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The Basic Structure of Protoanalysis

The Scarab

Protoanalysis is the original system of personality devised by Oscar Ichazo and differs quite vastly from what is used in the modern day known as "Clinical Enneagram" or "Practical Enneagram." By contrast, Protoanalysis is far more Freudian, spiritual, and is rooted in ancient psychology where philosophy often overlapped, and it has a better time maintaining the Law of Three as well as Ichazo's originally devised logic system, Trialectics. It is important to note that Protoanalysis is a very Platonic system, which means that Ichazo believes that in order for there to be anything in reality, it must also possess a higher, eternal, and divine form somewhere else. So the mind of man is derived from the perfect form of God's mind, making this an esoteric neo-Christian discipline. The three instincts come from the three super forms of God, the nine fixations come from the nine holy ideas, and so on.

The basic function of survival in all human beings is known as the "will to live," or in other terms "will to power," elan vital, or the "celestial fire." This is the most elementary function of human existence, the propagation of one's power to continue living. In order to understand the will to live, one must also understand that "all is soul" (Aristotle), and Ichazo re-interprets this as "all is mind." For every explicitly realistic thing there is a psychic or "mindful" equivalent, whether that be a divine equivalent in God or its subjective equivalent in man. The mind (or "soul") generally regards any being with sentience, and in order to engage sentience one needs basic apparatuses which exist to fulfill functions of perception and judgment. Thus we have a body which is made of five basic organic systems: digestive, circulatory, cognitive, nervous, and reproductive, and these all work together to constitute the body as a thing in itself. This is the lowest and first sphere of the Scarab, sphere 18, known as the Somatic Mind. In sphere 17, the organic systems generate different wavelengths and energies which constitute the Enneagram of Suffering, supporting many existentialist and Buddhist ideas that "life is suffering" in which the "will to live" becomes a necessity in order to survive suffering, but that will come later.

Sphere 16

In sphere 16 is the deepest and most primordial roots of the mind, so it is called the Primordial Mind. These roots are the most elementary drives which function for the will to live, which are spiritual and material survival. This possesses the organic systems which relate to the endocrine system: the nervous system and the reproductive system. These are two poles called the spiritual and sexual pole respectively, and are the poles over which all basic functions of survival occur, and further, over which the entire development of the mind occurs. The spiritual pole is formed following the first two weeks of birth and tells us whether or not the world we are born into is forgiving or unforgiving. It is the basic function of belief in oneself, in society, and in God, or in a general sense, the Good of the world, and governs the two basic fields of aspirational life: acquiring of power by way of political ambition or war, and the attainment of mystical spirituality by way of philosophy, science, and religion. The sexual pole governs the physical survival as good health promotes healthy sexuality, and is decided in the intrauterine environment before birth (gender). This drive corresponds best to the Darwinian principle "Survival of the Fittest," as this drive aspires to be in good health to procreate and bestow the strongest genes on their next generation.

  • Endocrine system - Possesses the nervous and reproductive system.
  • Nervous system - Spiritual pole: faith, knowledge, power, transcendence, the world is Good or Bad.
  • Reproductive system - Sexual pole: gender, sexuality, Darwinism, material health.
  • Most elementary root of the soul, everything in the mind derives from these two basic drives.

Sphere 15

These two basic drives of survival, material and spiritual, develop into the next sphere which holds the digestive, circulatory, and cognitive systems and become the basic instincts of survival. These instincts are the conservation instinct, relation instinct, and the adaptation instinct respectively, and correspond to three basic elements of existentialism: the hylic, the emotional, and the intellectual, respectively. Sphere 15 is called the Existential Mind and being made of these three instincts, creates three fundamental egos each with their own interest in survival, all of which depend on each other in an intimate Trialectical synergy. According to the Law of Circulation, this means that the synergy described is made of an active, reactive, and resultative element. The two basic functions which underly each instinct is the Existential Attitude (what one is afraid of existentially) and the Instinctual Perception (how one perceives the world).

