Enneagram: Week 2
Summary: Sunday, May 1-Friday, May 6, 2016
The essence of the FOUR is “the mystery of our true identity. It feels oceanic, deep, unfathomable, mysterious. . . . [FOURs live for] beauty, intimacy, and depth . . . the markers of drawing closer to our [original] union with God.” —Russ Hudson (Sunday)
“The essential core of the FIVE is the soul’s capacity to be illuminated and to illuminate, to make things clear.” —Russ Hudson (Monday)
The original blessing of the SIX is “the quality of awakeness in which you can feel very directly this Presence all around you and within you that gives you an unshakeable courage to take your place and walk your walk in the world.” —Russ Hudson (Tuesday)
SEVENs are people who radiate joy and optimism. Their motto is “More is always better.” Mostly they are gluttonous for fun and options. (Wednesday)
Losing the divine Presence that felt like their life, strength, energy, and protection makes EIGHTs feel vulnerable, deflated, and dead. The ego tries to force life into feeling real and alive again. (Thursday)
NINEs once knew that reality was all about love, all connected, operative, and effective. They knew a kind of optimism and motivation that all could be worked out and fixed because God is Love. Love changes everything; love resolves everything. (Friday)
Practice: Opening to Love
Each of the nine Enneagram types has a different trap, a different “sin” that keeps us from living out of our True Self, which is Love. Brother Joseph Schmidt shared with us this paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (original author unknown). I invite you to read these statements and see yourself in them. Only when we face and embrace our false self with humility can we begin moving toward freedom and wholeness, toward being Love.
If I live my life to perfection, doing what is right and good on behalf of others, but act with compulsion and without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I take care of the needs of everybody in the world, especially the poor, because of my own need to help, but am without love even for myself, then I am nothing at all.
If I am efficient and successful in all that I do for the sake of justice, but act out of drivenness and without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I am cultured and refined, and in touch with the pain of existence, but am absent from the pain of persons in the present moment who need my empathy; and if I act without love and compassion, then I am nothing at all.
If I have the gifts of wisdom, insight, and understanding, but am not engaged with those around me in the present moment and am without a spirit of compassion and love, then I am nothing at all.
If I am faithful, loyal, and obedient, and never deviate from the law, but am judgmental and blaming, and am without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I live in a pain-free world of dreams and plans, enjoying optimism and pleasurable options, but am not addressing present problems and am avoiding people in actual distress and am without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I am strong and powerful, but lose my best self in a spirit of resentment, retaliation, and vindictiveness, and know nothing of the vulnerability of love, then I am nothing at all.
If I am settled and accommodating, holding onto a sense of distance and calm, but am not journeying inward to know and appreciate my weaknesses and gifts, and am neglecting my own legitimate calling to love myself, then I am nothing at all.
Love is always patient and kind;
it is never jealous;
love is never boastful or conceited;
it is never rude or selfish;
it does not take offense, and is not resentful.
Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in truth;
it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.
Love never fails, never ceases.
—1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Gateway to Silence:
Open me to love.
Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram
Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective
Additional resources, including a free personality test, are available from The Enneagram Institute.
Is the Enneagram new to you? Are you wondering, what is the Enneagram? How can the Enneagram help me? Which number on the Enneagram am I? Does the Enneagram work? This is just one post in a two-week series about the Enneagram. Click here for an introduction to the Enneagram and links to additional reflections and resources on the topic.