Home    Enneagram Information    About Us    Services






What's the Point?



or thousands of years, we have been killing each other in the name of our deities—to protect ourselves, to dominate others, and to accumulate resources. Arab and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, and Serb, Slav, and Croat continue to slaughter each other. Why? The justifications vary: Each side will justify its cause with logic such as "An eye for an eye," "God  is on our side," or "We don't want their kind here."

Despite centuries of civilization and progress, little has changed, because we have continued to think, treat others, and do things the same way we always have. Continuing in our old behaviors and expecting different results is a sign of insanity.

But there is a way out, which is outlined in this book. It may be so foreign to you that as you read it, you may need to open your mind, suspend your beliefs, and allow yourself the opportunity to expand into new realms.

This is necessary because beliefs are limited to belief structures and then cemented in us as truths. Yet truths that change or truths that have opposing truths are not real truths at all; they are not absolute. And unless truth is absolute, it is only a manifestation of the ego; it is not a reality. Absolute truth does exist, but at deeper levels.

Ego  is a survival mechanism of every living organism. It helps us to cope with fear . It is the mechanism that keeps us from running into traffic or walking on railroad tracks in front of trains. When activated in the body, it triggers the hypothalamic region and produces adrenaline that activates either fight or flight mechanisms. Contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing wrong with ego. The problem occurs when ego is out of balance , putting the body in a constant frightened state. Rather than the ego being there to serve us, we exist to serve the ego.

As you read this book, you may find yourself offended, or even angry. Try to discover the source of your anger, for anger is resistance to reality, generated from distortions of truth. The ego creates these distortions to make us think we are separate from everyone and everything else, a "truth" supported by the five senses. Our physical senses—smell, hearing, taste, touch, and sight—are limited. For example, we know that dogs hear beyond our range of hearing and eagles see beyond our range of sight. If we know that our senses are limited, we must assume that our perceptions viewed through these senses are limited. We have other senses that we were born with and learned to deny, thus these senses were not developed. These senses lie within the spiritual world and are accessed through pure feeling. Most of us, however, learned to turn off our feelings, and that is when we got into trouble. We thought that the only way to work through the world was with our rational minds that are controlled by our five physical senses.

Thinking that we are separate allows us to justify violence against others, which creates victims  and perpetrators—what we call victim consciousness. This is a duality  because victims need perpetrators and perpetrators need victims. One cannot exist without the other.

Victim consciousness is in turn used to justify revenge: Victims get even by becoming perpetrators themselves. They become what they have judged, tried, and convicted. This condemnation of others and ourselves remains in our psyches, surfacing as guilt  or shame . This cycle goes on and on and will perpetuate itself until something happens to disrupt it.

This book suggests returning to the loving selves we were born as, because it is only through love  that we can evolve into beings of love. Our biggest block or challenge is to recognize the truth of reality, the cause or root of our behaviors.

The Enneagram , as we will introduce it in this book, is an effective tool that, when used properly, will assist us in our way of communicating not only with ourselves but also with others. When we can understand others and ourselves better, we can open ourselves to living a more joyous life with greater consciousness.


History of the Enneagram :


It is uncertain where the Enneagram  had its beginning. It is believed that it first started over two thousand years ago with a group of Eastern mystical practitioners called Sufis, who used it in what they called the Oral Tradition. The Oral Tradition was used so that the deepest truths discovered through the Enneagram were passed along verbally by masters of the technology.

Gurdjieff  learned the Enneagram in Armenia from the Sufis and brought it to Russia, where he taught it for many years. From there it made its way to Chile via Oscar Ichazo , who further developed it by linking the symbol of the Enneagram  (a nine-pointed star) to the nine passions—the seven deadly sins plus deceit and fear . Claudio Naranjo  brought the Enneagram to the United States in the early 1970s. He is known for linking the Enneagram to psychiatry.

