The Enneagram is a geometric figure serving as a framework for the nine fundamental personality styles or types of human nature and their complex interrelationships. It is a powerful tool to gain insight into what motivates our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. With awareness it helps us develop our capacity for self observation and growth.
The symbol of the Enneagram is ancient and consists of a nine-pointed figure contained within a circle. It was brought to Western Culture by the great
There are three things extremely hard: Steel, a Diamond, and to Know One’s Self.
~ Ben Franklin from Poor Richard’s Almanac
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You breathe life into the Enneagram.
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How marvelous not to have to be who you think you are.
~ Dr. Maurice Nicoll, Gurdjieff student and Teacher
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One’s Chief Feature [Personality type habits] is not to be turned out of office easily.
~ Dr. Maurice Nicoll
spiritual teacher George Gurdjieff in the 1920s as a way to help individuals gain insight into the ways they lose track of their own higher nature or what some may call our divine gift. Later in the 20th Century this body of wisdom was joined with that of modern psychology and the concept of the nine personality domains was elucidated.
The result is a powerful tool which can help us recognize unconscious patterns before they become self-defeating habits. The Enneagram helps us to see where our personality might trip us up and hold us back from expressing our highest nature. With awareness of our thoughts and feelings we can learn from them rather than being driven by them.
The word “health” is derived from the ancient old saxon heal which means whole. Until we can have the blindfold removed which shields our awareness of our own internal blueprint we cannot hope to achieve wholeness. We all have some of each of these nine pieces within us, despite our dominant type. Integrating all of our essential nature will lead us to discover the deepest capacities within. This is true health.
To read more about the Enneagram by prominent scholars Don Riso and Russ Hudson, please visit their website at www.enneagraminstitute.com.
To read Dr. Van Zino’s articles on Enneagram topics please click here.