to learn all the EXCEPTIONS: rising sign, moon sign, this planet here, this one there, etc... to explain why NOT EVERYONE OF THE SAME TYPE IS NECESSARILY EVEN SIMILAR in some cases. Because it's made up, non-mathematical, so the creators add "exceptions" to patch all the holes that comprise their creation. But can you continually throw a patch over a hole in a rowboat, and expect it to work?

    Wait, the Enneagram has exceptions then too... different wings, different 'variants', etc. etc. to try to explain everything. But how does compatibility work? Why is it seemingly different for each type?

    You know what, I might as well just make up my own personality system! I think I'll have 11 different types. Why? Because I like the number 11. Just because it's a cool #, you know? Then I'll use a cool symbol too, something that looks ancient, that might add credibility. And hey, I'll squeeze everyone on this forum into one of my 11 types:

    1) bubbly nice
    2) party pooper
    3) awkward yet nice and outgoing
    4) awkward and firm and rude
    5) yells-a-lot
    6) analyzer
    7) sexually promiscuous
    8) competitor
    9) cool under pressure
    10) compulsive buyer
    11) video game addict

    Yes, these 11 types shall comprise all personalities... of course I'll add exceptions, and make wings, but it'll all make sense, because look, it matches the cool symbol.



    I'm hearing the counterargument now: "OH, BUT MD, you're view of the Enneagram is this way because you're a Xwx... which means you fit this, and of course you doubt it... see, it's just like many INFps tend to doubt socionics at first, and think everybody generally fits everything." Of which I have to say: THAT DOESN'T MEAN THE ENNEAGRAM IS STILL BASED ON ANYTHING VALID! Hey, you know what I can say? In my system, guess what, type #10, the compulsive buyer, ALSO tends to doubt my own system!!! But guess what, OF COURSE MY 11 TYPES SYSTEM IS STILL VALID, DUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH. Hahaha. (insert another stupidly happy face here)

    Sarcasm aside, this pretty much is my view of the Enneagram. When it's history is based on "ancient ideas", nothing concrete, and there is nothing mathematical about it, I just feel that it is simply a primitive and outdated way of classifying people as different types. I don't see any reason why it should be taken seriously or used in any form as a personality system.

    Perhaps someone can change my mind, and explain why it should be taken seriously... I'm always willing to be open-minded. But I've doubted the Enneagram since I came here, and figured I'd finally be honest with my thoughts, even though I might offend many people here who seem to like the system. Anyway, what do you guys think?

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    EffyCold thePirate's Avatar
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    its actually really helpful to anyone with half a brain
    <Crispy> what subt doesnt understand is that a healthy reaction to "FUCK YOU" is and not

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    EffyCold thePirate's Avatar
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    that being said, you should probably stay away from it
    <Crispy> what subt doesnt understand is that a healthy reaction to "FUCK YOU" is and not

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    Ahh, poo MD, you're just upset because you can't find your enneatype.

    But hey, it's fine. No shame in not fitting in. I mean, sometimes it's better to be individualistic.

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    You're a type 3
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    I DON'T BELIEVE IN MAGIC~
    I JUST BELIEVE IN ME : (((

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    No way, the Enneagram is legit and in some ways it's superior to Socionics. Enneagram deals more with chemicals in the brain rather than parts of the brain anyways, which has a significant impact on our behaviour. The seven deadly sins were simply being used as a way to characterize the negative forms of the Enneagram and nothing more. Don't compare the Enneagram to astrology either because in the Enneagram one is able to choose the personality that fits them best, where in astrology you are assigned one because of your birthday. For me the Enneagram is a useful tool for gaining self awareness, while in my experience Socionics is more useful for figuring out my relationships with other people.
    Last edited by Raver; 01-12-2012 at 09:40 AM.
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    You're a type 3
    ^ The problem is contained within the answer.

