The Gospel According to the Enneagram – An Obscured Darkness

You believed them when they told you about yourself. Read Story

Angels & Demons   ·   Culture   ·   Psychology

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Jonathan Helvoigt Website

Jonathan Helvoigt, writer of short-story blog 'Fat Bird', was the head-chef at a sushi restaurant for three days with no prior experience. Years prior, he started a riot in Chihuahua Mexico, which alerted the Mexican military. During his studies at Fort Lewis College as an English major, he hosted a radio show, wrote a sit-com pilot under the tutelage of an accomplished writer for CBS and Netflix, and started 'Fat Bird Carpentry' which now has hand-crafted drums in shops across the country. He and his wife, Ryan, currently reside in Louisville, KY, and plan to return soon to the more mountainous, less bourbonous land of Durango, CO after graduating with an MDiv from Southern Seminary. There they will apprentice with Gospel Church Durango, and write about strange things.

Most people, if you ask them, will say that the Enneagram is a personality test.

This is certainly not true, but we’ll get to that.

If they explain further, they will likely tell you something to the tune of, “It’s like the Myers-Briggs test, only better. It’s more thorough, and it doesn’t just leave you with your given personality, it helps you learn how to heighten your strengths, and more importantly overcome your weaknesses.”1

This sounds appealing. Personality examinations, while ripe with potential downfalls, can be helpful. The apostle Paul says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Cor 13:5). While this passage is speaking particularly about faith, self-examination is clearly important in confession, and sanctification. If, upon inspection, our lives are not bearing fruit for Christ, we ought to fear and look to God for mercy.

However, it is clear that the Enneagram is not first and foremost a personality test. You can see this with just a bare amount of research. Its origins and purpose are very significant when determining whether we should give this symbol a place of authority in our minds, in describing us and those we know. You might think, “Why spend time determining at all? I took the test and it described me perfectly. It even seemed to know me better than I know myself.”

This is to put our own personal experience in the driver’s seat. Richard Rohr, one of the most popular “Christian” authors on the Enneagram today, talked about knowledge on a podcast using a tricycle as an analogy. He says, “The front wheel probably surprises a lot of people as the front wheel, and it’s experience. The two back wheels are scripture and tradition.”2 Rohr is wrong in his thinking about this (as he is with many, many things. Watch some of his lectures on the Bible and see for yourself.) Our experience is often wrong, as anyone who was love-struck in high-school will tell you. Scripture is always right. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Is 40:8). To live, guided by our own subjective experience is dangerous, especially with spiritual things that affect how we perceive ourselves, others and God.

It is also foolishness to buy into personality tests right away. We know that people have believed their own horoscopes to be strangely accurate ever since horoscopes became a thing. We know confirmation bias and emotional memory can be powerful to the mind. We really should take some time to look into who got their information about you, and where they got it from. Then we can see if it is trustworthy, and if it lines up with what the Bible says about you. Only then would you be in a good position to say something like, “…the Enneagram is a guide to receiving the transforming presence of Christ in the exact places sin and wounds make us fall short of the glory of God.”3

Learning the truth about the origin of the Enneagram is exceedingly challenging. Partly because it has a long history, with many people putting their hands in the pie, and partly because few people are forthcoming with the truth. Many of the people involved are mystics who enjoy the esoteric nature of their work. Many are arrogant or liars or arrogant liars. It is difficult to know at this point in history everything that went on with much confidence. However, by the end of this article, whatever can be known about this symbol and its origins should give you confidence about how you should interact with it.

A Preface to This Article

Let me be forthcoming with three bits of information.

  1. I was skeptical of the Enneagram at first, with very little evidence.
  2. I took the Enneagram test on The Enneagram Institute website for $15 and I was diagnosed as an 8 (though the test results aren’t always accurate according to the website).
  3. I then came across murky, yet compelling evidence that the Enneagram might be demonically influenced. This intrigued me, since I am a writer of articles strange. So, I set off on a quest for truth.

Many people look for demons under every rock. I do not wish to be numbered among them. The shape of the Enneagram looks occultic, and that is enough for many people to dismiss it as demonic outright. That is simply not good enough for those who want to faithfully care for people. Paul also says, “do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil” (Rom 14:16). Christians should be bold, but careful in what we call good or evil.

However, if we find ourselves doubting demonic influence in anything, we should question ourselves and ask what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12).

