Sounds True, Inc.
, Boulder, CO 80306 © 1995,2000 Helen Palmer
All righrs reserved. No part of this study guide may be used or reproduced in any manner without wrirren permission from the author and publisher. Published 1999
Printed in the United SUUe5 of America.
Porci ens 0 F rages 3-12 fro In The £'m<agram in Love and Work by Helen Palmer © 1995 Helen Palmer. Reprinted by aml.ngemmt with HarperSanFrandsco~ a divis-ion of HarperCoHins Publishers.
The Enneagrarn \Vorkshop
Also by Helen Palmer:
The Enneagram: Undemanding Your:Je/f mrd 'he Othm IN. Yo,," Lifo· San
Francisco: HarperSanFra.nci.sco, 1991,
17Jt! Ell-Magrdm in LOlI( & Work: Understanding. Yo:",. Intimai« & Business Relationships. San Francisco: Harper5anFrantisco, 1996.
For in forma rio n on Worksh ops in [he Oral Tradition with Helen Palmer" write:
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What Is the Enneagram? 1
The Nine Types 2
Type One: The Perfecaonist 3
Type Two: The Giver 4
Type Three: The Performer 5
Ijpe Four: The Romantic 6
Type Five: The Observer 7
Type Six: The Devils Advocate 8
Type Seven: The Epicure 9
Type Eight: The Boss 10
Type Nine: The Mediator 11
The Passions 12
The Passions and Their
Corresponding Vil'tues ".".... "..................... 13
The Triads " 17
Reactions in Security and Stress 18
Wings and Subtypes 19
Response Diagrams ,"", 20
Type One: The Perfectionist 20
Type Two: The Giver 21
Type Three: The Performer 22
Type Four: The Romantic 23
Type Five: The Observer 24
Tjpe Six: The Devils Advocate 25
Type Seven.' The Epicure 26
Type Eight: The Bass 27
Type Nine: The Mediator 28
What Is the Enneagram?
The enneagram is a system of sacred psychology that affords profound insight into the workings of human consciousness. It is one of the world's oldest models for understanding how people relate to each other and to the divine. Based on nine personality types, the enneagram allows us to identify the central motivations of our own character and the intentions of others. This recognition can initiate high levels of compassion, as well as suggest a technology for turning vice into virtue. The enneagram approach has roots throughout the ancient world, but it was brought to the West in the early part of the twentieth century by the great mystic Gurdjieff, who claimed Sufi sources for his teachings.
The Nine Types
Type One: The Perfectionist Perfectionists utilize a style of attention focused on what "should" or "ought" to be done. They have learned to equate gaining love with being perfect. They ascribe to the highest moral standards and expect others to do the same. They can be intensely critical when standards are compromised.
• Searches for perfection. Avoids error and evil.
• Conscientious. High moral character.
• Thinks right - should, must, and ought to.
o Does right. Emphasizes the practical virtues: work, thrift, honesty, and effort.
o Severe internal critic. Has an internal judging voice.
• Compulsive work can block out unacceptable feelings.
• Anger caused by un met needs. Self-denial generates resentment. Not aware of own anger (''I'm just energetic today").
o Worries excessively about decision-making. • Afraid to make a mistake.
This focus of attention ensures an ethical and moral life. It can also lead to "one right way" thinking - the attitude that things are either right or wrong, black or white, no grays; superb powers of discrimination; and an intuitive sense of how perfect things could be.
The term enneagram is derived from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammas (graph). The nine-pointed star graph indicates nine views of the human condition, each of which is grounded in one of the traditional emotional passions described in sacred tradition. The system utilizes these nine motivational factors as its fundamental way of identifying differences between people.
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THE ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP
Type Two: The Giver
Givers learn to ensure love by being helpful. They adapt themselves to becoming indispensable to the people around them - even to the point of developing a distinct "self" for each signitlcant relationship. They experience a sense of pride in meeting needs, and find security in being useful.
• Focuses on gaining approval. Adapts to please others. Avoids own needs.
• Pride in being needed, being central in people's lives, and being indispensable.
• A sense of having many different selves to meet the needs of others.
• Confusion arises between the different selves:
"Which one is really me?"
• Hard to recognize own needs. Needs are met by helping other people.
• Wants freedom. Feels confined by having to support others.
• Self-presentation alters to meet the needs of others.
This way of paying attention can lead to empathic emotional connections or adaptation to the wishes of others as a way of gaining and retaining their love.
Type Three: The Performer Performers learn to sacrifice feelings in order to achieve professional success. Performance goals and status are paramount, accompanied by an impressive, high profile image. Capable of enormous productivity, Threes often fall behind in the more sensitive, emotional areas of living.
• Focuses on achievement, product) performance, goals, tasks, and results.
• Competitive and efficient. Terrified of failure .
