Living Points 789

Coming Full Circle

The lifecycle ends with celebrating new possibilities for acting and being, impacting others and the world positively, and integrating in a period of rest before initiating a new cycle. Type Sevens optimize the celebration; Type Eights make a big impact; and Type Nines connect all things.

Point Seven


An amazing thing happens after letting go: freedom and joy open up new possibilities for being and acting. Celebrating naturally accompanies the astonishment of discovering new life on the other side of our worst fears. Wide horizons open, filled with visions of a better future. Type Sevens embody the joie de vivre of celebration. Sevens tend to exude positivity, happiness, and fulfillment; yet craving celebration can rush growth too quickly out of the rich, quiet beauty of the dark night and into a flight to light. The humor of not taking ourselves too seriously is a healing balm after the hard work of transmuting our shadows. Humor that insists on keeping everything light, however, risks comic caricature. Excitement, joy, and fun are essential for inspiration and renewal so long as dessert comes after dinner and not before.

Young Plant: Flowering & Reproducing

In the life cycle of a bean plant, the young plant uses the regular energy source of sunlight to explode in roots, stems, and leaves growing in all directions. Bean flowers most often self-pollinate, though bees can also cross-pollinate. Specialized male and female “gametes” fertilize to create the zygotes that will become new seeds.

The focus at Point Seven is on expressing the new self. The generation of future possibilities — new zygotes — will spread the DNA of fresh perspectives widely. The now-fulfilled initial impulse of the original seed expresses itself in surprising and delightful ways. The awareness that blossomed dazzles us beyond what was imagined at the outset. A youthful vitality energizes a period of growth, expansion, and reproduction. Rapid associations are made; networks are forged. Learning and exploring are done with gusto, taking us beyond the edges of our former patterns (or “self”) — beyond our previous limits. A self-existing guidance system comes online within usguiding us in making the wisest, most optimal choices as life unfolds.

Scattered Enthusiast

When driven by Gluttony — an insatiable desire to consume new, positive experiences — Sevens start Optimizing everything: over-seasoning situations or escaping to something better. Focus of Attention: idealizing positive possibilities, planning future fun.

Sevens Forget: Reality is now an optimal, self-luminous happening. Sevens guide themselves and others toward evermore light, seeking out pleasant experiences and new adventures. Sevens aggressively reframe all negatives to positives and resist wise learning. Sevens Believe: I must hurry to taste all the magic life offers before it ends; THIS is never it—satisfaction lies elsewhere. Sevens use a quick mind to persuade others to keep “fun times” going, while often being out of touch with others’ needs & pain. Sevens enchant with self-absorbed stories and charm authorities. Sevens tend to avoid firm commitments and endings: they do not want to be left without options or trapped in discomfort or frustation. Sevens can be The (Too) Light One—fleeing to the bright side at the expense of remaining superficial. Sevens Excel: at bringing levity into any situation. Sevens tend to be comic, fun-loving, interdisciplinary, and optimistic about the future.

Sketch by Margarita Fernandez, in Naranjo, Claudio, M.D.  Character and Neurosis: An Integrative View. Nevada City, CA: Gateways/DHHB, Inc. 1994. Page 20.

Type Seven Personality

The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first.

When two people love each other, they don’t look at each other, they look in the same direction.

– Ginger Rogers

Wisdom sees from beginning to middle to end. Yet endings can be painful! The Type Seven personality style uses an agile mind to avoid the pain of reality by generating pleasure possibility. Gluttony, the Seven’s passion, is about tasting many things without digesting any of them fully. While it involves pleasant sensation, gluttony is fundamentally mental. Imagination and anticipation are used to escape present pain by manufacturing a kind of virtual pleasure. Fanastical imagination becomes the dopamine feast distracting away from the nourishing meal of the present moment, however distasteful.

Life, however, cannot be cheated; all debts come due in the end. Ginger Rogers, a likely Type Seven, wisely observed: “The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first.” Earning it means doing the work of meeting both pain and pleasure on their own terms. Despite promises of techno-utopian fantasies, no virtual world will ever be more fulfilling than life itself.

