Homeopathy Papers

Homeopathy and the Enneagram

Last modified on August 13th, 2018

Dr. Álvaro Sierra Máyer explains how the characteristic types of the Enneagram can clarify our understanding of homeopathic remedy portraits. He illustrates this with the various stages of the remedy Staphysagria.

Translated by Katja Schütt and Alan Schmukler

[Enneagram A nine-sided figure used in a particular system of analysis to represent the spectrum of possible personality types.]

  1. Introduction to the theme

The Enneagram is a psychological and spiritual typology with very definite and precise characteristics for each of its nine human types [1] However, although the unified brain can easily perceive the accuracy of these typological characteristics, its millenarian and unknown origin may raise doubt about its value as knowledge of the individual and as a therapeutic tool – medical and/or psychological.

It is surprising for homeopathic physicians, who also had the opportunity to know and study the Enneagram, to see how our homeopathic science gives a scientific basis, even in the smallest details, to the characteristics of the nine personalities of the Enneagram, by means of the Homeopathic Portraits of important homeopathic remedies – especially the polychrests, due to the coincidences found with the symptoms-characteristics of pure provings in human beings compiled in the materia medica and repertories.

On the other hand, the characteristics of the types of the Enneagram clarify the understanding of homeopathic remedies, because they facilitate the order, connection, sense and congruence of the proving symptoms, which helps in creating – as is already happening, better Materia Medicas. That is to say, both systems complement and promote each other.

  1. A concrete example

One of my works on Homeopathy and the Enneagram [2] attests to the coincidences between these two great wisdoms and therapeutics:

The healthy personality of type one of the enneagram

The realistic  wise  

This is the ersonality Type who has the potential to achieve a deeper and more integral Wisdom. His typical “idealism” integrates and heals – without being lost into an intense and authentic “realism“. He understands that the “True” is also the future and the Whole, and that which is intangible;  he becomes very Open and very Flexible (very difficult issues in his ordinary and sick state), and then he can unify and reconcile that which seems to be irreconcilable to him in his “ordinary” and “sick” state.

 

His vision and understanding of things, in this very healthy state, is not only achieved through his “objective” intelligence (ordinary state) but with his whole being, which also includes his “subjective” intelligence, his emotionality and spirituality. In this way, his Vision not only makes him objective and “true” in a particular sense, but it also becomes Intuitive, Holistic, Transcendent, Spiritual and Integrative. With this Vision, his typical “perfectionism” integrates and heals – without being lost – what brings him close to Perfection, in thought, words, attitudes and deeds, as much as it is possible for a human being.

The reasonable and JUST person

Type One is a rational, reasonable and very objective person, also in the ordinary or sick states; but this quality, in a very healthy state, makes him warm and flexible, and he becomes very competent in convincing others and achieving consensus.

 

The Master, with this high level of health, is extremely sensible and prudent; he makes the best decisions  in a peacable and patient way and knows how to give adequate guidance and advice, wherefore he is very often asked for in the search for discernment.  At all levels, truth and justice are values of great importance for Type One, but in the very healthy state he is able to understand and live them in a more complete and integral way, associating equally, without detriment to the Right, Understanding, Forgiveness and Mercy, in his evaluations and judgments. He is just, understanding and merciful with himself and others. Impartial and balanced at all times .

 

The teacher of principles

 

Type One is Teacher” and Educator, in the truest and most exact sense, in this state of maximum health. Integral teacher, Teacher of Principles. A teacher, more so for his deeds and examples, than for his ideas and sayings, and for his enormous integrity and ethics.

 

He is a Teacher of Life, more so for his congruent, extraordinarily moral and useful existence than for academic or professional reasons. Teachers  look for men and women thirsty for moral and spiritual guidance and orientation. Mahatma Gandhi and Pope John Paul II are examples of the highly developed and healthy Type One .

The healthy face [3] of the remedy Staphisagria

 

OBJECTIVE, REASZONABLE[4

 

In their healthiest states, and even in their ordinary and diseased states, the Staphisagria Type tends to be “Objective” and “Reasonable”, in the direction of “Logical-Mathematical Intelligence” or the “Intelligence of the Left Cerebral Hemisphere”[5]. This is paralled by symptoms such as: ‘Absorbed in thoughts’ [6]  ‘With abundant ideas’, more so IN THE EVENING AND IN THE NIGHT [7]. Full of thoughts . With GREAT CONCENTRATION . Serious . ACTIVE, BUT SHORT MEMORY (e4 )[8] .

