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Enneatypes: Characteristics of Key Essential Aspects (Endowments)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Enneatypes: Characteristics of Key Essential Aspects (Endowments)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Enneatypes: Characteristics of Key Essential Aspects (Endowments)

Point 1 - Brilliancy: The Affect of Completeness, of No gap, of Nothing Missing

Now we can see what the ego ideal is trying to emulate. Brilliancy, or essential intelligence, has the affect of completeness, of no gap, of nothing missing. Hence it feels like perfection. Since it expresses our being in all of its sublime qualities, it is pure perfection. This is an instance of the connection between the holy idea—holy perfection, for the One—and the essential endowment; brilliancy with its inherent perfection. The perfection is not in something external or in an action or creation; nor is it based on a standard. The perfection is in the presence itself, which is completeness and also preciousness. So its affect includes all of these: completeness, rightness in all ways, perfection, preciousness, and innocence. From these affects come the traits of this type. Since Ones want to express the preciousness of true nature but don’t actually know it, they want things and people, including themselves, to be complete, right, and perfect. They feel that their moral principles come from their conscience because they strongly believe their conscience knows what makes everything precious—and potentially perfect. While in reality their sense of preciousness is a mere reflection of the preciousness of true nature.

Point 1- Brilliancy: Ones Can Become Reformers in their Attempts to Bring More Rightness to the World

It is no wonder Ones can become reformers in their attempts to bring more rightness to the world, whether social, moral, political, ideological, philosophical, or otherwise. Awakened Ones do object to what is not right and not in harmony with Being and its perfection. But they are open-minded and flexible and responsive to people’s states and stations. They care about the nuances of life, and they are not rigid or inflexible as fixated Ones are. Brilliancy is quite fluid and appears in awakened and liberated Ones as flexibility in their moral compass and as a recognition of people’s limitations and capacities. They are intelligent in their attempt to reform and, hence, they are to the point. Their actions are not harsh judgments, resentful and angry punishments, or condemnations. Instead, they observe with intelligence what is going on and respond with complete action—that is, an action that takes into consideration the whole situation.

Point 2 - Merging Love: Merging Gold Love is the Essence of Connection

The Two’s overriding interest and investment in relationships—in having the ideal intimate relationship with somebody important—is a direct reflection of the need for the merging gold kind of love. When we do not have access to this quality of our essential nature, being in an intimate relationship comes close to replicating how it feels. But it is really not that close. The merging gold love is the essence of connection; when we experience it we know we are not separate. So it is at the heart of what a relationship is, and the more it is present in a relationship the closer and more satisfying it feels. Most intimate relationships derive some satisfaction from a kind of closeness and connection that is a mere reflection of the connection of merging gold. Without this sense of connection there is aloneness and loneliness, which can be painful and make our life feel empty. The Two craves all kinds of connection in relationships, including those with friends and family and groups and organizations but especially in an intimate relationship. This is definitely primary for the sexual type, but important for the other instinctual types as well. Of course, relationships are important for all human beings, but this type has a more pronounced investment in them, which we can see in the other traits. For example, Twos generally have a difficult time in relationships precisely because of their unconscious need for merging love. Some are challenged to even find a sustainable relationship, and of those who do, many end up getting stuck in a situation of dependency.

Point 3 - Personal Essence: When We Embody the Pearl We are Free from History While Still Being a Person

The pearl has the characteristic of personalness but also of contact. A true person can make contact simply by being oneself; they do not have to utter a word or do a thing. By one’s presence alone contact takes place, and yet it does not exclude the other external ways of contacting others. The pearl is also the functional aspect of essence. It stands not just for personhood but for functional personhood. Part of this functionality is relational, and that is where the personal element and contact are important. But it also has to do with all kinds of functionality in the world. When we embody the pearl, then we are free from history while still being a person. We can function in the world in an effective and objective way, which makes the pearl efficient. Our functionality is efficient and attains excellence. This efficiency is not reserved for worldly functioning but also bridges the two worlds. We can function in the ordinary and divine worlds efficiently. Without the pearl we have no functionality in the invisible world of spirit beyond just being.

