We will explore ways in which the Enneagram personality types have been organized into groups of three types each, what I call the Triadics. In the Riso-Hudson teaching and writing, there are four such groupings: The Centers, The Object Relations, The Hornevians, and The Harmonics.

The sets of these four Triadics share a mathematical property that could not be due to chance. When considered together, the interplay of the Triadics are an extraordinary demonstration of seemingly unrelated discoveries from esoteric teachings, philosophy, mathematics, biology, and theories of consciousness. What becomes evident is that the Four Triadics constitute a mathematically closed group. That is, all four are necessary and sufficient components of one, interdependent system–the Enneagram.

The Four Triadics provide a systematic and objective cross-check for various theories of the Enneagram and can serve as a conduit between the Enneagram and other fields of understanding.

The Four Triadics indirectly point to the profound conclusion that the Enneagram itself is objective. The symmetries we find in every direction with the Enneagram are beautiful–a characteristic that great thinkers universally have regarded as an important indicator of truth.

Joyce Stenstrom is a consultant in ergonomics, an artist, and a student of philosophy and consciousness. For the past several years, she has also worked closely with Don Riso developing materials for The Enneagram Institute.

Joyce Stenstrom


2010 IEA Global Conference

San Francisco, California, USA

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