Michael Jackson and Prince, the positive 4s
© Katherine Chernick Fauvre
Michael Jackson and Prince are musical legends and gone way too soon. Throughout their amazing careers the two megastars enjoyed great successes. They both came of age in the 80s as young men and as solo performers. Both seemed to be children of destiny, born to entertain, to amuse, to inspire, to delight, and to touch. Through their music, they took us to the edge of our level of comfort, to the heights of exhilaration and to the depths of our emotional truth. As true child prodigies as well as mature artists, their music helped to not only shape the 80s, it continued to evolve and define whatever genre they addressed.
They are also a study of type 4. Because they were stars and affluent so young they could fully indulge their types, instincts and Tritypes and live their lives as true eccentrics. Their passions could be indulged and were seen on a large stage because they were in the public eye. Both were shy, introverted and private men that were charismatic superstars. In spite of their shyness were totally at home on stage sharing their talents with the world at large.
4 and Emotional Sensitivity
I see both men as Enneagram type 4. 4s are known for their need for connection to what is meaningful and transcendent.
They are also known for their love of beauty and aesthetics, their chronic frustration and passion for protest, their painful self-consciousness and push-pull, love-hate style of relating, and their deep emotional sensitivity and compassion for the suffering of others.
The idealized image of the 4 is that they are elite, original, individualistic, tasteful, creative and have an artistic sensibility. The core fear of 4 is the fear being inadequate, ordinary, flawed and/or defective. At their best, 4s are articulate, sensitive, introspective and compassionate with a strong desire to heal and transform by protesting against injustices and by giving meaning to suffering. At their worst, 4s are hypersensitive, petty, envious, vindictive, self-absorbed, punishing and temperamental.
Male 4s are complex in that they have the single-minded masculine drive to initiate and conquer but it is tempered by a great deal of emotional sensitivity due to the 4 need for depth, connection, admiration and validation. This sensitivity makes the 4 aware of nuances others miss but also creates painful self-consciousness and self-doubt that undermines their self-confidence. Male 4s are often poets and troubadours that express what they feel and in so doing, frequently express what we all feel. This proved to be very true for both Michael and Prince. So, their simultaneous rise to fame in the 80s reinforced the power of raw edgy creativity, laced with refinement, subtlety and heartfelt emotions.
Going the route of the power ballad was an absolute given in the 1980s even if you were in a hard rock band. The raw emotional truth of the ballad voiced universal pain. For most hardcore rock bands, ballads were often career defining.
Both Michael and Prince loved ballads but not in the traditional way. Rather than an occasional ballad, their feelings were infused in every piece of their music, from the raw energy of pop rock to the tender sensibility of emotional expression.
Michael and Prince were able to express their wide range of emotions in such a poetic way that listeners could identify with both their music and their lyrics. ‘Gone Too Soon’ by Michael Jackson and ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince are only two examples of their ability to express deep and universal emotions.
‘Gone too Soon’ is a song dedicated to Ryan White, a young victim of AIDS who Michael befriended. He performed ‘Gone too Soon’ at the ball for former President Bill Clinton's first inauguration on January 20, 1993, where he highlighted the importance of supporting research for a cure for AIDS.
Prince was famous for being self-conscious and was portrayed as image conscious. ‘Purple Rain’ is a deeply moving song. It is also the title of a movie in which Prince starred. ‘Purple Rain’ was a movie of course, but it has always been reported as very close to being autobiographical. So to introduce himself to the mainstream audience as fragile and occasionally cruel could have killed his rising career. This probably took great courage. This raw honesty and is another hallmark of 4.
Sexual 4s deny their fear of rejection and reject first to manage their distress. They can be counter-envious and shameless if they are experiencing an intense emotion. They claim their position as the state of longing feels unbearable. In fact, because they are the most emotional type, with the most emotional instinct in the most emotional ‘heart’ center, when triggered they can be emotionally over the top. One sexual 4 said, “I knew I was the sexual 4 because when I feel rejected I am incredibly jealous, possessive, demanding, emotionally volatile, dramatic, intense, aggressive, loving and idealistic as hell - all rolled into one and at the same time.”
Van Jones, a human rights activist, humanitarian and close friend of Prince revealed more about the private life of Prince. According to Jones, “Prince rarely spoke about himself and, especially not about Purple Rain. Prince was always front and center, inspiring devotion and disgruntlement. Purple Rain may not be an autobiography, but it may be as close as we’ll get to his true story.”
Here is another interview with Van Jones talking about Prince.
Most 4s are humanitarians at heart. The 4s innate ability to demonstrate compassion for those that are suffering is a gift. Michael Jackson and Prince had that gift in spades. They were true humanitarians and did a great deal to support those that were suffering throughout the world. Both had an interest in helping children. There is so much I could say about both men. Just to name a couple of examples…
In 1985, Michael co-wrote ‘We are the World’ with Lionel Ritchie for those starving in Africa. He also donated all the money he received from Pepsi, $1.5 million, to the Michael Jackson Burn Center for Children. As a Jehovah’s Witness he did not speak of his generosity.
Prince was also a devout Jehovah’s Witness, so he too could not speak of his charitable works but he did a great deal to support suffering as well. Privately, Prince supported ‘Rebuild the Dream’, a mobilization of hundreds of thousands of everyday people who come together to build strong vibrant communities from the ground up. He donated $250,000 to Eau Claire Promise Zone, a citywide grassroots coalition focused on ensuring the city’s children are prepared to graduate from college and be successful in their career and in life.
It is reported that Michael and Prince had a bitter rivalry. One report is that Michael was disappointed that Prince rebuffed his friendly efforts to be friends. Another report is that Prince did not want to sing in ‘We are the World’ because he did not like the song but was willing to write a song for those suffering in Africa. He also appeared elitist when he mocked Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ in an interview. Whatever the case may be, they were first and foremost performers and artists. The performer that is a 4 is every bit as competitive as the performer that is the 3 or any of the other types. In fact, 4 envy may have been at the heart of their rumored rivalry.
