Marcia Montenegro

Ruth Haley Barton & Contemplative Corruption—Part 2

Barton’s books are evidence of reliance on feelings, experiences, misuse of Scripture, and at least some influence from Buddhism. There is no biblical evidence supporting the contemplative teachings and practices so passionately promoted in these two books. In adopting the belief that she has discovered a door to deeper spiritual transformation and intimacy with God, Barton has, in effect, closed the door on the truth given by God Himself

In this second installment of a two-part series, we continue looking at two of Ruth Haley Barton’s books, Invitation to Silence and Solitude (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press Books; 2nd ed, 2010) and Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press Books, 2006). They are two key books in the burgeoning movement of contemplative practices in the church.
As I mentioned in Part 1, the extent of the issues in these two books is substantial, even for a two-part series. As a result, for the sake of time and space, almost as much will be left out as will be covered. The issues are addressed under four categories: Misuse of the Biblical Text; Reliance on Experience; Elitism; and the Buddhist Influence. Many examples for the categories necessarily overlap. Quotes will be referenced by page number followed by the initials SR for Sacred Rhythms and SS for Invitation to Silence and Solitude. All Scripture is from the New American Standard 1995 unless otherwise stated.
Spiritual Elitism
Barton writes that contemplative practices take one into a deeper, more intimate knowledge of and relationship with God than what results from normative prayer and Bible study.
Barton disparages regular Bible reading and study as an information-gathering mindset that is analytical and may make us critical and even judgmental (SR, 49). She makes a false dilemma between viewing the Bible as a love letter or as a textbook. In truth, the Bible is neither (Barton sees it as the first one), and although one can learn about and know of God’s love through the Bible, to reduce it to a love letter is a drastic simplification of what the Bible is about and for. Stephen Altrogge points out in “Is The Bible A Love Letter From God?”:
The Bible is not a love letter.
Does the Bible tell us about God’s incredible love for us? Of course. But the Bible is not primarily about us, the Bible is primarily about God. The Bible is not primarily a subjective account of God’s feelings for us; it is an objective record of God’s magnificent, glorious plan of redemption. The Bible doesn’t exist in order to make us feel good about ourselves. The Bible exists in order to stir our affections for our glorious God.
Barton discusses prayer under the heading “Prayer Beyond Words” (67, SR). This is about seeking intimacy with God and knowing God experientially rather just knowing a lot about God (68, SR).
She cites Psalm 37:7 and 62:2 as supporting the view that one knows God deeper without words and in the stillness of waiting (68, SR). But reading the context of these two Psalms shows that this is not about knowing God without words or being in a state of stillness. Psalm 37 is about not being anxious or angry about evildoers but instead to trust the Lord and know that he will sustain the righteous (verse 17).
Psalm 62 is also about trusting God in light of those who lie and who bless with their mouth but inwardly curse (verse 4). The silence of the psalmist is in contrast to falsehoods and hypocritical blessings. Many passages like this using the term wait in silence are about trusting God, often as a contrast to the frantic machinations of evil men. Nothing in the contexts of passages like this are instructing one to literally be silent in order to know God, nor do they teach that silence is superior to being verbal.
A practice called Lectio Divina is described by Barton as a more life-giving way of approaching scripture as opposed to the deeply ingrained information-grasping patterns (i.e., normative Bible reading and study). Lectio Divina writes Barton, prepares one to listen for the word of God spoken to us in the present moment (54 SR). Scripture is already God’s word for the present moment, as well as for the original audience and everyone since and in the future. What Barton proposes is a way to generate an experience and a private meaning from Scripture. That is what this method is designed to do.
One must be in silence prior to reading a Bible passage in order to create a quiet inner space in which we can hear from God (56, SR). One reads the text (no more than six to eight verses), attentive to a word or phrase that causes a visceral reaction or brings about a deep sense of resonance or resistance (57, 60, SR). This is a word, contends Barton, that is meant for you (60, SR). The individual then reflects on this word and thinks about where they are in the text and ask what do I experience as I allow myself to be in this story?  (57, 60, SR). Barton continues:
Rather than thinking about the passage (and we have to be very careful here), we keep coming back to the word that we have been given (57, SR).
Again, using the mind is given an inferior role. In actuality, one needs to think about the passage in order to understand and properly apply it. After this step of getting a special word, as described by Barton, comes a response and then a rest in God, which is also when:
we resolve to carry this word and listen to it throughout the day…you will be led deeper and deeper into its meaning until it begins to live in you and you enflesh this word to the world (58, 61, SR).
This is considered superior to reading the Bible the usual way, but instead, it is an entirely subjective way to read Scripture which is meant to evoke an experience with a word from the passage, viewing it as a special word given to the reader. Instead of reading the passage in context, comparing it to related passages, and possibly using Bible study tools to understand the point/s of the passage, one guides themself into an inner experience that is likely to be deceptive and spiritually damaging.
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Ruth Haley Barton & Contemplative Corruption – Part 1

