Main Pages

By Region



Holy Ideas

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Holy Ideas

Each of the Ennea-Types is Constellated Around the Absence of the Associated Holy Idea

As we have seen, basic trust is both implicit in these nine Ideas and engendered by them. The Holy Ideas, on the other hand, are the differentiated perspectives about the universe, about reality, about ourselves and life, that are present when basic trust is well established. In the language of the transmitted knowledge of the Enneagram, when the belly center is open and connected with the center of the earth, the head opens in heaven amongst the stars and you then perceive the world through the nine Ideas. While perceiving the world through all of them, each individual will perceive the world most strongly through the Holy Idea associated with his or her ennea-type. Each of the ennea-types, with its fixated views of reality, is constellated around the absence of the associated Holy Idea. We can say that the fixated mental perspective of each ennea-type is simply a blind spot, and the specific blindness is the lack of perception of the Holy Idea for that type. Thus, each fixation’s central blind spot is the absence of basic trust, which is caused by the disconnection from the basic ground of Living Daylight, experienced in a differentiated way. So the loss of basic trust is experienced by each fixation inseparably from the loss of one of the Holy Ideas.

Facets of Unity, pg. 65

Further Development of the Holy Ideas in the Diamond Approach

There are a few points that we would like to make about the body of knowledge in the Holy Idea chapters. First of all, our understanding lays no claim to orthodoxy. We do not claim that it is part of the transmitted knowledge about the Enneagram, whether from Naranjo, Ichazo, or any esoteric school in the Middle East. We began with the transmitted premise that the loss of the Holy Ideas is responsible for the development of the fixations, and with the names of the Holy Ideas and their definitions by Ichazo, but the detailed understanding we give of each Holy Idea and its relationship to the corresponding ennea-type comes from the teaching and personal experience of the author. As a reference point, each chapter begins with Ichazo’s definition as it was presented through the Arica Institute in 1972. Our understanding of the Holy Ideas began with these definitions, but we have subsequently
developed our understanding of the Ideas on our own, sometimes remaining near to his view and sometimes not. We do not claim that our perspective reflects Ichazo’s view, for we do not know his view beyond the definitions. The understanding we give of how loss of Being and loss of contact with the Holy Ideas occur in relation to the early holding environment, the resulting specific delusions, and the elements comprising the nine cores, are original to our understanding. This does not mean that similar or comparable accounts do not exist in other places, but if they do exist, we are not aware of them.

Holy Ideas at the Three Corners of the Enneagram

Points Eight, Nine and One
The Enneagram has traditionally been divided into three corners, each made up of one of the points that form the inner triangle (Points Nine, Six, and Three) and the two points on either side. This division helps elucidate the Holy Ideas. The Holy Ideas of the top corner, formed by Points Eight, Nine, and One, correspond to objective perspectives about the totality of reality, the cosmos as a whole. They are the understanding of reality in terms of its totality. In other words, using theistic terminology, it is understanding what God is. From a non-theistic perspective, it is understanding what total completeness is. These three Ideas are the most important for basic trust. Holy Truth, Holy Love, and Holy Perfection are the three ways that, when combined, tell us how reality is in its wholeness, whether you call that totality God, Divine Being, the Divine Mind, or Oneness.

Points Five, Six and Seven
The Ideas of the corner formed by Points Five, Six, and Seven are views of the human being from the perspective of the whole: how this reality is reflected in the human soul, what the true relationship is of the human being to this overall reality, and how the totality of reality appears in the individual person. In other words, these Ideas explicate how that reality manifests as a human being. The Ideas of the top corner are independent of the human being, while those of the Six corner are the awakened or objective perspectives of that total reality as it is reflected in a human being. When you experience yourself through the Holy Ideas of the top corner, you experience yourself as God, not as a human being. But when you experience yourself through the Ideas of the Six corner, you experience yourself as a human being who is a reflection of the overall reality.

Points Two, Three and Four
This understanding of what the total reality is, and what a human being is from the perspective of this total reality, gives us an understanding of what doing is, what functioning is, what living is, and that is what the Holy Ideas of the corner formed by Points Two, Three, and Four refer to. They are views of functioning in relation to these perspectives, and they provide a true understanding of what it means to act. They address how doing and functioning happen, who does it, and how one goes about it. This corner gives us an understanding of what living is like from a non-egoic perspective, and so helps us put spiritual practices in perspective. Because these Ideas show what functioning and living actually are and how they occur, if you understand them, you will know in what direction a particular practice leads and whether or not it will take you to what is real.