Conservation Instinct

The Conservation Instinct derives from the digestive system, and is responsible for conserving our bodies and maintaining physical satisfaction. The conservation instinct perceives through sensations and the viscera (receiving Feelings) as it is intimately close with the Earth and with physical reality as a whole. In general, it interprets reality within the frame of likes or dislikes, which serves the basic function of taking or repulsing anything conducive or harmful or displeasurable to survival. The existential attitude which plagues the conservation instinct is the horror of death, which turns into an existential sadness or depression. At higher levels this becomes a search for immortality and a feeling of godlikeness in oneself.

From this instinct comes the Historical Ego, which remembers states of being and what needs to be done to get food. It is our sense of everyday activities like walking, sleeping, cooking, shopping, etc. It continuously, but subconsciously, asks the question "How am I?" It is concerned with the physical state of the body and the sensory sentiments around it. It uses Analogical reasoning, which assess how things have been and how they will continue to be over time. It seems to have a great attention to detail and is very concerned with what it thinks of its environment. This instinct develops into the psychic poison of greed, referring to the type's need for ever more food and material gain for the sake of satisfying the digestive system. Greed derives into three separate poisons. The first is avarice, which develops the Historical Ego into Ego-Vengeance (Over-Justice-Maker,) the second is greed, which develops into Ego-Indolence (Over-Non-Conformist), and the third is possessiveness, which develops into Ego-Resentment (Over-Perfectionist.)

Relation Instinct

The Relation Instinct derives from the circulatory system, and is responsible for how we interact with other people and who we are as individuals. The emotional relational instinct perceives through their emotions and judges things based on love or hate, emotional attachment or aversion. The Existential Attitude of this instinct is the horror of enslavement, which turns into a permeant sense of hatred or anxiety. At higher levels this becomes a search for "the good life." 

From this instinct comes the Image Ego, which seeks to develop a self-image that conforms to the society around it. This ego will constantly ask "Who am I with?" and expresses concern with how we are perceived and how we perceive others; it is a people-oriented ego. This ego is responsible for our relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and the organisations under whom we work. Because this instinct is so concerned with living in a society and in being in harmony with others, its problems are principally ethical. This ego uses Analytical reasoning, deducing what the other person is, who they are, what they are thinking and what they are seeing. This ego defends its image more than anything else. This ego will become infected with the psychic poison of hatred, which may be interpreted as a sort of self-hatred for not being up to the standard of the perfect image. This poison then transforms into three separate poisons. The first is envy, which transforms the Image Ego into Ego-Flattery (Over-Independent), the second is hatred, becoming Ego-Go (Over-Efficient), and the third is Jealousy, becoming Ego-Melancholy (Over-Reasoner).

Adaptation Instinct

The Adaptation Instinct comes from the cognitive system, and is responsible for thoughts, actions, and working. It is the intellectual centre that wants to know and do, and perceives reality primarily through the criteria of truth and falsity, right and wrong. From this instinct derives large ideological and societal ideas and constructs. The Existential Attitude which the instinct is gripped by is the horror of conflict, developing into fear and stress. The higher search constitutes a search for a way to liberate oneself through the mind, a "True Knowledge" of things.

From this instinct comes the Practical Ego, which wants to get things done, but it cannot do this because of the other two instincts are getting in the way. This ego continuously asks "Where am I?" It wants to adapt to its environment; it wants the know-how for surviving. It uses Empathetic reasoning to deduce theoretical scenarios of what we would do if were put in situations so that we may prepare ourselves for when theory becomes reality. This ego may develop into the psychic poison of deceit, more specifically self-deceit in the sense of delusions and worries in terms of how to do things. Deceit is then broken down into three other poisons: confusion, which becomes Ego-Stinginess (Over-Observer); deceit, which becomes Ego-Cowardice (Over-Adventurer); and mythomania, which becomes Ego-Planning (Over-Idealist). [1] [2]

The Nine Fixations

From the three instincts, Ichazo proposed 9 different fixations, which seem to be given two different names each. One of these is Ego-X, and another being Over-X. For example, what we know as type 1 would be called both Ego-Resentment and Over-Perfectionist. The descriptions of the types also differ in terms of what they choose to emphasise about a certain type, and this is especially evident in type 2, which will be discussed in the appropriate section. According to Ichazo, we cycle through all 9 of the fixations during our lives, but there is always one point on which we find ourselves the most; one we call home.


