Introduction to the Enneagram and Psychology.

Index:

Defining the Enneagram

The Enneagram is symbolized by a nine-pointed star in a circle. The name combines ennea- (from the Greek ennea: nine) and -gram (from the Greek gramma: letter, writing) The Enneagram shows nine patterns or models of feeling, thinking, and behaving.

The Nine

Usually one of these nine Enneagrams is dominant in each of us, while we all have aspects of them all. None of the types is "better" than any other. But within one type, one can be more healthy or less healthy:

  1. Riso & Hudson: Reformer: rational, idealistic type
    Daniels & Price: Perfectionist.
    Vollmar: Entrepreneur.
    Keyes, Margaret Frings (psychologist) cited in Vollmar (p.18): Life-program of Perfection; Shadow of Rage.
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Anger; tendency to fixate cognitively in Resentment; chief feature Perfectionism.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

  2. Helper: caring, nurturing type (from Riso & Hudson).
    Giver: (from Daniels & Price).
    Planner: (from Vollmar).
    Life-program of Readiness to help; Shadow of Manipulation (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Pride; tendency to fixate cognitively in Flattery; chief feature False Love.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

  3. Motivator: adaptable, success-oriented type (from Riso & Hudson).
    Performer: (from Daniels & Price).
    Magician: (from Vollmar).
    Life-program of Achievement; Shadow of Rage for recognition (image) (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Vanity; tendency to fixate cognitively in Vanity; chief feature Deception.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

  4. Artist: intuitive, reserved type (from Riso & Hudson).
    Romantic: (from Daniels & Price).
    Afflicted Person: (from Vollmar).
    Life-program of Extraordinariness; Shadow of Sentimentality (moods) (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Envy; tendency to fixate cognitively in Melancholy; chief feature Dissatisfaction.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

  5. Thinker: perceptive, cerebral type (from Riso & Hudson).
    Observer: (from Daniels & Price and from Vollmar).
    Life-program of Knowledge; Shadow of Retreat (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Avarice; tendency to fixate cognitively in Stinginess; chief feature Detachment.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

  6. Skeptic: committed, security-oriented type (from Riso & Hudson).
    Loyal Skeptic: (from Daniels & Price).
    Hero: (from Vollmar).
    Life-program of Security and safety; Shadow of Fear and doubt (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Fear; tendency to fixate cognitively in Cowardice; chief feature Accusation.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

  7. Generalist: enthusiastic, productive type (from Riso & Hudson).
    Epicure: (from Daniels & Price).
    Optimist: (from Vollmar).
    Life-program of Optimism; Shadow of Nervous activity (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Gluttony; tendency to fixate cognitively in Planning; chief feature Fraudulence.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

  8. Leader: powerful, aggressive type (from Riso & Hudson).
    Protector: (from Daniels & Price).
    Boss: (from Vollmar).
    Life-program of Fairness; Shadow of Arrogance (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Lust; tendency to fixate cognitively in Vengeance; chief feature Punitiveness.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

  9. Peacemaker: easygoing, accommodating type (from Riso & Hudson).
    Mediator: (from Daniels & Price).
    Lover: (from Vollmar).
    Life-program of Peaceableness; Shadow of Laziness (terminology of psychologist Margaret Frings Keyes from Vollmar (p.18)).
    Naranjo, pp. 26, 29, 31, and throughout: Ruling passion of Indolence; tendency to fixate cognitively in Indolence; chief feature Self-forgetting.
    See transformations of release and affirmation.

Moving Within Types

Riso (Riso & Hudson, chapter 4) states that he has discovered nine "Levels of Development" for each Enneagram type. He observes that each type appears to have:

Each person moves within the levels of the type while also moving between types.

Riso & Hudson's Understanding and their Wisdom show these healthy Level 1 values, showing liberation and self-transcendence:

For Type 1
Acceptance: Wisdom.
Able to lead through integrity and reason.

For Type 2
Self-nurturance: Unconditional love.
Able to shine with generosity and healing power.

For Type 3
Self-Acceptance: Authenticity.
Able to inspire as an example of excellence and authenticity.

For Type 4
Self-Renewal: Inspiration.
Able to model creativity and intuitive power.

For Type 5
Clarity: Gnosis.
Able to demonstrate visionary intellect and inventiveness.

For Type 6
Inner guidance: Courage.
Able to exemplify courage and commitment.

