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Turning Round the Center The Dance of Ego and Essence.

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Presentation on theme: "Turning Round the Center The Dance of Ego and Essence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Turning Round the Center The Dance of Ego and Essence

2 “We would rather be ruined than changed; We would rather die in our dread Than climb the cross of the moment And let our illusions die.” - W. H. Auden

3 The Enneagram

4 What Is the Enneagram? - “Ennea” + “gram” = 9 pointed schematic - The Enneagram is a psycho-spiritual tool that helps us negotiate the struggle between the “false self” and the “true self.” It is the dynamic interplay of the two-self system: the dance of ego/type structure/false self and essence/true self, in interpersonal relationships and in one’s spiritual life.

5 Why Study the Enneagram? - Know Who You Are - Improve Interpersonal Relationships - You Are the Source of Your Own Suffering - You can only change yourself. You cannot change the other. In Enneagram studies the claim “You are the cause of my suffering” is invalid. - End Your Suffering - Suffering is mental/emotional reactivity. Pain is physical. Suffering can be eliminated. Pain can be managed. - The wisdom of the Enneagram gives us the ability to reduce our reactivity and thereby reduce our suffering.

6 Who Are You a la the Enneagram? Mental Center: thinking, memory, planning, and imagination Fixation: habit of mind Holy Idea: transcendent quality of the fixation Emotional Center: feelings Passion: habit of feeling [lynchpin of the type structure] Virtue: transcendent quality of the passion Body Center: physicality Subtypes: type’s passion is expressed through subtypes: One to One, Social, and Self-preservation Inner Observer: attentional aspect of Higher Self.

7 The Passion and Its Agenda “When a pickpocket meets the pope, he sees only the pope’s pockets.” - The “hidden feature” is a negative tendency that rests at the base of the Type structure. - The passion is discovered only through self-observation a la the Inner Observer. - The center point organizes all of your feelings, thoughts, memories, plans, and imaginings. It is the “axis” around which the recurrence of your habitual thoughts and feelings occurs.

8 The Types’ Passions - Type 9 – Sloth- Type 3 – Deceit- Type 6 – Fear - Type 8 – Lust- Type 2 – Pride- Type 5 – Avarice - Type 1 – Anger- Type 4 – Envy- Type 7 – Gluttony

9 The Inner Observer - It is the Inner Observer that observes the categories of Type. It is that aspect of the self that is free from identification with the categories of Type, i.e., false consciousness. - As that aspect of the self that is not identified with the categories of Type, the Inner Observer is able to assist us on the journey from false consciousness to true consciousness. - As the capacity of the Inner Observer increases and identification with Type structure/recedes, we discover greater freedom and come to realize that we have choices over our reactions to the environment, rather than merely operating on habit of feeling and thought.

10 The Vicious Circle of Passion, Perception, and Type Structure Recurrence of habitual thoughts and feelings determines the Type structure’s perception, which in turn feeds the Type structure’s passion, which in turn justifies the Type structure’s recurrence of habitual thoughts and feelings, which determines the Type structure’s perception...

11 World As 3-D Rorschach Test Habit of thought and feeling determines perception Type structure scans the environment (sorts through information) for confirming data, then uses this data to justify itself.

12 Implications Of the Vicious Circle - Data that disconfirms Type is missed, that is, only data that confirms Type is recognized. - Habits of thought and feeling are strengthened as Type is confirmed. - Understanding the Vicious Circle is vital to reducing your suffering! Recognizing how the Type’s passion drives the Type’s habit of thought and feeling, and thus perception of the world, allows us, counter intuitively, to relax into the energy of the passion, thus diminishing the strength of the habits of feeling and thought. When this occurs, our perception is closer to reality as it actually is.