Point 3 - Personal Essence: Whoever Embodies the Pearl is the Exemplar of Humanity and the True Model of What a Human Being Can Be

We can see that the Three type is attempting to imitate the true person of Being, but ends up instead with only an image of what that can be. They can be capable, but only in worldly things and in the area in which they succeed. The real person is capable wherever capacity is needed. The senses we explored with the other lataif—“I can” and “I will”—both belong to the pearl, to the truly matured and individuated soul, the “I am.” The liberated Three embodies what is true in our spiritual nature, not just what is best in their culture or group. The liberated Three is the true model, not for a particular society but for all of humanity. Whoever embodies the pearl is the exemplar of humanity and the true model of what a human being can be. They are efficient, but about the right matters and in a way that recognizes other human beings as persons in their own right. They even recognize groups for what they are and relate to them with attunement to their uniqueness. The liberated Three can then contribute to society and to humanity as a whole.

Point 4 - Essential Identity: Longing for the Inner Beloved

Since the point is the individual essential expression of the world of spirit in its entirety, one’s separation from it feels like an enormous loss, even though Fours may not quite know what they have lost. It can feel like the loss of home or something precious, and the longing for it elicits a deep sadness. The longing is actually for the inner beloved, which is our true being in its universal and cosmic infinity. The point of light can be seen as the expression of this transcendent truth in the individual soul. But Fours do not usually know this and believe the longing is for any number of other things. The more aware Fours become, the more they realize that what is missing is inward.

Point 4 – Essential Identity: Yearning for Originality is a Significant Four Pattern

Fours have lost contact with their essential identity, so they seek it through the idealization of some of its characteristics. Exploring the essential identity and relating it to the patterns of this type, we can see how the idealization has patterned the shell of this fixation. Since the point is the center of the soul, it feels like our origin and nucleus. Because the point is, in some deep way, the origin of the soul and its qualities and faculties, Fours are interested in originality. The point also shines the ground of Being into the soul—the universal origin of all—and so its realization readily beckons us to move deeper into this fundamental origin. But for fixated Fours, originality has lost its true source, and so it is self-centered and possessed by the ego. For the point, originality is simply the origin of one’s qualities and the center of one’s being with no possession or self-centeredness. The more liberated the Four, the more the question of originality becomes a yearning for the origin rather than for being unique, and this brings the understanding that being original is not self-centered. This yearning for originality is a significant Four pattern that can create the melancholy and grief, as well as the depression, that characterize many of this type.

Point 5 - Diamond Guidance: Gnosis Means the Knowing is Immediate, where the Known, the Knower and the Knowledge are One Thing

When the diamond guidance operates in the center of the forehead, the blue and green essential qualities tend to be dominant, along with the solid gold. Solid gold represents truth, the truth of the moment that eventually extends all the way to ultimate truth. Blue signifies an essential quality we have not discussed yet. It is the quality that has to do with spiritual knowing, which is direct knowing—gnosis or jnana. Gnosis means the knowing is immediate, where the known, the knower, and the knowledge are one thing—a total nonduality of knowledge. This capacity for knowing, whose center is located in the pineal gland at the center of the brain, becomes possible when the blue aspect is integrated. It unifies the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and its presence calms the mind, leaving it carefree and open to new and unexpected knowing. It is the knowing of Being manifesting specifically as a particular quality of presence. It is delicate and subtle, and blissful in its quietness. It silences the thinking mind, allowing for the emergence of spiritual experience, and then the understanding of that experience with the totality of the essential intellect.

Point 5 - Diamond Guidance: The Discerning Intelligence and Synthesizing Intellect that Can Help Us Understand Any Experience

Fives become knowers, but because their knowledge is only intellectual, mental, and cerebral, it disconnects them further from true intellect, which is a presence of Being. As Hudson wrote, Fives want to understand, but since they only have a vague sense of what true, full understanding is, their understanding becomes a deduction from ordinary mental knowledge or a synthesis of external observations of nature. This kind of intellectual or mental understanding is useful for practical living, scientific research, and all kinds of study, but it falls short for the study of spiritual experience and the spiritual realm. Spiritual understanding is the understanding of true nature, the true presence of our being, and what we awaken to in spiritual realization. In addition, diamond guidance is the discerning intelligence and synthesizing intellect that can help us understand any experience, from the past or present, ordinary or spiritual. As such, it is an understanding that always leads to spiritual illumination. It can start with ordinary mental or emotional experience, but it ends up opening us to the spiritual dimension. This guidance can lead us all the way to awakening and enlightenment.