SENSITIVE TO VALUES (MORAL, ETHICAL, JUSTICE)

 

Even more characteristic of the Staphisagria type, is his sensitivity to values, especially to “inner” values such as ethics, morals and justice, which are equally present in the less healthy states. It is about “Moral or Ethical Intelligence”, which make him easily perceive what is “right”, “just” and “good” for himself and others, and to behave in that sense with high “Integrity” and “Responsibility”. This is what the provings reveal, with symptoms such as: Sensitive: VERY SENSITIVE CHILDREN; IN PUBERTY; ESPECIALLY TO MORAL IMPRESSIONS (e8), AS TO RUDENESS (e7) . AMOROUS . VERY GENEROUS (e3), WITH ANXIOUS CONCERN FOR OTHERS (e11) .

 

His sensitivity makes him UNABLE TO SEE WOUNDS (e2) – in the sense that his compassion moves him to do something for others – CANNOT SUPPORT INJUSTICE (e3), MAKES HIM INDIGNANT.. ‘Very hard worker’, “very meticulous and conscientious in the tasks he performs [9]”. Obstinate and willful .

WISDOM, FLEXIBILITY, PERFECTION

 

But the essential Being of the Type One -Type Staphisagria and what only shows in its healthiest states, is chracteristed by the expression of Integral Being-Knowing-Loving, which is the fruit of a strong desire for Perfection and Wisdom which leads him to be ‘Introspective’ . ‘Given to meditation’ . Reserved . OCCUPIED WITH HIMSELF (e2) (characteristics of depth and inwardness that can make him a Sage in the most authentic and integral sense) …

 

…as well as capable of a great flexibility and openness – Condescending (e12) – which opens the way for a remarkable growth and development in the Integral Being-Knowing-Making. HIS FEAR, APPREHENSION, TERROR IN NARROW PLACES are a symbolic invitation to avoid the “narrowness of views and  attitude”.

 

Such “essential-integral being” is a persistent and inner “call” that is expressed in the proving symptom of Staphisagria: ILLUSIONS, IMAGINATIONS, HALLUCINATIONS, OF GREATNESS (e3) and indicates a Special and Unique Mission [10] . But, above all, such “essential-integral being” is the result of zealous and constant “work” for growth and personal maturation which always implies, whether the individual is aware of it or not, a complementation-unification-integration of his Wings and Directions of Integration[11] .

All the symptoms of Staphisagria that we have been pointing out of their healthiest state – various of which usually also remain in their ordinary and sick states – are their Light Symptoms and their most important Hope Symptoms and the Key to their Path to Full Health. Especially the symptoms: VERY GENEROUS (e3), WITH ANXIOUS CONCERN FOR OTHERS…  CANNOT SUPPORT INJUSTICE (e3), MAKES HIM INDIGNANT. OCCUPIED WITH HIMSELF (e2) . CONDESCENDING (e12) . ILLUSIONS, IMAGINATIONS, HALLUCINATIONS OF GREATNESS (e3), pointing out what this Personality is called to realize in the bio-psycho-social-spiritual: The Integrals of Being-Knowing-Loving towards personal plentifulness and the Transformation of their environment . But also the other given “healthy” symptoms are Key and Way for their Full Healing and Growth and in which the Integral Healer must insist on their Bio-psycho-social-relational-spiritual orientation.

In addition to these mainly positive symptoms of the “healthy state”, the Integral Healer should try to see those symptoms that result from their ordinary and diseased state as “Light Symptoms” and “Hope Symptoms” – even if they are basically “negative” symptoms – and discover that they also reflect the essence of the patient and the direction of their deep orientation and healing [12] .

  1. The Typical personality of type one of the enneagram

 

The idealistic reformer

 

At this level, the Type One Idealism is still very positive, but it also begins to be an “idealism” – with quotation marks- in the sense of detaching or leaving more or less – depending on the level of illness- reality. They don’t have a clear vision. The reality is being “exaggerated”, both in the positive and in the negative sense. They want everything to be more and better, but in an unnatural and obsessive way.

