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What is the Enneagram

What is the Enneagram

Composed of a circle, a triangle and a hexade, the enneagram is a nine-pointed geometric figure that functions as a procedural symbol. It can be used in the understanding and study of any continuous process, as in its logic the end is always the beginning of a new cycle.

It is this wealth of possibilities that explains the presence of the enneagram in various ancient traditions, from the Greek thought of Pythagoras and Plato to Hermetic and Gnostic philosophies, through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

In the modern world, the presence of the enneagram is due to Gurdjieff, an Armenian philosopher who taught philosophy of profound self-knowledge at the beginning of the last century. Gurdjieff came across the symbol in one of his journeys and began to use it as a model of natural processes.

A few years later, Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian philosopher who, like Gurdjieff, was fascinated by the idea of recovering lost knowledge, researched and synthesized the various elements of the enneagram. In the early 1950s, Ichazo associated the nine points of the symbol with the nine divine tributes reflecting human nature from the Christian tradition. The relation between the enneagram and the types of personality was born. Over the next few years, Ichazo established the proper sequence of emotions in the symbol, making more than 108 enneagrams describing processes and creating the first map of the human psyche to raise the level of consciousness.

Finally, in 1970, the psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo correlated the types of enneagram with the psychiatric characteristics he knew, beginning to expand the brief descriptions of Ichazo and assembling a system of typologies.

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