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Enneatype 5 - The Investigator

Characterological Structure

Fixation: Stinginess
Desires anonymity and to view life from the sidelines

Trap: Observer

For him life is fascinating to watch from a safe hidden place, but is much too terrifying to take part in.

Holy Idea: Holy Omniscience

The observer, storing up knowledge of life by viewing it from the sidelines, steps into life when he experiences his essence. Then and only then can he truly have full knowledge of life.

Passion: Avarice

Anonymity and security are important to the Ego-Stinge in order that he can safely watch the world from the peephole of his hiding place. Not only is he avid for the means to maintain his corner, he also is greedy for knowledge of what is going on in life, so that he can feel alive.

Virtue: Detachment

Detachment from his secure hiding place and from the need to know everything will relieve him of his avarice, the struggle to protect his anonymity.

Modern Enneagram

Passion and Fixation

Ichazo ascribes the fixation of persons fixated at point 5 as Stinginess, which Lilly & Hart present as "Desires anonymity and to view life from the sidelines," and they go on to say that their trap is, "Observer: For him life is fascinating to watch from a safe hidden  place, but is much too terrifying to take part in."[2] All these indicate that persons found at point 5 have an ego-structure built around a true desire to be invisible to life. 

In order to characterize the 5s, phrases like "clutching on to oneself" have been used extensively, and usually, when they are used, the reader's mind interprets it as a conscious act of "holding on to the self." But that is not the case with the 5. Their position on the symbol, which shows a strong polarity against the type 9, indicates a lack of wholeness of being. 

For a person to consciously hold on to themselves indicates a wholesomeness of experience that enables them to realize the need to preserve the self in that manner, which the 5 consciously lacks. Therefore, many 5s don't perceive themselves as being "retentive" and "stingy" of themselves. In fact, many 5s think of themselves as being sufficiently giving, anything else required of them is considered an infringement on them—a sense of over demandingness by the environment. Most 5s also don’t understand why a person would deliberately reject help from the environment, or hold on to themselves, or be secretive. 

Just as it can be said of the wrathful that they are mostly unconscious of their anger and that anger is their main taboo—it may be said of the avaricious that their avarice is mostly unconscious, while consciously they may feel every gesture of possession and drawing up of boundaries as forbidden.

And just as perfectionism nurtures the anger that sustains it, we may also say here that the prohibition of needs (not simply from their satisfaction but even from their recognition within the psyche) must contribute to the impoverishment of life that underlies the urge to hold on.

—Claudio Naranjo.

Like the type 4 (also at the bottom of the symbol), and the 8 (with a line of connection to the 5), there is an inherent separateness of existence that's almost pathological in the 5. The 5s represent an extreme unconscious abstraction from life, and an extreme form of disconnectedness from others that has led to an unconscious detachment, which is exactly why Naranjo compares them to the nature of the Schizoid and the autistic. 

There is an anhedonic quality about them; an almost flatness of feelings toward anything but their interests, that leaves them calm and passive, and which is their natural state of being. Ichazo ascribes detachment as their virtue, and while that is true, it is also true that detachment is their normal state of functioning. 

Upon further investigations, it is noticed that the context of both literatures are different. While Ichazo is referring to a detachment from their inner bunker,  which would lead them to enlightenment, the second detachment, which is their ordinary state of being, is a detachment from everything that exists outside their head, including themselves. Where the first one is a goal to become, the second one is a state of being. Unlike the 6s and the 9s, therefore, who strive to maintain control in the public display of their emotions, and strive to be active participants in their environment, the 5s are truly indifferent.

As part of the Head triad, the 5s, deal largely with Anxiety, as such, retreat into their heads to shield themselves from the environment. They fear and mistrust the environment, build unconscious walls against it, and find security in their thinking.[5] They don't wish to be overburdened by the environment, and that's because they unconsciously fear that they can be. Due to their passion, fixation and defense mechanism, which Naranjo assigns as Isolation: the separation of emotions from ideas, they become truly indifferent to the environment, thereby finding it difficult to attach to it.

The characteristic defense mechanism of this character is what Freud called "isolation," meaning the separation of some contents of the mind from others, as well as the compartmentalization or separation of ideas and feeling. The result is good analytic capacity and a difficulty in seeing the overall aspect of situations and their meaning.

We may say that isolation is a core of type V character in that the characteristic detachment not only from people but more generally from the world (including one’s own body) depends on the inactivation of feelings [...]

—Claudio Naranjo.

They are, therefore, characterized by their emotional detachment (from the environment & from themselves), "intellectualization" (replacing living and experience with conceptualizations), phobia & rigid boundaries against their environment.  Avarice leads them to mentally abstract from their experiences, thereby exiting life into strict mental classifications and conceptualizations. The 5s hide from their environment, but they're not conscious of this.

