What we call the “ordinary self” is as much, or as little, of the “higher Self” as the waking consciousness can take in, assimilate and implement at any given moment.
By Roberto Assagioli, Translated and Edited with Notes by Jan Kuniholm. From the Assagioli Archives – Florence, (Doc. 27481), Original Title: Il Misterio dell’Io
Editor’s Note: There are several versions of this document going back to a hand-written manuscript dated 1928, including lectures given at the Istituto di Psicosintesi in Florence in the 1930s and transcribed at a later date; there are also a few published versions. These were of varying length and there are slight discrepancies in the word choice and order between versions. It is believed that Doc. #24781 was of latest date (after 1956) and most complete content, since it was the only version in the archives that showed the well-known “egg diagram” in its final form (as it appeared in the book Psychosynthesis in 1965, and later publications) rather than the earlier versions that date from the 1930s through 1956. This is a corrected translation of Archive doc. #24781, changing only obvious errors of transcription from the typed manuscript using the previous version, doc. #24780 as a reference. Editor’s insertions or interpolations are indicated by the use of [brackets].
There are two ways of studying the human soul. The first is that of empirical, analytical and experimental psychology, which examines the human psyche and the elements and forces that compose it, considering them as it were from the outside, objectively. But there is also another way of studying and knowing our selves; a more direct and vital way, which starts from within, from the center of our being. This way studies not so much the psychic “phenomena” in their multiplicity as the deep unity that connects them, the living subject in which they take place and without which they could not exist. This method of inquiry does not eliminate but appropriately complements the other method, which alone would remain too naturalistic and external.
With the internal method we start from the surest experience, the most direct observation, the most immediate certainty we have: that is, the consciousness of ourselves, of our self (our “I”). In fact, we can doubt everything except that we exist and feel we exist. But if from this simple and direct awareness of us, we then want to move on to a deeper knowledge, to a clear realization of the nature, essence and powers of our “I,” there immediately arises a crowd of doubts, uncertainties and apparent contradictions.
We say “I” at every moment; yet if we stop to grasp it in us, if we try to feel it in its purity, it seems instead to elude us and vanish. At moments it seems to us that this “I” represents our most immediate and certain reality; at other moments it seems to us something vague, elusive, nonexistent — almost a mathematical point, something as distant as the coincidence of countless parallel lines at infinity. At times we have a vivid and clear sense of our personal identity through every external and internal change; at times, however, we feel transformed, different and estranged from our “self” (”I”) of yesterday; we seem to no longer recognize it.
Sometimes we strongly feel the unity of our being, the cohesion of its parts into an organic whole, into a “personality;” at other times, however, we perceive in ourselves deep differences and sharp contrasts, and it seems to us that two souls dwell in our chest and tear it apart with their fierce struggles. Sometimes it seems to us that our “self” is intimately connected with our organism, dependent on it, subject to the action of every influence. On the other hand, sometimes we feel clearly and sharply the difference between the “I” and the “non-I;” we see an abyss without bridges between us and others; we seem to be terribly alone, like islands far from any land (the existentialist experience). Sometimes, on the other hand, we seem to merge intimately, to become one with a beloved being, with nature or with God. Every evening our “self” seems to fade away and vanish into sleep, and every morning it miraculously reappears, as if rising from nowhere . . .
Yet we cannot resign ourselves to knowing it so vaguely and imperfectly. Our insatiability for knowledge, which impels us to scrutinize immense distant worlds as well as the lowly beings that teem in a drop of water, cannot leave us indifferent, merely curious about the unknown that dwells within ourselves, in the face of what we feel constitutes the central mystery of Being.
…while the phenomenal conscious “I” identifies with the various contents of consciousness, there is something in us that does not identify itself, that does not change with changing states of mind, that always remains the same, fixed and unassailable. This is our true “I,” the Center of our individuality, the very substance of our being.
