Welcome to The Beast Bay General Thelema Science Art Scholarship The Beast Bay website
 up a level
 search
 main


  Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
Self Realization Posted by Xnoubis on November 26, 2000 @ 11:16 PM
from the naughty-number-nine dept.

[Revised 12/7/00]

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.

8. Isis

Holy Truth: The awareness that the cosmos objectively exists now; that this existence is its own definition, and continues whether an individual understands it or not; and that the individual experiences the truth of Reality most completely when he views each moment fresh, without preconceptions about what should be happening.
Virtue: Innocence.

7. Osiris

Holy Wisdom: The awareness that Reality exists as a succession of moments, each experienced as 'the present,' and that it is only by existing in the present that the constant unfolding of the Cosmos can be experienced. Only by working in the present can real work be done and real results achieved.
Virtue: Sobriety.

6. Ra-Hoor-Khuit

Holy Strength (also called Holy Faith): The awareness that the Cosmos is a self-regulating mechanism, existing in a state of balance, and as long as the objective laws which govern this balance are respected, an individual can exist in a state of harmony with Reality, moving toward his own personal fulfillment. Faith is a Holy Idea, not a belief. It is the certitude that each of us has an Essence and that this Essence coming from God, belongs to God.
Virtue: Courage.

5. Maat

Holy Omniscience: The awareness that because every individual is intimately connected with the entire cosmos by the operation of objective laws within their own bodies, there is no separateness or alienation except as a mental hallucination. Because the cosmic laws govern every aspect of ourselves, there is no possibility of hiding from the Cosmos, or avoiding the results of natural processes. When we understand this, we are completely at peace with our past.
Virtue: Involvement.

4. Thoth

Holy Origin: The awareness that all individuals are born as the result of natural, objective laws; that these laws continue to operate within them throughout their lives. Because all the laws are interconnected, each individual always has an intimate physical connection with the Totality of Reality -- the Cosmos. From this springs true originality.
Virtue: Equanimity.

3. Hoor-Paar-Kraat

Holy Harmony: The awareness that there are no exceptions to the natural laws which govern the Cosmos, and that these laws are completely objective, operating as an interconnected unity. The highest law is the totality of Reality itself. Certitude in the objectivity and total applicability of those laws is true hope.
Virtue: Truthfulness.

2. Hadit

Holy Will (also called Holy Freedom): The awareness that Reality, moving with direction and according to fixed natural laws, flows with a certain force. The easiest way to deal with this force is to move with it. This is true freedom.
Virtue: Humility.

1. Nuit

Holy Perfection: The awareness that Reality is a process, moving with direction and purpose. Within this movement each moment is connected by the process with the one goal, and thus is perfect.
Virtue: Serenity.

9. Heru-Ra-Ha

Holy Love: The awareness that though the laws which govern reality are objective, they are not cold, because these cosmic laws inevitably lead to the creation of organic life, and Life itself, like all natural phenomena, fulfills a cosmic purpose. As soon as the mind's word mechanism is destroyed, love, the natural condition of the mind, appears. Love begins the moment man contemplates the Creation and says, "Thank you, God." All men feel this somewhat, no animal can feel this at all. Man alone can know that all comes from God.
Virtue: Action.


  1. I highly recommend this book, not only for the Arica material, but also its introduction to the Fourth Way, as well as Tart's own important contributions.


<  |  >

 

  Related Links
  • Articles on Self Realization
  • Also by Xnoubis
  • Contact author
  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


    Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
    by Hasadhna on Monday November 27, @09:34AM
    These schools are all offshoots of the Hindu system of the three Gunas and the nine holy paths, of course. Much has been written on the subject in Crowley's Temple of Solomon the King, and in other sources, that I find the breaking up and conflicting confrontations of distorting the Egyptian Principles into virtuous awareness to grace the absurd. Such only goes to show that you must not adulterate system with makeshift dreaming.

    Site of choice- http://www.geocities.com/uretoo

    • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
      by Xnoubis on Monday November 27, @10:51AM
      You could make an argument that the third school bears some relationship to the system of the Gunas, but certainly not the first or second schools, as they use the enneagram as a model of their Law of Seven, not their Law of Three.

      What are the nine holy paths that you refer to?

