A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

Arguing About the Enneagram

July 14, 2023 Randy Knie & Kyle Whitaker Season 3 Episode 26
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Arguing About the Enneagram
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

If you're an American evangelical or used to be, there's a good chance you've heard of the Enneagram. You may have even run into it in another context or heard about it from friends who are really into personality tests. We've discussed it briefly on the show before, and we've wanted to eventually give it its own episode because Randy has found it really beneficial and Kyle is a bit of a skeptic.

Lo and behold, one of our Patreon supporters, Jeff Cook, is, like, the Enneagram guru, in addition to having a background as both a pastor and a philosopher. Go figure. Jeff reached out and proposed a conversation about what the Enneagram is, what its particular strengths are, and some of Kyle's objections to it. He's joined by TJ Wilson, his co-host of Around the Circle and two other Enneagram-focused podcasts.

It's a fun, serious, personal, and respectful conversation about a topic that a lot of Christians today care a lot about. An argument, in the best sense.*

Some resources mentioned in the conversation are:

The beverages sampled in this episode are:

To skip the tasting, go to 3:38.

You can find the transcript for this episode here.

*Note: in philosophy, arguments are good things.


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NOTE: This transcript was auto-generated by an artificial intelligence and has not been reviewed by a human. Please forgive and disregard any inaccuracies, misattributions, or misspellings.

Randy  00:07

I'm Randy, the pastor half of the podcast, and my friend Kyle is a philosopher. This podcast hosts conversations at the intersection of philosophy, theology, and spirituality.

Kyle  00:16

We also invite experts to join us, making public space that we've often enjoyed off-air around the proverbial table with a good drink in the back corner of a dark pub.

Randy  00:24

Thanks for joining us, and welcome to A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar.

Kyle  00:37

So in this episode, we're doing something a little unusual. We're joining another podcast, the host of another podcast, who are also dropping this same episode into their feeds simultaneously as we are. And these people are Jeff and TJ. And they're the host of a podcast called around the circle. And it's about the Enneagram, which is something that we have briefly mentioned on the show before it's something that Randy has more experience with than I do. He's he's kind of proponent or at least thinks it's a good healthy thing tool that can be used positively in your life. I'm kind of a skeptic, I think it's a kind of pseudoscience, or a parlor game. And so but we have Jeff, who was one of our Patreon supporters, you guys are good

Randy  01:17

parlor game. Games a good love.

Kyle  01:21

So Jeff, one of our Patreon supporters, who's one of the CO hosts of this podcast reached out to us and asked if we'd want to talk more in depth about the Enneagram, because I had written this article about it, which I'll drop it in the show notes, which is very critical. And he wanted to kind of give a response in a way and spell out why he thinks what he thinks the Enneagram is and why he thinks it's valuable. And we're like, Yeah, it sounds like a really interesting conversation. And then he sent us amazing whiskey. And so we couldn't say no, I mean,

Randy  01:44

by amazing, I mean, incredible, incredibly amazing. In Jeff and TJ are just really great, guys, like really fun to talk to them. I get excited when somebody is interested in debunking or even kind of coming against your Yeah, made, you know, your strength and antagonism against Enneagram I, I am a proponent for it. I'm an advocate for it, it's helped my life, I would say for sure. It helped me understand myself more. And it's a long, long project not done. But um, but I'm not, it's not a soapbox of mine, I'm not going to die on that hill. I think it's a great tool. But it's not the end all be all. And that comes out in the episode as well as that that's my issue with it is when people make it the end all be all, but these guys are fun, fun guys to talk to. And Enneagram is something that is all over the place in evangelical or post evangelical circles. And so I think it's really relevant to us,

Kyle  02:40

and they really know their stuff. And I will say this towards the end of the episode, there is kind of a session of I don't know what you'd call it analysis as the word they use and other psychological circles, but they kind of do their thing on each of us. And so you're gonna hear Randy's assessment or whatever you want to call it towards the end of this episode, mine will make it into a Patreon extra if you want to hear that. So yeah, it was interesting. Oh, yeah.

Elliot  03:05

And potentially one of among our most contentious episodes to date. Thanks. Oh, yeah, I think Jeff knew what he was getting into. He did. And we were all friends at the end. Stay tuned, folks Yeah.

Randy  03:38

So on a pastor and philosopher Welcome to bar we'd like to sample and tastes delicious alcoholic beverages, because that's what you do in a bar. And it makes for better conversation. So this is the first time ever we have some guests. Joining us, our guests joining us for the tasting. So Jeff, and TJ, welcome to pastor philosopher. Welcome to a bar.

Jeff  03:56

Thank you.

TJ  03:56

Glad to be here.

Randy  03:57

And we have to say, we have never had a guest send us booze in a pre pre show. And also, I don't think we'll ever have a guest who sends us this exclusion of a boost. So we went Oh, yeah. Kyle, tell them about this.

Kyle  04:13

Yeah. So this is called Glenmorangie Signet. It's a highland scotch. And it is gorgeous. I don't know if you're watching on YouTube, which most people don't but if you can see this, it's one of the prettiest whiskey bottles I've ever encountered. And the heft on it is indescribable. This thing probably weighs seven pounds. Feel just the cap. Oh, it is intense.

Randy  04:39

Instantly Rolls Royce menu.

Kyle  04:40

And you might think, because a lot of distilleries do this that oh, they're just putting, you know, mediocre whiskey and a fancy bottle to trick the rich people. And some people do that. But this is not that. I've had this several times and it is gorgeous. And so basically what they're doing is pretty pretty unusual for Scotch is they're roasting They're grain. So it's like a chocolate malt basically. And it just gives it a depth and there's hardly any Pete to this because it's a highland scotch. And so it gives it a bourbon like quality, but it is still clearly recognizably scotch. And it's a blend of various ages, some of them quite old. Okay,

Randy  05:18

and you guys have something to taste as well tell us about that. Sure.

TJ  05:22

I am drinking a, a local whiskey. I like local stuff. And this I got today, because I'm in Illinois, and it is whiskey acres. It is a straight dry. This company, apparently, like they're farmers, and so they grow their own stuff. And they do all of the distilling and everything on the farm. Cool. And he was saying that they only do like 350 barrels a year. Ever. So yeah, it's small batch kind of stuff. And yeah, it's really good.

Randy  05:56

Are both of you whiskey drinkers?

Jeff  05:57

I like all the things but but appears to be mostly whiskey. Yeah. whiskies and scotches.

TJ  06:03

Yeah, I like I lean more towards whiskey.

Randy  06:06

what's your what's some of your favorites?

TJ  06:08

Oban Scotch is the the Scotch that like this is the one that I have all the time. I'm I love Oh, man. I don't know I I get around. I like a lot of we have

Kyle  06:20

the distillers edition on the show at one point was one of the ones we featured. Lovely, lovely Scott

TJ  06:25

is an excellent class of whiskey.

Kyle  06:27

Jeffy drinking anything.

Jeff  06:29

I'm drinking the breakfast out from the fine folks at founders brewing. This is one of my favorite beers. And I just wasn't up for distilled liquor tonight. But the but this was I bought this special because I really wanted one to have a little bit of coffee going into what potentially could be an adversarial discussion. That's fair. That's fair. So there's a very thick 8.6 Yeah, I'll call Vaughn.

Kyle  06:58

Good beer. It's funny. I had exactly the opposite reaction for the same reason knowing that it was a potentially adversarial conversation I intentionally avoided caffeine.

Randy  07:09

So let's talk about the Signet because of this is ridiculous. It smells like a blend between bourbon and scotch. Yes, yes.

