The Type Nine is called the Peacemaker, the self-effacing, easy going type. As a Type they are motivated to
create peace, to be a force of peace and reconciliation, to be someone who neutralizes conflict and ill-will. For
many they are a soothing balm, a force of deep kindness, able to put people at ease, and able to assist them in
disengaging from their determined conflictual position. Warmth, reassurance, and welcoming receptivity are their
hallmarks and their gifts. If you've ever had the pleasure of being with a healthy Nine, the sense that you are
deeply accepted is unmistakable and wonderful, a soothing balm to the soul, a quiet assurance that everything will
be okay, a deep “allowing” of whatever is going on within you. It is this gift that touches and heals people deeply,
and thus comes the Nine archetype of being the healer and comforter. Having a wicked bad day, find a Nine and at
their best, they will assist you in letting go of your suffering, allowing it to be, simply be, such that ego attachments
to it release, as does the suffering. Ahhhh.
My beloved Nine friends have a sweet and kind nature, and a kind of inner knowing that all will be well. And yet, as
with all types, they struggle with their own interior labyrinth of psychic issues. (Hey, how could anybody exist without
an interior labyrinth to traverse.) At their core is a fear of being fragmented and disconnected from everything, of
being cut-off from who and what they care about. Secondary fears, more conscious to the Type Nine, are of
losing their peaceful state of mind, of being in conflict, of being disturbed by life, of having their peaceful solitude
intruded upon. At the average levels, the Type Nine is inclined to escape into their interior, to what has been
identified as their Inner Sanctum, where they feel a sense of protection from the forces outside them, be it their
environment, conflicts with others, or from their own instincts. Nines are in the Instinctive Triad, and while the Eight
over-expresses their instinctive nature via assertiveness and intensity, and the One controls and tries to tame their
instinctive energy into idealistic compliance, the Nine blocks it, and disassociates from it. Practically speaking,
this means they retreat into their Inner Sanctum of imagination and can successfully disassociate from their anger,
and other instinctual energies which would provide them with drive, ambition, energy to assert themselves, and
passion to go after what they want. They can begin to adopt a self-image at the average levels that suggests that
they are unimportant and insignificant, that is, having no needs or wants. “No, in fact, your needs are what are
important. My needs? Well, they hardly exist. In fact, I forgot what they were. No, let me support you.” As a result of
abandoning themselves, they tend to compensate for this abandonment by idealizing those they emulate and wish
to be like. In the positive outlook group, they can see what is best and brightest in you, even when you're not
being very sweet. This, in a sense, can become a substitute for the Type Nine embodying who they are and what
they want. But at the average levels, the unconscious fear of being abandoned if they show themselves, their
presence, aliveness and their anger, has taken root and is in charge, such that disappearing into their introverted
shell becomes the safest maneuver available. By becoming secondary they can avoid being in conflict with others,
or angering them. Thus, a form of peace and quiet is created and contained. Like all of the withdrawn types (Four,
Five and Nine), their instinct is to go internal under stress. But also, as a withdrawn type they have the gift of
imagination, and this imagination, when healthy, can be put into the tremendous service of creativity, through
music, storytelling, writing, movie-making, etc.
Some wonderful Type Nines are Carl Jung, a storyteller of the unconscious; Walt Disney, a wonderful fantasy
storyteller; Garrison Keller, Joseph Campbell, Jim Henson, George Lucas. Each of these has contributed to great
myth making, storytelling, and mind-bending, imagination-soaring stories around peace and conflict (the Star Wars
series). Each one of these has found away to emerge from their Inner Sanctum and offer a gift to the world.
The Fixation of the Nine is called indolence, and the passion is disengagement. Indolence refers to a tendency
to not attend to and acknowledge what Type Nine personally needs to do for their self-growth, enhancement, self-
expression, or personal needs. Their attention goes elsewhere into what might be called self-forgetting, that is,
they disassociate from their own needs and thoughts particularly in how these apply to their personal expression.
The passion of disengagement means disengaging from reality, disappearing from the moment such that one
cannot feel one's instinctive energy, but instead, has unconsciously numbed it. At the average levels, what is
precious in the Nine begins to disappear, as they become more and more invisible and nondescript. However, in
their imagination zone they might be constructing a cathedral, or writing a wonderful song, and creating an inner
experience that makes it easier and more comfortable for them to leave the playing field of real life. This is, in fact,
exactly what the Nine doesn't want, but under the sway of their primary Fear, and a berating Super Ego message
that says “I'm good or okay if I'm at peace, and everyone around me is at peace,” it can feel like the only
alternative. With these marching orders in place, anything that might arose anger or upset in others or themselves
becomes a mine field to be tip-toed around. Better to act nice, pretend to be at peace, and zone out in the Inner
Sanctum, thus following the Nine's passion of disengagement, and Sloth in self-development. It’s as if the Nine is
saying, “I’m not really here. What just happened right in front of me has nothing to do with me. If I’m not really
here, nothing can disturb me, so don’t even try.”
But it doesn't have to go that way! The Enneagram of Spiritual transformation provides the key to unlocking this
habit of retreat such that the gifts and presence of the precious Nine enter the world and heal those she touches.
Then she lands on the hard court of life and the world rejoices!
1 See The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, pgs. 314-340, for a discussion of all aspects
of the Type Nine, i.e. Basic Fear, Desire, Superego Message..
2 See Understanding the Enneagram by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, pgs. 119-126, for a discussion of the
Psychic Structure of the Type Nine.
3 See The Wisdom of the Enneagram, pgs. 52-54, for a discussion of the Instintive Center Types.
4 From Personality Types by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, Appendix, p. 490, “Personality Type Nine: The
Peacemaker” describes the Levels of the Type Nine, and the “Inner Sanctum” at Level Four.
5 From The Wisdom of the Enneagram, pgs. 64-65, for discussion of the Positive Outlook Types.
6 From Personality Types by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, p. 353-355, which discusses the Type Nine’s descent
into Average Levels of being.
7 From Understanding the Enneagram, pgs. 60-62, for a discussion of the Passion, Virtue, Fixation, and Holy Idea
of the Type Nine.
8 See The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, pgs. 62-63 for a discussion on the dynamics
of the Withdrawn Types Four, Five, and Nine.
9 See The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, p. 353, for a description of the Superego
Message each Type is confronted with.
|Enneagram Center for Transformation and Change
South Portland, Maine 04106
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