Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” popularized the idea of cognitive biases, helping people understand how structures of the mind can inhibit clear understanding of our world. Most wisdom traditions talk about how easily we fall victim to illusion. However, it is easy for spiritual seekers to believe that while other people are victims of illusion, they themselves see the world clearly. The Enneagram is a profound tool for seeing through illusion, but understanding cognitive biases greatly enhances one’s work with the Enneagram. The session will include an overview of the literature on cognitive biases. The presenter will discuss how Ennea-type patterns can be seen as what Kahneman and others refer to as “System 1”–fast, useful, intuitive, but sometimes-inaccurate– thinking, and how we can use “System 2”–slow, deliberate, more-conscious–thinking to overcome habituated patterns that affect our relationships and work on ourselves. This interactive session will examine how cognitive biases can shape our theory of the Enneagram and how we apply it in our study or teaching. Exercises will explore how we can identify our cognitive biases in action, as well as type and/or subtype specific discussions of how to defend against the affects of the cognitive biases.

Mario Sikora


2015 IEA Global Conference

San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA