Author Case Study – Clifford D. Simak [9w1]

Clifford D. Simak

Type: 9w1 (so)
Health level: average to healthy
Type based on: functions/centres, behaviours e.g. avoidances

Vickers let the paper drop to the floor and sat looking out across the garden, rich with flowers and ripe with sunshine. There was peace here, in this garden corner of the world, if there were nowhere else, he thought. A peace compounded of many things, of golden sunshine and the talk of summer leaves quivering in the wind, of bird and flower and sundial, or picket fence, that needed painting and an old pine tree dying quietly and tranquilly, taking its time to die, being friends with the grass and the flowers and other trees all the while it died.
Here there was no rumour and no threat; here was calm acceptance of the fact that time ran on, that winter came and summer, that sun would follow moon and that the life one held was a gift to be cherished rather than a right than one must wrest from other living things.
Vickers glanced at his watch and saw that it was time to go.

-Ring Around the Sun

Clifford D. Simak was a 60s SF author who I’m using here as another author who is relatively clearly a 9 (a type sometimes difficult to discern).His work tends to show fairly wholesome family values and the like, with sexuality fairly reserved and an evident appreciation for a fairly simple or rustic lifestyle that’s fairly unusual (in an SF author, anyway). There’s a slightly moralizing tone in his writing, as well. Some of this perhaps reflects cultural bias (60s), although his traits are also fairly typical of the type.
Note that Simak has a fairly large output of novels; I have read only a few of these, though some trends are fairly apparent. Surface 9 traits apparent in his writing include the desire for peacefulness/agreeableness, stubbornness, more intense connection to body sensations, and a sort of ‘vagueness’ is also sometimes apparent; /w1 is evident in an occasional moralizing tone and conservative stance (though 1s can probably be found for whatever ideology).

Also in keeping with 9, he often writes about ‘everyday’ things: breakfast, the morning paper, wearing a robe i.e. everyday experience, giving a a backdrop of ‘ordinariness’ despite SF elements. As a disambiguation note, 4s could likewise have some sort of themes around ordinariness, but for them the mundane is banal, rather than comforting (having a feeling-based, rather than instinctive, basis); 7s probably consider work dissatisfaction a normal part of life, as well). Nine theoretically functions with the centre of gravity in instinctive centre, which generally however could be harder to detect because discussion of this is generally not that interesting, leading an author of the type to instead write some stuff abouts feelings, etc.

Other 9ish traits include:
*Extreme stubborness: Simak’s characters generally show a degree of stubborness or contrariness, despite being well-meaning. His characters frequently argue with other characters over fairly petty things (whether he can have oatmeal for breakfast, getting up early) as well as major/moral decisions.
*reserved romantically: main character clearly has feelings for other characters, but may delay acting on them, which appears to be a recurrent trend [5s can be similar, probably with less feeling apparent however. More generally this would be a general ‘withdrawn type’ trend seen across 459, with ambivalence in 6, and sometimes incorporated into fiction for plot reasons by other types]
*degree of unwillingness to become aware of unpleasantness: “there was a lengthy feature article about missing persons and he read about half of it, all that he wanted to.” (this is noticeably different to 5 particularly, in this case; they would probably want information on anything interesting, and be relatively unemotional about it).
*procrastination/lazing – characters stopping at a cafe to read the paper, etc.
*Physical comfort focus: In Werewolf Principle, after a period of dissociation leaves a character out in a storm, he conveniently finds refuge with their being lengthy discussion about how cold/wet he is, and he is allowed to use the comfy chair. Ring Around the Sun begins with somewhat having to get up “at an hour outrageous for its earliness” to meet someone he doesn’t want to meet. The intro here is in part explainable just in terms of ‘centres’ and Gurdjieff’s ‘three forces’, as the ‘instinctive centre’ in 9s taking a negative [passive] role, meaning it then needs to be pushed into doing something by another factor. [i.e. feeling, which in the book is externalized to another character]. See also notes on functions, below.

One-ish traits are apparent in Simak including the moral themes in his work (following a conservative viewpoint), occasional arguing between characters, degree of rationality, and to some extent just through word choice or associations and micro-behaviours – “right/wrong” for instance comes up frequently; or a character is dismayed when their watch stops working (being on time being important to Ones). Occasional warlike or self-justifying behaviour is visible; no signs of Eight traits e.g. suspiciousness, rule-breaking, excess. Positive wing determination here helps confirm that the actual type (9) is correct.

