The Comparison of Nursi Character Analysis (NURCA) and Enneagram
Nursi Character Analysis (NURCA) is mentioned in the Risale-i Nur Collection by Bediüzzaman Said Nursi. In the Risale-i Nur Collection, the manifestations of divine names on existence constitute the main backbone, and the same feature can be seen in the NURCA model. To make the model more understandable, illustration method is used. This illustration is the different reflections of the sun on flower, drop and dew. The sun itself i.e. its light and heat, are only seen on the flower in the form of different shades of seven colours. A drop of water reflects the rays of the sun quite clearly, but not the sun itself or its heat. Dew that evaporates upon contact with the sun, reflects the sun itself i.e. its light and its heat in an exact capacity.
Zühre, Katre, Reşha, NURCA, Enneagram, Bediuzzaman Said nursi
The Nursi Character Analysis (NURCA) Model
NURCA model in general
The NURCA model is included in the book titled Sözler by Bediüzzaman Said Nursi. Bediüzzaman, one of the last scholars of the Ottoman State, was born in the village of Nurs in the Hizan district of Bitlis in 1878. Thanks to his superior intelligence, he completed his madrasah education in a short time and received his certificate (icazah) at the age of 14. He divided his life into two periods: the old Said and the new Said. While he was closely interested in politics, in addition to his scientific studies, in the old Said period, in the new Said period he worked on the principles of the Qur'an and faith. His works on the principles of faith are generally known as the Risale-i Nur. During this period, these works were reproduced by hand, thereby eliminating people's doubts about faith. Due to these activities, he was tried in many courts, exiled to various towns, and until his death on March 23, 1960, a significant part of his life was spent in prisons. In addition to emphasizing the principles of faith in his books and activities, he also emphasized the importance of analysing religious sciences and modern science together. His Medresetü-Zehra project, which is considered as an educational institution where religious sciences and modern sciences are taught together, is very striking .
There are three groups and each group contain three types of characters. This means that there are nine main characters in the NURCA model. When further detailed, the nine main characters can be further sub-divided into three states each, and that brings to 27-character types in total. The three groups are described as flöwer (zühre), drop (katre) and dew (reşha) symbols. We can also express them as land, water, and air.
The three characters of the flower group are as follows:
The character that does not give up its ego, focuses on material things and perceives existence with its senses.
The character who uses its mind, thoughts, and knowledge, as well as love of ego and material things.
The character who tries to reach the truth with spirituality and religion besides the love of ego and material things.
The three characters of the drop group are:
The character that focuses on learning about the material aspects of things true information.
The character that surrenders to the truth with selfcontrol and the use of the mind.
The character who surrenders to the truth with a clean heart, faith, and total submission.
The three characters of the dew group are:
“For example, let us suppose an adorned flöwer, a living droplet enamoured of the Moon, and a translucent atom which looks to the Sun. Each of these possesses consciousness and some perfection, and each has a yearning for that perfection. Together with indicating many truths, these three things also allude to the spiritual voyaging of the soul, the mind, and the heart. They also correspond to three levels of those who investigate reality.
The First indicates those who follow the path of intellectual thought; those who follow the path of sainthood; and those who follow the path of prophethood. The Second corresponds to those who approach reality by striving for perfection through the bodily systems; and those who approach it by striving with the mind and refining the soul; and those who approach it through belief, submission, and purifying the heart. The Third is the comparison of those who do not give up egotism, are plunged in works, and approach reality through deduction and reasoning only; and of those who search for reality through knowledge and science, reason and learning; and those who approach reality swiftly through belief and the Qur’an, poverty and worship. These comparisons point to the wisdom in the differences between the three groups, whose capacities are also different” .
The three characters in the flöwer group are those whose eloquent feelings are dominant and strong in body. Their material and spiritual protests are realized by controlling their selfish emotions and directing them to good. The characteristics of these three characters are that they keep the world at the forefront, are more occupied with material things and remain more inflüenced by their nafs. Even though the flöwer characters completely overhaul existence, they cannot reach the ultimate and greatest truth, which is Allah. Because the manifestations of Allah's names are pitched in existence. When you look with the material eye, that is, with the five senses, Allah cannot be reached when examined only through scientific methods such as experiment and observation. A person who is attached to the five senses, will only drown in experiments and observations of material things. To attain the ultimate and greatest truth, flöwer characters must set aside the complete trust they have in their own strength and power. This way they avoid drowning. They attain true wealth by turning to God, the real power behind existence. They must get rid of the narrow patterns of materiality and sail to the eternal horizons of spirituality.
“And so, my friend, who has not forgotten the world, is preoccupied with materiality, and whose soul is dense! You be ‘Flower’. ‘Flower’ takes on a colour dissolved from the Sun’s light, and it mixes the Sun’s image in with that colour and clothes itself in an adorned form. For your capacity resembles it as well.” .
