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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are people's experiences of getting in touch with what is usually referred to as the essence of being? Sandra Maitri and Aalmas are perhaps two of the more popular authors who keep citing this without much inference as to what it is. Usually mentioned when discussing the holy ideas of each enneagram type or in Maitri's case also, the soul child. Having experienced a lot of personal growth this past year, I have a fairly good idea of what it is and what it means but how do others understand it? Have you experienced it? How does this experience relate to your enneagram core motivations?
 

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Um well I actually experienced it one day......Its really hard to explain...... Basically I had this feeling come over me suddenly where I realized that I was a solid, legitimate being instead of just an amalgam of images and representations and so on. I realized in a deep sense that I should pay attention to who I am at my core (what I really think and feel) instead of living through my "image."
Explaining it like this really does not do it justice, there really are no words for how it felt.....I started remembering all these scenes from my early childhood (I kept picturing the house I lived in then, and started having all these memories of it that basically just involved certain shades of light and the feeling of being home in that house), and I felt profoundly as if I had returned to some basic sense of who I was, that I had not been since I was 1 or 2 years old, which was why I was remembering all those vague childhood things. It was definitely "coming home".

ALSO, the biggest thing to mention is that all this "ego chatter" in my mind stopped. I realized that most of what goes on in my mind is my ego trying to tell itself was it is-- in the form of imagined conversations and comments and situations. It forms this annoying chatter that had always been going on, distracting me from reality. After I had this moment of realization of my essential self, I had a period of spontaneous mental silence, where all the annoying chatter just stopped and I felt wholly engaged with reality. It lasted a day or two, and then the chatter started to creep back . Usually it takes effort to have my mind be silent, but this time it was just effortless. Now, I still have ego chatter fairly often, but its much easier to make it stop, and sometimes I experience longs periods where it stops completely. And its never as intense as it was before.

P.s. Also I'm glad you made this thread, and I hope it gets more responses... there is honestly a serious lack of discussion of spirituality and deep personal transformation on this board in general- which is supposed to be what the enneagram is all about - but it seems everyone is just interested in the trivial details and in labeling each other and themselves, and identifying with ennea-types instead of transcending them. I've tried to encourage spiritual conversation before and everyone was just like "lol wtf." So thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
P.s. Also I'm glad you made this thread, and I hope it gets more responses... there is honestly a serious lack of discussion of spirituality and deep personal transformation on this board in general- which is supposed to be what the enneagram is all about - but it seems everyone is just interested in the trivial details and in labeling each other and themselves, and identifying with ennea-types instead of transcending them. I've tried to encourage spiritual conversation before and everyone was just like "lol wtf." So thanks!!
No problem and I agree that this is a thoroughly under-discussed subject in general but I think it is because most people on this forum are young and have yet to actually experience the essence of being in person. I know that I had no clue whatsoever what it was before I finally began to get in touch with it which started as I began to fully understand and explore myself which also led to the realization of my actual type.

The way I understand the essence of being is that I can finally let some hidden guard down that I didn't know I was keeping up, that I can just allow myself to be without constantly hardening myself internally against some unforeseen pain I didn't know was there and that it is actually all right to feel this pain in the first place, to let it out and allow myself to submit to these feelings. With it comes a sense that I also can begin to actually see the good in life in a way I couldn't before, and I can begin to believe that innocence as a concept that I have denied so hardcore throughout my life is not just a very well-told fabricated lie but something very real that exists. I feel in touch with some kind of life flow, the essence of life, and I feel strong and powerful and I hate using buzzwords but there are no better words to use but I feel magnanimous because I believe in the good and I too can be good and I possess the capability to do good. I don't need to harden myself and be bad in order to survive. It's a weird sense of humility and it makes me feel vibrant in a way I never feel otherwise, often experiencing myself as deeply empty in some way and that whatever I do experience I never quite experience enough of.

I wouldn't say I am there yet but I have experienced it and I know what it is. Like you, it's something that's not very easy to attain and I think it's because I'm likely just in the average range at best (at least I'm not unhealthy like I was before where I rather embodied my disintegration line rather than working towards my integration point). I don't always experience it and I have never experienced for such a long time as an entire day but at best some hours, but yes.