Both men were constantly compared to one another. Both had diversity in their music, including: funk, R&B and disco. Both dominated the album charts in the 80s, Michael with ‘Thriller’ and Prince with ‘Purple Rain’. Both were shy and reclusive. Both had their sanctuaries, Neverland for Michael and Paisley Park for Prince.
Facts on their potential rivalry
Michael Jackson vs. Prince: The Forgotten Rivalry
By Kyle Anderson
“…The evidence suggests that the rivalry was for real, but perhaps one sided. On his 2004 album Musicology, Prince had a lyric that went, “My voice is getting higher/And Eye ain’t never had my nose done/That’s the other guy.” He left “We Are The World” sessions but did end up donating a song to the benefit album. However, recent interviews with former Prince band members shared a friendlier side.
“They’d shoot hoops at Paisley Park,” longtime Prince drummer Bobby Z told the Star-Tribune. Prince had a deep-seeded competitive nature, so it’s easy to see where he would measure himself against Jackson’s success. Engineer David Z told a story about Prince’s attempt to play ping-pong with Jackson. “Michael drops his paddle and holds his hands up in front of his face so the ball won’t hit him. Michael walks out with his bodyguard, and Prince starts strutting around like a rooster. Did you see that? He played like Helen Keller.'”
Jackson didn’t seem to go on record about Prince — in fact, he rarely had a negative word for anybody. Today it’s almost logical for two huge stars to go head-to-head (Jay-Z and Nas, 50 Cent and Kanye West), but it’s doubtful we’ll ever see two huge rivals like Jackson and Prince again.”
All performers are competitive as a competitive edge is essential to reach the pinnacle of success performers crave. Both Michael and Prince were known to be competitive and perfectionistic. All true artists are not only competitive; they are perfectionistic about their work. They honed their craft and wanted to deliver the experience they envisioned. This is essential for any artist that wants to stay at the top of their field. But the sexual 4 is known for their competitive nature and hatred as a means for overcoming feelings of envy and inadequacy. And, the 479s are known for their sunny dispositions and gentle nature.
Michael Jackson 479
I see Michael as the social 479 Tritype, which has a mystical, magical, ethereal, soothing, and healing quality to it. The 479 energy is very receptive and accepting, like a gentle spirit. With Michael’s songs we felt his emotions when he debuted in 1964 at the tender age of 6. Even in his counter culture roles he was soft. When he introduced “Thriller” he was dramatic and edgy but still appeared non-threatening.
If you watch Michael in any interview, it is easy to see that Michael had an overall countenance of fragile gentleness. He gave off the aura of someone that needed too be cared for and protected. He was bashful, refined and introspective like the introverted and inhibited social 4 often is. You can see his gentle, smiling and ethereal nature in the interview with Oprah.
As one social 4 remarked, “ I am always trying to improve my status. I never feel like I belong or have enough class and breeding to be included with those I am impressed with. I never quite find my people, and often feel left out.” Another social 4 said, “ I am always waiting to be found out… and that I don’t measure up to my own standards.”
Both 4 and 7 are creative. Both love fantasy and the unusual as well as the new, the novel and the creative. 7 brings a light touch, the egalitarian perspective, and a strong desire for excitement and amusement. It also brings a need for variety, as well as positive and upbeat interactions.
Michael felt like he lost his childhood to his career. He began working as a little boy as the lead singer in the family business of the Jackson 5. He had a hard driving, abusive father that relentlessly had his sons rehearse so there was no time for childhood activities.
Michael loved the attention his career and success provided but he still longed for the happy childhood he did not have. He is said to have been sad about his childhood so wanted to recreate his childhood with more joyous memories by having all the things he felt he missed and wanted as a child. His focus was to create happier experiences and new memories. This is often indicative of the type 4 especially with the 479 Tritype. The focus for all 4s is on what is missing and perceived to be valuable and out of reach.
The 479 is the 4 that hides their sadness because they fear people will reject them if they show it. Both 7 and 9 are happy characters on the Enneagram. This is why the 4 with the 479 Tritype is considered the happy, positive 4.
One social 479 reported, “People like me because I am deep, fun, soft, accepting and gentle. I often have ugly emotions and hateful thoughts but I am afraid if I share them I will no longer be thought of as the special person that is so ‘evolved, kind and spiritual’, So, I suffer in silence.”
You could see Michael’s 7 amplifying the 4’s desire for fantasy. His approach to music was always innovative and changing. His love of the unusual could be seen in his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara. Neverland was the epitome of the 479 love of fantasy and idealism. Walt Disney, shared the same Tritype only with 7 in the lead. As the 749, he created Disneyland based on the same love of fantasy, joy and idealism.
The 479 is magical, mystical, unusual, creative, individualistic, gentle, harmonizing and enduring. The 9s need for okness combined with the 7s need for joy makes this 4 focus on more fantastical idealized circumstances. Michael, due to his wealth, could indulge his fantasies.
Neverland, Michael’s property, was named for ‘Neverland’, the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, about a boy who never grows up. The 479 Tritype is very much like Peter Pan; they are forever young at heart with a childlike sense of wonder. Neverland was his home and his private amusement park. It contained a petting zoo, two railroads, a Ferris wheel, Carousel, Zipper, Octopus, Pirate Ship, Wave Swinger, Super Slide, roller coaster, bumper cars, and an amusement arcade.
You could also see the touch of fantasy in his attire. He dressed like a character in a play or in a circus, and matched the look and feel of his amusement Park. His clothing was creative, stylized, theatrical and beautifully embellished with details. He often set fashion trends. His silver glove, born of aesthetic necessity to hide the lack of pigment on his hand due to vitiligo, (a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches) became a fashion statement. He was known for his trademark jackets.