But it is not only the desire to know that drives us to investigate this mystery. We are driven to it also — and more urgently — by personal motives that have an immediate practical significance. For we seek to bring light, order and harmony into ourselves. We try to recognize — among the innumerable thoughts, feelings and impulses that alternate and clash in our souls — those that are the expression of our real being, of our truest and deepest “I,” as well as those that come from external suggestions and instinctive tendencies, in order to master and eliminate all that we recognize as not our own and not worthy of us.
But we must recognize, if we are to be honest, that such that attempts often have very unsatisfactory results. Opinions and tendencies suggested to us by the environment easily masquerade as our own without our realizing it; while instead we often question and reject the intuitions and movements of our soul. The instincts, passions and habits that we try to master stubbornly resist our efforts, easily escape our grasp, concealing themselves in the darkness of the unconscious, from where they then sneak in on us, or violently assault us, by surprise.
Our failures are due to various reasons: in the first place, on our proceeding in an inept and groping manner through ignorance of the precise and effective methods of investigation and internal discipline, which do exist, and which would indeed deserve no less interest and appreciation than the methods of physical training that are now so widely and rightly used. Furthermore, errors and failures arise — and not least — from the too uncertain, confused and rudimentary conception we have regarding the nature and powers of our inner being: of our “I” (“self”).
Also for these practical reasons, therefore, knowledge of one’s self is required — not only of a special class of scholars, but of anyone who wants to live consciously and with dignity: anyone who wants to be master and not slave of his inner abode.
But if we turn to positive scientific psychology (which has been dominant until recently) to learn what our “I” is, we are completely disappointed. For it knows how to answer this question less than any other. It does not know, because in a sense it does not want to; it has closed the way for itself by denying the existence of a real and substantial subject; it has wanted to be, in Lange’s curious expression, “a psychology without a soul.” 
This denial, however, is by no means justified. For it to be so, it would require that factual proof be provided that the soul does not exist; and yet there actually is factual proof that the soul does exist! This is implicitly acknowledged by some more cautious psychologists who do not deny the existence of the soul, but who claim that this question does not concern psychology. However, this agnostic reservation is purely theoretical: in practice they study psychic life as if there were no soul. But let us grant also that one can, up to a certain point, make an analytical study of psychic phenomena disregarding their reference to the “I;” the fact remains, however, that as we move from anatomy to physiology of psychic life, or from analysis to synthesis, then the admission of the existence of a unifying principle, of an active Center — in short, of a real “I” — becomes inescapably necessary.
In order to truly understand the various manifestations of psychic life, one must regard it as the expression of a living being, who proposes goals and attributes value to them, who wants to attain them and strives to do so, overcoming the external and internal resistances that hinder that attainment. Having admitted this Unifying Principle, this active Center in psychic life, we must try to determine its nature and powers as much as possible. The task is difficult, because the nature and powers of the “I” do not, at least usually, reveal themselves directly to our consciousness. What we are ordinarily conscious of is only what may be called the “phenomenal self,” to which all the changing states of consciousness refer: thoughts, feelings, etc.
But this “phenomenal self” is but the manifestation in ordinary consciousness, only the reflection, of the “Real Self:” the active, permanent principle and true substance of our being.
If we remember what the state of our conscious “empirical self” — our ordinary consciousness — is under normal conditions; that is, when we purposely observe ourselves (when we do not reflect on ourselves but “let ourselves live” spontaneously), we can see two important facts. First, we see that our ordinary consciousness, our conscious “I,” gradually identifies itself with the content of consciousness at any given moment. For example, if a sad feeling comes to occupy our consciousness, we say, “I am sad;” if a feeling of tiredness occupies it, we say, “I am tired;” if we experience a sharp pang in the stomach we exclaim, “I am hungry;” and so on . . .
Similarly, we identify ourselves with particular moral, intellectual and social characteristics that reflect only partial aspects of ourselves. Thus we gradually say “I am handsome,” or “ugly;” “I am strong,” or “weak;” “I am a man,” or “a woman;” “I am a husband or a father or a son” or “I am a positivist or a spiritualist,” etc.
