Nine Lenses on the World: the Enneagram Perspective, by Jerome Wagner, Ph.D

(2010). NineLens Press: Evanston IL   ISBN: 978-0-9827620-0-4

We typically view the world through lenses but usually don’t examine the lenses themselves.  From time to time we need to check our glasses to see if they are filtering the world cleanly or are distorting our vision. Nine Lenses on the World: the Enneagram Perspective provides a lens check to discover whether we are viewing the world accurately as it is or altered, like our world view believes it should be. Each lens has

  • a sweet spot, an intuitive edge that helps us focus on some things very clearly.
  • a blind spot, an aspect of reality that falls outside of our paradigm so we may not see this area as clearly.
  • a hot spot, an area of vulnerability where we are particularly sensitive and touchy.

Our paradigms or schemas can be pliant and adapt to new circumstances or they may be rigid and force reality into our familiar patterns. We may either stay with our old lens prescriptions or we can upgrade our mental software. The Enneagram provides us with nine useful perspectives for viewing the world:

  • The Idealistic Perspective
  • The Perspective of Love
  • The Productive Perspective
  • The Aesthetic Perspective
  • The Perspective of Wisdom
  • The Perspective of Tradition
  • The Joyful Perspective
  • The Perspective of Strength
  • The Peaceful Perspective

Reviews / Testimonials

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ One of the BEST enneagram books I’ve ever read… — By Karenxu

…and I’ve read quite a few!! This book really makes you understand the enneagram, as you read, you walk in another’s shoes. Its the greatest tool for understanding yourself and other people. This is crucial information that you can’t find on the internet. Very enlightening and above all easy to read.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best all around Enneagram text — By Kathryn P. Grant

Jerry Wagner has long been a leader in the Enneagram community and this new book lands him solidly in first place. Beginning with a generic description of developmental patterns and stages, accurate descriptions of each of the nine personality styles follow. It is easy to see how each style brings their unique flavor and experience to the pattern. Complex psychological concepts presented so all can understand, laced with humorous quips, and a solid base of spiritual insight, this book is for beginners and serious students alike. Jerry writes with wit and clarity. I use “Nine Lenses” with my students, coaching clients, and as a personal reference.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Best Blue Book on the Enneagram today — By Dale Rhodes, Enneagram Portland

I am a professional Enneagram/MBTI teacher in Portland Oregon, and this is the new required and recommended text for all my students. The book is a wonderfully fresh and practical approach to the Enneagram and it is rich with applications from various professional, psychological and spiritual systems. Jerry Wagner is an early pioneer in the field of Enneagram Studies and was last year’s keynoter at the International Enneagram Association’s (IEA) Conference. This latest book is filled with lots of insightful material that will easily guide new students and benefit those who are seasoned or teach the system. I liked the book enough to write a formal book review for the Enneagram Journal. A MUST BUY for Ennea-enthusiasts.

Nine Lenses on the World: the Enneagram Perspective can be purchased from  in paperback and e-book formats.

Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Styles: An Introductory Guide by Jerome Wagner, Ph.D

(1996).  Enneagram Studies and Applications: Evanston, IL. ISBN: 1-55552-070-7

Intended for a general audience, this thorough yet brief guide through the Enneagram system provides a clear common sense outline of each of the nine styles. The resourceful characteristics and ideals of each style are contrasted with their non-resourceful idealizations. For example the Good Person’s passion for excellence can become a maladaptive pursuit of perfectionism. The adaptive energy, or virtue, of each style is contrasted with its maladaptive energy, or vice. What each style avoids and how they avoid it through specific defense mechanisms are detailed. How the distortion of each style may have developed and what each style misses because of its distortions are described. And the intrapsychic and interpersonal shifts that occur under relaxed and stressful circumstances are spelled out.

The guide contains 30 exercises to help readers understand their own style by reflecting on their own experiences. Highly readable, it is a fine introduction and teaching aid for workshop presenters, business consultants, therapists, etc.

Reviews / Testimonials

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ An excellent introduction to the Enneagram  — By A Customer

This is the best introductory book you will find on the Enneagram. Wagner’s guide is a clear and concise introduction to the Enneagram, useful for personal exploration and as a teaching id for workshop presenters and counselors. This comprehensive book with charts, exercises, and bullet descriptions, yields an experiential understanding of basic Enneagram principles such as authentic values and their personality substitutes, resourceful and non-resourceful cognitive, emotional, and behavioral schemas and how they shift under stressful and flow conditions, developmental influences, and the three centers of sorting and deciding. Learn about the defense mechanisms, principles and paradigms, virtues, passions, and both healthy and maladaptive instincts of each of the nine Enneagram personality types. For centuries — and now in the light of leading edge psychology — the Enneagram has helped people to recognize their predispositions, motives, and talents. Its insights provide valuable information for those in communication, business, human resources, therapy, and personal growth. This book helps you to explore the nine different “hues” of the Enneagram, discover your own type, and understand the behaviors and attitudes that are uniquely yours. It is considered the most concise and easy to use introductory guide available.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A wonderfully positive and useful summary of the 9 styles! — By A Customer

Jerry emphasizes the positive aspects of each personality type, and also covers ways to integrate and utilize the dark side in a positive way. My favorite Enneagram book!

The Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Styles can be purchased from  in paperback format.

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