Saturday Night Jukebox: Enneagram Type One - Bruce Cockburn and Ani Di Franco Music

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I'm writing this entry from Burlingame, California (outer San Francisco), near the end of a week of full time Level One training from the Enneagram Institute's instructors, including Russ Hudson, co-author of The Wisdom of the Enneagram, my favourite book on the subject. Great experience. Learning a ton. It seemed appropriate to use this SNJ slot to post a couple of songs I think illustrate one Enneagram type particularly well. I'll do the other types in future SNJ slots.

The Enneagram, in case you aren't familiar with it, is a system that posits there being nine basic personality types. I've got a fuller introduction to the subject elsewhere on Beams.

Type One is the Reformer, the Perfectionist, the Idealist, the Crusader. Ones can be defined by their high principles. They're strict with others, and strictest of all with themselves. Integrity is the north point on their compass. Their ruling passion, their fundamental misperception, the thing that keeps them from seeing the godliness and unity in all things, is Anger. Frustration. Agitation. Wrath. But they have to have an appropriate target for their anger, something it's morally correct to be angry about. 

Bruce Cockburn illustrates this with perhaps his best known song If I Had a Rocket Launcher. On full display is his idealism, his high political and social principles, and his fury at those people who are deliberately unjust. He's a wickedly good guitar player, and could have had a career simply as a guitar god. (Supposedly, when Stevie Ray Vaughn died, Eddie Van Halen was asked by Rolling Stone what it felt like to be the best guitar player in the world, and responded "I don't know - ask Bruce Cockburn."). Instead he's created one album after another with justice as his dominant theme.

Here comes the helicopter -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay

I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate
Cry for guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher...Some son of a bitch would die

Ani Di Franco founded her own record label, and gave it the One-ish name "Righteous Babe." Similarly, her guitar playing is incredible - far better than it needs to be. But her focus is on a moral message in almost every one of her songs, usually delivered with furious intensity. In Napoleon she relates the story of an ambitious musician friend, seething with anger at this person's blind chasing of money and fame rather than the lower paying rewards of personal and artistic integrity. 

They told you your music
Could reach millions
That the choice was up to you
You told me they always
Pay for lunch
And they believe in what i do
And I wonder
If you miss your old friends
Once you've proven what you're worth
Yeah I wonder
When you're a big star
Will you miss the earth

And I know you would always want more
I know you would never be done
'Cuz everyone is a fucking Napoleon
Yeah everyone is a fucking Napoleon

And the next time
That i saw you
You were larger than life
You came and you conquered
You were doing alright
You had an army
Of suits behind you
And all you had to be was willing
And I said I still
Make a pretty good living
You must make a killing

And I hope that you are happy
I hope at least you are having fun
'Cuz but everyone is a fucking Napoleon
Yeah everyone is a fucking Napoleon

Now you think, so that is
The way it's gonna be
That's what this is all about
I think that that is
The way it always was
You chose not to notice until now
Yeah now that there's a problem
You call me up to confide
And you go on for over an hour
'Bout each one that took you for a ride

And I guess that you dialed my number
'Cuz you thought for sure that I'd agree
I said baby, you know I still love you
But how dare you complain to me

Everyone is a fucking Napoleon
Yeah everyone is a fucking Napoleon

Bruce and Ani are friends, and have played together. In the liner notes to his album The Charity of Night, Bruce thanks Ani for "reminding me what energy is for."

By the way, I don't actually know if either of these people are Ones. You can't know someone's type without discussing it with them. But these songs, and their repeated themes, strike me as very good examples of what Ones are like as creators of music.

According to Riso and Hudson, no matter what a One's level of development, they sense the fundamental goodness at the heart of everything. It raises us up. It's a benediction from the source. There's a passionate caring about people motivating Ones, a wanting to get us all back to the garden. A less healthy One is stiff and scolding, a walking superego. But a healthy One is kind, warm-hearted, free of their basic fear of being "bad," corrupt and unredeemable. They let go of the conviction that they're in a position to judge anything or anyone objectively, most of all, themselves.

A healthy One is a joy to be around. They know how to have fun. They bring about change for the better, and inspire others to do so as well.

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