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A Reason Why Progressive Christian Practice Is So Powerful


Shekinah
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Hello again. There is this spiritual teacher that I have a love-hate relationship with his books, because he's a know-it-all basically. But a genius. There are many people who make new hodge-podge spiritualities, but he reformulated traditional spiritual practice with a psychological approach that is just genius to me. He created a spiritual "work school" called the Diamond Approach. I'm not a practitioner, but I read his books.

There is this one book by him called "Facets of Unity: The Enneagram of Holy Ideas." by A.H. Almaas. Some people may have heard of the Enneagram as a self-help personality thing. I subscribe to that version too, but it was originally formualted as a "map of the soul." There's a book by a Christian about the Enneagram by Richard Rohr, some people may want to check out.

 

What I really made this post is to post an outline of the book I wrote up one day because I loved the book so much. Although it is very abstract. In this book, he talks about several topics that I found show the real strength of the practice and understanding of Christianity. The author mentions in another work that it is not beneficial for a westerner to contemplate archetypes and spiritual understandings that are not embedded in their own culture. Such as a westerner in a Christian world, contemplating a Hindu deity during yoga or something. So I think he wrote this book to speak to the Christian mind.

 

Take special note of the subjects of "Basic Trust," "The Beast," and "Holy Love" and loss of Holy Love, as in what I paraphrased in "The Holding Environment" section. I see very practical interpretations of the true meaning of Love and reconnection to it in Christianity. The Fall. The Devil. And Basic Trust as the deeper meaning of Christian Faith.

 

I don't mean to throw so much deep and off stuff out there in all these posts. I just have had no one to understand my views about Christianity for a long time.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

THE HOLY IDEAS OF THE ENNEAGRAM

 

 

Basic Trust

It is an unspoken, implicit trust that what is optimal will happen, the sense that whatever happens will be ultimately fine.

The confidence that reality is ultimately good; that nature, the universe, and all that exists are of their very nature good and trustworthy; that what happens is the best that can happen.

That there is something about the universe and human nature and life that is inherently and fundamentally good, loving, and wishing us the best.

Without this basic trust, there is no confidence to plunge into the abyss, of reality.

 

The Holding Environment

The early childhood environment, called the holding environment, determines a person's sense of basic trust.

With the constant impingements on the security and support of the normal child's early holding environment, the child develops a sense of self-built on distrust.

When a child does not have the support to be him/herself, the child reacts in such a way as to try to establish or reestablish the holding environment. (ie. Ego syntonic environment throughout life established through personality) the early environment is internalized and projected onto the world.

 

The Beast

The archetype of pure evil or of the devil. Is a deep, energetic darkness and hatred developed by reactions to the earliest disconnection from fundamental Love. Is connected to the essential state of Power, distorted by pride and hatred. Can be cold, calm, calculating, destructive dark emotions. A sense of despise, and insignificance over everything the self sees.

If properly seen and let to reveal it's true nature, it can be transmuted into the Essential Power mentioned above.

Is also connected to negative merging. Where suffering and painful/negative states of parents are experienced and internalized by young child. Partially internalization of these occurrences but also an early frustration towards experiencing these states in the first place when one was helpless.

Feel disconnected and abandoned by God. As in myth of Satan and rebellious angels turning inward away from God's infinite Love and becoming twisted by the power of that same Love, by denying it because of pride (selfhood).

 

Orientation to the Holy Ideas

 

The author states that "Because the Holy Ideas are differentiated ways of viewing what is, they are conceptual and so are related to the higher intellectual center. To understand them on an experiential level is to open the head center." And "The Holy Ideas serve as nine doorways to basic trust because if they are understood, the head center opens, Living Daylight descends into the body, and as it reaches the belly, it is integrated into the belly center as a fundamental trust in reality."

 

 

The corners of the Enneagram:

-8, 9, 1 are the View of theTotality of Reality.

-2, 3, 4 are the View of Functioning in Relation to Reality

-5, 6, 7 are the View of Humanity in Relation to Reality

 

Author divides the types into three's: 8, 5, 2; 1,7, 4; and 9, 6, 3. Each is a triangle corresponding to the three corners at once. Unknown if the divisions of three are directly related.

