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January 27, 1989     The Message
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January 27, 1989
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana January 27, 1989 A journey into wholeness Enneagram theory studies the hidden motivations for our behaviors "Freedom begins with disclosure; what is hidden binds us." By MARY ANN HUGHES Message Staff Writer Almost 2000 years ago, a theory of behavior, called the Enneagram, was developed in Afghanistan. According to this theory, the motivations for our behaviors develop in early childhood as we learn to cope with an imperfect world. In the Enneagram system, there are nine types of human per- sonalities, which can be iden- tified by specific compulsions. Sister Maureen Mangen, ccps, was recently at the Sarto Retreat House in Evansville, to conduct an Enneagram workshop, which she described as a "journey into self- knowledge, a journey into wholeness." "As you and I came into the world, God created us as wonderful human beings," she said. "That is our essence. But somewhere, we learned (negative) patterns of behavior that worked for us in a broken world." Unfortunately, once we learn these behavior patterns, we become stuck in them and we ignore other, healthier, patterns of behavior. Sister Mangen compared human behavior to that of a grasshopper. The grasshopper can jump 15 times its own height; but if it is confined in a small jar, it will learn to control its jumping so it will not hit the top of the jar and get hurt. When the grasshopper is re- leased from the jar, it has been conditioned, and it will never jump to its potential again. "Like the grasshopper, we have our compulsive behaviors," Sister Mangen ex- plained, and if these behaviors remain hidden from us, we will not reach our potential. Study- ing the Enneagram allows us to "be more aware of ourselves and of what we can become." Sister Mangen noted that"80 percent of our behavior is fine. It's the 20 percent, what we know we should say no to and we can't -- that's the compulsion." Sister Mangen explained that the Enneagram theory labels each of the nine personality types by a compulsion, which has been developed to defend and protect. The types are listed by number; here is a descrip- tion of the general characteristics of each Enneagram: ONES avoid anger. It is im- portant to them not to become angry and not to express anger to others. They are very I | I BLOCK- CRUSH - CUBE WHOLESALE & RETAIL Ph. (812) 425-8191 GEORGE MOLL, Owner dedicated to being perfect and to doing things in a perfect way. Their gifts include the ability to discern; they are sincere and honest. They are hard-working and have the ability to touch the goodness in others. TWOS avoid recognizing they have needs. They see needs in others and pride themselves on being helpful. It is important to them not to ad- mit being in need. Their gifts are empathy with others; they are warm and com- passionate, friendly and open to people. THREES avoid failure. Something drives them to be always working for success in their lives. They will seek to avoid failure of any sort, even at great cost to themselves and others. Their gifts are their energy and their organizational skills. They are friendly, efficient and they make others feel good about themselves. FOURS avoid ordinariness. It is important for them to always be special, to be important. They often feel misunderstood. Their gifts are sensitivity to others; they are good listeners. They have a well-tuned sense of the beauty and the subtleties of life. FIVES avoid emptiness. They have an inner sense of "never being enough" and they are preoccupied with building their store of knowledge. Their gifts are the ability to think logically and to see overall patterns. They are ex- cellent at summarizing and they know how to delegate. SIXES avoid deviance. They have little sense of inner authority and they see life governed by laws, rules and norms. They are duty-bound and concerned that all regula- tions be observed. Their gifts are their sense of responsibility and their sense of honor. They are prudent and they have a sense of goodness. SEVENS avoid pain. They are always looking for the fun in life and they avoid noticing pain or distress in the lives of others around them. Their gifts are optimism; they find good in almost everything. They are simple and honest and they have a hopeful attitude for themselves and the world. EIGHTS avoid Weakness and tenderness. They gravitate toward power -- who has it, who doesn't -- and they submit only to those more powerful. They are out of touch with tender, soft emotions. Their gifts include the ability to take on the difficult and challenging jobs that no one else wants. They are good at WEAKNESS PAIN DEVIANCE 8 6\\; EMPTINESS . .:CONFLICT 5 4 ANGER  2 NEED 3 FAILURE ORDINARINESS can mobilize people for good causes. NINES avoid conflict. They are uncomfortable with con- flict, decision-making and tur- moil. They put a lot of energy into being settled and unruffl- ed, which becomes their way of surviving. Their gifts are the ability to create an atmosphere of peace; they can calm others down. They are shock-proof and they remain poised in crisis situations. Sister Mangen explained that when we are children, we each develop a self-image, which gives us a sense of security and a sense of control. This image of "who I am" is often formed un- consciously. Here is a brief description of the self-images of each Enneagram personality: ONES: "I am good. I am right." TWOS: "I am helpful." THREES: "I am successful. I am efficient." FOURS: "I am sensitive. I am special." FIVES: "I am wise. I am perceptive." SIXES: "I am loyal; I do what I ought." SEVENS: "I'm OK." EIGHTS: "I am powerful. I can do." NINES: "I am settled." Sister Mangen explained that discovering one's self-image allows a new focus on the limitations this self-image car- ries with it. The self-image has been a means of narrowing the giftedness of the person. In the same way, understanding one's compulsion is a way to become free from it and then to abandon it completely. Sister Mangen added that this knowledge about one's self of- level" and when we rid ourselves of our compulsions we can begin the "process of becoming whole." She noted this process is "more like cultivating a garden, than chopping down a forest." After conquering com- pulsions, a person will arrive at a new stage of self- understanding. These stages include: ONES: Serenity, which comes when the anger is released. TWOS: Humility, which comes with the knowledge that we have limitations. THREES: Truthfulness, which is the integrity of who we are. FOURS: Equanimity, which is the ability to put all things in balance and finding happiness in the present moment. FIVES: Detachment, which is learning to observe everything with extraordinary perception and insight. SIXES: Courage, learning to go against the fears. SEVENS: Sobriety, which is the knowledge to use what we need, and being grounded in the present. EIGHTS: Innocence, which is developing a childlike love, a childlike response to the present. NINES: Action, a love which wishes to pass itself on. Sister Mangen noted that "once you get in touch with this information about yourself. you can use it in all parts of your life." She added, "how you treat others, is how you treat God." Enneagram workshop set An Enneagram I Workshop, "A Journey of Self-Discovery" will be held April 7 through 9 at Sarto Retreat House, Evansville. Sister Maureen Mangen, cpps, will be the facilitator. The cost will be $75 for those staying overnight at the retreat house and $50 for commuters. 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