Note: Can I Say This at Church is produced for audio listening. If able, I strongly encourage you to listen to the audio, which has inflection, emotion, sarcasm where applicable, and emphasis for points that may not come across well in written word. This transcript is generated using a combination of my ears and software, and may contain errors. Please check the episode for clarity before quoting in print.
Seth If there's a buzzword that is out now, and there's a lot of them; for instance, illegal immigration-we won't get political in this episode, but you know there's us versus them. There's patriarchy there's a bunch of buzzwords, but one that if you just hit Google and just start typing in E n m e a g r…and just see what the autocomplete says. The Enneagram is everywhere now.
I touched on this topic briefly, very briefly, with Suzanne Stabile. I don't know if, gosh maybe a year ago, and I've wrestled with it and I touched on it with my pastor and I still continue to wrestle with it, the Enneagram.
I was sent a really good book called Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram, and I wrestled with that. I'm still wrestling with it and I'm liking it and I'm hating it and that will make sense as you listen to the episode.
I'm Seth you're listening to the Can I Say This At Church podcast; I am glad that you're here.
Before we get going, I just want to say I know you have options to download, to listen to whatever you listen to, and I continually see the Downloads tick up; and I can't tell you how humbled I am by that and how thankful I am that you devote any time at all to listen to the show. So thank you, if it's gotten the hold of you at all, if something speaks to you, just let me know.
I would love to hear your feedback! Tell a friend! There's almost 50 of you now that support the show in a financial way on patreon be that anywhere from $1 a month to…some of you, are way more generous than I deserve. So thank you from the bottom of my heart but each and every single one of you makes this happen and it's a privilege.
Fair warning, as we dive back into the show, there is a partly…I don't…I don't, I'm getting better at dealing with emotions, and you'll hear that in there, but I was so tempted to edit out parts of this. Where my humanity or my emotionality breaks through but I decided to leave it in; as that’s terrifying. So here we go, a conversation about the Enneagram with Clare Loughrige.
Seth Clare Loughrige, welcome to the show! Thank you for your understanding with my lack of calendaring abilities, and for long-term listeners to the show that will not surprise you. I screw up all the time with the calendar and then just for those listening I'd originally said let's do this Thursday, and then we realized, and by we…I mean you, that that's the Fourth of July and I'm like well that's that's stupid. I don't know how I missed that! I think I just looked at this Thursday's wide open on the calendar and didn't realize that the reason it was wide open is because all the family would be here with me. So anyway, welcome to the show I'm glad you're here.
Clare I'm glad I'm here too. No fireworks.
Seth We shall see, we shall see. A couple questions before we dive into the subject at hand, which is the Enneagram. I'll tell you up front the enneagram both frustrates and amazes me ,sometimes at the same time, but we'll get there. But I want to talk a bit about you like what makes you? Because I feel like the book, and the practices that come from it, will be informed greatly by your life experiences. So if someone asks, “Hey Clare, what makes Clare…Clare?”, what would you say? What are those things that have made you what you are?
Clare Wow, alright, so I was raised by a Sicilian father, maiden name Pizzimenti, and he was raised by the Christian Brothers and the Jesuits. So that's my story, so I went to Catholic school, I loved mass and at 18 years old I was introduced to the Catholic Charismatic Movement and that just fit my personality style. I loved reverence for God but I always had this “out there” energy. You know this, I wanted to experience God not just learn about God, not just honor God, but have an experience. So the Catholic Charismatic did that for me. Those priests and nuns, it was wonderful. And then my husband and I, we knew we were called to ministry together, and because the Catholics don't have a married order, like Francis and Clare, if they would have gotten together it might have been fine. I could have stayed in the Catholic Church; but we discovered that that wasn't possible. So we went to an Assembly of God-Bible College; which felt a little Catholic Charismatic, except for there was some resistance to Catholicism there.
So I began to leave behind my Catholic roots into this new realm, and then went from there to not to this nondenominational world. And then from there went to studying with the Methodists and and Quakers and all of that. Then finally, at 40 years old, ten years into our church plant I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and I ended up at the Transforming Center, with Ruth Haley Barton, don't know if you know who she is…
Seth I don’t…
Clare but that creates space for pastors and leaders to recover their souls. And I discovered that I had lived such an extroverted life that I didn't pay much attention to my own interior-ority, and so when I discovered that I had this autoimmune disease. I went to the transforming Center and ended up with the first practice I was taught was rest. And I actually, that was to me, that wasn't even Christian. I thought, you know, you die. Jesus says enter your rest. You know, now you work at the vineyard because the Sun is going down, night is coming, no man can work.
