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Enneagram Types Through The Lens of Jung


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Illuminating one's blind spots is the express intent of the personal typology system known as the enneagram (EPS) and may be articulated through the lens of Jungian psychology. While these systems do not have a joint cosmology, incorporating two of Carl Jung’s core concepts, that of archetypes and complexes, can make the enneagram typology easier to navigate.

Jung suggested that hidden patterns are present in a personal unconscious, which houses the memories and data that are particular to the individual, and in a collective unconscious, which is the impersonal realm of universal images, myths, and fairy tales, called archetypes. Examples of well-known archetypes are the hero/heroine, the warrior, and the saint. According to Jung, complexes, represent ways that people self-organize — in other words, they are part of the personal unconscious and are the subconscious drivers of a person’s life.

According to the EPS, each of the nine points of the enneagram symbol corresponds to a personality type. Viewed through the lens of Jung’s personal and collective unconscious, personality types in the EPS may be considered as unique archetypes within which reside three complexes. These complexes are related to how one thinks, how one feels, and how one behaves. One’s level of awareness and integration determines whether the archetype will manifest negatively or positively, like Jung’s conceptualization of the terrible mother or the loving mother archetype. For psychological healing to take place, the complexes of each type must be made conscious and the virtue of each type, embraced.


Enneagram Types Viewed Through The Lens of Archetype and Complexes

Type one is the archetype of The Reformer, whose mental complex is a desire for acknowledgment; whose feeling complex is frustration; and whose behavior complex is exerting control by doing things correctly. When type one becomes aware of perfectionism and integrates the virtue of serenity, the positive archetype of The Reformer is embodied.

Type two is the archetype of The Helper, whose mental complex is a desire to be appreciated; whose feeling complex is self-righteous self-consciousness; and whose behavior complex is seeking approval through giving. When type two becomes aware of pride and integrates the virtue of humility, the positive archetype of The Helper is embodied.

Type three is the archetype of The Performer, whose mental complex is a desire to be seen in a good light; whose feeling complex is shame; and whose behavior complex is seeking approval through shape-shifting to meet the expectations others. When type three becomes aware of deceit and integrates the virtue of authenticity, the positive archetype of The Performer is embodied.

Type four is the archetype of The Romantic, whose mental complex is the melancholy of being fatally flawed; whose feeling complex is hyper-vigilant self-consciousness; and whose behavior complex is seeking approval through being emotionally expressive and unique. When type four becomes aware of envy and integrates the virtue of equanimity, the positive archetype of The Romantic is embodied.

Type five is the archetype of The Observer, whose mental complex is formed around the need to know; whose feeling complex is apprehension; and whose behavior complex is seeking security through gathering information. When type five becomes aware of avarice and integrates the virtue of non-attachment/full engagement, the positive archetype of The Observer is embodied.

Type six is the archetype of The Loyal Skeptic, whose mental complex is planning for the worst-case scenario; whose feeling complex is worry; and whose behavior complex seeking security through preparation. When type six becomes aware of fear and integrates the virtue of courage, the positive archetype of The Loyal Skeptic is embodied.

Type seven is the archetype of The Enthusiast, whose mental complex is planning for a bright future; whose feeling complex is anxiety; and whose behavior complex is seeking security through staying busy or distracted. When type seven becomes aware of gluttony and integrates the virtue of sobriety/contentment, the positive archetype of The Enthusiast is embodied.

Type eight is the archetype of The Challenger, whose mental complex is a desire to right a wrong; whose feeling complex is anger; and whose behavior complex is exerting control by intimidating and dominating. When type eight becomes aware of lust and integrates the virtue of mercy, the positive archetype of The Challenger is embodied.

Type nine is the archetype of The Peacemaker, whose mental complex is a desire to avoid stress and conflict; whose feeling complex is annoyance and repressed rage; and whose behavior complex is exerting control by resisting the influence of others and the outside world. When type nine becomes aware of sloth and integrates the virtue of decisive, loving action, the positive archetype of The Peacemaker is embodied.


Making unconscious patterns conscious utilizing the EPS is done through self-observation and mindfulness. You must pay attention to how you think, feel, and act when upset. This information will provide evidence for your unconscious complexes and reveal your blind spots. Once these complexes are brought to your conscious awareness, you have the opportunity to apply the virtue of your type in order to live into the highest version of your authentic self.

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