The word Enneagram comes from the Greek words Ennea and Grammi, directly translated to English as Nine Lines. As denoted by its name, the Enneagram personality model assumes that we all emerge from nine major personality types – Reformer, Lover, Achiever, Creative Individualist, Thinker, Security Seeker, Adventurer, Leader, Peacemaker – determined by our inborn temperaments and other pre-natal factors. Even though we may relate to more than one, or even to all of these personality types, to some extent, the model suggests that we are born with one personality type being most dominant. My first encounter with the Enneagram dates back to 2010, when I encountered it in one of the courses as part of my Bachelors in Metaphysical Sciences. Yet, it wasn’t until this past summer that I experienced its power and wisdom, in Robert Holden’s Loveability workshop in London.
In spiritual truth, we are all physical extensions of that which is Source, Spirit, or God, thus, our essence is, really, formless and indistinguishable from everyone else’s. Nevertheless, having incarnated on this planet into separate clumps of physical bodies, we inevitably assumed certain physical and personality characteristics which allow us to play the game of life. Therefore, although our personality is an important aspect of the human condition, when we let it take over the definition of our beingness, we dissipate from the truth of our divine nature. Drawing from this, the wisdom of the Enneagram lies in identifying the fears, desires, beliefs and ego fixations which stem from each personality type, to allow a multidimensional exploration of our psyche.
I still remember my shock when I first awakened to my main personality type, the Achiever. I was suddenly struck with a profound understanding of the reasons behind my life-long fears, outlook on life, and the need to constantly prove myself through material and statutory achievements. Although, being an Achiever has brought me to the place I am today, throughout my life I have been burdened by a sense of unworthiness, not-enoughness and a masochistic urge to achieve more and more. Moreover, being unconscious of the Achiever’s dominant desire to feel valuable, and his predisposition to vanity, my incessant need to become bigger and better came with certain personality characteristics that pinched me off from my true Unconditioned Self, as Robert Holden defines it.
For years, I let my achievements define who I was, and let myself believe that I was superior to other people because of that. I was caught up in the ego’s sneaky games of judging between better and worse people, coming up with superficial social hierarchies, and having an exhausting need to increase my social status. Having awakened to my personality type, I was finally instilled with clarity of my innermost traits, which allowed me to bring those illusory fears into the light so that I could heal, and let them go.
The Enneagram is, therefore, a powerful system for self-awareness, which bridges the rift between the Ego and the Higher Self. Unlike most spiritual texts, I believe that when consciously monitored, our ego can perfectly co-exist with spiritual truth, and support our spiritual growth. After all, it was our choice to incarnate into this physical world, diversified in terms of physical, mental and emotional appearance, for the purpose of experiencing our physicality, and using it as a means of expanding human consciousness through our experiences. As a result, instead of judging our ego with our ego, we can instead make peace with it and use our physical and personality characteristics as tools for being and teaching a message of love.