For Type 7
Assimilation: Gratitude.
Able to become highly accomplished and spirited.

For Type 8
Self-surrender: Magnanimity.
Able to be a powerful magnanimous leader.

For Type 9
Self-remembering: Indomitable.
Able to bring people together and heal conflicts.

Meanwhile at the lowest Level, Riso & Hudson's Understanding and their Wisdom show these unhealthy Level 9 values, descending to pathological destructiveness:

For Type 1
Condemnation: Retributive behavior.
Hindered by perfectionism and resentment.

For Type 2
Conversion reactions: Psychosomatic problems.
Hindered by people-pleasing and possessiveness.

For Type 3
Psychopathy: Monomaniacal behavior.
Blindly pursues success and status.

For Type 4
Clinical depression: Suicidal behavior.
Held back by moodiness and self-consciousness.

For Type 5
Psychotic states: Annihilating behavior.
Becomes increasingly eccentric and isolated.

For Type 6
Self-abasement: Self-destructive behavior.
Struggles with anxiety and rebelliousness.

For Type 7
Hysteria: Panicked behavior.
Misled by impulsiveness and impatience.

For Type 8
Sociopathy: Antisocial behavior.
Tries to control and intimidate others.

For Type 9
Self-abandonment: De-personalized behavior.
Help back by passivity and stubbornness.

Moving Between Types

Associated with each Enneagram Point is a direction of stress and a direction of relief.

When a person is under stress, one tends to react according to one's Stress Type. Also one tries to get consolation from any person whose main Enneagram type is that Stress Type, and this can turn out to be false consolations.

Vollmar suggests that the stress type expresses the Shadow of the type. He also suggests that one is especially baffled by the Stress Point of one's own Stress Point:

For Type 1
Stress direction is Type 4.
The stressed Reformer or Entrepreneur might become the self-destructive critic.

Relief direction is Type 7.
The relaxed Reformer or Entrepreneur might loosen rigidity and become more cheerful and relaxed.

Baffled by Type 2 (Helper or Planner).

For Type 2
Stress direction is Type 8.
The stressed Helper or Planner might become destructive and aggressive.

Relief direction is Type 4.
The relaxed Helper or Planner might live without dependence and with a positive self image.

Baffled by Type 5 (Thinker or Observer).

For Type 3
Stress direction is Type 9.
The stressed Motivator or Magician might become deceitful and fraudulent, then bitterly passive.

Relief direction is Type 6.
The relaxed Motivator or Magician might develop integrity and loyalty to doing a job well.

Baffled by Type 6 (Skeptic or Hero).
For 3, 6, and 9, this is odd, because their type of bafflement is also their type of relief!

For Type 4
Stress direction is Type 2.
The stressed Artist or Afflicted Person might become moody and unpredictable; might try to get affection through service and love through manipulation; might become passive-aggressive.

Relief direction is Type 1.
The relaxed Artist or Afflicted Person might a structure, a security, and a base of reality.

Baffled by Type 8 (Leader or Boss).

For Type 5
Stress direction is Type 7.
The stressed Thinker or Observer might retreat, become aimlessly active, superficial, eccentric, and nervous.

Relief direction is Type 8.
The relaxed Thinker or Observer might go out into the world and do something with the accumulated knowledge.

Baffled by Type 1 (Reformer or Entrepreneur).

For Type 6
Stress direction is Type 3.
The stressed Skeptic or Hero might become presumptuous, suspicious, buried in work, authoritarian, and even sadistic.

Relief direction is Type 9.
The relaxed Skeptic or Hero might realize that "things can also work out even if there doesn't seem to be any security - indeed, that you can live ... more merrily and well without it." (Vollmar.)

Baffled by Type 9 (Peacemaker or Lover).
For 3, 6, and 9, this is odd, because their type of bafflement is also their type of relief!

For Type 7
Stress direction is Type 1.
The stressed Generalist or Optimist might engage in lots of activities with an emphasis on lust and a striving for perfection; might lose lightness; might criticize and ridicule whoever appears to oppose the Optimist.

Relief direction is Type 5.
The relaxed Generalist or Optimist might first think and observe instead of dissipating energies; and then act in harmonious balance.

Baffled by Type 4 (Artist or Afflicted Person ).

For Type 8
Stress direction is Type 5. The stressed Leader or Boss might become violent and aggressive, then brood and withdraw.