Accidia / Acedia

Ichazo describes the 9 fixation as ‘accidia’ –  ‘sloth’ being a poor translation.
Arguably in 9s there may be a sort of resigned quality or lack of joy (though muted in contrast to 4s more overt feelings of despair). It is more evident for one-wing, the the eight-wing has more of a ‘lust for life’ compared to 1’s generally more repressed quality. In Jungian terms the 9w8 would use Si/Se, whereas 9 has sensation that’s more purely Si, implying that sensation has overall a ‘negative’ quality (see e.g. John Brunner notes for more discussion on Si).
This is also equivalent to the view of ‘centres’ above, where instinctive has a ‘negative’ role.
Interesting points where Simak’s joie de vivre seems particularly low include ‘Desertion’ for instance (a short story where the key concept is that humans sent out into the wild storms of Jupiter using a device transforming them into aliens, fail to return because they find the Loper form to be immensely more joyful than being human, finding the to-humans-hellish planet incredibly beautiful); or in Werewolf Principle, the main character wondering about the meaning of life.

Awareness / Presence:

As a relatively healthy 9, or perhaps as a result of 1-wing, Simak seems aware of moments of ‘not awareness’ (as another 9 said in a group once: ‘I have moments of clarity and fog’) : “He looked under the flower pot on the corner of the stoop to find the key, but it wasn’t there and then he remembered that he had left the door unlocked so that Joe could come in and get rid of the mice”. [-Ring around the sun]
[Gurdjieff would consider this to be not specifically 9-ish but a core human trait; arguably this sort of thing still relates particularly to 9 due to its position as the primary vertex of the enneagram as a whole – the beginning and the end].
‘Many I’s’ appears as well as a theme in some of his books – again, similar to how this is seen in some other 9s.(Quoting the earlier blog post on Robert Silverberg (9w8): Clifford D. Simak [9w1] also shows a “partitioning” theme in several books, including ‘The Werewolf Principle’ [an amnesiac wakes with the minds of two alien creatures in his body] and Ring Around the Sun [a man discovers he is an android who has had his essence divided among several cloned bodies, including his nemesis].)

Further notes on centres and functions

The sensation focus could also be viewed as being an aspect of the body [gut, instinctive] centre being primary centre. Probably 9w8 could be viewed as using the ‘instinctive’ centre primary and ‘feeling’ secondary, while 9w1 uses ‘gut’ primary and ‘intellectual’ secondary, although either variety of 9 shows a degree of agreeability. This is complicated as well by 1 being a ‘compliant’ type vs. 8 ‘aggressive’; a 9w1 is a combination [withdrawn/compliant] type regardless of a probable T preference. Degree of T/F in either wing would be less pronounced than for types which are primary-thinking or primary-feeling, with older or healthier people having less imbalance still (as the third function develops). With 1 being relatively ‘moral’, there would be some possibility for a 9w1 (like an actual 1?_to score as F on some of T/F questions on the basis of principles rather than genuine feeling.


w1 adds more anger and some more deciseveness; this type also seems fairly practically intelligent (extraverted thinking [Te] secondary). Simak’s work as a 9w1 has some stylistic similarities to Philip E. High (1w9). Both show a sort of technical aptitude and Simak sometimes has some of the same sort of tactical or warlike bent [e.g. in ‘Skirmish’] – one would be an ISTJ and the other ESTJ, in MBTI terms – Simak however, as predicted, having less problem solving [Ne].

In Simak’s work, thinking generally has a positive or warmer quality attributed to it, as opposed to the normal stereotype of thinking as cold or cruel – partly a result of Te just being fairly well-developed and so reflective of One principles, probably. As an example, he very often has friendly machine characters, programmed to respond favourably to people (although these also may be irascible or grumpy). Some authors (I believe Ichazo but could be Naranjo) also spoke of the ‘automatization of sloth’, in which case 9s could see a sort of kinship with machines; 9s may also have a tendency to anthropomorphize things.
Another theory (of Naranjo’s) reportedly connects the three instincts – social, self-preservation, sexual – to the three lower centres in Gurdjieff’s system e.g. social is viewed as a result of ‘moving’ instinct (compare social insects like ants or bees that are basically machines driven by ‘moving centre’); this theory is separate to mine where I would conjecture that One is particularly driven by moving-centre, however.
Another couple of authors with perhaps similar attitudes to inanimate objects could be George Lucas (Star Wars)(1w2) whose ‘droids’ are peculiarly anthropomorphic (C3P0/R2D2) and Piers Anthony (2w1) who has e.g. a character [Prince Dolph] who can talk to inanimate objects in his Xanth series (they’re annoying, however).

