Your Enneagram spirituality is an important tool for your self awareness. People from various walks of life use the spiritual dimension of the Enneagram in different ways. Some of these uses are to describe personality types, character defects, and leadership roles among others. However, it also presents a unique way of raising self awareness. Here’s what you need to know.
Enneagram Spirituality: Improve Self Awareness
Where did the Enneagram Come From?
The popularity and the wisdom of the Enneagram today is quite unprecedented. This is partly because of its visual appeal which a lot of methods of spirituality do not possess. Also, it has a unique ability to integrate many systems of thought into one. Perhaps, this characteristic of the Enneagram appeals to people the most. Tools for spirituality tend to be abstract and therefore difficult to grasp. However, with the Enneagram, one can map out his or her spirituality. So, a clearer vision of the self arises.
Why the Enneagram?
Heard of the enneagram, but not sure what it’s all about? Listen as we walk through all 9 numbers with @iancron on our podcast. We talk about how it can help you, your relationships and your work.
— STORY (@STORYgathering) December 23, 2017
The Enneagram essentially accounts for personality types. It aligns a spiritual tradition with each of personality type, guiding adherents in the direction of their spiritual quest. The Enneagram, therefore, connects people together based on their spirituality. It finds meaningful connections in the journey to self-awareness.
Some, however, use it as a cautionary tale. They may look into nasty outcomes that can accompany each personality. Meanwhile, others use it to understand the deadly sins. In fact, people have even added deceit and cowardice to the traditional seven deadly sins, with arrows indicating that as a particular sin grows, it becomes closer to the sin on the other end of the arrow.
Criticism of the Enneagram Mythology
Not everyone agrees with this formulation for the world, of course. Some people – such as Friar Mitch Pacwa, a Jesuit priest – point out that while Enneagram spirituality claims to rest on thousand-year-old spiritual traditions, it is in fact no older than a century and has no more basis in fact than other cult beliefs.
As he explains to Catholic Culture, the existence of the Enneagram can be traced back to about 1900 AD when it was introduced to the world courtesy of George Ilych Gurdjieff. His religious education included traveling through Egypt, India, Tibet and the Mediterranean, as well as time spent among Sufis in Central Asia. This explains the strong connection that Enneagram adherents have with Sufi-ism, although the link may be erroneous.
Further, Pacwa says, there is a danger in believing that this so-called ancient mystical tradition is appropriate to teach in a Catholic setting, or indeed any other monotheistic setting. While Enneagram adherents might not be advocating for pantheism to Catholic followers, per se, they are still promoting a spirituality based on fortune-telling and the occult. It’s not a firm foundation, he holds, for spiritual living from a Catholic angle. Moreover, it may promote ideas that unintentionally run counter to the Church.
If you’re not a Catholic, of course, this probably doesn’t matter all that much to you. For those who do follow the teachings of the church closely, however, it’s important to understand the Enneagram’s real history.
Enneagram Spirituality in Your Life
Now, you may or may have a monotheistic approach to the world. You may not care that it stems from pantheism, the occult or fortune-telling. You may even like that this is its background, and that’s great. Again, it’s simply important to understand where it comes from. That way, you can internalize the fact that this is a novel spiritual system, not an ancient one, and decide what to do with it.
Whether or not you subscribe to any one religion, the Enneagram does still have a lot to teach us in terms of personal growth. By taking the time to thoroughly examine your own defects (or if you prefer, “sins”), you can start to eliminate them, bettering your relationships and increasing your success. By striving toward a new way of living or a more thorough understanding of your religion of choice, you can similarly improve your life and the lives of others.
Watch this video from Enneagram Studies for more insights:
At the end of the day, the Enneagram is simply another tool in your toolkit to aid you on your path to greater enlightenment and a more holistic living. It possesses great potential to steer you away from nonsensical living experiences and direct you to meaningful productively in your life.
What are your thoughts about Enneagram spirituality? Let us know in the comments section below.