Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Healing of Enneagram "One" - Part One

The Healing of Enneagram Point Number One (of Nine Points)
Key Concept: Perfectionism

Getting to the humor of: 
“My only mistake was to think I made a mistake.”  

This blog entry pretty long, in two separate parts, but I believe some folks will find it helpful, which is my purpose for sharing it. If you never heard of the Enneagram, or don't know what a "One" is, you will probably understand the article quite well anyway. It's all described here.

Please do leave your comments and let's chat about this. Love to know what others' responses are!!!!

As always, this is my perspective, not universal Truth. Sentences might sound general, but I mean them to apply only to whomever they resonate with. I make no claim to know what's right or true for anyone else.  
This paper is based on my notes on (and extensive additions to) Dr. Michael J. Lincoln's notes from a class he attended by a famous teacher of the Enneagram, A.H. Almaas. I am a healing One, so this stuff was written to help myself. Perhaps it might help others. The additions are primarily from my own introspection, and a bit from three Enneagram workshops I have attended. I am a student, not an expert at all. 

My characterizations of the One are true of me but might not be true of all One’s. (I have been told there are three subtypes, and my subtype is the Survival-concerned.)  

This paper was written originally for myself alone, so it is in my own spiritual language/wording. If my words and language don't match yours, please translate, so you can get whatever benefit you might get from reading this, without getting hung up on whether your spirituality and mine are the same. This paper is offered to stimulate your own thinking on this subject, not to foster your agreement with anything in the paper.  


“If I were God, I would not have created this this way!”
The Unhealed, Unawakened One  

“I am God and I created this exactly this way for a reason and purpose, (even if my human self can't remember what it was) not from error or oversight or ignorance or powerlessness.”
The Healed, Awakened One


What is the identity of a Point One? 

In my belief system, when a soul goes into the illusion of separation from All That Is (which is a choice simply to have that experience,) then from within the illusion it requires an explanation as to why this separation has happened. This is because the soul remembers that things used to be otherwise from the way they are now, yet forgets that the difference results from a choice it made from its Divine Will, as not-separate from the One Will/One Being. 

(This forgetting is part of the deal, part of the package, part of the plan.) From within the illusion of separation, it concludes that something is amiss with it or with "God" (All That Is.) The Enneagram Point "One" concludes that It is bad/wrong/incorrect/mistaken somehow, and has to find the way to make itself right in order to get back into All That Is, or into God's good graces (to phrase it in separation language.) This is not necessarily a moral type of bad; it can be “wrong” in the sense of in error, or having made a mistake, or goofed somehow. 

But it’s deeper than just having made a goof or error: it’s the identity of being the kind of Being who always by nature will goof or make errors, that this is an inescapable consequence of who one is, in essence or nature. The One experiences itself as a Being who IS wrong/incorrect. That’s the kind of Being it IS, not just a Being who DOES wrong. Often the "wrong" or incorrect actions end up harming self or others. (Other possible conclusions resulting in different Point numbers in the Enneagram are: I am bad/evil/morally reprehensible, or I have been abandoned because God does not love me, or I am defective/broken and have to fix myself. Etc. There are at least 5 more beyond these.)  

Thus all of life for Point One is focused on finding the right way, doing the right thing, having the self and all that the self believes it controls, affects, or influences be PERFECT—and finding out what God's idea of "perfect" is, so that can be matched/achieved. I myself am more in the "I am incorrect" mindset than the "I am morally wrong" mindset.  

The Enneagram One can also be called The Judger. In my spiritual understanding, The Judger in all of us has a paradoxical role. It is yelling, screaming, calling attention to “There’s something wacky here. This is not THE TRUTH, not the true reality, this is some kind of illusion, it is not in line and in synch with the REALITY I remember, with the Reality I have come from, and with the other realities most of Creation occupies.” For that, we can be grateful. It spurs us to take some action, however misguided, so we do not stay content with pain and suffering.  

The other side of the paradox is that the Judger itself is operating within an even deeper illusion: that this imperfect illusion is somehow outside of God’s Will, God’s Creation, or God’s awareness, that this illusory reality is somehow an error, a mistake, ignorance, oversight, laziness, deliberate evil, or stupidity, or we’re in it because we got lost and went astray from God.  