Besides the Enneagram  looking like a nine-pointed star, you will see three parts representing three divine laws. The circle around the Enneagram represents a universal Mandela or the unbroken circle, oneness, and unity.  The triangle represents the trinity that is used in many of the world’s religions.  The third part is the star itself, which (as explained later in the book) shows how, over time, all the energies of the different points flow into each other.


The Nine Enneatypes

There are nine basic Enneagram  personality types called Enneatypes . No one type is better or worse than another type. The nine types signify nine basic ways of perceiving the universe. It is like having a camera that represents the universe. If you took pictures of the same point in space using nine different lenses, you would see nine different ways of viewing the same thing.

When going through the Enneatypes  (nine personalities of the Enneagram ) it will be a challenge not to see yourself in all of the types. It may be easy to box yourself into a type before you have looked at all the types.  Therefore, we have included several levels of personality identification to help you identify or “fine-tune” the mirror. These you will recognize under the headings of subtypes: Instinctual  and Centers, Hornevian Groups  (based upon the research of Karen Horney), and moving toward Wings (the Enneatypes on either side of the main type). One type will resonate most with you.

Each of these types has three subtypes, thus there are twenty-seven subtypes. In addition to the subtypes, there are energy flows toward the Wings of each type, which are adjacent to the main type. For example, an Enneatype Four may move toward either the Three or the Five, exhibiting traits of those types along with his own.

The Enneagram  is not a system that puts people into boxes and then tries to define who they are. Rather, it is a system that identifies the boxes we put ourselves into and explains behavior categorized in those boxes. Since there are over six billion people on the earth, there are over six billion personality variations. We will not discuss these 6 billion variations in this book. Below, we describe each Enneatype in a summary form. Later in the book, each type is described in detail.


One: The Perfectionist  Type Ones feel they have to be good little boys or girls. They know what is right and wrong and will gladly tell you. Ones live in relative perfectionism. They are detailed and picky, and may be moralistic and preachy.

Two: The Giver  Type Twos need to be needed by others. They are always looking for ways to help other people, even if the others do not want the help. Twos may flatter to get attention. They can be seductive if that’s what it takes to get to help someone.

Three: The Performer  Type Threes are hard working and achievement-oriented—the classic “Type A” personality.. They are motivated and competitive. Threes are image conscious and feel they must look good at whatever they do.

Four: The Romantic  Type Fours are quite artistic and moody. They are the drama kings/queens of the Enneagram . Fours like to live life at its highs and lows; every other way is mundane to them. They want to be seen as special and unique.

Five: The Observer  Type Fives are disengaged in life and live life in their heads. They seek knowledge, and to obtain knowledge, Fives are willing to give up the finer things in life.

Six: The Doubter  Type Sixes are the cynics, the doubters. They question everything and trust is difficult for them to achieve. Sixes look for security and safety, and need to be part of groups of belief systems.

Seven: The Epicure  Type Sevens are always planning. Fun loving, they are constantly on the go seeking new experiences. Sevens experience life through superficial lenses, and do not delve too deeply into anything.

Eight: The Boss  Type Eights are the bad boys/bad girls of the Enneagram . They are very assertive and get their way through intimidation and power. Eights look for protection and in doing so, they push their energies outward to keep their distance from people.

Nine: The Mediator  Type Nines need peace and harmony in their lives, and will sacrifice themselves in order to achieve it.  Nines are easygoing, affable people. They see both sides of the story and can help others through problems.


Fixation Points on the Enneagram


It is important to note that each of us is unique and special. We choose our own fixations and it does not matter what the fixation is, it is still a fixation. For example, what difference does it make if we fixate on envy, anger, greed, lust, vanity, pride, gluttony, fear , or sloth? It is like choosing the poison that will kill us. The more fixated we are, the more our natural internal energy flow is blocked. During stressful times, we tend to fixate towards the outer ring of the Enneagram  and exhibit highly dysfunctional behavior.

