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Three Centers of Intelligence

The Nine Enneagram Numbers are divided into three energy centers, or centers of intelligence. Each of the three centers speak to general patterns of behaving (action), feeling (emotions) and thinking (thoughts). You can hear the audio recordings of the nine types and their inner monologues by clicking first on one of the three flowers, which represent one of the three centers of intelligence, and then clicking on the number you want to hear about, within that center.

The Body Center, includes types 8, 9, and 1.  It's called the body center because these types typically respond first from their gut, a place of intuitive knowing.  The focus of attention is on control, empowerment and autonomy. Each of the three types in the body center respond to control differently and with slightly different motivations. An underlying feeling for these types is anger. The Heart Center, includes types 2, 3, and 4. It's called the heart center because these types typically respond from their heart first, and feelings are what drive them first.  Their focus of attention is on image and worth.  Each of the three types in the heart center respond to realizing their value with different strategies and slightly different motivations. Underlying feelings for these types is shame and unworthiness. The Head Center, includes types 5, 6, and 7.  It's called the head center because these types typically respond from their head first, and are driven to act or not act by their thoughts most.  Their focus of attention is around security and safety.  Each of the three types in the head center approach their sense of security with different tactics and slightly different motivations. The dominant underlying feeling is fear.

Optimally, we want to be living our lives in a balanced way from all three centers. It helps us to be aware of which of the centers we overuse, and which we underuse. It may be valuable to us to practice using a center that we are not predisposed to use. Though the Body Center types may not be conscious they are preoccupied with control, they behave that way, nonetheless. The Body Center is about action or non action. The heart center types may or may not be conscious that they are operating most often from feeling or not feeling, but they are. And the head center types may or may not be aware that they are living their lives from thinking/head world most of the time.

The Enneagram is a dynamic system and we are not stuck in any one energy. We move around the circle and utilize the gifts of many of the types. Ultimately we are most whole when we use all of the points of view. In the diagram above, you can see arrows. These arrows show us access points, as each type can operate within their "triad". Some teachers of the Enneagram refer to these triad points as either stress/disintegrations points or security/integration points. We can also have easy access to our wings, or next door neighbors. So a 2's wings are 1 and 3. An 8's wings are 7 and 9. So when you listen to the inner monologues I invite you listen to all of them and take note of which seem the most resonant and whether the most familiar fall into one of your triads or wings.

In the diagram below we can see the wholeness of the world and see that without any one of the types our world would be sorely missing a part of its wholeness.

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