Your personality, that is. You already knew that, but neuroscientist Dario Nardi, who teaches at UCLA, can show you exactly where your personality is located. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much of one.
Nardi, author of The Neuroscience of Personality: Brain Savvy Insights for All Types of People, is certified in the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Inventory) and has been studying how people of different types use their brains differently. So far, the bulk of his work has been with the MBTI, but he has begun using some of the same tools to study people of different Enneagram types.
He contributed an article, Neuroscience Meets the Enneagram, to the current issue of Nine Points, the International Enneagram Association magazine. In the article, he says:
Personally, I like the Enneagram because it addresses drives and emotions—features lacking in the Myers-Briggs model—and because it can be used in a dynamic way, such as movement along various types. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I came across a reference to a book called The Dice Man, written by Luke Rhinehart. It was published in the 1970s, deemed “a cult classic,” and banned in some places, although I don’t know why. Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange) endorsed it; some compared it to Catch-22. So why haven’t I heard about it until now?
The protagonist, also named Luke Rhinehart, is a psychiatrist disillusioned with—as far as I can tell from reading about the book—just about everything, but especially about the fact that he has a self he feels compelled to be true to. He decides to liberate himself by letting chance determine his actions from that point forward, rather than by remaining true to character, so to speak.
Fortuitously, he finds a single die on the floor at that very moment, and he resolves to henceforth let the die determine his course of action.
While I have no intention of reading the 500+ page book, the premise intrigues me. Personality typing systems such as the Enneagram and the MBTI are based on defining and explaining us by our temperaments. Our temperaments, experiences, and genes combine to form our selves. Generally, we tend to behave like ourselves, but sometimes we notice we are not ourselves or other people comment that we were not ourselves last night or last week or earlier this morning. When it comes to personality, consistency is very highly prized. Continue reading
Many years ago, before I’d heard of this thing called the Enneagram, I took a job as an office manager where I had to share an office with the company accountant. He was a consultant and had several other clients, so he wasn’t there all the time. Besides, it was quite a large space with exterior windows on one wall and lots of glass on another. Our desks were across the room, in opposite corners, about as far away from each other as they could be.
He seemed an affable sort of guy at first glance. I probably seemed pleasant enough to him, too. But within a month, it became obvious we saw eye-to-eye on almost nothing. The situation became so disagreeable that he tried (and failed) to get me fired, and I threatened to bring a roll of duct tape into the office and run it from one corner to the other to mark off our respective halves of the room.
Then I had another thought. Continue reading