Enneagram – Type STRENGTHS (Part 3)

enn water over rocks AS WATER FLOWS OVER ROCKS
so do my Gifts from out of me


SITE: Popular Enneagram books

REMINDER:  In this context – EGO = FALSE SELF,  NOT the same as a HEALTHY EGO, and read “EGO”)

OVERVIEWFall from Higher Essence Qualities to Ego Distortions
Oscar Ichazo made a connection between the 10 spheres of Kabbala’s Tree of Life, & the Enneagram symbol. The Tree’s first sphere, Keter, is reserved for the Messiah, leaving 9 others for humans, suggesting 9 kinds of souls as emanations or facets of the Divine Unity.  (MORE...)
● While everyone has the capacity to embody all of the Holy Ideas and Virtues, one pair of them is central to the soul’s identity, so their loss is felt acutely, & the person’s ego (coholy ideasnscious False Self) become totally preoccupied with recreating it, although in futile, self-defeating ways

● Based part on this, Ichazo created a hierarchy of expressions:
9 HOLY IDEAS (Part 1) the objective, experiential understanding of higher Truth. Their loss or absence generates specific delusions /fixations, the underlying Toxic Rules of our ego-driven lives. Each delusion forms the center of a psychological complex, which the core of that particular fixation.

Based on the Holy Ideas, the Virtues are the natural expression of the awakened heart – the unified, expansive qualities humans experience when we are abiding in Essence, our True Self. AND they can not be ‘practiced’ or claimed as personal achievements. While our ego-self is most preoccupied with recreating it, doing so would only be a narcissistic self-aggrandizement for the ego – the very opposite of a Virtuous state.
They are each type’s antidote to its Passion – pointing to our STRENGTHS – so as we “Let-go-&-let-God”, accepting what is already waiting in us to emerge, our specific Virtue begins to express itself in our daily life. They are not simply ‘their own reward’ but expressions of Grace & a method of transformation*.

*Transformation can be understood as a conversion of energy: shifting from the narrowness & futility of our Vice to our Virtue. It is not easy to do, since out Type is hardwired & a life-time of doing things a certain way are hard to soften & dissolve. Shifting this energy takes time, along with great desire & determination, persistent effort & a willingness to look deep inside ourselves. Repetition of new habits & patterns create new neural pathways that, over time, allow us to catch our automatic responses before they get going. This makes it possible to choose a new way of responding to PPT (people-places-things).

As a person loses Awareness & Presence of the Holy Idea, we fall away from Essence into the trance of the outer personality – an ego delusion about self or reality. But once the True Nature is restored  we can see through the particular delusions of our type. Again, our underlying Truth is antidote to the ego-fixation when we want to restore the balance & freedom of our personal Holy Idea


They represent the underlying characteristic emotional response (Basic Fear column) to reality which was created by the loss of contact with our Essential nature – the Virtue. The underlying hurt, shame & grief this loss entails are enormous, so our ego (defended Self) is compelled to come up with its particular way of emotionally coping with the loss, altho misguided & ineffective.
— It can also be thought of as our untamed animal nature before it’s transformed by contact from higher influences—an awareness and Grace. Together with the ego-fixation, these represent the ways that spiritual qualities become contracted into ego states

Our Instinctual Self is a primal aspect of personality, & our dominant one insures our fundamental survival in the physical world, but in so doing can block the way to growth. The Enneagram’s 3 instincts are an anchoring counter balance to the higher spiritual Essential Self, rooting us in the dualistic (good-bad) defended self, which ‘forces’ us to distort & habitually overuse our survival strategies.
● They are considered the way we forget our connection to the Divine. Losing our Essence-center distorts our Thinking, Feeling & Doing (TEA). Spiritual / emotional growth comes from being able to balance, release & transform our instinctual nature into its higher opposite.

NOTE that the strengths and weaknesses of each type are two sides of the one coin. There is NO point in wanting to change to another type, since that would just mean swapping one set of problems for another.