Kyle  07:15

And it tastes very much like that, too. But it has a Scotch body. But bourbon flavors. But there's like a toffee at the end. That is very hard to come by and bourbon.

Randy  07:24

Well, holy moly. Holy moly.

Kyle  07:29

It just exudes quality. Everything about it.

Randy  07:34

I'm trying to grasp words. It doesn't present as a Scotch so much to me. But it doesn't present as a bourbon either. It's almost its own thing. Yeah, it's a really beautiful blend of it, but so complex in so like, it's like a chef made this Yeah, where you have all these different ingredients that can play off of one another. But then that chef knows how to bring it together at the end and just perfectly. Make it harmonious. That's there's almost less descriptor words and more just like yes, is a product is perfect.

Kyle  08:07

Yeah, it's an experience for sure. And it's got some it's like oily the mouthfeel is exceptional, silky. The legs on the glass are just best in the game. It's gorgeous. Is this peated? If it is it's extremely light, they don't tell you. I would say there's probably no but there it's a blend of a bunch of things. So there might be a little bit in there. It's hard to know. Yeah. The men obtain as they call themselves the people who distill it Glenmorangie are keeping their secrets.

Randy  08:36

This is This is outrageous. This is that sweet. Carmeli toffee. Like you said, it's got a little bit of quite a bit of oak to it. Actually. Not a ton of smoke. But again, it just all plays together so beautifully. You got any words Elliot?

Kyle  08:53

Or producer Elliot over here? Just enjoy?

Randy  08:56

Yeah, no, this is I want to say it's it's certainly the best Scotch I've ever had. But I almost wouldn't say it's the best Scotch I've ever had because it doesn't present.

Kyle  09:06

Yeah, but and nothing else they make is like this and they know it's a one off thing. Glenn warranty is gorgeous. They do a lot of really interesting finishes and whatever try there others the first whips Scotch ever had was a 10 year Good morning because it's like the best entry into Scotch basically,

Randy  09:19

it's almost like Scotch with some cognac in it or something like that. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? About where it's got that sweet richness that comes with with a liquor like that. That's brilliant. Dislike this was an after dinner drink from Yes, very much. Thank you so much, Jeff. This is incredible. What a treat.

Kyle  09:37

Yeah, everything I said about the INIA Graham was wrong.

Randy  09:43

Are going to say everything I'm about to say. Well, cheers to get in TJ cheers.

Jeff  09:51

Cheers. Cheers. You

Kyle  10:00

So Jeff and TJ, thanks for joining us in this conversation, we're really excited to talk to you guys about the Enneagram. I've, I think we've both been listening to your show. And you also sent over some very detailed notes in response to some of the stuff that I had to say Enneagram. It's all Jeff or I didn't want to presuppose you know, which one of you that primarily came from both your names were on it. So whoever wrote it, I appreciate it. And it was very helpful to get my head around some of what you guys think about the Enneagram, and how to approach this conversation. So I'm excited about it. I do want to give a disclaimer at the beginning. I don't know if you heard one of our recent episodes with a philosopher named Keith de Rose, who is kind of known for a position called contextual realism. And the way he cashes it out is essentially, what I can take myself to know depends on depends heavily on the context in which I am conversing about it. And so you may find at some point, in this interview, or conversation, that I might seem like I have strong opinions. But it's, it's simply because of context. Because, in reality, like on the list of things I care deeply about and get worked up about the Enneagram is where we go, here we go. But I do have some opinions. And so of course, you'll see how strongly I just want you and the listener to know if I seem like I know, I actually don't. There's,

Randy  11:23

there's like a sentence that kind of calculates what you just did right here. It's like, being very condescending and arrogant at the same time in a perfect Yeah, yes. Well,

Kyle  11:33

because I'm a five, I guess. And the other the other disclaimer is that you guys sent us amazingly delicious whiskey incredible, very generously. And so I'm inclined to agree with whatever you say. It could go either way.

Randy  11:48

With condescending and arrogance with a lot of integrity.

Kyle  11:53

And and yeah, just appreciate Agnus gratefulness for this delicious whiskey. So

TJ  11:58

awesome. And really, you're discovering the actual reason we sent?

Kyle  12:03

Could be if so well played.

Randy  12:06

Well, Kyle, should we jump in?

Kyle  12:08

Yeah, let's do it. So in this group here, the four of us, I feel a little outnumbered. We have two people who run a podcast about the Enneagram obviously very pro, Randy is pretty pro although I saw in the outline, you put some some, you know, fair, like possibly critical questions. I appreciated that. I'm the skeptic. I'm the holdout. But also, as I said, a relatively apathetic skeptic. Not very high on my priority list, but I don't buy it. So interested to see how this goes. What made you guys want to because you approached us what made you want to talk to us about this.

Jeff  12:40

I've been a huge fan of your podcast. I have worked professionally as both a pastor and a philosopher for over 12 years and founder podcast, I believe it's like a year ago, and just a lot of the people that you're conversing with a lot of the topics that you're covering ended up being things that I've been very interested in for a while. And so it was and but I've kind of gotten out of the literature. And so your podcast has kind of kept me up to date for the most part, especially when you have specialists on who are talking about contemporary work. Yeah.

Randy  13:10

And you've probably overheard Kyle, condescendingly talk about the Enneagram I'm sure there's

Kyle  13:15

only once I think came up one time

Jeff  13:17

yeah, it popped once and I got the bug I got my my my you know hair on my arms went up I was like I need to connect with these men and and over a slow you know seven or eight month drip drip drip of have sought to make this happen and

Randy  13:35

here we are. Yeah, we are Yeah,

Kyle  13:36

what was your philosophical background like I was gonna ask that later. But I think now's as good a time as any might help me to frame kind of where you're coming from I

Jeff  13:44

got my master's degree from CU Boulder stayed under Wes Morrison and Michael Tooley. Oh know what the my focus was on the problem of divine hiddenness is why I wrote on but but most of the stuff I really got into Pascal in at that time, and that's been a real focus of mine has been Pascal Stinson.

Kyle  14:08

Yeah. Okay, that's quite different. So that's a lot of somewhat disparate influences. For listeners who don't know, the people he named are very analytic, particularly Tooley who's kind of well known for being a very analytic atheist, mounted probably one of the strongest versions of the problem of evil that's ever been written. And then Pascal, something else.

Randy  14:30

So we do a podcasts, you know, Jeff, that we talk about all sorts of different topics and some some of them we come back around to whether it's the Bible or creation and evolution, there's a number of things that we kind of go back to several times but I can't imagine as a podcaster talking about one thing for you know, I think, as I've been listening through your podcasts, you've got over 140 episodes live, I think, tell us about what made you want to do Enneagram podcast and just keep doing it.

Kyle  15:00

Do you have more than one? There's like two, right? Is that right? Yeah. Okay,

TJ  15:03

now there's three things. Yeah. So we are both nerds, there's first start. So when we get into something, we usually get into it pretty hard. And the, as we were studying and learning more and more about the Enneagram, for our own purposes, we realize that there's not the type of podcast or engagement with the material that's out there. It didn't, it didn't satiate us, like there wasn't the kind of podcast that we really wanted, there was a lot of surface level a lot of business oriented and a lot of sort of intro podcast, then there was also, there also is a lot of information out there that's more focusing on one person, like they have a guest. And they talked about that one person and some of the issues that go around with them. And, and so we sat down, and we talked about what if we did our own podcast, that would essentially go around the circle that would top talk about issues instead of people. And we could address all nine types through that that lens. And that kind of just happened. And here we are four years later, and we just haven't run out of material to

Randy  16:22

talk about yet. In What are you What number are you guys,

TJ  16:25

I am a type nine, sometimes called the peacemaker, or the mediator. Basically, I want things to be calm and simple and, and harmonious. And I avoid conflict at all cost.

