The history of the Enneagram is uncertain and interesting. There are many readily available resources on this topic. In fact there is so much already written we found it unnecessary to include it here. Please see our Resources Page if you’re interested in finding out more about the much debated origin of the Enneagram.
The Nuts and Bolts of the Enneagram for our purposes:
The Enneagram is a tool that describes (in detail) Nine very different ways of interacting with the world. Using this tool to observe ourselves, we can begin to become aware of, and even predict, our patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. Each number represents a specific set of patterns based on that Type’s Core Beliefs.
To begin the journey of self-discovery into your habitual patterns, there are many resources available that offer questionnaires and other forms of self-identification processes. Please see our Resources Page.
A Note About Stereotyping
As human beings, it is necessary to categorize. We categorize everything in Biology: Insects, Mammals, Vertebrates… In daily living we have clothes, furniture, foods, etc. We are also constantly judging: we judge the distance between our car and the one in front of us; we judge what is good for us to eat and what is not, e.g. Without categories and our ability to judge appropriately, our world would exist in chaos. The question is, how do we judge and categorize and what do we do with it?
Any typology system tends to devolve into stereotyping. As Dr. David Daniels states, ‘this is the bane of human existence.’ The Enneagram is not immune to human stereotyping. But that shouldn’t mean that we do away with the typology of the Enneagram, just as surely we shouldn’t do away with the other categories we use to understand our world. How we use the Enneagram determines whether we stereotype ourselves and one another or as a tool for understanding ourselves better as well as understanding those in our lives.
When used appropriately by engaging our Inner Observer, the Enneagram helps us to identify the box we’re already in. We can also see the box we’ve placed around others. Without awareness of the categories we’ve put ourselves in, we think the box is all there is. The Inner Observer shows us where our self-made walls are so the can begin to deconstruct what would get in the way of our freedom from ourselves.
When used appropriately, the Enneagram is a powerful tool of transformation that not only reveals what we haven’t yet seen, but allows us to experientially step out of the box and begin living the lives intended for us from the beginning.