Are we sure demons are involved with the Enneagram? Yes, they totally are. But it is complicated, so let’s get into it.

Origins

Literally no one claims to have created the wisdom behind the Enneagram itself. Oscar Ichazo says that he, and those with him, developed enneagons (another name for Enneagram), but he couldn’t have been speaking of the shape itself, because the shape existed long before he began his studies.4 Many have staked major claims on wells of research on it, but everyone claims it was discovered rather than fashioned. In fact, the U.S. Court of appeals ruled against a copyright infringement plaintiff regarding their work on Enneagram ‘fixations’, saying “for the purposes of this lawsuit we view the sequence of the fixations as an unalterable fact of nature which is not entitled to copyright protection.”5

Though there are many, and I mean many, ideas about where the Enneagram came from, the most reliable index case is a man named George Gurdjieff.

George Gurdjieff

George Gurdjieff was born in 1870 in what is now Russia, but moved to Kars, Turkey while still a boy. There was a lot of religious influence in the area and he found himself quickly taken with seeking the “truth.” Early on, he devoted himself to understanding the significance of all processes of life on earth, and particularly the aim of humanity.6 Looking for significance, he looked to spiritual people to teach him spiritual things. So, he surrounded himself with orthodox monks. With them he learned tenants of Christianity, and such things as “rhythmic breathing and mental prayer.”7 He was not satisfied with what he was learning from the monks, so he moved on to other sources, particularly Sufis.

Important Point

This marks the end of the Christian influence of the Enneagram. That’s it. Others involved will make allusions to the Bible in ecumenical nods, and Christians will later adopt it in the West and preach sermons on it. But if you heard that the Enneagram has Christian origins, behold, here they are. Gurdjieff spent a short amount of time around orthodox monks, and moved on dissatisfied.

To say that the Enneagram is Christian, is like saying Katy Perry’s song, “I Kissed a Girl” is a gospel song, because Katy grew up in a Christian home. You could say that, but you’d have to be okay being wrong about things.

Moving on

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Sufism is a “mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. It consists of a variety of mystical paths that are designed to ascertain the nature of humanity and of God and to facilitate the experience of the presence of divine love and wisdom in the world.”8

So, Sufism is Islamic, but not super faithful to the Koran. The Sufis were Gurdjieff’s primary influencers, but there were other Eastern religions he gleaned from as well. Clearly stated by the daughter of two of Gurdjieff’s students, “The central symbol of the Gurdjieff work, the enneagram, is certainly of Sufi origin, and it is fairly well established that many of the sacred dances done as meditations in movement by students of Gurdjieff were also inspired by Sufi contacts, most particularly the Sarmouni.”9

Note: Did the ‘Sarmouni’ (a secret Sufi group) really exist? Who’s to say? Probably not.

Regardless, after spending time with gurus for a long time, Gurdjieff began teaching.

His teaching surrounded getting back to the essence of humanity, and one day joining the essence of ‘The Absolute’ – namely the creator of all things. This all gets pretty intentionally heady but stay with me.

His teachings followed two big laws of nature.

  1. The Law of Three
    1. “Every manifestation is the resultant of three forces, which may be called active, passive, and neutralizing or Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, and Holy Neutralizing or more simply first force, second force, and third force.”10
  2. The Law of Seven
    1. “Whenever any manifestation evolves, it does so non-linearly.”11
    2. According to Gurdjieff, creation happened in a pattern of seven levels (we Christians believe in a seven phase creation too, just very differently). These levels are: The Absolute, All Possible Systems of Worlds, Our Milky Way, Our Sun, The Planets, Our Earth, and of course finally The Moon. Because creation worked this way, all processes function similarly – with continuity and discontinuity, in a pattern of seven levels, each striving toward its maker through the level before it.12

The Enneagram is a map of these laws. To read the map, you need to know the legend. After all, how can three and seven combine to create the nine points of the Enneagram?

To understand the legend, it’s important you know that the goal of the Enneagram is to reinstate you with your true essence, and ultimately, in Gurdjieff’s case, The Absolute – The First Level – The One.

So, what is one [The Absolute] divided by three [the Law of Threes]? .333333333 and so on. The triangle in the center of the Enneagram represents this. A three sided shape that connects the multiples of three – 3, 6, and 9.

What is one [The Absolute] divided by seven [the Law of sevens]? .142857 repeated ad-infinitum. These numbers are connected to each other in this order using the rest of the lines of the Enneagram. Notice that there are three numbers missing from this pattern – 3, 6 and 9 as mentioned earlier.