The particular content or aspect of our personality is not always broad and strong enough to fill the entire consciousness. For example, we may say, “I am tired,” yet [at the same time] think of something else and have feelings and concerns of another kind. But if the state of mind is intense enough, for example a deep sadness produced by a disappointment or serious loss, it occupies the whole field of consciousness for a time, and the identification of the “I” with the content of consciousness is — for that time — complete. The person who is in the throes of profound sadness not only says “I am sad,” but forgets that she has been thankful, serene and cheerful at other times. She can hardly conceive how one can be happy, and if she sees others laughing and joking she feels a sense of surprise, and that behavior seems strange and unreal to her. She tends to generalize, to objectify, so to speak, the transient subjective state of mind with which she identifies and says, “Life is sad; only sorrow is true; everything else is illusion.”
Suppose now that this person receives good news; for example, that the reported loss was not true, and that the person who was believed to be dead is actually alive. We immediately see the state of consciousness change; sadness gives way to joy, and the person, identifying with the new state of mind exclaims, “How happy I am!” Life appears good to her, she feels that it is worth living, and not infrequently in the exuberance of joy she almost forgets the existence of sorrow; if something or someone reminds her of her recent sadness, it seems distant and unreal, and it occurs to her to say, “Now I seem to be another person.”
This exclamation, which is completely natural and spontaneous, and which each of us has heard many times, is very significant. For on the one hand it shows how the identification of the self with the content of consciousness was apparently complete. But also that the person, at the very instant he or she utters that sentence, knows that he or she is not really another person; in other words, he or she has not lost the sense of personal identity. This means that while the phenomenal conscious “I” identifies with the various contents of consciousness, there is something in us that does not identify itself, that does not change with changing states of mind, that always remains the same, fixed and unassailable. This is our true “I,” the Center of our individuality, the very substance of our being.
Without the admission of this deep or higher “I” it is very difficult to satisfactorily explain the persistence of the sense of consciousness, of personal identity, through the changing states of mind, through the interruptions of ordinary consciousness that occur during sleep, fainting, hypnosis and narcosis.
The fact that we ordinarily have no consciousness of the “higher Self” should certainly not surprise us: ordinarily our consciousness is in fact always occupied by the continuous flow of various states of mind, and our “empirical self” is gradually identified with them; how would it be possible at the same time to have consciousness of the higher Self? One cannot feel — except in special cases, or after long training — the transient and the permanent, the changeable and the fixed, the apparent and the real, at one and the same time.
…if we succeed for a few moments in stopping the “mental stream” and keeping the field of consciousness free from the states of mind that usually occupy it, we can come to have a certain consciousness of the deep Self. This is not an easy experience; internal and external sensations continually try to invade the field of consciousness; feelings, emotions and thoughts continually arise in us, and it is very difficult to repel them, to turn our attention away from them and direct it to remain fixed on the Self.
But if we succeed for a few moments in stopping the “mental stream” and keeping the field of consciousness free from the states of mind that usually occupy it, we can come to have a certain consciousness of the deep Self. This is not an easy experience; internal and external sensations continually try to invade the field of consciousness; feelings, emotions and thoughts continually arise in us, and it is very difficult to repel them, to turn our attention away from them and direct it to remain fixed on the Self.
To be able to do this requires patient exercises of recollection and meditation, or exceptional psychic conditions in which the cessation of ordinary mental activity is produced. This explains why the majority of people (including many psychologists!) have not had occasion to acquire the consciousness of the higher Self and why they therefore tend to doubt its existence, and even to deny it. But all those who have attained that consciousness, either by special circumstances or as a result of their own efforts, have a deep and unshakable certainty of the existence of the Real “I,” the Soul.
The contrast between the ordinary little “I” — locked in the inner circle of its experience, in its narcissistic self-love, occupied and preoccupied with self alone, and the larger and truer “I,” — the spiritual “I” — which enters into communion with other souls and with the Great Life of the Universe — has been brought out with dramatic effectiveness and original humor by a contemporary poet and writer, Giuseppe Zucca,  in his poem entitled:
I live in a cabin,
a narrow little one
with no opening:
a cube that measures
two meters by two by two.