Facets of Unity, pg. 73-74

It is the Holy Ideas that are Ultimately Responsible for the Variations of the Ennea-types

Whether or not we view the fixation cores as complexes and the Holy Ideas as archetypes, the core of each ennea-type functions as its central psychological constellation, forming the nucleus of the fixation. The various characteristics of each ennea-type are simply the naturally arising manifestations of these core complexes, constituted by various self-images, object relations, ego defenses, psychological patterns, modes of behavior and cognition, and so on. So these cores determine the differentiating characteristics separating each ennea-type qualitatively from the others. More accurately, the characteristics of each ennea-type reflect its inner core, and the different characteristics of the nine types reflect the different complexes of the cores. And since the defining center of each core is a particular delusion that uniquely reflects the loss of the particular Holy Idea, it becomes clear that it is the Holy Ideas that are ultimately responsible for the variations of the ennea-types.

Living Daylight is the Specific Energy Required for Working on the Holy Ideas

As we discussed in Part One, the quality of Living Daylight functions like a solvent, melting all boundaries. For this reason, in our work, it is the specific energy required for working on the Holy Ideas. The aspect of space erases boundaries, while Living Daylight dissolves them into itself. In the presence of Living Daylight, boundaries lose their opacity, their rigidity, their partitioning quality, and they become merely outlines. The sense of separateness is dissolved through love, and everyone and everything is seen as love, a manifestation of an ocean of love. When we have this experience, we understand what Holy Omniscience means. Then we also can understand objectively what it is to be a human being: It is to be an extension of the objective truth. We recognize that, as human beings, we are organs of perception for the universe, and that this Holy Idea explicates the place of the human in relation to the living universe. Through us, the universe experiences or knows itself fully, not only physically, not only emotionally, not only mentally, but on all the spiritual dimensions as well.

Facets of Unity, pg. 108

Nine Different Facets of the Enlightened View of Reality

The Holy Ideas, then, are nine different facets of the enlightened view of reality, nine different explicit perceptions that can be discriminated when basic trust is predominant. The fixations described in the Enneagram of Personality are nine different facets of the distorted view of the ego. When we are working with the Enneagram, it is not a matter of seeing what’s missing in our consciousness, as we do in the theory of holes, but of seeing how our consciousness is twisted such that reality appears a particular way. One’s fixation is not one’s ego structure, so we are not looking at a particular psychic structure. Rather, we are focusing on a particular twist that the whole of the ego has, a particular distortion that affects all of its parts. All of your ego is twisted in a certain way that affects all the structures within it, giving them all a particular feel, a particular flavor, a particular style, which colorsand filters the totality of your experience. The distorted view of the ego twists the state of consciousness of the soul in a way that gives it a certain posture, a certain outlook that affects the totality of the consciousness, giving the identity of the ego its particular support and flavor. In studying each Holy Idea and its accompanying fixation, we will expose the central twist, the primary distorted view of reality that makes one’s soul continue to be structured by the ego rather than abiding in its natural condition. The ego has affected the soul such that it has strayed so far from its natural condition that it has created a whole outlook, a whole life, a whole universe which is illusory.

Facets of Unity, pg. 60

Seeds Around Which the Cores of the Nine Ennea-types Develop

The nine delusions arising from the loss of the nine Holy Ideas are the seeds around which the cores of the nine ennea-types develop, and while each is most dominant for the ego structures of that type, the nine are present in all ego structures. The delusions, then, form the nine principles inherent in all ego structures and lives informed by ego. We have seen how the loss of Holy Truth leads to the delusion of duality, and how out of this loss of true reality, this state of “the fall” arises the painful sense of badness, guilt, and original sin. Self-blame ensues for not being divine, which becomes self-punishment and the attempt to avenge oneself This constellation forms the core, the major psychological constellation related to this point of the Enneagram, out of which the whole ennea-type develops. The Holy Ideas are different forms of the perception of the soul in a completely open and transparent state, that is, the soul in touch with Living Daylight. The loss of this state of openness and wholeness, whether it results from normal egoic identification with a separate sense of self or from the contraction away from contact with experience that is involved in reacting to a sense of the loss of holding—inevitably results in the loss of the sense of unity, connection, perfection, love, flow, and so on.

