Dangerous Faith in the Enneagram

Oscar Ichazo (born 1931) is the Bolivian-born psychologist who first developed the spiritual resource known as the Enneagram. The Enneagram focuses on nine personality types that are arranged into a chart resembling a pentagram. Ichazo, a Sufi-inspired mystic, claims to have had out-of-body experiences since childhood. He further claimed that he had received instructions from a highly evolved spirit being called 'Metatron' (an archangel mentioned in Gnostic literature) and that this revelation was crucial to the Enneagram project. Richard Rohr and Helen Palmer are committed teachers of this Gnostic way of salvation. Many admirers of the Enneagram are unaware of its occult roots.

Background Notes

The Enneagram diagram was first used by Sufi mystics for pagan fortune-telling. This resource is now used as a tool for character analysis and spiritual direction. It can be described as a sacred map of the soul which helps us to understand the nine ways that we forget our connection with the divine. This is a Gnostic mindset that can be summarised thus: 1) When we are born we live in our divine centre. As babies and toddlers we are sinless, perfect and at one with God. Biblical teaching about original sin is denied. 2) When we are three or four, we develop defense strategies to cope with our emotional pain and this process creates the ego. There are nine kinds of dysfunctional ego states that are caused by bad karma. 3) The Enneagram brings us salvation by removing the ego (false self) and restoring us to union with the divine (true self). We do this through mystical work and self-effort. There is no need for Jesus' death and resurrection. We find out our particular ego malfunction and then we move like an arrow towards the corrective ego type. For example a '1' (perfectionist) can find liberation and salvation by moving to a '7' (enthusiast).

Four Ways of Looking at the Story

Materialist faith: "We believe that the Enneagram is irrational. Humans are not sparks of the divine. We are consumers so shop till you drop."

Relativist faith: "We believe that mysticism is great if it works for you. Follow your mystical longings. The Enneagram can help you do this."

Gnostic faith: "We believe that your true self is identical with the divine. The Enneagram will purify your lost soul (ego) and take you back to the divine One."

Christian faith: "God is not an impersonal energy force. You cannot find salvation by trusting in the Enneagram. Follow Jesus and trust in His death and resurrection."

Questions

1) Is the Enneagram dangerous?

2) Why is the Enneagram a Gnostic spiritual resource?

3) Why is the Enneagram popular with Christians?

Comments

Glad to see you taking on the Enneagram, Mark. It's become more popular in the States among Christians. The gnostic mindset you describe in your background notes reminds me of Jung's gnostic depth psychology. I wrote a journal about it yonks ago. I could try to dig it out for you if you wish. Keep up you good work. C.

Thank you so much for this post. Gnostic Christianity is not true Christianity but syncretism. I left a church staff because they were using the Enneagram and David Benner's work on false self/true self for discipleship. The Holy Spirit so totally opposed this within me that it was making me really upset. I tried to talk it through with our pastors and leaders, but they accused me of not understanding Paul's view of the flesh which they were equating with the false self. They said the Holy Spirit uses this tool. But, there's no power in the Enneagram. Jesus said "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life," (John 6:63). I had been praying that the Lord would bring this to light. This is one of a couple articles I've seen showing the occultic roots of the Enneagram. Thank you so much!

Thanks so much dear. I nearly fell into a bad trap. God bless you.

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