“You who is like ‘Flower’, you are going, but go as a flöwer. See, you have gone. You have advanced and advanced till you have reached a universal degree, as though you have become like all flöwers. But ‘Flower’ is a dense mirror; it dissolves and refracts the seven colours in light; it conceals the Sun’s reflectiön. You will not be successful in seeing the face of the Sun which you love, for the colours and characteristics, which are restricted, disperse it, draw a veil over it and obscure it. In this situation, you cannot be saved from the separation which occurs with the interposing of barriers. However, you can be saved on one condition, which is that you raise your head, which is sunk in love of your own soul, and withdraw your gaze, which glories and takes pleasure in its own merits, and cast it at the face of the Sun in the sky. But on condition you turn your face looking down to the earth to gain your livelihood, up to the Sun. For you are its mirror. Your duty is to act as a mirror to it. Whether you know it or not, your sustenance will anyway come from the earth, the door to the treasury of mercy.” .
The three characters in the drop group are the ones whose mental direction is dominant, and their thinking ability is advanced. Their material and moral responses are realized by controlling their minds and directing them towards good. The characteristics of these three characters are that they overemphasize the cause-effect relationships in the universe. They consider knowledge, which is a tool in reaching the truth, their ultimate purpose. They will be saved if they understand that information and knowledge are only means of reaching the ultimate and greatest truth, which is Allah. Natural laws are abstract principles, they are not capable of carrying concrete actions such as the creation and management of existence. Just as every law has a maker, natural laws also have a maker. That is the real owner of power is Allah, on whom existence is based. A person who is occupied with science and philosophy reaches salvation and gets real peace only if he accepts this truth. Otherwise, he cannot escape the fear of hopelessness, being left alone, and falling behind false things.
“ Then let this philosopher who has studied secular science and is plunged in causes like the Old Said be ‘Droplet’, which is enamoured of the Moon. For the Moon affords him the shadow of light it has received from the Sun, and it gives a light to the pupil of his eye. ‘Droplet’ too shines with the light, but he can only see the Moon with it, he cannot see the Sun. Rather, he can only see it through his belief.” .
“Now, wise philosopher who has entered into ‘Droplet’! You have advanced as far as the Moon with the telescope of your droplet of thought and by the stairway of philosophy. You have entered the Moon. Look, of itself the Moon is dense and dark; it has neither light nor life. Your endeavour has all been in vain and your knowledge has proved to be pröfitless. You can only be saved from the darkness of despair, the desolation of loneliness, the pestering of evil spirits, and the horrors of that bleakness through these conditions: that you give up the night of nature and turn to the Sun of reality, and you believe with complete certainty that the light of this night are the shadows of the lights of the daytime Sun. After fülfilling these conditions, you will find your perfection. You will find the majestic Sun in place of the poor and darksome Moon. But like your previous friend, you will not be able to see the Sun clearly; you will see it beyond the veils with which your reason and your philosophy are familiar and conversant, and behind the screens woven by science and learning, and within a colour conferred by your capacity.” .
The three characters in the dew group are those whose emotions are dominant, and they use their heart more often. Their material and spiritual responses also take place by controlling and directing the heart and soul towards good. The characters in this group attribute everything to God and believe that the cause-effect relationships are the screening images of God. They have no material strength like flöwer characters. Nor is their mental ability developed like the drop group’s characters. They know that they have no power or might, thus, by accepting that they are nothing, they reach God with a clear and sincere heart. The key to the dew character reaching the truth is that it leaves its ego to one side. In this case, the dew character reaches God if its ego, just as the small dew becomes steam and mixes with the air and becomes integrated with the sun. For this, he must burn with the fire of divine love and return to the light. This character, burning with the fire of love, can now see Allah without a fret with the heart's eye.
“ Then, let this poor man be ‘ Atom ’ , who knows everything to be directly from Almighty God and considers causes to be a veil. He is such an ‘Atom’ that knows himself to be poor in his own self. He has nothing on which to depend to rely on himself like ‘Flower’. He possesses no colour that he should appear through it. And he does not recognize other things that he should turn towards them. He has a sheer purity by which he holds the Sun’s image directly in the pupil of his eye. Now, since we have taken the place of these three things, we must consider ourselves. What do we have? What must we do?” .
