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A symbolic image of our psychological and spiritual world, it is a nine-pointed star, representing nine types of personalities, nine "tendencies" that cohabit in each of us. Transmitted orally, and secretly, it was then developed by the Sufis.
In the 20th century, introduced in the West by the spiritual master Georges Gurdjieff (1872-1949), who used it to better understand the personality of his students and teach each of them how to situate themselves more precisely in their evolution.
The great gift of the enneagram is that it offers the precise description of the structure of the knot of the ego.
The enneagram reveals how we are falsely identified with the physical body,
  mental and emotional. This identification presents itself as an unexamined belief that says we are the body, thoughts, feelings and emotions, the enneagram allows us to highlight these gray areas in order to realize who we really are.

The Enneagram Theory 
The Enneagram Claims There Are Nine "Disguises"
  "animals",   nine ways to play a role to try to survive and receive a modicum of affection. Depending on his injury, the child will choose (if we can call it a "choice") the most suitable role. Gradually the role he embodies dominates life, he gets caught up in the game, he will fight to be loved according to one of the nine proposed schemes.
Failing to be himself, he fights to become another version of himself, sooner or later he believes that this new version is himself. The comedy is no longer played consciously, it becomes an automatic and unconscious behavior.


The enneagram distinguishes nine profiles, each profile aligning the shape of the injury with the role played in daily life since then. *(excerpt from Eric Salmon's book  "the key to the enneagram: the subtypes"  )  
By keeping these "neuroses" deep within us we involve ourselves in what is superficial and, by being occupied in the superficial, my history, what I do, what I want, what they do to me, etc... in this way we avoid this deep despair of the limitation of what we believe to be.
  And  that's how we survive most of the time, ignoring sadness, fear, ignoring rage, staying on the surface so we don't touch what's deeper, that's what they call me, it is the story of suffering.



















There is a story that illustrates this very well.  :

Mullah,  s Nasr id'n is outside, under a lamppost on all fours, frantically searching, a friend passes by and asks him  : "But what are you doing  ?"
He replies, "I'm looking for my keys."
His friend said to him, "Did you lose them under the light
The Mullah gets up with a grimace and replies: "Actually, no, I lost them there under the dark bush near the door, but there is more light,
  here I see better!"

When we search under the light what we  have found in the shadows, we console ourselves with the activity of seeking.
If we are willing to look directly at what we have hidden or justified, the enneagram gives us
  a non-judgmental vision, thus offering us the possibility of seeing the mechanical nature of the ego, which we had identified as self.

Gurdjieff based his work on the creation of conscious shocks in order to unmask the subtle variations of the ego.  He used the enneagram for this.  The enneagram is a powerful medicine but, like all medicine misused, it can be poisonous. He  it's not about becoming a better fixation,  it is about discovering that we are beyond any pattern of thought, feeling,  of behavior.  Any attempt to do comes from fixation. Therefore to do even more is only fixation. We have seen that the enneagram gives us a reflective surface to expose the artifices of the mind.
Clinging, rejecting, subjective judgments and artificiality are marks of fixation.
  Character fixation is a crystallization of mental clutter.  This crystallization is experienced as: me, my past, my future, what I'm afraid of, what I want etc... Getting closer to these restrictions, unmasking them, feeling them, propels us at the same time in what we are.  In summary what should we do? ...... NOTHING, there is nothing to  change, just look, welcome, feel, be present.
One of the most widely used methods of self-knowledge today dates back to
  four thousand five hundred years. We find the beginnings of it among the Babylonians, the Greek mathematicians, the first Christians, in Persia and in the Jewish Kabbalah! This is how, over the centuries, the enneagram (from the Greek ennea: “nine” and grammos: “measure”) has been thought out and shaped from the careful observation of human behavior.




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