One of the best Enneagram websites available. A suggestion: don’t waste time on the free test. Just read the type descriptions and decide which one best describes you. There’s a lot of good basic information here.
This is Chris Wright’s website. Chris was a featured speaker at this year’s Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute, and his session was excellent. I recommend him highly. Go to his website, scroll down to the bottom of the frame on the left, and take a look at his Enneagram materials. They’re a very good introduction to the system. Chris has a background in information science, so his presentations are directly applicable to our circumstances.
I am new to this group. Enneagram has been my interest for some years ago, and as times comes by, enneagram go down into my unconscious. So, thanks for Kevin who have started this group, so I can find again my interest about enneagram.
I have read two books about enneagram when I was still in the college. I found these books when I must classified it (at that time I work as internship student at the college library, and my task is to classify our books collection into DDC system). These books are "Discovering the Enneagram: An Ancient Tool a New Spiritual Journey" by Richard Rohr & Andreas Ebert, and Enneagram Transformation by Don Richard Riso. I found that Rohr's book is interesting to read, and also he discuss enneagram from a Christian's perspective. And in her book's, Riso give some affirmation for every personality type that he says it can help individuals to transform their personality type.
For Riso' book, I still keep asking is it work? Have you read her book? What is your opinion about her book?
Do you have another opinions about how should the transformation happen?
I had the opportunity to read The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Rohr and Ebert; it was a very interesting book, and it’s a good example of how the Enneagram principles can be easily and effectively used alongside almost any other system. That’s one of the reasons I find the Enneagram to be so incredibly powerful! I haven’t yet read Discovering the Enneagram by Rohr.
I’ve read most of the Riso books; they’re all very good. My favorite Riso book is The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types.
Two other very good books on the subject are Enneagram Paths to Wholeness: Subtypes, Wings & Arrows by Fitzgerald (it’s only 64 pages long), and The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Power of the Enneagram by Pearce and Brees (this one has only been available for 6 months in the US).
As for transformation, the Enneagram is only one single example of the many, many pathways towards enlightenment that are available to each of us. It seems to me that life provides us with unlimited opportunities to become our best selves. Honestly, based on my own experience, I’d say that each and every moment we are given is an opportunity for transformation. The Enneagram is one very good way to awaken us to that potential, the potential of our own mind, will, and emotions. (Sounds kind of hokey, I know!)
I recently finished the book Against Happiness by Eric G. Wilson. Normally, I’d post comments about a book I’ve read in the Professional Reading group, but because this book is such a clear example of the writing style of a particular Enneagram type, I thought this would be the best place for it.
The book itself is Wilson’s take on happiness, melancholy, and why he thinks one is vastly superior to the other. I have never seen a clearer example of Enneagram 4 writing anywhere. (It’s often quite difficult to tell what Enneagram type someone is by a single example of their writing style.) Here are a couple short examples from the book so you can judge for yourself.
"Ours are ominous times. Each nervous glance portends some potential disaster. Paranoia most mornings shocks us to wakefulness, and we totter out under the ghostly sun. At night fear agitates the darkness. Dreams of empty streets flitter through our fitful heads. Enduring these omens, as vague and elusive as the obscure horror they suggest, we strain to think of exactly what scares us. Our minds run over a daunting litany of global problems. We hope with our listing to find a meaning, a clue to our unease.
We mentally scan the scene. We are on the verge of eroding away our ozone layer. Even as I write, this erosion is causing melting of the polar ice cap. Within decades we could face major oceanic flooding. Even our greatest skyscrapers, yearning heavenward, could soon be devoured by indifferent waves. We are also close to annihilating hundreds of exquisite animals. These beasts – white rhinos and Sumatran tigers and California condors – have been in the making for millions of years. Within almost a human lifetime our disregard for nature has put these sublime creatures almost into extinction. Soon our forests will be empty of colorful torsos and exotic wings. These formerly teeming groves will be as bland as pavement. Moreover, we now find ourselves on the verge of a new cold war. Nuclear warheads before long will rise again. The fears of the middle of the last century will return. We’ll wonder: Will this year be the last that humans breathe and walk on this time-rending earth?
I can now add another threat, perhaps as dangerous as the most apocalyptic of concerns. We are possibly not far away from eradicating a major cultural force, a serious inspiration to invention, the muse behind much art and poetry and music. We are wantonly hankering to rid the world of numerous ideas and visions, multitudinous innovations and meditations. We are right at this moment annihilating melancholia."
And . . . .
"Our passion for felicity hints at an ominous hatred for all that grows and thrives and then dies – for all those curious thrushes moving among autumn’s brownish indolence, for those blue dahlias seemingly hollow with sorrow, for all those gloomy souls who long for clouds above high windows."
And . . .
"Indeed, you can experience beauty only when you have a melancholy foreboding that all things in this world die."
And . . . .
"This gene, this melancholy gene, has proved the code for innovation."
And . . . .
"The day pushes the night to be blacker than it otherwise would be; the moon inspires the sun to shine more brightly than might be its wont. In the same way, durable melancholia reveals the secret of joy while ecstasy unveils the core of gloom."
And so on.
For an excellent interpretation of how and why someone develops Enneagram 4 tendencies see Sandra Maitri’s The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul.
The two most pressing questions I have about Wilson’s book are about his artless use of alliteration and his reluctance to include any serious examination of the centuries of debate that have examined what constitutes the good life (with or without melancholy).
His use of alliteration is extreme. I have to wonder why a man with such obvious intelligence would so willfully bludgeon his readers with so much assonance and consonance. Maybe it’s an inside joke with one of his fellow academics who specializes in Old English. Who knows?
In his Bibliographical Notes Wilson mentions The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. While Haidt’s book covers a broad spectrum of material both geographically and chronologically, Wilson for the most part seems to avoid references to pre-Romantic era thinking or non-western cultures. Odd, that. I wonder if he was afraid of including any of that information because it would undermine his argument.
Relative to the Enneagram it was a very enlightening read. Otherwise, I’d say it had more value as a subjective experience for Wilson than anything else.