Randy  16:39

And what's your wing eight or one?

TJ  16:41

I, so, we actually don't necessarily believe that wings are are typically dominant, we think that you can use the tools from your wings in in different ways in different spaces. And you're

Kyle  16:54

going to have to explain to me what that means when you're done. So I

TJ  16:57

personally don't, I go back and forth, I use my eight wing for certain scenarios, I use my one wing for certain scenarios, I don't think I lean more in either direction.

Jeff  17:07

It's a good description, and kind of what our topics are, is it's much more Enneagram theory and talking theory of all over the place. But I type is the one and ones are improvers really want to they connect to the world by trying to make it better. And that happens in relationships and in jobs and physical spaces. That's how I

Kyle  17:27

can so I guess I'll say I'm a five supposedly. And I'm literally having to look up what my wings or whatever were because I don't remember, it's been a long time. Well, these guys don't care about wings, so probably not. But I want you to explain eight, eight and four. And I don't remember which one was which. Explain what you just said TJ about wings. And

TJ  17:53

so if you look at the Enneagram diagram, it's a circle with a bunch of lines in the middle and wings describe the type on either side of you. So there are some tests and information out there that give what I would call what you just described a try type, okay, so you are dominant in five, and then you have some strong eight qualities. And you also have some strong four qualities, but the fact that eight is far away from you, means that it cannot be your wing. Okay? So four and six are the only wings for five. And you draw from different qualities on either side of that to sort of fill out some of the spaces. Great.

Randy  18:35

All right. So I've been told that well, I'm definitely an eight with a seven wing but then I've been told I go to a two in health and a five and unhealth Can you describe for us what that means? Or do you believe in those words?

TJ  18:48

Yeah, we do not use those words, we use stress and security most often. And so what that means is that that describes the lines that are in the middle of the circle, and stress and security when when we are in stress places when we when our normal methods for getting the things that we want aren't working, we move to a stress place and we start to grab some of the qualities that are there, our motivation stays the same in our center. But now we're picking up some of the behavior that's down there. And we are very strong believers that you can do that in healthy and unhealthy ways. Which is why we don't like health and unhealthy as descriptors. So as an eight when you are stressed moving to five means that you can pick up some of the great things that are there at five to help you recenter figure out what's going on and then move back to eight to figure out how to reengage or you can go to five and just basically take your ball and go home you can do the unhealthy version of things that are at five and same thing for security in the other direction.

Kyle  19:56

Okay, so at this point, a lot of your listeners are like vibe and yeah, this is awesome. And a lot of our listeners are like, What the hell are they talking about? So let's back up. What is the Enneagram? And why should people who have no familiarity with it care

Jeff  20:11

Enneagram has a theory about human motive, why people will paint it as a personality typing system, which it can be, I like it better is a theory about human motivation, and giving language to what motivates us can be incredibly helpful. And it just so happens that when jumping into that topic and talking about your motive, my motive and when lots of different people talk about their motivations, what ngram suggests is that patterns begin to emerge in which some people are providing very similar answers. And lo and behold, as you begin to push and see their life experiences, you begin to see things like what we're talking about, in stress, this is what those with my motivation tend to do. When I feel secure, this is more how I move. And lo and behold, we see this pattern nearly across the board. It's one of those things it's very hard to test for, or it's not physical thing like the sciences often can chart. But if the theory holds, it would be something like when talking about human motivation, nine big types emerge. And they tend to have very similar struggles, and similar patterns of behavior, similar ways that they attach in relationships, and similar ways that they solve problems and the rest.

Kyle  21:38

So how did those types how are they arrived? You use the word emerge? That's not necessarily the the word I might have used, but you know, way more about the Enneagram. That means, so I'm happy to defer to you on its history and development. So yeah, why nine? Why the specific nine? Where does that come from? Why are you? Are you committed to that being a hard limit? Is it flexible, etc.

Jeff  22:03

In our mind, I'll speak for TJ, I suppose, the nine types are discovered, they're not invented. And so it's more like pulling back the veil on human motive, and engaging human psychology from that specific line of thought and discovery. And finding that the best way to articulate what's going on across the spectrum of human beings is something like describing everyone's motive with nine different words, or ideas. And that that pattern ends up being a very helpful way of talking about one's inner life, it'd be like talking about seven colors, or better yet talking about 12 musical notes that the 12 musical notes are, in essence discovered. And what we see with the 12 musical notes is that they actually go around in a circle and, and that, that there are different combinations, there's overtones, there's ways that they can pair and create harmonies. And that's real similar in our mind to how human motive works.

Kyle  23:18

So I'm happy with the metaphor I was gonna ask you about that metaphor anyway, with music, I think that's helpful. But of course, there are ways that we know that there are those discrete types in music, that there is only a limited number of notes and a limited number of possible combinations of those notes. There are like verifiable methods that we can use to discern that. And so is anything it seems like that's where the metaphor breaks down. And so is there anything similar within the case of the Enneagram? Because the other part of my question was, are you committed to there just being nine? And if so, what justifies that?

Jeff  23:50

How would you know that there's 12 notes.

Kyle  23:53

The the music people tell me the people who study the physics of sound, telling me that there's only so many things that, you know, the human ear can perceive?

Jeff  24:07

I think it would be actually real similar in terms of what is being named is that there's like a combination, when you have a frequency. In music, there's a certain frequency and it pairs and matches with a different frequency over and over and over and over and over again. And I would say that it's real similar in terms of how our motivations work, when people begin to describe how and why their motive motivated the language. If, say, you interviewed 20 People who typed just for say, You assumed the theory and 20 people that typed as a type eight, and then you looked at their language, and how they talked about engaging the world what you would see as a lot of really common patterns. And then if you talked about fives, what you would actually see as another pattern in terms of the connection between type eight and the type five that have some some polarities and distinctions because fives when secure actually take on a lot of the characteristics of eights and eights when in stress take on a lot of the characteristics of five. So your relationship which is which shares a line ends up having a natural chemistry to it. And that's worth that's worth talking about. And it's something that's unveiled discovered. After countless conversations. I don't

Kyle  25:22

I have objections, but then potentially go to the core of it kind of objections. But I do want to insist that you answer the question specifically, are you committed to there only being nine? Yeah, I

Jeff  25:35

think that's what's discovered. We Okay,

Kyle  25:38

do you think that has been discovered? Yeah, that's my take. But

TJ  25:41

I am as committed to their only being nine as I am to there only being seven colors in the rainbow.

