In the words of Helen Palmer, prolific writer and teacher of the Enneagram: "The material is best transmitted by seeing and hearing groups of people of the same type speak about their lives. Seeing and hearing a group of people express a similar point of view transmits far more of the power of the system then can possibly be conveyed by a mere written record of their words.
After about an hour, a group of people who start out looking physically very different begin to seem the same. The viewer can sense similarities that are the more subtle signs of type. There is a unique feel to each of the types, a distinguishing quality. The room fills with a definite presence as the character unfolds.... The world looks very different to each of the nine, and experienced very differently."
In working with the wisdom of the Enneagram, we come to see that each of us experiences the energy of one of the nine Enneagram types more frequently and consequently each of us will resonate most easily with the spiritual or divine energies that are associated with that type.
The role of human, psychological, and spiritual development and maturation over a lifetime is to become aware of the expressions of energy that you have been endowed with both at the personality level and at the essential or spiritual level. Then from there you become increasingly aware of the fullness of energies expressed in the human family and within yourself. Each person who opens to each of these energies will grow, gain insight and enhance self-awareness, as well as see others more deeply. Studying the Enneagram will lead you along a path of increasing personal integration, wholeness, and well being.
- Reverend Don Horrigan, Ed.D
Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would like you to do unto them.
Consider adopting the Platinum Rule when you want to become more connected with the people in your life.
Most of the time, we try very hard to do unto others what we would want them to do unto us, aka theGolden Rule.
But what if what they want is different from what you want -- or what you would want for them?
Wouldn't you love it if others applied this rule to you? It's not easy!
Adopting the platinum rule requires finding out what the other person would truly like or prefer -- as well as developing a deep and abiding understanding of the WHOLE of the person, in type as well as in essence.
The Enneagram provides you with a system for gaining the information & insights needed to apply this rule to the people in your life.
Here's our Golden Rule ..
When learning about others….ask questions and simply listen to the response, without judgment, debate, or presenting your own or an alternative perspective.
When listening…allow others time to reflect and speak for themselves & refrain from describing them or telling them about their type.
People truly want to be heard. When they feel deeply heard, they can then listen to you.
In the Enneagram system, people are grouped based on core motivation--what is really important and what really matters to them. When you study your Enneagram type, you develop more clarity about yourself, what is important to you, what comes naturally, and what truly matters to you.
In the words of Stephen Hatch, a spiritual teacher of the Enneagram … Although it is helpful to understand each Enneagram type on a purely psychological level, people often recoil at the fact that this knowledge can seem somewhat negative. For example, a One may bemoan the fact that she has perfectionist tendencies, or a Four that he is perennially longing for what is missing in his life. A Nine may tire of remaining unaware of what she really wants in life, and a Six may despise his tendency toward fear. What if each Enneagram type is actually a different perspective – a different set of Sacred Ideas - of something more spiritual: say, the Divine Presence?
What if,for example...
Ones - at their core – are most in touch with the divine goodness and perfection of all beings and events?
Fours are the most skilled at recognizing the mutuality of longing; that is, the fact that human longing for love is actually only an echo of the longing that Divine Love feels toward us?
What if ...
Nines are the best of all of the types at forgetting their own self-conscious ego in union with the Divine?
Sixes are especially attuned to the suspense of watching all phenomena arise – magically – from the spaciousness of awareness, and know that Sacred Faith involves a profound trust in the existence and goodness of a Divine Presence?
What if ...
Eights incarnate the fact that the Divine actively expands into and fills everything with its presence?
Twos are most in touch with Sacred Grace, embodying this grace to others around them in the form of Sacred Compassion?
Fives embody the all-knowing capacity of the Divine Presence, and are on a quest of the Divine to know itself in all of its many manifestations?
Sevens, everlastingly young radiating vibrancy to others, know the Divine Presence to be the ground of all novelty, all freshness perceived through joy-filled human awareness?
Threes understand most clearly that human effort is in reality a participation in the joyfully creative work of the Ultimate Mystery knowing that work is a worthwhile end in itself?
Spiritual teachers of the Enneagram agree that when any of the types lose touch with its divine core it creates a substitute that is inadequate and the cause of much suffering.
For example, when Twos loses touch with Sacred Compassion, they try to create their own ego-based version, becoming pushy and offering people help that they didn’t ask for.
Or, Sevens, out of touch with Sacred Flow, create their own sense of flow that excludes the wishes of others.
Untransformed Eights, out of touch with the Sacred Omnipresence of the Divine, try to throw their own weight around, making their own influence felt in every possible situation.
As you study the Enneagram, more and more you will connect with your own "essential" qualities....and experience others in a whole new way.