The Enneagram is a powerful tool for coming to know ourselves and others. Emerging in the mid-twentieth century and refined during the ensuing years, interest in it as a tool for aiding in one’s spiritual growth, understanding ourselves and others, helping to build workplace and other kinds of teams that work well together, and shedding light on the dynamics between spouses, partners, family members, and friends has steadily—and for good reasons!—increased.
In this four-part podcast episode, panelists Jana Riess and Jana Spangler, and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon share about the Enneagram itself and their experiences with it, but focus most of their attention (beginning in Part 2) on its specific applications to Mormonism, especially the ease or struggles to “fit in” or be rewarded/recognized/valued that typically arise as various personality types and the spiritual development of its members meet up with the church’s truth claims, practices, institutional aspects, and Mormon culture.
In Part 4, the attention shifts to understanding the particularities of the types of spiritual work that would support each personality type as they journey toward wholenss. Each of us have a “shadow” that, beginning in childhood, was constructed to help us cope with a world that wasn’t ideal in every way. Throughout our lives, and generally only when we are “forced” to confront the pain and subtle or very toxic messages we underwent and/or intuited, do we begin to notice and begin to confront these hidden aspects of ourselves. In this process, either undertaken by oneself or through partnership with a trusted therapist of spiritual director, we get in touch with these things that are keeping us back, that cause us to repeat certain patterns over and over even though we know they aren’t serving us well, and, most of all, that hide ourselves from ourselves—our perfect, whole, and beloved and loving soul. It is through this “soul/shadow work” that we heal and see and feel, so much more than ever before, the joy and peace that is our birthright.
521—Part 1. Introduction to the Enneagram and discussion of Types 9, and 1–3
522—Part 2. Discussion of Types 4–8; Discussion of “church fit” for Types 1–4
523—Part 3. Discussion of “church fit” for Types 5–9
524—Part 4. Spiritual work and specific practices to aid all Enneagram Types; God and soul integration for all Types.
We wouldn’t put out a four-hour podcast if it weren’t as fascinating and terrific a conversation that the panelists and Dan had, nor if we didn’t feel the Enneagram were a wonderful tool and set of lenses through which we can better understand ourselves, our church leaders, our congregants (if leaders will listen in here), and, especially, the faith challenges (many specific to aspects of Mormonism) we and others face. Please listen in! As you get started, the prospect of a four-hour listen (over several segments of time, of course!) won’t seem nearly so daunting!
Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery (IVP Books, 2016)
Suzanne Stabile, The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships (IVP Books, 2018)
Don Richard Riso and Ross Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types (Bantam, 1999)
Jana Spangler’s coaching link
Jana Riess’s blog, Flunking Sainthood
I look forward to hearing this episode.
Reminds me of:
Not sure if anyone is familiar with that?
So I did listen in all the way through.
At one point I felt like someone was reading the horoscope and I could see myself in all the categories.
It’s eye opener for me, but others don’t seem to be as excited as I am about learning about it which baffles me.
Someone said I was 7 that has moved to a 1. Now I still have to take an unreliable test to inform me.
Any links that can point me in the right direction to take this test?
So, I started listening (after YOUR podcast (s), in one day, I might add. Getting ready for work, driving to and from work and anything else inbetween. ) to Richard Rohr’s podcast and when he hit 4 I responded with “Darn it! I am on the light side of life-kinda flaky, not very necessary to the world, and I do love to dress and make my home attractive to me-because I am worldly? Then he mentioned 4 has a love of self pity, so that shut me up.
I was surprised at the amount of shame underneath my response because 4’s, in my mind aren’t necessary, aren’t builders of mankind. We decorate it.
So, it did explain a lot of things, especially in the emotions category, I am an addict in recovery for many years (food) and a few others points matched spot on.
So now I hope to find the upside of 4 w3. Another podcast said that well developed 4’s are comfortable with difficult emotions and are good at sitting with someone in pain, just being there with them. I LIKED that a lot. I hope to be able to develop that ability.
I appreciate the podcast, because now it makes since, why I have always thought I was missing something, something was wrong with me and now I can dump much of that belief. I am not missing something, any more or less than anyone else:) Ah, do I hear some self pity in that:)
Is it common for someone to be both a four and a five simultaneously?
no. You are 1 type but with SO many layers. Sounds like you may have a strong 5 wing. This is why learning and studying the layers and nuances to the Enneagram is so important. I thought for about a year I was a 4, but then realized that I go there ALOT as a 2. That is where I integrate in health. But understand it took me about a year of intense judicious studying before I felt confident in “who I was” and why… remember is it not behavior that dictates your type it is motive. Best Wishes.