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Enneagram Type 5

Enneagram Type 5


Type 5 is characterized by curiosity, insight, independence, and a zest for developing and exploring complex ideas. Type 5s are fixated with acquiring knowledge and withdrawing from their environment as a method of self-protection. They can sometimes present as emotionally absent, though their mental life may be teeming with vital energy. Type 5 can sometimes isolate and sacrifice generative action in favor of conceptualizing, model-building, and endlessly acquiring more knowledge.

At healthy levels, Type 5’s mental prowess expands into penetrating knowledge and expansive comprehension. They can bring entirely novel ways of doing and seeing things to the rest of the world. Their mental acuity can also translate into expertise, powerful levels of concentration, and true mastery of their interests. In a liberated form, Type 5 is an embodiment of Diamond Guidance.



Character Traits & Descriptions

Adapted from the work of Russ Hudson and Claudio Naranjo

The Investigator - "The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated" -Russ Hudson

Seeking Wholeness Through Isolation – holding back and holding in, giving up too easily, avoidance of commitment, reclusiveness and emotional detachment, strong attachment towards organizing experience, fear and avoidance of being “swallowed up by others,” suppression of anger.– Claudio Naranjo

Character Traits & Descriptions

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

Essential Endowment: Diamond Guidance

Diamond Guidance is the “discerning intelligence and synthesizing intellect.” Diamond Guidance is a direct, precise, and nuanced understanding of the present moment. This spiritual intelligence can integrate past knowledge with spiritual experience and, through this synthesis, engenders the capacity for true insight. The expansion of vast and penetrating intelligence into emotional and spiritual domains create a priceless and powerful guide for spiritual awakening.

To learn more about the Diamond Guidance, you can explore the "Keys to the Enneagram" course or the chapter on Point 5 in A.H. Almaas’ book Keys to the Enneagram.

Ego Ideal & Avoidance

Type 5 idealizes knowledge, analysis, and isolation in avoidance of overwhelm and the experience of a profound emptiness.

Passion: Avarice – Collecting, accumulating and saving resources, unhelpfully holding on to what one has.

Virtue: Nonattachment – Taking in exactly what is needed and letting everything else go.

Holy Idea: Holy Omniscience / Transparency – "Holy Omniscience, sometimes called Holy Transparency, the Holy Idea for Point Five, again deals with the relationship of the soul to reality. Omniscient means all-knowing, so the perspective here is that in the presence of basic trust, the soul knows reality—but it knows it specifically as a oneness. This is the perception, the realization, the understanding that everything that exists is interconnected and makes up one thing. The boundaries experienced by ego are not ultimately real, so separation and isolation are illusions. The view of Holy Omniscience is the perception that you cannot truly separate yourself since we are all one thing, and any sense of boundaries between ourselves and anything that exists in the universe is not ultimate." - Facets of Unity, ch. 9. See also chapters 12 and 16.

Specific Delusion: Separate Self – Belief that you are ultimately separate from everyone and everything else.

Specific Difficulty: Isolation – Experiencing oneself as small, isolated, cut-off, empty, and impoverished—it is a state of deficient isolation.

Specific Reaction: Withdrawing – The attempt to hide from reality.

Dynamic Core Elements

Adapted from the work of Sandra Maitri

Ego Trap: Observer – Lack of participation based on fear of too much engagement and involvement.

Anti-Self Action: Self-hiding – Concealing oneself from others and, thus hiding from oneself, social distancing.

Ego Lie: Dissimulation – Trying not to appear as one is, hiding.

Defense Mechanism: Isolation – Separating ideas or feelings from the rest of their thoughts, compartmentalizing.

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