Dr. Jerome D. Lubbe, Whole-Identity: A Brain-Based Enneagram Model for (W)Holistic Human Thriving (Dr. Jerome D. Lubbe, 2019), 101 pages.
I have spent the past few days working through Dr. Jerome D. Lubbe’s work Whole-Identity: A Brain-Based Enneagram Model for (W)Holistic Human Thriving. I was intrigued to receive the name of the work, and having dabbled in personality tests for a few years (thanks to a dear friend and mentor), I thought I would give it a read.
The work seeks to build upon the Enneagram model from a neuroscience perspective. The goal is to utilize the Enneagram model for “integrating physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual growth through the universal common denominator of brain function.” (under disclaimer) The overarching idea, weaved throughout the entire work, is to achieve wholeness. That goal is kept at the forefront, as Dr. Lubbe discusses the historical development of the Enneagram, its functions, its tests, and its practical applications.
The basic structure of the work follows under seven headlines (there are actually eight, but the final section is for suggested resources). The first section addresses the acknowledgements and disclaimers that any work of this type would necessitate. The second section explains and develops the history and growth of the Enneagram. The third section provides an explanation of the nine numbers, their natures, their wings, and their relative descriptions. The fourth section provides a practical example of how to figure one’s scores and understand their meaning. The fifth section provides incredibly practical ways to develop and enhance the individual’s nine numbers. The sixth section illustrates the lifelong development as a whole individual. The seventh section encourages further research for the Brain-Based Enneagram model and understanding.
- The first strength of the work is its accessibility. I do not have a science degree, yet I found the descriptions completely within my grasp. There are times when I read academic works, and it is an intense labor. Dr. Lubbe provides the language and understanding for the average individual to grasp.
- The second strength is its beauty.
There is an inherent beauty to the work. The book itself displays varied pictures and icons for understanding It is graphically pleasing. But more than that, there is a beauty for self-improvement. I always strive to be better, and this book helps break down the Enneagram model in a way that provides an encouraging push in that direction.
- The third strength is its practicality.
Many times, works such as Dr. Lubbe’s exist in a heavenly realm, unreachable to the average person. There is a difficulty when producing works as academics. The difficulty comes with bringing the knowledge to a level on which the average individual can consume it, but also with regards to how one can use that information for one’s life. Dr. Lubbe provides a step-by-step guide, giving examples and even providing a blank template to develop one’s Enneagram’s identity. The action steps he offers (section five) are all practical.
Perhaps the greatest weakness of Dr. Lubbe’s work is its lack of Christian foundation. As a Christian, I seek to bring every thought under the Lordship of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). I understand that Dr. Lubbe is not writing from a conservative Christian standpoint, but I am evaluating his work upon it. Thus, the failure to include a treatment of one’s standing before God limits the wholeness that is sought.
Another weakness of the work is its view of the history of the Enneagram model. Though it is certainly not written from an academic standpoint, it would be nice for there to be more and clearer information regarding the development of the Enneagram. (For a treatment of this from a conservative Christian standpoint, see Kevin DeYoung’s blog post on the topic.)
With the strengths and weaknesses briefly evaluated, I think it is a fascinating tool. I have personally benefited from studying my own and others’ personalities. This, as I see its usefulness, helps bridge out that study into the way the brain relates to the personality. If you are interested, grab a copy of it. Let me know what you think, what you found helpful and/or dangerous, and how you would use it in your life.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.