So I didn't realize that I had worked myself…I had lived such an extroverted-active life. Lots of social justice stuff, and I you know, the youngest of six, living with Sicilians…I mean it just, my life was always out “here”.
So when I discovered that there was an interior world to pay attention to I also discovered that I had been wounding my own life and the life of others with that very active energy. While it had done some good it had also caused some problems. And so I began to practice rhythms of work and rest. Silence and word, action contemplation and discovered that there was actually rhythm in life and not just all out here stuff. So I was introduced to the Enneagram during that first two-year community and then discovered I was a three on the enneagram.
So a very active, workaholic, image management, deception, self-deception; somebody would say; “Are you tired?”
I'd say, “No! No need for rest until heaven.”
So what makes Clare…Clare is that I really am a combination of glory and grime, action and contemplation; only because I had to learn the contemplative style because of trouble. And I am an ecumenical potpourri! I love…I love so many faith traditions that, you know, and part of that is my gift as a three that I can blend in different places. But it's also been my pain…that while I was blending into places I lost my own soul. So that's kind of the elevator speech of who Clare is.
Seth I've never heard the words ecumenical potpourri but that needs to become something. I like that! I don't know how to flesh that out, but I like that. I've never ever heard anybody say that before.
Question…because I don't know much about either the charismatic faith you know in America or in the Catholic tradition. What are those differences or are there any outside of Catholic and this is the pastoral order that I report to? Is there any practical differences or is it just all dogmatic differences?
Clare I like the way you said that. Yeah, I do believe it's dogmatic differences and that we have so much more in common than we do separating us. There's a deep desire to know God and be transformed by the renewing of our mind; and that mind the Greek word, nous, which really isn't just your brain, it's your whole life. It is your head, your heart, your gut, your actions in the world being transformed for the glory of God.
Ruth Barton would say, for the abundance of your own soul and for the sake of others; and so we have far more in common this desire not just to know God intellectually, but to have an encounter with God that goes beyond just our intellect.
Seth So the book that you've written, or you and others have written, there's a lot of names on the front cover. It's called Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram, and then subtitle: A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation.
I want to circle back to harmony in a minute but the first question is how do you…how is it even possible to write a book with four humans involved? Because I don't understand how that would, I mean it was hard enough to just calendar this, much less hundreds of pages, and an editor, and a publisher. So how does that even happen, and then when conflicts arise, because I have to think that all four of you are gonna have a different take on…you know, “what a three is” or “what a five is” or “how they are healthy or unhealthy”…how do you work through that?
Clare Well, I wrote my first book on the Enneagram back in 2006. Self-published. I wrote my second one in 2012 and was doing trainings with those books my friend Adele, who you see her name on the front cover. Adele wrote a book called the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, and she was my first spiritual director seventeen years ago. Then we became friends, so we let go of the professional, you know, client you directee/director relationship, and we began to just love the Enneagram and spiritual disciplines together.
So they were teaching the Enneagram my husband and I were teaching the Enneagram and actually I certify people in the Enneagram, but we began to find this lovely connection. So if you've read a little bit Doug is a 1 that's, Doug Calhoun, Adelle Calhoun is a 4, Scott (my beautiful husband) is an 9, and I'm a 3.
So we as we have this mutual love we said well what could we do together that might offer some some grace to the Enneagram world. Lots of great stuff in business and psychology and spirituality but is there a way that we could show this kind of harmony?
So one of my favorite scriptures is if two of you would agree on Earth, anything is possible; and what I've discovered is that most people can't even agree in their own soul. You can't even agree with yourself. You're in arguments with yourself all the time right, and so this idea of already what we were doing with the Enneagram was working on harmony with your head your heart and your gut. Your IQ your EQ, emotional intelligence, and your GQ, your gut intelligence, and so we we were beginning to find some flow; some harmony individually. And we said, “Well if this is really gonna be the good stuff…if we're gonna love God with our hearts and mind and strength and our neighbor as ourself-let's practice and see what we can do together with this work. See if it's true, see if it's really possible to bring harmony”.
So that that's how it began and yeah you are right. We did have moments where we looked at each other and said…”okay, right now I'm just gonna take a moment and breathe I'm gonna try to find some inner harmony because I'm feeling some outwards dissonance”. So we would do that. We would actually…we've named our own demons, our own stuff, our own false-self; whatever you want to call it, vice. We had that kind of honesty and if we didn't the other one might say; “How are you doing right now?”. If they were picking up on something…
Seth just shut the laptop… call me later so
Clare yeah, that's really how it went. It was really practicing the book.
