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Do Ichazo and Naranjo Contradict?

Post-edit: they don't necessarily contradict, but they are different. Clinical Enneagram can have someone as one specific core type, and Protoanalysis can have them as something completely different. E.g. someone can be E8S and 287 (in that order) at the same time. I will come back and actually re-write this page in light of Ichazo's book, Enneagrams of Divine Forms.

It is very common for people who are starting out with Naranjo's current of the Enneagram to eventually discover Ichazo as the originator of the Enneagram of Personality, and wanting to know more, will read on his material and compare it to what they have learned before. It is not uncommon for these people to eventually fall upon the understanding that Ichazo and Naranjo are fundamentally different and actually contradict in some parts. To note, Letter to the Transpersonal Community (Autumn 1991) came out just after Naranjo published Ennea-type Structures in April 1991, so Naranjo's presence as a published author was immature and - if we keep in line with Naranjo's metaphor of Ichazo being his "midwife" - infantile.

Arguments for Contradiction

Nevertheless, Ichazo considered Naranjo's understanding of the Enneagram to be limited and incomplete.[citation needed]

- Oscar Ichazo, Wikipedia

This is a common quote used to deconstruct the validity of Naranjo's work, although its origin is unknown and searching for it, this is much rather implicitly given by Ichazo than explicitly. Ichazo's own criticisms against Naranjo more so entail issues with plagiarism, misuse, slight deviations in practices, and an engagement with materialism which have the possibility of soiling the "higher" purpose of the Arica school and the Enneagram as a whole.

Traspaso and Misuse

I have in front of me a copy of the Latin American magazine Uno Mismo, in which appears an article by Claudio Naranjo,
who with a relative point of view says that the old ways of internal development have arrived at the right point when they can be evaluated by psychotherapy. A comment like this pretends that the glorious fruits of oriental mysticism have been waiting for the appearance of materialistic psychologists in order to be appreciated for what they are and what they produce. This is just an overinflated claim upon a baseless assumption.

In the same article, Naranjo declares that he is presenting a new form of meditation that he calls "Meditation in Relation" between two or more participant persons in a silent activity, purely psychic, staying all the time inside the field of consciousness of the other person. He then goes on to explain, in a distorted version, the exercise elaborated by me, which in the Arica School has the well–established name of "Traspaso of Consciousness."

Letter to the Transpersonal Community, pg.40-41, Oscar Ichazo

Soon after, a group of Americans, including Naranjo himself who worked with me in Arica, Chile in 1970, were introduced to this technique, which John Lilly, M.D. calls "a powerful tool for deep awareness." Naranjo overlooks this factual evidence and maintains that this exercise comes from Gestalt therapy, to my total bewilderment. I cannot understand how Naranjo believes that an exercise that has been worked for more than twenty years by thousands of people has already been forgotten, and how now he feels free to invent a new, cacophonic and hideous name for it.

Letter to the Transpersonal Community, pg.41, Oscar Ichazo

And what is worse, trying to work Traspaso as Naranjo suggests, with materialistic quests (my happiness, your happiness, everybody's happiness, cosmic happiness) is opening the internal self to external manipulations that will obscure the Higher Self by turning the natural inclination of the Higher Self to the spiritual into self–centered materialistic ego adventures.

Letter to the Transpersonal Community, pg.43-44, Oscar Ichazo

The argument presented here is the misuse of Enneagram practices. This argument has zero relevance to the theory in and of itself, except perhaps, for the implied sense that there are some things Naranjo has misinterpreted or distorted - things which have yet to come to pass.

Originality and Plagiarism

It is infinitely boring to have to clarify misinformation in this fashion. I would prefer to say nothing and to let the truth appear by itself at its right moment, but this scandal has gone on for too long. Naranjo himself knows better than anybody that he learned this exercise from me in Arica, Chile along with fifty American participants in 1970.

Letter to the Transpersonal Community, pg.44, Oscar Ichazo

No wonder the pious Jesuit priests, Naranjo's disciples, felt with their typical arrogance that it was time to put the enneagrams in "modern perspective." And who better than themselves to do the job of plainly plagiarizing.

Letter to the Transpersonal Community, pg.46, Oscar Ichazo

What is embarrassing is that these authors present their copies of the Arica manuals as the complete
picture, when in fact the Theory for describing each one of the points of the Enneagram is far more vast. The entire Integral System, which is presented at first as a psychology, is in fact based on logic, ontology and theology and certainly does not appear from thin air.

The argument often presented here explains that because Ichazo is the original, any deviation from his work can be considered a contradiction or distortion and is therefore unreliable. This validates the first quote from Wikipedia, that of Naranjo's alleged limited knowledge of the Enneagram.