The insides of its
faces are lined
with tempered steel
so that each face is a mirror.
In here, I grow old.
Me, me, me, me . . .
Oh my God!
Always me: nothing
but me! eternally!
upstairs (and how it weighs me down,
this other hovering head of mine!),
even below, one sole
stuck to the other
so that all that is left of me
is being a heel-saver!
Me, me, me,
By God! . .
Always the same song!
It’s an obsession!
Ah; what I want , what I want . . .
To throw it all down
kicking! to see me no more!
To see more; out in the
open! air! light! colors!
Mankind! strong men! Faces
lifted to far horizons!
Fraternal hands, open hands,
outstretched to infinite life!
Or that is as much as saying —
no longer to stare at this reflected me
that assails me now;
this sad, gloomy puppet —
front, side, back;
but instead, the august mystery
of my true self!
When one has thus recognized the existence of the real “I” (Self), the Soul and its powers, the admonition engraved on the door of the Temple of Delphi, “Know thyself,” acquires a new and deeper meaning. It no longer means only, “Analyze your feelings, examine your actions;” it also and above all means, “Study your innermost Self; discover your true Being; learn its wonderful potentialities.”
At this point I wish to forestall a possible objection, and eliminate a possible misunderstanding. The fact that we speak of an “ordinary self” and a “higher Self” should not lead us to believe that there are two “selves,” separate and independent, almost two beings within us. The Self, or “I,” in reality and in essence, is one. What we call the “ordinary self” is as much, or as little, of the “higher Self” as the waking consciousness can take in, assimilate and implement at any given moment. It is thus something contingent and changeable: a “variable quantity.” It is a reflection; but one that can become more and more vivid and luminous and may one day come to unite with its Source.
To get a clear and almost perceptible idea of these relationships between the “ordinary, empirical self” and the “higher Self” and their connections with the other elements of our psychic life, a diagram may be helpful. I will immediately preface this by saying that any diagram by which one attempts to objectify or fix a complex reality is inadequate and incomplete. But, with that reservation, I believe that as a first approximation the one proposed may provide some clarification, and give an initial perspective or framing in which to arrange our knowledge. With these reservations and justifications, here (at left) is the diagram:
The following are part of, or originate in it:
- The elementary but admirable psychic activities that govern organic life; the intelligent coordination of physiological functions.
- Primitive tendencies and impulses.
- Many “psychic complexes” with strong emotional tonality, remnants of the near and distant past: individual, hereditary and atavistic.
- Dreams and imaginary activities of elementary and lower types.
- Various pathological manifestations, such as phobias, obsessive ideas and impulses, paranoid delusions.
- Certain spontaneous, non-dominant parapsychological faculties.
Consists of psychological elements similar in nature to those of waking consciousness and easily accessible to it. In it takes place the processing of experiences, the preparation of future activities, and also much intellectual (both theoretical and practical) and imaginative work, as well as artistic creation of “intermediate” degree and value. It is a kind of “psychological gestation zone” that precedes the emergence [of objects, events, or phenomena] into the field of consciousness.
III. Higher Unconscious or Superconscious
From it come higher insights as well as artistic and philosophical and scientific inspirations; also the creations of genius; ethical “imperatives;” impulses to altruistic action; mystical states of illumination, contemplation, and ecstasy. Herein lie, in their latent and potential state, the higher energies of Spirit and the faculties of supernormal powers of an elevated type.
IV. The Field of Consciousness
It is customary to use this term that is not quite scientifically exact, yet clear and convenient in its brevity, to refer to the part of our personality of which we are directly aware: the continuous succession of psychic elements and states of mind of all kinds (sensations, images, thoughts, feelings, desires, impulses, volitions, etc.) which we can observe, analyze and judge.
