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Enneagram Buddhism

Enneagram Buddhism

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Published by Dew Nada

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Published by: Dew Nada on May 08, 2009
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Enneagram as Mandala - Part I
Ego, Self, and Liminocentric Structures© John Fudjack and Patricia Dinkelaker - February, 1999
skip tosection oneIn this series we hope to show why we believe that theEnneagram was originally conceived as a tool for affectingpersonal transformation of the most profound kind, atransformation of the type that is usually characterized as'spiritual'. If it can be said, as it often has been, that 'Ego' and'Ego-development' are the province of the MBTI, then it could alsobe maintained that it is the 'Self' that the Enneagram can rightfullyclaim as its proper sphere of interest, along with the issues andobstacles that arise in individuals who are on those spiritual pathsthat would affect a shift of the center of personality from Ego toSelf.In the first three parts of this series, beginning with this paper, wewill suggest that the figure of the Enneagram is a representation
of the 'Archetype of the Self' - expressing, like other mandalafigures do, according to Jung, not only an urge toward'wholeness', a desire to reconcile opposites, and a need toreclaim previously alienated parts of the psyche, but also amethod for embodying the 'sacred' in the realm of everyday'mundane' existence. For Jung, the Self is indistinguishable fromthe Unconscious and the Godhead, and its manifestation in thelife of an individual is a distinctly spiritual event. The emergenceof mandala figures (and other related symbols) is the psyche'sway of attempting to contain and deal with the forces that areunleashed in the course of the process of self-actualization as itunfolds in the life of the individual. It is our belief that theEnneagram originally sought to describe antidotes to theobstacles that typically arise on such a path.
Section One - Ego and Self
skip tosection twoIn the course of "differentiating the Ego from the non-Ego", whichis the primary psychological goal associated with the first half ofan individual's life according to Jung, "it is essential that a man[sic] should be firmly rooted in his Ego-function...".... that is, he must fulfill his duty to life, so as to be in everyrespect a viable member of the community. All that he neglects inthis respect falls into the unconscious ....
(Jung, Two Essays, page73, paragraph 113)
.Jung, like Freud before him, conceived of 'consciousness' and'the unconscious' as mutually exclusive realms of humanexperience. In this day and age we might question the wisdom oftreating these terms as ones describing a strict dichotomy
. But
in the meta-psychological system that these two men shared, theintrapersonal topographical entity coterminous with theindividual's conscious experience is the 'Ego' and experiencesthat stand outside of the scope of the explicit awareness of theindividual are understood, by definition, to be 'unconscious' onesbeyond the purview of the Ego. For Jung the Ego is, accordingly,'a conscious factor par excellence, ... never more or less thanconsciousness as a whole'.
Therefore, although for Jung the Ego always 'retains its quality ascenter of the field of consciousness' it is 'questionable whether itis [always] the center of the personality'.
This is an especiallyimportant consideration to keep in mind with respect to the 'latephase of personal development' described by Jung, when a'perceptible change of personality' can occur in the individual as aresult of a process that he called 'individuation'. The 'profoundtransformation of personality' that is possible at this stage ofdevelopment involves a reclaiming of the neglected aspectsmentioned in the passage above.Despite the unlimited extent of its bases, the Ego is never moreand never less than consciousness as a whole. As a consciousfactor, the Ego could, theoretically at least, be describedcompletely. But this would never amount to more than a picture ofthe
conscious personality 
; all these features which are unknownor unconscious to the subject would be missing. A total picturewould have to include these. But a total picture of the personalityis, even in theory, absolutely impossible, because theunconscious portion cannot be grasped cognitively.
(Jung, AION,page 4, paragraph 6)
It is through what Jung called the 'transcendent function' that thetransformation of the personality that we are here concerned withis affected. It entails '... a blending and fusion of the noble with thebase components, of the differentiated with the inferior functions,

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