The 9 can be seen in his gentleness, kindness, stubbornness and avoidance of conflict. He also appeared to be very elusive and passive. We can see the 9 and 7 in the way he described himself to his friend, Jason Pfeiffer. Jason, in a Noise11 interview said that Michael thought his daughter Paris had picked up his traits of being stubborn, intelligent and mischievous as well as his lust for life, laughing and being the center of attention. We can see the 4 and 9 in his withdrawn and quiet side, which amplified his shyness and feelings of inhibition.
His social instinct could be seen in his focus on others. One example is the building of the amusement park and then bringing children to enjoy it. An amusement park is a social activity. It is a place where people come together to enjoy themselves. So he recreated the ideal childhood experience and shared it with others. This is what he felt he missed as a child even though he came from a large family, he felt lonely.
He debuted with the Jackson 5 when he was at the tender age of 6. He went solo in 1971 and was successful but he truly came of age in 1982 when he was 24 with ‘Thriller’. ‘We are the World’ co-written with Lionel Ritchie followed in 1985 with USA for Africa. It is a social subtype song as it is about helping others and recognizing that we are all one big family. Bringing together artists from all over the world to raise money for those starving in Africa by singing “We are the World” is a great example of the high side of the social instinct.
Fun facts about Michael
Michael has two stars in Hollywood, one with the Jackson 5 and one for his solo career. He won 8 Grammy Awards in 1984 and was declared the most famous person in the world in 1997.
I see Prince as the sx 478 Tritype. The 478 is also a mystical and magical Tritype like the 479 as both share the 4 and 7. However, with 8 in this Tritype the 478 is driven by the raw, intense, authentic, edgy, innovating and the powerful. They are more grounded and less ethereal. This Tritype takes a deep dive into whatever captures their interest. They amass so much data on a subject that intrigues them that they become experts. The self-revealing humanitarian side shapes what they have learned into a message they then share with others. This Tritype of 4 is constantly changing, innovating and evolving.
The 7 in his tritype can be seen with his love of and use of color, diversity and a need to be positive. He is said to have had disdain for drama. He stated in the Larry King Interview that he was always focused on what is now and that he did not look back. He said he didn’t like labels but would call his music inspirational. His said that he doesn’t wallow and moves on.
This 4 is the most self-confident 4. The sexual 4 is focused on being inspirational. The 7 and 8 disapprove of the 4’s need to express their negative emotions. So they express their feelings through creative outlets.
The 8 in his Tritype can be seen in his expressions and attitude. When he fought for his artistic rights with Warner Brothers, he wrote ‘slave’ on his face in defiance of the record company. You can also see 8 in the way he toys with his interviewers. He had a sardonic sense of humor. In the Larry King interview he toys with Larry about a word that Larry made up. When Prince said that he didn’t look back, Larry said so you aren’t a‘remineser’? Prince asked Larry if that was a word. We can see Prince’s micro expressions and he displayed a true smile when Larry said he made it up like Prince had his symbol.
Prince was extremely articulate in all of his interviews. 4s are usually very articulate. Michael was as well. We can see the 4 and 8 in his piercing intensity. He exaggerated his hair and make up. He was flashy but refined and elegant at the same time. He was described as flamboyant, but with my experience of 4s, I learned that they hate that terms flamboyant and gaudy and prefer creative, intense, bold and colorful instead. So my guess is that he did not like that characterization of his look. We can see the 7 and 8 in his autonomy and dry sense of humor.
As one sexual 4 described his experience of being the sexual 478, “ You are the most powerful and transformative during your sexual or emotional peak moments, to the point when you unite the primal with the Divine.” This journey can be heard in Prince’s songs. He focuses on the romantic and the sexual, weaving them together with ecstasy, pain and suffering.
As a sexual 4, Prince did this with intimates or by selecting a charitable cause that touched him personally in some way. He was an anonymous charitable donor. 478s are more hidden and stealth on one hand and bold and assertive on the other. The 478 does not need as much validation as the other 4s as they feel more self-possessed due to the 8 in the Tritype. They can still be shy and inhibited but they do not have as much self-doubt and shine once they feel more at ease.
478s are often creative with an eye for design as this Tritype has the creative type in each center. Everything Prince did had his signature look and a very personal touch. He had a passion for purple and was called the ‘Purple One’ and his fans were called the Purple Army. He designed his symbol that represented his emancipation from his limiting Warner contracts. He designed his Valentine’s Day china for his February 14th wedding to Mayte. The Lenox china plates had piano keys around the edge of the plate with a gilt gold edge along with his insignia, his symbol for Prince united with an M in the middle for his beloved Mayte.
The sexual instinct can also be heard in his songs. His lyrics were very intimate, sexual and deeply personal. In ‘Purple Rain’ he delivered a message of pain and loss that had universal appeal. Prince’s songs and lyrics were mostly about the dynamic between lovers. The lyrics in ‘When Doves Cry’ are about the intimacy of the kiss and an ensuing lover’s quarrel. In the song he is trying to understand why he is left standing alone. It is raw and vulnerable. This is another hallmark of the 4 as 4s repetitively over-analyze their emotions to make sense of their pain and give meaning to their suffering.
His 478 could be seen in the look and feel of his attire. This Tritype loves the pirate look, leather and lace, creative innovation, adornment, opulent beautiful fabrics and edgy elegance. He had a personal style that was individualistic and enduring. It combined a unique presentation of his trademark purple with a touch of seduction, subtle sexiness and mystery.
Prince wrote his first song when he was 7. He began performing in a nightclub in Minneapolis and signed his first contract for a demo at 17. Stevie Wonder, who could play 8 instruments, inspired Prince. So young Prince made a name for himself by being able to play 27 instruments. In 1978 he landed a recording contract at the age of 18. He came of age in 1984 with his movie ‘Purple Rain’ and album of the same name. He won an academy award for best original song score in 1985 at the age of 27. He was insanely prolific and played all 27 instruments on his debut record, For Y
A little more on Prince
Friends of Prince have reported that he was very compassionate. They remarked that they didn’t hear from him when they were doing really well but he watched the news and if they or someone else had a bad day and something was going wrong, he knew it and called the person in distress. Van said that if you were down on your luck Prince called.
