Letter of Roberto Assagioli sent on November 11-1967, to the presidents, members of the Boards of Directors and other officials of the Foundations, Institutes, and Centers of Psychosynthesis.
Published October, 2011 in the “Psicosintesi” Magazine
As most of you know, some questions were raised at the Fifth International Conference of Psychosynthesis, held in Rome in September 1967, concerning the relationships between the various Center of Psychosynthesis which exist, or are to be founded, in various countries and parts of the world (I am using, for simplicity’s sake, the word Centers to designate all Foundations, Institutes and Centers).
I have been asked by some of you to issue a definite statement on this matter, and I am willingly complying with this request, as it gives me an opportunity, not only of dispelling some misunderstandings, but also of emphasising once more the true nature and “spirit” of Psychosynthesis.
Psychosynthesis is not a doctrine or a “school” of psychology; it is not a special or single method of self-realization, therapy and education. It can be indicated (I do not use the word “defined”, because all definitions are limited and limiting) primarily as a general attitude of, and striving towards, integration and synthesis in all fields, but particularly in those just mentioned. It might be called a “movement”, a “trend” and a “goal”.
There is no orthodoxy in Psychosynthesis and no one, beginning with myself, should claim to be its real or true representative, its head or leader. Each of its exponents tries to express and apply it as well as he or she is able to, and all who read or listen to the message, or receive the benefit of the methods of Psychosynthesis, can decide how successful any exponent has been or will be in expressing its “spirits”.
From this general premise, it obviously follows that Psychosynthesis cannot be represented outwardly by any organization or super-organization. As I said at the Conference in Rome, the external pattern should not be that of a “solar system”, but that of a “constellation”. In particular, no one Center can claim to be more “international” than the others. All of them should be animated by an international spirit and should work internationally, if or as occasions for such work occur. But the chief function and concern of each Center should be to work as well and as intensely as possible in its own geographical or specific (therapeutic, educational, cultural) area to “cultiver son jardin” to use Montaigne’s phrase.
Of course, mutual exchange of information and co-operation between all the Centers is to be encouraged. An International Secretariat, not connected to any one of the Centers of Psychosynthesis, is being established for this purpose. But as cultural, psychological, legal and material conditions differ greatly in various countries, it is advisable, indeed almost indispensable, for each Center to work with full autonomy and freedom, under the sole responsibility of its leaders.
If we, and those who will gradually take our places in the future, are to remain faithful to these principles and policies, we may hope to make a valuable contribution to the spiritual, psychological and external integration of humanity. Such integration is its urgent need, and alone can counteract the dangers at present menacing it, and help to usher in a truly new human civilization and culture, a new way of living.