Roberto Assagioli's psychosynthesis model provided a framework for exploring parts of me that blocked expression of The Intuitive Self. An expert guide led me through several years in depth engagement of my subpersonalities in a Gestalt setting. Added emphasis appears in red, and my reactions are enclosed in a box: (Note 87)

To illustrate such a conception of the constitution of the human being in his living concrete reality the following diagram may be helpful. It is, of course, a crude and elementary picture that can give only a structural, static, almost "anatomical" representation of our inner constitution, while it leaves out its dynamic aspect, which is the most important and essential one. . . .With these reservations and qualifications, the chart is as follows:

  1. The Lower Unconscious

  2. The Middle Unconscious

  3. The Higher Unconscious

  4. The Field of Consciousness

  5. The Conscious Self

  6. The Higher Self

  7. The Collective Unconscious

psychosynthesis model diagram
I added the red arrows to suggest the dynamic interaction among all parts of the model. The link between 5, the conscious self, and 6, the higher self, turned out to be my link with The Intuitive Self.

1. The Lower Unconscious. This contains:

  1. The elementary psychological activities which direct the life of the body; the intelligent co-ordination of bodily functions.
  2. The fundamental drives and primitive urges.
  3. Many complexes, charged with intense emotion.
  4. Dreams and imaginations of an inferior kind.
  5. Lower, uncontrolled parapsychological processes.
  6. Various pathological manifestations, such as phobias, obsessions, compulsive urges and paranoid delusions.
Lodged in the lower unconscious, I found various fears and desires that were obstacles to The Intuitive Self. Here also were the stress complexes that had grown up around those obstacles. In Fritz Perls metaphor, this was my personal "garbage pail."

2. The Middle Unconscious

This is formed of psychological elements similar to those of our waking consciousness and easily accessible to it. In this inner region our various experiences are assimilated, our ordinary mental and imaginative activities are elaborated and developed in a sort of psychological gestation before their birth into the light of consciousness.

Here I found the mental playroom where preconscious mental chatter among my subpersonalities took place that expressed itself as conscious mental chatter. With expert guidance, I could access this process to discover the source of the debilitating conscious chatter.

3. The Higher Unconscious or Superconscious

From this region we receive our higher intuitions and inspirations - artistic, philosophical or scientific, ethical "imperatives" and urges to humanitarian and heroic action. It is the source of the higher feelings, such as altruistic love; of genius and of the states of contemplation, illumination, and ecstasy. In this realm are latent the higher psychic functions and spiritual energies.

This region was the storehouse for the personalizations of the grand archetypes that motivated my spiritual search. Among these were my interpretations of Kuan Yin and Kali mentioned in previous threads. Here messages from The Intuitive Self formed to link me with the universal archetypes that spoke to my personality.

4. The Field of Consciousness

This term - which is not quite accurate but which is clear and convenient for practical purposes - is used to designate that part of our personality of which we are directly aware: the incessant flow of sensations, images, thoughts, feelings, desires, and impulses which we can observe, analyse, and judge.

Here was the source of the chatter that crippled my psychological machinery. The incessant chatter had to be tamed before I could address the deeper issues welling up from the lower unconscious or the larger issues seeping down from the higher unconscious.

5. The Conscious Self or "I"

The "self", that is to say, the point of pure self-awareness, is often confused with the conscious personality just described, but in reality it is quite different from it. This can be ascertained by the use of careful introspection. The changing contents of our consciousness (the sensations, thoughts, feelings, etc.) are one thing, while the "I", the self, the center of our consciousness is another. . . .

But the "man in the street" and even many well-educated people do not take the trouble to observe themselves and to discriminate; they drift on the surface of the "mind-stream" and identify themselves with its successive waves, with the changing contents of their consciousness.

First I had to recognize that I too was loss in the mind stream. I had been unaware of the robotic chatter box in my mind. The birth of a judgemental observer gave me a first glimpse of this "noise" in my psychological system. Slowly the observer become a neutral witness.

6. The Higher Self

The conscious self is generally not only submerged in the ceaseless flow of psychological contents but seems to disappear altogether when we fall asleep, . . . And when we awake the self mysteriously reappears, . . . This leads us to assume that the reappearance of the conscious self or ego is due to the existence of a permanent center, of a true Self situated beyond or "above" it. . . . unaffected by the flow of the mind-stream or by bodily condtions; and the personal conscious self should be considered merely as its reflection, its "projection" in the field of the personality. . . .

As my psychosynthesis work progressed, the occasional and then frequent presence of the Self became apparent. In making friends with this part of myself, I came to know it as The Intuitive Self from its unerring accuracy in knowing everything I needed to know about anything that I wanted to do! Over the years it had tried to get my attention through experiences such as epiphanies. Now The Intuitive Self was finally assuming its rightful place in my personality.

7. The Collective Unconscious

The outer line of the oval of the diagram should be regarded as "delimiting" but not as "dividing." It should be regarded as analogous to the membrane delimiting a cell, which permits a constant and active interchange with the whole body to which the cell belongs. Processes of "psychological osmosis" are going on all the time, both with other human beings and with the general psychic environment.

Hindu gods and goddesses provided the richest source of images through which I discovered the latent patterns in the swirling interactions among the parts of the psychosynthesis model. In addition to Kuan Yin and Kali, Shiva and Ganesh were potent templates for divining the mystery of my experience.