Enneagram resource authenticity - and divisions in schools of thought

Enneagram resource authenticity - and divisions in schools of thought

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This is a discussion on Enneagram resource authenticity - and divisions in schools of thought within the Enneagram Personality Theory Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; I want to discuss the following creators/authors [whatever] of Enneagram teaching. I don't have enough knowledge/information myself and I've typically ...

  1. #1

    Enneagram resource authenticity - and divisions in schools of thought

    I want to discuss the following creators/authors [whatever] of Enneagram teaching. I don't have enough knowledge/information myself and I've typically relied on what others have said on the forums as well as what I could find on the internet. Based on what I know so far, there's:

    1. Claudio Naranjo
    2. Riso-Hudon
    3. Fouvre's Tritypes

    I've noticed some confusion in people new to the systems as to which is the most authentic/credible resource - and which is not. It's almost as though there's a Naranjo camp and then there's the Riso-Hudson camp.

    Now. This is a thread for the most knowledgeable in Enneagrams to discuss/reveal how they:

    1. Chose/decided/determined which is the more credible resource
    2. What is your advice for newbies as to how to go about researching/reading material.

    Discuss/Review/Analyse [or post resources] that shed some light on:

    - Origins of all three camps
    - What are strengths and weaknesses of each school of thought [I've noticed that some people quite Naranjo, others quote Riso --- but mostly people use a mish-mash of all resources - getting confused and confusing others in the process]
    - What are the best steps to go about in self-typing.
    - Credibility of the Tritype descriptions
    - Credibility of the tritype theory in general. I've noticed that a lot of people have issues actually understanding how tritype works and therefore have a harder time applying it to themselves.


    Best freely available online Descriptions of [in your view]
    Steps in self-typing and analysis [or you can share your own story in self-typing and which resources you used/relied on and why].


    Feel free to take any one of the above topics to discuss/review and just give an opinion about.
    n2freedom and Etherea thanked this post.

  2. #2

    This is a great topic. Unfortunately, I neither have the books handy nor the time atm to provide an in-depth analysis. I'll be brief.

    1. Riso Hudson, Maitri and others trained under Naranjo. There is a lot to be said about his history that can easily be found online, so I won't go into detail on that one. Suffice it to say that he is among the founding theorists of the Modern Enneagram Movement. You can critically analyze his works, and in fact, you should. But, to brush him off entirely in favour of more "accessible" theorists such as RH is not a good idea.

    I recommend that people hit Naranjo's works last when they're starting off. But, Character and Neurosis is a seminal work in Enneagram literature. It is required reading in most professional Enneagram training courses. I highly recommend it.

    2. Riso Hudson are reputed theorists, and their works are definitely credible. However, they provide a self-helpy pop psychology spin that affects the quality of the material even if it makes the delivery more digestible for newbies. Their works are important and useful, but by no means sufficient for someone interested in deeply understanding Enneagram theory and applying it to themselves.

    I don't recommend RH's books, all by themselves, for self typing purposes. They are a good and effective primer for beginners, but you'll need to go beyond them.

    3. My recommendation is that people read Sandra Maitri's works in conjunction with RH/Helen Palmer for self-typing purposes when starting off.
    She is a highly reputed and widely recognized theorist, and the spiritual nature of her writings is effective and provides great scope for self-reflection without becoming cheesy/pop psychy.

    Her writing style may somewhat rambling to some, but her works contain great-depth. Her descriptions are complete, not stereotype ridden and are fairly comprehensive.

    4. RH, as I said, trained under Naranjo. There is no Naranjo camp vs. RH camp.Their works are complementary for the most part, not contradictory. There are some exceptions.

    There is nothing confusing/ineffective about crossing referencing credible Enneagram theorists. In fact, that's what people should be doing. You can't restrict your sources to just RH or just Naranjo, if you're really interested in getting the most out of the process.

    5. Best way to self type:

    - Buy books by credible theorists if at all you can.

    - Don't restrict yourself to one or two theorists. Cross referencing material is key.

    - Be completely honest with yourself. Introspect. Introspect. Introspect.

    - Use the Enneagram Questionnaire and answer it for yourself, if needed(You don't have to post it on the forum), and take notes as you read along. Keep your answers handy for reference. Add notes etc. Some people work better this way.

    As for me, I just spent a lot of time reading and reflecting on myself, and occasionally jotting thoughts down on paper.

    - Don't start with the assumption that any one type is better than another. You have to transcend the illusions of the ego not fixate on them. All types are equally good and equally fucked up. No type is stronger or better than any other.

    -Some people benefit from consulting close friends and family during the typing process.

    On that note, the two online sources I recommended while I was active with typing assistance are:-

    1. Typewatch Enneagram: Typewatch Enneagram Type Descriptions
    2. the enneagram ...info from the underground

    6. Tritype descriptions:

    The Fauvres' work is not exactly 'scientifically validated' and their entire microexpressions/face typing/vibe typing/clothing brand typing style is ridiculous. I have always known this, but I have also explored tritype theory to evaluate its merit for myself. Tritype theory comes from Ichazo's trifix theory, btw.

