As we kick start this blog back to life after a six-week
hiatus it seems a good time to answer a question Bob and I are often asked -
where does the five-element story model come from?
Well, the story part comes from Bob and I and our experience
as corporate communications consultants. But the five-element part – the
understanding of how the original Greek elements of fire, earth, water, air and
space relate to specific psychological processes – comes from our study of the
work of contemporary philosopher Oscar Ichazo. That is why our book “The
Elements of Persuasion” is dedicated to him.
Ichazo is probably best known for his development of what
are now called the “Enneagrams of Personality.” This work has created a cottage
industry in the self-help field known as the “Enneagram Movement”. Ichazo himself rejects this “movement” as
pop-psychology and coffee-table mysticism, which includes only the barest tip
of the iceberg of his theory of the nature of the human psyche and the Mind as
The clearest explanation of
Ichazo’s work on the five elements (only a very small part of his overall
presentation) is in the Autumn 1992 issue of “The Arican” the journal of the
Arica Institute and is available for sale on their website at www.arica.org. Be warned, that article is pretty thick going (Icahzo is a
serious philosopher after all). If you aren’t going for your Ph.D, but are
interested in studying Ichazo’s theories (and believe us, you really should be) we suggest that you
start by reading his book "Between Metaphysics and Protoanalysis" available on the same site.
Ichazo is a bit of a recluse and is currently closeted
working on his magnum opus. As his loyal students Bob and I wish him well. THKR