More humor in
Enneagram at SCHOOL
Enneagram in the OFFICE (or….)
PREVIOUS: Levels outlined – #3c
OVERVIEW : The movement thru the levels is a barometer of how much we’re attached to vs free from our Type’s fixed self-image. (Ennea Defects #1). People generally operate within a fixed range of levels throughout life. EXP: Earlier in life a person may have operated between levels 5 – 7, while later in life some maturity may raise them to levels 2 – 5.
The 9 Psychological Levels help us see/find:
1. Our FALSE self – The physical, emotional & mental habits which prevent our ability to experience the Authentic Self:
— the emotional (Passion) & mental habits (Fixation) that shut down our heart, body, and mind
— The Basic & Secondary Fear that unconsciously drives our specific Personality Habits
— The shadow side of each type – our defensive responses – while we imagine being open & present to reality, but are actually caught in the unconscious pattern of our ‘persona’.
2. Our AUTHENTIC Self – Path of growth & transformation for each type
— The tools we can use to awaken joy, spaciousness, clarity, intuitive knowing & deep connection with self/others, which comes from being less defended, more Present
— The practices available to each type to digest & transcend our defensive habits developed in childhood as a response to suffering
MOVING UP? – In a talk by Edward Morler “Integrating the Enneagram of Personality with the Levels of Emotional Maturity” he stated that modern Enneagram theory about the levels of emotional health does not offer much in terms of how to move from one level to the next. (How each level deals with a problem in Part 2) (Morler articles)
HELPING: In terms of how a leader / therapist / teacher / minister…. can use this list to help improve someone’s life – once you’ve identified the level someone is presently at, you can try moving them up the scale ONE stage at a time, and only as far up as you are. EXP:
— When someone is in apathy (9), remind them of a reason to grieve (like seeing his mom in bed in a pathetic depression – reminding her of a house they once had and lost)
— When someone is grieving (8), bring up something anxiety-provoking (7) ….. until they’re in a much better place.
SOLVING – Steps to making changes when facing a problem:
1) Recognize the problem
2) Own the problem (“What am I contributing to this?”)
3) Forgive oneself, & acknowledge one’s positive contributions
4) Do something different.
CENTER of GRAVITY
REVIEW: ‘Ennea Strengths Part 2’ // ‘Centers of Consciousness – Basic Triads’
While we each has our own version of all 3 Centers (emotions, intellect, instinct), our personality has a center of gravity in one of them – our Type – which puts a specific ‘spin’ on the meaning of those 3 categories for each of us. It is also useful to look at the chart divided vertically, because the Energy Centers (power sources /chakras) of the 2 sides do fundamentally different kinds of ‘growth work’. (MORE…..)
RIGHT side = the “lower” story – relating to the physical, natural, mechanical forces. The dominant center of gravity is found at #4, the lower portion of the central nervous system plexus, located in the abdomen, below the navel
LEFT = the “upper” story – relating to the conscious, spiritual forces. Its center of gravity is found at #5, commonly referred to as the solar plexus, corresponds to the center of the spine, & heart energy position (MORE….)
“Human Types: Essence & the Enneagram” notes that tarot & playing deck of cards are basically symbols representing the characteristics of individuals. The Queen = the Emotion / King = Head / Jack = ‘Moving’. The 4 ACES, as the main function, represent the Centers of Gravity in a human type: Ace of Clubs = instinctive / Ace of Spades = moving / Ace of Hearts = emotional / Ace of Diamonds = intellectual functions
FROM Colin Blundell (8/3/14) “A Permanent Center of Gravity”
What’s needed to have integrity? In the Gurdjieff canon it requires a permanent & well-formed center of gravity. The whole integrated I-system is pulled inside one’s Being & assimilated into what could be called Real-I.:
CHART: a graphic version – the fragmented Self exists when the multiplicity of ‘I’s is not recognized, & so they don’t relate together. Only functioning on the periphery, they fight amongst themselves, & while they bicker continually we pretend to be Unified-I, which is senseless. As we begin to understand how multiple-I’s work & relate together we become more genuinely unified. When we choose to move from fragmented ‘I’ to normal ‘I’, as appropriate for the task at hand, & become a spectator of the constellations in Meta-I, a whole Integrated Self begins to emerge.”
