Falling Into the Enneagram
Todd Wilson, a pastor1Todd Wilson is cofounder and President of the Center for Pastor Theologians and the former senior pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois whose book, The Enneagram Goes to Church, has recently been released, tells how he discovered the Enneagram. He was on vacation and his sister-in-law Beth was with him and his family. Beth was reading an Enneagram book by New Agers Don Riso and Russ Hudson, Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery. Riso and Hudson are co-founders of the Enneagram Institute.2The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 2 I have read Riso and Hudson’s The Wisdom of the Enneagram and it is chock full of New Age beliefs.
It is troubling that Beth, who I assume is a Christian, could read a New Age book without sensing something, but it seems the Enneagram has acted as a blinding agent in the church. It renders many Christians not only blind to the facts but bypasses their critical and logical thinking. Wilson remarks that Beth’s book was “in tatters” and assumes it must have been “her third or fourth reading” of it.3The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 2
After that, Wilson and his wife “were devouring every Enneagram source we could get our hands on.”4The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 5 Wilson carries the credentials of a scholar with a Ph.D from Cambridge.5The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 3
The Enneagram and Essence
I looked through Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Riso & Hudson that Beth was reading using the Look Inside feature on Amazon, and I also did a search for “essence.” “Essence,” as I have pointed out before, is a key to understanding the purpose of the Enneagram. Once one identifies his or her Type, they understand the Type is the “false self,” or the ego (“ego” in the New Age is the false self, or part of it) they have constructed. Armed with that supposed knowledge, which is not taught in Scripture, they can work through what caused them to create that false self in order to transcend the ego and get to “Essence.” This is exactly what Riso & Hudson teach in several places in their book.
One statement is that the Enneagram is not merely a map of personality, but “points the way toward what lies beyond once we have transcended ego.”6Don Riso & Russ Hudson, Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery p. xviii On page 17, the authors write that the personality is the “learned or acquired part of a person’s behavior or identity,” while the essence is “the innate part of identity which needs to be addressed for real transformation to occur.” On page 475, the authors state that the “True Self” is “Essence” which is discovered after one is liberated from the “trap of the personality.”
What does that mean? It is the philosophy of the Enneagram that the Types are the false identities that are holding one back. Once one uses the Enneagram to figure out the false identity (the Type) and the false construct it represents, one is able to realize his or her Essence, the True Self. This Essence in the New Age is divine.
All Truth is God’s Truth Only Works When Something is True
A defense of the Enneagram in The Enneagram Goes to Church is found in the section, “All Truth is God’s Truth: Transposing the Enneagram Into a Christian Key.” Todd Wilson talks about something he learned in his “advanced philosophy class” he took at Wheaton as a freshman.7The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 13
Wilson claims the origins of the Enneagram are “shrouded in mystery” admits it is “heavily indebted to occultist thinkers such as G. I. Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo.”8The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 16 But the Enneagram’s origins are not shrouded at all. The origins are quite plain, publicly available and have been outlined in our book, Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret.
Wilson calls Gurdjieff, Ichazo, and Naranjo “occultist thinkers” and he is right! So how does he deal with this? He states that the Enneagram is a “wisdom tradition” 9The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 16 as though this makes the occultism imbued in the Enneagram acceptable. Or is it that occultism can be seen as wisdom? It is hard to say because there is no explanation from Wilson for naming occultism as a “wisdom tradition.”
I know of no qualifications for calling the Enneagram a “wisdom tradition.” First of all, that category implies something with a great deal of age, something the Enneagram does not have. In terms of the Types, it is only about 50 years old (since circa 1970 when Naranjo added the Types via spirit contact). If one wants to credit Ichazo for the Ego fixations, then it goes back at the most barely ten years earlier to the early 1960s. Less than 60 years is not sufficient for the term “wisdom tradition.”
Secondly, there is no basis for saying there is enough wisdom in the Enneagram to use that term as a description since the Enneagram is in conflict with biblical teaching and from a secular standpoint has not even been validated in the field of psychology.
