More than just a tool to diagnose your personality type, the Enneagram was originally developed to help people find the ultimate freedom of consciousness and achieve spiritual liberation. A. H. Almaas brings us back to this original mission as he shares the essential keys that will help readers break free from the limitations and distortions of each type’s fixation—and to express their true spiritual nature in everyday life.
To some extent, the typology and the symbol can be understood intellectually, and in some parts of the Enneagram community, things stop right there. But the third element, the system of practice behind it, is another matter. In my view, the Enneagram does not really come to life to assist us in our development without this vital third component. And it is here that the importance of A. H. Almaas, and the work he describes in this book, becomes most central and evident.
In Keys to the Enneagram, Almaas delivers on the title of the book. He elucidates the specific inner relationships between core essential states of the soul, their perceived loss in childhood, and the psychological defenses and difficulties that arise to cover over the apparent loss of essential qualities. These patterns are specific and really do constitute the core of any real Enneagram work. Of course, the more you acquire a dedicated practice to cultivate presence and the capacity to observe the activities of your inner world, the more this book will come to life and be a tremendous friend to you on your journey. I feel these teachings are an enormous gift to anyone engaged in the process of awakening, regardless of your path or faith orientation. - Russ Hudson, from the Forward
Keys to the Enneagram is one of the most significant contribution to the body of enneagram wisdom since the publication of Facets of Unity by Almaas in 2000.
There are few teachers of consciousness, let alone Enneagram teachers, who can perceive, embody, articulate, and transmit the simultaneous arising of equal facets of spaciousness and singularity, expansion and particularity, personal love and emptiness, and personal will and surrender—all while focused on the vital need to awaken to our essential nature and potential. Like the Enneagram, A. H. Almaas himself is a tuning fork for this possibility of development and living. And somehow in Keys to the Enneagram he gently and firmly guides us onto that precise and expansive authentic path, beyond our fascination with personality. Before we know it, we have been initiated into a lineage of truth and Presence. I have had the honor of being the curator and host of the annual Enneagram Global Summit on the Shift Network since 2014 and have had meaningful, cutting-edge conversations with over a hundred Enneagram teachers. With absolute certainty, I can say that Almaas is among a very few teachers whose constant aim is to awaken themselves and be in service to others’ awakening. He never approaches the Enneagram with the slightest bit of derision toward, or reification of, personality, and he is unparalleled in this in my experience. His compass never wavers from its direction home—to real self and to reality—that, by the way, supports the emergence of each individual’s true purpose and offering to this life. This book is perhaps the first to so keenly and clearly articulate a growing realization among some of us who teach the Enneagram for awakening that the transformational power of working with all nine fixations and journeying on all nine paths of essential qualities is paramount. If you want to awaken to your true self and follow a North Star to wholeness and liberation through compassion and learning from your ego, pick up and read Keys to the Enneagram. You will have a North Star in your very own hands and eyes. —Jessica Dibb, founder and director of Inspiration Consciousness School and founder and host of the Shift Network Annual Enneagram Global Summit
Almaas's focus is not on typology, nor character structure, but how to understand and work with your fixation to open the doorways offered by the enneagram into the deeper dimensions of your true nature. Keys to the Enneagram is, in a sense, part of an owner's manual with precise information on how to get "under the hood" of your specific model.
Keys to the Enneagram looks at a different dimension of the Enneagram of personality. As we know, each Enneatype takes on certain strategies and behaviors based on its distorted view of reality. Through the lens presented in Keys we see that these manifestations are shaped by a belief that there is an ideal way to function and appear. This is referred to as the ego ideal. The holy idea is the deeper perspective of truth that is lost when the Enneatype becomes disconnected from its deeper ground. The ego ideal is a vision of optimal functioning that the Enneatype orients toward to compensate for this disconnection. What Keys does is elucidate the spiritual qualities that the nine ego ideals are unconsciously mimicking. These qualities are actual states of being that shape and color our individual consciousness from the inside. If recognized and embodied, they will relax the fixated orientation of the Enneatype and open the way for recovering the perspective of the spiritual ground of reality. - Byron Brown, Editor
1—THE KEY TO THE ENNEATYPE
2—Point Eight: TRUE STRENGTH
3—Point Six: PERSONAL WILL
4—Point Two: MERGING LOVE
5—Point One: BRILLIANCY
6—Point Three: PERSONAL ESSENCE
7—Point Four: ESSENTIAL IDENTITY
8—Point Seven: PLEASURE VEHICLE
9—Point Nine: BOUNDLESS LOVE
10—Point Five: DIAMOND GUIDANCE