The Enneagram
(Paper II by Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, SJ)

In America and abroad a system of personality types is becoming very popular called the enneagram. Strictly speaking, the enneagram is a circle with nine points on it (ennea means "nine" in Greek, and gram means "line drawing"). Inside the circle two figures connect the nine points, a triangle and an oddly shaped six pointed figure. However, most people who refer to the enneagram are interested in a personality typology system based on this drawing. In workshops they learn that only nine personality types exist and that every person fits into one of them. Each of these nine types is a personality compulsion, a wrong or even "demonic" way of behaving. Once a person identifies his or her type (usually classified by a number on the enneagram), then he or she can learn how to improve or avoid getting worse spiritually.

The enneagram is particularly popular among Catholic groups, with parishes and retreat houses offering workshops across the country. Rarely are teachers or participants aware of its occultic origins, though this should be a source of real concern for the Christian Church. Echoes of a false, gnostic theology are heard in enneagram teachings, though its occult roots are unknown. The lack of scientific research into the enneagram system leaves it open to abuse even by people who reject or know nothing of its occult background. This article will examine these three aspects of the enneagram: its occultic roots, its gnostic theology, and its lack of scientific support.

Historical Background of the Enneagram

The man credited with bringing the enneagram figure to the West is George Ilych Gurdjieff, a Greek-Armenian from what is now Soviet Georgia. He apparently enjoyed being shrouded in mystery, as seen in the different dates he gave for his birth: he told some disciples it was 1869; his passport had the date December 28, 1877. He told others that an Edison phonograph was playing during his birth, confirming 1877, the year of the invention of the phonograph; others said he was 77 years old when he died, placing his birth year in 1872. He was known to be a liar and to make outrageous claims in order to shock disciples into spiritual change; perhaps the secret about his age belonged to the outrage.

According to Meetings With Remarkable Men, a sort of autobiography, his family wanted him to study for the Orthodox priesthood. He wanted to study science and technology while a local priest suggested both seminary and medical school so he could heal both soul and body 1. Gurdjieff rejected all of the above because of a fascination with the occult. Astrology, mental telepathy, spiritism and table turning, fortune telling, and demon possession all held his interest as a youth 2. He would not listen to his priest about rejecting all these things, nor were scientific explanations very satisfactory to him, either. Therefore in his late teens he set out to pursue these occult "sciences," traveling throughout central Asia, the Mediterranean basin, Egypt, Tibet and India. The special goal of his search was the esoteric Sarmouni school, allegedly founded in Babylon around 2500 BC. He had read about it in an ancient Armenian book and felt drawn to find this school.

He supported himself throughout this spiritual venture with legitimate businesses, like selling carpets, and fraudulent enterprises, like coloring sparrows with aniline dye, calling them "American canaries," and selling them at a great profit. So enterprising was he that he eventually became a millionaire.

While in Afghanistan, around 1897, a dervish (a type of Moslem mystic) introduced Gurdjieff to an old man belonging to the Sarmouni sect he had been searching for. This gentleman arranged for an expedition to take Gurdjieff to the Sarmouni monastery in central Turkestan, where he learned their mystical dancing, psychic powers, and the enneagram. For the Sarmounis. The enneagram was particularly important as a means of divination to foretell future events as well as a tool to represent life processes, like personal transformation 3. They also used it as a symbol of the conscious and unconscious states in human beings 4. These uses would become part of Gurdjieff's spiritual teaching when he founded his own school for attaining enlightenment.

Upon leaving the Sarmouni monastery, Gurdjieff formed a group, the "Seekers of Truth," as his companions in the quest for enlightenment and consciousness 5. They traveled to Tibet to make contact with the awakened inner circle of humanity and to learn the wisdom of the tulkas, the reincarnated Tibetan lamas 6. Later Gurdjieff snuck into Mecca and Medina, the centers of Islam, but failed to find inner truth there. Then he went to Bokhara, where the Bahaudin Naqshbandi band of Sufis (Islamic mystics) lived. 7

These Naqshbandi Sufis, also called the Khwajagan or "Masters of Wisdom," claimed to be the "World Brotherhood," composed of all nationalities and religions, teaching that "all were united by God the Truth." Typical of central Asian belief, the Naqshbandis had a legend of an inner circle of humanity who formed a network of highly evolved people with special knowledge. These people watch over the human race and direct the course of its history. The Naqshbandis also believed in a perpetual spiritual hierarchy headed by the Kutb i Zaman or "Axis of the Age," a personal spirit receiving direct revelations of the divine purpose. This spirit transmits these revelations to humans through spirits called the Abdal or "Transformed Ones." 8 Gurdjieff and his followers believed that these spirits, "demiurgic essences" from a higher level than man, were responsible for maintaining planetary harmony and evolution. However, their work is not necessarily favorable to the liberation of individuals, either. 9 Despite their potential hostility, Gurdjieff and his followers maintained contact with these spirits.

