Enneagram Articles

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Karen Horney and the Enneagram
by Katherine Chernick Fauvre

(see slide show above)

Karen Horney is believed to be one of the most innovative psychoanalysts since Sigmund Freud. Her original contributions include the concepts of alienation, self-realization and the idealized image, and a new understanding of the importance of culture and environment. Her approach has proven to be both useful and pragmatic.

            Dr. Horney was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1885. She attended the University of Berlin, receiving her degree in 1913. She studied psychiatry at Berlin-Lankwitz and later taught at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. In addition, she was a participant in the International Congresses including the discussion of lay analysis chaired by Freud.

            In 1932, Horney came to the United States. She is known to have been an Associate Director of the Psychoanalytic Institute in Chicago, a teacher at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, and ultimately one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and the American Institute of Psychoanalysis.

            One of Horney's primary interests was the impact of cultural and social issues in addition to childhood conflicts when evaluating the constitution of personality. She ultimately conceived one of the most used personality typologies in the therapy field1. Her descriptions of the observable features in both the normal character and the pathological character are a common typology shared with the Enneagram typology. In particular the Hornevian models, Enneagrammatically known as theHornevian Triads, potentially directly correspond and extend the insights into the more subtle aspects of the Enneagram.

            Inspired by the platonic thoughts about will, emotion and reason, Horney described three personality types in response to inner conflict: the Expansive Solutions, the Self-Effacing Solutions, and Resignation. These types were determined, depending on whether a person is opposed to others, and moves against (aggressive), moves toward others (compliant or dependent), or stands apart and moves away (withdrawn).

            The Expansive Solutions require an aggressive stance with an attempt to control, dominate and exploit others, and with a strong need for their will to prevail. More outwardly focused the orientation is towards projects and results.

            The Self-Effacing Solutions require a dependent or compliant stance, with an adjustment to the opinions and desires of others, and with a strong need for acceptance. How others feel about them is first and foremost.

            Resignation requires a withdrawn stance, with an attempt to detach, retreat, and move away from others, and with a strong need for independence, privacy, and self-protection. Inwardly focused, insecurity is concealed by the appearance of aloofness or superiority.

            The comparison between the Hornevian models and the Enneagram types can be viewed from many perspectives. As is generally the case when comparing any different typologies, there does not seem to be an exact match. There do, however, appear to be intriguing possibilities when viewing the Horney models in conjunction with the Enneagram types individually as well as in relationship to the types' respective centers.

            This suggested correlation was documented and superbly explained by Fabien and Patricia Chabreuil2. Their work combines the work of Horney, Don RichardRiso, and KathyHurley and TedDobson.

            For example, the Enneagram centers have been described in similar terms as defined by Horney's types.

            The instinctual or gut center (8-9-1) is body-based and can be seen as having a desire to take action in the world, which can be related to the aggressive type.

            The emotional or heart center (2-3-4) is feeling-based and can be seen as having a desire to focus on others' needs and to positively affect others in the world, which can be related to the compliant type.

            The mental or thinking center (5-6-7) is thought-based and can be seen as having a desire to give greater importance to the interior world of ideas, which can be related to the withdrawn type.

            In the Enneagram community, we have heard different theories regarding the inner dynamics within centers. One view originally expressed by Riso3 and expanded upon by Hurley and Dobson 4 is that of the unused or repressed center respectively.

            In conjunction with the Horney types, Riso describes the (3-7-8) as aggressive types, due to issues with the nurturing figure, the (1-2-6) as compliant types due to issues with the authority figure or rule giver, and the (4-5-9) as withdrawn due to issues with both figures. This concept clearly identifies an aggressive, compliant, and withdrawn type within each center.

            In addition, Hurley and Dobson elaborate that the aggressive types (3-7-8) have repressed their emotional center and are little focused on others, and thus can be defined as seeking expansive solutions and being Horney's aggressive type. The dependent types (1-2-6) have repressed their mental center and given up thinking, and can thus be defined as seeking temperate solutions and being Horney's dependent type. The withdrawing types (4-5-9) have repressed their instinctive center with a tendency towards self-protection, inaction, and isolation, and can thus be defined as seeking enlightened solutions and being Horney's withdrawing type.

            To further season the correlation, I would add the works of Kathleen Speeth, G.I. Gurdjieff, and Helen Palmer. As noted by Speeth, it is believed that Gurdjieff5 approached the centers and the individual types within their respective centers in a similar approach. The centers represent our three brains and correspond like stories in a building. The lower story (8-9-1) is defined as the moving center, the middle story (2-3-4) is defined as the emotional center, and the upper story (5-6-7) is defined as the intellectual center.

            Following this line of study, Palmer delineates the three centers in a similar fashion naming them the three centers of intelligence, belly (8-9-1), heart (2-3-4) and head (5-6-7)6.

            Similarly, Riso describes these same centers as triads, the Relating (8-9-1), the Feeling (2-3-4), and the Doing (5-6-7). In addition, his descriptions explain that within each triad one type over-expresses the characteristic faculty of the triad, another under-expresses the faculty, and the third (the primary type 3-6-9) is most out of touch with the faculty.7

            Gurdjieff and the Enneagram authors appear to agree that it is the predominant use of the preferred center that creates the imbalance or over-use. Recognizing and developing the benefits of the additional two types of intelligence is the first step towards a more balanced, succinct whole.

