|The Psychosynthesis Model|
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. This contains:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. . . .
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.