Thursday, July 9, 2009

Energies of the Enneagram Heart Triad

Two, Three, and Four make up the heart center triad. The emotion that fuels their drives is grief. Other Enneagram authors also refer to this triad as the “image” triad, due to these three types’ concern with how others perceive them. Grief or sadness ensues when each feels s/he has substituted an image as full or partial replacement for a loss of self.

Type Two
Triad: Heart
Emotion: Grief - Externalized
Drive: Pride
Energy: Aggressive Affection

Point Two is the externalized version of grief. S/he feels others feelings, empathizes with their pain, and works to meet their needs and heal them. A Two has an image of himself as the Giver and caretaker; the one without needs who can intuit and meet the needs of others. The “charge” of the emotional battery is externalized to others by the Two, so s/he doesn’t need to feel her own. Of course the downside of this occurs when the Two’s battery is discharged until it is empty.

The drive for Two is Pride. The Two tells a story of feeling her energy coming out from the middle of her chest to another with whom she desires connection. She divines through her emotional center what the significant person needs. Unfortunately, because her life force is externalized and probing others, she is out of touch with herself. Her pride shows itself in that she believes she knows not only another’s needs, but how to meet those needs. Another aspect of pride is reflected in Two’s belief that she herself does not have needs.

Those of us who attract the Two’s focused attention feel the intensity of being the center of the Two’s universe. Our intrinsic value is verified by the Two. The energy feels like a warm, aggressive force field coming from the Two’s heart toward us, enfolding us. This can feel wonderful or intrusive.

When a Two is overwhelmed or frenetically giving, s/he can fall victim to a swirling chaos of emotions or ‘hysteria’. Although this energy is like an emotional whirlwind, it is important for us to stay present and solid when hysteria erupts. Twos already fear that we will abandon them - if we stay steady, offer focused clarity, and do not leave the room, the Two will profoundly appreciate this. And we will avoid getting caught up in the maelstrom of ‘hysteria’.

Type Four
Triad: Heart
Emotion: Grief - Internalized
Drive: Envy
Energy: Dramatic Pull

Four represents the internalized version of grief in the Heart triad. Fours tell a tale of loss and longing for a pivotal missing piece that is central to their feeling whole and complete. Rather than externalize grief like the Two (others need help, I don’t), the Four internalizes and focuses on her sadness. In fact, the Four may amplify or intensify the sadness in order to explore it deeply. An image that reveals Four’s uniqueness or defectiveness in others eyes, serves to enhance and continue the feeling of loss that no one else can understand. The emotional charge of grief is found in the Four’s rich inner life of bittersweet longing.

Envy grows out of this grief and becomes the Four’s drive. Not only is the Four missing some elemental piece that would make life complete, but it is clear that others have it. The Four longs for the completeness, the love, that others have. If she fixates attention on a person (or job, place, whatever) that she feels will complete her, she feels the tug of her heartstrings toward the desired.

The rest of the the Enneagram Points feel the Four’s heart as if it were pulling at them. Four does not want to leave her rich inner world, but rather to bring the other to them to join and make her finally complete. Energetically, there can be a magnetic pull toward the Four’s depth. Even their energy seems “special,” somehow different. The difference pulls seductively.

The Four’s energy pulls at the desired. As it comes closer to being realized, the Four may find flaws and push it away. So energy can pull - and then push away. As the desired person or object recedes into the distance, it may become desired again, and the Four pulls it back toward her. It may be confusing to the desired person to experience this push-pull energetic.

The Four wishes to be met emotionally. Remember your own boundaries and cultivate clarity when you meet a Four’s intensity. This will make it possible to honor the realm in which they live, without feeling pulled into the vortex of emotion. Listen and stay present with the Four, work on understanding rather than helping or changing them. Constancy and steadiness will help you deal with the push-pull energy.

Type Three
Triad: Heart
Emotion: Grief - Forgotten
Drive: Deceit
Energy: Charismatic Producer

Three is the member of the heart triad, who simply “forgot” their grief. Threes are busy, optimistic people. The emotional charge of grief is set aside while enormous amounts of energy are channeled into doing and presenting a successful image to others. The Three can appear very driven or workaholic. They are prodigious producers. Grief is an emptiness that the Three can avoid by continuing to juggle multiple tasks, projects,, or adjusting his image to be seen as successful.

The Three’s habit of deceit is mainly self-deceit, in that he deceives himself into believing that he is the image that he projects. “I am what I do” or “I am my image” displaces authentic desires and preoccupations. Three tricks himself into believing that he is whatever will gain him success in others’ eyes. On a deeper level, the Three believes that there is no authentic self underneath the image, so he’d better keep dazzling you with his successful performance. Otherwise you could see that there is nothing but smoke and mirrors covering an empty hole.

Swirling like smoke and brilliant like mirrors, the Three’s energy is captivating. It is moving and shaking, inspiring energy. We listen with bated breath, suspending our own disbelief, when the Three comes toward us from his heart, simultaneously divining and making the subtle image shifts that will gain our love. A Five described a famous Three politician “I saw him speak and I was so uplifted and inspired, I would have followed him anywhere. Later, I tried to recall what he said, and I couldn’t come up with a single concrete position. And I consider myself a critical thinker.”

Be attentive to substance as well as performance. Cultivate awareness of your own center when confronted with the charisma of the Three. Do not directly confront or embarrass a Three by declaring the Emperor has no clothes. Honor a Three for who s/he is rather than the performance.

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