Who Are We and Why Are We Here? Meet Your Personality: Part III

by Robert Engelbach on February 6, 2014

In Part I and II of “Who Are We and Why Are We Here? Meet Your Personality” we examined secular and spiritual versions of personality profiling, including Myers Briggs, several versions of the Four Temperaments, Astrology, and the Chinese Zodiac. Some were inaccurate and others left little or no room for spiritual transformation. In the tradition of Jesus serving wine at the Wedding in Cana, we have saved the best for last, the one most suited to esoteric spirituality and meditation –the Enneagram.

Key to Transformation

“Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
People talking, people laughing
A man selling ice cream”

The Chicago hit song “Saturday in the Park” describes the natural childlike fascination of the Enneagram Type Seven personality. Compare this to the vibrations of the Type Four reflected in the Coasters hit song “Yakety Yak”.

“Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don’t get no spendin’ cash
If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor
You ain’t gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak
(Don’t talk back)”

Type Fives experience an incredible change in awareness when they begin to meditate, their minds taking a quantum leap from Yakety Yak to Saturday in the Park. Similar effects occur when they integrate Type Seven traits into their personalities. Ditto when any type integrates traits of another type. Certain paths of integration are more beneficial than others. Your divine nature knows what it needs and will pcik the path. Meditation connects us to that source and catalyzes transformation. Our conclusion is:

Meditation is the key to spiritual transformation of each personality type.     

Nine EnneagramTypes

The word Enneagram is from the Greek “ennea” for nine and “gram” for pattern. We each live in a bottle where there are nine bottles representing nine personality types, each tinted a different color. We each view a situation outside the bottle according to the tint.  No one tint is superior.  The more we know about the limitations and potentials of our own tint and that of others, the more we understand the total nature of the situation and how we can all work together to share it. Thus:

Knowledge of the Enneagram helps remove the illusion of individuality.

The tints come from our genes and events in our lives that shape and form us. Some believe the tints are downloaded into our spirits when we reincarnate. These tints tend to develop us into one of nine basic personalities, based on our response to our experiences, both good and bad.

For instance, infants who suffer rejection from a mother have the option to (1) fight back with aggression and trouble-making, (2) busy themselves with siblings, or (3) withdraw into themselves. However, if there are no siblings, the option of displacing rejection by eliciting substitute approval from others is not available. If the child also has been conditioned to be well-behaved, then the only option is to withdraw, where he is challenged to fill a void with inner intellectual resources.  He suppresses the pain of rejection by becoming mentally detached rather than reaching out, needing others, or interacting with them to meet his needs. This results in a Type Five personality referred to as the “Observer” or “Investigator”, depending on which books you read.

Rejection and feelings of unworthiness are not resolved below the conscious level, so the Type Five will instinctively seek to master some skill or field of knowledge in order to compensate, but the inner wound is never fully healed if fear of rejection at the unconscious level is manifested by fear of failure at the conscious level, the Type Five may become an obsessive perfectionist or a workaholic, and he can easily slide into becoming hypercritical, pessimistic or depressed.

When distressed, the Type Five withdraws into a quiet cave to detach from it all until the storm passes. “It’s a jungle out there” is the motto of the obsessive/compulsive Type Five TV character “Monk”.

One of the greatest dilemmas for Type Fives is that they detach from their bodies, emotions and intuition. Meditation, practicing mindfulness of body, and learning to tune in to intuition is equivalent to a Type Five being “saved” from hell on earth.

Knowledge of Enneagram theory also provides direction as far as what additional characteristics need to be integrated into the personality. For instance, in the illustration, the Type Five is connected by lines to Types 7 and 8. If they work toward assimilating the traits of those types they will become more balanced, happier, connected, and successful in whatever they do. The same is true for other types who assimilate the traits of types at the other end of the connecting lines.

There are other features about the Enneagram that I do not have space to describe in this post. These include: (1) Wings, (2) Instinctual Subtypes, (3) Division of types based on dominance of Emotion, Intellect, or Intuition, and (4) Integration/Disintegration of personality within each type. You can read about these online at the following recommend site which is a quick, simplified, but an extensive resource;  or you can check out the more extensive resources listed in the next section. http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/intro.asp#.UvH6k_v-tn

Meanwhile, readers, you now have enough of an introduction to plunge right in. Why not find out your type by taking the following free and confidential self-administered, online assessment.

This may be the most important assessment you may ever take.

It is suggested you do this right now while you have limited knowledge, otherwise if you continue to study this topic, then you might subconsciously alter your responses to change your type to what you wannabe or shouldabeen.

So buckle up, my friend and take a test drive at http://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/test.php.

This is an imperfect tool, so some may require taking other self-assessments or additional study to determine their type. A more complete assessment, recognized as the Gold standard, is available for $10 at http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/tests_battery.asp#RHETI.

If you are still in doubt, send me a comment and I will try to direct you to a suitable resource.

Enneagram: Past, Present, and Future

Where did this marvelous gift to mankind come from? Some sources claim it was developed by the Sufi Muslims in 1500 AD who lived in present day Afghanistan and Pakistan. Other sources claim that the Sufi and their practices predate Islam, and that they go back to very ancient times.

Today, modern Enneagram practices are divided into two schools in the West. The second school emphasizes meditation and developing intuition:

(1) The Enneagram Institute

  1. Website: http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/
  2. b.      Major Authors: Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
  3. Major Book: “The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types”

i.      This is the first landmark book describing the Enneagram http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553378201/ref=assoc_qcb_im?ie=UTF8&tag=theenneagraminst

ii.      Contains volumes and volumes of personal narratives.

