As a couples therapist, I started using and teaching the popular Personality Enneagram with couples in the 1980’s. The conventional Enneagram is taught as a personality system that accurately describes the specific qualities of the nine Enneagram types that can make up each personality.
However, as each of the partners opened up in sessions, more fundamental and relevant inner dynamics emerged of those of the same Enneagram type that have been unrecognized in the Personality Enneagram. I call this new, more comprehensive orientation the Inner Enneagram.
Partners found these new awarenesses are what determined their personal well-being, and the success of their relationship. As you will see, it uniquely enabled them to make sense of their own and their partner’s world of inner core needs, sensitivities, and pressures in each other’s personality. So they were able now to more effectively align to and respond to what really matters to each other.
These new understandings and awarenesses also changed how they dealt with tension and conflicts together. Each partner could now recognize, own, process and resolve the source of tensions within themselves, instead of freely blaming or acting them out. As a result, conflicts became an opportunity to grow within their Self. And grow even closer together.
Secondly, what also became clear was that persons of the same Enneagram type consistently had the same specific spiritual gifts as their essential nature.
This is obvious to us all as we notice those natural gifts and talents in the person right away. They stand out for they express what is special about the person in his or her personality.
However, it is clear that those specific qualities and gifts of their pure essential nature do not originate in the personality itself. Nor were those qualities learned growing up. Siblings brought up in the same family system have fundamentally different gifts expressed in their different personalities. Just look at your brothers and sisters in how different they each are!
Those specific qualities that form our essential nature are more fundamental to who we are than that. They reflect the purity of consciousness that lives at the core of our being, beyond the persona.
In the Enneagram system, we all recognize, for example, the easy going type Nine’s pure nature is unbounded Peace. Everyone knows that, for that is Nine’s inner nature. It is who they are. The happy, optimistic Seven’s essential nature is eternal Bliss. The Fives is pure Intelligence. The caring Twos is unconditional Love & Compassion. These are all inherent unbounded qualities of pure consciousness.
It is these different non-changing spiritual qualities at our core that give rise to the differences in the nine Enneagram personalities. This is why the Enneagram is not simply a personality system as is taught. It is fundamentally much more than that. And as you will see, that makes a huge difference.
In wisdom systems around the world our essential nature is recognized as our true Self. That is because our personality is just a reflection of our absolute pure nature. It is not a stand-alone unit.
From the Christian and in the Vedic tradition:
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the pure Spirit.” King James Bible, Romans, 8:9
“You consist of Spirit (‘Pneuma’), personhood (‘psyche’), and body (‘somatic’).” Apostle Paul, 1 Thessalonians, 5:23
“Our spiritual nature is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness.” Galatians, New Testament, 5:22-25 (GTW Version)
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Jesuit priest, Teilhard de Chardin
“That which is superior to the lower self is the pure, the eternal, the ever-vigilant, free from the nature of distortion and delusions, the true, the transcendent, the all-pervading, the one without a second, the ocean of bliss, that I Am, the innermost essence (of all). There is no doubt about it.” Maitreya Upanishad, 1.15 (4th century BC)
Like the body, what gives our personality Life is this transcendent pure unbounded spirit that lies at the core of who we are. As we have seen, however, the more imbalances there are in the persona and in the body, the less of the natural qualities of our pure being are expressed.
In understanding pure consciousness, it is important to note that this intuitive recognition and knowingness of our inner essential nature is not a notion about God, or even about the existence or non-existence of God. “Spirit” here simply refers to our natural experience of the innate virtuous goodness of our essential nature, pure consciousness.
These discoveries of the specific qualities of consciousness of each of the nine Enneagram types generated a new and needed wholistic paradigm, the Spiritual Enneagram. This is what provides the fundamental awareness of each person’s true nature. And as well, a new enlightened perspective that uniquely views situations outside the narrow, self-serving filter of the ego.
Partners found that this new awareness enabled them to increasingly attune to and live from their inner spiritual and noble Self. Particularly when tensions in their personality emerged, they found they were able to sustain their inner Presence through thick and thin.
Together these awarenesses enabled couples to not only understand themselves but also to understand and be more responsive to the inner world of others in their life — each of their children, their family members, friends, bosses and co-workers, and everyone they cared about.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, you are invited to explore on this site these new dynamics. The focus here is from the perspective of the Spiritual Enneagram. It will give you more clarity of your spiritual nature. And how you can naturally align to your Self. My other websites below focus on the Inner Enneagram.
If you are on a Conscious or spiritual path, or if you are a student or teacher of the Enneagram, you will be surprised how invaluable and comprehensive the nine profiles are from these couples’ discoveries in the Inner & Spiritual Enneagram.
And what a blessing to discover such a useful and accurate Road Map on your path in the growth of your consciousness.
Read Part I through Part Part IV by clicking below for a more thorough review of these dynamics.
Finally, the books here on this site that I have written describe these inner dynamics in detail. You can purchase them here, or download free samples.
If you have questions or would value coaching, give me a call.
607 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101