Sandra Maitri's "The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram" is, without doubt, the most insightful and meaningful book on the enneagram I have read. However, I must also agree with Ms. Maitri's own comments elsewhere on this page and caution potential readers that this is not a "beach read" and is best suited as reading for those who are seriously ready-- and honestly ABLE-- to take a deeper look at their own psycho-spiritual essence and soul. This is not a pop-psychology "personality typing" book, but rather a valuable guide for people-- "seekers"-- on their journey of self-discovery, transformation and self-realization.
Yes, the book DOES touch on the "Nine Points" of the enneagram in the "personality type" context most people know it, and it covers the psychological aspects of the different "types." The majority of "The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram" is dedicated to a thorough discussion of each of the nine enneagram points, examining the way each has "lost touch" with its essence or "Holy Idea;" describing the psychological and environmental circumstances for these losses, and then offering guidance on how to recover the part of the self that has been lost. That is an oversimplification, of course, as there is SO much more here. Maitri takes us on a spiritual journey that comes as close as ANY contemporary writer to reaching the origins of the enneagram as a system for integrating the nine ASPECTS (as opposed to personality "TYPES") of human consciousness into a whole and self-actualized person. And, in taking that journey, readers must be prepared to look "beneath the surface" and examine some of the "not so nice" (or "shadow" aspects) of their beings. Whereas the insights offered are often profound, they may also be a bit disturbing to some readers-- in the sense one would feel "disturbed" by a writer's ability to describe parts of one's psyche that has never been shared with anyone else.
The term "sprituality" by no means makes this a "religious" book-- an angle I generally avoid in a psychology and self-help context. Instead, it is a book about understanding and healing our souls, regardless of religious orientation.
Final thoughts: HIGHLY recommended (10 out of 10 possible bookmarks), possibly the best enneagram related book I have read in 10+ years! Definitely a book for the "serious student;" familiarity with the enneagram and the process of objective self-scrutiny is STRONGLY suggested (if not *essential*)-- as is a strong vocabulary and knowledge of the finer nuances of the English language. A gem of a book, but NOT for the faint of heart.
Thanks for reading,