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    Skeptical of Instinct theory

    Instincts come in clusters, and ALL of them are self-preservationist in nature, including the sexual and social instinct clusters.

    Psychologist William James has done research on human instincts. These included attachment, play, shame, anger, fear, shyness, modesty, and love. Sounds familiar? This is s pattern that keeps on coming up when questioning what instinct *is*. Bottom line is that it is (probably) the Enneagram types themselves: each is an instinctual reaction in order to keep oneself alive.

    Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud points to two key motivational forces: the Life instincts (Eros) and the Death instincts (Thanatos). This is reflected in the Health Levels as developed by the Enneagram Institute. Movement upwards is in sync with the life instincts, movement downwards is in sync with the death instincts.
    Edit: The "Life Drive" and 'Death Drive" is what they should read. Not "- instincts". Bad translations are to blame.

    In psychology, instinct theory is a motivational theory that fell out of fashion. The Enneagram of Personality borrows a great deal from many motivational theories and it could even be interpreted as trying to synergize them into one cohesive model. While instinct theory is part of this, it should not be seen as separate from Enneagram type under any circumstance.

    Now we have the idea running around of "instinct stacks" as independent entities and archetypes. I am in favor of identifying these archetypes, don't get me wrong, and there is truth to it, but the connection to this arbitrary rule set around "instinct" is what gets me. There is no basis for this in instinct theory. The Enneagram itself describes instinct better than "instinct stacks" do.
    Last edited by Daeva; 01-08-2020, 09:39 PM.
    Sleep on the Ceiling - Erosian Exile

    #2
    Yeah... the problem is that the thing we're currently calling "Sx/So" or "Sp/So" or whatever - is self-evident in people who are properly identified. Even when they have different core types. But what exactly is it that we're defining? Social firsts can be anti-social or just asocial. Sexual firsts can be merged with God and have no interest in sex. Self-pres firsts can be reckless. Social lasts can be into politics; sexual lasts can have sex all day long or be major sexy models; self-pres last can sustain picky diets or workouts, or get rich. Etc.

    Yet if you take people with completely different types who are all the same instinct stack - like say, me and my mom, Sp/Sx - there's definitely a shared.... something. So what is that something? What is it we're actually defining?

    What I'm saying is that the stacks, as they stand, seem to have some kind of meaning. But what is it?

    Comment


    • SpiritoftheGael
      SpiritoftheGael commented
      Editing a comment
      Also when looking at just one type it is very obvious that the obsession of an sx 9 is very different from the obsession of a social 9 or an sp 9. Definitely still very much in favor of renaming sp. Anyways the obsession towards "SP" can lead to flip sides of a coin or more likely a spectrum with extremes on both ends. Animal Daeva

    • SpiritoftheGael
      SpiritoftheGael commented
      Editing a comment
      Quindary I'm just wondering if maybe there is a more precise word for self preservation than "self preservation" which is a huge source of confusion for people because they think well I definitely care about that. That's why I have all of these social connections or something like that. I know I've confused it in the past.

    • Animal
      Animal commented
      Editing a comment
      Quindary Yeah sorry, I worded my post badly. The dichotomies make perfect sense, but what doesn't make sense is how a Social first can just not care that much about social. Like you!
      Or do you? Do you see yourself in this dichotomy?

    #3
    Daeva I'm in 100% agreement that all of the instincts are a form of self preservation which has definitely bugged me for a long time. At the very least I always felt the self preservation one should be renamed as a more specific form.
    The day is done, and the darkness

    Falls from the wings of Night,

    As a feather is wafted downward

    From an eagle in his flight.


    I see the lights of the village

    Gleam through the rain and the mist,

    And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me

    That my soul cannot resist:


    A feeling of sadness and longing,

    That is not akin to pain,

    And resembles sorrow only

    As the mist resembles the rain.

    Comment


      #4
      On the "instinct stackings" themselves, they are describing archetypes. What kind of archetypes? Let's take a look at how David Gray interprets them on his website:

      sp/so: the land surveyor, farmer, patriot, businessman
      sp/sx: the grave digger, pirate, sex trader, voodoo fetishist

      so/sx: the chivalrous host, ‘regalia’, jester, the Mayor
      so/sp: the bishop, witch hunter, ethnic cleanser, culture warrior

      sx/sp: the alchemist, shaman, ‘cutter’ (self-injurer), tattoo artist
      sx/so: the chanteuse, comet, flamenco dancer, shooting star

      These are occupations; social roles. They have very little to do with instincts.
      Sleep on the Ceiling - Erosian Exile

      Comment


      • Animal
        Animal commented
        Editing a comment
        But that aside, I think what Daeva is getting at, is..... are these really related to 'instincts' in the first place?