  1.  Major Assessment: The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/tests_battery.asp#RHETI.


(2)    Enneagram Worldwide

  1. Websites: http://www.enneagram.com/index.html and http://www.enneagramworldwide.com/
  2. Major Author: Helen Palmer and David Daniels
  3. Major Book: “The Enneagram in Love and Work: Understanding Your Intimate and Business Relationships” http://www.amazon.com/Enneagram-Love-Work-Understanding-Relationships/dp/0062507214
  4. Major Assessment: http://www.enneagramworldwide.com/register.php

enneagramThe Enneagram was originally taught by a tribal leader to a small group of initiates. The leader would draw the Enneagram on the ground, instruct them, and then each would share their personal narrative about self-discovery. There is still no better way to learn the Enneagram. Groups are available at spiritual communities, churches, meet ups, and training centers. Some are free and some require a fee. They are conducted by experienced trainers who are certified, usually at one of the two aforementioned schools. If you are interested, but cannot hook up with one in your local area, you can look into joining an online student group and interact via your computer video camera at http://www.enneagramwork.com/teaching_schedule.html.

Temperaments and EnneagramThe institutions which keep the secular and spiritual personality profiles alive are beginning to play leap frog with one another, borrowing and revising their curriculums to keep up. Notice the illustrations that attempt to correlate them.  These allow you to confirm your type by comparing where you stand on different profiling systems.  This demonstrates that:

True wisdom is not privy to any one school of study, secular or spiritual.  

I hope this has been helpful. I would be glad to try to answer any questions you submit or refer them to my trainer for you.

Meanwhile, “Live long (meditate) and prosper.”

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Sparks February 6, 2014 at 10:53 pm

All three articles are very interesting and intricate!
Thank you for taking the time to present all this information with such clarity of navigation for us…
That alone showed me you are thoughtful and diligent.
I have just spent over an hour on the site/link you provided and took the Enneagram test as well as the chakra test and plan to go back there again, as it looks as though it will pick up various changes that occur over time.
On the Enneagram, because I am not 100% right now, when I felt that’s what I was, but now that I am facing challenges, this is not so, in that case I stayed with the middle.
Also, spent some time with the I-Ching, very poetic and intuitive, was surprised how it does in fact encourage one!
Really terrific, everyone take this as it is very perceptive to what we usually do not see about ourselves.
“I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards” (Abraham Lincoln) ~1809-1866
Love & Light,


Robert February 7, 2014 at 11:17 am


Thanks for the compliments.

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. It can give you courage to climb the mountain. Knowledge is also wonderful. It shows you how to get down the mountain before dark and not get eaten by the bear.

Studying your Enneagram type will give you insight into the typical mistakes your type will make in encountering stress, why you tend to make them, and how to better maneuver through them. You get an overview of who you are and can look down and manage your path. When people begin to recognize that they fit an Ennegram pattern, they are amazed. When they learn the best way for their type to fix situations, they are are grateful. No more banging of the head against the wall.

When you get good at managing your own type, then you can learn to read other people’s types and counsel them in the way that is best for them.

It is like understanding that some people learn better through listening, some through visuals, and others through hands on. There is no use talking your head off trying to help someone who needs to see a picture.

Glad you are learning something.


Tracy August 19, 2016 at 2:33 am

I didn’t have any clear personality type in the Eclectic Energies test at all and I ensured I answered very honestly…or tried my very best too. 🙁


ash February 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm

This is fascinating! Thank you for these posts. I checked out the sites earlier (from the sites you listed in the comments of part 2), and was a 5 according to the test. So, when you described more about fives, it was especially interesting. You mention rejection as an infant, and it brought up something I’ve wondered about…my mom loves to tell about how when I was born (after she was induced), she had the nurses immediately take me away (19 hour labor wore her out, wah, so she didn’t want to deal with me). I’ve researched birth methods quite a bit, and knowing how natural oxytocin levels are changed with the introduction of artificial oxytocin for induction, could all of that possibly contribute to the whole idea of feeling sort of isolated in life? And I don’t mean to be dramatic…I know this is not true rejection, it was just her reaction in the moment, and was short-lived, of course. It’s just amazing how perfectly the description of a five fits me! I took the test on the Eclectic Energies site, and got the same result.

Joshua, thanks also for this website! It has been just what I’ve needed at this point in my life. I love reading all the comments on the posts as well.

Take care!


Robert February 7, 2014 at 2:05 pm


I do not know enough to say whether or not an infant would be effected by Oxycontin induced labor followed by temporary absence of the mother. I remember reading something about correlations between babies who were not breastfed and introversion, believed to result from lack of bonding. Breast milk contains Oxytocin (not the same as Oxycontin), the love drug, that causes pair bonding. (Every time someone says “I love you” and you know they really mean it, or shows a lot of affection, your own body secrets Oxytocin). This would suggest that absence of the mother during infancy may cause introversion. I would take a wild guess and say this is more likely to apply to older infants who have more ability to engage in mental processing to substitute for the absence of the mother, but I do not really know.

The shock on your poor mother could also have subconsciously induced a desire for ongoing avoidance. But again, this is a wild guess.

Here is an article on how birth trauma effects mother and child http://lorricraig.com/psychologist/general-psychology/difficult-birth-psychological-problems/

If you google “birth trauma effects on child” you will find more like it.

I am glad reading my post caused you to consider that childhood experiences can affect personality. As I mentioned in the post, the process of relating and comparing our personal narratives is just as important as learning the theoretical model for personality. It is part of our collective tribal experience. It draws us together and sharing insights of our individuality provides all of us with an overview, which has the paradoxical effect of removing the illusion of individuality from studying it.

What is very helpful for us type 5s is learning about disintegration versus integrative behavior within our type. The Riso school (first one) of Enneagram emphasis this, and his book (and probably his website) describes 9 layers of behavior, from disintegrative (immature) to integrative (mature) within each type.. It shows us what we are inclined to do when a type 5 regresses in maturity, so we can catch ourselves when this happens and correct our course. It also inspires us to develop more mature behaviors (levels of higher consciousness) that we may not have even dreamed about, that are within our grasp.