Although the Holy Spirit indwells believers in Christ, nothing in God’s word teaches that within is a Divine Center or a Speaking Voice. The Holy Spirit is not comingled with the believer’s nature but is distinct from it. God’s voice is found in the Bible, a precious source of truth for all who seek guidance from it. Barton’s view is more akin to a Gnostic or New Age outlook, which seeks and values what arises during an inner experience. Does this fan the flames of spiritual elitism? 

In this first installment of a two-part series, we will look at two of Ruth Haley Barton’s books, Invitation to Silence and Solitude (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press Books; 2nd ed, 2010) and Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press Books, 2006). They are two key books in the burgeoning movement of contemplative practices in the church.
The extent of the issues in these two books is substantial, even for a two-part series. As a result, for the sake of time and space, almost as much will be left out as will be covered. The issues are addressed under four categories: Misuse of the Biblical Text, Reliance on Experience; Elitism; and Buddhist Influence. Many examples for the categories necessarily overlap. Quotes will be referenced by page number followed by the initials SR for Sacred Rhythms and SS for Invitation to Silence and Solitude. All Scripture is from the New American Standard 1995 unless otherwise stated.
Misuse of the Biblical Text
Invariably, the slide to false teaching begins with a misuse of the word of God. It also paves the way to introduce new, equally authoritative ways of knowing God.
Throughout Invitation to Silence and Solitude, Barton continuously cites the account of Elijah in First Kings chapter 19 as an illustration to support her points. In the preface, Barton writes that we are starved for quiet, to hear the sound of sheer silence that is the presence of God himself (19, SS).
The sheer silence is a reference to verse 12 in First Kings chapter 19, a phrase rendered in the New American Standard (1995) as a gentle blowing, in the KJV and NKJV as a still small voice, in the ESV a low whisper, while the CSB has a soft whisper.
In most languages, words have a range of meanings, and it is no different in Hebrew. Since there are different uses of this word, it cannot be established that Elijah heard an actual voice. A voice speaks words, and this does not appear to be a use of words. But immediately following this gentle blowing, there is a voice: a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (verse 13b).
This event is the third in a series for Elijah after he flees Jezebel. He first goes to a Juniper tree, where he asks God to let him die (verse 14). But the angel of the Lord brings food and urges him to eat (many believe the angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Christ). He then travels forty days to Mt. Horeb, where Elijah again laments that Israel has abandoned God and God directs him to stand on the mountain. That is where Elijah witnesses a wind, earthquake, and a fire before the gentle blowing/stirring. When God speaks to Elijah, Elijah repeats that Israel has broken the covenant with God and killed God’s prophets. After this, God instructs Elijah to anoint two kings and a prophet, Elisha, who will be the successor to Elijah.
This is a narrative passage, not a prescriptive text. Although one learns about God in this passage and can draw important principles from it, it has nothing to do with, nor is it prescribing the practices Barton promotes.
Barton bases a number of her teachings on this account of Elijah, including entering a time of solitude (136, SS, and numerous other places) where Elijah acknowledged the truth about himself. Barton discusses Elijah as though he deliberately set out on a personal journey seeking silence and solitude as a way to hear from God, saying that he was hungry for an experience of divine Presence (87, SS), something found nowhere in the text. Elijah was a prophet and did not need to do anything to hear from God. God communicated with him often and directly, as God did with all his prophets. It appears that Barton was reading her own ideas into the text.
Barton has a section, “Moving from Head to Heart,” where she commits the logical fallacy of the false dilemma by making a distinction between head and heart. This distinction is a modern one, not a biblical one. She misuses Luke 10:27, where Jesus tells the lawyer to love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind. That Jesus says heart before mind, according to Barton, means that the mind comes a little further down the road in Jesus’ list (52, SR).
There is no evidence that Jesus listed these things in order of priority. In fact, the use of these terms together indicates an emphasis on loving God with one’s whole being, not with separate parts of the self. One cannot divide one’s mind from one’s heart or one’s will. They interact, work together, and overlap. I cannot say now I will love God with my heart, and later I will love God with my soul and later with my mind. In order to love God, one must know God, and one must use the mind to know and understand who God is. Loving God is not an emotion; it is an act of will and mind resulting from recognition of who God is and knowing God’s love through faith in Jesus Christ.
The mind is not inferior to what Barton calls the heart, nor is the mind the enemy. But in contemplative, New Age, and Eastern spiritual teachings, the mind is a barrier or sometimes an enemy. Nothing in Scripture teaches that the mind needs to be silenced or put aside. Being vain about knowledge, and allowing the mind to follow worldly philosophies or false beliefs is condemned, but those are related to pride and truth issues, not with the mind itself.
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Mindfulness: Taming the Monkey