Many arguments argue on the basis of legacy, and this is perhaps the strongest argument made about this issue. Compared to Ichazo, Naranjo's legacy is far more widespread and goes very deep, but it is also very troubled. Instead of a faithful and accurate reproduction (and subsequent development) of ideas, Naranjo's legacy suffered the same sort of things that would happen if you tried to play a game of telephone with deaf people. There are students of his that are extremely insightful and accurate, and then there are some authors who have developed a theory which is entirely commercialized and simplified to impracticality, or a parroting with misinformation worked in, and these authors become more popular for the modern age of Enneagram because their perpetrators are more skilled in marketing than they are in typology. These authors do inevitably contradict not only Ichazo, but Naranjo too.

Arguments for Non-contradiction

A lot of people use the above quotes to support the argument that the theories of either author are in contradiction with each other, and therefore one must be wrong, when the counter-argument supports the idea that even though Ichazo and Naranjo had a bad history with each other, their theories do not fundamentally contradict. Ichazo himself makes the same remarks in his own articles and in Letter to the Transpersonal Community.

Naranjo presents the structure and psychodynamics of the five Centers in the same way that I presented them, as can be seen in the Arica publications, so he contradicts Arica neither fundamentally nor substantially. What he does is produce a critical analysis of the semantics of some of the names tentatively appointed during my first introductory lectures. He also observes some changes in hermeneutics and interpretation, which are the fruit of his long work with Protoanalysis. However, he does not present any new theoretical points nor any reform of the structure of the material. Indeed, as long as we play by the rules of the scholarly game of due recognition of origin and source, we should benefit.

- The Arican, Twentieth Anniversary Issue (1990)

What is amazing is that uniformly all Naranjo's disciples repeat the same descriptions I made of the Fixations and also of the Enneagrams of the Higher States, which appeal more to the fancy of the priests and nuns. The descriptions are all consistent with very little differences and so their common origin is translucent.

Letter to the Transpersonal Community, pg.152, Oscar Ichazo

The problem then does not actually come from a contradiction between the theories, but in fact comes from being too faithful to the theory such that it borders plagiarism. It is so non-contradictory that it exposes legal issues, and the only problem that really arises here is as was first proposed, that Naranjo's knowledge of the Enneagram is limited. However, Naranjo's first book came out very shortly before this criticism was levelled at him, and since 1991 Naranjo has published many more books concerning the topic, generating novel insights, connections, and interpretations; he has much more room to have developed ideas contrary to Ichazo's work. Given this, does it still hold that Ichazo and Naranjo's theories do not contradict?

Enneatype Cross-Examination

Common arguments against the parallelism of the two theories lies in a few particular types, namely E4, E2, and E8. It is generally accepted that the rest are consistent.

Enneatype II

Often times people believe that the "giver" archetype came from Naranjo and is therefore in contradiction with the over-independent, because the over-independent by contrast is much more selfish and narcissistic. While Naranjo does explicitly call them givers and "Jewish mothers," the giving aspect of the E2 is exactly the same as ego-flattery from Ichazo. Ichazo establishes flattery as a means to manipulate and maintain relationships, which is also echoed in Naranjo's Orgullo at the very beginning of the book. Ego-independent simply refers to the E2's repression (defense mechanism from Naranjo) of needs. To be independent is to be without reliance on needs, and to be repressing neediness simultaneously suggests the very same thing. In both cases, E2 is still connected to the emotional triad, E4, and E8, so the suppression of E4 into the unconscious through emotional means does not change at all either.

Enneatype IV


Enneatype VIII


Regarding legacy, the authors which have provided extremely oversimplified or grossly distorted definitions of the types and basic concepts of the Enneagram also contradict Naranjo. Although it is the strongest point presented so far, it cannot be valid as it doesn't regard Naranjo and his theory directly, and expresses a dishonest interpretation of Naranjo's work. It is no doubt that they will contradict Ichazo, but that is not Naranjo to blame if it also directly contradicts Naranjo.

Fundamental Deviation

If Ichazo and Naranjo do not contradict, then how do they appear so different? Oscar Ichazo outlines the difference in their approaches quite clearly:

And what is worse, trying to work Traspaso as Naranjo suggests, with materialistic quests (my happiness, your happiness, everybody's happiness, cosmic happiness) is opening the internal self to external manipulations that will obscure the Higher Self by turning the natural inclination of the Higher Self to the spiritual into self–centered materialistic ego adventures.

Letter to the Transpersonal Community, pg.43-44

While both authors are very spiritualistic and mystic, Ichazo stays faithful to this approach and remains on the philosophical current of Enneagram, and this influence is shown in other authors such as Almaas, Maitri, and Lilly and Hart. The other current is the psychological one, the approach that dominates modern Enneagram practices and integrates western philosophy and studies in psychiatry in order to create a system of personality founded in psychology, this is the current proposed by Naranjo.


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