The second thing that is helpful for 5s is to develop intuition. Not doing this is like a vitamin deficiency for us. The Palmer school emphasizes this. Intuition for us is the divine spark within that knows more than we think or are aware of, until we learn to tune into it through mindfulness and meditation. Sometimes intuition is the still small voice from within, and sometimes it is just an awareness without a voice that occurs when we quiet the mind I would never find my car in a shopping mall parking lot without it, or feel my way safely through a potentially flammable inter-relational situation. It’s my miracle cure.

Thanks for relating your narrative about childbirth,


Brian February 7, 2014 at 5:48 am

Why are there 9 Enneagrams?

Take any multiple of 9 and add up the digits and they always sum to 9.

Eg 3*9=27 then 2+7 = 9
5*9=45 4+5= yep, works every time.
33*9=297 2+9+7=18 then 1+8=9


Robert February 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm


I’m not sure that nine is a result of secret coding as it ia used in numerology to decode the hidden meaning of the bible. I think the nine personalities can be considered a result of the triune nature of God above infusing into the triune nature of man below. Both the God of the bible and our human bodies are described as having three dimensions: God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and Man (body, mind, and spirit). When personality is distributed from the triune above to the triune below, we have a group of three from above infusing into each of the three below, for a total of nine infusions. This results later into in a total of three groups of nine, equal to a total of 27. These groups include nine divisions of the fruit of the spirit, nine gifts of the spirit, and nine spiritual talents. Multiplication by three seems to be a pattern.

The first division of personalities in the Enneagram is a group of three.centers… emotion (gut), mind, and intuition. Each one of these centers has three personality types.

“The gut center most primarily expresses the anger or rage of being in a body and not in control of reality. The Nine (type 9) of this center deals with his anger by “going to sleep” or numbing himself to the undercurrents of the rage. On the other hand, the Eight of this center deals with the anger and rage by becoming powerful, strong and in control. The One of the gut center deals with its rage by trying to restore perfection through being right.”
(Howell Ph.D., Joseph Benton (2012-09-20). Becoming Conscious:The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway (p. 18). BalboaPress. Kindle Edition).

I don’t know if ths fully answers your question, but it suggests a pattern of three infusing into a pattern of three. When we go further with this in the Enneagram, we can divide each of the nine type into three instinctual subtypes, for a total of 27 subtypes.

It is not clear why we understand things in three divisions. It may have something to do with how the human mind grasps reality. We can compare one thing to another. We can also do a little mental gymnastics in comparing three things. We can compare each combination of two. More than that, and the mind begins to get boggled.

We can sense three physical dimensions (x, y,z) which can change with the passage of time (the fourth dimension), In Newtonian physics, if we know the position (x,y,z) of a point in the present time, and the position in a past time, we can predict how the position i the present will change at a future time. A total of nine parameters are linked in describing the change of a physical point through time.

In modern physics, a student of quantum mechanics can describe the behavior of a subatomic particle using the Shroedinger equation. The next excersize he gets for homework is describing the interaction of two subatomic particle using the Shroedinger equation. This can keep him up most of the night. If his instructor is a jerk, he will be assigned a term project of describing the interaction of three subatomic particles. The equations at that point get so complicated it is almost impossible. Three is the limit, with great difficulty. After that, the human mind cannot comprehend the direct solution, and must use computer algorithms to approximate a solution which has a limited amount of certainty.

Three is the number that gives us enough diversity for the least complication. In writing, there is something called the “rule of three” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_three_%28writing%29) from whence we get the Three Bears, the Three Stooges, and the Three Little Pigs. It also works in slogans, to have three items, no more, no less (Liberte, Equalite, Fraternate) (Faith, Hope, Love) (I came, I saw, I conquered).

And there is also the logical yes, no, or maybe, as in yes, no, or maybe I answered your question.

I don’t know how to answer your question any better with what I know at this point. Maybe others can chime in.

It is fascinating how different personalities use different tools to try to find meaning. If you find the same meaning with two tools it could be a coincidence. If you find the same meaning with three tools, there is a good chance the meaning has a lot of meaning.

Anybody else?

Thanks Brian, for sharing your approach.


Brian February 7, 2014 at 5:54 am

Also, add up the digits of any number.
Subtract the derived number from the original
And you will get a multiple of 9.

or 65-11=54.


Sparks February 7, 2014 at 6:53 am

Don’t want to step ahead of Robert of this, as maybe he has another answer for you.

My knowledge on the number 9, is it is the number of “Evolution” (also having 9 letters in the word)
The Mediator is the 9 on the Enneagram, whether spoken or silently, the Mediator consciousness would be evolved substantially, creating peace from chaos. One with this number, would be in the middle, understanding fully both sides in order to bring a positive conclusion to any situation.
Did you take the test? There are also “wings”, and I would say this is also important to one who reads their personal Enneagram as well, also I think this is a changeable pattern, depending on one’s life’s circumstances.
I didn’t notice this, because I didn’t do the math, but I was curious as to why there are 9 of them.
Thanks for being an Observer/Questioner and picking up on this!
Will be interesting to hear Roberts take on this and Anny’s as well…
Love, Sparks


Justin February 7, 2014 at 9:41 am


I took the Enneagram test at enneagraminstitute and found that I score equally on a 4 and 5 with a close 3rd of a 9. In reading through each types description i could see myself in each one at various times. The difficult part for me now is trying to figure out where to go from here.

I believe that had I taken this test 6 months ago it would have been all 4 and 5 and given 6 more months it be more 9.


PS. Great articles! You present a topic that can be chewed on and applied to daily life with relative ease. Thank you!