He rehearsed 150 songs so he could play what he felt like.
He loved performing and jamming and often played 3 gigs in a night. True, creative genius that never stopped changing…
Writer, singer, dancer, played all instruments, conductor, producer, actor.
When Prince was on the Arsenio Hall Show and appeared on most of the one-hour late-night program, his aura was perforated even more cleanly. The show began with an interview between Prince and Arsenio Hall. Arsenio joked more than once that he might have to edit certain parts out, but Prince surprised many with this playfulness in the Q&A. Prince showed his humor and answered all the questions he was asked. This is the side of Prince his friends all knew.
Arsenio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUVZW6-rZKw Prince
4s and Meaning
As 4s, Michael and Prince was always seem to focus on what the music meant to them. Both Michael Jackson and Prince had painful childhoods. Both had suffered loss. Both had witnessed and experienced harsh discipline at the hands of their fathers. Both loved their mothers. Having said that, I would suggest that as a social 4, Michael played the roles of the characters on his albums such as the anti-establishment, angry man he portrayed in ‘Thriller.’ And as a sexual 4, Prince played himself such as the role of the shy, caring, deep, introspective, uncompromising, self-absorbed and a little cruel, ‘up and coming’ musical artist he played in ‘Purple Rain’.
Both men were amazing examples of the 4 with 7 in the Tritype. They tried to focus on the positive but expressed their pain through their music. They both loved beauty and adornment, and designed clothing with embellished details. They were both sensitive and inhibited introverts but they were innovative, magical and inspiring. They were dynamic, creative and individualistic trendsetters. They were legends in their own time and their music will live on. They both have left deep and lasting imprints.
Type 6 and “It Depends”
©2016 Katherine Chernick Fauvre
In all of my research studies, beginning with my first research study "Enneastyle: The 9 Languages of Enneagram Type" in 1995, the Type 6 consistently struggled with confirming their true type. They identified with all 9 Enneagram Types. The more counter-phobic 6 would initially type themselves as Type 8, the shy introverted and smart 6 routinely typed themselves as Type 5, the perfectionist Type 6 would type themselves as Type 1 and so on.
When interviewed, the 6s regularly state that, "It depends on the situation" when making a decision rather than just answering a question with yes or no. Not only do 6s have trouble identifying that they are the type 6, they tend to see themselves and others in contradicting terms. This is why the Type 6 is often described as the Devil's Advocate. They also tend to track behaviors rather than motivations in an effort to be safe from potential hidden agendas or being mislead...
The Enneagram 6s also state that they tend to choose the type they think they should be, could be, want to be or have become. In general, they report that they will answer the questions in a "inconsistently" consistent manner. Their reason is that they know they can answer yes sometimes and no at other times, yes....again, "It depends on the situation". ;)
In my most recent study "Enneagram Type, Tritype, Instinctual Type and MBTI" the 6s often used the vocabulary of the Type 6 such as smart, cautious, loyal, dependable, and avoided dangerous people or situations yet still self-identified as other types. When interviewed they were able to discover that they were in fact, a 6 once they could hear themselves repeatedly stating that the phrase "it depends in the situation".
In addition, 6s also state that they are wary of tests in general and tend to be somewhat evasive because they are not sure how their answers will be used. As a result, they may try to "fool" the test. Also, they tend to answer questions with the answer "sometimes" because don't want to be too extreme. The often feel that a yes or not answer without a qualifier is too declarative. This suggests that the Type 6 is trying to balance extremes.
Facebook Post • Enneagram Type 6 and “It Depends” • www.katherinefauvre.com• © 2015 Katherine Chernick Fauvre
Enneatypes at a Glance
©1995 Katherine Chernick (Fauvre)
Enneagram Type 1
If you are a 1, you want to be accurate, honest, fair and objective. Most importantly, you want to be respectable, to do what is right and what you feel is appropriate. You have high standards and are methodical, ethical and diligent, believing that anything worth doing is worth doing the right way. Under stress, you may have problems with resentment and become angry, nit picking and overly critical. Your core fears are of being wrong, bad, evil corruptible, inappropriate, lazy, unethical, andlied to. At your best, you are wise, noble, act with integrity and offer sage guidance to the world.
Enneagram Type 2
If you are a 2, you want to be appealing, giving, caring and heartfelt. Most importantly, you want to feel needed, considered important and appreciated for your efforts. You naturally pay attention to the needs and concerns of others and are ready to step in and lend a helping hand. Under stress, you may have problems with pride and find it difficult to ask for help, and become manipulative to get attention or have your needs met. Your core fears are of being worthless, unneeded, unappreciated, unwanted, inconsequential, useless, discarded, lonely, and uncared for by chosen attachments. At your best, you are an empathetic, altruistic, people-person that is able to see and intuit the needs of others and then tend to their needs.
Enneagram Type 3
If you are a 3, you want to be competent, efficient, accomplished and dynamic. Most importantly, you want to be good at what you do and to look good doing it. You are highly ambitious, driven, focused and self-motivated. You are goal-oriented with the ability to focus. You need goals and projects to achieve and feel the reward of completion and success. Under stress, you may have problems with vanity and become self-promoting, self-deceptive or overly competitive. Your core fears are of being unsuccessful, failing, being inefficient, unmasked, found out, incapable, unable to do, unproductive, and/or second best. At your best, you are self-confident, positive, self-motivated and extremely productive.
