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What is the ‘Enneagram,’ and why are Christians suddenly so enamored by it …

Chris (left) and Phileena Heuertz co-founded the Gravity Center in Omaha. Chris's latest book is "The Sacred Enneagram." (BRYNN ANDERSON/THE WORLD-HERALD - Used by permission of Chris Heuertz)

A personality typing system has been quietly infiltrating Christian communities for the last quarter-century. But some believers may be excused for their skepticism.

After all, the “Enneagram” is an ancient system of unknown origin with a strange name. It is replete with sacred language, but is not explicitly Christian in orientation. It centers on nine personality types that are arranged into a chart resembling a pentagram. Yet, it is spreading like wildfire among a diverse range of Jesus-followers.

In 1990, Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr effectively Christianized the system for Americans when he published “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” in English. This sparked a growing interest that slowly crept into church pulpits and small groups. In 2016, Christianity Today published “An Evangelical’s Guide to the Enneagram” after Intervarsity Press became the first evangelical publisher to release a book on the topic.

To understand why the Enneagram is so alluring, I sat down with Chris Heuertz, author of “The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth.” Heuertz is the co-founder of The Gravity Center and has been mentored by sages such as Rohr and Mother Teresa. He conducts Enneagram workshops around the world and is something of an Enneagram master, though I imagine he would resist such a label. Here, we discuss why the Enneagram is captivating so many Christians and how he responds to its critics.

RNS: Let’s start with the basics. What is the Enneagram?  

CH: The Enneagram illustrates the nine archetypal human character structures, the nine beautifully flawed ways of being us.

Image courtesy of Zondervan

RNS: Beautifully flawed? 

CH: Yes. The Enneagram shows us our ego’s set of coping addictions that we’ve wrapped up around a childhood wound so that we don’t have to be truthful about the pain it’s caused us. Until we’re honest about this, we lie to ourselves and others about who we really are.

The Enneagram’s nine types form a sort of color wheel that describes the basic archetypes of humanity’s tragic flaws, sin tendencies, primary fears, and unconscious needs. As a sacred map to our soul, the Enneagram is a blueprint for developing character that each of us carries throughout our life, but one that we don’t open until we discover our type.

RNS: So this is an ancient personality typing system, right? Where did it originate?

CH: There are rumors of the Enneagram showing up more than 6,000 years ago in ancient Egypt and more than 4,000 years ago in pre-historic Korea. Folk Buddhism may have version of the Enneagram. Many Catholic and Protestant scholars claim it was developed by the early church’s desert mothers and fathers. And the Sufis of Central Asia also lay claims to its origins. We do know that in the 1950s and ’60s the Bolivian wisdom teacher Oscar Ichazo brought forward the Enneagram of Personality, which is what we commonly use today.

Even if it’s a system with thousands of years of hidden history yet only 60 to 70 years of application in its modern form, it’s an exciting time to explore the possibilities of what is still to be uncovered. It’s not an understatement to suggest that we hardly understand what it is we are working with.

RNS: Let’s dig in. Explain the nine personality types of the Enneagram.

CH: I first learned the Enneagram by aligning a distinguishing need with each of the numbers. These needs emerged from the evolution of Father Richard Rohr’s early, yet groundbreaking work, on the Enneagram. Here’s a chart to explain:

Type One The Need to Be Perfect
Type Two The Need to Be Needed
Type Three The Need to Succeed
Type Four The Need to Be Special (or Unique)
Type Five The Need to Perceive (or Understand)
Type Six The Need to Be Sure/Certain
Type Seven The Need to Avoid Pain
Type Eight The Need to Be Against
Type Nine The Need to Avoid

The Enneagram offers nine mirrors for self-reflection. These nine mirrors, if we choose to gaze into them directly, can help us shake loose of our illusions that end up getting us lost from home in the first place.

The Enneagram teaches us nine approaches to observing the patterns of human character structure archetypes. These patterns fortify a kind of psycho-spiritual-somatic muscle memory that shapes how we think, feel, and act.

I often introduce the Enneagram’s nine types through what motivates them. They are laid out in this chart:

Type One strives for principled excellence as moral duty.
Type Two strives for lavish love through self-sacrifice.
Type Three strives for appreciative recognition from curated successes.
Type Four strives for the discovery of identity for faithful authenticity.
Type Five strives for decisive clarity through thoughtful conclusions.
Types Six strives for steady constancy from confident loyalty.
Type Seven strives for imaginative freedom for inspirational independence.
Type Eight strives for impassioned intensity for unfettered autonomy.
Type Nine strives for harmonious peacefulness as congruent repose.

