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Erasmus Profile Erasmus: I think the phenotype model of the enneagram is a very good approximation of the personalities inherent amidst humans. But sometimes, in considering behaviour, you can actually see the distinct imprint of the genotype on the personalities involved. And there are of course people who fit in more than one category. For example, a person who has enneagram “8” genes and enneagram “6” genes. In which category does this person belong? Are they an enneagram “8” or are they an enneagram “6”?

There is an answer, - to me anyway. Enneagram “6” behaviour is distinctive and changes the enneagram”8” genetic expression.  A person with enneagram “8” and “6” genes, presents as a six, with a very bull-dozerish behaviour type.

Another example of distinctive phenotypic behaviour lies in the enneagram “6” family. A complement of double enneagram”6” genes gives a very unusual “6” indeed. The enneagram description is “counter-phobic “. This is a form of aggressive paranoiac behaviour that is as distinctive as the typical sarcasm cynicism of the average enneagram”6”. Unique, Distinctive, and absolutely important in understanding the behaviour.

This is where the genetic model of behaviour becomes in fact a little bit more understandable than the enneagram model itself. The 9 personality types of the enneagram, I believe are made up of 3 main distinct genes – histamine genes, noradrenaline genes and serotonin genes. Next, The 3 subtypes, I believe are based on a single gene for opioid receptors.

Kinkajou Profile Kinkajou : So let’s look at what these genes do to a human brain.

Erasmus Profile Erasmus: The natural or wild variant of histamine gene is a “fast” response gene. A situation can be looked at, assessed and paths to solve critical problems can be considered. It is the “slow” histamine gene that is the “deciding” gene. It allows only a limited number of options to be seen. In the enneagram “8”, if you can only see one way to do things, choosing to do something becomes fairly easy. I think it becomes easy to see how limited options gives limited choices and develops the behaviour pattern of the enneagram “8”. Similarly, the enneagram “1” brain, in giving limited options, creates a perception that there is only one possible way to do things. In the enneagram, enneagram “1s” are often described as little enneagram “8s”. The enneagram “8” has 2 slow histamine genes while the enneagram “1” has a single slow histamine gene, in the gene model of personality.

Indus Civilisation perhaps Enneagram  Ones

Erasmus Profile Erasmus: The 2nd gene to consider is the noradrenaline gene. This gene creates a “do it now” drive. The classical enneagram type with noradrenaline genes is the enneagram “7”. An enneagram “7” will often be reading multiple books at one time. They often have multiple projects on the go. They often do multiple jobs at one time. However the drive to “do” creates a level of energy that makes it difficult to finish any particular task. An enneagram “7” world is a cacophony of revolving activity – tasks being undertaken, then stopped, then taken up again.

The other common enneagram type with a noradrenaline gene is the enneagram “4”. This enneagram type has immense drive and energy. An enneagram “4” launches into activity with energy. However there is a subtle twist to their thinking. Enneagram “4s” have at least one slow histamine gene. This throws up limited options in a situation – which then can be immediately actioned. In interpersonal situations, they may only see one assessment of the situation which they then action with energy and intolerance for the opinions of others. This type is often described as being “a princess” or being volatile.

Erasmus Profile Erasmus: The 3rd gene to consider is the fast serotonin gene. This gene is the “thinking” gene. It creates a large number of interpretations and options  for any given situation. It creates questions – How? Why? Where? When? What for? Who with? In creating these interpretations and options, it creates a different sense of humour – sarcasm or cynicism/paranoia. I would describe this gene as allowing you to “think in colour”. To have the gene marks you as thinking very differently from many of the other enneagram types. In fact, many of the other enneagram types have difficulty understanding the fine shades of meaning in the conversation of an enneagram “6”. (This being the enneagram subtype most associated with the presence of the serotonin gene.) Many enneagram “6s” often don’t quite fit into many social groups as their “colour” thinking marks them as having a very different thought pattern to the more black-and-white thinking patterns of enneagram types such as the enneagram “1”, enneagram “8” and the enneagram “7”. They are often thought to be quite “rude” by others – who only understand what they say, by understanding only the obvious and most superficial meaning, missing the alluded to meanings, comparisons and innuendo. Tonal voice variations are critical in understanding what is meant, not just what is said.

The secret of talking with an enneagram “6” is understanding that tones of voice carry shades of meaning. And that in interpreting what is said, one needs to appreciate that there may be multiple interpretations of the statement apart from the one most obvious. So the conversation of and enneagram “6” can have a distinct difference between what is said and what is meant.

