The Enneagram

An Adventure In Self Discovery

The Enneagram is a rich and practical study of personal growth based on ancient teachings of mysterious origins. Today, this study has a modern overlay of psychological typing rooted in these ancient teachings.

The Enneagram of personality describes nine distinct types. Each personality type is defined by a chief mental and emotional concern which underlies the development of the personality and highly influences the life experiences of the person who falls under that particular Enneagram type.

This web site is devoted to furthering the growing field of knowledge about the Enneagram and how we all can benefit from a greater understanding of our individual personalities and the intricate and fascinating ways in which we interact with one another.

What Is It?

The Enneagram

The word Enneagram is of Greek origin and refers to a diagram with nine points or lines. “Enneagram” is the name of the system of knowledge as well as its symbol.

The Enneagram is an ancient teaching of mysterious origins which is said to represent every process of creation and renewal. The Enneagram is taught as a technology or system of human development, self-discovery, spiritual growth and self-actualization.

The Enneagram, today, is most often presented as a system of personality types. Each personality type is characterized by specific patterns of thought, speaking style, feelings, emotions, sensations, and belief systems which are universal to the type.

Personality And Essence

“Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day . . . we become seekers.” –Peter Matthiessen

The Enneagram tradition defines personality as the lifetime accumulation of mental and emotional patterns which constitute the persona, the person an individual believes himself or herself to be and presents to the world. These patterns include, but are not limited to, habitual ways of thinking, believing, perceiving, and feeling.

The words “personality”, “ego” and “false self” are considered synonymous and often are used interchangeably in Enneagram teaching.

The personality is said to be an imitation, a facsimile, of the “True Self”. Personality is fixated. Personality reacts to the ever changing outer environment with identifiable, predictable and conditioned reactions. Thus, personality is said to be the “conditioned being” as opposed to the “real being”.

Essence is considered to be the “real being”, the True Self, and may be considered a process rather than a fixed identity. Essence flows, is changeable and responds freshly and appropriately to ever changing conditions in the outer world.

Benefits Of The Study

Knowledge and understanding of the Enneagram can enable a person to:

  • Identify unconscious patterns that trigger reactions and drive one’s life.
  • Observe the patterns internally.
  • Detach attention from the patterns.
  • Cope with issues and reduce suffering.
  • Improve personal, family and work relationships.
  • Become a happier, more effective person.
  • Discover latent talents and abilities which speak to one’s purpose.