The Soul of the Six

by | Dec 12, 2011 | Enneagram Articles

Essay, 1995

This essay is in response to an earlier essay about the Six fixation presented at the International Enneagram Conference. In the first essay the author used a metaphor of all the different fixations approaching the crossing of a log over a rushing stream. The author referred to the Six fear and doubt, and working with that through different techniques to “get the Six to cross the bridge.” The author also referred to the Six as having a lack of a center-post or cornerstone for constructing a self.

Techniques can be very useful for ego-strengthening. Using visualization, mantra, anchoring, role-modeling, hypnosis, and other exercises, the Six fixation can learn to “cross the bridge,” to move through the fear and doubt. But does this lead to true fulfillment? Certainly counter-phobic Sixes could cross the bridge with ease and derring-do. Does this make them any happier, any closer to essence? None of them has ever reported it so.

What if, instead of crossing a log over a stream, the challenge was to cross the ocean of suffering called samsara and realize the true self which is immortal being, pure consciousness, and love-bliss? In the face of this challenge, mental activity such as mantra or visualization, body-based activity like Aikido, or emotional activity like breath-work, must be left behind.

Self cannot be built. You cannot use a cornerstone or center-post to discover self. True self can only be directly discovered and realized. It cannot be made, built, or transformed into. You cannot transform the fixation into self or essence. This would be like trying to transform the shadow into Peter Pan. It cannot be done and need not be done, for the self that casts the shadow is already present and complete. It needs no work, nor any ego-strengthening. It only needs to be realized in order to wake up from the trance of being a fixation, or a shadow.

All Sixes are longing for union with the Father. This gets projected into family life as the supreme Father is projected on to the blood father, or the meat father. Inevitably there is a sense of being let down, interpreted as betrayal, or a deep denial of that let-down, through a continued sense of loyalty.

This perceived betrayal of the father is then projected on to all authority figures. This leads to first self-betrayal, then betrayal of the authority and then denial. The avoidance of the unbearableness of the betrayal is a powerful motivation for the continuation of endless mind-activity. Self-betrayal can also appear as compliance with the authority figure out of an idea of loyalty and a perceived need for security.

So what is needed to leave the trap of identification behind to discover true essence? It is the ending of identification as a mental, emotional, and physical body. There are certain time-tested requirements that have presented themselves through the ages. The first is the burning desire to end the suffering of living life as a fixation.

This is the function of the holy ideas. Holy ideas are not essence, as some have claimed, but rather are the catalyzing force for a mature soul to galvanize the intention to transcend ego. Any of the holy ideas can be used to fixate complete attention on what is larger and more important then a personal life.

Truth, love, freedom are all still in the realm of mind and ego as holy ideas that can catapult consciousness beyond the boundaries of egoic life if there is a willingness to surrender all of egoic life to the holy idea.

The Buddha said that life was suffering. He also said that there are three root evils that must be overcome in order to live a life of essence, peace, fulfillment. The three root evils are ignorance, aversion and desire. These are the qualities which give rise to fixation and veil the true self. The true self is called sat chit ananda, which is translated as iImmortal being, consciousness, and love. If these qualities are put on the inner triangle of the Enneagram it becomes obvious that aversion, which is the root of fear, is veiling the essence of consciousness, which appears as silent emptiness. Its fruit is wisdom. It shines when the mind stops.

This is the essence that the Six fixation is veiling. The Six fixation can never transform itself into silence. It cannot be found in any body-based practice. It does not need cultivating or work. Silent consciousness is already fully present, untouched by the waves of fixation that arise from silence and return to silence.

Signs that a soul has left the fixation behind may include a naturally quiet mind, an end to identification as a body having any weight or personal meaning.

A person living as essence naturally attracts others who long to bask in silence. There is nothing to shun and nothing to desire. Life is fulfilled, and in this a life of true service begins.

To the outside world it may seem that the person is now acting heroically, by living with natural disregard for one’s own safety in service to the whole. This is not necessarily saving damsels from runaway trains, but rather the willingness to live a completely authentic life without fear, doubt, ignorance, or selfishness running the show.

The path for the Six is called courage. Courage is the willingness to leave everything known behind in the plunge into the unknown in the discovery of truth. The holy idea of faith alludes to the leap of faith required to leave the island of the known, called ego, or me, and plunge into the ocean of the unknown.

But really faith can only take you so far. Faith may even take you as far as the leap, but once you have leapt, where is faith, or the need or usefulness of faith any longer? Faith is merely the trick that the mind uses to give up its control and surrender completely to something unknown.

In this is the absorption back into the Father. This is the fulfillment of Jesus’s proclamation that “I and my Father are one.” This cry is the call of consciousness that has given up its trance identification as a Six and a body and a mind.

In the past this has been the rarest phenomena that Mother Earth has ever produced. Much rarer then the rarest minerals or gases. Now, as Mother Earth is dying, you are being called directly. You have everything required to make the leap from the shore of suffering and samsara to the ocean of reality called love and bliss.

It is a good day to die.


“When you can recognize who you are not, then there is a possibility to wake up and discover who you really are.”