RNS: This isn’t just another personality typing system like Meyers-Briggs or something. You believe the Enneagram is “sacred,” right?

CH: One of my teachers, Russ Hudson says, “Type isn’t a ‘type’ of person, but a path to God.” I believe it’s sacred because as a map of our soul it’s a compassionate sketch of possibilities. The Enneagram is less about nine “types of people” and more about nine paths back to our true selves and nine paths to divine love.

If we can’t self-observe, then we can’t self correct. The Sacred Enneagram helps us self observe, helps us tell the truth about who we really are coming clean from our delusions and illusions, so that we can locate the authentic source of our identity.

RNS: How does one align one’s Enneagram type with specific types of prayer?

CH: In The Sacred Enneagram, I suggest that contemplative prayer practices are framed by three primary postures: solitude, silence, and stillness. I present nine unique contemplative prayer postures and prayer intentions combinations that I think perfectly align with each of the nine Enneagram types as these distinct paths to God.

Illustrations by Elnora Turner (do not use without permission)

RNS: The whole system seems weird and mystical. Why are so many Christians, even those in flyover states, being drawn to the Enneagram?

CH: Because the truth of the Enneagram–that each and every one of us is beautiful and beloved by God–resonates with all of us. We also know the Enneagram’s tragic truth that many of us don’t live into the gifts and grace of that truth.

Many people allow fragments of their identity to lay claim to the whole of who they think they are. This only leads to an addictive loop of our mental and emotional preoccupations. This is how we get ourselves lost. The challenge is to find our way home.

The Enneagram helps us begin an honest interrogation of the depths of our identity, of who we really are. When we accept our inherent beauty, we find the courage to examine what makes us beautiful—to honestly encounter both the good and the bad, the shadow and the light. More than anything I’ve encountered, the Enneagram helps us do just that. A lot of other people, including Christians, are discovering this too.

RNS: Ok. But even many conservative evangelical Christians are attracted to it. Why?

CH: I sort of wonder if the evolved evangelical is getting a little worn out from the same old literal Bible study interpretations of stuff. At least Catholicism can appeal to tradition and saints. I wonder if some evangelicals have gotten bored with what their tradition offers, and therefore, they find a deeper and more contemplative system like the Enneagram appealing.

RNS: You acknowledge that other religions, such as Buddhism and Sufism, have utilized this system. What do you say to a Christian who says this is a non-Christian or even pagan system that should not be trusted?

CH: Certainly anyone rooted in a community of faith has to appeal to their notion of truth as the landing place for where they rest their beliefs. But we know that truth isn’t confined to any one tradition. It’s not a scandal to affirm that divine love reaches towards all of us, wherever we are, and regardless of our response to it.

My sense is that if other communities of faith outside the one you locate yourself in can access something that is true, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t trust it. Rather, it means you need to learn to trust yourself and your own ability to discern how to relate to truth. And that’s exactly what the Enneagram offers—the tools and keys to grow in discernment as you learn to trust yourself and receive divine love.


About the author

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.


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  • The enneagram is psychobabble and no more significant that reading a horoscope. You can add to this list of absolute hooey the Myers Briggs test as well.

  • understand why you do what you do. It’s kinda like judge not lest you get judged right back except it’s you judging you, not you judging others. Not a bad idea…ideas.

  • I’ve studied the Enneagram for many years, and I’m a Christian. I found it opened up a deeper understanding of not only myself, my spiritual walk, but my relationship with others in my personal and business life. It’s easy to put down some new ideas, but the enneagram is a solid way to deeper understanding of one’s self and relationship with God. I found zero contraindications as far as faith in Christ is concerned. It is used in many churches as a counseling tool. There are several online tests that are free on the internet. I challenge the nay sayers to take the 10 minute online test.

  • Carl Jung in the early part of the twentieth century developed a personality typology based on his theories of archetypes. Most of us may be familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality Profile? It’s validity and reliability have been documented for decades.

  • It sounds like you are being the “judge” here and you’ve done so out of ignorance and it’s obvious you’ve not even read the book.

