The virtues are the highest values of the human spirit. Western culture focuses on commercialism, conquering, and controlling. This mindset puts the individual in a state of continual tension. Not much room for cultivating our higher virtues. Let’s do it, anyway.
The Virtues of the Spirit
Virtues are the highest representations of the human spirit. These are the aspects that shine inward and outward. They are not just philosophical principles. These are the most fundamental values of the human spirit.
When we channel these virtues, we empower the highest values. To find them, we must embark on our own inner quest. You can only find your soul path when you learn that the spiritual truths you seek are in your soul.
Truth is not to be found outside. No teacher, no scripture can give it to you. It is inside you and if you wish to attain it, seek your own company. Be with yourself. — Osho
There is a concept within the Enneagram of Personality known as integration. To become more integrated means that we have opened these virtues. In theory, when we are fully integrated, we access all the main personality types’ higher virtues. This gives us more options. We are not confined to the default settings of our original personality type.
Your soul path is revealed when you open the virtues of the spirit. These are Gratitude, Love, Appreciation, Serenity, Joyfulness, Happiness, Thankfulness, Blissfulness, and Mindfulness. With these tools, we are able to conquer … not the world, but ourselves. And so then… the world does not need to be conquered. — Guru Tua
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that there are nine personality types in the Enneagram. That means there are nine doorways through which we can open these virtues. That’s good news. No matter your main personality type, there is a doorway through which we can reach these higher ideals. These doorways aren’t found our main default personality type. Rather contained within the personality type where we integrate. We must move beyond our default patterns of thought to integrate.
Your Soul Path
This is the inner call, what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey. This is that inner voice that wants you to explore and grow. When we start on our quest, we must realize that growth is not always linear. We digress and progress, but we will grow if we keep on our path.
Sometimes growth comes in great leaps. However, most of the time, growth is incremental. These are small, sometimes imperceptible steps. So, it’s vital to keep a spiritual journal. Using a journal will help us see our growth. This simple tool helps us spot patterns that may be holding us back.
The virtues of the spirit are not goals. They are the higher values possible for each of the nine basic personality types. Each type has its own path and own set of challenges. Presence is the common element that will help all personality types move in the direction of integration. Presence is what enables the real you to show up. This is where the most valuable cognitive inner work is accomplished.
You enter your soul path when you walk your own path. Organized religion does not want you to do this. They want to keep you as a paying customer. If you find your own way, you threaten their cash flow.
What Exactly are the Virtues of the Spirit?
Below is a simple way to describe these virtues:
Appreciation is a virtue that enables a greater understanding of self. It helps us see and understand the qualities we possess. It is similar in effect to thankfulness but different in focus. This virtue enables us to accept our flaws as unique expressions.
Blissfulness is a virtue of the spirit that is a state of surrender. It facilitates the flow of energy. It is that aspect of awareness that joins with the transcendent.
Gratitude is a virtue of perspective. It helps us to see and appreciate value. It helps us see our situation in a way that shows us the lesson we would otherwise miss.
Happiness is a state of well-being. It is living with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction. This virtue results from living with a sense of playful purpose.
Joyfulness is an inner condition of well-being and good spirits. It’s key to our health and wellbeing. It is our original state.
Love is a sublime virtue of connection. A sense of deep and authentic caring, empathy for everyone and all things. This virtue is akin to the concept of Oneness.
Mindfulness allows the “virtues of the spirit” to direct the mind’s activities. It is observation without judgment. It combines thought and action and positive purpose.
Serenity is the state of inner peace and balance. Serenity is a quiet place amidst the activity. It is the quiet place of the mind.
Thankfulness is an awareness of the fragile nature of life on this planet. This virtue helps us to overcome our existential fears.
The Enneagram and the Virtues of the Spirit
Each personality type has several default components. The basic personality test will determine our main default personality type. This is the first step when you begin working with the Enneagram of Personality.
Next, we learn about the thought triggers which send us on a path of integration or disintegration. We can traverse in either direction rather quickly. So, inner work investigates both directions. This enhances our inner observational ability.
Our personality’s basic elements are our default personality type plus the two types at the integration and disintegration points. The first doorway to the “virtues of the spirit” can be found in the direction of integration.
We should not discount the point of disintegration. The point of disintegration is also a second doorway. We can gain entrance to this higher value once we fully open the door in the direction of integration. Then the higher values of our default personality type are also available. Therefore, the basic triad becomes a corridor between all three points.
