Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Enneagram: Ancient Symbol of Disillusionment

I am sick of being told that simple questions invented by simple people are going to revolutionize my relationships with people. It might be true, I suppose, that individuals are so isolated today that they know nothing about how to interact with each other, and cannot intuit enough empathy or sympathy as to understand each other. Perhaps, even, an enneagram can help us define the sorts of patterns people have fallen into. But it is not a revolution. It is a simple and crude diagnostic tool and not at all to be confused with any sort of cure.

I propose we come up with our own enneagram: one based on how excited people get about things, and where their natural intuitions really lie. This would require a lot more caution in constructing. People would have to actually accomplish tasks, and be observed by someone other than themselves. In short: it's a lot of work. But we can start to get closer. Websites like OKCupid take in reams more information about people than an enneagram, and the site is constantly evolving. It learns from your choices, and from your successes and failures, and makes guesses on what might work for you moving forward. It is, in short, almost intelligent.

So let's stop pretending we can simplify our lives. Instead, let us rejoice in complexity and start bringing ourselves into greater understanding by learning, rather than categorizing. But then again, maybe some of us work in categories- maybe I am just expressing my enneagram ;)

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