    The useful part of using tritype theory is that it allows you to figure out which type you relate to in each triad. However, it obscures the importance of FIRST and foremost figuring out the core type and instincts. I recommend that people figure out their core type and then move on to the other fixes.

    Keep in mind that classical enneagram theorists focus on core types and instincts because the point of the Enneagram is not to identify with the most comprehensive "pat on the back" description including material from each triad. It is to figure out how your CORE type binds you in unhealthy patterns that you need to go beyond.

    The Fauvres' have turned typing into a parlour game. That's not the purpose of the Enneagram.

    - Their descriptions are full of stereotypes and buzzwords. Please don't rely solely on their tritype descriptions to figure out your tritype, if you want to work on it. Figure out your tritype by understanding the basic motivations and fears of the types, from each triad, individually.

    Fauvres' descriptions have been criticized in Enneagram circles ever since they were released online. You may use them as quick reference, but they are not a good self-typing tool.

    7. For my own typing:

    I read Naranjo and Maitri. I mistyped even after reading RH because they didn't go into sufficient depth for someone like me who had a lot in common behaviourally with types 8 and 3. Maitri's works were enlightening, and they brought a lot of clarity to how I perceived each of the types and their origins. I have gone on to read RH, Palmer, Almaas and other authors since.

    8. A point I want to reiterate is that introspection and good theoretical knowledge are key. Anyone who is claiming to type you by the speed of your writing/the 'energy' you give off apparently/your avatar/your photos and so on is incredibly presumptuous, especially if they downplay the importance of significant research and introspection.Learn to separate bogus bullshit from well reasoned and well supported insights. If someone says they can type within 2 minutes of talking to you, they are bullshitting you and themselves.

    9. For some people finding their type comes a lot easier than for others. Personally, I was only ever confused between 8 and 3. Within minutes of reading Maitri, I knew my type.

    There are people who go through nearly every type repeatedly. It's their journey. These people would benefit from taking time off from forum typing if they're heavily involved with it, get their hands on good books and really reflect in their own type and even get feedback from close friends etc. for those who think it might help. The last thing people need is getting entangled in getting their 'vibes' and energy' read', particularly if they're struggling as it is.

    9. Finally, I'll emphasize the value of expanding your knowledge base and read more than just RH or just Naranjo. Definitely don't restrict yourself to RH alone. Ah, I just remembered another point. A notable problem with RH/s descriptions is the very very poor way in which they handle Type 6. The description has heavy SJ and phobic 6 bias. Their One description has a similar SJ bias. They also tend to lionize type 8 a fair bit. @Promethea pointed out on another thread that apparently Riso's dislike of 6 has something to do with why the type is described in a somewhat unflattering fashion.
    @Chipps who is a cp6 had made some excellent points about the phobic bias, and if possible, I'd like her to add to the discussion by sharing her impression of the descriptions from a counter phobic perspective.

    Lastly, keep an open mind. Whether you seek assistance online or not, you must keep an open mind to the possibility of being any of the types.

    P.S. lofl@ my 'brevity'. The OP asked way too many good questions;)
    Last edited by Sina; 07-20-2012 at 09:30 PM. Reason: typos

  3. #3

    @Boss --- thanks for the lengthy response. I'm guessing it took you a couple of hours to type it up :P
    Sina thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    It took me a few minutes. rofl. It was supposed to be brief. 'BRIEF'. You asked too many questions, and they were all good. So that long ass post is your punishment.
    Jawz thanked this post.

  6. #5
  7. #6
    Type 1

    RH and Naranjo's instinctive variants are described completely differently and clash.

    This thread is a good sources from the EI forums The Enneagram Institute Discussion Board - History of 'Personality Enneagram' concepts

    Wing theory is a theory created completely out of observation and as that thread above points out it really. I don't consider it to be taken too seriously because it is completely based off stereotypes. Wing theory has no dividing element to base descriptions off of. It has proved in my experience on multiple occasions to be harmful to core typing.

    RH covers instinctive variants in his book Wisdom of the Enneagram as directly related to a core type's motivation, but I've seen many others which detach the concept from the Enneagram type's motivation completely like this source: Socionics - the16types.info - Instinctual Stackings
    The descriptions of instinctual variants hardly ever agree. I think MBTIEnthusiast has been posting articles regarding the subject lately.

    RH describes the core types well with a few exaggerations as someone pointed out with the 6s, but the general idea still fits with them regarding their insecurities with people, but it isn't necessarily people-centric.

    RH links types back to specific relationships with their parents and childhood experiences. I found the Childhood Patterns part of Wisdom of the Enneagram to be the best way to truly grasp how a type's mindset is formed to make sense of the definitions.

    The Enneagram as a whole should be approached starting from the core typing and grasping that completely. I think this chart is probably the best place to start then you can branch out: The Enneagram Charts—Chart 1 Download

    Timeless has good definitions (shown in the articles of the subforums) regarding core type which may elaborate on the chart. I recall him mentioning that the definitions are based off the belief that you're born with an Etype, which I disagree with but the information provided appears to be very relevant to the types.
    Jawz thanked this post.


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