The first point on the enneagram of fixations is Ego-Resentment, otherwise known as the Over-Perfectionist. This fixation heavily criticises everything everything it comes across for not being perfect. This criticism applies to both outside happenings and internal happenings. Perfection is like a trap for this fixation; nothing is ever going to be perfect, but it will not stop criticising things until they are. Of course, this ends in them being perpetually critical. Hence, it is referred to as a trap. The passion of this fixation is anger, appropriate given its resentful and critical attitude towards everything that it sees. To break free from this fixation, the individual must understand that everything in the universe is already perfect; that the entire cosmos is built according to perfectly followed laws. 


This fixation is where things get tricky. According to recollections of Ichazo's teachings by some of his students, Ego-Flattery is a prideful fixation that needs to feel approved of by other people. It flatters other people constantly so that it may receive flattery itself. It traps itself in a cycle of trying to achieve freedom, but cannot be free due to its dependence on attention. To break free of the fixation, the individual must learn to be free from his dependence on attention and learn to move with the cosmos in a humble way. 

But Ichazo told a slightly different story in his book, The Process for Human Enlightenment and Freedom.[2]

In the over-independent the same thing is going to happen. Outside he is going to act independently, making his own decisions. He turns inside and finds chaos. In a rush of independence he is going to destroy his independent act. He is so preoccupied with his independence that he never has it.

It may appear that the congruence of Ego-Flattery with the Over-Independent is questionable at best and non-existent at worst. However, these discrepancies may be mended when we consider the astute pride of the Over-Independent to be a feeling grandiosity. Naturally, a person who feels good about themselves is not going to need to depend on anybody. But at the same time, the Over-Independent is so preoccupied with this independence that he relies on attention from others to affirm it. Hence, he isn't really independent. This relates to the same trap that is mentioned in the descriptions of Ego-Flattery, and therefore clears up the confusion between the two descriptions.


Yet another non-ambiguous type. This fixation is at the core of the Living Group, and thinks that the very existence of the universe depends upon his efficiency. He therefore becomes excessively efficient and works himself and those around him to death. Though he will never find 100% efficiency, he will nevertheless try to. This is his trap. He covers up all the problems caused by his efficiency with more efficiency, deceiving those around him into believing that he is completely fine. In reality, of course, he is not fine; he is simply putting on an act to keep those around him happy. For this fixation, the touch of essence will make him realise that, even without his efforts, the universe is still as efficient as ever. He can rest easy knowing that the world will not collapse if he stops being efficient.


Once again, we see that what Ichazo's students reproduced slightly differs from what Ichazo published himself. In the interpretations of John C. Lilly, Ego-Melancholy focuses on a perpetual state of suffering and sadness. It continuously envies other people for having such better lives than it, and is stuck in a perpetual trap of hoping that happiness is just around the corner. But, just like with the Over-Independent, Ichazo's words in The Human Process for Enlightenment and Freedom are slightly different. 

The over-reasoner character wants to understand the outside. He wants to find beautiful reasons. But he over-reasons and
never finds those beautiful reasons. He is always going to have a question, because he doesn’t have explanations for the reasons. When he turns inside, he is going to reason about himself, and he is going to continue asking ‘why?’ and ‘“‘why?’’ indefinitely. Whatever the reason is, there is always going to be another ‘“‘why?”’

