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The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types

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The first definitive guide to using the wisdom of the enneagram for spiritual and psychological growth The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today's most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Now, two of the world's foremost Enneagram authorities introduce a powerful new way to use the Enneagram as a tool for perso The first definitive guide to using the wisdom of the enneagram for spiritual and psychological growth The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today's most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Now, two of the world's foremost Enneagram authorities introduce a powerful new way to use the Enneagram as a tool for personal transformation and development. Whatever your spiritual background, the Enneagram shows how you can overcome your inner barriers, realize your unique gifts and strengths, and discover your deepest direction in life. The Wisdom of the Enneagram includes: Two highly accurate questionnaires for determining your type Vivid individual profiles focused on maximizing each type's potential and minimizing predictable pitfalls Spiritual Jump Starts, Wake-Up Calls, and Red Flags for each type Dozens of individualized exercises and practical strategies for letting go of troublesome habits, improving relationships, and increasing inner freedom Revealing insights into the deepest motivations, fears, and desires of each type Highly accessible, yet filled with sophisticated concepts and techniques found nowhere else, The Wisdom of the Enneagram is a strikingly new fusion of psychology and spirituality. It offers an exciting vision of human possibility and a clear map of the nine paths to our highest self-expression.


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The first definitive guide to using the wisdom of the enneagram for spiritual and psychological growth The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today's most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Now, two of the world's foremost Enneagram authorities introduce a powerful new way to use the Enneagram as a tool for perso The first definitive guide to using the wisdom of the enneagram for spiritual and psychological growth The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today's most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Now, two of the world's foremost Enneagram authorities introduce a powerful new way to use the Enneagram as a tool for personal transformation and development. Whatever your spiritual background, the Enneagram shows how you can overcome your inner barriers, realize your unique gifts and strengths, and discover your deepest direction in life. The Wisdom of the Enneagram includes: Two highly accurate questionnaires for determining your type Vivid individual profiles focused on maximizing each type's potential and minimizing predictable pitfalls Spiritual Jump Starts, Wake-Up Calls, and Red Flags for each type Dozens of individualized exercises and practical strategies for letting go of troublesome habits, improving relationships, and increasing inner freedom Revealing insights into the deepest motivations, fears, and desires of each type Highly accessible, yet filled with sophisticated concepts and techniques found nowhere else, The Wisdom of the Enneagram is a strikingly new fusion of psychology and spirituality. It offers an exciting vision of human possibility and a clear map of the nine paths to our highest self-expression.

30 review for The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Best personality theory ever, refreshingly devoid of new age bullcrap. This is for critical thinkers who understand that everyone is a work in progress. Provides an intimate and forgiving look at yourself - and everyone you'll ever meet. Best personality theory ever, refreshingly devoid of new age bullcrap. This is for critical thinkers who understand that everyone is a work in progress. Provides an intimate and forgiving look at yourself - and everyone you'll ever meet.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessi

    The enneagram is a highly logical, accurate personality profiling system widely used by psychologists and intelligence agencies worldwide. The theory is that there are nine basic personality types, and everyone fits into one basic category, but you can have strong aspects, or "wings" of the other categories as well. you are the only one who can truly "type" yourself, and it is a tool for self-understanding and relationship building more than figuring out other people, but it stands true that the The enneagram is a highly logical, accurate personality profiling system widely used by psychologists and intelligence agencies worldwide. The theory is that there are nine basic personality types, and everyone fits into one basic category, but you can have strong aspects, or "wings" of the other categories as well. you are the only one who can truly "type" yourself, and it is a tool for self-understanding and relationship building more than figuring out other people, but it stands true that the better you understand yourself the better you relate to others in any sense. I first read this several years ago at a workshop at my summer camp (abby signed us all up for it, she's such a "1"! the loveliest "1" i ever met!) and have since taken several other workshops and discussion groups revolving around the enneagram. very useful stuff!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel DuBois