Wilson goes on to talk about wisdom literature and how some books of the Bible are wisdom books. He quotes Richard Foster as saying that Proverbs and Ecclesiastes contain “the stored treasure of human insight.”10The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 17 Wilson uses Foster’s quote to say the Enneagram is “stored treasure of human insight into how people work.”11The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 17 He continues by writing that we should think of the Enneagram as “a longstanding conversation” and “a collection of wise insights into personalities and interpersonal dynamics.”12The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 18
There are two issues with this idea. First, the Enneagram is not “longstanding,” as pointed out already with the description of “wisdom tradition.”
Secondly, the Enneagram is not about getting insight into personalities per se. In fact, Richard Rohr, whose book introduced the Enneagram to the church, and who has discipled many of the more popular Enneagram authors in the Christian market, has said it is not a personality test. New Ager Russ Hudson has said it is not a type of person but a path to God. The Enneagram was explicitly designed, once the Types were added via automatic writing, for the person to realize that their Type, or personality, is a false construct. One is to work through this so they can uncover the Essence, which is the True Self. The Essence transcends the ego (false self) and one can then be liberated from the false self by using the Enneagram and realizing his or her Essence, as explained in the Riso-Hudson book.
Amazingly, Wilson seems to know all this. He proposes that Christians can “transpose” the Enneagram’s original teachings into a Christian context. So, for example, instead of looking for the Essence, we see ourselves made in God’s image.13The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ pp. 21-22 But does anyone need the Enneagram for that? More crucially, how can this be read into the Enneagram?
Wilson takes the New Age idea that we are sleepwalking through life and need to awaken and tries to turn it into realizing our fallen nature and need for the new birth.14The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ pp. 22-23 But if the argument is to use the Enneagram for the church, then a true Christian does not need to know he needs the new birth, they have already been born-again. For unbelievers the need for the new birth isn’t the Enneagram it is the gospel message that God has already given the church to preach to the world. One wonders if Todd Wilson has unwittingly turned from Sola Scriptura via his embrace of the Enneagram?
Wilson moves on to quote Helen Palmer for the explanation of humility.15The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 23 Helen Palmer is the quintessential New Ager and psychic. She therefore has no way to understand biblical humility. Whether Wilson is aware of who Palmer is or not, I am not sure. Having been delivered out of the New Age, I am appalled at a New Ager being cited for an explanation of humility. Humility for a Christian should be defined how God defines it, and there are plenty of passages that do that (for example, Luke 14:11; Romans 12:10; Colossians 3:12; Philippians 2:3-11; James 4:10).
True Self/False Self
Wilson goes on to talk about the true and false selves in the Enneagram, then states that the Christian is called to put on the “new self.” However, Wilson says that using the Enneagram’s paradigm of the true/false self can help the Christian in a “moral renewa.l”16The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ pp.24-25 But the new self in Christ has nothing to do with the Enneagram or with the Enneagram’s true/false self. God supernaturally transforms Christians into the new self, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The self is regenerated by the Holy Spirit and conforms Christians to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This is the process of sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit working in believers. This is in opposition to the Enneagram which calls for a discovery of essence or the True Self which, according to the Enneagram, was never separated from God.
Furthermore, any valid “moral renewal” can only be based on God’s character as revealed in Scripture. And any such renewal comes about through sanctification, not through the man-based pagan standards of the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a deceptive substitute for God’s word and for the Holy Spirit as a guide to renewal.
Nor can the Enneagram help with seeing “the contours of sin” as claimed by Wilson. 17The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 25 Why not? Because the concept of sin in the Enneagram is not the biblical concept. Ichazo’s view of the seven deadly sins he incorporated in the Enneagram (he had to add two more to make nine) is that they are false constructs of the self, resulting from fears, hurts, conditioning, and the like. This is also the view of Richard Rohr and his disciples, whose teachings make up a large part of the Enneagram’s tutelage in the church.
Nevertheless, Wilson states that although it takes a lot of work to transpose the Enneagram into a Christian context, it is worth it because it is “such a rich resource” for understanding personality.18The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 26 According to whom? The Enneagram is not psychologically valid according to any independent or peer-reviewed testing.19“Is the Enneagram Institute’s RHETI® version 2.5 Scientifically Validated?”
