The Enigma of Consciousness 15c – Escapes Continued

Curriculum Focus

  • What is Reality
  • Personal Identification
  • Dis-identification

Material

Marshall, Gene, The Enigma of Consciousness, Realistic Living Press, Bonham, TX, 2012. Chapter 15.

Escapes from the I Am Part III (excerpts from Chapter 15 please read the original material for complete context)

Type 7. The Gluttony of Endless Novelty

1) As a mode of escape personality type 7 is an escape from the Attuned Working aspect of the I Am. Everyone can manifest this mode of escape to some extent, but certain people have an obsession with this mode of escape. Personality type 7 persons are restless activists who fear that they may miss something or certainly need something different than what has become too routine and boring. They tend to be playful, energetic, always in motion, and often charismatic in their outgoing attention and innovative leadership. We tend to like them until we get a sense of how burned out they can become and how needy they may be for something more. Settling into one thing is seldom their choice. They can astonish us with the number of plates they keep spinning in the air. Like an Albert Schweitzer they may do all these things well, but more often each of their many things tend to be superficial and short lived.

2) Having a personality that overemphasizes enthusiasm for novelty need not mean that such persons cannot access their profound life and use their enthusiasm with compassion. Carol Burnett and Leonard Bernstein are probably type 7 personalities who put their enthusiasm to good use. The escape is identifying with the style of experiencing fresh activities that excite and charm and foster enthusiasm. This restlessness is an escape from being attuned in ones actions to the Ground of Being that calls for an ongoing consistency through thick and thin, a sort of obedience that crimps the restless style even as it leads the obedient person into a truer freedom a freedom from restless novelty into a creative persistence that knows itself connected to the deep matters of living.

3) Gluttony is a quality that describes this estrangement, for the type 7 personality tends to substitute many novel experiences for the richness of staying in touch with that profound humanness that is always fresh because it is being supported by and called for by the Eternal workings of the cosmos.

Type 6. The Panic of Self Depreciation

4) As a mode of escape personality type 6 is an escape from the Autonomous Strength aspect of the I Am. Everyone can manifest this mode of escape to some extent, but certain people have an obsession for it. Personality type 6 persons are worried and fearful about being inadequate, not being successful, not being liked, not being accepted by their chosen peers. They are sensitive persons, sensitive to others and sensitive to their own gifts and failures. This sensitivity turns up more and more evidence that one is sub par. So persons of personality type 6 tend to make extra efforts toward being loyal and friendly and useful in order to compensate for this underlying panic about self-worth. Some 6 personalities risk dangerous things to prove to themselves and others that they are not fearful, not worthless, but rather bold, unusual, and worthy of attention. So the 6 personality may manifest as a compliant office worker or as a daring mountain climber, stunt driver, or other impulsive risk taker.

5) Having a personality that overemphasizes self awareness need not mean that such persons cannot access their profound life and use their sensitivities with compassion. Perhaps Princess Diana and Jack Lemon show us the outgoing and compassionate 6. The escape is their identification with self images of depreciation, weakness, unsureness, unlovableness, and so on. These perceptions of self are substituted for the autonomous strength that is the true nature of the profound human. What is lacking is allowing the invincible quality of this deep self to undergird all ones sensitivities about the inevitable weaknesses and foibles of our finite creatureliness.

6) Panic is a quality that describes this estrangement, for type 6 personalities tend to believe they are flawed and limited, weak and poor, and thus not up to the challenges that come to them. What is missing is an enduring experience of that solitary strength for opposing all falseness and genuinely loving the essential, honest, and invincible I Am with an affirmation that knows no limits.