Part of the healing and waking up is acknowledging that however yukky this reality seems, it is always, in every moment, and already, 100% God, God’s Will, and God’s Creation. It is a deliberately-designed experience for a purpose and reason. 

So while the Judger is even busy judging judging, The Judger and everything being judged are always already nothing but God’s experience. The Judger is calling attention to God’s Self-discovery that such yukky experiences are indeed creat-able! (A great deal more could be said about the value of this discovery of the magnificence of the power of Creation, but that's another paper.) 

So while it is calling attention to something wacky, it really doesn’t understand the full picture, and it operates within the illusion that something can be done and something must be done to fix the situation.  

I believe that being a One is not a set of beliefs, even of core beliefs. It is experienced as an identity and a reality; it is Who You Are. You are a healed One or an unhealed One, but for an entire transmigration, in my belief system, you are a One. A transmigration I believe to be a cycle of many lifetimes on many planets in many realities in many realms of Creation in which a portion of the Infinite Consciousness condenses into an identity—which stays the same through the whole transmigration, through many bodies and lifetimes—and explores certain characteristics or themes of the Infinite Being.  

The One, I believe, is an exploration of the characteristic of the Infinite Consciousness which we label as Divine Will. The exploration consists of trying to pretend, for awhile, that something Divine Will has willed is NOT the Divine’s Will, for purposes of discovering more about the characteristics and qualities of Divine Will—my Infinite Being-Self’s Will. The One’s valuable job is to label as much of its experience as possible as NOT MY WILL AS GOD-SELF, and experience the consequences of that illusion. 

It’s the Infinite Consciousness’s way of Self-exploration, Self-discovery, and Self-appreciation: at the end of the transmigration, the aspect of the Infinite Consciousness we might call Divine Will is far better known and far better appreciated than ever before—at least that’s the result as expressed in terms our time-bound minds can understand. 

One interesting corollary of my beliefs is that in a sense, everyone who is a One is the same aspect of Divine or Infinite Consciousness, with the same ultimate purpose. Far from being alone, we are like wavelets in a Group Soul ocean! 

In my spiritual understanding, because being a One is an identity and a reality far deeper than any particular embodiment, lifetime, or human self, nothing the human self can do in the way of therapy or “healing” can change its Oneness nor “heal” the entire Oneness. The cause, the will, the chooser or decider about what experiences will be had is not located within the embodiment. However, everything the embodiment does is the Will of the Larger Self; that is an extremely profoundly healing realization for any human One. 

So we continue to hack away at our false beliefs in our human minds, not because they are wrong or bad or in error (!) but simply because hacking away is what the Divine Will is choosing to do at the moment. The human One gets “healed” (which means its identity switches to Divine Will) when that particular One’s God-Self wills it to become that way, and not sooner. Free Will is a useful illusion in the process, but is in no way a cause of any change. Paradoxical, but for me anyway, a comforting understanding.


 I want to repeat from above and summarize what I’ve just said: 

When a soul goes into the illusion of separation from All That Is (which is a choice simply to have that experience,) then from within the illusion it requires an explanation as to why this separation has happened, because the soul ...forgets [the] choice it made.....

The Enneagram Point "One" concludes that It is mistaken/incorrect/wrong somehow, and has to find the way to make itself right... it can be “wrong” in the sense of morally wrong, or in error, or having made a mistake, or goofed somehow.... a Being who IS wrong..., not just a Being who DOES wrong.
Thus all of life for Point One is focused on finding the right way, doing the right thing, having the self and all that the self believes it controls, affects, or influences be PERFECT.  

Therefore, the “cure” for a Point One is ultimately when the soul (notice: not the embodiment. The embodiment is not at cause) releases the illusion of separateness. Then nothing requires an explanation, because nothing has happened, and the soul knows all choices are and always have been made by it in Divine Will; it knows that Divine Will is The Chooser of everything all the time, even if the embodiment doesn't realize that.  

So because there is no separation, nothing is amiss. It was important for me in my healing to notice that the solution for a One is not to counteract “I am wrong” with “I am right.” That still operates within the illusion of separation and duality. The solution for a One is the realization that the illusory separate self is not a cause of the experienced (but illusory) separation. It is not a cause, and its experience is not a reality. So being right or wrong is a non-issue. 

The ultimate grounds for the healing of the One is to know that it was operating out of a falsity. That falsity is the experience of separation, which seems to require an explanation. That explanation would be an illusion, the illusion of "wrongness."


