Just as Homer’s Odyssey tells a parallel story of homecoming that is found within Enneagram teachings, Dante’s epic poem, The Divine Comedy, offers a great deal of insight into the path of personal growth encoded in the Enneagram symbol. Both in the larger vision of waking up out of the “dark wood” of unconsciousness to work toward higher consciousness and the actual process of working with the human passions and integrating the human shadow, Dante’s great work masterfully reveals the same message about traveling the path from bondage to freedom told by the esoteric knowledge behind the Enneagram. Through the structure and the content of his medieval poem about a pilgrim’s journey into hell, through purgatory, and finally to heaven, Dante metaphorically sheds light on the path and the work we strive to understand when we study the Enneagram and try to enact its powerful teachings about human transformation. Through lecture, discussion, and group activities, this presentation aims to use the lessons of Dante’s medieval masterpiece to highlight, confirm, and expand upon the timeless wisdom connected to the Enneagram: to traverse the road from unconscious habit to a more self-aware, enlightened state.

Beatrice Chestnut, PhD, MA, is a practicing psychotherapist, coach, and business consultant based in San Francisco. She holds graduate degrees in communication and clinical psychology, has studied the Enneagam for 22 years, trained and was certified with Palmer and Daniels in 1997. She served on the board of directors of the IEA for six years, and as President from 2006-2007. She is the co-founding editor of the IEA’s Enneagram Journal.

Beatrice Chestnut


2013 IEA Global Conference

Denver, Colorado, USA

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