Guest Blog on Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg's friend, 1953.

Cara Cerino is a sophomore student at the University of California. She is my extern for two weeks and has her own blog on banned-book authors: When she found out I had a series on famous Enneagram types, she wrote the following piece about Kerouac as a Romantic. See my web site for a list of famous types. – Elizabeth.

Kerouac’s Romantic Ride

Jack Kerouac, the face of the Beat Generation, was no stranger to controversy. The backlash for his iconoclastic novel, On the Road, is unsurprising given the cloistered era of the 1950s. The coarse language, the misogynistic attitudes of the male characters and the immoral actions of the women all lead to this book’s banning. His novel’s frenetic style and breakneck pace, which wouldn’t suit everybody, has a lot to do with his personality. In the Enneagram personality system, where the digits one through nine each correspond with a personality type, I see Kerouac as a four, the Romantic.

As told by the Enneagram system, the four-Romantic is a dynamic type. At once, the Romantic is in love with life and embittered with others. They are usually introverted, but if they are under the influence of the three wing, the Achiever, they can be extroverted. Each number has two wings, the numbers directly in front of and behind the main personality type. For example, a Romantic has a three, the Achiever, and five, the Observer, wing; with one wing usually dominant over the other. I believe that Kerouac had a strong five wing, meaning that he was more introverted and cerebral than outgoing and goal-oriented. However, Kerouac’s gregarious nature in his younger years, seven years before On the Road  was published, emanated from his exuberance for the world’s offerings.

A four-Romantic’s lust for life can be contagious. An example in On the Road, is his experience in the jazz club where he becomes enthralled with the music and he, along with his friends, arrive at an almost transcendent state. The intricate, beautiful melodies of the jazz improvisations could catch a four like Kerouac’s sense of wonder and imagination. Another characteristic of the Romantic is a sense of longing for things lost or things they never had in the first place. There is always something better just beyond their reach. This is delineated excellently in part one of the novel when Kerouac’s protagonist, Sal, says, “Somewhere along the line I knew there would be girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me.” His Romantic characteristics are the driving force that keeps him on the road.

The unfortunate side of the four’s personality is the predilection to become melancholic and depressed. This is shown in On the Road, but more tragically in Kerouac’s life. In the beginning of part three in On the Road, Sal is feeling despondent and lonesome because none of his friends are around. Without that outside stimulation, Kerouac’s main character cannot find it within himself to be cheerful about existence. In Kerouac’s real life, although the book is very closely tied to it, one of his biographer’s called him, “truly (instead of fashionably) miserable[.] Kerouac expressed his unhappiness nakedly in his art and was not taken seriously.” His critics had trouble reconciling the role he played in his younger years, when he wrote many of his books, and the dejected personality that came later from fame and maturity. Wallowing in woe is a Romantic characteristic.

The book’s creation was a four-like process. The free-flowing style with which the original scroll was written, an attempt at conveying the improvisation of Kerouac’s contemporary jazz musicians, could only have come from a Romantic. They have a creative disposition and an emotional depth that one doesn’t find as readily in the other types. Stream of consciousness writing is probably mastered most adeptly by fours. Because of the content and style of this book, many more conservative critics didn’t react to On the Road favorably. Only someone with a deep longing for life and excitement as well as the creativity to display his thoughts in an innovative way could have come up with such a masterpiece. His authentic experiences needed to be recorded faithfully whether society approved or not, as was displayed by its ban.



Bishop Tutu, a Compassionate HELPER Type

Tutu and Mandela

Bishop Tutu hugging Nelson Mandela. By E. Wagele.

Desmond Tutu (born 1931) is a human rights activist who has campaigned for such causes as ending AIDS, tuberculosis, homophobia, poverty, and racism.

After teaching for three years, he studied to be a priest and eventually became the first black Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa. In 1978 he became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. His demands for a democratic and just society without racial divisions included:

1. equal civil rights for all
2. the abolition of South Africa’s passport laws
3. a common system of education
4. the cessation of forced deportation from South Africa to the so-called “homelands”

Enneagram Helper types are interested in solving problems of their fellow humans. For this reason, Enneagram teachers often use Tutu as an example of this type, for example in the chapter on Helpers in The Career Within You.

Bishop Tutu was named a member of the United Nations advisory panel on genocide prevention in 2006. He has likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the treatment of black South Africans under apartheid. Some of his other causes include climate change, poverty, and women’s rights.

Bishop Tutu rose to worldwide fame as an opponent of apartheid and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, among other honors.  He chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and still uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed, even though he claims to be retired.

For more famous Enneagram types, see my web site and my blog on Psychology Today. On Tuesday 1-3-12 I’ll write about economist Jeffrey Sachs on my Psychology Today blog.

