Type Nine: The Need for Peace

Enneagram Part One: Body Center

Type Nine: The Need for Peace
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Holy Idea: Holy Love

Virtue: Action

Passion: Sloth [1]

Unlike the strong and often belligerent Eights with whom they share an Intelligence Center, Nines are natural peacemakers. Their gift of accepting others without prejudice makes people feel understood and accepted. Nines can be unbiased arbitrators because they can see and appreciate the positive aspects of all sides. They have an ability to express harsh truths so calmly and matter-of-factly that it’s much easier for others to hear and accept them. We know they mean us no harm.

The temptation of Nines is to downplay their strengths and even belittle themselves. Because they don’t consider themselves important enough to display their talents in front of other people, they tend to stay in the background and cultivate the self-image of not being anything special. They can enter a room and then leave it without anyone taking notice of them.

In distressing situations, Nines often withdraw. The task of Nines consists in discovering and developing feelings of self-worth and their own inner drive.

The gift of the Nine is, surprisingly, decisive action. At first Nines may hesitate and waver, but when they reach a decision, it happens in a moment of utter clarity. Without further considerations, without revision or the least doubt, they know what they want to do, and no one will be able to stop them.

Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson explain how Nines reconnect with their Essential nature or True Self:

Ultimately Nines reclaim their Essential nature by confronting their Basic Fear of losing connection and by letting go of the belief that their participation in the world is unimportant—that they do not have to “show up.” They realize that the only way to truly achieve the unity and wholeness they seek is not by “checking out” into the realms of the imagination but by fully engaging themselves in the present moment. Doing so requires that they reconnect with their instinctual nature and with their physicality in an immediate way. Often this requires confronting repressed feelings of anger and rage that can be extremely threatening to their ordinary sense of self. But when Nines stay with themselves and are able to integrate their anger, they begin to feel the stability and steadiness that they have been seeking. . . .

Another Essential quality of the Nine is what Oscar Ichazo called “Holy Love.” . . . The Essential love to which we are referring is a dynamic quality of Being that flows, transforms, and breaks down all barriers before it. It overcomes feelings of separateness and isolation within ego boundaries, issues that plague the Instinctive Triad. This is why real love is frightening—it entails the dissolution of boundaries and the death of the ego. Yet as we learn to surrender to the action of Holy Love, we reconnect with the ocean of Being and realize that at our core, we are this Love. We are this endless, dynamic, transforming Presence of loving awareness, and it has always been so. [2]

References and definitions:
[1] Christopher L. Heuertz, The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth (Zondervan: 2017), 136. Chris defines these terms as follows (see pages 246-248):

Holy Ideas: The unique state of mental well-being, specific to each of the nine types, in which the mind is centered and connected with the True Self.

Virtues: Like the nine fruits of the Spirit [see Galatians 5:22-23] the Virtues are . . . gifts of a centered heart that is present, nonreactive, and at rest in the True Self.

Passions: The inverse of the Virtues are the Passions . . . [which] emerge as the heart indulges the Basic Fear that it will never return to its essence and therefore seeks out coping mechanisms that ultimately compound each type’s state of emotional imbalance.

Watch for Chris’ podcast, Enneagram Mapmakers: Exploring the Interior Landscapes of the Ego (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2020), coming March 24, 2020!

[2] Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types (Bantam Books: 1999), 338, 340.

Adapted from Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2001, 2013), 178, 181-182, 187.

Image credit: Last Supper Study (detail), Andrea del Sarto, 1520-1525, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: Our Intelligence Centers help us hear and invite us to greater discernment. . . . Discernment is our ability to judge what is good, true, and beautiful. Discernment is also the inner knowledge of how to act on that which we perceive. Our use of discernment relies on the clarity of our centered minds, the objectivity of peace-filled hearts, and the unobstructed impulses or instincts of our bodies. —Chris Heuertz
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