    I've lost track of the number of times I've recommended this book. The biggest selling point for me is that it helps you understand why you and your loved ones behave in the bizarre, annoying ways you do! The book divides personality types into 9 broad categories, ranging from types like "The Helper" who is the stereotypical caregiver who gives away all of their energy for others to "The Reformer" who believes passionately in doing things responsibly and by the rules. You take a short quiz and th I've lost track of the number of times I've recommended this book. The biggest selling point for me is that it helps you understand why you and your loved ones behave in the bizarre, annoying ways you do! The book divides personality types into 9 broad categories, ranging from types like "The Helper" who is the stereotypical caregiver who gives away all of their energy for others to "The Reformer" who believes passionately in doing things responsibly and by the rules. You take a short quiz and through exploring the types can discover which sounds -- often astonishly -- just like you. Every other sentence had me saying "That is SO me." It's been an invaluable tool in my marriage and friendships as well as my own personal growth, giving concrete suggestions and tools for how to understand and manage my own behaviours and those of others around me. If all newlyweds were given a Marriage Welcome Pack, I'd make sure this book was part of it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid Stabb

    Old Favorite. Along with Helen Palmer, Riso and Hudson are two of the most influential authors and teachers on Enneatype. Many people say that this is their favorite book on personality types due to the extensive detail and insightful observations regarding the inner workings and origins of type. Riso and Hudson are best known for their depiction of "healthy", "average" and "unhealthy", versions of each personality type. Old Favorite. Along with Helen Palmer, Riso and Hudson are two of the most influential authors and teachers on Enneatype. Many people say that this is their favorite book on personality types due to the extensive detail and insightful observations regarding the inner workings and origins of type. Riso and Hudson are best known for their depiction of "healthy", "average" and "unhealthy", versions of each personality type.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Best book about the enneagram that I've read yet! I appreciated this one over others I've read because it seemed the most comprehensive and detailed. There was a vast amount of information about wings, and instinctual variants. And it explained the triadic self in an easily understandable way. Two thirds of the book was dedicated to each type. So I got in depth information (25 pages) on my type with info on what my wings and variants would look like. The book also includes a type questionnaire w Best book about the enneagram that I've read yet! I appreciated this one over others I've read because it seemed the most comprehensive and detailed. There was a vast amount of information about wings, and instinctual variants. And it explained the triadic self in an easily understandable way. Two thirds of the book was dedicated to each type. So I got in depth information (25 pages) on my type with info on what my wings and variants would look like. The book also includes a type questionnaire with info on where to find a much lengthier one online.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Metoka

    I took the Enneagram as an assignment in school and felt the results to be unlike me. And then, as another assignment, I was asked to read this book that delves into the significance of the Enneagram, the personality, and the 9 different personality types. I felt as if someone had stepped into my history and wrote down, experience by experience, the story of my life. It is intriguing and it sold me onto the usefulness of the Enneagram as an assessment tool.

  7. 5 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    My mindset about who I am had completely shifted thanks to this book. And no, I didn’t read about every type in their entirety but I hit everything that has even a tiny bit to do with my Type 1 and all the front and back matter, so for my purposes I count this as a finish.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bek MoonyReadsByStarlight

