One Way to Consciousness: The Enneagram

Many of the people who I enjoy friending, are trying to be more conscious, or are already conscious. Those who are already conscious, may not be easily spotted and in a way they are no more conscious than you. Take the person who surfboards every day, all day when they were young, and then work into a job in which they can continue with their surfboarding passion, for instance as a sponsored surfboard competitor, or as as a surfing teacher. They may not be following a path like yours, say doing yoga, or through meditation and meditation retreats, but for them, a passion for surfboarding was their path to consciousness. You can spot people with this type of consciousness because they have three characteristics:

  1. They appear to be in the moment at all times.
  2. They are unusually joyful.
  3. They are good with how they show up in the world.

That’s what many of us are seeking, so I’ve discovered a tool that some people use to approach this level of consciousness. Interestingly, the tool, when used to improve the user, typically leads to the use of techniques that move the user towards being more and more in the moment – typically through some activity, such as meditation, gardening, exercising, attending consciousness retreats, belonging to circles focused on developing the spirituality of members, etc. It does take much effort to study and understand the power of this tool, applying it to oneself and others, to understand oneself.

As given away in the title, the tool is the Enneagram, shown above as well as to the right, a circle made up of 9 points representing personality styles each interconnected with two point, one to right and left, and by two arrows to two other points. Looking deeper into the diagram one sees the 3, 6 and 9, connected by a central triangle of arrows, are the mid point of three triads: 2, 3, 4; 5, 6, 7; 8 , 9, 1. All of it adding to the understanding about how each of us uses our personality to be safe, be controlling, and be serene. To learn more I refer you to YouTube’s Catalog of Enneagram videos. Try one of the overview videos and then listen to as many of the panels as you have time to listen to.

I can also recommend a video posted by my friend Cal, one of the members of the Tribe of Men who did a recorded session on the Enneagram for the Tribe of Men, that was a repeat of a session he did for the Community Leadership Development Program. Cal gives a good overview of some of each of the Enneagram Types and factors effecting their nature.

I’ve discovered that many people have been studying the Enneagram for decades, apparently the movement started around the 1950s as Oscar Ichazo brought this ‘technology’ first to Bolivia and then to North America, but it didn’t catch on until 1970 when psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo brought it into the realm of psychotherapy. Naranjo wrote the books about the Enneagram, taught people about the Enneagram, and typed people as having an approach to life that could be considered a number from 1 to 9 based on their approach to life. Those people were able to use the information about their style as described by Naranjo, to become more conscious about their behavior. His training eventually resulted in a large number of psychologists, coaches and spiritual leaders, taking the awareness of the Enneagram out to a broader and broader community of interested people.

Those people who have been studying the Enneagram for 10 or more years tend to have gotten to a place where they not only better understand the needs and behaviors of themselves and their relationships, but also better able to make changes. Many of the people on the Enneagram Panels by Beatrice Chestnut on YouTube use meditation or yoga or some form of clearing the mind, to get closer to other parts of themselves.

Author: T.P. Caruso

Retired from a healthcare and biomedical research career and now enjoying connections with anyone interested in history, geneology, healthcare, leadership or consciousness.

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