            If in fact the Enneagram is truly elegant in its symmetry and not random or arbitrary, would not all the approaches to the centers seem equally valid and pertinent? And if the insights of Horney are equally respected for their time-tested typology, why not overlay these valuable insights and examine and synthesize the confluence within the diverse findings.

            To begin, if the centers represent Horney's three models, the relating center (8-9-1) gut/moving would be aggressive, the feeling center (2-3-4) heart/emoting would be compliant, and the doing center (5-6-7) head/thinking would be withdrawn.

            To continue as previously suggested , if the three Enneagram centers correlate with the three Hornevian types, the Expansive Solutions aggressive, moving against type would suggest the Belly Center, 8-9-1, moving, relating, and anger. The Self-Effacing Solutions compliant, dependent moving towards type would suggest the Heart Center (2-3-4) emoting, feeling, and image. The Resignation withdrawing, moving away would suggest the Head Center (5-6-7) thinking, doing, and fear.

            Now if we overlay the Hornevian types as they correspond to the Enneagram suggested by Riso and Hurley and Dobson, we have the aggressive types as 3-7-8, the compliant or dependent types as 2-3-4, and the withdrawing types as 5-6-7, giving us the following insightful combinations as stated by the Chabreuil work:

                                                            8          aggressive-aggressive

                                                            9          withdrawn-aggressive

                                                            1          compliant-aggressive

                                                            2          compliant-compliant

                                                            3          aggressive-compliant

                                                            4          withdrawn-compliant

                                                            5          withdrawn-withdrawn

                                                            6          compliant-withdrawn

                                                            7          aggressive-withdrawn

            In addition, if we flavor this overlay with the contributions of The Gurdjieff Work (by Speeth) and Palmer, we have an intriguing perhaps powerful picture of possible similarities and distinctions that may further explain the subtlety of each Enneagram type.

For example, if we synthesize Horney's work with the works of Gurdjieff and the Enneagram according to Palmer, Riso, and Hurley and Dobson, we might have the following interpretation:




Blocked Feeling with Aggressive Action and Thought

            Generally, the 8 is described as the Boss and the Leader and is defined as the most aggressive type of the Enneagram. The fixated traits include anger, domination, vengeance, arrogant justice, insensitivity, with the need to be strong and powerful to avoid vulnerability. The 8 is in the gut center, which is also aggressive, supporting this theory. In addition, the repressed center would be feeling. Therefore, these factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked feeling with aggressive action and thought (the tyrant or the protector).




Blocked Action with Resigned Thought and Aggressive Emotion

            Generally, the 9 is described as the Mediator and the Peacemaker. The fixated traits include over-accommodation, sloth, indolence, nonaggression and merging, passive-aggressive tendencies, with the need to be agreeable and easy going to avoid conflict. The 9 is in the gut center, which is aggressive. In addition, the repressed center would be the gut center (this could result in inaction). These factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked action with resigned thought and aggressive emotion (the sloth or the mediator).




Blocked Thinking with Compliant Action and Aggressive Emotion

            Generally, the 1 is described as the Perfectionist and the Reformer. The fixated traits include critical hidden anger and resentment, with the need for rules and standards to be appropriate and above criticism and to avoid impropriety. The 1 is in the gut center, which is aggressive. In addition, the repressed center would be the thinking center. These factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked thinking with compliant action and aggressive emotion (the critic or the reformer).




Blocked Thinking with Compliant Emotion and Action

            Generally, the 2 is described as the Giver and the Helper and is defined as the most other-oriented, compliant type of the Enneagram . The fixated traits include pride, repression, helpfulness with manipulation, and hostility, with the need to be appealing to avoid being ignored. The 2 is in the heart center, which is also compliant, supporting this theory. In addition, the repressed center would be the thinking center. These factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked thinking with compliant emotion and action (the needy one or the nurturer).




Blocked Feeling with Aggressive Action and Compliant Thought

            Generally, the 3 is described as the Performer and the Motivator. The fixated traits include deceit, vanity, positive identification, pretension, and superficiality, with the need to be successful to avoid failure and being second best. The 3 is in the heart center, which is compliant. In addition, the repressed center would be the feeling center (this could result in emotional indifference). These factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked feeling with aggressive action and compliant thought (the deceiver or the performer).


Tragic Romantic/Artist


Blocked Action with Resigned Emotion and Compliant Thought

            Generally, the 4 is described as the Tragic Romantic and the Artist. The fixated traits include envy, artistic sublimation, melancholy, moodiness, and drama, with the need to be special and unique to avoid being defective. The 4 is in the heart center, which is compliant. In addition, the repressed center would be the gut center. These factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked action with resigned emotion and compliant thought (the tragic figure or the sensitive individualist).




Blocked Action with Resigned Thought and Emotion

            Generally, the 5 is described as the Observer and the Thinker and is defined as the most withdrawn type of the Enneagram. The fixated traits include avarice, compartmentalization, greed, and isolation, with the need to be perceptive and knowledgeable to avoid emptiness and not knowing. The 5 is in the head center, which is also withdrawn, supporting this theory. In addition, the repressed center would be the gut center. These factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked action with resigned thought and emotion (the withholding observer or the researcher).


