This is another in a series of articles describing and exploring what the Enneagram is and how it's used. The Enneagram of Personality originally described ego fixations. It was used to find freedom from our habits of ego.
These ego-types were developed by Oscar Ichazo sometime in the 1950s and 1960s and used with his Arica school teachings. They identified a starting point for ego work. Ego in this sense has to do with how we've fallen asleep to our full potential by associating who we are with the limitations of our habit of ego. The ego-types define the structure of that habit and point to ways beyond it.
The Enneagram personality types evolved from these ego-types through the work of a Psychiatrist named Claudio Naranjo during the 1970s. Naranjo expanded upon elements of Ichazo's Enneagram of fixations, traps, holy ideas, passions, and virtues to create what he called Psychology of Enneatype. As Naranjo's students and their students began teaching their own version of the enneatypes, the personality types moved farther and farther away from the original focus of the ego-types. Today, the Enneagram personality types have become popularized for many people as just another personality type theory where people try to identify which type they are (similar to the Myers-Briggs types and other typologies).
- The Enneagram types were originally a starting point to work at getting beyond the limitations of ego.
- The fixations, traps, holy ideas, passions, and virtues evolved into the personality types popularized today.
- Ironically, people tend to identify with their personality type today where the original purpose was to realize you are something more than that.
Below is a video that describes the evolution of the Enneagram from Gurdjieff to Ichazo to Naranjo (the symbol was first used to understand processes by Gurdjieff before Ichazo began using the symbol in a different way to work with ego fixation).