Writing about the History

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Although at first the Enneagram personality types can seem to simply be about nine personality types, there are many additional concepts that add to the complexity of the system. In this blog I share my experiences as I write what I hope to be a comprehensive yet easy to read book that specifically helps readers understand and apply these concepts.

Writing about the History

I've finished a rough draft of the chapter on the history of the Enneagram types. My goal was to cut through all the speculation to offer what is actually known. From early in the teachings of the types there has been a narrative that the types are ancient in origin. The best that can be said of that narrative is that elements of the symbol and types may have earlier origins but the symbol and types came together at a much more recent point in time to be used the way they are used with the Enneagram personality types.

I believe there are several reasons it's important to dispel the ancient origin myth of the types.

  • Credit needs to be given where credit is due and not minimize the contributions of Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo by attributing their work to some ancient sources.
  • A lot of unrelated material is mixed in with the types which not only creates confusion in learning the types but also makes it more difficult for them to be accepted in mainstream culture.
  • With the popularity of the types today there is no longer a need to try and make it more appealing with the ancient origin story. In fact, it may be a turn-off to some people.

I considered writing about some of the more prevalent speculations on the Enneagram type origins and correlations but just found it more work than it's worth. For me, it just doesn't add anything to the system except more noise to sift through. For those who simply find it interesting to explore, they can do so on their own using the History reference and resource web page for the book.

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