When most people think of "the Enneagram" what they usually are
referencing is the Enneagram of the personality, but there are actually
many enneagrams based on the schema of a 9 pointed star.

 

     Here I'd like to explore two Enneagrams that I think are quite usefully
evocative for anybody engaged in inner work. These two Enneagrams
are the Enneagram of avoidances and deficiencies, and the Enneagram
of self-idealizations.

     And I hope that by the end of my introduction to these two Enneagrams
you will have some understanding of how the two relate to you, and to the
people in your life you are wishing to better understand. I also hope that you
will understand how these two Enneagrams relate to each other, and why
thus, it's a good idea to teach them as a linked set.

     If you already know your enneatype, when you look at these diagrams
it may be easier in some way to connect with the Enneagram of the
self-idealizations, and to see how the self-idealization described there might
be true for you. The self-idealization seems more on the surface, it's the
presentation of the self we often lead with. But the Enneagram of the
avoidances and deficiencies is reflective of a deeper, often more defended
layer in the personality-and so, may be a little opaque in some way, may
contain some nuances that aren't readily apparent.

     Our particular self-idealization is actually part of what keeps the
avoidance a little opaque, a little invisible to us-as well as to other people.
(And in this the avoidances are cognate with Pluto/Hades, the Greek god
of death, who is also invisible-but more about Pluto later).

     The self-idealizations of all the types could be seen as a kind of defense,
one that protects us from having to experience what we are avoiding, and
it can also keep us clueless or disoriented in some way to where our inner
work may need to go, to what has not yet been grappled with and
integrated.

     And maybe we can gain an easy view into this by using type Seven
as our example. For if you believe in your self-idealization of "I'm OK,"
this can serve as a denial toward anything in your depths that might be a
little disturbing. You yourself might even believe that you really have nothing
more to work on. And so the self-idealization here can deflect you from
dealing with the pain in your life. It might lead to a defensive reaction
should somebody suggest ways in which you are not OK, as if this were a
narcissistic insult. If you're a Seven you could get a bit blustery here for
someone who is so allegedly "OK."

     And so, by using Seven as our example, we begin to see the
inter-relationship between these two Enneagrams.
The self-idealization
(I'm OK) serves as a "cover" that veils the underlying avoidance (pain).
And it works this way for all of the personality styles. If you're an Eight
and self-idealize around being strong, you're less apt to acknowledge--let
alone work with-- areas that evoke your "weakness." And for all the
enneatypes, the experience that is being avoided seems especially shameful
to that particular type.

     So these two Enneagrams can help shed some light on the interesting
tensions in the personality, as is the case with the Jungian schema of the
four functions of consciousness (intuition, sensation, thinking, feeling) where
Marie Louise von Franz says that the really interesting tension in a person's
life is between their strongest function and their weakest. And here von
Franz says an interesting thing. She says the weakest function, the one that
people tend to avoid, is where one's demons come in-but also one's angels.

     And I will develop a like notion later, of both a "demonic" as well as
an "angelic" quality, when I look at the Enneagram of avoidances in the
light of the Greek god Pluto. For among other things, Pluto has to do with
what we are avoiding, has to do with all that scares us, and thus with what
we want to eliminate, all that we would rather disown, or disavow from
the self.

     At the same time, Pluto is a transpersonal god who possesses a "depth
perspective." He thus has not only a destructive nuance that we tend to fear,
but a deconstructive nuance associated with deepest wisdom. For as the lord
of death and impermanence, his deconstructive power is such that he can
also destroy
the cognitive and emotional obscurations that otherwise veil
the deeper truth.

     In this way Pluto--and impermanence itself--both have a helpful nuance
in addition to the one that might lead us to shake in our boots. For if our
neuroses and illusions weren't also subject to impermanence, there'd be no
possibility for us to develop, or to know a greater clarity and freedom. And
so, for anybody doing deep inner work, Pluto is an inestimable ally.

