Point Five represents the archetype of knowledge and clarity. It is the part of us that strives to understand and see reality in its totality in an enlightened way, distinguishing its details and the profound essential truth.
When we experience the high qualities of this point we feel as an inseparable part of the totality of reality and we grasp all its nuances. We know our experience in a direct, clear and crystalline way. We want to see beyond the veil of illusions, face the world with wisdom, clarity and an open and available mind.
Point Five is part of the Intelligence Center of the Head and of the intellect. People with this dominant personality type are oriented towards support and direction.
Type Five wants to learn and understand the functioning and essence of things and life. His core value is a true and transparent world. Everything interests him, he loves to explore and learn, he has brilliant insights and illuminates connections by synthesizing information and experiences. He wants to live his life in truth.
At his best he is a curious person who observes everything with extraordinary sensory and perceptual acuity. Everything strikes and interests him, he is very alert and open-minded and has a strong ability to objectively observe what happens by noticing all the details. He is completely absorbed in what catches his interest, knows how to stay focused and learns easily. He is original, playful, communicative and patient. He is a somewhat out of the ordinary and often lonely person, very intuitive, capable of foresight and prediction.
When Type Five loses connection with his inner sense of clarity and vision, he feels the need to understand the reality of what is happening and how it works.
He becomes more studious, eccentric and extravagant, an independent thinker who doesn’t compromise. He has a scientific approach to life, acquires technique, studies and specialises in something.
Then everything becomes a continuous desire to understand what is happening, to find patterns, to make connections that allow him to know how to navigate the world and within himself. It fails to conform with the majority and often challenges accepted ways of doing things. He feels insecure and he withdraws to have time to think. He fears that others demand too much of him and that his inner and private world is threatened by the demands of the world. He collects resources and processes them in his mind, analyzes, conceptualizes, builds models. He practices, prepares and fine-tunes everything before taking action. He is often seen by others as an unlucky and cold intellectual, although this is not how he perceives himself.
The reactive emotional environment that matures, the passion of this type, is avarice. Avarice is the desire to hold back that arises from the inner sense of exhaustion, emptyness, poverty and scarcity and that leads to the reduction of needs. It is the inner contraction caused by feeling overwhelmed by life and interactions, hypersensitive, with the nerve endings exposed.
This reactivity leads Type Five to believe that he has very few mental, emotional and physical resources, to feel small and with nothing to give and receive. It pushes him to protect himself from others for not being sucked in, dry up and disappear. The more he tries to cling to the little he believes he is and has inside, the more confused and distant the world appears to him, and the more he feels unsuitable and with nothing to offer.
He interrupts contacts and intensifies mental activity, conjectures and complexities. He detaches himself from the practical world while ignoring or minimizing his needs. He is agitated, hypersensitive, nervous, intense, impatient. He wants to shake people out of their ignorance and complacency, becomes cynical, argumentative, provocative, biting, anarchic, arrogant and with intentionally extreme, radical and subversive points of view. He is disheartened and pessimistic, stinging and quarrelsome.
Type Five at his worst needs to isolate and hide. He fears that he will never find a place in the world or with people. He is very unstable, impulsive and afraid of aggression. He pushes away and rejects all social attachments and refuses help. He feels like an alien, besieged and defenseless, overwhelmed by everything, in a life without meaning and without expectations. He is obsessed with and scared of distorted perceptions, phobias and black fantasies. He ends up overwhelmed by the confusion he fears so much.
Point Five of the Enneagram invites us to observe life, ourselves and others with curiosity without judgment or expectations and puts us in contact with the desire for truth. To contact this inner dimension it is necessary to be totally in the experience and understand that the only way to be in the truth is to be involved with compassion. Then we recognize the fleetingness of life and rejoice in contemplating the infinite richness of the world of which we are woven. The essence of things appears bright and everything is a source of continuous wonder in every nuance.
(selected and translated from “Crescere con l’Enneagramma”, Maura Amelia Bonanno, 2018, Armenia Edizioni)