    4.5 stars. A good, comprehensive look at the enneagram. This would be a really great place to start when learning about it. There is a bit on the history of the enneagram, a breakdown of the types, and what we can do with the enneagram to improve ourselves. It's not too complicated, but I don't think it's overly simplified either. The spiritual aspects that it goes over is not unique to one religion, which makes it more widely useful as well. Over all, the exercise of self-awareness and self-ana 4.5 stars. A good, comprehensive look at the enneagram. This would be a really great place to start when learning about it. There is a bit on the history of the enneagram, a breakdown of the types, and what we can do with the enneagram to improve ourselves. It's not too complicated, but I don't think it's overly simplified either. The spiritual aspects that it goes over is not unique to one religion, which makes it more widely useful as well. Over all, the exercise of self-awareness and self-analysis can be incredibly beneficial and this framework has been super helpful for me in terms of which behaviors to be aware of (and it's made me feel a lot less alone and more understood in some ways).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I love the Ennegram for its truth and flexibility of typing. It doesn't force a person into a label that is static. The idea is of growth, not identity. This book has a lot of detail not found in other Ennegram materials, like the internet sites. However, the main problem I had was the self-focus and the belief that an individual alone, him/herself, without other intervention could achieve the awareness necessary to change. It said we're in a trance and even questioned how someone in a trance ca I love the Ennegram for its truth and flexibility of typing. It doesn't force a person into a label that is static. The idea is of growth, not identity. This book has a lot of detail not found in other Ennegram materials, like the internet sites. However, the main problem I had was the self-focus and the belief that an individual alone, him/herself, without other intervention could achieve the awareness necessary to change. It said we're in a trance and even questioned how someone in a trance can wake from it him/herself. But there was no answer to that self-imposed question. It makes a lot more sense to expand the truth of the Ennegram to say that there is a self who takes on a Type with its pitfalls and desires, and yet there is a separate being that reveals that to us what we really are and empowers the individual to grow and change into the best version of that Type. With a view not of our own divinity but an Other that is the universal divinity, the double-speak of this book is put to rest. It seems that the authors were bending over backward to make everything internal and of the self, when seeing the world and self + a divine Other fit the Ennegram's message so much more naturally.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    The Wisdom of the Enneagram is comprehensive, easy to read and informative. While I liked The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, this book is a must-read companion to that one. Riso and Hudson know and understand each type so well and present every type without prejudice and with compassion. I especially enjoyed their descriptions of how each type deals with everyday acts like walking into a room full of people. My only complaint? This is not a book I can read one time and glean all there is to The Wisdom of the Enneagram is comprehensive, easy to read and informative. While I liked The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, this book is a must-read companion to that one. Riso and Hudson know and understand each type so well and present every type without prejudice and with compassion. I especially enjoyed their descriptions of how each type deals with everyday acts like walking into a room full of people. My only complaint? This is not a book I can read one time and glean all there is to glean from it. It will need reading and re-reading for me to absorb the wisdom within its pages. That doesn't mean you shouldn't read it - it just means you may want to read it more than once.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    VERY insightful! It is one of the most down to earth books on personality that I've come across. The basic premise is that we're all beings of light and that our personalities can aid us or hinder us. If you find out the tendencies expressed in your personality you then have power to choose whether you keep them or if you need to get rid of them. Shedding bad personality traits allows us to get to our core being of light. Great book! VERY insightful! It is one of the most down to earth books on personality that I've come across. The basic premise is that we're all beings of light and that our personalities can aid us or hinder us. If you find out the tendencies expressed in your personality you then have power to choose whether you keep them or if you need to get rid of them. Shedding bad personality traits allows us to get to our core being of light. Great book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    If you've studied Myers-Briggs or are interested in personality types, you'll love this book. I had never heard of the enneagram until my friend Luke told me about it. It's different from other personality typing systems because it focuses on how people are emotionally wired rather than more superficial characteristics like "extroverted/introverted." On the surface, the enneagram may appear to have fewer