The Sacred Personality

by Frank Dobner

What We Want

Everywhere on earth, people of every kind are universally looking for the same things. They long for the experiences of inner peace, unconditional love and all-powerful and universal knowing. Among the usual words we use to describe these experiences, are the words “essence,” “divinity,” “being,” and “God.”

The search for these experience is almost a mythical journey for many of us. We vaguely remember experiencing these things at a time unknown and out of grasp. Yet while thinking that this state is surely unobtainable, we secretly search for it our whole lives, in all kinds of twisted and desperate ways.

Personality Gets In The Way

What bars you from these experiences is a lot of lower level emotional functioning that blocks the quality of the experience. Knowing this underlying psychological apparatus that holds you in place could be the key you have been looking for.

In thinking about psychology, the best that psychology can ever offer you is to help see and make accessible the built-in powerful essence you originally had right from the start. In other words, there is a cross over point beyond which psychology needs to hand you over to your higher functioning self.

Spirituality and Psychology

Yet psychology and spirituality need each other much as an iceberg must live inherently both above and below the water level. Without psychology, spirituality can lead to grandiose self-thought, delusion and desire to elevate ourselves beyond reality (aka – egoic separation). Without spirituality, psychology cannot free us from the harsh “truths” about ourselves – unhealthy thoughts, bouts of depressions, anxiety.

Personality tests have promised insight into some of this personal discovery and insight. Over the years, in my professional and personal life, I have taken several different personality tests – Myers Briggs or the Jung Typology are but two examples. In career counseling, often these tests are intended to help you determine the kind of work that would best suit your personality.

For the most part though, these tests are rarely put to their best use because they are really suggesting that you change your world by what you do, rather than by gaining the real leverage of changing your interior world first. These aforementioned systems are really meant to help you to see your “game” and realize where you will tend to slump in your self-thoughts. Although these tests mean well, they more frequently become little more than a parlor game of categorizing ourselves.

The Enneagram

In the last few years, I became aware of another system that is really intended to help map out the personality “field” that sort of covers up the real you. It is called the Enneagram. The Enneagram was introduced to the western world by Georges I. Gurdjieff, who believed that the Enneagram is not only a psychology typology but indeed a model of natural process. Gurdjieff was a Greek-Armenian that spent much of his life seeking mystics and teachers of ancient wisdom throughout Asia, eastern Europe and Africa.

enneagram-colourcartoon-300x260 - 1

Printed With Permission Pending from the Canadian Institute for Enneagram Studies

Gurdjieff distilled and introduced the concept and fundamentals of the Enneagram as it is known today. The figure of the Enneagram very easily demonstrates that each personality type has a strong relationship with other types, indicated by the lines connecting the types and their proximity to each other. The significant aspect of this system that is particularly useful is that it helps to understand how you are strongly blocked from your divine essence by a primary personality type.

What The Enneagram Personality Types Really Mean

I am not going to explain Enneagram details to you here, because it would probably take more space than I want to devote to this. At the bottom of this post are a couple good books to read. There are 9 separate personality types and you can find descriptions of each type at the following website. You can also take a free short test to get a idea of your personality type or pay $10 for the full test and get a fuller picture:

The Enneagram Institute Type Descriptions

There is a lot of self knowledge to gain from clarifying your specific Enneagram type. The most significant aspect of this system is it gives you a way of looking at your specific major beliefs, inclinations, resistance patterns and stories. These are aspects about you that unconsciously dim your experience of your essence.

The Fisher King

Maybe you have seen the 1991 Terry Gilliam movie “The Fisher King.” In this movie Jeff Bridges plays Jack Lucas, a heady radio talk show personality in New York that spits out in-your-face advice to callers with personal issues. One of these callers is given advice from Jack and ends up killing 8 people with a shower of shotgun fire at a trendy night spot. Jack’s career tanks due to the out-pour of negative publicity and he ends up working in a video store (remember video stores?). Coincidentally during a night of raucous self-drinking he comes face to face with the mentally disturbed husband of one of the shooting victims named Perry (played by Robin Williams) .

Jack, as the shock-jock was a perfect example of a Type 8 - The Challenger. This is a powerful, dominating figure. This character had a hard time being close to people and is a very confrontational figure because 8′s feel like it is not okay to be vulnerable or to trust anyone. Jack is a man, that is specifically in the broadcast medium to thousands of people, to prove that he is not vulnerable to these losers. He pours scorn on these people because, ironically, he feels internally so vulnerable. For Jack, it was impossible to really deal with the feelings of callers, so he served up junk food advice to drive-up callers.

Not surprisingly Jack ends up helping Perry work through his delusional issues. Feeling vindicated, Jack gains back his original radio job and starts to live the same empty life of high rise luxury apartments and limo’s that he was living at the beginning of the movie. Only this time, in the middle of negotiating a new sit-com deal, he catches himself going back to his old ways, and suddenly it feels familiarly uncomfortable due to his recent brush with true essence in helping Perry. He walks out of the meeting. He suddenly becomes aware of his personality and what it is costing. That is what the Enneagram is about….catching yourself being your personality.

The big message in the post is that you are not your personality. You are what actually watches your personality.