Point 6 - Personal Will: A Density of Subtle Presence

The most characteristic and frequent experience of personal will is as the presence of silver, either liquid or solid. This level is more substantial than the white latifa. Silver reflects the fact that it is softer and hence more flexible than the hard rigidity of iron. Here the sense of presence is most clear; it is a density of subtle presence, usually a concentrated mass of pure silver consciousness filling the belly or lower body. When silver is solid it is usually stationary and localized in the body, but when it is flowing as a liquid, it can go anywhere in the body according to the functional need or inner state. In addition to a solid silver ball in the solar plexus or belly, the presence can also be sensed as a column that fills the spine, giving us the feeling that we “have a backbone,” as the expression goes. Or it may appear as a solid mass filling the lower body with the sense of immensity and solidity of a mountain. In fact, this experience of silver is the living presence of solidity. Presence often reveals itself as some kind of spacious expanse but here it manifests as a solid mass with its own perception and knowing of itself. It is a mass that is sensitive and aware throughout its entire field, whether solid or liquid. This sensitivity recognizes its own presence and the quality of malleable silver solidity that is distinctive to the presence of personal will. This essential silver will is shimmering and luminous in contrast to the iron will, which tends to feel dark and heavy—sometimes even rusty and old—like cast iron.

Point 7 - Pleasure Vehicle: Curiosity that Does Not Lead to Depth and Satisfaction

The characteristics associated with the vehicle of pleasure can help us understand more of the traits of the Seven. One of these is playfulness and mirth. It is natural to be playful when free, not in the sense of playing a game but in feeling lighthearted, in interacting spontaneously in activities, and in the playful attitude we have about life in general. The fact that this vehicle encompasses many kinds of pleasure and delight can explain why Sevens tend to jump around from one thing to another in search of pleasurable tastes in various situations and activities. There are always more things to try that could be more pleasurable than the last. True seeking of bliss requires us to turn inward to the true source of pleasure. If we do that, we find that whatever pleasure or delight we experience in life is simply a reflection of its essential counterpart, which is found to be more profound, pure, and causeless. Sevens, however, are curious mostly about the surface of things, what they can touch and see and taste, not about themselves or the inner meaning of reality. They are drawn to what they think will make them feel good, as if happiness is the only worthwhile quality in a full life. Even in work they try many things, becoming interested in a skill or project but often moving on to something else before they master it. The satisfaction they derive from work, a person, an activity, or a creative pursuit is always short-lived. This kind of curiosity, of course, does not lead to depth and satisfaction, so they remain dilettantes, stuck at the surface level of things.

Point 7 - Pleasure Vehicle: The Belief that Pleasure Comes from the Objects and Situations of Life

We can see the patterns of the shell of the fixation from the characteristics associated with the quality of pleasure but also understand some of them from the presence of the quality itself. We will also see how many of the Seven’s traits attempt to experience and express pleasure or happiness but in a distorted, incomplete, or inauthentic manner. The seeking of pleasure and enjoyment is a direct seeking of the quality, but the seeking is external. The belief is that it comes from the objects and situations of life. But true, unadulterated pleasure is a quality of our own being. We just need to be ourselves freely, in a carefree way. If we turn inward deeply, ecstatic pleasure will naturally be there. This bliss is experienced as the affect of authenticity, the actual feel of reality. Even when it comes as a response to enjoying something external, we are actually feeling inner joy or pleasure because the attainment of that external thing has quieted our mind and settled our heart enough for the inner delight to manifest. But that inner delight is short-lived when it is not recognized for what it is—if it is known as an emotional feeling resulting from external circumstances rather than the direct experience of our being. Sevens tend to think such delight comes from external sources or activities, not trusting that it is part of being who they truly are. But most people, no matter their type, believe this about pleasure. It is Sevens who exemplify it most clearly.

