PSYCHOSYNTHESIS RESEARCH FOUNDATION INC.
MAY 23-25, 1958
These are the opening words spoken by Roberto Assagioli, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Psychosynthesis Research Foundation, at the beginning of a three-day conference May 23, 1958. The major speaker throughout the conference was Dr. Assagioli. Among those attending were Frank Hilton, administrator of the PRF during its entire existence (1957-1976), and Robert Gerard PhD, who assisted Dr. Assagioli in bringing to publication his book Psychosynthesis: A Manual of Principles and Techniques (1965).
Source: AAP News – May 2007
Psychosynthesis takes for granted the essential points recently stressed by Abraham Maslow of Brandeis University; namely, holism, organismic conception, whole-functioning, and self-realization. Another essential point is the application of the principle of synthesis in every connection. First, the synthesis of thought and conceptions. We are not and I hope we will never become a “school”, one school of thought. If we have one distinguishing feature it is bringing together, synthesizing, the best of all schools and all conceptions.
Leibnitz once said: “All schools of philosophy are right in what they affirm and wrong in what they exclude”. Leading from this thought, in a special way we may attempt (I think the time is right for it) a synthesis of American, European and Eastern psychologies. From the synthesis of conceptions follows the synthesis of all good psychotherapeutic and educational techniques.
Another basic principle which requires immediate application is the emphasis, the application, and the research on certain neglected and unexplored areas of psychology. The field of psychology is enormous; it includes practically the whole human life, so we have to have our priorities. It is obvious that we attend to what has been neglected and unexplored. This includes first the so-called higher aspects and functions. “Higher” and “lower” are unfortunate but unavoidable terms, but we can use them if we give them no moral connotations. The use of the term “lower” is fully justified and not to be condemned.
Neither is it to be wholly accepted, for all these “lower” drives have their legitimate place. However, we can and should say “lower” in comparison with other aspects, finer, more mature, and so on.
So, we can and must speak of the higher and lower, for this is connected with some of the most fruitful techniques — for example the technique of ascent which Robert Desoille so ably uses in his “rêve éveillé”. This higher part of the human being has been curiously — we can speak frankly — deplorably neglected by scientific psychologists. There is a curious notion that it is not scientific, so that one of our talking points, I might say “fighting points”, will be that the higher manifestations of the human being are as scientific as the others. By this I mean that they are facts, facts in the most empirical and pragmatic sense.
Submitted by John Parks, MD