If we do not clear the real cause of the fixation, we may move toward what is called the path of disintegration. The path of disintegration occurs when the pain is so great and the defense mechanisms associated with the Enneatype are not working. We then move backward along the arrows contained in the Enneagram  energy flows. For example, as an Eight fixates on lust and exhibits passionate behavior like vengeance, he may find that his senses engaged in the environment become overwhelmed. He may move toward the Five, where he will withdraw to lick his wounds and plan strategies to exact further vengeance on his perceived enemies.



The I AM Center of the Enneagram


As we clear the causes of the dysfunctional behavior, we fixate less and move back toward the I AM center of the Enneagram . At the center, we achieve balance  and natural energy flow. There, we exhibit virtuous behavior. We feel joyous. We understand profound concepts of forgiveness , compassion, and purpose. We exhibit more of the virtuous traits of all the Enneatypes .

Through choice, we develop traits of personality. Ego  is developed from personality as a defense mechanism to cope in the world. Personality, or some say ego, filters (buffers) outer world stimuli and processes reality in different ways. It is important to note the difference between personality and ego as used in this book. Ego is a part of personality. It is our fight or flight mechanism—our survival system—and is used by our bodies to protect us in times of trauma. The problem is not with ego per se; it is that ego is out of balance —it is in charge and making decisions for us. Naturally, the ego should serve the personality, not the other way around.

When we observe our behavior and find it dysfunctional, we tend to alter the behavior rather than seeking its cause. This is a trick of ego that makes us think the behavior is the problem. We call this fixing the symptom and not embracing its cause. Identifying symptoms  may help us find the cause of the problem. However, symptoms may reveal other symptoms and not the real causes. If you were to visit a dentist with a painful toothache and the dentist gave you a shot of Novocain and sent you home, he relieved the symptom of the pain temporarily but did not seek the underlying cause of the pain. It is when the dentist identifies the cause of the pain and treats it that the pain will disappear forever. It is when we seek and see the truth in our pain that we will cure it forever.

The Ego

The ego lies to us and tells us never to be satisfied with who we are. Instead, it keeps us anxiously seeking to be better, because our current self is not good enough. This is a fixed core belief, the belief that we are not good enough to be ourselves without condition. In truth, we are already the best we can be in the present moment. It is in the present moment that truth arises. In each moment there exists universal perfection and purpose. We may not see perfection and purpose in each moment, but it is not important that we see them. What is important is that we know they exist.

Using the Enneagram , we see the lies the ego tells us that identify how we think we are not good enough in the current moment. Here are examples of what the ego might say for each of the nine types:

One: The Perfectionist  – “When I am perfect, I will be loved, and I will be good enough.”

Two: The Giver  – “When others need me, I will be loved, and I will be good enough.”

Three: The Performer  – “When I accomplish all I need to accomplish, I will be successful and loved, and then I will be good enough.”

Four: The Romantic  – “When I am seen as unique, someone will rescue me; then I will be loved, and I will be good enough.”

Five: The Observer  – “When I know enough, then I will be loved, and I will be good enough.”

Six: The Doubter  – “I will be secure when the world around me is secure; then I will be loved, and I will be good enough.”

Seven: The Epicure  – “When I experience everything, I will be happy and then I will be loved, and I will be good enough.”

Eight: The Boss  – “When I am strong and in control, I will be loved, and I will good enough.”

Nine: The Mediator  – “When there is peace and harmony, I will be loved, and I will be good enough.”

It is helpful for us to remember that we are more than our personalities; we are beyond that. We are a portion of the divine, the Creator, but we have fallen asleep. Our essence is spirit, and within that spirit lies our soul. When we become less identified with our ego, it becomes less important to us. That is when we take on our real identity, which is our true nature.

The purpose of the Enneagram  is not to help us get rid of personality. When we get in touch with our deepest selves, we do not lose our personality. It becomes more transparent and flexible and helps us live our lives, rather than taking over our lives. As we become less identified with personality, it becomes a smaller part of who we are. There is more intelligence, sensitivity, and presence underlying it that uses the personality as a vehicle rather than being driven by it. We actually find our identity as we move towards our essence.