  • Yes indeed I’ve also studied the Briggs Myers profiling system, but personally I think the Enneagram is more relevant as it allows one to grow personally through its study.

  • I prefer Christian philosophers, but I’m not averse to reading social and political commentators from a variety of perspectives. For example I find Mark Twain’s perspective pretty spot on as regards the human condition, but he misses the point in his final analysis. Will Durant, an eminent, perhaps the pre-eminent, American historian of the 2oth century is another fine analyst of human motivation; however again, his skepticism of the claims of Christianity cause him to fall short in the end, in my opinion. I am not ashamed to declare my bias for Christian precepts.

  • I’m surprised it neglected to mention its association with the 20th Century mystic Georges Guridjeff.

  • Sounds like RNS is being taken over by a cult. I know of no Christian who is involved in this — even had to look up the word.

  • Re: “After all, the ‘Enneagram’ is an ancient system of unknown origin with a strange name.” 

    Uh, no. There’s nothing “ancient” about the Enneagram. It’s based on 20th century mysticism, mainly inspired by the airy musings of Carl Jung. See for more information on its creation. 

    Like all “personality typing” methods, it has no rational, much less scientific, basis. 

  • Re: “Most of us may be familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality Profile? It’s validity and reliability have been documented for decades.” 

    Uh, not quite. Actually there are no “personality tests” which have been scientifically validated. The best that can be said is that, maybe — just maybe! — there is a distintion between intraversion and extraversion. But beyond that one facet of “personality,” no such models have been proven in any way. It’s common, for example, for people to take the MBTI more than once, and get different results each time. 

    The MBTI is pseudopsychology, plain and simple … even though many people believe as you do, that it’s reliable — to the point where hiring decisions are sometimes based on it. 

    Following are some useful references: 

  • Re: “If you want us to take your claims seriously, come clean about who you are and why your opinion should have more weight than anyone else’s.” 

    Oh you poor, put-upon little thing! You might have had a point … had I asked you just to take my word for it. But, as it turns out, that’s exactly the opposite of what I did! I provided references to back up what I said. Since — obviously! — you missed them, here they are, again: 

    Now, stop bellyaching about the messenger, grow up for once, and deal with the message, which is that personality typing is pseudopsychology. OK? 

    By the way, insisting I cannot be correct about anything because I’m anonymous, is fallacious thinking. Specifically, it’s called argumentum ad hominem. Anonymous people can be, and in fact, often are, correct in what they say. 

    But even then, I won’t ask you to take my word for that being a fallacy. Here are more references for you to review: 

    It’s amazing what lengths people who take umbrage at having their sacred cows skewered will go to in order to rationalize that criticism away. They embrace fallacy and sanctimonious outrage, instead, as part of the backfire effect. 

    What, you never heard of that? Well, here are some references, because (for a third time!) I wouldn’t even dream of making poor little you take the word of some insolent, anonymous, agnostic blogger! 

  • Re: “Wow, PisCop, over-react much? That’s quite a bit of personal verbal abuse you aimed at me. Must have hit a nerve.” 

    Nope. No anger here. I was, actually, laughing at your attempt to discredit what I said — which, after all is not what I, personally said, but rather, was said by others much more expert than I. 

    Re: “FYI, I did follow your links and read the articles/watched the video. I give them mixed marks.” 

    I don’t care what you give them. Doesn’t matter to me. That you don’t like their content makes no difference. 

    Re: “The WIKI article is, well, a WIKI article. Hard to determine its value as a source.
    Adam What’s-his-name’s video is no more than a slightly amusing hack job that grossly misrepresents the Briggs/Myers-Briggs origin story, and you do yourself a disservice by citing it.”

    If you took the time to look at them, you’d see they provide this little thing called “references.” You know, footnotes/endnotes in books. It’s a standard way of investigating things, to use them. RationalWiki and Adam Ruins Everything provides references for all their claims. Those are where their value lies. 

    I can’t help it if you didn’t pick up on that. 

    Re: “Next, you’re making a rather large assumption that I don’t know what an ad hominem fallacy is, but you come across as a totally pompous ass to post links to articles about it.” 

    … says the guy who was sanctimoniously outraged at having to read something by someone anonymous on the Internet. Talk about being a pompous ass yourself. Pot, kettle, black. 