Ego-Stinge Avarice: Anonymity and security are important to the Ego-Stinge  in order that he can safely watch the world from the peephole of his hiding  place. Not only is he avid for the means to maintain his corner, he also is  greedy for knowledge of what is going on in life, so that he can feel alive.

John C. Lilly & Joseph E. Hart

In the type 5 we find an unconscious and complete shutting out of the world that results in a limited and specific form of experience that denotes an absence of experience, where everything and everyone (including themselves) external from the head is observed with interest: to understand, to amuse; and to use as a vehicle to sharpen ideas and theories generated from their interests. 

Due to this very specific form of existence, they don't wish to interfere with their environment, and they don't wish for their environment to interfere with them, therefore, are very sensitive to their boundaries against their environment. Unlike the 9s, who are accommodating and receptive, the 5s are not.

Unlike the 6s who are alert & vigilant, the 5s don't care for the environment. They have a narrow and hyper-specific focus of observation, which they focus on from an emotionally detached, hyper-analytical, and amoral perspective. Anything that isn't on their radar falls away; and they don't care for it. Unlike the 6s who are very pragmatic, the 5s are impractical. Unlike the 6s, too, who value clarity and objectivity, the 5s value obscurity and hyper-subjectivity. They follow their ideas down a rabbit hole, and don't notice (or care about) a disconnect from others.  Also unlike the 6 and the 9, they aren't intuitive.

It might be said that the avaricious is internally perfectionistic rather than critical of the outer world [...]

Whereas the Schizoid [Enneatype 5] is best characterized by deficits such as underarousal, undermotivation, and insensitivity, in the case of the avoidant personality [Enneatype 6] it is a matter of overarousal, overmotivation, and hypersensitivity.

—Claudio Naranjo.

To further illustrate the type 5 character structure, Naranjo offers some observations:

His skill in separating himself conceptually and analytically considering the aspects of a situation allows him to see situations as something unrelated to personal needs—and thus leads to the restriction of personal needs that goes hand-in-hand with avarice in self-spending.

—Claudio Naranjo.

From V.E. von Gebsattel, he notes characterological traits analogous to the type 5: "What always fascinates us in encountering the compulsive person is the unpenetrated, perhaps impenetrable, quality of his being different. Seventy years of clinical work and scientific research have not altered his reaction. Kept alive by the contradiction between the intimate closeness of the presence of a fellow man and the strange remoteness of a mode of being completely different from our own [...]"[3]

the direct expression of the neurotic having removed himself from the inner battlefield is his being an outlooker at himself and his life … Since detachment is a ubiquitous and prominent attitude of his, he is also an outlooker upon others. He lives as if he were sitting in the orchestra and observing a drama acted on the stage, and a drama which is most of the time not too exciting at that. Though he is not necessarily a good observer, he may be most astute. Even in the very first consultation he may, with the help of some pertinent questions, develop a picture of himself replete with a wealth of candid observation. But he usually adds that all this knowledge has not changed anything. Of course it has not—for none of his findings has been an experience for him. Being an outlooker at himself means just that: not actively participating in living and unconsciously refusing to do so.

—Karen Horney

And from Fairbairn he highlights: “the chronic subjective experience of artificiality and of emotional detachment of schizoid personalities …. these patients’ attitude of omnipotence, objective isolation and detachment, and marked preoccupation with inner reality.”

He also goes on to say that from Jung's "descriptions of introverted types [...] it is possible to find some schizoid characteristics, such as 'his amazing unpracticalness and horror of publicity' or the observation that 'he lets himself be brutalized and exploited in the most ignominious way if only he can be left in peace to pursue his ideas.'"

And that "Coulter observes that the type can be 'spirited, creative and attractive, but even when socially outgoing she may still lack warm sympathy' … 'she may appear deficient in feminine receptivity and the finer shades of emotional responsiveness.' Sepia feels too stressful an impingement of life on its independent and private meanings, shown characteristically in a straightforward negativity 'whether due to an inability to conceal her nature, a need to feel rejected, excessive candor, or simply a complete lack of interest in producing a good impression.'

All manifestations of love—marital, parental, filial, and even close friendship—are a drain on her reserves of energy and an obstacle to her need for a certain amount of privacy and independence [...] love does not go forth into affection. [...] love is not absent, but the manifestation of love is benumbed and cannot be expressed.

