Functional Order: Fe-Ni-Se-Ti

Judging Functional Axis:

Extroverted Feeling (Fe) / Introverted Thinking (Ti)

MLK thinks and sees life in terms of group dynamics, and impact on the African American society on the whole. He spends all of his time championing causes on their behalf, but also attempting to motivate and mobilize large groups to work together to accomplish the right for people to register to vote, fearlessly. After a failed march in Selma turns into a violent interaction with the police, MLK gets up into his pulpit and preaches a sermon that accuses anyone who does not side with them as being “on the other side.” He also opens up a call to a much wider base of people, in asking anyone who believes in freedom and equality to join them on the march, leading to thousands of people of different races and religions descending upon Selma to walk with him. He asks L.B. Johnson if this is the legacy he wants to leave behind, and how he wants to be thought of, by future generations. MLK typically gets a group together to problem-solve, discuss potential solutions to problem, and act as his advisors – delegating logic, rather than spending a great deal of time dwelling on solutions that don’t involve people himself (inferior Ti).

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Introverted Intuition (Ni) / Extroverted Sensing (Se)

“I have a dream.” MLK has a far-reaching vision for what he wants to see happen in America, and it’s all tied to humankind and their greater potential for goodness (Fe leading his intuition). He talks about their need to get the president to embrace a “bigger picture,” and complains that he is too rooted in the present to understand what they are doing. He often uses symbolism in his sermons and his discussions with other people. MLK amasses a great crowd for their “march” to a city fifty years ago, bringing them in from all over the United States… and then, after a moment of prayer and serious hesitation, he turns around and disbands them all. When others do not understand why he did it, and why he “botched this chance,” MLK tells them because it did not feel right, and insinuates that it might have been a trap by the racist local police, to let them pass, then cut them off from assistance, and beat them into submission on the road. MLK is not afraid to put himself into danger of bodily harm, and often wants to be present for his marches, peaceful protests, and on the front lines of large groups, showing his tert Se tendency to physically engage – but within the constraints of a situation in which he can somewhat predict the outcome. He also struggles with his opportunism, and his inability to be faithful to his wife.

Enneagram: 8w9

MLK is fearless and has very little respect for cowardice. He knows who holds the power, and tries to appeal to them in peaceful ways. His 9 wing often asserts himself in that manner, in insisting they avoid any form of violence, and allow themselves to be arrested rather than fight. He feels tremendous remorse at the brutality inflicted on people, because of his speeches. He does not like fights or arguments among his friends, and urges them to find peaceable solutions – but at his heart, he is an 8 with all the strengths, passions, and struggles of one. He fearlessly tells important people that they are doing the wrong thing. He shames the president, by telling him it was nice to call up a white man’s widow and say how sorry he was that her husband was murdered after the march, but that he should have done the same thing to the black boy’s parents who was murdered a few weeks earlier. MLK shows no fear in the face of constant, persistent threats to himself and others; he attacks those who “will not stand for justice” from the pulpit. And despite being a peaceful man of God, he habitually and inexplicably cheats on his wife (all 8s struggle with lust).