A quick recap: we come into life at one with a particular aspect of Being (there are nine, known as the Holy Ideas). We soon separate from that state. The ego swoops in, filling that wound and initiating a lifelong attempt to recapture that divine union by simulating it.
Here's how that plays out with Enneagram Nines, known variously as the Peacemaker, the Mediator, Nobody Special.
Nines are initially attuned to Holy Love: the deep inner knowing that all of reality is inherently benevolent, loving, and wonderful. This isn't a denial of death, suffering, disease or destruction, but an understanding that, as Maitri puts it, "the fundamental nature of all creation is beneficial and propitious."
Then the separation hits. Suddenly not everything is an expression of love and goodness, but some things are. Some people are. And some aren't. For instance, me. Other people are worthy of love and regard, and of participating in all of the good things in life, but I'm not. So a baseline belief about oneself develops: the feeling of being unlovable, unworthy and unimportant.
Nines are characteristically pleasant people. Easy-going. They can find common ground with pretty much anyone, and get along with anyone. They don't assert their needs. If the group wants to go somewhere, they're happy to go along. If they're left alone, that's totally fine. Keep the peace. With others, and with myself.
Nines famously love comfort. Physical, emotional and mental. Even spiritual. It's easier to go along with what's already established than to rebel or charge into unknown territory. Routines are good. So are diversions. Music. Trivia. Hobbies. Gadgets. Games. Naps. Dreams. Nature. Art. Philosophical speculation.
All of this is a way of avoiding the truly important questions. And why shouldn't I avoid them? Who am I, anyway? Nobody special. Why pay attention to my inner life? Why do the personal and spiritual work that would benefit me and bring me into closer contact with the ineffable?
This sense is so profound, and exists at such a base level, to even question it would be like questioning the solidity of the ground or the wetness of water.
So Nines avoid. They might settle into the couch and watch great big heaping loads of TV, or they might be workaholics, but the genuinely vital questions about life and about themselves are left unexplored. And in the meantime, they're pleasant, loving, accepting people, their personality simulating the warmth and universal peacefulness of Holy Love.
But if a Nine learns to become present, she'll turn her focus from the needs of the outside world to what's truly important - the workings of her soul. She'll become aware of the pain inherent in her broken contact with her essential nature. If she can stay with this exploration rather than narcotize herself from it, that sense of deficient emptiness will change.
As Maitri says:
Eventually, the shell of her personality will become more and more transparent to Being, and as this happens, she will find herself experiencing, embodying, and manifesting the quality of Being she has tried to emulate… Her inner experience will gradually change from feeling deficient, unloved, unimportant, and overlooked to feeling sustained, taken care of, and inseparable from a beneficent universe filled with love and blessings.