The Sufi Enneagram or Sign of the Presence of God


In the work of Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar Ph.D, the origins of the Enneagram symbol (see illustrations) are traced from within the Sufi Tradition of Central Asia. The Islamic Sufi tradition incorporated wisdom from past traditions including Pythagorean, Platonic, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and Zoroastrian Religions as long as that knowledge did not contradict the principle of Unity or belief in the Oneness of God. The Sufi tradition inherited a sacred tradition of psychology which existed in the past but was the first to develop this psychological teaching into a system based on the nine points, particularly in the work of the 13th century Islamic scholar Nasir al-din Tusi. It was this same traditional psychology that G.I. Gurdjieff encountered through the Sufis in Central Asia which led to his use of the Enneagram symbol in his teaching during the 1920's. The modern typological interpretation of the enneagram (by Riso, Ichazo, does not originate from this primordial tradition and is in fact something quite different.

In her three-volume work entitled God's Will Be Done (1993, Kazi Publications, USA) Dr. Bakhtiar describes in print for the first time the form and meaning of the Enneagram symbol as understood from within the Sufi-Islamic tradition in relation to traditional psychology.

'...Everything in nature but the human 'self' perfects its own nature, to the extent that life allows, by unconsciously submitting to the Will of God...the area with which we are concerned is the completion of nature in its mode of operation...

God breathed His Spirit into human forms so that they gained the powers of consciousness of 'self', which includes consciously following one's conscience and free will. The completion of the perfection of nature becomes a question of choice - to do or not to do...'

God's Will Be Done  volume 1