Enneagram of Liberation - Eli Jaxon-Bear
On this page you will find information about the Enneagram of Liberation. You will find the history of the Enneagram’s roots in antiquity, how we use this diagram of ego structure therapeutically, and most importantly, how to use it for awakening to your true self.
You will also find references to courses and training opportunities for learning and applying the wisdom mirror of the Enneagram of Liberation.
The Enneagram - A Path to Happiness
Everyone wants to be happy. This is a universal component of the human condition and may seem so self-evident that it does not bear noting. Even those who hate themselves intensely or do violence to others can trace the drive back to the deepest unfulfilled desire for happiness.
Why is it that so few are truly happy? How is it that the universal quest for happiness has led to the full spectrum of suffering on this planet? How can the desire for happiness manifest as ignorance, greed, and violence?
The Enneagram of Liberation offers an answer to this puzzle and points to the solution.
In our time, the Enneagram of LIberation has appeared as an illusory medicine to cure an illusory disease. The disease is the egoic idea of separation based in the story of „me and my life.“ The cure is to look in the wisdom mirror of the Enneagram to see past all false identification, to your true identity.
"The Leela School's enneagram architecture with roots in both the Pythagoreans and the Vedas expresses the primordial impulse for Liberation. The portals for Awakening are baked directly into the elemental, biomolecular structure of the school's teachings on the enneagram."
- Yigal Joseph
Yigal Joseph - Yigal has served as Chief Psychologist of the Corsello Centers for Complimentary Medicine, and as Director of the NYC Psychologist-In-Training Program. He coordinated the recruitment, training and supervision of psychology interns in collaboration with ten area colleges and universities. As senior administrator in the Office of Schools’ Chancellor he enabled school leadership teams to incorporate exemplary teaching and learning standards.
1. History of the Enneagram of Liberation
The word Enneagram comes from Greek and means “nine-sided.” The Greek philosopher Pythagoras developed the Enneagram model, based on the geometry of triangles and the vibration of octaves, as a way to express mathematically the harmony of the cosmos. (The Pythagorean Theorem is an example of his interest in the inner mathematics of geometry.) The first drawing of an Enneagram comes from one of Pythagoras’ students and is an expression of the mathematics and harmonics of materialization. By applying this model to the human psyche, the nature of the human mind is given a concrete form and true character and essence can be discerned and expressed.
Starting with Pythagoras’ first mystery school in Ancient Greece, the teaching had been kept secret for thousands of years. The sacred was hidden from the profane, and the mystery schools and brotherhoods passed on their teaching from generation to generation.
In our age, the Enneagram first came to light in the west in the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, who was a mystic, philosopher, spiritual teacher, and composer, born in Armenia in the late nineteenth century. Gurdjieff claimed to have learned his teaching from a mystery school in Central Asia.
The Enneagram next appeared in the west through Oscar Ichazo, a teacher in Arica, Chile, who started Arica, his spritual school which taught his version of the Enneagram. Ichazo took the teaching out of the abstract and developed the characteristics of nine different fixations with easily recognizable features. This was revolutionary. However, because he called it The Enneagram of Personality, it limited the depth of the inquiry to superficial changes of personality or to working on perfecting a better fixation.
Claudio Naranjo, a psychotherapist and a student of Ichazo, took the teaching to Berkeley, California where it was fleshed out with psychological depth. Eli Jaxon-Bear learned it from Naranjo and two of his students. Realizing that the teaching was limited to personality, he deepend and reframed the model to The Enneagram of Liberation.
2. Function of the Enneagram of Liberation
The great gift of the Enneagram of Liberation is that it gives us the precise structure of the knot of ego. Awareness is our sword, and the Enneagram shows us the knot that needs to be cut. In this way enlightenment, or self-realization, is possible.
The Enneagram reveals how we have falsely identified “I” as our egoic identification with the physical, emotional, and mental bodies. This identification presents itself in the unexamined belief that we are a body with behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. Once these patterns of subconscious identification are brought to light, they can be discarded in the search for the true “I.” In this way, the Enneagram is immediately useful in the process of awakening, or enlightenment.
When we are ready to look directly at that which we have masked and justified, the Enneagram gives us light—reflecting light without judgment. It provides us the opportunity to see the mechanical nature of the ego that wehave identified as “self.” In this way, the Enneagram is extremely precise in it‘s description of what is false, so thatwhat is true may be revealed.
Everyone has a “chief feature.” This chief feature is the part of our egoic identity that is the hardest for us to see, like seeing the tip of our nose without a mirror. The overall pattern of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors seems so real and so personal to us that we have incorrectly identified it to be who we are. It is the pervasive background quality of this chief feature that keeps it from being directly examined. In fact, this feature is both the obstruction and the potential gateway to realizing who we really are.
