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Observations and Reevaluations on Personality
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Observations and Reevaluations on Personality

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Posted by Charlie ( on April 22, 2003 at 20:20:16:

In Reply to: Re: a much-needed clarification about what i wrote.... posted by pork ( on March 12, 2003 at 06:54:06:

Yes, we may choose to deliberately act as a different type would, but as soon as we let our guard down and fall into undeliberate action, the enneagram is saying we will revert to acting in accordance with our dominant personality. The eight can lead people without deliberately trying to lead them, just as the two will sacrifice themselves for others without deliberately doing so. I can sacrifice myself for others, but it would be of a conscious undertaking, and somewhat painstaking. I can attempt to live artistically like the four, but it would be unnatural to who I am. Underlying all of our experiences, and all of our behaviors, there is an almost mechanical drive that operates at the root of all of that. So two people can behave in the same way but for different reasons, or as the Enneagram would believe, the same nine people can behave in the same way but for different reasons. We could say that Franklin Roosevelt and Adolph Hitler are certainly different people, and definately one is terribly evil while the other is not. Their backgrounds are much different, as are their accomplishments, and their values. The enneagram is not disagreeing with this. What my interpretation of the enneagram suggests is that despite these differences, there is a single ego-want driving both of these individuals, mainly control, and the fear of being controlled. Thus, there are nine different human drives, and from each of these drives, certain characteristics and fears arise in natural accordance to each of those drives. So if one's fear is of being controlled, it is logical that the person will attempt to dominate those around them to protect themselves from that fear. He must secure himself by dominating his environment. People who usually do this we consider leaders. Do they make the best leaders? That's up for debate, but in times of crisis, it is usually is the case. Hence, we can say that the enneagram's method of categorizing personality types is by ego-drives. From my study of it, that is the one conclusion I can make. My problem with this conclusion is I don't think the concept of personality is simply our ego-drive. There is something more all-encompassing about a person's personality than what drives their ego. It leaves no room for character, integrity, accoplishment, interests, etc. An ego-drive does not entirely decide a person's values, likes, daily needs, and the lessons learned throughout life. Our dreams, our behaviours, etc. can't be reduced to a single drive. Whether or not the ego-drives the enneagram categorizes are valid, whether or not their are more unidentified ego-drives, whether or not a person can possess more than one ego drive are questions I don't think we'll ever have answers for? The fouder of the enneagram claims that it was passed down from ancient sages. However, this man was also a notorious con-artist always trying to make a buck. Whenever you want to impress something upon someone, always say it came from ancient times, this way you add a mystique that people are more likely to buy into whence dismissing a need for a scientific validation.

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