Robert February 7, 2014 at 5:41 pm


Your situation is not uncommon. The test always points in the right direction in terms of most likely possibilities. Some people are so strong in their type that it shows up in one test. Others, especially if they are well integrated, test strong in multiple types without a clear indication of which is dominant. The more questions in the test, the better job it does . The $50 test is a little over 140 questions and has a better chance of sorting out your dominant type from your less dominant wing (as Sparks has mentioned). You can also take tests from other sources. But if you keep reading and seeking, you will sort this out on your own. I found it really helpful to listen to the narratives of people who had figured out their type. I am a 5,6,9 just my 5 is huge. I also have a little bit of 4 wing

Would you characterize your modus operandi as a loyal Guardian to the death of the Truth as you know it (6), an analytical, over-scrupulous, and skeptical intellectual Observer who can blow up or get depressed when life does not compute, (5), or a Peacemaker who considers all sides of an issue (9).

I debated (type 5) over the email with Josh for three months straight trying to change his mind away from Gnoticism toward the mainstream fundamentalism that I revered (type 6), skeptically (type 5) trying to debunk each and every detail (type 5) in each internet article he sent me, and as an afterthought (type 5), after a little of what he said started to make sense when I checked it out in more depth using my own research (type 5), I created a compromise theology (type 9) we could tentatively agree on. I was a 5 with a 6 wing and a bump up at 9.

After the experience with Josh, amd I began meditating, I started changing my “behavior” and becoming more open minded, so I started exhibiting some better (integrative) traits of my profile, instead of disintegrative traits, so it might have seemed that my profile was shifting on the basis of behavior, but on the basis of “motive”, no, I did not shift. My 6 simply switched loyalties to the concept of tolerance and relative of truth, from one way or the highway.

Do you find yourself retreating to your cave when you feel overwhelmed, where you can reflect in peace and detach from emotions (type 5)?

Another hint is to look at the type with your lowest score. Your dominant type might be directly opposite that on the Enneagram wheel. Also your dominant type usually has a slightly less dominant type to the left or right of it (the wings). So if you are a 4,5,9 this would suggest that you are a 4 with a 5 wing or a 5 with a 4 wing, with a 9 bump. This particular combination is sometimes difficult to sort out in one test.

If you are a true 5 and have the time, you will not stop until you have an answer. You will slip meals, stay up late and turn over every stone. Turns out there are more efficient ways to find out, when you learn to use intuition.

I’m glad you brought this up. Let’s keep working on this. We all need a type to hang our hat, so we can then focus on transformation.



Robert February 7, 2014 at 6:10 pm

It just occurred to me, there is a free test section that helps you decide on your type if you have doubts at http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/misid/#.UvVmgM6PvyA. You have to register on the site, but I think it is free. Try it and let me know if it helps.


Justin February 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm

I did a bit of investigating, thank you for the link by the way, and the 5 behavior most defiantly fits me best. What is really interesting to me is that I can remember a time when I was far more of socially driven, granted I was very young 5-. However, when I look back over my life I can see a distinct change in my personality, I wonder if around that time I lost connection with my true self and ego(personality) began to form.

Thank you for the article again!


Sparks February 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Hi Justin,
I can totally agree with your astute observation on the Enneagram, and so much thanks to Robert for this enlightenment!

What you have stated is, in fact the entire and ancient meaning of the circle and facets of our lives, am glad you picked up on that… 🙂

We have to “Know YOUR self”, before we can proceed to any level of the circle, experiencing all the different aspects of personality allows us to “walk in the shoes of another”, which is a very loving. life enhancing experience.
Ego, once again, likes to keep us stifled, it is at peace, but we (our true selves) are not…
Like, don’t jump out of this box/heart, into the brand new box/heart, and don’t forget Mr. Ego, will be there eventually. Ego is a poor sport! Ego’s trophy is keeping us in limbo.
Taking back those trophy’s are like David slaying Goliath!

For you Justin: vintage but classic: Turn, Turn, Turn (The Byrds), released 12/6/1965

Happy Valentine’s Day!
With Love, Sparks
ps: us baby boomers really are not that bad after all lol 🙂 Hugs #5


Robert February 15, 2014 at 12:26 am


We baby boomers are insane. There were tooooo many of us squeezing into the Volkswagon bug. This is challenging to a five. I want the bug for myself, or just the trunk. But the engine is in the trunk. Do you believe that.? In the trunk. So I live in the hood. Boomerhood, from sea to shining sea. Things change sooo fast. And now the digital thing. I have a TV the size of the living room. Depending on my economic status, it is either a gigantic TV or a tiny living room. We are the children of the war to end all wars, an honorable war, but actually it was the last war that was honorable. Our ancestors left us to fight the ugly ones. We little ones grew up in fear of the big boom. We finally reasoned our way to mutual safety, and now the religious fanatics wanna big boom. Hey, who shut down the government? No wonder we’re transcending.

Sparks February 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm

…and who’s getting in the trunk for the newly released movie at the drive-in theater? lol
depending on the car, 3 could fit, cars had big trunks then, except the V Bus!
Not me, I was claustrophobic, I’d be screaming “let me out of here” and get the entire bunch booted out 🙂
Then too, we could drive around all day on 2 dollars of gas, now we can’t even go down the road on that…and they expect a family to survive on minimum wage now…
thank you God!, they are raising it, and for the younger ones here on SOS, out there in the working world, fight like a banshee for what you deserve.
If they say we’ll give you 10.10 and hour, you now can say 10.10 is the minimum wage, degree in hand, say this is worth at the very least 17.00 an hour, but to be fair I will take the job at 20.00 an hour…

My usual response to anyone stating I’m insane is:
“How can one be sane while living in an insane world”

This new age will see to it all the fanatics get shut down, religious or government, we are seeing it happening now, and this is just the beginning…
No more children, like us, living in fear of the powers that be, they are smart, intelligent souls, and they are not going to take the crap we had to.
It’s their God given destiny!
I have much Faith and Hope for the new generations, their bright lights will guide them.