If you are a Christian, the basis, rationale, and goal of Mindfulness is in complete conflict with a Christian worldview and with the reality presented by God in his Word. Mindfulness has nothing in common with biblical meditation, which is thoughtful contemplation and pondering of God’s Word; nor is it biblical prayer.

Editor’s Note: Although some Buddhist concepts are explained here, the thrust of the article is to describe the Western take on Buddhism via the New Age and the secular culture, and how some of its practices and concepts, especially Mindfulness, have migrated to the West, particularly the United States. In order to make a distinction between a generic understanding of the term mindfulness and the specific term used for the practice based on Buddhism, “Mindfulness” in this article will be spelled with a capital “M.” (This first appears in the Summer/Fall 2014 issue of the Midwest Christian Outreach Journal beginning on page 6)
We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.1
Developing wisdom is a process of bringing our minds into accordance with the way things really are. Through this process we gradually remove the incorrect perceptions of reality we have had since the beginningless time.2
Be lamps unto yourselves.3
Mindfulness is a Buddhist concept and practice. Yet we now find Mindfulness taught and practiced in schools, businesses, hospitals, and prisons. People as diverse as educators, health workers, psychologists, corporation honchos, and clergyman advocate it. Its popularity is increasing with rapid-fire speed. Therefore, Christians need to know what it is, how it is being promoted, and if there is any conflict with the Christian faith.
The Meaning of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a meditative practice and an outlook on life and reality that ideally results from the type of meditation designed to cultivate the Buddhist concept of “detachment.”4 Mindfulness is often defined as a moment-by-moment, non-judgmental awareness of the present.
Why is “detachment.” necessary, and what does that mean? To understand, we should know these essential teachings of Buddhism:
1. Life in this world is suffering.2. Suffering is caused by desire for and attachment to this world, which will continue the cycle of rebirths into this world3. The remedy for suffering is to cultivate detachment and thereby to reach enlightenment, and thus, escape rebirth.4. The final goal is nirvana—a state of release from the cycle of rebirth and suffering. Nirvana means to extinguish.
The world, as it is perceived in Buddhist thinking, is not substantively real. The individual self has no permanent reality (it is called the “no-self,” “anatman,” or “anatta”), and what one recognizes as the individual self is based on faulty perceptions (this is sometimes called the “conventional self”). According to this view, feelings, thoughts, physical sensations, and sense of identity have fooled us into thinking we each exist as an individual. Continuing to believe this allegedly keeps us trapped in this life and the cycle of rebirth.
Desire, which is a grasping at or attachment to this world, is the cause of suffering; and so “detachment” must be cultivated, mainly through Mindfulness. Moreover, since the mind is part of this nominal reality, thoughts are in the way of realizing the true nature of reality and self. Mindfulness, as a meditation practice, is the tool by which one sees beyond or in between thoughts as a process of awakening to truth. The promotion of Mindfulness often includes the commonly heard maxim, “Be in the present,” since the goal includes detaching from past and future.
Practicing mindfulness as moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness supposedly prepares one for a breakthrough in perception—an awakening to the realization that ultimate reality is formlessness devoid of any form or structure (“sunyata,” usually translated as “emptiness”). Mindfulness is particularly emphasized in Zen Buddhism and, aside from TM (Transcendental Meditation), is the Eastern meditation practice that has most deeply penetrated the West.
Mindfulness meditation is a technique of sitting still (though there is also a walking meditation), observing the breath, being aware solely of the present moment and learning to let thoughts pass by without entertaining them. Because there is no permanent content to the present moment since it comes and goes, eventually, a state of “no-thinking” is reached. The goal is to divorce the mind and thinking process from one’s observation so that the meditator realizes he is not his thoughts, and eventually understands the “I” observing the thoughts (called the “Witness”) is not the conventional self, but rather, it is the “universal” or “Buddha-self” (terms vary). This Buddha-self is the “Buddha nature” of the universe, which is the only permanent reality.