Kyle  25:48

Okay. Now see, that, to me is an extraordinarily strong claim, that will require an extraordinary amount of evidence on the level that physics gives us about color. And like, it's, hopefully you agree, absolutely noncontroversial that nothing exists in that way for the Enneagram, or for any Personality Inventory. And so it just seems to me that the claim that you guys have committed yourself to far outstrips the evidence. Now I'm fine with saying this is like extraordinarily useful, and a lot of identifiable ways. And we can describe those ways and our own experiences and the experiences of people that we've met and talked to about this, and we've have 150 episodes, describe of our podcast is totally fine with that. But that's an extraordinary claim that you just made comparisons, compare it, for example, to what the big five, which is like the most scientifically validated Personality Inventory, the claim it makes for itself is something along the lines of these five types capture about 80% of personality variance among humans. And so there's about 20%, that it doesn't capture. And also those five types are about primarily human behavior or language used to describe human behavior. And it really is kind of, as you described, a discovered thing, in the sense of the the types were developed, based on the ways people describe themselves and then kind of making abstractions from a lots of those ways and scientifically rigorous ways. Alternatively, correct me if I'm wrong about this, but it seems like for the Enneagram, the types preexisted, the evidence, or the application, so we have the system, and then we kind of apply it to people's experiences. And what do you know, we find a lot of commonality, and that it seems to make a lot of sense. But it's more of a top down approach rather than a bottom up approach. Correct me if I'm wrong about that, but that's how it seems to me

Jeff  27:34

to circle back to musical theory, the idea that there is an H, or an AI note doesn't really make sense in music theory, because it's a circle in in as Enneagram gets unfolded, in terms of theory, it's it's circular in nature. And so it's almost an all or nothing kind of package. So I do understand the Big Five could say, hey, there's a big six off, that's all fine for me. I'm not an advocate for that. But in terms of Enneagram it, it functions much more as a holistic system. Now, that actually makes it easy to disprove on one front, if you can figure out it. Yeah,

Kyle  28:11

it does. So let's get to so this is another concern I have with this kind of rigidity about the the numbers, the amount of them, the nature of them, is that it doesn't seem like I'm free to not fit into them. Right. So if I have the experience, which I did have, maybe I took the wrong test. I don't know, I took the whips. And so maybe you had maybe you think that was awful. I don't know. But but you know, it puts me in some boxes. Right? And I know you don't think that's the purpose of the Enneagram. And I want to hear you out about that. But if I feel like I don't know, if I strongly identify with what it told me I do in some ways, but not in other ways. Maybe I just strongly identify with some of the other numbers, maybe I strongly identify with things that aren't on that list at all. Maybe I think I'm just more complex than that. It doesn't seem like I'm free to take that move. It seems like I've somehow misunderstood myself if I can't locate myself in its categories. Do you think that's right? Or no, you got that stage?

TJ  29:07

I do. I would say if you are wearing a pair of glasses, and they don't help you see better than you should probably get new glasses. And in the same way, if you are attempting to use the Enneagram to for better self knowledge and even self improvement, and you were trying to use tools from a type that don't work for you, then you should probably try another type.

Kyle  29:33

Where the rubber really hits the road I think is when I don't find that any of them completely captured me or that or that there's some other thing that's just not on the list that is that I think is a core aspect of my personality. Am I free to say this list is incomplete? It sounds like you're claiming that I am not. And if I'm not I want to know why.

Jeff  29:55

I would love to say two things on that front one. I think it's right to distinguish between how you see the world is type. And then theory as a set of glasses theories are set of glasses, you view reality through presuppositions that make sense of what you are encountering. If it's the case that there are anomalies, they need to be named and dealt with or, or else they disprove the theory. And so your experience can be a disproof of the theory. And I think that's what I would be committed to in terms of saying is their attempt type? I think it'd be more committed to the to saying, I think that there are there are legitimate anomalies out there, that would negate the theory.

Kyle  30:39

Excellent. Okay. Good. That's helpful. Thank you.

TJ  30:42

And I would, I would also say that, while we can, there are lots of things to say about why you might present as a different type than you actually are. Things like trauma breaks all the rules. But realistically, if you and I were friends, and I was trying to convince you that the Enneagram was real, and you were bringing up these exact issues, I would say, that's fine. You don't need it. It's not for you. That's why

Kyle  31:06

we're all agreed that I don't need. What I want to get to the bottom of is whether or not it's valid. But I'm gonna let Randy ask some questions. I've been hogging this. Well, I

Randy  31:16

mean, I'm just wondering if part of your discomfort Kyle is not with simply with the Enneagram itself, but with the strong way it's kind of presented and sold by by some that this is this is iron clad. We know it to be true. Is that your discomfort with it? If if they were just claiming that this is a great tool to understand yourself and understand others, and it's one of many, and but it's our favorite? Would you have as many issues?

Kyle  31:45

No, I wouldn't. I mean, I would have issues, but not as many as I would have different a different set of issues. Yeah, so I wrote a little thing that you guys read, and maybe I'll put in the show notes for this one. And if you want, I can go through my main objections and a bit. But yeah, that is one of them. Because I know people, I think you're one of these people who uses it in very responsible ways. And it is kind of a tool for self discovery. But there's not a lot of weight put on its pronouncements. It's just helpful when it's helpful. And if it's not helpful, it's not helpful. And I have other friends who use it kind of like a parlor game, something akin to astrology, or the Myers Briggs. And I have no problem with that. I'm a Ravenclaw. Right. That's, that's the joke I like tonight. And I put just as much weight on that as I do on the Enneagram. Frankly, I know that's I know, that's maybe an offensive thing to say, but I think it's just as well. Well, he's

Randy  32:34

he's also really weird about Harry Potter's I am, I'm a huge Harry Potter

Kyle  32:36

buff. And like those four houses, they're less complex, obviously. But they map onto major traits of human personality in very obvious ways. And it didn't take somebody brilliant. It just took JK Rowling to come up with them, you know, and millions of people have found that they really identify with them and feel at home in them and have developed communities around them, and that are very life giving and very introspective and there's self discovery that happens and conversations about getting so geeky, I know. But it's true. And so like, I'm totally fine. Well, I'm with you. Yeah, I'm totally fine with

TJ  33:10

that. Even Dumbledore himself said that sometimes he thinks that we sort too soon. I love

Kyle  33:15

that, you know that. See, now I can't give any more objections. We're drinking whiskey and talk about

Jeff  33:25

a primary for me. And this was the one thing I really wanted to get Kyle's response to is a primary for me is that the movement from modernity to postmodernity ends up being the move to subjectivity, the move from the stuff out there to how we in how we interpret all the stuff out there. And psychology itself is a fairly new discipline on these friends in terms of talking about the filter, that is you because it used to be the case. It used to be the case that no this the objective truth, as it were, and obviously 20th century philosophy ends up being just replete with analysis of language analysis, filter,

Kyle  34:07

which is what gave rise to the Big Five, by the way, right? I mean, it literally it's like ordinary language philosophy, more or less, we look at dictionaries. And

Jeff  34:14

so as opposed to some some folks in TJ kind of recounted some of the work on this front and who wants to see Enneagram is very ancient system, I tend to say Enneagram is is red, hot, new, and seeking to talk about how we engage reality, given our motive because our motive is everything. It as I put in the notes that I sent you, I feel as though you cannot prove anything at the outset. You have to assume some things without evidence that makes sense of everything else. So for example, you have to assume that the world out there exists. You cannot prove that you have To assume that other people have a self conscious experience the way that you do that cannot be verified. And I could go through 20 other things. We could talk about planning and properly basic ideas, we could talk about how presuppositions work, I'm a big fan of Thomas Kuhn, there ends up being something at the, at the, at the beginning of the knowledge process in which we are talking about presuppositions. And here's the kicker, they come at your motive.

