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Monday, 2.13.06: Enneagrams

We had company on Saturday -- our old friend Merlin, who we'd lost touch with, and his new girlfriend.

One of the topics we got onto was enneagrams. It's a system of personality typing that arose out of Islamic traditions in the Indus Valley. Merlin teaches a course in it. He'd given Jim a book about it years ago, but now I can't find it, so I looked it up on the web.

At a glance, I think I'm Type 5 - the Investigator:

The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

* Basic Fear: Being useless, helpless, or incapable
* Basic Desire: To be capable and competent

That would explain my endless hours battling with the Illustrator pen tool or losing myself in old census reports.

The web page goes on to say that at my best I can be innovative and visionary. At my worst I could be one of those strange schizoid types -- an eccentric and nihilistic recluse. That covers a lot of territory.

Personality typing is fun -- a conversation starter, a way for people to open a dialogue about how we are alike and how we are different. Good when they give us avenues to explore. Bad when they create a new box for us to live in.




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