V. “I” or Conscious Self 
The self (“I”) is often confused with the conscious personality, but in reality it is different from it, as can be seen through careful introspection. One (the latter) is the changing contents of consciousness (the thoughts, feelings, etc. mentioned above); the other is the “I,” or self — the center of consciousness that contains them, so to speak, and perceives them. In one respect, this difference could be compared to the difference between the illuminated area of a movie screen and the cinematic images projected onto it. True, the ordinary man who “lets himself live,” who does not stop to study himself and does not care to get to know himself, generally does not make this distinction; he gradually identifies himself with the changing contents of his own consciousness. Hence the aforementioned confusion.
VI. The Higher Self
The conscious self or “I” is not only almost always confused with the ceaseless flow of psychic contents, but also often seems to switch off and disappear (e.g., during sleep, fainting, hypnosis), only to suddenly find itself again and recognize itself, without knowing how this happens. This fact leads one to acknowledge that “behind” or “above” the conscious self there must be a permanent center, the true “I” or Self. Their respective “position” and relationship to each other are indicated on the diagram above, by the point at the center of the field of consciousness (conscious self), connected by a dotted line with the star placed at the top of the entire personality, both conscious and unconscious (the higher Self).
The reality of the Self can be confirmed in various ways. There have been many who have had, more or less temporarily, the “inner experience,” the “realization” of the Self, which has the same degree of certainty for them as an explorer has when he has traveled through regions unknown to others. Numerous accounts of such experience of the Self, and the states of consciousness with which it is generally connected, are contained in Dr. Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness, P. D. Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum, E. Underhill’s  Mysticism, and other books.
The experience of the Self does not only arise spontaneously, but can be facilitated, or evoked, by the use of various methods of meditation and concentration, with C. G. Jung’s process of individuation, with Desoille’s“rêve éveillé,” and with the techniques of Raja Yoga, etc. From the philosophical point of view we have the doctrines of Kant and Herbart, who make a clear distinction between the empirical self and the real or noumenal Self.
All this indicates that the Higher Self exists in a sphere of reality that is distinct from the flowing “stream” of ordinary psychic phenomena and organic life, and cannot be influenced by them; yet its influence can profoundly change our psychophysical circumstances.
The theoretical, practical, spiritual and educational importance of the recognition of the Self is quite evident, as well as the use of the methods mentioned above to gain clear consciousness of it.
VII. The Collective Unconscious (group or mass psyche)
Human beings are not isolated windowless monads, as Leibnitz believed. They may sometimes feel psychologically “alone,” separated, but the extreme existentialist conception of the insurmountable “loneliness” of the individual is neither psychologically nor spiritually true.
The outer line of the oval in the diagram is dotted to indicate that it demarcates but does not completely separate. It should be considered similar to the semi-permeable membrane that surrounds a cell, which allows a continuous and active exchange of fluids with the biological environment consisting of the body of which it is a part. Similarly, continuous processes of psychic osmosis take place, both among various human beings and between each of them and the general psychic environment. This corresponds to what Jung called the collective unconscious, but he did not give a clear definition of it and includes in it elements of a very different, and even opposite, nature, i.e., primitive, ancestral structures and archetypes of a higher character, progressive activities of a superconscious nature. (See C.G. Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, London, 1928, pp. 118-9).
It is appropriate now to prevent another possible error or misunderstanding. That is, let us not believe that this conception, this recognition of our “I” or Self, our highest Being, should lead to an exaltation or a deification of the individual. This would be the case if one were to regard it as isolated, as detached from its natural and intimate connections with Reality; that is, with other beings and with the SUPREME BEING, with GOD. Instead, it provides a way to realize such connections more clearly, and thus to welcome them and enter into them more consciously and willingly.