Kyle  35:28

Yeah, I don't buy that part. I was mostly okay with the rest of it. We could quibble about the modernity post modernity thing. I think what you're describing is thoroughly modern. But who? I mean, it's called why it was that it's the Copernican turn. I mean, it's,

Jeff  35:42

why wouldn't it be categorized as a postmodern way of conceiving post

Kyle  35:46

modernism is largely a rejection to what Kant was doing and making kind of a knowledge, first philosophy, as I understand it. So there would be no post modernism if modern philosophy hadn't already made that move, if that makes sense. So it's not like, the world is out there to be known. And we just gotta get close enough to it with our methods that's demolished and caught. Long before there were any such thing as post modernist, and I think he was right. Okay, so so like, until a large extent, and if I had a theory of motive, which I don't, because I don't know anything about psychology, it would be a kind of deontology. But that's more focused on an ethic than anything else, like a function of motive.

Randy  36:24

You're gonna have to start translating here. Yes, sir.

Kyle  36:27

He, it's his fault. He brought it up. But But I totally agree with this basic point, which is kind of a pun, which is that, yeah, you got to start somewhere. And that place is not going to be justified by something else. And for me, I'm an empiricist. That sense perceptions, some version of sense perception. I'm post content empiricists. I think there is aa priori knowledge. But like, in general, I'm a physical thing. And I interact with other physical things. And that's where all knowledge is built out from, you know,

Jeff  37:00

would it be would it be fair to say that you're motivated to choose sense perception over something else?

Kyle  37:08

Yeah, of course. And I hope that I'm motivated by reason and by evidence. That's my goal.

Jeff  37:14

And your five, of course,

Kyle  37:16

but that that specific thing, right, that you just did that, you know, you know, what I'm gonna say, you know, like, the, it's that kind of thing that raises the hackles of people who don't fit don't feel themselves to fit well in the categories. Because any kind of thing that I bring up, even if it if I think it cuts to the foundations of it, it's always easily explained away by the theory itself.

Jeff  37:40

I would love to talk about hackles because I think that's incredibly important. I have natural aversions to a whole host of things. And naming why I have an aversion ends up mattering, I think, and I absolutely sympathize with with with that place that you that you're in. And I think it's TJ said, If this isn't helpful, chuck it to the side of the road. Yeah,

Randy  38:06

I really do enjoy the Enneagram. It's I started out, like I am for everything that's kind of seems like a fad. I was very skeptical. And everybody was trying because to like put a number on Pastor Randy in. And I just don't do well, when in response to those kinds of situations. But my spiritual director practices that I highly honor and respect and love my spiritual director and think the world of him. And so he and he's well versed in it. And he's brought it to me in a way that's been a gift to me. It's really, really transformed the way I see myself, the way I see the way I engage with the world around me the way I engage with my kids and my wife, all sorts of things. It's been helpful for me on our team of elders, or who people who are helping lead our church, knowing one another, has diffused so much strife and wasted time on trying to figure out where you're coming from. It's, it was a profound transformative tool for our elders to do Enneagram workshop with with an expert. That being said, I still do have my skepticism about it. And it's usually in the way that it's brought to me in a way it's kind of, you know, submitted to the world and couple of they're both kind of polar opposites. But I don't like it when I hear people talk about the Enneagram is the end all be all of knowing about the world and about ourselves and about one another when it's kind of taken as we kind of worshipped almost, you know, I get really uncomfortable, which I think we probably all should, but there for some reason, it seems that there's a propensity to go there with Enneagram. So I'd love to hear your guys thoughts on that. And then the conversely I always also get uncomfortable with people who take a online free or you know, 10 bucks assessment, do the thing. Who knows what kind of situation they're in when they do the assessment, they want to get their number and then they just talk about their number and why they're that number. And they know nothing about it. They haven't been guided through it by somebody who actually knows about the anagram and who can kind of coach them and train them and have a long term relationship with it. Those two things drive me nuts. And I see a lot of that out there. As a pastor, what are your guys thoughts on those?

Jeff  40:17

I'd love to speak to this, there is something about and this was mentioned by Kyle earlier. And I think it's incredibly important that with any gram, I'm talking about you, and I'm talking about your own life, and I'm going to talk about where you struggle, and I'm going to talk about some things are really personal. And I'm gonna make assumptions about you. And I don't know you, but I have this system in the system is all of a sudden grabbing hold of you. And so one of the things I wrote in my notes, to y'all was oftentimes the same critiques I hear about Enneagram, or the identical identical critiques I hear about Christianity. And they come across, they come across as don't control me one, and two, you don't have the evidence, two, and three, you don't know me. By the way, that's a great three fold any gram wave of opposing any system,

Kyle  41:07

also a great like, album trilogy for

Jeff  41:15

there is something about this, where if I was just talking about my theory of giraffes, nobody would care. You say, Yeah, your theory about giraffes probably really important, and it's doing good in the world. But when I say this, my theory about human motivation that is going to cut deep because most of it is deep. I think that motive is is almost bedrock in terms of your human identity that lasts over time, and is likely eternal. And so of course, we're, we're pushing into the most core things about what makes you you in my mind,

Randy  41:52

so you've, I haven't encountered the Enneagram in a way that talks about it's centered on human motivation, as I think through and think of through the ways that I've you know, experienced the anagram with my spiritual director, I think it makes sense. But tell me why that human motivation thing is so so big for you, as I'm assuming you're not the only ones who think that the Enneagram is all about human motivation. But where's that come from that that angle on it?

TJ  42:19

Because that does TJ, it might be that originally, we're we're repackaging similar ideas from other people. So Richard Rohr talks a lot about the avoidances, I avoid conflict, eights, avoid being controlled. The avoidance is our part of how this person teaches it. And when you think about that in different ways, you can actually see that being a motivation. And I think that Jeff and I just really stumbled into using the word motivation and leaned into that in a way that, like this has become how we talk about the Enneagram is that it's about human motive.

Jeff  43:02

Fives avoid being incompetent, and eights avoid being vulnerable. The so given my discipline, like I'm, this is a worthwhile overlap of things that just hadn't overlap.

Randy  43:16

So two things. I mean, one, you just said something about an aid that I completely don't identify with. You said that aid avoid vulnerability. And I actually like have to be vulnerable.

Jeff  43:27

I would, Randy, I would really like to talk to you about. Yeah. I've listened to a lot of your podcasts.

Randy  43:35

All right here. Let's go.

Kyle  43:37

And they tie people that they've never met. I just heard you typing all the actors in Jurassic Park. So this is apparently a thing that okay.

TJ  43:43

They're fictional characters. It's fine.

Randy  43:45

So is that real? Jeff?

Jeff  43:47

I would I would want to have a longer conversation with you about eight minutes i There's a lot of things that you say and that don't strike me as coming out of that motive. But I don't want to I don't want to have an existential crisis here on the podcast either but it's it is one of those places where how do we talk through you, you unfortunately you can't put people under a microscope in terms of their motive. Your This is one of the great glories of being a human being is that you have an immaterial I believe you have an immaterial essence to yourself, which is profound in depth the and you cannot be reduced to electrochemical activity in in your skull. That would be my metaphysic I don't know if you guys hold that. I don't know that we've we've been

Kyle  44:33

meaning to have an episode on that for a long time and I've just never gotten around to it. Maybe this will prompt

Randy  44:38

let's not have it right now though. So I really want to talk to you Jeff more about what what you think I am or what you hear that's not at of me, but I'm not eight Yeah. Oh man, I lost my train of seat and one more

Jeff  44:52

existential crisis. I was

Randy  44:56

just old man.

Kyle  45:00

So one of the things I tried to point out in that essay, and I really don't want to belabor this point is that it's simply not scientific. But it should be. Because what it's doing is a very scientific thing. And all of the attempts at making it scientific have either arrived at a kind of neutral conclusion or just been negative results. And there just haven't been that many people willing to take it up. And so if you're right, maybe more people will, and it'll become a whole thing. And I'd be fine to see that and be corrected. But my perspective as a very much non scientist is that that's very unlikely.

