Why study the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is commonly thought to be a system characterizing human personalities, or maybe in a bigger perspective, even the way the mind ‘ understands ’ reality. This is partly true, but the Enneagram can be much more than this. It can be a path to infinite love, complete inner freedom, the river of peace, or the reality beyond conceptual experience. That which is beyond language and concepts, where inspiration and mystery is self evident and immediate. Using the Enneagram correctly we can unlock our unconscious habit energy, and then have a direct experience of the way it really is.
Enneagram knowledge must be applied very mindfully if it is not to just end up as another part of the mind itself. Once the mind is engaged and thinking it colors all of our perceptions. We must be careful, not to believe Enneagram information, but to very lightly hold it as a real possibility. If we ‘believe Enneagram information’ it becomes part of our mind, and it fails our deeper spiritual unfolding purpose.
The Enneagram, if held in contemplation deep enough, stops the mind. This is because the mind is a machine. It has a fixed way of processing concepts. The mind reacts, that is all it can do. It isn’t alive like we are. At times, it might look alive because it endlessly loops back on itself, but it is more like a computer program that is always running. If we pay attention to our attention we can see it running. If we pay attention, we can see these fixed attitudes, we can see it's habit energy.
Step One: Start with 'understanding' in a conceptual way the Enneagram diagram as it appears all over the Internet. Use the following website and identify which of the following nine Enneagram types most closely fit your life style.
1. The Reformer - Perfectionists,
responsible, fixated on improvement
2. The Helper - Helpers who need to be needed
3. The Achiever - Focused on the presentation of success, to attain validation
4. The Individualist - Identity seekers, who feel unique and different
5. The Investigator - Thinkers who tend to withdraw and observe
6. The Loyalist - Conflicted between trust and distrust
7. The Enthusiast - Pleasure seekers and planners, in search of distraction
8. The Challenger - Taking charge, because they don't want to be controlled
9. The Peacemaker - Keeping peace and harmony
Use this website -> http://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/introduction.php
Now if you have found ‘your Enneagram type’ and you are holding it very lightly, you are ready to go deeper into you. We are talking about a view and viewpoint relationship that is mostly formed and molded by personal habit energy. You might notice a tug pulling you into a belief. When you find yourself thinking “Wow this has nailed me” you have gone too far. You have swallowed the hook! Back up a bit and again hold it very lightly. Remember, if you believe this information, you are back in the mind. You must see exactly how it works in you! Hold it very lightly, in curiosity with interest and intention for the truth.
The Enneagram is a nine sided figure which characterizes the way we fall into conceptual knowledge. Once we fall from non-conceptual reality, we forget how to get back. We loose contact with the way things are, and we are then stuck in a viewpoint. As any viewpoint is limited, we become limited. Our newly formed ‘understanding’ becomes a block to perception, and we don’t even know this. The limited view and the limited viewer experiencing that view are locked together in a conception that now must be managed. Thus the mind is born. We then live a life of managing conceptions. The mind eventually takes over and tries to figure everything out in advance. It makes our lives driven and as a result we become unconsciously reactive.
Most of us, took this unconscious fall from awake ‘being’ into personality between the ages of 3 and 6, when we lost one of these 9 inner supports. The older we get the more buried it becomes and the more the loss seems to be real. Each of these 9 individual personality types hides an aspect of truth that we failed to experience.
Step Two: We can break the mind, if we can connect completely into being at a non-conceptual level. The mind is just a mechanical way we try to fill the void, the shadow side, of what we feel missing from ourselves. By directly contemplating the ‘missing’ and making room for that experience we will no longer have to react. Use the Enneagram type you found at the website to contemplate and feel around these holes in your being. Spend at least 3 hours contemplating the Holy aspect that you lost contact with. Include in the deepest level of your essence of being, this Holy aspect of yourself. Since this loss of connection with Holy Idea occurred in childhood, don’t give up if nothing happens right away. Give it some time to go deep.
1. The Reformer: Holy Perfection: All existence has a quality of completeness, wholeness, and faultlessness just because it is. There are no comparisons being made, as it is quite beyond thinking and normal rational experience. In traditions of Zen Buddhism this view of things is called kono-mama, which translates as the “as-it-is-ness of this” or sono-mama the “as-it-isness of that”. We see things as they are, the inner nature as well as the outer form of them and it all, with the inseparable whole is seen to be “just right”.