Devil's Advocate/Loyalist


Blocked Thinking with Compliant Emotion and Resignation

            Generally, the 6 is described as the Devil's Advocate and the Loyalist. The fixated traits include fear, doubt, projection, and cowardice, with the need to be dutiful and loyal to avoid uncertainty and deviance. The 6 is in the head center, which is withdrawn. In addition, the repressed center would be the head center (this could result in the doubting mind). These factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked thinking with compliant emotion and resignation (the reactive loyalist or the guardian).




Blocked Feeling with Aggressive Thought and Resignation

            Generally, the 7 is described as the Epicure and the Generalist. The fixated traits include gluttony, intellectual sublimation, options, and optimism, with the need to be fun and happy to avoid pain and sadness. The 7 is in the head center, which is withdrawn. In addition, the repressed center would be the heart center. These factors combined would suggest a personality type with blocked feeling with aggressive thought and resignation (the indiscriminate escape artist or the visionary).

            Does not Horney's typology, in conjunction with the Enneagram, further explain what at first glance appear to be Enneagram look-alikes? Thus, the inverted types would suggest surface similarities, but they would have core differences. For example, the 1 is the compliant-aggressive, whereas the 3 is the aggressive-compliant, which is often difficult to distinguish. Similarly, the 4 is the withdrawn-compliant, whereas the 6 is the compliant-withdrawn, and the 7 is the aggressive-withdrawn, whereas the 9 is the withdrawn-aggressive, likewise making them difficult to distinguish without further inquiry.

            Furthermore, as noted by the Chabreuils, the perspective of the repressed center and Horney's typology tends to focus on the Enneagram point's behavior, whereas the preferred center is more indicative of the defense mechanism and interior world.

            Moreover, does this not suggest that there are three ways of being aggressive, being compliant, and being withdrawing? For example, the 8 is double aggressive (definitely goes after desires and hangs in for the long term), whereas the 3 is aggressive-compliant (goes after desires but complies to social standards of success), and the 7 is aggressive-withdrawing (goes after desires but gives up if the going gets tough).

            Just imagine if we were to overlay the Harmonic Triads and subtypes as well . . . _ . . . but that's another essay.

            In conclusion, correlating the Enneagram with the Horney models in regard to the centers, as well as the Riso triads and the Hurley and Dobson repressed center, as documented by the Chabreuils, is rich in data that can be interpreted on many levels. The addition of The Gurdjieff Work, in tandem with Palmer's work, gives body and breath to a personality typology that indeed is neither random nor arbitrary, but rather maintains a quality and elegance in its inherent symmetry.


                  1      Horney, Karen, Our Inner Conflicts; New York (New York), W.W. Norton, 1945; and Neurosis and Human Growth; New York (New York), W.W. Norton, 1945.

2          Enneagram and the Horney Typology; Enneagram Monthly, Volume 1, Number 10.

3          Riso, Don Richard, Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery; Boston (Massachusetts),          Houghton Mifflin, 1987.

4          Hurley, Kathleen V. and Dobson, Theodore E.; (Theodorre Donson) My Best Self: Using the Enneagram to Free the Soul; San Francisco ( California), Harper San Francisco, 1993.

5          Speeth, Kathleen Riordan; The Gurdjieff Work; New York (New York), G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1989.

6          Palmer, Helen; The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life; San Francisco     (California), Harper San Francisco, 1991.       

7          Riso, Don Richard, Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types; Boston      (Massachusetts), Houghton Mifflin, 1990.      


On Being An Enneagram Type Eight

Catalyst Magainze Interview

March 1996

When I first learned about the Enneagram, there was very little written about it. The description of the 8 was the one I liked least, yet felt the most familiar. The 8 is often seen as the boss, leader, confronter, asserter, and protector, and described as self-confident, forceful, dominating, combative, and vengeful. Whereas, I had trouble relating to either the power-hungry, vengeful oppressor or the self-restrained, magnanimous hero, I did see myself as a rugged individualist and identified with the more average traits of leadership, confidence, generosity, self-sufficiency, forcefulness, and intimidation.

In the past, my issues centered around power - where it was, who had it, and was it used fairly. I also knew that I always felt provoked by the unspoken, respectful of truth, disarmed by vulnerability, and touched by innocence, which is generally the stance of the 8.

By nature, I did not seek out conflict, but I certainly never avoided it. While I never wanted to consciously overpower others, I was sensitive to betrayal and did feel the need to prevail, and if provoked I sought the advantage to avoid being vulnerable. In the past, when people wanted me to do something I perceived as controlling, I felt like I was being personally challenged and retaliated in a manner I deemed fair.

Generally, I say what I mean and mean what I way, and would rather receive information directly than indirectly. Thus, in the past when someone would phrase a request or criticism in an overtly nice way, couching constructive criticism in compliments, I felt manipulated. While there may have been good intentions, I felt provoked by what wasn't being said - I heard what was left out at a higher volume. Now, however, I no longer take it personally, for I know that the direct approach can be intimidating to others of a different style.

Another characteristic of 8's that struck me as accurate for myself is a respect for truth. I may have very strong views, but if you can stand up for yourself and give me your truth, I can be totally open and change my mind.

