Podcast Series 2, Episode 1: The Enneagram of Feeding the Community

The Enneagram of Feeding the Community

The Enneagram of Feeding the Community

An explanation of the function and process of the Enneagram, how it works in time and with conscious supervision. In this example, the Enneagram is that of Feeding the Community, showing how food is irrevocably transformed.

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The Enneagram of Feeding the Community

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Welcome to a series of podcasts on achieving a peaceful and mindful state through mental  awareness exercises, and further, in gaining understanding into the laws of world creation and world maintenance, specifically as described within the works of George Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way, much of which was often cryptically buried within Gurdjieff’s writings.

Each episode in this particular series focuses upon a particular element of this teaching, and aims to bring simple understanding to what was frequently hidden in plain sight within the various subject areas covered in Gurdjieff and others writing.

Today we shall discuss the Enneagram.  A symbol which can be traced back to 2700 BC.

Making an Enneagram

To make an Enneagram, draw a circle and divide the circumference into 9 equal parts.  Starting at the top, number the 10 points that are between the 9 parts 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Note: Zero and 9 are both at the same point. The point at the top.

Starting at point 0/9 draw an equilateral triangle from 0/9 to 3 to 6 and then back to 0/9.  This equilateral triangle, as we shall discuss, will represent the 3 forces which can be found in every event. 

Next, draw a line from point 1 to point 4 to point 2 to point 8 to point 5 to point 7 and then back to point 1.  This line, as we will learn, describes what is called the Line of Supervision.

You now have an Enneagram, which is a remarkable tool for describing and understanding how a successful event works.

An Enneagram shows the processes that must occur in order to successfully complete an event. 

The purpose of an Enneagram is to repetitively transform something. Something cycles – transforms something – for some purpose.

If things enter at the right time and in the right order, they will produce something. With the help of an Enneagram, things can be built or improved.

Ok, let’s define an event.

The event of Feeding the Community

We will start with the event called, “Feeding the Community.”

You can write that at the top, “The Enneagram of Feeding the Community.”

The next thing we need to know is that in every event there are Three Forces.

OK. If every event has three forces… then, the Enneagram of Feeding the Community must also have three forces.

So the first thing we need to figure out is … what are the three forces in the event of Feeding the Comunity?

[The main thing we need in order to have an event called Feeding the Community is food] 

[The next thing we need in order to have an event called Feeding the Community is the community]

[Finally, we need some way to make the food edible and digestible.  And, to do that, we’ll need to create what is called a kitchen] 

Those are the three forces in the event of Feeding the Community: the food, the community, and the kitchen. 

Take any one of these away, and we cannot have an event called feeding the community. 

Take away the kitchen and we just have raw food and a community, take away the food and we just have a clean kitchen and a bunch of hungry people, take away the community and we just have rotting food and an empty kitchen.

[Got the picture?]

Only if three forces are present….

If you take one of the three forces out of the event, there can be no event. The event only works if all three forces are present. 

Once this is understood, it’s like, of course, we must have the kitchen, food, and customer. That’s the only way it will work. Only if all three forces are present can we really have an event called feeding the community.

Now, we must decide… which one of the three forces goes at the top triangle point, which one goes at the right triangle point, and which one goes at the left triangle point?

I will give you some clues to help you figure it out.

The top triangle point is called the Function of the event. The force that is there is always cyclical.

Label the top triangle point, “Function,” and add the word Cyclical.

The right triangle point is called the Being of the event. This force is what will be transformed.

Label the right triangle point, “Being,” and add the words Transformed Irrevocably.

The left triangle point is called the Will of the event. This force is the purpose behind the event.

Label the left triangle point, “Will,” and add the word Purpose.

Based on these clues, we must now figure out where to place the three forces.

The function is cyclical

[Of the forces, food, customer, and kitchen, can you think of one of them that would stand as the function, as something that is cyclical?] 

If you said the Kitchen, you are correct. Label point 0 kitchen. The kitchen is the function. The kitchen is always cyclical.

The pots and pans are in the cupboards. When the event starts, you get out the pots and pans that are going to be used in the event; then, after the event, you put everything back into the cupboards. There is a cyclical nature to the kitchen, to the function.

You can write KITCHEN at point 0, at the top of the circle.

[Of the two remaining forces, the food and the customer, which one will go at the right triangle point? Which force is going to be transformed?] 