 

According to Gurdjieff, this Enneagram is dynamic and moving, like a dance. All processes, when moving in the right direction, will head towards the One. The Absolute.

Though we have not yet entered the Personality phase of Enneagram history, let me begin to connect some dots. If you have taken the Enneagram test, and done basic research on how to live as your type, you know that when you are holistically healthy, you begin to take on traits of the number next to yours along the line of the Enneagram. If you are holistically unhealthy, you begin to take on the traits of the number next to yours in the opposite direction on the line.

I want you to start to see that this ‘direction’ has its foundation in these principles. Healthy sevens start to act like fives, because that is the direction pointing them towards the one. Eights look like twos. Fours look like ones. Please notice that this is because 1÷7=.142857. Your number’s healthy direction is not discovered through a lot of psychological research and analysis through interviews and counseling people, but by the conclusion that the seven levels of creation separate us from The Absolute, and all processes and manifestations follow this numeric pattern according to an Islamic mystic.

Also note that the fundamentals here are not true.  God doesn’t require us to continue to evolutionarily level up in order to be united with Him, as if He were the prize at the end of a video game. This is a false Gospel that renders the cross of Christ useless.

And, when asked about the Christian nature of Gurdjieff’s teaching, he said “I do not know what you mean about Christianity… It would be necessary to talk a great deal and to talk for a long time in order to make clear what you understand by this term. But for the benefit of those who know already, I will say that, if you like, this is esoteric Christianity.”13

Esoteric Christianity is no Christianity at all.

Dueteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” God wants us to know Him, ourselves, and others. He wants us to know things that we may do all the words of His law. He hasn’t hidden the fundamental nature of all things in math problems only revealed to Eastern religion. This is New Age heresy.

There is much more to say about Gurdjieff, but there is not fitting room in this article. He is intentionally difficult to understand, but if you’re up for a challenge, he is an influencer worth reading about, though he be a New Age guru.

Analyzing personality types using the Enneagram was not done by Gurdjieff. To know about that, we must now turn to a Bolivian character named Oscar Ichazo.

Oscar Ichazo

Let me allow him to tell you about his childhood. It is quite relevant.

I was raised in Bolivia and Peru. My parents were formally Roman Catholic but had no deep religious interest. I went to a Jesuit school and learned about the theology of the church. Then, quite suddenly, I began to have attacks which came at those moments when I was between waking and sleeping. The first time it happened (on December 20, 1937) I was six and a half years old. The attacks were very violent, not epileptic, but like that. First I would experience a lot of pain and fear that I was going to die, and my heart would pound. Then it would stop, the pain would increase and I would die. After a while I would return to my body and discover that I was alive. These attacks would happen every two or three days… When you are in your astral body, both fear and ecstasy can be multiplied to infinite proportions because there are no limits within pure consciousness. It was this that led to my first disillusionment with the church. When the priest taught about Hell, I would say to myself, “Last night I was in Hell and it wasn’t like that.” And the paradise of the church didn’t come any closer to the one I saw in my travels. Still, I thought Communion and prayer might help me get rid of my fearful obsession, but they only made it worse… Prayer only made me focus more on my problem.14 (underline mine)

Ichazo was a boy suffering from what seems to be regular demonic attacks, finding no help from his church. So, he looked elsewhere.

Take a moment to note that the two primary developers of the Enneagram both left Christianity in search of something more helpful to them. (Though keep in mind that Catholicism has not been a good representation of Christianity for a long time now. See more on that here.)

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Where did Ichazo find help? Ichazo continues...

When I was nineteen, a remarkable man found me in La Paz. He was sixty years old when he began to teach me, I knew from the beginning that he was speaking the truth. This man, whose name I have pledged not to reveal [for unknown reasons], belonged to a small group in Buenos Aires that met to share their knowledge of various esoteric consciousness-altering techniques... About two-thirds of the group were Orientals, so they were strong on Zen, Sufism, and Kaballah. They also used some techniques I later found in the Gurdjieff work.15

Do you see that the demonic forces in Ichazo's life cannot have truly been dealt with by these men?

Do you see the New Age emerging? Eastern religions rolled together and packaged for the West?

(Do you see the demons and the New Age as bedfellows?)