    And Traveler, if you'll humor a slight adjustment:

    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    [For me] Enneagram is a useful tool for gaining self awareness, while [in my experience] Socionics is more useful for figuring out [my] relationships with other people.
    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dew View Post
    It's fictional and made up. At least with socionics, it's based on the workings of Carl Jung, Aushra Augusta, etc. The reason socionics MAKES SENSE is for one, the functions correspond with different parts of the brain... I've read MBTI studies (here's a basic link, Functions and Areas of the Brain look up some of the actual studies if you wish) , of course which is a different system, but is similar to our 16types model, of which different areas light up in the brain at different intensities, for each of the 16 different types, for various tests, including creativity, linguistics, logic, etc.
    All that brainmapping bullshit is suppositional at best. As far as I've seen there's been no real research that demonstrates any sort of correlation between IE usage and localization of brain function.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dew View Post
    Socionics is very easy to grasp theoretically, the idea that we are psychologically compatible with one other person, a dual, considering humans have evolved to have two genders, mate with two people, so it makes sense that we are subconsciously searching for our 'other half'.
    Which is why all people only have sex with the opposite gender, mate with only the same person for the rest of their lives, and don't have to compromise themselves in any way to ensure the well-being of the relationship. You're appealing to some ideal that doesn't take into account variation within itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dew View Post
    And third, the # of opposite functional areas of the brain, corresponding with a total # of types, that is, 2*2*2*2=16, makes sense.

    But the Enneagram doesn't. 9 different types? Where does 9 come from?
    Three can be a number too you know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dew View Post
    You know what, I might as well just make up my own personality system! I think I'll have 11 different types. Why? Because I like the number 11. Just because it's a cool #, you know? Then I'll use a cool symbol too, something that looks ancient, that might add credibility. And hey, I'll squeeze everyone on this forum into one of my 11 types:

    1) bubbly nice
    2) party pooper
    3) awkward yet nice and outgoing
    4) awkward and firm and rude
    5) yells-a-lot
    6) analyzer
    7) sexually promiscuous
    8) competitor
    9) cool under pressure
    10) compulsive buyer
    11) video game addict

    Yes, these 11 types shall comprise all personalities... of course I'll add exceptions, and make wings, but it'll all make sense, because look, it matches the cool symbol.

    The problem here is that there's 0 systemization to it. If you were to give a shit or two and look up what the enneagram trichotomies are instead of going off on irrelevant tangents, building giant straw men, or pouting about your own assumptions of a system you clearly don't understand there would be no problem here.
    "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -Roald Dahl

    http://forum.socionix.com/
    It's pretty cool

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    I totally agree with the OP, even if im not absolutist at this point : the strenght of enneagram is not about type, its the great deal of insight about motivation and its more psychological description than other typo.
    Anyway, each enneagram type seem to be described from the point of view of their conflicting relationship.

    Too, its funny to notice how the enneagram seem close to reality even if based on stuff like pentagram/religion/mysticism.
    "The final delusion is the belief that one has lost all delusion."

    -- Maurice Chapelain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekpyrosos View Post
    ^ The problem is contained within the answer.

    And Traveler, if you'll humor a slight adjustment:

    Thanks.
    Haha done.
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    The enneagram is about motivations, it doesn't go into detail like socionics does, but it each of the 9 types can be correlated to each of the 16 types on socionics. I forgot, but I think its based off of the Kabbalah, or something similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dew View Post
    I don't believe in the Enneagram.
    This joint is getting thick with gammas. I think I'm going to call the immigration office.

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    ഗന᎕ᒹ ±ᗉᚔXᙂഗ woofwoofl's Avatar
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    Nothing mathematical about it? Take any integer that's not a multiple of 7. Divide it by 7. See the numbers to the right of the decimal point? As you go rightward, the numbers will follow the path of Disintegration:

    1 -> 4 -> 2 -> 8 -> 5 -> 7 -> 1 -> etc.

    We're still missing three Enneagram types, so about those:

    1) start with an integer divisible by three
    2) add its digits together
    3) add three to that number
    4) go to step two

    This will take you through the path of Integration for the remaining types

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    what does systemization and math have to do with whether a model is just "made up" or not? prettier and more organized != more true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woofwoofl View Post
    Nothing mathematical about it? Take any integer that's not a multiple of 7. Divide it by 7. See the numbers to the right of the decimal point? As you go rightward, the numbers will follow the path of Disintegration:

    1 -> 4 -> 2 -> 8 -> 5 -> 7 -> 1 -> etc.

    We're still missing three Enneagram types, so about those:

    1) start with an integer divisible by three
    2) add its digits together
    3) add three to that number
    4) go to step two
    I want to divide and multiply things too. Going to get pulitzer for it. Just wait for my next nobel winning book on enneagram.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Dew View Post
    DUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH. Hahaha. (insert another stupidly happy face here)
    Thanks for the illuminating links, guy. I now understand enneagram's origins, purpose, and mechanics much better than before, and it's a rather sensible system.

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