Monday, 7 July 2014

The Enneagram Part 6

This edition is going to be my last exploration of the Enneagram — at least for a while.  I want to explore what seems to me to be the great strength of the Enneagram — the goal and focus of maturity or spiritual development.  Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert use both psychological terminology of maturity and the religious terminology of redemption in describing the process.  Rohr/Ebert identify what they term the Triple Continuum of Immature - Normal – Mature in process.  Within each of the nine types a person is somewhere along the continuum between Immature and Mature.  This is similar — in general terms — to the Integration process developed by Carl Jung.  It is a process or journey which all people can potentially travel and is to become the people that God intends us to become. 

There are attitudes/ways of being that are identified for each stage along the continuum for each type which I outline below.

The Immature Attitudes

Type 1   Know-it-all/Pharisaical/Corrosive  
  Type 6   Dependent/Aggressive/Cowardly
Type 2   Manipulative/Domineering/Symbiotic
  Type 7   Excessive/Dilettantism/Opinionated
Type 3   Opportunistic/Deceptive/Career addicted
  Type 8   Power-obsessed/Tyrannical/Violent
Type 4   Self-pitying/Decadent/Infatuated with death
  Type 9   Fatalistic/Dosorirntrd/Stubborn 
Type 5   Isolated/Nihilistic/Eccentric


The Normal Attitudes

Type 1   Perfectionist/Wavering/Scrupulous  
  Type 6   Duty-conscious/Careful/(Anti)-authoritarian  
Type 2   Motherly/|Giving/Active
  Type 7   Hyperactive/Hedonistic/Superficial
Type 3   Pragmatic/Status conscious/Role-oriented
  Type 8   Controlling/Competing/Direct
Type 4   Aesthetic/Romantic/Stylish
  Type 9   Conformist/’Requires little care’/Indecisive   
Type 5   Analytical/Distanced/Abstract


The Mature Attitudes

Type 1   Critically aware/Composed/Ethically advanced  
  Type 6   Loyal/Courageous/Confident
Type 2   Caring/Friendly/Original
  Type 7   Happy/Versatile/Sober
Type 3   Competent/Truthful/Reliable
  Type 8   Generous/Strong leader/Protective
Type 4   Creative/Natural/Disciplined
  Type 9   Accepting/Peaceable/Goal Oriented 
Type 5   Inventive/Wise/Energetic


Rohr/Ebert note that ideally we go through the process of integration.  However, the journey even if consciously taken is not a direct steady path, “there are also phases in life of stagnation or relapse into the immature stage (regression and disintegration)”. We are of course going to have a mixture of mature, normal and immature attitudes at any time in our lives.  A good analogy is walking the labyrinth.  Sometimes we approach the goal but then there are turns and twists in life that seem to take us away from the centre.  However, if we stay faithful to the journey we will reach the centre — possibly not in this life but ultimately.  That is where faith and trust in God’s presence and guidance throughout our lives is our hope and assurance.  I hope this week’s journey is a fruitful — if not necessarily smooth one for you. 

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