The Enneagram personality types were derived in large part from Oscar Ichazo's Enneagrams representing fixations, traps, ideas, passions, and virtues (collectively represented here as ego-types). The ego-types are generally labeled as abbreviations of the fixations appended to Ego- (e.g., Ego-Resent for the fixation of resentment for ego-type 1).
Each fixation is remedied by a holy idea.
Each trap keeps you stuck in the fixation.
Each passion occurs when the virtue is lacking.
Here's an example of how this might work for ego-type 1. Resentment (for having to be perfect) is remedied by holy perfection (seeing that there's already a perfection to life as it is). Perfection (your own idea of what perfection is) keeps you trapped in resentment (for seeming to be the only one focused on your sense of perfection). Anger (at things not being perfect) arises out of your lack of serenity (accepting things as they are).
- Fixation: Resentment
- Trap: Perfection
- Idea: Holy Perfection
- Passion: Anger
- Virtue: Serenity
- Fixation: Flattery
- Trap: Freedom
- Idea: Holy Will
- Passion: Pride
- Virtue: Humility
3. Ego-Van or Ego-Go
- Fixation: Vanity
- Trap: Efficiency
- Idea: Holy Harmony
- Passion: Deceit
- Virtue: Truthfulness
- Fixation: Melancholy
- Trap: Authenticity
- Idea: Holy Origin
- Passion: Envy
- Virtue: Equanimity
- Fixation: Stinginess
- Trap: Observer
- Idea: Holy Omniscience
- Passion: Avarice
- Virtue: Detachment
- Fixation: Cowardice
- Trap: Security
- Idea: Holy Strength
- Passion: Fear
- Virtue: Courage
- Fiixation: Planning
- Trap: Idealism
- Idea: Holy Wisdom
- Passion: Gluttony
- Virtue: Sobriety
- Fixation: Vengeance
- Trap: Justice
- Idea: Holy Truth
- Passion: Excess
- Virtue: Innocence
- Fixation: Indolence
- Trap: Seeker
- Idea: Holy Love
- Passion: Laziness
- Virtue: Action
Regarding the Enneagram personality types, fixations are one indication of how we are fixated or "stuck" in the way we deal with life. Below is one interpretation of how these fixations apply to each Enneagram personality type.
Type 1 resentment comes from feeling an obligation to do the right thing while others seem to get away with shirking that responsibility.
Type 2 flattery represents the tendency to pay compliments or special attention to others in order to manipulate oneself into their favor.
Type 3 vanity places great emphasis on one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc. in order to feel validated.
Type 4 melancholy surrounds a lack of emotional fulfillment that longs for what isn't and disparages what is.
Type 5 stinginess hoards resources and minimizes needs in an attempt to compensate for a world that seems to take more than it gives.
Type 6 cowardice is the tendency to succumb to or challenge fears or doubts that arise from an uncertain mind.
Type 7 planning lives in future anticipation of more enjoyable alternatives to boring, uncomfortable, painful, or limiting situations.
Type 8 vengeance experiences the world as taking advantage of the vulnerable and a reminder to stand strong and assertive against it.
Type 9 indolence arises from the negation or forgetfulness of one's own agenda in order to go along with the agenda of others.
The traps lead back to an ego-centric and limited take on reality. As such, they lead back to the type's fixation. Below is one interpretation of how the traps might apply to each Enneagram personality type.
Type 1 perfection strives to meet perceived standards of right and wrong in order to be acceptable.
Type 2 freedom from personal needs allows one to focus on the needs of others in order to feel needed and liked.
Type 3 efficiency produces results and achieves goals that prove one's worth.
Type 4 authenticity is derived from being true to an inner emotional reality that distinguishes oneself from others.
Type 5 observes the world by pulling back from it in order to gain a more objective understanding of it.
Type 6 security seeks certainty in a future full of negative possibilities requiring a cautious or reactive response to perceived threats.
Type 7 idealism reframes reality by paying attention to what's positive or interesting while avoiding what's negative or problematic.
Type 8 justice exposes hidden truths and redresses the balance by confronting and asserting oneself against others.
Type 9 seeks to merge and become one with the environment and others in order to produce a feeling of being a part of something greater than oneself.
In relation to the personality types, the holy ideas can be understood as an antidote to the struggle of each type (fixation and trap). While the individual will tend to focus on a limited, self-centered sense of the idea (the trap that keeps a type stuck in the fixation), the holy idea expands the concept to a more universal context. Below is one interpretation of how the holy ideas might apply to each Enneagram personality type in relation to their corresponding trap.
The type 1 trap of perfection comes from an effort to live up to an internalized idea of perfection. Holy perfection aligns with a more universal sense of perfection where the individual sense of perfection need not be forced upon the world.
The type 2 trap of freedom creates a sense of being needed by attending to the needs of others instead of one's own needs. Holy will aligns with a less ego-centric approach to the needs of others without covertly manipulating others in order to feel liked, needed, or have one's own desires met.
