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About the Enneagram

* Enneagram Intro
* What People Say
Milton Erickson

Tom Condon Interview

The Enneagram and Spiritual Goals

The world’s religious literature is full of instructions and techniques for transcending ego and detaching from our limited identities. The purpose of many such practices is to help us waken from the trance-like dream of our lives and open to realms beyond our personality and worldview. But getting to such realms and staying in them are two different tasks, because we keep putting our defenses in the way.   Read More

The Trouble With Typing

When people first learn the Enneagram, they often become intensely occupied with the system. New students buy books, go to workshops, and engage in a flurry of typing, working out the personality styles of their relatives, colleagues and friends. Suddenly,    Part 1  Part 2

On the Job With the Enneagram

There is an old story about a man who finds a bottle on a beach. He uncorks it and out comes a genie who offers the man a choice between a colossal amount of money or infinite wisdom. The man thinks hard for a few minutes and then chooses infinite wisdom. Days later several friends of the man see him sitting on a park bench shaking his head and talking to himself. Knowing he now has infinite wisdom they move in closer to hear what he is saying. Over and over they hear him repeat:
Read More

Today a visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau. Grueling, but then its supposed to be. The train trip began in forest but gradually yielded to rolling farm land and marshy patches of woods. I kept flashing on the iconic image  Read More


    Links, Quotes, Sites

The Living Bridge; how a Three grows and changes; On Having No Head  Read More


     Four is one of what I jokingly call “nature’s Enneagram styles.” In extreme old age people often slow down, grow laconic and mellow; turning Nine-like, no matter what their true personality style. In their early twenties, many young adults pass through a natural Sevenish phase when they first venture into the world to sample life’s variety and delights. 
    In a similar way, nature temporarily turns all teenagers into Fours, in that the universal teenage experience contains many of the elements of Four psychology: a sense of alienation; a conscious search for identity; a preoccupation with who you are as unique from others; a tendency to romanticize death; the conviction that no one has ever felt what you feel and a keen awareness of both the elation and pain of love. The famous poetry teacher John Ciardi was once asked whether people have to suffer to become poets. “No,” he replied, “Having been a teenager is quite enough.”
  Read More

  About the Enneagram - eBook excerpt

  There is an organization called The Flat Earth Society with a circle of members all around the globe. Through its literature and online presence, it advocates a medieval view of the world and promotes an elaborate thesis that “proves” the world is flat. The Society claims, for instance, that photographs of the round earth shot from space are Photoshopped, part of a sinister worldwide conspiracy to contradict common sense. After all, any fool who can see the horizon knows that the world is flat.  Read More

  Fine Distinctions: Nines

  Often preoccupied with physical comfort, maintaining routines and satisfying appetites.

    Exceptionally good receivers and appreciators; the best things in life are free.

    Grateful for what they have and treasure it.     Read More

   Quotes By, For and About Nines

  Fine Distinctions: Eights

      Self-Preservation Eights are strongly focused on physical security; very hard workers.

   When healthy they are exceptionally self-reliant, independent and responsible.

      Self-preservation Eights can be implacably determined to prosper.

     Momma Bear or Poppa Bear; both fiercely protective and tenderly nurturing.        Read More

  Quotes By, For and About Eights

  Self Preservation Sevens

   Self-Preservation Sevens are confusing since they tend to be highly sociable and gravitate toward groups like Social Subtypes do. They specialize in “chosen family” in that they tend to create a network of people around them.

   They enjoy sharing on a circuit of interesting or like-minded people. Other people are a source of information and stimulation; interested in the latest gossip and everyone’s news.   Read More

  Quotes By, For and About Sevens

  Fine Distinctions: Sixes

   Self-preservation Sixes can be warm and ingratiating; have a graceful, diplomatic sociability.

      Try to bring out the best in others and speak well of most people.

    Good communication skills; can tell people hard truths in a skillful or funny way.   Read More

Rapid pain control; $47,000 Paper Sculptures; Wonders of the Natural World; 83 Uses for Baking Soda; Everything you know is wrong? "The greatest dance number ever filmed."  Read More

  Fine Distinctions: Fives

   Self Preservation Fives are often exceptionally knowledgeable, possibly about obscure subjects.

  Use their knowledge to contribute to the world.

  Sensitive to being saturated, feel overwhelmed by people’s expectations.

  Read More

  When people are hypnotized, they demonstrate capacities called hypnotic phenomena. For instance, trance subjects will frequently forget the experience they had while hypnotized much like the rest of us forget our dreams when we awaken in the morning. This is the hypnotic phenomenon of amnesia. Read More

  Fine Distinctions: Fours

          Self-Preservation Fours are often risk takers.

          They take chances to stir up emotional intensity, collect new experiences, play out inner dramas or learn about themselves.
          Open advocates of the passionate life.
          Social and artistic courage; the high side of this subtype brings daring.

          Read More

   Slovakia, Part 1

    Brataslava is an interesting though not scintillating city, housing about a tenth of Slovakia's five million people. It's a hodgepodge of Slavic and Austro-Hungarian influences plus residual Communist architecture. Advertised as one of Europe's youngest capitals, Bratislava is certainly on an upswing. The road from the airport  Read More

  Fine Distinctions: Threes

        Self Preservation Threes are unusually capable, organized and efficient.

        Especially good at discovering the best strategy for getting a job done, getting from point A to point B as effectively as possible.

    Think of Olympic athletes who are utterly focused on goals and make themselves into achievement machines.   Read More

  The latest edition of Nine Points Magazine features my article Enneagram Movie Roundup: Eights and Nines. This is a preview of the new Enneagram Movie and Video Guide 3.0 

  Fine Distinctions: Twos
   Healthy Self-preservation Twos are often more in touch with how they feel and what they want.
   Have the courage and social skills to express their preferences.
   Appropriately “self-referenced” – know what they want and yet include the wishes of others.
   Can be unusually materialistic.  Read More

   Links, Quotes, Sites

  Why Study the Enneagram?

    At first glance, the Enneagram seems to be just another system for pigeon-holing people. But look twice and you see it’s describing something central: your core strategy for making sense of reality, your basic life stance, the axis of your flat earth. As you investigate the system and compare its insights with your own experience, you may be amazed at its depth and accuracy. 

Read More

    Slovakia, Part 2

    The Novy Most (New Bridge) was built by the Communists in 1972 when I was in college and events in this part of the world were an outright mystery. It too has a distinctive show-off design, this time like an alien envisioned by HG Wells. A huge silver saucer with windows perched on giant stilts above the bridge extends cables to the bridge's middle. From one angle it looks like the figure is dominating and possessing the bridge; from another it is shooting death rays. Read More

   Healthy Self-preservation Twos are often more in touch with how they feel and what they want.

   Have the courage and social skills to express their preferences.

   Appropriately “self-referenced” – know what they want and yet include the wishes of others.

   Can be unusually materialistic.  Read More

  The Enneagram's Fine Distinctions

   Subtypes, Stress/Security Points, Wings

Fine Distinctions: Ones
  • Ultra-reliable; do what they say they will and on time.
   Tend towards worry and negative anticipation about their material well being.
Can catastrophize about money; might be “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”

Read More