Native American Blessing
May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty,
…all the days of your life. (Apache Prayer)

as for us Robert, old before their time baby boomers, looks promising to be a few planets out there for us to transcend to…
Fire up the rockets, hang on and make it so!!

Brian February 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Here is a simple empirical experiment.

Without telling them anything about the enneagram, ask people to read each one and identify which one best describes them.

Then get them to complete the test and note which enneagram the test throws up.

Compare the matches with the mismatches.

10 out of 10 matches, or thereabouts, means you have a reliable test. 1 or 2 out of 10 can be explained by random chance.

To deepen your investigation, ask the subject’s friends to predict which enneagram best describes the subject. Do these predictions tend towards a single enneagram, or are they spread all over the shop? If there is a single common prediction, does it match what the test eventually throws up?

Share your findings with others on this site and provided we are all being curious, honest and rigorous, you have the scientific method.


Robert February 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Interesting excersize, Brian. You are like me, a little creative and independent (my 4 wing). I must continually learn the hard way to check with whatever has already been done by others, so I do not reinvent the wheel. But I am good at dreaming up a way when there is no way.


Sparks February 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Robert & all,
My test results were a type 1w2
On the instinctual the test showed a type 2w3

These both seemed quite accurate as I have stated my life has undergone dramatic changes over the years, so that was interesting, am thinking as I was taking the tests, I would answer that differently then, but this is closer to who I have become now. Much reflection there for myself.
Love, Sparks


Robert February 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm


It might help others understand your comment if I explain the difference between personality type, wing, and instinctual subtype. There are nine types. Your dominant type (highest score on the test) has a type just to the left and right of it on the Enneagram circle. If you are a type 1, you have the potential to have a type 9 or a type 2 wing, denoted 1w9 or 1w9. Most people gravitate toward one wing or the other, very rarely have equal wings.

There are only 3 instinctual subtypes. Subtype 1 “Self Preservation”, Subtype 2 “Sexual” (can be in the broader sense of seeking deep one on one relationships) and Subtype 2 “Social” (seeking community). We have a dominant instinctual; subtype and a wing. So we can have a subtype 1w2, etc.

It makes more sense when you explore your own, first type, then wing, then subtype and its wing. There is no math involved. Just descriptions of different kinds of people, how they behave, and what makes them tick.


Robert February 7, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Oops, my mistake in first paragraph above. Should read “you have the potential to have a type 9 or a type 2 wing, denoted 1w9 or 1w2. We 5s do not like mistakes in detail, and this is the only mistake I have ever made and will ever make again. 🙂


Sparks February 7, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Hi Robert,
While looking over Brian & Justin’s posts, Questioning and Observers seem to be outstanding definitely in their posts, that I would guess is their logical or male side Right guys?. Won’t be getting into any debates with you guys for sure!
Its almost as if one can think; oh, there are some tricky questions here and I won’t let that happen, Safe is logical and some may answer the questions with safety as overrule, also, I can see an overly self-sustaining person unconsciously go to a protective mode, which this particular test sees.
Myself I just jumped right into it, only reading the question one time and I admit answered with more feeling than logic., not mulling over the question, yet seeing the outstanding key word right away, that allowed me to balance my answer. My distress was comparing my old life to the one which I live now, as there are some parts of my old life I would like to have presently. Accepting that “Change is inevitable” was an enormous breakthrough for me.
How gracefully I could do this, well that is another story.
btw, I forgive your mistake as there really was none!
Staring at the Enneagram, say as you would a piece of art, I could see the correlation already.
I hereby grant Robert, with highest regards the honor of “he who makes the most msitakes wins”!!
and am humbled to be in the company of Rembrandts, Michelangelo’s and Wyeth’s!
With Love,


Robert February 8, 2014 at 12:10 am


If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.

Cheer up,


Sparks February 8, 2014 at 11:51 am

So true!!
Winter blues here…
Wishing right about now if I were a Monarch, I would be in the nice and warm Bahamas!

Interesting read here about how they navigate:



Robert February 10, 2014 at 3:02 am


Ways to beat the winter blues:
(1) Read a trilogy and come back out after the thaw. Oops. Groundhog saw his shadow. Read two trilogies. I guess that is equivalent to a hexology. Sounds like witchcraft.
(2) Take a hint from the Hobbit’s second breakfast. Put the tree back up for second Christmas.
(3) Drag yourself to the nearest greenhouse. Ah, 90 degrees, 80% humidity. Allergies. I miss them.
(4) Try to train your dog to use the toilet.. That should take longer than reading War and Peace, The Foundation Series, Exodus and Hawaii before you give up, and by then you and your furry friend will be strollin’ in the summer breeze.
(5) Repeat (2) but this time invite a Muslim family over, double spike the eggnog without telling, and go caroling. Maybe you should stay indoors for the caroling.

Let me know if you have anything to add. Wife and I are on our third Christmas. We thought we might experiment and put the dog in the manger. Running out of rum and new ideas.


Robert February 10, 2014 at 3:05 am


We are teatotalers. The dog drinks the rum


Robert February 10, 2014 at 3:22 am


What does any of this have to do with the blog? Remember, DOG is GOD backwards. They both have the same total number 26. Add the 2 and the 6 and you get 8.

Eight for the eight that stood at the gate.
Seven for the seven that never got to heaven
Six for the six that never got fixed
Five for the five that stayed alive
Four for the four that stood at the door
Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the itty, bitty baby
Who was born, born, born in Bethlehem

Let’s here it for Peter, Paul …….and Mary.