—Catherine Coulter

As has been observed of this type, they don't identify with their feelings, they overidentify with their thinking and their interests. And are inherently emotionally detached from themselves & their environment, and disconcertingly self-contained, therefore, are incapable of giving themselves, even with their intimates; and only share their interests with those they choose. These interests and their relationships go hand-in-hand. 

In response to this Naranjo notes that "While hysteroids, the right wing of the Enneagram, find it easy to fool themselves with respect to their own capacity to love, it is more difficult for the more schizoid of the characters to fool themselves than anyone, and they may suffer acutely as a result of their incapacity truly to relate to others."[4]

There is scant feeling of camaraderie, little sense of community or fraternity with other mortals.

In partner love, problems derive from their lack of availability, from their demand not to be subject to demands, from their isolation and scant empathy.

—Claudio Naranjo.

Further examination reveals a certain peculiar forgetfulness in the type 5 psychology: a difficulty remembering emotions and describing them, without being analytical about it & a difficulty clearly remembering experiences that have occurred previously. The farther the stretch of time between the past and the present, the less they clearly remember the past, regardless of the experience. And this indicates an indifference to life, and a lack of emotional connections to their experiences.

Also fitting the picture of ennea-type V is the observation of forgetfulness and abstraction in Silica personalities.

—Claudio Naranjo.

In the type 5 personality structure, of all the types, therefore, we find an unconscious need for insight; and an equally implicit incapacity for relatedness and instinctiveness.

Defense Mechanisms








The observer starts with reasoning [IV], the active. The pressure of the reasons will push him to the point of wishing and trying for adventures [VI], the attractive. But very soon he will find himself extremely uncomfortable in the adventure, the function, and he will go inside his point of fixation where he becomes a merciless observer, the result.

Point 5 is known as “Ego-Stinginess”. The fixation is also known as “Over-Observer”.

The over-observer character observes because he is distrustful of the game outside. He observes waiting to see something. While he is waiting, the thing passes on, and he puts himself out of the game. His observation makes him aware of everything that is going on. His observations about others and about the internal processes in human relations are acute and constant most of the time.

This ego derives from the Practical Ego, which is a response to the Adaptation Instinct and is seeking to adapt to the life that is around them, for the 5 is seeking to make the ultimate act of Introjection: The introjection of self into the world. The psychic poison of the Adaptation Instinct at the root of Ego-Stinge is Confusion.

Ego-stinginess experiences a sense of Alienation in the childhood relationship with siblings and/or peers. Thus, they become self-isolating people in which their isolation and withdrawing from others leads them to the need for competency because no one can be depended on so it is up to the 5 to learn as much as he can so he can become fully self-sufficient and not have to rely on anyone else. They express a resignation to love, and a retentive need to withhold from the world in order to remain in a constant state of preparedness.

The main ego-characteristic of this fixation is Withdrawal. The Passion which feeds this ego is Avarice, a greed for knowledge to equip oneself with. The primary defense mechanism is Introjection. An example of Introjection is how one begins to take on the characteristics of those that he is around, imagine a child behaving like the parent when they imitate them, this has indicated that introjection has occurred. The 5 seeks to introject the world into their minds in order to fully cope with it, they have a grasping for resources to fill themselves with in order to fully comprehend the world, and an introjection for energy as well and to hold that energy within themselves as to not let go of it. The 5 fully takes the world in, its knowledge and energy, and does not let it go for they are seeking to fully integrate it within themselves in order to bring themselves into the world that they feel has rejected them. Worsening of this fixation can lead to either Schizoid or Anti-Social Personality Disorder, due to an excessive withdrawal. A secondary defense mechanism is Regression. Further worsening leads to psychosomatic illness.

Domain of Social Interaction










Becoming fixated in the Domain of Social Interaction, there is a swing to the dichotomies of that domain. This can manifest in a positive sense as Sociability on one side, or Privacy at the other side. It can manifest in a negative sense as Meddling at one extreme or Alienation at the other extreme. These dichotomies are represented by two characters: the Busybody at one end, the Loner at the other. A sense of Hatred invades the consciousness in this domain. The stress of being fixated and imbalanced in this domain can lead to Phobias as a compensatory mechanism. The poison of this domain is Envy.

The Trap which simultaneously restricts but potentially liberates this ego is its focus on Observation, constantly observing the world without participating, opting out of their life. The type 5 is able to take in the world and accurately make sense of it. The Way of self-realization of this ego is the Way of Enchantment, which is how we relate magically with the world and finding its wonders.
The Holy Idea which acts as a catalyzer for the transformation of this ego is Holy Omniscience, or Divine Omniscience. This can lead to the Virtue (energy) of Detachment (Non-Attachment).

