The Enneagram Center for Transformation and Change
Oh boy, the Five. The Dear, iconoclastic, elfin prankster, Five. You've heard about the support group in
California called “The Wife's of Five's. It's the next best thing to being alone.” Ha. That's a good one. But
any good Five knows their need and hunger for space and non-intrusion, and please knock before you
enter, and watch out for Pete's sake, for the alligators swimming in the mote around my house. They will
eat you. In fact, you are looking like a juicy steak-burger and they are hungry.
The dear Five, the Intense, Cerebral Type, have a mind that is on fire with innovation, restless for
innovation, and thinking thoughts that few of dare to think. Case in point—Gary Larson, the out-of-this-
world cartoonist who's got a view on humanity that so sweetly captures our foolishness, our humanness,
our pure nuttiness. Suddenly, the animals seem like the smart ones and humans, very confused rodents.
And that's what Five does, she grabs your world paradigm and shakes it till it breaks, till the rugged
contours of your fixated thinking habits shatter, and suddenly you are gazing into a vast world with a new
set of eyes. And your delusion of certainty—poof! Gone! Very cool, these innovative rebels who
challenge us, and are determined as one wise person said, to shatter the comfortable truths we so lazily
and habitually rely on.
So the dear Five is known as the Investigator. Or maybe better put, an iconoclastic investigator. They
are a part of the Thinking Triad, which means that there is an imbalance in this Center such that the
Five's innate ability to access deep, quiet mind, where real guidance is found, has been disturbed. In its
place is a highly activated mind that is hungry and intense, burning with investigative zeal, capable of
deep focused attention on the object of their interest, willing to track an idea to its very roots, till every
stone has been upturned.
There are several individuals that capture the wonder of the Five. Enter Stephen Hawkins' mind and you
are flooded with brilliancy. Here is a man whose body is completely disabled but who's mind is filled with
galaxies. He has translated the vast invisibility of the world, the stuff of quarks and all else that identifies
the microscopic elements that activate our world, into real-time language. Enter his world and you are
mind-blown by the vast inner world he has made sense of and actually comprehended. His mind is a
vibrating kaleidoscope of deep and probing intelligence, inquiring, going for the source, looking for the
microscopic building blocks of matter. He is accompanied by Albert Einstein. And Bill Gates, who's
journey into the kingdom of microscopic technology has translated into a miraculous revolution in
communication such that with one click of the keyboard I can send messages across the four corners of
the world. And least we forget Stephen King, who's taken many into deep examination of fear (the Type
Five Nemesis) and anxiety (what every Thinking Center Type knows like the blood that runs through
their veins—never mind that in Stephen King's work those veins explode, and the most creepy entity
emerges with chattering teeth, to chew your egg-balls out. Welcome to the kingdom of Type Five fear
and anxiety. Now, don't look back because something might be trailing you!)
There are three Types in the Thinking Triad, the Five, Six and Seven. With the Thinking Center blocked
or distorted, and access to quiet mind diminished thus cutting them off from a direct connection with their
Inner Guidance and Support, left in its wake is anxiety and fear. Questions arise: Who can I trust? What
can I trust inside myself? How can I gain support and guidance? Thus, the Thinking Center Types
struggle with anxiety and fear. Each one develops a particular way of compensating for loss of
connection with inner guidance.
The basic fear that drives the Type Five is that of feeling useless, helpless and incapable, unable to
muster support and strength to be in the world. In compensation for this fear they are driven to gain
mastery and competency in some domain, often in one that no one else occupies. Being a withdrawn
Type (like their friends the Four and Nine) they go internal when their basic fear arises, into what has
been called then “Inner Tinker Toy.” In the inner universe of their vast and sweeping mind, they go to
work arranging and creating worlds, and studying microcosms within microcosms, probing and examining
the depth and width of whatever it might be, nano-technology, the mating patterns of quarks (justs
kidding), the deep dimensions of potential fear and anxiety (Stephen King), or the inner archeology of
the soul and how to precisely travel inward and awaken it (A.H. Almass). In essence, they can be
masters at making what was invisible, visible.