Robert February 10, 2014 at 3:29 am


Wow. I currently now have 28 comments on this post. I sure generated a lot if interest.

Add 2 and 8 and you get 10.

Ten for the ten commandments
Nine for the nine that dressed so fine

Anny, our Numerology expert, is going to kill me.

What happened to Anny?

Come in, Anny.

Sparks February 10, 2014 at 7:51 am

Good Morning Robert,
lol…Well, aren’t you just full of vim and vigor!!
It’s called cabin fever, the new one C1F2, going around like a super bug!!
One more month and I’ll get to take the 5 layers off, layering, the newest fashion trend!

Anny is a new Grandmommy, to a beautiful baby boy, Kevin
He already looks 3 months old!!
They all had a rough go though with the Mom, she hemorrhaged and needed transfusions, she almost died it was that bad, but all going well now, and Anny says baby and mom will be going home on Wednesday, so prayers needed for all of them, as things are still touch and go with the Mom. She says Hi to all, but will be tending to the new baby and his mom, so she won’t be back for a month or so. They are having spring weather there, so that’s a good thing. I told her I was on my way for a visit! lol

If you put the dog in the manger, you’ll have a viral youtube!! My dogs loved getting dressed up! We had a reindeer, a snowman and an angel, they were all to big for the manger. Poor dogs, they must of been thinking, this one should of had kids!!
Tough job they had, with their goofy mommy 🙂

Only know one Muslim family and she’s my doctor! Might be better to go with Muslim theme there…
Funny, funny Robert, thanks for the laughs, now pass me the rum, well, I can spike my new tea, just a tad!
8=Infinity to you
Love, Sparks

Robert February 11, 2014 at 2:06 am


C1F2. Yuck. What a downer that the flu vaccine does not cover type C . You get a sore arm and mild symptoms of type A all for nothing. I contracted another species of cabin fever called R2D2. It is spread by sitting too long in front of a computer screen in one position. The head becomes frozen stiff on the shoulders. YHVH told the commander of Israel, Joshua, “Do not to turn to the left or to the right!” This came naturally to me for three or four days. I’ve now worked my way up to a quarter turn. More snow coming soon. Never saw it like this in NC. Thinking about getting doggie boots to protect her paws against the salt.

Pedro February 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

This is a broad explanation of a considerable subject, and while there are many profitable uses for such a test, it can just as easily become a wall as a window. What is meant by Exodus 3:14? In Hebrew it is Aleph-Hay-Yod-Hay, or Aleph living Yod living – “I AM” has no predicate…(Who was it that said “To define is to defile”?) This is why Adam correctly names all the animals that YHWH-Elohim creates as below him, finding no definition of himself among all the different species. Each animal is a limited branch emerging from the trunk symbolized by “man”, whose evolution is distinguished by perpetual and infinite possibility – not producing “after its kind” but rather “in the image and likeness of YHWH-Elohim”. Those lesser forms of energy are restricted to space and time, characterized by annual mating seasons, migrations, hibernation, instinct, pattern, repetition… On the other hand, we, like the Master, are not.

When we stick labels, classifications, types, sub-types, conditions, tints, and diagrams to ourselves we’re entering into an identification with the limited world of time and space, which is a mere projection, or shadow of essence. (Einstein said “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”) Think about all the shadows you see on any given day that take on the shape of every form in the path of Light: none of them have substance, yet every one of them points to the sun or essence. Consciousness projects itself into forms and separates from these forms in order to become aware of itself. (A knife can’t cut itself, a flame can’t burn itself, etc.) The ONE becomes Two so that it can know itself as ONE. The enneagram is well and good so long as the sign isn’t mistaken for the thing is signifies, otherwise it becomes a dwelling rather than a point of departure. (Any results yielded by searching must be stated as problems so that every answer is a mere springboard and formulation of new questions.) If a chick takes its shell to be a part of its essence – if it identifies with the shell – the chick will die without ever hatching. Just the same, donning and inhabiting a “personality type” is one of many ways to captivate awareness and stave off the death of old structures crucial to the birth of something new. Think about how from Peter (rock, stone) we get the word “petrify”. Perhaps all the attempts at “stoning” Jesus have a deeper meaning, for his perpetual creativity and unpredictability constantly thwarted every trap set by those bent on seizing and reigning him in.

Remember that the word “person” is derived from the Greek and Latin words for “mask”. Person means mask. Ultimately, any “personality” is false and must be thrown overboard lest we forget that a “person” is a process, not a thing, and that Truth is beyond the mind and its systems of thought that tend to conflate belief with being, when not projecting into its own projection. We investigate consciousness and discover thought; thought leads us to language; language points to words; words turn out to be symbols that reduce an infinite process to finite, detached objects, or in the case of these schemata, personifications. Is it any wonder so many “seekers” are buzzing with notion sickness, especially in today’s world where profiles are often surrogates for people and networks have supplanted communities? (Heidegger said The fundamental event of modernity is the conquest of the world as picture.) How many people want to map their “personality” in order to find some kind of validation or to simply compare themselves with the rest of the branded herd dreaming of growth with eyes closed while hypostasizing their “type”? “Typing” the personality can harden the very shell that must ultimately fall in the ground and die so that the seed within – the life germ – can be reborn. And let’s not forget why corporate America loves these tests (you know, those faceless entities granted “personhood” by the 14th Amendment that we’re groomed to worship – “people” that reduce us to mere numbers and cogs in the very wheel our ancestors invented, a wheel tracked, monitored and recorded without respite)… I saw the word “limitation” numerous times in this trilogy. As Richard Bach said, “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”

Nine is the last of the Pythagorean numbers 3-9 (1 and 2 are considered “parents”, 10 represents an empyrean realm beyond numbers). The ancients called nine “the finishing post” and “that which brings completion”. The Greeks called nine “the horizon” because it lies at the rim before the limitless sea of numbers that repeat in endless cycles the principles of the first nine digits.

