Enneagram Insights: The Law of Three Invites Either/Or to Shift to Both/And

In the previous scene of our drama, point 9 showed up in hopes of casting a new vision by inviting our opposing characters to reconsider their Either/Or-ing. What could be their response? Let’s imagine the following. 

We watch point 9 assure both 3 and 6 that they are being heard, affirming that they both bring something of merit. This idea was previously unimagined by our 3 and 6 points. Impacted by point 9’s gentle, attentive voice, 3 and 6 begin to relax and, most interestingly, to be a bit more open to the differences that point 9 has affirmed in the other. Now dismissing the other and moving against or away from is replaced by curiosity. As we see this transformation build, we see the potential of moving beyond two opposing views to creating a third thing, a resolution that can move things forward. 

I want to shift now and look at the Law of Three more technically. There are labels we use to identify the three forces we have personified for our purposes and have been following these two months. The label used for point 3 is the “Affirming Force,” that which begins the process with the introduction of a starting point. Secondly, is the “Denying Force” at point 6, which comes up against what is offered from point 3. Lastly, the “Reconciling Force” at point 9 that offers to negotiate what is best and true from the first two forces. This last force makes possible the shift needed to achieve reconciliation, support right action, and experience real resolution for the good of all. 

The Enneagram, holding the triangle front and center, is illuminating the wisdom of the Law of Three. It is from within this space of Both/And that the Enneagram suggests we come to the table with our ideas allowing other very different ideas to be set alongside them. Then, with time and curiosity, we see how seemingly contrary ideas can refine each other, affecting and influencing each other until what gets created looks very different than what we each first laid down. Truly the “tug of influence” between the Affirming and Denying forces alone gets us nowhere. The Enneagram uses the Law of Three to invite us to see this plainly and loosen the hard, certain lines we draw and discover that Both/And sets us on a path of more durable resolutions. -Sali