When a British, Enneagram Five, Ph.D. shared his story and shed tears on day one of the ©iEnneagram Motions of the Soul Harmony training (he said he never does this) you might be on to something. Last month, this British gentleman became an icon of a feeling, sensing, intellectual all week long. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than for this Three instructor to be a conduit of feeling for a wise Five!
June 2019 ©iEnneagram Motions of the Soul students
Someone once said, “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” I like my husband Scott’s rendition of that quote, “All models are incomplete, and some are very useful.” The Enneagram of Harmony is that model for my inner work and training of Helping Professionals in my faith tradition. Maybe it will offer a way for you to journey in your context, too.
Psychology, business, and other spiritual traditions offer us a brilliant view of the Enneagram as does the Christian tradition. The Enneagram can be a powerful map for transformation and combined with sacred text, it gives a unique path to discovery.
St. Paul said,
“And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another…”
It’s a journey and as my dad used to say, “It’s a long way to Heaven.” While we may not see many transforming, and some of us have seen small, incremental steps, Romans 12:1-2 gives us a hint as to why-
“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice…Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God.”
These words, also penned by St. Paul, say that when we present ourselves (show up, are present, aware, all in) and leave conformity to the patterns we’ve developed in this world we can live our best life. Over time, if we are present, we can be transformed to live in our created purpose. The word “mind” in this passage is the Greek word “nous” representing the whole human person-head cognition, heart feelings, and gut responses. Transformation requires being present, welcoming and developing, all three centers of intelligence.
Utilizing Harmony Triads, I developed The ©iEnneagram, Motions of the Soul which has become my go-to map for spiritual/psychological transformation. ©iEnneagram Motions of the Soul (MOS) was influenced by many faithful foremothers and forefathers including, Ignatius Loyola (thus the “i” in ©iEnneagram) Evagrius Ponticus, Julian of Norwich, Ramon Lull, Teresa of Avila and other ancient and contemporary guides. To keep this article brief, I will offer just a few of my influencers.
Ignatius may not have used the Enneagram but the wisdom he describes in the phrase “Motions of the Soul” radiates Enneagram Harmony. While recovering from a war injury, Ignatius discovered engagement of his HEAD, HEART, and GUT to make decisions that lead to abundant living.
Motions of the Soul has also been called discernment of spirits. These motions are the inner experiences of desire, imagination, emotion, intellect, and gut reactions, both attraction and repulsion. Ignatius categorized these as “good spirits-bad spirits” or “consolations and desolations.” Learning the flow of motions of the soul includes paying attention to intellect, emotion, and body sensations. Developing an understanding of where these motions come from and where they lead us can take us on a transforming life journey.
Ignatius discovered MOS on his bed of recovery through noticing consolations and desolations. When he imagined continuing as a soldier, the energetic feelings of desire, joy, and excitement were enacted; but afterward, he felt empty and desolate. When Ignatius began to imagine offering his life in service to God, he had the same initial affective responses, but the consolation continued. Through his imaginative prayer (HEAD), attention to desire and body sensations (GUT), emotional feelings that lead him toward love, hope and warmth (HEART), Ignatius determined that it was God’s best that he leave the life as a soldier and give himself in religious service to others. This motion gave him the freedom to choose well.
Through this initial experience, Ignatius was learning to discern between two good options. Choosing between good and evil only requires a conscience while choosing between two good things requires spiritual discernment. It calls for a person who habitually pays attention to the motions of the soul. Ignatius believed that the ability to make daily decisions, discern spirits, and live a whole and holy life was possible for every person. He taught that God was present in ordinary life to ordinary people and could be understood by paying attention to what Enneagram practitioners call the “three centers of intelligence.”
2009 Introduction to Harmony Triads Map
I was already waist deep in Enneagram training and certified through Patrick and Dee Dee Aspell, and Jerome Wagner when my Enneagram world was rocked in 2009. During a seminar at Loyola University, Dr. David Daniels gave a sneak preview of the Harmony Triads. He told everyone to keep their eyes open for this to be a significant part of Enneagram wisdom. With three equilateral triangles, the diagram gives each personality style immediate connection with all three centers of intelligence-intellectual, emotional, and body (gut) intelligence. Then the Enneagram Master, Dr. Daniels made this startling statement,
“The Enneagram of Harmony Triads,
are the key to development.”
This statement made me sit right up in my chair, and I wrote in my notes, “Ignatius Loyola + Enneagram Harmony!” My head, heart, and gut came alive (consolation in Ignatian language =) to Dr. Daniels words and my research began.
