The type assumptions denoted in tests are of the stereotypes of the types: 1s are merely perfectionists, 2s are Mother Teresas, 3s are overachievers, 4s are artists, 5 are introverted intellectuals, 6s are anxious skeptics, 7s are fun, 8s are aggressive 24/7, and 9s are doormats. Most importantly these tests measure personality not ego fixations. Each of the 9 types represents a viewpoint and angle on reality and the human condition with each having its specific fixation. These fixations are most importantly a distortion of each type’s holy idea, the higher octave and fully-actualized orientation to reality. Fixations represent a fall from the original holy idea. We all have an innate desire to reach it and unconsciously or subconsciously perceive the gap between where are and what could be but we do so in a distorted and fixated ways in order to preserve our ego attachments. Essentially we are all exiles to some degree. Personality is just the surface presentation of the ego hence I would refer to enneatypes not as personality types but as ego types. But I realize the confusion this can cause as the types are subdivided between ego, superego, and id types. However when I talk about ego, I’m referring to the attachment to the narratives we have of ourselves and the world around us. In reality these tests don’t even test what they are supposed to test, and not to mention, what they’re supposed to test, ego fixations and their associated passions, can’t be done through multiple choice and likert style testing.
This begs the question, can enneagram be codified through scientific and empirical standardization. Possibly. But it’s tricky. Should those methods be used to identify type? The only plausible method I can see is vultology, the study of facial expressions and body language, the same method to decipher someone’s Jungian cognitive type. But unlike JCF, there are more variables to factor in: core type, tritype, and instinctual variants, and isolating, finding the relations between these variables, and the codifying them. would be a Sisyphean task. It should not be forgotten that the while some systems can be based on empiricism their premises can still be built on shaky theoretical foundations which compromises the integrity of the whole enterprise. Enneagram is primarily a psycho-spiritual phenomenological system in which we look at the structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view with intentionality being the linchpin of our consciousness: the directedness of experience toward things in the world, the property of consciousness that it is a consciousness of or about something. It only lends itself to scientific methods via statistical trends between type and various phenomena. While they are trends and patterns as to how certain types express their fixations those patterns needs to be individually contextualized (and vice versa). There’s no easy and fast way to learn this system and to decipher type. Growing is putting in the work and effort, and uncovering the patterns yourself. The backbone of enneagram is Socrates’ saying of know thyself. Not your autobiography but the ways in which you inquire and discover what triggers you, what gives you your raison d’etre, what fills you with dread, and the bullshit you tell yourself.