For many years, this writer attempted to incorporate Mindfulness into her life prior to becoming a Christian, and I can attest to its power in altering one’s worldview and conforming one’s thinking to embrace Buddhist concepts.
The Chattering Monkey
How can an anti-individualistic worldview worm its way into a highly individualized culture as exists in the United States? This happens slowly through Buddhist meditation, which conditions the mind through employment of certain terminologies and familiar terms, but which have been redefined using Buddhist concepts.
You might notice the term “monkey mind” popping up here and there. In promoting Mindfulness, the thinking mind is targeted as a “chattering monkey.” Thoughts are the chatter, and meditation is used to tame and silence this “monkey mind,” so that it can become “Buddha mind.” As one source puts it:
Often in meditation, that monkey mind doesn’t transform into a peaceable primate, but continues to scurry about, distracting attention. Indeed, it is common for thoughts to appear to increase in intensity during concentrated meditation practice. This is either because whilst in the confines of the practice the monkey mind reacts with increased activity, or because in focused meditation thoughts are “lit up” and are noticed more than they normally are.5 Thoughts are treated as an independent activity, divorced from one’s true self—the “Buddha-self.” The temporal world, including the mind, is part of a “rising and falling”6 which is not substantively real. One must transcend this rising and falling through meditation practice.
Meditation trains the person to watch thoughts so that the meditator does not attach to the thoughts and follow them. Eventually, the space between thoughts widens until there are no thoughts, and “no mind” is reached. The site continues:
Buddha Mind is our real nature, the unconditioned “Mind” – and words are metaphors here, remember – that lies beneath the conditioned monkey mind that is interdependent with the world with which it interacts.7
Phrases such as “impermanence,” “rising and falling,” “being, not doing,” “monkey mind,” “chattering mind,” and others are appearing more frequently in literature and other media, including Smartphone apps, that give advice on reducing stress. This denigration of thinking portrays the mind as the problem and thoughts as a source of confusion. Moreover, when such terms become more familiar and popular, the concepts attached to them also tend to become more widely accepted over time. There is a prevailing assumption that we cannot truly function nor have any peace unless we practice this type of meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is, therefore, the Buddhist way to tame the so-called “chattering mind” and uncover the silent “Buddha-mind” underneath all the “rising and falling.” It was not designed for stress reduction or to be a trendy dabbling for harried Westerners. It is rigorously religious and strictly spiritual.
The Secularization of Mindfulness
Several people have pushed Mindfulness as a concept and practice in the United States. They can’t deny its religious basis, yet they present it as a secular method. One of the most influential, Zen Buddhist Jon Kabat-Zinn (b. 1944), whose PhD is in Molecular Biology, runs the Center for Mindfulness (formerly the Stress Reduction Clinic), which he founded in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn’s stress-reduction and Mindfulness program—MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction)—has spread to over 200 hospitals and medical centers around the country. One news article reports:
Kabat-Zinn is reluctant to use the word “spiritual” to describe the approach to healthy living that he promotes, characterizing it instead as being “grounded in common sense.”
“I don’t have to use the word ‘spiritual,’” he said. “Part of it is the power of silence and stillness. And part of that power is the power of healing that happens when you move from the domain of doing to being. It’s transformative.”8
In a self-contradictory statement, he said:
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The Enneagram is the Face of God and the Body of Christ

Since the Enneagram is a spiritual tool from the occult and men who received their understanding of it through spirit contact and from the New Age, it should not be surprising that the true nature of God and Jesus is being distorted by it.