Richard Branson, Enneagram Adventurer, OWS Backer

Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson (born 1950 in England), is the multi-billionaire, risk-taking entrepreneur of the Virgin Group (including Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, and hundreds of other ventures). He’s an Adventurer in the Enneagram personality system: “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”

         Adventurers are often idealists. Branson protested the Sudanese government expulsion of aid groups from the Darfur region. He joined the project Soldiers of Peace, a movie against all wars and for global peace. He’s a signatory of Global Zero, a non-profit international initiative to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide.

Branson pledged to invest the profits of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains (about $3 billion) in research for environmentally friendly fuels.

Though he belongs to the wealthy 1%, he says he identifies with the 99%. He said, “A few greedy people in the banking community nearly brought down the world, and that’s made people angry. I think not just the banking community, but the whole of the business community needs to make sure that capitalism puts on a genuinely positive face and gets out there and helps change the world to an extent that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators can feel they’ve done their jobs and go home. It’s up to every single person who works in business to play their part, even in a small way, to rectify the damage that’s been done. What they’re campaigning for is for businesses to become forces of good. If businesses can become forces of good and can grow hearts and get out there and not just be money-making machines, then, you know, I think that will be all for the better.”

Hmmm. That statement sounds a bit naïve to me. Adventurers are known for their optimism and sometimes their over-optimism. Given how entrenched the corporations and banks are with the government and the rest of the powerful, a superficial change of face isn’t relevant. As of now, capitalism has failed. A genuine change must take place deep down in the country’s gut. That’s one of the reasons we need a prolonged period of turning inward to percolate new solutions. They may include many of Branson’s ideals: non-violence, empathy, ecology; but a new way of managing our money is needed. I’m not going to hold MY breath waiting for businesses to turn kind so the demonstrators can go home satisfied. We need patience and time to think. We need to use our introversion: contemplation, planning, thinking things through. We need to do research and use our logic. We need to be in the streets talking and demonstrating, and at home (if we’re lucky enough to have a home) writing about these things. We’ll make our lists and demands and act on them later.

In 2006, Branson formed Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation, an entertainment company focused on creating new stories and characters for a global audience. The company was founded with author Deepak Chopra and others. Branson launched the Virgin Health Bank in 2007, offering parents-to-be the opportunity to store their baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells in private and public stem cell banks.

In 2007, Branson also announced a new Global science and technology prize—The Virgin Earth Challenge—to encourage technological advancements for the good of mankind. It will award $25 million to the individual or group who can demonstrate a commercially viable design resulting in the net removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases each year for ten years or more without harmful effects, contributing to the stability of the Earth’s climate. Branson will be joined in the adjudication of the Prize by Al Gore and others.

Adventurers are sometimes called Epicureans: Branson and the Natirar Resort development in New Jersey opened in 2009 with the Ninety Acres Culinary Center. It includes a restaurant run by chef David Felton, cooking school, wine school, working farm, luxury resort and spa.

Adventurers love fun and excitement: In 2010 Branson became patron of the UK’s Gordon Bennett  gas balloon race, which has 16 hydrogen balloons flying across Europe.In January 1991, he crossed the Pacific from Japan to Arctic Canada, 6,700 miles, in a balloon, breaking the record, with a speed of 245 miles per hour. In 2004, Branson set a record by travelling from Dover to Calais in a Gibbs Aquada in 1 hour, 40 minutes and 6 seconds, the fastest crossing of the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. In 2010 he tried for the world record of putting a round of golf in the dark at the Black Light Mini Golf in The Docklands, Melbourne, Australia. scored 41 on the par 45 course.

Richard Branson lives the life of a 1 per center but he says he’s with the 99%. He’s contributing to make the world a better place on many levels. He’s a good example to other super wealthy people, who often think they’re above concerning themselves with the problems of the world.

See my website, and my blog on Psychology Today for more famous Enneagram types.

Famous Perfectionist: Ex-Senator and Basketball Star Bill Bradley

ImageBill Bradley (born July 28, 1943) is an idealist and a hard worker, two prime characteristics of Enneagram Perfectionist types. He was an American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, and three-term Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in the 2000 election, beloved especially by many college students who admired his stance on anti-materialism. He was an Eagle Scout, played all-county and all-state basketball in high school, and was offered 75 college scholarships. At Princeton University he earned a gold medal as a member of the 1964 Olympic basketball team and was the NCAA Player of the Year in 1965. He attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.

Bradley spent his ten-year professional basketball career playing for the Knicks, winning two championship titles. Retiring in 1977, he ran for a seat in the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1984 and 1990.

Bradley is the author of six non-fiction books, including The New American Story, and hosts a weekly radio show, American Voices, on Sirius Satellite Radio.