 

They found and lead, or they are associated with projects and noble causes that seek to change or improve some aspect of life or society. That’s why Type One is frequently named the “reformer” or “crusader”. The norm of excellence, both for themselves and for others, begins to be excessively high. They do not realize that often “the perfect is the enemy of the good”. In their life the “shoulds” and “I have to” begin to have a lot of weight, and they move away from the balance and peace of their healthy state.

The orderly and rigid person

 

In the Teacher, the deterioration begins with an attitude of exaggerated “order” and “neatness“, both in external and internal things. The mind works, without rest, ordering, hierarchizing, and judging everything, and returning incessantly to the same as if it were never enough; and that is expressed outwardly by ordering, cleaning, accommodating, the house or office or whatever it is that needs to be “fixed”.

 

An obsessive sense of “responsibility” makes him be orderly and punctual in an excessive way. Type One becomes meticulous, detail-oriented, concerned about the least incorrectness in things or people, which creates feelings of anxiety and guilt, as well as tensions and problems in their interpersonal relationships.  He becomes a person “ready to explode” due to the constant repression of his own desires and emotions – which he considers to be “inappropriate” or “incorrect”-. Or the repression of “negative” emotions awakened by “inappropriate” or “incorrect” attitudes or deeds of others. This repression is easily visible in the typical Type One, for his attitude is almost always tense, rigid, austere and serious .

The critical perfectionist

 

His excessive sense of order and the internal rigidity that lie at the root of that attitude, lead the Type One to be very demanding and perfectionistic, both with themselves as well as others..

Here the Teacher begins to be a “scolding professor”. He constantly criticizes everything and everyone. Nothing is good. And he starts to become more notorious to others, something that is very characteristic for Type One who tries to avoid, repress and hide: his anger,indignation, resentment. They repress or deny, with great effort and energy these emotions, because they appear to them to be “incorrect” and “imperfect” and “unworthy” of him.  Anger is his “cardinal sin” and the psychological root that practically explains all the traits of his ordinary and sick Personality .

The TYPICAL Portrait of the remedy Staphisagria

 

 

METICULOUS, CONSCIENTIOUS, PERFECCIONISTIC, WORKAHOLIC

In its ordinary and sick stages, the Staphisagria Type, instead of looking for  “Perfection” of the “Integral Being”, becomes “Perfectionistic” in an “obsessive” way, partial and disintegrated: Thorough and conscientious with nonsense . Full of worries and care, WORSE IN THE MORNING (e1) . ANXIETIES AND WORRIES THAT MAKE HIM SICK . ‘Anticipation’ .

 

Without understanding that “the perfect is the enemy of the good”, he becomes exaggerated and insistent with the time and energy he devotes to unimportant details and what he believes to be “correct” and “well done” in any area of life and not only in ethical and moral issues: WASTES HIS TIME (e11) . Obstinate and willful . Impetuous: IN THE MORNING (e1) . ‘Workaholic’ . (Note that you can “work too much” and nevertheless “waste time” and not do anything important if the work is dedicated to trifles or bagatelles) .

 

HYPERSENSITIVE, SUSCEPTIBLE, CRITICAL, CENSORIOUS, NONCONFORMIST

In a dichotomous vision-attitude of “black and white”, of “good and bad”, his “sensitivity” becomes “hypersensitive” and disproportionate: Hypersensitive: VERY SENSITIVE CHILDREN; IN PUBERTY; TO ALL EXTERNAL IMPRESSIONS; ‘to noise’; TO ODORS; but ESPECIALLY TO MORAL IMPRESSIONS (e8), SUCH AS RUDENESS (e7)

 

‘Music aggravates their ailments’, with PALPITATIONS WHEN LISTENING (e4) . Sensitive, easily offended, even BY OLD OFFENSES (e5) . FALLS ILL: IF THEIR HONOR IS WOUNDED (e5); FROM REPROCHES (e10); FROM THE RUDENESS OF OTHERS (e7); WHEN BEING DESPISED; ‘from anticipation’; FROM CONCERNS .

Because of this hypersensitivity, Vijnovski points out that “it is one of the great remedies for the consequences of diverse emotions: anger, with indignation or  silent grief; for worries; anticipation, frustrations, indignationmortification, with indignation; for being treated rudely“[13].

