Podcast – Episode 0302 – What Myers-Briggs Is Missing That The Enneagram Teaches

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia chat with Enneagram experts Dr. Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes about the spiritual uses of the Enneagram.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Enneagram Workshop with Beatrice Chestnut and Oranio Paes
  • Mayton Inn 
  • The Way of the Symbol
  • Using the Enneagram symbol to deal with traumas energetically trapped inside of us
  • The circle is important
  • In the workshop, you begin the exercise by standing on your Enneagram number which has been placed on the floor  
  • The arrow lines go back and access early traumas then move forward to get a glimpse of the future.
  • Joel is a 6. So he stood on the symbol at #6 then went back to 9 to shore up inner power then brought back to 6 and over to 3, which is his future. 
  • Everyone was there for different reasons. Some had trauma trapped in their body, and some wanted achievement.
  • Interview with Beatrice and Eranio:
    • Eranio was the first president of the Brazilian Enneagram Institute. 
    • Beatrice is the author of our program Enneagram Roadmap as well as the author of The Complete Enneagram: 48 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge
    • Eranio’s phrase: “Spiritual work without psychological work is dangerous. Psychological work without spiritual work is incomplete.”
    • We need to see psychological and spiritual development as the same thing. 
    • Some people do spiritual bypass by looking for spiritual experiences without doing the hard work of touching wounds and traumas. 
    • Other people get too involved with psychological development and try to find wound after wound without going through the transcendental path of healing, which involves spirit.
    • People need to shift to other forms of work, techniques, and therapists, or they risk getting caught in a comfort zone.
    • Vacuum in the heart. 
    • When people get interested in Enneagram, they stop short of what they need to work on to face their core issues.
    • There’s no bypass. 
    • If you’re doing the work, you must face your shadow.
    • Persephone’s world. 
    • The Enneagram is a profoundly spiritual tool. 
    • Access higher potential thru transcending the ego
    • If you look at the Enneagram symbol, you see a time machine.
    • If you follow the arrows back, you go back in time to your childhood
    • If you go with the arrow, you go to the future.
    • When we go against the arrow, we meet our child and can get in touch with our wounds or our soul.
    • The child was more in touch with the soul
    • Arrows against are called the “soul child point.”
    • Enneagram is a holistic system where we can explore past & future. Explore psychological wounds and get in touch with the spirit
    • If people experience it physically, it makes more sense.
    • Half an hour after doing the work, some people don’t even remember doing the work because it was so intense.
    • But their bodies remember.
    • We need to trust the body more. Our society is too dominated by the mind and too disconnected from the body.
    • There are three centers of intelligence: head, heart, and body.
    • We tend to rely on one center more than the other two.
    • Any human being using only one center is not a human being. 
    • We need to use all three centers
  • Could there be something spiritual imbued in our work with Myers-Briggs?
  • Myers-Briggs is more of a psychological tool. There isn’t much spirituality to it.
  • We knew there was something incomplete in the Myers-Briggs system.
  • A lot of our community are transcending a faith background or changing their relationship with it.
  • Much of organized spirituality does miss the psychological piece.
  • Having a profoundly religious background doesn’t guarantee a spiritual connection.
  • Religion doesn’t equal spirituality.
  • Many people try desperately to find spirituality in organized religion, and they are left with a void.
  • How does each of us need to interact with the spiritual/sacred?
  • Nothing in our world is one-size-fits-all.
  • We have to follow this road, or there is going to be a big piece missing.
  • It puts our brains and our soul in a vice when we try to force ourselves into a spiritual mold that doesn’t fit.
  • The Enneagram is endlessly expandable.
  • Imagine the Enneagram symbol as a 3D sphere.
  • See numbers as stations of development as you go. Like Spiral Dynamics.
  • Let’s assume most of humanity is at station one. 
  • Few people leave the first station of awareness.
  • The masses choose not to do the work.
  • Those who do the work can be the avatars for millions of others.
  • Growth will never be accessible to everyone. Not everyone chooses that path.
  • Be true to the message and let people interact with it in the way they will.
  • “The bigger the light, the bigger the shadow.”
  • The more growth work you do, the more you are stepping into the light/awareness, and you’re going to see some serious shit in your life.
  • There’s an opportunity cost that comes with growth. The opportunity to live a more mundane life.
  • There are benefits of living a templatized life.
  • “Don’t you wish you had taken the blue pill?”
  • The Enneagram symbol has shock points.
  • Those who do personal growth generate a resource that becomes available to the rest of the world.
  • Enneagram Instincts: Social, Sexual, Self-Preservation
    • Social: relationships, tribe
    • Self-preservation: protecting physicality. Safety
    • Sexual: survival strategies based on bonding
      • Instinctual sequence: 
      • 1st: dominant, 
      • 2nd: secondary, 
      • 3rd: repressed
  • Repressed is different than a blind spot. 
  • Repressed is something we don’t want to see. Like a beach ball, we keep pushing underwater. 
    • Sexual repressed: The urge to merge. Merging with our subtle bodies, not just physical.
    • Self-preservation repressed: Be quiet with self. Find the sacred within. Work with basic life structures. 
    • Social repressed: To be leaders. Reach out and do the thing they resist the most – to be seen. 
  • The dominant instinct’s first work is to live it fully. Respect the animal.
  • Then stop the instinct from over functioning. Tame it.
  • The conceits of each type.
  • All the fears and concerns we struggle with are the things that our type does the best.
  • Beatrice/Eranio online resources
  • A lot of Carl Jung’s concepts were spiritual. 
  • “Do you know why insights come at 1:30 in the morning? It’s when we are the least stubborn.”
  • Is there a spiritual aspect to Myers-Briggs?