I agree it's very difficult to describe and I'm sure the experiences among individuals will vary even among the same types, but I think that feeling of being in touch with the essence is undeniable once you've experienced it because it's impossible to mistake for something else. You know what it is because you feel so in touch and in tune with life itself. I understand why they call it the essence of being and I do hope others respond because I find this to be a very interesting aspect of the enneagram and that is often sorely misunderstood and also not discussed enough. I agree with your criticisms in general in how the enneagram is dealt with here on this board. This experience does of course not need to be associated with spirituality or religion either, for those who are against such inclinations. It is however I think, a sense of beginning to fully realize ego death and I think it is this kind of transcendence many spiritual leaders embody or try to practice.
 

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Yeah, its impossible to describe, but once you experience it, you know without a doubt what it is.
Thanks for your description, I couldnt exactly put myself in your shoes but thats okay. Its such an incredibly personal thing. It was really interesting reading it in your own words though.
Its funny though, I always thought of personal development as being SO personal, something you do entirely on your own, and I never expected systems like the Enneagram (or Buddhism etc) to actually be able to help me-- like, how could somebody else's idea actually be a real part of MY personal journey? BUT the amazing thing is that the enneagram DID help me in a REAL way. Especially when I did part one training and was actually around all these other people studying the enneagram. Its incredible to me that that kind of knowledge was actually communicated to me-- and it created a REAL change in me, my OWN discovery of my essential self, not just copying the masters and being like "I think this is supposed to be how I would act if I felt my essential self..." NO-- I actually felt it FOR REAL. And the enneagram actually led me to it. It honestly leaves me in awe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, its impossible to describe, but once you experience it, you know without a doubt what it is.
Thanks for your description, I couldnt exactly put myself in your shoes but thats okay. Its such an incredibly personal thing. It was really interesting reading it in your own words though.
Its funny though, I always thought of personal development as being SO personal, something you do entirely on your own, and I never expected systems like the Enneagram (or Buddhism etc) to actually be able to help me-- like, how could somebody else's idea actually be a real part of MY personal journey? BUT the amazing thing is that the enneagram DID help me in a REAL way. Especially when I did part one training and was actually around all these other people studying the enneagram. Its incredible to me that that kind of knowledge was actually communicated to me-- and it created a REAL change in me, my OWN discovery of my essential self, not just copying the masters and being like "I think this is supposed to be how I would act if I felt my essential self..." NO-- I actually felt it FOR REAL. And the enneagram actually led me to it. It honestly leaves me in awe.
To be quite honest, I actually scoffed at the idea and thought monks and other spiritual leaders that seek that kind of enlightenment were just crazy people and people who tried to follow suit were crazy too because it just made no sense to me. I saw it as a complete waste of time and just overall utterly pointless to devote yourself to achieving this state as a constant thing. I still think I can't take it quite seriously but at least I can understand where they are coming from though I may sometimes wonder if the way they take there is quite needlessly complicated and too cookie cutter as I think what works for some will obviously not work for all. Actually, that's why I think the enneagram is nice because it doesn't try to place everyone to follow exactly the same way to get there but instead offers perspective as to what you need to get there which is very different.

Well, few people have memories of that early period.
I truly appreciate that all you could bother to comment on in this thread was writing a dumb as fuck one liner in response to an otherwise deeply personal, spiritual and enlightened post. If you got nothing to do than trolling potentially good subjects you can gtfo. There are other threads where you can do that. If you got nothing better to contribute better stay silent as it's quite obvious the actual subject of hand seems to be above you.
 

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My first experiences of essence of being came while doing psychedelics (LSD + ecstasy in particular). That time of my life was kind of shitty, miserable, and dark. I hated where my life was at the time, hated the people I was with, and I hated everything about the world. Drugs was one of the few good things I had going for me, one of the few adventures I could at least trick myself into believing.

I always wanted to do more, more, and more of it, because the escape from reality was believeable and comforting. Even when it took me to places where it was basically hell, it was still better than the "reality" I was living in. Everything around me was always moving, always changing, and I felt like my body was a glowing, gaseous thing. I couldn't hold onto a thought, and it all slipped out of my head the moment I thought of it. And it was nice. I had a goal of taking so much so that I could finally lose control and be relieved of the need to do anything, because just getting through life was exhausting, tiring, and miserable. I was willing to die in this state too, because it meant that I could at least die believing that I could be happy.

