Welcome class. My name is professor Taran Heindrich. I am founder of the Austin Institute for the study of the dark forces. This semester I will be teaching you my own patented techniques for aggressive spiritual combat. I would like to begin my classes by saying …RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! Evil is coming for you!
Since you have chosen not to run, the institutes first rule is please pay tuition in advance. I don’t expect many of you will be around to pay afterwords. Our classes first unit is entitled – knowing thy enemy. Who can tell me our nine primary nemesi?
No one?! Sadly ,our society no longer values a solid education rooted in fundamentals of reading, writing and the eternal struggle against the dark forces. It pains me to realize how many of you grew up deprived of the constant terror of the evil legions ceaselessly plotting to devour your vulnerable souls. Be not be deceived! No matter what self declared ‘mental health professionals’ will have you believe, our enemies are very real. The little hope you have for surviving this semester comes from understanding them. I guess I will have to start from the basics. Although our enemies are legion the Ennaegram classifies the threat into 9 basic types.
Wrath is a shape-shifting nemesis. At the sight of a full moon all will hear Wrath’s howl and tremble at his beastly rampage. What few realize is that during the day he becomes a pitiful creature no different than you and I. Wrath can never find peace because he is locked in eternal conflict with the weakness he senses within. The rage he unleashes at the world begins as the hatred he feels for its own imperfections. To slay wrath you must teach him to accept his imperfection. Help him to understand in the eyes of God even flaws serves a purpose.
Pride believes he is the hero. Pride will fill his laboratory with anyone in distress. But once inside, he will strap them down so they can’t escape. Pride will steal lightning from the heavens. And he will declare to the world that he can create new life. He has forgotten where the light comes from. By following his own designs, Pride will create hideous monstrosities, mockeries of the ideals he claims to serve. Pride must come to admit his own distress. Only when he humbly admits he also needs a doctor, will his plans bear living fruit.
America was long ago fooled by our nemesis Deceit. In life Deceit stood tall among his pears. At his command, they build great wonders, but that was long ago. Without faith he became nothing more than an ugly decaying husk. To conceal the change Deceit wraps himself in tight white linen and hides inside the ruins of his ancient fortune. Deceit will only slumber if he is unwrapped. You must help him admit to what lies beneath his his jewelery. But give him hope. While all the wonders of man will one day be ruins God constructs a new sunrise every morning.
Expect our nemesis Envy to make a frightful commotion. Long ago Envy left his own life in want of the one he couldn’t lead. But he continues to haunt the past miseries he can’t let go of. Envy continues to believe he is a victim even when his oppressors are long dead. Envy will only be free once he learns to live the rich life in the spirit. Help him seek temperance between his strong emotions and he will recognize the paradise he thinks God has denied him.
Be weary of our nemesis Averice. Though he may seem small he will not be pleasant. This nasty little fellow feels no greater call in life than to collect and guard his hoard. Averice is convinced the world is relentlessly seeking to steal his gold. He will refuse to share a single shilling in less all the rest be coerced from him. Averice must learn that free giving does not accrue obligation. Help him to understand that wealth is only treasure when it has made an offering to God.
All to often you will find our nemesis Fear resting high in houses of authority. He may overlook wealthy social clubs or houses of government. Fear may even find comfort within Cathedral walls. Make no mistake, this stone bully was crafted by the devil himself. While fear pretends to serve high minded ideals, his goal is to cast a dark shadow on our brothers and sisters around the world. If Fear succeeds in darkening Christs message of love, he then strikes as deep prejudice and hatred. Fear must learn to trust himself to be strong in the face of sin. Then you can guide him to see others in Gods light where love and unity can be restored.
At first our nemesis Gluttony may appear easy to laugh at, but if you fail to take this tiny green menus seriously, his self-indulgent antics will become wanton and destructive. Our creator has provided sources of joy for all his children. But Gluttony is no longer a child. He continues to move from pleasure to pleasure as if all the world where a toy-box. He will pay no regard to prudent limits or the suffering his games inflict on others. Gluttony must learn discipline and prudent planning. Help Gluttony to see true joy can only be maintained if it is kept in accordance with Gods loving plan.
Our nemesis Lust has brought our culture into his seductive spell as if we were his underage girlfriend in a badly written romance novel. Lust has twists the pure and holy desires of man into an unquenchable thirst for gratification. In the eyes of Lust even other people appear as weak vessels for that which he desires to drink. To slay Lust you must force him to surrender his will to God. Help Lust to see that the true desire for holiness is stronger than his corrupted thirst for gratification.
If we become overrun by the hoards of Sloth our civilization will become a desolate soulless wasteland. Sloth uses their numbers to attack us. Sloth attacks from all sides with multiple heresies. When we tire from taking action against this onslaught of moral relativism, Sloth takes hold of us. He can make a quick meal of our wits. The mindless masses can only be defeated by a personal understanding of right and wrong. God gives each of us a personal plea to love. Help Sloth remember his own passionate internal calling so he can answer it with action, not passive acceptance.
Sooner or later you will encounter all of these enemies, but one will stalk you more than all others. Your homework is to prayerfully consider which forces you may be struggling with in your own life. The assigned reading below may help you. I like to close my classes by giving a plea to seriously,…RUN FOR YOUR LIVES. I don’t think there is one of you who could slay my cat.
*I’m not sure its fair to say that fear and deceit were “added” by the East. The Enneagram has existed in the Catholic Church and in other religions as far back as historians can go. Who influenced who is simply not known. But there should be little controversy that Deceit and Fear (excluding fear of the lord) are sinful