Literally mad

The local media is all a twitter because a high school teacher said he had 9 Russian wives in his basement. Some of the students and some parents did not get the joke and he lost his job. How is this possible?
One theory (mine) is that our culture has become so used to identifying “true” with literal that we are ill-equipped to deal with humor. The far political right has so little grasp of humor they venture onto the Colbert Report–with predictable hilarious results.
Our Enneagram style is best studied with as much symbolic subtlety as possible. You can’t prove Rush Limbaugh or Chris Matthews is an Eights, but if you can’t see it, you don’t understand Eights.
You can’t scientifically (literally) establish that Obama is a Nine or Oprah is a Three, but you better be able to see it if you want to be a coach or counselor. When I certify Enneagram teachers, they must use Condon’s Video Guide and Judith Searles’ Literary Enneagram

Mary Basts’ poetry is also valuable on levels not dreamed about in literal study.


The fundamental subtypes within our enneagram types are fairly easy to describe. And probably people in close relationships suffer more from divergent subtypes than from their main types. Songs are written about him wanting a party of 10 and her wanting a cozy dinner for two. That’s not an Enneagram issue; that’s a subtype issue.

A blog is not long enough to go into the surprising differences the subtypes make in the motivation and even behavior within each Enneagram style. An intimate “strength and beauty” style Six is quite different from the dutiful social six. Tom Condon’s detailed descriptions of the 27 subtypes are vivid and accurate on his CD set. If you want more precision in typing (my coaches do), this program is ideal.