What would happen if we talked to joy, met fear with respect and asked faith ‘why are you so resistant?’
We spend a tremendous amount of time feeding our fixations, which house our sense of identity, our tribal beliefs, fears and desires. We identify with archetypes, birth order, we are attracted to our likeness or our opposite. And from there we find validation for our fixations instead of taking responsibility for our life’s path. We lean into our fixation’s strengths to avoid giving ourselves time to sit with our weaknesses.
“The world is like it is today because of all of our fixations,” says Jerry Freeman, a perfectionist who admits he has righteous indignation in his heart. “You are not your fixation…When we make energy available by letting go of our fixations we have more access to love. “
Freeman is an expert in the Enneagram, a system designed thousands of years ago by the Sikhs to identify nine archetypes – The Perfectionist, The Helper, The Achiever, The Individualist, The Investigator, The Loyalist, The Enthusiast, The Challenger and The Peacemaker.
Click here to learn more about the Enneagram and take a test.
Each archetype has fixations that are deeply embedded in our consciousness and reinforce our experiential learning and conditioning. But if we identify too much with our archetype, our thoughts are limited by our fixations, he says.
In workshops teaching groups of middle aged women like me about this ancient way of understanding ourselves and others better, Freeman tries to convey that there is a lot of pure energy that is being wasted in the world. He says he is called to help people understand that they have the freedom to go beyond their character fixation. He even did our workshop for free. For example, the helper, one of the most common archetypes for women, can learn how to help herself; the loyalist can trust herself to provide safety and security; the enthusiast can sit in her discomfort rather than deny it through gluttony.
Our fixations, when we look deep into our shadow side, are ego driven and our ego is motivated out of deficiency, he says. If we understand our egoic impulses we can stop being motivated by deficiency; we can be motivated by abundance. Every ego wants to be a blameless victim but if you we take responsibility for our egos, the ego can’t have power over you.
“If we overcome our addiction to egoic thought we can free our energy so that we can decide how we want to live,” Freeman says.
Recognize Egoic Thoughts
If we recognize our fixations for what they are, we can recognize our limitations and be grateful for our ego’s attempts to protect us. An individualist who has a tendency to think they are different from everyone else, may see their likeness in others and thereby reduce the drama in their lives. An peacemaker who wants to avoid conflict may stop burying their head in the sand and take responsibility for a decision. By reflecting on conflicts and realizing where we take things personally, we can learn to give up the attachment to our egoic thoughts.
Listen to the Sound of Silence
“A silent mind is free of entanglements,” says Eli Jaxon-Bear, who also teaches about the Enneagram. The ego wants to repeat the experience and reinforce our fixated behaviors. It is constantly seeking pleasure through distractions, while the presence of a sunset, or the majesty of a mountain peak allows the mind to experience pure pleasure.
In silence, there is something beyond all time. …to watch a single star in the sky, watch in silence, space, there is something beyond words, beyond measure. – Krishnamurti
Krishnamurti, an Indian philosopher thought of time as limitless if we can transcend our archetypes. His theory of dying to the ego is extremely esoteric but it is easier to understand through the lens of archetypes.
Think of Time as Limitless
The terror of not knowing, the tears of self pity and all of our archetypical fixations are in the field of time. In silence, when you take the time to recognize beauty within as it is in nature, you see and feel what Krishnamurti calls “the extraordinary movement.” In silence you unconsciously free up time to live into your authentic self.
Most people are not willing to live and afraid to die. If you are too afraid of dying you never get a chance to live. – Krishnamurti