by Lee van Laer
A book on the enneagram and its relationship to diverse questions regarding the nature of the universe and Being. This book is a comprehensive compilation of material originally published at the enneagram resource page.
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The principal sources for interpretation of the enneagram you'll find in the book are based on its relationship to the early yoga schools it originated in. The material is synergistic, and all of the diagrams are interrelated under a single overarching premise about the nature of the diagram and its function.
Gurdjieff told Ouspensky,
“Speaking in general it must be understood that the enneagram is a universal symbol. All knowledge can be included in the enneagram and with the help of the enneagram it can be interpreted. And in this connection only what a man is able to put into the enneagram does he actually know, that is, understand. What he cannot put into the enneagram he does not understand. For the man who is able to make use of it, the enneagram makes books and libraries entirely unnecessary. Everything can be included and read in the enneagram. A man may be quite alone in the desert and he can trace the enneagram in the sand and in it read the eternal laws of the universe. And every time he can learn something new, something he did not know before.
“If two men who have been in different schools meet, they will draw the enneagram and with its help they will be able at once to establish which of them knows more and which, consequently, stands upon which step, that is to say, which is the elder, which is the teacher and which the pupil. The enneagram is the fundamental hieroglyph of a universal language which has as many different meanings as there are levels of men."
Excerpt taken from In Search of the Miraculous by P. D. Ouspensky, pub. Paul H. Crompton Ltd, 2004, pp 293–294.
I think it's fair to ask ourselves, what did he mean by this? The material that follows is an effort to investigate that question. Gurdjieff, after all, indicated that one of the five essential (obligolnian) strivings of man was "...the conscious striving to know ever more and more about the laws of world creation and world maintenance." And this is exactly what the enneagram provides us with: a tool to conduct that investigation. The tool, however, like all tools, must be properly understood if it is to be used effectively.
To me, studies of this kind are a joy — because in undertaking them, the beauty and wholeness of the system becomes increasingly evident.
a Doremishock resource