The Nine Faces of God
What if the Divine lives in you as you? What if each of us has a piece of the Creator, of the Universe, of God inside of us? What if it has always been there, since we took our first breath or even before? What if we could recognize this divine spark, this creative presence, in ourselves and in every human encounter? How might our lives be different?
Some days it is difficult to imagine. We see our imperfections and cracks too easily. We readily recognize the myriad ways others annoy, frustrate and disappoint us. This Presence in us just seems shadowed by, well....by us. But it is there, in us, in spite of us. This is our True Self, the one we were created to be; the one we have been hiding behind our masks, habitual responses and ego defenses. But there is a way out of this false self that we have been hiding behind and the Enneagram is the map.
The Enneagram teaches that there are nine basic personality types and that during childhood we gravitate towards a specific one as our primary way of being and relating to the world. Nine does not seem like nearly enough personalities to describe humanity so it is helpful to consider each type or number more like a color. Imagine just how many shades there are of blue or green, for example. So, while we adopt one personality in childhood there are an infinite number of expressions of each one which helps explain how people with the same basic type can still be so different.
The Enneagram takes its name from the Greek words for nine (ennea) and from a drawing or figure (gram). It is a nine-pointed geometric figure that illustrates nine distinct, but interrelated or connected, personality types. In addition to your basic personality, you are also connected to the type directly next to yours (called your wing) and to two other types - one which you gravitate toward when you are under stress and another you gravitate towards when you are feeling relaxed and safe. No personality type is better or worse than another. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. In their purist, most healthy and illuminated state, each personality represents a characteristic of God. While we each have all of these characteristics within us, our particular soul is a manifestation of a particular reflection of the Divine Universe. Mine is unique to me as yours is to you. Together, all of our souls in their most authentic nature, are a reflection in the world of that which brought all of this world into being. The more authentically any one of us reflect this Divine nature in the world, the more present that nature is to all of us.
Why does all this matter? Why bother with another personality typing system especially when I've already been typed with letters and colors to the point of aggravation? Because the Enneagram is not just descriptive. Sure, it helps us to recognize ourselves in the world but more importantly it gives us a map home, back to who we were created to be, back to our most true and authentic selves. And this is what we want. This is where we discover what the emptiness and loneliness of our lives has been about. This is how we rediscover meaning - in our work, in our relationships, in our whole, beautiful, amazing lives. This is how we stop repeating the unhealthy patterns and knee-jerk reactions. This is how we begin to recognize just how disconnected and untethered we are in the world, whipped around by life's circumstances and crises. This is what it means to be rooted.