According to Ichazo, Divine Omniscience is

The awareness that because every individual is intimately connected with the entire cosmos by the operation of objective laws within their own bodies, there is no separateness or alienation except as a mental hallucination. Because the cosmic laws govern every aspect of ourselves, there is no possibility of hiding from the Cosmos, or avoiding the results of natural processes. When we understand this, we are completely at peace with our past.

Notes from Bernadette Schmidt

He is fixed in the realm of social interaction and manifests as someone who seeks to see without being seen. He has highly developed perceptual antennae but, refusing to run the risk of personal involvement, he hides behind the mask of feigned sociability or cynicism.

The FIVE (the Observer/stingy) is physiologically rooted in the protection system (skin and lymphatic system) which governs in the psyche the "function of time" corresponding to "our need to be loved", because at the beginning of the life, the development of this function is linked to the action of the mother, in particular in the care and caresses that she lavishes, directly on the skin, to her infant. If this action has been deficient, there is a risk that the child will have a certain constitutional fragility, torpor and feelings of frustration and isolation which will deeply mark his psyche and his sociability. His passion is avarice, but it is above all his feelings that he is miserly because he keeps them inside and is afraid to share them with others.

FIVE is afraid of not knowing enough to get by in life. This leads him to have an attitude of observation and withdrawal from others (area of ​​social interaction), because he prefers to study and reflect than to engage in social play, which always has something disturbing for him.

Summarized by John C. Lilly

Fixation: Stinginess
Desires anonymity and to view life from the sidelines

Trap: Observer

For him life is fascinating to watch from a safe hidden place, but is much too terrifying to take part in.

Holy Idea: Holy Omniscience

The observer, storing up knowledge of life by viewing it from the sidelines, steps into life when he experiences his essence. Then and only then can he truly have full knowledge of life.

Passion: Avarice

Anonymity and security are important to the Ego-Stinge in order that he can safely watch the world from the peephole of his hiding place. Not only is he avid for the means to maintain his corner, he also is greedy for knowledge of what is going on in life, so that he can feel alive.

Virtue: Detachment

Detachment from his secure hiding place and from the need to know everything will relieve him of his avarice, the struggle to protect his anonymity.

On the Symbol

At the bottom of the Hexad on the symbol with the type 4, as such, these types are naturally negative, resistant, separate from others—"holed up underground". As opposed to the totality, unification, and fluidity of the type 9 at the top of the symbol.

  • Antipode of the type 1 which means they border the same centre (that isn't theirs), in this case, they border the Heart centre. 
  • Antipodal focus on control. Where the type 1, with a strong instinctual centre, controls the environment to control the self; the type 5, with a weak instinctual centre, controls the self to control the environment, as such, the 5 controls how, when, why, how they interact with the environment (and what they interact the environment with). 
  • Both relate to the environment through their proximity to the Heart centre: 5, through the arrogant negativity and specificity of the 4; and the 1, through the arrogant positivity and specificity of the 2. 




  • Psychically proactive, that is, they interact with the environment through the lens of their thinking, which they're constantly modifying. As a result, subordinate the environment to the self: the environment comes secondary to them.
  • Psychically moves away from others.


Admirative (Philia) - Erotic (Eros)



  • As babies, rejected parts of themselves that were rejected by the environment, as such, developed a deep-seated unconscious malice against the environment. 
  • Psychically ambivalent to both the nurturing and protecting figures, therefore, have no roles to assume, and as a consequence, retreat into their heads. In the process of retreat, cut ties to their Heart and the Body: reject emotional connections to the self, and the environment and the instinct to act, subsequently overidentifying with the Head. 
  • Unconsciously reject the need for the nurturing and the protecting functions, thereby, rejecting everything from the environment.

Harmonic Triad


  • Maintains objectivity, rationality and neutrality in conflict, and when under stress. 
  • Unconsciously separates emotions from ideas, therefore, is quite incapable of sustaining and generating emotions: strong focus on emotionally detached objectivity.


[1] Ichazo, Ó (1976). "The Human Process for Enlightenment and Freedom" 5th ed. Arica Institute. The Human Process for Enlightenment and Freedom: A Series of Five Lectures

[2] Lilly, J.C. & Hart, J.E. (1975). "The Arica Training" The Arica Training

[3] Naranjo, C. (1994). "Character and Neurosis: An Integrative Study." 4th ed. Gateways / IDHHB, Inc.

[4] Naranjo, C. (1995). "Enneagram of Society: Healing the Soul to Heal the World." 2nd ed. Gateways Books and Tapes.

[5] Riso, D. R., & Hudson R. (1996). "The Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-discovery." 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin Company.

[6] Simone, J. "Triads"

[7] Beatrice Chestnut(2021), The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge





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