      • SpiritoftheGael
        SpiritoftheGael commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah I agree that David Gray hasn't necessarily done the best job here.

      • [redacted]
        [redacted] commented
        Editing a comment
        My guess is that it's based on his own fetishes...
        Seriously though, I think it's supposed to create a contrast between Sp/So and Sp/Sx, showing how Sp/So is more "normal" while Sp/Sx is more likely to deviate and get into strange stuff due to Social-lastness and being contraflow. Still, these feel rather limiting. Perhaps that's bound to happen when talking in terms of archetypes, but I still feel like there could be more variety here.

      #5
      Hmm. On that link to Freud's theories of Life and Death, he has.... essentially Sx, Soc, and Sp (in that order going downwards) - under "Life instinct."

      Click image for larger version

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      Comment


      • Animal
        Animal commented
        Editing a comment
        Oops I hadn't seen those yet. This is where comment chains get confusing :P
        I'll look.
        And yeah Quindary, exactly.

      • Animal
        Animal commented
        Editing a comment
        Arya Quindary as you know I always operate on the presumption of polarities for types. But my problem is that many people with these types seem to also exist outside the polarities. Like Soc firsts we have typed who just don't care about socializing one way or other, without actually being anti-social. Sp firsts who are just chill about survival unless necessary and who have other priorities. Etc.

      • Quindary
        Quindary commented
        Editing a comment
        @Animal

        "Like Soc firsts we have typed who just don't care about socializing one way or other,"

        It's not about socializing per se. It's about a priority put on the social world. This can be through participation - or not. Like me, studying the social world of my family as a kid to figure out how to best abstain from it.

      #6
      Originally posted by Animal View Post
      Hmm. On that link to Freud's theories of Life and Death, he has.... essentially Sx, Soc, and Sp (in that order going downwards) - under "Life instinct."

      Click image for larger version  Name:	ddcd34e20176e19b4b1d336f4d9652ff.jpg Views:	23 Size:	30.7 KB ID:	6099
      If MBTI and other such Cognitive personality theories are said to stem from Jungian psychology, one could say that the Enneagram is Freudian in nature. The common inclusion of the "Id, ego, and Superego" within this system is another example. So I think it is right to say that the view on instincts as it pertains to the Enneagram can be sourced back to Freud.

      FYI, David Gray believes that the "Sexual instinct" is the Death instinct. Seriously.
      Last edited by Daeva; 01-08-2020, 09:22 PM.
      Sleep on the Ceiling - Erosian Exile

      Comment


        #7
        Originally posted by Daeva View Post

        If MBTI and other such Cognitive personality theories are said to stem from Jungian psychology, one could say that the Enneagram is Freudian in nature. The common inclusion of the "Id, ego, and Superego" within this system is another example. So I think it is right to say that the view on instincts as it pertains to the Enneagram can be sourced back to Freud.
        yeah, this is the first source for 'where it comes from' that makes sense. With more research we may be able to link most of its general principles. I grew up reading stuff like Freud so I kind of took those principles for granted.... now I'm realizing that I should reread and rethink. Freud is also big on parental orientation.

        FYI, David Gray believes that the "Sexual instinct" is the Death instinct. Seriously.
        Crazy. If Sx is death then what's Sp/Sx? A lot of his stuff is just heavy mythologizing, which can be wonderful but also misleads from the roots.

        Comment


        • Animal
          Animal commented
          Editing a comment
          Luckovich called Sx "a salmon swimming upstream to mate and die." Orgasm is also "little death." But this is also the life cycle.

        • Daeva
          Daeva commented
          Editing a comment
          Because of the loss of self into creating a higher Other.
          edit: scrap that, this would still be part of the Life drive. Gray is wrong.
          Last edited by Daeva; 01-09-2020, 12:58 AM.

        • Daeva
          Daeva commented
          Editing a comment
          Another possible interpretation would be the 9 - 4/5 line. Attached unity, Life, versus the void, entropy, Death, the "hole" in the Enneagram.
          edit: But this only works on the very abstract level. No personality type can in actuality be representative of the Death drive as thought of by Freud. The personality, by definition, would fall under the Life drive, and this includes any and all instincts.
          Last edited by Daeva; 01-09-2020, 01:00 AM.

        #8
        In Freudian's model of the psyche, the instincts are found in the Id, with the practical ego bargaining between this Id drive towards pleasure, and the conscience and ego-ideal of the super-ego. If there is truth to lining up the Id, ego, and superego with the Enneagram types, then types 3, 7, and 8 would have pronounced displays of instinct, and types 1, 2, and 6 would be instinctually suppressed. Theoretically, this would make types 3, 7, and 8 easier to identify with their "instinctual stackings" than types 1, 2, and 6 if we assume that the stackings are, indeed, indicating instinct.

