The Enneagram




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Enneagram History

The Enneagram brings together several streams of wisdom, both ancient and modern.  One of these streams is the concept that there is an essential goodness in human beings, similar to the idea of being created in the image of God that we see in Judaism, Christianity, and Sufism of Islam or the divine forms of Plato.  Another stream is that there are pervading sins or emotional patterns in our lives that disconnect us from both ourselves and the divine.  The Christian desert father and mothers studied these and their remedies in the deserts of Egypt in the second through fourth centuries, and their understanding has influenced much of western culture.  A third stream is study of human personalities and their differences.  This also goes back to Plato and has been added to by many over the centuries. 

In the first half of the twentieth century these streams were brought together with Enneagram diagram first in the work of George Gurdjieff and Oscar Ochazo.  Building on their work, Claudio Naranjo added ideas and concepts of modern psychology about 1970.  And, finally, many of those who studied under or followed Naranjo -- such as Helen Palmer, Don Riso, Richard Rohr, Russ Hudson and many others  -- added their own ideas from their own work with people as well as current understandings and studies of spirituality, psychology, and neurology.

The Enneagram is both ancient and modern.  It is not the product of any one person, or even one school.  Like mathematics and philosophy, many over the centuries have built upon the studies and understanding of those who came before them, taking the enduring wisdom they find useful and adding their own part.  And, hopefully, it will continue to be sifted through and built upon in the years ahead.

For us, today, the Enneagram is a wonderful tool for helping us truly see ourselves.  It is a map that guides us into our hearts and souls, bringing to light to desires, motivations, and fears that drive our choices and actions.  Often we get stuck in these choices and actions and circle in repetitive life patterns without knowing why. The Enneagram gives us a hand up toward true and deep self-transformation, improved relationships with others, and a more authentic relationship with God. 

The Nine Enneagram Types

Discovering Your Enneagram Type