||Jun 20 2000
Best-selling authors Hurley and Donson have synthesized and simplified the maze of principles for spiritual growth and transformation available today to bring you this guidebook to the core of human greatness.
The tool they use is the Enneagram, but with an entirely new twist! For newcomers to the system, this is a positive, unpretentious and disarmingly easy entry into the world of self-understanding. For Enneagram veterans, this approach makes the system immediately accessible to all who want to improve their daily lives.
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The Enneagram in the Healing Tradition
The Enneagram in the Healing Tradition
Beginning as a description of nine personality styles, in the hands of Hurley and Donson the Enneagram quickly leaves its more superficial applications to become a guide to the true self and spiritual destiny of every human soul. Whatever you have learned about spiritual growth from other sources will be placed in a clearer context by this book.
This book shows how to use the Enneagram as a gateway to the soul’s full potential. With it, you can live simply, compassionately, insightfully; you will feel inspired to create a new partnership between the ordinary and EXTRAordinary sides of your personhood.
Unique features enhance this book’s ability to speak to the heart of anyone who seeks spiritual advancement.
Its positive outlook encourages hope and growth.
It is easy to read with short chapters, subheadings and bullets.
It explains the practical steps for transformation, not just what transformation looks like and why you should work toward it.
Suggestions for overcoming the limitations of your type and your life fill every page.
It expounds a deep yet practical spirituality.
It opens a new vision of who you could be and what your life could mean.
It speaks to the heart where real transformation takes place.
Its spiritual insight is rare in this materialistic age.
Discover Your Soul Potential is a synthesis of the past 30 years that each of us, both personally and professionally, have devoted to learning, understanding and applying the spiritual wisdoms that lead to the development of soul. While our search has led each of us, individually and together, down inspiring and sometimes diverse paths, one point has become amazingly clear to us: authentic spirituality and transformation are born out of simple ideas, not complicated ones.
Complexity overstimulates our intellectualized western minds. With the mind racing — even with inspiring ideas and insights — we think and talk about transformation without actually experiencing it. We live in the illusion that thinking and talking about transformation is the same as living it.
We have come to believe that grounded spirituality rises out of simple, practical, everyday values such as human kindness, service, compassion and gratitude. These values that make life meaningful. In the words of the Dalai Lama, “The education of the heart is vital. We must have a sense of caring for one another because the destruction of your enemy is destruction of yourself. Our way of life is so interconnected.”
Through the years we have studied a wide variety of spiritual disciplines, psychologies and theologies. We have been spellbound by the soul-stirring creativity, insight and wisdom that has leapt off the pages of books written by both ancient and modern spiritual seekers. We have also been amazed by the power of grace and insight in our own spiritual experiences as we have applied this wisdom to our lives.
An Inspired Approach
This straightforward, optimistic book has a charming lack of pretension, which makes it remarkable in the Enneagram world and more suitable than most to offer to someone new to inner work.
-- Michael J. Goldberg, author of The 9 Ways of Working.
A Book To Live By
. . . a concise and practical guide for personal transformation and spiritual development.
-- Miroslav Borysenko, co-author of The power of the Mind to Heal
Explaining the Enneagram Positively
Everyone knows the Enneagram has three centers. But Hurley and Donson use them creatively in a way no one else quite does. They use relationships of the three centers as their primary explanation for the distortion of the personalities of the nine types.
The theory is simple in its conception and is carried out throughout the book. Each number has a preferred center. This is one of the three functions: feeling, doing or thinking. Each number has a dominant center. This is the center that the person overuses. The dominant center may not be the same as the preferred center. For example, Threes value doing and thinking too much, but their preferred center is feeling because that is the intelligence of the 2-3-4 triad.
Every number has a support center. For Threes it is either thinking or doing. In some Threes doing is dominant with thinking supporting it, and in other Threes thinking is dominant with doing supporting it. This is unlike a Four, who consistently puts his thinking in support of his preferred/dominant feeling center.
To explain all nine numbers would be to repeat the book. Suffice it to say that by manipulating the doing, feeling and thinking centers, they not only explain the distortions of each of the personalities, they also provide an agenda for personal change. This agenda for personal change clings to the theory and fundamentally contains exercises and suggestions for throttling back on the dominant center and supporting the repressed center. By bringing the centers into harmony, they restore wholeness to the personality. In a certain sense, they balance the energy like a massage therapist.
Perhaps a metaphor would help. If you are flying a kite, you need to keep all the strings at equal tension or your kite won't fly. Or if it does fly, it will be erratic and out of control. If you can maintain equal tension, you will take full advantage of the wind power moving the kite.
Here's a sample of their suggestions for Fours, Fives and Nines, often called the withdrawing types. According to Hurley and Donson, these are types that do not properly exercise their 'doing' center. This does not mean, they insist, that they don't do things. They just do the wrong things, do them badly or don't like to do what they are able to get done.
1) They can notice what needs to be done and do it the way it should be done without being asked. (Things that need to be done can range from picking up the pop can on the coffee table and taking it to the recycle bin to providing regular maintenance for their automobile.)
2) Learning to think practically and to think about the physical world would improve the quality of their lives.
In a way, Hurley and Donson answer the many people who say the Enneagram is not positive enough. The Enneagram is about distorted energies. When those energies are completely in harmony, the Enneagram style is not visible to others or experienced inwardly very dramatically.
Their contribution is welcome. Their theories underscore what is so often overlooked: our Enneagram style is about an energy, it is not a series of characteristics or behaviors. Hurley and Donson detail just how these energies work.
By Clarence Thomson, author of The Parables and the Enneagram. Reprinted from "Enneagram Central" website, June 2000.
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Reader Reviews for "Discover Your Soul Potential: Using the Enneagram to Awaken Spiritual Vitality"
|Reviewed by Ron Busby
|My initial approach to the book was one of skepticism but the authors very quickly dispelled any reservations I had going in. It is certainly NOT a niche book but one with broad application to anyone bold enough to examine himself. The thesis should be seen for what it is: an engine for processing information in an orderly, critical way, not an icon or holy grail for miraculous transformation. It is not pretentious or dogmatic or assuming. The authors have done an excellent job arranging the material in an understanding format. I still have many unanswered questions about the system but the writing and the style of presenting the notion is very acceptable. (I think I am a "5"!)|