On the higher side, I like to champion others, and it is noteworthy to mention that hidden beneath the stance of strength is a vulnerable and innocent heart that is deeply touched by and protective of the disadvantaged. With the knowledge of the Enneagram and my core dynamics, I am now more compassionate of myself and others and realize that we are all simply trying to survive within our own defense strategies -- Katherine Chernick

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Working with Type Eight

Boundaries for the Enneagram Type Eight Child

As a student and teacher of the Enneagram, I have been asked many times how to work effectively with 8s, in particular 8 children. I am always touched when a non-8 parent makes the inquiry because the parent wishes to support their 8 child. I am equally gratified when teachers hire me to work with troubled teens. However, the most painful moments in teaching came when I worked with drug addicted felons, many of who are 8s or in relationship with 8s. In each case I was unprepared for the unguarded, truly vulnerable innocence behind the stance of defiance. I always see myself and I am always humbled. In psychological terms, I am certain the 8 child in me feels a renewed sense of hope and that the opportunity to help another 8 child will help the 8 child in me continue to grow.

The question is As the parent, teacher or therapist of an 8 child, my question is to what degree I should allow the 8 what he/she wants, and when to set limits? When is having limits set teaching the 8 child how to manage his/her dominating power and, when is it destructive to the 8?

This is a good question for me as an 8, the daughter of an 8, the granddaughter of an 8, the niece of an 8 and the mother of an 8. As a result I can only make a biased educated guess. The thought that immediately comes to mind is that our type is our defense strategy. By definition a defense would indicate a reaction to protect from something that feels threatening. This of course would be true of all the 9 types. I believe the key is to understand that our defense strategy hurts others the very way that we are trying not to be hurt.

8s often report that their actions and intentions are often misinterpreted, labeled negatively and the 8s explanations unheard. The reason that I start here is that from the outside perspective the direct 8 style appears to be the initiating force. But, as with all of the defenses, from the inside it feels like it is a necessary reaction to survive a threat that is coming in. The difference may simply be that the 8 retaliates in the same coin to the offending element rather than defending. Either approach is still an effort to survive.

As a child, I personally expected the world to be cold, indifferent to my needs and unjust. I expected to NOT be protected. Punishment in terms of consequences only served to reinforce my world view that there was no love in the world and that I was truly on my own. Therefore, the true life altering experiences happened not when I was punished but rather when I was afforded the opportunity to be taught the power of love, wisdom and compassion.

An 8 child's story

In the 6th grade a friend and I found a classroom open during the holidays. We saw it as an unexpected opportunity for an amazing adventure filled with possibilities. We moved things all around the room; we changed the names on the chalkboard and talked into the tape recorder. We created total havoc just anticipating how much fun it would be for the class to sort it all out when they returned to school from spring break. After all they wouldn't have to work! Right?

Anyhow, my friend was the straight A, school president (3) that became riddled with guilt and told her parents. I of course kept my bond of secret and did not reveal her name at all not knowing that she had told. A very fair minded Vice Principal that had been our 5th grade teacher knew that we were good kids that just didn't understand the harm our fun could cause. He was also struck by the fact that I took total blame for the transgression and never told on my friend. Later I was to learn that this was her cry for much needed attention to not have to be the perfect person. At the time this of course was unknown to me. I was just having fun and did not experience guilt as no harm was intended. My cry turned out to be of another kind, far more hidden and silent.

The Principal was very resolute in the belief that a strong hand and severe punishment was the way to teach a wayward, strong willed child the lessons of life. His punishment was to have me spend all of lunch and recess in his office for the last 2 months of school, to publicly humiliate me as well as deprive me of all graduating festivities and events. This of course is the kind of experience that 8s believe created their 8ness. After all, I had spent 7 years getting through the rigors of limitation that school rules presented to an 8 and graduation was a major element towards freedom from oppression. I could not see the fairness or justice in losing all privileges due to one misguided mistake?

From the limited perspective of an 11 year old this experience reinforced the theory that life is not fair so why respect unjust authority? Why care and most of all be sure to be tough because you are on you own. I would suggest this further proves to the 8 stance that the 8 is correct in our world view and that due to experiences such as these the 8 begins to stop sorting for data to the contrary. I would also suggest that this would be the trap of all the types. There are always situations and experiences to support what ever we believe to be true.

The Vice-Principal's punishment was far more painful than the Principal's was. It was not punitive it was instructive. In contrast the VP's punishment was to assign me to meet after school each day before going home with the teacher whose room I had vandalized. This was horrifying to me. It was easy to endure sitting in the Principal's office for all to see, as I believed it made me tougher. I was after all, unfairly treated and a survivor. However, to have to face my victim was unnerving. I had visions of slave labor to further define the unjust world of the adults.

Ouch.....Not so.......This teacher was very nice and never made me 'do' anything. Everyday she just talked with me. Everyday, I had to feel more and more feelings and it was agonizing. When was she going to be mean and unjust? Why didn't she make me a slave so I could rile against her tyranny? Why didn't she treat me with disdain so that I could raise my jaw and glare at her with defiance? Why was she so understanding? I had no defenses for unexpected acts of kindness, I felt bereft of resources to deal with this kind of power.