      Also, I might mention that the word "virtue" is used here in the sense of "strength" or "efficacy," and not in the sense of "moral goodness."


      • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
        by Hasadhna on Monday November 27, @01:11PM
        I doubt it is a matter of numbers, of 7, 8, or 3, there are still basics that remain, if preferences compell attribution to planets or motion. Nonetheless I hate messing with the planets, have you which are macrocosmic by tradition, if to portray a new-age microcosmic dictum.

        As for Buddha
        There is Atman which includes all-things just as Adam Qadamon. And there is Maya which loosely interprets as mind, awakening from that absolute. And in between there are Nine manifestations considered of the general order which separate the two, and are relative to Vishnu. Raja Yoga deals with these as the apparatus to dissolve in order to reunite with the Divine, and thus attain nirvana, being beyond the gunas. A lot of the ancients work has still remained secret, that without the equal aspiration of the clairvoyant, whose work seen to the public as viable or not, you will subsequently receive much adu with dealings of tampering older constructs of noble truths.

        For if it weren't inspired by the Yogi it sure was ravished by an inferior transcription of Qabalah.

        I'm not sure why you strayed away from the mind and into dealings of universal structure in your Thelemic attribution, and then claimed origin of 'personalities' forthwith. It would be better if you built it from the ground up, and did away with the god names, the "holy" references, and focused more on the in between consciousness and absolute. or Perhaps you focus less on trying to find comparatives to Thelema?


        • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
          by Xnoubis on Monday November 27, @01:52PM
          I see that you are eager to dismiss my work here, although I doubt that you've really grasped my point.

          No matter. I'm still interested in these "Nine manifestations." Do you have pointers to any web-related resources on the subject?


          • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
            by Hasadhna on Tuesday November 28, @10:51AM
            >I see that you are eager to dismiss my work here

            Just the parts that don't sound right.

            >although I doubt that you've really grasped my point.

            Perhaps. What is your point? I find it hard to take seriously when you attribute Egyptian principles as such, which by the way, are not Thelemic, but Egyptian.

            The Ego and Non-Ego contribution of Crowley's although is genuine Thelemic doctrine.

            >I'm still interested in these "Nine manifestations." Do you have pointers to any web-related resources on the subject?>

            Sorry, try a search?
            I do have a link on Thelemic Ego/Non-Ego though.
            (heh) http://www.geocities.com/uretoo/mainframe/prophecy.html


            • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
              by Xnoubis on Tuesday November 28, @12:18PM
              This article is aimed at those who either are already familiar with the enneagram or are interested in learning it. Although you appear to want to reduce the enneagram into systems that are known to you (such as the Gunas), there's a great deal more to it than that. The 'third school' enneagram has similarities to the sephiroth, the chakras, the zodiac, and other esoteric systems, but is not capable of being mapped onto any of them without considerable distortion.

              Crowley went to great lengths to bring the various systems that he was familiar with into a common framework. Some things mapped to the rows of 777 in a neat, linear fashion. The enneagram, which of course he was not familiar with, is rather more like the system of Enochian Aethyrs in this way: you can describe it on the tree, but not linearly.

              So the issue follows of how it is to be done. I view it as a worthwhile project because the enneagram has a substantial following, one that I suspect dwarfs Thelema. Yet there is very little dialog between the traditions. Doing it means using known symbols in new ways. But it is no more strange than Crowley's Yetziratic attributions for the I Ching trigrams, which are alien to both the I Ching and western usage.

              On the subject of new uses for symbols, I might point out that the rescension of Egyptian god-forms used in Thelema is distinct in important ways from anything used in Egypt (and even within Egyptian history, the god-forms were revised in innumerable combinations). My use of them is intended to follow Thelemic conventions.

              Another part of my point is that we too often treat the business of building esoteric systems as a matter of infallibility. We either accept them from on high, or act as if we're authorized from on high to lay down the law (as is illustrated by your own writings, including the link you've offered above). I don't see any reason why we shouldn't tear down this facade of perfection, and admit that these systems are always developed by people; people who may be sometimes inspired, but who also make mistakes. How much revision went into the construction of 777, I wonder? And impressive as it is, there's a lot of it that now appears either arbitrary or mistaken.