Type 9. The Sloth of Spaced-Out Peacefulness

7) As a mode of escape personality type 9 is an escape from the Enchantment with Being aspect of the I Am. Everyone can manifest this mode of escape to some extent, but certain people have a propensity for it a profound acquiescence to it. Personality type 9 persons are the most other-directed of all persons, not out of fear, but out of an anger toward conflict, toward being challenged to manifest the inner energy to participate in the conflicts and struggles of real life. So they make peace with everyone, and they try to enable peace between other persons and among the persons in their groups. They promote peace at the cost of integrity and getting done what needs doing. Personality type 9 can be capable and effective in their living and appear to be the most agreeable of all persons. But underneath this outward mask is a rage toward the demanding nature of life. When peace cannot be made in a given circumstance, the 9 personality tends to go to sleep or space out into a trance of inattention. Having a personality that overemphasizes peacemaking need not mean that such persons cannot access their profound life and use their interpersonal gifts with compassion. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln and Ingrid Bergman show us the compassionate 9. The escape in this instance is about identifying with a conflict-free existence that does not and cannot exist. The escape is from that seemingly uncomfortable energy that it takes to deal with the full realities that humans face. What is missing is the realization of a profound love for that fullness of Being that includes ones own anger, intensity, and passion for truth, as well as the huge challenges and conflicts that characterize real world living. Sloth is a quality that describes this estrangement, for the type 9 personality tends to cop out rather than endure and/or enjoy the full intensity of living. Type 3. The Vanity of Public Celebrity 8) As a mode of escape personality type 3 is an escape from the Out-flowing Compassion aspect of the I Am. Everyone can manifest this mode of escape to some extent, but certain people have a strong pull toward it even an obsession with it. Personality type 3 persons tend to be, or at least are committed to be, accomplished persons. They see their outward roles in society as having great importance. They strongly seek the good opinion of others and of themselves in relation to others. This can take many forms, as many forms as there are roles in society. But the roles that most capture the dreams of type 3 persons are the roles that have minor or major celebrity. So the role of beautiful movie star would definitely be there for some type 3 personalities. If such extreme celebrity is not feasible, then beautiful and successful or at least accomplished and admired is taken to be a required program for living. In any case, a type 3 personality wants to be a star in their own perception of themselves. And they do tend to shine. They make waves in a group. They tend to make fabulous first impressions. As you get to know them they may be found to be without inner substance or at least hiding troubling features that have yet to be addressed.

9) Having a personality that overemphasizes outward roles need not mean that such persons cannot access their profound life and use their gifts for an outgoing presence with remarkable compassion for others. Perhaps Bill Clinton and Barbara Streisand show us some of the gifts of a compassionate 3. The escape is identifying with their outward roles at the expense of an inward integrity and full development of the I Am profound humanness. The escape is from a full inwardness into the shell of some outward role. This escape is a form of self forgetfulness, but it is the forgetfulness of failing to nurture the self in its deep inward aspects and thereby accessing ones authentic out-flowing compassion. When that essential compassion is realized, then their outgoingness can be a self-forgetful flow into the tasks of being with others in all their sorrow, happiness, despair, and joy.

10) Vanity is a quality that describes this estrangement, for persons of personality type 3 tend to be vain in the sense of adoring their own outward appearance and the effects they make on others. They do this at the expense of their own inner life and a genuine love for others.

11) These brief sketches of nine ways of escaping from Reality are only a scratch on the rock of this boundless topic. Nothing is more involuted and difficult to master than the myriad ways that human being have invented to not be human. And the enneagram model provides only one of the many ways that have been invented to organize this topic of escape from Reality. It is not my aim in this chapter to wrap up this subject, but to convince the reader that this propensity we humans have to escape from the I Am of our essential human nature is very deep and has a far-reaching impact on all human living. Certainly, we cannot understand the impulse of humans to invent religions and to pervert the religions they invent, unless we have a firm grasp on the propensity of humans to flee their inherent grandeur to flee from the full challenge of being a species on this planet that is conscious of being conscious and is conscious of the gift that such consciousness can be to the life of the entire planet.

Reflection Questions

  1. Read one of the lines from this reading that caught your attention and that you would like to have the group discuss in more depth.

  2. What is the personality type 7 described in Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 How do you experience this dynamic in your own life

  3. What is the gluttony Paragraph 3 describes Where do you experience the gluttony of novelty in your own life

  4. What is the personality type 6 described in Paragraphs 4, 5, and 6 How do you experience this dynamic in your own life

  5. What is the panic Paragraph 6 describes Where do you experience this panic in your own life

  6. What is the personality type 9 described in Paragraph 7 How do you experience this dynamic in your own life

  7. What is the spaced out sloth Paragraph 7 describes Where do you experience this panic in your own life

  8. What is the personality type 3 described in Paragraphs 8, 9, and 10 How do you experience this dynamic in your own life

  9. What is the vanity Paragraph 10 describes Where do you experience this vanity in your own life

  10. What is it in Paragraph 11 that we are attempting to escape What are the implications for this in pursuing a journey of depth for ourselves or inviting others on the journey