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Enneatype 9 - The Peacemaker

Passion: Sloth

Sloth, in this context, refers to an unconscious psychological self-forgetfulness. A psychological self-fragmentation and inertia that leaves the self fuzzy, indistinct and dispersed, that a person doesn't have a clearly defined ego boundary, and as one of the consequences, "falls asleep on the self" in the face of something truly desired.


Fixation: Ego-In. Indolence

Seeks love outside himself and makes no effort to find his essence and peace.


Defense Mechanism: Narcotization, Deflection

“putting oneself asleep” through an immersion in work or in stimuli such as TV or reading the papers


Basic Traits:

Dependable, reliable, responsible, easygoing, laid-back, self-effacing, generous, good-natured, helpful, jovial

Type 9 on the Symbol

  • Top of the Symbol, as such, is inherently unifying, "positive" and fluid as opposed to the 4 and the 5 at the bottom.
  • Top of the Equilateral Triangle: neutral point of the Gut centre.
  • No antipodes.

Characterological Structure


  • Passion: Sloth. 
  • Fixation: "Ego-In. Indolence: Seeks love outside himself and makes no effort to find his essence and peace."
  • Essential Quality: Harmony.
  • Specific Psychological Problem: Awareness and Individuality.

Though Ichazo denoted the passion of the Nine as "Laziness" Naranjo revised it and assigned "Sloth" to it because he thought it fully captured the essence of what Ichazo was trying to get across than Laziness did. 

Taking into account that the fixation of the 9 is Indolence, which Lilly and Hart present as "Seeks love outside himself and makes no effort to find his essence and peace," and that they go on to say that the trap assigned to the 9 is "Seeker: He is always seeking outside himself for the solution of his problems, running from guru to guru,"[2] indicates that this is an ego-structure truly seeking to be completed by the environment. This is an ego structure pushing into the environment to get the complete affection and solutions he unconsciously refuses to offer himself.

When the reader reads Sloth as the ruling passion of the 9, they often interpret it as a sense of physiological and instinctive laziness, but that's not the case with the 9. Most Nines are very physiologically active. Sloth, in this context, refers to an unconscious psychological self-forgetfulness. A psychological self-fragmentation and inertia that leaves the self fuzzy, indistinct and dispersed, that a person doesn't have a clearly defined ego boundary, and as one of the consequences, "falls asleep on the self" in the face of something truly desired.

In turn, a translation from the Greek “a-chedia” (no care),  accidia  refers to a laziness of the psyche and of the spirit, rather than a tendency to inaction, and so does “indolence” in the context of this book.

This is a dispassionate, phlegmatic character, though the switching off of his or her personal desires frequently coincides with a jovial, gregarious disposition.

—Claudio Naranjo.

Also common in the conception of the 9s as peacemakers is an assumption that all 9s are conflict avoidant. While it is true that Sloth leads to a self-forgetfulness that engenders conflict avoidance, it's also true that it also creates a repository of rage seeking to be loosened. The type 9s, therefore, are one of the most aggressive types, but they are oblivious to the extent of their aggression.

Nines are far more aggressive than they think they are, and the effects of their denied and repressed aggressions can be devastating to themselves and others.

— Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson.

As opposed to the resistance and separation of the 4 and the 5 at the bottom of the symbol, the 9 at the top represents a unification and fluidity of experience—an unconscious porousness of the ego boundary that one thing flows into another, as such, they don't inherently know where they end and where their environment begins. There is an inherent discernment of who they are in relation to everything outside the self.

Therefore, unlike the type 4 and the type 5, who have a very specific and limited form of existence, the type 9 rejects such specificity, because there's so much room and space for existence that nothing can be pinned down. They are, therefore, holistic and universalist in their thought patterns.

As a Gut type, they deal largely with Rage. They seek to be in harmony with themselves and their environment, while paradoxically asserting their autonomy from it.[5] They don't wish to be affected by the environment, so they find peace in their imaginations, which are primarily positive. 

In the type 9 psychological structure, therefore, there is a disengagement from the self, in order to preserve their peace of mind & autonomy, and in order to stay in agreement with their environment. Due to this, they become very sensitive to their environment, and get easily overwhelmed by it. And that's because they unconsciously take on the environment's psychological weight, and find it difficult to shake themselves from it, which leads to an immeasurable depth of empathy, but also profound mood swings and a buildup of repressed rage. This rage, and all other emotional upheavals experienced somatically, are however, concealed behind a supposedly calm and vacuous exterior.

The combination of loss of interiority and the resigned and abnegated character that goes along with it, results in a syndrome of a good hearted, comfortable “earthiness” that may be exaggerated to the point of literalness and narrowness.

—Claudio Naranjo.

Also in response to their overwhelming sensitivity to their environment, most 9s often feel themselves as being unequipped, and incompetent, in dealing with life, and this, also leads to a buildup of repressed rage.