              > The Ego and Non-Ego contribution of Crowley's
              > although is genuine Thelemic doctrine.

              What "Ego and Non-Ego contribution of Crowley's"?! It's comments like this that give me the suspicion that you're understanding as little of my writing as I understand of yours. You speak of "all these schools" being offshoots of the Guna system, which means that you don't have any acquaintance with the first two schools at least. You mention that you don't like messing with the planets, which are, as far as the material in this article is concerned, only relevant to the second school, and not at all to the third school enneagram that I propose. You wonder why I claimed "origin of 'personalities'", which (if I can follow your syntax at all) is not my claim, but that of the self-help authors that I'm being critical of. Also, the use of the word "holy" is not mine, but is part of the existing enneagram terminology that I am quoting from the Hart and Lilly article.

              There are criticisms of this article that I could understand. One would be, "I have studied the enneagram material, and have determined that it is rubbish not worth wasting Thelemites' time over." Another would be, "I know the enneagram, and you've got it all wrong. It should be done this way . . ."

              But I don't see the usefulness of a response that amounts to, "You're using symbols that I know to describe something that I don't know. It doesn't make sense to me. Therefore, you are misguided in your efforts."


              • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
                by Hasadhna on Tuesday November 28, @12:59PM
                >My use of them (god-forms) is intended to follow Thelemic conventions.>

                I pointed out that they are incorrect (as seen by Thelemic conventions), and that when Crowley interpreted them he did so in fashion as to define as original and absolute, to which progress he came very near to accomplish.

                >The enneagram, which of course he was not familiar with, is rather more like the system of Enochian Aethyrs in this way: you can describe it on the tree, but not linearly.>

                That is false representation. It doesn't resemble the Aethyrs to my view, and the aethyrs are clearly linear, more so as is the tree.

                Now, Crowleys writing were masked as you know, as not to reveal much to the profane. I don't think that masks warrant the excuse to portray perfection as illusionary, which would perceptively usurp nonsense in itself. If as by language, such systems were ordained to an absolute virtue, created by such persons, I doubt their intention would be to confuse and make null discoveries, but to verify and establish a viable practice.

                ...If you read the article provided by the link above or by my previous comments you would know what Ego/non-ego contribution. And anyhoo, you are using symbols to falsely represent a description which are not even closely harmonious to each other, no matter which tongue they first originated. Therefore I speak of it as rubbish. And have suggested a means for your own individual inspiration for an article.


        • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
          by Xnoubis on Tuesday November 28, @03:28PM
          > they are incorrect (as seen by Thelemic
          > conventions)

          Since you aren't familiar with the enneagram, you don't know that. I wonder what it is that you think that I am saying, and are differing with.

          > when Crowley interpreted them he did so in
          > fashion as to define as original and absolute

          There are two different columns of Egyptian dieties in 777, not counting the Coptic-Egyptian god-forms in Enochian chess. Which is the absolute? Can the implications of the dieties as they appear in the Book of the Law or Liber Pyramidos map neatly into either column?

          And again, there's no sense in considering any Egyptian attributions as original, since they were in constant flux throughout Egyptian history.

          > It doesn't resemble the Aethyrs to my view, and
          > the aethyrs are clearly linear, more so as is
          > the tree.

          I wrote that the enneagram resembles the system of the Aethyrs in the sense that neither map to the Tree linearly. I didn't say that it resembled the Aethyrs in a general sense, or that the Aethyrs themselves are non-linear. If you're going to be swinging accusations around like "That is a false representation," you could at least read what you're criticizing with some care.

          > If you read the article provided by the link
          > above or by my previous comments you would know
          > what Ego/non-ego contribution.

          But what does it have to do with the original article?


          • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
            by Hasadhna on Tuesday November 28, @05:44PM
            >Since you aren't familiar with the enneagram, you don't know that.

            Just because I chose to disregard your tinkering apology doesn't imply unfamiliarity.

            >Can the implications of the dieties as they appear in the Book of the Law or Liber Pyramidos map neatly into either column?

            Not supposed to. The columns are just Suggestions, as noted in the text.