With respect to their own well-being, many Sevens experience gluttony in the form of opportunistic networking. Such Sevens are the most physically gluttonous, the “party kids” of the Enneagram. Every new person is a new possibility for new adventure. One Seven uses the email handle “hookr” because she likes to “hook people into things.” She gets her friends to disclose “what percentage in” they are with respect to fun plans. Then she vigorously persuades them to go all in at 100%.

In personal relationships, Sevens can express gluttony by idealizing intimates. Highly suggestible, Sevens might reframe relational difficulty with thoughts of how good it might be in myriad ways, “if only we can get around this difficult corner quickly.” Yet concentrating on the present moment is the only choice truly available, for the present moment is all we have. One Seven reflected on his marriage ceremony as an “existential experience.” “All of the fun wedding planning choices I was making kept getting narrowed down to the one point of time we said our vows. It was hard for me, like passing through the eye of a needle. But it was also exhilirating in a beautiful way.”

Sevens manifesting gluttony in the social arena are also idealistic. They are willing to forgo immediate sensory pleasure to feast on the pleasure of an idealized self image of sacrifice. “Sacrifice is too strong a word for my veganism,” one Seven reported. “While living on the West Coast, I felt a lot of joy in being part of a wider movement that was healthy, and one that was helping animals too. I did not mind giving up meat and cheese. Then I moved to a more conservative state. I stopped getting invited to dinner parties because of my restrictive diet. That’s when I became a ‘cheatin vegan,’ so I could socialize.”

Sevens gift collective consciousness with the willingness to experience the full measure of joy life offers. Cheap pleasure and virtual reality are no substitutes. True joy can only be found in the sobriety of meeting life in the present moment, even in the painful moments. Doing the work of staying present to life, in the end, fulfills us beyond our wildest imaginations.

You might be a Type Seven if you . . .

… focus your attention on enhancing positive stimulation and optimizing everyday experiences: OK versus even better

…can be a wise, joyful guide who fully meets suffering & difficulty when healthy

…talk a lot, especially in stories about yourself, the fun things you are doing, or new learnings you made about yourself

…quickly reframe anything negative and give lots of reasons, which others perceive as excuses

…believe you are good and life is good, but it all could be even better

…wonder why people seemingly allow themselves to suffer or feel pain

…harbor secret superiority about your life choices compared with others

…persuade & recruit others into more positivity, fun, good times, stimulation

…have multiple options and get edgy or anxious about missing out on the best plan — maxing out on FOMO

…take even the toughest situation and make it lighter, with healing humor

…shine when you are restrained, thoughtful, disciplined, and considerate . . . yet still fun too!

Path of Growth

When relaxing their reactive planning for anticipated happiness, Sevens dampen their pleasure impulses and become willing to endure painful sensations, which brings more bodily balance. Sevens find new purpose in that which is higher than self-gratification. And they enact the discipline and ethics to live out that purpose. Aligning choices with this more sublime vision of better living — serving others instead of exploiting them — yields the best choices leading to happiness for everyone. This is how Point Seven connects with Point One.

With further integration, Sevens focus and stay put with each arising thought and sensation. Rather than reframe, Sevens thoroughly investigate their thoughts, which exposes their darker intentions around sometimes using others in a quest for self-indulgence. Yet Sevens also find the concentration and will power to integrate the Holy Negative and settle into a deeper, richer life. A stronger inner authority emerges — one that wisely illuminates the best path while also carrying the gravitas needed to compel self-submission to this path. Rather than chateristically resisting authority, integrated Sevens follow the wise authority within themselves, and in good friends and teachers. In so doing, Seven unexpectedly arrive at the true freedom they seek.

