Author Enneagram Case Study – Philip E. High (1w9)


Philip E. High was an English SF author, some of whose output I’ve found particularly interesting. In the post here I’ll look at some of his traits and also some traits in related authors.
High worked as a bus driver for most of his life, writing in his spare time and eventually after retirement to keep himself busy – showing typical One workaholism.
An interview with High is here:
From this, another item particularly interesting in terms of typology was his time in a debating society – interesting to note the focus on being right (and making sure he has information enough to be right) (As a 5, I tried debating and mostly found it uncomfortable just due to the public speaking element involved).

High himself is noteworthy for a very long-lasting marriage (starting 1950 for over 40 years until his wife’s death – the fidelity in part also suggesting One, though in general this is, of course, as much up to his spouse as him). In his books, the protagonists’ partners tends to be on a pedestal and there’s a sort of ideal romance (although jaded or predatory women also appear). Ideals on monogamy are expressed particularly in “The Prodigal Sun”. It sometimes goes even a step further, with the idea that someone has just one perfect partner, out there somewhere – “No Truce with Terra” for example has a romance between a human and a woman of a more advanced alien race, previously condemned to be single due to their race needing an exactly compatible mate (of which none existed).
Note that perfectionism in relationships can potentially play out as either a single long-term relationship as above (if successful), a long period alone, or a string of shorter relationships.

Overall his books have a sort of moralizing quality, without necessarily any e.g. religious focus (Ones are more more likely to take up religious evangelism, or perhaps nationalism or racial causes; 1w9s like High or Ayn Rand can tend to be simply rationalists, however).
Specific themes in his books include justification of anger (e.g. necessity of war), alien invaders, a moral or spiritual uplifting of humanity, technology. Bad guys in the books e.g. of alien races are sometimes relatively principled but in conflict over resources, other times simply depraved or evil. Alien invasions are frequent, though in some they’ve already happened. His characters generally have a a very strong ability to classify, organize, and reason their way through problems.
Character and Individuality
The 1w9 particularly as rational and self-controlled is a “thinking type” – Ones have a very strong J tendency in MBTI, implying a system of judging and hence an extraverted thinking tendency, mostly. In 1w9 this is more clear, while 1w2 seems to cross over between extraverted thinking / extraverted feeling in a way that Jung’s four-function model can’t easily describe.
Extraverted thinking implies a very strong system of judgment and so limited flexibility, meaning characters characters will largely respond to problems in a logical way (as the author does), with significant deviations in values seen as a shameful character flaw. Characters may also reflect some of the author’s stereotypes (about women, etc).
Variation between characters may be less than that seen between two actual Ones – individual Ones vary in how much they value specific ideals (women’s rights, religion, animals, reason, poetry, honesty, monogamy, etc.) – “two moral men may consider each other very immoral”, as Gurdjieff said – but a One generally wouldn’t want to create “immoral” characters.
High’s character Gaynor [Prodigal Sun] is more ashamed of being promiscuously-oriented than say, any of Rand’s protagonists, or High is largely indifferent to animal suffering [e.g. one character transported to the future in The Time Mercenaries specifically hopes his sandwich is real beef and not vat-grown, somehow ], whereas Morgan Spurlock’s “Supersize Me” has a One vibe [unsure of wing] and was motivated in part by vegetarian ideals. They are of course more supportive of causes involving them, generally .

The term “organic robot” appears a few times in High’s work, suggesting a sort of fear of mechanicalness or losing one’s individuality (reflecting One as a sort of inner tyranny).
As an interesting point of contrast, we could compare the original Spock as an example of a 1w9 ‘character’ in fiction, except that he was actively attempting to reduce his humanity, and actually represents just a thinking function (opposed by McCoy as feeling, and subordinate to Kirk as Intuition – as Gene Roddenbury was probably a Seven). In two books, Mad Metropolis and Prodigal Sun, characters are afraid of conditioning that will reduce them to being basically robots with no previous identity; in Come Hunt an Earthman the Pelski have mind control systems that basically leave them lobotomized; in Invader on my Back, the “Geek” caste has been bred for complete subservience, with some space spent describing the inner dialogue of a Geek commander as he struggles with the aliens’ rearranging his inmost feelings, attempting to convince him to abandon one woman for another more suitable to their breeding program with concepts of ‘duty to the race’, etc.
This could be compared to the idea of how for extraverted-thinking types, introverted feeling is the weakest function. Reflecting this, his ‘No Truce with Terra’ describes humans as an “extraverted technical” [his words] warrior culture, with soldiers being disgusted when aliens select a poet as their liason point. (High’s books have a strong focus on war, weapons, tactics, etc.).