Enneagram Type 4
If you are a 4, you want to be inspired, intuitive, original and unique. Most importantly, you want to be passionate, true to your feelings and be authentic. You see yourself as a sensitive intellectual that is creative, expressive and spiritual. You are identified with your emotional states and their meaning. You see yourself as emotionally deep and seek beauty and meaning in every thing you do. You may have problems with envy. Under stress, you may be moody, haughty or overly emotional. Your core fears are of being painfully lacking, inadequate, flawed, defective, ordinary, not realizing your potential and being emotionally cut off. At your best, you are emotionally self-aware, self-revealing, creative and extremely compassionate and humane.
Enneagram Type 5
If you are a 5, you want to be informed, knowledgeable, concise and perceptive. Most importantly, you want to have a clear mind, be self-sufficient and not have the entanglements of obligation. You are deeply introspective and want to understand how systems work. You may have problems with avarice. Under stress, you may be arrogant, withholding, unemotional or distant. Your core fears are of being ignorant, without mastery, expertise or knowledge, mentally drained, obligated, without resources, disembodied, incompetent with psychic panic. At your best, you are objective, insightful, wise and clear minded expert in the area of your interests.
Enneagram Type 6
If you are a 6, you want to be safe, secure, fit in and belong. Most importantly, you want to have certainty, putting your faith in a reliable authority, a trusted friend or a known system or tradition. You are the true devil’s advocate and can always see both sides of every issue. You can struggle with feelings of fear, doubt and/or anxiety. Under stress, you can worry about being blamed and the to protect yourself, undermine or blame others. If you are the phobic 6, you will manage your fear by focusing on what could go wrong and become overly cautious. If you are a counter-phobic 6, you may deny your fear and take risks to prove that you are not afraid. Secretly you still prepare. Your core fears are of being alone, blamed for something you didn’t do, afraid of being afraid, anxious you will worry that something will go wrong, being unprepared, without a protector or back up support person and/or wise others with expertise. At your best, you are courageous, supportive, engaging, dedicated and loyal.
Enneagram Type 7
If you are a 7, you want to be fascinating, fascinated, optimistic and enthusiastic. Most importantly, you want to be stimulated, creative, positive and excited. You see yourself as fun loving, diverse and playful. You are naturally upbeat and see possibilities that others miss. You may have problems with gluttony and always want more and the bigger, better, deal. Under stress, you may be scattered, overly happy, jaded or greedy. Your core fears are of being trapped in emotional pain, missing out, being inferior, uncool, limited, and/or bored. At your best, you are inspirational, visionary, playful, loving and joyful.
Enneagram Type 8
If you are an 8, you want to be open, honest, direct and straightforward. Most importantly, you want to be independent, make your own decisions and direct your own course. You want to be master and commander of your own life. You are honest and take pride in calling a spade a spade. You say what you mean and mean what you say. You may have problems with being excessive and going to extremes. Too much is almost enough. Under stress, you may be intense, intimidating, overpowering or unwilling to self-limit. Your core fears are of being misrepresented, powerlessness, being manipulated, humiliated, harmed and/or controlled. At your best, you are a protective, compassionate and magnanimous leader that is both tough-minded and tenderhearted.
Enneagram Type 9
If you are a 9, you want to be peaceful, relaxed, comfortable and natural. Most importantly, you want to be agreeable and if at all possible to avoid conflict. You are a nice person and go along to get along. You want harmonious relationships. You are very receptive and a good listener. You are patient and like to take your time in whatever you do. You may have problems with inaction. Under stress, you may be passive-aggressive, neglectful and/or indifferent to the needs of others. You may be unresponsive and/or minimize. Your core fears are of being loveless, uncomfortable, inharmonious, overlooked, discordant, unimportant, non-existent, lost in complications and/or shutout. At your best, you are steady, kind, accepting, and deeply connected to others and able to successfully mediate differences and restore harmony.
www.katherinefauvre.com • Used with permission• © 1995-2015 Katherine Chernick Fauvre
On Being An Enneagram Type Eight
Catalyst Magazine Interview 1991
When I first learned about the Enneagram, there was very little written about it. The description of the 8 was the one I liked least, yet felt the most familiar. The 8 is often seen as the boss, leader, confronter, asserter, and protector, and described as self-confident, forceful, dominating, combative, and vengeful. Whereas, I had trouble relating to either the power-hungry, vengeful oppressor or the self-restrained, magnanimous hero, I did see myself as a rugged individualist and identified with the more average traits of leadership, confidence, generosity, self-sufficiency, forcefulness, and intimidation.
In the past, my issues centered around power - where it was, who had it, and was it used fairly. I also knew that I always felt provoked by the unspoken, respectful of truth, disarmed by vulnerability, and touched by innocence, which is generally the stance of the 8.
By nature, I did not seek out conflict, but I certainly never avoided it. While I never wanted to consciously overpower others, I was sensitive to betrayal and did feel the need to prevail, and if provoked I sought the advantage to avoid being vulnerable. In the past, when people wanted me to do something I perceived as controlling, I felt like I was being personally challenged and retaliated in a manner I deemed fair.
Generally, I say what I mean and mean what I way, and would rather receive information directly than indirectly. Thus, in the past when someone would phrase a request or criticism in an overtly nice way, couching constructive criticism in compliments, I felt manipulated. While there may have been good intentions, I felt provoked by what wasn't being said - I heard what was left out at a higher volume. Now, however, I no longer take it personally, for I know that the direct approach can be intimidating to others of a different style.
Another characteristic of 8's that struck me as accurate for myself is a respect for truth. I may have very strong views, but if you can stand up for yourself and for me and give me your truth, I can be totally open and change my mind.
On the higher side, I like to champion others, and it is noteworthy to mention that hidden beneath the stance of strength is a vulnerable and innocent heart that is deeply touched by and protective of the disadvantaged. With the knowledge of the Enneagram and my core dynamics, I am now more compassionate of myself and others and realize that we are all simply trying to survive within our own defense strategies -- Katherine Chernick
Working with Type Eight
Boundaries for the Enneagram Type Eight Child
1995 Katherine Chernick Fauvre revised 2015
As a student and teacher of the Enneagram, and as and Enneagram type 8, I am regularly asked how to work effectively with 8s, and in particular, with 8 children. I am always touched when a non-8 parent makes the inquiry because the parent wishes to support their 8 child. I am equally touched when teachers and administrators hire me to work with children and teens the appear to be perplexing and difficult to manage.
