The Enneagram (5)


Enneas = Nine
Gramma = something written
Ancient personality descriptions in a nine – pointed star diagram
origin unknown
Esoteric laws of 3 + 7 (octaves)
Pythagoras’s ninth seal
Christian mystics desert father in the 3 & 4th centuries
Sufi ethical training for 1400 years

    Principles of the Enneagram

Thorsons / Karen Webb



Tend to seem withdrawn, intellectual, focused, quiet, objective and unemotional, knowledgeable yet unforthcoming, and self sufficient.
Present myself as distanced rather than afraid. Most at home in the analytic realms of the mind. Devotion of intellect to esoteric subjects understood by only a few people in the world..(philosophy, psychology)

Fives are very private people, easily drained by too much interaction with others, sometimes even by another’s presence nearby. Fear of intrusion and need to have their own clearly acknowledged space, as to retire to recoup their energy and think things through.
type 5 (head based)
head / heart / belly
As an observer, it is difficult to identify what I feel and think at the moment. Privacy is needed to partially review past and future event, and what I think and feel. Need to be allowed to go away and consider how I think and feel before I can give an accurate answer when asked what I think and feel about some things.
Fives compartmentalize their lives. Activities and interest each have their place. I like to anticipate and prepare myself.
Methodical and consistent.
Seem superior – which may simply be detachment, or seem to have a deeper insight and see clearly through things.
Minimalist lifestyle
Bare shelves in frig
exception of specialized collections related to interests.

    Unaware Five:

Withdrawn, distrustful, critical, intellectually arrogant unable to commit, very controlled, and out of touch with feelings and the world.

    Aware Five:

Sensitive, perceptive, dedicated, objective and creative thinker, who can combine their sensitivity and analytical skills to be wise rather than knowing.

    Inner concerns and childhood

Fives learned that it was possible to be safe in an intrusive world where their very survival felt threatened, by withdrawing into their minds and becoming self sufficient They minimized hurt by distancing from sensations and emotions and unable to escape physically, they could become untouchable by being a spectator of events in their own lives.
As children they may have had intrusive, domineering, violent or smothering parents. They recall, for example, having their favorite toys destroyed because we haven’t got room for them; or during a confrontation, I’d turn into a robot. I would just move the feelings away. It’s protective. Some fives rather than feeling threatened by people, felt their survival threatened because they were left to fend for themselves.

    Passion and Fixation:

Avarice and Stinginess
Avarice = an emotional preoccupation in which fives feel they are always potentially lacking the means for safe survival, and so are avaricious of whatever enables them to feel secure and independent. This is not usually anything material, as they minimize physical needs, but information which enriches their inner world and helps them feel prepared for the onslaughts of the outer world.
An intense need – sort of greed – for private space and time, both for safety’s sake and for nourishment.
Stinginess – Time, energy and personal space
Tend not to volunteer information unless asked.


Anything that forces fives to deal with feeling is stressful. May pose as sevenths (epicure). Cheerful and gregarious – but actually I’m miles away. Look for options to escape.


When secure – fives become more eight like (boss). Take charge, be definite and forthcoming, and access their anger. Find it easiest to express feelings through touch, and this is enhanced in security with a release of physical enjoyment. Type eight qualities can also be seen in the quiet vigor with which fives protect their own space.

Self – Preservation : Castle Alone, Home


The exchange of confidences in one – to – one Relationships enables fives to feel safe. Sharing secrets keep the world at bay, and means people trust each other, so fives need not fear intrusion or loss. Also confidentiality in the physical expression of friendship or love which feels safer than verbal expression.


Fives know they are distanced from the world and crave connection, but since it means making themselves vulnerable to feelings, and carries the risk of intrusion, it can be difficult for them. However much they may like another person, anything, experienced as invasive or demanding will make them back off, whereas they will be attracted towards a person who allows them their own space.
When this is present, they feel an immense and safe latitude for give and take. They also like an informed connection: they need to know who a person is and able to support them. They tend to select friends who share common interests , and relate at first on the level of shared activities. (Spontaneity deprecated)
As relationships become more intimate, non-verbal aspects of relationship are important. Touching allows them to feel present without the need to say how they feel, which they often do not know until they are alone. The reliable presence and consistency of another person allows them to feel safe. Successful intimate relationship depends on partners understanding and respecting fives need for privacy. Partners also need to understand that although fives may be demonstrative and may appear to have the relationship in just one of their compartments, once they commit themselves the relationship is central, and probably the most important fact in their lives.

Things Fives Can Do To Help Themselves Grow
✓ Take up a physical practice which helps you ground in your body
❑ Join a group which encourages self-disclosure, e.g. gestalt, oral tradition enneagram workshops
❑ Allow yourself to feel physical sensations and emotions whilst they are happening
✓ Recognize experience and recall pleasant feelings: realize that not all feelings are painful
❑ If you meditate, become aware of the difference between detachment (watching yourself) and non – attachment (nobody watching)
✓ Notice how your mind detaches from feelings and sorts things into compartments, and how secrecy and superiority create separation
✓ Cultivate here-and-now behavior, particularly allowing yourself luxuries
✓ Behave as though there is more than enough to go round
❑ Observe how withdrawal can often cause people to intrude further:start to stand your ground

    Holy Virtue and Idea:

Non-attachment and Omniscience
A possible pitfall for fives in their personal growth is confusing detachment, which comes easily to them with higher awareness of non-attachment. Non-attachment allows feelings, experiences, and things to come and go, knowing that the universe is abundant. Fives try to re-create the feeling of sufficiency by pulling in and holding on to the necessities for survival.
Detachment is a way of holding back, and enables them to deny that they care about things and are attached. As they start to allow their energy to flow more freely and share it with others, they discover that it is self-renewing. They also discover how much they have been attached to their necessities. The inner knowing that they will be taken care of by life itself gives a simultaneous ability to be involved and yet to let go.
Omniscience is the experience of essential mind in which all knowing is available without the need of think or accumulate knowledge.
Fives pacify their unacknowledged fears by acquiring information. As their personal growth takes them more into them realm of immediate experience and non-attachment to their personality, they discover they have access to wisdoms other than that of the intellect. Safety is found in an inner experience of already knowing all they need to know.