The Enneagram as a Wisdom Tradition
Wilson acknowledges the Enneagram “is not a Christian tool.”20The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 26 Yet he writes that we can “wrestle with the truth claims of the Enneagram” to see if they “comport with Scripture.”21The Enneagram Goes to Church in Google books, at https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Enneagram_Goes_to_Church.html?id=zaH9DwAAQBAJ p. 27 Why? His answer is, “at the root of the Enneagram is a wisdom tradition.” This circles us back to the problem that the Enneagram has no basis for being classified as a wisdom tradition. It seems to beg the question since no foundation exists for the Enneagram as a “wisdom tradition.” There is no need to “wrestle” with any truth claims, either, since no basis whatsoever has been given for them. In fact, as has been pointed out, the Enneagram is not biblical or considered valid in the professional field of psychology.
So how does the statement, “All truth is God’s truth” apply to something like the Enneagram? It cannot do so because there are no grounds to believe there is any worthwhile truth in the Enneagram. What lies at the root of the Enneagram are teachings of Gnostic, occult, and New Age teachers and information from spirits. In fact, the information for Types came from spirits. As noted earlier, Wilson acknowledged the heavy indebtedness to “occultist thinkers.” The two men most responsible for what comprises the Enneagram teachings were not only occultist thinkers but occult practitioners who were in contact with familiar spirits, a source forbidden to the people of God. The man who could be called the next most influential teacher on the Enneagram, as far as it how it influenced the church, is Richard Rohr, who is a heretic.
The reasons it seems to work are the very same reasons astrology appears to be true. Millions of people believe they fit their zodiac sign. Tens of thousands who have had their birth charts done, which would be roughly the equivalent of an Enneagram reading (though more complex), believe that the chart has specifically pegged who they are and what their life is about. There are factors that cause this such as confirmation bias, the Barnum-Forer Effect, subjective validation, self-deception, and others.22For a fuller treatment of this see Jay Medenwaldt’s, “The Enneagram, Science, and Christianity – Part 2”
Wilson’s attempt to Christianize the Enneagram assumes several things. First, an underlying assumption is that Scripture is insufficient in training for a life of godliness (1 Timothy 4:6-11; 2 Peter 1:3-11).
Second, it assumes the biblical prohibitions against embracing occultism, false teachers and false teachings no longer apply. Scripture not only forbids using these methods but forbids consulting those who practice them (Leviticus 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:10-11; 1 Chronicles 10:13; Isaiah 8:19-20). Using a diagram with information that the founders of the Enneagram have openly admitted comes from spirit contact, and is the primary source of the Types, is akin to consulting a Spiritist.
Third, it assumes Christianizing the terminology and pasting Bible verses to the practices converts falsehood into a God honoring practice. We can test this against something that I suspect Wilson would reject out of hand. Astrology is widely practiced and believed by millions to be accurate. It is an occult form of divination, forbidden in God’s word, and is roundly rejected by Bible teaching churches. If someone attempted to convert the concepts of astrology into biblical truths by changing the meanings of the planets and zodiac signs would Christians embrace it? Even if they did strip it of all of its concepts and teaching leaving only stars and planets would it still be astrology or just a galactic star map?
In the same way, even if one replaces the New Age meanings of the Enneagram with biblical ideas, is it still the Enneagram? More importantly, if it can be changed so readily to mean something utterly opposite to its original purpose, then there is no basis to it to begin with. This effort to Christianize an occult pagan tool demonstrates there is no truth, objective, biblical or otherwise, at the heart of the Enneagram.Ω
Before trusting Christ, Marcia Montenegro was a professional astrologer and was involved in Eastern and New Age practices for many years. Through her ministry, Christian Answers for the New Age, Marcia speaks around the country and on radio, and writes on New Age and occult topics. She has a Masters in Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC, and serves as a missionary with Fellowship International Mission, Allentown, PA. Based in Arlington, VA, she is the mother of an adult son and author of SpellBound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today’s Kids, (Cook, 2006). She is also co-author of Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret (MCOI Publishing, 2020) with Don and Joy Veinot You can find her online at: CANA or on Facebook at Christian Answers for the New Age
© 2021, Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc All rights reserved. Excerpts and links may be used if full and clear credit is given with specific direction to the original content.