I love teaching the Enneagram because it helps people depersonalize what appears to be so personal and gives meaning to the different ways people perceive and defend their realities. Some of the most meaningful moments in teaching have come when I have experienced the raw honesty and vulnerability of the self-aware 8. The experience is always the same whether it is in a boardroom, a classroom or a county jail. In every case, I am always unprepared for the unguarded, truly vulnerable innocence behind the 8 stance of defiance. I always see an aspect of myself and I am always humbled. Over and over again, I walk away with new found respect for the our innate capacity to continue to grow and change in the human condition. When I experience this with a fellow 8, I am in awe. In psychological terms, I am certain the 8 child within me feels a renewed sense of hope.... and, that the opportunity to help another 8, especially as a child... is an opportunity that will help me to continue to grow and change as well.... I believe I feel this way even more due to the support and guidance I received from the right people at the right time, and more specifically, from two truly benevolent teachers that forever changed the course of my life.
The questions I am always asked are: "Why don't strategies that work with most children not work with an 8?," "As the parent, teacher or therapist of an 8 child, to what degree should I allow the 8 leeway with regards to what he/she wants, and how do I set limits that will work? Which limits teach the 8 child how to manage his/her dominating and/or intimidating energy and, which limits are destructive to the young 8 and provoke their defiance and noncompliance?"
These are great questions for me as an 8, the daughter of an 8, the granddaughter of an 8, the niece of an 8 and the mother of an 8. ;) As a result I can easily make a very biased but educated guess.
The thought that immediately comes to mind is that our Enneagram type is our defense strategy. We are hard-wired to see and respond to the world they way we do. By definition a defense would indicate a reaction to protect from something that feels threatening. This of course would be true for all of the 9 Enneagram types. I believe the key is to understand that our Enneagram Type defense strategy if left unmanaged will end up hurting others the very same way that we are trying "not" to be hurt "by" others.
8s often report that their actions and intentions are often misinterpreted, labeled negatively and the 8s explanations go unheard and misunderstood. The reason that I start here is that from the outside perspective the direct 8 style appears to be the initiating force. But, as with all of the defenses, from the inside it feels like it is a necessary reaction to survive an incoming threat that feels overwhelming. The difference may simply be that the 8 defense style retaliates to protect themselves from being unfairly dominated. The 8 seeks revenge to even the score...no more no less... exactly the same... Rather than walking away or simply defending a position, the 8 approach is turn the tables and seek the advantage to avoid being at the mercy of injustice.
I remember even as an infant the feelings of frustration I experienced that I could not impact my environment. I felt exhilarated when I could crawl and even more when I could walk and then liberated when I could run and climb out of my crib all by the age of 12 months! I was never cautious and explored life with a lust for life. I was constantly told I was like a force of nature...I remember being confused that my mother was initally proud of my agility but soon became constantly angry and frustrated when I was always on the move, exploring and experiencing everything in my environment and beyond. As an adult, I understood why "the beyond part" was such a source of frustration to her... I totally fearless and uninhibited. I learned how to move a chair and climb up on anything and reach cupboards and drawers so early that it made tracking me a full time job.
Even with a nanny, I was many handfuls compared to my three brothers. I simply had the call of the wild... So I was constantly punished for disobeying such as taking off my itchy clothes, climbing up my dresser to get the clothes I wanted, taking apart something that I found fascinating like my grandmother's mirror and lipstick, (wow was seemed like a great crayon at the time but boy were they mad that I colored on my blanket and walls...)...and even angrier that I could climb out of my crib and open my bedroom door.
The problem was that my behavior was age appropriate but due to my agility, intelligence, curiosity and strong will I seemed older that I was. This is because 8s are often very age progressed in terms of independence. But emotionally, they are still young and vulnerable and very sensitive. The truth was that I was just too young to understand why my mother and grandmother were so upset with me. I was having innocently having fun exploring my world. So it was threatening to be punished over and over again before I could even talk. I was so confused and angry that I learned not to cry and gave up seeing my mother and grandmother as a source of comfort. I was just too young to understand the consequences they felt would guide me to more obedient and acceptable behaviors and too young to see how exhausting I would be to have as a child. They had no idea that they had set the course for the ultimate power struggle because 8s even at ages 12-18 months will not back down if something seems confusing physically hurts or feels unfair. I remember making a conscious decision to go it alone because they didn't make sense and never understood the joy I felt expanding my horizons... They couldn't know then what we know now.... and could have sat with me and could said "of course you want to play with the lipstick, it looks just like a fancy cool crayon that opens and closes, I know you are sad that I have to take it away. I know it must be so hard to understand. It must seem so unfair. Let me show you how to hold it so it doesn't break or stain mommies cofa or your blanket..and I feel so sad that you want something that I can't give you. I am you mommy and it is my job to keep you safe and as the mommy I have to take the crayon away because if isnt really a crayon, it is a lipfstick and this is how a crayon and lipstick are differnt and why I cant let you play with it.I personally expected the world to be cold, indifferent to my needs, unfair and unjust. I expected NOT to be protected. Punishment "without representation" felt unjust and triggered my innate defense strategy of defiance and non-compliance. Further disciplines without fair representation further compounded this cycle creating a strong sense of distrust for adults that were perceived to be abusing power. And, in terms of consequences, this only served to reinforce my world view that there was no love in the world and that I was truly on my own. Therefore, the true life-altering experiences happened not when I was punished.... but rather when I was afforded the opportunity to be taught the power of love, wisdom and compassion.
