How Would You Cross The River?

(Photo by Endlisnis on flickr)

How would you cross the river? Which out of the below 9-styles are you:-

ONEs approach the river from the one and only perfect place to cross.

TWOs start to cross the river, then double back to help others to cross. As they get to do this, they never get to cross themselves.

THREEs wear their best and wait at the edge until they are the center of attention. Then, they do attractive, eye-catching strokes as they cross the river.

FOURs use a variety of fancy styles and even do a water ballet.

FIVEs never get into the river. They hide behind trees and take notes on what everybody does.

SIXes distrust the river currents. They wait for the security of others to take the ferry across the river.

SEVENs splash and dive and generally have a party, and it doesn’t matter if they ever cross the river.

EIGHTs march into the water and swim upstream against the current.

NINEs amble into the water and float downstream with the current.

Enneagram Profiling: How An Understanding Can Help You

Tool For Self Awareness

The Enneagram is an ancient system that describes nine basic types of people. However, it does not merely describe personality profile; it unveils each of your underlying motivation and how you approach life.

enneagram types

Enneagram also helps you to examine the distortions and biases that cloud your mind. It reveals how you respond to stress and pain, through the lines that a type connects to. In short, understanding your profile type and why you act in a certain manner through Enneagram is a form of awakening. Via the lines of the grid, you also find out where your next natural growth areas, called the Direction of Integration, are.

Improve Your Relationships With Others

Understanding Enneagram also allows you to see the core of who others are and to provide you with an avenue of increased understanding, tolerance and validation of other viewpoints. You appreciate the diverse natures of others, helping you to foster and cultivate deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Roadmap For Spiritual Growth

According to Raj Ravindran, my coach from the Enneagram workshop that I attended last Saturday, its use has been around for more than 2,000 years already.

The Enneagram has been used as a framework for meditation and growth. For the Sufis, the mystics of Islam, the Enneagram is known as the “face of God”. In ancient times, Christian healers have identified antidotes to the seven deadly sins in Enneagram types. On the other hand, Buddhist teachers use the Enneagram as a map of attachments, guiding meditators on their path to awakening.

What The Enneagram Means

How the wings and lines configure, and the energy that you are centered in, will account for every aspect of your personality.

1.What Energy Are You Centered In?

2,3 and 4 are centered in heart energy. They are emotional based people
5,6 and 7 are centred in head energy. They are mental based people.
8, 9 and 1 are centered in gut/body energy. They are strong willed people.

2. Wings
Wings are the adjacent numbers to your Enneagram type. If you have a strong wing, the tendencies of that number show up strongly in your personality. For example, if you are a type 4, you can have strong 5- or 6-wing or both.

3. Lines
The other influence or tendencies come in the form of lines. They also correspond to the Direction of Integration and how you tend to respond negatively when under stress. Here is where you learn what your “gaps” or missing traits are, in order to lead a more fulfilled life.

Why I Am Now So Keen On Enneagram

I was not interested in “boxing” people up according to personality types. Hence, I had an initial reluctance to learning about Enneagram. However, I soon saw the potential of applying it for my own personal self-growth, from spending my entire weekend reading about it after the workshop.


I began to appreciate that the process of living is primarily to move in the Direction of Integration and up the 9 levels of Development, under each personality type. The difficulties that we have been facing in our lifetimes are precisely set up so that we can transcend our basic personality type (and our ego) to evolve to a higher state.

Growth, in all aspects and beyond measure, is achieved by moving along the Direction of Integration and up the Levels of Development. To attain the highest (the Level of Liberation) of the 9 Levels of Development, we become our highest essence, our (Higher) self at its best.

“Living in essence becomes a matter of transcending our ego and in so doing, of discovering and developing our truest self. The search for essence or self-transcendence is not an escape from life but the reverse: a commitment on our most profound level of consciousness to participate in our own creation. ”
—- Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types by Don Richard Riso

We cannot live without form. The essence of being human is expressed through our personality. So if we can learn to integrate and live in alignment to our true Self, we would have gained mastery over our ego.

You may ask: so what would the ultimate goal, according to the Enneagram, be? The goal would be to acquire and integrate all the healthy components of each personality type. You become centered in the highest values and the healthiest of all types. You transcend above form, above ego. You evolve into higher states of consciousness. Your purest essence is now reflected through your personality. You radiate love.

Next obvious question: will it bring about enlightenment? I would like to say yes. But in all honesty, maybe; maybe not. One of the limitations of the Enneagram is that the quest itself may not bring about wisdom or perfection. I seriously doubt that achieving enlightenment is about following a system either. Then again, I have to be reiterate here: I am in absolutely no position to advise on how best to attain enlightenment.

Still, there is no denying that using the Enneagram as a guide can aid in the expansion of the Self. Through the grid, you see that wholeness is found in the most unlikely places. It is about embracing your weaknesses. It is about filling the void inside. It is only when you integrate the hollowness of your Being that you can become One. In short, the Enneagram is a framework to spiritual wholeness and may I conclude, a tool for increasing your divinity.

Life is a process of creative discovery. Expansion never stops in the unfolding of all there is. In your awakening to deeper insights and new dimensions, you experience a shift. You take actions, that reflect your purest and truest essence. Experiencing a shift from personality to essence is nothing but the realization of your Highest Self.


I have chosen not to go into details about what each type of personality means, for I cannot possibly condense everything into an article post. My finding is that the Enneagram is a superior form of personality profiling. It is a dynamic system to assist in self awareness and transformation. I have identified some additional resources that you can turn to:

1. Free Enneagram online test
2. Free ebook download here.
3. Additional reading: Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types by Don Richard Riso
4. Integrate along your Direction of Integration according to your Enneagram type in a classroom setting with a team of hot dudes; James, Raj and Lance. More info can be found on their site here, which is in the midst of a revamp. Do not let that stop you from contacting them at awake[at] with the email title: “Help Me Cross the River in More Ways than One!”

Questions For You

 (Photo by mikebaird on flickr)

How would you cross the river? What type of personality type do you think you are?

Want to know what is my basic type? Well, Raj did an assessment for me while chatting over coffee. (Oh yes, lessons are conducted informally and with lots of jokes in between!) To guess what is mine, look for the clue in this post. No prizes though; it is way too obvious!

Lastly, I’m also intending to conduct a small reader survey. After having read the basic intro above, would you be keen to find out more about how you can integrate Enneagram Personality Profiling for personal growth? If so, please state your interest in the comments below.

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