     This "god" is not a literal god--none of them are. He's metaphoric-as are
the movements of the soul that he evokes and oversees. And without
metaphorically dying to who we have taken ourselves to be, there is no
"second birth" into a more essential form. The butterfly of the soul remains
encased in some form of larval shell.

 

     Till now I have been suggesting that our self-idealization is part of our
larval "shell," in that it covers our avoidance. But our avoidance too is a
veil-and both of them cover the still deeper lying essential nature. Yet if
the avoidance alone seems to share a Plutonic tinge, perhaps it's because it
lies deeper, closer to Pluto-and in fact, as I will later suggest, the avoidance
thus might be used as a portal or gateway, a via regia into essence itself.

 

                                                     *

     Without impermanence there is no capacity for change, for things to
evolve. Even a language requires impermanence and change in order to
remain alive.

     And like a living language that evolves, constantly incorporating new
words and concepts from other languages and other metaphoric systems,
the Enneagram too seems to be alive, a living system --like a river that is
constantly receiving infusions from other tributaries, all of which keep it a
matrix for fresh, continually arising perceptions.

     And I hope that my adding mythopoetic amplifications to the enneagram
will prove helpful, and give us a wider metaphoric palette, a palette that can
reflect the soul more richly. So at times I will continue to draw upon
mythopoetic imagery--but for now, let us return to something I was exploring
a few paragraphs ago.

     The two Enneagrams we've begun exploring here can not only can shed
some light on our "psychological tensions," but they also suggest a line of
work that can help to deconstruct that which we may have taken ourselves
to be-a divided self with walls up toward certain aspects of our own experience.
And through this deconstruction, a larger, less divided perspective might
come to prevail.

     But in order to get to that larger or more spacious structure, at some
point we have to throw our self-idealization to the frogs-as well as our
avoidance.
For both can keep us confined within the ego, and serve as a
defense against working with the material that might take us deeper and
connect us to our "angels."

     The failure to have more insight into both our avoidances and our self
idealizations can keep us self-absorbed in some way, or living along a familiar
trajectory in which a greater depth that is actually available to us is still being
obscured.

     And so a Seven who continues to live from the idealization of "I'm OK,"
may not even know what his deeper problems are-let alone manage to
resolve them. The Seven's emphasis on being OK can also preclude him
from entering a deeper ontological level where his "being OK" really is true.
It can be a defense against his pain, and keep him from seeing into the
pleasure-seeking, gluttony, or over-scheduling through which he has tried to
self-medicate or avoid it.

 

     Neurosis has its own trajectory, its own momentum, its own logos, its
own view of the self.
And we can see this in all the types. In fact, that is part
of what I am attempting to evoke here.

     But with the Sevens, the attempt to avoid pain becomes part of the ego's
plan to launch itself into a more ideal future. This not only obscures the
Seven's awareness from a deeper momentum that is already unfolding-a
"Holy Plan" (a momentum not launched by the ego)--but the avoidance of
pain also tends to short-circuit the development of a greater compassion for
the self, as well as a greater self-acceptance.

     And with an underdeveloped compassion or self-acceptance, and an
obscured perception of the flow of reality as it is already unfolding, the Seven
is then often left with little recourse but that of continuing to try to live up to
an ideal-- of being a person who is care-free and without pain.

     This care-free person can be, of course, a somewhat fictional self-as can
the "self-hood" of all the types to the extent we are still identifying with our
self-idealization. Anytime we objectify ourselves as being a certain way, some
part of ourselves is being left out of the equation. And the parts that are left
out are apt to be the very parts we need greater access to in order to deepen.

     Here the avoidance serves to block that deeper movement into a more
inclusive experience of self. And the Seven's attempt to live as if he were this
fictional ideal precludes him from developing a greater capacity to embrace
himself-and life-as both exist, not in some idealized future, but in the here
and now.

     A Two who self-idealizes around being helpful to others may be blind to
her own neediness, and to a weakness when it comes to being helpful toward
her real self, and the real needs of that self. Her idealization of being helpful
can keep her from having a deeper relationship to herself-and thus, ironically,
even to the other people that she might be "helpful" toward. For her
self-idealization can exile her from a deeper intimacy with her life that is not
being dictated to by "the approval system," and the ways she has learned to
garner validation and support from others-through helpfulness.

     So I am saying that there's a depth in a Two--as well as a greater capacity
for becoming differentiated-that often gets lost in the shuffle due to trying to
live up to a shining image, that of a helpful self who is beyond having needs.
And her denial, avoidance, or failure to acknowledge her own needs often
leads a Two to be indirect --or manipulative-- where her needs are concerned.

     But it is not just the Twos for whom something important becomes lost
in the shuffle in trying to live as if we were the self-idealization. An impairment
of the ability to differentiate oneself from the self-idealization tends to be the
case for all the personality styles, and to the extent we stay identified with the
self-idealization, some deeper truth about ourselves-and about what's real--
is being left out of the equation. And this is why a familiarity with the
Enneagram of self-idealizations-as well as its cognate Enneagram, the
Enneagram of avoidances-- can be such valuable tools.

     When Nines stay in their comfort zone there's no growth in that. It can
be a way of staying oblivious, of not paying attention to self, a way of numbing
out and avoiding their conflicts--perhaps about love. These are different ways
of staying "undifferentiated," ways of merging with the environment, often in a
chameleon-like way.

     The idealization of being comfortable or harmonious can often keep the
Nines heedless to what's going on in them at a deeper level--a level they've
turned a deaf ear to, in order not to lose the harmonious connection with
others. In these ways this "comfort" and its apparent "harmony" can be a little
suspect. For the Nine's avoidance of their inner conflicts can contribute to a
numbing inertia, that unique form of "idiot's momentum" often followed by
Nines.

 

     A Six's idealization around being loyal seems in part to arise out of a lack
of basic trust, a trust in the Universe. And though loyalty to others is the
self-idealization here, a Six's fear can prevent him from being more loyal to
himself, and from trusting more his own instincts, his own strength and
autonomy, his own "gut reaction."

     But to the extent that the Six has often disowned his own gut reaction,
and in particular his own aggression-which he's often unconscious of-- the
aggression becomes projected outside of the self, thus creating the psychology
of paranoia. In this atmosphere it becomes hard to relax, hard to trust, and
thus harder for one's own inner sense of authority to arise.

     This can leave the Six feeling like he's living in Baboon Land, without
any fangs and claws of his own-or else become counter-phobic, and quite
aggressive himself. But in either case, the fear remains, that were he to go
with how he is-and to trust in that, that he might be seen as a deviant, as
being delinquent in some way.

     The Six's fear of deviance evokes an early object, and the agreement or
compliance that early object required. Now that sense of agreement weighs
down upon the Six like the fist of authority-for the failure to be loyal to it
might lead to ostracism, and the increased risk of attack.

 

     A Four trying to present the impression of this sensitive, exotic, and
authentic creature may have, unknowingly, become generic in some way.
Her avoidance of her simple sadness, her feeling lost, despairing, alone --may
actually keep her sadness always there in an untransformed form, ever just
beneath the surface. In the process she may be rejecting the very thing that
could be the gateway to a more genuine authenticity, where what is truly
unique about herself is finally discovered within her own experience-versus
her frustrating penchant of longing for what seems to have value "out there."

 

     A Five who overvalues being knowledgeable, or who clings to what he
already "knows"-or his way of knowing it-can remain self-absorbed in his
own cognitions, further isolating him from others, as well as from his own
deeper, non-conceptual being.

     This applies whether the Five's "knowledge" consists of some arcane,
ivory tower knowledge in which he's already an expert, or at the least, knows
more already than any of the rest of us would care to know--or whether
it's staying self-absorbed in what he already knows about himself.

     His "hoarding" of knowledge can keep him up in his head, where it feels
safer than bringing the rest of his soul more fully out into the world. In this
way it continues the trajectory of the Five's form of "idiot's momentum," this
fear-based penchant for withdrawing, contracting, and holding some part of
himself back.

