Sunday, August 12, 2012

Transpersonal Psychology (I)

(Selections from "The Arica Training", by John Lilly and Joseph Hart, found in Transpersonal Psychologies, 1975, Charles Tart ed.)

John Lilly: Graduate of the California Institute of Technology, and received his Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942. as well as having been trained as a psychoanalyst. He has done extensive research in various fields of science, including biophysics, neuro-physiology, electronics, and neuro-anatomy. Dr. Lilly has done many years of study and research on sensory isolation and confinement. He spent twelve years working on research on dolphin-human relationships including communications and then spent two years at Esalen institute, Big Sur, California, as a group leader, resident and associate in residence. He spent a total of eight months in Chile studying the Arica system with Oscar Ichazo, and now directs Human Software, Inc, a center to investigate consciousness in Malibu, California. Dr. Lilly’s books include … and he has written numerous scientific articles.

Joseph E. Hart, A.B., M.A., Ph.L., Stl. Was formerly director of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences of Parks College of St. Louis University. He was one of the 54 Americans who trained with Oscar Ichazo in Arica, Chile and then he served as a teacher and one of the directors of the Arica school in New York City until July of 1972. He is now associated with John and Antoinette Lilly at Human Software, Inc, Malibu California.

History and Development

On July 1st 1970, fifty-four North Americans, most of them from Esalen and Big Sur, met in a lecture room of the city hospital of Arica, Chile, to start ten months of intensive training under a Bolivian by the name of Oscar Ichazo. Little was known about Ichazo’s background then; not much more is known now. But Claudio Naranjo, John Lilly and Kathy Bliebtreu and John Lilly had made trips to Chile earlier in the year to meet Oscar and had brought favorable reports back to the West Coast. [for those who haven't heard it, Naranjo's 'favorable report' can be heard here: ]

The little that Oscar has stated about his life can be put very briefly. He was born in 1931 and raised in Bolivia and Peru. His father was prominent in Bolivian politics. When Ichazo was six and a half, he began to suffer very violent attacks during which he had great pain, fear of death then the experience of leaving his body. As the result of these early experiences, he determined to gain control of his own consciousness and overcome these attacks, so he studied Samurai techniques and Zen meditation , was introduced to psychadelic drugs and Shamanism, studied Yoga, read in philosophy.

When he was 19, he was accepted for training by a group in Buenos Aires who were studying consciousness-raising techniques, Zen, Sufism and the Kabbalah. After being with this small group for about 2 years, he began to search for further training in the East, Hong Kong, India and Tibet, where he studied Yoga, Buddhism , Confucianism , the I Ching and Martial Arts.

There is some indication that [Ichazo] became a member of a Sufi school in Afghanistan but left to return to La Paz, Bolivia. Certainly he either came under the influence of the school that taught Gurdjieff, or at least, studied under students of Gurdjieff. For both Oscar and Gurdjieff groups use the teaching device of the 9-sided figure, the Enneagram, though Oscar claims to have worked out the ancient meanings and uses of the Enneagram himself.

His first group of students were Chileans from Santiago where he was lecturing at the Institute for Applied Psychology. When he moved to Arica, some of these students moved there with him and became his assistants in teaching the North American group.

332: After 6 months of introductory exercises a new phase of more intensive training began for the North American group. At that time, 5 of the original group, including Claudio Naranjo, were separated from further training; John Lilly also left, to return to the U.S. All training in Chile ended in 1971 and the group returned to the U.S.

Those who wished to open a school in New York for giving the “Arica Training” and continue working with Ichazo, were to meet in September in NY with 44 of the original members and Ichazo. The Arica Institute in America was incorporated and began giving the first 3 month training to 76 students at Marriott’s Essex House Central Park South on October 1st 1971. A second and third 3-month program followed, and in January 1972 a center was opened in San Francisco. In June, 1972, special training, “The Temple”, was offered to all those who had finished the three month course. Then followed the “Open Path” training to prepare teachers, who now number about 250, with centers in New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica and training programs in a number of other cities.

When a child is born he is pure essence, a natural being in an ordered cosmos, one with all men and with God, instinctive, loving. This is the perfect state of innocence, but the child must grow. Under the influence of his surroundings, parents, society, he begins to develop a personality for survival, the Ego, between 4-6 years of age. The awareness of the joy and harmony of his essence dims until he is conscious only of his ego, which is fighting for survival in a threatening world. This lack of awareness of the essence leads to the unhappiness which many feel as part of man’s condition in this world. But if the ego with its constant fear can be eliminated, man can return to his original state of being in essence with the addition of all the knowledge his life experience has given him.

This knowledge and experience can now enrich the essence which can function more fully in harmony with the cosmos and is now that of an enlightened man.

The ego affects the whole of man, his thinking, his emotions, his bodily movement and energy, which are represented by three centers: the Path, the intellectual center in the head; the Oth, the emotional center in the heart region; and the Kath, the movement/energy/instinct center about 4 finger widths below the navel.

