Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I Know What Endarkenment Is

I don’t know what enlightenment is, but I know what "endarkenment" is… a way to get endarkened really well is to be narrow, to only see things one way (Charles Tart, Enneagram Monthly, March, 1999). 
So many people I talk to describe their own transformation process in terms of shifts in awareness, a sense of stepping outside a frame of reference they'd always held. And it does feel like moving from the dark into the light.

"The most profound moments in my life," said an Enneagram style Eight, "were actual events where I came out on the other side." She's strong, responsible and had tended to avoid signs of weakness or feelings of vulnerability. So you know the enormity of the shift when she said, "It scared the f------ shit out of me!"

Completely transforming one's awareness is a scary place, and it helps to know where the process is leading:
At the first level (of development) people simply realize… how much of the time they spend on automatic pilot.
The second level of insights are… psychodynamic or personality revelations. People begin to see more clearly patterns to their motivations and behavior…
There can arise a clear vision of the dissolution of self from moment to moment, and this often leads to a realm of fear and terror…
Later there arises… a spontaneous process of letting go of personal motivation, and… a vision of the true connection between all of us...
~ Jack Kornfield, "The Seven Factors of Enlightenment", pp. 56-59 in Paths Beyond Ego
Understanding your Enneagram style can be enormously helpful as a road map for your patterns of motivation and behavior. One psychological pattern I discovered in myself as an Enneagram style Nine, for example, was how I'd made myself passive-aggressive by setting myself up to feel discounted. This usually happened when I’d failed to state my needs clearly. Then, when someone failed to read my mind and act on my needs, I became passive-aggressive and the other person felt I'd set up a trap. And of course, I had. 

So I know what endarkenment is. You know, too, when you see how you set up and feed into the stories that reinforce old, narrow views.