The Socratic injunction, “Know Thyself,” is the foundation for all work on selfdevelopment. Susan Zannos opens an illumination window on human behavior and temperament in her study of the basic human essence types. These types differ so much from each other, and are so greatly modified by the dominant type of intelligence operating in a particular person, that persistent and prolonged selfobservation is required to verify one’s own type, or to recognize others. Recognition of these types and the division between essence and personality is the foundation upon which practical work on oneself begins.
Zannos Describes the basic human essence types with the hope of helping those who want to understand what is most genuine in themselves and the people with whom they live. Zannos approaches human typology from a variety of perspectives, and ties the Gurdjieff Ouspensky Fourth Way system to a wide range of cultural, religious, and scientific traditions. She traces roots in Homeric legend and the Olympian pantheon through medieval astrology and the Qabalah, as well as discussing endocrinology and psychology. She points out resonances to C.G. Jung’s psychology, the work of Piaget, and to Native American iconography. After exploring the four types of intellectual function, she launches an extensive discussion of the classic types of the Enneagram, leavened by personal anecdote and lively description. While this book will be of special interest to Fourth Way students, the information can help people from all walks of life who want to learn about themselves and the people they care for.