variations than the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. But each of the 9 types of the enneagra If you've studied Myers-Briggs or are interested in personality types, you'll love this book. I had never heard of the enneagram until my friend Luke told me about it. It's different from other personality typing systems because it focuses on how people are emotionally wired rather than more superficial characteristics like "extroverted/introverted." On the surface, the enneagram may appear to have fewer variations than the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. But each of the 9 types of the enneagram have two variations (one of two possible "wings") as well as three possible instinctual preferences (self-preservation, social, sexual) for a total of 54 potential variations. For example, I discovered I'm a self-preservation 1 with a 2 wing ("The Advocate"). I've also been able to identify the types of a number of my family members. It's fascinating to read about their basic fears, lost childhood messages, etc. Normally, all we see is a person's behaviors; the enneagram helps us to understand a person's emotional wiring, which helps explain those behaviors. Something unique to the enneagram is the idea of levels of development. So two people who are the same exact type could manifest very different behaviors based on whether they are functioning in the healthy, average, or unhealthy range of their type. For a couple of my family members, it seems fairly obvious they are functioning in the average to unhealthy range of their type. At the same time, it's interesting to consider how different they would be if they were functioning in the healthy range. The enneagram is most useful in understanding yourself: what you're most afraid of, what motivates you, how you deal with stress, what it would look like if you were fully integrated, etc. But the ennegram is also useful in understanding friends and family members, especially those you normally can't understand or find frustrating. As I was reading about the personality type of one of my sons, I had some "aha!" moments: "Oh, THAT's what's driving him." Suddenly, certain behaviors made more sense. It will still be a journey to help him to understand himself better and move into the healthy level of development. The final chapter "The Spiritual Journey" is less concrete and a little bit too mystical for me. But just about everything else in the book is helpful and enlightening. Bottom line: This is an excellent book for understanding yourself and others on a deeper level.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Thus far the Enneagram for me is a practical tool for letting go of the ego through recognizing its individual action in my life. All the spiritual traditions talk of the ego which is a simple enough concept in itself but in practical life how do we start to recognize and let go? How does it work in lived daily reality? Once you recognize the identity of the ego you can start to recognize when it attempts to assert itself in life and through that observational presence, can begin to let go. Unde Thus far the Enneagram for me is a practical tool for letting go of the ego through recognizing its individual action in my life. All the spiritual traditions talk of the ego which is a simple enough concept in itself but in practical life how do we start to recognize and let go? How does it work in lived daily reality? Once you recognize the identity of the ego you can start to recognize when it attempts to assert itself in life and through that observational presence, can begin to let go. Understanding the spiritual in the abstract is in the mind and fairly easy to comprehend as a theory. The enneagram gives you the knowledge of the ego in order to attain to the real self in practice. It's a tool to see things more clearly, not an end in itself but a guide that maps out obstructions and areas to observe in whatever practice we are engaged. This is one of those books I'll come back to again and again. I'm starting my second read now.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    When it comes to personality typing, this book is to the Enneagram what Please Understand Me II is to Myers-Briggs. Basically, if you ever wanted to learn more about the Enneagram, then it is THE book to read on the subject. It definitely taught me a lot. When it comes to personality typing, this book is to the Enneagram what Please Understand Me II is to Myers-Briggs. Basically, if you ever wanted to learn more about the Enneagram, then it is THE book to read on the subject. It definitely taught me a lot.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    Dense with information, Riso and Hudson lay out their approach to the Enneagram, especially focusing on each type's biggest fears, desires, and motivations. This is considered by many to be the foremost resource when it comes to the Enneagram. Because there is so much information, I would encourage you to proceed with caution when first learning about the 9 types so as not to become overwhelmed. Once you know your type, dive on in! Dense with information, Riso and Hudson lay out their approach to the Enneagram, especially focusing on each type's biggest fears, desires, and motivations. This is considered by many to be the foremost resource when it comes to the Enneagram. Because there is so much information, I would encourage you to proceed with caution when first learning about the 9 types so as not to become overwhelmed. Once you know your type, dive on in!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Henrik