            >And again, there's no sense in considering any Egyptian attributions as original, since they were in constant flux throughout Egyptian history.>

            No proof of that. There's a saying, he who reserves blind expectations for himself deserves what blindness shall come to him. Thelemic tradition is about discipline and absolute knowledge, not do whatever you like. One wrong tinker and the whole balance is upset. Promotion of premature drafts as the final product supports laziness.


            >I wrote that the enneagram resembles the system of the Aethyrs in the sense that neither map to the Tree linearly.>

            That's not what you wrote. You said neither accord to the tree or to linear depiction. And there's no need to get all rummied over it.


            >But what does it have to do with the original article?>

            That's not what you asked of me. Your concern was of Crowley's contribution to Thelemic material, and so answered. Otherwise, widely suggestive, as was supposed to be welcomed.

            And finally, the Gunas have everything to do with these schools, unless perchance it is you who does not understand the Gunas, and the very concept of Ego-types modelled of the Cosmos.


            • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
              by Xnoubis on Wednesday November 29, @06:52PM
              > Just because I chose to disregard your tinkering
              > apology doesn't imply unfamiliarity.

              Well, I've noticed from prior clashes with you that there's something about tentativeness that enrages you. Why, I don't know. It must all be proclaimed ex cathedra, or you find it intolerable.

              But if you have any familiarity with the enneagram, display some evidence of it. You disagree with how I've done it? Why, exactly? References would be ideal, but you have yet to offer even a plain argument, only dismissals.

              For instance:

              > the Gunas have everything to do with these
              > schools

              I've said otherwise about the first two schools, and I can tell you why. They are both based on the teachings of Gurdjieff, who has a clear parallel to the Gunas: the Law of Triamazikamno, or Law of Three. These are: Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, and Holy Reconciling, which could be considered as relating to Tamas, Rajas, and Sattvas, respectively (see Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1950, or the wonderful Guide and Index to Gurdjieff's All and Everything, now unfortunately out of print).

              It is said that the triangle in the enneagram is a reference to this Law of Three. But in practice, the first school uses the irregular hexad of the enneagram as an illustration of Heptaparaparshinokh, the Law of Seven, where the top of the triangle is the beginning and end of a process, and the other two points are the "shocks" (although the second shock is applied just before the concluding step, for reasons that are explained differently by different authors). One commonly used model for the sequence is the major scale: do, re, mi, shock, fa, sol, la, ti, shock, do (see Bennett's Enneagram Studies, mentioned above, or A. G. E. Blake's Intelligent Enneagram).

              The second school also uses the hexad, but rather than map the steps of a process on it, it maps the action of seven glands that are considered to have an effect on the development of the body and mind. Also, rather than add the top of the triangle, it adds a point at the intersection of the hexad just below the triangle's summit. (The best source for this is the Colin book already mentioned. But it's also found in Body Types by Joel Friedlander.)

              If you can demonstrate a relationship between the Gunas and either Gurdjieff's Law of Seven or Colin's seven glands, or show any example of either school using the enneagram that in any way recalls the Gunas, please, go right ahead.

              I could give a demonstration of why the third school interpretation has Guna-like elements, but I'd hate to do your work for you.

              >> And again, there's no sense in considering any
              >> Egyptian attributions as original, since they
              >> were in constant flux throughout Egyptian
              >> history.
              >
              > No proof of that.

              This is basic Egyptology. I don't have the serious references at hand, but here are a couple of excerpts from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Ancient Egypt website:
              One of the best-known legends in Egyptian mythology, for example, revolves around a deity who at one time may have been a local ruler in the Nile River's delta. Originally Osiris was a god associated with the city of Busiris in the Delta; over time this regional god gained countrywide acceptance.

              As the religion of Egypt evolved, various gods gained importance. The falcon-headed god depicted on this coffin fragment is identified as Re-Horakhty-Atum, the god central in creation myths. Re, the sun god, had several aspects: Khepri, the morning; Horakhty, the midday; and Atum, the afternoon. During Dynasty XXI (ca. 1070-945 B.C.) with increasing frequency he replaced Osiris in the traditional offering formula.
              I might also mention the changing role of Amoun as the relationship between the Upper and Lower Kingdoms evolved, or the replacement of Thoth by Anubis as the guide of the dead. Or that Horus was at one time the brother of Isis, and at another time her son.