At their best, Sevens show Sobriety — steadiness and constancy of purpose — about whatever needs to be done right now. They embody the Higher Quality of Wisdom, which is Reality’s self-existing design and plan for its own optimal unfolding. Sevens turn needed work into play & are often uplifting, spontaneous, and sociable trend-setters. Such Sevens naturally exude the buoyancy of sober joy amidst even the most difficult situations. They radiate freshness and lightheartedness, all the while modeling the steadiness, focus, and constancy of purpose needed to illuminate the wise path ahead.

Point Eight


Impacting the world for the better is the hallmark of maturity. Significant shifts in the lifcycle opened a wider vision of life’s possibilities. The next stage is actually manifesting those new possibilities, making them real and concrete. Growing up means taking was realized during the struggles of youth and embodying it in the rough-and-tumble of the real world. Type Eights have seen some truth, and it has set them free. Response-ability is the natural fruit of that freedom. Eights feel responsible and emboldened to take decisive, gut-level action in furtherance of justice, particularly to protect the weak. Yet the inflexibility of  “my truth is the truth,” and “my way is the only way,” can blind Eights to their outsized impact, and desensitize Eights to their excesses done in the name of fairness. Bending situations and others to our will through blaming and strong-arming is not leadership; it is tyranny. True responsibility is meeting others with respect, and with the aim of nurturing their empowerment and autonomy. Rightful honor and respect flow back to the regal presence who balances truth and justice with tender mercy.

Mature Plant: Exploding Forth

In the life cycle of a bean plant, the specialized cells have matured into stems, leaves, and bean pods. Beans in the pods become new seeds. The bean pods explode with a loud *pop* and disperse seeds into the environment. Seeds carry the genetic information of the plant forward into the next generation, the next cycle of life.

As the lifecycle draws to a close, the focus at Point Eight is on stabilizing and maturing the new life or conscious — or newly recognized awareness — that has emerged in the depths of transformation. Living in and through this new consciousness is empowering. There is a hunger to act! Some level of autonomy has been attained; autonomy in the sense of a self-ruling, self-moving “good will.” The autonomous being no longer needs to comply with the rules, standards, and constraints of the previous level from which it emerged. Self-knowledge gained earlier in the process of change now embodies itself; what was abstract and subtle becomes physical and gross . . . and ready to take bold action. The eighth stage provides an opportunity for impacting, for making the biggest possible outward difference. Energy explodes on the scene with a Big Bang! Without compassion, however, action is just noise. Compassion moves us to channel our sound and fury for the benefit all beings. Deep satisfaction comes through resourcing the next generation of seekers in their transformative process of liberation and empowerment. Passing down what has been learned on the journey multiplies our impact through the legacy of those who follow and expand upon it.

Protective Boss

When driven by Lust – intensity and excess in all things – Eights start Dominating to bend situations and people to their will. Self-intoxicated Eights impulsively seize the objects they desire, and they exact blame and revenge on those who would deny them what they believe is rightfully theirs for the taking. Focus of Attention: power & control. Who’s in charge? What’s unfair? Who’s to blame?

Eights Forget: Reality is justly balanced, with truth and power distributed evenly throughout. Eights gather and use power to enforce their truth and justice in an otherwise unjust world . . . at least from their perspective. Eights passionately expand their vitality, favor their gut instincts, and identify with their anger energy. Every impulse is good! Eights Believe: I must be strong to survive and to avoid being taken advantage of; this is a dog-eat-dog world; truth and people are objects to be controlled. Eights often feel they are blamed unfairly, and they quickly move to hold someone else responsible; all the while, Eights deny or forget their own responsibility. Eights loath betrayal or disloyalty. At times, they protect innocent others; yet they can get caught in revenge cycles. Eights can be The (Too) Truthful-Powerful One—speaking inappropriately about things best left unsaid or commanding others intensely. Eights Excel: at exuding boundless, infectious energy. Eights are direct, action-oriented, and unbending under pressure. Often, Eights are teddy bears with their loved ones.

Sketch by Margarita Fernandez, in Naranjo, Claudio, M.D.  Character and Neurosis: An Integrative View. Nevada City, CA: Gateways/DHHB, Inc. 1994. Page 20.

Type Eight Personality

You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way.