 

To clarify the reactions and delusions of the enneatypes:

"…each specific delusion, which reflects the loss, absence, or distortion of the Holy Idea of that point, manifest in the life of the soul in the experience of the specific difficulty and the specific reaction… the specific difficulty [are the] nine ways of experiencing the inadequacy of the original holding environment. So each type or fixation will tend to experience the inadequacy of holding as on specific difficulty to which it will have one specific reaction based on its own delusion. Since the inadequacy of holding results in the disturbance of basic trust, the nine reactions was have explored can be understood as exp​ressions of distrust."

 

 

 

Point 8: Holy Truth

"The awareness that the cosmos objectively exists now; that this existence is its own definition, and continues whether an individual understands it or not; and that the individual experiences the truth of Reality most completely when he views each moment fresh, without preconceptions about what should be happening"

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: Reality is dual and conflictual.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: Feeling guilt and badness.

SPECIFIC REACTION: Blaming.

 

Point 5: Holy Omniscience, Holy Transparency

"The awareness that because every individual is intimately connected with the entire cosmos by the operation of objective laws within their own bodies, there is no separateness or alienation except as a mental hallucination. Because the cosmic laws govern every aspect of us, there is no possibility of hiding from the cosmos, or avoiding the results of natural processes. When we understand this, we are completely at peace with our past.

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: I am a separate self.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: Feeling painful isolation.

SPECIFIC REACTION: Withdrawing or hiding.

 

 

Point 2: Holy Will, Holy Freedom:

"The awareness that reality, moving with direction and according to fixed natural laws, flows with a certain force. The easiest way to deal with this force is to move with it. This is true freedom."

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: I have a separate, personal will.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: Feeling castrated and humiliated.

SPECIFIC REACTION: Trying to get your own way. Manipulating.

 

 

Point 1: Holy Perfection:

 

"The awareness that reality is a process, moving with direction and purpose. Within this movement each moment is connected by the process with the one goal, and thus is perfect."

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: Reality is split between good and bad.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: The feeling that there is something wrong with you.

SPECIFIC REACTION: Trying to make yourself (and environment) better. Improving.

 

Point 7: Holy Work, Holy Wisdom, Holy Plan

"The awareness that reality exists as a succession of moments, each experienced as the 'present'' and that it is only by existing in the present that the constant unfolding of the cosmos [can] be experienced. Only by working in the present can real work be done and real results be achieved."

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: I have a separate and personal unfoldment.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: Feeling lost and not knowing what to do.

SPECIFIC REACTION: Planning

 

Point 4: Holy Origin

"The awareness that all individuals are born as the result of natural, objective laws; that these laws continue to operate within them throughout their lives. Because all the laws are interconnected, each individual always has an intimate physical connection with the totality of reality-the cosmos. From this springs true originality."

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: I have a separate identity.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: Feeling abandoned by or disconnected from reality.

SPECIFIC REACTION: Controlling.

 

Point 9: Holy Love

"The awareness that though the laws which govern reality are objective, they are not cold, because these cosmic laws inevitably lead to the creation of organic life, and life itself, like all natural phenomena, fulfills a cosmic purpose. As soon as the mind's word mechanism is destroyed, love, the natural condition of the mind, appears. Love begins the moment man contemplates the creation and says "Thank you, God." All men feel this somewhat, no animal can feel this at all. Man alone can know that all comes from God."

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: Love and goodness are a local phenomena.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: ("[each type's] specific difficulty cannot be understood or resolved until you resolve the specific difficulty of point nine.")

Feeling a sense of inferiority, accompanied by shame about yourself, as sense that you are not loveable. It is the basic difficulty. The foundation of all the other types is the sense and belief that person is unlovable, that there is something inferior or intrinsically distorted about oneself.

SPECIFIC REACTION: The "falling asleep" of 9 is the basis of all the other specific reactions. "The basic exp​ression of basic distrust is falling asleep, not being present to your experience."