    Re: “What I do have a vested interest in (though it is neither sanctimonious nor fallacious) is trying to uphold a higher standard for online argumentation.” 

    If you think “online argumentation” cannot be carried out anonymously, then you’ve fallen for the argumentum ad hominem fallacy that you say you understand. Construing all anonymous sources as always be wrong means one is deciding their veracity based solely on who they are (or rather, who they may or may not be). And that’s fallacious. 

    But to repeat: My identity doesn’t matter, when I provide references to check out … some of which themselves have references to check out. I never asked anyone to take my word for anything. That I am anonymous changes nothing I said. Your outrage at my anonymity is noted, but dismissed as irrelevant. 

    Re: “And I am particularly irritated by an approach like yours, trying to bowl over the opposition with a condescending, even mocking, torrent of unsupported assertions.” 

    And I’m irritated by authors (i.e. the OP) who pen works which attempt to bowl me over with pseudopsychology, phony crap, and lies. For example, the Enneagram is NOT, in fact, “ancient” at all. Not by a mile. And the OP never backs that claim up — with anything. 

    I find that sort of thing insulting to readers’ intelligence. Don’t you? Oh wait, I forgot, you’re too busy being outraged at anonymous commenters to notice the lies in the original piece….  

  • FWIW, I just blocked the anonymous user who goes by the alias PsiCop (and deleted all of my own comments to him, hoping it would wipe out the whole conversation, but it didn’t). Having lived through Hurricane Harvey, and out of sympathy for those in the path of Irma, I think we’ve had enough blowhards for now.

  • Has a Scientology tinge to it. Have fun with the cute little shapes, everyone! Fork over more $$$ for the “study” of it!

  • The world of existence is filled with mystery and Enneagram is one way of getting at it. The church (esp, Protestantism and American Evangelicalism) for the most part has lost its way and would do well to see itself culturally from an archetypal lens.

  • As a Buddhist, what you think leads you to god, might just lead you to your own destruction. Some of this sounds similar to Buddhism (not surprised) Christianity is all about thievery, nothing new under the sun. It sounds interesting none the less.

  • That guy is a major jerk. Dont worry about him. I remember seeing him on other sites i think. Could be mistaken.

  • blocked for being a major dick. Also the meyers briggs is more about you knowing yourself. but its no surprised a narcissist would think its hooey.

  • Yes I guess you are. And perhaps ignorant and judgmental on something you obviously know nothing about.

  • So you’re not a 7. Your highest score will indicate what core personality you are. I would suggest you take the test a couple times and you’ll understand more about yourself. Keep an open mind and you’ll see why many people use it in counseling. Good luck.

  • Ignorance is not bliss my friend . A little self exploration might just enlighten you. Myers Briggs has been used in counseling for quite some time and the Enneagram is even more accurate.

  • Ditto.. I agree. Some of us actually want to know ourselves, others like this “Yoikes” guy just walk in pure ignorance. Not willing to look in the mirror for any self introspection. Kinda sad.

  • Perhaps your type 5 personality is showing through. I suggest you take the test on several different sites. The suggestion to think about your answers is important as the ego tends to make us believe we are what we actually not. I do give you kudos for actually researching and taking the test. I don’t agree with everything your website link presented. I’ve personally found the enneagram to be helpful in my own life, but to each his own, millions have found enlightenment through self introspection.

  • Re: “Perhaps your type 5 personality is showing through.” 

    Huh? I don’t have a “type 5 personality.” No one does. The enneagram, and all other personality models, are a steaming load. 

    Re: “I suggest you take the test on several different sites.” 

    Been there, done that. I get different results at different times. It’s inevitable, unless I memorize questions and ensure I answer them all the same way, each time. But I don’t do that, because it would invalidate those tests, right off the bat. 

    Re: “I don’t agree with everything your website link presented.” 

    I don’t expect everyone would. In fact, a lot of people object to what’s on that site. Still, it’s valuable and has been around since 1994. Everything there is referenced, too. One can learn a lot there, if only one is willing to. 

    Re: “I’ve personally found the enneagram to be helpful in my own life, but to each his own …” 

    … hence, the reason things like the enneagram (and Myers-Briggs and the rest of that horse hockey) keep bopping around, in spite of their thoroughly-unscientific nature. 