    A comprehensive book on the enneagram system. Whether you believe in it or not (I myself have my reservations on some things) it is still a thought provoking book on a very interesting topic. Stays with you.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Willa

    The classic on the Enneagram, which I believe is a brilliant personality system that is overrated as a spiritual path. In any case, Riso and Hudson give a clear overview.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This one was specially recommended by the presenters of the recent workshop I attended. Detailed, imaginative and thorough.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carah

    I will always be continuously reading this and referencing this... but I thought I would just mark it as read since I have read a lot of it, but will always be jumping in and out forever. :)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karis

    A great introduction to the 9 enneagram types, including suggestions on how to grow within your personality type.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    [For more direct thoughts on the Enneagram itself, refer to the comments for "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Power of the Enneagram."] Our authors approach the Enneagram in an crucial way: a focus is performed on the important distinction between the essential self and the character armor (psychoanalytic term that Becker uses by way of Rank in 'Denial of Death') or character traits that the ego self takes on due to its basic scripting and unique fears. It is the latter which is mapped out thro [For more direct thoughts on the Enneagram itself, refer to the comments for "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Power of the Enneagram."] Our authors approach the Enneagram in an crucial way: a focus is performed on the important distinction between the essential self and the character armor (psychoanalytic term that Becker uses by way of Rank in 'Denial of Death') or character traits that the ego self takes on due to its basic scripting and unique fears. It is the latter which is mapped out through the Enneagram. That is, the Enneagram, according to the authors, is not so much about coming to an understanding of who we are but rather of how we learn to operate and function - coming to an understanding of what drives us - and then learning to overcoming that character armor in such a way that our essential self is not masked by or confused with our egos. This is a huge and in my opinion necessary understanding of what it means to 'be a type' according to the Enneagram. This understanding then shapes the second part of the book that deals with the particulars of each of the nine types, and includes psychological erudition as an integral part of ones understanding of our 'types' vis-a-vis unique needs and motives.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pranada Comtois

    This book is co-authored and each one comes in with anecdotal pieces throughout the book, which lends an interesting flavor--almost as if you're sitting in on a conversation in some parts. The book opens with clear description of the enneagram's development: the symbol and the personality types. The history alone is fascinating reading, and a strong argument for lending some credibility to the system itself. There's a questionnaire to help you determine your Enneagram type; descriptions about the This book is co-authored and each one comes in with anecdotal pieces throughout the book, which lends an interesting flavor--almost as if you're sitting in on a conversation in some parts. The book opens with clear description of the enneagram's development: the symbol and the personality types. The history alone is fascinating reading, and a strong argument for lending some credibility to the system itself. There's a questionnaire to help you determine your Enneagram type; descriptions about the basic fear and basic desires of each type, the unconscious childhood message of each, lost childhood messages, cultivating awareness, the core identification of the types, how the triads work, what the integrating and disintegrating models are and how to understand them. Then there is a full chapter on each personality type. I found this helpful in understanding people I have a hard time "getting" and learning to how relate to them. I don't use the enneagram consistently, but turn to it when I'm stumped about something regarding myself or someone in my family for insights.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    I picked up this book because my spiritual director recommended it. Over the years people had mentioned the Enneagram, & I had read about it & taken online tests, but had never fully identified with my apparent type (4). Sister Mel told me this book could help me sort out the subtleties of the various types & understand the system (& myself) better. And it IS helping. I am indeed a 4, but I don't have the tendency toward emotional extremes that is often characteristic of this type--that's what co I picked up this book because my spiritual director recommended it. Over the years people had mentioned the Enneagram, & I had read about it & taken online tests, but had never fully identified with my apparent type (4). Sister Mel told me this book could help me sort out the subtleties of the various types & understand the system (& myself) better. And it IS helping. I am indeed a 4, but I don't have the tendency toward emotional extremes that is often characteristic of this type--that's what confused me & put me off. Riso & Hudson help me understand the deep hungers that are given expression in the various types, & I definitely resonate with those related to #4--but also #3, a strong wing for me. I rate it 4 instead of 5 because I quibble with the theology of the book, which the authors say is universal. (Brian exhorting the crowd of would-be followers in Life of Brian: "You're all different." Lone voice popping up: "I'm not!") But some expressions of it I can endorse heartily. I'll probably leave this on my "currently reading" list for quite a while, as it's the kind of book to dip into rather than reading it straight through. Rich & thought-provoking. It makes me want to be more profoundly myself.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Generally, my philosophy is that books on "personality types are a dime a dozen". I don't know how many times I've taken quizzes whether it be myers-briggs, or that one that assigns you a color....they all remind of horoscopes...kind of there but not really. I feel differently about this book. It takes a different approach from multiple perspectives and pares the results down to nine types which are scarily accurate. The best part about this book that I think is different than others is the ackn Generally, my philosophy is that books on "personality types are a dime a dozen". I don't know how many times I've taken quizzes whether it be myers-briggs, or that one that assigns you a color....they all remind of horoscopes...kind of there but not really. I feel differently about this book. It takes a different approach from multiple perspectives and pares the results down to nine types which are scarily accurate. The best part about this book that I think is different than others is the acknowledgment that even if you are a "1" (which I am) there are different stages in your personal growth...and you move up and down that scale over life. Good stuff.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Talbot Hook