Anyone familiar with Dr. Walter Martin's work on Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy will recognize similar beliefs in ascended master spirits here. Perhaps she learned about the hierarchy of spirits from traditions similar to those Gurdjieff learned in Central Asia. Remember, she had traveled through the same areas of Asia only thirty or forty years before Gurdjieff.

The Naqshbandis also taught Gnostic doctrines. For instance, they taught Gurdjieff that faith arose "from understanding" which is "the essence obtained from information intentionally learned and from all kinds of experiences personally experienced." Only understanding can lead on to God and only experience and information makes one acquire a soul. 10 This approach to faith places him squarely in the gnostic camp outside Christianity. For us, faith is a gift from God, available to the brilliant or the retarded, the aged or the child, independent of whether a human understands or not. Instead of human understanding leading to God, it is God who comes to humans, offering to dwell within our hearts through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

After years of travel, the millionaire Gurdjieff returned to Russia in 1912. In Moscow he established the "Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man" to train disciples to teach the world what he had learned in his travels. However, Moscow soon became an inopportune place for a millionaire, so in 1915 he returned to Armenia. The arrival of the bolsheviks in Armenia meant the exit of a shady capitalist like Gurdjieff, who moved successively to Istanbul, Berlin, Dresden, and finally, in 1922, to Paris, where he reopened his Institute. 11

In Paris (and the New York branch of the Institute opened in 1924), he taught "esoteric Christianity" and the attempt to reach the highest levels of consciousness. His doctrine included the belief that everyone has three personal centers: the mental located in the head (path), the emotional located in the heart (oth) and the physical located in the belly (kath). One prime cause for people being "asleep" or "mechanical" was the imabalance of these three centers within each person. His Sufi dances and other exercises were designed to restore balance to these three centers and move the person closer to an alert spiritual state.

Gurdjieff also taught that everyone has an essence and a personality. The essence is "the material of which the universe is made. Essence is divine -- the particle of god in our subconscious called Conscience." 12 The personality is a mask of compulsive behavior which covers the essence. Though everyone is born in essence, they choose a personality ego style around age three or four. It is nearly impossible to return to the essence, but with slow, deliberate, conscious work one can arrive at it again.13 Note here that Gurdjieff's doctrine of "essence" places him squarely among the pantheists. Enneagram teachers who recommend that students return to this essence rarely understand what Gurdjieff meant, but his own words make it clear that he did not have a Christian sense of God. That is one reason he claims to teach "esoteric Christianity;" orthodox Christianity proclaims we are creatures of God, not divine particles.

The enneagram figured prominently in Gurdjieff's teaching, as seen by its frequent appearance in his disciples' books (though not in his own). The Sufis had used the enneagram for numerological divination by searching for the mystical meanings of the decimals .3333..., .6666..., and .9999..., based on dividing one by three, and of .142857..., which is based on dividing one by seven and contains no multiples of three. 14 The multiples of three corresponded to the triangle inside the circle and the decimal .142857 (derived by dividing seven into one and resulting in a repeating decimal that never contains three or its multiples) corresponded to the points on the circle that connected the six sided figure.

Through these two figures inside the enneagram circle, each based on the decimals of three into one and seven into one, Gurdjieff was able to manifest the great numerological laws of the three and the seven. He taught that "all things in life work on two laws -- 3 and 7." All psychological laws fall within the law of three, as with the three personality centers, and all material things fall within the law of seven. 15