     Rather than expose himself to the prospect of a crushing rejection by the
environment, the Five rejects the environment first--by holding a part of himself
back. But this only further perpetuates the Five's sense of alienation, like he's a
lone wolf living at the edge of humanity. In this way the five has continued to
live with a fixed image of the outer world that was actually formed early in life,
a world he "knows" would only be intrusive. Life is often not given the
opportunity to receive him or infuse him differently than the coercive way
that he's already expecting.

     Often, what the Five is really hoarding and holding onto is his sense of self.
And he does this because the underlying fear is that nothing would remain, that
he might fall into a devastating emptiness, where nothing of the self is retained.
And what is ironic here, is that the over-emphasis on what the Five "knows"
can actually preclude a different and deeper kind of knowing from being available
to him, a knowing that is not being controlled by the cognitive, and supposedly
rational mind.

     The Five's defensive orientation keeps him living inside a box. It cuts him
off from a way of knowing, a mode of perception that is innate, and that might
arise from his essence vs. a knowledge that has been acquired in the past--now
become a relic claimed or hoarded by the conceptual mind.

     But the unseen irony here is that the hoarding of "knowledge" and its
employment to protect against a feared, underlying emptiness is the very thing
that precludes a spontaneous wisdom from arising in his mind. For this wisdom,
this more transcendental way of knowing, is in a sense married to emptiness-the
very thing the Five is attempting to avoid. For this deeper kind of knowing only
arises in an empty, vastly spacious mind, a mind that isn't clinging to anything-not
to artifacts of "knowledge" or the self that might possess them.

 

     In his richly nuanced book, Character and Neurosis, Claudio Naranjo writes
that enneatype Eight "strives through excessive assertiveness and aggression to
avoid a position of 'feminine' powerlessness-a powerlessness that would involve
submission to societal constraints and resignation in regards to his own impulses."

     Here, unlike other characters, what is being repressed (in a sense) is not the
Freudian id but the superego, a repression not of the instinctual side of conflict,
but of that which would oppose the instinctual.

     But the Eight's excessive assertiveness-the sense of needing to prevail in a
dangerous world that cannot be trusted, as well as the aversion to anything
smacking of weakness or vulnerability, often leaves the Eight with a lack of
sensitivity.

     The lack of sensitivity here can actually lead to a lack of aliveness (though
this is often hidden from the Eight), a lack of aliveness that then gives rise to a
compensatory lust for sensate intensity (whether through sex, drugs, or other
means) so that one can feel at least a semblance of aliveness. And the need to
remain in a position of strength, a position of power-his aversion to anything that
might feel weak or vulnerable-- can not only dull the sensitivity of the Eight, but
render him incapable of receiving. And as Naranjo reminds us, "being can only
be known in a receptive manner."

     Enneatype Ones who self-idealize around being "right," may descend into
righteousness, and righteous indignation if they can not accept the anger and the
"deficiency in rightness" often surrounding their need for perfection. For the
quest for perfection is the attempt to defend from how flawed and inferior Ones
often feel deep inside, a sense of flaw they don't want others to see, and may even
keep hidden from themselves.

     To the extent Ones are trying to be perfect, and give the appearance of being
"right," there is thus very little acceptance for how they actually are. The rejection
of how they actually are breeds a frustration that in turn builds into a resentment
within the self. But since it's not "perfect," or doesn't feel acceptable to feel this
way, the resentment and anger here needs to be disowned, or turned into righteous
indignation at the failing(s) to be perfect of others.

     Now the deficiency in rightness is not only being disowned, but becomes
projected onto others, as does the resentment. This whole pattern does not -shall we
say-give rise to serenity, either in the relationship they have with themselves, nor in
their relationships with others, where fault is continually being found.

 

     The Three's idealization of being successful can be not only exhausting to
maintain, but often perpetuates a form of self-deception --by which the Three has
grown disoriented to who they really are.

