The Gifts of the Nine Enneagram Paths
The Gifts of the Nine Spiritual Enneagram Paths – from a talk by Russ Hudson and Jessica Dibb with additional input.
A type is only a way we have of operating in the world – the spiritual path we have chosen back to our true natures.
All types are essentially all parts of each other. Everyone then needs to feel grounded, authentic, courageous etc.no matter what path you have chosen. We are then all trying to get to these gifts of our soul – our virtues, but have misguided ways of getting there. The Enneagram brings awareness to these adaptive strategies or patterns, so we can find the true way home. One of the original reasons for the arising of this work was to understand why a person forgets consciousness. This enables us to understand the troubled areas (fixations) in a compassionate and objective way and bring them to meet the gift or virtue, so we can transform.
The gift is a sense of contact with the life force that is moving through everything, what the Chinese call Chi or in Hinduism, (Shakti. Sanskrit – shak, “to be able”), meaning “Power” or “empowerment,” is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe. Type eight, embodies this vitality of life-force. They also embody the virtue of innocence, meaning the ability to face life with an open heart – to combine the power of the Eight Type with the love of the Type Two. (the integration number). (There is no true power without love.) So we are then truly strong and inspiring, merciful, forgiving and magnanimous.
Nine’s fall into the belly/instinctual/gut triad centre. Their experience then is around the challenges/opportunities that come with inhabiting the body. The Nine’s gift is to be grounded and at home in the self. True home, is right where we are now. It’s the feeling that when we inhabit our body, we feel at home, at ease and empowered. When we are connected in this moment and part of things, we truly belong. There is a unity of experience which we directly embody as being dynamic, flowing, grounded, changing and harmonious. In this place, Nine’s invite others into this dynamic engaged connectedness. This is the central feature of spiritual life – experiencing presences as here and now, rather than concepts. In the process of feeling separate we lose this experience of ‘beingness’ – engaged connectedness with body. As we lose the unity of reality, it becomes a becomes a Passion disengagement – of loss and deadening to the self, so we go into our heads, not wanting to create conflicts etc. because anything we do, we feel will take us further away from this connectedness. The virtue that arises through this direct connection is action. We take a stand. We are true participants in the world and as such are all-embracing, vibrant, fully alive and self-empowered.
The gift is noticing or awareness that reality is endowed with a sacredness or blessedness – a wondrous sacred quality and ‘basic goodness’ (Buddhist term). So that even in the face of the horror of war, famine etc. this basic goodness/perfection is always there. Everyone loves this quality of life. The ‘okayness’ of everything. When we embrace this understanding we embody the gift of the One, serenity – being at peace with everything that is – seeing it all as perfect. We are all-embracing with a noble spirit and uplifting presence.
The gift of Type Two is to understand that if everything is sacred, it deserves the very best care so it can do its work. It’s the intelligence of need – for example a tree needs water if it’s to grow, a rose needs care to blossom beautifully, bees need flowers to make their honey etc. These needs are not a problem, but rather how we can flower. So a true heart listens to the needs around them, including (and for the two most importantly), the needs of self, so they can flower to be best self they can be. The gift then is attuned caring for everything with love. What comes with this path then is the virtue of humility – giving without the need to be prideful of giving and to be a healing presence in the world. It is loving unconditionally and letting go of the belief that I need to do anything to earn or create love. Here then we are joyous, radiant, purely altruistic and are full of grace.
The issue is what it means to be present in the heart vs what we do when we are not. We become touchy and reactive when we are not deeply connected to the heart centre. When we are connected, we see our lives as meaningful, happy to be here and having a triumphant quality. If say I am at meeting, then I am totally present with that is happening at the meeting. I don’t rate the activities – they all have meaning – washing the dishes to cleaning the cat litter. There is meaning to all I do and my heart guides me into my true work. When we lose presence, we lose this sense of meaning to our lives and we lose a sense of any self-value, so we have to prove that what we do is meaningful, so we create goals etc.. So we become successful, but feel empty. The ego is trying to feel it is valuable. And we make tasks more important than ourselves. When we re-engage the heart, by letting go of the belief that our value is dependent on accomplishments, we find the gifts of self-acceptance, sincerity, the divine warrior, congruency and the virtue, which is authenticity.
Embodies the gift of the quality of God itself, that is in touch with endlessness of The Mystery and depth of everything. (Think of the Jewish faith that has no name for God because to name God would be to only be able to reveal a small aspect of that being.) We all, and in particular Type Fours, want to feel that we are at one with that depth. To be connected to a sense of creativity, love, sexuality – like having a direct contact with depth/intimacy – remembering our original nature as one with God. When we connect with this mystery – this deep sense of self, by letting go of the belief that we are inherently flawed, we embody the virtue of emotional balance. We are truly original, inspired, intimate with reality, life-embracing, transforming and connected.
Type Fives bring the curiosity and excitement in discovering new things -that feeling of “eureka!” in joining the dots. Everything suddenly makes sense. Fives love this quality. This awesomeness of seeing the intelligence of the universe/each moment/what we are all doing. What we are committed to seeing in all reality. This brings Illumination and a sense of clarity. The virtue then is non-attachment. I don’t need this to happen or be attached to an outcome to be happy, rather I am in awe at the revelation of all things. I am part of all things, no longer an outside observer. I have gnosis (direct knowing), a quiet mind with infinite depth and penetrating insights. I truly see things in a non-verbal awed way.
Shows us the capacity of true knowing we have when our head centre opens and conversely, the suffering that happens when head centre closes / we are not present. Here we feel dull, dopey or have chattering inside our heads, creating mental noise rather than thinking. (Monkey Mind) When the head centre turns on, we truly awaken and embody the quality of attentiveness. Everything feels “Spot on”, focused. We notice what’s here in reality, right now. We are plugged into the “Big Mind”. We have a true ‘quiet mind’, are awake, open and alert. We have an effortless sense of knowing what to do and inner guidance is always there for us. Without this presence we lose guidance, so we don’t know what to do, so we analyse or overthink what to do next or look for an authority figure to guide us and what arises out of loss of this connection, is angst. When we let go of the conviction we need to rely on someone/thing outside ourselves for security/knowing we embody sincerity, benevolence, doing from being, self-acceptance, authenticity, emotional truthfulness and have a vibrant presence. The virtue we bring is courage we are the divine warrior.
Brings a sense of joy and fulfilment at how wonderful it is that we get to participate in life. Sevens embody the receiving of that joy – to truly know that joy simply because existence is and not because of what is happening/an event/thing etc. Life is so full that it’s intimate. Sevens open to the delight of magnitude of experiencing the joy and savouring the moment. There is so much possible. Type Sevens are trying to get back to this experience of possibility and joy via planning etc. The virtue that comes with being present in this unfolding joy, is sobriety. Not necessarily abstinence, but rather the able to be present/sober with what is. To truly appreciate the now, rather than the need to be looking to a future event or the conviction that I need specific objects and experiences to feel fulfilled. To be grateful, truly free, joyful and spiritual in a materialistic world.