  • Interesting I’ve taken the test on multiple web sites and always show a high score on type 4 with a 5 wing.
    I’ve studied the Enneagram for years and know dozens of others that have taken the test, and not a one said they come up with different scores on different sites. The test is pretty intuitive as long as you’re being serious. I’ve never heard such a statement as yours.
    Perhaps you’re not being honest that you actually took the tests. .
    Perhaps a sign multiple personality disorder. Lol

  • Re: “… and always show a high score on type 4 with a 5 wing.” 

    Interesting. So your personality isn’t one out of a possible 9. It’s actually one out of a possible 81 (9 to start, with added “wings” of 1 through 9, so 9×9). Got it. 

    I hope you realize, by doing that, you just fuzzed your entire presumed 9-result model? But OK. 

    Re: “I’ve never heard such a statement as yours.” 

    I imagine not. 

    Re: “Perhaps you’re not being honest that you actually took the tests.” 

    I’m sure you’d love to think that — but it’s still not true, no matter how convenient for you it might be or how fervently you wish it to be so. 

    FWIW the results I can recall at the moment are 7, 4, and 8. 

    Still, problems with the enneagram are real, and persistent ( And personality testing in general is pseudopsychology, especially the MBTI ( Those problems don’t just go away because one “believes” them to have gone away. 

  • Well actually the way it works are 9 core personalities with what’s called wings, these help to define more clearly our passive or extrovert styles. Enneagram teaches that we modulate between the “Healthy” state to the “unhealthy” emotional state. Example when I’m at my best (everything going my way) I’m more the “type 4” the sensitive artist or the usual creative musician that I am. But let’s say I’m under extreme duress, lost my job or my recent experience of hurricane Irma. Then that creative artist goes away and leans to a different personality. All sounds normal right? That’s life, but Enneagram teaches us how to recognize our strengths and weaknesses. Brings more awareness to ourselves and how we react to one another, and personally for me more spiritual awareness. And is why the Church has had some interest in systems like Myers Briggs and Enneagram. And to be sure we are all mixtures of the 9 types, but if you honestly study it with an open mind you’ll find that you’ll learn a lot about yourself and hopefully a better person for your efforts. 🙂

  • Re: “Well actually the way it works are 9 core personalities with what’s called wings, these help to define more clearly our passive or extrovert styles.” 

    So you’re confirming there aren’t 9 personality types, but either 81 or 72 (depending on whether a personality type can be a “wing” of itself). That’s what I said, so thanks for confirming it. Also thanks for confirming what I also said, which is that the enneagram model is considerably fuzzier than would first appear. 

    Re: “Example when I’m at my best (everything going my way) I’m more the ‘type 4’…. But let’s say I’m under extreme duress, lost my job or my recent experience of hurricane Irma. Then that creative artist goes away …” 

    So personalities are modifiable, with people behaving differently based on conditions. To what extent, then, can anyone really be said to have any “personality type” at all? Since people react according to their environments, rather than always in accord with their “type,” how is this not any different than simply admitting that personality types don’t exist? 

    Re: “All sounds normal right?” 

    Actually, it does. That people behave and react different under different circumstances is a reasonable hypothesis. But as I noted, it tends to fly in the face of personality typing in general. In your effort to clarify personality typing, you’ve just undermined it. 

    Re: “And to be sure we are all mixtures of the 9 types …” 

    Another statement which, likewise, undermines personality typing. Hmm. 

  • I’ve tried to explain to you my own personal interest in the Enneagram and how it’s enhanced my life both spiritually and in relationship with others.
    We can debate on the pros and cons of any topic, but unless you actually approach the topic with an open mind and some study, you just won’t get it.
    Yes there are only 9 personality types. And when you find out your core type (you’ll see it’s obvious when you do so) you’ll learn there is greater depth and discovery as you study.
    So for me and millions of others it just works. And some of us are just seekers. Life is an adventure. Enjoy

  • Re: “I’ve tried to explain to you my own personal interest in the Enneagram and how it’s enhanced my life both spiritually and in relationship with others.” 

    I get that “it works for you.” Unfortunately, that has no bearing on me. I’m interested in “what is scientific.” The field of psychology is already quite difficult enough to make a science of, without introducing nebulous stuff like “personality types” to muddle it more than is needed. 