Characteristics which flow from this identity which make up the life of an “unhealed” Point One  

1. Trying to fix self to compensate. Perfectionism often imposed by Mother.

2. Suppression, hiding, lying about, ignoring, denying, repressing, stuffing of all that is deemed imperfect in any way from anyone’s perspective, about the self. This results in massive giving away of power, and some codependency.  

3. Feeling constantly overwhelmed and invalidated. There is too much to be done to achieve perfection: too much to do, too little time, too little information, too much uncertainty, too few resources, too little health, energy, and stamina for the infinite task.  

4. Always looking for the rules and the Right Way. This pertains even to the minutiae of life, so it is actually operating every second of every day about every tiny aspect of life: Is it the Right Way it ought to be? Gets locked into “forms,” formats, ways, rigid structures of behavior. Obviously a control freak.  

5. Highly authoritarian. Sometimes is the person kowtowing to authority and sometimes IS the authority. 

6. Always referring to the past as a guide for the present. Not much interest in the future except to predict possible disasters/imperfections and to do whatever is conceivably possible (whether feasible, healthful, or friendly or not) to prevent them. 

7. A security freak. No interest in risk-taking, could do it wrong way. 

8. Hypercritical of self and others. Always blaming. Nothing is ever good enough. “I am in pain. I must be doing something wrong. It is possible to know what I am doing wrong, and do what is right, but I can’t seem to find out; it is impossible for me to know what I am doing wrong, and do what is right, so I must be doing something monumentally wrong, compared to the people who seem to be able to know, to fix things, and to stop suffering, and I don’t seem to be able to find out what that is, so.....” 

9. A fierce, unrelenting, unrealistic SuperEgo/conscience. Megalomaniacal in demands on and expectations of self, or so it seems to other people. In every moment blaming self, as in “I should have known better. Things are less than perfect now because I goofed and I should have known better, I could have known better, and I was oblivious or lazy, or.....” In other words, the One has delusion of grandeur about what he or she can possibly do! This is part of the Pride described below.  

10. Uptight. Rigid. Controlled. Tense. No flowingness, limited spontaneity. Not very flexible in plans or procedures.  

11. Feels the self's essence is bad, but the Ego is in "reaction-formation" and is always believing how good it is. Often a superficial sense of self-awareness combined with complete obliviousness to true deep subconscious motivations. The way the One sees self is often very different from the way others perceive that person.  

12. No joy, fun, pleasure. These are irrelevant at best, and they are bad and dangerous at worst. They are distractions from the task of being perfect, meeting all of self-imposed and other-imposed expectations, no matter how impossible. Fun, joy, and pleasure can lull one into a false sense of security, lead one into ignoring tasks or dangers, and can instantly plunge one into total disaster or death. (I should know, because I have died innumerable times in my past lives from carelessness, lack of caution, getting carried away by fun or exuberance or spontaneity, not playing it safe. Also of course I have died many times from ignorance, obliviousness, not knowing the best or right way. That’s the kind of experience the One illusions/beliefs create.)  

13. A deep self-distrust, manifesting or appearing in a variety of specific versions: distrust of one's intuition, of one's mind, or one's feelings, or of other people, or of any of various of one's abilities or characteristics. For me, it’s “I ought to have known better.” That operates in every circumstance experienced every second of every day. It also means I cannot trust myself to know or discern truth, which is highly sabotaging of life, growth, and spiritual evolution. Self-distrust also leads to inhibiting expressions of feelings, to suppressing of spontaneity, and to needing to control self.  

14. Lots of anger, bitterness, disgust, and resentment, smoldering or expressed. Or repressed, if too dangerous-seeming. The One is angry for a variety of reasons. One reason is resentment of the drudgery of having to monitor the self all the time. Another is resentment at being controlled all the time, even though it is the self which is controlling itself. This particular resentment can lead to occasional rebellious moments of being sloppy, free, spontaneous, and uninhibited. 

Because life is a self-fulfilling prophecy, these moments usually create a lot of trouble, get the person into trouble, so these rebellious moments are always followed by guilt, even by terror.  

Another source of anger is resentment of and bitterness toward other people because they seem to “get away with” a carefree and sloppy, imperfect life which the One cannot permit himself or herself. This is related to the very natural and healthy anger of a human being deprived of fun, joy, and pleasure in life, and also being deprived of personal authenticity. In other words, the One is also angry at having to “stuff” or suppress or repress his or her natural and true feelings, thoughts, impulses, in deference to whatever feelings, thoughts, and impulses are “right.”  

