Matthew Campling (MA Psych, BA Hons, Dip Cllg) is the author of The 12-Type Enneagram. He is an accredited psychotherapist who has run a private therapy practice for nearly 20 years. He has facilitated workshops around the country. He is the only person qualified to present the 12-Type Enneagram in the UK. Matthew is the author of two health-related books, Eating Disorder Self-Cure and Therapeutic Weight Loss, and has had seven plays produced. He has written articles for GQ magazine, The Independent and Therapy Today. He was a regular guest expert on ITV’s Trisha and is a popular media spokesperson for magazines and newspapers, radio and television.
Can you talk about your book? What should the reader expect from it?
The 12-Type Enneagram is an extraordinary system of knowledge and personal development. It is ancient knowledge that up till now has been lost. The system gives us wonderfully specific detailed information about ourselves. Once we have learned how to interpret other people in terms of their Essence type it gives us incisive knowledge of how they think, feel and are likely to behave. This is not a toy or party trick: this is a means by which we can really deepen our self-knowledge, and enrich our experience of other people and Life.
The 12-Type Enneagram defines and illuminates the influence of us all of the alchemical planetary rays. The 12 essence types have planetary names – Lunar, Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter – but this is not astrology. Astrology deals with the waxing and waning of influences, whereas your essence type is something you are born with; it always remains essential in influencing and guiding your life. Also, we have to some extent ALL the type energies within us. And we overcome the limitations of our own type energy by moving towards the next energy.
There are many fascinating thoughts that emerge from this. For example, in this life we are this type and in our next life the next type – although reincarnation is not as simple as this. We have to work consciously on ourselves if there is anything in us that will survive the shock of death. Therefore the understanding that underpins the 12-Type Enneagram is not of an ordinary type: it is Knowledge from a higher source.
What is the origin of the Enneagram?
This is a good question. On the Internet you will find various theories about how the Enneagram came about. The fact that nobody knows for sure is part of its mystery. What I can say is that there is evidence, from GI Gurdjieff, the spiritual teacher, that the 9-type personality interpretations are not correct. It is only the magic sequence of numbers – 1,4,2,8,5,7 – in that order that signify the six main Essence types. The other six types are hybrids – these are the people who have the influence of two successive numbers – ie – they are 1&4; 4 & 2; 2 & 8 etc. There is a great deal of fascinating detail about the different types, too many details to go into here. Buy the book!
How did you come across to the 12-Type Enneagram?
The only person I know who teaches the 12-Type Enneagram is my teacher in New York. Many years ago I had the enormous good fortune to study in his small school of esoteric knowledge. I have remained in contact with him after leaving New York and in 2012 he invited me to write a book about the system. It is impossible to underestimate the value of this. This system has existed as a very thin thread, passed down orally for centuries. Only now has my teacher decided to make the wisdom of the 12-Type Enneagram available to a general audience. The book has just been published by Watkins. I am entirely passionate about promoting the system. It has helped me personally enormously. I can say that I make my life decisions big and small based on it; I use the wisdom to inform my personal relationship (23 years so far); I see people through the wisdom of the 12-Type prism and I am constantly amazed by how just knowing someone’s type gives insight which would otherwise be impossible. You can even watch TV shows – the more intelligent ones, like Mad Men and The Good Wife, and recognise essence types in the characters. You can find a lot of Mars types in advertising executives (not the creative who tend to be Lunar types) and lawyers. It’s fascinating to see how different Mars types can function differently, but all under the umbrella of ‘the Warrior/Athlete’ definition of Mars type.
And a very personal reason is that my mother, who was mentally ill for many years, told me that my having explained to her that she was a Lunar type (the childlike, creative, vulnerable type) was the most important thing anyone had ever told her. She finally realised why, although she got older, inside she felt like she never grew up, on the contrary to her friends, who as Jupiter types naturally look after the vulnerable. Audrey Hepburn, Andy Warhol and Jackie Onassis were also Lunar types.
What are the benefits of knowing your essence type?
It is part of our genetic heritage. It stands to reason that no one just behaves like they wish to. Instead people fall into specific categories – some are gentle and childlike (Lunar type) some are earthy and live for beauty (Venus type) some fast and organised (Mercury type), some deep thinking and creative (Saturn type), some bold, adventurous and challenging (Mars type) and some care for the world (Jupiter type).
Knowing which we are (and especially if we are a hybrid, realising that our two different type influences might pull us apart) is invaluable. In this way we pursue a job that is supported by our essence type, rather than going into a profession where our essence energy may become overwhelmed. We find a mate who is type compatible, or if we are having difficulties, we discover that we are two different types, and use this knowledge to consciously give each other what they and we need. It allows us to understand what was going on in our family. Obviously being the child of Venus types will be very different than growing up in a family with two parental Mars types, or Jupiter types.
Where should I look if I want to find out more about the 12-Type Enneagram?
Watkins and I have put up several videos on YouTube. You can also see my website. The most comprehensive way is to buy my book The 12-Type Enneagram: Know your Type. Improve your Life. Also I facilitate ongoing workshops. The next one will be hosted by the School of Intuition and Healing and will take place on Sunday 5 July in Central London. For more details please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 12-Type Enneagram
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