If you said the food, you are correct. Label point 3 food. The food is what the event is about. It is the food that is going to be transformed, and it will be transformed irrevocably. That is, a cooked steak can never again become a raw steak.

Write FOOD at the right triangle point.

The remaining force – the community, goes at the left triangle point.

Label point 6 customer. The customer is “The ‘Will’ of the event.”

Function, Being, and Will; Kitchen, Food, and Customer; Cyclical, Transformed, and Purpose.

OK. We have identified the three forces in an event: one is the function; it is cyclical, one is the being; it is what is going to be transformed; and, one is the Will; it is the purpose behind the event.

Moving around the event in time

Now, we will move around the event in time… and, watch what happens as we do.

You should note: The line of time goes around the event clockwise.

You can label the circle, “Time,” and put arrow marks on the circle, between the points, to show how time moves around the Enneagram.

We now have three forces… and we have a line of time. 

OK, let’s watch what happens in an event.

We will start at the top triangle point. The restaurant is closed, and the lights are off. 

In the morning the owner shows up, unlocks the door, and turns on the lights.

[Who shows up at the first Enneagram point, at point 1?] 

The workers

If you said the staff, you are correct. Label point 1 workers. At point 1, the staff, the workers, show up. Every event will have the label Workers at this point. 

The Workers show up and punch the time clock, “We are here and are ready for the day. What’s cooking?”

The first Enneagram point always represents the Workers.

Then, the line of time moves to the second point.

[What do the workers do there?]

If you said put their aprons on and get their equipment out, you are correct. Label point 2 tools.

Point 2 always involves the tools of the event. So our workers get out the pots and pans… every Tool that is going to be needed to make breakfast.

All Enneagrams will have the labels Workers and Tools at these points.

The Workers show up… the line of time moves around… and they get out their Tools.

Then, at the right triangle point, the Food enters.

Food. After the food enters at point 3, the line of time moves to the point 4.

[What do you think they do to the food at that point?] 

If you said prepare the food, you are correct. Label point 4 prepared. At point 4 the food is washed, chopped, sliced, diced, pounded, and marinated.

[What happens at the next point?]

If you said the food is cooked, you are correct. Label point 5 cooked. Point 5 is called the point of most tension. It is when the lobster hits the boiling water.

Then, at the left triangle point, point 6, the customer enters… and is seated.

[What happens at the next point, point 7?] 

If you said the food is served, you are correct. Label point 7 served.

The food is Cooked, the customer enters, and the food is Served to the customer.

[Now, we are at the last point, and what happens there?] 

The “higher” kitchen

If you said the food gets eaten, you are correct. Label point 8 eaten. The food gets Eaten… and goes into a Higher Kitchen at point 9.

[And what would the Higher Kitchen be?] 

If you said the customers stomach, you are correct. The higher kitchen at point 9 is the customer’s stomach. Then, the lower kitchen at point 0 is cleaned up and returned to its original state.

That is the flow of an Enneagram in time. 

We put a raw steak into the lower kitchen; turn it into a cooked steak; and, then put it into a higher kitchen. 

There are two kitchens. One kitchen begins the Enneagram and the other kitchen ends it.

That completes the Enneagram in time. 

The flow of the event went around the circle clockwise. 

Line of Supervision

But there is something even more incredible in an Enneagram; it is called the “Line of Supervision.” It is represented by the line that goes from Workers, to Prepare, to Tools, to Eaten, to Cooked, to Served, and then back to Workers: or from point 1 to point 4, to point 2, to point 8, to point 5, to point 7, and then back over to point 1. 

You can put arrows on those lines to indicate their direction.

The Line of Supervision makes the Enneagram work. The Line of Supervision directs the event. The kitchen, food, and customer interact with each other via the Line of Supervision. 

In the Enneagram of Feeding the Community, the Line of Supervision is the line of the Master Chef. He is the guy who coordinates the Enneagram by following the Line of Supervision. 

The Line of Supervision allows the Master Chef to see the future.   

The Master Chef joins the Workers at point 1. He does not follow the line of time that the Workers follow. Instead, he follows the Line of Supervision. He looks into the future to point 4.

Then, he brings that knowledge back to the Workers at point 2. The Master Chef sees the future. He sees what food is going to be Prepared. And, after seeing the future, he comes back and tells his staff what Tools – pots, pans, and implements of destruction – they will need… to butcher, clean, pound, and marinate the food. The kitchen staff does not get out all the pots and pans… only the Tools needed, “Boys, today we are making spaghetti. Get out the big pots and the strainers. Don’t turn on the oven, just the burners. Fill the pots with water, get it boiling… and, don’t forget to add a little salt.”

