Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jesus is my Enneagram Teacher

Note: This was originally published on 12/1/07.
A simple comparison of The Enneagram Institute's "Chart 1 -- Personality Elements" (downloadable, for free, here) and Matthew 5:45-48 and 6:1-34 yields this rather pointed advice from Jesus:
To the perfectionistic, judging, in search of integrity, "I am right", identified with the superego - type: '[your Father in heaven] makes his sun rise on the evil and the on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous... be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
To the proud, well-intentioned, "I have no needs", getting his/her sense of value from other people's reactions - type: "Beware of practicing your piety before other in order to be seen by them... whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and the streets, so that they may be praised by others."
To the vain type who wants to be effective and who bases his or her value on performance and image: "Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and the street corners, so that they may be seen by others... do not heap up empty words as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words."
To the melancholy type who doesn't "fit in": "Whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting... put oil on your head and wash your face so that your fasting may not be seen by others."
To the stingy, avaricious type who thinks he or she can understand by "witnessing" -- "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth... if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is unhealthy, your body will be full of darkness... You cannot serve God and wealth."
To the worrying type who fears being without support: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear... Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
To the gluttonous, fixed on anticipated and planning - type who loses immediacy due to focusing on the future and thinks "if others gave me what I wanted, I'd be happier": "Do not [say] 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?'... your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own."
Jesus seems to have left out types 8 and 9, but Riso and Hudson did not.


Amy said...

wow. I bet that's going to be an amazing class. Very informative for someone like me that is into people who take Jesus stuff and make it practical to today's life.

Cindi said...

Hi Amy.
Mary Beth and I are still trying to get our story straight about exactly what material we are going to cover in our class. Most likely, we will be using the book The Wisdom of the Enneagram and encouraging people to journal in order to see enneagram patterns in their lives. I'm not sure how much specifically Christian material we will get into.
It is possible that I am the first person to realize that the Sermon on the Mount seems to address the core issues of types 1 - 7, in order; I have never heard any other e-gram teacher talk about it.
Years ago, I went through a period of being obsessed w/ birds, and during that time, I had a dream that brought the "Consider the birds of the air..." verse to mind. Much later, when I was teaching about the egram and I wanted to choose a quote to introduce the head triad (types 5, 6, and 7), I thought of thuis verse bacause it occurred to me that their major issue was not truly having faith that God provides. And much later still, I read the sequence surrounding that passage, and was like, oh my... thats 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!