Óscar Ichazo

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Oscar Ichazo (July 24, 1931 – March 26, 2020[1]) was the Bolivian-born founder of the Arica School, which he established in 1968.

Ichazo's Enneagram of Personality theories are part of a larger body of teaching that he termed Protoanalysis. In Ichazo's teachings the enneagram figure was initially called an enneagon.[2][3][4]

In an interview, Ichazo said that in 1954 he achieved insight into mechanistic and repetitive thought and behavior patterns. These processes can be understood in connection with the enneagram figure, classical philosophy and what he called "Trialectic" logic grounded in three laws of process.[5]

Ichazo described nine ways in which a person's ego becomes fixated within the psyche at an early stage of life. For each person, one of these "ego fixations" then becomes the core of a self-image around which their psychological personality develops. Each fixation is also supported at the emotional level by a particular "passion" or "vice". The principal psychological connections between the nine ego fixations can be "mapped" using the points, lines, and circle of the enneagram figure.[6]

Ichazo's teachings are designed to help people transcend their identification with — and the suffering caused by — their own mechanistic thought and behavior patterns (see Fourth Way). His theories about the fixations are founded on the premise that all life seeks to continue and perpetuate itself and that the human psyche must follow universal laws of reality. Using Trialectic logic, Ichazo indicated the three basic human instincts for survival: "conservation" (the digestive system); "relation" (the circulatory system) and "adaptation" (the central nervous system); and two poles of attraction to self-perpetuation: "sexual" (the sexual organs) and "spiritual" (the spinal column).[citation needed]

Ichazo understood the fixations as aberrations from an essential state of unity. The primary difference between modern psychology and his theories is that he proposed a model of the components of the human psyche, but modern psychology has preferred to focus on observed behavior instead of an essential model from which aberrations develop.[citation needed]

According to Ichazo, a person's fixation derives from childhood subjective experience (self-perception) of psychological trauma when expectations are not met in each of the instincts. Young children are self-centered and thus experience disappointment in their expectations because of one of three fundamental attitudes: attracted, unattracted, disinterested. From such experiences, mechanistic thought and behavior patterns arise as an attempted defense against the recurrence of the trauma. By understanding the fixations — and practicing self-observation — it is believed that a person can reduce or even transcend suffering and the fixations' hold on the mind.

Although some modern Enneagram of Personality writers have believed that Ichazo's teachings are derived, in part, from those of Gurdjieff's Fourth Way work,[7] Ichazo denied this in his "Letter to the Transpersonal Community".[8] In 1992 intellectual copyright for the Enneagram of Personality was denied to Ichazo on the basis that he had published statements that his theories were factual, and factual ideas cannot be copyrighted.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oscar Ichazo". www.arica.org. Retrieved 2020-04-03.
  2. ^ Ichazo, Oscar (1976). The Human Process for Enlightenment and Freedom. Arica Institute, Inc. ISBN 0-671-22432-8.
  3. ^ Ichazo, Oscar (1982). Interviews with Óscar Ichazo. Arica Press. ISBN 0-916554-02-3.
  4. ^ Ichazo, Oscar (1982). Between Metaphysics and Protoanalysis: A Theory for Analyzing the Human Psyche. Arica Institute Press. ISBN 0-916554-04-X.
  5. ^ Interviews with Óscar Ichazo
  6. ^ Palmer, The Enneagram in Love and Work, pp. 24–26.
  7. ^ Palmer, The Enneagram in Love and Work, pp. 20–29.
  8. ^ "Letter to the Transpersonal Community", by Óscar Ichazo, 1991. This letter can be accessed from the "Ichazo" section of http://www.arica.org/
  9. ^ Arica v. Palmer, court case, provided by Information Law Web