Thursday 1 November 2012

Wisdom and the Number 5

In our final workshop for my Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction today, we took a closer look at the Enneagram. For those of you unfamiliar with the Enneagram, it is an ancient tool that looks at our personality and how we tend to deal with life. It emphasizes our greatest strength and weakness. I have done some reading about the Enneagram and listened to some CDs, but this workshop was more experiential. We had the opportunity to talk in groups with people of the same number and to really understand ourselves better.

I am a number 5 which, for those who are unfamiliar, is a person who has the self-talk “I am wise”. I have a tendency to gather knowledge to fill my emptiness and withdraw from people and relationships. Sometimes I find it difficult to get out of my head and actually allow myself to experience life at an emotional or body level. We discussed today that the point of conversion or transformation for a 5 is to move from merely observing life to finding Holy Wisdom.

The facilitator that I worked with, who was also a 5, spoke of how she needed to rediscover the person of Jesus in her spiritual life as he was the embodiment of Holy Wisdom. She encouraged me to do the same in my own life. I know that I possibly put more emphasis on God the Creator or God the Spirit rather than God the Incarnate. This is probably a well-practiced avoidance strategy in staying in my head and out of the body experience.

There is a lot that has arisen out of this exploration of the Enneagram. It is far more than just a personality typing. It is spiritual, rather than psychological and speaks directly into the Christian tradition. So much of it just makes sense. The more I learn about the Enneagram, the more I see the truth in my own nature – the good and the not so. I think there is some work to be done in the near future in exploring what Holy Wisdom might mean for me and how Jesus, as the embodiment of this, might be rediscovered in a new way.

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