Seth There's a part of me that gets angry that when I, say like I'm 8 5 and 2 because I know…when you asked me and I said well here's where I'm at…so part of my brain is like “don't tell me what I am”! The other part of my brain is “challenge accepted” I'm not that. I get so frustrated because I can't actually change anything, and then I get mad. So does it have to be those three numbers? Because they're, as I read through everything, I'm like…I would like to be able to be like “this”. My wife is a nurse, she's entirely different than me I don't ever want to do what she does; there's no way I ever could, but I would like to aspire too.
But I feel constricted by limitations that I don't know how to get out. Is it always those three numbers? Is there any nuance?I guess what I'm asking is, when I'm 70, can I be a different three things? Is that even a thing? Is that even a real question I should even be asking?
Clare Well I think you asked a lot of questions there
Clare I love it! I think first of all you know any Enneagram teacher that has been in this wisdom for a while says you are not alone. We've heard, and I maybe that makes you mad too, but we have heard others say the very same thing and then we would just like to say we feel you, we see you, and we really do believe you are a dominant type. That there are things that you have dismissed along the way, maybe because one part of you was applauded, and so you did more of that.
Maybe because one part of you was told “we don't do that in this house” so you dismissed it or it wasn't valued. You know you could have been raised in the house where intellect was so highly valued that you just undernourished the heart part of yourself. That kind of caregiver person and so you know whether it's undernourished or dismissed or something was more applauded we have all three centers of intelligence. You have all three of those accessible to you, but you have taken one to an art form and you have been able to work. That it's got you your job, it got you your marriage, it's done great work for you. And at the same time when you say, “Can I be something else at 70?”. I love that too, because what we say about harmony is it's a model that actually gives you access to more grace when you're centered.
So when you are centered you can access all of the virtues at the time you need them and what we see in people who have aged well, and who have suffered well, is they have lost a lot of the egoic structures. They are far more “living from essence-from true self” and able to access grace. That is really, really lovely and then we've seen people who have not let go of their egoic structures, and they get meaner and more difficult in their aging process.
So I think the point is the more centered we are you do have more access; but yes what we would say is that all models are wrong and some are really helpful (and that's quoting someone else but we don't know who it is but they're right). So this model of the three numbers is really just a way for you to practice letting go of the things you're constricted in.
Thank you for using that word, I love the word constricted, because it really gives us a picture of how we get stuck and trapped in what we've overplayed in our lives, what we've taken to an art form. And when we can loosen that and when we can open to FLOW which is one of the acronyms we use, Free Loving Open and Welcoming, we have accest to more than just what we're constricted in when we're over playing our personality style that has gotten us good things and has gotten us in big trouble and frustrates the heck out of you.
Seth Right at the beginning of your book the part that, it's probably the part of my brain that likes to rip things apart it's a reason probably that I do this podcast if I turn the screen there's like 27 books here that I'm gonna read this month in one way or another, it's all gonna get read. The logic of things is what I tend to gravitate to and rip apart and then I just question, unceasingly sometimes, I don't know what the purpose is for the questions, but I feel like I have to continually ask them. So there are two diagrams, there's the traditional Enneagram diagram that has like an open-end; almost like a horseshoe with fancy points. But yours is more, you call it like a harmony, the harmony Enneagram. So is that just semantics in the verbaige that you're using or do the extra lines actually intend to mean somethin?
Clare Yeah so the original Enneagram is nine personality styles around a circle that begin with, let's start up in the gut area.
The 8’s is the, you know, the person that shows us that God is strong. They show us the face of God is strength. The 9’s show us the face of God as peace, those peaceful people. The 1’s show us the face of God is good, you know, they're reforming the world. The 2’s show us the face of God is loving and serving you and caring for you, maybe your wife's a 2,I don't know?
There's a, you know, the 3’s the effective person they show us that God indeed is effective. “Let there be light” - there was light. The 4’s shows us that God is creator, this originality-this beauty of God. The 5’s shows us that God is wise and will rip apart everything and study everything in research and come let us reason together, Seth…
Seth mmhhmm (in laughter)
Clare right, excellent. Then there's the 6 who shows us that the face of God is faithful and loyal mercies, new every morning. Then the 7 shows us that God is an Epicure. God is adventurous, God is joy. God has plans that we know not of and then we are at the top again.
Okay, so I'm sure that Suzanne did a perfect job describing all that. So what I'll say about the the original diagram in the West…we have to understand that if you look at the beginning of the book the history of it; you know it could go back to the Pythagoreans…it can go back to Plotinus.
