(version en français : ici)
One may be tempted to answer:
"frankly there are more urgent things to think and do".
Except that in life, there are unique moments (Kairos), crossroads, where suddenly a piece of life disappears to reveal a new and completely different picture. These moments are rare, extremely rare. Yet they have a precious peculiarity which is to be able to shake unshakeable things, ...and it occurs that what we call "our little self", (our ego), is part of these very unshakeable things.
That little self is like our fortress. Basically, and to put it simply, it's the part of us that watches over the grain and whispers in our ears all the time, "What about me? What about me? What about me?". Behind every "What about me?" hides a "Leave me alone! or a "Be what I want!" ", and above all, a "Love me the way I want to be loved! ».
It's like a fortress in which we've unwittingly locked ourselves up. A safe and well-guarded place. However, it is said that there are two cannon shots, linked together, that can make this fortress crack: suffering and love.
At the moment, the coronavirus is thundering these two cannons and for some, it is already much more than a distant cannonade, it is "beating" hard. When it hits, the walls of the fortress crack, and we are forced to breathe a different kind of air than what we are used to.
That's when we can remember that we know the Enneagram and that it can finally prove useful and precious...
For the Enneagram - it is my experience - is also a map that can guide us out of the fortress, when life forces us to venture outside these walls of our little self. Ideally, it invites us to do so at all times and outside of crises, but then it is less easy for us because less of a necessity.
Moreover, we are fortunate to have the writings of people who, before us, experienced the total collapse of the fortress, under cannon fire of unheard-of violence. Etty Hillesum is one of them.
She was a young woman, a person like you and me - who, incidentally, lived in the Netherlands, like me - and who languished in an existence in which she carried her life like a ball and chain. Pretty, intelligent, highly courted, yet she had everything to herself! Except that when you are a prisoner of your ego and your past, it is not life that carries you, it is you who carries your life.
And then, the Nazi persecution fell on Holland and accelerated the collapse of its already cracked "fortress". In magnificent texts she had time, before being deported, to testify to her exploration "outside the walls", and it is not surprising that we can easily find the furrows of the Enneagram.
The Enneagram says the promise that the nine territories it draws are within us and define us much more than the walls of the fortress. Etty Hillesum fulfilled this promise by unknowingly making her own this map of the human soul, each of the nine territories having taken flesh within her.
It is therefore quite simply and humbly "her" roadmap.
that I'm offering you for the next few weeks:
We cannot escape this time of confinement and trials, it is before us. What can we do but try to live differently than behind the walls of our fortress, to finally discover that these territories that make up the essence of the human person, are within our reach?
Conquering these territories to live from them is not a luxury, and it has even become our duty today to contribute as best we can to face our ordeal.
Today I clearly see that teaching the Enneagram has never meant anything to me other than sharing this.