| up a level
from the naughty-number-nine dept.
There are, I believe, three schools of enneagram interpretation.
The original school most likely had its origin in the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, and was propagated through the writings of his students, including P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and J. G. Bennett. Bennett's Enneagram Studies (1983, Weiser) is the foremost introduction to the original set of interpretations, but it is a challenging system at best. It could be described as a way of recognizing the characteristics underlying all processes.
The second school is the most obscure. It is Rodney Collin's doctrine of planetary body types, as described in his book, The Theory of Celestial Influence (1954, Stuart, reprinted: 1997, Penguin). This is a system of body types and personalities attributed to the seven planets, and whose interrelations are described by the enneagram. Curiously, this doctrine also shows up in its entirety in the teachings of the Michael channelers.
Almost all contemporary discussion of the enneagram belongs to the third school. This tradition, which uses the enneagram chiefly as a map of categories, derives from the teachings of Oscar Ichazo and his Arica school. One portion of these teachings, the Enneagram of Fixations (or Ego-types), has been popularized and sometimes distorted through the publication of a growing number of self-help "Personality Types" books, often without any acknowledgment of Ichazo at all.
One thing that is not given enough emphasis, in my opinion, is the distinction between what I'm calling the first and third schools. (The second school is minor enough that it only rarely comes into discussion.) The only thing that they have in common is the nine-pointed figure itself; the use of the figure by the two schools couldn't be more distinct. While they may both be profound, aspects of the third school's interpretations can be communicated quite readily, whereas the first school's is practically impenetrable without enormous commitment. Naturally, the third school is what has spread.
On another note: while all three schools tend to agree that the enneagram is ancient knowledge, I've seen no convincing evidence that the figure as we know it today predates Gurdjieff. There are many parallels between the third school's use of the enneagram and the nine-fold "first figure" of the Lullian Art, for instance, which deserve further study. But, to my knowledge, no ancient sources describing the modern enneagram's inner 1-4-2-8-5-7 glyph have ever been made public.
With that in mind, I'd like to take a stab at describing a third school enneagram in Thelemic terms. But in attempting to bridge the worlds of the enneagram and Thelema, there's a cultural difference that needs to be addressed.
Within the Thelemic tradition, tinkering with systems and their attributions is allowed -- even encouraged, as this is the way that practitioners make a system their own. On the other hand, many, if not all, of the enneagram traditions frown on tinkering of any kind. Often, attributions are only to be made by individuals who are held to possess a total mastery of the system. But I intend this to be an exercise in Thelemic tinkering, and not at all to be a claim of enneagramatic mastery. Alternative attributions are invited.
It would be entirely beyond my abilities to provide a full introduction to the meanings of the third school's interpretation. But to provide some guidance for those unfamiliar with the enneagram, I present my proposals for Thelemic Egyptian god-forms along the nine points, together with Ichazo's definitions of the Nine Holy Ideas and their corresponding Virtues, from John C. Lilly and Joseph E. Hart's article "The Arica Training," in Charles Tart's anthology Transpersonal Psychologies, 19771.
< | >
|"As St. Paul says, 'Without shedding of blood there is no remission,' and who are we to argue with St. Paul?" -- Aleister Crowley|
|All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments are owned by the Poster.|
This is an official and authorized archive of The Beast Bay
Hosted by Hermetic.com