So we find it in math, we find it in philosophy, and then we find it with a Evagrius Ponticus, in the third century. With some conversation he has with Melania, where he looks up at the sky and says “The heavens declare the glory of God”. But when it came to the west we started with all these arrows and have things pointing, now, we've got wings. It's lovely, it's a robust system, it's fabulous. It's a model, and all models are incomplete but some are useful when you look at our model; which we say there are hints of it with the third century and the 12th century. We talked about that in the first chapter, but where I learned it with Stanford psychologist David Daniels, back in 2009.
David Daniels has written much on the a diagram, he's a brilliant psychiatrist and Enneagram master who is now gone on to his great reward. He threw up this diagram, I was studying at Loyola University, and he was the presenter and he threw up the new Enneagram model in my eyes but it dated back with three triangles. These connected one-four-seven, two-five-eight, three-six-nine and as soon as I saw it…what happened was it, it, just dropped me right back down into my Catholic roots.
With Ignatius Loyola who taught us how to know and do the will of God by checking in with all three centers of intelligence. We can't just make decisions with our intellect or with our heart affections or with our gut instincts; but all three, together open us to this flow. So that diagram while I learned it in 2009 from Dr. Daniels it has hints with Raymond Lowell in the 12th century. It has hints with Evagrius Ponticus.
Seth Is there a way to have any growth without suffering? Well I think that's what you said, suffering well, and then how do you even define that? Because suffering, for me is entirely different. So I'll say this, I've recently been telling my wife that this year-I've been doing the Examen and ever since I read the book last year, the name escapes me now, every single night..and I hate it and I love it but mostly I hate it.
It makes me deal with emotions and I like the way that… I've never thought about it as…
As a child it was, I can remember my dad often times saying you know “we're gonna do this use, your head, calm down, breathe, think through this logically”. Everything logically was rewarded and applauded. Only control what you can control and make sure that you control that well. Don't even worry about the rest of this “stuff”, which he would use biblical reasons for, but everything was logic and rhetoric and debatable, if that makes sense. But emotions…we don't cry. We don't do that. What purpose do they serve if you're not bleeding? What's the point in crying? You know?
Which, I'll say similar thanks to my kids now and I never thought about it as being undernourished. So for me emotions are struggling, like I feel a sense of loss when I…like if I'm watching a movie. and..
I watched the movie Interstellar the other day with my kids. I don't know if you've seen that movie or not so I'm gonna get scientific for a minute; and I'm not a scientist.
So here we go as you get closer to a black hole time actually gets sucked in, and so the closer you are to a black hole the slower time moves for you. But, relative for you here (on Earth), it moves at the same pace and so if I'm really close to the Sun a day for me…maybe four or five times longer for you. An hour for me maybe a year and a half for you. Because time itself is being sucked into that gravity well, which, that's just Einstein. I'm really badly explaining that. The movie does quite well and actually hired a brilliant physicist or astrophysicist from somewhere in the UK and because they had them, the money for the models, those are some of the best scientific models that exist for that type of science. They literally now use those as, hey, they had the money of a studio as opposed to grant money-so we can really make these computers work for us.
So there's a part where this guy is leaving earth he can SPOILER alert for those that haven't seen the movie from a decade ago, this is your fault, and he he basically…is like you know. When I get back to Earth…his daughter who's maybe 12 or 13 when he leaves …well we might be the same age. But my goal is to save humanity, we have to leave this planet were not destined to die on this rock. This is just where we were born but we have to leave because we're out of resources, effectively we've been poor stewards and were just out of resources. It is what it is and we can't go back and fix it.
So he leaves and has to make a decision with a team and the decision costs him I think 40 years. When he gets back (to the ship) there's all these relayed messages that are sent through the satellite stations. He's watching his son come on…his son say “I graduated college” his daughter say “I don't think you're listening to these/we buried grandpa today/I lost my firstborn son”. And you can just seethe hut the father just began to break down like…I was gone for hours and I missed their life.
And even now I'm getting a little mad about it, but I was watching it with my kids and it's, either way I couldn't deal with it, and so I basically just pause the movie. I'm like who wants to go play outside? We'll finish this later. Because I don't deal well with emotions. I've started talking my wife about it, like, I feel like that's a big issue for me and somehow I got to fix it. But I can't seem to move past any of those walls as I pray, anything else, and I don't know how to suffer that well. But for my wife it may be something different, you know, it may be she has cancer kids that she takes care of…and so for her her suffering is entirely different.
