The author of Personality Types and Understanding the Enneagram presents a questionnaire designed to determine one's basic type and that reveals the strengths and weaknesses for change and growth. Original. 35,000 first printing.
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Don Richard Riso, M.A. is the foremost writer and developer of the Enneagram in the world today. The most-published and best-selling author in the field, he is an internatioinally recognized authority on the subject. He is the president of Enneagram Personality Types, Inc., and founder of The Enneagram Institute. He has been teaching the Enneagram for more than twenty years, pioneering a revolutionary new approach to ego psychology through his 1977 discovery of the Levels of Development. His four best-selling books are available in British, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and French editions. Mr. Riso was a Jesuit for thirteen years, holds degrees in English and philosophy, was elected to the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu, and was a Ford Foundation Fellow at Stanford University in communications (social psychology).Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
1. The Multi-Dimensional Enneagram
Understanding Ourselves and Others
The Enneagram is being used daily by millions of people around the world
because it works. It is the clearest, most accurate method available for
understanding ourselves and those who are important to us. It helps us
understand why we do not easily get along with certain people while with
others we instantly feel that we are old friends. Understanding the
Enneagram is like having a pair of special glasses that allows us to see
beneath the surface of people with special clarity: we may in fact see them
more clearly than they see themselves.
The insights the Enneagram gives us can change our lives, and
those who have gotten to know it cannot imagine how they once got along
without it. It is as if they had been born color blind and were suddenly able to
comprehend the world in all its subtle hues for the first time. They are thrilled
to uncover what had been "right in front of their noses" all along but was
obscure and hidden from view. The Enneagram opens up whole new vistas for
us, new depths of comprehension, new levels of meaning. Knowledge such
as this, however, is not obtained without paying a price: there can be no
going back to our former blindness once we understand the Enneagram. The
world, others, and we will be different forever.
People from diverse cultures all over the world are responding to
the Enneagram because they see their experience accurately reflected in it.
They are embracing it as one of the most important discoveries of their lives,
something that has helped them make sense of what previously seemed
impenetrably ambiguous, or worse, utterly chaotic. Once people grasp the
essentials of this extraordinary system, they can participate in the noble
work of deepening their understanding of themselves and their fellow humans.
Who knows what benefits will accrue as new generations are able to draw on
the wisdom of the Enneagram throughout their lives?
Moreover, there are as many uses for the Enneagram as there are
individuals who use it. Those who are in therapy or in one of the twelve-step
programs will find it an invaluable source of insight into their childhood and
why they have become the people they are. Spiritual seekers will discover in
it a trustworthy guide to the deeper dimensions of human experience. Those
of us in intimate relationships will benefit from understanding more about
ourselves and our partners. The Enneagram can help us understand what
causes our partners to behave in ways that have previously baffled us and
can indicate what is needed for more effective communication and conflict
resolution. This understanding also helps us bring more acceptance and
compassion to our relationships, as well as insight into where and when
limits and boundaries need to be set. Learning to understand our partners is
the best way to keep a relationship alive and growing. And compassionately
understanding ourselves — what we need, want, fear, and are afraid of
expressing — is the best way to keep our own psyches healthy.
While the Enneagram is primarily a profound psychological and
spiritual tool, it is also highly practical for business applications because its
insights are so on target. Many businesses and organizations are using the
Enneagram in management to increase their employees" productivity and,
ultimately, their profitability. They have discovered that they can save a great
deal of time and frustration for management and employees alike by applying
the Enneagram as a communication tool. Corporations have been using the
Enneagram for hiring the best possible person for a particular job, for
teaching executives to manage their employees more effectively, for
customer service, for clarifying a corporate image — a corporate "personality
type," so to speak — or for building a more profitable sales force. Team
building, executive development, marketing, corporate communication, and
conflict resolution — among its many applications — are more effective when
insights from the Enneagram are applied in the business world. Major
organizations that have been using the Enneagram include Adobe, Amoco,
AT&T, Avon Products, Boeing Corporation, The DuPont Company, e-Bay,
Prudential Insurance (Japan), General Mills Corporation, General Motors,
Alitalia Airlines, KLM Airlines, The Coalition of 100 Black Women, Kodak,
Hewlett Packard, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, International WeightWatchers,
Reebok Health Clubs, Motorola, and SONY.