The Structure of this Book

This book is organized into three parts:

Part I: Our Dysfunctional World, explains our dysfunctional behavior, or rather our symptoms  of behavior. How we view love  with conditions and how we think we are separate from everything, when we are really all connected.

In Chapter One, we delve into depth explaining the differences between love  and fear . Judgment is a prime concept to understand because when we judge others, we are judging ourselves. What disturbs us in other people is a mirror of what most disturbs us in ourselves.

Chapter Two examines duality  and how it skews our view of reality. We explain in detail how our perceptions are limited by our five physical senses. Observers view the world without understanding how they affect what they are observing, but there can be no observers without the observed. We delve into how each of us projects our unconscious needs onto the environment and that what is returned to us is a mirror of what we project.

Chapter Three explains the process of ego development and how the ego got out of balance  and took control of us. We introduce the Enneagram  and begin to build it into the system used for healing.

Part II: The Enneagram : A Tool for Diagnosis, describes the Enneagram and the breakdown of each personality type—the Enneatypes . We explore how each Enneatype behaves and the consequences (or cause and effect) of the choices we make. We will help you find your identity within the system.

Chapter Four explains how we lose our balance  and look externally for what we cannot find internally. This process develops unconscious desires for those things we really have inside that we believe are not there. We describe the triads of the Enneagram : Instinctual , Feeling, and Thinking. The Hornevian Groups  (Assertives , Compliants , and Withdrawns ) are examined as well.

Chapter Five describes the importance of energy movement through the Enneagram  and how energy movement promotes health. We identify the fixations and passions of each Enneatype and how these affect each type. The Heart Point  and Stress Point  of each Enneatype in introduced and examined. We explain the Thinking, Feeling, and Doing Centers of each Enneatype and their importance to growth.

Chapters Six through Fourteen examine each Enneatype in detail. We list specific areas including basic needs, basic fears, mottos, speech patterns, and projected mirrors.

Part III: Making Our Way Back, will give us a roadmap back to whom we really are and how we can achieve this with compassion  and forgiveness .

Chapter Fifteen describes the nature of communication  and how important communication is to understanding. Each Enneatype is described by the method used to communicate in the world. This chapter aids us in identifying Enneatypes  by noticing a person’s speech patterns and demeanor.

Chapter Sixteen examines intimacy and its importance in relating to other people and ourselves. We describe how each Enneatype creates its own intimacy patterns, as well as each type’s positive and negative patterns.

Chapter Seventeen introduces the tool called forgiveness. We list the traits necessary to see beyond our five physical senses to achieve real forgiveness . We describe what real forgiveness truly means, and how each Enneatype can achieve real forgiveness rather than pseudo forgiveness. Each of us loses, gives away, or has taken from us spiritual values that we need to live in forgiveness. These values are described in this chapter.

Chapter Eighteen provides the next tool toward enlightenment: compassion. Compassion  requires a higher level of understanding than most of us currently use. We list the truths of compassion  and how each of these truths relates to each Enneatype. Here, we link those values that were lost, taken, or given away and how they relate to compassion. Each Enneatype and its compassion truth are described. We show how we can use compassion for better understanding of other people and ourselves.

Chapter Nineteen explains what consciousness and enlightenment are and how we can wake up from our deep sleep to live these gifts. Enlightenment is available to all of us in every moment. When we wake up to its glory, we achieve it without effort. We list the traits necessary to awaken and describe the process necessary to live in joy.

These techniques are simple, yet difficult to achieve as long as we cling to fixed core beliefs that limit our possibilities. Only when we release our beliefs and allow truth to arise can we journey into ourselves and see ourselves for who we really are—warm loving beings, each containing gifts endowed to us through the Creator.


Justin E. Tomasino Jr., PhD, BCPC, DAPA

Inga W. Tomasino

Buy Now