Ichazo went on to believe that we are each made up of our intellect, our emotions and our instincts. As we develop, our intellect begins to rule the other two. He says this is bad, and off-balance. His goal is to teach people how to submit intellect and emotions to the instinct, that we might be truly free creatures, stripped to our essence.

According to Ichazo we are now made up of essence and ego.

A person retains the purity of essence for a short time. It is lost between four and six years of age when the child begins to imitate his parents, tell lies, and pretend. A contradiction develops between the inner feelings of the child and the outer social reality to which he must conform. Ego consciousness is the limited mode of awareness that developed as a result of the fall into society. Personality forms a defensive layer over the essence, and so there is a split between the self and the world. The ego feels the world as alien and dangerous because it constantly fails to satisfy the deeper needs of the self.16

Enter personality. It is a defensive layer over what we truly are, according to the man who told you that you were a 'six'. According to Ichazo, the personality is a manifestation of the ego. The ego is a necessary evil for beginning life, but in order to be restored to your essence, which is a state of good, health and perfection, the personality must fade to nothing. What will be left is an essence "trained" by your past ego, but free of its hold. Ichazo's goal was for all mankind to enter the state of enlightenment, where we would all be one beautiful essence.

See the gospel Ichazo is preaching. Creation: We are born good, with a beautiful essence. Fall: As a defense mechanism, we develop personality at a young age to protect the essence from the difficult world around us. Redemption: Through various spiritual excesses and self-examination we can remove our ego and be restored, avoiding an impending global holocaust (more on that to come). Glory: "All humanity will be one large family, working together in harmony and love, understanding the cosmic laws and living at one with God and all creation. It will be a second Eden."17

This sounds nice, but it's not true. It has hints of truth therein, which makes it a convincing lie. God did make mankind "very good" (Gen 1:31). However, because of the fall we are no longer born good. We are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27), but we are born fallen, sinful to the core. Paul quotes the Old Testament when he writes of mankind "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one" (Rom 3:10b-12). We don't have a beautiful essential spark under a shell of personality.

We then do not receive redemption by works or meditation, but by the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:4-9)

The glory that we receive is oneness with God, but not the god of Oscar Ichazo. Remember, he left his Christian faith when he was still a kid. And the oneness we will truly experience with God comes through a union with Christ, similar to the oneness of a husband and wife. The oneness of Eastern religion declares that we and God will become indistinct from one another, because we will be the same entity. This is abominable. I am not God, and I never will be. Praise Jesus.

Now, this might not seem to apply to your use of the Enneagram, but we need to understand first that the Enneagram isn't just a decoration you put in your house once a year. It is a system used to understand your own self, your identity. God cares very much about how you understand yourself. Where this system comes from is important, because fruit is born of a seed, and a bad seed will only bring forth bad fruit. Seeds planted by wicked men should be suspected as bad seeds. Oscar Ichazo is a dangerous man. Therefore, after enough time, we will see a foul harvest of the seeds planted.

Here's Where Things Get Nuts

Ichazo started an "institute" called 'Arica' where he could teach his spiritual findings to the masses, "...for the definitive analysis of the human psyche and the attainment of pristine enlightenment."18

Two of his students wrote an article, detailing the things learned at the school. Much of it involves the Enneagram. Their article was not meant as a smear, but as a genuine delighted expression of the goings on at Arica. Here are some significant quotes from that article:

Certainly he [Ichazo] came under the influence of the school that taught Gurdjieff or, at least, studied under students of Gurdjieff, for both Oscar and Gurdjieff groups use the teaching device of the nine-sided figure, the enneagram, though Oscar claims to have worked out the ancient meanings and uses of the enneagram himself.19

There is some indication that in the Sufi school of which Oscar is or was a member a store of Baraka or divine energy had been built up over the ages to be used at the proper time for the enlightenment of mankind. The Arica group was told that they were to be the receiver of this store of Baraka to pass on to others.20

"...if men refuse to seek enlightenment within the next ten years, there will be a holocaust which can and probably will destroy this planet. Other cultures in other planetary systems have so destroyed themselves in the past according to Ichazo.21

[I found this article in a collection compiled in 1983, so their impending holocaust fortunately never came to be.]