Empathy  / moral uplift and other themes:
A theme that recurs in High’s works, over and over, which makes him especially interesting,
is the idea that conflict occurs because humans (…or sometimes other sentient creatures) are missing or need to gain some sort of fundamental moral or ethical impulse. For example:
*in ‘Speaking of Dinosaurs’ humans were built as slave-soldiers by an alien race, using another race as a template, which goes bad after some humans revert to the original form and begin broadcasting telepathically, interfering with the aliens’ plans. The alien race [described as ‘humanoid beasts, without conscience or pity’] are brought to trial in a galactic court, and sentenced to be returned to “full emotional development”; their plans to continue their work unravel as they begin involuntarily to feel remorse. [Trials are also a One-ish theme].
*In “Invader on my back’, human telepaths are appearing naturally, but are being hunted down by people due to alien mind control which is also splitting the planet into castes with different mental problems; In “Butterfly Planet”, good humans develop into harmony with/controlling nature (and fight off an alien invasion), while degenerate people exported to alien worlds begin to devolve into monsters; in “The Prodigal Sun” a man helped by friendly aliens changes the atmosphere, creating a symbiosis between living things and an empathy between people, that in this particularly improves relationships. [“The two sexes were intended to function as a single unit….Mattrain has exact order. The same is coming about on this planet now”].
In “Come, Hunt an Earthman”, a confederation of alien races invades the Earth to use it as a hunting preserve, with the human race suddenly developing empathic abilities after an accident researching an alien weapon, leading to technical breakthroughs. The following for instance shows the conversation between two scientists meeting up after one seeks the other out to give them a large piece of their mind, only to stop puzzled, sort out a research problem together, and then call someone else to try to figure out what’s going on:

“Its not telepathy, is it?
“I don’t think so. I am unable to read your mind but am conscious of your inner motivation – something akin to it, perhaps.
“Can we test it”
“What had you in mind?”
“I was thinking of calling the most awkward, most irascible and most unsociable guy we could think of, preferably a scientist.
Hennessy’s mouth twitched slightly. “How about Malcolm Dyer?”
“The radiologist? I’ve never met him.”
“Then you are fortunate, he fits the bill admirably. To be candid, he over-fills it. He is, without doubt, the most cussed, the most overbearing and the most ill-tempered man I have ever met in my life.”
Singleton produced a coin. “Toss you who calls him.”
Hennessey lost. He went to the booth and dialled the number with obvious unease.
He was greeted with a blast of profanity and then., “Who the hell is it? You think I’ve got nothing better to do than answer the bloody telephone every five minutes – eh? Who – never heard of you. Don’t want to hear of you – eh? Oh yes – Andrew Hennessey – what the hell do you want? well, you can get – lost – you – hear – Oh God, I’m – sorry – very sorry—” The voice broke pathetically.
“Why don’t you join us?” enquired Hennessey gently. “We could use your help.”
My help! You mean it, you really mean it, I can tell. Thank you, thank you, I’ll be with you in about four hours.”
“Fine, I’ll have security clearance ready by the time you arrive.” He replaced the receiver slowly, aware that there were tears in his eyes. The irascible, overbearing Dyer was suffering from a slow, fatal and incurable disease. He was dying and knew he was dying.

This (and similar things) perhaps point to a sort of underlying sadness for point 1, that cannot be expressed and so comes out via anger.

“Come, Hunt an Earthman” is also interestingly One-ish in that it shows a degree of ends-justify-the-means rationalization. It is told mainly from the point of view of the alien “Hunt Master”, who operates the hunts so as to minimize casaulties, but is also a spy for an advanced culture that wants to develop the Earth as a “resistant cell” against things from outside the universe, and allowed the invasion (millions of casualties) for that purpose, as well as specifically making the main human protagonists life hell to force him to improve, via indirect means including (it is implied) murder of a former boss to make him broke. Conversely the humans apply assorted terror/hit-and-run tactics against military targets (mostly). The book starts with the “Hunt Master” laying down hunt rules in no uncertain terms, and he also is extremely meticulous about safety standards and frequently quotes regulations, despite usually being delighted by his alien charges being liquidated by human ingenuity at times.
(Incidentally, High’s intuition (tertiary Ne) may be showing in some of the fairly interesting trap designs etc. used by humans here. Many of his books were written later in life, implying more development of lower functions – intuition [Ne] coming through fairly strongly in his work, though being probably his 3rd function.
Ne also shows perhaps in some of the overall designs of his books – frequently they show a clever idea, or even a pun [‘prodigal sun’ – “dad jokes” being apparently a common misuse of Ne, so something that could be expected in the 1w9 but not so much the 1w2]. Overall detail and consistency is good however, with only rare cases where things seem to escalate rapidly and buildup is ‘skipped over’ to get a book’s idea to work – e.g. humans rapidly go from being squashed to overwhelming military superiority in some of his books. Compare to say A.E. Van Vogt [7w6] to see an extreme example of a primary Ne-use style with attendant skipping over or inattention to detail / crazy plans coming out of everywhere]