One of the easiest ways to understand how our personality types relate to one another is by a graphical representation of the Enneagram. Below is the Enneagram show direction of integration for the nine types.
This chart shows how to type one integrates by moving to type seven, and type one’s direction of disintegration is toward type four.
Personality as a Doorways
The movement between the two easiest pathways provides the initial doorways to the “virtues of the spirit” This is one way to describe the relationship. It’s not the only way.
Type One — The Reformer
If this is your default personality type, Serenity is the “virtue of the spirit” that the most readily available. The Reformer, type one, has a passion for order. Because the world is not orderly but sometimes chaotic, serenity grounds this type. This enables type one to move more freely toward seven, embrace Appreciation for what they are, what they have, and the freedom to move to type four to the balance of Thankfulness.
Type Two — The Helper
Type two. These are the helpers of the world. Love is the natural virtue to resolve here. This expansiveness enables the movement to the balance of Thankfulness at four. It also provides stability to move in the direction of point eight, where strength becomes Mindfulness.
Type Three — The Achiever
The achiever longs to open their hearts to Joyfulness. This is the door that opens when joy is discovered beyond and despite achievements. This virtue of the spirit enables movement to type six, where Blissfulness is the key to calming anxiousness. It also provides the road to type nine, where Happiness anchors life.
Type Four — The Individualist
Type four is the individualist, so feeling like they are a part of the world is the key to Thankfulness. Finding the calm sea of emotion and life enables movement to the Serenity of type one. At the same time, gaining the strength to move towards the trust of Love within type two.
Type Five — The Investigator
To the investigator, it’s the truth that matters, but Gratitude is the virtue of the spirit that enables them to “let go” and be grateful. This provides the fuel to find Mindfulness at type eight. Moving to the virtue of Appreciation at seven is also more available.
Type Six — The Loyalist
Blissfulness is the doorway to quench the fire of anxiety. This is the first doorway for the loyalist. The anchor of Happiness awaits at type nine. This complements the Joyfulness of life at point three.
Type Seven — The Enthusiast
The enthusiast finds appreciation and the balance needed to find meaning in everything. Gratitude opens the heart further at point five. Serenity is the perfect virtue of the spirit to balance life for the seven.
Type Eight — The Challenger
The challenger needs Mindfulness to begin opening the virtues of the spirit. The often “tough” projected energy finds its purpose in the Love of point two. Moving to point five, the challenger finds Gratitude to let go instead of controlling.
Type Nine — The Peacemaker
Type nines are the most likely to misidentify their type. The peacemaker naturally sees themselves reflected in the other types more naturally than any other type. Happiness is the anchor and hardest door for this type to open. Once the first door is open, they can truly find the Joyfulness at point three. Blissfulness is often a surprising revelation for all types, but point six is the perfect complement to balance this type.
All nine types are labels to describe common traits of personality. The triads above are the starting place. We have access to all nine personality traits and so too all nine virtues of the spirit. Personality and instinct are necessary mechanisms that connect our consciousness to our bodies.
The Observer is that part of us who “is” listening, watching, feeling as we live out our experiences. It’s the person who you are talking to inside your mind. It’s that part of us the triggers our “gut” feelings. So in a way, we are learning to fine-tune an instrument of experience as we awaken and undertake our own path of spiritual exploration.
The “virtues of the spirit” help us conquer our own failings and balance our lives. In this way, we do not need to conquer others. In fact, just the opposite. We can then open our hearts and lives to promote friendliness, compassion, and happiness to everyone and everything.
Our inborn spiritual desire to seek the unknown and explore our awareness. You do this as you create your own path. Mythologies are signposts that show us it can be done. They point the way, but we all have different lives. We must find our own way.
Above all, regularly connect with the source of being. Develop your own path. Learn about and use the ancient spiritual technologies of spiritual exploration to forge your own path. Namaste. Blessed Be.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more posts on our blog. Use the search option on the blog pages to find articles by words, terms, topics, or category.
Want to learn the awareness expanding methods we are talking about? We offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions using our blended learning process. This learning process ensures the best learning outcomes and aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey (1).
Our mission is to spread these methods for developing and exploring consciousness. You can find out more about us and this learning process at our FAQ link. Please donate to support our mission and help others learn these life-changing tools.
Here’s a tip. If you register on our site, you will get special offers, online training discounts, and free unadvertised downloads. We comply with all GDPR guidelines and never share or sell your contact data.
(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia