I’d heard of them, of course, but I was in a state of blessed ignorance so the term just sailed right over my head. Now I’ve received a couple of emails from the persistent Richard Colter (never heard of him, either), so I looked ’em up.
It’s some kind of personality profile system, based on numerology and Christian mysticism, with this magical figure used to diagram your personality traits. It has about as much validity as Myers-Briggs personality tests, that is, none at all, but sucks believers in with its pseudo-scientific/pseudo-mathematical posing.
An enneagram is, literally, a drawing with nine lines. Figuratively, however, the enneagram is a New Age mandala, a mystical gateway to personality typing. The drawing is based upon a belief in the mystical properties of the numbers 7 and 3.* It consists of a circle with nine equidistant points on the circumference. The points are connected by two figures: one connects the number 1 to 4 to 2 to 8 to 5 to 7 and back to 1; the other connects 3, 6 and 9. The 142857 sequence is based on the fact that dividing 7 into 1 yields an infinite repetition of the sequence 142857. In fact, dividing 7 into any whole number not a multiple of 7 will yield the infinite repetition of the sequence 142857. Also, 142857 x 7 = 999999. And of course 1 divided by 3 yields an infinite sequence of threes. The triangle joining points 3, 6 and 9 links all the numbers on the circle divisible by 3. To ascribe metaphysical or mystical significance to the properties of numbers is mere superstition and a throwback to an earlier time in human history when ignorance was considered a point of view.
I’d just throw it in the bin with astrology and dianetics and The Bell Curve and every attempt to reduce humanity to a couple of numbers, but Richard Colter has a book he thinks I should read: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN EVOLUTION: AND THE NINE HUMAN ENDEAVORS – REVEALS THE PURPOSE AND MEANING OF LIFE. I am almost tempted to order it.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to read this book is that it reveals the Nine Human Endeavors (NHE), which are the highly sophisticated behaviors that separate modern humans from early human species such as Neanderthals. The constructive use of this knowledge is the key to unleashing the untapped potential of individuals, organizations, and countries. Thus, the knowledge contained in this book will prove to be indispensable to people of all walks of life.
This book will be of interest to Anthropologists because it provides a comprehensive theory of human evolution that answers the unassailable questions of how and why humans evolved. As the story of human evolution unfolds, new concepts fill the gaps existing in the anthropological sciences, along with critical details such as the key psychological and physiological differentiators between modern humans and early humans. And a basic timeline of evolutionary events provides the context necessary for those without a background in anthropology.
It’s 341 pages of this egotistical argle-bargle. I’m sure, given how the Ennealogical Brigade thinks, that it ought to be full of bizarre mystical diagrams that represent the “evidence” that this view of purposeful evolution is true, but a quick glimpse inside reveals that the author has instead substituted page after page of word salad. Maybe the diagrams are in an appendix.
Mr Colter himself is active on Quora, where he writes about two things, and only two things: how to get out of paying speeding tickets, and spreading misinformation about evolution, which always includes a plug for his book. I’d look deeper, but I think I’ve had enough nonsense for the day.