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The inclusion of parapsychology is one of the characteristics that most differentiate Psychosynthesis from other psychological conceptions and from other methods of psychotherapy
By Roberto Assagioli. (Unfinished notes Ed.) This Lesson was read on 7 June 1961 in the meeting room of the Tiberina Academy, in via S. Eligio, 10, Rome. It is part two of two lectures. Original title: Psicosintesi E Parapsicologia II. From the Assagioli Archive in Florence. Translated by Gordon Symons. See also the free ebook: Psychosynthesis and Parapsychology.
Before starting to deal with the theme announced for this meeting: Psychosynthesis and Parapsychology – I consider it appropriate to speak briefly about the reasons that led me to choose it.
From many quarters I have been asked to explain in a simple and … synthetic way the general principles of psychosynthesis, formulated by me; what are the main psychotherapeutic and educational applications that I have implemented over the course of several decades and what is the current state of the spread and use of psychosynthesis.
Someone then asked me more specifically why I did not resume the cultural activity of the Institute of Psychosynthesis carried out in Rome for over a decade through conferences and lecture courses in Florence, and I instead promoted the activity of the Center for Parapsychology.
I will first answer the second question with objective frankness.The interest and appreciation that psychosynthesis has had abroad— in the United States, in Switzerland, in France and also in Greece— has been much more lively and widespread than in Italy, so as to induce me, I would say to oblige myself, to work in the international field. Thus, also the two Psychosynthesis Conferences that took place in Italy, in Capolona near Arezzo, attracted speakers and audiences from eight countries and were held in English in 1956 and in French in 1957 Furthermore, in the United States the Psychosynthesis Research Foundation (P.R.F.) was created in 1957 with the generous contribution of a group of friends, and then the Center for Psychosynthesis in Paris and a Center for Psychosynthesis in Athens.
There are general reasons and justifications for this fact. Psychotherapy and in particular psychoanalysis have had much greater development abroad, and especially in the countries I have mentioned, than in Italy and therefore there is a need to compare and to try to harmonize the various conflicting trends and schools, and the opportunity to coordinate and integrate the various techniques. And this is precisely what psychosynthesis proposes and tries to implement.
Whereas in Italy there is, no less than elsewhere, a widespread interest in paranormal psychic phenomena and in general for everything mysterious and occult, an interest that manifests itself on two levels: the cultural and scientific level, which is expressed in the various Societies and Centers of parapsychology and metapsychics and with the publication of various journals; and the level that can be called generic and popular, which manifests itself in numerous private circles, with the activity of alleged clairvoyants, fortune-tellers, magicians, etc.
Given this, there is a great need to enlighten and orient the public regarding the nature of paranormal phenomena, the serious dangers of the imprudent and uncontrolled use of parapsychological faculties, but also the opportunity, one could indeed say the duty, to cooperate in the serious and scientific investigation in this field, in the development and beneficial use of the higher faculties latent in the human mind.
Psychosynthesis includes parapsychology without reservation in its integral conception of the psyche and in its techniques of strengthening all functions: bio-psycho-spiritual. This inclusion is one of the characteristics that most differentiate Psychosynthesis from other psychological conceptions and from other methods of psychotherapy.
There is also a specific reason that led me to link Psychosynthesis and parapsychology and it is that – as will appear from what I am about to tell you – Psychosynthesis includes parapsychology without reservation in its integral conception of the psyche and in its techniques of strengthening all functions: bio-psycho-spiritual. This inclusion is one of the characteristics that most differentiate Psychosynthesis from other psychological conceptions and from other methods of psychotherapy.
Without going back further – as it would be possible and interesting, but which would require too long a discourse – we can say that the foundation and the need for Psychosynthesis lie in the discovery of the ignored regions and activities of the psyche and in the problem of their relationship with the conscious personality.
That discovery can be attributed mainly to three researchers, who carried out their investigations in an almost contemporary way:
In France Pierre Janet studied what he first called “psychological automatism” and then the “subconscious”. In Austria Sigmund Freud explored the slums and intricacies of the personal unconscious with his psychoanalytic technique. In England Frederich Myers made an extensive study of the psychic sphere which he called “subliminal”, that is, below the threshold of consciousness, but which includes all the parapsychological faculties, including the higher ones such as genius. Later Jung extended the investigation to what he calls the collective unconscious. Thereafter, many other scholars have gradually brought more or less original contributions in various directions.
To facilitate the understanding of this vast and complex field, I have used a scheme which, due to its simplicity, can give a first orientation and allow the various manifestations of the psyche to be “positioned”, so to speak. [See the presentation of Assagioli’s Egg-diagram in Part One of this article]
This includes: parapsychological influences:
– general (atmospheric currents)
– particular – specific influences
At all levels: import: develop
Explain the paradox that the parapsychological faculties are:
a. partly ancestral, regressive (Freud)
b. partly “normal”, med.
c. in the upper part
Action on the unconscious
In three ways:
1. Its integration into the sphere of consciousness
2. Its modification
3. Its regulation and use by the conscious ego
Groups of techniques
I. Psychoanalytic Techniques
Their field of action: the lower unconscious.
II. Associations caused
Interpretation – discharge – etc. Unmasking of motives and illusions – Dissolution of complexes
Training and development of deficient functions
but above all the Will, which is ignored and neglected theoretically by modern psychology, and practically by psychotherapy and education.
Internal and external action training
III. Techniques for activating the superconscious – I mentioned them in previous conferences
IV. Techniques for the recognition, development, regulation and use of parapsychological faculties. We will mention this later.
Its specific characteristics
1. Recognition and the principle or law of synthesis
2. Its use in the coordination and organization of personality
Hierarchy of psychic functions
The I (Personal Psychosynthesis)
The Self (Integral Spiritual Psychosynthesis)
Tool: Intelligent will
Fields of application
1. Psychotherapy – Psychosomatics – Psychobiology – Bio-Psychosynthesis
3. Development – Empowerment
Extensions and extra- and inter-individual applications
1. Couples (man-woman, doctor-patient, educator-student)
3. Various groups
Psychosynthesis applied to parapsychology
Spontaneous emergence of parapsychological phenomena
1. In children
2. In psychotherapy
Telepathy in psychoanalytic treatment – recognized by Freud
3. In psychosis. An arduous and obscure problem.
True nature of “hallucinations”: visions – voices – entities
In many cases it can be ascertained that “personifications” are elements of the unconscious which are perceived as something extraneous to consciousness. But in other cases, they can be something truly extrinsic and independent.Very difficult differential diagnosis.Case of Miss Beecham
4. In the normal person
Cosmic influences – Piccardi
They are psycho-biological. Atmosphere – or psychic sea – in which we are immersed and by which we are pervaded. Psychic currents. Ubaldi. Nouri.
1. Recognition. Refinement of parapsychological sensitivities.
Analogous to that of the regulation of internal forces and elements – of one’s own personal unconscious – only possible after this! Therefore, the need for Psychosynthesis for psychics, mediums, etc. (Will!) (Develop)
3. Techniques: the same as for general Psychosynthesis, with appropriate adaptations.
 This information provided by Isabelle Clotilde Küng of Switzerland, who has many psychosynthesis records and data going back to the 1950s. —Ed.
 PRF was incorporated in Delaware November 27, 1957, and began formal operations in 1958.