A Quick Look at the Enneagram
For years I have known about the ancient spiritual tool called the Enneagram, but it is not until recently I have come to understand the importance of the information it offers. According to Wikipedia the Enneagram of Personality, or just the Enneagram, is a nine-pointed geometric system which describes the universally understood human psyche taught as general personality types according to psychology, or the social sciences. By following your primary Enneagram personality type, your natural gifts are fully appreciated, and self-made limitations finally understood.
Where the ancient sacred geometry of the Enneagram came from is widely disputed, but the mystical mathematical sacred geometry dates back 4000 years. Thought to have been used as a
"how to" study spirituality. The Enneagram's sacred geometry seems to show up in many, if not all religious beliefs, philosophical traditions, and esoteric factions. Some theorists even go as far as to say that it is the basis for such symbols as the Tree of Life the Hebrew is a mystical symbol within the Kabbalah describing the path to God.
In more modern times George Gurdjieff (1879-1949), a Russian teacher of esoteric wisdom and a contemporary of Freud applied the enneagram’s process to all of reality. While Oscar Ichazo (1976-1982) an independent researcher taught that the Enneagram coordinates comprehensively the
various laws operating in the human person. Ichazo made use of the Enneagram figure and
dynamics to explain more fully the functioning of the human psyche.
The modern work of these two men moved the Enneagram into the mainstream and bridged the
gap between personal growth, therapy, spirituality, and the study of physical reality. In Greek, the Enneagram means nine and gram suggests a point. The symbol was then to be arranged and set to describe nine personality styles. The Enneagram brings together personal insights and continuing wisdom with the guidance of modern psychology. Each “type” or number has a particular growth path associated with it – so rather than being put into a static category that describes you, you get
to look at personalities on a much deeper level.
You see how your type reacts in different stages of personal growth, stresses, and interaction with others. This information can help to understand what is holding you back from moving forward to the next level of individual and spiritual growth. What is really exceptional about the Enneagram is that each of the nine "types" has its own personal growth path. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses better can help you navigate through tough times and understand why and when you
are at your best. There are Enneagram tests that can help you assess your individual number. Everyone has all nine personality types from one degree to another, but knowing your dominant personality type can contribute significantly in describing the core theme of struggles within
For those who find this information profoundly helpful and are wanting intense spiritual growth, there will be much to study. According to the The Enneagram Institute, the star design has nine primary types, two possible "wings," or the neighboring number types, 27 sub-types, at least three “triads,” arrows that show how you can shift from one type to another under stress, nine levels of personal growth for each category, and passions and virtues for those who are interested.
The good news is that merely knowing the description of your dominant personality type can be astonishingly insightful in helping you to understand your character type better and how you emotionally interact with all of the other nine categories. So whether you are looking to do more
in-depth inner work or merely figure out how you fit into this big vast world of personalities, the Enneagram is a great place to start.