Once I made it through the trip, there was always that refreshing glow on life, like a dessert that was revealed at the end of a meal. One morning, the sun was rising as the drugs were wearing off. My then-boyfriend's place had red curtains, and the way the sunlight met the curtains gave the room a nice, warm, loving glow. There wasn't any of that mental chatter. There was just feeling and basking in the light. In the light, I felt like life was worth living again. And every time I felt that relief at the end of the journey, I always knew I wanted to do those drugs again, and that this warm light was worth any darkness I had to venture.

I was shown the darkness I had within me. While under those drugs, I was forced to confront my relationship with control multiple times. Like one time, I felt like I was in a car (reality: I was lying down on a couch), and the maniacs in there were driving really fast, the car was jerking around, we (my imaginary friends and I) were next to a cliff, the road was narrow, and it felt like it was going on for hours. It was basically torture. I was like, "stop stop stop stop stop...", but after I couldn't handle it anymore, I gave up, like I've accepted that I was going to die. And then the torture stopped.

Another time, the journey into my mind involved digging up memories involving my parents, my childhood, and the abuse I suffered while I was younger. I had no idea that these were my memories, and that they could be fabricated because I was on drugs! But no, these memories were real, because these memories were about events that my parents had referenced, but I had forgotten about/lost connection to/clamped under denial. I believed that my parents hated me, and that I was inherently corrupt and unlovable. Then, it dug up all of those other memories I had buried, memories involving me lashing out, in a way that hurt somebody I didn't even know I cared about, and other things that made me feel so very guilty. I thought that if I had done all of those bad things, then I deserved to die. But! The dark muse showed, I was a child back then. I didn't know any better, and that it would be wrong to punish children for doing bad things when they had no way of knowing any better. My parents didn't know any better, and it would be wrong to continue to be mad at them, because they didn't know any better. So I learned to forgive myself (that child in me), and I was able to forgive my parents, and remembered what love was like.

Each subsequent time after that, the trips were progressively lighter. One time, I felt/heard my (ego?) own voice was telling me about all of these subconscious thoughts and assumptions that I never knew I had, and then one by one, I saw/heard/felt each assumption getting pulled out of my head, one by one. Some were so invisible, so implicit, and so commonly carried, that I didn't even know were assumptions.

Another time, I felt like I was a small star, and there was a giant conglomerate star in the center, where all of the other stars of people were moving towards. It was warm and bright, and it felt like everyone is meant to go there... I was afraid, because moving towards the star meant the dissolution of every boundary everyone has ever had... but that was the point. Because going back to that mother star meant I could finally rest in that light I've always wanted.

So there was a long delay in processing my ex's suicide (the guy mentioned above), which coincided with the beginning of the relationship with my current boyfriend. And they both knew each other. There was just... something off with my boyfriend at the time, which lead to him breaking up with me, and then I had a subsequent panic that he was planning on killing himself... And all of that pain combined into my first experience of essence without drugs.

It started when I felt this flash in my body, and my eyes saw nothing but white for a second. Instantly, I knew that my boyfriend was lying to me, and that he had been planning on breaking up with me for a while (the relationship had lasted at most two months). The lie was from everything he said to me starting from the time he had decided to break up with me, most especially "I love you".

I asked him if he really loved me. Of course, he said yes. Then I asked him if he loved himself. He said no. So then I went, "How could you love me when you don't even love yourself? How would you even know what love feels like and what it means if you've never felt it before? How would you be able to tell the difference between someone who loves you and doesn't say it, and someone who says they love you but doesn't mean it?" And then he replied, "Sometimes I love myself" and I go, "But real love is unconditional. If you love yourself sometimes, then it means it's not unconditional. Then it means your love for me is conditional and not real!"

There was a lot more to the conversation, but we were both very unhappy. There was a realization that the only person I can control is myself, and that ultimately, I was weak. I felt like, if I was really strong, then I could've saved my ex friend from killing himself, and if I was really good, then my boyfriend wouldn't be breaking up with me. But life isn't always about me I guess. And in this conversation, I had apparently "undermined his world view in one evening" (which I was secretly proud of), and he was really pissed at me.

And all this time, there was this weak feeling. I was crying a lot, my jaws were hurting, but my body felt light, in both "opposite to heavy" and "radiating light". This feel of essence was different than before. Instead of me being a round, strong bright light, the light was weaker, more transparent, but radiating. And everything I saw had that radiating glow. It was difficult to sleep that night, but eventually I did, and the pain and the light went away... After some time, my boyfriend came around... he wasn't planning on killing himself, because he said he already felt dead, so he didn't need to. But when he was with me, he felt alive, but since I had very quick and ferocious anger, he thought that my love was a lie, because love shouldn't be painful, and so he retreated. But since I still tried talking to him, and never left him, he liked the part where my love was unyielding and unconditional, so he came back, and I was so happy.