“Right work on oneself begins with the creation of a permanent center of gravity…. then everything else begins to be disposed and distributed in
subordination to it… realization of the aimlessness & mechanicalness of everything can create a permanent center of gravity…” Ouspensky: In Search of the Miraculous (p.259)
NEXT: the 9 levels of each type – TYPE 1
IT’S PAINFUL TO SEE
who I grew up with!
PREVIOUS: Levels of Development – part 3b
SITE: ‘The Enneagram of Wholeness: The Centers and the Levels of Development as Tools for Awakening’
UNHEALTHY (7-9) – ALL Types
LEVEL 7 – Violation
External Behaviors – We are dissipated, eccentric, empty, isolated, rejecting, unstable. We burn bridges & retreat
Internal Attitudes – We are guilt-ridden, impulsive, nihilistic – with dark fantasies & no expectations. We devalue, feel besieged but defenseless
Desire is To – cut off all connections with the world and people (“to hell with everything”)
Basic Fear of this Level – That the world is closing in on us
At Level 7, believing that life has violated us, we become so desperate to get our needs met that it leads to terrifying behavior – we’re willing to harm ourselves & others, causing serious conflict & damage. We see ourselves as victims, which allows us to justify any offensive or abusive action.
● We tend to over-indulge in anything we think will eliminate our pain (food/drug/alcohol abuse, sex, exercise, self-cutting…), but since they’re just an escape from dealing with reality, they causes more suffering.
● We get highly dogmatic, intolerant, inflexible, self-righteous & very
judgmental. Tend to deal in absolutes, as if only we know “The Truth” & everyone else is wrong, while rationalizing our own destructive actions.
* * * *
LEVEL 8: Delusion & Compulsion
External Behaviors – We are erratic, sinister. They repel others & have chronic insomnia. Can become delirious, may hallucinate, project
Internal Attitudes – We are horrified, nauseous, manic-depressive, overheated, with weird perceptions. We distort reality, resist all help, become schizoid (withdrawn)
Desire is To – endure / survive our terrors (staring into the abyss)
Basic Fear of this Level – That we can no longer defend ourselves from outside or inside influences
At Level 8 – Become obsessive about imperfection and the wrong-doing of others, although we may fall into those very actions, hypocritically doing the opposite of what we preach.
* * * * *
LEVEL 9: Pathological Destructiveness
External Behaviors – We are annihilating, ‘autistic’, deranged, paralyzed, self-annihilating, suicidal, with psychotic breaks
Internal Attitudes – We are imploded, internally chaotic, desperate for oblivion, split off. We feel panic-stricken & damned
Desire is To – leave “reality”, to eliminate all sensory input, to break away from any awareness
Basic Fear of this Level – The basic fear comes true: we are helpless, incapable & useless
At Level 9 we condemn everyone, becoming punishing & cruel – to rid ourselves of “wrong-doers.” Severe depression, a nervous breakdown & suicide attempts are likely. Generally corresponds to the Obsessive-Compulsive and Depressive personality disorders.
* * * * * *
EXP: TYPE 5 person disintegration (re. school-shooting)
“On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza killed his mother, drove her car to Sandy Hook Elementary school where he gunned down 20 children and 7 adults before taking his own life.
It seems that Adam was a typical Enneagram #5 – highly intelligent, socially withdrawn with an inability to emotionally express himself. Pent up anger awaits a trigger. Any Type follows a certain pattern as they deteriorate. For the Five they need less and less of everything, including food, clothing, hygiene. They tend to become reductionists and worse, nihilists….”(MORE…..by Marcel Elfers)
NEXT: Levels of Development – part 4
I HATE BEING “AVERAGE”
but I’m working my way up!