On Meet the Press he said he believes people are searching for some meaning in their life that is deeper than the material. Being only interested in material things is a reaction to the hollowness of life, he said. “To these young people who believe that America can be just, I say, never give up and never sell out. You don’t have to give up your idealism to be successful in America. You don’t have to become complacent. To the contrary, you should be angry with the state of our democracy, the conditions of poverty, the absence of universal health care, the continuation of racism; and if you get angry enough and are smart enough and work hard enough, you can change things. You don’t have to give up what you truly believe so as not to offend power, for real power lies within each of you-the power to mobilize an army of citizens who want to change the world. … you can triumph over ignorance and spitefulness, corruption and greed. You can take the high road and succeed, if enough of you take it together.” –The Journey From Here by Bill Bradley

This is also typical of a Perfectionist: During his high school years, Bradley maintained a rigorous practice schedule, which he carried through college. He would work on the court for “three and a half hours every day after school, nine to five on Saturday, one-thirty to five on Sunday, and, in the summer, about three hours a day. He put ten pounds of lead slivers in his sneakers, set up chairs as opponents and dribbled in a slalom fashion around them, and wore eyeglass frames that had a piece of cardboard taped to them so that he could not see the floor, for a good dribbler never looks at the ball.” Another sign of the Perfectionist is that he felt uncomfortable using his celebrity status to earn extra money endorsing products as other players did.

My last blog was on Robert Reich, who spoke eloquently at a University of California rally on the Occupation movement. Bill Bradley makes a good spokesman for the ideals of the 99% as well.

See more Famous People Enneagram examples on my Psychology Today blogs, my web site, and in each chapter of The Career Within You and Are You My Type, Am I Yours?

Robert Reich, Spokesman for Equality

Robert Reich

Robert Reich (born June 24, 1946) has much to offer the Occupy movement as it is finding its way: “I have dedicated my life to ensuring that the economy works for everyone. A central tenet of my writings and the policies I put into place as labor secretary is that our ability to thrive as a nation depends on the capacities of our people who work productively together – both as participants in an economy and as members of a society.

He spoke to the students who were both protesting fee hikes and supporting Occupy Wall Street on November 15 on the steps of Sproul Hall at Cal in Berkeley:

“I urge you to be patient with yourself because with regard to every social movement in the last half-century or more, it started with a sense of moral outrage. Things were wrong and the actual coalescence of that moral outrage into specific demands came later.

Some people say we cannot afford education any longer, we cannot as a nation provide social services to the poor… Well how can that be true if we are now richer than we have ever been before? Over the last three decades this economy has doubled in size but most Americans have not seen much gain.

The problem with concentrated income and wealth…is an education system that’s no longer available to so many young people… We are losing equal opportunity in America. We are losing the moral foundation stone on which this country and our democracy were founded.

All of you understand intuitively that if we allowed America to go in the direction it was going, with the wealth and the income and the power and the political potential for corruption that all of that represents, that the bullies would be in charge.”

Reich served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. He is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was formerly a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Heller School for Social Policy and Management of Brandeis University. He was also chairman, founding editor, and contributing editor of The New Republic, and contributing editor of The American Prospect, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Reich is a political commentator on Hardball with Chris Matthews, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CNBC’s Kudlow & Company, and APM’s Marketplace and other programs. In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the Ten Best Cabinet Members of the century, and The Wall Street Journal placed him sixth on its list of the “Most Influential Business Thinkers.” He was a member of President-elect Barack Obama’s economic transition advisory board.

His 13 books, include best-sellers, The Work of Nations, Reason, Supercapitalism, and Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future. He is chairman of Common Cause and writes a blog about the political economy.

Regarding a fair and sustainable income and wealth distribution, he recommends, “Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit — a wage supplement for lower-income people, and finance it with a higher marginal income tax on the top five percent. For the longer term, invest in education for lower income communities, starting with early-childhood education and extending to better access to post-secondary education.”

With little information about his personal life, I’m sticking my neck out and calling him an Enneagram Peace Seeker who makes good use of his Achiever and Questioner arrows. Please let me know if you know him well and know the Enneagram well and you have a more accurate guess.

See more about famous types on my Psychology Today blog and my web site.

Dept of Labor photo.

Thomas Jefferson, Famous Pursuiter of Happiness

Drawing by Elizabeth Wagele

Thomas Jefferson was the imaginative and productive founding father responsible for the phrase “pursuit of happiness” in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence. He was an Epicurian (“I consider the genuine doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy of which Greece and Rome have left us.” – Letter to William Short, October 31, 1819.) I believe he was an Adventurer in the Enneagram system of personalities. Adventurers typically engage in many interests and activities:

