Sunday, May 29, 2011

Are Human Beings Asleep to What's Real?

Cultural and societal expectations...our race, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, ethnicity, disability, language, socioeconomic status, intelligence, appearance, etc., all combine to create the unconscious bias that filters our reality. These filters mostly exist in our unconscious; therefore making it virtually impossible to employ objectivity. Nevertheless, by “thinking about our thinking” we can take steps to increase our understanding of our external reality, independently of the many perspectives we operate from.

Moreover, individual personality colors the way we perceive and interpret ourselves, others, and the world around us.  Peter O’Hanrahan, in an interviewon Gnostic Media with Jan Irvin, explains an organizing framework for a system of nine different personality types (way of seeing the world and relational style), whose origins date back to ancient times, called the Enneagram.  The first time an enneagram was published in  western culture occured in 1305 when a Franciscan friar who was trying to reach some common truths shared by all three religions used the 9-pointed diagram that is the enneagram to achieve this.

Fast forward to the early 20th century, and George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, a teacher and "seeker of truth" used the enneagram as a central part of his teaching. He believed our personality - the part of ourselves that has adapted to our social envirnment - covers up our inner essesence, and that human beings were asleep to what's real.  Inner development takes place when we  wake up, become self-aware, start thinking for ourselves, and ultimately, come out of our trance. And finally, he believed that in order to fully develop, human beings needed to integrate our three centers of intelligence: mental, emotional and body/instinct.

The Enneagram system of personality types is used by individuals and organizations around the world. Below are the 9 different personality types.


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