His maximized sensitivity makes him UNABLE TO SEE WOUNDS (e2) and to make him see-feel, as if he had special antennas for it, the “imperfect”, the “dirty”, the “negative”, the “incorrect”, the ” ill “, and then, on one hand, to do be EXCESSIVE AND OBSESSIVELY GENEROUS (e3), WITH ANXIOUS CONCERN FOR OTHERS and UNABLE TO SUPPORT INJUSTICE (e3) [14].

. and, on the other hand, doing it excessively ‘Critical and censoring’ . REPROCHING OTHERS . ‘Doubtful and skeptical’ . ‘Fastidious’ .’Impatient’. Discontent and dissatisfied, ‘with everything’, and also ‘with himself’. These latter symptoms frequently push him into the “Reformist Attitude” seeking to change things in their family, education, work, institutional or social environment, as some of the symptoms partially reflect . IMPERTINENT. INSOLENT.DESOBEDIENT and RUDE ATTITUDE OF DISOBEDIENT CHILDREN (e1) as these imply a disagreement with the “status quo” that is “incorrect”, or with unjust or unfulfilled “rules or laws”, or with institutions that do not work . With ‘Tendency to contradict’, and at the same time being Intolerant to contradictionTHEIR MENTAL SYMPTOMS AGGRAVATE IF THEY ARE BEING INTERRUPTED (e3) – .

SERIOUS, INTROVERTED, TENSE

Their “scrupulousness and perfectionism”, their “hypersensitivity” and “obsessive ethical-moral sense” pushes them to carry too much, to carry an excessive weight on their shoulders, becoming “hyper-responsible”, “Serious-Introverted” and “Tense”: Serious . Reserved . ‘Introspective’ . OCCUPIED WITH THEMSELVES (e2) . ‘Given to meditation’ . ‘Absorbed in their thoughts’ .

‘Lack of self-confidence’ . Timid, with a tendency to feel ashamed: WHEN IN COMPANY (e6) . WITH INDIFFERENCE TO AGREEABLE THINGS (e9) . WITH AVERSION TO JOKES .

‘Tense, with anxiety’: WORSE WHEN THINKING OF IT (e9); in the morning; WHEN WALKING, especially WHEN DOING IT RAPIDLY (e2); AFTER CONTRARIETY (e6);  for the future

Excitement: ‘in bed’; NERVOUS; ‘Aggravating their ailments’ . Restless: DURING THE DAY (e9); AFTER MIDDAY; turning around in bed; ‘anxious restlessness’; ‘moving continuously’; ‘during fever’; BETTER IN THE OPEN AIR (e8) . ‘Rushed, hurried’: AT ALL TIMES (e5) . ‘Impatient’ .

Although less common, their characteristic “tension” can turn into “Fear”: ‘Fear, apprehension, terror’: OF HIGH PLACES (e5) – THEIR AILMENTS AGGRAVATE IN HIGH PLACES (e6) -; IN NARROW PLACES -CLAUSTROPHOBIA-; WHEN WALKING (e8), RAPDLY (e1); OF LOSING THEIR LUCRATIVE POSITION (e8); THEIR POSITION IN SOCIETY (e3); OF BEING ASSASSINATED (e9); ‘of evil’; ‘of people -antrophobia-‘; for the future . feels scared easily . STARTLES AT NIGHT; ‘during sleep’; ‘ffrom a dream’; ‘from fright’ . ‘Coward’ . ILLUSIONS, IMAGINATIONS, HALLUCINATIONS, THAT HE WILL BE KILLED, THAT SOMEONE IS BEHIND HIM, WHEN HE WALKS (e1), THAT HE IS PERSECUTED, BY ENEMIES; THAT SOMEONE WALKS BEHIND HIM (e3) –LOOKS BACKWARDS, BECAUSE OF THE SENSATION OF SOMEONE FOLLOWING HIM (e1) -; THAT HIS WIFE WANTS TO RUN AWAY WITH SOMEONE ELSE (e1) .

