The Will and Concepts of Change

The Will and Concepts of Change

‘Roberto Assagioli was an Italian head-shrinker 1888-1974 who believed that psychological science should non merely concern itself with look intoing the deepnesss of consciousness but with the higher unconscious. He believed that detecting our true ego and following our intent would take to religious wellness and fulfillment. Psycho synthesis ‘ is a psychological science of the will. Most of psychological science has been highly wary about the impression of will. The ground for this is that the construct makes no sense within the fatalist paradigm within which both operate. One noteworthy exclusion to this has been Roberto Assagoli. Assagioli was originally a psychoanalyst and subsequently founded ‘Psycho synthesis ‘ – a curative attack aimed at developing the rational, emotional, physical and religious potency of a individual into a harmonious whole.

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The purpose of this paper, hence, is to demo an apprehension of the procedures and kineticss involved in conveying about ( easing ) alteration in my development as a ‘Psycho synthesis ‘ applied pupil and in the context of my past work in concern and in my personal battle to get the better of alcohol addiction and in working through my preparation undertaking on the ‘Psycho synthesis ‘ class.

The Psycho-Spiritual Context

Psycho-synthesis nowadayss us with a theoretical account of the human ego at the bosom of which is the I, the portion that experiences ideas feelings and emotions. In psycho-synthesis the ego is seen as the nucleus of who we are, the Centre of our being. The ego is much more than our experiences or beliefs and feelings. Our existent ego is something wholly different and as such can move as a unifying Centre which takes every witting and unconscious facet of ourselves and brings them together. Assagioli ( 1965 ) says of the ego that it is:

…above or beyond the personality and unaffected by the flow of the mind-stream or by bodily conditions ; and the personal, witting ego should be considered simply as its contemplation, its projection in the field of personality( Assagioli, 1965:19 ) .

Therefore, the cardinal purpose of psycho-synthesis is to do us more cognizant of this Centre and how we can direct this portion of ourselves to accomplish what we want from life instead than being driven by our feelings and emotions. When we do acquire to cognize our true ego so Assagioli says that we reacha point of pure egoconsciousness ( Assagioli, 1965:18 ) .Getting in touch with this cardinal portion of who we are is necessary to accomplish human potency. We are, as are all human existences, affected by the corporate unconscious. What Assagioli calls our in-between unconscious represents the present, or our immediate field of consciousness. This field of awareness alterations invariably as different facets of our lives come together. The yesteryear is named as our lower unconscious. This portion of ourselves contains all those things over which we have no witting control, such as pent-up memories and traumatic yesteryear events. Our higher consciousness or transpersonal ego is our hereafter. It is the religious portion of our being, sometimes called the higher ego, and represents what we can go, our greatest human potency. [ 1 ]

The Will

A cardinal constituent of Assagioli’s idea is that of the will. Assagioli said of the will that it isthe cardinal component and direct look of the I, or ego( Assagioli, 1973:245 ) . In psycho-synthesis the will is much more than the common position of utilizing will power, it is concerned with how we express who we are. Assagioli ( 1973 ) held that although people use the will when doing picks in every twenty-four hours life it is non ever coherent. We can undermine our hereafter because of our ain bad wonts which interfere with our picks. Without consistent picks we can non consequence enduring alteration. First we have to recognize that the will exists, that we personally have a will, and that we can exert that will. Peoples make consistent picks when the will is trained to run with the true sense of who a individual is. Assagioli ( 1973 ) speaks of the strong, the good, and the skilful will, the development of which leads to the transpersonal will. There needs to be a balance between the strong, the good, and the skilful will. The strong will might be compared to Victorian thoughts of will power where an result for alteration was forced through the will. The skilful will let us to

..stimulate, regulate and direct all other aspects of our being, our emotions, ideas, urges, intuition, imaginativeness and esthesiss in order to accomplish our coveted end( Assagioli, 1973:13 ) .