They are, therefore, characterized by their passive, accommodating, receptive, gently gregarious (or sullen & cantankerous) disposition, depth of imagination & intuition and fluid boundaries with their environment. They seek to achieve psychological stasis and tranquillity with no internal friction, and no external friction between them and their environment. 

While persons found at point 5 represent an unconscious resistance to (and shutting out of) the environment, the type 9 represents an unconscious overadaptation and overadjustment to the environment. And while those found at point 4 represent an unconscious resistance to (and a seething resentment against) the environment, those at point 9 represent an unconscious receptivity to (and deep accommodation of) the environment.

In the type 9, therefore, we find deep value and appreciation for imagination, the intellect, community, and connectedness. And a strong emotional investment in how they achieve and maintain interpersonal associations and relationships.

To further illustrate the type 9 character structure Naranjo offers some observations:

In human relations, however, this is an overly self-sacrificing person, overly resigned, passive, conformist; generally a simple person, “without problems”—apart from his or her excessive intolerance of troubles and excessive difficulty when it comes to saying “no,” which often makes these people a target for exploitation.

—Claudio Naranjo.

From Kurt Schneider he notes that these individuals are “easy to seduce by others and by situations. In accordance with their malleable way of being, they are also accessible to good influences … these people who are nearly always kind, don’t give the least trouble at the clinical and pedagogical establishments; they are reasonable, docile, laborious and modest.”[3]

From Sheldon's "The Varieties of Temperaments" he notes traits analogous to the type 9 characterological structure: “viscerotonia is manifested by relaxation, conviviality and gluttony for food, or company or affection or social support. When this component is predominant, the primary motive in life seems to be assimilation and conservation of energy.”

He also observes that "Characteristically, the masochistic character is overly pleasing and self-sacrificing, while at the same time evidencing passive-aggressive behavior.” 

And that “She spends her life nurturing and taking care of everyone but herself. She chronically gives much more than she receives and accepts the imbalance because she feels she is the least important of her family and her worth is measurable only in terms of how much she supplies to others.”

From Millon's observations of the dependent persons, he notes about the 9s characterological structure that, “the dependent persons’ ‘centers of gravity’ lie in others, not in themselves. They adapt their behaviors to please those upon whom they depend, and their search for love leads them to deny thoughts and feelings that may arouse the displeasure of others.

“dependents are notably self-effacing, obsequious, ever-agreeable, docile and ingratiating … They deny their individuality, subordinate their desires, and hide what vestiges they possess as identities apart from others.

He usually empathizes readily with children, and sometimes he is more comfortable with them than with adults … In fact, he often wants to remain a child—preferring its slow, protected, tranquil existence to the striving competitive world of adulthood.

—Catherine Coulter.

Naranjo assigns one of their defense mechanisms as Narcotization, which he says is, "The most appropriate I found and that which I adopted was Karen Horney’s word “narcotization”—for her meaning is not only a loss of awareness but, more precisely, a “putting oneself asleep” through an immersion in work or in stimuli such as TV or reading the papers."[3] As an unconscious ego-strategy, therefore, they psychologically "numb themselves" to whatever it is that could possibly overwhelm them. Either emotions (theirs and those picked up from others) or reality interposing into (and threatening) their psychic stability.

He also assigns "Deflection," borrowed from Erving Polster, as another of their defense mechanisms, which he notes means, 

a neurotic mechanism for turning aside from direct contact with another person. It’s a way of taking the heat off the actual contact. The heat is taken off by circumlocution, by excessive language, by laughing off what one says, by not looking at the person one is talking to, by being abstract rather than specific, by not getting the point, by coming up with bad examples or none at all, by politeness instead of directness, by stereotyped language instead of original language, by substituting mild emotions for intense ones, by talking about rather than talking to, and by shrugging off the importance of what one just said. All of these deflections make life watered down. Action is off-target; it is weaker and less effective. Contact can be deflected either by the person who initiates the interaction or by the respondent. The initiating deflector frequently feels that he is not getting much out of what he is doing, that his efforts don’t bring him the reward he wants. Furthermore, he doesn't know how to account for the loss. The respondent, who deflects another person’s effect almost as if he had an invisible shield, often experiences himself as unmoved, bored, confused, blank, cynical, unloved, unimportant and out-of-place. When deflected energy can be brought back on target, the sense of contact is greatly heightened.

To further illustrate the type 9 structure, he goes on to assign yet another defense mechanism which he, in accordance with Gestalt therapy,  termed “confluence” or "boundary disturbance." Quoting from Polsters he writes:

If a discrepancy in their views becomes manifest they cannot work it out to a point of reaching genuine agreement or else agreeing to disagree. No, they must either restore the disturbed confluence by whatever means they can or else flee into isolation. The latter may emphasize sulking, withdrawing, being offended, or in other ways putting the brunt upon the other to make up; or, despairing of restoring the confluence, it may take the form of hostility, flagrant disregard, forgetting, or other ways of disposing of the other as an object of concern.