Relief direction is Type 2. The relaxed Leader or Boss might soften will and power to recognize other people; might want to help others and do so.

Baffled by Type 7 (Generalist or Optimist).

For Type 9
Stress direction is Type 6.
The stressed Peacemaker or Lover might become passive, idle, and lazy, and then search for security.

Relief direction is Type 3.
The relaxed Peacemaker or Lover might develop effectiveness and delight in work.

Baffled by Type 3 (Motivator or Magician).
For 3, 6, and 9, this is odd, because their type of bafflement is also their type of relief!

In addition to the above motion of stress and relief, Vollmar emphasizes the dynamic nature of the Enneagram in solving life's problems by moving between types ordinally (1, 2, ... 8, 9, 1, ...)

No matter what is your Enneagram type, Vollmar (p.21) says that you can work through an issue by remembering yourself and being aware, and then moving through the point of the Enneagram:

The Transformations

Riso suggest that, for each of the nine patterns, there are thoughts and behaviors serve badly someone using that pattern: these are things that one can iterate as a transformation of "Release".

They also suggest there are thoughts and behaviors that can serve well a user of a pattern: these are things that one can iterate as a transformation of "Affirmation".

These are examples of Riso transformations of "Releases"; see their books for more:

  1. "I now release holding myself and others to impossible standards."

  2. "I now release the fear that I am unwanted and unloved."

  3. "I now release my fear of feeling and being humiliated."

  4. "I now release all feelings of hopelessness and despair."

  5. "I now release all feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness."

  6. "I now release my fear of being abandoned and alone."

  7. "I now release all reckless and destructive impulses."

  8. "I now release my fear of ever being vulnerable or weak."

  9. "I now release turning away from whatever is unpleasant or difficult."

These are examples of Riso transformations of "Affirmation"; see their books for more:

  1. "I now affirm that I can make mistakes without condemning myself."

  2. "I now affirm that I am honest and clear about my motives."

  3. "I now affirm that I have value regardless of my achievements."

  4. "I now affirm that I open myself up to people and the world."

  5. "I now affirm that my life and struggles are meaningful and have purpose."

  6. "I now affirm that I am independent and capable."

  7. "I now affirm that I can say 'no' to myself without feeling deprived."

  8. "I now affirm that I believe in others and care about their welfare."

  9. "I now affirm that I am confident, strong, and independent."

Famous people that Riso and Hudson assign to each type

In their section on "Misidentifications", Riso & Hudson suggest that your understanding of the differences between types can be aided by considering famous people. The authors present them paired by careers, though their types are different. You can look at the book, or pull people in similar professions from the list below:

Type 1
Al Gore. Arthur Miller. Emma Thompson. George Bernard Shaw. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Julie Andrews. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Margaret Thatcher. Martha Stewart. Meryl Streep. Pope John Paul II. Ralph Nader. Ted Koppel.

Vollmar adds: Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), the philosopher.

Type 2
Ann Landers. Barbara Bush. Barry Manilow. Bill Cosby. Eleanor Roosevelt. Jerry Lewis. Lillian Carter. Mother Theresa. Sally Struthers. Sammy Davis, Jr. Stevie Wonder.

Type 3
Barbara Streisand. Carl Sagan. Dick Clark. Jane Pauley. Michael Tilson Thomas. President Bill Clinton. Richard Gere. Sharon Stone. Sting. Sylvester Stallone. Tom Cruise. Tony Robbins. Whitney Houston.

Vollmar adds: Mick Jagger.

Type 4
Anne Rice. Bob Dylan. Ingmar Bergman. James Dean. Jeremy Irons. Johnny Depp. Judy Garland. Mahler. Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. Roy Orbison. Rudolf Nureyev. Saul Steinberg. Tennessee Williams.

Vollmar adds: Novalis, Franz Schubert, Richard Wagner, Søren Kierkegaard.

Type 5
Albert Einstein. Charles Darwin. Clive Baker. David Lynch. Gary Larson. Glenn Gould. James Joyce. Oliver Sacks. Peter Gabriel. Philip Glass. Stanley Kubrick. Susan Sontag. Umberto Eco.

Vollmar adds: Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the observer of the paths of belief and reason. Martin Heidigger (1976), the philosopher of man's existence; René Descartes (1596-1650), who systematized modern philosophy; Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the observer of the paths of belief and reason.