The spiritual conception of the “I” or Soul has been generally acknowledged by Christian philosophy. Indeed, St. Augustine affirmed the absolute and transcendent unity with God. The various mystics speak with very similar expressions, of the “spark” and the “apex” of the Soul, or of the “bottom,” the “center,” which is its intimate reality and in which it comes in contact with God. In his admirable work De la Connaissance de l’Ame, Gratry says:
The Soul carries inner treasures within itself, but knows nothing about them, it cannot explain them.” (p. 47)
He adds, however, that “we possess an inner sense,” which, in certain special moments when we are able to escape the habit of distractions and passions, “gives us a direct and clear consciousness of our Soul.” (p. 196)
“I felt,” he writes, “like an inner form . . . full of strength, beauty and joy . . . a form of light and fire that sustained my whole being; a stable form, always the same, often found in my life; forgotten in interludes but always recognized with transport and with the exclamation, ‘Here is my true being.’” (pg.199)
It is this Higher Center that constitutes the link, the point of contact between the Soul and God. Indeed, religious philosophy affirms that the state of grace consists in having God present and living in us; but this presence is not usually perceived by the ordinary consciousness of the faithful.
Cardinal Mercier thus expresses himself in this regard:
“It is a truth that God lives in us . . . but many ignore this mystery and all their lives dwell in it as strangers.” Therefore he advises, “Make frequent and voluntary explicit acts of faith to this real and stable Presence of God within you.”
But where is this Real Presence, which is ignored by consciousness? Evidently in the highest part of being, in the superconscious, in the Higher Self. Recognition of the existence and true nature of the Self (“I”) has immense spiritual value and incalculable practical importance. Such a recognition constitutes a true revelation; it is the beginning of a new life; it is the key to understanding so many facts, to solving so many problems; it is the basis for the work of self-mastery, liberation and inner regeneration.
Archimedes said, “Give me a fulcrum and I will lift the world for you.” Well, to lift our inner world, the point of the fulcrum is the “I,” the fixed and dynamic Center of our being.
The general cause of our weakness, our limitations and errors, lies in the aforementioned identification of our empirical “I,” our ordinary consciousness, with its various contents; that is, with the ideas, feelings, passions, impulses that invade it.
This identification, expressed in the admission, “I am (something),” produces passive acceptance of that content and thus subservience to it. For example, if one says, “I am irritated,” he thereby accedes to anger, empathizes with anger; he lets anger act in him.
If, on the other hand, one says, “A movement of anger arises in me,” he does not identify himself with anger but senses that that is a state of mind; that there are two forces present: the watchful self and anger; and the watchful self, aware of its power, its mastery, can tame, discipline, and transform anger.
The same can be said of every other obstacle, difficulty and psychological limitation.
It is strange indeed how man neglects to make use of such a powerful and beneficial weapon; how young people are taught so many things but not this one, which would be the most important for them!
It is truly time for this deplorable inertia to cease; for this deplorable gap in education to be filled; it is time for men worthy of the name to willingly set about the work of exploration, of conquest of the inner world — a world no less vast, varied and fascinating than the outer world; a world that bestows, on those who know how to become masters of it, treasures more precious, more noble, more satisfying than those that continents and oceans can offer.
 As is seen, the literal translation of this title is “The Mystery of the I.” Assagioli often uses the word io (I) interchangeably with the word sè (self) — not to be confused with the word anima (soul) — but makes a distinction when he capitalizes Sè in reference to the higher, or spiritual Self. In this version the word io will often be translated as “self” but on occasion as “I.” —Tr.
 Assagioli uses the word “psychic” in its broadest sense to refer to all the phenomena of the psyche — personality, mind, consciousness, unconscious, etc. which may include so-called “paranormal” experience.—Tr.
 This is an echo of the famous statement by philosopher René Descartes, cogito, ergo sum (often translated as “I think, therefore I am,” which he arrived at by doubting the validity of all his experience, but found that he not doubt that he doubted). However, Assagioli takes us in a very different direction from that followed by Descartes.—Ed.
 In classical Euclidian plane (two-dimensional) geometry, parallel lines remain the same distance apart throughout their length and never meet. However, according to the website of the Mathematics Network of the University of Toronto, you can construct other forms of geometry, so-called non-Euclidean geometries. For example, you can take the usual points of the plane and attach to them an additional point called “infinity” and consider all lines to also include this additional point. In this context, there is a theoretical single location at “infinity” where all lines meet. —Ed.
