The Enneagram is a geometrical symbol of consciousness which comes from Asia. It is at least 6,000 years old and may be much, much older. Sacred symbols are multilevel in their meanings. Often sacred teachings have been kept secret down the centuries; partly because the average person of many times and places was not sophisticated enough to understand it, and partly because sacred teachings can give someone who learns them the ability to manipulate others. Responsible teachers of sacred methods would carefully choose their students, making certain that students were ethical and would not abuse the powers the trainings could give them.
THE THREE SHAPES IN THE ENNEAGRAM WHEEL ARE THE CIRCLE, THE TRIANGLE, AND THE ARCH OF FOUR TRIANGLES
I call the Enneagram the “Enneagram wheel” because consciousness is always in motion. Each visual aspect of the wheel has multiple meanings. Many of the meanings of this symbol are still secret. Publicly, what is known in the west is that the Enneagram wheel is a human personality typing system. This is true, but it is only a sliver of the teachings the wheel contains. The Enneagram is a map of ALL consciousness.
THERE ARE SECRETS WITHIN THE SYMBOL THAT HAVE YET TO BE MADE PUBLIC
The Enneagram came west in the 1950’s. As a map of all consciousness, the Enneagram includes a map of the Mind of God, the story of why God created creation, a map of instinctive consciousness, a map of Soul consciousness, and a human personality typing map (and more).
EACH ASPECT OF THE WHEEL HAS MULTIPLE MEANINGS
The points of the symbol designate stabilized states of consciousness and the lines designate consciousness moving from one stabilized state to another stabilized state. In the personality typing system the points each represent a human personality pattern; as a map of the Mind of God, the points designate the stabilized states wherein God's Mind can rest. Eastern spiritual traditions often use the metaphor water as a symbolic of consciousness, and this can be applied to the wheel. By this metaphor the points are pools and the lines are connecting streams.
THE POINT/POOLS ARE STABLE, AND CONTAIN INFINITE POSSIBILITY WITHIN A SPECIFIC LOCATION
A pool stays in one place, and yet, over time, there will be infinite variety in its temperature, the height of the water, the speed and quantity of water entering it and leaving it, its purity and the amount of debris within it, and so on. This is an excellent metaphor for the points of the Enneagram wheel. The points are stabilized consciousness that can have infinite variety. To give an example; the stabilized state of peace can span the range from a deep peace that as joyful, to the peace of having worked hard and taking a break to regain energy, to the peace of exhaustion, to the peace of hopelessness which has given up. There is an infinity variety in the possible kinds of peace one can experience, and all share the commonality of peace, and yet there can be infinite variety within that commonality.
The human personality typing system within the Enneagram is far more complete, and has far more depth, than modern psychological personality typing systems.
Unfortunately, with publication, the Enneagram was diminished. It did not have to happen that way, but it did. My teacher would not let me read Enneagram books till I worked with her for seven years. She did not want me absorbing the mistakes many of the publications make.