The Green Qutub
The basics of the modern Enneagram of personality first appeared to the general public in the early 1970’s in a book alled “Transpersonal psychologies”, edited by Charles Tart, with articles by various authors. One article was by a John C Lilly, who had been through the first levels of Oscar Ichazo’s Arica training.
Lilly had this to say about level +12 states in his description of Samadhi Levels:
“Blissful state, making the Christ, the green qutub, realization of Baraka, the reception of divine grace, cosmic love, cosmic energy, heightened bodily awareness, highest function of bodily and planetside consciousness, being in love, being in a positive LSD energy state. In the oth emotional center in the chest.”
Lilly is famous for his work on dolphin-human communication, as well as his experiments with various forms of mind alteration– most specifically, taking large quantities of hallucinogens while floating in isolation tanks. the movie “altered states” is based on some of his life. his book “the center of the cyclone” recounts his meeting with Ichazo and his mystical experiences of the time.
In “transpersonal psychologies,” Lilly stated that Ichazo had received the enneagon teaching from a “high ranking archangel” called Metatron, and that Ichazo’s Arica school was guided by the mysterious “green qutub”.
Fifteen years later, in a letter to the transpersonal community in which he felt the need to respond to some of Helen Palmer’s comments (this was around the time of the litigation), Ichazo clarified:
The archangels, he said, are representations of states of consciousness. Metatron is the state of “the presence of god” in which one remembers the unity of god constantly and without interruption. Ichazo goes on to say that it was while in this state that the synthesis of the arica system (including the enneagons) was
Curiously, the Naqshbandi Sufi call the enneagram symbol “the sign of the presence of god”. (see Laleh Bakhtiar’s work) ichazo says he worked with Naqshbandi teachers in the 1950’s.
The archangel metatron is generally mentioned in association with the occult tradition of the cabala. metatron was supposed to be the being which gave humans the wisdom of the cabala in some distant age.
The “green qutub”, according to Ichazo, is represented by the archangel Gabriel, and is the state of “no action” in which one surrenders one’s will to the will of god. (this is, by the way, the very definition of islam.)
Gabriel is also represented by Ichazo as the green “ultimate guardian”, and represents the future of humanity– it is, according to him, a state of mind “concerned with benefiting all sentient beings”.
Qutub, as Ichazo points out, means “center” and is used by the sufis. There is a tradition that in each generation one Sufi stands as the central axis of all the saints. this person is often hidden, or at least not as popular as certain other teachers and writers. Jami, for instance, a famous Sufi writer, was not the qutub of his age– but recognized another Sufi as being the “axis”.
The color green is associated with the Sufis in two ways (which may be related). the first is the “latifa” at the center of the chest. (latifa is translated as “subtlety” and is the Sufi version of the chakra, slightly altered)
Meditation on these points can induce certain states of consciousness, and each is associated with a color. the center of the chest, the point known as “secret” or “deep perception of consciousness” is associated with the color green. (see Idries shah’s “the Sufis”).
Green is also associated with the figure of K hidir, the legendary “unseen guide” of the Sufis. Khidr literally means ‘The Green One’, representing freshness of spirit and eternal liveliness, green symbolizing the freshness of knowledge “drawn out of the living sources of life.” Khidr is associated with the Water of Life. Since he drank the water of immortality he is described as the one who has found the source of life, ‘the Eternal Youth.’ He is the mysterious guide and immortal saint in popular Islamic lore and the hidden initiator of those who walk the mystical path. He is known sometimes as “the jew”, and often equated with Elijah and St. George. He is an immortal being who appears to people in times of great need to grant supernatural assistance. Khidr is believed to be the anonymous guide to Moses in the Koran. (see “the people of the secret” by Ernest Scott).
Although Ichazo claims to have studied with orthodox Sufis, he asserts that the Arica system is his own teaching, and not connected in any way with the Sufis. more confusion may have been created because Naranjo early on referred to Ichazo as a “Sufi master”, and Ichazo often told the story of how, at the age of nineteen, a mysterious teacher whose name he has pledged never to reveal, found him and introduced him to a mystical school composed mostly of Orientals but located in South America, which opened the doors to the east for him to study and learn. the fact that this is practically an archetypal legend of the discovery of an occult society such as the Sufis– as well as of encounters with Khidir– may have created the impression that Ichazo was connected with the Sufis.