Nines and the Nature of Reality (as illustrated from a scene in Fargo)
If my recent musings on the Enneagram were illustrated in a movie scene it would look like one particular scene from FX’s true crime drama, Fargo. In the scene, fellow police officers Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) and Winnie Lopez (Olivia Sandoval) are commiserating over a couple of adult sodas about their recent ineffectual attempts to bring a known criminal to justice. The first part of the dialogue I’d like to highlight goes like this:
Gloria: It’s over. The good guys lost.
Winnie: For the present, but we all know Jesus wins in the end.
Gloria: I’ll drink to that.
The Nature of Reality
Most days, I think Gloria is right. The good guys have lost. The mere fact that my personality over-relies on my Enneagram number seems to confirm this broken reality. The compulsive, Enneagram-entrenched habits of my personality are themselves evidence of my deep belief in a less than benevolent universe. My personality is a reaction to living in a world where I suspect the worst or something like it. My personalty is a defense mechanism for my own brokenness. It seems each of us suspected our efforts to make our way in the world were failing, so we constructed a personality to work for us and win the day.
The Christian tradition dares to believe there is more to reality than initially presents itself. Winnie, with her simple straightforward conviction, is convinced of this greater reality—Jesus wins in the end. Jesus, himself, claimed his victory in the end saying, “Repent, the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matt: 3:2).
When the Kingdom of God comes, the old world passes away. This new world will unveil the true nature of the universe. The true nature of the universe is described at the foundations of the world, when God spoke and brought peace out of chaos as darkness (i.e. disorder) was separated from light. Thus was the world born. Peace and the unity of all things is the true nature of the universe. To assert that the world is safe is an act of profound faith. Life does not always present itself in loving ways. To declare love as God’s true nature doesn’t deny the reality of fear and pain. Faith trusts that God’s love is woven into the fabric of the universe, even though lesser truths about the world might present themselves.
Gloria: If I’m being honest, how I feel is… invisible, or not invisible, unreal. Does that make sense?
Winnie: No, ma’am.
Gloria: Well, there’s the fact that automatic doors never open for me. And the sensor on the sink or the soap dispenser never sense me and, when I make a call, no one can ever hear me. So I got this theory, in private, that—I don’t actually exist.
Indeed, throughout the series, Gloria’s experience of nonexistence is illustrated as phones and electronic sensors don’t seem to work for her. How should Winnie respond in the face of Gloria’s lived experience as one who doesn’t exist? Winnie seems to understand that experience is more compelling than words. She pushes Gloria’s arm to demonstrate her existence; Gloria needs more convincing. By pushing Gloria, Winnie is demonstrating through simple physics—You are here. However, Gloria needs more. She needs to know she is loved. Winnie demonstrates this also with a gentle embrace.
Nines embody the gentle energy of a loving embrace as a clue to the nature of their true desire. The loving embrace demonstrates their nature as the beloved one. When we know in the deepest, most compelling part of our being that the Creator of the universe is not only love, but the architect of a love-infused reality, we will be saved from the dread of our own insignificance. If God has created a loving world, then we are set free to experience our significance. If God’s love can capture our imaginations, perhaps we can begin to perceive our world through a radically reformed filter, one that dares to imagine our identity as God’s beloved child.
If the clip above had shown the next scene, you would see Gloria go into the bathroom to wash up. The sensors work. They see her. Gloria’s true identity and the true nature of the universe have revealed. She now knows she is the Beloved one. That identity now colors her reality and shapes her experience.