Gurdjieff and his followers made tremendous claims for the enneagram as a result of these numerological beliefs. Piotr D. Ouspensky, a mathematician, writer and Gurdjieff disciple, quoted Gurdjieff as saying: "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 know." 16 The process of knowing something through the enneagram meant distinguishing between the functional steps of a process, which must always follow the nine points around the circle, and the "will cycle," which follows the inner figure along the lines between points 1, 4, 2, 8, 5, 7. 17 Gurdjieff taught that the enneagram has the power to see the "timeless" role in understanding any cosmic process, since the enneagram is a symbol of the cosmos. 18 Therefore Gurdjieff instructed his students in the enneagram of cooking (symbolizing the process of personal transformation), which had nine steps and six inner dynamics. John Bennett, a Gurdjieff student, came to believe that the "[e]nneagram is more than a picture of yourself, it is yourself....the enneagram is a living diagram and...we can experience ourselves as enneagrams." He came to this understanding when Ouspensky drew the enneagram on a blackboard and Bennett "felt myself going out of myself and entering the diagram." 19 The enneagram of personality developed from similar beliefs held by other Gurdjieff disciples.

Oscar Ichazo

Many different Gurdjieff groups formed after his death, such as "Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Centres," Robert Burton's "Fellowship of Friends," the "Theater of All Possibilities," the "Institute for the Development of the harmonious human Being," and others. The one most influential in the spread of the enneagram of personality is the Arica training (named for a city in northern Chile) founded by Oscar Ichazo. Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo, a Chilean psychologist, are both disciples of Gurdjieff, who according to Naranjo, originated the enneagram of personality types. Their ideas are closely related to Gurdjieff's thought, especially regarding the structure and use of the enneagram.

At age six Oscar Ichazo became disillusioned with the Catholic Church because its teachings contradicted the things he learned through out of body experiences. He rejected what his Jesuit teachers said about heaven or hell, claiming to have been there and learned more about it than Christ and the Church. He eventually came to believe that living in one's subjectivity was the real hell, but people could become of it. He then studied Oriental martial arts, Zen, Andes Indian psychedelic drugs, yoga, shamanism, hypnotism and psychology to learn techniques to free himself from hellish subjectivity. An elderly man in La Paz, Bolivia (who must remain anonymous), introduced the nineteen year old Ichazo to a group in Buenos Aires studying "esoteric consciousness-altering techniques." He impressed the group with his ability, so they offered him the chance to travel to Hong Kong, India and Tibet to study more martial arts, higher yogas, alchemy, the I Ching and Confucianism. 20

Along the way Ichazo came to believe, as Gurdjieff did, in a hierarchy of spirits and entities. He receives instructions from a higher entity called "Metatron, the prince of the archangels" and the members of his group contact lower spirits through meditation and mantras. Ichazo now considers himself a "master" in contact with all the previous masters of the esoteric school, including those who have died. Students of his Arica training are helped and guided by an interior master, the Green Qu'Tub, who makes himself known when a student reaches a sufficiently high stage of development. 21 Apparently it is the same as Qutb i Zaman, the spirit in charge of the hierarchy and speaking through other spirits, as taught by Gurdjieff (see above).

Somewhere in his spiritual search, Ichazo learned the enneagram. Perhaps applying Gurdjieff's principle that nothing is known until placed into the enneagram, Ichazo developed a system of nine personality types, each corresponding to the enneagram's nine points. The personality theory behind the types is based on Gurdjieff's idea that everyone has turned away from the essence into which they are born and chosen an ego type. This compulsive ego turns people into machines and puts them spiritually asleep. According to Naranjo's report, Oscar Ichazo gave these nine compulsive ego types some "dirty" names: resent, flattery, go, melancholy, stinge, coward, plan, venge, and indolent. 22 Ichazo identified Holy Ideas and Virtues corresponding to each type when a person reached the essence level of higher consciousness. He wrote short descriptions of the each type and employed animal symbols or "totems" to exemplify the qualities of each. 23

Palmer's version of the origin of the enneagram of personality is basically confirmed by the Chilean psychologist and Esalen instructor, Claudio Naranjo. He, too, had belonged to Gurdjieff groups but found them wanting. On a home visit to Chile in the late 1960's he met Ichazo. Though not impressed with him at first, he found him a powerful person once he had meditated in his presence. He helped Ichazo develop the enneagram and disseminate it in America. Naranjo contributed to the personality descriptions and correlated the Freudian defense mechanisms to each of the nine types. Then, in 1970, he brought a group of 50 Esalen students, including John Lilly and Joseph Hart, to Arica, Chile for Ichazo's training in the enneagram. When they returned to California Naranjo taught the enneagram at Esalen to students including Helen Palmer, Kathleen Riordan Speeth, and Fr. Robert Ochs, S.J. 24 Though Naranjo claims that all of these people had signed a promise not to teach others the enneagram, 25 the above named people have written and lectured about it since the early 1970's. In particular, Palmer has written one of the basic texts and Ochs introduced it to the Catholic community.