An 8 child's story
In the 6th grade a friend and I found a classroom open during spring break. We saw it as an unexpected opportunity for an amazing adventure filled with possibilities. We moved things all around the room; we changed the names on the chalkboard and talked into the tape recorder. We created total havoc just anticipating how much fun it would be for the students to sort it all out when they returned to school from the holiday week. After all they wouldn't have to work! Right?
Anyhow, my friend was the straight A, school president (137) that became riddled with guilt and told her parents. I of course kept my bond of secrecy as she begged me to give my word that I would never tell anyone what she did. To an 8 their word is their bond. So, I did not reveal her name, not knowing that she had told. A very fair-minded Vice Principal that had been our 5th grade teacher knew that we were both good kids that just didn't understand the harm our fun could cause. He was also struck by the fact that I took total blame for the transgression and never told on my friend. Later, I was to learn that this was her cry for much needed attention to not have to be the perfect person. At the time, of course, this was unknown to me. I was just having fun and did not experience guilt as I did not intend any harm... My cry turned out to be of another kind, far more hidden and silent.
The Principal was very resolute in the belief that a strong hand and severe punishment was the way to teach a wayward, strong-willed child the lessons of life. His punishment was to have me spend all of lunch and recess in his office for the last 2 months of school, to publicly humiliate me as well as deprive me of all graduating festivities and events. This of course is the kind of experience that 8s believe created their 8ness. After all, I had spent 7 years getting through the rigors of limitation that school rules presented to an 8 and graduation was a major element towards freedom from my perception of elementry school oppression. I could not see the fairness or justice in losing all privileges due to one misguided mistake.
From the limited perspective of an 11 year old this experience reinforced the theory that life is not fair so why respect unjust authority? Why care and most of all in confirmed the notion that I must be tough because I was on my own. I would suggest this further proves to the 8 stance that the 8 is correct in their world view and that due to experiences such as these the 8 begins to stop sorting for data to the contrary. I would also suggest that there is a trap for all of the types. There are always situations and experiences to support whatever our Enneagram type defense strategy would have us believe to be true.
I was humiliated and imploding inside of course but I never shed a tear and came across as self-possessed and unaffected. This was far from the truth. 8s protect themselves from painful emotions that feel debilitating. We deny our vulnerability so that we can prevail in the face of adversity. This is because the 8s are natural born leaders that innately know how to power through obstacles and have the ability to use mind over matter. The strength to stand alone for their truth, stand up for the underdog, disadvantaged and under-represented at great personal risk can be see as very young child. And, the 8 is the Enneagram type that has the defense strategy designed to challenge oppression and fight against tyranny and injustice...the very qualities of a true leader. The problem is that the 8 child needs to learn to work with their tendency to be assertive and overpowering ...just as the more timid 6 or 9 child needs to learn how to speak up for themselves rather than being passive-aggressive.
The vice-principal's punishment was far more painful than that of the principal. It was instructive rather than punitive. In contrast, the vice-principal's punishment was to assign me to meet after school each day with the teacher whose room I had vandalized. This was horrifying to me. It was easy to endure sitting in the Principal's office for all to see, as I believed it made me tougher. I was after all, unfairly treated and a survivor. However, to have to face my unknown victim was unnerving. I had visions of slave labor to further define the unjust world of the adults.
Ouch.....Not so.......This teacher was very nice and never made me 'do' anything. Everyday she just talked with me. Everyday, I had to feel more and more feelings and it was agonizing. When was she going to be mean and unjust? Why didn't she make me a slave so I could rile against her tyranny? Why didn't she treat me with disdain so that I could raise my jaw and glare at her with defiance? Why was she so understanding? I had no defenses for such unexpected acts of kindness. I felt bereft of resources to deal with this kind of power.
She did not lecture, she did not chastise, in fact, she told me nothing, she only inquired. She continued her onslaught of gentle benevolence by asking me questions about what mattered to me. She asked me what I had hoped for by rearranging the room. When I told her she laughed and then explained how some of the children laughed and had a wonderful time but that many of the children were frightened and others thought that their things might be gone never to be found and cried. This of course, had never occurred to me. I had to let in that my actions had left little 3rd graders feeling afraid and unprotected...my very own core wounding. I was crushed! I wasn't a Santa Claus as I has imagined; I was the Grinch to these little vulnerable 8-year-olds. I found it unforgivable. My self-vengeance was far crueler and greater than anything the principal had denied me.
In addition, to further make me squirm in my own feelings she asked me what I wanted out of life. She asked what my dreams were and since I was naturally protective what I wanted to do as an adult to protect others. She asked me if I would want to have me for a friend and why? I had never thought of these things. They were life-altering questions. She said that she would have been happy to be my friend in school because I was so protective and willing to take the full blame to protect my friend. She also asked me what I wouldn't like about having me as a friend. All of a sudden I found a longer list, and the beginning of the journey towards becoming my own trusted friend.
It was here in the room of my disgrace that I found the divine embrace off a strong, flexible boundary that introduced a mirror to my innermost self and a window to my soul. I no longer felt like a gorilla in a small zoo cage unable to be, but rather a gorilla high in the jungle with a family troop to protect. It was there in that classroom of my misadventure that I learned the true meaning of teaching consequences with 'benevolent' tough love. I learned about life in a new way and how to have true power... the power of benevolence. I was not crushed, rejected, demeaned or humiliated as I had been so many times before when my intentions were misunderstood... Rather, I was like a crumpled piece of paper retrieved from the trash bin to be gently unfolded, read and accepted so that I might know that like the paper I had once been a part of a majestic tree - worthy of being cherished and kept rather than discarded.
Rarely does a year go by that I do not remember my misadventure in the 6th grade, the moment of my disgrace or most importantly, the benevolent mirrors that allowed me to see myself clearly for the first time. I will always remember the experience of the adults that supported me by affording me the opportunity to glimpse my potential adulthood, open my defended heart and discover the power of my impact. From then on, I chose to try and have a positive impact on others and show the same power of compassion and understanding that I received. I actively sought out examples in my world to draw upon to shape a new view of true power. As a result, I try to show kindness in the face of disempowerment, but I can assure you that I can still fail in spite of my efforts. The difference is that due to the benevolence that I was shown as a child I want to be benevolent with others. Because it came as such a surprise, without judgment and with such kindness, it created a lasting imprint on my character.
