One of our greatest pursuits as humans is to understand ourselves. Have you ever had the experience of not understanding yourself, not even a bit? It happened to me! Sometimes, we think we are a certain way because we’ve acted that way since childhood. But we don’t stop to consider that maybe we are a certain way because we were made to act in a certain manner from a young age, and by constantly repeating those patterns that were necessary in our family unit, we’ve made them our own. As time goes by, we realize that we don’t even know ourselves, and this is where tools like the enneagram can come to our aid.
Do you want to know how? Let me tell you!
The enneagram is a personality system used to understand and categorize people’s behavior patterns and motivations. It’s based on a diagram consisting of nine points connected by lines, representing nine basic personality types. Each personality type has distinctive traits, motivations, and underlying fears that influence how people think, feel, and act.
These personality types are called enneatypes. Each enneatype is the personality we are born with; if you have spent any time with babies and children you will know that they come with their own unique soul expression! The development of the ego (sense of self as separate) is essential to survival. Fear is one of the triggers for the development of ego, some say that if we didn’t have fear, we wouldn’t develop the ego, which is what fights for our survival. In some ways, this ego taints that great positive personality we have in all areas when we come into the world. Now this is not to say that the ego is bad, just that it affects the way we express ourselves and sometimes in not so great ways.
The history of the enneagram is quite complex and has evolved over time. Its roots are largely mysterious and steeped in legends and oral traditions. In fact, the enneagram originated in the mysticism and spiritual tradition of the Middle East, particularly in the teachings of Sufism (a branch of mystical Islam) and the Fourth Way, a spiritual tradition developed by the Russian-Georgian mystic George Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff is often mentioned as a key figure in popularizing the enneagram in the Western world.
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