PREVIOUS: Levels of Development #3a
BOOK: “Personality Types “~ Riso & Hudson (excerpt pages)
MEANING of the 3 Mental Health GROUPINGS (cont.)
AVERAGE (4-6) – ALL Types
LEVEL 4 – Imbalance
External Behaviors – We are non-conforming, dilettante or expert, we acquire technique, collect, delay closure, practice, prepare, study, withdraw
Internal Attitudes – We are acquisitive, abstracting, encyclopedic, knowledgeable, uncensored, uncertain. We analyze, build models, conceptualize & ‘fine tune’
Desire is To – feel safer and more confident by retreating into our mind and imagination (like a Tinker Toy)
Basic Fear of this Level – That others will demand too much of us, & then our inner world will be threatened.
At Level 4, we become more attached to / identified with a self-image we’ve created, & tend to reject any of our qualities and actions not consistent with that ‘picture’. Protecting our self-image comes at the price of limiting our options. We now believe that by striving after the qualities listed at Level 2, we’ll be able to meet our needs. Dissatisfied with reality, we become high-minded idealists, thinking it’s up to us to improve everything & can become crusaders, critics, advocates. We get into “causes” & try to explain to others how things “ought” to be.
* * * *
LEVEL 5 – Interpersonal Control
External Behaviors – We are flighty, high-strung, impractical, interpreting, offbeat, preoccupied, secretive, speculative. We create fantasy worlds, compartmentalizing ourselves & the parts of our lives
Internal Attitudes – We are agitated, absent-minded, detached, distant, indiscriminate, intense – complexifying, minimizing & ignoring our needs
Desire is To – shut out intrusions (be more ‘in their head’)
Basic Fear of this Level – That others are attacking our niche or our competency
At Level 5 we’re afraid of making a mistake, so everything must be consistent with our ideals. Internally, we become orderly & well-organized, but emotionally constricted, impersonal & puritanical, rigidly keeping feelings and impulses in check. Often workaholics, can get anal-compulsive, fastidious, punctual & pedantic.
● The main strategy used with others is manipulating & controlling inter-personal relationships. We really insist that people accept our self-image, but unfortunately they don’t always respond the way we want, leading to tension and conflict.
● At this Level, we start to see the Shadow Issue of each type. As its name implies, this is a hidden element of our personality which represents the major defect each type needs to correct in order to grow.
* * * * *
LEVEL 6 – Over-compensation
External Behaviors – We are contentious, far-fetched, insensitive, prickly, scornful, submissive. We argue antagonize, provoke, rationalize
Internal Attitudes – We are cynical, extreme, greedy, impatient, intellectually arrogant, pessimistic, stingy. We distrust & jump to conclusions
Desire is To – scare off anyone who threatens our niche or inner world
Basic Fear of this Level (red flag) – That we’re never going to find our place with people or in the world
Throughout the Levels, the strategies we use is an attempt to ‘manage’ underlying feelings of anger, shame, or fear.
At Level 6 we over-compensate for those emotions. We’re so desperate to have others accept our self-image that we act out in truly offensive ways – are abrasive, indignantly angry, moralize, scold.
● We’re highly critical both of self and others: judgmental, picky, perfectionistic. Impatient, never satisfied with anything unless it is done according to our prescriptions.
● Very opinionated about everything: correcting people and badgering them to “do the right thing” – as we see it.
From: “The EVERYTHING ENNEAGRAM BOOK“ by Susan Reynolds
“While it’s true that part of your type is genetically predetermined, without question your early childhood experiences vastly affect your development.
The quality and style of parenting, in conjunction with environmental givens — health, income, education, location, and wealth or dearth of physical, emotional, or spiritual resources — have everything to do with your ability to function at the higher, the middle, or the lower spectrum of your EnneaType.
You began life whole, but whatever happened in your early life led to the development of a set of adaptive behaviors that suppressed your essence and created a self driven by its own self-constructed ego.
