A request from a reader to explain BEACHs …

BEACHs represent to me nine sets of beliefs, expectations, assumptions, concerns and hopes that make up a culture or group of people who are seeking something in the world.  They are my sociological interpretation of George Gurdjeiff’s work from the  early 1900’s.  He was seeking truth in the cosmos and used a symbol with nine points on a circle, the Enneagram to talk about how the world works.  Scholars, astronomers, mathematicians like Pythagoras and others have also used it as a representation that explains some aspect of their work.  Psychologists in North America since the 1980’s have used it to talk about the inner workings of a human’s psyche.  Jesuits use it to identify patterns of sin and redemption.  I use it to understand human behaviour from the interaction or behavioural side of things looking at it from the perspective of the social struggler making their way through the maze of relationship with people places and events in the world.  I’m working on the book.

You can map the nine perspectives on a 3 X 3 grid.  There are three directions that people travel when interacting.  Toward, With or Away from.  You can see and sense this almost the minute they enter your line of vision or space.  There are also three Orientations they take.  Past, present or future.  You can hear this in their language.   If you put those on a 3X3 grid you see nine perspectives.  Those D.O. points placed on the Enneagram circle represent  combinations of direction and orientation.  I call these places where we stand to look at the world BEACHs.  They represent nine sets of Beliefs, Expectations, Assumptions, Concerns and Hopes: Beliefs about the world based on past experiences, Expectations for those in it, Assumptions about how things are and work, Concerns and Hopes for what’s coming next.

To briefly introduce the nine patterns or BEACHS consider this list of nine motivations from the perspective of the “social struggler” making his or her way in the world.

What they learn and how you can tell ( Direction and Orientation )

The world is ….wrong.  My job is to make it right.  I seek perfection. D. with O. present
The world is … suffering.  My job is to help.  I seek connection. D. with O. past
The world is … inefficient.  My job is to produce.  I seek success. D. toward O. past
The world is … dull.  My job is to add beauty.  I seek differentiation. D. away O. past
The world is … stupid. My job is to add wisdom.  I seek detachment. D. away O. future
The world is … dangerous.  My job is to protect.  I seek security. D. with O. future
The world is … sad.  My job is to make it joyful.  I seek excitement. D. toward O. future
The world is … weak.   My job is to add strength.  I seek power. D. toward O. present
The world is … conflicted. My job is to add calm.  I seek peace. D. away O. present

This is a very brief tip of the iceberg look at this simple yet complex view of human behaviour.  I hope it situates the idea for you.

My work on the blog lately has been to see the usefulness of the map and compass of the BEACHs as a guide through the Primes by Chris McGoff.

One more prime for this week, Prime 12 Declaration.  McGoff suggests that great leaders DECLARE what is to be.  The strength of the language is evident.  Not only do they declare what is to be but by when so that Declarations relate to outcome and are date certain.  I agree that in certain circumstances this is what great leaders do.  To be the holder of the vision and to have the crayons with which to colour the picture, and the courage to do so is essential in leadership.  People need clarity and focus so that they can be pulled toward an outcome that is date certain.

Setting intention is powerful and can move people to act.  Maybe I should be making a Declaration for the completion of the Sociology of the Enneagram book and make it date certain.  If I declare out loud and in public that I will be finished a complete draft by the end of October it gives me a target and a focus for what to do with my spare time. Hmmmm.

Sometimes it is more important to not know.   That leads to the next Prime… Dynamic incompleteness which we can talk about next time.

Remember if you know Chris McGoff please let him know you are reading about this here.  Maybe he will comment too.