Thanks! I studied the Enneagram a couple of years ago. It seemed helpful, but it was not. Leads to all that you brought out in your study. Has no place in the church. Like many worldly tools it promises to deliver insights into self and help us figure ourselves out. We want an easy(ier) route to change. It doesn’t work. We have Scripture. The craze of “What’s your number?” seems to be dying down.
Richard, thanks for your comment. I’m afraid though that the Enneagram is not dying down. It seems actually to be increasing and used more widely. It is leading people away from the Bible to self and even to people like Richard Rohr, who continues to be recommended by many Christian Enneagram supporters.
I did one of those Enneagram tests, it didn’t seem like much more than a generic personality/temperament test that I’ve taken for classes at work. Maybe there are other variations on it with which I am not familiar, that may try to incorporate Christian themes?
The Enneagram Masters are clear that it is not about your personality/temperament but is a spiritual tool for you to figure out while of the nine paths gets you to your true self which is and always has been with God. According to their theology you have never been separated from God but invented a false self which thinks you are separated from God. The types themselves were obtained through the occult practice of automatic writing.
“According to their theology you have never been separated from God but invented a false self which thinks you are separated from God.”
Wow, Don, that sounds very similar (apart from the material world being real) to the spiritualized view of Christian Science, where the false self has to deal with sin, sickness, and death in a material illusion, despite God creating everything spiritually perfect! Are you referring to Rohr’s theology? Is the True Self considered to be your divine aspect that was not corrupted by sin, or some such? Thanks.
Yes, that is Rohr’s theology, and most of his disciples hold to that view as well. That is why we have titles like “The Road Back to You.” The Enneagram is for you to find your path (one of the nine) to take you from the false self you have created to the true self which has never been separated from God.
The one I took online didn’t say anything about religion or spirituality, it was simply a personality test like Briggs-Myers. I did see some books on this at Mardel, apparently depending on which of the nine types you fit you had your own book.
I understand many think it is like Briggs-Stratton but all of the types came through the occult practice of automatic writing. The Enneagram Institute (a New Age organization) has one online as to many other groups. The book you mentioned is probably written by Beth McCord who did a nine volume series for Thomas Nelson. She was trained by a psychic, Helen Palmer and 4 other New Agers. You may want to watch the point/counterpoint “Should Christians embrace the Enneagram?” between Todd Wilson (author of The Enneagram goes to Church) and Marcia Montenegro (co-author of Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret). Also, as far as a personality test, even if it hadn’t come from occult sources it fails as an accurate personality test. The only psychometric test perform to date is “The Enneagram, Science, and Christianity – Part 1” and concludes, “Any scientist who studies personality would simply look at the reliability scores and conclude the test is not accurate enough to be helpful, and therefore, they wouldn’t use it because the potential for harm will be too high.”
Hello, Mark, I would like to add to what Don said in his reply to you. The Enneagram is not a personality test; it is supposed to be tool to work through your Type, which is a false construct of the self, in order to find the True Self, which is defined various way in the occult, New Age, and by Richard Rohr. The True Self of the Enneagram is not biblical. So aside from the fact it was not meant to be a “personality assessment tool,” it is bogus as such and and as anything else. It is a completely based occult/New Age tool that has no valid psychological research, or studies behind it and is not based on any psychological theories. It was formed ad hoc by various esoteric and New Age teachers, including input from spirit contact (automatic writing from Naranjo). Although the use of the Enneagram is rampant in the church and there are dozens of Christian books on it, that popularity is an illusion that tends to make people assume it is valid, when, in fact, it is not. It works by the same principles as astrology and why people think they fit their zodiac sign or birth chart. I hope you check out the links Don provided in his reply.