You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way.

If you aren’t gonna say exactly how and what you feel, you might as well not say anything at all.

– Johnny Cash

Truth and power are closely connected. Powerful people can impose their truth on everyone else. Yet truth energizes action. When standing in the living truth of reality, we find an inexhaustible source of power beyond conventional power, including the power to speak truth to power. The Type Eight pattern harnesses the power of truth to make an immediate, direct impact on the material world. Eights seemingly can bend the moral arc of the universe single-handedly. The issue is whether the Eight bends the arc towards a true justice, or towards the justice of the Eight’s “truth,” which can devolve into a “might makes right” approach.

Anger innocently expressed as pure truth feels clarifying, sober, and energizing, and it yields more aliveness and tenderness in any situation. Anger forcefully imposed for personal gain feels intoxicating, addictive, and depleting, and it yields more pain, confusion, and claustrophobia in any situation. Lust, the Type Eight passion, involves this second kind of truth and unhelpful intensity.

With respect to personal well-being, Eights can express lust by obsessively controlling their physical possessions and by demanding from others and life itself an immediate satisfaction of their every impulse. An elderly Eight who was hospitalized refused to submit to an IV line until the nurse stopped “messing with” her personal items. “I just know that another night nurse stole my hair comb while I was sleeping,” she angrily accused. When the nurse on duty pointed out that the “missing” comb was tangled in the patient’s hair, the patient was unrelenting. “Nobody is going to poke my arm until somebody apologizes for using my comb without my permission to comb my hair!”

In personal relationships, Eights can express lust through possessiveness of their intimates. Because betrayal is devastating, such Eights track their partners closely. Often Eights are looking for an intimate they can trust to handle their big energy so that can finally surrender all the control the exert and become the recipient of care by another. Eights can exhibit their prowess by controlling entire environments and flamboyantly attracting all the attention. One Eight got his crew of friends attending an annual music festival to host a Pee Wee’s Playhouse theme party. Naturally, he was Pee Wee Herman.

Eights focused in the social arena can have a “gang leader” feel to them – the one who protects the clan. Or they can fight for justice on behalf of the weak and vulnerable as a way of protecting their own projected vulnerabilities. One Eight spent a decade protesting the mistreatment of circus elephants. She cried when an internationally known circus eliminated elephants from their show. A friend remarked, “you must be so happy your efforts paid off!” “Yes, well,” she chocked through the tears, “I feel like I have nothing left to protect anymore!”

Eights get big and tough in their search for evermore aliveness, which is the essence of lust. Yet the innocence of their childlike softness and vulnerability is what, ultimately, satisfies the aliveness they crave. Sensitivity is powerfully life-giving.

Eights gift collective consciousness with embodied examples of what the power of truth can do to destroy what needs to be destroyed and change what needs to be changed. Eights provide not only the strength, but also the leadership, to get things done. The Eight in all of us rises to meet the fierce urgency of now and to bring its truth into the world for the better.

You might be a Type Eight if you . . .

… focus your attention on power in yourself & among others: strong versus weak

… can be a pillar of strength with a big, spacious heart, when healthy

…talk assertively & intensely, with an edge of irritation or anger

…you report growing up too early—you lost a childhood or had to fight to survive

…keep a list of slights at the ready so you can rev up your anger & fight on demand

…value the clarifying function of anger: “the truth comes out in a good fight”

…enforce My Way as only truthful way of understanding things

…have a high pain threshold & you seem to hurt yourself accidentally or in daring activities more often than others

…power through adversity to win – but you find it hard to adapt or turn when you set in motion in one direction (like a tank)

…act immediately and decisively, using your ‘gut instinct’ as the only guide

…shine when your big energy is calibrated to the energy of the situation & you become sensitive to others!

Path of Growth

When relaxing their reactivity, Eights engage in thoughtful reflection before immediately discharging their gut impulses in a “come what may” attitude. Reflection provides a needed pause so that the wise authority of a clear head can guide the best response. Reflection also economizes vitality, allowing Eights to measure their energy output in ‘truthful’ proportion; Eights better match and meet the needs and expectations of the situation. This is how Point Eights connects with Point Five.

