What is the Enneagram?
by Veronica Croft
It seems that we’ve started with the simplest question to ask and the most difficult to answer! In fact, those of you who have been interested in the Enneagram for a while will know that it not easy to explain what it is in a few short words. It has been variously described by others as a ‘tool’, a ‘model’ or a ‘system’ for understanding the human psyche. Certainly it is true that the Enneagram unravels all that it is to be human, but to describe it as a model or a system would imply that it has been created by man.
The real truth is the Enneagram was not created, developed or invented. It just IS - in the same way that the universe ‘is’.
The Enneagram governs the expression of consciousness in all forms of life, physical and non-physical. It is the foundation of all patterns of existence.
It underpins all aspects of our lives and has always been a fundamental part of this world – and worlds beyond ours. It embodies the unfoldment and expansion of all life, at all levels throughout the universe.
Nine Personality Types
Most of us are aware that beyond our sense of “I am” there is another aspect to our existence, something that exists that is larger than our physical sense of self. You might refer to this part as the Higher Self, the Soul, Spirit, or Essence. This is who you really are and the experiences whilst in human form facilitate the growth and expansion that this higher part desires.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human a human experience.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Consciousness cannot exist without form therefore it expresses itself through the personality and there are nine different ways in which it can do this.
The nine personality types are nine vehicles of consciousness.
Each of these ‘vehicles’ offers different experiences of life in human form. There is no ‘pure’ experience of life because everything is experienced through the filter of the personality. So the Three experiences life in a different way to the Nine, the Five experiences life in a different way to the Two and so on. Because each personality type experiences life differently to the other eight types, it is clear that each of the nine ‘vehicles’ offers different opportunities for growth and expansion.
The personality is the vehicle of consciousness through which Essence is expressed in the physical world.