The Type Nine – The Peacemaker
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, and 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 level that suggests that they are unimportant and insignificant, that is, having no needs or wants. “No, in fact, your needs are what is 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 internally 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 a way to emerge from its 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, 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 arouse 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!