In a previous post, the basic structure, we introduced the arrows that point along the lines, including the triangle (9->6->3->9) and the hexad (1->4->2->8->5->7->1) but did not explain their significance.
These arrows represent a further development of the changes described in the previous post, levels of inner balance.
As a person of a given type begins to fall down the levels of balance, they tend to fall into not only the primary traps of their type, but also into the traps of the type along the arrow from their base type. This is their direction of disintegration.
As a person of a given type begins to rise up through the levels of balance, they tend to show not only the best talents of their type, but also the best talents of the type going against the arrow from their base type. This is their direction of integration.
The direction of integration is the path that leads “upstream,” against the arrow. Flowing downstream (through spiritual laziness, for example) leads to trouble and imbalance.
It is possible to bring in traits from even more “distant” types through “double integration” or “double disintegration.” Triple disintegration is rarely seen because a person in that state would barely be able to function.
Triple or greater integration is rarely seen because a person in that state would essentially be an enlightened saint or prophet, and such attained masters are rare indeed. But it is theoretically possible to do this, and even to “circle the enneagram” through integration.
The reason why it is more difficult to taste the enneagram type of someone who is extremely balanced is because they tend to show the best traits of all types and the traps of none.
a note about effort
It might be tempting to think that making an “effort” to deliberately show the best traits of your own type and your integration type would be helpful. In actual practice this is usually not successful. Why?
In their best appearances, the magical native talents of each type are not produced through effort. They are actually spontaneous and completely effortless results of the avoidance of the dangerous psychological traps of the base type.
The truth is, most of us would be fully enlightened saints if we could only see and avoid all of the traps of all nine types.
So, if you would like to make a commitment to improving your level of psychological balance, the thing to do is to learn how to see the traps of your type in yourself. You actually don’t even need to make an “effort” to stop falling into the traps, as it is enough just to see them. But you do have to see them, so pay attention as you walk though your life.
The process of integration to higher levels of inner balance is more like bubbles rising through water than like climbing a ladder. So take it lightly, see and avoid the traps, and you will float higher and higher.
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