              >> I wrote that the enneagram resembles the system
              >> of the Aethyrs in the sense that neither map to
              >> the Tree linearly.
              >
              > That's not what you wrote. You said neither
              > accord to the tree or to linear depiction.

              Unbelievable. Here's the original text:

              "The enneagram, which of course he was not familiar with, is rather more like the system of Enochian Aethyrs in this way: you can describe it on the tree, but not linearly."

              What part of "in this way" don't you understand?

              > And there's no need to get all rummied over it.

              Your use of the word "rummied" is the first thing I've enjoyed in this exchange.

              But you know, I do think that there's a need. In the course of your commentary on this article alone, I've had to put up with: "distorting the Egyptian Principles," "grace the absurd," "adulterate system with makeshift dreaming," "an inferior transcription," "falsely represent," "I speak of it as rubbish," and "premature drafts."

              And it's not just this article, but a whole string of needlessly caustic interactions written under your other name "Diancecht," as seen for instance in this thread, which alienated a valuable contributor, by the way.

              It's apparent to me that you're an intelligent individual with a unique voice. If we can ever develop some kind of Diancecht-to-English dictionary, we might find that you're making a valuable contribution to Thelema. But an appreciation of your work, since it is so extremely idiosyncratic, is going to require tolerance and good-will on the part of your audience. So why not show some tolerance and good-will yourself?

              I've abandoned my own usual tolerance in this thread, and I half regret it. But if you're going to show back up and start acting like a stuck-up punk again, you can just take your catcher's mitt and go home.


    Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
    by Nexist on Thursday November 30, @01:49PM
    I find this all fascinating. I thought I should mention that since all you seem to be hearing in sniping (for your detractor, Thelema utilizes Egyption deities in AL & the other Class 'A' so to claim them non-Thelemic is, well, dumb -- as dumb as saying that a reference to Christ or Satan renders a work non-Thelemic -- finally, Hadit is Arabic, not Egyptian).

    So, what I want to know is how do I get the background to comprehend what you are saying? I have played around with some of the online self-help, personality profile enneagram stuff, but I do not understand the underlying premise. It hit a mini explosion in popularity a while ago, so I shied away & cannot determine which books are crap & which worthwhile.

    • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
      by Xnoubis on Thursday November 30, @02:25PM
      Well, this is certainly refreshing, thank you!

      The best book on the third school enneagram that's available to the public has got to be Facets of Unity by A. H. Almaas. It's the most complete account yet of the Nine Holy Ideas, and includes just about the best description of the Fixations as a sideline.

      But I'm looking at more than just the Holy Ideas for this Thelemic attribution. For some of the others, there's the Hart and Lilly article in Transpersonal Psychologies. I really can't say enough about this book.

      Then there's material available directly from Arica, most notably Between Metaphysics and Protoanalysis by Oscar Ichazo. Unfortunately, I think it's between printings. If you do find it, be forewarned: Ichazo's style takes getting used to, rather like Buckminster Fuller's. But I think you could fill in the blanks after reading Almaas's admirably clear Facets.

      Completely lacking in clarity, but great fun for enneagram fans, is the Jodorowsky film Holy Mountain. It's not widely known, but it started out as a collaboration between Jodorowsky and Ichazo, who then parted ways over questions of interpretation. It is an exposition of nine principles, but the resemblance to the real enneagram teaching flickers in and out from scene to scene. Very surreal and intense, though.


      • Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
        by fysak on Tuesday April 24, @04:19PM
        "Ennea-Type Structures: Self-Analysis for the Seeker"
        by Claudio Naranjo, M.D.
        (Student of Ichazo)

        http://www.gatewaysbooksandtapes.com/bk042.html


    Re: Sketch of a Thelemic Enneagram
    by Xnoubis on Thursday December 07, @10:16PM
    In keeping with this enneagram's "sketch" status, I've changed my mind, and transposed the positions of Isis and Hadit from my original version. Once the possibility occurred to me, it made immediate sense, and the attributions really started resonating. The one thing that threw me off at first was the association of "Humility" for Hadit. But upon reflection, I believe that here humility means having the perspective that one is part of a greater whole, and this is the essence of Hadit.

    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


        "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.
    [ home | search ]