        It seems unwise to correlate types with these psychic agents, but it is not unreasonable to say that a type 1, for example, has a pronounced super-ego.

        One's Enneagram type is a full "psychic apparatus". It includes the in-born instincts with the development of the Id, the egoic defense mechanisms, and the super-egoic internalization of ideals and norms.

        In this sense it is true that while the Enneagram is not describing instinctual responses alone, instincts do make up the foundation of type. And I don't find any sense in separating instincts from type, just as separating defense mechanisms from type is nonsensical.
        Last edited by Daeva; 01-08-2020, 10:15 PM.
        Sleep on the Ceiling - Erosian Exile

        Comment


          #9
          All in all, there is a strongly disappointing LACK of information on instincts - be it in the Enneagram or from the psychology domain at large. I doubt that the biology domain will help either, but I'm getting desperate here.
          Sleep on the Ceiling - Erosian Exile

          Comment


          • Daeva
            Daeva commented
            Editing a comment
            No luck in biological instincts, sadly enough. This shit is filled with dead-ends. I'm this close to throwing out the instinct stacking theory and just proclaim that the instincts are inherent to the types and that's the end of it.

          #10
          Daeva

          I suspect the biological domain will be of a lot more help with actual instincts, in a primary sense. Instincts stem from biology, after all.

          Which lends itself back to the idea that there is something biological (probably genetic) in Enneagram, maybe like there would be in CT in order for there to be physical correlations in it. After all, why not...

          The way I'd see this playing out, Enneagram core would operate in the wider scope of the SO, SX or SP focus, would operate as part of the deeper instinct. Like nesting dolls.

          Comment


          • Daeva
            Daeva commented
            Editing a comment
            Sadly, biological instinct is largely focused on things such as breathing, the "flight- or flight" response, emotions such as fear and anger, hunger, thirst, asphyxiation, exhaustion, etc. You know, actual instinctive reactions.
            At best I can make clusters of instincts that are related to the "Sp, Sx, Soc," but this is working backwards from an empty premise.

          #11
          Here are two articles I found that might be relevant. This one is about Ichazo's model:

          https://oceanmoonshine9.wordpress.co...agram-arica-1/

          And this is Ichazo's descriptions:

          https://web.archive.org/web/20081220...position=74:38

          Comment


          • Daeva
            Daeva commented
            Editing a comment
            Love <3

          • Daeva
            Daeva commented
            Editing a comment
            "Ichazo seems to assert that each of these artifical “Egos” or false “I”‘s is present in everyone. People ordinarily cycle through all of these on a regular basis. However, one of these Egos becomes the primary fixation, the point from which we continually begin all our processes, giving the impression that this is our real “I”. But in reality, it is just an artifical Ego with which we have become primarily identified through early life circumstances.

            Furthermore, when we are in a disharmonious state– which is the habitual terrestrial condition of humanity in general — the three Egos of the three Centers begin to conflict with each other, leading to fragmentation, disorder and suffering.

            It should be noted that all of this is consistent with the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, where people in their habitual state are portrayed as operating with three Centers or “brains”– physical, emotional and intellectual– which are misused, undisciplined and in conflict with one another. Gurdjieff asserts that we have multiple “I”‘s with with we mistakenly identify ourselves, and that we cycle through all these on a regular basis. However, there is one aspect which comes to dominate our personality and this is called our “chief feature”. This leads to the formation of a “false personality”. Gurdjieff taught that “chief feature” arose from the Seven Deadly Sins, along with self-love and vanity."

          • Daeva
            Daeva commented
            Editing a comment
            "... primary fixation..." "... one aspect which comes to dominate our personality and this is called our “chief feature”."
            "The three Egos of the three Centers..." "...conflict with each other..."

            So, trifix is real and fundamental to the Enneagram model, and is based upon the three instinctual centers which correspond to the physical (gut), emotional (heart), and intellectual (head) centers.

          #12
          Originally posted by Animal View Post
          Here are two articles I found that might be relevant. This one is about Ichazo's model:

          https://oceanmoonshine9.wordpress.co...agram-arica-1/

          And this is Ichazo's descriptions:

          https://web.archive.org/web/20081220...position=74:38
          Going from this it appears that people have created the three instincts from the conservation instinct (SP), which is the head triad, the relational instinct (SO), which is the heart triad, and then randomly thrown in one of the poles, which is the sexual pole (SX). Also I really love the name conservation, and I think it's better than SP. So I guess the question is if the instincts each lead to the head, heart, and gut centers, why did they end up separated out? Daeva
          The day is done, and the darkness

          Falls from the wings of Night,

          As a feather is wafted downward

          From an eagle in his flight.