She did not lecture, she did not chastise, in fact, she told me nothing, she only inquired. She continued her onslaught of gentle benevolence by asking me questions. She asked me what I had hoped for by rearranging the room. When I told her she laughed and then explained how some of the children laughed and had a wonderful time but that many of the children were frightened and others thought that their things might be gone never to be found and cried. This of course I had never considered. I had to let in that my actions had left little 3rd graders feeling afraid and unprotected...my very own core wounding. I was crushed! I wasn't a Santa Claus as I has imagined; I was the Grinch to these little vulnerable 8-year-olds. I found it unforgivable. My self-vengeance was far crueler and greater than anything the Principal had denied me.

In addition, to further make me squirm in my own feelings she asked me what I wanted out of life. She asked what my dreams were and since I was naturally protective what I wanted to do as an adult to protect others. She asked me if I would want to have me for a friend and why? I had never thought of these things. They were life-altering questions. She said that she would have been happy to be my friend in school because I was so protective and willing to take the full blame to protect my friend. She also asked me what I wouldn't like about having me as a friend. All of a sudden I found a longer list, and the beginning of the journey towards becoming my own trusted friend.

It was here in the room of my disgrace that I found the divine embrace off a strong, flexible boundary that introduced a mirror to my self and my soul. I no longer felt like a gorilla in a small zoo cage unable to be, but rather a gorilla high in the jungle with a family troop to protect. It was there in the classroom of my shame that I learned the meaning of teaching consequences with truly benevolent tough love. I was not crushed, rejected, demeaned or humiliated as I had expected. Rather, I was like a crumpled piece of paper retrieved from the trash bin to be gently unfolded, read and accepted so that I might know that like the paper I had once been a part of a majestic tree - worthy of being cherished and kept rather than discarded.

Rarely does a year go by that I do not remember my misadventure in the 6th grade, the moment of my disgrace or most importantly the benevolent mirrors that allowed me to see myself clearly for the first time. I will always remember the experience of the adults that supported me in glimpsing my own potential adult, feeling my heart and knowing the power of my impact. From then on, I chose to try and have a positive impact on others and show the same power of compassion and understanding. I actively sought out examples in my world to draw upon to shape a new view of true power. As a result, I try to show kindness in the face of disempowerment, but I can assure you that I often fail in spite of my efforts. The difference is that due to the benevolence that I was shown as a child I want to be benevolent with others. Because it came as such a surprise and with kindness it created a lasting imprint on my character.

Empowering the 8 child

'When is having limits set a good thing, that teaches the 8 child how to manage his/her dominating power? When is it destructive'?

So, in answer to the inquirers initial question, I can say that consciousness may be the beginning. For the 8 to learn from consequences the journey is to assist the 8 in discovering the pain the 8 feels and has rejected and then ultimately the pain they inadvertently cause. The 8's innocence is at the core of this cycle. Every 8 might benefit from learning what they are really feeling in order to understand their need to defend their heart so strongly. Empathy that is so great needed to be limited or denied to survive but eventually must be nurtured to be integrated. This is the most difficult thing you can ask an 8 to do. The 8 fears that if they feel their full capacity for empathy it will crush them.

Inquiring as to what happened is the beginning and exploring what the 8 might have been feeling just prior to the action is a large part of the discovery process. This can take what feels like an eternity to non-8s. If the 8 is too defended, and doesn't know or can't retrieve the event or feeling, a gentle inquiry as to how others not as tough as the 8 might feel in the same circumstances may prove helpful. Analogies using those the 8 loves and sees as vulnerable such as in younger siblings, cousins, friends or pets often breaks the direct stance of 'being against'. Love and protection will rise for those the 8s deem in their circle of care. This is where one may find the clues to the deeper, more painful and hidden issues behind the 8 bravado and rash acts.

One can be assured that prior to the negative behavior or outburst the 8 felt a deep sense of betrayal, humiliation and injustice where the 8 experienced themselves as unable to affect the outcome rendering them powerless and without mercy. The unbearably painful experience may have occurred a moment earlier or days earlier, and in adult 8s years earlier, but it did occur and the 8s internal victim was sent to the dungeon of their heart to be silenced.

Once in the feeling state, it may be imperative to listen to every slight that the 8 may have felt he/she has endured, especially those by you. Like a chest retrieved from the attic after years of storage, opening it may create a flurry of wounds that fly out in need of immediate attention. The scabs feel ripped open and the scar tissue feels rigid and painfully twisted. The bigger question the 8 is asking is can you cake it�can you take all of me at one time? The 8 belief is that no one could therefore no one can.

This is a wonderful opportunity to prove the 8 wrong. After the deeper emotions have surfaced and are fully spent is the window of opportunity to be inside the full and open embrace of the 8 heart. This is the rare moment between defensive posturing when one benevolently teach the 8 how comforting it feels to be treated with loving boundaries that stretch and grow with the 8. This is when one can teach the 8 the power of setting their own boundaries to self-limit; that anger is a signal of pain and betrayal that can be healed yielding powerful insight. Most of all, this is the time when one can deeply touch an 8 by demonstrating the power that comes from treating others with benevolence.