Hi Marcia! I love your videos, especially ones with Alisa Childers! I was horrified a week ago when I found out that my church is doing a “seminar” on the Enneagram this month. I am talking to the man at church who listened to a podcast and is teaching (“coaching”) the seminar. I referred him to this article, yours and Alisa’s vid on the Enneagram and Doreen Virtue’s vid that has Naranjo in it. He sent me this link to the podcast he used. What do you think about this? Do you know of these people? “Episode 66: The Christian Approach to Using the Enneagram – Your Enneagram Coach, the Podcast” Could this be a good thing, or is it just another trojan horse attempt?
Karen Shaw, yes, I know those people. Beth McCord has claimed to teach a “gospel centered Enneagram” all along. I have done several Facebook posts on her, including a response to 2 podcasts she did with her husband Jeff defending the Enneagram. In one, they whitewash Ichazo and I think Naranjo. I can try to put the links here for you to those posts. Also, notice in that description of the podcast they refer to the “secular Enneagram.” It is not secular! It is spiritual in origin and in nature. If it were secular, then where is the secular psychological basis, theories, research, and support for it in the field of psychology? None of that exists. You should make that point. Also, Beth McCord had 6 New Age teachers. I wonder if she thinks they were secular? I’ll find those posts and try to put links to them.
Karen Shaw, please see this link on the McCords “Beth and Jeff McCord Defend the Enneagram with False Information.”. At the end I have more links and there is one to her New Age teachers. Even if you are not on Facebook, you can see my posts there.
Hi, Karen, I hope you see this further response. I’ve been waiting to write up something on a recent podcast from the McCords that you should share with the man at your church teaching the Enneagram. The McCords are very deceptive. I worked the past 2 weeks off and on, on this post. Please see all the links at the end for related info. Post is at “Enneagram Deception Continues with the McCords“
What if Christians gutted the enneagram but found the 9 personality types psychologically helpful (apart from all the true self gobbledygook and apart from any christianizing of said gobbledygook). In other words, identifying personality predispositions towards head/heart/gut passions and motivations. The enneagram might not be left in tact as its original intent, but it would still be distinct
That is a good question but it assumes there is psychological validation. As we point out in “Inappropriate Appropriation” the psychometric test demonstrates, it does not. It seems to work for the very same reasons astrology seems to work in describing personality types. See, “The Enneagram, Science, and Christianity – Part 2” which explains, “Why the Enneagram ‘Works.'” If “Christians gutted the enneagram” or astrology they would no longer be the Enneagram or astrology. You may want to watch the point/counterpoint, “Should Christians embrace the Enneagram?” between Marcia Montenegro and Todd Wilson.
Thank you for your kind response. I think Marcia absolutely won that debate, but, then again, the fact Todd wrote a book doesnt mean he represents all Christians who use the personality categories of the enneagram.
Comparing Christians who use the personality typing of the enneagram doesnt mean they are King Ahaz worshipping false gods, especially if they strip off the enneagram idolatry. Im not seeing in this comparison where King Ahaz removes the idolatry, and for that, I think this is a false analogy.
When stripped of the idolatry, we just have a typing system. But just because it isnt scientifically validated doesnt mean it is false. Even if it is false, it might not be completely false. What that percentage of falsehood hasnt been demonstrated either way. Marcia asserts that people who accept the typing system do so in the same way people accept astrology, however, that is only an assertion and hasnt been demonstrated, because she hasnt proven a specifically false belief in the neutralized typing system (granted it seems Todd hadnt completely neutralized it, although i think it is possible in theory… but please respond to me and not him). It would have been nice if she could have steal manned her debate partner, and Todd should have done the same as well.
That said, what is the false belief that remains other than it isnt scientifically validated and the bare assertion that its as valid as astrology?
Hello, EDH, If we “gutted” the Enneagram of its New Age components, nothing would be left! That is the whole point of it being a fake. It is not based on any valid personality theories or research. The whole purpose is to find the Gnostic “True Self” and that is what it is set up to do and how it “works.” It has no validity in psychology at all. For one thing, the categories overlap too much to be distinctive which renders it invalid right off the bat. It has not been found to be helpful at all, but actually presents dangers to those who use it and believe it.