My personal contact with the enneagram came through Fr. Ochs, who taught it at our Jesuit seminary. We students who learned it there also promised not to teach it to anyone for at least three years, until we could integrate it into our own lives. However, many of us, myself included, could not resist the temptation to share this purportedly esoteric teaching with others. Many of us led classes, seminars and retreats based on the enneagram, spreading it throughout the Catholic community in America, Australia and other countries.

Learning about the roots of the enneagram has been difficult because it has been shrouded in secrecy. Its occultic background was not taught to me and most of the Catholic teachers know little if anything about that aspect. However, once I learned about its occultic roots it become clear that some of these teachings seeped through to us, despite de-mythologization of the system. Bad theology and poor pastoral practice have accompanied the enneagram, for which reasons I now criticize it.


Criticism

Nearly all of the enneagram books and lecturers accept Gurdjieff's claim that the enneagram is very ancient, originating in Babylon or Mesopotamia of 2500 BC. Faith in the enneagram's antiquity is in effect a claim for its authority. However, in my studies of ancient literature and archaeology as a Scripture scholar, I find no evidence for the enneagram's existence in ancient times, neither inscriptions nor drawings. In fact, Ouspensky's books on Gurdjieff are its earliest appearance. John Bennett says that the symbol may go back to fourteenth century Sufis, since that was the time of the discovery of zero and the decimal point.26 The enneagram's dependence on the decimal point for its inner shape prohibits an earlier date. However, external evidence for a medieval date is lacking, merely the possibility that it has mathematical roots back then.

After taking an enneagram course I searched for more information about the enneagram of personality types. Ouspensky and other Gurdjieff disciples described cosmic interpretations of the enneagram, or used it to describe the process of cooking or scientific experiments. None of them described nine personality types. Only after hearing Claudio Naranjo's lecture 27 and reading Palmer's book did I learn that Oscar Ichazo invented the enneagram of personality types in the 1960's.

Significantly, Ichazo's enneagram employs the numerological background of the Sufi decimal point symbolism in understanding personality dynamics (see diagram B). For instance, according to the system, the number one gets worse by following the direction of the arrow on the line connected to type four; four gets worse by becoming like a two, etc. People improve by moving in the direction opposite the arrows, that is, a one gets better by becoming like a seven, a seven should become like a five, etc. Remember that this inner dynamic of the six point figure and of the triangle is based on the numerology of dividing seven into one or three into one, a dynamic rooted in occultism and divination.

This occultic dynamic was Ichazo's a priori structure into which he conformed the nine personality types and their inner dynamic of spiritual improvement or regression. Many people accept this and adjust their spiritual and psychological life to these principles. Even if one de-mythologizes the occultism, or assumes good will among those who are ignorant of the occultic roots, one must nonetheless demand an examination of this system by psychologists and behavioral scientists. What is the evidence that a resentful perfectionist (one) should seek the virtue of the happy go lucky planner (seven)? Why should the vengeful, power hungry person (eight) become a helper (two) rather than seek other virtues? Besides faith in the antiquity of the system, which it does not possess, how can anyone know the best virtues to pursue for any individual type? No research has been done in this regard, yet enneagram experts suggest spiritual goals to their students in parishes and retreat houses. The lack of scientific study should set off alarms for anyone interested in this system.

A second area for future research should examine the existence of the nine personality types. Nine is the a priori number suggested to Ichazo and Naranjo by the enneagram figure. What proof do they have that only nine basic types exist? What is the evidence that these are in fact the correct nine? This has not been researched, either.

A third area for research should examine the theory of personality structure taught by the enneagram experts. Following Gurdjieff's lead, they assume that everyone was born in their essence but chose an ego fixation around age three or four. Children choose these egos as a defense against their parents' egos, but get trapped by their own defense mechanism. The experts also teach Gurdjieff's theory that three centers of consciousness -- mind (path), heart (oth), and belly or instinct (kath) -- is true. Some associate the head center with types 5, 6, 7; the feeling center with types 2, 3, 4; and the belly with types 8, 9, and 1. 28 They teach Gurdjieff's doctrine that human personality problems derive from the imbalance of these three personality centers. One goal of enneagram therapy is restoration of the interdependence of the three centers. 29 Where is the evidence for the existence of such centers? Can psychologists confirm their existence, describe their imbalance, or test therapies that restore their balance? The enneagram industry, as Naranjo now calls it, tries to awaken these centers through "spiritual exercises" derived from yoga, zen, and sufi practices, much the same way that kundalini yoga tries to awaken the seven chakras of that self-described dangerous form of yoga. Why are the enneagram teachers doing this and what is their warrant except the practices of occultists like Gurdjieff and his followers?