�1998 Katherine Chernick Fauvre


Reflections  on Enneagram Type:
A Workshop with Dr. Claudio Naranjo

By Katherine Chernick

�1996 KKH Chernick

Originally published in the Enneagram Monthly

Introductory Note:

Studying the Enneagram has been a turning point in my life. From the first book I read and my first course given by Tom Condon, I became fascinated with the possibility of understanding the nature of the forces that make us who we are, and began to avidly study the Enneagram. After the Stanford conference, I studied with Helen Palmer and David Daniels, whose Professional Training and panels masterfully taught me to have empathy and compassion for all of the types. Don Riso's and Russ Hudson's Professional Training gave an organized psychic structure for each type, complete with the Levels of Health, which explain why two people of the same type can appear to be so different. Each lesson was distinctive and a testament to the seemingly inexhaustible way of evaluating human nature, and all filled a different section of the broad mosaic that is the Enneagram. For the wisdom of Gurdjieff, Ichazo, Naranjo, and my teachers, and those before them who have been the custodians of this knowledge, I am respectfully grateful.

When I was asked to write this article, I felt there was much I could share about this extraordinary workshop. However, writing about the experience proved to be another matter, for Claudio's and my speaking and writing styles are so different, as I tend to string adjectives together for emphasis, and he chooses concise words or phrases that say it all. Therefore, this article is, in effect, my "translation" of Claudio's teachings, and so any awkward phraseology should be attributed to me. Similarly, although this is my impression of what Claudio was saying, the information was so rich that it may well have resonated differently with others. Stated concisely, I walked away from the experience with a more expanded, integrated view of type. Now for the string of adjectives)

In April of this year, Claudio Naranjo held a week-long workshop in Boulder, Colorado, his first in-depth teaching of the Enneagram in this country in more than 20 years. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend, and found that Claudio's unique style of teaching contributed as much to the learning experience as did the content. With wisdom, kindness, skill, and patience, Claudio freely gave of himself, indulging us and politely answering questions in a responsive yet neutral manner, creating an environment in which I thrived.

Claudio placed little emphasis on the structure of the workshop, instead placing more significance on the transmission of information toward a greater goal that emerged day by day. Interspersing nuances and descriptors with theories, the week unfolded. Rather than having an agenda and covering the types in an A-to-Z manner, Claudio's approach was distinctive and focused on relativity. Instead of a methodical approach, he employed an intriguing conversational style, similar to the way we actually speak, spontaneously and with free association.  Just as you might begin to predict what he would talk about next, he would suddenly journey into another deeper realm of the Enneagram before ultimately returning to his original path. On any subject, he would weave in nuances, theories, information, comparisons, character sketches, and a touch of humor. Thread by thread, random thoughts were strung together, and the tapestry of type began to take form. Often serious, sometimes thoughtful, clearly curious, and always knowledgeable, he elaborated on type. As a teacher, storyteller, and sage, he interwove more obvious, overt pathology with the hidden simplistic view of the wounded child. I found myself paying rapt attention to each pearl of wisdom, stringing them together one by one.

Beginning with a history of the Enneagram, Claudio acknowledged the works of Gurdjieff, Ichazo, Freud, Jung, Sheldon, Pearls, Horney, and others, combining their theories with Eastern philosophies and spiritual practices. Claudio explored many schools of thought, uniting Western psychology with Eastern traditions, resulting in a highly integrated view of type. First he discussed the different passions, and then examined the types, ultimately breaking the types down by the three instinctual subtypes. This was remarkably effective, in that we got the essence of the fixation prior to assigning it a number. The benefit of this approach was that when we were examining the actual passion, it was unfiltered by our previous conceptions of what that type was supposedly like. It contributed to an overall "layered" effect that I think opened up the organized mind.

Claudio started with interesting general observations of the passions, and then proceeded to discuss each passion in depth, making memorable statements along the way. For example, he defined the sloth of the 9 as lack of voltage, no motivation, and out of energy, stating that you cannot repress anger without repressing everything. He referred to it as a laziness-awareness, which he called being "functionally dumb"�not a dumb person, but choosing to function with dispassion; and the laziness was of awareness or consciousness, because awareness is too painful, and distraction is preferred (e.g., "don't rock the boat; let's not create a problem by seeing how it really is"). He described it as a defense of "not knowing." In contrast, the passion of the 2 is pride and "ego flattery" or "egocentric generosity," and represents a "love trauma." The 2 has "false abundance" and is in full denial of emptiness, filled instead with false love, often "promising more than they deliver, and delivering more than they promise." As Claudio noted, there is not much room for the self when filled with pride.

In describing the passions, Claudio did not try to make them appear equal, yet suggested that all the passions equally keep us from our essence. Possibly, the mood in a society or an historic moment may determine whether or not a particular passion is considered good or bad. If so, this might explain his theory that many 3s believe they are 8s, for in business, some 8-like traits are valued and esteemed. Thus, some 3s, recognizing that this is how they need to be seen in order to be successful, have identified themselves as 8s; but their underlying motive is that of a 3�i.e., to fulfill the role.

Claudio teaches that the wings are ever-present, and that the point is the convergence of the wings. He introduced theories that the passion is the "yearning" and visible by age five and is a response to the situationan emotional patternwhereas the fixation is the "way of being," a life philosophy and an abstraction that is in place by age seven. He also teaches that the instinctual type is one of three sub-personalities that is the "auxiliary passion." He suggests that outwardly the instinctual subtype can look positive, like a talent, or something of which one should be overly proud, but inwardly is a reflection of unhappiness with a price to be paide.g., "the oyster is not too interested in the price of the pearls."