With integration, Eights downsize their ‘ME first’ thirst for satisfaction in favor of sensitively tuning into the humanity and needs of others. People are no longer “things” to be controlled and moved around, but dignified beings worthy of basic respect in their own right. Eights begin to read situations better and nimbly adapt their language, tone, and approach to offer help more compassionately. This is how Point Eight connects with Point Two.

At their best, Eights embody a strong tenderness that expresses itself in a fresh, child-like Innocence – innocence born from a receptive heart. There is nothing and no one to blame, conquer, or control. Such Eights open themselves to receiving energy from others and, in return, they energize others and situations in appropriate proportion. They embody the Higher Quality of Immanence — sensing Reality’s natural truth and power spread out everywhere across the world. Eights can be gentle giants, chivalrous leaders, and tough but fair negotiators. They energize the room for the better. The big heart of the integrated Eight leads the way into uplifting and encouraging others to claim their own power, and discharge it positively. No longer is the Eight intoxicated with feeling alive through the intensification of experiences; aliveness is now found in embodying fierce compassion that tunes into the needs of others — creating safe, stable spaces in which others can grow into their highest potential.

Point Nine


Integrating . . .   . . . Initiating

The final stage in any process of transformation is retiring in repose. The work is complete. Now is the time for all things to settle down into their proper place. Resting provides the space for full integration of what just happened, and full rejuvenation of the system before initiating the next cycle of transformation. Sleep absorbs yesterday; sleep dreams of tomorrow. Type Nines know the power of sleep, rest, and relaxation. Nines relax themselves, others, and whole environments, using all means necessary, from soothing tones to boisterous humor. Anything to calm irritations. Yet calmness can devolve into numbness; accommodation into abdication; and tranquility into sleep-walking. The too easy-going end up going nowhere. Life calls us to come forward, to participate lucidly and heart-fully. Integration is most powerful when we are awake in our dreams; initiation is most powerful when we are stirred to manifest our dreams in the awakened world.

Dying Plant: Grounding & Dispersing

In the final stage of the bean plant’s lifecycle, the mature plant withers and dies. It dissolves and becomes part of the ground from which it came. Recycled in that ground, the plant becomes a part of the soil that enriches the life of the greater ecosystem. Meanwhile, the plant’s seeds are dispersed to new grounds. Animals, water, and wind carry the seeds to new destinations. The seeds initiate new lifecycles of transformation.

 The focus at Point Nine is on connecting: connecting all the stages in the lifecycle, and the transformations at each stage, together into one unified whole; connecting the self into the environment; and connecting the prior cycle with the coming cycle. the “seed” of the project or activity — and on finding or creating the ideal conditions or “soil” for growth.

Integration involves restoration. At Nine, the whole is restored or reconstructed from the parts; we have come full circle. Yet, something significant has shifted, much in the same way relationships shift in the process of forgiveness and reconciliation. We return to our former connection, but the relationship is also never the same again. The process of conflict, difficult, working through, and resolution results in a new way of connecting. Often, the restored relationship is more nuanced than what came before; it has deepened through the intimate acting of knowing itself better. Each participant or part knows each other better, and accepts each other in their own right.

Restoration also means returning the ruler to their rightful throne. The great ruler is our very ground of being, the all-pervasive Presence from which all things arise, in which all things move, and to which all things return. Presence is not separate from these things, however; Presence is the substance of them. Oneness constitutes and contains all differences, but without any divisions. From this matrix of potential, a mysterious movement initiates a new lifecycle of change. The great work begins anew!

Stubborn Peacemaker

When driven by Sloth — resistance to finding one’s true calling & moving from that passion into full participation with life — Nines start Diffusing: spreading energy around to side-projects and peripheral plans, or spreading energy in the sense of blending too easily with the energies and priorities of others. The essential task feels too sharp and burdensome; frittering away energy on the inessentials feels lulling and soothing because less is at stake. Focus of Attention: environmental distractions; the agendas of other people. If there is disruption, should I neutralize it or just tune it out?