Jeff  45:35

One, and I'm sure that that Kyle, you'll acknowledge this, that arguments for authority or logical fallacies, correct?

Kyle  45:43

I don't know what are they? I can think of lots of reasonable arguments from authority.

Jeff  45:47

Is it the case that because an authority holds a position that holds that position is, by necessity true?

Kyle  45:55

Depends on the authority, I tend to I think I'm never in an epistemic position for that to be,

Jeff  46:00

it could not possibly be the case, that the person who is the most senior nuclear physicist in the world when talking about nuclear physics, couldn't have something wrong.

Kyle  46:12

All the examples I can think of that might be might be counter examples to that are religious. So if you're Catholic, and I have a high degree of respect for Catholics, there is a version of that that is reasonable. If you're any kind of theist, to pronouncement of God is that sort of thing. If you think God is spoken, then yes.

Jeff  46:30

I mean, on. On those who study logic as the ultimate authorities, they think that arguments from authority are logical fallacies, correct?

Kyle  46:40

not universally, no, there's, there's almost, there's almost always a non fallacious version of a fallacy. Now, I'll grant this much. I am almost never okay with arguments from authority. Perfect. But there is a different there's a there's an important caveat there, though. So what I work on most is expertise. That's what I'm writing about right now. And I think there is a kind of epistemic authority that goes along with the consensus have a body of experts about some issue that does have differential weight. So it's the sort of thing that puts everyone else in a position of obligated deference. And so that is a version of authority that I'm very much a proponent of.

Jeff  47:21

That's fair. So if I was to build on this and to say, so this was I sent you my debate with with the fine folks Africa,

Kyle  47:29

I'm sorry to admit that I did not have time to watch that. But maybe I will get to

Jeff  47:33

our in our entire debate was about how the work hasn't been done. The people who are doing the work died. If the work hasn't been done, I'm a philosopher, I'm not a scientist, that's not my job. My job is to talk about systems. As a system, I can defend my end of the bargain. And as I wanted to say earlier, the wild wild west is upon us on this front. And if it is the case, that those with some some fire in their belly get into this, as you know, PhD students want to do some dissertation work on a gram, you're gonna see a whole host of really interesting things happen. I cannot do anything about that, except for throw 20 bucks their way and wish them well. And I'm curious to hear what they hear on that end. But you have Stanford psychotherapist who love the hell out of this material. And that's enough for me on one friend. Secondarily, I think this is really much more important in terms of this discussion, I put this in the notes I sent you. The places where there is psychological say happening often times creates theories, that is using language that Enneagram has been using. And so what you actually have is complementary theories moving and what Enneagram in my experience ends up being is just it's a much more simplistic language. And symbolism isn't always bad, equals MC squared is brilliant, because of its simplicity. Enneagram does a great job of bringing in a handful of psychological theories that end up having tons of literature behind them. So I would footnote and say you should look up object relation theory, I would footnote and say you should look up self determination theory. Both of these divide human beings into threes into three camps, just like the Enneagram does, and they do it in different patterns. What Abraham does, it's really interesting is it creates it takes those patterns of threes, and it creates it into a more holistic system. And that is, as we're talking about, really, I realized it would take quite a bit to actually pitch that as a theory, but lo and behold, that's why the Enneagram actually has some real bass tones to it. Like it's it cannot adjust as a practitioner and as a theorist and somebody who who has worked in the academy. This is not something that can be easily dismissed. Let me as an authority To suggest that this is a theory you cannot easily dismiss, and you have to actually do real work to get it

Kyle  50:06

out of the way. All right, we're not going to come to terms on this point in this conversation. Let's slightly change the subject because there's other important questions that I want to get to. I can ask Are you do you have anything to follow up at the moment?

Randy  50:21

No. Okay.

Kyle  50:23

So what do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions or illegitimate critiques that you've encountered about the Enneagram? Feel free to include mine? If you want, what it's like the thing you wish its critics understood about it.

TJ  50:39

First one for me is that it is not a product of the cult. Yeah, this is a scare tactic used by the same people who thought d&d was going to turn everyone into saying, it was just the end of it. I

Randy  50:51

grew up being taught that.

TJ  50:53

And the people who really wanted to turn people away from anything new age in the 80s, and 90s, really did a lot of work to convince everyone that the INIA Graham was evil. That's, that's my biggest, like, just just this, this is silly.

Jeff  51:12

I mean, not to double down on what we just said, but it's dismissed by pretentious, uninformed academics. And they should just said, Look, I've never studied this,

Randy  51:21

whom I've never I've never heard Kyle refer to such, but I like it.

Jeff  51:25

You're not doing that. It's the psychologists that are doing that. I'm not the one who needs to tell people. Hey, you know what, I've never done any study on that. And I probably shouldn't comment. But that's what they do. And you know how I know that is because I've heard these folks telling me what the Enneagram is. And they are uninformed.

Kyle  51:49

Yeah, fair. Okay. So follow up, then, what is one or two legitimate critiques that you think exist of the Enneagram?

TJ  51:57

There is not enough science behind it. Yeah. Okay. And to that point, that the tests are unreliable, because it's all about self.

Kyle  52:06

Okay, I was gonna ask you about this anyway. So explain what you mean by that. Because like, Randy, and I use the same test, we got results that seem to fit us frankly, right. Honestly, if I'd taken anything and gotten anything other than a five, I would have thought something was wrong. But but this is like, you know, a test written by a psychologist, one of the few don't train psychologists who have developed their own tests. But I've read, you know, I've read lots of Enneagram proponents who say, this is a really bad way to like, type yourself is taking these tests, and they're like, that's not a good way to know your number. So yeah, explain why,

TJ  52:39

especially as someone who wears glasses and has to go to an optometrist, there is a level of subjectivity involved in how we see. And so we have to spend time with a set of glasses to understand it clearer, more clearly, and to know if it actually works. So when you take the test, you were taking the test in a moment in a situation and to have some type of algorithm determine for you how you see the world may change from day to day or from moment to moment. So the idea that taking this one test will forever determine where to put me into this box, is it to me, it's it is all of the things about reductionism that people level at the Enneagram and I get that I am fully on board with that. Yeah,

Randy  53:38

let's go. I like that. Jeff, what

Kyle  53:40

was your answer to the legitimate critique question

Jeff  53:43

in as a theory Enneagram, it seems to me is a substantive description of human behavior, that has not been disproven, and theories need to be disproven. And I would, I would reference Thomas Kuhn on this front, that the way that theories work, is you assume a way of seeing the world, the way that you disprove theories is to showcase anomalies. And that's how theories are put down. And I would suggest the work has not been done to disprove the unigram. That's the problem. What has been done is ridicule. What has been done as assumption, what has been done are postures towards people who are clearly lunatics who have a symbol that looks like a pentagram having sex with a triangle. We get it. We get it.

Kyle  54:41

I think we ever sound but yeah.

Jeff  54:45

The academic work hasn't been put in to disprove the theory.

Kyle  54:49

Yeah. I love how you turned the legitimate critique into a strength.

Randy  54:52

That was very good. That was very good. You know, I'm intrigued by what you said. Were you doubt whether I'm a Enneagram eight, perhaps I'd love to hear you tease that out a little bit from what you've heard and just do you might want to

Kyle  55:05

let's psychoanalyze Randy. Yeah. This isn't psychoanalysis. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend any grand proponents out there. Do your thing on him.

