Woe Is Me

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcaste state

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries

And look upon myself and curse my state

Desiring this man's art and that man's scope

With what I most enjoy contented least.

Shakespeare, Sonnet 29)

The last lines are particularly instructive. Fours often envy in others what they don't acknowledge in themselves. Envy is a not a free-standing vice: it simultaneously elevates others and puts down oneself. Scripture scholars say that about two thirds of the Jewish Psalms are classified as lamentations. Enneagram styles are held in place by narrative and language patterns. Fours have a tendency under stress to lament. The Jewish prayer tradition has this flavor:

Psalm 64

Hear, O God, my voice in my lament;

From the dread enemy preserve my life.

Shelter me against the council of malefactors,

Against the tumult of evildoers.

Who sharpen their tongues like swords,

Who aim like arrows their bitter words.

A case could be made that the wailing wall in Jerusalem is the stony equivalent of the lamentation psalms. (The Jews have a wall made of stones and pious Jews write prayers, insrt the slips of paper into the crevices and then weep and wail). (For balance they have some great rejoicing songs and dances, too).

My friend, Karen, is a style Four. She wrote the music for my lyrics for Not Only Angels Have Wings. She changed my lyrics somewhat and made the song a bit darker than I had written it. Listen to "Dark Blue":

On the more joyous side of style Four, here is a poem by the Afghanistan Persian poet, Hafiz

For aesthetic pleasure go listen to Kara Bernarda recite his poems like this one:

Tripping Over Joy

What is the difference between your experience of

Existence and that of a saint?

The Saint knows that the spiritual path

is a sublime chess game with God

and that the beloved has just made such a fantastic move

that the saint is now continually tripping over joy

and bursting out with laughter and saying "I surrender."

Whereas, my dear, I am afraid, you still think you still

Have a thousand serious moves.

If you want more poetry by Fours, there is no end: Shakespeare, Keats, T. S. Eliot, Thomas Merton, and those who set their poetry to music like Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Paul Simon and Neil Young.

Judith Searle alerted me to the notion that film genres can have Enneagram styles. I thought immediately of the old TV series, Ally McBeal. The show is all about inner states. Mostly inner neuroses. Each character is delineated remarkably well from an Enneagram student's perspective, but it's broader than that. The real world (a law firm) is merely a background to act out inner states. Like a personal Four, the inner world is what is important and the outside world is secondary, even problematic. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the rock band, The Doors, remarked, "The outside world is in black and white, but my imagination is in color." The series depicts a number of Enneagram styles: "Fish" Is a 3, Billy is a 6, the secretary is a 2, Biscuit is a 5, Ally'sroommate is an 8. If you are an Enneagram study, the videos are a fine teaching/learning resource. Ally herself is a Four. She can't find/keep relationships, her emotions are all exaggerated (the special effects are used well to intensify what Ally is feeling), she subordinates the consideration of others to her intense feelings.

Kate Winslet, a Four in real life, is a style Four. Here she plays a style Four in Sense and Sensibility. Particularly when she talks to Eleanor about love here<. The contrast between One and Four is sharp and a delight for a student of the Enneagram. Winslet plays a slightly different kind of Four throughout the film, Titanic. For an experience of style Four in the movies, the entire movie, The French Lieutenant's Woman features Meryl Streep making you feel like a Four.

I am only moderately competent in identifying classical musical genres, but I think the music of Chopin has the emotional intricacy I associate with the ability that I have seen in Fours to make fine aesthetic distinctions and display emotional ranges that others usually reach.

Turning to literature, it seems to me that Russian literature has an emotional intensity like style Four. Dostoyevsky's novels and even his essays display the emotional intensity and dark view of life that feels like the inner life of Fours. Even the great early poet, Pushkin,seems like a Four. But the clearest example of a Four has to be Tolstoy's Anna Karina. After having cheated on her husband: She felt so sinful, so guilty that the only thing left for her was to humble herself and beg to be forgiven; now she had no one in her life but him, so she addressed her plea for forgiveness to him, too. As she looked at him she felt her own humiliation physically." What makes this so indicative of style Four is the physical intensity of her emotions. A commentator on Russian literature put it like this: if an American wants to stay home from work, he calls in and says he has a headache. The Russian actually gets the headache and then calls in. I remember reading too much of The Brothers Karamazov at one time (all night) and being physically sick from the intensity.

The French culture is quite redolent of the Four style. What they highlight is the theme of unlovable (see lamentation above) who gain love against all obstacles. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cyrano de Bergerac and of course, Beauty and the Beast. All feature unattractive people on the outside but with great souls who find love. If you want an all-day tutoring on being a Four in France, Madam Bovary is perfect.

If you're not high-brow or have children, the animation hero Shrek, has a girl friend who has to choose between being herself and ugly or being inauthentic and beautiful. Many Fours create this inward choice: if I am myself, I will not be loved. If I put on a false front, I will be loved, but not for myself, but for my act.

Finally, although I am innocent of fashion knowledge, I do know that if you are Four, you must wear more of black than any other color. I tested my theory. My sister told me I should dance with her friend and let me know what her Enneagram style was. She was dressed completely in black so to start (honestly first question) the conversation while dancing, I asked her if she ever felt like she was from another planet. She was shocked. "Yes! All the time how did you know?"