“And when Abram was ninety and nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” – Genesis 17:1

“He rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.” – Matthew 18:13

“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” – Mark 15:34

We say a cat has nine lives, go the whole nine yards, we’re on cloud nine, he/she was dressed to the nines, a stitch in time saves nine… Nine represents the frontier between the mundane and the transcendental infinite. Beyond nine comes a new cycle – ten, or Decad. In Spanish, the word for nine is ‘nueve’ and the word for new is ‘nuevo’. This connection is expressed in many other languages too. Nine is said to enclose and tie the essential elements of any event into a whole. A human being spends nine months gestating in the womb, but after this term we’re ready to leave all that we’ve known thus far and be born into life. Therefore the most important part of the enneagram is the circle. To get caught up in these types, sub-types, tints and wings is akin to remaining chained in Plato’s Cave.

One last thing – this theme comes on the heels of a post about the esoteric meaning of Jesus’ inner circle and the soul qualities they symbolize. Peter, Andrew, James and John received some attention there. Have you noticed how almost everyone avoids the most important aspect of this theme – Yehouda, or Judas? Jesus hand picked his 12 apostles for very specific reasons, and how many times does he say, “My hour has not yet come”? Keeping the mythical context of the story in mind, He knew EXACTLY what he was doing. Judas is an integral part of cosmic consciousness and the most trusted disciple of Jesus. While it’s clear Peter was the worldly ego concerned with self-preservation (Peter = petrify = Catholic Church = servant taking place of Master), he did in fact play – and continues to play – a necessary adversarial role, one Joseph played in Egypt toward his fellow Israelites. (Knowing that in Hebrew a name represents your character, thereby making a name change symbolic of transformation, it’s telling how the “form” of Jesus at the end of John’s gospel refers to Peter as Simon, marking a regression.) Where Peter failed, Judas came through and fulfilled Jesus. (Both of them are Satan or “adversaries” providing necessary resistance.) There was no betrayal, but rather an indispensable deliverance of the Light into darkness. What is energy without resistance?

Jesus was in cahoots with Judas from the beginning. Look at the Last Supper juxtaposed with the scene between Jacob-Israel and Esau (Edom) when the latter sells the former his birthright. Think about the symbols of both scenes – the heel, the bread (communion), the earthly vs the spiritual, the integration of the individual. (Remember also that Herod is an Edomite.) Judas is Jesus’ alter ego, and without him there is NO story, for without the “deliverance” there is no arrest, no flogging, no crucifixion, no resurrection. Let’s not forget that in ancient Egypt Horus has an adversarial twin brother Set, that Jesus and Lucifer are both called “the morning star”… Judas is rejected by the psyche in self-defense, branded a traitor instead of a loyal collaborator, and this only delays the necessary shattering that leads to birth and resurrection. What role does guilt play here?

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”


Brian February 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Hi Pedro.

“A “person” is a process, not a thing.” This really encapsulates one of the main reasons why a lot of attempts at personal change and team development fail. We choose the wrong types of words to describe what might be happening.

Verbs tend to infer change, while nouns tend to concretise a situation. For instance calling yourself a smoker (noun), tends to create a more limited set of future possibilities than when I say, “I am smoking.”(verb) With a verb, we are already in motion which requires a change direction. With a noun we must do both; get moving and fix our direction.

Worse still, nouns often imply that change is impossible; “I have always been a smoker, I must have a smoker’s gene, etc.”

I suspect that these personality test categories obtain their main appeal by giving everyone a role within a group, much a like the script and list of actors gives a dramatic production a more structured framework. If your team is coming out of relative chaos, it is probably an improvement to be able to say things like, “don’t expect me to meet deadlines, I am an intuitive.” Or “I am allowed to spray the walls with vitriol, if you don’t meet my expectations because I am the group gate-keeper.”

As you say, the problem occurs down the track when everyone gets immovably comfortable in their roles and the team finds itself stuck.

I also question precisely what these tests are actually measuring. As a subject taking such a test, I regularly feel a complete lack of conviction as to whether I am a, b or c. I have this strong urge to write, “well it all depends………”

As an alternative to categorising personality types, we used to use a game called headbands, which highlighted the impact of interaction and group feedback upon an individual team member’s behaviour.

The game is played with everyone sitting in a circle. The facilitator places a label on each person’s forehead, so that everyone else can see your label, but you cannot. The labels direct the rest of the group to treat each person in a particular way. A labelled guru is to be listened to attentively and never ever confronted or questioned. The clown is to be laughed at, however serious their comment. The victim is to be given deep empathy. And so on.

Then the group holds a simple discussion on a topic like “improving team productivity”. As each person speaks, they recieve feedback from the others in line with their headband label. The discussion is recorded on video to document how the group changes over time.

The main effect is that, although I have no idea what my role is, I tend to slip into that role, most likely due to the feedback I am getting. The guru speaks more deliberately and thoughtfully. The clown cracks more and more jokes. The outcast or scapegoat withdraws into silence. And so on.

So, my take home on things like the Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs is to forget the test and read the types as interesting role descriptions, which anyone can play, to a greater or lesser degree, any time they choose. Then in any given group strategicly choose the role which best suits your intention and the group’s objectives.

If the group is floundering and lacking direction, grab one of the more directive Enneagrams and start doing what it says.

Verbs do seem to produce more profound change than nouns. And if you are doing the wrong thing, the group will soon give you a bit of feedback. But then, you still have the rather difficult choice of whether to listen or not.