Also the One blames and is angry and disgusted with self for failing to achieve perfection, and even though it seems contradictory part of the One is also angry at being asked to be impossibly perfect, for feeling like the victim of a slavedriver with an infinite task. Oh, the One has many sources of anger!  

15. A driving compulsive need to fix everything and everyone who comes into their life. This is rationalized as a reasonable desire to be helpful to others, which is quite approved by our society. Rescuer to all. The One can’t tolerate others’ making their own mistakes, having their own experiences, if the One can see how they could and should be healed, fixed, improved. 

Pride in ability to know what others need, and what others ought to be like. Can’t stand being around someone who is suffering without trying to help them out of it. Annoyed with people who will not accept help or don’t want to “get better.” One thinks improving the world is up to them. Always proud of healing, helping, teaching, fixing, whether the person wanted it or not. 

Even while complaining of the suffering or pain they are experiencing in their attempts to improve others, they are experiencing a deep and possibly subconscious sense of satisfaction and pride in this suffering and pain as a badge of their commitment to being a Fixer.  

16. Alone. The One feels alone in at least three ways: Alone in my iniquity, my goof, my error, my wrongness; “I am the only soul who is like this.” Alone in my desire to change/improve the world. And alone because there is no one who can help me, reach me, nurture me. One’s often also feel alone in that no one can advise or teach them, because they are know-it-all’s who know best how things should be.  

17. Not only are One’s know-it-all authoritarians, but they have the Deadly Sin version of Pride: “I know better than the GodCreator how things should be.” This necessarily follows from believing that things should be other than what they are! This also goes along with the pride in “I could have known better” and the other megalomaniacal (unrealistically prideful) expectations and demands on the Self.  

18. In my case, there was a profound, pervasive, cellular-level shame or embarrassment from the sense of myself as having made a goof, an error, a mistake. This was as deep as, or even deeper than, any fearfulness, any self-distrust, any anger, or any pain. It was the kind of embarrassment which makes a person blush.  

19. A constant sense of oppression, from the every-second sense that "I am not doing the Right Thing." Remember those quiz shows on TV years ago, where a buzzer sounds if the contestant gives a wrong answer? In a One, the buzzer never stops. Never. Not for one second each day. There was no moment in which some part of me was not saying I was doing, thinking, saying, or feeling something that was wrong/erroneous somehow, in some way. The day I had that insight, I cried with self-compassion for the unrelenting oppression, pressure, sense of being beaten down, this constant buzzer-in-the-head brings. What a way to try to live!  

20. Resistance to help and to "miraculous" healing. Wow, was this a big discovery late in the game. The resistance comes from the following erroneous belief: If someone helps me, or if I achieve something through Divine Grace, then I don't get any "Brownie Points" with God to help end this separation that occurred because I did something the wrong way, because I still haven't done "it" the right way. This resistance, by a twisted logic, even pertains to my actual healing, which is therefore mightily resisted, prevented, not allowed. The unhealed One mind predicts: Whatever happens might happen because my helper "did it," or because Divine Grace/Power did it, so I wouldn't have "done it right," and therefore I won't have finally "done it right myself" and therefore I either won't get the healing or I won't deserve the healing. This twisted logic and resistance are subtle, and their discovery was a breakthrough. 

21. A pervasive and life-eroding constant sense of dissatisfaction, of discontent. Things might be good, or rarely "just right," but basically everything is in a state and condition of "It ought not to be the way it is," as a 24/7 every-second experience of every "it" in my awareness. This sense, this experience, is exhausting. And it precludes feeling at home in life or in the Universe.  

22. The flip side of "It ought not to be the way it is" is also a constant experience: "It ought to be this other way instead." (And I am solely responsible for making it to be this other way. This is true for every "it" in my experience or awareness.) This creates need, pressure, and extreme inauthenticity. This too is a life-eroding constant state every second of every day and night. It precludes "Being in the Now."


continued in Part Two

by Rev. Alia Zara Aurami-Sou, Ph.D., Head Minister, "Amplifying Divine Light in All" Church
This blog entry, its contents and its presentation, are an essential and central practice of our religion.
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