13 People As 3-D Rorschach Tests

14 Typing Yourself: Things to Consider - Probability Theory - Passion verses Behavior - Wing(s) - Direction Of Movement - Levels Of Health - Do Not Rush Yourself

15 Triangle, Triads, and Variations Physical Triad / Anger Based [self-forgetters] 9 Sloth / Right Action 8 Lust / Innocence 1 Anger / Serenity 7 Gluttony / Sobriety 2 Pride / Humility 6 Fear / Courage 3 Deceit / Honesty 5 Avarice / Nonattachment 4 Envy / Equanimity Mental Triad / Fear Based Emotional Triad / Image Based [defenses organized around the mind] [self-image depends on approval of others]

16 Passion:SlothVirtue:Right Action Triad Issue:AngerTriad Trait:Self-forgetting Basic Proposition: The original state of unconditional love and union wherein everyone belongs equally goes into the background in a world that you perceive makes you unimportant or insists you blend in to be deemed acceptable. Consequently, you come to believe that as a substitute for your own worth you can gain belonging and comfort by attending to, and merging with others, and by dispersing energy into substitute objects. Concurrently, you developed inertia (self-forgetting) about your own priorities and limits. Nine

17 Defense Mechanism: Narcotization glues the structure together by helping you "numb out" and keep life comfortable. Ultimate Concern: Being dismissed and/or feeling alienated. Reactive Catalysts: Being forced to: take a position, face conflict, or being pushed into action; having to say "no" to a claim made upon you. These reactions prevents your experiencing unconditional love and ultimately being able to take essential action that genuinely supports life. Nine

18 Where Attention Goes: To others’ agendas and environmental claims made upon you; anything that beckons: requests, demands, unessential things; keeping life predictable, comfortable… familiar. Blind Spot: One’s own position. Type Avoids: Conflict; feeling uncomfortable; anger. Behavioral Tendencies: - Mergers - Peacemakers/Mediator - Connections with Other Is Paramount - Boundary Issues - Indecisive - Trouble prioritizing Nine

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20 Eight Passion:LustVirtue:Innocence Triad Issue:AngerTriad Trait:Self-forgetting Basic Proposition:The original innocent state ofsensing the essential truth in everything (people included) goes into the background in a world that you perceive to be hard and unjust, and in which the powerful take advantage of others. Consequently, you come to believe that you can assure protection and gain respect (worthiness) by becoming strong and powerful, by imposing your own personal truth, and by hiding vulnerability. Concurrently, you develop a big, lustful energy.

21 Defense Mechanism: Denial glues the structure together by helping you to "blank out” or not see dangers, nor experience your vulnerability. Ultimate Concern: Being vulnerable and/or powerless. Reactive Catalysts: Perceived injustices you can't correct; deceitful/manipulative people; people who won't stand up for themselves; your own vulnerability; inaction; boundaries that are constraining; attempts to control you. These reactions prevent your being vulnerable, impacted, trustingly connected to others, and ultimately sensing reality as it is. Eight

22 Where Attention Goes: To what needs control or assertiveness. Power and control, justice and injustice, and all or nothing polarities. Whatever demands my immediate attention. Blind Spot: Impact on others. Type Avoids: Being: weak, uncertain, or dependent. Behavioral Tendencies: - Justice/Protector - Power Dynamics - Intense Passion for Life - Excess as an Antidote for Boredom - Bull In China Shop Eight

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24 One Passion:AngerVirtue:Serenity Triad Issue:AngerTriad Trait: Self-forgetting Basic Proposition: The original undivided state ofperfection in all things, in each moment, goes into the background in a world that you perceive judges and punishes bad behavior and impulse. Consequently, you come to believe that you can gain worthiness (love) by being good, correcting error, and meeting the requirements of the (your) critical mind. Concurrently, you develop resentment and suppressed anger/guilt over impulse, bad behavior, and what is judged wrong.

25 Defense Mechanism: Reaction formation glues the structure together by helping you oppose "bad" behavior, especially impulse and desire. Ultimate Concern: Being so bad or wrong that you would be deemed unworthy. Reactive Catalysts: Feeling that you are not measuring up to standards (yours and others’); being wrong; being unjustly criticized; things being done the wrong way; unfairness and irresponsibility; rules and standards being ignored/violated. These reactions prevents your feeling accepted as you are, including your vital instincts and ultimately the experience of serenity that comes from accepting life as it is. One

26 Where Attention Goes: To error and mistakes; what is right and wrong (especially what is wrong and should be corrected by you or others). Blind Spot:Accepting the gray. Type Avoids: Making mistakes; losing self-control; violating social norms. Behavioral Tendencies: - Highly Moral - Reliable - Perfectionist - Inner Critic/“Comparing Mind” - Irritable - Black and White Thinker One

