Heart types, head types and body types

The Enneagram is divided into three sectors: The gut types (body types), the head types (fear types) and the heart types (emotional types). The names are somewhat confusing, but the distinction can be used in a number of ways if you want to deepen your understanding of the types.

Enough said here that there is a difference as to the underlying emotional atmosphere pervades the type. In the body types (8, 9, 1) it is anger, in the heart types (2, 3, 4) it is sadness and in the head types (5, 6. 7) it is fear.

In this context we would like to add that when it comes to the experience of waking up to our true nature there is a difference between the three centers as to how this is experienced and what the leap of faith is about.

If you are a thinker, a head type, you need to let go of your identification with thoughts and ideas. The security you look for, but will never find, in them will not substitute for the freedom that letting them go will bring you. True security comes when you give up leaning on ideas and theories. They are just like all play of form, fleeting and subject to change. And when you give them up you will find that what you are IS security. You can lean on the infinite, unlimited wisdom that you are. There is nothing to learn, nothing to figure out.

The experience of awakening in a head type (five, six and seven) is about your mind, or the upper chakra if you will, becoming empty in the sense of expansive, all inclusive and limitless. All form plays out there and that is the way consciousness, or being, is experienced in the earthly expression of a head type.

If you are a heart type, whose focus is in the heart, the middle chakra if you will, you need to let go of your identification with emotions and relationships. They will not bring you love. Emotion and relationship are also just the play of form. They are not more important or apt to bring you the fulfillment you long for. Reconnection with yourself will, allowing your emotions to flow freely and your heart to expand, will. For you ARE that love you are looking for in the world of form, in emotion and in relationship.

The experience of awakening in a heart type, then is about your heart becoming empty in the sense of spacious, all inclusive and limitless. You will experience it as containing everything, as the space where everything plays out.

If you are a body type, or a visceral type, focused in the hara (ki, or chi), and the ground chakra, you need to let your body go. If you truly trust your body you can allow it to express itself freely and in that way being will flow through you and the experience of awakening will be one of the body being limitless, all inclusive and able to hold and contain absolutely everything.

For that to happen you need to let go of your very identification with the body. Its sensations and expressions are not you, not personal. You need not control it for fear that you will cause harm if that control is lost. Anger and excitement are just natural part of the unfolding of life, and when you trust your body you ARE that safe ground for all of life.

Passive types, adaptive types and Go getters

In modern presentations of the Enneagram we often speak of three groups being “Passive types”, “Go getter types”, and “Adaptive types”. This may be interesting, helps you understand others and also makes it easier to determine your type, or someone elses.

Go getter types (Threes, sevens and eights) are more energetic and strong willed than the others. The go for what they want. There is an experience of active force and forward movement in a go getter, not present in other types. Note, however, that a depressed go-getter, may become very passive. His has to do with the movement towards the stress point.

Passive types (fours, fives and nines) are more withdrawn and less prone to go for what they want. The adaptive types (ones, twos and sixes) are acutely aware of the environment, and the needs, wants and wishes of others and tend to adapt in a way that sometimes makes them neglect their own preferences. Adaptive types are more passive than passive types in their physical demeanor. The passive types are passive in the sense that they have difficulties going for what they want in their own lives, but may be very fast and efficient in other areas.

The three tendencies are in themselves strengths (the capacity to act energetically on your own vision, the capacity to be receptive and still and the capacity to be sensitive to the needs of the whole field, not just your own, respectively). Each of us will benefit from both acceptance of our own tendency and that of others, and by balancing our tendency so that we can be flexible and respond in a vide range of manners. We can all learn by integrating other styles.

There are many other ways of dividing the types into groups, but we find these to be the most interesting and useful.