Then I started searching the internet for this mystical experience I was feeling, because when it came from drugs, the explanation was obvious. Myer Briggs just wasn't cutting it, and I stumbled upon the enneagram. Specifically the spiritual part was what attracted me to it. I didn't even need to take a test; just by looking at the table on the wikipedia article, it was glaring obvious which type I was. Even the dark sides I never personally connected to came from other people's drug-induced observations of me: that I was a soul-sucking lich that will consume and destroy everything, that I had an aura that cuts to the truth (they did not mean this to be a good thing), that I "always saw" where people's weak points are, and that I was ruthless at aiming for those spots in a fight (from drugged AND sober people).

At some point, reality from my drug-induced escapes collided with "reality". That weird feeling that the same common theme about me keeps cropping up, no matter my sobriety level. And that maybe when people are drugged and crazy, that they are capable of seeing things that are real, true, and different, and despite how insane the things they say could sound, multiple paths by multiple peoples of varying sobriety could inevitably lead me to the same converging conclusion. It's crazy, and undeniable.

For the record: the ex who killed himself... it had always occured to me that he was a walking example of what NOT to do. The greed, the envy, the "I know everything" attitude (or, as the enneagram calls it, "sensitivity to the holy idea of omniscience") (it's generally sensed by all of his incorrect assertions about me). He fits exactly the description of a 5w4, and with hindsight (and one of those Riso/Hudson books), I definitely saw the 5 connecting to the high/low side of 8, the 5 disintegrate into 7, and his 4 wing disintegrate into 2. Jeez, most of our philosophical discussions/personal fights revolve around different examples of the holy omniscience vs holy truth.

My current boyfriend is a 9w1. The sensitivity to the holy idea of love is a dead giveaway, and I see his movement from 9 to 6, 9 to 3, and 1 to 7. He's not really into the whole enneagram thing, but I feel like it has helped him/us still.

I had another ex who is a 1, because sensitivity to the holy idea of perfection. Fixation on perfection is what pointed out other people as 1s to me in real life, like my favorite engineering professor. I feel like a person's orientation to a particular idea, if you understand what it means, is a considerably better indicator of a person's base type than not-quite-random behavioral clues.

The more I learn about the enneagram, the more I can see essences within people. I'm of the belief that we all have all nine types within us, because I can see a familiar essence briefly manifest in others at unusual times (usually in a conflict, of course). It's unfortunate that there isn't more written on the spiritual paths of the enneagram, because the dynamics of the system could use some explanation.
 

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I think I've had significant experiences with what I think was probably my anima and they produced similar feelings to those that have been described in this thread. Both started with me having a... realization I guess?... that my true identity is very feminine. Very passive, caring, emotional, nurturing, and protective. The images that came to mind the first time this happened were a female lion sitting next to a male lion, me being the female lion, and a proud and strong mothering figure (oh god, I'm so fucking weird). The first time this felt really, really good. Like I was flowing so naturally with my environment, like I was solid and had few worries. After I accepted it as my identity it stopped being my identity. The flowing and solid feelings I was experiencing became even stronger. The mothering self that I described still existed but it was in coexistence with the traits I would more normally consider myself. I felt so fucking powerful and caring. I looked out at my environment and could see the control I had over everything and it felt awesome. At the same time I felt extremely empathetic to the people around me. Then I lost it. I stopped caring, for some reason, I had no desire whatsoever. I just wanted to sit still. I struggled for a while after this and then went back to my old ways.

The second time didn't go as well. I once again saw the feminine desires in myself but I didn't truly accept them as my self. I want to get back to feeling that the harmonious coexistence of my normal self provided but I can't because I hate the idea of being a nurturing mother figure. I'm pretty sure I'm an INTP, obviously devalued Si and unconscious Fe correlate well with what I described as my feminine side. I'm also considering 8 as a core type and I think that fits well with the entire experience, especially with 2 being the point of integration. Sucks because I don't see these feminine traits as something I can accept as myself. It hurts too much. The idea of it makes me angry.
 

