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What is an Enneagram?

Lisa Oz
Health Education

An ancient system for categorizing different personality types, an Enneagram is useful in helping map out key strengths and weaknesses, showing a way to use both for greater integration with the higher self. No one knows exactly where and when it originated, but it's believed to have been used by the ancient Desert Fathers in the fourth century and by Sufi mystics of the Near East for more than a thousand years. It was introduced to America by the spiritual teacher and mystic G. I. Gurdjieff during the early part of the twentieth century.

The purpose of the Enneagram is to help you see yourself more clearly-to reveal your distinct personality type. It's within this construct that you face your greatest challenges and opportunities for growth. Each group is defined by how they manage the basic fears and insecurities developed early in childhood. By seeing yourself through the lens of the Enneagram, you come to understand the different ways you meet fundamental needs and avoid emotional pain. You begin to notice that much of what you do is a reflexive response typical to your number, and not necessarily what you'd choose in a conscious, spiritually awakened state. Your evolution begins with this insight.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.