These traits are sustained by habit and the failure to examine your beliefs. If your childhood was particularly dysfunctional, your coping mechanisms will likely be more rigid and more neurotic than those people who had “normal” or idyllic upbringings. Fear grows in proportion to the dysfunction — the greater your early childhood family’s dysfunction the greater your underlying fear, anger, or need for relationship.”
NEXT: Levels of Development – part 3c
She has developed her own approach to healing the whole person, which comes out of the ancient teachings of her ancestors – Cherokee Indian – called “Living in Process“.
It is a comprehensive program of recovery —
➼ FROM addictions – both ingestive (alcohol, food, drugs….) and process (work, gambling, sex, relationships…. )
➼ INTO wholeness of body, mind & spirit.
I WANT TO IMPROVE MY LEVEL
so I can live better
PREVIOUS: Healthy Levels (Part 2)
SITE: “Identity & Type”
ANALOGY: Psychological layers (like the Ennea-levels) are like layers of apparel – how we ‘clothe’ ourselves, but are not our Essence.
● Outer layer – what we present to the world – is like a man’s jacket. He can easily put it on or take it off, but it’s what he usually wears when he goes out.
● Middle layer – how we are with our family & friends – is like his pants and shirt. He can take them off, but is not likely to do so and then walk down the street in his underwear.
● Inner layer – what we only show to the most intimate, or keep totally private – is like his underwear. He can easily take it off, but like most people, isn’t willing to walk naked through town. At home, he’ll first take off his jacket, later his pants and shirt, & will be naked when taking a shower. His clothes are what he uses, they’re not who he is.
MEANING of the 3 Mental Health GROUPINGS (see Part 2)
Everyone has the opportunity to go for the achievements or tackle the lessons of the various Levels, no matter which Type we are, but how we handle the tasks & demands of any given Level will depend on our Number.
Most often, people live within a certain continuum of consciousness they believe to be their ‘self’, anywhere from the clarity of ‘Presence’ (Level 1) to self-harming behaviors (9). In any given moment, we are more OR less Present, in contact with ‘Being’ (Human Being rather than a Human Do-ing). Presence distinguishes the Essential from the ego-self, the real from the illusory.
Starting in 1973, Don Riso observed that a person might be healthy (high-functioning), average (‘normal’), or unhealthy (destructive to self & others), depending on what was motivating him/her at any given time.
He also observed that while people’s basic Type tends to stay the same throughout life, the level they’re functioning from can fluctuate a great deal day-to-day, as well as over the years.
HEALTHY (1-3) – ALL Types
LEVEL 1 – Liberation
External Behaviors – I’ve become compassionate, energetic, enraptured, knowing, pioneering, profound, revolutionary, visionary
Internal Attitudes – I’m awed, clear-minded, comprehending, immediately discerning, non-attached, participating, trusting
Self-Actualization – I let go of the identification with a particular self-image, & are separate from the environment (an outside observer)
Basic Fear of this LEVEL – Being helpless, incapable, overwhelmed, useless
At our best (no matter which Type) we become extraordinarily wise and discerning. We no longer see ourselves as limited & incomplete, having integrated qualities that were rejected at Level Two, & so truly come into balance with ourselves. When living from Level 1 we realize that we in fact DO possess what we were always looking for. By accepting what is, we become transcendentally realistic, knowing the best action to take in each moment. We are connected to ‘the Truth’ – humane, hopeful & an inspiration to others
* * * * *
LEVEL 2 – Psychological Capacity
External Behaviors – I’ve become aware, curious, clever, perceptive, playful, unusual
Internal Attitudes – I’m attentive, fascinated, have sensory acuity, objective, observant, unsentimental
Desire is To – be capable & competent (have something to contribute)
Basic Fear of this Level – Of not being smart enough, since our intuition & perceptions aren’t strong enough to give us confidence.
