We must always try to speak in a psychological language that is suited for the person who shall receive the information, it is better to say less than to much
- Abstract by Jan Kuniholm: Dr. Assagioli Answers a Question on Terminology, Levels of Understanding, Esoteric language, Secrecy, and Wisdom
Q.: If it is true that people can only understand at their level of consciousness, why be so cautious and reserved? “Don’t throw pearls to swine.” But what is the problem, in essence? If psychology is a usable language which is [only] limited by its level of concepts, why not use it as openly as possible?
R.A.: The problem is that people can only understand in relation to their level of consciousness, but at that level they misunderstand all the time, and this is a problem for them. Here’s the point: they misunderstand, but they think they understand.
I would not call [what we do] secrecy, but using language that is understandable by people. At least [adjust it] gradually. Do you catch the point? So there is a wisdom in “not casting pearls…,” etc. It is the same as what you might call indigestion. There is a danger of causing [mental] indigestion.
This then gives me an opportunity to emphasize the desirability of not expressing ourselves in esoteric terms, because people inevitably misunderstand if they have not had prior preparation. I think it is our duty to do that, for them. And incidentally also for us, because we would not be understood. It is better to be on the safe side. Many may come to [transpersonal language] later, gradually, but some are allergic, so conditioned that there is really no need [even to try to use it]. There is so much to do at the transpersonal level in psychological language that there is no need.
A typical case is Maslow; he knew about things like reincarnation, etc. He was not opposed to them at all, but they did not interest him. He kept them to himself. So — absolutely no secrecy. After all, many of these things are widely known; but [most people] don’t deal with them.
And this gives me an opportunity to emphasize and clarify the real reason. No secrecy, no fear, but always the magic word — wisdom. Without any doubt, it is better to give too little than too much. If you give too little you can always make additions; if you give too much, you cannot take it back, the damage has been done and then you are in trouble.
[i] Source: website psicoenergetica.com —Tr.
[ii] Editor’s interpolations in [brackets]. —Ed.