Erasmus Happy Erasmus: The enneagram model also gives us that the function of the brain pathways can be altered in times of stress or relaxation. For example the enneagram “9” in situations of stress or danger, becomes-paranoid and questioning – much like an enneagram “6”. For example, an enneagram “1” in situations of stress with danger, becomes energised to “do” – becoming in effect much like an enneagram “4”.

People can learn all these behaviour patterns and can become quite comfortable with them. For example someone brought up in a household with an enneagram “6” does ”get” sarcasm and does “get” cynicism. People are not stupid. People have intelligence. But some brains have a proclivity to doing things in a certain way, while other brains do things in a different way. The miracle is how we all managed to get along so well with each other, when the genetics behind the structure of the pathways in our brains make our brains almost strangers to each other.

Kinkajou Profile Kinkajou : And What about the Enneagram Subtypes?

Erasmus Profile Erasmus: Finally, it is important to have a discussion on the enneagram subtypes: social, sexual and self-pres. These enneagram types are based on the function of the opioid genes in the brains of the individual.” High activity opioid genes in double measure give the social subtype. Low activity opioid genes” are gives the self pres subtype. Sexuals carry one of each gene.

Enneagram Socials

This creates some very unusually distinctive behaviour patterns. Socials carry a level of optimism in their lives. Everything will be okay. Everything will go well. Every problem will solve itself. You can trust that things will be right. You can always trust others. I often called enneagram socials “smileys” as they often carry a cheerful attitude with them in almost every situation.

Enneagram SelfPres

Erasmus Happy Erasmus: Enneagram Self- pres lacks optimism to a substantial extent. An enneagram self- pres person knows that bad things can happen, they know that things may not always go well, and they know that you need to look out for yourself and to ensure your own survival.

Enneagram socials run with the pack. They are in effect quite “social”. Enneagram self- pres often act as “loners”.

Enneagram “sexuals” lie somewhere between these 2 subtypes. They tend to socialise more so with their family and with significant others in their lives, rather than just people in general. They tend to have a tight social group in which they display trust and optimism. They are often very clingy to the people in their lives who they value and who they consequently wish to spend a lot of time with.

Enneagram Sexuals

Erasmus Happy Erasmus: These enneagram types do not limit someone’s social activities. An enneagram “self pres” can act very socially. If the imperative is to network, chat with others and to deal with others – they can be quite outgoing. It is the natural tendency however of enneagram “socials” to be social and of enneagram “self pres” to be loners.

Erasmus Happy Erasmus: In our other websites on personality:, we talk about how personality has shaped the history of our world and the outcome of wars.

In particular civilisation arose in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers-to all intents and purposes being an enneagram “7” civilisation. The layout of the Sumerian cities being a disordered agglomeration of the intents of its inhabitants.

Sumerians Sumeria : an enneagram "seven" civilisation

Civilisation arose in Egypt along the Nile River – to all intents and purposes being an enneagram “8” civilisation. The Egyptians tried to build the biggest and the best – the pyramids and the Sphinx.

Egyptians Egypt : an enneagram "eight" civilisation

The Maoris of  New Zealand epitomised the enneagram self pres gene. This lack of confidence in the future impelled the Maoris to dig underground and to plan for ways to protect themselves while under siege. They are the only native peoples of the world to fight the British Army to a standstill – the British Army being the representative of the greatest empire of the world , an empire on which the sun never set, an army arguably  the most formidable in the world as well.

Erasmus Happy Erasmus: In this site, we are going to concentrate on the genetics of the enneagram in terms of giving us our children. Children can be quite strange animals. In particular some enneagram mixes between parents can give personalities, not reflective of the personalities of the parents. We’re going to talk about what happens when one enneagram type marries another enneagram type and has children – and what the likely enneagram types of these children may be.

In speaking of the likely enneagram phenotypes resulting from “marriages” of the different enneagram types, it behoves us to remember that any one enneagram type is likely to include a number of genotypes so the percentage outcomes of matings may be not as instantly apparent.


Erasmus Happy Erasmus: To simplify things, we’re going to consider the likely outcomes from the unions of the enneagram types, but excluding subtypes. The social, sexual, self pres subtypes appear to be the result of a simple 2 gene mix. Two high opiate expression genes creates a social. Two low opiate expression genes creates a self-pres. And one of each gene creates a sexual. The situation becomes of course relatively more complex factoring in the distinct enneagram types 1-9, with the sociability genes altering the expression of the main type genes.

Social enneagram genes make you look much more happy go lucky and enneagram “sevenish”. The self-pres genetics seems to fade into the background by comparison, all the while seemingly invisibly  but profoundly-  altering  people’s behaviours and choices.








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