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28 Triangle, Triads, and Variations Physical Triad / Anger Based [self-forgetters] 9 Sloth / Right Action 8 Lust / Innocence 1 Anger / Serenity 7 Gluttony / Sobriety 2 Pride / Humility 6 Fear / Courage 3 Deceit / Honesty 5 Avarice / Nonattachment 4 Envy / Equanimity Mental Triad / Fear Based Emotional Triad / Image Based [defenses organized around the mind] [self-image depends on approval of others]

29 Passion:DeceitVirtue:Honesty Triad Issue:FeelingsTriad Trait:Others’ Perceptions Basic Proposition:The original state of hope wherein things work according to universal law (i.e., are not dependent on the effort of the doer) goes into the background in a world that you perceive rewards doing, but not being. Consequently, you come to believe that you can gain love, recognition, and acceptance by performing, doing, and succeeding. Concurrently, you develop a go-ahead energy of self- deception in order to match the image of success and approval. Three

30 Defense Mechanism: Identification glues the structure together by helping you take on the attributes of a desired image as your own. Ultimate Concern: Being incapacitated. Reactive Catalysts: Anything or anyone that thwarts the successful achievement of your goals; obstacles to your goals; incompetence; indecision; failure. These reactions prevent your being appreciated and loved apart from doing and accomplishment, and ultimately knowing and honestly expressing your feelings. Three

31 Where Attention Goes: To tasks and goals; things that need to be done; future achievements; how to fit the expected role. Blind Spot: Failure. Type Avoids:Failure; losing face; doubts; feelings that arise when adopting a slower pace. Behavioral Tendencies: - High Achiever - Leader - Competitive - Dead Bodies In the Road - Chameleon - Overly Pragmatic

32 Three

33 Passion:PrideVirtue:Humility Triad Issue:FeelingsTriad Trait:Others’ Perceptions Basic Proposition: The original state of freedom wherein needs are met according to a universal will goes into the background in a world that you perceive is based on the premise, “In order to get you must give.” Consequently, you come to believe that you can gain love and approval, and have personal needs fulfilled by giving to others what they want/need and hoping these others give in return. Concurrently, you develop a prideful energy of knowing best what others need. Two

34 Defense Mechanism: Repression glues the structure together by helping you “blank out” to your own needs and desires. Ultimate Concern: Being useless to others, thus dispensable. Reactive Catalysts: Being unable to give and hence subject to rejection; being needy yourself; feeling unappreciated/uncared for; people not caring/supporting others. These reactions prevent your giving and receiving freely with grace and love, and ultimately your experience of humility that comes with this freedom. Two

35 Where Attention Goes:To others' needs and desires, especially those that you care about and would like to have care about you. Blind Spot:One’s own needs. Type Avoids: Disappointing others; feeling rejected or unappreciated; being dependent on others. Behavioral Tendencies: - Helpful - Attentive - Intuitive - Invasive - Overly Concerned - Inauthentic Two

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37 Passion:EnvyVirtue:Equanimity Triad Issue:FeelingsTriad Trait:Others’ Perceptions Basic Proposition: The original state of deep and complete connection to all things goes into the background in a world that you perceive abandons you, leaving something important missing. Consequently, you come to believe that you can regained the lost original state by searching for that situation or loving relationship that is unique, special, missing, and believed to be ultimately fulfilling. Concurrently, you develop envy and longing over what is idealized and unavailable. Four

38 Defense Mechanism: Introjection glues the structure together by taking into yourself the perceived idealized qualities of other perceived to missing within yourself. Ultimate Concern: Being perceived to be insignificant or found deficient, thus potentially abandoned. Reactive Catalysts: People letting you down, disappointing you, or vice versa; being left due to your deficiency; not being recognized/understood as special and unique; repeatedly feeling unfulfilled. These reactions prevent your feeling loved, regardless of deficiencies, and ultimately your experience of gratitude and equanimity for what is present. Four

39 Where Attention Goes: To what is missing; what is deeply touching or meaningful; what is aesthetically pleasing. Blind Spot:Taking satisfaction in what is present/common. Type Avoids:Being: abandoned unrecognized, or feeling insignificant; mundane/people lacking depth. Behavioral Tendencies: - Empathic - Unique - Creative - Dramatic - Push-Pull Relationships - Moody Four

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41 Triangle, Triads, and Variations Physical Triad / Anger Based [self-forgetters] 9 Sloth / Right Action 8 Lust / Innocence 1 Anger / Serenity 7 Gluttony / Sobriety 2 Pride / Humility 6 Fear / Courage 3 Deceit / Honesty 5 Avarice / Nonattachment 4 Envy / Equanimity Mental Triad / Fear Based Emotional Triad / Image Based [defenses organized around the mind] [self-image depends on approval of others]