NEXT: Type VIRTUES (Part 4a)

ENNEAGRAM Basics (Part 1)


makes me squirm

PREVIOUS: ‘Keep the focus on yourself (#3)”

♦︎ Multidimensional Enneagram Immersion  

♦︎ The Enneagram, Jung & MBTI

BOOK: “3 Keys to Self-Understanding” – Pat Wyman, combines the MBTI, Enneagram & Inner Child Work

Essentially the Enneagram shows us how we CAN BE, at our best, as well as how we ARE – including our weaknesses. It is a merciful delusion-buster that opens us to the truth of our experience by
the use of radical awareness and compassion

• It is a Map of Wholeness. Its primary purpose is to study the universal Human Soul expressed in each of us, to connect us with what is deeper than our outer persona – legitimate but limited – and toward what does not come from our ego-fixations (weakness to be overcome).

QUOTE: “Always remember that it is your birthright & natural state to be wise and noble, loving and generous, to esteem yourself and others, ➡️
The Wisdom of the Enneagram, Riso & Hudson (p 41)

• It’s a “nature/nurture” system, with both social & genetic components for each Type. They are psychological templates tied to brain development, as well as the influences of our environment, & so can be considered ‘programs’ or life-scripts. They also point to Carl Jung’s 9 psychological processes of consciousness & 9 distinct versions of the his Shadow archetypes, all of which makes the Enneagram a powerful system for self-understanding.

• The 9-point diagram gives us nine different sets of values & filters through which we can view the world, a way of describing inner experience as well as conscious self-image. But it goes enn SYMBOLdeeper, indicating unconscious motivations as the source of thoughts, emotions & actions. It can help people recognize & expand the boxes they’re already in, & ultimately be a way to dissolve those boxes.

• The Enneagram SYMBOL is an ancient form to describe the path of self-development. It can be traced at least as far back as the Greek mathematician Pythagoras (c. 500 BC), improved on by Christian & later Sufi mystics (c. 500-1000 AD).
It was re-introduced in the 20th cent, starting with the Armenian mystic George Gurdjieff (a controlling Type 8), the founder of an influential Inner Work school, who drew from Sufi tradition & focused on sacred dance, using musical notes for each type.

• Then Oscar Ichazo, the South American student of ancient wisdom, formed the Arica School, updating the Enneagram by creating a system of Types using Gurdjieff’schief feature as a starting point. More recent writers, including Claudio Naranjo, Don R. Riso, Russ Hudson & Helen Palmer, have developed the Enneagram further, adding a psychological emphasis to its spiritual base.

The symbol is made up of :
♦︎ A circle, representing the whole experience of life & the container within which we live our lives. It’s used AS:
– a Process, when moving around the circumference
– an Experience, if taken as a whole
– a Point in time. It speaks to the cyclical nature of change – death follows life, life follows death – with its progression through time  (CHART  ↖️ )

♦︎ A triangle, dividing the ‘ONE’ into 3 parts, which introduces things outside  influencing the Process (movement), with internal intentions & connections to each other.
The points touching the circle (9, 3, 6) are where external energies provide the fuel needed to drive any procedure, including needed Change. It represents the universal Law of Three (man-woman-child, Body-Mind-Spirit, the physical-emotional-intellectual body)

♦︎ The Six straight Lines show the relationships between the steps in the Process, which overlap & are coordinated. They are the ‘one’ divided by 7, which equals a repeating fraction is .142857142…,**,  not including the triangle points. ➡️ (Chart) scroll down (ALSO…..in Wikipedia).
** The Enneagram has been associated with the invention of the decimal system.

Placing these decimals around the rim form the 6-line web showing the essential internal movement of the universe, & gives us the direction of our personal growth-work as we move around the outer circumference.
The “missing” 7th line is the point in the center of the circle.

EXP: Step 1 is influenced by steps 4 & 7 via their connecting lines (arrows)

NEXT: Enneagram Basics (Part 2)