REPRESSED

Along with their seriousness-tension, the most characteristic of Staphisagria, with regard to other remedies that are also very valuable for the Type One Personality (Arsenicum, Thuja, Carcinocin), is the “Repression-containment of their emotions”. Due to their exaggerated ethical sense and being thinking-sensing, and usually mistakening that tension, anger or other emotions are “wrong” or “imperfect”, he “hypercontrols” them, hides them and keeps them at bay, through the psychological defense mechanism of  “Repression”[16]. In fact, what has already been pointed out about their seriousness-introversion-tension are already forms of this “repression”, since being “silent” and “isolated” more easily avoids that, “the stew of internal pressure can explode” . But there are also clear and abundant direct symptoms of this repressive tendency in Staphisagria: EXCITMENT THAT IS CONTINUOUSLY REPRESSED WHEN TALKING (e1) . REPRESSED ANGER (e3), THAT MAKES HIM SICK (e3) . ANGER: WITH PALENESS AND LIVIDNESS OF THE FACE (e7), OR WITH REDDENING (e10); WITH TREMBLING; WITH SILENT GRIEF . The symptom SPEAKS IN A LOW VOICE (e6) is quite expressive of their containment . The symptom DESIRES TO HIDE reflects very well the intentions of their inhibition and repression .

Their DESIRE TO BREAK THINGS (e12), DESIRE TO HIT (e12) and Desire to kill, but which “remain desires”, also express their containment and hypercontrol.

Such is his self-repression that he lives with FEAR, APPREHENSION, TERROR, OF GETTING ANGRY(e4); OF LOSING SELF-CONTROL(e3) .

According to the excellent study of Dr. Gustavo A. Cataldi, “The Shadow of Staphisagria“, we must bear in mind here the extraordinary and peculiar symptom reported by Clarke: FEAR OF THEIR OWN SHADOW (e1).

ANXIETY OF CONSCIENCE, FEELS GUILTY, RELIGIOUS SCRUPLES

His emotional explosions, even when they only occur occasionally and are brief and very contained, cause him guilt and anxiety of conscience. His exaggerated moral sense makes to see and judge himself very strictly, so that the slightest “incorrectness” or “imperfection” of his actions and attitudes, and even of his thoughts and emotions, causes feelings of guilt: ANGER WITH HIMSELF (e5), BECAUSE OF HIS ERRORS . ‘Discontented and dissatisfied with himself’ . With anxiety of conscience and about his salvation, with PREOCCUPATION ABOUT OF LOSING HIS FAITH (e5); with EXCESSIVE RELIGIOUS SCRUPLES (e7) .

. TOO SCRUPULOUS IN HIS RELIGIOUS PRACTICES (e5)[17]. ILLUSIONS, IMAGINATIONS OR HALLUCINATIONS THAT HE HAS COMMITTED A CRIME.

The affective-sexual area, for reasons of his own sense of “right and wrong”[18], and for cultural reasons, is one of the most contained and repressed and one of those that, therefore, provoke more anxiety of conscience: HYPERSENSITIVE TO TOUCH OR CONTACT (e12) . RESTLESS AFTER COITUS (e7), DURING SEXUAL EXCITEMENT (e1) . IRRITABLE AFTER COITUS; AFTER POLLUTIONS (e9) . Clumsiness, slowness, difficulty thinking and understanding, torpor, AFTER MASTURBATION (e3) . SADNESS, MELANCHOLIA, DEPRESSION, AFTER COITUS (e8); FROM MASTURBATION . DISEASES FROM SEXUAL EXCITEMENT (e4) or from sexual excesses . INSANITY, MADNESS, FROM SEXUAL EXCESSES (e4) . HIPOCONDRIA AFTER POLLUTIONS (e4), FROM SEXUAL EXCESSES (e3) . HYSTERIA AFTER POLLUTIONS (e3) . In the extreme of their affective and sexual containment-repression, the Type One-Type Staphisagria usually has serious problems of denial-aversion of their affectivity and sexuality: AVERSION TO THE OPPOSITE SEX (e3) . INDECISIVE OF MARRIAGE (e10) . THE IDEA OF MARRIAGE SEEMS UNBEARABLE (e6) .

About the author

Álvaro Sierra Máyer

Álvaro Sierra Máyer

Dr. Álvaro Sierra Máyer, at 63, is a Mexican physician who has specialized in homeopathy and has had Dr. Sánchez Ortega as a Master. He also has a Bachelor degree in Philosophy and Theology. He teaches at the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo, Mexico and has been working as a homeopathic doctor in private practice for more than 30 years. He is the founder, rector and master of the Community, University and Hospital "REMAD", where the Integral Homeopathy Course is offered in a face-to-face or virtual form, or through video recordings. He has written various publications, recently the paper titled "Symphony in SI Major (Course of Integral Homeopathy)", in ten volumes (six already published).

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