Thank you Marcia. I appreciate this response. I just saw it after I responded to Don. Ill mull this over. I want to defend the enneagram in its neutralized state, but I am open to your criticisms. I just dont think ive seen anyone ask the right questions that I think about, or theyre not asking in the right way
Hi, EDH, the Enneagram does not have a neutralized state. That does not exist because the whole origin, purpose, and development of the Enneagram was not to find your personality but your True Self, a Gnostic Essence that is pure and undefiled. It operates on a system from a false belief and therefore has no meaning for anyone except those who believe in it, like New Agers. And they are believing something untrue by believing in that pure Essence. That is how Ichazo taught it, and how Naranjo taught it with the overlay of Types which are false constructs of self. Even Rohr believes that as does Chris Heuertz. So there is no neutralized state.
Maybe we are talking past each other a bit. Please see my comment below.
To say that a neutralized state doesnt exist is like saying Liberal Christianity doesnt exist. We both agree that it doesnt work, but just because it doesnt work doesnt mean it doesnt exist.
And if I identify with one of the 9 personality types, simply as a personality type I dont think I am necessarily taking on all the bad things that are wrong with new age. You might say I am using new age categories of head/heart/gut and therefore that isnt neutral. However, to me that doesnt seem to be idolatrous even if it were psychologically mistaken. In that case, to say its inherently idolatrous seems to be guilt by association.
Thanks and God bless
EDH: I forgot to add that the “head/heart/gut passions” are not psychological categories and are not valid. Those are based on Gnostic/occult teacher George Gurdjieff’s 3 categories of “the way of the fakir, the way of the yogi, and the way of the monk.” That is where they come from. The New Age spun it into those categories you refer to.
Thank you. Do you cover the head/heart/gut in your book? And as far as i know some founders/influencers of enneagram even though using automatic writing also have a backround in psychology from ivy league schools.
Do you cover these things in your book in more detail? If so, ill be interested in ordering it. 🙂
FYI, I agree there is much overlap, and I think it just gives people an easy way to classify personalities but still add nuance, which is why there are subcategories/wings and directions for stress or health etc. And that is why i find it useful.
I am open to being wrong though. I am just wondering how wrong it is, since it might be only a little flawed given the amount of flexibility with all the subtype/wing/etc . Maybe it just needs a bit of cleaning up
Hello, EDH: Yes, we cover the head/heart/gut thing in the book. The only one who did the Types was Naranjo. Yes, he was a psychiatrist but 1)I’ve been told by a psychologist that psychiatry actually does not deal in this area at all; that is not their forte or focus; and 2) Naranjo’s specialty was using hallucinogenic drugs and its effects. He was interested in Shamanism and took psychedelics for “spiritual trips” like they did in the 60s and 70s. His worldview was a shamanistic/New Age spiritual worldview. Having that worldview colors everything you see. Nothing about the Types falls under valid personality typing. You should research this a bit. If you did, you would discover that no personality test is considered valid in psychology except the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory which is used when certain mental disorders are suspected. Only a trained person can give it and assess it and it’s very expensive. The most valid personality theory is the Big Five, which are categories that are based on research. Jordan Peterson has videos on this and has come up with his own test, which may be the only valid or close to valid personality test one can get now. The concept of personality is a modern one. Who defines it? How is it measured? I personally don’t think personality matters as much as character and behavior.
Btw, I did not say on the program that belief in personality theories is like belief in astrology; I was making a point that the Enneagram is believed for the same reason or seems to “work” for the same reasons as astrology. The Enneagram has failed psychometric testing. There are no more valid “nuances” in the Enneagram than there are in astrology (and astrology is way more complex than the Enneagram). You seem rather desperate to believe there is validity in it but there isn’t. Moreover, the Types are, as I said, false constructs of the self and you are to tear them down in order to find the Essence so that you can effect self-transformation. This is part of New Age and occult philosophy. I don’t think I can explain it more clearly than that.