In the slim volume that is The Enneagram of Society, Claudio Naranjo accomplishes several profound and important tasks: he provides a concise, yet multi-faceted summation of the Enneagram’s “passions,” he reviews the circle of the nine basic characters associated with the passions, he provides a provocative account of the “disturbances of love” rendered by the nine personality patterns, and he highlights nine “ills of the world in the light of the Enneagram.” This last piece constitutes Naranjo’s “Enneagram of Society.” At the heart of this dense yet readable book, Naranjo’s core purpose emerges as the promotion of the idea that if we can become aware of our individual sins or pathologies or unconscious habits, we can become more enlightened collectively about the corresponding ills of our larger society. And if we become more conscious of how our global society is essentially dysfunctional in ways we’ve gradually fallen asleep to, we can more actively improve the human institutions that form our world. Thus, Naranjo argues that the awakening of individual consciousness is a necessary first step toward the enhancement of the conscious collective, and provides a clear if complex map for discerning both the individual and collective blocks to greater awareness and transformation…

Beatrice Chestnut
Claudio Naranjo

2009

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