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Fourth Way Enneagram

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Enneagram used in Fourth Way teachings

The Fourth Way enneagram is a mystic figure, believed to have been first published in 1947 in In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky. The term "enneagram" derives from two Greek words, ennea (nine) and grammos (something written or drawn). The enneagram is a nine-pointed figure usually inscribed within a circle.

Ouspensky claimed that the enneagram was part of the teachings originally presented by G.I. Gurdjieff in Russia during the First World War. Gurdjieff is quoted by Ouspensky as claiming that this form of enneagram was an ancient secret and was now being partly revealed for the first time.[1] Although no earlier publication of the Fourth Way version of the enneagram can be cited, it has been proposed that it may derive from, or be cognate to, the Jewish Tree of Life (Kabbalah) as used in Renaissance Hermeticism (which used an enneagram of three interlocking triangles, also called a nonagram)[2] or a nine-pointed figure used by the Christian medieval philosopher Ramon Llull.[2] Idries Shah, a populariser of Sufism, has claimed that the enneagram has a Sufi provenance and that it has also been long known in coded form disguised as an octagram.[3] Another claim to a Sufi provenance is offered by the Sufi Enneagram website. Robin Amis claims a Christian orthodox origin, hypothesizing that both Gurdijeff and Ouspensky developed their teaching with insights gained from visits to Mount Athos.[4]

See also


  1. Ouspensky, P.D. (1949). In Search of the Miraculous. New York and London: Harcourt Brace, and Routledge. ISBN 0156007460.  ISBN is for Mariner Books, 2001. Quote: "The knowledge of the enneagram has for a very long time been preserved in secret, and if it is now, so to speak, made available to all, it is only in an incomplete and theoretical form of which nobody could make any practical use without instruction from a man who knows."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Webb, James (2001). The Harmonious Circle: The Lives and Work of G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, and Their Followers. New York and London: Putnam USA, and Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0877734275.  ISBN is for Shambhala Publications, 1987.
  3. Shah, Idries (1994). The Commanding Self. London: Octagon Press. ISBN 0863040705.  ISBN is for 1997 edition. The enneagram is disguised as "two superimposed squares" with the space in the middle representing the ninth point.
  4. Staff (2006-07-14). "The direct connection between the Fourth Way and Inner Christianity". Praxis Research Institute. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
fi:Neljännen tien enneagrammi

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