On this level he [a person] may receive instructions from the higher entities such as Metatron, the prince of the archangels, who has given instructions to Ichazo.22

Arica seems to discourage exclusive unions and the family scene. Rather, since all are brothers and sisters, there should be freedom for everyone with regard to sexual needs. From time to time when a new exercise is being introduced, there will be a temporary ban on sexual activity. This helps focus attention on the exercise and provides extra energy and tension for its success. The children are the responsibility of the whole group, and nurseries, child care centers, and schools have been set up. All members are supposed to spend some time with the children in these centers. In order to keep the children in essence as much and as long as possible, avoiding the development of a heavy ego, Arica exercises are a daily feature for the children.23

The individual must find his own personal meaning in being a member of the group and must find his happiness as a member of a large family with Ichazo as the father.24

Arica was/is a cult. The end of the world, cosmic energy, a father who learns from angels, sexual liberation between "brothers and sisters," and communal living all play significant roles at Arica. (I find it personally troubling that sexual freedom, and the care of children were written about in the same paragraph.)

As a result of a court case, Ichazo denied that he actually spoke with angels saying, "I did not receive this material from any archangel or entity whatsoever, but that it was the fruit of a long, careful, and dedicated study of the human psyche and the main problems of philosophy and theology."25

I am suspicious for a few reasons. First, his students in their article speak very highly of Ichazo, and of his communications with archangels. How could they believe these things together, and not have been taught them, especially since they are fundamental to the school. Second, another student of his, Claudio Naranjo, said in an interview, "as time went on, I saw he [Ichazo] was not reliable." Later in the interview he mentioned asking Ichazo, "Can I be your student given the fact that you seem to me to be a liar and a trickster?"26. Thirdly, it is a bold thing to claim to know about the destruction of other planetary civilizations without any outside sources.

A Quick Detour to Claudio Naranjo

Naranjo was a student of Ichazo's. He was hesitant, but invested a lot of time with Ichazo. He even spent 40 days alone in the desert under Ichazo's advising. His desire was for spiritual understanding, and he got a lot of "spirituality" from Ichazo.

Despite countless hours of research and much reading, it is difficult to see exactly how influential Naranjo has been in bringing the Enneagram fame in the West. Either he is to be held mostly responsible in spreading Ichazo's teachings, with his own added depth, or he was simply a helper. Either way, no one in the West would teach what they do about the Enneagram without him.

Claudio Naranjo personally claims to have put flesh and bones on the Enneagram teachings of Ichazo with regard to personality types. He claims to have been the one to introduce the personality type descriptions. (Everyone involved with the development of the Enneagram really wants to put their name on part of it.) Everyone, except for maybe Ichazo himself, attributes heaps of Enneagram information to Naranjo. Naranjo claims that these descriptions came to him through automatic writing (not to be confused with stream-of-consciousness writing. Automatic writing is a way of channeling spirits. Naranjo is not unclear about this).27

In another interview, Naranjo claims that from the beginning, Ichazo has been communicating not with a historical source, but a "higher source" through inspiration and revelation.28 This does not contradict what we were suspecting earlier.

Now, Naranjo could also be a liar, this is indeed possible. But from the interviews and literature, I take it that he believes what he is saying, and is either self-deceived or demonically deceived, likely the latter.

Either way, I wouldn't recommend listening to liars, or those under demonic influence, especially with regards to your own identity.

As it Applies to You

"But I'm not listening to them," you might say, "I've not seen anything like this in anything I've read about the Enneagram."

You are listening to his disciples. You really are. Gurdjieff, Ichazo and Naranjo make up the well that your Enneagram information water is drawn from. Don Richard Riso, and Russ Hudson, who seem to be the primary voice of Enneagram teaching in the West today, started an institute called 'The Enneagram Institute.'  Go to their website and look at the history they give. Though it is ambiguous, they give complete credit to Gurdjieff, Ichazo, Naranjo and Lilly (who wrote the article I quoted a lot). These are the men they follow. Look at the Enneagrams on the site - see them attributed to Oscar Ichazo.

Read any book about the history of the Enneagram and you will see these men front and center.

The Enneagram tool that you use was developed by mystics. Their research methods are meditation, breathing, conjuring Baraka, etc. The scientific foundation for what one pastor called, "the best tool I've ever found to begin the process of being real with yourself... We're going to use this tool to help God begin to teach you about yourself,"29 is nothing more than Eastern mysticism, lies, and demonic revelation. This is the backbone of the Enneagram.

There is another tool, I would argue a better tool for understanding yourself, that God himself wrote. Have you fully availed yourself of God's word in truly understanding yourself and those around you? Fully? Truly? Please do.