With regard to the instinctual subtypes, one intriguing insight to type 4 was the introduction of a rare type of sexual 4 that can be "counter-envious" with 8-like tendencies, which Claudio described as often appearing "more 8 than an 8." This sexual 4 is in denial of envy, is self-confident, claims position, and knows his or her own worth ("I deserve it"). Moreover, this 4 can be cannibalistic, overstep boundaries, and diminish others to make the self bigger and to prove one right. Examples given were Hitler and Pacino in Scent of a Woman. This raises the question of "counter types" for each of the Enneagram points.

Claudio's words were carefully measured, extremely concise, and effective. There was nothing forced or artificially balanced, with no sense of "apology" with respect to any particular type, thus permitting one to view the types clearly. For example, when discussing the passion of fear, he described it as a lack of courage or as too much fear, in effect a fear of fear, adding that perhaps all of us can be cowards, but not all of us are afraid of fear. He submitted that the passion arises from the attempt to avoid experiencing fear or projecting fear, and trying to ignore having fear, resulting in suspicion and no faith in self. So a defiant, counterphobic attitude arises from the need to defend and be guarded, to be inhibited. This suggests how the counterphobic 6 differs from the 8the 6 is inhibited, whereas the 8 is noti.e., the counterphobic 6 can be bold and do heroic things ("military man") but still have phantoms or phobias.

He further stated that 6s feel "swallowed by others." This choice of words creates a clear visual picture that rings with validity. Being "swallowed by others" might be interpreted as a fundamental fear of what could happen to them, a terrible fantasy, imagined exaggerated danger. There is a tendency to submit, and the counterphobic fights that tendency, while the phobic runs away. Anything new would be threatening, terrible. Therefore, the 6 is slow and "holds back and does not display" and instead becomes a "proof" junky.

Choosing words that create pictures is another impression of Claudio's teaching style. Furthermore, he does not seem to use the same approach for each type, and instead uses the words that serve the type. As an illustration, Claudio sees the 7 as passive-aggressive with humor, diplomacy, and conscious manipulation, believing that "having my way is love." When he talked about the aspect of rationalization of the 7s, he referred to them as having a lubricated or "slippery" quality. As "utopians," the 7 likes and offers gentleness. With a philosophy of life to "live and let live," the 7 has a lighthearted way of getting around the super ego. Yet, "behind every good boy there is a spiteful brat" (Fritz Perls), and what is not observable is the 7's non-connection and hidden paranoia.

Claudio views the chief feature as the "core of character," a "distorting of reality, an illusion, a trap, a cognitive defect, a ruling passionthe crazy idea about things," and sees the passions as the basic motivations. He described that all the passions are various deficiency motivationsa wantinga form of light passing through different filters creating different colors. The capital sins, as well, are thought to be deviations in psychic energy, creating destructive effects in life and spiritual obstacles.

He portrayed the fixations as ways of being hung up on our own assumptions of realitythe fixation is the particular assumption of reality we have, and it crystallizes in our consciousness, "lack of appreciation of life as it is," and is slightly different for each of us. My understanding is that he believes that we contend with all nine fixations, and that it is just a matter of which one we overuse.

Claudio sees the 5 as feeling a sense of impoverishment, having very limited resources and energy, and with non-expression of feeling (dry, desert-like depression). They tend to amputate reality, repressing whatever they feel is bad about themselves, and because of such repression, their unexpressed anger goes inward. Thus, they are easily depleted and look inward so keenly that solicitations from the outer world are experienced as interferencei.e., "you are in the way of my listening to myself."

Both the 5 and 1 seem to repress anger. However, by comparison, the passion for the 1 is anger and is motivated by the need for "perfect values," perfectionism, and more importantly a lack of acceptance for imperfection. So unlike the 5, the 1 has inverted anger "reaction formation"Imoral superiority, kindly intentions that cover anger, a rejection of one's own experience in favor of what should be (a willed positive regard not supported by true loving feelings), therefore at odds with reality.

Working with further distinctions, he explained that the reason the 1 and 3 have a surface resemblance is that the 3 has the "right image" (e.g., the perfect person), whereas the 1 has the "perfect values." He cited Dick Tracy, Barbie, and Star Trek's Mr. Spock as examples of the 3. He sees the 3 as having no feelings, like HAL the computer in the movie 2001. The 3 modulates expression of feeling; they look like they feel "nice" when they do not feel "nice" at all. The deception is the logical and clear simulation of feeling. Think of HAL, who in an effort to be efficient killed off his own people and then kept the information from himself and searched for the killer.

Claudio teaches transmission through relativity, which he accomplishes by comparing opposites by juxtaposition rather than by cataloguing. Everything is compared and contrasted and has a point of referencei.e., the Sexual 4 is arrogant and demanding, whereas the Self-Preservation 4 is oneish and tenacious; or the 8 is spending energy, whereas the 5 is saving energy.