    Really powerful, and an even better introduction to the concept of the Enneagram than the famous Personality Types book by the same authors. These two books really need to be read together, however, for a more full and nuanced reading of the Enneagram. This book taps into the deep inherent spirituality of the Enneagram, discussing the formation of the personality in light of the wounds of childhood, and dedicates many chapters to the confrontation and transcendence of the Human Essence over the Really powerful, and an even better introduction to the concept of the Enneagram than the famous Personality Types book by the same authors. These two books really need to be read together, however, for a more full and nuanced reading of the Enneagram. This book taps into the deep inherent spirituality of the Enneagram, discussing the formation of the personality in light of the wounds of childhood, and dedicates many chapters to the confrontation and transcendence of the Human Essence over the personality (both ego and superego). A terrifyingly (purposefully-chosen word, mind you) enlightening book, both humbling and uplifting.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David

    I'm going to be doing some teaching on the enneagram this summer, leading our staff through it and helping them discern their number. Thus, I wanted to read some more on it. This is a helpful book. If you're new to the Enneagram I wouldn't recommend it as there are shorter and easier to read books. I mean, it is layed out like a workbook (8x11 printing as opposed to smaller, normal book size). This large layout is not conducive to reading, but it is what you expect from a textbook. I didn't read I'm going to be doing some teaching on the enneagram this summer, leading our staff through it and helping them discern their number. Thus, I wanted to read some more on it. This is a helpful book. If you're new to the Enneagram I wouldn't recommend it as there are shorter and easier to read books. I mean, it is layed out like a workbook (8x11 printing as opposed to smaller, normal book size). This large layout is not conducive to reading, but it is what you expect from a textbook. I didn't read everything on every number. But if you know, or want to know, the Enneagram and help others know it, this is a good tool.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    if you are interested in discovering a more in-depth take on different personality types, this is a great read. i found it fascinating & eye opening...people are hard to understand when they're different than you - gave great insight in how they might think or see the world. great resource for healthy relationship work. if you are interested in discovering a more in-depth take on different personality types, this is a great read. i found it fascinating & eye opening...people are hard to understand when they're different than you - gave great insight in how they might think or see the world. great resource for healthy relationship work.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steven Fouse

    If you are looking for a system to understand your personality and grow beyond it psychologically and spiritually, you are looking for the Enneagram. If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to the Enneagram and how to make the most of what you learn, you are looking for this book. Be kind to yourself with what you find through this material, and enjoy the journey.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Raina

    I am constantly reading this book. The Enneagram is a personality profile (for lack of a better term) similar to the Meyers--Briggs. Whenever I make a new friend I read up on them. And I am continually finding new bits about myself.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book was life-changing for me and I don't think it was an accident that it came into my life at this exact time...I'll tell you my number, but only if you tell me yours. ;) This book was life-changing for me and I don't think it was an accident that it came into my life at this exact time...I'll tell you my number, but only if you tell me yours. ;)

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