In this episode, Joel and Antonia chat with Enneagram experts Dr. Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes about the spiritual uses of the Enneagram. #myersbriggs #enneagram

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Showing 16 comments
  • KuboF Hromoslav

    According to Ken Wilber, Freud and Jung felt into what is called “pre/trans fallacy”. It applies to growth models with 3 stages: pre-something, something and post-something; in this case pre-rational, rational and post-rational stages. When human on rational stage sees something that is not rational, he / she consider it to be pre-rational, because it is he only non-rational stage he / she knows about. On the other hand, when human knows post-rational stage, he / she may consider every non-rational stuff to be post-rational.

    According to Ken Wilber, Freud took high, post-rational phenomenons and labeled them as childish, no-mature, while Jung took childish stuffs and elevated them to post-rational status.
    The truth is somewhere between.

  • Michael (A.A)

    Just want to mention by the way that Leo Gura has a 1 hour+ running time for each video on Spiral Dynamics on Youtube if you’re curious about the subject in more detail.

    Though back to the subject. How can MBTI be more spiritual like the enneagram? Interestingly with my research, the enneagram actually came from Sufi meditation traditions, which is a sect of Islam. Interestingly, when studying different spiritual paths over the years, I’ve learned so much. Like the Enneagram, you don’t have to be Muslim to benefit from it. That also goes with meditation for example, you don’t have to be Buddhist to learn from it it as much as you don’t have to be Hindu to do yoga. Live and Dare’s blog has an article called, “What is spirituality? A guide to spiritual paths and practices,” that emphasize the different “personalities” of different spiritual practices. Beliefnet and learnreligions are also other good websites to learn about different faiths. Crash Course Mythology on Youtube also.

    I’ve met a lot of people on my spiritual journey, and I thought I’d share the spiritual pattern I found with different types.

    SJs : Often enjoy spiritual practices by being part of a community, like a church or a mosque. They enjoy doing the everyday duties of keeping order in a community. Often enjoy going about the traditions of a religion and respect them deeply. They seem to enjoy the memorization part of spirituality, finding calm in repeating certain made prayers or taking verses to heart. I don’t think I have to go into detail with this, because it’s easy to find resources on SJ spirituality if you ask me. Though it’s often stereotyped as close-minded, some SJs can be refreshingly open-minded and respectful once you get to know them. Reminds me of Ignatius spirituality, explained in Father James Martin’s refreshing books, where St.Ignatius was known as a simple humble man with a sense of humor.

    SPs : Often enjoy more action oriented spiritual practices when volunteering. Especially when there’s a spiritual essence to certain physical exercises, think of all the spiritual discipline that comes from martial arts for example, though this can apply to different sports. Though it doesn’t always have to be sports, just anything physical. I recall this instance of a mechanical engineer who volunteered to fix things for people who can’t afford it, or someone who sings to calm down sick kids in a hospital. Due to the physical, may also emphasize nature oriented spirituality. Something like the site Nicethingstodo.net or the crafitvism movement.

    NFs : Usually NF spirituality is the stereotype of what all spiritual practices should be like, but it’s not really. A lot of emphasis is on developing genuine relationships, being able to be emotionally vulnerable and to inspire people to be able to heal from traumas. It reminds me of something like Teal Swan’s channel, where she still seems to have the NF emphasis on healthy relationships, but has developed thinking so that she won’t sugarcoat things with overly idealistic relationship advice. If they developed sensing enough, you’d find them creating awareness for causes such as the website beautifulrising on activist tactics show.

    NTs : These seem to be the types who often emphasize study in their religious practices. Like the Bible Project channel on Youtube, they may study spiritual texts to know how to interpret them. They are often the ones who know a ridiculous amount of philosophy to prove the existence of God, whether Aquinas’s classic arguments or Kant. The biggest online network for NT spirituality seems to be on Actualized.org, where if you are a skeptic visiting the forum, you might as very well be debated half to death with philosophical arguments from the book Materialism is Baloney, or something. Often uses logical intelligence to create solutions in society, and can be more emotionally compassionate in a more reserved way, haha.