One of the first steps towards enlightenment is to break the hold of the ego on the thinking center—the Path—since man in ego sees himself, others and the world only in terms of his ego structure

333: the Ego functioning in the Path wants the mind to control the emotional center and the movement-instinct center, the Kath. So it is necessary to learn to think with the whole body by the use of the mentations....

To break the hold on the intellect, one must understand his personal ego structure. Each person in ego has a definite pattern of thinking—a fixation. There are 9 basic fixations, usually shown in the form of an Enneagram: the Enneagram is a teaching device used by the Sufi school and developed by Ichazo. Far from being an arbitrary symbol, it has very carefully worked-out interior and exterior dynamic relationships between each point and the whole. It is the subject of constant meditation and study. The relationships are so complex and rich that it would be impossible to explain them in a limited article. To overcome the feeing of unhappiness and emptiness, the individual in Ego searches for something to fill the void according to his fixation

*9- Indolence: this person seeks love outside himself and makes no effort to find his essence and peace.

*1- Resentment: always angry with himself and others for not being perfect.

*2- Flattery: needs an approving audience. Many entertainers belong to this group.

*3- Vanity: strives for degrees, positions of importance, power over others

*4- Melancholy: never happy with the present, always looking toward a happy future


*5- Stinginess: desires anonymity and to view life from the sidelines.

*6- Cowardice: needs a strong leader to follow, one who can be protective

*7- Planning: always planning what to do and what must happen, always disappointed at the outcome

*8- Vengeance: destructive of self and others out of a sense of injustice.

The ego leads each person into his own fixation Trap, or false substitute for his experience of his own essence. Each fixation has a “trap”, a habitual way of acting that stems from the ego. A person who falls into the trap associated with his fixation will remain in that recurring action loop until such time as he realizes that it is getting him nowhere. At that point he is ready for the “Idea” that will put him through the door of the trap and into his Essence.


*9- Seeker: he is always seeking outside himself for the solution of his problems, running from guru to guru

*1- Perfection: while demanding perfection of himself, he also expects perfection in others. Of course, he always hates himself for not being perfect and is always disappointed in others.

*2 – Freedom: although dependent on others for constant approval of himself and his actions, he is fighting that dependency in order to be free from social disapproval and approval.

*3- Efficiency: he has little patience with inefficiency in others, is looking for more effective and quicker methods of achieving his goals. Thus he may be rather inefficient himself.

*4 – Authenticity: for this person, the really real mate will always be just around the corner of the next hour or day or year. With such a mate, this person will then be fulfilled and so, authentic.

*5- Observer: for him, life is fascinating to watch from a safe, hidden place but is much to terrifying to take part in.

*6- Security: since such a person lives in fear—life is always threatening—he always seeks something or someone as protector against impending disaster. He will seek to build up a solid fortune, or will become the devoted follower of a strong leader.

*7- Idealism: he is concerned with manipulating the present so that the future will be perfect and the fulfillment of his ideals. When the future becomes the present he is disappointed and must begin working again towards his ideal.

*8- Being aware of living in a very unjust world, he is very sensitive to any unfair actions or thoughts directed at him. His immediate thought is that of revenge.

When the “traps” are recognized as being a source of unhappiness leading nowhere, the person is ready for and eager to accept the proper “idea” for him These “ideas” are but particular facets of the eternal essence which can bring man to an experiential knowledge of his essential self, and so to internal peace and happiness. Experiencing these ideas is dependent upon baraka, divine energy, which must permeate the person. Drawing on baraka is accomplished through meditation, breathing, chanting and other exercises:

*9. Holy love: the Seeker is seeking for someone to truly love him so that he can feel loveable. The experience of Holy Love reveals that his essence is pure Love. Then he is both loving and loveable.


*1. Holy Perfection: the seeker for Perfection from the outside, experiences that his essence is perfect. He can relax.

*2. Holy Freedom. The experience of the essence forces man from a dependence upon the approval of others and introduces him to the freedom of living the cosmic laws

*3. Holy Hope: the seeker for efficiency, resting in his essence, finds that all things are functioning and will continue to function most efficiently according to the cosmic laws. The continual functioning of the cosmos doesn’t depend solely upon his efforts; there is hope for the future whatever he does or doesn’t do

*4. Holy Originality: Once he realizes that his essence originates from perfect being, then he knows that he is really real now, and not sometime in the future.

*5. Holy Omniscience: The observer , storing up knowledge of life by viewing it from the sidelines, steps into life when he experiences his essence. Then and only then can he truly have full knowledge of life.

*6. Holy Faith. For one seeking security, his essence will give him the assurance that nothing from outside him can hurt his essence, not even physical death, and he is truly his essence.

*7. Holy Work. For the idealistic planner of the future, the touch of the essence will bring him to live and work in the moment, fully and happily.

*8. Holy Truth. Once the seeker for justice realizes, that his essence follows truly the cosmic laws, which are immanently true and just, he will be satisfied and at peace.

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