Monday, October 29, 2007

Personal Development: Enneagram, What Really is It?


As I mentioned in the Fate Reenginering Workshop yesterday, from my point of view, enneagram is just a clever fiiting of Freud's theories, plus some ideas from philosophy and metaphysics into the enneagram symbol by its originator, Ichazo in the 1960's. There is nothing sacred in it!

His students and the students of them are continuously adding various kind of stuff into it in the past 30 years. Some are great stuff, some are not.

The enneagram symbol was released to public by Gurdjieff in the 1910's. He had never disclosed the source of this symbol. There is no evidence proving that it was coming from any ancient wisdom. Ichazo borrowed from Gurdjieff the symbol and created his Enneagon of Ego Fixation.

Enneagram is quite accurate. It can be simply because of the reliability of Freud's Theories. You can find the Freud's ideas of Fixation, Repression, Defense Mechanism, etc hidden in the Enneagram of Personality.

I always see enneagram as a useful tool for remembering and applying some of Freud's theories in daily life. Its usefulness is just like the "Times Table" (乘數表) in mathematics.

Take for an example, the Direction of Disintegration in enneagram is 1-4-2-8-5-7-1 and 9-6-3-9. There might be some mystic rationale behind Gurdjieff's original enneagram. But this was just a fitting of Freud's idea of Repression and Acting Out into the symbol. There is nothing mystic. Each type of "personality" is repressing some emotions. When under stress, each releases the repressed emotion in a different way as a Protective Mechanism.

2 releases the repressed emotion of Anger (towards those who did not responded to 2's help and kindness) by attacking, like an unhealthy 8.

3 releases the repressed emotion of Shame (due to 3's failures to achieve) by dissociating from their feelings and turn themselves off, like an unhealthy 9.

4 releases the repressed emotion of Hatred (I am not as good as others) by coercing others to take care of them like an unhealthy 2.

5 releases the repressed emotion of Loneliness and Anxiety (due to 5's isolation and frustration in searching for answers) by acting impulsively and hysterically, like an unhealthy 7.

6 releases the repressed emotion of Fear and Anger (of abandonment and inadequacy) by acting violently towards others, like an unhealthy 3.

7 releases the repressed emotion of Worry and Anxiety (due to losing self-control) by imposing strict rules on themselves and others. 7 might become very critical like an unhealthy 1.

8 releases the repressed emotion of Fear (due to the real and imagined threats from others) by retreating into isolation, like an unhealthy 5.

9 releases the repressed emotion of Helplessness and Anxiety (due to the accumulating effects of previously neglected problems) by depending on others or even becoming self-destructive, like an unhealthy 6.

1 releases the repressed emotion of Shame, Guilt & Self-Hatred (they cannot keep their own rules) and Hatred towards others (others violated their rules or others do not care about their ideals) by becoming self-destructive, addiction or depression, like an unhealthy 4.

You can find many other similar co-relationships of Freud's theories and the Enneagram of Personality. I really like the Enneagram as a Times Table for Freudism.

Forget about the sacredness and mysticism. Use it as a Times Table.

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