Rev. Jerry Farrell: The Enneagram
Special to The Union
Why do we act the way we do? Why do we do the things we don’t want to do, and not do the things we want? Sometimes it feels like we have an overriding software embedded in our brains, guts and hearts. The Enneagram is an ancient spiritual tool that helps us discover the answer to these questions, uncover the software, and helps us realize our true identity
It helps us uncover the three lies that we can tell ourselves: I am what I have, I am what I do, and I am what other people say or think about me. It is said that these relate to a real or perceived wound from childhood that develop into nine reactive ways we approach life. It reveals these nine types, and the strategies that people use (and overuse) to help them deal with life. The nine types thus reveal our unconscious and the shadow work that we need to engage in. Additionally, it shows us many positive and hidden strengths within reach that we can utilize to gain a balance in our engagement with people and the world. It reveals the worst of ourselves to ourselves, the secret conditioning that makes us so miserable, that we try so hard to deny or avoid. It also gives us a freeing way forward, an antidote to our most addictive patterning, and a release from a self-imposed jail experience. We are our own jailer and the Enneagram gives us the key to get our freedom back. It clearly outlines nine dominant strategies that we can develop, as a coping mechanism. It helps us understand that we also have strong affinities with two other strategies, and these can give us some balance. It shows when we are in crisis we take on a whole other strategy that isn’t our strong suit. Equally, when we feel upbeat we can take on a completely different strategy to approach life. All of this might explain why people sometimes feel as if they have multiple personalities dependent on circumstances.
One of the great attributes of The Enneagram is that it gives us insight not just into ourselves, but also into other people, our partners at home, our children or our coworkers. It teaches us compassion and how to approach the other personalities, so that we can have helpful and productive interactions based on both our needs. Ultimately, each type is based on one overriding need that might not be obvious to us until reading the information that The Enneagram provides. Knowing just this can be life changing. Additionally, this presentation will focus on prayer practices that are most useful for each type.
The Enneagram is best learned in a group setting where the intricacies can be clearly explained, demonstrated and clarified. Talking with people who embody the other types and interacting with them gives a much clearer understanding of what the material is trying to convey, than reading just a textbook. Want to discover your true self in 2020? Then join the group forming Jan. 7.
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The Rev. Jerry Farrell is Lead Minister at Unity in the Gold Country Spiritual Center in Grass Valley. He can be reached at GoldCountryUnity@gmail.com.
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