The distortions of God continue unchecked in the culture of the Enneagram celebrities. A recent example is Rev. Michael John Cusick, M.A., L.P.C., founder and CEO of Restoring the Soul, an organization in Colorado. IAN CRON recently promoted Michael John Cusick on his Typology podcast. In doing a bit of research on Cusick and his organization, I came across his podcast, “Episode 100 – Kelley Gray, ‘5 Ways the Enneagram Can Strengthen Your Marriage, Part II: Understanding How Your Partner Handles Conflict’” on Luminary.
We see this quote in the description by “Intensive Clinical Soul Care Specialist” Kelley Gray, M.A., L.P.C. at Restoring the Soul.
The Enneagram is the Face of God and the Body of Christ
According to the podcast description, Kelley Gray is their “resident expert on the Enneagram.” As the resident expert, she would know how the god promoted by their organization should be depicted. Apparently, it is the Enneagram.
Ian Cron is the co-author of the Enneagram book The Road Back to You and has had a parade of Christians on his Enneagram program advocating the Enneagram. The statement above is not an anomaly but one of many invading the church. It reveals the Enneagram’s effect of altering the biblical view of God and Jesus Christ with the churches that have embraced its use:

The Enneagram is “the face of God” (Richard Rohr, Suzanne Stabile, Ian Cron)
In “Seven Benefits of the Enneagram that Most People Miss” under point one, “Appreciating God’s Presence,” minister Bill Gaultiere of Soul Shepherding mentions one of the talks they give is “The Nine Faces of Christ in the Enneagram.”
In “Seven Benefits of the Enneagram that Most People Miss,” Bill Gaultiere explains that Jesus is the “center” of the Enneagram and the “perfection” of all the Types.
Are you feeling disconnected from God? No problem; in “Seven Benefits of the Enneagram that Most People Miss” Bill Gaultiere offers hope. The “Spirit of Jesus” can be found via the Enneagram: “By relying on the Spirit of Jesus through the ancient wisdom of the Enneagram, we can grow in God’s grace.”
We allegedly see the “face of Christ” in other Types: “The Enneagram also recommends a path of growth for you by identifying another type’s ‘face of Christ’ that you especially need to learn from” (Bill Gaultiere “Seven Benefits of the Enneagram that Most People Miss”)
Cartoonish and irreverent depictions of Jesus, showing him acting out each type on the webpage of Belton Church of Christ, Belton, TX. Scroll down the page to “Bonus: here’s a picture of Jesus as each Enneagram type!”
In “Introducing the Enneagram with Chris Heuertz,” one of Heueretz’s oft-repeated refrains is that the Enneagram is “nine paths to God.”
According to Enneagram teacher and author Beth McCord (Your Enneagram Coach),  being baptized into the Enneagram puts your “Core Weaknesses” “to death” and brings your “heart’s Core Longing” “to Life. Two examples are Type 7 & Type 8 on Your Enneagram Coach Facebook page. (Screenshots on file)

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The Enneagram, the Angel, and the Divine Coma

McCord attempts to rehabilitate the Enneagram by using biblical language and is doing so with no one calling her out for it, other than myself (as far as I know). Even pastors who should know better are falling for McCord’s fake gospel Enneagram. By crafting the right-sounding terminology, it can sound biblical. With a modest amount of effort, I could make astrology sound biblical. All I have to do is transpose Christian meanings into astrological terms without changing the content of astrology.

