Thursday, 14 November 2013

How to grow on a spiritual path with the Enneagram
an interview with Tom Condon

Tom has kindly shared an excerpt of his book 'The Dynamic Enneagram' with Conscious TV that we are thrilled to share with our viewers on today's blog post 

" The Enneagram is a map, a map of maps of reality. It presents a psychology of the inner outlook, describing nine personality styles and their central points of view. As such, the Enneagram maps out nine versions of reality that people favor, nine ways the human unconscious creates and organizes subjective experience.

The Enneagram is a clear, exceptionally accessible version of what’s called “ego psychology” and the part of us that sees the world as flat is otherwise known as our ego. Most of us have an intuitive, seat-of-the pants sense of our ego though we may not realize its exact nature or depth of influence on our behavior. We also may not know that our individual ego is similar to others, that there are species of ego. The Enneagram describes its nine different egos in a penetrating way, detailing the inner life, thought patterns and basic beliefs of each one. No style is considered as better than another, and each has a range of healthy and unhealthy potentials – strengths, gifts and advantages as well as limits, pitfalls and blind spots.

Although each Enneagram style has a distinct inner logic and worldview, all are designed to fulfill the same set of basic psychological needs. Your ego governs your map of reality, your sense of identity as well as your core motivations, values and defenses. It controls a tight-knit cluster of guiding assumptions, offering you both a general sense of direction and immediate ways to proceed.

An Enneagram style is a lot like a nationality. Both define you, and yet within them you’re an individual. Both are deeply unconscious and shape your perceptions in involuntary ways. Both your nationality and your Enneagram style are simultaneously deep and yet shallow, parts of you that are apart from you at the same time.

While the Enneagram describes the sameness of people, each person is unique. You have a constellation of qualities that are particular to your makeup – a personal history, an emotional temperament, a genetic heritage and a soul. Your Enneagram style is only part of the picture, yet, in another way, it’s the key to everything. Through your ego’s inner outlook, you accurately perceive a slice of reality – what author Richard Rohr has called “one-ninth of the truth.” To some extent, each of us then mistakes our fraction of the world for the whole and gets stuck in a fixed point of view. In the bargain, we accidentally delete the other “eight-ninths” of reality and this omission lays the groundwork for our difficulties. Once on a boat I noticed a little girl turning pale with fright as the boat’s engines revved for departure. “What’s wrong?” her mother asked. The child anxiously replied, “Are we going to get smaller and smaller and then disappear?” Every boat she had ever watched from the shore had done that. Our limited personal focus means that we are very good at some things but weak at others, like someone on crutches who develops strong arms. While we excel at what we already know, our other potentials may lie distant and buried. The Enneagram maps out our strengths even as it points to the worlds upon worlds of experience that we are missing."

The Dynamic Enneagram by Tom Condon 

On Nov. 19th, Tom came to CTV's London studios for an interview with Iain McNay and Eleonora Gilbert.

To view Iain's complete interview with Tom, please click here 

To view Eleonora's complete interview with Tom, please click here 

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