The Essential Enneagram, Lynette Sheppard
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The Enneagram of Spirituality

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would be seen as it is... infinite.
Wm Blake

Man's higher nature rests upon man's lower nature, needing it as a foundation and collapsing without this foundation.
Abraham Maslow


Personality as Path to Essence

Your personality describes who you are. Yet, paradoxically, your Enneagram type is who you are not! You are much more than a Seven, Four, etc. More even than the unique attributes that are yours alone. Your personality is like a garment you wear. Is like a pair of glasses that you perceive life through. The glasses have a particular tint - a Seven tint, or Five tint. Mine also contain a Lynette filter - with my unique view of the world. You have your own filters. These glasses are who we think we are. But who are we really? Who was I before I formed a "self"?

The story of the Enneagram relates that we all came from Essence. In the beginning, each of us contained the potential of all nine points equally within. We were all One. Then we differentiated or had a fall from grace (we took birth.) We lost Essence. We chose one of the nine ways of being in response to this loss. The passion or cardinal tendency became a substitute for a lost quality of Essence. In this way, the personality contains the key to our specific dilemma - the map to our way Home to Essence. The keys to the kingdom are within us. Our own little guidebook to heaven - right inside us.

Here is a breakdown of the passions of the Enneagram for each type (when we are acting unconsciously from our personality or small self) and the higher states or essential drives (that operate when we come from Essence or our large Self.).


Point One The Perfectionist

Unconscious Habits

Emotional Passion: Anger
Chief Feature: Resentment

Essence Qualities

Virtue: Serenity
Holy Idea: Perfection


Point Two The Giver

Unconscious Habits:

Emotional Passion: Pride
Chief Feature: Flattery

Essence Qualities

Virtue: Humility
Holy Idea: Will (Freedom)


Point Three The Performer

Unconscious Habits:

Emotional Passion: Deceit
Chief Feature: Vanity

Essence Qualities

Virtue: Honesty
Holy Idea: Hope


Point Four The Romantic

Unconscious Habits:

Emotional Passion: Envy
Chief Feature: Melancholy

Essence Qualities

Virtue: Equanimity
Holy Idea: The Origin - Source


Point Five The Observer

Unconscious Habits:

Emotional Passion: Avarice
Chief Feature: Stinginess


Essence Qualities

Virtue: Non-attachment
Holy Idea: Omniscience


Point Six The Devil's Advocate

Unconscious Habits:

Emotional Passion: Fear/Doubt
Chief Feature: Cowardice/Confrontation


Essence Qualities

Virtue: Faith
Holy Idea: Courage


Point Seven The Epicure

Unconscious Habits:

Emotional Passion: Gluttony
Chief Feature: Planning

Essence Qualities

Virtue: Sobriety
Holy Idea: Work


Point Eight The Leader

Unconscious Habits:

Emotional Passion: Lust
Chief Feature: Vengeance

Essence Qualities

Virtue: Innocence
Holy Idea: Truth


Point Nine The Peacemaker

Unconscious Habits:

Emotional Passion: Sloth
Chief Feature: Indolence

Essence Qualities

Virtue: Right Action
Holy Idea: Love

 

© lynette sheppard 1996

 

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