A 2018 article, “The Rise of the Enneagram,” was recently brought to my attention by MCOI Senior Editor, Corkey McGehee. It has a surprising story that begins with fallacies by Beth McCord.
The article first references Enneagram “coach” Beth McCord, who, by her own admission, learned the Enneagram from New Age psychic Helen Palmer and at least five New Agers whom she named. Beth, along with her husband, Jeff, an ordained PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) pastor, founded Your Enneagram Coach in 2015. In 2019 Thomas-Nelson publisher produced her nine-volume set of Enneagram books. Beth also claims to teach a “gospel-centered Enneagram.” Apparently, by just incorporating the words “gospel-centered” or “Christcentric,” into a heretical occult tool you can have a million-dollar business (that is an actual fact for the  McCords). The writer, Tyler Huckabee (not related to Mike Huckabee) quotes Beth:
“They’ll say well that’s not in the Bible,” she says. “Well, the Myers-Briggs isn’t in the Bible. You know, there are lots of things that aren’t in the Bible but are still helpful.
“If they take the time to hear how we use it from a biblical perspective they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, this makes sense. There’s no problem there,’” she continues. “It’s when they have misconceptions that they get all freaked out.”
Beth employs false dilemma and red herring fallacies in this first response. The false dilemma is not whether it is in the Bible or not that determines the usefulness of the Enneagram. I know of no sound critique of the Enneagram that rejects it because it is not in the Bible (who would make such a ludicrous statement?). Moreover, it is a red herring to bring up the Myers-Briggs which, unlike the Enneagram, is not derived from spirit contact. Myers-Briggs is not in the same category as the Enneagram. It is claimed the Enneagram is a spiritual tool; Myers-Briggs makes no such claim. While Myers-Briggs claims to assess the personality, the Enneagram was never designed for that. The Enneagram is not to assess personality types but to figure out which of the nine paths to God each one must take to reconnect with their “true self.” In addition, Myers-Briggs is no longer viewed as valid by psychologists. Many have stopped using it.
McCord attempts to rehabilitate the Enneagram by using biblical language and is doing so with no one calling her out for it, other than myself (as far as I know). Even pastors who should know better are falling for McCord’s fake gospel Enneagram. By crafting the right-sounding terminology, it can sound biblical. With a modest amount of effort, I could make astrology sound biblical. All I have to do is transpose Christian meanings into astrological terms without changing the content of astrology.
Facts are not misconceptions. If McCord is referring to factual information on the Enneagram as “misconceptions,” such as its occult origins and the spirit contact involved, those are not misconceptions. If that is freaking people out, that should be a normal reaction for a Christian. Apparently, it does not freak out McCord. She did remove the names of her 6 New Age Enneagram teachers from her website once I made this broader public knowledge. It seems McCord may have thought those facts might have freaked people out.
The Flexible Enneagram
The article continues:
Ask 100 devotees of the Enneagram what it is and you’ll get 100 answers, most of them bespotted with vague language and words that don’t seem to mean much of anything, and several definitions contradicting one another so violently you wonder if these people are talking about the same thing. It’s a personality test. A path to wholeness. A way to process your trauma.
The above only validates my warnings that the Enneagram can be anything to anyone, that it’s flexible and fluid. The reason I made those claims is that the Enneagram has no standard or basis in reality or facts. So, it can become whatever one may want it to be or think that it is.
Ironically enough, a system designed to help people understand themselves is in danger of being misunderstood.
Even more ironically, the Enneagram was not designed to help people understand themselves. It was designed to help people deconstruct the false self (the belief they are a sinner) they were conditioned to be so they can uncover the true Essence of the Self which, in contradiction to Scripture, has never been separated from God.
Enter the Angel & Archetypes
The article moves on to Chris Heuertz, author of The Sacred Enneagram, who cautions against using the Enneagram as Beth McCord tries to use it, as a way to discover your personality. Give credit where credit is due – Heuertz is correct. Read carefully:
“It is helpful,” Heuertz admits. “It is clear that the Enneagram does sort of expose repeating patterns in human character structure archetypes that are sort of observable. But I think if you don’t really understand the essence of what’s behind it, you’re just fueling your own narcissism and you’re weaponizing something. You might be super interesting at a dinner party, but that’s not the point, you know?”
Well, then. What is the point?
“I usually try to say that [the Enneagram] is a sacred map of our soul,” Heuertz explains.
“And, you know this, the map isn’t the journey. The map informs the journey. So, if the Enneagram is a sacred map of our soul, if it’s a compassionate sketch of possibilities of who we can become, then what it actually helps us do is excavate our essence.”
Notice the language:

repeating patterns
what’s behind it (the Enneagram)
map of our soul
excavate our essence

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