Some people are attracted to anything mystical. They don’t want the facts. They want endless exploration. They want something deep like a bottomless pit or a cave that is an endless underground maze. For these people we have the following diagram:
The attraction of this diagram is not that it actually explains anything but it is interesting because of its complexity and unknown origins. No one knows who came up with it. It is an ideal symbol for the unfathomable. It was pounced upon as an explanation of personality. It’s basic assumption is that since the enneagram lays out 9 points on a circle then there are 9 distinct personalities. The claim is that the enneagram is superior to other models because it doesn’t name the personalities but simply refers to them by numbers and thus they avoid the misinterpretations that come from labeling with a loaded term. The reluctance to name these points didn’t last long. It is now common for the types to be labeled as they do in other models.
Of course 9 personalities is not quite enough. So they double the possibilities with the concept of wings. Wings are the personalities immediately to the side of each number. So you have a type 3 personality that can either incorporate aspects of the 2 personality or the 4 personality. There are other variables that involve how the lines connect with other numbers.These lines are viewed as arrows called directions of integration or disintegration. This is similar to the MBTI model that expands the capacity for interpretation using an arbitrary and debated method of understanding the rank order of the four cognitive functions. The proliferation of types solves the interpretation problem. There is enough wiggle room to go to almost any extreme you want to go. The result is endless debate about celebrity types on personality type forums.
Here is my chart of enneagram types mapped to a somatotype scheme.
Look at the simple enneagram descriptions for the sections above and think about the body systems that are most active in each situation.
- principled, purposeful, self-controlled, perfectionist / Think about the skinny ectomorphs you know.
- generous, demonstrative, people pleasing, possessive / Think about the endomorphs you know.
- adaptable, excelling, driven, image-conscious / Think about the energetic group leaders you know.
- expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, temperamental / Balanced endomorphs.
- perceptive, innovative, secretive, isolated / Moderate ectomorphs that excel in academics.
- egaging, responsible, anxious, suspicious / sub-athletes not quite ready for big league teams.
- spontaneous, versatile, distracted, scattered / Lawyers and actors. Balanced with a hint of everything yet lean.
- self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational / Muscular ready for intense physical activity.
- receptive, reassuring, accommodating, complacent/ Peaceful endomorphs.