“And now our Atom-like third friend, who is both poor and colourless. He swiftly evaporates in the Sun’s heat, abandons his egotism, mounts the steam, and rises into the air. The dense matter within him takes fire with the flame of love and is transformed into light and radiance. He adheres to a ray proceeding from the manifestations of that light and draws close to it. O you who resembles ‘Atom’! Since you act as a direct mirror to the Sun, at whatever degree you are, you will find an opening, a window, looking purely at the Sun itself in a fashion that affords absolute certainty. And you will experience no difficülty in attributing to the Sun its wondrous works. Without hesitation you will be able to ascribe to it the majestic attributes of which it is worthy. Nothing will be able to take you by the hand and make you forego ascribing to it the awesome works of its essential sovereignty. Neither the constriction of barriers, nor the limitations of your capacity, nor the smallness of mirrors will confuse you, nor impel you contrary to the truth. Because, since you look at it purely, sincerely, and directly, you have understood that what appears in the places of manifestation and is observed in the mirrors, is not the Sun, but manifestations of it of a sort, and coloured reflectiöns of it of a sort. For sure those reflectiöns are its titles, but they do not display all the works of its splendour.” .
Ways of characters reaching the truth
The ways and methods of these three groups of characters reaching the truth are different. Flower characters prefer to deal with concrete things, a lively life, and social relationships. Therefore, the way and method they will use in their journey of truth must be movementbased, active and actional. Drop group characters prefer to learn, to have knowledge and to sail new horizons. The way and method they will use in their journey of truth should be thought based, knowledge based and innovative. Dew group characters, on the other hand, prefer emotion, love and approval. Their way and method in their journeys of truth are the rise of the heart and soul to the level of life. The key to the door that will bring them to truth is love.
Flower characters want to show their material assets. Drop characters, passionately want to reach the highest level in knowledge. Dew characters, on the other hand, desire to evaporate in the atmosphere of divine love.
Capacities of the characters
The capacities and levels of the three groups of characters reaching the truth are also different. Some flöwers seek divine truth in a large circle that will contain all other flöwers. Others seek divine truth in a kind of flöwer. Some flöwers are contented with searching for truth in a few flöwers.
“Thus, under the titles of Flower, Droplet, and Atom, we shall show by means of a comparison, the mystery and extensive wisdom in the progress of the three groups. For example, through its Creator ’ s permission and at His command, the Sun has three sorts of manifestation, reflectiön and radiance: one is its reflectiön on flöwers, one its reflectiön on the Moon and the planets, and one its reflectiön on shining objects like glass and water.
The First is in three ways:
One is a universal and general manifestation and reflectiön whereby its radiance encompasses all flöwers at once.
Another is a special manifestation whereby it has a special reflectiön for each species.
Another is a manifestation whereby its effulgence is in accordance with the individuality of each flöwer. This comparison of ours is in conformity with this statement, that the adorned colours of flöwers arises from the changing reflectiöns of the seven colours in the Sun’s light. According to this, flöwers too are sorts of mirrors to the Sun” .
Some of the characters in the drop group have an allencompassing thought process. Some other drop characters seek truth by understanding a portion existence. Some drop characters, on the other hand, are contented with seeking the truth by understanding only some limited number of existences.
“The Second is the light and effulgence which, with the All-Wise Creator’s permission, the Sun gives to the Moon and planets. Having received this extensive, universal light and effulgence, the Moon, whose light is like a shadow of that light, pröfits from the Sun in a universal fashion. Then its radiance and effulgence shines in a way on the seas and air and shining earth, and partially on the bubbles on the sea and translucent particles of the earth and the molecules of the air” .
Some of the dew characters have an encompassing capacity for love. Some dew characters seek truth with a love that surrounds a group of beings. Some dew characters seek divine love in only a limited number of beings.
“The Third is, through the Divine command, a reflectiön of the Sun which, making the air and the surface of the seas into mirrors, is pure, universal, and without shadow. Then the Sun gives to each of the bubbles on the sea, the droplets of water, molecules of air, and snöwflakes, a particular reflectiön and tiny image of itself” .
Enneagram in general
Enneagram is an ancient character analysis system with a history of five thousand years. First, we come across the roots of the enneagram in the Epic of Gilgamesh (4500 years ago). Later, in the 14th or 15th centuries, Islamic mathematicians and Süfis began using the enneagram in Afghanistan [3-7].
Recently, George Ivanovich Gurdief (1877-1949) developed the enneagram system. Gurdjief, whose mother was Greek and Father Armenian, was an Orthodox Ottoman citizen born in Kars. Gurdjief did many years of research in Central Asia (Bukhara, Tashkent) to understand the human character [3,8]..
Later, Bolivian psychologist Oscar Ichazo arranged the enneagram into 9 different personality types and prepared the enneagram symbol . One of the most important names in enneagram is Claudio Naranjo. Naranjo worked with Ichazo in Chile and adapted the enneagram to psychology . Don Riso, Russ Hudson, Helen Palmer, Richar Rohr and Elizabeth Wagele are also valuable researchers working on enneagram [11,12].
The three groups are physical-emotional-mind groups.