“The Time Mercenaries” deals with justification of anger again. After humans condition themselves to be incapable of violence, the preserved crew of a World War II submarine are resurrected by humans to lead the robot defense against an alien invasion. They discover that “with the suppression of the aggressive instincts the race lost something – their capacity to love”, but accidentally discover how to fix this when the most unstable of the crew hits a future girl after being outraged by her indifferent attitude to how she “does her duty” in satisfying him, only to have her fall in love with him immediately. They then organize punching out of future men so they can serve as soldiers.
Spouse abuse appears sometimes as a theme in One literature (with the character here depicted as pushed to it and immediately remorseful). The idea here could be read as either a justification of anger itself (1-ish), or relating in some fashion to the wing (9). Some psychologists have taken the opinion that repressed anger could also result in repressed positive emotions, this being an idea for instance in psychologist Theodore Isaac Rubins’ “The Angry Book” – he would probably also be a 1.
High’s own war experiences (he served in WW II himself) may come through somewhat in this work.
“The Mad Metropolis” again has a more 9ish feel, dealing with a future where reality is hidden in layers of hypnotic illusions, with the bad society first taken over by an over-controlling supercomputer, “Mother”, and then it being rehabilitatied when its stress level is relieved by having bombs inside it removed.
Prodigal Sun also has descriptions of a rebel society that shows (Rand-esque) desire to build a revised society – including economic system based on time, forced wearing of identifying markings for personality traits (which the main sidekick doesn’t enjoy…pleased with its integrity, loyalty and honesty but irked by his ‘sensuality’ ratings, and noting that he’s stubborn and somewhat aggressive).
As well as the moralizing, his good guys/bad guys split along a sort of awareness/unawareness axis that probably corresponds to the 9 wing. Devolving people become untidy, indifferent, bestial; conversely bad guys becoming good (Rickman in Butterfly Planet) find themselves ‘waking up’ and being more aware.

Similar authors
Ayn Rand [1w9] – Ayn Rand is very commonly described as a 1w9, accurately IMHO. Rand similarly has a moralizing or crusading stance, with some limited empathy. Her books are particularly argumentative, appearing contrived in places to support her position (the breakdown of society in Atlas Shrugged includes quite a few fairly egregious bits of incompetence by the bad guys, to disprove Communism). Rand’s soliloquoys are much lengthier.
Compared to Phillip High, Rand appears more promiscuous (both IRL and via her protagonists), her logical ideals here differing, whether due to rebellion or more SX.
Rand is commonly considered to be an INTJ by MBTI enthusiasts (based on their opinion, rather than a test result). Looking at her works we can see she’s primarily a thinker rather than intuitive, with thinking of the ‘Extraverted’ variety, even though she is probably more socially introverted (to be expected with /w9). Extraverted Thinking is externally-focussed, but not directed at people so much as being a sort of technical or engineering attitude toward the environment. Her lowest function, feeling, is extraordinarily underdeveloped, showing that she’s definitely a thinking-type rather than anything else – evident in her disparaging view toward feeling types and feeling generally (e.g. Dagny’s brother in Atlas Shrugged), and in some particularly strange characters or descriptions of feelings (the pirate/philosopher character who feels justified attacking government employees with lethal force to recover tax money, because it was extorted from citizens by implied threat; strange descriptions of feelings about a tree hit by lightning (something bothered her, generally, more than people suffering). The description of Hank Reardon’s feelings as he creates a bracelet of a new metal are also perhaps introverted-feeling.
Her interest in e.g. architecture and the lengthy and detailed writing style, along with a certain stubborn inflexibility to being challenged, are suggestive of Si secondary (and /w9). She actually takes a dim view of more Ni pursuits like dream-interpretation or mysticism. High similarly is interested in architecture in places. Both have some artistic inclinations – poetry in his case while she finds art acceptable. She is less say war-focussed than High or Laumer (see next) but in general shows the same sort of engineering mentality [Te] in her discussions of things like railroads (Atlas Shrugged) or architecture (The Fountainhead).
Keith Laumer [1w9]- another 1w9. Laumer is noted from people who knew him as having a relatively bad temper, with a story at one point circulating about how a fan visiting his house had refused to leave, only to have the author pull a gun on him (though he apologized later). Laumer had a stroke during the writing of his “The Ultimax Man” (self-perfecting themes). Human augmentation/untapped human potential as a theme is present to some degree in High as well, but is overall a fairly common theme in SF and not unique to Ones, though perhaps flavoured slightly differently across types (Ones want to be more perfect, Threes may want to be more attractive/sexy for example, particularly /w4, or 5s want more calculating power and are less averse than other types to being just giant floating brains ).
A story is told of how Laumer’s ex-wife made him a pie which he ate, only to be was angry when she told him it was his favourite variety of pie (and if he’d known he’d have eaten it more slowly). [..something of /w9 there, forgetfulness]. A One vision of the bad guy as “too good”(Unhealthy One) appears in ‘A Plague of Demons’, where two alien forces representing as it were pure good and evil, find humanity as a mixture to be disgusting (but too useful to simply eliminate). This again has a hidden alien invasion going on.
Laumer like high has some focus on technical or engineering type details, war machines, etc. [Te].