42 Passion:FearVirtue:Courage Triad Issue:FearTriad Trait:Mind Defense Basic Proposition: The original state of faith in self, others, and the universe goes into the background in a world that you perceive to be threatening, unpredictable, and untrustworthy. Consequently, you come to believe that you can attain security and certainty by gaining the approval of, or defying authority, and avoid harm through vigilance, an active imagination, and battling or escaping perceived hazards. Concurrently, you develop fear and doubt concerning what/who might threaten safety and security. Six

43 Defense Mechanism: Projection glues the structure together by attributing concerns and fears to other people or situations, which are then challenged or avoided. Ultimate Concern: Ending up helpless/defenseless and hence unable to rely on yourself to cope with life. Reactive Catalysts: Untrustworthiness and betrayal; feeling cornered or pressured; endlessly trying to make existence certain and secure; trying to prove yourself; unreliable/questionable authority figures. These reactions prevent your being trusting, assured, and confident that love will both endure and flourish, as well as undermines your faith in yourself, others, and the universe. Six

44 Where Attention Goes: To potential hazards and worse case scenarios; difficulties; incongruities; implications; inferences; hidden meanings. Blind Spot: Overestimating authority’s power. Type Avoids: Being helpless or not in control; alienating people upon whom one depends by opposing them. Behavioral Tendencies: - Loyal - Consistent - Workhorse - Paranoid - Self-Doubting - Devil’s Advocate Six

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46 Passion:AvariceVirtue:Nonattachment Triad Issue:FearShared Trait:Mind Defense Basic Proposition:The original state of directly knowing that the flow of universal energy meets real needs goes into the background in a world that you perceive demands too much/gives too little. Consequently, you come to believe that you must gain protection from intrusion and insufficient resources, and hence come to assure life through privacy, self-sufficiency, limiting desires and wants, and acquiring knowledge. Concurrently, you develop avarice for time, energy, and knowledge. Five

47 Defense Mechanism: Isolation of affect glues the structure together by helping one detach from feelings. Ultimate Concern: Ending up completely depleted or drained; lacking sufficient resources to cope with life. Reactive Catalysts: Demands upon your time and energy; unwanted intrusions; overload of emotional input; insufficient private time to restore; dependency. These reactions prevent your staying engaged and connected in the security that love provides, and ultimately your experience of life energy flowing freely. Five

48 Where Attention Goes: Toward learning all there is to know; thinking and analyzing in advance. Blind Spot: Unaware of existing abundance. What This Type Avoids: Strong feelings; intrusion; demanding people or circumstances. Behavioral Tendencies: - Analytic - Stoic - Independent - Private - Emotionally Detached - Thinking Confused with Feeling Five

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50 Passion:GluttonyVirtue:Sobriety Triad Issue:FearTriad Trait:Mind Defense Basic Proposition: The original state of focused concentration, called constancy, with an ability to travel the spectrum of life fully and freely goes into the background in a world that you perceive frustrates you, limits you, and causes you pain. Consequently, you come to believe that you can escape frustration and pain, and assure a good life by going into positive options, opportunities, and adventures. Concurrently, you develop a gluttony of the mind for positive possibilities, pleasures, and future plans. Seven

51 Defense Mechanism: Rationalization glues the structure together by helping you reframe painful or "negative" experiences in a positive way. Ultimate Concern: Being trapped in suffering/unable to deal with pain. Reactive Catalysts: Constraints or limits placed upon you; losing freedom to do what you want; getting stuck in negativity; people who are stuck in unhappiness or depression. These reactions prevent your being present in a steady or constant way with an open-heart, and ultimately your accepting both joy and suffering as part of life. Seven

52 Where Attention Goes: To positive options, ideas, plans, and projects that keep life interesting and pleasurable. Blind Spot: Actual limitations. Type Avoids: Frustrations, constraints, painful situations,and feelings of boredom. Behavioral Tendencies: - Energetic - Imaginative - Optimistic - Escape Artists - Rule Insensitive - Insensitive toward Others Seven

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54 “We would rather be ruined than changed; We would rather die in our dread Than climb the cross of the moment And let our illusions die.” - W. H. Auden


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