So I'll have people and, even listeners to the show like, how do I do this? What are some resources to suffer well? But…but my question is two parts how do I do that? Because I think you do have to do it, but is there any way to actually have spiritual or personal growth without suffering?
Clare Yeah well there it is…
So when I think about a 5
Clare and you saying I'm watching this movie and when it gets to this part I want to go out. Let's go out and do something else. You're actually naming the pain of your dismissed childlike self. So, if that's okay, I can say this if not you can cut it out
Seth it's okay
Clare and so just in June I was doing our training and certification, and I had a British 5 who was here and day 1 we began to unpack some things. I was giving a preview of what we would experience, not just cognitively, but actually in the body throughout the week; and was talking a bit, just as just a preview. even though he read the book before he came about the dismissed childlike self. And he said, “You know, you're reminding me right now that people talked about CS Lewis as a feeling intellect”. So he said, “and I realized that as a child when this particular teacher ripped up my art. I put my heart away“ and this was day one in the training.
This British 5 PhD, and he connected with a story of where his suffering came from; and where he dismissed his heart. And that became just an open door for the next several days for him to practice living in to his health. Not just the suffering of it, but the beauty of it. You know the gift for you, Seth, being a young dad you're actually being invited to not miss the story of your children's lives before you're at the other end. Like this father who came back and realized I missed the best part of life here, right. So there's a grace there, you know, the fact that you're doing the Examen daily, even though you hate it/love it. So that's Ignatius for the people who are listening who don't know that, as I mentioned Ignatius telling us to open up to all three centers. You're inviting that opening, and so practice doesn't make perfect but…one person said practice makes permanent.
When you're regularly accessing that ability to touch into “Where did I feel like I moved toward light today'“? “Where did I move away from light? Where did I move toward God? Where did I move away from God?” and then if you were sitting with a spiritual director and you said that I would say, “and where are you holding that in your body? Is there anything you're noticing? Is there a tightening in your gut, is there clenching in your jaw? Do you feel tears behind your eyes?
Which maybe I can also say this; it looked to me like there were tears behind your eyes when you talked about Interstellar…
Seth yeah they're gone now though, we..we are better now though…
Clare and so you know this…this willingness to wake up all three centers of intelligence is practice for every one of us. Because we have one part of our intellect whether IQ, EQ, or GQ that we have overplayed and one that we have diminished or undernourished. So the practicing through the Examen is one wonderful way to do that. And yeah you can awaken and it is through even feeling the suffering like what did I miss? What did I miss? And when was the last time I felt that as a little person? When did I feel like I needed to close that down? Listening to the words about your dad saying the tears are not necessary, right, you just say oh my gosh. When…when was the last time I felt the freedom to feel tears? And going there for a moment and welcoming back that wonderful God-given EQ that you have.
Seth so I want to go away from my numbers because it's….just..just as uncomfortable as I was with Suzanne, I'm also uncomfortable now, so let's go to yours. You say “effective loyalty harmonizes” and then you talk about that in the way that you pray and in the way that you engage in life. So what do you mean by that when you say effective loyalty harmonizes?
Clare So that's my harmony triad. So I start with the effective, which is my 3 heart, and I go to loyalty which is the 6-head my IQ, and I go then to my 9-harmonizes my GQ, my nine. So 3/6/9 the goose drank wine, you know that?
Clare okay you don't know that? “the monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line?
Seth I have no idea (laughter)
Clare You probably didn't jump rope as a kid, okay.
Seth no I did not
Clare 3/6/9 is my harmony and if I'm all stuck in my heart, which is effective, it just means I want to connect. I want to make it happen. I want to produce, I want that. If I just stay there I will dismiss my wonderful loyal questioning IQ that says Clare…why do you want to produce this? What is behind this? Is it that you are feeling unworthy and you think if you produce one more thing you'll be loved? What about waiting on this? How about you do a little more research about producing that-or are you just gonna get all caught up in your workaholism. So I go to my 6 to let me ask some questions and then I take a break and practice this rather rhythm of rest and harmony with the nine. Because 9s, nobody rests like the 9s the nines actually in their virtue they show us the peace of God, the face of God. So when I go to my 9 I will sit back in a chair, if it's okay to say this here, I'll pour myself a glass glass of cab. And I will sit with my overactive-effective-producing self and let the 6 ask some questions and let the peace of God come before I just move into something and produce one more thing that is saying “start another web page, make another phone call, get another thing done”
Seth So my pastor, I forget what he is I'd have to ask him again, I find myself often though in other virtues find myself entirely jealous. Like I wish that I could do that in such an easy way. To do it, which I know that's not…it's just not the way that I am. What are some practices to grow towards things that you see in other people that you’re like “Yes! That is something that I need to do and I need to do it better!” but to do so I also feel like I'm not me. Like it's a way outside the comfort zone…so what are some good practices that when you see things like you know, just rest and relax, or…Like my music minister is a 9 and I pastor teases him all the time like just make a decision like stop trying to placate ever but just make a decision already. It's the Easter service what are we singing? Well I thought we could do this and he could do that but… Buddy listen and we really need to do this so just make a decision. So how do you know when you see something that you're jealous of, a bit, and I think I use that word rightly I don't mean like a sinful jealous like a I would like to emulate that how do you practice to grow that way?