Robert February 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm


I think what you are saying is that in your corporate experience with role playing, the objective of which was better productivity through team building, rather than spiritual growth, that the activities seemed worthless and pretentious. I agree. I’ve been to two of those team building sessions at different companies. The concept of ego-driven behavior being the problem is totally missing. It is about a team of egos adjusting to each other. It’s more fun than a corporate picnic, and you get paid to attend. But worthless as far as spiritual growth.

I may have not done as good a job as I needed to in my 3 posts. I tried to show that the Enneagram was different. I gave examples in my personal life where Briggs Myers was absolutely ridiculous (Part I), and other systems missed the mark (Part II), but that there was something valuable in the Enneagram (end of Part II and all of Part III). Because the Ennegram is new to a lot of readers, I may have spent a lot of time explaining the mechanical details, instead of the intent.

But yes, comments from you and Pedro do bring out the dangers of using the Enneagram for typing of personality only, rather than for its ultimate intended purpose of spiritual growth.

But people who are new to the Enneagram need to start somewhere before they can start transcending. That always involves trying to determine one’s type. Once that is established, you can progress in growing to your full ego-liberated potential. Also you can begin to respect and appreciate others who have different styles of doing things. You become, in effect, better able to take a conscious look outside yourself.

What is very different about Enneagram types from other types is that they are based largely on core conditioning that is explainable from one’s life history. Behavior (or roles) “arise” as a consequence of the core, but they are not the core.

Behavior changes. The core transcends.

Two core types can role play as the CEO, and behave the same externally, but they have different motives. When motives become less ego-driven, the core transcends.

Hope that clarifies,


Robert February 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm


I very much agree with you about the Enneagram, as you say “The enneagram is well and good so long as the sign isn’t mistaken for the enneagram thing it signifies, otherwise it becomes a dwelling rather than a point of departure.”

The enneagram is just a tool, not a panacea. It is a better tool than other personality profiling models I wrote about because, once we become a little familiar with the basics, it does become a point of departure, a consciousness expanding experience. It is not the only way to go. but it is one of the good ones and has its place.

But, yes, until we become familiar with the basics, it can become a game of “what’s your type”. It is fun at first, and that has its place, but if it merely remained that, then, yes, it would become mundane, and your caution along those lines is well taken.

In the Riso school, the point of departure occurs with the descriptions of digressive and integrative levels of each personality. They show a progression from ego obsession and its consequences to the liberation of higher consciousness. The digressive levels are not “sinful”. They are simply the diamonds in the rough that are not yet developed. Once you determine where you are at, there is no where to go but up. That is a vast improvement over the bible’s exoteric sting of sin and guilt..

The Palmer school is easier to follow and has an immediate focus on transcendence of the ego by combining knowledge of the Enneagram with meditation and mindfulness.

Another resource that is good at connecting the dots between the Enneagram and spiritual growth is the book “Becoming Conscious: The Enneagrams Forgotten Passageway” by Joseph Benton Howell. You can get the Kindle at Amazon for $3. Howell writes “By seeing far more deeply into our own being, we discover on the Enneagram of Personality the particular obstacles that block our type’s ability to become conscious. These obstacles can be removed only through faith and spiritual transformation. Like lightening and thunder awakening us to a greater alertness, the Enneagram’s wisdom sheds light upon what a dark night would have hidden. Revealed in a flash are our personality, its inherent imprisonments, and amazingly we also see our pathways to freedom!

Once again, I appreciate your comments.


Robert February 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm


I re-read your longest comment and it is much deeper and wider than I first imagined . I especially liked your explanation of humans, unlike other species, having potential beyond limitations. So I see yours and Brian’s point of view about falling into roles and types as a kind of mentally induced limitation. It is a different viewpoint than I have been used to, and am very enthusiastic about exploring it.

You’re conclusions seem to arise from a synthesis of a large body of various esoteric beliefs, many of which I am still barely familiar with. So I intuit the gist even though my mind is not familiar enough with all the topics to sequentially put all the pieces together… yet.

I identify with some of your counter-cultural sentiments, but I am not sure what to do with my own. Am I channeling my frustrations against something I have decided is an enemy? Society. The Church. The Government. I feel a release in doing it, like I have won a battle for the moment, but sooner or later the peace disappears and I am back where I started. Why do I have to try to win anything? Why can’t I just be?

You have certainly inspired me reflect on much, and to reach higher. .


Pedro February 9, 2014 at 11:50 am


Thank you for your additional comments. Knowing firsthand how the U.S. has no small amount of spiritual tourism and that many churches commercialize religion, I’m always wary when it comes to anything of a spiritual nature that has been toyed with by Big Business. Still, there are countless people who benefit from using the Enneagram as a tool, and it comes to us with quite a long history as you explain. Like everything, your mileage may vary.


I recently read someone explaining how a telltale sign that a language was old and dying was a preponderance of nouns. Your comment clarified that idea for me.

There’s a whole realm of embedded language biases we’re not even aware of, my comment being no exception as I clearly filed this theme according to my own prejudices. Makes me think of e prime and the very different world it creates, one with less violent language, judgment and fewer opinions posturing as facts.

Here are a few good examples I found:

“Sarah is a dental hygienist” might become “Sarah cleans teeth from nine to five”.
“Your dress is awful” might become “I don’t like your dress”.
“His taste is dreadful” might become “He and I have different tastes”.
“You are wrong” might become “I don’t see it that way”.
“The reason he was bald is that he was addicted to twirling his hair” might become “He couldn’t stop twirling his hair, so he lost it”.
“America is number one” might become “We have more debt than anyone else (and more people in jail too)”.



Andy March 4, 2015 at 12:53 am

Please acknowledge that these examples were taken from this page:
Lifting content without acknowledging the source is not cool.


Joshua Tilghman March 13, 2015 at 9:37 am

Thanks Andy for pointing this out.


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