top of page

The Enneagram in the ICU: the bankruptcy of scientific sustenance

Teachers who set their students to fail. It sounds horrible and unfair. The trap of the enneagram, as some have used it, is this. A model meant to show you what you are, but you shouldn't be. A real ambush. And unfortunately innocent seekers fall into the trap and rely on a used model in such a way that it cannot be of help. Because it carries the germ of deception. And the enneagram would not have to be this.

We are currently witnessing a supporting scientific bankruptcy for the enneagram. It is urgent to establish a model with proven concepts and answers. It is urgent to define the theoretical object of the Enneagram. Without scientific support, without a theoretical object, the Enneagram will be irretrievably condemned to the deceptive self-help shelves. Many professors have tried in vain to penetrate scientific and academic environments with this model and include it in the mainstream of personality models, Claudio Naranjo, the first. In the last decade there have been some specific efforts to generate research. However, the efforts remain there.

I will try to outline some hypotheses about elements that may be among the causes of this enneagram paralysis:

Shallow delivery

Being very simple and intuitive, some self-described Enneagram teachers, with a very superficial knowledge of psychology, have taught and disseminated a lot of quackery causing a rejection of the model in academic circles and have transmitted to many students a distorted image of enneatypes.

The origin of the model

The Enneagram has grown out of "schools of personal development." Both George I. Gurdieff and Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo have proposed the Enneagram as a tool to “combat” what they have called passions, the false ego and fixations, with these names or others. Gurdieff through the Fourth Way method at the "Institute for the Harmonic Development of Man." Oscar Ichazo with Protoanalysis at the Arica y Naranjo school through an experience of relearning modules with psycho-spiritual objectives in SAT "Seekers After Truth".

That Enneagram of primarily psycho-spiritual origin and use cannot be scientifically validated. And it cannot do so because it is inherent to science to search for evidence that supports an always provisional truth, which can be substituted when there is contradictory evidence. The Enneagram of psycho-spiritual context requires pre-existing categories and does not seek to be tested because it is based on your own belief system.

The weight of some "esoteric schools"

Part of the scientific bankruptcy of the Enneagram is explained by the proliferation of "schools" that teach different esoteric variants of the Enneagram. These "schools", those that I have known personally and those that I have known through their dissemination literature, intend with some or other nuances to allow the student or disciple the encounter with the "essence", which would be nothing other than the encounter with a "unity" or in some cases, directly with God.

In addition to "uniting with the whole" these schools offer "liberation" from ego, passions, fixations, discomfort, sin, with these terms or others. The Enneagram schools that make this offer are doomed to the failure of the mission they impose on themselves, to liberate, when their method starts from bases that necessarily lead to the opposite. Enneagram schools posed in this way run a serious risk of becoming a substitute for religion.

And what is true in the Enneagram?

The truth is that we can establish that the figure of the enneagram has antecedents before Gurdieff, some texts without specifying sources point to Babylonians and Chaldeans as the creators. But its formulation as a model of personality structures has a first antecedent in Oscar Ichazo and a more formal configuration with Claudio Naranjo.

It is also true that as a model of personality structures, it works perfectly regardless of the figure of the circle and its lines. And as a model of personality structures, it is intuitive and capable of portraying central aspects of human manifestation in society. In this, it is far superior to other theoretical aspects of personality that describe the phenomenon of personality in a very partial way.

Just as Ichazo and Naranjo did not visualize in those distant 70's that we would live in a society with an overabundance of information, where it is not possible to hide or state secrets, likewise, I believe that some of the current enneagram diffusers do not visualize the constant scrutiny that they do. science about what is proposed as truths. And this is dangerous for the enneagram community.

It is time to build a platform for scientific study about the enneagram. This will not be an easy task since the enneagram community has

135 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page