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Enneagram Type 1

Enneagram Type 1


Type 1 is characterized by conscientiousness, orderliness, a strong moral ethic, and a proclivity for taking practical, useful action. Type 1s have a clear sense of what they believe is right and wrong and seek to perfect their surroundings, themselves, and the people around them. Because of how aware Type 1s are of an idealized reality, people who lead with Type 1 habitually notice all of the ways reality does not measure up to their image of perfection. As a result, they can fixate on errors and become critical and judgmental. In the attempt to create perfection and ensure things are done the “right” way, Type 1 trends towards rigidity and unhelpful control of themselves and others. 

At healthy levels, Type 1 can become extremely wise, discerning, and a champion for the best in humanity. They carry an innate brilliance, are ethical and fair, and can become inspirational messengers of the truth. Going beyond healthy levels and into the liberated form, Type 1 conveys a brilliant intelligence and wholeness that transcends and includes all things. 


Character Traits & Descriptions 

Adapted from the work of Russ Hudson and Claudio Naranjo

The Reformer - "The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic" -Russ Hudson

Angry Virtue – critical and demanding rather than consciously hateful and rude, anger as resentment, intellectual anger as criticality, anger as demandingness, superior, haughty, disdainful, standards-based perfectionism. - Claudio Naranjo

Pathways to Essence 

Adapted from Keys to the Enneagram and Facets of Unity by A.H. Almaas

Essential Endowment: Brilliancy

Brilliancy is the radiant, innocent, comprehensive quality of essential intelligence. Brilliancy, this clarion intelligence, manifests as a perfected, unadulterated wholeness because all of the other essential qualities are contained and undifferentiated within it. There is an irrefutable sense of rightness. This rightness is not manufactured or created by any external ideal. Rather, it is the totality of the sublime qualities of existence, the experience of presence knowing the inherent perfection and preciousness of existence. Yet, “...brilliancy has no attitudes, opinions, or judgments; it is simply the presence of perfection as intelligence.” (Keys to the Enneagram, 99)

To learn more about Brilliancy, you can explore the "Keys to the Enneagram" course or the chapter on Point 1 in A.H. Almaas’ book Keys to the Enneagram.

Ego Ideal & Avoidance

Point 1 idealizes their own goodness, comparison, and mission towards their ideas of perfection in avoidance of feeling a part of an imperfect world.

Passion: Anger – Runaway anger and resentment at that which is perceived as wrong.

Virtue: Serenity – The absence of conditional acceptance of how things are, complete openness to what arises.

Holy Idea: Holy Perfection – "As we have seen, each Holy Idea is a view of reality from an egoless perspective. From the point of view of Holy Perfection, if we experience reality just the way it is, we perceive its intrinsic perfection. We cannot add or delete anything to make that reality more perfect; nothing needs to be done with it." - Facets of Unity, ch. 14

Specific Delusion: Localized Rightness – Conviction that comparative judgments are ultimate and final.

Specific Difficulty: Wrongness – The feeling or conviction that something is wrong with them, that they are intrinsically imperfect and fundamentally flawed.

Specific Reaction: Improving – Trying to make the holding (holding environment, acceptance) happen by improving oneself.

Dynamic Core Elements

Adapted from the work of Sandra Maitri

Ego Trap: Perfection – Relentless quest for perfection.

Anti-Self Action: Self-resenting – Dissatisfied with and indignant toward their own soul.

Ego Lie: Preconception / False Affirmation – Their sense of how things should be acting as their compass.

Defense Mechanism: Reaction Formation – Expressing the opposite of their true feelings, sometimes to an exaggerated extent.

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