The Enneagram is in you — you’re not in your Enneagram.
Without a doubt, the Enneagram is one of the most accurate and helpful personality systems available today. My InnerLifeSkills and Wisdom Well Way team and I love the Spiritual Enneagram and teaching internationally accredited Enneagram Coaching!
Not only does the Enneagram accurately help us understand our personalities, but it provides a clear map for personal and spiritual growth — showing us the natural blueprint of our personality design.
To learn more about the 9 Enneagram types have a look at my free video course here.
If I told you, “By studying the Spiritual Enneagram personality system, you can find freedom from the personality”, you might think it impossible.
How does learning more about your personality help you feel free of it?
To study something, you need to look at it. When you study your spiritual enneagram type, you distance yourself from it. This distance offers freedom.
The spiritual Enneagram helps us to find our true self. Your true self is NOT the Enneagram.
If you were trapped in prison but didn’t know it, had never seen the outside of the prison, you might decorate the walls.
If somebody said to you, “Are you in prison?“
You might argue, “No.”
The Enneagram doesn’t put you in a box; the spiritual Enneagram can help you see the box you are already in and get free.
Once you understand the personality with the Spiritual Enneagram and discover your type, it can be tempting to identify completely with being an Enneagram type.
If you’re interested in the Spiritual Enneagram, go beyond the personality pattern to the true self.
This means that deeper than the Enneagram, beyond the personality, is the true self.
The simplest way to explain this, is to say that you are not in your type, but rather that the Enneagram type is within you.
In the study of the self as pure non-dual consciousness, which is a spiritual growth path, there is a helpful practice called subject object discrimination — here we learn to discern the difference between the self as the subject and the objects that arise in the self.
Another way to explain this would be to say that the self is pure awareness, and that the contents of awareness are the objects of awareness.
If we believe that our Enneagram type is who we ultimately are, this creates a subtle bondage to a limited self.
The study of the Spiritual Enneagram can be very helpful when learning to discern subject from object. Because it is so accurate, it becomes glaringly obvious, that “I am not my personality”.
I once imagined a box labelled “Enneagram Type 9” (since that’s my type). I pictured placing everything about my personality that could be an expression of being a Type 9 in this box.
Everything that felt like ‘me’ I weighed up whether this belonged to my Enneagram point or not. If it fitted with my Enneagram type I put it in the box. By the time I was done, there was nothing left. Everything that felt like “my character” was in the box. Leaving me with only the true self as pure non-dual (not two) awareness.
The personality can be like a prison.
You might resist learning about our personalities for fear this puts you in a box.
But most minds are already in the personality prison. There is no escape when you don’t know you’re in the personality prison.
This is why understanding your Enneagram personality type is so important and helpful on the path to finding your true self.
The true self is not in the prison.
By studying your Spiritual Enneagram personality, you gain distance from it. By looking at it objectively, you’ve already left the prison.
To see something, you have to be separate from it.
You have to be the witness of it.
By studying your Enneagram, you are the witness to your personality.
This is the opportunity that learning the Enneagram offers. But, many people don’t take this opportunity.
They observe and witness the personality, standing outside the prison for a moment, then identify completely with the Enneagram, putting themselves back in prison.
Remind yourself that your fears and desires belong to your personality so you can find freedom from your fears and desires.
This is not to say that you must try to push against, deny, or force your fears and desires to change. Only the ego ever fights against the ego.
This is the snake eating its tail and giving birth to itself simultaneously.
The personality fights against itself, trying to devour itself, but strengthens and gives birth to itself.
Knowledge in the form of compassionate understanding is helpful.
When we experience a strong fear or desire, instead of fighting it, trying to fix it or denying it, compassionately be with it. Understand that it is a part of the personalities program.
Without non-dual self-knowledge, the personality program cannot operate at its highest. When you know the true self, this can automatically support the growth of the personality to its highest expression.
Like giving water and sunlight to an apple tree — self-knowledge takes the blueprint, the natural design of your Enneagram to its highest natural expression.
At first, it can be helpful to discern, “I am not my personality.”
This is needed to establish yourself as the subject of experience, as pure open and unchanging awareness.
Once we are clear, we take back the personality. Seeing we are not separate from our mind, heart or gut.
Then we are called to embody the truth we’ve discovered reclaiming the personality as a sacred song, an expression of the divine.
Keep in mind the Enneagram is complex.
The Enneagram is not about behavior it is about underlying causes and unconscious reasons for behavior.
Each type can express at low, medium or high levels of expression — which are like levels of spiritual growth. By claiming wholeness and wisdom, each Enneagram type action naturally moves to its highest expression.
Remember the Enneagram, just like your thoughts, feelings and body sensations, are all objects in awareness, the contents of awareness.
The simple test for whether something is you, as pure open awareness, or is the contents of awareness, is to check with the question, “Can I be aware of this?”
If you can be aware of something, then it is not ultimately the subject of experience, it is the contents of experience, it is an object in you.
Can I become aware of my Enneagram personality traits?
Yes, I can!
Therefore, even though the Enneagram is incredibly accurate, feels personal, and is incredibly helpful knowledge, it is still not ultimately the true self.
We could say that it is how the true self expresses in life. But the true self is not limited, whereas the Enneagram personality types are limited.
MIND: “What can I do to heal my Enneagram?”
“Think of an oasis in the desert. When thirsty animals come to drink, they are nourished and healed by the clear water. When you know your true self, as pure open awareness, let the mind, heart and gut come to you for healing.
“Let the personality prison be opened by the open whole space, that is the true self.
“Everything seeks enlightenment, even the personality.
“If you consciously and mindfully work to bring the gifts of your true self to your personality, you will see great healing.
“An alchemy of the personality from prison to purposeful life expression.”
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