Buddhists have their “three poisons”; Christians have their “seven deadly sins.” Lust makes both lists, along with anger. But lust is the one that furrows men’s brows and crosses their legs. Our culture assumes that lust is all about the genitals. Yes, lust does involve a preoccupation with sexual pleasure, but it actually infests the entire being, as all sins do. The 16th century author of “The Cloud of Unknowing” writes that lust-driven men have been “seduced by an inordinate love of giving or receiving flattery and by a deep-seated need to be liked.”
Tag Archives: enneagram
The personality is a set of conditioned behaviours of which we are mostly unaware. If you doubt this wear your watch on your opposing wrist for a week. These behaviours make us utterly predictable to those who know us best. ‘Here we go again,’ they think or say. Which is why we need to live in community—to be reminded now and then that we are robots. We need the personality in the same way a chick needs its shell—as an adolescent protection, only useful for as long as it takes to peck our way out of it.
Nine ways to suffer
Enneagram teaching posits nine passions (from passio, meaning ‘to suffer’). These are anger, pride, deceit, envy, greed, fear, gluttony, lust and, taking up the rear, sloth. Most men assume their dominant passion is lust. Most men are wrong. Fear-based men vastly outnumber men who love to fight. We dance with each other. Lust leads. Fear follows.
The Big O
What happens when an introverted Ennea-type FIVE, with a strange and beautiful singing voice, finds a nesting place in the spotlight? Well, you get Running Scared and Crying and Bob Dylan remembering how his voice “could jar a corpse.” You get Roy Orbison.
The unconditioned man
We cannot renovate the mask-like fear-based personality. The most we can do with this fragile shell of a self is step out of it, as chicks do after a period of assiduous pecking.