Facets of Unity, pg. 95

The Holy Ideas are Conceptual

Because the Holy Ideas are differentiated ways of viewing what is, they are conceptual and so are related to the higher intellectual center. To understand them on an experiential level is to open the head center. The perspective of the Holy Ideas that we are going to be working with is the view of reality that arises when the head center is open, active, and functioning. When this center is closed, one’s perspective on reality is filtered through the nine delusions of the fixations. Getting a taste of how reality objectively looks confronts the delusions in a systematic way. Each delusion is a very specific and deep belief about oneself and reality, crystallized into a conviction, which is incorrect in a specific way. So our work with the ennea-types is not a matter of going into the details of how each one operates, but rather of seeing how their cores are the result of basic delusions about reality, which can be corrected through truly understanding and perceiving the corresponding Holy Idea.

Facets of Unity, pg. 70

The Idea that the Laws Governing Manifestation Can be Understood

A particular contribution to the process of inner work made by the understanding of the Holy Ideas is the idea that the principles or laws governing manifestation can be understood, and that this understanding can lead us to a realization of unity. There is a particular, specific order to all levels of manifestation, and there is a continuity between what Ichazo calls cosmic order or laws and all levels of reality, including the physical and psychological. The Holy Ideas address the objective understanding of the relationship of the individual to the greater whole. We use the knowledge of the Diamond Approach to develop a particular view of how the Holy Ideas relate to the fixations, exploring for each ennea-type the specific effects of losing touch with awareness of unity. Losing touch with unity is losing the sense that one is part of Being, part of the manifestation and flow of the whole of manifestation. In other words, the delusion of separateness from the whole takes nine forms, representing the loss of the nine Holy Ideas.

Facets of Unity, pg. 11

The Transmitted View of the Enneagram

Each Holy Idea represents a particular direct perception of reality as a specific characteristic or facet of the unobscured perception of what is. The nine Ideas, then, provide us with comprehensive view of objective reality. The transmitted view of the Enneagram is that each ennea-type fixation is the expression of a limited mental perspective on reality, and that each of the nine egoic perspectives is the direct result of the loss or absence of the enlightened perception of one of the Holy Ideas. The Enneagram of Fixations reflects the deluded or egoic view of reality, expressing the loss of the enlightened view, which is represented by the Enneagram of Holy Ideas. The notion that each fixation is the result of the loss of a particular unconditioned perception of Being implies that ultimate freedom from this fixation is possible only through the experiential realization of the corresponding Holy Idea. This is reflected in Naranjo’s definition of Holy Ideas: “aspects of reality that have the virtue of dissolving the individual’s fixation or implicit cognitive error.” (Naranjo, 1990, p. 1) The teaching that the fixations arise as the consequence of the loss of the Holy Ideas goes far deeper than the conventional psychodynamic understanding which relates psychological patterns to early formative experience. Working with the Enneagram only on the psychological level leaves us stuck on the psychological level. Working with the Enneagram as part of a larger spiritual work, however, leads to a much deeper realization of truth and thus, a freedom from personality patterns that is literally unimaginable from the perspective of ego.

Understanding the Principles that Form the Foundation of Egoic Experience

While it is useful to know and to have explored one’s ennea-type, this is not the basic orientation of this study. Our orientation is that the nine Holy Ideas are representations of one reality, each highlighting a different facet of its direct perception. The nine delusions are principles inherent in all egoic structures; they underlie the totality of egoic existence. Understanding the delusions inherent in one’s experience is useful not only to penetrate and understand one’s own fixation, but more importantly, it is useful for understanding the principles that form the foundation of egoic experience. Regardless of one’s particular ennea-type, it is important to observe all the nine cores in one’s experience, and to penetrate experientially into all nine delusions which keep one’s egoic experience going. In our experience, this is more important than recognizing one’s particular delusion, because the deeper we penetrate into what determines our experience, the more the universal principles and the barriers to realizing them are recognized in their entirety. At
that point, one’s particular ennea-type becomes less significant.

Facets of Unity, pg. 16

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach

See past editions of the Diamond Approach newsletter