What Is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a geometric figure that delineates the nine basic
personality types of human nature and their complex interrelationships. Each
of these nine types has its own way of relating to others, its own set of
perceptions and preoccupations, its own values and approaches to life. Each
relates to others in different but understandable ways. The Enneagram helps
everyone understand that there are nine different points of view, nine distinct
sets of values, nine different communication styles, nine ways of solving
problems — and so forth — that are all equally useful and valid. All of the
types have something necessary to contribute to a thriving, balanced world.
As a typology, the Enneagram helps people recognize and
understand overall patterns in human behavior. External behaviors, underlying
attitudes, one"s characteristic sense of self, conscious and unconscious
motivations, emotional reactions, defense mechanisms, object relations,
what we pay attention to, our spiritual barriers and potentials — and much
more — are all parts of the complex pattern that forms each personality type.
While the Enneagram suggests that there are nine basic personality types of
human nature, there are, of course, many subtypes and variations within the
nine basic categories. Even with all of these subtle distinctions, however, the
Enneagram cannot account for every aspect of human nature. Always
remember that the Enneagram does not put you in a box — it shows you the
box you are already in (but don"t know it) and the way out!
Further, while ideas about psychological type cannot tell us
everything about people, they help us make meaningful distinctions that are
extremely useful. For instance, people generally believe that others think the
same way they do. They often believe that others have the same motivations,
values, and priorities — although this is usually not the case. However, when
personality type is properly understood, communication becomes
exponentially more effective because people begin to recognize and make
the most of human diversity. We learn to respect others who are not the
same as we are and to treat them with tolerance and compassion.
How Was the Enneagram Developed?
The Enneagram as a symbol was first brought to the attention of the modern
world by the Greek-Armenian spiritual teacher George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff
around the turn of the twentieth century. The typology now associated with
the symbol was developed by Oscar Ichazo, the founder of the Arica school
of self-realization, in the 1950s and 60s. In developing the basic principles of
Enneagram theory, Ichazo drew on classic Greek philosophy and ancient
spiritual ideas from mystical Judaism and early Christianity. Ichazo taught a
number of students the basics of his theories of the Enneagram in Arica,
Chile, in 1970, and some of them, notably gestalt psychiatrist Claudio
Naranjo, brought the Enneagram to the United States soon thereafter. Within
a few years, awareness of this powerful typology had quickly spread around
North America. In 1973, Don Riso began developing the Enneagram in the
light of modern psychology, adding his own insights and discoveries to the
original body of knowledge. He was joined by Russ Hudson in 1988, and both
have been writing and teaching about the system ever since.
One central aspect of our work with the Enneagram has been the
endeavor to bring our findings into alignment with modern psychological
research. In Understanding the Enneagram, we saw that the Enneagram
adds cohesion and significant insights to the theories of modern psychology
with its specificity, comprehensiveness, and elegance (284–311). It organizes
observations about human nature by consolidating what has already been
discovered as well as by suggesting new avenues for investigation.
By "cleaving the diamond" of the psyche along its proper internal lines, the
Enneagram presents us with the categories that we actually find in everyday
life. What is particularly intriguing is that this system, based on ancient
philosophical ideas and empirical observations, anticipates many of the
findings of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth
edition (the DSM-IV), of the American Psychiatric Association and other
What Creates Our Enneagram Type?
