The Enneagram

The enneagram is a universal, archetypal symbol, whose origin is covered in secrets. A reason for that might be that all theories it appeared in always passed it on only orally. Different physical, psychological, religious and spiritual teachings use this symbol to explain totally different phenomena and describe processes and principles.

It first appeared in the West at the beginning of the 20th century in the theories of the Armenian mystic Georg Iwanowic Gurdjieff, who claimed to have discovered it in a mystical association in central Asia. The Bolivian mystic, Oscar Ichazo presented it to a group of students in Chile in the Nineteen-Seventies as sort of a “map” for inner experience and transformation.

A student of Ichazo, the Chilean psychiatrist, Claudio Naranjo began to teach it in the USA and expanded it by his own experiences with spiritual eastern traditions and clinical psychotherapy (“Gestalt-Therapy” of Fritz Pearls). He founded a group by the name of SAT (seekers after truth) who worked and still work on overcoming personality, i.e. our conditioned “ego” which is based on thinking structures created in the past. Their aim is to get back into contact with our spiritual depth by means of both a psychological and spiritual approach.

The Enneagram can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type. It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself. This is your basic personality type.

The nine types are described as follows:

  • Anger – Perfectionism
  • Pride – False abundance
  • Vanity – Self-deception, Attractiveness
  • Envy – False lack
  • Avarice – Detachment
  • Fear – Accusation
  • Gluttony – Indulgence, Fraudulence
  • Lust – Vengeance, Intensity
  • Indolence – Self-forgetting

Every type has three subtypes (or better “instincts”) which results in 27 different personality structures.

Type 8,9,1 are described as the instinctive types, 2,3,4 as the feeling types and 5,6,7 as the thinking types. They have different avoidances and traps and different virtues can help them to overcome their dispositions.

Keep in mind that this does not represent the full spectrum of each type and that the classifications are not meant to judge other people. It can guide and support you in developing your full potential without being limited by fixations and behavioral patterns.

Set off for your individual journey of self-discovery and transformation!

Foto: ©tiagozr – 249318591 – Enneagram – fotolia.com