• Poor access to emotional life. Threes put their hearts in their work.
• Convergent thinking. A multitrack mind focused on a single product or goal.
• "I am what I do." Confusion between the real self and one's job Of role.
• Learns to "don feelings. Does the look and learns the lines.
• Chameleon. Changes roles and changes image.
This way of paying attention can maxuruze success. It also leads to leadership status or selfdeception - beginning to believe the public image.
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THE El'.1NEAGRAM WORKSHOP 5
TYpe Four: The Romantic
This world view accentuates emotional drama and depth. There is a lifelong search for heart connections, which turns to despair and longing whenever intensity fades. Fours often feel unusually sensitive, distinctive, and special because they suffer from the loss of love. Their own inner drama can be far more appealing than the actuality of ordinary living.
• Focuses on mood, manners, luxury, and good taste to hedge low self-esteem.
• Attracted to the mood of melancholy, the flavor of longing.
• Disdain for ordinary life, the "flatness of ordinary feelings."
• Amplifies ordinary life through loss, fantasy, artistic connection, and dramatic acts. Drama kings and queens.
• Push-pull relationships. Wants the best of what is missing. Pushes it away when it's available again.
This alternating focus reinforces feelings of abandonment and loss, but also lends itself to emotional sensitivity and depth and an ability to support others during pain and crisis.
Ijpe Five: The Observer
Fives retreat into privacy and emotional detachment. They prefer theoretical analysis, abstract reasoning, and rationality to the mixed-up, threatening realms of emotion. They need protected environments to recharge their energies, review their thoughts, and prepare for the next encounter. They avoid situations where spontaneous feelings are called for.
• Preoccupation with privacy and noninvolvement.
• Guards own time, privacy, and knowledge.
• Tightens the belt to maintain independence.
Makes do with less.
• Values emotional control. Prefers structured events with a known agenda and time.
• Maintains compartments to keep the departments of life separate. Predetermines time slots for emotionally charged events.
• The power of knowing. Analytic systems and special information. Wants the keys to the way the world works. Figures out feelings.
• Confuses spiritual nonattachment with the need to detach from emotional involvement.
• Watches life from the point of view of an outside observer.
This way of paying attention can lead to feeling isolated from the events of one's own life or an ability to assume a detached point of view that is unaffected by fear or desire.
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THE ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP
Type Six: The Deuil's Advocate
Sixes have their doubts about authority and power. It's a dangerous world out there that needs to be questioned. The focus is on hidden intentions and underlying motives. It seems only reasonable to be prepared. Sixes champion underdog causes, yet paradoxically shun success. They are willing to postpone their own gratification, and make real sacrifices for the people they love.
• Procrastinates. Thinking replaces doing.
• High goals, often with a history of incompletion.
• Anxiety peaks with success. Success equals exposure to hostile forces.
• Amnesia about success and pleasure.
• Authority problems. Either submitting to or rebelling against authority.
• Suspects other people's motives, especially authorities'.
• Identifies with underdog causes. Leads the Opposltlon party.
• Afraid to recognize own anger. Afraid of other people's anger.
• Skepticism and doubt. Buddhist "doubting mind."
• A mental "Yes, but ... " or "This may not work."
• Scans the environment for dues ro explain the inner fears.
This way of paying attention will confirm that the world is a threatening place, but also leads to recognizing the motives and hidden agendas that influence people.
Type Seven: The Epicure
This personality charms and disarms difficulty by seeing life as an avenue of options. Fearing limitation and the confinement of burdensome commitments, it considers it far more adventurous, optimistic, and farsighted to explore the possibilities. There is an insistence on spontaneity and a multitude of ways to escape emotional pain.
• Focuses on stimulation, new and interesting things to do, wanting and avoiding pain.
• Maintains multiple options. Hedges commitment to a single course of action. Fears limitation.
• Replaces deep or painful feelings with a pleasant alternative. Escapes into mental pleasure. Talks, plans, and intellectualizes.
• Charm as a first line of defense. Fears types who move forward into friendly contact with people. Avoids conflict by going through the cracks. Talks their way out of trouble.
• A way of pays attention that relates and systematizes information so that commitments come with loopholes and options.
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THE ENNEAGRAl\1 WORl<.SIiOP 9
This style of attention can lead to rationalized escapism from difficult or limiting commitments; the ability to find connections, parallels, and unusual fits; and a talent for nonlinear synthesis of information.
1jJpe Eight: The Boss
Eights are sensitive to being controlled, and will assert themselves in a bristly manner. There is abiding respect for rile truth that comes out in a fight, and for people who can hold their own under fire. Eights express their opinions easily, and are aware of the constructive changes brought about by anger. They are equally assertive about protecting the innocent and speaking up for justice.
• Focuses on controlling possessions and personal space. Needs to work on impulse control. Learns to respect limits.
