THE SIX FIXATION (THE CORE FEAR POINT):
"Hey. How's it going? Name's Adam McCall. Pleased to meet you. My buddy, Stevie, has asked me to give you a run-down on what life is like when the Six fixation is running the show. In a word: frustrating.
"Phew, now where do I start? OK, imagine that you're standing in front of two closed doors, and you have to choose only one of them. Now, you know that behind one of the doors is the sexiest babe you've ever laid eyes on, and who would make you feel soooooo good. Behind the other door is the cutest, smartest girl, the one who is just right for you to marry, settle down, and have some kids with. Which door do you choose? It's a nightmare! I mean, I would stand in front of those doors all day, weighing up the pro's and con's, leaning one way, then changing my mind and reaching for the other handle. Torture.
"Actually, that's probably not a very good example for most of you, is it? So, imagine you're at the gym, and a hot chick wants you to . . . oops, sorry. One track mind! What can I say? I'm a sexual sub-type.
"People tell me I look confident on the outside—which is true, you have to make sure people think you aren't weak or vulnerable—but inside it's turmoil. I mean, whenever you make a decision, 50% of the possibilities are gone, aren't they? Forever. That means you might have missed out on something important. Something that you might need to stay safe, or even to stay alive, later on; it's a dangerous world out there, man. Crazy people everywhere, and some of them want to hurt you bad.
"Now I don't want you to think I'm paranoid or anything, it's just that it's easy to get taken in by people, you know. You have to be really careful. Sometimes people say one thing but they mean something else entirely. You can't just trust what people say, you gotta dig deeper, really get to the heart of the matter. I do notice that it's frustrating for some people when I can't let something go until I'm 100% sure everything's gonna be OK.
"Some days, though, I just have to get out of Dodge and jump out of an airplane or something. It's like my brain will explode with all the things I have to worry about if I don't let off some steam . . . "
"Now—when I don't pay any attention to all the crazy-making thoughts whirling around in my brain; when I stop doubting myself and my decisions all the time; when I stop distrusting other people, and believe what they say is the truth; when I let go of the need to be in control of a situation to stay safe; and when I relax and don't run away from the terror that is lurking unmet inside me, then I find it's OK just to feel afraid. Surprisingly, this makes me feel more alive and energised . . . in a good way. I used to think I had to avoid feeling fear at all costs.
"I'm discovering that this newfound energy can be put to good use: I'm volunteering to help in situations that were just too uncomfortable or dangerous before. It feels like I am discovering courage that I didn't know was even possible. Also, with letting go of the need to be in control I am discovering a quiet wisdom, unrelated to my thoughts, that is mind-blowing.
"When I stay centred and present, with a quiet mind and an open heart, I feel like I can achieve anything. Surprisingly, I'm finding more and more that people are kind to me, and don't want anything in return, and I can trust that . . ."
THE SEVEN FIXATION (THE EXTERIORIZED FEAR POINT):
"Hey man, great to meet you. My name's William Chu, but you can call me Will. What's up?
"So I hear Stevie's been giving you the scoop on the Enneagram. It's neat, right? If I'm not making sense to you at any stage, just stop me. People tell me I don't make sense a lot. I have no idea why that is, come to think about it, maybe something about speaking too fast?
"Anyways, the Seven fixation—my buddy on this ride through life—is all about staying out of trouble, keeping on the move, being a free spirit, man. Yeh, if you're always on the move, trouble can't catch up with you. Yes?
"Whenever I stop in one place for more than a few weeks I always seem to get into trouble somehow. Why? I honestly don't know. I mean, I'm a good guy, and I care about how other people . . . as long as they don't get too heavy. Then I am outta there.
"Hey, I've got a great idea. Why don't I tell you one of my stories? Everyone loves a good story, right?
"So, one day there's a guy walking his donkey along a deserted road, high up in some mountains, someplace, like maybe Peru. Yeh, that's it; they're in Peru. It's getting real cold out, and a storm is coming.
"Hours later, in the middle of a real nasty blizzard that seems like it's going to go on forever, the guy—oh, he's a wizard, by the way—he says to the donkey: 'Donkey. I'm going to have to turn you into a fur coat for myself, or else I will die in this blizzard. Now, don't be frightened. When I no longer need the fur coat I will turn you back into a donkey, and, as payment, you will never have to work ever again. You will live out the rest of your donkey days in comfort.'
"The donkey turns to the wizard, looks him up and down, and says: 'Dude, I'm a donkey. I can't understand a word your saying!!' [cymbal crash].
"Pretty funny, huh. I wet myself when I heard that one.