Simak doesn’t always follow that paradigm when he has an idea however; e.g. at least one short story (‘Skirmish’) has machines coming alive under the control of hostile alien robots [The tactical decision making in Skirmish could also be an example of Te, though; a man decides aliens are testing human reactions by revealing themselves to him, and attacks them rather than calling for help, to send a message it won’t be easy].

MBTI functions and characters

His functions are fairly visible in his SF book The Werewolf Principle, divided between characters – although individual character sets aren’t always true to type here, this looks exactly as we’d expect. The main character, Andrew Blake, has the minds of two alien creatures sharing his body, which he can change shape into: Blake handles ‘everyday life’ situations, while the two aliens, Thinker and Questor appear occasionally. “Thinker” is fairly reasonable (for example, deciding that revenge against humans isn’t worthwhile) while “Questor” seems to represent the lower feeling function – it can be aggressive or irrational and is roughly wolf-shaped (hence the name of the book). The image here is associated sometimes with lower introverted-feeling as it reflects a self-image of someone’s self as something bestial (George Lucas as a 1w2 reflects this as well with Chewbacca for instance reflecting Fi) – 2w3 Louise Cooper as noted in her study breaks breaks from this, probably because she thinks wolves are cute). (Simak also makes a ‘fuzzy’ feeling thing in Seven Came Back, perhaps – a ‘female’ martian – and has dog characters in a few places, apparently). Questor goes wild at points e.g. cheered on by the main character when he savages a man attacking them in a hospital; the self-justification here being in some respects a One/inferior Fi capacity.
The three characters here could also be looked at as components of the ‘idealized image’ – Karen Horney (probably a Two?) having discussed how people mentally partition different aspects of themselves to avoid inner conflicts. In this view, Changer would seem to represent “Compliance”, Thinker the “Withdrawn” trend, and Questor the “Aggressive” trend.
Other characters also sometimes speak/interact with projected functions, e.g. with arguing going on also between the senator in the book (T) and his daughter, the love interest (F). “Intuition” also appears in the form of “brownies”, small telepathic furry people that pop up irregularly to say possible helpful but disturbing things (e.g. “How many of you are there?”, before Blake discovers his alternate selves)
Other 9w1s have relatively similar structures e.g. Lawrence Watt-Evans in “The Cyborg and the Sorcerors” has a main character who is a former art student drafted to be a spy, who is controlled by an AI ‘computer’ (thinking/withdrawn trend) and also has multiple subpersonalities including a combat persona bent on killing (aggressive). In his Esthar novels, Watt-Evans also has “spriggans” which are reminiscent of Simak’s brownies.
In a free-form function model, Simak would seem to have probably some development of Fe (interpersonal relationships generally fairly warm). Other 9w1s vary – Lawrence Watt-Evans for example has less Fe apparent, seeming much more detached, but maybe has more Se in that sexuality seems less repressed, maybe reflecting a different background to Simak’s 60s background (or to put it another way perhaps more SX vs. SO). Watt-Evans’ books revolve around problem-solving in a way that seems reflective of strong Te, which Simak would have potential for but which isn’t quite realized.

Note that the initial quote above was chosen to show 9 desire for peace but could also be argued to be an ‘introverted sensation’ related: i.e. in a Jungian view this would be ‘business as usual’ for a 9, but equivalent to the inferior function being felt for an Ne-dominant (= essence for 7).

Intuition [Ne] as inferior function

Intuition as a concept is named and discussed a bit in ‘Ring Around The Sun’, where the main character develops an ‘intuition’ power giving him ability to travel between worlds.
The ‘inferior’ quality of intuition shows up in probably in a couple of ways in his books:
In Werewolf Principle, Blake starts out with amnesia and seems to be blocking any particular awareness or ‘moving forward’ or life issues. Plots as a whole frequently move forward somewhat due to coincidence or contrivance, rather than the characters being actively goal-focussed; for instance, Blake meeting the Senator who happens to have critical plot importance wholly by accident. Simak’s books sometimes revolve around solving major world problems – basically an ‘unrealistic’ use of intuition – though some of this could perhaps be 1 idealism as well (Philip E. High again is similar in some respects).


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