We expect that a spiritual master would teach, as Jesus did when he states in Matthew, that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of your mind, heart and soul. We expect a teacher of spiritual principles to make such a statement. While this teaching includes much to consider and is an education of its own, let’s consider the other statement Jesus makes when asked what is his spiritual teaching. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Loving oneself is a pretty tall task. Deep appreciation of the self has a number of challenges to overcome. We are not perfect, we likely find ourselves flawed one way or another, or even in many ways. In addition Jesus says, I have to find a way to love my neighbor, all of my neighbors. Loving my neighbors is not toleration of my neighbors. Love includes acceptance, compassion and empathy. Love includes a humbling admittance that my neighbors needs are as important as my own.
This love for self and others is enhanced greatly when we choose to study Enneagram of the Personality. Love surely begins with understanding. How can I love myself if I am unclear of “what makes me tick”. How can I love my neighbor without understanding what motivates his and her behavior? We all have different perspectives and motivations. Enneagram of the Personality helps us on the way to self compassion and compassion of others.