2. The Helper: Holy Will: Everything that happens, from birth of a star in a distant corner of the Milky Way to your hand turning a page in this book! Everything that occurs is God’s Will. When we perceive reality from this perspective, we know ourselves to be participants in the Holy Will of the universe.
3. The Achiever: Holy Law: The universe as one whole and unified entity is constantly unfolding in action and change inseparable from that whole. If we can consciously participate in this ceaseless unfoldment, our fixations, which rigidify our soul, relax and our consciousness will naturally move deeper and deeper toward our depths, our essential nature, and we will feel more harmony, as we move closer to the ultimate truth of our nature.
4. The Individualist: Holy Origin: On the physical level, all life originates from a common source and obeys shared natural laws. On the level of consciousness, we know ourselves to be more than our physical form. On a spiritual level, we are the source out of which all individual souls arise. Beyond this comprehension of Holy Origin is another level grounded in the realization that all of manifestation not only arises out of Being but is in fact inseparable from it. At this stage of perception and understanding, everything that exists is experienced as differentiations of Being Itself, rather than with our separate embodiment or manifestation of it.
5. The Investigator: Holy Omniscience: Although our bodies are physically separate, this separateness is not fundamental to our nature. Each of us, is a transparent window to the Absolute, inseparable from the rest of creation. When we lose this aspect of our being, we shift the focus from viewing this whole as a totality to viewing it from within its various manifestations. As Rev. David Leonard would say “We take on the smaller self, and lose contact with the larger self.”
6. The Loyalist: Holy Faith: Unshakable certainty that Essence is our nature regardless of weather or not we are feeling in touch with these depths in the moment. We simply know in a way that cannot be doubted, in our bones as it were – that our inner nature is Being. When we perceive in this unquestionable way that who we are is Essence, our souls have undergone a radical transformation.
7. The Enthusiast: Holy Plan: The unfoldment of reality is not arbitrary or chaotic but instead follows a kind of cosmic blueprint. The universe has a fundamental intelligence, and so its movements reflect that. Natural laws and order are at work, and all that occurs and comes into existence is a result of the working of this intelligence. The word ‘plan’ is not used here in the sense of things being planned out, pre-ordained, or predetermined but rather in the sense that there is a meaningful design and pattern to how things unfold. The way our souls and the rest of reality work can never be fully plotted because of the nature of this intelligence operating within them. Therefore, the mystery of reality can never be fully understood by the mind.
8. The Challenger : Holy Truth: The existence of Being is co-emergence with all of reality. We see the material form as the outermost layer of a multidimensional reality. This reality is a oneness, an indivisible unity such that all of its dimensions make up and are inseparable from its wholeness. This is a non-dual perspective in which reality is experienced as one thing. Matter and Spirit are one thing, the physical world and the divine world are the same. Holy Truth is the experiential understanding that the reality we are part of is an indivisible and multidimensional unity.
9. The Peacemaker : Holy Love: The inherent goodness of reality is not localized somewhere – it is implicit in the fabric of all that exists. It is not a commodity that exists out there someplace, waiting for us to get in touch with it. It is not a separate something that is outside of ourselves. It is the nature of everything that exists, and we don’t see this to the extent that we experience life through the veil of our personality.
Each Holy Idea, has it’s own meaning and therefore unique effects when disconnected and lost to Adult consciousness. We take on life long traits, and habits that are deeply driven by our unconscious. These Holy Ideas thus allow us to see how we react when this disconnection occurs, so they can no longer remain hidden. Use this new knowledge for nothing but your own awakening! To use it to manipulate others is both unethical and unloving and will result in great harm.
These 9 ‘Holy Ideas’ are given here, using words, but they are not states of consciousness or specific experiences but rather different angles or dimensions of knowing derived from direct experience. They are unsolvable by the mind, arising and non-arising, only perceived from the depth in touch with a profound mystery.
When we are fully awake and alive to the present moment, we don't need or use a personality. A personality is just a way to ‘fake it’ when we are not fully awake. The Enneagram documents this ‘logical’ process of filling our missing parts. With this knowledge you can choose to be more alive.
In process and a continuing work.. Bill
For more information about holy ideas, see Sandra Matri's book
The Spriritual Dimension of the Enneagram