Type 6
Bonnie Rait. Bruce Springsteen. David Letterman. Dustin Hoffman. Johannes Brahms. Johnny Carson. Meg Ryan. Mel Gibson. Mike Tyson. Mikhail Baryshnikov. President George H.W. Bush. Tom Clancy. Tom Hanks.

Vollmar adds: Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin.

Type 7
Bette Midler. Carol Burnett. Cameron Diaz. Elton John. Howard Stern. Jim Carrey. Joan Rivers. Larry King. Leonard Bernstein. President John F. Kennedy. Robin Williams. Steven Spielberg. Timothy Leary.

Vollmar adds: Epicurius; Walt Disney (note that Riso & Hudson consider him a Type 9); Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
He also writes "According to Freud, a neurotic has to be counted as a Type 7, since he tries with great energy to ban any discomfort from his consciousness."

Type 8
Bette Davis. Barbara Walters. Ernest Hemingway. Frank Sinatra. Henry Kissinger. Indira Ghandi. John Huston. Lee Iacocca. Muhammad Ali. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Sean Penn. Susan Sarandon. Telly Savalas. Texas (former) governor Ann Richards.

Vollmar adds: "The classic Enneagram Type 8 was the Italian philospher and politicain Niccolo Macchiavelli (1469-1527), with his famous motto: 'Right is whatever benefits the stronger person.'"
He also includes: Fritz Perls; Gurdjieff; Ludwig van Beethoven.

Type 9
Aaron Copland. Andie MacDowell. Betty Ford. Geena Davis. George Lucas. Ingrid Bergman. Jim Henson. Jimmy Stewart. Lady Bird Johnson. Norman Rockwell. President Gerald Ford. President Ronald Reagan. Walt Disney. Walter Cronkite.

Vollmar adds: Albert Einstein (note that Riso & Hudson consider him a Type 5); Carl Gustav Jung; Carl Rogers; Ezra Pound; Joseph Campbell, the mythology researcher.

Attribution of DSM categories

In a bold (I would say over-bold) claim: "One of the most amazing aspects of the Enneagram is how well it corresponds with other typologies, particularly those devised by psychiatry and pathology. The fact that it does so is one of the most persuasive indications that the Enneagram is mapping objective truths about human nature. ... The Enneagram is already a 'multiaxial' typology that can accommodate all the personality disorders and neurotic disorders presented in the DSM-IV while also correlating the personality types and personality disorders." (Riso & Hudson).

If their correlations are correct, from your pathology you can determine your Enneagram type.

Each Enneagram type is said by Riso & Hudson to have nine levels of development. Usually Levels 1-5 do not show DSM categories.

For Type 1
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (DSM 669) may begin at Level 6.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (DSM 417) may begin at Level 8.
For more information, see Riso & Hudson.

For Type 2
Histrionic Personality Disorder (DSM 655) may begin at Levels 4-5.
Somatization Disorder (DSM 446) may begin at Level 6.
Hypochondriasis (DSM 462) may begin at Level 7.
For more information and deeper levels, see Riso & Hudson.

For Type 3
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM 658) may begin at Level 6.
For more information and deeper levels, see Riso & Hudson.

For Type 4
Avoidant Personality Disorder (DSM 662) may begin at Level 5.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM 658) may begin at Level 6.
Borderline Personality Disorder (DSM 650) may begin at Level 7.
For more information and deeper levels, see Riso & Hudson.

For Type 5
Schizotypal Personality Disorder (DSM 641) may begin at Level 7, as may Schizoid Personality Disorder (DSM 638).
For more information and deeper levels, see Riso & Hudson.

For Type 6
Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder (DSM 733) may begin at Level 5.
Dependent Personality Disorder (DSM 665) may begin at Level 7.
Paranoid Personality Disorder (DSM 337) may begin at Level 8.
Borderline Personality Disorder (DSM 650) may begin at Level 9.
For more information, see Riso & Hudson.

For Type 7
Histrionic Personality Disorder (DSM 655) may begin at Level 5.
Hypomanic Episode (DSM 335) may begin at Level 7.
Manic Episode (DSM 328) may begin at Level 8.
Bipolar Disorders (DSM 350) may begin at Level 9.
For more information, see Riso & Hudson.

For Type 8
Antisocial Personality Disorder (DSM 645) may begin at Level 7.
For more information, see Riso & Hudson.