Nines Forget: Reality is all-accepting, all-inclusive, unconditionally loving. Nines strive to acquire love and be included by dispersing or smoothing their vitality into an even-keelness. Nines ignore their deepest calling, the dictates of their own will, and instead blend in with other people’s agendas in order to keep the peace. To make life as easy as possible, Nines like to establish routines that allow them to operate on auto-pilot. Nines Believe: In order to be loved, I must not make a big deal about myself; love is sameness, a unity without any differences in it; difference risks conflict and disconnection. Nines resist disturbances of their comfort zones. Nine express anger at such disturbances through stubbornness or cutting off communication. Because stating — or even having — preferences can create conflict, Nines avoid decisions. Adept at seeing all sides, Nine sometimes ruminate endlessly over all points of view. Nines numb their anger, but end up expressing it passively by stubbornly refusing to respond, or by venting at traffic, politics, sports, etc. Nines can be The (Too) Accepting One—giving themselves over in unhealthy relationships or stoically detaching from life. Nines Excel: at mediation and peacemaking. Nines tend to be balanced, accepting, & harmonious and offer a steady, healing presence to others.

Sketch by Margarita Fernandez, in Naranjo, Claudio, M.D.  Character and Neurosis: An Integrative View. Nevada City, CA: Gateways/DHHB, Inc. 1994. Page 20.

Type Nine Personality

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. . . . As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will become simpler. Solitude will not be solitude; poverty will not be poverty; nor weakness, weakness.

– Henry David Thoreau

One Type Nine I know attaches the above Thoreau quote to the signature line his emails. It is the perfect Type Nine mantra.

The Type Nine is called to overcome the passion of sloth, or acedia. Fundamentally, acedia is the resistance to waking up. It is a bit like repeatedly hitting the snooze button on the morning alarm of life, except that even hitting the snooze button is too much effort! The resistance of acedia is primarily passive. It is more like letting the alarm go on and on, while simply incorporating into the dream state. Muffling down the alarm’s edgy screetches into a distant, puffy dream cloud feels easier than the irritation of waking up, even if only just enough to hit snooze button. Why take the risk that you will not fall back to sleep?

With respect to personal well-being, Nines tend to remain asleep through automaticity – structuring life into routines and ruts so it can be lived on autopilot or cruise control. Repetitive creature comforts, like video games, serial TV and novels, puzzles, and the like, distract the Nine from life’s essential duties. One Nine cleverly combines these patterns. For days at a time, he plays a video game called Civilization, in which he systemizes all of his citizen and military units into an impressively organized bureaucracy that practically runs itself.

In personal relationships, Nines can remain asleep to themselves by living vicariously through their intimates. The partner’s agenda becomes the Nine’s agenda; the children’s lives become the Nine’s life; the friend’s values become the Nine’s values. One Nine reported a rude awakening occurred when she discovered, “Ever since we began dating 35 years ago, I’ve been quietly riding in the passenger seat of my husband’s life!” She was overwhelmed by anger, first directed at him, then later towards herself. After a period of mourning, she began living her life to its fullest, based more on her own true desires.

In the social arena, Nines can remain asleep, somewhat ironically, through lots of activity. Carried along by a group’s energy, goals, and needs, the Nine need not bother discovering a personal agenda. The yearning for belonging inspires an outpouring of excess generosity and even frantic participation. The more energy that is poured into the group, the less energy that is left for my own iniatives, or even discovering what I might want. There is no decision to be made . . . what a relief! A firefighter who is a Nine realized he was too involved in his fire station when he spent an entire weekend volunteering to install a new alarm system at the station rather than having to decide what to do with his time off work.