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I dissolve my ego a lot. It's nice fun for a little while, but I think for me at least, essence of being is a drug, and drugs wear off, and I get back to my ego. Now, my ego is a Beatnik, so it was no great leap to become a New Age Hippie of egoless being. I think my question, is if a person comes to me with their problems, I can help them, because I feel empathy naturally, without an artificial sweetner. When I release my ego, I feel a deeply profound satisfaction, and a greater dose of empathy comes with it, but why do I need to be saved by some New Age vision of helping the healing? Healing of what?

I do understand what the Enneagram is saying, it is all about growth, and to grow, you have to get out of your comfort zone, which is your natural state of being. Having lived without ego, I can better reflect on my actions. With the ego it was harder, and I'm an Se. So I'm naturally projecting outward. When I become essence I turn that inward. And it's always good to use different parts of the brain.
 

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I feel like it makes more sense for me to describe my original unhealthy state first because what I experience as "essence" really came in complete dual opposition to that so they make most sense when you contrast them.

Basically what was most prominenent was the constant anxiety, to the point that it was getting difficult to do normal things such as sleep, focus/think clearly or socialize. On a more superficial level it led to mind chatter of the likes of "I'll never be able to get a good job if I can't give a confident image of myself. I'll never calm down and feel at rest if I can't sleep. I won't get good grades if I can't focus so I'll get into a bad grad school and get a boring job and I'm going to spend my whole life just grinding my teeth, trying to get through the day without breaking down".
And then on a deeper structural level it was more about feeling like I needed my existence to fit into a philosophical framework, so that I could figure out what my purpose was within it. But I felt like "life" was such a huge and complex thing, and that you'd need to be both calm and very bright to "figure it out", and I didn't believe I could be either of those, like my thoughts were too fragmented by the anxiety to be coherent.

But parallel to all this as far back as I can remember I've had access to this other part of myself that's deeply calm, quiet and steady, which I do identify with the essence of my holy idea. It's like suddenly experiencing the flux and movement and impermanence of life itself as beautiful rather than utterly terrifying. When I have balance I don't feel like I need to hold onto something more solid than myself, like I suddenly have more entropy/fullness ( @Entropic I stole your word sorry ^^).
I realize I'm not falling apart or seeking something, and never was, just simply being is enough. Difficult to describe I agree, I've never had so many adjectives come to mind to qualify something. It's peculiar too, because it's so personal and yet feels so universal.


Until I started my integration process it was only something I could experience on my own, often through music and sometimes drugs, and most of the time it felt like a fragile state, like it could fade at any moment. Over time as I got healthier and worked through things it came up more often and more powerful. The more I experienced it the better I got to know it and eventually more or less make my normal state resemble it in mindset.

Now I think I can say I'm in a place where things flow naturally a big part of the time. Of course not every moment is an intense "essence of being" moment but I feel insanely comfortable in my body, my movements are freer, communication and honesty is easier. I don't think about where I'm going all that much, I'd rather put as much as I can into the present day and let the future work itself out on its own.

What's amazing too is the newly found empathy. I mean I've always been empathic, but never quite like this, I feel like I didn't really take the time to see people properly before. They leave such profound imprints on me now, even strangers, I just feel fascinated by their whole essence, facial expressions, ways of looking at things, quirks, qualities and imperfections. I keep this for myself irl though because to most it's probably slightly creepy that I do that but I can't help it.
Also as a reactive type I used to flare up during conflicts, which still happens of course but I have more control over it, I can cool down, deal with things more calmly. What I love about this part is that when I react to people's anger or negativity with softness they actually drop their guard too, so really it was my own fear that used to create the things I was afraid of by bracing me against them.

It's not like I'm embodying essence completely or anything yet but I think it's pretty insane that nature would make our minds harmonize-able (word?) to this extent.
 

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Well for me as a six, it's a feeling connectedness and knowing. I stop feeling disconnected and detached from everything around me and instead of seeing potential for what the future could be, whether negative or positive, I see the present more for how it is. I'll never say I see everything exactly for what it is. That would be silly, but that's how it feels. That I'm just seeing what is. And life just sort of flows around me and I flow with it. Instead of trying to control it, I embrace it with no fear at all, because it just feels right. And instead of questioning everything, I just go with the moment and do. I also feel very connected to people around me, and talking and interacting with them just feels natural and not at all stilted.

I used to only feel this some time, but I've learned how to center myself now in almost any situation, so I experience this daily, although not 24/7. I still slip back into my ego defenses. I just have more awareness now to pull myself out of them.
 