Theological Problems With the Enneagram Doctrine

Besides the scientific and psychological problems with the enneagram, Christians have many theological difficulties with it. The frequent use of the occult and spiritism in Gurdjieff and Ichazo immediately throws up a red flag. In Deut. 18:9-15 and many other passages of Scripture God our Lord forbids such sins. However, most of the "experts" I know avoid the occult or know nothing about its presence in the enneagram's background. Despite this avoidance or ignorance, theological problems appear in the enneagram workshops across the country.

Some enneagram experts claim that original sin begins when small children choose their ego type or fixation. This is utter nonsense to the Christian. Original sin, by its nature, is not some wrong that a person commits. Rather, because of the Fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in trying to "become like gods" by grasping for forbidden knowledge about good and bad (Gen. 3:5), all humans inherit original sin. Due to the fallenness of human nature, people are thereby prone to commit actual sins, and frequently do so. Identifying a three or four year old child's choice of compulsion with original sin is a false doctrine.

Another theological error follows from this one, namely, humans can undo the effects of this so-called original sin of ego fixation by means of Gurdjieff's, Ichazo's, or someone else's spiritual "work." Certainly, people can get help from others to overcome psychological problems, and they should seek the wisdom and counsel of solid, Christian psychologists when they need that type of help. However, such work can never be the removal of original sin, or any other sin, for that matter. Only the saving death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, true God and true man, can remove our sin. This is a free gift of God's grace which no human can either earn or deserve. We accept this grace from the merciful God and return gratitude to Him, which is itself His gift to us. Any removal of the effects of sin, the psychological residue or ramifications of sin, may be alleviated by psychological help, along with other aids, like charity to the poor, proclaiming the Gospel, etc. Further, the prophet Isaiah wrote that wisdom, understanding and counsel are gifts of the Holy Spirit (Is. 11:2), so we should seek psychological help from Christians blessed by these gifts. The Christian should know and proclaim to the world that even psychological techniques require God's grace if they are to be effective in removing the effects of our sin. Both the forgiveness of our sins and the removal of their effects demand God's unearned grace in our lives.

Another theological error is the claim that Jesus our Lord possesses the virtues of all nine types within Himself. 30 Only a contrived exegesis of the Gospels permits this silly idea. Assessing someone's personality is very difficult, even when that person speaks directly to the therapist or interviewer. Determining our blessed Lord's personality type from the Gospels is an abuse both of Scripture and therapeutic technique. Jesus our Lord did not grant any interviews for a psychological profile. Nor did He personally compose the texts of the Gospels. How can anyone claim to know His ego type from these texts? Furthermore, the evangelists did not intend to give us a psychological profile of Jesus; they intended to proclaim the Gospel that God became flesh, died on a cross, rose from the dead, and thereby redeemed the world. The evangelists' purpose was to summon the readers and hearers of the Gospels to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, not to analyze the Lord! These claims are absurd and should be rejected outright.
Naranjo taught that the Holy Idea or Virtue of each type is one of the nine faces of God; the compulsive aspects of each type turns the face of God upside down and becomes a demon. The purpose of the "work" is to free oneself from the demons. Perhaps Naranjo intended merely this as a figure of speech, but it has become commonplace within the enneagram industry. Any Christian who hears it should recognize three errors here.

First, God does not have nine faces. Certainly Jesus our Lord revealed that there are three co-equal persons in the one God, forming what the Church has long called the Blessed Trinity. However, these three persons are neither multiplying nor subdividing into nine faces. That is a silly way to speak, ungrounded in divine revelation or common sense.

Second, no human can turn the face of God upside down, right side up, or any other way. God is our uncreated sovereign, unmoved by created beings in any direction. Claiming that the upside down face of God is a demon moves beyond absurdity to blasphemy. God, who is all good and all loving, cannot be remolded into a demon. No one should speak that way.

Third, as is true of sin, so also with demons: we humans cannot free ourselves from the demons. God delivers us from them. No technique or meditation delivers us from the power of evil or the elemental spirits. Jesus our Savior saves us from these evils.

