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Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram's Forgotten Passageway Hardcover – September 18, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Educated at Yale Divinity School, the University of Virginia, and Harvard University, Joseph Howell, PhD has practiced clinical psychology since 1981. An expert on spirituality, psychological change, and the Enneagram, he is in demand as a speaker and teacher around the country. He and his wife, Lark, reside in Anniston, Alabama. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Balboa Press (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452557179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452557175
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,730,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I were going to give this book a rating for its thoroughness in presenting the Enneagram, I'd probably give it one star, but although the author only has a rudimentary understanding of the enneagram, he also talks a lot about essence, and does a good job doing so.

For those who have never studied the Enneagram before, and want a gentle and Christian approach, this book will suffice.

But for anyone with any real familiarity with the Enneagram, this book is a waste of money.

(I have an extensive Enneagram library, and have studied the subject since 1975)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to find your true, authentic self, this is a good book to start that journey. Learn to live in consciousness, find your divine spiritual self and shed the trappings of the ego. I know the author of this book and he is a very kind, intelligent, and spiritual person who has been a lifeline for me.

The Enneagram will explain to you a lot of things about yourself and make you more aware of how outside influences affect us-good and bad-and how we can learn to find ways to better connect with others and how to deal with traps that we often fall into.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is well written and informative with a high density of information. It contains plenty of information found in other Enneagram books but he does seem to present some of his own theories. I enjoyed reading the book and found the charts to be useful. The case studies of each type were helpful in showing the negative long term limitations of each fixation.
About one third of the book is very religious with reference to god/source and filled with bible quotes. I skimmed over those parts since religion/moralism is pre-rational and I went through that stage of development 30 years ago. The other two-thirds of the book are written from pragmatism and empiricism which are post-rational which I thoroughly enjoy. My question is how can one person write a book at two distinct levels of psychological development without having a schism in the mind?
He includes a Howell Level of Essence Indicator test which helps people grade how awakened they are. This is the first enlightenment test I've encountered and it seems quite accurate to me. Finding this one external link made the book worthwhile to me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful addition to my collection of Enneagram books. Dr. Joe Howell adds a whole new dimension to the conversation about transformation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book full of meat. The content is fully explained in a language that is accessible. Examples and images used are modes of further explaining the narrative. While the text does focus on the Enneagram (with one of the explanations of its origins), it is so much more. The use of the Enneagram is a tool for one to be better aware of the larger context in which we all live. It does not preach or demand a specific manner of thought. Rather the writer strives to have the reader open his/her self to the reality of who he/she has become with paths to living a more integrated life aware, alert, and alive to becoming the person he or she was created to be.

Excellent read, resource for most any age or educational background.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is considerable debate in the Enneagram community regarding the value of the internal arrows between points which are typically found in the Enneagram symbol. As it stands now, there is no consensus regarding Naranjo's assertion that an individual moves towards integration when she moves against the direction of the arrows, and moves toward disintegration when a person moves in the direction the arrows point to.

There is no such ambivalence in this book by Joseph Benton Howell. Indeed, this is an Enneagram book that at its core is about the "passageway" of the psychic energy flow, for better or worse, along these arrows. And what Howell clearly points out is this: Seldom will there be no energy flow in this dynamic interpretation of the Enneagram. We all will be tending to be in a flow as life unfolds.

To stave off disintegration and move toward consciousness, Howell emphasizes two activities: First, prayer (which he calls "the heart and soul of this book") tailored to the challenges of each Enneatype. And second, Howell emphasizes the non-negotiable importance of each of us having a "sacred container of transformation" such as "the sacraments, spiritual direction, rules of life, meditation, dream discernment, holy dance, holy pilgrimage, prayer, the chant, holy music, holy artistic activity, study of sacred literature, fasting, the use of spiritual gifts, the fruits of the spirit, holy service to others, worship, the sacred community of faith, holy action, spiritual retreat, and holy presence. There are many others." (page 246-7)

Summing Up: A mature elucidation of the Enneagram by a wise author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My wife purchased this book in March of 2013. She gave this book this rating because:

She has been studying the Enneagram for more than 15 years and still felt a need to look at this theory from another voice. That voice was found in Dr. Howell's book. This text is wriiten in such a way that the experience is the voice of Dr. Howell speaking to the individual as opposed to attending another lecture listing the detailed aspects of the possibilities of the Enneagram. His book is personable, enlightening and comprehensive and uses Biblical Reflection to embrace the use of the Enneagram on ones individual "spiritual quest" and journey "to consciousness". This book is a most empowering summery of the heart of her studies, and will be used in her daily personal reflections.
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