While the Enneagram has ancient origins, it is new for many people.
In the last couple of years, the Enneagram has moved into popular culture. You hear about it on all platforms of social media. There are more and more books written on the subject and workshops offered around the world.
With its increasing popularity there is a growing number of critics and doubters. In the context of increasing information coming out about the Enneagram, I want to counter the notion, that the Enneagram is Bogus.
Here are eight misconceptions about the Enneagram.
1. The Symbol
The origin of the Enneagram symbol is not known. Some claim it goes back to Babylon around 2500 B.C., but there is little evidence to prove this.
The geometry and math that are part of the symbol had its roots in the ideas of Pythagoras, Plato and some Neoplatonic philosophers of Ancient Greece.
The symbol shows up in western traditions that came out of Greek philosophy– that helped to create and nurture the prophetic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The Enneagram symbol became a great spiritual map for mystics over the centuries from the three prophetic religions.
2. New Age Religion: True or False
It is hard to define the New Age Movement. In North America any religious practice outside of the norm got labelled as New Age.
People who practice New Age spirituality might use the Enneagram as a spiritual map, however, the Enneagram itself has no direct connection to this movement.
The Enneagram as a spiritual movement came out the prophetic religions of the west. It is based on practices, beliefs and theology that bring together the doctrines of these three religions. But it also creates opportunities for people of all faiths and philosophical backgrounds to build bridges.
3. Occult: True or False
The Enneagram is not part of the occult. The Enneagram is more about becoming your God-self or True Self.
There is nothing magical about the Enneagram. It helps you find emotional, physical, mental and spiritual freedom. It helps you to do this by being able to notice, name, feel and overcome unconscious thoughts and behaviours that get in the way of you fully living your life.
It is more about taking down all the emotional walls that you put around yourself as a child to keep you safe. It is letting your inner child know that as an adult, you can take care of yourself.
Personal and spiritual growth using the Enneagram takes time, dedication, commitment and self-love.
4. A bit like astrology:
For the serious astrologer, connections are easy to make between the Enneagram and astrology. You will find a similarity in the geometry and mathematics in both.
There are people with knowledge in both who can make connections between the astrological signs and Enneagram types. Click Here to Learn More
5. There is no such thing as personality
You say you want scientific proof there is personality!
There is a type of psychology that studies personality and its variation among individuals. Read Here to Learn More
There is increasing scientific research showing how the Enneagram can help people. In 2012 Anna Sutton published a research paper called “But is it real?” A review of research on the Enneagram. Click Here to Read More
The amount of information available to you in books, courses, articles is growing at a tremendous rate. As time moves on, there will be more and scientific research.
6. Isn’t it a corporate tool?
The Enneagram has a history of only being for people in corporations with lots of money. While the Enneagram continues to gain popularity in business it is increasingly becoming noticeable in popular culture.
Up to now you have needed money to learn about the Enneagram. But this is changing as more and more practitioners want to make it available for all people no matter what their economic background is.
The Enneagram is gaining momentum in faith communities of many religions. We see increasing use of it the Evangelical community of Christianity which up to recently opposed its use.
As fewer and fewer people attend traditional religious communities, there are increasing numbers of people with no faith tradition who see themselves as spiritual and want to grow into being the best they can be. The Enneagram is gaining popularity with them.
7. Lousy Theology: True or False
There are always people who are going to feel threatened by the
Many people of faith use the Enneagram for their spiritual growth, both individually and corporately. It is getting more and more popular with people of faith around the world.
There are sound theologians like Father Richard Rohr who have used the Enneagram as part of their spiritual teachings and calls to action for years. Click Here to Learn More. It is all about learning to listen within yourself and to pay attention to what is going on around you.
Good theology unites us together as one human race, focus on building peace, justice and love, bring more and more people into God’s love without judgement. Good theology calls upon us to share our gifts and calls us to live life with gratitude.
Living with gratitude helps you learn to live with just enough to live well.
In the end you need to discern for yourself about the Enneagram. I invite you try it out and see how it impacts your life. If you have tried it and it’s not your thing look for something else to help you.
8. Does the Enneagram cure you?
The Enneagram is not a cure. It is more an invitation to journey into a more joyful and meaningful life. It helps you to become more self-aware. It helps you to see beyond your fears and insecurities.
As I said before, the Enneagram requires a lot of work on your part. The Enneagram is a map for spiritual transformation. You need to find other practices such as meditation, journaling, dancing, yoga, tai chi, religious community, anything else that can help you to be present to your three energy centers, the body, the heart and mind.
The Enneagram is more about helping to heal you rather than cure you. There is a big difference between being healed and cured. If you have a disease and it goes away, you are cured. If you find peace within you, you have been healed. Sometimes healing and cure come together, but often not.
There will always be skeptics about the Enneagram. There will be the people who see the Enneagram a bogus. There is nothing wrong about being skeptical unless you refuse to look deeper into it.
You have heard the saying don’t judge the book by the cover. So please don’t judge the Enneagram based on the comment of one person.
Find a person such as myself, an Identity Coach, who can help you to go deeper into learning about yourself through the Enneagram.
There are many different schools and teachers. Do you want to learn about it for your personal spiritual development, or do you want to use it in your business? Choose the school and teacher that connects most for you.
There are great books out there on the Enneagram. Here are the three books I recommend:
· The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele
· The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher Heuertz
· The Modern Enneagram by Melanie Bell and Kacie Berghoef
Like any teaching, there are people who abuse it. Watch out for these people and groups who use it to hurt other people. The Enneagram is never intended to be used as a weapon. Also, you are the only person who can name your type.
Learning and growing through the Enneagram is a lived experience. Just learning your type is not enough if you are going to grow through this spiritual map you need to put effort into it unlocking the wisdom in your body, heart and mind.
Personal growth takes time and requires your willingness to face your pain and insecurities. Healing through the Enneagram is no quick fix!
I am, Roland Legge, an Identity Coach here to help enrich your life through the fantastic psychological, spiritual map called the Enneagram with professional coaching. You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and get Your Free Enneagram Test and sign up for a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call with Roland Legge