• Concern about justice and power.
• Avoids weakness.
• Excessive self-presentation - too much, too loud, tOO many.
• Difficulty in recognizing dependency needs and softer emotions.
• Boundary issues. Learning the difference between self-defense and aggression.
• Denies other points of view in favor of the "truth." ConfUses objective truth with a subjective opinion that serves own agenda.
THE ENNEAGRMl WORKSHOP 10
• An "ali-or-nothing" style of attention, which tends to see the extremes of a situation. People seem either fair or unfair, either warriors or wimps, with no middle ground.
This style of attention can lead to unconsci~~sly denying personal weakness, or exercisrng apptop;iate force in the service of others
Type Nine: The Mediator Mediators can see all sides of a question and te.n.d to merge with other people's agendas. ~eclslOnmaking can be difficult when all the options seem equally important. It's difflc.ult to say no to ~ther people, and to discover an l11depe~dent COUIS~ of action that springs from one sown being. Stubbornness and passive aggression may replace productive confrontation beca~se conflic~ and saying no seems to lead to separatIon and having to decide for oneself.
• Replaces essential needs with inessential substitmes.
• Comforts self with small pleasures.
• Ambivalence about personal decisions.
"Do I agree or disagree?" Sees all sides of the question, Decisions are easy when not personally loaded - for example, emergency actions or political opinions.
THE ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP 11
• Postpones change by repeating familiar solutions. Acts through habit. Ritualism. "There's plenty of time. It can wait
o Hard to initiate change. Easier to know what you don't want than what you do.
o Can't say no. Hard to separate. Hard to be the one to go.
o Dampens physical energy and anger. Diverts energy into trivia. Delays reaction time for anger. Passive aggression .. Anger equals separation .
• Controls by being stubborn. Does nothing.
Asserts control by waiting it out.
o Pays attention to other people's agendas, which leads to difficulty in finding a personal position, but also develops the abiliry to recognize and support what is essential to other people's lives.
The Passions and Their Corresponding Virtues
The nine emotional passions can each be convened into a distinct aspect of higher being called a "virtue" (from the Latin word tnrs, or energy). The real work of spiritual development begins with learning to contain and transform the energy invested in the passion that dominates our type.
Each emotional passion is supported by a habit of mind or mental bias. The bias confirms the passion by making it seem believable and correct. We think we are seeing the entire 360-degree perspective when, in fact, the selective actions of a mental bias narrow our perception to a small sector of all the possibilities. For example, it seems only reasonable to be as frightened as a Six when your mind becomes preoccupied with chronic doubt. And don't we all become angry and One-like when our thinking compares the reality of life to an internal standard of how perfect things could be?
The aim of transforming the passion to its higher opposite (converting vice to virtue) is to reclaim the' energies wasted through negative emotions for the purpose of awakening the Divine Idea. According to enneagram theory, the Divine Idea was compromised when the personality began to form during childhood.
Sacred tradition recognizes seven emotional habits or "passions." The addition of twO generic passions that are common to all people brings the total to nine. Fear and deception are the tWO generic emotional states shared by all people. The remaining seven are widely known as the Seven Deadly Sins of anger, pride, envy, avarice, gluttony, lust, and sloth.
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THE ENNEAGHAM WORKSHOP
To extend our example, young Sixes lost faith in their environment and other people, falling inro doubt as a realistic coping strategy. Whether they realize it or not, as adults, Sixes constantly search for ways to reawaken their fuith. They look for trustworthy relationships and secure life opportunities. In other words, they try to satisfY their doubt by creating a safe environment, populated by reliable, trustworthy people. Therefore, an experience of inner certainty or faith is an extraordinary happening because it appears in the context of pervasive mental doubt,
Likewise, for Ones, a moment of perfection interrupts resentful thinking. Thought stops In a perfect moment, and judgment drops away.
TYpe One: The Perfectionist
Habit of Mind: Resentment
Divine Idea: Perfection
Ijpe Two: The Giver Passion:
Habit of Mind:
Pride Humility Flattery
TYpe Three: The Performer
Habit of Mind: Vani ty
Divine Idea: Hope
Ijpe Four: The Romantic
Habit of Mind: Melancholy
Divine Idea: Original Source
TYpe Five: The Observer
Habit of Mind:
Avarice Nonattachment Stinginess Omniscience
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THE ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP 15
TJpe Six: The Devil's Advocate
Habit of Mind:
Fear Courage/Cowardice Faith
The nine enneagram types can be conveniently grouped into triads, based on their primary placement of attention.