Because many people who believe they have found clarity, humility, and understanding by using the Enneagram, even with its sordid backbone,  I want to offer a practical alternative to attaining these things without the Enneagram. It comes from scripture.

An Alternative

This won't seem attractive at first, but give it a second.

  1. Be slow to speak and only say true things to both God and people.
  2. Be quick to listen. Listen carefully to understand.

These come from James 1:19. They are powerful.

The Enneagram seems like it gives you X-ray vision. Suddenly you can see straight into your own soul, and the souls of those around you. You see horrible things in your own heart, and you also begin to understand that people think differently than you do.

The Enneagram shouldn't be exposing these things to us this late in our lives.

If you regularly speak truthfully, and I mean extremely truthfully to God in confession, then nothing in the Enneagram should surprise you. What a gift, that God requires us to speak honestly to him about the worst things we think, say or do. How can we escape truly knowing ourselves, our weaknesses, and our shortcomings? Also, if we confess our sins to God, how can we escape forgiveness?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

When you look at the Enneagram to see what Islamic mystics and demons have to say about you, you should already know about many of your downfalls, due to regular confession of sin to God.

If you are worried that without the Enneagram, you would be blind to many of your sins, rest assured that the Holy Spirit will convict you of your sins. You don't need the Enneagram for that.

And when [the Helper, i.e. the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:8-11)

We must also speak truth to others. Only truth.

While talking about the Enneagram, people are often upset at themselves, or others, for believing that everyone thinks and feels the same way that they do.

I believe that this occurs for two reasons.

First, people don't listen very well. People often listen to respond, rather than to fully understand. Follow up questions, or questions for clarification are rare because we want to say things.

When the Bible says be quick to listen, it is a grace to us. This is how we love our neighbors as ourselves. We ought to truly try to understand our neighbor when listening to them. How else will we love them?

If we don't listen well, we can just assume people are saying things that we already believe. This would give us the ongoing impression that they think and feel the same way that we do.

The second reason I believe people fall into this trap, is because people continually assert and affirm that they do indeed think and feel about things the same way that everyone else does. This is called lying, and it is an abomination.

Let me give an example. If a man knows that he can attend a party he was invited to, but doesn't want to go, then he might text the host and say, "I don't think I'm going to be able to make it tonight. Sorry man."

Though he is indeed sad to miss the party, that sentence is riddled with lies. Lies for which he will be held accountable. Thank God for Jesus.

He doesn't "think" he isn't coming, I knows it.

It has nothing to do with ability. Of course he is "able," but he is in fact unwilling.

"To make it" infers that he is making an attempt and failing. This is certainly not the case. Lies. God hates lies.

If we put on airs to care for people's feelings, we are being lazy. You can care for people's feelings without lying to them, it just means you have to show more care with your words in the moment (and in your ongoing relationship with the person). This isn't easy, but don't say untrue words.

If someone asks you how you're feeling, or what you think about something, don't lie to them about it. This is deceit, and will contribute to the perception this person has of you. They will believe you to be someone different than you truly are.

(Also you will be held accountable for it. "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt 12:36-37).)

So, should you just be a jerk? No. Of course not. Proverbs tells us, "A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back" (Prov 29:11). Simply be slow and careful with your speech, saying true things out of genuine love for the Lord and for people. This will reap huge dividends in your life.

Since people don't do this, someone can hear another person's Enneagram number and have sudden clarity about communication issues they'd been having with this person. They haven't been listening, and/or the other hasn't been telling the truth. After time strange perceptions blossomed, but the Enneagram "revealed" the hidden truth. When this is done, they can go on ignoring one another and hiding truth from one another, but communicate "better." This cannot produce enduring strength. Obviously.

However, if we all continually tell the truth slowly, and listen diligently to each other, we can know each other truly. We can clearly see the differences in our thoughts and feelings. We can care for each other well. We can know our own sins, and find freedom in Christ.

If we all do this, the Enneagram could only serve to suddenly reveal strangers' strengths and weaknesses. Then it would only give us enough "information" about our new neighbor to jump to conclusions. No one's Enneagram number is exhaustive. This is clearly dangerous. God didn't design us to know another person's greatest strengths and weaknesses immediately. This understanding is meant to grow alongside our love for the person.

Conclusion

The Enneagram is a symbol developed by mystics (and whatever spirits were guiding them) to analyze the universe and its processes based on a counter-biblical worldview. It was designed not just secularly, but against Biblical truth. The New Age is satanic, and we have to come to terms with this.