With the Enneagram you can start recognizing the patterns of fixation not only in yourself, but also in your relationships. Forgiveness and compassion become possible when you discover that each one of us is simply wired a little differently, each having a different process for completing the same task. Recognizing your parents’ egoic structure gives insight into what may seem to have been inexcusable behavior. With this understanding, we can begin to forgive ourselves, our partners, our parents, and our children. We can stop demanding that the people in our lives be different from the way they are. We can stop demanding apples from a pear tree.
Through the process of recognizing our patterns of fixation, something very important takes place. Conscious mind inevitably realizes that there is more going on in life than meets the eye.
The great potential of the Enneagram is that it can be used to cut your identification with the ego. You can discover that the ego is just a pattern; it is not who you are. Then you can allow your identification with ego to dissolve, refusing to fuel it with your participation.
Once you have seen through all false identification, it is possible to realize true freedom, to live as boundless essence of being rather than in the imagination of who you believe yourself to be. Free from imagining yourself to be who you are not, you will recognize your own Self everywhere. In this meeting with your Self, you are the silent embodiment of happiness and bliss.
3. Enneagram of Liberation
The Enneagram of Liberation is a way of identifying nine different egoic masks.
There are three core fixations with an interiorized and exteriorized version of each.
- When the identification arises in the physical body, the fixation is anger-based.
- When the identification arises in the mental body, the fixation is fear-based.
- When the identification is in the emotional body, the fixation is shame-based hysteria.
A fixation is only possible if there is identification with the physical, emotional, and mental bodies. As long as that knot is tied, and consciousness momentarily believes itself to be form — subtle or gross — the fixation is crystallized in one of the three bodies of manifestation.
4. Why Online Tests Very Often Don't Work
Over the many years that Eli Jaxon-Bear has been meeting with people from all over the world, it has always been obvious: online tests are very often inaccurate because they focus on the personality and not on the deeper structure underlying the personality. Consequently, the test taker is reflecting on their personality and not on the underlying motivations. For example, many people think of themselves as helpful and will then identify themselves as a “two” fixation. But some people are helpful because they are subconsciously afraid and are looking for safety and security. Others are being helpful as a way to deflect from their anger and avoid conflict. Yet the two fixation’s helpfulness is running on pride. So the behaviour of being helpful is not a useful indicator of one’s fixation.
We all have stories about ourselves that can be applied to any of the nine fixations. We may think that because we are anti-social, we must be a five fixation, or because we are angry, we must be an eight. This is only the most superficial level of how our emotional layering is expressed in the world, and how we interpret it.
Deeper than what we think is happening, deeper than our story of ourselves, underlying currents of movement are at work, running unseen. In order to see what is unseen, self-reflection is required, along with the capacity and the willingness to tell the truth to oneself about what is really going on.
The Enneagram is not a personality system although the personality will reflect the deeper character fixation. This is not like astrology where you can find your sign from your birthdate and then develop a story about why you are the way you are. The Enneagram of Character Fixation can lead to the end of all stories and direct realization of the truth beyond words or imagination.
We recommend taking our free Enneagram course, to first discover what your primary movement is. Are you moving towards, away or against? Then we would recommend meeting a teacher or mentor for a direct private session to investigate what is veiling your essential nature. And eventually, attending any Leela School Enneagram related event will give you an opportunity to meet a teacher and investigate directly what is fixated, and finally what is free.
5. Leela Therapy and Enneagram Courses
This ancient Pythagorean insight has been incorporated into the Leela psychotherapeutic model. Using it brings clarity to a client’s presenting issues and the deeper fixated subconscious drives, allowing the therapist to see beyond the surface effects, and go straight to the cause.
Each year we offer, both included as part of our yearly Spiritual Awakening and Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapy Training, and as a separate course, courses focused on ego and insight using the enneagram.
In these courses, you will discover your particular egoic fixation, and how this creates a false sense of self. Through direct experience, exercises, and watching exemplars, we will investigate the movement of mind, emotions, body and circumstance, and how these are used by the mind to create a story of “me and my life.” In this exploration of the fixated egoic trance, there is the possibility to discover what is not fixated, and in that to realize the deeper truth of who you are. You will also become proficient at recognizing your client’s fixation, as well as learning how to work with the different fixations, using this insight therapeutically as leverage for profound seeing and understanding, and appropriate intervention.
We also offer tailored mentoring packages to mentor you in private one-on-one sessions, offering you the possibility to investigate what are the deeper running patterns of suffering, and the path home to your essence.