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And all this time, there was this weak feeling. I was crying a lot, my jaws were hurting, but my body felt light, in both "opposite to heavy" and "radiating light". This feel of essence was different than before. Instead of me being a round, strong bright light, the light was weaker, more transparent, but radiating. And everything I saw had that radiating glow.
Wow thats the third time I heard someone describe an experience of essence as seeing everything having a radiating glow .The first time was Don Riso in the Wisdom of the Enneagram and the second time was one of the teachers at part one training .I haven't personally experienced that but its so interesting that at least 3 people describe it the same way!
 

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To be quite honest, I actually scoffed at the idea and thought monks and other spiritual leaders that seek that kind of enlightenment were just crazy people and people who tried to follow suit were crazy too because it just made no sense to me. I saw it as a complete waste of time and just overall utterly pointless to devote yourself to achieving this state as a constant thing. I still think I can't take it quite seriously but at least I can understand where they are coming from though I may sometimes wonder if the way they take there is quite needlessly complicated and too cookie cutter as I think what works for some will obviously not work for all. Actually, that's why I think the enneagram is nice because it doesn't try to place everyone to follow exactly the same way to get there but instead offers perspective as to what you need to get there which is very different.
Yeah thats EXACTLY how I always felt about it too- that books written about Buddhism and mindfulness and so on are too cookie cutter- how could a bunch of people experience enlightenment in the SAME way? Or how could a bunch of monks at a monastery all learn it from each other? And I think in a lot of cases they dont. I think there's a lot of people who are heavily involved in meditation and zen and so forth, like they go through all the motions, but in a true sense, they dont understand it at all.
But also I am much more open minded about it now, because I have experienced how being around other people who study the enneagram actually does help you in your own personal transformation- not necessary because of the words they say, but just something about their very presence. I think the human being has a huge capacity for copying others (especially a 9 like me), and this is reflected not just in outward behavior, but in internal mental states as well. Its something that I never would have believed normally, what with all my stubborn Ni, but I've actually experienced it first hand.

Oh and I also agree that a lot of it is needlessly complicated- and maybe the Enneagram is as well- but I think the reason for that is that everyone needs to arrive at it in a different way. So if you provide a bunch of different avenues (making it seem complicated), different people will latch onto different avenues and be able to use those. If you just had one simple avenue, only some people would get it.


I truly appreciate that all you could bother to comment on in this thread was writing a dumb as fuck one liner in response to an otherwise deeply personal, spiritual and enlightened post. If you got nothing to do than trolling potentially good subjects you can gtfo. There are other threads where you can do that. If you got nothing better to contribute better stay silent as it's quite obvious the actual subject of hand seems to be above you.
LOL thanks Entropic :)
 

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This thread seems fairly spiritual so I'll add some of my own thoughts and experiences.

Essence of being is hard to explain, I think like others here have said. It's literally like a 'beingness'. You're fully aware in body, mind, and spirit. The ego is transcended and there's an integrated wholeness. No more searching or striving, desire or longing. You just 'are'. You're present, all of you. Even the parts of you that still need work on, they're all there. Nothing is denied or turned away. You accept every part of yourself and your humanity. It's like a fullness. You feel empty and yet full at the same time. Empty of everything.. like you are nothing, nothing at all, and yet full of nothing, like you are everything that ever exists.

It can be developed through things like meditation and spiritual philosophies such as Buddhism, and I know some are into Jungian Psychology going through their own process of individuation. It's a personal thing but all paths lead to the same place.

As someone above wrote about how they experienced themselves as a star merging into other stars as one huge star, 'essence of being' is light. It's a literal feeling of being light and free of all your worries and cares, and also a literal observable phenomenon which you experience internally yourself as light (hence the term 'enlightenment').
 

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But also I am much more open minded about it now, because I have experienced how being around other people who study the enneagram actually does help you in your own personal transformation- not necessary because of the words they say, but just something about their very presence. I think the human being has a huge capacity for copying others (especially a 9 like me), and this is reflected not just in outward behavior, but in internal mental states as well. Its something that I never would have believed normally, what with all my stubborn Ni, but I've actually experienced it first hand.
My journey in life is recreating this:
Gurdjieff taught the symbol primarily through a series of sacred dances or movements, designed to give the participant a direct, felt sense of the meaning of symbol and the processes it represents. What Gurdjieff clearly did not teach was a system of types associated with the symbol.
 
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