At Level 2 we achieve the full potential that our ‘personality’ allows us, for the most part being very open-minded & tolerant. Although we have preferences at this level, we can act largely without bias. We recognize our gifts, talents & qualities – trusting them: we are conscientious, have strong personal convictions, an intense sense of right and wrong, with personal spiritual & moral values. Our desire is to be mature, moderate in all things rational, reasonable & self-disciplined.
* * * * *
LEVEL 3 – Social Value
External Behaviors – I’m communicative, creative, innovative, inventive, learning, original, skillful, tinkering
Internal Attitudes – I’m concentrating, exploratory, focused, independent, open-minded, patient, uncompromising, whimsical
Desire is To – master something in order to gain confidence & create a niche for ourselves
Basic Fear of this Level – not having anything of valuable to contribute (unprepared)
At Level 3 we form a stronger identification with our self-image, & want to share our talents & abilities, believing that they will have a positive impact on those around us. Extremely principled, we always want to be fair, objective & ethical: truth and justice are primary values. It’s no longer enough to just hold a certain picture of ourselves in order to stave off underlying anxieties. We also want to show others who we are – with personal integrity & a sense of responsibility – which reinforces our self-image. Having a higher purpose often leads to being teachers & ‘witnesses to the truth’.
NEXT: Levels of Development – “AVERAGE”
THE MORE INFORMATION I HAVE
the better I can understand others
PREVIOUS: Levels of Development outline
● Our Enneagram personality Type is guided by a basic desire, the driving motivation behind most of our behavior, staying largely the same (though sometimes distorted) throughout the levels.
The qualities of each LEVEL apply to every TYPE – within it’s unique style, no matter how different the types are from each other.
SEE: “Freudian Enneagram”, connecting his id/ ego / superego to the EnneaTypes. (scroll down)
NOTE: The right hand column of the 3-part chart below identifies the different categories of THE JOURNEY, in relation to how much Presence or Essence we are in contact with at the various levels. Presence is: “Living in direct connection with what is fundamental and most genuine in us, freed of the social and childhood conditioning which originally caused us to abandon or hide our truest nature.”
USING the Enneagram LEVELS
PERSONALLY: Understanding the characteristics of each Level shows us how we can move up thru them to become more balanced, open, present, relaxed & to take healthy responsibility – by being self-aware & self-honest. Most importantly we can learn about acting in line with our deepest inner truth.
● If we apply our higher qualities to dealing with stressful people & situations – using respect, compassion, gentle honesty, kindness,…. problems tend to be resolved more easily & effectively, which helps us to grow & improve, by accessing more of our natural potential.
● If we only focus on the negative, staying in the middle levels (6-9) we’re more likely to be dishonest with ourselves, beat ourselves up, blame others, complain, be easily agitated, play victim, & generally act against our inner wisdom.
● If we deal with life’s problems mainly using the lower qualities of our type – such as avoidance, being irresponsible, blaming others, being harshly critical of ourselves & others – then things are likely to stay bad or get worse.
At WORK : It’s very useful to figure out what level bosses or employees are functioning on, since it make all the difference to performance & morale.
● Negatively – those factors will indicate the amount of competition, distrust, excessive conflict, individual rewards, job insecurity, lack of clear working agreements and stress/tension.
● Positively – those factors include appreciation, clarity of roles and goals, collective accountability, direct communication, having the tools to do the job right, trust & an overall sense of being able to make a difference.
EXAMPLE of the levels expressed
RESPONDING to a problem: from most mature to least (1—–>9): Level 1: Be a Leader –> be a Doer –> be a Coper –> be an Opposer –> be a Manipulator (most dangerous, a con artist pretending to be a doer) –> Level 9: be a Victim
DEALING with a problem: from most mature to least (1—>9):
See the issue as an opportunity –> Merely cope with it –> Be antagonistic towards it –> Be angry at it –> Be Passive-aggressive
–> Fear it (of the potential loss) –> Be anxious about it –> Grieve –>
Level 9: Sink into apathy, or Die (Edward E. Morler, M.B.A., Ph.D)
NEXT: Levels outlined (Part 3a)