Attending to what is essential in life — and nothing is more essential than waking up! — can involve difficulty and discomfort. It feels like “harshing my mellow” unnecessarily, whereas sleep feels so pleasurable and peaceful. Yet the true peace of harmonious living only comes with engaging our own work in right action. In the great work of living out our shared humanity, everyone belongs, so it is essential that everyone do the personal work we are called to do.

Nines gift our collective consciousness with the healing power of peace. The Nine’s gut-level ability of calming energetic friction allows any situation to find its natural equilibrium and interconnectedness. The unified field of Presence, it turns out, integrates and heals. The ignorance of the Nine in all of us ultimately transforms into the awakening we all seek. Such awakening does not come at the expense of dampening our differences; rather, it includes and celebrates them.

You might be a Type Nine if you . . .

… focus your attention on going along to get along, and maintaining your comfort: easy versus difficult

…be an awake, healing presence of unconditional love, when healthy

…talk in long-winded, plodding epics and have trouble getting to the point

…take action quickly for others, but you take action slowly for yourself

…avoid saying “no” . . . you often seem more agreeable to others than you really are inside

…shut down and retreat to your inner sanctuary, or tune others out, when you feel pressured to decide or to act

…stubbornly wear others down in arguments, or avoid argumentative others altogether

…can be out of touch with how angry you are under all your accommodations of people, and what you put up with

…are generally self-effacing, whether in the form of funny and charming, or in the form of gentle and gracious

…shine when your love connects with decisiveness in action – you move from the warm life blood of your own beating heart!

Path of Growth

When relaxing their reactive stubbornness, and their tendency to withdraw into their “inner sanctums” of peace and quiet, Nines cutting thru their energetic fogginess with sharp, crisp awareness and inquiry. A destructive process of elimination — discerning what I do not want — uncovers their true preferences. Nines see more clearly that avoiding conflict and refusing to speak the word “No,” for fear of abandonment and disconnection, actually create more conflict and disconnection in the end. Nines begin to appreciate the power of “No” and the benefits of healthy conflict for deepening connection. This is how Point Nine connects with Point Six.

With further integration, Nines feel the heat of their awakening heart. Rather than smooth over this friction, the heat inspires passion and compels a coming out, a coming forward. Nines who are characterically demur are willing to be seen, take the lead; Nines who tred on the sloppy side are willing to be nicely presented, value their appearance. Recognition and celebration of the Nine’s unique value, and and their often abundent ability to contribute to life meaningfully, swells a positive outlook and a healthy desire to work hard to make a difference. Nines are willing to be the difference, willing to take decisive action! This is how Point Nine connects with Point Three.

At their best, Nines maintain balance while also taking Right Action — living out one’s deepest calling. Integrated Nines bringing themselves forward more. They embodying the Higher Quality of Love — the unconditional embrace of Reality itself. Nothing is excluded, because nothing can be excluded. Nines tend to be gentle in spirit, receptive & harmonious. They often spin imaginative stories — mythic in quality — and they especially love nature. Integrated Nines know that true unity is not the kind of ‘blanket sameness’ that less-healthy Nines try to cultivate through energetic matching with people and environments, or numbing their passion thru repetitive activity. True unity involves and includes dynamism, difference, and conflict. When Nines transcend and yet include differences, then lasting peace ensues.

Learn More

Journey through each Enneagram Point and discover how its stage in the process of change impacts the human personality type it forms. Click to explore!

Points 1 - 2 - 3

The change lifecycle begins with orienting to the environment, relating to others who provide resources, and coming forward to present oneself and take action. Type Ones perfect the orientation; Type Twos pour attention into relating; and Type Threes are all about showing up and shining.

Points 4 - 5 - 6

The midway struggle involves deepening to gather needed resources to face the “death” of change, clarifying what is happening, and letting go into that which is greater. Type Fours long for evermore depth; Type Fives concentrate on perceiving clearly; and Types Sixes discern the reliable refuge for surrender.


Return to the Overview page and video to place your learning into the bigger context. The Living Enneagram offers fresh insights into how people and systems evolve through any lifecycle of change. Illustrations of this process in nature and society bring to light vivid nuances of the nine personality types.


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