The Enneagram

Excerpt from Chapter 12 - Six Spiritual Disciplines

The Enneagram diagram (above) is an ancient symbol reintroduced to the modern world in the last century. The system is a complex teaching with roots in psychology, cosmology, meta-physics and spirituality. While complex, it is also relatively easy for us to understand and apply to ourselves.

To find out your Enneagram point (type), I suggest taking the quizzes at the beginning of every chapter of The Wisdom of the Enneagram. Where you score high is where your point will likely be, though your adaptive personality may interfere with clarity if you are still closely following adaptive childhood patterns.

Hermit Story

Three hermits move into a cave together and for the first seven years they don’t speak to each other. Then one morning a horse runs by the mouth of the cave. Seven years later the first hermit says, “That was a pretty white horse that ran by.”

Seven more years go by and the second hermit says, “That horse wasn’t white, he was black.”

Yet another seven years go by and the third hermit starts packing his bags. The other two look at him and he says, “If all you two are going to do is argue, then I’m leaving.”

Q: What’s wrong with this story?
A: Three hermits would never move into the same cave.

I include the above mildly amusing story because many readers of this book are old souls. Old souls are much more likely than younger souls to be exploring major hermit tendencies. Yet most of us have been well trained to believe that hermit tendencies range anywhere from “unfortunate” to “sick.” The idea that hermits can be happy, healthy and OK is often not accepted by those who want togetherness and community. The old soul tendency to “do one’s own thing” makes old souls generally unconcerned about differences. This results in some hermit-like choices, although the full-blown hermit path (point 5 on the Enneagram) is still a minority path for old souls.

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


This Chapter
    Related Pages:
The Enneagram Personality Types
20 Recommended Books (including 2 on the Enneagram)
3 Valuable Spiritual Teachings (also Enneagram)
Types of Love
You vs Your Dog Personality Quiz
Personality Quizes

Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Even simple-appearing trauma knots are often complex, usually resisting being untied with a few simple insights or quick fixes."