"No good? Really? Wow, you're a tough audience. Actually I do a pretty mean stand-up comic routine if you're ever interested. Wherever I am I'll generally put on a performance of some kind. Jokes, impersonations, acrobatics, wigs, outfits, crazy stuff. Sometimes people even pay me for it!
"If I'm being perfectly honest with you, something else I don't seem to be very good with is women. I mean, I should be: I'm good looking, I'm charming, I can get them interested in having sex with me, but after we've been in the sack for a while they start to glaze over, in the eyes, you know, and they just drift away somehow. I keep hearing things like 'too shallow,' or 'not able to connect deeply enough.'
"I guess there's a lesson to be learned there . . . but I can't be bothered. I'd rather go surfing, or something excellent like that. Surfing's the best. Have you tried it? Oh man, you really should—I could teach you. In fact, I'm heading out now, why don't you come along. It'll be fun . . ."
"THE MAGICAL CHILD"
"Now—when I stop being on the move all the time; when I allow myself to be in my body and actually start feeling my emotions (gulp); when I take responsibility for where I am and what I'm doing; when I tell the full truth; and when I no longer turn and run away from the huge mountain of fear that is lurking deep inside me, then I feel like I'm dying. Dying, but then being born into a different reality. One that feels real, truthful, nurturing, and loving.
"When I really put my attention on this moment, and stop and deal with all the sensations and emotions I have suppressed or run away from my whole life, my physical body starts to feel different. Actually, I start to be in my body for the first time. It's quite a revelation. It actually feels good. Terrifying, but good.
"When I stay centred and present, with a quiet mind and an open heart, it feels like what used to be William is this flimsy veil that just disappears. Then I am really here, and available to connect with others and the world. Things then take on a whole new, deeper, meaning. I can offer myself and serve others, compassionately, without needing anything in return. Who would have thought that everything I've been looking for my whole life is already right here where I've always been? . . ."
THE FIVE FIXATION (THE INTERIORIZED FEAR POINT):
"Hello. Bernard McCall here. It's a grand pleasure to meet you, indeed it is. Sorry about the accent; I can't seem to shake it.
"Now my friend Stevie would like me to talk about the Five fixation. I was very interested in finding out everything there was to know about the Enneagram when I first heard about it. It really is quite good. It doesn't quite explain the whole mystery—I mean it's not the The Unified Field Theory of Everything, or anything like that—but knowing it certainly makes my life feel much more complete and whole.
"You're quite lucky to have me out on a Thursday evening, you know. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was out after 6pm. I do like being in my own home, I must say. People come and visit me; I think they assume I'm lonely or something, not having many friends. But that's just how I like it. Quiet. Simple. Different strokes for different folks, don't you agree?
"I've always been a loner, ever since I was a kid. I'd hide in my bedroom closet just to be on my own. Later I'd go hiking on the Moors by myself. That way I could do some good solid thinking without being interrupted. Having other people around just distracts me from my thinking—which I just love to do. In fact, I do it all the time. I'm sure I think in my sleep.
"How did I start my bookstore? Oh, you know about that, do you? Who told you? Was it William? Most likely. Nice lad, but he's got a mouth on him. Wherever I am, books just start piling up around me; I read all the time. One day my son, Adam, said to me: 'Dad, why don't you open a second-hand bookstore so we can get rid of some of these piles? Make some space.'
"It took a while for it to get up and running. In fact, Adam and Mrs Chu did most of the work. I just sat in my office reading while they created the bookstore around me. Funny to look out there now, into what used to be the living room, and see strangers browsing through my books. I wasn't happy about it at first. I really needed to take some deep breaths so as not to get angry when people took my books away. It wasn't pleasant at all. I'm much better about it now, though. Mrs Chu has taught me some visualisations and special breathing techniques to do if I get too stressed about it all . . ."
"THE MYSTIC PHILOSOPHER"
"Now—when I stop following the ever-present urge to accumulate more knowledge; when I don't indulge the need to be isolated and withdrawn from the outside world; when I allow the world to be as it is, dangerous at times; and when I feel and acknowledge the fear that is driving the whole show, then I am naturally drawn to go out and interact with the world, and it feels OK.
"When I no longer spend my entire life doing everything I can to keep myself safe, then there is so much more energy to put into other activities; my life has become so much more full and rewarding.
"Really, the important thing is to have a proper relationship with my mind . . . instead of just believing that I am my mind. This mind of mine is so inquisitive, it's never satisfied. Now, I indulge it at times, and I use it for tasks when needed, but I no longer consider thinking the be-all-and-end-all. Actually, I'm finding that not thinking is actually much more fulfilling.
"When I stay centred and present, with a quiet mind and an open heart, I discover a deep sense of peace pervading my experience. As I stay with that sense of peace, I realise that I am that peace, and I always was. It feels quite nice . . ."