          I see the lights of the village

          Gleam through the rain and the mist,

          And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me

          That my soul cannot resist:


          A feeling of sadness and longing,

          That is not akin to pain,

          And resembles sorrow only

          As the mist resembles the rain.

          Comment


          • SpiritoftheGael
            SpiritoftheGael commented
            Editing a comment
            Daeva if you read the sexual pole description it's pretty clear that's become part of SX descriptions.

          • Daeva
            Daeva commented
            Editing a comment
            I've seen arguments where people even tried to connect the search for a higher meaning (as in the Spiritual pole) to Sx. There's something problematic going on with this.

          • SpiritoftheGael
            SpiritoftheGael commented
            Editing a comment
            Daeva 100% agreement. SX has been really muddled.

          #13
          Animal Daeva Just found this

          http://www.enneagram-monthly.com/subtypes.html

          This is pretty long, but here's a piece of it:


          Enneagram Monthly: Do you see the instinctual sub-types (or drives) as strategies of coping with life that are independent from the enneagram typology, or as inexorably linked to the nine types?
          When you speak of what makes us feel alive and say it’s the instincts (“How am I, Who am I with, and Where am I?”), are you talking about the same Self-Pres, Social, and Sexual instinctual drives?

          Oscar Ichazo: What is now misclassified as the instinctual “sub-types” or drives is another misinterpretation of the protoanalytical theory, which is based in the three fundamental instincts and the two drives or poles, and because we all have the three instincts and two drives that are actually functioning or, otherwise, we are dead or in an enormous psychic problem, promoting personality disorders and further on, psychosis, catatonia, or dementia, where the instinctual questions have been obliterated and the person has become incapacitated.
          The day is done, and the darkness

          Falls from the wings of Night,

          As a feather is wafted downward

          From an eagle in his flight.


          I see the lights of the village

          Gleam through the rain and the mist,

          And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me

          That my soul cannot resist:


          A feeling of sadness and longing,

          That is not akin to pain,

          And resembles sorrow only

          As the mist resembles the rain.

          Comment


          • SpiritoftheGael
            SpiritoftheGael commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah that'd be completely redundant I agree Animal and Daeva However, I do wonder if there is more going on because I am obviously very different from SP 9s or SO 9s.

          • Daeva
            Daeva commented
            Editing a comment
            "I understand that according to Oscar Ichazo, the mother is responsible if you become predominantly self-preserving, the father if you become social, and both parents if you become sexual."

            Such a Freudian way of thinking...

          • Daeva
            Daeva commented
            Editing a comment
            It seems that the contemporary reasoning does follow the "multiple Enneagrams layered on top of one another" rule. I will post it.

          #14
          This image shows what I mean when I say "multiple Enneagrams layered on top of one another."


          Image taken from "On The Nature of the Enneagram Subtypes," by Susan Rhodes.
          Sleep on the Ceiling - Erosian Exile

          Comment


          • BalalaikaBoy
            BalalaikaBoy commented
            Editing a comment
            (not directed at you) where is the "higher physical center?" I've noticed this bias both in MBTI groups (N snobs) and in Enneagram circles: the physical realm and the instincts are viewed condescendingly rather than as a necessary facet of the human experience (I noticed this immediately as an Se-seeking type, because that's precisely a lot of what I lack)

          #15
          Essentially, we could say that an "Sp 4" is a "Body center 4," except it is still Heart first. Dun dun DUUUUUN!


          Image and quote taken from "On The Nature of the Enneagram Subtypes," by Susan Rhodes.

          At the same time that each point belongs to a given center, each of these centers is paradoxically said to be within each of us (as shown in Figure 8). However, the center that’s home to our enneagram type tends to exert more influence than the other two centers. So if my type is Two, Three, or Four, for example, although I’m subject to the influence of all three centers, the heart center is likely to be more influential than the other two centers.
          Sleep on the Ceiling - Erosian Exile

          Comment


          • Animal
            Animal commented
            Editing a comment
            Confusing. I mean.. "body center four" seems right to me, for me. And I could see everyone else's instincts working with this too... it just 'feels' a certain way. But how can you be a body center heart center. . I guess you're still reading.

          • SpiritoftheGael
            SpiritoftheGael commented
            Editing a comment
            Animal it would explain why the sx 9s keep seeing themselves as 4ish etc, if they're a heart center 9. I don't know. Something to think about

          • Animal
            Animal commented
            Editing a comment
            We were just talking about it, it actually does work.
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