However, the discrepancies in this description are cleared up in another description in Ichazo's letter to the Arica School.[3]

The Reasoner questions "why," not in a transcendental way, but in a small, personal way as in, "Why was I born a woman?," "Why are my parents such and such?," "Why doesn't anybody love me?" If they go out shopping on a rainy day, they will ask, "Why does it have to rain when I go shopping?" The constant questioning of the Reasoner is the questioning of one taking too much of the load of the world on their shoulders. Because of this, they are extremely susceptible, believing they are constantly cheated, and they see the world in general as being opposed to them, not giving them their "fair share."

This description is congruent with the envious and complaining nature of the Over-Reasoner as Ichazo's students have reported on, clearing up any discrepancies that might be seen between them. Individuals with this fixation can break free by acknowledging that their existence is the result of the same cosmic laws as everyone else's existence. They will realise that they have not been singled out as people who should suffer; they are equal to other people.


Ego-Stinginess withholds the contents of its psyche because it feels eternally inadequate. It therefore hides away from the world and becomes an acute observer. It finds life fascinating to watch from the side lines but would never dream of participating in life itself. Observation is the trap of this fixation, forever trying to see everything while simultaneously hiding away from everything. This behaviour is motivated by the passion of Avarice, another word for greed. This refers to the fixation's tendency to withhold and retain the contents of the mind, desperately clutching onto it so that the cycle of observation may continue. The fixation wishes not to let itself go because it does not trust what lays outside. To break free of the fixation, the individual must break free of the hiding place that is his mind and fully experience life. To truly observe life, he mustn't hold anything back, but should detach from himself and participate in life. 


Ego-Cowardice, as the name suggests, is defined by fear. As the centre of the Doing Group, it wants to get things done, but it is too afraid that it lacks the ability to do things. This fixation sees danger in all things, even where there is no explicit danger. He therefore seeks safety from this danger, usually in the form of a powerful leader or an ideology. Security is a trap for this fixation. Even when Ego-Cowardice finds the security it has been looking for, it will continue to adventure past this secure spot, seeing potential threats to their safety. The passion that maintains this trap is fear. Ego-Cowardice fears everything and is constantly worried that what we do will end disastrously. It wants to go on grand journeys and to understand the world, but places limits on itself due to its fear. To break free of this fixation, the individual must muster the strength the acknowledge the fact that nothing can hurt his essence, not even physical death. 


Ego-Planning creates elaborate and intricate plans and ideas for how to make the world a better place. This fixation is an idealistic one, that fully believes in its ideas. The fixation's plans are, however, never based in reality. They are always grand, expansive, and unrealistic. Thus begins the trap of idealism, in which the fixation will continue to conjure up grand schemes, attempting to carry them out with great enthusiasm, only for them to fail. But the gluttony of this fixation, which seeks to create more and more idealistic plans despite how many times they fail. This fixation breaks when the individual embraces his essence and live fully in the moment, enjoying life fully in the present rather than continuously hoping for the future.


Ego-Vengeance is very sensitive to any perceived injustices against himself and others. The immediate response to this injustice is revenge, usually manifesting as physical damage. This fixation will constantly seek out correct justice and he will rebel against the outside continuously until he does. This is the trap of Ego-Vengeance. Just like with Ego-Resentment, the fixation is searching for something that is impossible, and will thus burst into anger constantly. But, of course, instead of anger, Ego-Vengeance responds to injustice through excess. Often the backlash from injustice is so extreme that physical damage is done both to others and to the host of the fixation. It tears things down in search of justice, but never finds it, and thus will simply continue to tear things down. Only when the individual comes into a situation with no expectations of justice can this fixation be broken, and the individual is allowed to live free of the constraints of justice. 