  • Leslie Adamson

    Hey Antonia and Joel, another great podcast. First I am going to agree with the other ladies on here, I think a woman’s conference coming from your perspective would be really awesome Antonia. Secondly, the idea of marrying psychology with spirituality has been an interest of mine for quite some time.

    One author from the Myers Briggs community that came to mind for me during the podcast was Jane Kise. She wrote a couple books on Spirituality, the one that comes to my mind right now is “ Soultypes: Finding the Spiritual Path That is Right for You”.

    Another author and book that I have recently found on this topic is called “ Prayer and Temperament: Different Prayer Forms For Different Personality Types” by Chester Michael. Coming from a Judeo Christian background I loved this book. He has also written another book called “Arise Jungian Insights for the Christian Journey” that I have not gotten to yet. I don’t know if these are what you are looking for but I thought I’d share ?

  • YS

    Please interview Claudio Naranjo. Would be interesting to get your perspective on how the source of the enneagram has changed over the years as it becomes used more as a psychological tool.

  • Adam Baillio

    Hi, my name is Adam. INFJ and sexual 9.
    I really felt engaged with this episode (enough to come out of my shell and write something). Thank you for your continued work with the podcast. You really do create valuable content and I cherish what I’ve learned. I truly feel like I am a better person from following what I’ve learned from your podcast.
    This episode specifically spoke to me because I actually built my own personality profiling system based on spiritual concepts. The goal for the system is to create an experience that sends the subconscious through the Hero’s Journey with the result of personal growth through a spiritual experience! I recognize the negative connotation of the word hero – we want to avoid the hero/villain/victim triangle. But I see the Hero’s Journey as the transformational experience we need to level up. To connect to Spirit. To touch the unknowable and come back to reality a changed person.
    I’m interested to hear what comes of this series on the enneagram. The funny thing for me is that I’ve always gotten a sense that enneagram was rooted in spirituality. To the extent that I was surprised by people who didn’t see it! But I can see the potential and hopefully I can manifest the improvements the path promises.

    • Gwendolyn Lee

      Such a great discussion. I would agree with the recommendation to look at the book “Soultypes”.. This book is a really good resource for finding the expressions and forms of spirituality that fit your MB type. It was a game changer for me – I gave myself permission to integrate spirituality and psychology and began the path of discovery into what that might look like for me. My dominant subtype began to emerge and I started doing things in and with my life that truely brought me joy and fulfillment. So much clarity of purpose and freedom to play the one note in the symphony of life I am meant to play.

  • Kate Latham

    Antonia PLEASE! You must!… I wouldn’t even consider the typical Women’s Conference nonsense. But you would bring a whole new direction to it. Sign me up! Want some help? I’ll brainstorm it with you.

  • Ty

    Sounds like you’re not totally there (yet… 🙂 ) but just going to chime in and say we absolutely NEED work with women that is very different than what we’ve got now. This mentally links in my mind with what Joel was saying about having to let go of being able to reach everyone. You would draw in a particular audience- an audience who, right now, has absolutely nothing for them.

    Also, re: Jung. Have you read “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”? It illuminates his personal spiritual life quite a bit. Also, I just went to a lecture/workshop hosted by Oregon Friends of C.G. Jung and presented by Jeffrey Raff called “Living the Imaginal Life: Dreams, Active Imagination and Synchronicity”. He’s written a book called “Jung and the Alchemical Imagination” that sounds like it might be what you’re looking for.

    The first two sentences describing it on Amazon, “Jung and the Alchemical Imagination illustrates the spiritual nature of Jungian psychology and the debt it owes to the tradition of esoteric religion. Unlike other books on Jung and alchemy which contain a psychological interpretation of alchemical material, this work uses alchemy to understand the three cornerstones of Jungian spirituality–the self, the transcendent function, and active imagination.”

    • Antonia Dodge

      Thanks for the book recommendation by Jeffrey Raff. Checking it out now.


  • Seely

    Antonia, I think that it would be great for you to be a leader for women. You are so articulate and straightforward, with a sense of humour to boot! You could approach it from the angle of being an intuitive thinker woman, as women of that type don’t get a whole lot of representation, generally.

    • Seely

      Strangely enough, my co-worker brought up the idea of psychology/spirituality yesterday. Synchronicity? ☺

      I’m a possibly a 594, and I find the subtypes interesting, but so far haven’t pinpointed mine. Will need to order Beatrice Chestnut’s book to clarify my thinking on it. Have been greatly enjoying her enneagram videos on YouTube though.