For Type 9
Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder (DSM 733) may begin at Level 5.
Dependent Personality Disorder (DSM 665) may begin at Level 6.
Schizoid Personality Disorder (DSM 638) may begin at Level 7.
Dissociative Disorders (DSM 477) may begin at Level 8.
For more information, see Riso & Hudson.

History

Who introduced the Enneagram to the West and when?
In 1916, George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (an unsystematic thinker, born in Armenia) introduced the Enneagram as a cosmological and "process model" and "the Enneagram then became the basis of his system of teaching" (Vollmar).

Vollmar reports that Gurdjieff attributed the Enneagram to the Sufis and the Sarmoun Brotherhood of about 2500 BCE. It may also be related to the Tibetan mandala. The power of the number Nine can also be linked to its role in Nordic, Greek, Chaldean, and other traditions.

Who introduced the personality types of the Enneagram?
Gurdjieff does not mention the personality types in his teachings, but he did focus on the 'essential trait' of self-deception.

Oscar Ichazo claimed to have learned about the Enneagram from Sufi teachers in Afghanistan. As Ichazo taught the Enneagram four decades after Gurdjieff, it's possible that Ichazo's "easily manageable study of personality types" (Vollmar), emphasizing the negative and shadow sides of the nine types, was Ichazo's dilution of Gurdjieff's Enneagram.

What is the connection of the Enneagram and the Kabbala?
[Yerachmiel Tilles reports there are 24 possible spellings:
Cabalah, Caballa, Cabala, Caballah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Cabballa, Cabballah,
Kabalah, Kaballa, Kabala, Kaballah, Kabbala, Kabbalah, Kabballa, Kabballah,
Qabalah, Qaballa, Qabala, Qaballah, Qabbala, Qabbalah, Qabballa, Qabballah.
He observes that in general, Jews tend to use 'K', Christians tend to use a 'C', and occultists tend to use 'Q'. The other spelling variants are attempts to signal where the stress is to be placed.]

Vollmar (p.42) tells us that the Enneagram can be represented by the magic square:

           1       2      3           
		
           4       5      6
			
           7       8      9

"which stems from the Kabbala". He continues:
"The upper row refers to the body, the center row to the feelings, and the lower row to the consciousness or spirit. ... The Enneagram in its wings, its right and left side, and its horizontal sections always result[s] in the number Nine ... [which] symbolizes the indestructible and thus the divine core of the human being which stems from the Kabbala".

The Books

Daniels & Price
The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide (2000) by David Daniels & Virginia Price.
[Helen Palmer school.]

This book is concise, clear, and practical. See also our BLOG (web log) review for a summary of the Daniels-Price approach.

Maitri (a student of Claudio Naranjo).
The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues: Finding the Way Home
The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul by Sandra Maitri.

Naranjo
Character and Neurosis: an Integrative View by Claudio Naranjo.

See attributes of the Enneagram Nine for Naranjo's attributions of the ruling passion of each enneagram type (such as Anger for Ones); the tendency to fixate cognitively (such as in Resentment for Ones); and the chief feature (such as Perfectionism for Ones).

Naranjo is highly respected in the Enneagram field. His role is perhaps more as an expert's expert than as a teacher of an Enneagram tourist such as moi, and so the book is just a little too complex and in-its-own-world jargony as yet. Maybe one to return to.

Riso
The Power of the Enneagram (1995) text written and read by Don Richard Riso. See also our BLOG (web log) entry.

Riso & Hudson
Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types (2000) by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson.

A detailed book for students that have assessed their type and want to understand more deeply how one improves the health of the type that one expresses. Offers much more detail and depth than other books. However, be forewarned: the additional complexity can be confusing. The paparazzi will be interested in the famous people that Riso and Hudson assign to each type. The hypochondriacs may be delightedly worried by the attribution of DSM categories.

See also our BLOG (web log) review.

Riso & Hudson
The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to the Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types (1999) by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson.

Vollmar
The Enneagram Workbook: Understanding Yourself and Others (1998) by Klaus Vollmar.

A cheerful book that emphasizes the dynamic nature of the Enneagram, particularly how one evolves by moving between types.

He says that "for ecclesiastical users of this pattern, [the classification into Nines] represents the nine root sins of the human being: anger, pride, deceit, envy (and ill will), greed, fear, gluttony, lust, and sloth.

See also our BLOG (web log) review.