The enneagram practitioners, and anyone tempted to take their courses, must become aware that their doctrine must conform to Sacred Scripture and Church teaching. Wherever their teaching does not conform to God's revelation, they must adapt themselves to God. No matter how esoteric the Sufi tradition or what the claim may be, they will have to account to God for spreading false doctrine in the Church of Christ.


Practical Problems With the Enneagram Industry

Books and teachers frequently claim that the enneagram helps everyone to categorize not only themselves but other people around them. In its framework experts classify different types of people, appreciate how they differ from us, and learn how to get along better with dissimilar types. The teachers usually take public figures as examples of the nine types. Palmer names groups of "famous" people belonging to each type. For instance, good Protestants like Martin Luther and Jerry Falwell are "ones," as are non-believers like George B. Shaw and Ralph Waldo Emerson. 31 However, the enneagram experts do not agree on their categorization of these characters. Some consider Hitler an "eight," but Palmer makes him a "six". Similar contradictions exist among the books and speakers.

A basic problem is that these famous people never had the privilege of making the enneagram workshop, so they could not type themselves. Therefore when the experts categorize and counter-type famous people, their example teaches the students to categorize the people they live with. Once one feels like an enneagram expert, one can classify friends, spouse or children. The expert may feel privy to secret knowledge granting the power to categorize others.

The abuse that follows from this practice is the trivialization of relationships. People believe they have more insight into someone else than that person has. The inner dynamics of the compulsions and the expected behavior are known to the enneagram expert better than to the other person. This opens some people to the abuse of relating to others on the basis of their enneagram supposals rather than what that person actually chooses to reveal about himself or herself. This is not healthy but potentially abusive. I have done it and have seen others do it as well. Unleashing this on parish groups opens the way to serious problems in the time between the end of the workshop and the cooling down of the enneagram fad.

I do not have much respect for the enneagram industry at this point. Its occultic roots have not been thoroughly purged and it has opened itself to theological error, social and psychological misuse. The lack of scientific investigation means that there are no controls to determine who actually is an expert, nor which advice is helpful or detrimental, nor whether the goals of the enneagram system are sound. If anything of psychological value can be redeemed from the enneagram, its practitioners must thoroughly purge the system of unchristian elements. If the true material within the system is to be useful, it requires psychological testing and control. Otherwise counselors will roam through the Church, subtly taking people away from Christ their Lord and perhaps doing damage to their psyches. I recommend avoidance of the enneagram industry until the day it can be made completely conformed to Christ and sound scientific methodology, if indeed that is possible.


Bibliography

Anderson, Margaret. The Unknown Gurdjieff. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962). A description of life among Gurdjieff's disciples and their devotion to his method of changing their lives.

Beesing, O.P., Maria; Nogosek, C.S.C., Robert; O'Leary, S.J., Patrick. The Enneagram: A Journey of Self Discovery. (Denville, New Jersey: Dimension Books, Inc., 1984).

Bennet, John G. Enneagram Studies. (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1983). Bennet was a disciple of Gurdjieff who lived with him for a while. He researched Sufism and writes about the historical roots of the enneagram.

Gurdjieff, George I. Herald of Coming Good. (New York: Samuel Weiser Inc., 1973). His first book, stating some of his philosophy.

The following three books are known as All and Everything, in three series:

Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, 3 vols. First Series. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976). More of his philosophy, meant to introduce people to the strangeness of his ideas and "destroy, mercilessly...the beliefs and views...about everything existing in the world."

Meetings With Remarkable Men. Second Series. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977). This is an autobiography meant to use stories about his life to give a new vision "required for a new creation."

Life is Real Only Then, When "I Am". Third Series. (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1975). An introduction and a series of lectures to continue teaching what he means about the real world rather than the world of illusion they presently believe in.

Keen, Sam. "A Conversation About Ego Destruction with Oscar Ichazo," Psychology Today, July 1973, pp. 64-72. This is an interview with Ichazo, one of the few places where he speaks about himself.

Lilly, John C. and Hart, Joseph E. "The Arica Training," in Transpersonal Psychologies, ed. Charles T. Hart. (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1975), pp. 329-351. This article gives further background to Ichazo, including information about occultic practices in his group and the group's strong attachment to him.