 Assagioli is here referring to modern European existentialist philosophy, which expounded on what it called the “existential loneliness” of human beings, who live without any God, spirituality, or deeper connections. Philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre emphasized this as being the basic ontological condition of humanity: a position that Assagioli in other writings strongly rejected. However he did recognize the feeling of aloneness that can be present in people. See also text annotated by Note 18 below.—Ed.
 Friedrich Lange (1828-1875), German philosopher and sociologist, an early phenomenologist who, along with Ernst Mach, proposed “psychology without soul” in order to abandon the old metaphysics of “substance” in dealing with the philosophical mind-body problem (from abstract of an article in Nietzsche and the Problem of Subjectivity by Pietro Gori). —Ed.
 Italian: Io superiore or higher “I” —Tr.
 Italian: Io profondo or deep “I” —Tr.
 It appears clear from this paragraph that Assagioli is using the terms “higher I,” “Spiritual Self,” and “Soul” synonymously. —Tr.
 Guiseppe Zucca (1887–1959), poem titled IO or “I,” Taken from the original in Poeti Italiani del XX Secolo: VII. A.F. Formiggini Editore in Roma, 1919, 9-10 (some of which varied slightly from the verses that Assagioli quoted. Assagioli omitted some lines, including the final one, which is also omitted here). Of course a poem is nearly impossible to translate, but we have done our best!—Tr.
 A heel-saver is a crescent-shaped plate made of rubber or metal attached the the heel of a shoe to prolong the life of the of the shoe. —Tr.
 Italian: il tuo Sé più intimo. —Tr.
 Assagioli in Italian uses the word “I” (io) rather than “self” (se) throughout this paragraph, so it may be that the possible confusion he mentions is more likely to occur for those of us who use the word “self,” particularly English-speaking readers. We can conceive of two “selves” but usually we have a more unitary feeling when we use the word “I.” —Tr.
 The earliest versions of this essay show this diagram with slightly different labels, but the concept was the same. —Tr.
 Italian: Io o sé cosciente
 Italian: Il Sé superiore
 Richard Maurice Bucke (1837-2902), Canadian psychiatrist and explorer or consciousness.—Tr.
 P.D. (Pyotr Demianovich) Ouspensky (1878-1947), Russian esotericist and author, student and expositor of the work of G.I. Gurdjieff.—Tr.
 Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941). English writer on spiritual practice and mysticism..—Tr.
 Robert Desoille (1890-1966), French psychotherapist and author, who is best known for his work on “waking dreams” or rêve éveillé, whose techniques Assagioli used in his own practice and referenced in his other writings. —Tr.
 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), German philosopher. .—Tr.
 Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), German philosopher. .—Tr.
 Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), German philosopher, mathematician, scientist and diplomat. —Tr.
 See Note 4. above. —Tr.
 The last two sentences in this paragraph are not clear in this version of this essay; I do not know whether this is a result of an error of transcription; therefore I have inserted these last two sentences from an earlier version of this essay, Doc. #27480 in the Assagioli Archives. Note that some versions of Assagioli’s writings deleted references to “soul,” “God,” philosophy and religion, especially in the English-language editions, perhaps in an effort by his translators or interpreters to gain acceptance of Assagioli’s thought with American psychologists, who at the time were quite antagonistic to what they regarded as “unscientific” concepts and language in psychology. —Tr.
 [On the Knowledge of the Soul]Paris, Charles Douniol, 1861 (Fourth edition). The English given is from Assagioli’s translations into Italian, since the exact passages in the French original could not be located. —Tr.
 Auguste Joseph Alphone Gratry (1805-1872), French priest, author and theologian.—Tr.
 This quote has been taken from Doc.#27480, which is more clear and complete than #27481.—Tr.
 Wording of this sentence taken from Doc. #27480. —Tr.
 Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287- c. 212 B.C.) Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer, and inventor. —Tr.