For years I was put off by the Enneagram because of rumors it had questionable origins and bizarre numerology; but after discovering it's key insight; I found much of its application powerful. Just as with non-Western things like acupuncture, yoga, and everything else; there is a tendency to say it's all good or all bad, rather than extract the good and discard bad (like Christians did with Christmas and Easter—originally pagan holidays).
As always, there's no substitute for relying on the Holy Spirit. See It's All Good.
Sample Audio Encouragements
I'll explain my insights below. But first, please check out these good, brief summary excerpts from co-founder Enneagram Institute Russ Hudson at Fr. Richard Rohr's Enneagram conference (available on DVD):
Since we each have all the qualities, though usually one is pronounced, you might enjoy hearing each of the types. Each audio is good.
- Reformer (MP3, 9 mins.)
- Helper (MP3, 9 mins.)
- Achiever (MP3, 7 mins.)
- Individual (MP3, 9 mins.)
- Investigator (MP3, 9 mins.)
- Loyalist (MP3, 13 mins.)
- Enthusiast (MP3, 11 mins.)
- Challenger (MP3, 7 mins.)
- Peacemaker (MP3, 10 mins.)
If you think of your soul like a stained glass window, the Personality Types (MBTI and Jungian Functions) describe your most frequent colors, and the Enneagram highlights reactions to our least frequient colors.
Of course, this will make the test feel like we going at things backwards; that it highlights our weaknesses. It can be read only that way, but doesn't need to be.
It's supposed to be about how one might be saying say No to God -- to help us say Yes.
The Underlying Logic
Our less frequent personatlity qualities can be described as based on:
Will / Intellect / Emotions
And there are three ways we might react to these qualities:
Fight / Flight / Freeze.
Combing 3x3 (will/emotion/intellect * fight/fright/freeze), we get 9 possibliities.
|1||Reformer||Will||flight||Perfection||4 / 7|
|3||Achiever||Emotion||freeze||Success||9 / 6|
|4||Individual||Emotion||fight||Uniqueness||2 / 1|
|5||Investigator||Intellect||fight||Perception||7 / 8|
|6||Loyalist||Intellect||freeze||Security||3 / 9|
|7||Enthusiast||Intellect||flight||Pleasure||1 / 5|
|8||Challenger||Will||fight||Battle||5 / 2|
|9||Peacemaker||Will||freeze||Peace||6 / 3|
So you can see this has nothing to do with astrology or numerology.
Note: Health column on the right first shows where we can when unhealthy, and where we need to go to be healthy.
For example, as a 3, I can freeze my emotions, which is bad if I lock up my will like a type 9; but is good if I let go of my mind, like a 6 -- so that the emotions can come out. Paradoxically. the health of type 3 is to be like the weakness of the type 6! And the strength of type 6 is to be like the weakness of type 9, etc.
Allowing God into the background personality qualities
The real trick to this is allowing God into those less conscious areas where we are not fully being ourselves. Hear this great summary of that letting go process by Russ Hudson, as it relates to the Enneagram:
Stages of Descent and Ascent (MP3, 11 mins.)
Fully Received into God
Though I have created all of you, it is the balance of all I made you to be that brings out one area to its greatest fulfillment.
Lead in with your spirit. Experience the wisdom of praise. I can reach your depths when you enter in to My presence in holy surrender. Your depths of your spirit know far more in time of praise than hours of pondering and questioning. Your most profound insight is most often the product, or byproduct, of the deepest times of prayer.
So, again, I say, lead in with your spirit and connect with My Holy Spirit. I will show you truth.