Point 8 - True Strength: Realization of True Strength Liberates Us from the Outer Shell of the Type

Investigating the approximations of true strength in the ego ideal of the Eight can point us toward the true quality of essence. Integrating this strength is quite helpful for life’s challenges but also for our spiritual practices and explorations, because we cannot traverse a true spiritual path without being lionhearted, without embodying true strength. It helps all of us in unraveling our own fixation and in penetrating the deep core that holds it together. The realization of true strength liberates us from the outer shell of the type and readies us for tackling the more interior task of working out the inner core to reach a greater freedom.

Point 8 - True Strength: Strength, the Fiery Energy and Presence that We Feel Can Appear as the Life Force Itself

The presence of strength has many associated characteristics, which impact our individual consciousness, our soul. (In our work, we use the terms soul and individual consciousness interchangeably to mean the usual conscious subjective field we experience, but one with more dimensions than we are usually aware of.) These characteristics further illuminate the traits of point Eight. Strength, the fiery energy and presence that we feel, can appear as the life force itself. This is because the life force includes this essential strength, though it also includes energy and dynamic creative aliveness. So when experiencing strength we are often struck by how alive we feel, as if we are teeming with life, as if aliveness has woken up throughout our body and being. We can feel we are robust life itself. Strength inherently has robustness and vitality, infusing the life force with its potent vibrancy. This is the essential source of the boisterous and loud traits characterizing the Eight, and it explains their tendency to express themselves with vigor and unbridled energy. But because the fixated type is not aware of essential strength, it models itself on a facsimile of strength, appearing as loudness and boisterousness that is not always called for or appropriate. It is vigor and vitality expressed in a distorted way.

Point 9 - Boundless Love: A State of Ease that Allows the Soul to Open to Its Inner Capacities

We can understand now the seeking of the Nine for comfort, peace, and the absence of challenge. This presence is a real expression of the consciousness that makes even the body feel relaxed and at ease. Everything feels as if it goes smoothly and effortlessly, and the more we embody this quality, the more smoothly and effortlessly things go in our lives. There is actually, then, less strife. Even when there is conflict or threat, we feel the inner relaxation necessary to allow us to clearly discern what is happening, which in turn allows the other essential qualities to arise, offering their capacities for courage, intelligence, confidence, and so on. The state of ease allows the soul to open to its inner capacities, which can then aid it in dealing with the difficulties of life. The result is a kind of comfort that is more a freedom from concern and anxiety, with an inner ease that makes us feel settled. Since we are inwardly at peace, the need to look for distractions in the external and unessential dissolves. The peace is not outward, though this inner peace can radiate out to give us external peace as well. We don’t look for distractions because this quality expresses divine love, which is the richness, wonder, and beauty of reality. Why would we look outside for little things and collect more items than we need when inwardly we feel in touch with a deep richness and behold everything as glimmering with beauty? Not to mention the affect of pure bliss that is soft and flowing, sweet and giving. Nines can then become naturally generous, for they are overflowing with selfless love and goodness. They do not need to idealize generosity, for generosity is the natural characteristic of this quality. Its presence in the soul causes Nines to become generous with their being, not just with things and actions.

Point 9 - Boundless Love: The Movement Toward No Conflict and No Confrontation is a Reflection of the Action of Loving Light

Nines do not need to experience boundless love on this level of divine love to be liberated from the confines of their fixation. Experiencing and integrating its expression as loving light impacting the individual soul will be quite sufficient to reveal what they are after. It is much easier to experience loving light than divine love, for the latter requires the transition from ordinary to nondual experiencing. Once Nines integrate boundless love as loving light, they can recognize many of their patterns as attempts to express or seek this quality of their true being. The movement toward no conflict and no confrontation is a reflection of the action of loving light. It makes things easy and relaxes whatever the situation is so that action can simply arise and express itself. There is no avoidance or denial of difficulty in this process. Loving light simply holds the situation in a loving way so that the basic trust that comes from this quality provides the ground needed to deal with that situation. When we feel loving light, we feel it is easier to deal with whatever the difficulty or conflict is. It is not exactly confidence, which arises from will. It is a trust that things will work out. This is one of the characteristics, or functions, of this essential quality. It is a love that holds and embraces the soul so that it feels tranquil and comfortable, even at times of challenge and conflict.

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