Re: paranoia

Caliban (
Tue, 9 Sep 1997 22:58:58 -0400 (EDT)

Anton "Dasher" Sherwood wrote:
> I've been wondering whether paranoia can be defined, at least
> in part, as abnormally high sensitivity of the pattern-detecting
> faculty; and if so, whether it can be detected by asking the
> subject to find patterns in random dots.
This sounds like a good theory and an excellent experiment.

I'm a Type Six on the Enneagram (IMO), and I know that Sixes
are the temperament type most inclined toward paranoia. If
"intuition" is defined as "pattern-detecting faculty," then
we Sixes are most sensitive to danger. Unfortunately, sometimes
we are so sensitive that we see it even when it isn't there. :-/

As Helen Palmer put it, "Sixes are vigilant. Their attention
is highly focused, and when they're alarmed, they look outside
for clues to explain their inner uncertainty. The environment
becomes suddenly meaningful. Faces and gestures seem to emanate
a response to the unarticulated questions `Do you like me? Am I
safe?' . . . All nine types project to some extent, in that
aspects of themselves that are hidden by defenses are attributed
to other people; but projection is almost synonymous with the
fearful tendency. Danger seems so clearly `out there' until you
start getting feedback . . . "

"Whoever dies with the most skills wins."