Jeff  55:15

Randy, do you? Would you describe yourself as we would other people describe you as being too much? Sometimes? Is it the case that when you're in stress, you retreat into your head?

TJ  55:30

Like legit stress, not like there's too much traffic stress, but like your world might be falling apart a little bit? Yeah,

Randy  55:37

I mean, it's kind of between my head and I get pretty combustive

Jeff  55:43

describe combustive. I,

Randy  55:47

I see what needs to be done, or I see the problem. And I get angry if things aren't happening to help come to a, you know, come to a healthy place. Does that make sense?

Jeff  56:00

Are you a my way? guy or the right way? Guy? Geez.

Kyle  56:07

What's the difference?

Randy  56:12

Okay, sorry. I would say I'm the right way guy.

Jeff  56:15

Is it the case that you connect to others by telling them how they can do better in their lives? Sure. Is it the case that you have a strong radar? When things are are not ordered? Well

Randy  56:31

ordered? Well, I don't know. I thought you were gonna say something about like, justice or not right? And then I would say yes. ordered? Well, maybe.

TJ  56:42

Okay, teach it. Justice Counts, because justice is a sense of order. There is there is a way that the world that things in the world should be

Jeff  56:52

do you believe there is a way in the world that things should be? I think so. Yeah. pastoring is where is work that, in theory doesn't have a lot of financial reward. But you're drawn to it and you've committed your life to it. You serve people at a high level? Why have you jumped into that vocation?

Randy  57:12

It's a loaded question. But I mean, calling feeling called to it is a huge part of it. But I think it's, I'm committed to the church in the way of Jesus because I think it's the best way to live out as a human being and to treat others to see the world orient yourself towards the world. Does that make sense? It does.

Jeff  57:32

These are all these are all answers that a different type would give. I go, I want to talk about myself at some point, TJ, but you got other things?

TJ  57:43

No, because we're already there.

Kyle  57:46

Whereas they're telling me the punch line.

Jeff  57:48

There is there ends up being like this. You and I are angry. But I imagine it's the case that you're not necessarily angry. Your anger doesn't necessarily unleash at the world first, first, your anger and leashes at yourself first Correct?

Randy  58:07

I don't know if I'm prepared to answer that. I need to think about that as what I mean.

Jeff  58:13

Let me tell you about myself. A primary motive for me is to improve the world. I connect by by wanting to help people to be better. I have a radar for in discussion for trying to advance the conversation. And to elevate the conversation. I'm very idealistic. When it's the case, that problems happen relationally I generally have a blind spot to that. But I often end up blaming myself first if things go badly. In fact, self criticism is a strong part of my personality. It's also one of the reasons I got into church work. It's because here's a place that I idealistically think that the world can be improved. Here's a vision of reality here that I can get behind. There is a power here that I think is real tangible that I connect to and I feel that power. Not in my emotions, my relational self, I feel it in my intuitions, the volume level, the corporate singing, often do something to me, that elevates and that's a place I connect with God. My Enneagram oneness comes out in ways that look like that. And I could talk for for days about about this. I don't see your anger being unleashed on knuckleheads. I don't see your lust, voracious appetite. And as you said earlier, you don't feel vulnerable. And those are primary for AIDS.

Randy  59:55

Well, for me, vulnerability is really important, actually. Okay, like it's If I if I feel like I can't be vulnerable, I almost kind of, I just make my way through that conversation or that relationship out of duty rather than enjoyment. Like, as a pastor, I, I felt like I was dying when I couldn't tell my congregation what I believed, because I was scared of what they might think or if they might go away. And you know, now that I've, in the last several years, kind of come come clean about everything that I believe, I feel a profound sense of peace and comfort and satisfaction, if that makes sense.

Jeff  1:00:35

Can you can you talk about the fear of your congregation going away because of what you were talking about?

Randy  1:00:41

Let's just, I feel like a typical pastor, pastoral fears that if people know what I really think they might, you know, think that I'm a heretic, or, you know, lose, I'll lose my job. Basically, losing my church means I lose my job. That's not a good motivation. I don't I really, really hate that as a motivation. So I've, I've pushed against that. And I've said, I don't. To me, what's more important is being authentic rather than being liked, or rather than being popular, I'd rather be myself I'd rather be honest, that's a huge motivator for me is honesty.

TJ  1:01:17

TJ, why? What's important about honesty, because it's

Randy  1:01:21

myself, if I don't, if I can't be honest, I'm not being myself. And that's, that seems like a I'm not interested in not being myself.

TJ  1:01:31

So when eight would typically answer a question like that, and eight is concerned about honesty, because the truth is better than any kind of untruth. Not necessarily about being true to you, because a lot of eights don't have a sense of true to me. There is truth and there is not truth. And the truth is always preferable to the not truth. Because then we're not wasting time on the not truth, there's an almost a dismissiveness about the idea of being being false in any way. And it's less about any kind of sense of integrity, or, or goodness or, or even feeling good about being myself. It's about there is truth and there is not truth, and I don't want to waste my time on not truth.

Jeff  1:02:27

Also, other people's opinions don't matter at all. As an eight.

Randy  1:02:31

I can I can go there a little bit. Let that's a conflict it a lot with the Enneagram nine on our elder team, because he was always worried about what people are gonna think. And I always said, Who cares? There's, we're leading the church. And we think that this is the right thing to do. And so that's all that matters. I can go there too, though.

Kyle  1:02:49

So what number do you guys think, Randy? To wrap all this up? Kyle says,

TJ  1:02:54

well, actually, Jeff thinks he is a one, rather than eight and ones and eights can look very similar sometimes especially be because of the way their energy comes at the world. I am less convinced about one, I would lean toward four, I would say look into four read a lot about force and see what's there. And if any of it feels like home, then read more about fours.

Jeff  1:03:24

TJ is also much better at typing, working with folks with typing than I am.

Randy  1:03:30

Can you describe for me again, a one

Jeff  1:03:35

ones are going to taking the world through their intuitions just be very aware of their spaces, not so much aware of their relationships, very aware of their spaces and how they feel. ones are gonna be angry at themselves commonly as as kind of their their default when things are broken. When they're going to solve problems with their head. They want to in they primarily want to focus on what's right. Some people focus on what the goal is or what the data is for fives. But once focus on rightness is a different category. If I know what's right, then I'll know how to be in the world. And I will be good. And I will earn what I desire. That would be how ones often come to to the world.

Randy  1:04:26

Let me let me give you this. I'm gonna I could do this all night. Obviously we're talking about me. This is great. Yeah, just one one example I was talking with a friend who is a Enneagram one. And he like is you can see it on him like he feels like an Enneagram one. And I was describing for him an experience I had with a Muslim at a Muslim vigil for the Christchurch victims. This was several years ago. 50 Some people got murdered in New Zealand for while praying. And I went to the vigil spoke there and had this trip and send into moment where a new mom a young imam who I know, you know a little bit he, we embraced. It was beautiful I felt so received in that moment. And it was it was, it was a transformative experience in that I felt like it was I forget what I've called it, but like Jesus saying, I have sheep who are not of my fold. And I felt like that I felt like we this is a Jesus moment, even though I'm with a bunch of Muslims right now. I told that to my friend who's an Enneagram, one who's also a pastor. And he short circuited because for him, and I don't know if this is any gram oneness, but you know, in processing the conversation, this is what I've been told. For him. He couldn't, you couldn't go there because Islam and Christianity are different. And there's rules about that. And it's like, you could see he broke when I was talking about that, is that and I've attributed that as he's an anagram one he's he's things have to be in there order in there. There's a sensible way about this. For me, it felt I was I was basing everything about my experience in the authoritative moment that that it was not wasn't on what I felt. And I felt something deep and profound. And I'm going to go on that rather than what I think is the right order that I've been prescribed it before. Does that make sense? It does.