He also adds that "To restore interrupted confluence one attempts to adjust oneself to the other or the other to oneself. In the first case one becomes a yes-man, tries to make up, frets about small differences, needs proofs or total acceptance; one effaces his own individuality, propitiates, and becomes slavish. In the other case where one cannot stand contradiction, one persuades, bribes, compels or bullies."[3]

As has been observed, therefore, consolidating self-forgetfulness is an abnegation of desires, so as not to present as a burden on others, and a strong investment in achieving and maintaining interpersonal cooperations, by any means necessary, present in the type 9 psychological structure. Also present is an unconscious need to dull, or resist, psychologically disturbing elements, in order to not disrupt their psychic stability and tranquillity; and a superego demand to be good.

Average Nines use most of their energy to maintain and defend two boundaries against their environment. One is against the outer environment: Nines do not want their inner stability to be affected or influenced by other people. The second is against aspects of their inner environment: this can include feelings, memories, thoughts, or sensations which would be upsetting, thus ruining their balance and autonomy.

—Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson.

In type 9, of all the types, therefore, we find a strong sense of abstraction and intuition, and a strong  awareness of the unity that exists between individuals, as well as between individuals, nonhumans and the abiotic environment. In them we find an implicit desire for a tranquil coexistence, and an equally implicit capacity for simplicity, empathy and relatedness.

Structural Traits

Psychological Inertia:

An unconscious disengagement from the self; an unconscious lack of interiority that results in a laziness of the psyche, a falling asleep, or giving up on the self, and a vagueness and fluidity of the self-concept.

Along with these terms we may link “narcotization” (also introduced by Horney) and “thick-skinned” (a desensitization in the service of “long suffering”).

[...] an emotional consequence, a deadening of feelings, which may be either apparent (in an excessively phlegmatic disposition or in lack of communication about self) or hidden (under a genial or jovial disposition).

Not wanting to see, not wanting to be in touch with one’s experience is something akin to cognitive laziness, an eclipse of the experiencer or inner witnessing in the person.

—Claudio Naranjo.


An unconscious overadjustment and overadaptation to the environment that results in unconsciously taking on the psychological weight and opinions of the environment. An ego malleability that results in placing the environment above the self. Becomes dependable, reliable, responsible, and also develops a conscious need to control how they interact with the environment to avoid being taken advantage of, and to foster individuation.

If spiritual laziness or  accidia  is the passion in ennea-type IX, the interpersonal life strategy and associated life view may be seen in a cluster having to do with “over-adaptation,” “self-denial,” “self-neglect,” “inattention to personal needs,” and “an over-controlled disposition”—which I am including in the same group—for it is not possible to adjust (to say nothing of over-adjusting) without the ability to take hold of oneself and inhibit one’s impulses.

If in most cases the failure to embody the ideal of loving one’s neighbor as oneself comes from loving oneself more than one’s neighbor, in ennea-type IX, the situation appears as the opposite, for the over-adjusted postpone their own good and the satisfaction of their needs in an excessive yieldingness to the demands and needs of others.

—Claudio Naranjo.


An unconscious self-forgetfulness and self-fragmentation that results in an unconscious giving up on one's needs. As a consequence they become quite easygoing and laid-back, self-effacing and self-deprecating. 

Both self-alienation and abnegated over-adaptation involve resignation—a giving up of oneself, an abdication from oneself and from life.

Though resignation underlies over-adaptation it deserves to be considered by itself in view of the prominence of traits involving laziness in regard to one’s needs, contentedness, and giving up or not standing up for one’s rights.

—Claudio Naranjo.


A minimization of the self and desires, so as not to take up space, and weigh too much upon the environment. As a consequence, develops a generous, good-natured, helpful, jovial, gregarious and energetic disposition. And a conscious need to "go at it alone," to not want to "rock the boat" or to not become an unnecessary burden on others.


A reposit of resignation, and generosity above, become unassuming and unimage-conscious. 

The sense of worth as well as the sense of existence of type IX is satisfied, not through applause, but rather, through vicarious participation, a living through others: lost identity becomes an identity by symbiosis with family, nation, party, club, team, and so on.

—Claudio Naranjo.

Robotic Habit-Boundedness:

An unconscious need to preserve their psychic stability and tranquillity, become resistant to anything that could disturb their peace of mind. As a consequence, begin to reimagine and idealize reality, and others. Develop routines that reinforce their idealizations, deflections and narcotizations.