      At a university in my city you could take courses on Jung through the religion department (not psychology) because they said he was considered a mystic. It was nice to hear you exploring the concept of archetypes in your Goddesses in Every Woman podcasts. As a writer and a fan of psychology, I enjoy the way my interests merge in the creation of characters. The arts are another area that marry well with psychology- in both creation and interpretation.

      • Seely

        Not to derail the enneagram conversation, but perhaps you, Antonia, relate to Athena? I noted the intuition and thinking combination in this and other online descriptions-

        “Pallas Athena is intelligent and cerebral. She is the weaver of patterns, linking ideas together. She is strategic command in both the warrior and the peaceful general.
        ….Like Libra, she can see both sides. She is not blind justice… she is only just.”

        Also, in regards to energy work- how likely would it be to find a ExTJ/IxTJ in that field?

  • Cat

    Just wanted to share some ideas I had about the question if spirituality and the mbti, the driver function is also called the Hero, I believe that this because for the ego to be comfortable with itself it must be the Hero in its own story. The archetypal Hero story is one of sacrifice and rebirth, we are constantly pushed into other less comfortable shadow roles such as Critic or Trickster which dismantles the Hero Narrative (death) until we can reconstruct a Hero Narrative by overcoming our mistakes ( rebirth) I think that Jung used the archetypes as characters in our own stories, I’m far from an expert just a deep thinking Infj.

  • matt

    Long time listener, first time commenter (INTP, go figure)!

    If you’re interested in integrating spiritual elements into personal transformation, development, evolution, etc… whatever you want to call it, Micah White has a really interesting four-quadrant model for social/political revolution theory using activism as a framework.

    The four quadrants are subjectivism (subjective & SPIRITUAL), voluntarism (subjective & material), structuralism (objective & material), and THEURGISM (objective & SPIRITUAL).

    He thinks any form of social/poltical revolution has to include all quadrants to have a shot at winning and notes how funny it is that Americans (mostly the political left) won’t touch spiritual realms with a ten foot pole so theres a big void to fill.

    I could see how ya’ll starting to model spirituality into your frameworks would be interested in this. He details it in his book, END OF PROTEST: a new playbook for revolution.

    You might connect with his X-axis in the model being subjective-objective. It reminds me of your discussions around THE ETHICS OF AMBIGUITY.

    Hope yall are doing meet-ups in the Northeast soon and we get to talk spirituality!

  • Drew

    First of all, Antonia: I would love to see what you would bring as a women’s leader. I think you’d fill a void for many of us who find most of those spaces nauseating.

    So when it comes to spirituality and Jung, I’ve felt something that I can’t quite place in relation to Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious and Joseph Campbell’s work finding common themes in storytelling across cultures. I’ve started to understand stories themselves as very spiritual things, and as a reflection of our Oneness.

    Also, as an INFJ, I’ve started to use energetic visualizations when concentrating on my Fe. When I’m overwhelmed in a social situation, I try to pull my ego back and focus on the energy I’m giving to the group. I sort of visualize it as a force field, or I see myself as a clam, filtering out the “dirty” energy.

  • Jenn

    Oh my goodness, I have so many comments and ah ha’s regarding this particular podcast. First, I want to say thank you to you both.

    I’m a down the rabbit hole type of person and your podcast, for me, started with MBTI cognitive stacks. I came from Keirsey and it felt good to know that I was an ISFP but something was missing. Finding you guys, and the way you describe the stacks and dive into the personal growth of the functions has been game changing.

    Then you give me Beatrice Chestnut and the 27 sub-types. I’ve always typed as a Four and until listening to Beatrice i would role my eyes and ignore the Enneagram. Turn’s out I’m the counter type SP-4. Down another rabbit hole and I was very grateful again. The combo has really accelerated my understanding of me, my defenses and where I’ve been stuck. Not to mention my relationships.

    I will be re-listening to this podcast again with regard to the instincts, that’s definitely something I would like to explore, so cool beans.

    Antonia, with regard to your feelings on Woman’s retreats, I’m right there with you. I prefer the surgery model myself. Much more rewarding and interesting.

    Last thing, not completely unrelated to the podcast but I thought you guys might be interested. I google personality related stuff a lot so google sends me lots of links (most fluffy “how does your type date”). One stuck out though, there is a Singer/songwriter “sleeping at last” that wrote songs for the nine Enneagram types and also created a podcast telling how all the songs came together and describing each type. For me, it really brought a spiritual side to the whole thing. The songs are crazy good (I cried hard listening to mine and I felt this deep connection with my husband when I heard his -Sexual type 1), because they are so spot on. Thought I would throw it out there if you were curious.

    Anyway, like I said I will be listening to parts of this one again, and I will share it with some of my more “rabbit hole” explorer friends. Thanks.

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