Subject/Object @F-L-O-W

Subject/Object @F-L-O-W

Enneagram thought of the day

The following is a dialogue between Tim and Mike, which Tim started with the quote below.  Mike felt that the relationship to Subject/Object was of enough value to have an open discussion in a webinar which will be held on Friday, October 18 at 8:30 PM ET.

If you would like to attend, add your email below and you will receive the call-in information.  You will also be sent the recording if the time is not good for you.


Remember it’s not staying in your comfort zone that produces transformation, but self-knowledge and awareness. Don’t try to change your reactions today. It’s enough to see them more clearly.

So… being aware of who and how we are is actually discomforting in a way that may transform?

"Transform" is such a loaded word.

But it seems accurate that a closer scrutiny of self (an examined life) creates change to self.

Finding tools that foster that self knowledge and awareness is the trick. Tools that are appropriate for a given individual.

And ones current subject/object orientation


And "current subject/object orientation" would be dictated by?

As I interpret, it is similar to how I understand trajectory.

I am trying here to expand my perspective without losing my clarity.

The quote I shared was not originally offered in a generalized context but was sent to a person because they reported as a 9 on the enneagram. I do not know what that might mean but I am trying to work with this in a meta way, so it doesn’t matter…

Whatever a person may report as, in any assessment, is like a slice, whether it is motive profile, learning style, type, trait or preference, it is a slice. People are made up of slices and different people with their different slices may be more or less apt to shift their subject/object at a given time.

Also they may be more or less apt to utilize certain tools that may help them shift their subject/object depending on their point on a trajectory or combination of slices. Some folks, for the same reasons, are very much less likely to shift at all and that is ok.

Said another way: Whatever developmental level a person is at and what slices they are made up of, will influence what they are capable of using. And, I think, whatever their point on their trajectory is (or motive profile, learning style, type, trait, or preference) influences what tools are apt to be effective/ineffective at facilitating "transformation." Ugh.

Although it is not easy to inspire change, and especially, to dictate/order change is as easy as pushing a string, right? There are tools to scaffold change or facilitate/emerge development.

Behaviors that focus on shifting subject/object can change individuals, for better or worse.

IMHO meditation, over time, can result in a shift in what we take as subject and what we take as object.

Therapies, some, probably do stimulate a similar process. (What are some others? Journaling, perhaps? Robert Kegan’s Competing Commitment exercise? Assessment work? Others?)

As an individual shifts what they are subject to out in to their (still theirs) objective field they gain a perspective of self as (temporarily) other. When that is sustained over time, through practice, it shakes things lose, lightens the grip of identity and, ideally, enlarges the possibility to identify with something, well, larger.

Though is that better? That depends.

I wrote "ideally" because it can also cause insecurity or dysfunction to run rampant. My experience with intensive, 10 day, 11 hours per, silent meditation retreats has shown me that it can relax some. Yet others that "self selected"(unrecognized external influence? Did they "know themselves" well enough?) for participation, crack under the pressure. There seems to be one every time. Most undergo, at least, discomfort during such an intense process but some really suffer psychic breaks. Some spiritual breakthroughs or some generally useful insights.

To Mike’s credit, his coach2 training that he developed is designed to facilitate a subject/object shift. I asked him that directly once and he said "for sure." He said that he consciously designed it that way. He, I believe, has clearly stated that it is a meditative form of coaching.

It is a process, when done correctly, that requires the coach to put aside their own mental models, to set aside the thoughts that arise, (thus objectifying them) the feelings that arise and pay attention, or try to pay attention to what is….trying to pay attention to what is happening before it is filtered and manipulated by the coach’s filters and biases. It requires practice.

And who is that apropos for?

Depending on an individual’s slices and/or their S/O orientation, some are better at that process than others. Some more likely to download it than others.

And that brings us back to knowing oneself. That enneagram quote I shared reminded me of the dictum "know thyself" maybe we could say "know thyself and you might change." And you might change because your relationship to who you thought you were changes. The system has been perturbed….

Fluid beings we are and yet not.

Leaves me interested in other tools for generating self knowledge and playing with subject/object games. Does anyone know more tools that do that?

This is interesting…

Your s/o has shifted since San Diego, hehe

Probably time for a Q&A session if you feel like hosting it.


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