According to Wikipedia, “Jefferson had a love for reading. By 1815, his library included 6,487 books, which he sold to the Library of Congress to replace the smaller collection destroyed in the War of 1812. He was an accomplished architect who helped popularize the Neo-Palladian style in the United States. He was interested in birds and wine, and was a noted gourmet. Jefferson was a prolific writer. He learned Gaelic to translate Ossian, and sent to James Macpherson for the originals. Jefferson invented many small practical devices and improved contemporary inventions. These include the design for a revolving book-stand to hold five volumes at once… Another was the “Great Clock,” powered by the Earth’s gravitational pull on Revolutionary War cannonballs. Jefferson invented a 15 cm long coded wooden cypher wheel, mounted on a metal spindle, to keep secure State Department messages while he was Secretary of State. The messages were scrambled and unscrambled by 26 alphabet letters on each circular segment of the wheel. He improved the moldboard plow and the polygraph, in collaboration with Charles Willson Peale. As Minister to France, Jefferson was impressed by France’s military standardization program known as the Système Gribeauval and later as President initiated a program at the Federal Armories to develop interchangeable parts for firearms.”

Stephen Greenblatt wrote The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, on how Lucretius’ epic poem, “On the Nature of Things” (first century BC), shaped the thought of Galileo, Freud, Darwin, and Einstein and influenced writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare. He says Jefferson owned five copies of the poem. Lucretius believed the Universe was made of units or atoms and was not created by a miracle. He believed in avoiding pain and tried to convince people not to have a fear of death. Presumably Jefferson agreed with him that neither the mind nor spirit can survive independent of the body. So fear of death is a projection of terrors experienced in life, a fear of pain that only a living mind can feel.

Lucretius also says  people who fear the prospect of eternal non-existence after death should think back to the eternity of non-existence before their birth, which they probably do not fear.  Adventurers should find this idea appealing because they look for ways to not be afraid. Certain other types would not be as attracted to such a carefree thought (leaving views handed down by their religion aside, that is).

Adventurers, including Thomas Jefferson, try to fill their lives with positive activities, thoughts, attitudes, and options. When something doesn’t go well for them, they usually get over it rather quickly.

For more Famous People, see my website:

and my Psychology Today blog:

An Otherworldly “Observer” Named Einstein

Albert Einstein

Drawing by Elizabeth Wagele

Albert Einstein was an Observer in the Enneagram system. “My passionate interest in social justice and social responsibility,” he wrote, “has always stood in curious contrast to a marked lack of desire for direct association with men and women. I am a horse for single harness, not cut out for tandem or teamwork. I have never belonged wholeheartedly to country or state, to my circle of friends, or even to my own family. These ties have always been accompanied by a vague aloofness, and the wish to withdraw into myself increases with the years.

Such isolation is sometimes bitter, but I do not regret being cut off from the understanding and sympathy of other men. I lose something by it, to be sure, but I am compensated for it in being rendered independent of the customs, opinions and prejudices of others, and am not tempted to rest my peace of mind upon such shiftless foundations.”

Born at Ulm, Wuerttemberg, Germany, in 1879 he died in 1955. His boyhood was spent in Munich and away at a school in Switzerland. He attended lectures while supporting himself by teaching mathematics and physics at the Polytechnic School at Zurich until 1900. After a year as tutor, he was appointed examiner at the Patent Office at Bern where he became a Swiss citizen and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Zurich.

 In 1909 he was appointed Extraordinary Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Zurich. In 1911 he accepted the Chair of Physics at Prague and returned to his own Polytechnic School at Zurich as full professor the next year. In 1913 he became director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute in Berlin. He was elected a member of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, which enabled him to devote all his time to research.

 In the 1920s he was elected to the Royal Society, made a member of the Amsterdam and Copenhagen Academies, and received honorary degrees from the Universities of Geneva, Manchester, Rostock and Princeton. He received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in recognition of his theory of relativity, and a Nobel Price in 1921.

He became a member of the Institute de France and received honorary degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Zurich, Yeshiva, Harvard, London and Brussels. In 1935 he was awarded the American Franklin Institute Medal.

In 1932 Dr. Einstein became Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and served as the Head of the Mathematics Department at the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, N.J. In 1940 he became a U.S. citizen.

In 1905 he published four important papers: one explained a method for determining molecular dimensions; one explained the photo-electric effect, the basis of electronics, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1921; one presented a molecular kinetic theory of heat; and one was the first of his Special Relativity Theory, “Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.”

Dr. Phillipp Frank, Dr. Einstein’s biographer, in 1947 wrote that Einstein was saintly, noble, lovable and radiated humor, warmth and kindliness. He loved jokes and laughed easily.

Outward appearance meant nothing to him. He was described as a stranger, a close neighbor, yet at the same time a visitor from another world. As he grew older his otherworldiness became more pronounced, yet he was still warm. Princetonians got used to the long-haired figure in pullover sweater and unpressed slacks wandering in their midst, a knitted stocking cap covering his head in winter.

Ingrid Stabb and I  feature Einstein as one of our Famous People Observer examples in The Career Within You on page 132.

This blog is largely based on his NY Times obituary.

For more Famous People see my Psychology Today blogs and my web site.