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Buddhism Enneagram

Buddhism Enneagram



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Published by Dew Nada

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Published by: Dew Nada on May 08, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Enneagram as 'Triple Mandala'
Part I - Outer, Inner, and Secret Mandala© John Fudjack and Patricia Dinkelaker - April, 1999
In the previous parts of this paper we have presented strongprima facie evidence that the Enneagram, as a symbol, alludes topersonal transformations of the most profound kind, 'spiritual'transformations involving a shift of the center of personality fromthe 'Ego' to the 'Self'. We have shown how, by treating theEnneagram as a MANDALA, we can extract from the symbolinformation regarding not only its own nature, but the fundamentalnature of the mind as well. We have learned that as a classicmandala figure, the Enneagram symbolizes an advanced stage ofthe individual's development, in which consciousness as a wholeis revealed as organized in a 'liminocentric' fashion that makespossible a reconciliation between two 'orders of existence' thatare usually treated as incommensurable and irreconcilable.
We have also seen that when the figure is viewed as a 'doublemandala', we can learn something important about thePROCESSES associated with such structures. We have looked atthe manner in which the Enneagram, in its own unique way,explores a type of 'movement' that is associated with profoundtransformation, a primordial 'movement of mind' that plays a keyrole in all of the spiritual traditions.But does the Enneagram as a SYMBOL really have anything todo with the Enneagram as it is currently being used popularly - asa personality TYPOLOGY? Naranjo, Palmer, Riso, and othershave identified nine very specific personality types that aremapped onto the figure of the Enneagram. What is therelationship between these nine and the symbol itself? Or doesthe typology merely share the figure that we know as 'theEnneagram' with the mandala symbol that we have been studyingin this series?Any nine categories can, after all, be mapped onto any nine-pointed figure. This does NOT necessarily mean that they willmagically acquire the characteristics of the symbol onto whichthey are mapped. We might, for instance, locate nine brandnames of aspirin onto the Enneagram. But that doesn't mean thataspirin is a tool for spiritual transformation. Nor does such amapping confer on a particular brand of aspirin special qualitiesassociated with a particular point on the figure with which thatbrand is arbitrarily associated.To make a strong case that the Enneagram's real strengths lie inassisting the individual with his or her work on the 'spiritual' path
-which was, after all, the stated purpose of this series
- we feel thatit is necessary first to demonstrate that the groundwork for apersonality typology IS theoretically suggested by the 'Enneagramas Symbol'. This is what we shall attempt to do in this paper and
the next. Secondly, we would also need to show that the specifictypology that is currently associated with the Enneagram IS thesame as (or at least consistent with) the one that is intimated bythe Enneagram as symbol. We address this question in the finalpaper inthis series.A critical piece of the puzzle remains to be considered. It willprovide us with what is needed to achieve the first of these twogoals. We are referring here to the concept of the 'triple mandala'.Once we arrive at an understanding of the relationship between'outer', 'inner' and 'secret' mandala as these terms are used in thetraditions from which Jung borrowed the term 'mandala', we canbegin to see how the relationship between the Enneagram as aPersonality Typology, the Enneagram as a Change Process, andthe Enneagram as a Profound Symbol are intimately inter-relatedconcerns. Together they provide a structure that will permit us toview the individual's 'personality' as a work in progress thatreflects not only her mundane psychological 'preferences', butalso the manner in which she expresses her deepest spiritualdesires and insights.When the 'lowest' qualities in the individual can be conceived asexpressions of her most sublime spiritual urges, a powerfulpotential for positive transformation is born.
Section One - Triple Mandalas
skip tofootnotesThe understanding of the Enneagram that we offer in this paper isclosely modeled on Buddhist psychology, which deliberately

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