At the healthy levels, as the Five deals consciously with their fear, they are capable of producing
sweeping works of brilliance, but as they enter the Average levels, a basic dysfunction of their Type
begins to emerge. They get lost in the vast machinations of their inner kingdom-building and begin to
disengage from the world and real life. As their unconscious fear of being useless, incapable, and
helpless in the world strengthens, they descend into isolation, mesmerized by their thinking and theory
building, while more and more minimizing their basic needs for food, shelter, friends. A sort of scorched
earth approach arises. Hey, I've got my books, what more could I possibly need.
Like all withdrawn Types, they struggle with activating their Instinctual Center, where action, energy and
drive to enter the world and impact it, lies. As they descend down the levels, access to this important life-
enhancing, life-engaging center disappears, and they literally disembody. No body, no mind, just
thoughts. Feeling more and more disconnected from life, their fear shifts to deep paranoia and
cynicism, and they in turn begin to chew on more and more bizarre and outlandish thoughts. Like the
descending Five, they enter the kingdom of the Exiled. This is fueled by the fixation of the Five,
stinginess. By stinginess is meant that the Five, as their fixated personality habits take over, becomes
less and less willing to engage life, to share their gifts with life, to contact humanity, but instead hole up
in the tower of their thinking mind. Here, they fearfully and compulsively amass more and more
information and retract from contact with life. Because they are sinking more and more into the fear of
being useless and incapable, and shrinking smaller and smaller, they feel that there is not enough of
them to go around, and any sharing of who or what they know could drain them completely. The only
food for their psyche is more knowledge, and more privacy. This addictive retreat is fueled by their
passion of avarice. In their primary reaction to feeling as though they are rejected by life (like the Two
and Eight) they assume a strategy that rationalizes detaching from life (I'm not really a part of this world,
I'm just observing). And feeling rejected by life, they believe that they better make due with as little as
necessary, because there is no one they can count or rely on, least of all themselves.
Caught on the treadmill of their fixation and passion, Fives can wander lost in the castle of their intense,
thinking minds, avoiding contact with life, and with their very souls. The Enneagram provides the
doorway and the key to reorienting them in the direction of their essence, wherein they arrive and
engage the world with their wonderful gifts of intelligence.
 From Riso & Hudson Part 1 Training Manuel, p. 288, Personality Type Five, which describes the Type Five
attributes, etc. All Rights Reserved Copyright 2001 The Enneagram Institute.
2 From the Enneagram Institute’s website,How the Enneagram System Works, “The Triads.” All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2001 The Enneagram Institute.
3 From the Enneagram Institute’s website,How the Enneagram System Works, “The Triads.” All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2001 The Enneagram Institute.
4 From Riso & Hudson Part 1 Training Manuel, p. 288, Personality Type Five, which describes the Type Five
Basic Fear, Desire, etc. All Rights Reserved Copyright 2001 The Enneagram Institute.
5 From Riso & Hudson Part 1 Training Manuel, p. 288, Personality Type Five, which describes the Type Five
Group attributes: Thinking, Withdrawn, Competency, etc. All Rights Reserved Copyright 2001 The Enneagram
6 From the Enneagram Institute’s website, from How the Enneagram System Works, “Levels of Development.” All
Rights Reserved Copyright 2001 The Enneagram Institute.
7 From the Enneagram Institute’s website,How the Enneagram System Works, “The Triads.” All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2001 The Enneagram Institute.
8 From Riso & Hudson Part 1 Training Manuel, p. 288, Personality Type Five, which describes the Type Five
Fixation of stinginess. All Rights Reserved Copyright 2001 The Enneagram Institute.
9 From Riso & Hudson Part 1 Training Manuel, p. 288, Personality Type Five, which describes the Type Five
Passion of Avarice. All Rights Reserved Copyright 2001 The Enneagram Institute.
|Enneagram Center for Transformation and Change
South Portland, Maine 04106
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The Enneagram Center for Transformation and Change. All rights reserved.
*Information on each of the nine Riso-Hudson type names and related Enneagram concepts are from the
Enneagram Institute © Copyright 1998-2011. All rights reserved. Used with Permission. Please see our relevant
Dedication. For the Very Best information available on the Enneagram go to www.enneagraminstitute.com