[Somebody saw the future!] 

Looking into the future

The Master Chef looks into the future and then brings that knowledge back to the present, “I have seen the future and I know what pots and pans are needed.”

[Amazing!]

The Master Chef sees the future. He sees the food that is going to be Prepared. Then, he comes back to the present and tells his staff what Tools they will need for the meal. When the Tools are ready, he again looks into the future to point 8, and envisions a finished meal… one, that is worthy of being Eaten

He must be able to envision the food being Eaten or the event will go no further.

If the Master Chef is unable to see your medium-rare steak with a little piece of garlic on it, a hot buttered bun, and mashed potatoes, he will not start the cooking process.

We know this mentally because we have cooked a few meals in our lifetime. We have probably even made the famous “bacon, eggs, and toast.”

Now, how do you make the famous bacon, eggs, and toast?

[What do you do first? Do you start the toast first?] 

If you said, “No, you start the bacon first,” you are correct.

You start the bacon first. Why? … Because you can see the end result. You want the bacon warm, the eggs warm, and the toast hot with melting butter.

The process must match the vision

That means, there is a process, which must be followed, in order to make the event match your vision. Your vision made you start the bacon first… because, it takes longer to cook. Then, so many minutes into cooking the bacon, you start the eggs. Then, so many minutes into cooking the eggs, the toast goes into the toaster. And, just about the time that the toast is popping up, the bacon is done, and the eggs are ready… and they all go on a plate at the same time. Everything is warm. Just like you like it.

I repeat:

The Master Chef must see the food being Eaten or he will not start the cooking process.

When he does start the cooking process, and is going thru what is called interval of most tension from Cooked to Served, the Line of Supervision will be moving along with the line of time. The Line of Supervision and the line of time will be in lockstep. 

Where the Line of Supervision moves with time

Cooked to Served is the only place where the Line of Supervision moves with the line of time.

Tools to Eaten was where the Master Chef saw the desired future result. Eaten to Cooked was where the Master Chef came back to the present, with confidence, and started the cooking process. But Cooked to Served is where the line of time moves with the Master Chef’s Line of Supervision.

Cooked to Served is when the Master Chef is standing over the hot griddle making pancakes. The line of time and the Master Chef move in sync. I repeat, that is the only place where the Line of Supervision coincides with the line of time.

Cooked to Served is where the Master Chef must be very attentive. He needs to be “Johnny-on-the-spot.” His goal is to cook the food properly; and, he will not take his attention off the cooking process until the food is cooked, plated, and served. After which, he will go back to point 1, join the Workers, and start the next customer’s order.

That completes the Line of Supervision; and, explains how the Line of Supervision can take an event up to Served.

The highest that an Enneagram can go

[Then where does it go?]

If you said back over to start the next event, you are correct. 

According to what we just studied. We learned that: The highest that the Enneagram of Feeding the Community can achieve is to reach Served

The highest a Master Chef can achieve is to serve the food. That is the best he can do. The Master Chef can say, “Here is your meal.” But he cannot make you eat it. All he can do is serve it.

[The highest point that an Enneagram can achieve is what?] 

If you said served, you are correct.

[Now, I have a question for you. If you were an orange tree, what would be the highest thing that you could achieve?] 

If you said make oranges, you are incorrect! The highest thing that you could achieve is to make blossoms.

A tree can only make blossoms

You can only make blossoms., you can only serve your blossoms! You cannot make oranges, you need the birds, the bees, and the bugs to carry your pollen around… because, you cannot make oranges. The highest thing that you can do is make blossoms. You can only make blossoms. Just like every other Enneagram in the Universe, you can only take an event up to Served. The Line of Supervision only allows you to reach Served. Then, you must go back over to the Workers…! 

Of course, you may learn to make blossoms that are ultra-violet, to attract bees; or make blossoms that smell good, to attract bugs. But, if there are no bees and bugs, you will never have oranges… because, you cannot make oranges. The best you can do is serve those pretty blossoms!

Most people think that orange trees make oranges. But they do not!

[The highest that an orange tree can do is what?] 

If you still say make oranges, then, you have not been listening.

That completes this explanation of the Enneagram.

Thank you for listening. 



Teachings based upon the works of R. A. Smith and G. I. Gurdjieff.

All material © 2020 THEDOG Publishing

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