 

 

Point 6: Holy Strength, Holy Faith

"The awareness that the cosmos is a self-regulating mechanism, existing in a state of balance, and as long as the objective laws which govern this balance are respected, an individual can exist in a state of harmony with reality, moving toward his own personal fulfillment. Faith is a Holy Idea, not a belief. It is the certitude that each of us has an essence and that this essence coming from God, belongs to God."

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: I have no true nature.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: Feeling fearful insecurity.

SPECIFIC REACTION: Suspiciously defending yourself.

 

Point 3: Holy Harmony, Holy Law, Holy Hope

"The awareness that there are no exceptions to the natural laws which govern the cosmos, and that these laws are completely objective, operating as an inter-connected unity. The highest law is the totality of reality itself. Certitude in the objectivity and total applicability of those laws is true hope."

 

SPECIFIC DELUSION: I am a separate doer.

SPECIFIC DIFFICULTY: Feeling helpless.

SPECIFIC REACTION: Striving.

 

 

Topic moved from Cafe on Sept 4, 2009 to Book Discussion/Review area here - JosephM (Moderator/Admin)

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Thanks for posting this! I had done some work with the enneagram at church, using the book An Enneagram Guide: A SPirituality of Love in Brokennessu][/u] by Bergin and Fitzgerald. It was helpful, but this has some new ways of looking at it more simply. I think I will focus on the Holy Idea for my type and see if it helps as much as moving against my arrow.

 

Thanks.

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Thanks for posting this! I had done some work with the enneagram at church, using the book An Enneagram Guide: A SPirituality of Love in Brokennessu][/u] by Bergin and Fitzgerald. It was helpful, but this has some new ways of looking at it more simply. I think I will focus on the Holy Idea for my type and see if it helps as much as moving against my arrow.

 

Thanks.

 

I also recommend enneagram books by Riso/Hudson, such as "The Wisdom of the Enneagram." As you could probably tell, I'm a 5.

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There's also a parallel with the trinity. The Enneagram is a circle. Points 8,9,1 are at the top where the Father is. And they are the view of the totality of reality. 5,6,7 are the human in relation to reality, and is located at the Son in the trinity. And 4,3,2 are functioning in relation to reality, where the Holy Spirit is.

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There's also a parallel with the trinity. The Enneagram is a circle. Points 8,9,1 are at the top where the Father is. And they are the view of the totality of reality. 5,6,7 are the human in relation to reality, and is located at the Son in the trinity. And 4,3,2 are functioning in relation to reality, where the Holy Spirit is.

Cool! I'm married to a 5. At one point I thought I was a 3 with a strong 2 wing. Lately I retook the tests and scored highly on 2 and 7, but I made a commitment awhile ago to not shading the truth or bragging anymore, so the 3 no longer resonates. I used the enneagram to understand and help change myself about 10 years ago. Recently I've been focusing on Jesus' teachings. Especially those that make me frustrated.

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  • 1 month later...

Cool! I'm married to a 5. At one point I thought I was a 3 with a strong 2 wing. Lately I retook the tests and scored highly on 2 and 7, but I made a commitment awhile ago to not shading the truth or bragging anymore, so the 3 no longer resonates. I used the enneagram to understand and help change myself about 10 years ago. Recently I've been focusing on Jesus' teachings. Especially those that make me frustrated.

 

I need to make it more explicit. The meaning of this post is that what the author calls: "Basic Trust" is a deep interpretation of Christian Faith. You can sit on a cushion till your butt falls off, read every spiritual book on the market, pray obessively. Do every practice. But if you don't come to realize(not believe) that even through all the negativity and darkness in life, that Reality(this one, not another "higher reality") is funtamentally good and supportive, no change of any real meaning will ever occur.

There's an interpretation of the fall of Lucifer and his followers in Alan Watts' book on Catholic Ritual, where, out of pride, they wished to escape from the Holy Love of the Holy Spirit, which, came from all directions, so they turned inwards into themselves(ego?) and the same fire of Love caused them to burn by their resistance to it and became twisted.

More than the far East, westerners, do not tend to believe that the Universe is fundamentally good and alive. So wrestling with faith, on this deeper level is very beneficial. This is probably the inner wisdom to why we developed a religion built on Faith in the west.

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