C S Lewis [1w9] – another moralist writer, though in a religious vein. Generally categorized e.g. by Riso as a 1w9. [Quote: ” Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. “]
His Narnia books may not be ideal for analysis inasmuch as they were build in some cases by reading/interpreting Bible passages. Themes of sin, righteousness, etc. do come through., while the four Pevensie children in Narnia perhaps match functions. His “Out of the Silent Planet” trilogy describes his anger at one point, at the incarnated devil, as “realizing what anger had been created for”. Lewis’ personality feels to me to have a sort of ‘synthetic’ quality where apparent feelings or principles seem to be what’s calculated as the ideal, rather than genuine. High sometimes has the same sort of vibe, e.g. interests in poetry or the like being those one is “supposed to” feel, rather than deeply felt.
Lewis is another war veteran, with this having little apparent effect on his outlook (war in particular being something that generates very strong reactions in some types – compare say Kurt Vonnegut [4w5?] for an example of an extreme negative reaction, while many 1s involved will consider it justified/necessary, and some of the 8s seem to actively enjoy it (Robert Adams, Robert Heinlein) (Of course, individual experiences will also vary).

Wing Contrasts
Compared to the 1w9, the 1w2 is warmer. It perhaps can’t precisely be explained in Jungian terms with only a four-function model, seeming to use some combination of Te and Fe, or at least can duplicate Fe to some extent. Se covers for Fe to some extent, leading this to be developed as tertiary, while the secondary function is introverted-intuition. Authors of this type include probably Anne McCaffrey, possibly Diane Duane (less clear of wing, and/or Five might also be possible). Wing 2 however also has less control of anger (since 9 helps suppress), although the effect is only equivalent to a shift  of a few integration levels (e.g. unhealthy 1w9s, like Laumer, can be quite aggressive).
While 1s frequently have a sense of the self as imperfect, this seems closer to the surface in 1w2s, and they’re more likely to create seriously flawed protagonists.
1w2s sometimes seem to show an actual dislike for the opposite sex. Examples here would perhaps include Harlan Ellison (cf. “A Boy and his Dog”) or for the female example, author Gael Baudino.
Some other Ones would include Alfred Bester – 1w9 ?, possibly Mercedes Lackey ( 1w2 or 2w1), John Grant (coauthor, “Legends of Lone Wolf” serires – 1w2), writer and critic Damon Knight (unsure of wing).
Star Wars creator George Lucas also shows very probable 1w2 [ENTJ] tendencies, but probably deserves his own post. He shows similar hit-and-run methodology (The Rebellion), anger issues (The Dark Side), character arguing etc., and appears to have again a dominant Te pattern.

EDIT Note: Compare also Scott Baker [1w2 case study article].

A movie which has a similar ‘feel’ to High’s work would be “League of Extraordinary Gentlement” – probable 1w9 influences. Like High’s work it focusses on war and war technology (armour, weapons, etc) – Te dominant with this personified in Sean Connery’s Allan Quartermain character. Nemo does ‘N’, while Hyde (or the phantom) are perhaps the F-type character. Si is harder to pick because of several characters, possibly Sawyer. Note the argumentativeness of the characters (/w2 may be more flexible or less abrasive, having Fe somewhat). One ‘Fi’ may be expressed partly in use of literary characters, i.e. characters are chosen who are from literature and so ‘should’ be liked by right-thinking people.


One thought on “Author Enneagram Case Study – Philip E. High (1w9)

  1. AMENDMENT re. Jungian functions: after some time re-reading High’s work, I now think that the intuition I’d picked out as a ‘well-developed tertiary’ is actually the secondary function, that is, that he’s an ENTJ rather than an ESTJ. This may be the case with 1w9s generally; some features I’d selected as relating to Ne may be Ni. The Ni can be seen as a sort of anxious quality (6-like.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s