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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk with Enneagram experts Dr. Beatrice Chestnut & Uranio Paes about the Heart Center Of Intelligence in the Enneagram system. The Heart Center contains Enneagram types 2 – 3 – and 4.


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Guest hosts Dr. Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes join.
  • What is the Enneagram? Beatrice gives a quick overview of the system.
  • What are the three centers of intelligence within the enneagram – and what’s the benefit of understanding this?
    • Is there any correlation between your Enneagram center and your Myers-Briggs® type?
  • Check out our previous episode where we dive into the body center.
  • What does it mean to be a heart type and what are the key characteristics of the three types based within this center?
    • How the heart types generally perceive reality.
  • How do each of the heart types relate to the core emotion of sadness?
  • The obstacles and challenges the heart types face.
  • Why you may look to relationships for validation or approval if you’re a heart type.
  • How the heart types lose touch with the other two intelligence centers.
  • Can you unconsciously manifest a narrative and life path based on your intelligence center?
  • The growth path for heart types – how they can access the wisdom of the head and body centers?
  • An overview of types 2, 3 and 4 – and the strategies they adopt as heart types.
  • Learn more about Beatrice and Uranio’s work via their website, listen to their podcast, or check-out their book: The Enneagram Guide To Waking Up.

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  • Julia
    • Julia
    • October 7, 2021 at 4:52 am

    The Ti primary part I am sure about. I am definitely an introvert and a thinking type from an MBTI perspective. I was pretty sure about being an ISTP on type description alone but looking at it from the way the cognitive functions work makes me more sure it is a good match for me and also makes a lot things about me make sense (especially to my Ti function).

    My Enneagram type is a lot harder to figure out and I have thought it was a whole variety of types though until recently was convinced I wasn’t a heart type (previous theories in order of likelihood was 7, 5, 8, 1 & 6 though none resonated with motivations behind the personality and they became a less good match when I took my instinctual stack into account which for some reason is a lot more clear to me than my type). Now a self preservation 3 seems likely (it actually accounts for all the reasons I thought I might be all those other types into one type which seems like a good sign), though there are also some of aspects of the self preservation 4 that might fit too. How an ISTP could be either of those (especially a 4 type) is baffling to me and my confidence that I might have finally found the right Enneagram type though while a bit greater than it was before still isn’t very high.

  • Gene
    • Gene
    • October 6, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    What makes you think Ti over Fi? That 8th function creeps over for sure.

    One of the ways I look at it is that Ti is 1=1. A perfect schematic not open to any nuance. Especially with Se as for ISTP.

    Fi is 1 not = 1. Complete subjectivity. Impressionistic painting.

    So I thought I was Ti lead (man do I laugh at my old self now) but what I thought was “fluid” Ti was just my Fi. The work started by learning how to “solidify” some of my Fi “impressions” into Ti “schematics.”

    One cannot live at either extreme. Ti is too rigid. Fi is too fluid. Gotta be able to slide along the scale. But Ti will be more comfortable with structure. Fi with ambiguity.

    Another analogy. Ti is science / repetition (practicing same technique to perfection.) Fi is art / originality (performing a movement with an extra flourish.)

    Fi is really the search for authentic self. Ti eh, not so much…

  • Julia
    • Julia
    • October 3, 2021 at 1:13 am

    Well crap, it looks like I am actually a heart type. I say that because I have spent a lot of time trying to understand how the Enneagram works and figure out what my type including reading/listening to a several of the big technical books on the system and considering a lot of different takes on the type descriptions. I had been convinced I was most likely a head type, though might possibly be a body type but probably wasn’t (more likely the body elements were either a wing or growth/stress paths) but definitely wasn’t a heart type. When I saw the heart type podcast come out next I was disappointed though figured I would listen to it as I had another whole week to wait before the head type one would come out and I would get to see if you all would put enough of a new or different spin on the discussion my type would become clear.

    However, listening to this podcast I started to really identify with the motivations/driving force behind the heart types, which while several of the other types descriptions fit me much better, I never did resonate that much with the proposed why’s behind the behaviors enough to really buy they had been unconsciously driving the formation and maintenance of my personality. Also the fact that there were 5 of them I could shift between pretty easily by situation and need didn’t fit with the way system was supposed to work either…which had me doubting how much use it could be to me personally.

    I think the biggest nuance I was missing, was based from all the information about how the 3 difference centers were suppose to work and that you overused or over-relayed on one you were based in. I most definitely do use the head center the most (I am a Ti primary) followed by the body center (Se is my secondary function) and my feeling functions are in 4th & 8th place. What I missed was that from the Enneagram framework, used most is also be defined as avoided and pushed away most for one of the three and for the type that avoids that center the counter type doubles down on that avoidance. So that rather than being a strength or preference, the heart center has been much more of an energy and emotional sink operating in the background (and I am fairly sure now that I am a self preservation type 3 if my description of how I view the heart center didn’t give that away).

    The other challenge in figuring out my type was that the typical description of a 3 really didn’t fit me much at all, nor did I any of the tests I tried come up with that or even put much probability on that type for the ones that weight the various type traits. I can now see how it is a good fit from an underlying motivation stand point, rather than outcome/outward appearance/persona wise and do identify far better with the self preservation 3 description than the other 2 type 3s. Also, I think the fact that the descriptions are written with the assumption that you haven’t yet seen or figured out any of your tendencies/personality hang-ups and how to counteract or mitigate them made figuring out a best fit harder. I can certainly see how some 3 traits still very strongly drive me and are largely unconscious but others I have known about for many years and see more as tools/strengths to pull out as needed and put away when not appropriate. I imagine this is true for everyone but it was still an ‘aha’ moment for me when I realized it was something I needed to take into account and interpret in figuring how to apply the descriptions and types to me and I suspect will be very useful in determining where to focus growth efforts.

    One thing I was interested in though from a cross model stand point is how often it is that 4th & 8th cognitive functions show up strongly informing what your center is. In my case my 8th function of Fi is matches up pretty closely to the 3s goal of figuring out who they actually are and more authentically living and being that. It also seems like more than a coincident that both system points to a very similar shadow/blind spot so strongly. I wonder how often that comes up for the counter types of the avoidance types for each center. It seems more than a tad daunting that my 8th cognitive function is suppose to be the ‘cure’ for my enneagram vice/fixation but on the other hand I had been wondering what a good entry point would be for shadow work and I suppose I have one now.

    I also did really want to say thank you for the extremely well timed podcast and the approach you took with it. While it wasn’t the one I thought I was waiting for, I am very glad I listened to it as it made a whole lot of things click into place…and has given me a whole lot more to think about. Many thanks!

  • Gene
    • Gene
    • September 28, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    I view it as each Enneagram expression is the psyche’s adaptation / defense mechanism to childhood wound / trauma. A child doesn’t have the experience to formulate a nuanced response (more of a reaction) thus the defense mechanism isn’t suited to all facets of life.

    Meaning overly instinctual (gut), emotional (heart), rational (mind.) Why balancing all three (Tritype work helps) will stop the pathology / insanity that is the “looping” behavior of each Enneagram. But starting at core intelligence seems like the logical point… origin.

    I wrote insanity because each Enneagram does the same thing while expecting different results.

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