7 Billion People
Our personality type is recognizable, but our personality – the experiences, memories, dreams and aspirations, and what we do with them – IS OUR OWN!

Only one type for each person but (3 different variants)
Though our personality developed as a strategy to help us cope with the outer world as infants, by the time we are adults it is an automatic biased perspective.
The Unique and heartening aspect of the enneagram theory is that our “false” personality reflects, as in a mirror, our highest self. It is not an enemy to be conquered but our best friend, showing us which lessons we need to learn and how to learn them.

Each type has two wings
type 5 (observer)
Wing 7 (Epicure)
Wing 8 (Boss)
Wing 4 (Romantic)
Wing 6 (Questioner)

One basic type
One of two possible wings
Nine types
Eighteen subtypes
Fifty Four subtypes [18×3]
(heavy / mod / light)
We can function at different levels and are constantly shifting on the continuum
Nine levels of development
three healthy
three average
three unhealthy
Potential subtypes = [18×3] x 9 = 486

Instinctual types – variants
• Self-Preservation
• Social
• Sexual

Self Preservation-
Being safe and physically comfortable are priorities.

  • Social-
    Focused on interactions of other people and with sense of value or esteem they derive from their participation in collective activities

Intimacy junkies, sense of aliveness

The Nine Passions

This Passion might be more accurately described as Resentment. Anger in itself is not the problem, but in Ones the anger is repressed, leading to continual frustration and dissatisfaction with themselves and with the world.
Pride refers to an inability or unwillingness to acknowledge one’s own suffering. Two’s deny many of their own needs while attempting to “help” others. This Passion could also be described as Vainglory -pride in one’s own virtue.
Deceit means deceiving ourselves into believing that we are only the ego self. When we believe this, we put our efforts into developing our ego instead of our true nature. We could also call this passion Vanity our attempt to make the ego feel valuable without turning to our spiritual source.
Envy is based on the feeling that something fundamental is missing. Envy leads Fours to feel that other possess qualities that they lack. Fours long for what is absent but often fail to notice The many blessings in their lives.
Fives feel that they lack inner resources and that too much interaction with others will lead to catastrophic depletion. This Passion leads Fives to withhold themselves from contact with the world. Thus they hold on to their resources and minimize their needs.
This Passion might be more accurately described as Anxiety because anxiety leads us to be afraid of things that are not actually happening now. Sixes walk around in a constant state of apprehension and worry about possible future events.
Gluttony refers to the insatiable desire to “fill oneself up” with experiences. Sevens attempt to overcome feelings of inner emptiness by pursuing a variety of positive, stimulating ideas and activities, but they never feel that they have enough.
Lust does not only refer to sexual lust: Eights are “lusty” in that they are driven by a constant need for intensity, control, and self-extension. Lust causes Eights to try to push everything in their lives – to assert themselves willfully.
Sloth does not simply mean laziness, since Nines can be quite active and accomplished. Rather, it refers to a desire to be unaffected by life. It is an unwillingness to arise with the fullness of one’s vitality to fully engage with life.

Unconscious childhood messages
Type one
“It’s not okay to make mistakes.”
Type two
“It’s not okay to have your own needs.”
Type three
“It’s not okay to have your own feelings and identity.”
Type four
“It’s not okay to be too functional or too happy.”
Type five
“It’s not okay to be comfortable in the world.”
Type six
“It’s not okay to trust yourself.”
Type seven
“It’s not okay to depend on anyone for anything.”
Type eight
“It’s not okay to be vulnerable or to trust anyone.”
Type nine
“It’s not okay to assert yourself.”

The Basic Fears of the Types
Type one
Fear of being bad, corrupt evil, or defective
Type two
Fear of being unworthy of being loved
Type three
Fear of being worthless or without inherent value
Type four
Fear of being without identity or personal significance
Type five
Fear of being useless, incapable, or incompetent
Type six
Fear of being without support or guidance
Type seven
Fear of being deprived or trapped in pain
Type eight
Fear of being controlled by others
Type nine
Fear of loss of connection, or fragmentation

Basic Desires and their Distortions
Type one
the desire to have integrity (deteriorates into critical perfectionism)
Type two
the desire to be loved (deteriorates into the need to be needed)
Type three
the desire to be valuable (deteriorates into chasing after success)
Type four
the desire to be oneself (deteriorates into self-indulgence)
Type five
the desire to be competent (deteriorates into useless specialization)
Type six
the desire to be secure (deteriorates into an attachment to beliefs)
Type seven
the desire to be happy (deteriorates into frenetic escapism)
Type eight
the desire to protect oneself (deteriorates into constant fighting)
Type nine
the desire to be at peace (deteriorates into stubborn neglectfulness)

Lost Childhood Messages
Type one
“You are good”
Type two
“You are wanted”
Type three
“You are loved for yourself”
Type four
“You are seen for who you are”
Type five
“Your needs are not a problem”
Type six
“You are safe”
Type seven
“You will be taken care of”
Type eight
“You will not be betrayed”
Type nine
“Your presence matters”