Robotization, of course, can be seen as a consequence of loss of interiority, of alienation from self. On the whole we are struck by the paradox that this most painstaking and long suffering way of being in the world is rooted in a passion for comfort: a psychological comfort purchased at such high price that, as intimated above, bioenergetics practitioners brand ennea-type IX individuals as “masochistic.”

—Claudio Naranjo.


A consequence of their psychological inertia, an unconscious inability to completely focus on present moments, and to be fully present or engaged in a situation, especially if they're psychologically stressful. Results in confusion, haziness and lack of immediacy of thought, and forgetfulness. Need to take their time to fully process things, and therefore, possess highly intuitive thought patterns, and an inability to readily explain their thought processes.

That a perturbation of consciousness is involved in these various obscurations seems confirmed in the fact that ennea-type IX people describe themselves as distractible, confused, sometimes with a bad memory.

The nature of their attention problem seems to be a difficulty of concentration—which causes awareness to escape from the center of the experience realm toward its periphery.

—Claudio Naranjo.


Hornevian Group


The E9 is a part of the "expansive" or moving-towards triad, as they move towards others who expand. Karen Horney outlines that a part of this triad is a compulsive obedience and/or self-nullifying solution, either becoming seductive characters (E7 and E2) or in the case of E9, renunciatory and oriented towards outer-servitude. This servitude acts as a substitute for seduction, as the belief in themselves is not great enough to project a "need" in others, and so the path to seduction is never begun. In service and renouncing their self-autonomy, they can satiate the fundamental anxiety at the core of their neurosis and convince themselves into a paradise of complacency.


In “Neurosis and Maturity”, Karen Horney explains that every child develops a basic anxiety that leads them to experience the world as threatening and unreliable. This feeling prevents him from relating to others with the spontaneity of his real feelings and forces him to develop defensive strategies, which he divides into two types: interpersonal and intrapsychic. A new typology appears based on how people deal with their basic anxiety:

 Obedient or self-nullifying solution, which leads them to approach others.
 Aggressive or expansive solution, which leads them to move against them.
 Detached or resigned solution, which leads them to move away from human contact.

We are interested here in what she describes as a: “personality with obedient or docile tendencies. Fear of success and avoidance of all competition. The patient only feels safe when he is humble, discreet and non-threatening to
others. Perceives therapeutic progress as a risk.” People whose predominant trait is obedience, applicable to all subtypes of the E9, and very explicit in the sexual E9, try to overcome their basic anxiety by gaining the affection or approval of others, or by controlling them through dependency. Their values lie in the direction of kindness, sympathy, love, generosity, altruism, and humility, while abhorring selfishness, ambition, cruelty, unscrupulousness, and the exercise of power.

They may compulsively embrace Christian values, and believe in turning the other cheek. They consider that the universe displays a providential order in which virtue is always rewarded. Their belief is that if they are good (kind, humble, and altruistic), they will be well treated by fate and by others. If this does not happen, they may be separated by divine injustice, or conclude that they have made a mistake, that they have been wrong, or develop a belief in a higher order that
transcends human understanding.

They need to believe in justice and order in the world and in the goodness of human nature. That is why they are so vulnerable to disappointment. They repress their expansive tendencies and at the same time are attracted to expansive people, through whom they can vicariously participate in the control of their own life. They tend to develop a morbid dependence on their partner.

La Pereza Psicoespiritual

Riso and Hudson

Interprets E9 as withdrawn.

  • Psychically proactive, that is, they interact with the environment through the lens of their imaginations, 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.





Compassion (agape) - Compassion (agape)



  • As babies felt psychically satisfied with the care provided by their environment, therefore, acknowledged it as a natural source of their survival.
  • Are psychically connected to the protecting (authority / guiding) and the nurturing figures, take on their agendas, and seek to please them. When there is conflict (perceived or real), the child works hard at attempting to mend it.
  • Unconsciously seek to replicate or replace their relationship with (or the role of) the authority and the nurturing figures in their interactions with the environment as they get older.


Positive Outlook:

  • Need positive reaffirmations, or rationalizations, to keep functioning—strong focus on positivity, and an avoidance of negativity, in conflict and when under  stress.
  • Seek harmony with themselves and their environment, avoid anything that could disrupt their psychic stability, especially in conflict and when under stress.



  • 9s calmness and fluidity flavoured by the 8s expansiveness and unboundedness, therefore, produces a structure more assertive, more outgoing and more openly stubborn than the 9w1;
  • More adventurous than the 9w1;
  • More aggressive than the 9w1;
  • Better identified with anger than the 9w1. 


  • 9s calmness and fluidity flavoured by the 1s principles and idealism, therefore, produces a structure more reserved, idealistic and more high-minded than the 9w8;
  • More flexible and easygoing than the 9w8;
  • More openly passionate than the 9w8;
  • More prone to being resentful than the 9w8.


[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]The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge By Beatrice Chestnut



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