The Enneagram

A week at the Open Gate with Enneagram practitioner Dorothy Neilson. I am Type Four of the nine types. I learn that at our worst we are moody, self-concerned, in a world of our own, and feel excluded (even so, I am still glad I am not a Perfectionist No. 1!). But we can all be redeemed, Dorothy informs us. So at my best I am creative, deep, loving, and integrate my personal journey with the outside world in order to contribute to a society that is more whole.

How does knowledge of the nine types help us to live better in our home, workplace and faith communities? We had 'light bulb moments' as we discovered what helps and hinders those of different types to give their best. Number twos and number nines don't like deadlines (I knew that - you bet I did). But I learn that it helps them if we agree together on a deadline rather than think the Christian thing is to go along with never delivering anything on time in order not to upset them.

What about 'the complete human being'? What about Jesus? Dorothy's husband Peter concluded our week by suggesting that most people (note this all you who take part in the coming UK elections) pursue goals in this order: 1) Achievemement. 2) Significance 3) Sustainability 4) Acceptance (the last two being unfulfilled longings). Jesus (and this is an idea to think about during Holy Week), starts with 1) acceptance (of his Divine Father's will and of his being the Son) 2) Significance - which he finds in being true to himself and his call 3) Sustainability - he is sustained because he is one with the Source and does not dissipate energy trying to pursue and patch up after false goals 4) Achievement. The outcomes of his life might not have been exactly what he first thought or hoped for, they involved the Cross, but he died achieving his life's work knowing it would have everlasting good repercussions.

We can turn round the other way and follow Christ's sequence ourselves. Have a good Holy Week

Posted at 04:35am on 26th March 2010
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