The Enneagram is a philosophy that emerged in the 60’s with roots in older systems. While aspects are downright religious in nature, my interest is in the 9 personality types of the Enneagram — or perhaps they could be called the 9 personality neuroses, as this is not a gentle or fun system of categorization. I see it as one explication of how childhood experiences can cause an ego to distend in various unflattering distortions.
If you find yourself identifying with one (or more) of the 9 types, and if you have the fortitude to examine the fixations of the metaphorical small intestines of your psyche, then you will discover invaluable resources in the Enneagram. I’ve gotten a lot of value out of studying the types I most identify with so I recommend taking a look at the system as outlined by The Enneagram Institute, with the caveat that I personally liberally sift sites like this to sort the wheat grass from the gluten.
Among the acclaimed benefits of the Enneagram that I can promote from personal experience, I have used the Enneagram to unearth unconscious patterns triggering reactivity. Awareness makes it possible for me to work on these emotional issues in my ongoing quest for self-growth. The types also each have levels of development, ranging from psychosis to enlightenment, and I’ve found it helpful to aim for my highest potential qualities as well as to notice when I’m trending toward unhealthy obsessiveness.
The Enneagram Institute regularly provides me with deep thoughts to ponder, which are likely to end up as blog posts in the future! For now I will leave you with this…
Seek out truthful friends who will mirror you honestly and accurately. Find people who will support and encourage your genuine good qualities and talents as well as coach you compassionately about your blind spots.
~The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 200