An Overview of the Five (pg 135)
The connection between genius and madness has long been debated. These two states are really poles apart, the opposite ends of the personality spectrum. The genius is somone who fuses knowledge with insight into the nature of the world, someone who has the ability to see things with utter clarity and awe-inspiring comprehension. What separates the genius from the madman is that the genius, in addition to extraordinary insights, has the ability to see them correctly, within their context. The genius perceives patterns which are actually present - whereas the madman imposes patterns, projecting an erroneous idea onto every circumstance. The genius may sometimes seem to be out of touch with reality, but only because he or she operates at a more profound level. The madman, however, is truly out of touch with reality having nothing but delusions to substitute for it.
The Five is the personality type which most exemplifies these extremes. In the Five we see the genius and the madman, the intellectual and the scholar, the mildly eccentric crackpot and the deeply disturbed delusional paranoid. To understand how these widely diverse states are part of the same personality type is to understand the Five.
The Major Subtypes of the Five (pgs 158-160)
The Five with a Four-Wing
The traits of theFive and those of the four-wing are often in conflict with each other: fives are cerebral, holding experience at arm's length, while fours internalize everything to intensify their feelings. Despite these differences - or because of them - these two personality types make one of the richest subtypes, combining possibilities for outstanding artistic as well as intellectual achievement. Noteowrthy examples of this subtype include albert Einstein, D.H. Lawrence, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oriana Fallaci, Hannah Arendt, Emily Dickinson, Italo Calvino, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacob Bronowski, Glenn Gould, Peter Serkin, Klaus Tennstedt, Elvis Costello, and Stanley Kubrick.
In healthy people of this subtype, we find the union of intuition and knowledge, sensitivity and insight, aesthetic appreciation and intellectual endowments. This subtype is particularly aware of - and on the outlook for - the beautiful in the mathematical formula, for example. For this subtype, beauty is one of the indications of truth because the order which beauty represents is a confirmation of the objective rightness of an idea. One of the foremost strengths of healthy Fives with a Four-wing lies precisely in their intution, since intuition helps them uncover areas of knowledge where their conscious thoughts have not yet ventured. For them, inspiration is the handmaiden of discovery. Fives with a Four-wing are also more humanistic, artistic, personal, and emotional than the other subtype.
In average persons of this subtype, there can be an off-putting detachment from the environment both because they are involved in their thoughts and because they aremore introverted and emotionally self-absorbed. Analytic powers may be used to keep people at arm's length rather than to understand them moredeeply. Emotionally delicate, people of this subtype are moody and hypersensitive to criticsim, particularly regarding the value of their work or ideas, since this impinges directly on self-esteem. Both component types tend to withdraw from people and be reclusive. Since Five is the basic type, persons of this subtype are intense, able to concentrate on their work and their ideas. But to the degree that the Four-wing isoperative, they also feel emotional vulnerable, which hinders their ability to work. One typical solution is to find emotional solace in various forms of self-indulgence - in alcohol, drugs or sexual escapades.
Unhealthy persons of this subtypemay fall prety to debilitating depressions yet be disturbedd by aggressive impulses. Envy of others mixes with regret that it must be so. Intellectual conflicts make their emotional lives seem hopeless, while their emotional conflicts make intellectual work difficult to sustain. Moreover, if this subtype becomes neurotic, it is one of the most alienated of all the personality types: profoundly hopeless, nihilistic, self-inhibiting, isolated from others, and full of self-hatred. Suicide is a real possibility.
Five with a Six-Wing
The traits of the Five and those of the Six-wing reinforce each other, combining to produce one ofthe most difficult of the personality types to contact intimately or to sustain a relationship with. Persons of this subtype have problems trusting others both because they are essentially Fives and because the Six-wig reinforces anxiety, making any kind of risk taking in relationships difficult. Hence, their interpersonal relations are erratic and, in general, are not an important part of their lives. Nothworthy examples of this subtype include Sigmund Freud, Simone Weil, James Joyce, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, B. F. Skinner, Isaac Asimov, Ezra Pound, and Stephen Hawking.
Healthy people of this subtype are loyal and committed to their families and beliefs. They are extraordinarily hard workers, caring little for their own comfort and much more for their work and the fulfillment of theirduties. In them we find an intellectual playfulness, a good sense of humor, as well as other attractive, lovable qualitites. If others have been tested and permitted to come closer, they discover that people of this subtype have a deep capacity for friendship and commitment. There is also an endearing element in their desire to be accepted by others, and even if they are sometimes socially clumsy, others cannot help but be touched by their eagerness to reach out to people.
However, average persons of this subtype generally have problems with relationships. They do not seem to know what to do with their feelings,much less how to express them directly. Hence we find an insensitivity to their own feelings and emotional needs, as well as to the feelings and emotional needs of others. They have no awareness about how they communicate themselves to others. (They are the classical intellectual nerd, the socially inept oddball.) They are totally wrapped up with intellectual pursuits and live completely in their minds, immersing themselves in their work to the exclusion of everything else. When interpersonal conflicts arise, average Fives with a Six-wing avoid resolving problems by burying themselves even more deeply in their intellectual work and by employing passive-aggressive techniques, putting off people and problems rather than dealing wth them directly. They can be rebellious and argumentative for no apparent reason, although something may have touched off unconscious emotional associations.
Neurotics of this subtype have a tendency to be suspicious of others and extremely fearful of intimacy of any sort. The isolation and paranoia we see in unhealthy Fives are reinforced by the Six-wing's suspicion, inferiorty feelings, and conviction of being persecuted. We also find the tendency to overreact, and hence to act irrationally and in masochistic, self-defeating ways.
Excerpts are taken from Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso