Updated: Oct 11, 2020
With all of the hype about the enneagram in the last few years, many have thought that it was just a fad that would fade, sorta like the mood ring. But the Enneagram is not going away. I predict that the use of it will expand to the point where business, education and personal development enterprises will use it as a staple of their organizations.
For some, and I was included in this, the Enneagram was at best suspicious. After all, it looks a lot like a pentagram and we all know that the pentagram is a satanic symbol! Right? Or who can take it serious when people are matching it to the personalities on popular TV shows? However, if you think about it, we laugh because we recognize the type, but they don't.
Also, the origins of the Enneagram are mysterious. It spans time, culture, ethnicity, and ideology. The beginnings of it go back in history almost as far as human records, and for some experts, back as far as 600 BC. The mathematical patterns of three, seven and nine appear as significant elements in early classical Greek epics, such as Homer’s Odyssey, which is built around nine segments of a journey that test out the nine types of the Enneagram. They also appear in classical Greek myths, philosophy and mathematical science. The Enneagram of personality today works with the wisdom of the ancients and with contemporary psychology and neuroscience, making it scientifically valid.
The Enneagram is spiritual as well. Since it is a psychodynamic instrument, it works with the human soul. Our spirituality is a dimension of that. It can be useful for all who have a biblical worldview and approach the Enneagram in that way. It works because it has been developed over thousands of years as an experiential map of the human soul. I can’t say the Enneagram is biblical, because it is not in the Bible, but I do believe it is true. The Law of Gravity is not taught in the Bible, but it is true. Gravity was created by God but its concept was discovered by us humans. Same with the human soul. God created it and we are discovering much about it. The Enneagram is a map in that discovery.
The earliest appearance of the familiar Enneagram like symbol is in the work of Franciscan philosopher and theologian, Ramon Llull. He created a diagram of nine sets of aspects in concentric circles, one which maps to the vices of the Enneagram.