Empowering the 8 child
So back to the question I am always asked : "Why don't strategies that work with most children not work with an 8?," "As the parent, teacher or therapist of an 8 child, to what degree should I allow the 8 leeway with regards to what he/she wants, and how do I set limits that will work? Which limits teach the 8 child how to manage his/her dominating and/or intimidating energy and, which limits are destructive to the young 8 and provoke their defiance and noncompliance?"
In answer to the inquirer's initial question, I can say that promoting "consciousness" is far more important than handing our "consequences" .... and the best place to begin.
For the 8 to learn from traditional consequences, the 8 must first have a great deal of trust and respect. If the 8 trusts you and respects you, they will want to please you. This counter-intuitive approach removes the power struggle. Once engaged in a power struggle, the 8 will never back down and the message you wish to teach will be lost. The journey is to assist the 8 by listening to the 8s explanations of what happened and validating their experience --as they see it. When this in place you can slowly help the 8 learn to manage the pain that is underneath the flippant remarks and "big" behaviors. Involve them in the solution, ask them what they would do and why? They will be flippant at first but don't get hooked... they are just unconsciously testing you. They are asking "Are you real? "Are you strong enough to be there for me? "All of me?" So just smile when they are flippant and then nonchalantly keep going...ask the 8 what he or she thinks is important in this type of situation and they will innocently reveal their inexperienced viewpoints and you will have a more meaningful way to approach the problem. Ask what he or she thinks would make a difference and what he or she thinks would be fair to all involved.
When you disagree make deals. I know that this is also counter intuitive but this is what feels fair to an 8. When the 8 is adamant about his or her truth about what is or isn't fair don't back down... instead make a deal. Say something like: "Ok, you win this time...next time it is my turn." Then whatever you do keep you word. The 8 will then feel compelled to keep his or her word and will reluctantly comply when you remind him or her of the deal the two of you made. And never back away from this.
Teach that a true leader has power because they keep their word. The key is to let the 8 have small victories so you have the important victories. Remember that prior to the stance of defiance that makes you want to use traditional methods will only serve to reinforce 8 feelings of disempowerment. Remind yourself that the 8 is in a great deal of pain. Anger acts as an immediate anesthetic protecting the 8's more tender emotions. When you have validated their experience now matter how far fetched it sounds they will feel heard and become more receptive and less defiant. Wow, it sounds like you really felt ____. Mirror what they have said in a nonchalant manner so they don't feel manipulated or patronized. Repeat what they have said verbatim...don't use your words or overview...use the 8's words.
I can promise you that prior to any act of defiance the 8 felt caught off guard and wounded by a sense of rejection for just being an 8. It is their innocence they are protecting and why the reaction is so fierce. The pain caused by the misinterpretation of the 8s motivation is at the heart of the matter, therefore, discovering the pain the 8 feels and has rejected will explain the pain they inadvertently cause. The 8's innocence is at the core of this cycle. Every 8 might benefit from learning what they are really feeling in order to understand their need to defend their heart so strongly. What is unknown and usually unseen is how empathetic the 8 is. Empathy that is so great needed to be limited or denied to survive but eventually must be nurtured to be integrated. This is the most difficult thing you can ask an 8 to do. The 8 fears that if they feel their full capacity for empathy it will crush them.
Inquiring as to what happened is the beginning. Exploring what the 8 might have been feeling just prior to the action is a large part of the discovery process. This can take what feels like an eternity to non-8s. *s deny they were feeling anything because it is out of consciousness. If the 8 is too defended, and doesn't know or can't retrieve the event or feeling, a gentle inquiry as to how others not as tough as the 8 might feel in the same circumstances may prove helpful. Analogies using those the 8 loves and sees as vulnerable such as in younger siblings, cousins, friends or pets often breaks the direct stance of 'being against'. Love and protection will rise for those the 8s deem in their circle of care. This is where one may find the clues to the deeper, more painful and hidden issues behind the 8 bravado and rash acts.
One can be assured that prior to the negative behavior or outburst the 8 felt a deep sense of betrayal, humiliation and injustice where the 8 experienced themselves as unable to affect the outcome rendering them powerless and without mercy. The unbearably painful experience may have occurred a moment earlier or days earlier. This is also true for adult 8s... the wound happened years earlier, but it did occur and the 8s internal victim was sent to the dungeon of their heart to be silenced.
Once the 8 is in the feeling state, it may be imperative to listen to every slight that the 8 may have felt he/she has endured, especially those by you. Like a chest retrieved from the attic after years of storage, opening it may create a flurry of wounds that fly out in need of immediate attention. The scabs feel ripped open and the scar tissue feels rigid and painfully twisted. The bigger question the 8 is asking is "Can you take it, can you take all of me and my hurt at one time?" The 8 belief is that no one could therefore no one can.
This is a wonderful opportunity to prove the 8 wrong. After the deeper emotions have surfaced and are fully spent is the window of opportunity to be inside the full and open embrace of the 8 heart. This is the rare moment between defensive posturings when one can benevolently teach the 8 how comforting it feels to be treated with loving boundaries that stretch and grow with the 8. This is when one can teach the 8 the power of setting their own boundaries to self-limit; that anger is a signal of pain and betrayal that can be healed yielding powerful insights. Most of all, this is the time when one can deeply touch an 8 by demonstrating the power that comes from treating others with benevolence.
©1998 Katherine Chernick (Fauvre) revised 2016
Reflections on Enneagram Type:
A Workshop with Dr. Claudio Naranjo
©1996 Katherine Chernick Fauvre
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