Need to hear

Every Enneagram style needs to hear some things to free them, at least partially, from the low side of their style.

Style One usually has a habit of criticizing — of others, but especially of themselves. They need to hear that it is more important to accept yourself than to change yourself.

Paradoxically, any real change and growth comes after we accept ourselves as we are. Reality is a friend.

Get real

The current creative tension between religion and science raises a question for people trying to spiritually progress. What kind of criteria shall we use?

I asked a therapist friend of mine what criteria the insurance companies use. They must have some way of discerning what they will or will not pay for. He said it was pragmatic. Are they able to be productive citizens. (This dovetails with the annoying habit politicians have of talking about people who deserve respect/help/sustenance as “hard-working Americans.”

I have a unitive theory. Science, religion, spirituality and the Enneagram can say that everyone is best off when they become more real.

I read an article several years ago that posed the questions that scientists were most interest in. First was, “What is the nature of reality?” Healthy religion seeks to know truth through symbols, with the assumption that sensory reality is only part of the truth.

The Enneagram work, at least as I practice it, is helping people see what their enneagram style is most and least likely to perceive what portion(s) of reality and how to respond most fully to what is real. If we are trapped in our style, we are perceiving and reacting to past experiences and decisions. The Buddhist notion of being awake, empirical science and the tradition of mindfulness help with the sensory part. The Enneagram and religion sensitize us to both the seen and unseen.

Three ways

A few years ago, the book, Heartmath, became popular. The central thesis is that the heart is an important source of knowledge, even as the brain.

I’ve been reading about the GAPS diet by Natasha Campbell-McBride. Her contribution to the science of nutrition is her research and popularization of the notion that the gut provides as much, if not more information to the brain than the brain to the but.

So what we have are three centers – head, heart and gut – that are sources of information, sources of knowledge, wisdom and direction.

I love it when contemporary science reaffirms what the spiritual traditions have taught for centuries. The Enneagram’s triads or centers are the head center (5/6/7), the heart center (2/3/4) and the gut center (8/9/1) now are reaffirmed by current scientific research.

Our current education system is woefully imbalanced, preferring what Ken Wilber calls the hegemony of scientific thought. Technology, science’s golden child right now, is all head. So use the Enneagram’s balance in your life.

Model behavior

Our Enneagram style includes a model of the world. The world is a _______________. However we unconsciously and perhaps sometimes even consciously complete that sentence is our model.
The Enneagram begins with a focus of attention, not so much what we look at as what we look for. We find what we look for and then decide that’s what the world is like.
If you want some insights into someone’s model, think about someone about whom you say, “Oh, I can’t tell them that.” When people refuse to listen, it isn’t pure stupidity, it’s just that the information clashes with or completely misses their model of the world.

And it isn’t malice that makes people live in different worlds. For years I had a pickup truck – a lemon. I became on very good terms with my mechanic, a good ole boy from Louisiana who, on two separate occasions, had seen UFOs in his back pasture. I couldn’t assimilate that information. I immediately thought of all sorts of explanations of why he didn’t see what he thought he saw.

Here’s how important models are: when Greenspan was asked by congress why the economy collapsed, he answered simply, “Our model was wrong.”
So what is your world?