Introduction to From Fixation to Freedom
When I wrote my first Enneagram book in 1987, there was only one other available on the subject. It was written from a Jesuit perspective and described the Enneagram in terms of Jesus. I wrote mine in an attempt to make the Enneagram accessible and to point to its use for transcending the fixation. At the time, my own spiritual search had not ended so my book could only go as far as I had gone. In the intervening decade two major events have precipitated the writing of this book.
First and most importantly. I met a true teacher who showed me how to end the indulgence in fixation. Before meeting this teacher, all my work to end the fixation met with only limited success.
What I called ending the fixation, he called stopping the mind. I found that when the mind is quiet the fixation does not appear. How to stop the mind was something I had been searching for for almost twenty years before this meeting. In this meeting and the revelation of the true Self, the false self of fixation was exposed as a neurotic condition of mind attached to form.
The result of this revelation led to my turning my back on the Enneagram and devoting my life to supporting my teacher’s message of a direct end to suffering by stopping the mind and directly realizing the truth of who one is.
I put my energy and attention into producing the two volumes of Wake Up and Roar, which presents my teacher’s teaching to a western audience. During this time, my partner, who was named Gangaji by our teacher, began her teachings in the same lineage. My attention went into supporting her and her satsangs.
In the interim, the Enneagram field emerged with dozens of books about the Enneagram and descriptions of the nine fixations. When I presented the possibility of waking up from fixation at the first International Enneagram Conference at Stanford, in 1994, it created quite a stir. At that point, everyone was happily identifying themselves as a number and proud of it. Since then it has become fashionable to address ending the fixation, but most efforts that I have seen are looking in the wrong direction.
Now, over a decade later, I am returning to the basic teaching of the Enneagram in the hope that it will be used as a vehicle for liberation. Many have questioned the need for yet another Enneagram book in an overcrowded field.
The great gift of the Enneagram is that it describes who you are not. It shows the veiling of true consciousness by habits of egoic identification. When these habits of mind are revealed, there is a clear choice to end the false identification and realize your true nature.
It was through the reflection of the Enneagram that I was forced to confront myself. I had to face what I did not want to see. This exposure of my sell-out for egoic pleasure was the killing field that prepared me for meeting with a true teacher. When there is a willingness to confront the basic lies that go into the creation of the ego, the Enneagram is a wisdom mirror pointing to that which the mind tries to avoid seeing.
My fervent wish is that the reader use this book in the pursuit of the truth of oneself. Be willing to see what has been falsely identified as one’s self and be willing to see deeper until what is seen is the substratum that underlies all phenomena. In this, what is discovered and directly experienced is the total silence of your true self. From there, true self-inquiry can begin and true self realization will result.
May all beings be free! May there be peace and love among all beings of the universe!