Clare Yeah. Well this is why we love this triangle because it gives you access to three different kinds of energies. A moving toward energy, which we can't unpack today, a moving away energy, and a moving against energy. Which all three are really important and you had them all present in the Harmony triangle. So for you, you naturally move away. You're great behind the camera right? In terms of, like, you're interviewing somebody else…right? You can live behind the one-way mirror but you moving toward eight; I love what you said you do this in groups. You've got that moving against energy, you can say, “Okay, no. Let's take action here; no we're gonna direct this group” and that kind of a thing. Then your two would be moving toward, right. Moving in-relating, engaging in ways.
And then the 1/4/7 has that same gift. You know 1 are move against, though they've got this “we're gonna reform it, we're gonna make it happen” but they can't always be reforming things otherwise it's perfectionism, right. So they have to move away, down and in, like a 4. Do some introspection. Feel your feelings. Get a lay of the land, feel other people's feelings, move down and in, right. And then the 7, move out into the world and experience and enjoy and take hold and taste everything and enjoy some stuff!
So each of the types really have that gift, practice really is it is present in this harmony triangle. Because what we say is when you're living in your type alone as a 5 you're playing God. But when you actually are harmonized you're reflecting God. Because you're accessing more than your type, your thing way to three different kinds of energies. You're giving way to three different kinds of intellect and practice makes permanent. You know God didn't just say oh you have a lovely headset and that's all you're gonna need in this life, you know, your body is just an appendage attached to your head. No you really do have a heart.
You know and as The Wizard of Oz says, you know “You have the head, a heart, a home, the nerve.” So you've got access to all three centers of intelligence; and all three energies, that will help you say; “This belongs to me. I don't have to be jealous.”
Just like Dorothy, it's like it's all here. There's no place like home. I've always had it right here within me. So are you too young to know the Wizard of Oz?
Seth no I have it on one of the anniversary specials. We watch it with our kids regularly, which is probably traumatizing. Those monkeys actually, now that I'm older, I'm like wow! This is pretty traumatizing, I still like monkeys though so it's fine but yeah. Yeah just the whole movie is a little bit unsettling the book is worse. I'm sure you've read the actual book, is actually worse.
Clare I understand, yes!
Seth I'm curious so you said something there you know you were born with a head, it's not just the head. So I don't know enough about Gnosticism but do you feel like, or in your experience, two people that hold a different type of faith-that don't have the same “Western civilization Aristotelian” addiction to logic…do they struggle or do they have an easier time with a practice like the Enneagram?
Clare Oh you are naming that tune! There is much, especially in underdeveloped what we would say non-civilized places, people access more body wisdom. You know the first Bible, as many have said, is creation. And so, you know, before we have anything on the page; before I think therefore I am, we did accept our body wisdom. We did know… “okay, there's a lion outside and I've got to be”…you know, we actually did listen to the hair on the back of our necks standing up, right. We did actually listen to the wisdom of the body and so when we think about how the gifts of reason and logic and, you know, the printing press have helped us-they've also hurt us.
So we don't always look up at the night sky and say the heavens declare the glory of God; we forget that as David said…he did a great job and saw him saying “when I kept silent about since my bones were wasting away” or or saying things like “oh my God my heart has come alive”. When was the last time we felt our bones telling us, Hey you need to get this right, or our heart saying…oh life is here! This is awesome! And so if we are willing to receive the gift of the intellect, the gift of our emotional affections, the gift of our body instincts then we're living a whole and holy life and able to experience life.
Human beings, we're spiritual beings trying to have a human experience, right? That is that's not my quote, it's one of the greats, but we really realize that this body, this temple not made with human hands, is where we're experiencing the life of God - the life of the divine. You know however people want to say it, the life of the universe it's here! We are a part of the cosmos and the beauty of awakening to all three centers of intelligence is an enlivening and harmonious experience.