     For the Three's attempt to appear "successful" has involved a kind of
shape-shifting --by which the Three has attempted to transform themselves-not
necessarily in an essential way, but more often, into the ideal image they would
want others to see. It's as if Threes possess an uncanny ability to intuit what
other people would like them to be-and then they become that, with the
resulting loss of a deeper self-hood.

     Perhaps more so than with any of the other types, the orientation here of (an
unprocessed) Three tends to be less about being themselves, and more about the
presentation
of the self. Sometimes you can even see this in the facial bones of a
three, especially around the cheeks, as if the face is coming forward, presenting
itself for the eyes of others.

     And so the persona of the Three can be quite polished-so much so that other
people often feel that their own self-presentation is a bit shabby when compared to
any Three in the vicinity. For the Three often has a successful career, if not the
trophy spouse, house, and car as well-all the accoutrements of a successful persona.
But regardless of this well-constructed persona they present, something inside a
Three can feel a little vacant or under-developed, if not a little young, bewildered,
and scared. For often they've become so proficient at marketing whatever the
currently prevailing ideal image would be, that they've come to believe it themselves,
with the result being an underlying existential void.

     Unconsciously, Threes can wind up living as the servants of this polished,
tricked-out persona, this successful image that can keep them not only exhausted,
but disoriented and self-deceived when it comes to their own deeper being-a deeper
being which may be continually shunted aside, if not totally sacrificed at the altar
of the successful image that it is so exhausting to maintain.

     And all of this might be seen as a giant cover-up, a brilliantly conceived
marketing plan--in other words, a defense against the underlying fear of not being
valued or recognized-of being a "failure" in this way. So it's not just that a Three
can be "Type A," or "driven" toward excellence or success. For the momentum
they're following is at least equally driven by their fear of appearing to be a failure
(as if early in life they once felt they were not what was wanted). That's where the
shame is. That's what they're avoiding--and what their inner work often needs to
address.

                                                     *

     As you may already have begun to sense, starting to work with the material
evoked by these two Enneagrams is humbling, like an insult to the ego. And it can
also be scary. But it can also be liberating.

     When I say it can be humbling, it's because our work here can begin to show
us ways we have been unbelievably blind, even if we've been working on ourselves
a long time.

     When I say it can be scary to work with this material, it's because in dealing
with our avoidances, on an archetypal level we have drawn closer to the underworld,
the precincts of Pluto-and to a metaphoric death.

     As I've elsewhere suggested, Pluto actually embodies a number of nuances, and
is the ruler of different kinds of psychic territory besides only death. He is also that
which rules the genitals, and so has to do with penetrating or being penetrated. And
he also rules the processes of elimination. So Pluto is found in our "shit," in the parts
of ourselves that seem to have no value, in the parts of ourselves that we want to get
rid of, excrete, or eliminate.

     Anything that we might want to excrete, or ejaculate is ruled by Pluto, anything
that we might want to thrust outside us, anything that we might want to avoid,
disavow, or disown. And as the god of death he is also the lynch pin standing beneath
everything we fear, all that might scare us, anything that might seem overwhelming
for us to stay present for.

     So when we are dealing with our avoidances, Pluto in some way is being
constellated. When we are dealing with Plutonic material, we are dealing with our
deepest fears. These may be fears that have a sexual overtone. Or they may be fears
of anything that threatens our prevailing sense of self, our fear of being annihilated
as the self we have known. And all of this can be evoked in us when we begin to deal
with the things that we have characteristically tended to avoid.

     The presence of Pluto ups the energy that is encountered in dealing with this
material. It becomes potentially explosive, like enriched Plutonium. And though this
material can feel a little explosive, it also makes possible a new and transformative
possibility that can be channeled toward a good end.

     The Plutonic nature here suggests depth, as well as intensity. The wounds we
encounter surrounding our avoidances are often the deepest wounds in the soul-and
this gives the issues we have here a greater intensity. And so for a Seven the
experience that has a Plutonic tinge, the thing they would avoid-their pain-is not
regarded in a normal way, as a normal part of doing business with life.

