Karen Horney and the Enneagram

©1995 Katherine Chernick Fauvre

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others, and moves against (aggressive), moves toward others (compliant or dependent), or stands apart and moves away (withdrawn).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 Richard Riso, 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.      


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

©1996 Katherine Chernick Fauvre

Introductory Note:

Studying the Enneagram has been a turning point in my life. From the first book  I read and later  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 a "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 of 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 a 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, which is 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 situation, an emotional pattern, whereas 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 paid, e.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 8, the 6 is inhibited, whereas the 8 is notï¿i.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 passion¿the crazy idea about things," and sees the passions as the basic motivations. He described that all the passions are various deficiency motivations¿a wanting, a 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 reality¿the 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 interference, i.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," a moral 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 reference, i.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 stimuli, e.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 will support the growth process. 

©1996 KKH Chernick Fauvre    

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


Intuitive Genius:7 Key Principles That Define Genius

©1995 Katherine Chernick Fauvre

Over the years I have given a lot of thought to what constitutes genius... I have found that we all have genius.... and that we innately recognize it in others… But often, we forget or are unaware of our own genius. The journey of self-discovery affords an opportunity to find and experience our genius. With guidance, genius can be seen when we examine the intersection of our innate gifts, Tritype, instinctual stack, MBTI, archetypes, and social roles, etc. About 40 years ago, I explored the nature of genius and settled on 7 key points that I felt constitute genius… I have taught these principles ever since to empower others. As many of you already know, I use many systems to define, describe and delineate nuances. This article is no exception… ;) Recently, I found that there is consensus regarding these very same points. To me, this is truth in motion... and further confirms that we can all find universal truths... So, when I saw this, I decided to share what I have been teaching for years... so that you can share these principles with those that you know, love, guide or coach….What principles define genius?

1-Disparate and unconnected Phenomenon

Genius accepts and unifies what appears to be disparate and unconnected. In these troubled times, it is more important than ever to reconnect disparate fields of thought. By reuniting the social sciences and humanities with the hard sciences, we can generate the multi-dimensional view needed to re-envision the social process and create the structure needed to heal the wounded aspects of society. We can begin by embracing our chosen life lessons, letting go of fear, surrendering to the process of awakening, and teaching others to do the same…


Genius has the ability to recognize the truth in opposing points of view and to resolve possible contradictions at a higher level. Even as children, those that could hold opposites and differences as one and the same felt the most inspired when they created space for truths of a different bias… So I see genius as sensing the yin and yang in every situation and finding meaning in diverse and opposing points of view…When we have empathy, we can walk in another’s shoes and recognize that the so-called sinner and the so-called saint…are one and the same…And, genius seeks, accepts and appreciates that there is a back story to every situation…and as such, realizes that when all is known and understood, all is forgiven…

3-Original Thinking

Genius thinks and expresses in original ways that represent man’s eternal search for meaning, potential to transcend limitations, and innate desire to evolve as a species. We as a society need to encourage original thinkers to consider, create and develop radically new or improved social models to overcome the limitations of existing, ineffectual social, political, economic and correctional systems. Wise souls are pioneering spiritual pirates that see old things in new ways… honoring the wisdom and traditions of their ancestors while embracing and supporting the passions of the younger generations… Genius always challenges ‘what was’ in favor of being present to and acknowledging ‘what is’ true in the moment…

4-Profundity and Totality

Genius sees life in its profundity and totality. Life, Divinity and the universe are profoundly simple… yet exquisitely complex…like the individual drops that create the ocean, the continuous movement of the spiral, or the symmetry and uniqueness of a snowflake. So I see genius as seeing the whole as greater than the sum of its parts. As we gain more and more experience we see all of life as one…and what hurts you hurts me…


Genius sees opportunity where others see problems or nothing at all. All problems are opportunities to discover new perspectives, ideas and solutions…just as necessity is the mother of invention. Every obstacle, no matter how difficult, leads to new insights. Suffering teaches us to have depth of character and gives us the opportunity to become compassionate with others and ourselves. 

Tears of sadness signal that we are connected to the center of our sorrow and the depth of our despair.  Exquisite pain reminds us that it is because of love that we grieve its absence. Tears of joy teach us how to experience and celebrate our moments of union and flow… When we are attuned to what is omnipresent… and we celebrate and inspire others we experience higher states of bliss and enjoyment.This is true if we are awe-struck by the beauty of a rainbow, a magnificent sunrise or sunset, or the emotional transcendence we feel when we hear a beautiful voice. In these moments we feel touched and transformed and can experience tears of joy. 

Joy and sorrow are the twin emotions that cannot exist without the other. It is the unification of these emotions that invokes our essential nature, creates the opportunity to accept change, and create new paradigms. In this state of unification we become more and transcend the duality imposed by limitations.

6- Identifications

An in-depth study of what constitutes genius could identify the criteria needed to pinpoint and nurture original genius in all realms of life… from the classroom to the boardroom, and to the county jail. Without being taught, we all know genius when we see it, hear, it and feel it because it transports us to a higher state of consciousness... Genius is inherent in all of us… We each have our own calling and role to play in the tapestry of life at this time. Genius already exists in every moment…and in every person… Whatever or whomever we believe we are… we are not… We are not our role or our masks, we are not our history or our past, and we are not our aspirations… they are simply vehicles of expression. Our essential self cannot be defined by a label… it is the aspect of personality that transcends our instincts and ego. Remembering who we truly are and following our bliss and our soul’s mission is the key to living a more fulfilling life…We need only begin where we are… free of the limitations of the past or the future… by simply attuning to the truth of the present moment and what it has to offer. We don’t need to find it but rather need only to acknowledge it, trust it and cultivate it…in ourselves and with others.

7- Passion

Genius follows intuitive inspiration regardless of the hardships and limitations that must be faced, endured and overcome. Passions are intense emotions that are compelling and are not limited by reason, cultural standards or dogma. Intense emotions ignite the passions for the improbable, which in turn lead to new insights, new frontiers, and new states of being and awareness. Genius seeks the inner quest and follows natural flow and the path of unfoldment…. 

When we follow our passions and intuitions we experience the flow of inspiration and see multiple solutions to any given problem or situation. This flow is effortless and leads to an enriched and inspired life regardless of any obstacles, setbacks or difficulties. Genius takes the path less traveled, and more importantly, resistance, social pressure or disapproval does not deter genius. 

All emotions are meaningful. Passionate emotions create movement and break through barriers of personal and social indolence and stagnation. Negative emotions are inevitable. Genius allows and nurtures the expression of all emotions as mind-body wisdom. Judgment is a biological imperative. In the human condition we are designed to critique and judge for the purpose of survival... so we need not judge ourselves for judging. Instead, if we honor and allow the natural flow of our judgments as our mind trying to protect us, we can let go of the pain and/or fears associated with the judgments and be present to the guidance, abundance and interconnectedness that is always available. 

Genius follows natural flow and the path of unfoldment… Genius seeks the inner quest. When we follow our intuitions we experience the flow of inspiration and see multiple solutions to any given problem or situation. This flow is effortless and leads to an enriched and inspired life regardless of obstacles, setbacks or difficulties. Openness to our passions and emotions creates the opportunity to tap into the universal and experience transformation through insight. This fosters compassion and enhances reunification at a higher level of awareness. Genius unites the time-tested experience and wisdom of our elders with the passionate, daring and enthusiastic innocence of our youth, generating the focus needed to seek new frontiers, create innovative models of consciousness and shift paradigms. How is this true for you?