Another aspect of comparison is the relationship of opposition in the Enneagram. For example, the 1 and 5 are on the "anal axis," the 2 and 7 are on the "oral receptive axis," and the 4 and 8 are on the "oral aggressive axis." Some of the similarities between type included those that shared common issues. In addition, the 1 and 5 have issues with control, the 2 and 7 share issues with connection, and the 4 and 8 share intensity.

Claudio introduced a multitude of theories and intriguing ways of slicing the "Enneagram pie." Of the triads, he said the 8-9-1 was the triad dealing with ignorance or unconsciousness, the 2-3-4 with craving or desire, and the 5-6-7 with issues of hate or aversion. In addition, the 8-9-1 was the neutral aspect of the Enneagram, the 2-3-4 was the extroverted perspective of the Enneagram, and the 5-6-7 was the introverted. He saw the right side of the Enneagram as primarily feminine and social, and the left side as primarily masculine and antisocial, and so on. He gave us many, many different Enneagrams, so to speak. These perspectives suggest different internal views he has synthesized, resulting in how he sees type.

With regard to the polarity of temperament, he viewed the 7 and 4, as well as the 5 and 2, in sharp contrast to one another. The 7 is seen as the happy character, whereas the 4 is seen as the sad character; and the 5 is seen as having cool aloofness, whereas the 2 is seen as having warmth and intimacy.

Another aspect of temperament was mood. He talked about mood (elation versus depression), and that the 2-3-4's are quick and gregarious, and the 5-6-7's slow and timid. He discerned that within the triad, there is a contrast in mood. For example, the 2 and 7 have the high moods, and the 4 and 5 have the low moods, in their respective triads. An example of the high mood in the "extroverted triad" is the 2, which we know to be up, quick, gregarious, and outgoing. Similarly, an example of the low mood in the "introverted triad" is the 5, which we know can be depressed, slow, withholding, and withdrawn, and so on.

As mentioned, the 4 and 5, at the pit of the Enneagram, are hypersensitive and see the abyss, and are difficult and fussy versions of the low moods from the two different triads. In contrast, 8-9-1, the third triad at the top of the Enneagram, is described as ignorant, neutral, insensitive, and unconscious, and as "defensive extroversion with an avoidance of inwardness." This insensitivity is perhaps a reflection of self-forgetting. As an example, the 8 has "solution mastery," tends to be a cynic, exploitive, and focuses on the simple nuts and bolts of life, and is viewed as tough, rebellious, vindictive, insensitive, and thick. Most important, the 8 is insensitive to subtlety, and needs strong stimulie.g., "loud music, heavy spices, and intensity to feel alive."

Having submitted our childhood histories to Claudio prior to the workshop, we were also able to delve into a variety of self-diagnostic psychological exercises and broke into groups by type, where impressive similarities and patterns emerged when the data was shared. We put our results to graphs, clearly demonstrating a similar pattern of attention, which was even more visible when we shared the results on panels.

Through observing the demeanor of a person, something can be perceived that is deep and profound. The trick is to be able to recognize it when it manifests. This brings to mind a Holographic picture or kaleidoscope, which when shifted reveal images not previously seen. Similarly, you need to know what you are looking for when determining type. As to knowing what to look for, perhaps it is in reality everything synthesized that with subtlety reveals a crystallized sense of type, like the varying perceptions realized from the Holographic picture or the kaleidoscope. Therefore, when an individual displays an "eagle eye"�upright posture, with a carriage that is very proper and held tight, and with a finger that tends to point out all the "shoulds" and "should nots"�we might all agree that this is a 1. Admittedly, this approach may not always work, for there is invariably the element of individuality. However, this concept clearly represents a way of seeing that, if understood, can be extremely powerful.

Of course, there remains an ongoing question, which subtleties do you decide are defining and, thus, indicative of type? It is unlikely that one answer will apply to everyone, and so an approach for one type will not necessarily work for another. What was most noteworthy about this workshop, its style and approach, was how it emphasized the subtle nuances about all the types, the messages that surface on their own and that you can recognize if you are receptive to them. The ability to do this must be what Claudio calls his "nose" or "seeing through the game of the other.

Claudio's focus was on recognizing the pathology and the hidden passion of the types. He reinforced that the study of typing must go beyond written descriptions, and that of much more importance is the ability to recognize type intuitively. He emphasized creating more of an environment for seeing the subtleties, trusting the gut, and letting the subtlety be the dominant factor.

I found the week to be evocative. I came away with a more expanded sense of type and yet a narrower set of criteria, "ennea-types," Claudio's assessment of personality type according to the Enneagram. The nuances have continued to surface for me. I have discovered that there is an underlying subtlety that cannot be conveyed through using one particular word or descriptor. Perhaps we rely too much on descriptors, since it is tempting to want to classify. More important, I believe there is something inherently revealing in a person's posture, something detectable in our speech, our manner, our carriage, and the distinctive way we respond to situations.

In conclusion, Claudio explained that the logic of the system suggests that whereas truth is liberating, a felt insight must also come into play; and by working on the virtues with attention to practice, transformation can occur. Finally he suggests that working with a trusted group that will call you on your fixation is one of the most effective ways to challenge your compulsive behavior and to support the growth process. 

©1996 KKH Chernick Fauvre    

 Originally published in the Enneagram Monthly-  EnneaMonth@aol.com          


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