The nine characters are:
The enneagram is represented by a circle symbol around which the nine characters are lined up. There are lines to show other characters that the characters in the enneagram symbol go to in stress and in relaxation (Figure 1) .
Figure 1. The ennergram with Riso-Hudson type names.
Comparison of NURCA model with enneagram
First, it should be stated that the basic structures of the enneagram are similar with the NURCA model. This is because both models have three groups and nine main characters.
Three groups of Enneagram: Physical-Mind-Emotional
Three groups of NURCA: Flower-Drop-Dew
Physical Group Characters of Enneagram: 8. Challenger, 9. Peacemaker, and 1. Perfectionist
Flower Group Characters of NURCA: 1. Exquisite and substance-oriented 2. Exquisite and mind-oriented, and 3. Exquisite and emotion-oriented
Mind Group Characters of the Enneagram: 5. Researcher 6. Loyalist, and 7. Enthusiast
NURCA's Drop Group Characters: 4. Researcher in material 5. Researcher in thought, and 6. Researcher in emotion
Emotional Group Characters of Enneagram: 2. Helper 3. Achiever, and 4. Individualist
The Dew Group Characters of NURCA: 7. Wise, 8. Süfis 9. Prophetic.
Physical group and flower characters
The flöwer characters of NURCA show a significant similarity with the physical group of Enneagram. The main characteristics of the characters in both groups are; their ego is strong; they are extremely built and large in size and they like concrete and physical things. However, while enneagram focuses on determining the characteristics of the characters, NURCA emphasizes the ways by which the characters can reach the ultimate truth. For example, the fact that the flöwer group relies on the financial power they possess lead to their divergence from the ultimate truth. Thus, their divine realization is by connecting to God, who has real power.
Mind group and drop characters
The characters in the mind group of the enneagram and NURCA's drop characters also overlap to a large extent. Both groups of characters are mentally strong and have an advanced thought ability. They evaluate life through the window of reason and logic, they try to pass everything through the mind filter. As the NURCA model emphasizes the methods of reaching the truth, the way in which the characters of the drop group reach the truth is also emphasized. When the drop characters turn knowledge into their sole purpose, they move away from the truth. And they can only approach the ultimate truth when they see knowledge as a tool that connects to Allah.
Emotional group and dew characters
The common aspects of the emotional group in the enneagram and the dew characters in the NURCA model are that their emotional aspects are dominant, and they handle everything from the heart window. Since the enneagram is a more processed model, the characteristics of the characters have been clarified. In this respect, the characteristics of the emotional group characters of the enneagram are more pronounced than the characteristics of the dew characters. In order for the dew characters to reach the truth, they have to reset themselves financially and morally. They burn with the fire of divine love and attain the ultimate truth after becoming ash.
Emphasis on the ultimate truth in NURCA model
In NURCA model, the methods of reaching the ultimate truth differ. While the flöwer characters reach the ultimate truth with action-oriented methods, the drop characters use thought-oriented methods. The journey of truth for the dew characters is heart and love oriented.
The similarities of the two models on levels and capacity issues
In the NURCA model, the three degrees and capacity levels of the characters are similar to the unhealthyaverage- healthy levels in enneagram. When the characters of the NURCA model deal with divine manifestations, they either have an all-encompassing perspective of entire existence, or get a partial perspective covering some types of existence or remain limited to a few. This is like the healthy-averageunhealthy levels in enneagram. In enneagram, the person decreases to unhealthy level as he becomes selfish and rises to a healthy level as he defeats his ego. In the NURCA model, one needs to get rid of selfishness in order to have an all-encompassing perspective.
As stated above, enneagram is an ancient and advanced character analysis model. In contrast, NURCA is a new model that has not been systematized yet. As this new model is being developed by researchers, it will become an encompassing character analysis system like enneagram. For example, the characters and wing versions that enneagram characters go to when stressed or relaxed have not yet been addressed in NURCA. In this respect, enneagram stands out as a more systematic and comprehensive model. However, the NURCA model is handled by its author Bediüzzaman from different angles in his books, Risale-i Nur Collection. In this respect, as the Risale-i Nur are scanned, the perfection of the NURCA model will be revealed. For example, the concepts of anger, lust, and mental forces used in the explanation of the concept of power, in Isharatu'l-Icaz constitute an important dimension and basis of the NURCA system. Again, the ene (ego) topics described in different places in Risale-i Nur are directly related to this system. Many more issues such as these can be drawn from Risale-i Nur.
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2Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria
Citation: Abdullah Demir, Senol Dane, The Comparison of Nursi Character Analysis (NURCA) and Enneagram, J Res Med Dent Sci, 2020, 8(5): 128-133
Received: 17-Jul-2020 Accepted: 24-Aug-2020