Tuesday, 17 June 2014
The Enneagram —Part Three b
I have been following the antics of the three hummingbirds that come to our feeder. They each have distinct personalities and I thought it would be interesting to try and determine their Enneagram types as a practical or – not so practical application of the theory. I have consulted with the in-house expert on The Enneagram — Lorna — in drawing my conclusions.
There is one dominant one who is very territorial. He (I don’t know the sex but I call him male because of his aggressiveness) will drive away the other two when they try to feed even when he doesn’t want to feed himself. At first I thought he might be a three as this type is defined by a need to be the winner — the top-dog or top-bird in this case. The three has the need to succeed above all else. If he is a three of course I would not be able to reason with him and encourage him to cooperate and not be a dog–in –the manger as is my wont as a nine. Threes are reluctant to accept criticism from others. However, on reconsideration of this assessment and in consultation with my in-house consultant, I believe that our little take no prisoners guy is probably an eight. Eights have the need to be against. Eights fight as a way of making contact. When eights are in power their subordinates often feel oppressed or pushed around. I think we will have to call our little top-bird as an unredeemed eight.The middle hummingbird seems to be unperturbed by the antics of the top-bird. It doesn’t take too much notice and carries on after the top-bird has had its hissy-fit. Lorna and I concluded that this one is probably a five — I definitely defer to her on this as she is a five and it takes one to know one. The five has a need to perceive. Fives go through life and gather what they can get — in the hope of filling up their inner vacuum. The majority of hummingbirds are probably five’s on this basis. As noted by Richard Rohr/Andreas Ebert, their capacity to express their feelings can remain underdeveloped. Redeemed fives have a quiet inner power and tenderly emotional, loving, polite, hospitable and gentle.
Our final little hummingbird is the bottom-bird. It is completely cowed (birded just doesn’t seem right) by the antics of the top-bird. It arrives when things appear peaceful and yet it spends most of its time looking around nervously rather than partaking in what is in front of it. It will sometimes sit on the bench on the deck looking forlorn and wistful as the others feed. When it finally does feel it’s safe to drink it doesn’t spend long on the activity and flies off before it is confronted by the mean, nasty top-bird. My consultant and I have come to the conclusion this bird is a six. The six has the need for security. According to Rohr/Ebert, sixes easily succumb to self-doubt which makes them look ahead, fearful and mistrustful. Their attitude is ‘the world is dangerous; you have to be on the lookout; I don’t have enough inner authority to be up to it, so I have to look somewhere outside myself’. We were worried initially that this poor number five would not survive but it seems to be thriving despite itself.In any case our three little types are not likely to change so we have to accept them as they are and hope they will all continue to be the part of God’s plan for our little corner of the world.