In September 2011, I read the Enneagram Journal, Hidden in Plain Sight: Observations on the Origins of the Enneagram, Virginia Wiltse, Ph.D., and Helen Palmer, M.A., which utilized the same diagram. The scholarly research including the work of Evagrius Ponticus gave me another bolster! I started practicing, writing, and teaching others about Motions of the Soul based utilizing this Enneagram shape.
In 2012, I presented at the International Enneagram Conference on ©iEnneagram MOS. At that same conference, I attended a session taught by Forensic Psychiatrist, Arthur Kranz. He showed Ramon Llull’s Diagrams depicting virtue and vice. I wondered, did Ramon Llull see what I saw? In my early studies of the Enneagram, I learned from Richard Rohr that Llull made several trips to the Muslim world using the Enneagram as a “neutral language of conversion.”* When I saw Kranz diagram I wrote, “#Llullkindredspirit!”
You might see that Llull’s diagram hints at what is known as the Harmony Triads. (HT) I am not saying the Ramon Llull is the first Father of the Enneagram (as described by some). I am not attempting to prove the origin of the Enneagram or HT. What I am saying is this model, in all of its incompleteness, offers a way to wholeness and presence and it is “very useful.”
While all HT-types have access to all three triads, 1/4/7, 2/5/8, 3/6/9 we still have a dominant E-type that primarily relies on one center over the others-the HEART (EQ), HEAD (IQ) or GUT GQ. One type is dominant, another supports the dominant space, and one may be undernourished or dismissed, but we have access to all three welcoming and integrating all three centers of intelligence, IQ, EQ, GQ centers us and awakens Presence. Additionally, HT and MOS is a fluid, grace-filled design for the journey to discern God’s will for our lives.
“I am my type and more than my type!”
Having used the Enneagram as a central discipleship model in the church my husband and I lead, we’ve discovered that once you name your dominant type on the Enneagram, you can open up to the grace of being more than your type! You have a head, a heart, and a body, and when all thee centers are in flow, you’re grounded and awake to more!
The ©iEnneagram MOS opens the spiritual path to understanding our three centers of intelligence. Deepening our understanding of these centers and leaning into spiritual practices that connect us with them can open us to spiritual transformation.
When you are living in the Essence, the image and likeness of God, you are becoming yourself and living the abundant life God intended you to enjoy. Soren Kierkegaard states,
With God’s help, I shall become myself.”
When we live as our true-self, an image bearer of God, we can live in and do the will of God. The becoming of “myself” requires engaging all three centers of intelligence.
So we need practices that open space to receive all we are giving us a whole new soul terrain. Imaginative Prayer, HeartMath, Biospiritual Focusing, Contemplative Prayer, Meditation, Somatic Experience, Visio Divina, Body Prayers are just a few of the practices we recommend to open the gateway for all three centers.
And it’s all about Love. A lawyer asked Jesus what is the greatest law? Here is his response, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
We all know we live in a world that desperately needs love. Our soul is the container for the IQ, EQ, and, GQ. We cannot love God, love people, ourselves with our heart, mind, and strength without practice. MOS is a modality that opens heart-EQ, mind-IQ, and strength-GQ to love! The ©iEnneagram purports that you have been created and can co-create God’s goodwill on the earth when your soul is whole. You can be a whole and holy person. The autobiographies written by the students in our certification course tells the story of those who are open to greater love and freedom, IQ, EQ, and GQ.
Back to our British Five, a “feeling, sensing, intellectual,” on the last day of training his words caused me to bow in deep gratitude-
“In the course of my career I have been to many professional development training programs and now in my semi-retirement have found this one to be at the top of my life-long learning endeavors. Through their soulful presence, Clare and Scott facilitated different modalities of learning and spiritual exercises that fostered authentic community and personal growth. I would strongly recommend their ©iEnneagram Motions of the Soul with Harmony Triads immersion.”
I pray that the ©iEnneagram map will offer a fresh love for God and self, help people navigate the journey of life, and connect your in-God life for the benefit of your world.
That’s all for now, but if you are interested, check out our ©iEnneagram, MOS Certification or our newest book, Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram. This book, released in March and now in its 3rd printing is co-authored with my husband Scott, Spiritual Directors Adele and Doug Calhoun and Forward by the Jerome Wagner, Ph.D. Remember, all models are incomplete, but some are very useful =)
IEA Great Lakes President