     It's more terrifying than that. For a Seven to encounter their pain can have
an aura of hugeness, an aura of annihilation, as if allowing their pain might destroy
them, might blast them to smithereens. And so for a Seven to enter into a direct
relationship with their pain can feel like they are entering a kind of death space, a
death space where there seems an uncertainty if anything of the self might survive
this encounter.

     And so, in working with Sevens I have noted that they will often not only move
away from their pain, but may actually dissociate, may actually leave their bodies, or
psychically leave the room as the pain begins to break through the wall they have
put up against it. Here the Seven spaces out, goes blank, as the proximity to "Death"
approaches--much like a small rodent might suddenly leave its body when seized by
a larger predator.

     All of us can have some version of this freak-out-as "the death space" of what
we've been avoiding begins to draw nearer, or begins to penetrate us. We are in the
presence, if not the grips of Pluto, and so it can feel like we are being raped,
overwhelmed, being penetrated by something beyond our control, something we
want no part of!

     I am not wanting to freak you out in the way I am writing about the Enneagram
of avoidances, but rather I'm wanting you to know that you are not alone in your
sense of recoil, and to honor the level of fear and resistance that can arise when
dealing with this material.

     There is a reason we have come to avoid what we are avoiding. And this is
what I'm referring to when I say that dealing with this material can be not only
humbling but scary. For we are dealing with experiences where we might
temporarily disappear as the familiar somebody we have always taken ourselves
to be, the familiar somebody we customarily present to the world. It can be a
kind of death experience, a little brush with death.

     When I say this work can also be liberating, this too has a Plutonic feature.
For Pluto has to do not only with death, and processes of elimination, but as the
Lord of the Underworld, he is also the god of deepest wisdom. In his Hindu
form-as Shiva-his third eye is said to abide in a perpetual state of meditation. By
virtue of his power to bring death Pluto is also one of the great gods, one of the
great energies of transformation. For it is Pluto who kills or deconstructs the forms
of multiplicity that can block the perception of underlying unity. So though Pluto
can have this frightening aspect, his is simultaneously an energy connected with
spiritual transformation.

     Pluto is like the greatest of therapists-a very demanding one, a real hard ass
who won't let us get away with anything but the deepest truth. In fact one of the
descriptors by which he was known by the Greeks is "the good counselor."

     When Pluto is "doing therapy" with us, it's like he shoves us into the
neighborhood we were most frightened to enter, and then if we're lucky, or have
the wherewithal to make use of the teaching he's offering, we come out of that
neighborhood transformed, and perhaps no longer so afraid of the thing that
used to scare us.

     He is a "good counselor" in that he first shows us what is not an adequate
enough refuge, what is not a large enough space for us to ultimately hang our
hat. Our self idealization being a good case in point.

     For when we face our own death, or any point where life suddenly and
shockingly turns up the heat, it's not apt to cut it for us to say "I'm successful!"
or "I'm helpful!" or "I know," or "I'm right!" At crunch-time, these strategies
would suddenly seem quite laughable. We'd then come to realize how truly flimsy
these self-idealizations really are-and have always been. It's like we've been
whistling past the graveyard our whole lives, hoping that nothing truly terrifying
will take notice and call our bluff.

     Pluto grabs us, takes us to a greater depth, and from that deepened vantage
we come to have a different perspective on things. It's like Death shows you what's
really important about life, what's really true, what can be relied upon, and what
not. And so there's a wisdom that can come from our brush with Death, but that
wisdom is deconstructive. It takes something away, and in the gap thus created,
something deeper can arise.

     And it is through his powers of deconstruction that Pluto takes away whatever
we've been holding onto that occludes the deeper reality. What feels like a loss to
the ego, thus serves a deepening into the soul-a vantage from which we can behold
and be held by something vaster and more imperishable.