Seth So I've been accused of lacking empathy probably because I don't do well with emotions, which works well at the bank. Because it's just, everything is, it's not black and white; but the gray area is as the manager there, that's the area that I flex but it's still predicated upon logic and risk management. But you end, or y'all end (somebody ends) each chapter with what does empathy look like for a one? What does empathy look like for a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 27, there aren't 27—I was just seeing if everybody's paying attention ;)…
Seth so why empathy? Why that focus on empathy? Because I read a lot of books and there's not a lot of books that intentionally recenter everything back to empathy before we move on to the next topic?
Clare So the golden thread throughout the whole book is this beautiful scripture from Luke 10. Love God with all your heart, mind, strength-love your neighbor as yourself. So my professor Dr. Muholland, from Asbury, used to teach at the transforming Center. He talked about how it's like a Mobius strip, so it's actually this it is inextricably bound-loving God, neighbor, and self. It is two sides of the same mobius strip and if you run your finger in a mobius strip that's you gonna keep, just keep, touching. I really do believe that you can't say you love God, if you don't love your neighbor. You can't say you love your neighbor, if you don't of God. They are an inextricably bound truth that there is something about my connecting with you Seth that opens me to grace, and hope, and love, and faith, right.
In neuroscience we would say it's a social-synapse, it's really good for us. We're firing one another's little happy neurons and we're creating a way to start to see a 5 a 3, you know, and then empathy begins. Like if I tell you my story, Seth, why I do this little dance to impress you; it's because I'm the youngest of six children. They were all developmentally smarter, developmentally more, you know developed right. So I always had to impress, I always had to compete, I always had to know their music, know their books. I wanted to be as good as them and so it wasn't that I was trying to deceive anybody; I just wanted love. I wanted worth and if you can get my story you're gonna you're gonna wonder about other 3’s.
You're gonna say, “I wonder what their story is?” not, “oh there they go doing their little dance, their little impress you dance” right, I don't trust it. And when the 5 starts to move away, rather than judging you and feeling judged by you, like; “he's so smart he thinks I'm an idiot that's why he's moving away right now”. No! I might get to know your story and say, “well actually there's a story about tears not being acceptable here; but just go to your head with logic.” So then I start to just open space for you. To be curious about you. To care about your story and then it's just the social synapses are firing.
And if you know anything about heart math…do you know anything about heart math?
Clare Oh, it's awesome! So they did some work on 9/11, after 9/11, when people were running in to help their neighbors. When people were not polarized by stupid stuff but they were polarized about caring about their New York neighbors. They actually found an atmospheric change over the city of New York. Now, I love it because you're gonna research it now, and if you look them up on YouTube what they'll do is they'll actually take people up on stage. They'll give them something that causes some disharmony, in their heart area. That causes this kind of frenetic movement and then they will give them something that helps harmonize it. And they can pick it up through their blood pressure, through their EKGs.
What happens in the body in disharmonious times, when the frequency is all jagged, and then when they can regulate. When you can regulate what happens in the body and then what happens out “here”. You can tell the difference when you're with a person that's harmonized and a person who is dysregulated in their emotions. But now we can pick it up, and we can actually say, “Yeah…it changes the world.” It doesn't just change between you and I, it can actually have an effect on our culture.
Seth So this is just a comment that requires no answer…but that terrifies me. When I look at the ideological landscape that is our current country, because I don't see any harmony there. But I don't want to go there because we're running close out of time. When you kept saying they for heart math and they for bringing people up on stage who is they? It'll make it easier to research…
Clare Heartmath.org …
Seth Oh! That's the name of it okay…okay-yeah that sounds fascinating. Yeah and then I'll dip down that rabbit hole for a bit. So the back of your book, what I like about your book and a few other books is, there's a lot of content upfront but then there's some practice at the back. And so if there's one of these practices, and I'm not gonna call it the appendices, it's called something else…Resource Center…something like that. What is maybe one or two of the practices that will yield, not the easiest results, but yield maybe the most fruitful, easily seeable, results as people begin to engage in things that are uncomfortable?
Clare Well you know number one. STOP for harmony it's an acronym and it is:
See. Trigger. Open to. Presence.
And it gives for each and every type a way for them to see, be awake to where you are and the situation that's causing you a problem at the moment. Trigger, what is the trigger here? If I can actually name that demon it doesn't have power over me right. If you can name it you contain it, so to speak. Then open, beginning to breathe, and open up to all three centers of intelligence. 1, 4, 7 if you're those three numbers 2, 5, 8, if you're those three numbers 3, 6, 9 if you're those three. Then you're open to presence, your own presence, which is your truest-self. Not you're out here, ego-structure personality type that's over playing your gift and the presence of God to what is more than you.