Lastly, Ego-Indolence is not merely one of the 9 fixations, but it is the one that is situated at the very top of the enneagram. This is because it is a fixation that we all have, to an extent.[6] Ego-Indolence represents a tendency to look outside of itself for comfort and love, making good relations with the environment around us and with people around us, but never looking inside. As the centre of the Being Group, this fixation is constantly looking for how to "be," finding outside sources of being and not being itself. The trap of this fixation is seeking, referring to how it constantly seeks outside for what can only be found inside. Laziness is the passion behind this trap, because it causes the fixation to take no responsibility for cultivating its essence and simply stick to comforting routines. The catalyst to breaking this fixation is the understanding that this universe is continuously maintained and loved, and that, in turn, the individual is also loved. The lack of Holy Love may be understood as something characteristic of humanity as a whole, just as we are all stuck in endless routine and neglect the cultivation of our essence. [2] [4] [5]

Domains of Consciousness

To start with, there are nine domains of consciousness; there cannot be ten or eight. There are nine. This is a measurement. Our psychic territory is divided into four possible periods of four scales that have nine steps each.

- Ichazo[2]

In Protoanalysis there are nine domains of consciousness that exist around each enneatype on the symbol. These domains have been a point of great confusion for students of the Enneagram seeking to understand how they work with modern Enneagram, and are perhaps one of the most underexplained concepts in published Protoanalysis. However, there are a few sources and lingering students of spiritual Enneagram who have crafted descriptions of these domains and clarified what they really mean. 

To start out, Protoanalysis is based in objective reality, that is, its intention is to allow its students see the subjectivity of their egos and that there is an objective reality beyond it that is unifying and healing. The first thing we know about Enneagram from Ichazo are the divine principles, as these precede any crystallization of personality. Divine principles are like "facts" that exist independent of people, facts that are imminently true and just. But we have a confusion over these facts, and they then turn into passions, fixations, and traps. In the same vein, the domains are spiritual facts of reality, things that describe the existential parameters and dimensions of our human experience, such as sentimentality, safety, or hierarchy. This is why it may be difficult to understand in context to a specific type, it is far more generalized and describes a general flexibility in the way the types can manifest.

The domains of the enneagram reflect both the material (dualistic) and spiritual (non-dual) experience of being human. Working with them connects the material (personality) with the spiritual (soul) world

- Bob Dueck[7]

These domains are of course sustained by the fundamental law that underlies everything else in the Enneagram, the law of three. To recapitulate, the law of three begins with two dualistic forces that are equal in value - denying and accepting -  neither are inherently good or bad, and through this they support the existence of a third force, reconciling. In order for the higher reconciling force to manifest, there needs to be balance between the dual forces. However, if we try to solve one of the forces with the other, a lower reconciliation occurs, much like how we refer to passions as "lower emotional habits" and fixations as "lower cognitive styles." This lower reconciliation is a neurotic confusion of the domain, and invites the presence of "inhabitants" which block spiritual growth. It is important to note that neither polarity is inherently good or bad - and any notion of such is a subjective ego distortion - so either polarity can either be affirming or denying, it all depends on the context and the ego's reaction.

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For example, the E1 is in the domain of Rigidity and Sentimentality. It is important to allow our sensory impressions to affect us (sentiment) and equally important to know where to draw boundaries (rigidity), and when these are balanced we achieve the spirit of intuition. When the E1 is too attached to sentimentality, it is over-affected by the way things are sensed, perceived, and felt, while in rigidity it is establishing too many boundaries, not only blocking themselves in but intruding and enforcing the boundaries of others. The inhabitants of the lower-reconciliation of this domain are jealousies, which describe the natural anger felt towards situations where the E1 thought they were deserving of privileges due to their perfectionism, but is unable to be accepted and reconciled with in a higher form.





Higher Reconciliation


Lower Reconciliation



[1] Oscar Ichazo's Letter to the Transpersonal Community - Letter_to_the_Transpersonal_Community_1991_by_Oscar_Ichazo.pdf
[2] The Human Process for Enlightenment and Freedom -
[3] The Ultimate Purpose of the Arica School - 
[4] The Arica Training according to John C Lilly and Joseph E Tart - The_Arica_Training_by_John_C._Lilly__Joseph_E._Hart_Transpersonal_Psychologies_1975_2.pdf
5] Arica Week 6 - 7 according to Winifred Rosen -
[6] Interviews with Óscar Ichazo - 

[7] Dueck, B. D. (n.d.). Greater Light. Greater Light. 

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