Type Seven: The Epicure
Habit of Mind: Planning
Divine Idea: Work
Type Eight: The Boss Passion:
Habit of Mind:
Lust Innocence Vengeance Truth
Type Nine: The Mediator
Virtue: Right Action
Habit of Mind: Indolence
Divine Idea: Love
THE ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP
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Reactions in Security and Stress
Wings and Subtypes
One of the system's great strengths is that it precisely predicts the personality changes that will naturally occur during times when we feel secure and the changes thar we undergo when we are facing stress. The arrows on each line of the diagram indicate the direction of change. Any type under stress moves with the arrow, to take on the characteristics of the type ahead (e.g., Eights under stress begin to behave like Fives). During times when we are feeling secure, the shift will be against the arrow, to adopt the stance of the type behind (in security, Eights begin to exhibit the characteristics of a Two).
Members of a type operate from the same habit of mind, but their shared preoccupations are acted out in myriad different ways. The "wings," or points adjacent co your type on the diagram, serve co explain some of these variations. You may identify with the characteristics of one wing over the other, or you may identify equally wi th both. The simplest wing theory is that the type proper is influenced by the passions that appear on either side.
The emotional passions are acted Out in three different areas of life: self-survival, social, and one-co-one or sexual relationships. Survival concerns the ways in which people deal with self-preservation. The social arena governs relationships with groups and others. The sexual arena is focused on one-to-one relating.
Like the nine passions, the subtype behaviors are often a hidden focus of personality type. Once you discover your subtype, you may see how that activity is a conduit for the passion that identifies your type. Because the subtypes' focus of attention are ordinary behaviors, I have found them to be crucial pivots in the conversion of a passion co its virtue.
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THE EN EAGRAA1 WORKSliOP 19
Type Two: The Giver Dynamics of change:
Passion of Pride moves to the Virtue of Humility. Habit of mind of Flattery moves to an awareness of Will (Freedom).
Sub type focus:
Survival: Me First (Privilege) Social: Ambition
One to one: Seduction/Aggression
In security: Type Four
In stress: Type Eight
Wings: Types Three and One
Type One: The Perfectionist Dynamics of change:
Passion of Anger moves to the Virtue of Serenity. Habit of mind of Resentment moves to an awareness of Perfection.
Survival: Anxiety Social: Inadaptability One-to-one: Jealousy
In security: Type Seven In stress: Type Four
Wings: Types Nine and Two
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THE ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP
Type Three: The Performer Dynamics of change:
Passion of Deceit moves to the Virtue of Veracity. Habit of mind of Vanity moves to an awareness of Hope.
Survival: Security Social: Prestige
In security: Type Six
In stress: Type Nine
Wings: Types Four and Two
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Type Four: The Romantic Dynamics of change:
Passion of Envy moves to the Virtue of Equanimity. Habit of mind of Melancholy moves to an awareness of Original Source.
Survival: Dauntless (Reckless) Social: Shame
In security: Type One In stress: Type Two
Wings: Types Five and Three
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Tjpe Five: The Observer Dynamics of change:
Passion of Avarice (Greed) moves to the Virtue of Nonattachment.
Habit of mind of Stinginess moves to an awareness of Omniscience.
Survival: Castle (Home) Social: Totems One-to-one: Confidence
In security: Type Eight
In stress: Type Seven Wings: Types Six and Four
Type Six: The Devil's Advocate Dynamics of change:
Passion of Fear moves to the Virtue of Courage. Habit of mind of Cowardice/Doubt moves to an awareness of Fai tho
Survival: Affection (Warmth) Social: Duty
In security: Type Nine
In stress: Type Three
Wings: Types Seven and Five
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THE ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP 25
Type 7: The Epicure Dynamics of change:
Passion of Gluttony moves to the Virtue of Sobriety.
Habit of mind of Planning moves to an awareness of Work.
Survival: Like-Minded Social: Social Sacrifice One-to-one: Fascination
In security: Type Five In stress: Type One
Wings: Types Eight and Six
TYPe Eight: The Boss Dynamics of change:
Passion of Lust moves to the Virtue of Innocence. Habit of mind of Vengeance moves to an awareness of Truth.
Survival: Satisfactory Survival Social: Friendship
In security: Type Two
In stress: Type Five
Wmgs: Types Nine and Seven
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THE ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP 27
Type Nine: The .Mediator Dynamics of change:
Passion of Sloth (Laziness) moves to the Virtue of Right Action.
Habit of mind of Indolence (Self-forgetting) moves to an awareness of Love.
Survival: Appetite Social: Participation One-to-one: Union
In security: Type Three In stress: Type Six
Wings: Types One and Eight Mediator 9
is a writer a nd a teacher of psychology who has made original contributions [0 our understanding of how rncdi ratio n relates ro the nine psychological types_ Her first book, The Enneagram: Undemanding Yourself and the Others in Jour Lift, is regarded as the major work on the subject; it has been translated into seven languages. She is also the author of The Enneagram in Love and Work. Helen Palmer is the director of the Center for Enneagrarn Studies in Berkeley, Calif01'l1ia,
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