An educator said to me, “oh, we don’t do personality typing, we don’t put people in boxes because we treat people as complete individuals….” He’s got a point. If we do typing / profiling and just stop there, that is putting people in boxes. It’s can be pointless, unfair, unwise and even limiting. And just like any other tool, the Enneagram can be useful or not, depending on how we use it. How we use it depends on what we understand it is.
For me it is a framework and a map for getting to the highest expression of who we are, the best version of ourselves. It isn’t the simplest of frameworks to understand, and it doesn’t explain everything that a human being is or does. But it allows us to see where we are, and where we can be, if we want. This is where the Levels of Development, pioneered by Don Riso and Russ Hudson come in so handy. No one Type is better or worse than another Type. There healthy, average and unhealthy levels within each personality type. And on any given day, our sense of self fluctuate depending on what kind of day we are having and how deeply entrenched we are in our personality, how far we have been estranged from our true essence. No one is a pure Type, nor do we not use resources of other Types or exhibit traits, attitudes and behaviour of other Types. As complete humans, we have all nine Types. It’s just that we “live” in a particular Type based on our Basic Fear, Basic Desire and Parental Orientation.
It doesn’t matter what challenges we are having, or what goals we have set. We can be in the middle of a life transition, working on a phobia, overcoming depression, lying in a deep trough on the journey to the dark side….. if we know our personality well, and we know the mechanism and the dynamics of the levels of development, we will know where we are along that continuum. And if we have the right tools we will be able to get from a less healthy level of development to a more healthy level. It doesn’t happen in a weekend, but for those who are on the path of self-development, self-awareness and self-definition, I don’t know a more complete or more useful framework than the Enneagram and specifically of the dynamism of the levels of development and other flowing aspects of the framework. And I don’t know a better book than “The Wisdom of the Enneagram” by Riso and Hudson.
Therefore the Enneagram is about finding out which box we are already in, so that we can find our way out of the box of our ego identification, to breathe the free air of our true essence. The tools? EFT, Integration, NLP….. come see me.