A couple of days ago, I quoted Richard Rohr, but today I want to highlight a very well written book, a book that Rohr writes the foreword for. It’s titled: The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth. It’s a paperback and was published September 5, 2017 by Zondervan. It’s written by Christopher L. Heuertz and has a foreword by Richard Rohr OFM. The enneagram seems to be undergoing something of a renascence; especially within some evangelical Christian circles, but also more generally with the range of new or recent publications on the increase.
Over the years I’ve reflected on the significance (with reservations around both the limitations of self-knowledge and the strong tendency to use the enneagram (along with other tools) to put both ourselves and others in (overly simplistic) boxes that don’t take sufficient account of human complexity and the easy tendency to self-deceive) of the Enneagram as a tool for change and growth – my own especially. It’s a tool I keep coming back to.
Heuertz’s publication has as its audience Christians, but it can be read profitably by anyone with an interest in the enneagram, especially if their own journey is animated to some degree by questions of ones relatedness to the Divine, or to something bigger than themselves. In places it’s a little dense and the language a little unhelpful. It can feel overly complex, even though I’ve read the majority of the source literature that he draws from. That said its diagrams a really helpful, and his use of the classic film The Wizard of Oz. The bibliography too will be of great help to those who want to explore the wide-ranging literature on the enneagram. I enjoyed and valued the book, and while I’ve expressed a little critical of the language used in this book, I did appreciate the ways Heuertz’s terminology and word choices gave me another perspective and standpoint as I reflected on my own patterns etc. On the basis of reading this book, I’m also going to explore Claudio Naranjo’s The Enneagram of Society: Healing the Soul to Heal the World (original pub. 1995).
For those starting out, and those coming from a particularly Christian perspective Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile co-wrote IVP’s 2016 publication The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery. This would make serve as a good introduction. From there I’d move onto Heuertz’s The Sacred Enneagram and Richard Rohr’s (with Andreas Ebert) The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (1991). New, on relationships, is IVP’s April 2018 release The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships. For a good place to start if you’re interested the enneagram and spiritual direction is Sr. Suzanne Zuercher’s Enneagram Companions: Growing in Relationships and Spiritual Direction (2000), followed by, if you can find an affordable second-hand copy, James Empereur’s out-of-print The Enneagram and Spiritual Direction: Nine Paths to Spiritual Guidance (1990).
For New Zealand readers, an interestingly aside is that it was a kiwi that first introduced Heuertz to the Enneagram (see pg. 81).
The Sacred Enneagram is recommended.