Naranjo, Claudio. "The Enneagram -- Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone." Audio tape recorded at the Association of Christian Therapists, February, 1990, San Diego, California. Available through Diocesan Charismatic Renewal Center, 7654 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla, California 92037. This talk is a rare history of the enneagram's roots in Ichazo's and Naranjo's own teachings.

Ouspensky, P. D. The Fourth Way: A Record of Talks and Answers to Questions Based on the Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff. (New York: Random House, 1957).

In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching. (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1949). Though the enneagram symbol is taught in Ouspensky's books, one searches in vain for information about the enneagram of personality.

Palmer, Helen. The Enneagram. (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1988). A popular version of the enneagram that spells out the various types.

Riordan, Kathleen. "Gurdjieff," in Transpersonal Psychologies, ed. Charles T. Hart. (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1975), pp. 281-328. A short background to gurdjieff's thought.

Riso, Don Richard. Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987).

Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990). Riso tries to use more psychological approach but he has not given outside proof for the system or his own results, as he admits.

Speeth, Kathleen Riordan, and Friedlander, Ira. Gurdjieff: Seeker of the Truth. Bibliography compiled by Walter Driscoll. (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1980). This is the most orderly biography of Gurdjieff that I know of. The chronology is helpful and the bibliography is excellent for research purposes.

Wagner, Jerome. "A Descriptive, Reliability, and Validity Study of the Enneagram Personality Typology." Ph. D., 1979, Loyola University, Chicago.

"Reliability and Validity Study of a Sufi Personality Typology: The Enneagram," Journal of Clinical Psychology 39 (1983), pp. 712-717.

Waldberg, Michael. Gurdjieff: An Approach to His Work. Translated by Steve Cox. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981). A good summary of Gurdjieff's ideas arranged topically.


  1. G. I. Gurdjieff, Meetings With Remarkable Men, Second Series (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977), pp. 53-54.
  2. Meetings, pp. 37, 59-60, 62-72, 79-81, and psychic pet dog, p. 135.
  3. Bennett, pp. 3-4.
  4. Meetings, pp. 148-165; Kathleen Riordan Speeth, and Ira Friedlander, Gurdjieff: Seeker of the Truth, bibliography compiled by Walter Driscoll (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1980), pp. 113, 116.
  5. Meetings, pp. 164-165.
  6. Speeth and Friedlander, pp. 81-82.
  7. Meetings, p. 227; Speeth and Friedlander, p. 93.
  8. Speeth and Friedlander, pp. 35-36.
  9. John G. Bennet, Enneagram Studies, (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1983), pp. 75, 79, 83.
  10. Meetings, pp. 227-243.
  11. Meetings, pp. 270-285.
  12. Margaret Anderson, The Unknown Gurdjieff (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962), p. 64.
  13. Anderson, p. 63.
  14. Kathleen Riordan, "Gurdjieff," in Transpersonal Psychologies, ed. Charles T. Hart, (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1975), p. 293; Bennett, pp. 2-3.
  15. Anderson, pp. 71-72.
  16. P. D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous (Routledge, and Kegan Paul, 1950), p. 294.
  17. Bennett, p. 31.
  18. Bennett, pp. 32, 47.
  19. Bennett, p. 32.
  20. Sam Keen, "A Conversation About Ego Destruction with Oscar Ichazo," Psychology Today, July 1973, p. 64.
  21. John C. Lilly and Joseph E. Hart, "The Arica Training," in Transpersonal Psychologies, ed. Charles T. Hart (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1975), p. 341.
  22. Naranjo, Claudio. "The Enneagram -- Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone." Audio tape recorded at the Association of Christian Therapists, February, 1990, San Diego, California. Available through Diocesan Charismatic Renewal Center, 7654 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla, California 92037.
  23. Helen Palmer, The Enneagram (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1988), pp. 46-47.
  24. Palmer, p. 53.
  25. Naranjo, tape.
  26. Bennett, p. 31.
  27. Claudio Naranjo, "The Enneagram -- Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone." Audio tape recorded at the Association of Christian Therapists, February, 1990, San Diego, California.
  28. Maria Beesing, O.P., Robert Nogosek, C.S.C., Patrick O'Leary, S.J., The Enneagram: A Journey of Self Discovery. (Denville, New Jersey: Dimension Books, Inc., 1984), pp. 144-147.
  29. Beesing, Nogosek and O'Leary, pp. 141-143.
  30. Beesing, Nogosek and O'Leary, pp. 49-98.
  31. Palmer, p. 94.