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Psychosynthesis
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Psychosynthesis

Psychosynthesis is a form of transpersonal psychology which insists on integration, or synthesis of various psychological functions in order to achieve the goal of healthy individual. As a transpersonal theory, it stresses the need of communion with "Higher" or "Transpersonal Self", or achievement of the state of transegoic existence-which is generally not accepted by empirically oriented psychology schools, or is interpreted as a psychological aberration.

The "egg diagram"

In essence, psychosynthesis can be best represented by "egg diagram".

1. The Lower Unconscious

2. The Middle Unconscious

3. The Higher Unconscious or Superconscious

4. The Field of Consciousness

5. The Conscious Self or "I"

6. The Higher Self

7. The Collective Unconscious

In Assagioli's model of psychosynthesis, we may divide spiritual/life "paths" according the the question: who is the chief protagonist of psycho-spiritual process ? Basically, it's equal to answering the question: who am I ?

1. The Transpersonal or Higher Self (TS)-the sun presiding over the "egg/field" of psyche. (Transpersonal or Higher Self is different from Jungian definitions; it is not totality of psyche. It is Atman, containing and governing psychological life, but in essence, albeit reachable, utterly beyond and above. It is completely "other" and "closer than your jugular vein" at the same time). This is the position of non-dual schools like Advaita Vedanta or Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism.

2. The "I"-radiant ray of the Self (Higher Self) This is the position of various schools, having different goals. For brevity: Buddhist and Hindu (not Kashmir Shaivite) Tantra, Taoist alchemy, some forms of Sufism. "Modern" schools & teachers include Psychosynthesis, Gurdjieff or Hazrat Inayat Khan.

3. The psyche- the psychomental complex; in the diagram, it is the "egg" as if cut off from the the sun of Higher Self (of course, it never happens: just, in this process psyche/soul is an entity longing to contact & fuse with Self/God, who is experienced as "the other"). This is the way of majority of traditional mysticisms, as well as some modern therapies ( Jung ). In Jungian school, "soul"/psyche, not pure "I", nor the Self (especially as ego-consciousness ): so, the Jungians would say- I am psyche currently reduced to ego consciousness, but passing through process of cleansing, maturing, expansion and growth.

Transpersonal consciousness

The 2nd path, that of Tantra, is achieved by disidentification technique aiming to isolate the "I", empower it by activating its most essential attribute, will, and with this new, enriched and more efficient "I", mould the psyche and ascend the ladder of more and more heightened awareness, with the final goal of blending "I" with the source, the Higher Self. In contrast to the Zen or Jungian approaches, it is an "activistic" one, projecting the "I" into a variety of states of mind/psyche. In Buddhist Tantricism there is a technique of identifying the dis-identified principle of consciousness/"I" with the multitude of real or imagined objects (heart of guru; identifying with Boddhisattva of, say, compassion; entering the yantra/mandala signifying some aspect of Trikaya/Buddha Nature ). This is similar to Assagiolian Psychosynthesis. After achieving a degree of d-i and relatively balanced psyche in personal PS, the ascent of crystallized "I" begins, in course of which "I" controls, moulds and expands areas of awareness. On the way to & through the superconscious, the liberated "I" reshapes fields of conscious life, achieving a new position of center of conscious life and widening the channell through which the influx of spiritual energies feeds the psyche. The Assagiolian approach, as contrasted to orthodox ones ( Tibetan, Taoist, Shaivite,..) has a few novelties to offer: 1. It is free from culturally conditioned symbols (better, it uses them freely without being confined to a specific symbolism . 2. Its exercises are given in "distilled" form ( especially in "The Act of Will"), hence not burdened with extremely complex & superfluous visualisation trappings which impede the spiritual progress. 3. In the true Western fashion, Tranpersonal Self is not just the target of "I", the impersonal Self-it is the living source, the fount of symbols, messages and the guide. In this respect, Assagioli merges Eastern Tantric tradition ( disidentified "I" who becomes the chief actor of "projective" experiences of identification with various symbols of the superconscious/Bardo) and Western tradition of Higher Self as living guide (Inner God, Christ, Lapis).Also, Assagioli draws on wide field of experiential material of existential psychology ( Maslow, Frankl,..).

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