Jeff  1:06:13

I have lots of thoughts. You had some? No, go ahead. Being very black and white. In the way that you're describing your friend, is one posture to the world, being very black and white, about open mindedness is actually the same. So when I come to the world, I'm a fairly progressive person. I've transitioned fairly hard on this front. And I'm pretty aggressive now about prescribing a way of being open minded. Yeah. And that is the right way to think

Randy  1:06:54

I identify with that in major ways.

Kyle  1:06:57

Because it's true.

Randy  1:07:02

That's fun. Thank you for doing this.

Kyle  1:07:03

It was Yeah, it's fun for me.

Randy  1:07:06

Yeah, you guys are obviously experts at this. This is what I wanted to say. I really firmly believe as much as I've or as little of as I've engaged with the Intagram that it should not be done on your own. And I'm sure you guys would, would affirm that agreed. So for someone who can't afford or can't find a spiritual director, or for someone who you know, doesn't have a guru, would you say, a good way to go about the Enneagram would be literally start at your, your, your podcast at episode one. And just roll through it and kind of journey with you through that.

Jeff  1:07:38

The we create a podcast called start here, which has, I believe, 21 episodes, that is the best place to go in our mind in terms of if you want to jump into the material and swim in these waters. Secondarily, if we ended up because our circle is kind of small, we ended up meeting together monthly on zoom with about 20 people and we ended up talking shop that might be another place to converse with people, if you weren't getting into the material. If you went into get into theory, and you really feel comfortable, then then our primary podcast, which has a few 1000 listeners is called around the circle.

Kyle  1:08:11

Yeah, why don't you give a blurb for that, that's how I wanted to close anyway, the plan is to put this in both of our feeds. So for our listeners who don't know, you just tell him a bit about your podcast, and then we can do the same.

Jeff  1:08:22

We ended up talking about relationships, about how you solve problems about how you engage the world in a withdrawn way. And in a reactive way, in an aggressive way. We talked about your heart, we talked about your mind, we talked about your intuitions, these are things that are part of the human experience in just having language for that, even if it were the case, that you said all of the theory is bunk. It's still the case that having language that describes what's going on inside you can be really valuable. I have a neurodivergent child, I have a child who is non binary, I have was not able to engage my child for years. Until we jumped into this material. I cannot emphasize enough how valuable this has been in my family, to being able to talk about how we solve problems. And what we really want. I literally would cut off an arm to keep it the the the way that the language has allowed me to connect with people who I love and care about is absolutely you know, it's without price. And so if it's the case, and for a lot of us like if we're really having trouble with our relationships or really having trouble just being able to talk about our inner lives, this can be a fantastic place to give us language for that with the people that we care about.

Kyle  1:09:44

TJ anything to add

TJ  1:09:47

Yeah, and like if if you're new to the Enneagram I think a great place to start is the Start Here podcast if you know some but aren't really sure about your type and want to learn more the Start Here podcast As for that, it is our answer to the fact that we don't like the tests, it's a way to dive into the material at a little bit of a depth of your level, and try to figure out which lenses fit best. And then all of the other stuff, the stuff that our main feed is like 2013014 57 level that we get into a lot of depth. We talk a lot about it, because we're nerds and we think it's really valuable. And so that materials there, if you really want to see some of it with sort of flesh on we do have a third feed that is entirely about pop culture. Movies, mainly we do some TV shows and some different things and and it's basically us typing fictional characters, because we think that when movies when when characters are written well, they show us the motivations that are that that these characters embody. And you can you can assign type to those motivations. And so we go through a lot of different things like Lord of the Rings, The Avengers movies pre snap, the we did Jurassic Park and a lot of different stuff. And it's basically our opportunity to type other people without typing other people because the number one rule is you don't type other people.

Jeff  1:11:23

Kyle and Randy, can you describe your podcast?

Kyle  1:11:26

Yeah, so our show is a pastor and philosopher walk into a bar, we only have one podcast, it's plenty. underachieve, it's all we can do. So it's basically what it sounds like both of our wives named it independently. Yeah, that's the name we should go with. We both like bar spaces, both because of nice alcohol, but also because of the kind of honesty that happens in that kind of space and the lack of judgmentalism. And the free discussion. And so that's kind of what we try to do on the show, straddling what it means to think of the world from a pastoral or more theological or spiritual lens. And what it means to think of it philosophically, because there's a huge amount of overlap. And so we also try to have on a lot of guests. So that's a difference between our shows is we're probably 7030 ish guests to just us refund about stuff. So we have we have a lot of really interesting people on to get their expertise about various things.

Randy  1:12:23

Yeah, yeah, I mean, theology and philosophy are friends, they should go together. And any conversation about spirituality I think is going to be helped by a philosophical angle to it or philosophical mind, mindfulness. And we also love talking to experts in certain fields, in particularly in the church, the church is in need of listening to expertise, the church is in great need of awakening to some things. And we are, we occupy that space in a post evangelical kind of landscape where there's, we speak to theists, we speak to Christians, we speak to post evangelicals, we speak to atheists, even sometimes. And always though, we're trying to my motivation is just a couple of things. One is to have some conversations that I've been itching and dying to have, but I can't have from the pulpit. I can't go into in a 35 minute sermon, but I want to flush some stuff out and get deeper and talk about the real stuff. And then also, I just love the opportunity to talk to people who are really smart, a lot smarter than me in their fields and get to hear Kyle argue with them a little bit sometimes.

Kyle  1:13:33

But like there's no off switch or sorry.

Randy  1:13:37

I enjoy having meaningful conversations about things that matter to me, which usually revolve around spirituality around philosophy about existence and reality and how do we filter that so we have a good time? Yeah,

Kyle  1:13:48

we do. Check it out if your listeners are interested.

Jeff  1:13:51

It's excellent.

Randy  1:13:52

Fun time tonight. Super fun time really respect to the way you guys go about this. I'm going to be listening and thank you so much for this gift. Seriously,

Jeff  1:14:01

y'all be well I bet again, your work means a lot to me. I don't know if you're feeling senses of success but in terms of my life and the things that I care about. I'm I'm very grateful for the work dedication time that you spend on this. Awesome, awesome. Alright, much love.

TJ  1:14:17

Thank you, gentlemen. It's great to meet you. Very fun conversation. I liked it a lot. Take care.

Randy  1:14:23

Yeah, Blessings to you. Thank you see you.

Kyle  1:14:25

Well, that's it for this episode of A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar. We hope you're enjoying the show as much as we are. Help us continue to create compelling content and reach a wider audience by supporting us at patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher, where you can get bonus content, extra perks, and a general feeling of being a good person.

Randy  1:14:47

Also, please rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, and Spotify. These help new people discover the show, and we may even read your review in a future episode. If it's good enough.

Kyle  1:14:58

If anything we said really pissed you off or if you just have a question you'd like us to answer, or if you'd just like to send us booze, send us an email at pastorandphilosopher@gmail.com.

Randy  1:15:09

Catch all of our hot takes on Twitter at @PPWBPodcast, @RandyKnie, and @robertkwhitaker, and find transcripts and links to all of our episodes at pastorandphilosopher.buzzsprout.com. See you next time.

Kyle  1:15:23


Beverage Tasting
Main Segment