“In the study of personality, the Enneagram is primarily designed for self-inquiry. By discovering one’s Enneagrammic personality, one can come to know the many layers of self in a very personal and particular way. It is not simply a typing system; rather it is a system of becoming enlightened to one’s deepest strengths and weaknesses. Upon further exploration, the Enneagram points out exactly how a person’s strengths can become more stable and more dynamic, and how his weaknesses can be brought to consciousness and even healed.” Joseph Howell, Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway
We recently spent a weekend at an Enneagram conference led by Dr. Howell at Kanuga. This nine point ancient study of the personality can be helpful in not only learning about ourselves and our strengths but in the healing of wounds that led to our forming certain personality traits. The Enneagram is also helpful in seeing and being compassionate with ourselves and others of different personality types.
On the Enneagram, I am a two, the helper, with a strong three wing which is the achiever, and the four, the creative type, can lead me to the source of my basic essence or God within. That may explain why I am attempting to write this daily message about spiritual direction for a whole year.
At the conference, there were nine tables where people could go and talk to others of one of their nine personality types. I immediately identified with the two’s table. I heard the music in my mind and in my body from “Going Home,” the theme from Dvorak’s Largo in his New World Symphony. I was with a group of people who knew me and I knew them. I could see their woundedness and I could easily see their soul, the God in them.
If a person comes to spiritual direction who has had some experience with the Enneagram, I try to work with them to see God, the soul within them, for this is what the ancient practice is all about.