Here comes a selection of quotes by Assagioli about Libido. You can find the source articles here: https://kennethsorensen.dk/en/sitemap/
Libido, the energy that underlies life
Keen: Can you describe will further?
Assagioli: No. It is indescribable. It is a matter of direct experience, just like the direct
experience of red or blue. Can you tell me what it is like to experience blue?
Keen: …Well, almost. Blue is cool like running water and that is very different from red which is like cinnamon or sun. When you talk of will is it something like the resolve that stuffens the Prussian backbone, or like the warm juices that run through Henri Bergson’s “élan vital”?
Assagioli: No. Élan vital is, in my opinion, the true conception of libido without the specific sexual connotation given it by Freud. It is the dynamic, the power, the energy that underlies life. Will is more like the directing agent in the personality than the vital force.
(The Golden Mean of Assagioli)
Libido and sublimation
The solution lies, rather, along the lines of a harmonious integration of all drives into the total personality, first through the proper subordination and coordination, and then through the transformation and sublimation of the excessive or unused quota of energy.
The achievement of this integration is not only not impeded but can be greatly facilitated by the activation of the superconscious functions, by the realization of the Self, because those larger and higher interests act as a magnet which draws up the “libido” or psychic energy invested in the “lower” drives.
(Assagioli in Self-realization and Psychological Disturbances)
Libido and typology
A third distinction is the one proposed and dealt with extensively by Jung. It is based on the movement and direction of vital interest. This vital motion of being can follow two opposite directions: one centrifugal and the other centripetal.
In the centrifugal direction, which he calls extroversion, interest turns towards the outside world, which constitutes for the personality as a field of attraction, a “magnet”. This is the external world in the broadest sense, including other people, the object that gathers attention, the affectivity of the subject, which modifies and determines its activity. Instead, in the centripetal motion, called introversion by Jung, the interest detaches itself from the external world and turns towards the subject itself, which with its modalities and qualities becomes the center of interest and attention, the inner field of observation and activity.
This double movement of the interest of “psychic energy” – or libido, as Jung calls it (eliminating any sexual connotation from the term) – this double movement usually alternates rhythmically in a normal man.
(Assagioli in: Individual And Differential Psychology)
Libido as the total psychic energy
(in visualisation): The amount of water flowing through the visualized stream is an indication of the total psychic energy (libido) which flows through a subject’s psychic structure.
(Assagioli in Psychosynthesis, 1965, p. 295)
Libido, as psychic energies
The practical problem, the issue that confronts us all the time, is this: how to give adequate and constructive, or at least harmless, expression to each of these urges, drives, emotions, etc. To give some expression to them is necessary. If we fail to do so, if fear, condemnation, or other motives induce us to deny or repress them, they produce psychological and nervous stress, and, by affecting the body, are apt to create psychosomatic disorders. This fact has been strongly emphasized by psychoanalysis and on it is based the present claim to eliminate all inhibitions and checks to the free course of the energies.! lumped together under the general term libido.
(Assagioli in The Act of Will, p. 59)« Back to Glossary Index