One of the primary things to understand about the Enneagram is that we find
ourselves reflected in the whole of it. From one point of view, the personality
types are metaphors for the various psychological functions operating in each
of us. (See Chapter 7 for more on the Functions.)We develop into one of the
nine personality types because our consciousness has developed in certain
ways as a result of our heredity and childhood experiences. Nevertheless,
our personality type is largely inborn and is the result of what psychologists
call temperament. Any woman who has been a mother is aware that children
are quite distinct from one another even when they are still in the womb. The
child then uses the strengths of his or her temperament as a primary way to
cope with stresses in his or her environment. But in the process of adapting,
a variety of unconscious mechanisms and structures come into play that
help the child feel safe but that also limit his or her sense of identity. In a
sense, the development of the personality is as much a defense against our
early environment as it is an adaptive reaction to it. The remaining eight
personality types (which we develop to greater or lesser degrees throughout
our lives) represent the other potentials of our psyche and are important parts
of who we are.
How the Enneagram Helps Us Grow
But how does a system of personality types help us liberate ourselves?
Aren"t we more than a simple type? The answer is yes we are. Human
beings are complex and mysterious, but in fact, our personalities are based
primarily on repetitive habits and patterns. Our personalities are not the whole
of our psyches, although they are enormously important in that they largely
affect the way we see the world and interact with it. Thus, the personality is a
kind of filter that potentially limits us and our freedom.
By indicating the chief features and barriers of our psychic
landscape, the Enneagram can help us prepare for a more profoundly direct
and spiritual relationship with reality. While many people are interested in
living more spirit-centered lives, many of us have not had the time or
opportunity to develop a reliable practice of meditation or self-observation. Nor
do most of us have access to an authentic spiritual school that could guide
us along our path.
The Enneagram can help us prepare ourselves for the inward
journey by showing us many of the obstacles as well as supports available
within our own psyches. It can help us see the reason for taking time from
daily routines to meditate or practice spiritual disciplines so that we can
acquire the resources necessary for our transformation and liberation.
In the process of teaching the Enneagram to thousands of people
for many years, we have seen over and over that the key to transformation
lies in our capacity to be present — to be deeply abiding in the here and
now, with our minds, hearts, and bodies fully engaged. While this seems an
obvious and simple thing, there is one huge barrier to our being more
conscious and attuned in the present moment. It is that our personality is not
at all interested in being here and now.
In fact, the personality is always drawing us somewhere else,
even if we think of ourselves as realistic, practical people. Our habitual
thoughts, emotional reactions, fantasies about the future, and old stories
about who we are and what others have done to us cloud our awareness and
limit our capacity to be fully awake and present to reality. But it is all the
more difficult to break out of our old patterns because we are almost totally
unaware of them. The mechanisms of our personality are invisible to us. We
therefore need to find a way to awaken to our true condition, and having
awakened, to remain mindful of the siren-calls of personality.
The amazing thing is that as we are able to bring a nonjudgmental
awareness to the reactivity of our personality, our perceptions become
sharper, and we begin to discover a vast part of ourselves that is not
conflicted, self-deluding, or fearful. As we become more conscious of the
mechanical aspects of our personality (that is, our automatic, reactive,
defensive patterns), we are less and less controlled by them. By using the
habits of our personality to remind us to be present, and then remaining
present while observing and feeling the reactions and habits of the
personality, we gradually open to real freedom and inner peace. Thus, the
paradox of the Enneagram is this: we study the Enneagram because it is
necessary to become conscious of how our personality operates so that we
can become free of it.
The Real Purpose of the Enneagram
While it is extremely valuable to discover our dominant type, it is best to not
get distracted by typing and to keep in mind the real purpose of the
Enneagram. First, remember that we have the whole Enneagram within us.
When we speak of our type it is useful to think of it as our dominant type —
our default setting and motivational core. This is an extremely valuable thing
to know, and it can greatly facilitate our growth by being aware of what is
most centrally driving our ego agendas. That being said, we will manifest
characteristics from all of the nine types from time to time. In short, we are
all nine types.
Second, remember that the reason we learn our Enneagram type
is to remind us to come back to the present moment when we see our
personality drawing our attention into its particular preoccupations and
reactions. When we use our knowledge of the types this way, they become
liberating rather than constricting us in old identities. As important as
discovering our type is, a much more significant achievement is to be willing
to observe it in action. Indeed, discovering our personality type only presents
us with this greater challenge of courageo...
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Book Description Mariner Books, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110395611571