     Like many gods, Pluto has a dual form. This dual nature can be seen
iconographically in that he is sometimes depicted as having four arms, two of which
seem to be making gestures of reassurance and comfort. It's as if he appears
terrifying-to the ego-yet comfortingly resonant to what is deepest in the soul. This
double nature has some bearing on the different ways we might experience Plutonic
spaces, the psychological spaces that become evoked in dealing with our avoidances,
in dealing with material that is Plutonic.

     To give up the flimsy comfort of our self-idealization and finally face our
avoidance, may feel as if we are about to be annihilated-which is why these spaces,
these experiences, are avoided. And yet, an ability to allow, or at least tolerate dying
to the old form, is what allows a deeper perspective and a deeper kind of wisdom
to penetrate us.

     When dealing with our avoidances, they will tend to bring up for us the
experience of deficient emptiness, the places where we feel weak and vulnerable,
where some needed capacity in the self feels painfully missing. And this is part of
why we experience shame here. For we are experiencing a hole, something that
is lacking in ourselves, something which on some level we sense really ought to
be there.

     These are also the gaps, the spaces, the psychic holes of our deepest wounds.
These are the places in the soul that have yet to become differentiated or healed,
the places where we might feel vulnerable, cut off, and out of control, the places
where we feel lacking in maturity or support, the places where we might feel like
a maiden about to be ravaged. And so they are resonant with what I elsewhere
have referred to as "Kore consciousness." (Kore-the Greek word for "maiden"
or "youthful female"-thus in my usage refers to the uninitiated or undeveloped
soul).

     When we begin to enter these conflictual psychological spaces we feel at
great risk, like there's no solidity in the situation, no familiar floor beneath us,
like we're about to experience the ultimate bring-down. And so here we might
summon the most desperate, the most primitive of our ego defenses, because
that (the ego) is really what feels so at risk.

     However, a virtue of these involuntary descents is they can take us to a
depth we might not have gotten to in any other way. Finally we are close
enough to Pluto that he can confer his riches and the depth of perspective
he has brought us to-albeit kicking and screaming!

     And so I am suggesting that these "riches" are the very means through
which the deficient emptiness of the personality can begin to transmute into the
more radiant, supportive, and fulfilling kind of emptiness-that is, where the
intrinsic spaciousness of our own essence can begin to arise.

     As an example of this kind of transmutation, I will use type Four.

     As I've said, type Four is characteristically avoiding her sadness or her sense
of feeling lost and alone-that seems always just beneath her surface, like something
frightening come up from her depths, something that never seems to go away.
Since the Four tends to feel this way so much as it is, she will tend to resist it,
lest it color her experience even more.

     But when she can allow this to arise, and actually embrace it, then in some
way she is marrying Pluto, allowing him to penetrate her-instead of resisting the
experience, which is otherwise her characteristic stance toward her experience, and
toward life. (Which is why type Four is sometimes referred to as "ego resist").

     But the union experienced through the Four's embrace of her sadness begins to
take her into a new sense of space. The embrace of the death space represented by
her sadness (or her sense of "lostness," of being all alone) then begins to
transmute-and transform. Suddenly the sadness or alone-ness may begin to fill her
with "riches" -which is what the Greek word Ploutos means.

     The space she has now entered may feel more peaceful, content, complete.
It has equanimity. There's no longer a part of herself that she's afraid of and rejecting.
Having allowed "the death space" to have its way with her, she may emerge from
this with every cell in her body feeling alive.

     Now instead of feeling afraid or ashamed of her abandoned self, her sadness, and
trying to avoid this sense of aloneness, the very experience that had been resisted
now can take her into a more essential mode, a mode that has true authenticity,
because it is her own deeper essence. (This is where the Kore form of Persephone-the
as yet uninitiated maiden- transmutes into Persephone as Queen of the Underworld).

     And I would suggest that a similar transformational process may be available for
us all, for all the personality styles. And this is what I mean when I say that dealing
with our avoidances is not only humbling-and scary-but also, potentially liberating.

 

                                                     *

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