The type 3 trap of efficiency in the performance of task and accomplishment is used to measure self-worth. Holy harmony points to a more universal harmony or flow of things where one doesn't need to outdo in order to prove one's worth.
The type 4 trap seeks an authentic sense of self by cultivating an emotional uniqueness that stands apart from others. Holy origin points to a more inherent unfolding of one's own uniqueness in the universe without having to distinguish oneself by cultivating that uniqueness.
The type 5 trap of observation requires a detachment from or non-involvement with the world in order to objectively understand it. Holy omniscience is knowledge of the world through partipation and experience in it instead of watching from the sidelines in the hope of understanding it before jumping in.
The type 6 trap of security pursues certainty through questioning and doubting what the self and others are thinking. Holy strength draws from a belief that the universe eventually works itself to a resolution and trust in that means moving forward even in uncertainty.
The type 7 trap of idealism reframes the unpleasantries of reality into something more appealing. Holy wisdom experiences a more complete reality by embracing both the positive and negative instead of escaping into what's more enjoyable.
The type 8 trap of justice attempts to balance the scales according to a personal sense of fairness that often comes from one's own life experiences and resulting truths. Holy truth sees the gray of a more universal truth which lies between the black and white absolutes of the individual's truth.
The type 9 trap seeks to merge and blend with the environment around oneself as a result of one's own sense of personal insignificance. Holy love holds that every being in the universe has value and significance both as part of something greater and as an individual.
The passions were described as the result of a lack in the corresponding virtue. With the Enneagram personality types they can be thought of as pointing to an underlying habit of emotional energy. They've also been called the 7 sins + 2. This refers to the seven deadly, capital, or cardinal sins (anger, pride, envy, avarice, gluttony, lust, and laziness). With the passions, the sin of lust was changed to excess and the two passions of deceit and fear were added to make nine. Below is one interpretation of how these passions apply to each Enneagram personality type.
Type 1 anger is an energy that arises in service of correcting things that don't match an internalized sense of rightness. It can be noticed in the form of criticism of things not being done correctly.
Type 2 pride is a self-inflated feeling of importance in the lives of others, coming from a feeling of being needed or indispensable in some way. Often it arises out of the belief that I have no needs but am able to satisfy the needs of others.
Type 3 deceit is a packaging of oneself in order to successfully sell oneself to others. The authentic self aside from the packaging is often lost in the image produced by the presentation.
Type 4 envy notices how others have what I don't because others are more capable than I am. It's a comparison of the positive in others with the negative in the self.
Type 5 avarice is a greed not for wealth but for time and space to process the world through the intellect. It's a response to a world that can seem at times intrusive, chaotic, and overwhelming.
Type 6 fear is often a generalized mistrust of what and how others are thinking. This may be allayed by a questioning in search of certainty or an action that confronts the perceived fear.
Type 7 gluttony of the mind is a desire to taste life in all its offerings. The mind imagines an endless stream of appealing possibilities with the challenge of how to experience them all with limited time.
Type 8 excess is one of pursuing intensity or honesty of experience that feels more real and energizing. For others this intensity is often felt as too much, requiring the type 8 to sit on the energy so as not to overwhelm others.
Type 9 laziness is an inertia seeking and maintaining comfort, averse to conflict and disruption. It's losing oneself in routines or activities that allow one to just be without having any goals to strive for or expectations to meet.
The virtue for each type is what is lacking or needed to compensate for the corresponding passion. It dissolves the emotional demands of the passion. Below is one interpretation of how these virtues apply to each Enneagram personality type.
Type 1 serenity arises when the world is accepted as it is. Critical anger finds no target when the world is not in need of being corrected.
Type 2 humility arises when the self is seen as no more or less important than others. The self-inflation of pride gives way when you realize you're not as indispensable as imagined.
Type 3 truthfulness arises when the true self is accepted. The packaging and selling of oneself becomes unnecessary when there is no reason for deceitful appearances.
Type 4 equanimity arises when you see both your positive and negatives equally. The half-truth of envy loses its validity when you stop comparing the positives of others with the negatives of the self.
Type 5 detachment from isolation arises when you learn the world is better understood by participating in it. Avarice for space and time often makes one less prepared to live in the world not more.
Type 6 courage arises when negative possibilities are seen as a product of the mind and not reality. Action against or away from fear becomes irrelevant when the fear is seen as self-created.
Type 7 sobriety arises when it's realized that a more meaningful and deeper experience of life is missed when it's superficially sampled. Gluttony of the mind racing through life pursues a quantity of life forsaking a quality of life.
Type 8 innocence arises when the more subtle sensations and emotions are allowed to surface. Excesses and intensity of experience are needed only when one is unable to appreciate or experience the subtleties of life.
Type 9 action allows one to live and pursue one's goals and desires. Laziness or inertia that depends on others for direction leads to a life not fully lived for oneself.