The Enneagram of Personality was developed by mystics (and whatever spirits were guiding them) as a way of approaching a false god, in a manner that denies the power and necessity of the cross.

Even to use the Enneagram as a Christian and import it into your Biblical understanding, is to read and believe what these mystics wrote about you. They wrote these things about you based on spiritual enlightenment from false spirits. They wrote these things on a foundation of spiritual misunderstanding and deceit. These did not come from observing scripture, or from compiling results of human observation. Any observation done on humans during their composing was done through lenses that depict humans entirely unlike the way the Bible speaks of them.

Therefore, our final conclusion must be to first be grateful to God for revealing sins in our lives, even using a system contrary to his Word. And finally to abandon the Enneagram, not to be further enticed by its surface level, experiential helpfulness. The Enneagram will bear the fruit of seeds planted by wicked men.

Let us then be slow to speak, quick to listen, slow to accept new teachings, and quick to love one another.

References:

  1. In my experience (which is a tricky phrase that will be covered later), people who love the Enneagram will say this about the Enneagram, yet go on to settle into their given strengths and weaknesses anyway.
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wfjc9wUNF8, 6:28
  3. Ramsey, Kate Jo. "How the Enneagram Can Point You to God." Relevant, 08 Feb. 2019. https://relevantmagazine.com/god/enneagram-makes-sanctification-specific/
  4. Keen, Sam and Ichazo, Oscar. Interviews with Oscar Ichazo. "Breaking the Tyranny of the Ego." New York, NY, Arica Institute Press, 1982. p. 13.
  5. "ARICA INSTITUTE, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Helen PALMER and Harper & Row Publishers, Incorporated, Defendants-Appellees." United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1992. https://h2o.law.harvard.edu/cases/5099

  6. Riordan, Kathleen. “Gurdjieff.” Transpersonal Psychologies, edited by Charles T. Tart, El Cerrito, CA, Psychological Processes, Inc., 1983, p. 284.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Schimmel, Annemarie. "Sufism." Britannica, 20 Nov. 2019. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Sufism
  9. Riordan, Kathleen. “Gurdjieff.” Transpersonal Psychologies, edited by Charles T. Tart, El Cerrito, CA, Psychological Processes, Inc., 1983, p. 285.
  10. Ibid. p. 291.
  11. Ibid. p. 292.
  12. Ibid. ps. 289-294.
  13. Ibid. p. 284.
  14. Keen, Sam and Ichazo, Oscar. Interviews with Oscar Ichazo. "Breaking the Tyranny of the Ego." New York, NY, Arica Institute Press, 1982. ps. 6-7.
  15. Ibid. ps. 7-8.
  16. Ibid. p. 9.
  17. Lilly, John C. and Hart, Joseph E. “The Arica Training.” Transpersonal Psychologies, edited by Charles T. Tart, El Cerrito, CA, Psychological Processes, Inc., 1983, p. 341.
  18. https://www.arica.org
  19. Lilly, John C. and Hart, Joseph E. “The Arica Training.” Transpersonal Psychologies, edited by Charles T. Tart, El Cerrito, CA, Psychological Processes, Inc., 1983, p. 331.
  20. Ibid. p. 340.
  21. Ibid. p. 341.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid. p. 350.
  24. Ibid. p. 351.
  25. Ichazo, Oscar. "Letter to the Transpersonal Community." 1991. https://www.arica.org/articles/trletter.cfm
  26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7MSZfVZzJ0
  27. Ibid.
  28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlO3KJWnNd8&t=4s
  29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hyqy3BTlFI&t=1026s

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Jonathan Helvoigt Website

Jonathan Helvoigt, writer of short-story blog 'Fat Bird', was the head-chef at a sushi restaurant for three days with no prior experience. Years prior, he started a riot in Chihuahua Mexico, which alerted the Mexican military. During his studies at Fort Lewis College as an English major, he hosted a radio show, wrote a sit-com pilot under the tutelage of an accomplished writer for CBS and Netflix, and started 'Fat Bird Carpentry' which now has hand-crafted drums in shops across the country. He and his wife, Ryan, currently reside in Louisville, KY, and plan to return soon to the more mountainous, less bourbonous land of Durango, CO after graduating with an MDiv from Southern Seminary. There they will apprentice with Gospel Church Durango, and write about strange things.

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