A definition of empowerment by Roberto Assagioli from his book Transpersonal Development.
“The ninth group of symbols, and a very up-to-date one, is that of ’empowerment’ or ‘intensification’. Spiritual conquest may be regarded as an empowerment, an intensification of one’s awareness of life. It is a force, a different psycho-spiritual ‘voltage’ which is superior to that of the average, normal person. Hermann Keyserling talks about a ‘dimension of intensity’ combining the symbolism of intensification with the symbolism of proceeding in a different dimension which he calls ‘vertical’ (in contrast with the others, which are horizontal). Speaking about this ‘vertical dimension’ he does not use the term in its ordinary sense; he uses it to refer to a type of verti- cality rising from the world of becoming and flowing towards a world of being or transcendence. He also applies this symbol to time: a ‘vertical transition’ from time into an eternity outside of time.
This empowerment also has two stages or degrees. The first consists of the empowering of all those latent energies and functions underdeveloped or wrongly developed in the human being. An essay by William James entitled The Energies of Men clearly illustrates a number of energies potentially available to us if are prepared to discover, activate and use them.
The second level of empowerment is the one enabling the transition from the human realm to the superhuman realm we mentioned earlier. It is here that we see exhibited the various supernormal powers. In all ages these powers, alongside other superior spiritual- ethical gifts, have been ascribed to the enlightened, the awakened, the initiated ones and the ‘wise men’ from Moses to Pythagoras and from Buddha to Christ, as well as to various other saints. Some of these people used their powers deliberately and consciously, others spontaneously – even against their will – as in the case of the mystics or saints. One might say that these powers are a natural consequence or a by-product of spiritual realization.