Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No More Enneagram Books

Lately students and friends have been asking me, “Are you going to write another Enneagram book?” My answer is always an immediate “Nope.” Initially I couldn’t articulate why, but upon reflection I believe I’ve finally figured out the reason for my reluctance.

And it’s this. There is a wealth of Enneagram material out there in the world. Books, seminars, forums, newsletters, and professional groups; everything you ever wanted to learn about this map we call the Enneagram. We could read and study forever. At some point, however, we need to do the Work. Not to denigrate insights or ahas or breakthroughs, but at some point mere knowledge is not enough to loosen the constriction of our personality or “default mode”. (Although I’ll admit, it’s a great first step.)

Once we’ve discovered our type or point, we need to focus on expanding our horizons to include other ways of perceiving, being, and acting. The most important practice for beginning and continuing this is self-observation. Watching our patterns emerge, noticing our personality running us rather than the converse, and finally choosing how we will see, feel, and act. That’s it. The Enneagram “Work” in a nutshell. Mundane, ordinary, often boring and plodding, and yet the only true path to uncovering who we really are and who we might joyfully become.

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