    Re: “We can debate on the pros and cons of any topic, but unless you actually approach the topic with an open mind and some study, you just won’t get it.” 

    I’ve found that people who tell me I’m not “open minded” are just complaining about my insolence and disagreement. That’s actually fine with me! I admit to being insolent and to not immediately agreeing with, or buying into, everything people try to push off on me. I have a brain and I’m capable of using it. If that bothers you — and clearly it does — well, understand that I have zero intention of changing that, solely to make you happy. 

    Re: “Yes there are only 9 personality types.” 

    So you’re saying all the “wing” stuff doesn’t mean anything. OK. Got it.

    Re: “And when you find out your core type (you’ll see it’s obvious when you do so) you’ll learn there is greater depth and discovery as you study.” 

    On the other hand, if I decide that personality types are just B.S. and people simply react according to their environments, that too will lead to a “greater depth” as well as more than a little “discovery.” No? 

    Re: “So for me and millions of others it just works.” 

    Your appeal to popularity (aka argumentum ad populum, appeal to consensus, etc.) is noted, but dismissed as fallacious and therefore illogical ( 

    Re: “And some of us are just seekers.” 

    Great! Seek away! Just don’t expect the rest of us to wander off into pseudopsychology and pseudoscience with you just because you say we should. 

    Re: “Life is an adventure.” 

    I have no idea what that has to do with the unscientific nature of personality typing, but OK. Fine. Whatever. 

  • Dear f*****g PsiCop: I can tell that you slept through psych testing and assessment class … most of the references you site are from the internet, not the research literature. For the record, there is no assessment instrument that is completely without error factors. The Myers-Briggs has enough utility to render it clinically useful. That is why you have to “interpret” the results within a constellation of psychological assessments. You can now go back to picking you nose, PsiCop.

  • Re: “… most of the references you site are from the internet, not the research literature.” 

    Everything you just posted is also on the Internet. If being “from the internet” makes my sources wrong, then you just consigned yourself to falsehood as well. 

    Congratulations on dismissing yourself, along with everything else that disagrees with you. Well done! You must be so proud. 

    As for those sources being “from the internet,” you obviously didn’t actually bother to read them because if you had, you’d have known they were, in turn, sourced, and you could have checked out those sources, had you wished to. 

    But you didn’t. Instead, you childishly became incensed at the idea that this horrific, insolent “PsiCop” guy dared tell you your personality tests are the B.S. they actually are. Then you came up with “but they’re from the internet!” as a reason to dismiss the sources I offered, without consideration. 

    To illustrate the fallacy you’ve fallen into, here you go: 

    The sky is blue. 

    That statement is “from the internet” (since that’s how you just read it). By your own professed standards, though, it must be wrong. Right? 

    Or maybe not? Maybe the sky is blue, after all … even if that’s something you read “from the internet”? 

    Oh, and thank you for continuing to present yourself as a living object lesson in the backfire effect. I do so appreciate it when people manage to live down to all my expectations of them. 

  • Several different personality/temperament/indicators tests available, including those aimed at the Christian. Morbid curiosity includes curiosity about ourselves. Generally these tests are revealing and fun. I personally enjoyed Personality Plus by Florence Littaur. None of these tests can be substituted in the life of a believing Christian for the conviction of the Holy Spirit as he works in us to reveal areas we need to grow in or for the inerrant word of God in Scripture profitable for teaching…to rebuking.

  • The sad part about the this powerful tool reaching evangelical churches is that everyone will end up reading the evangelical’s guide to it rather than the thing itself, and it will just be demonized and crucified. Oh well, a few will actually plumb it’s depths and realize the liberating effects of it. Most others will think their identity is found in constantly telling themselves how much of a sinful pile of crap they are. That is, if they’re not busy trying to nullify the guilt they feel for missing the quiet time…again. Shame on you! Sad.

  • You seem so intent on proving everyone wrong. What is your motivation? You seem well educated. I wonder; do things always have to be “right” or “wrong” with you? Do you struggle with the incongruities of truth?

    As far as I understand it, the enneagram never makes any claims to scientific authority. It’s merely a tool to improve yourself as a person and to find more clarity and satisfaction out of your life.

    I don’t like to be a bearer of bad news but… there whole concept of scientific authority, in its essential meaning, is impossible as long as we cannot properly observe things. So… most of psychology is not scientific, because the mind cannot be accurately obsertved.

