Thursday, June 27, 2013

Experiencing the Holy Ideas: A Five Looks at Omniscience

The most intriguing aspect of the Enneagram for me these days is its value as a map for spiritual growth and presence. Each of us experiences moments of Essence in our own unique and type specific ways. The Higher Virtues and Holy Ideas resonate in type specific ways.

Reader Ray contacted me recently with the following thoughtful missive - I'm sharing it with his permission.

"I am trying to understand what omniscience as a "holy idea" is.  Isn't that kind of abstract by itself?  And once you mentally understand what are you suppose to do to practice, experience it, getting to know what this important thing is not just with the head but with the heart. I've read some of the same things in other enneagram sites but think a going beyond repetition, citing examples, explaining in other words, and furnishing applications would be in good order and very helpful.

I have done things as a five that seem to really work but do take time.  That is write a phrase, bible verse, quote, favorite idea on 3 by 6 card.  Then practice bringing your attention to it like a meditation.  I involve breathing, walking, paying attention to my body along with it, tuning into any tension as it arises, and subsequently releasing it.  And that also means releasing thoughts and feelings as well and returning to the idea (card) again.  The goal: to tap into the essence that makes knowledge full of life.  From bible school I learned that through repetition of a phrase, meditation, it can be taken to a higher level, from greek, logos, written word, to rhema, living word."

He captured my attention with his questioning as well as his practices - I wrote this back to him:

"Dear Ray,
I really like your practice and how you view "Omniscience". I'd like to mention it on the blog and see if any other Fives have ways they approach the Holy Idea or understand it. Of course, I am not a Five so I can only understand it from my own Seven perspective, so other Fives would be most able to express more about it. My thought is that any of the Holy Ideas are somewhat abstract (hence ideas as the descriptor) until your small self suddenly drops away (through meditation, other practice, or spontaneously) and the Self is present. At those moments, the Holy Idea is no longer a concept but an experience - for the Five as I have heard, Omniscience is the sense that you already know everything you ever needed to know - something like that. (Which may actually be what you were saying...) This would be a great discussion point and I'd love to post it on the blog and to get input from other Fives.
Thanks for writing and for such a thought provoking question."

So I invite Five friends and readers to illuminate Omniscience from your perspective and how you integrate head and heart in inviting the Essence experience. And those Enneagram explorers of other types? I'd love to know your thoughts on how you experience the Holy Idea of your own Enneagram point. We learn from one another through self revealing as well as through solitary practice. Comment here or you may also email me at if you wish to remain anonymous.