So it's really you know it's in response to Romans; “The things I want to do, I just don't do; and the things I hate, I end up doing. Who can save me from the pit”. Right… or who can save me from the noonday demon? I wake up, I say I'm not going to do that today. I'm not going to do it and then 12 noon hits and you do the Examen, and you say, yeah I did it. Oops!
Seth I did it again and again. I did it yesterday. Why do I suck at this! Yeah I was talking about Romans last night with someone at a baseball game. We were talking about…I don't take the Bible as a literal textbook to tell you what you're allowed to do and not to do, I think it's intended to be chewed on more than that. But he did, and so he kept quoting Romans to me and I ended up quoting that scripture and then just the whole first part of Romans. I'm like if you just read the whole first missive of Romans he's basically saying
Stop being so legalistic! Stop judging people. Because as soon as you read this Bible in a legalistic way or this letter, it wouldn't be in the Bible then, you're doing the same darn thing. So now we're gonna talk about “this” we're gonna talk about, “this” we're gonna talk about the way you worship at the temple…he just looked at me. He's like “that's what it says”.
Then we can't…we can't even talk, because we don't have the common ground. That is a tangent it's just related… So
Clare No, no, no. Can I add to that?
Clare It's not a tangent because it's what the Enneagram is about. We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are and we all have a lens, you know, we're all looking at the world through our own lens. So you know somebody said don't argue with a fool because even if you win you've just made friends with a fool.
There's this idea that we all are not awake until we're able to be awake. So there is a way that many people view the Bible and so that is part of the struggle in our landscape right now. And so what we might say is that practices that help us open to more of God's presence and the true self made in the image and likeness of God.
You know Nelson Mandela said “human beings can't bear the burden of their own inherent greatness”…and so there's this part of we have been made in God's image; and when we touch into presence all that other stuff drops away. All the law, and all the prophets, drop away so this one thing loving God and loving neighbor as yourself.
Seth You start the book with a similar quote - that's from Soren Kierkegaard - which is “With God's help I shall become myself”.
Point people in the right direction. Where do they contact you or any of the other 72 authors of the book? How do they get a hold of the book, etc? Where would you send people to?
Clare So Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram is available, it's on sale right now for $17 dollars. Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram by the Calhoun's and Loughrige’s.
We have a Facebook page: Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram. We have a training actually accredited through the International Enneagram Association that is available twice a year in Marshall, Michigan. I can send you my links if people want to look at show notes, be happy to do that.
We have a website: morethanyourtype.com or Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram. So there's lots of places you can go and really love to get this wisdom out there; and you know hope that the world can be in harmony together.
Seth Yeah me me too, that would be fantastic. Well thank you again Clare. Thank you for your willingness to bend to my poor calendaring I really enjoyed the conversation, thank you so much.
Clare Thank you! Appreciate your willingness to let me come on and share with you and I love your show.
Clare I got to tell you some of the authors you've had on or my very, very favorite. I won't name them one by one but thanks for getting the word out there.
Seth Perfect, thank you.
So by now it's been it's been some time since I recorded this with Clare and begrudgingly I am learning to appreciate the Enneagram. I'm learning more about myself with it but I'm also holding it still at a steady distance but it's beginning to crack into me. I'll tell you why, I don't know but but Clare could hear it, when I started talking about you know my kids and that movie Interstellar…there it was…it was emotional. And I'm learning that that's okay and that is changing me but I'm also learning to be protective of that. I think that there may be a damage to allowing oneself to crack too quickly and maybe I'm wrong would love to hear your feedback on that. But I am intentionally letting things break away and letting that reveal whatever is beautiful underneath me; and that is frightening. It's frightening to watch what I've made the ego that I have created that I work with very well to protect myself chip away; and even just saying that sounds weird. And it's not quite right but it's the best that I can say it now and so I'm gonna end with that because I don't know how else to end. This one really hit home for me and I hope it did for you.
Big, big thank you to every single one of the patrons supporters of the show. Everyone that has rated and reviewed the show I can't thank you enough. I can't do this show without you and so thank you, so very much.
To the hope Arsenal whose music you heard blended into this episode; thank you as well.
Ben has been gracious enough to let the show use his music ,twice, and I really love it. His most recent album is just good! It's fantastic. So check him out.
You'll find links to him in the show notes as well as all the stuff from Clare.
I look forward to talking with you next week.
Be well everybody.