    It’s all a guessing game. The importance is not to be right, but to try. The Enneagram is trying. For that, I respect it, although I do not hold it up as true.

    I suggest you let go of that part of your ego which drives you to hammer your subjective opinions on people on the internet.

  • Re: “You seem so intent on proving everyone wrong.” 

    When people are wrong, they are wrong, and both deserve, and need, to know it. It’s not my problem if they’re too thin-skinned to handle correction. 

    Re: “What is your motivation?” 

    I’m notivated primarily by a desire to promote veracity. I’m not sure what’s wrong with veracity … I mean, do you oppose it, or something? What’s more, it insults my intelligence to be told crap that I know not to be true. 

    Re: “You seem well educated.” 

    I suppose I am. Is that a bad things? If so, why? 

    Re: “I wonder; do things always have to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ with you?” 

    Not always. I’m comfortable with “shades of gray” when it’s appropriate and logical. But things that are demonstrably untrue, are demonstrably untrue, and there’s not point in fudging them just to make people happy. Their happiness shouldn’t rely on falsehoods. Mature adults are capable of dealing with facts, and with correction when they are wrong. 

    Re: “Do you struggle with the incongruities of truth?” 

    I have no idea what you’re referring to. So I’d have to say “no.” 

    Re: “As far as I understand it, the enneagram never makes any claims to scientific authority.” 

    Irrelevant. It makes claims … period. If those claims are wrong, they are wrong. 

    Re: “It’s merely a tool to improve yourself as a person and to find more clarity and satisfaction out of your life.” 

    It can’t be a “tool” for anything, if it’s predicated on B.S. and lies and is promoted by disingenuous propaganda. It can only delude, and never inform. 

    Re: “I don’t like to be a bearer of bad news but …” 

    Yes you do. 

    Re: “… that whole concept of scientific authority, in its essential meaning, is impossible as long as we cannot properly observe things.” 

    I see, so you’re a postmodernist! Have fun with that. I refuse to take that bait. 

    And if you don’t think there’s any such thing as “scientific authority,” then you haven’t a clue as to what the scientific method is, and need to stop talking. 

    Re: “So… most of psychology is not scientific, because the mind cannot be accurately or objectively observed.” 

    Well, no, that isn’t true. But you just go ahead and say it anyway. You have no problem with B.S. and lies. Psychology is far from perfect, but there are lots of observable phenomena in that field. To say there are none is absurd. 

    Re: “Therefore most areas of study in psychology such as personality types is suggestion at best.” 

    Yes, the veracity of personality types has yet to be established. What is known of it suggests no such thing exists … but that doesn’t mean we may not, someday, find out otherwise. What we do know is that the enneagram model falls flat on its face. 

    Re: “The best psychologists know this.” 

    Yes, and they also know that — as far as can be determined — personality typing is B.S. and lies. 

    Re: “It’s all a guessing game.” 

    Not all of it, to be sure. But that certainly can’t justify inventing crap and spewing it at people. 

    Re: “The importance is not to be right, but to try.” 

    I get it, you don’t value veracity. But I do. And telling me I shouldn’t, isn’t going to work. 

    Re: “The Enneagram is trying …” 

    “Trying” what? To lie to people? 

    Re: “… and for that, I respect it …” 

    Again, I get it. You like B.S. and lies and consider veracity to be beneath you. 

    Re: “… although I do not hold it up as ‘true’ in the strongest sense.” 

    I’m not sure “truth” is something that works in only some senses. For example: Does 2+2=4? Yes. In what “sense” is it not true? Please let me know. 

    Re: “I suggest you let go of that part of your ego which drives you to hammer your subjective opinions on people on the internet.” 

    There’s nothing “subjective” about what I said. Personality typing is nothing but B.S. and lies. That’s not just my claim, it’s been made by many — all of whom have much better credentials than I do, myself. My “ego” didn’t make it so … veracity did. All I’m doing is explaining that to people who might not know this truth already. 

    To repeat, I get that you dismiss the value of veracity, but I don’t, and no amount of your simpering and whining about it can ever change that. 

    One more thing: I get that you’ve got your pants in a wad over my dismissal of your precious enneagram, but you’re replying to this a long time after I posted it. Why? To what extent are you motivated by your own “ego”? Do tell.