The skilful will assist us to take those actions that are most in agreement with our intent. The strong will and the skilful will are personality facets of the will, whereas the good will is a value which is expressed in the manner we operate the skilful will. It is frequently concerned with how we are with others. Because we are cognizant of these utilizations of the will Assagioli maintains that they must be within our consciouness. Consciousness is anterior to single consciousness of the will. This impression is found in the work of philosophers such as Kant for illustration where consciousness was apriori or preexistent. This is why people frequently speak of consciousness in corporate footings. Later research by Goddard ( 1997 has resulted in his statement of pre-birth consciousness. He argues that there are emerging higher degree Fieldss of information that mediate between the person and the corporate. Therefore he extends Gros’s basic peri-natal matrices and demonstrates that consciousness and the transpersonal are both infinite and clip free. [ 2 ]

The transpersonal will is an look of the transpersonal ego, so it merely operates when we have achieved a coherent will ( Assagioli, 1973 ) . There are besides six phases and three degrees to the operation of the will. The degrees are, the personal, transpersonal, and the universal will. [ 3 ] The will enables us to show our highest ego through alteration and action because the religious energies of our trans-personal ego are embodied in the will. The relationship between will and alter is dynamic. Operation of the will can bring forth enduring alteration which so consequences in farther usage of the will it is this which Assagioli calls psychosynthesis, the relationship between who we are and what we do. In ancient traditions such as the Hindu tradition developing the will is a cardinal characteristic. The will is trained beyond the focal point of much personal psychological science and leads to an experiencing of the higher or transpersonal ego ( Grosso, 2005 ) . Assagioli said of the will that it was a nucleus constituent of the true ego and that its development and preparation was necessary because of its map in:

..make up one’s minding what is to be done, in using all the necessary agencies for its realization and in prevailing in the undertaking( Assagioli, 1973:6 ) .

In psycho-synthesis the will is a premier factor in alteration because it regulates the picks that we make. Assagioli ( 1973 ) believed that

the occupation of the skillful will is non to coerce but modulate the thrusts, impulses, images, thoughts and other psychological maps of one’s personality. He urges gymnastic exercises of the will, get downing with physical gymnastic exercises, a manner of beef uping the will( Assagioli, 1973 cited in Grosso, 2005:29 ) .

Before a individual is to the full cognizant that they have a will they may populate in a province of denial and of non being true to who we are. Without this consciousness we drift through life, a victim of its fortunes, it is here that we may develop dependences such as alcohol addiction where we are genuinely without the will to get the better of it. Once a individual is cognizant that they have a will so this presents possibilities for doing alterations and for taking duty for our lives. Assagioli developed a model for utilizing the will to implement alteration. In order to will something so a individual would first link with their emerging sense of intent or what most inspires them. Emerging intent might be seen as chances that psyche is seeking to come into relationship with ego and Self As an applied pupil my intent is emerging through my ego development as a practician. This I believe will ease my capacity to attest intent and significance in the universe, and to link with the will to serve. People normally discover an emerging intent through other alterations in their lives. Sometimes this is merely a displacement in focal point as to what might involvement them or it could be a alteration of calling. This is peculiarly the instance if that alteration is one that serves others, traveling for illustration from a profitable concern to guidance and assisting others to cover with loss and to happen their ain true intent. The individual would so look at their values and how that might inform what they wanted to make. There would so follow a statement of purpose, what a individual intended to make. A procedure of taking between options would follow, together with other back uping picks. In this manner a end is stated along with a class of action for the individual to follow.

When one is raising the will to get the better of alcohol addiction there are a figure of procedures that you go through in order to finish what Assagioli ( 1973 ) footings an acclivity to the development of the good and transpersonal will. The first facet of this is the battle that a individual faces within themselves as they become cognizant of what is traveling on, so they cross the threshold by acknowledging that they have a job. This he footings the battle of the will and the battle of the will emerges because of the ways in which we identify ourselves with what is traveling on around us. Therefore, for an alcoholic the self-identification with drink and the helter-skelter life style that this induces are so outstanding in consciousness that they paralise the will and forestall action. My personal battle with alcohol addiction lasted for 15 old ages and my self-identification with the job kept me locked in a rhythm of negative behavior. While I continued with this designation I was unable to keep down a occupation and was continually traveling from topographic point to topographic point to avoid being found out. While I remained within this rhythm I was besides unable to work efficaciously with people. Finally I realised that I had to disidentify myself with drink, Assagioli says of this battle with the will that:

We are dominated by everything with which our ego becomes identified. We can rule and command everything from which we dis-identify ourselves. . . Every clip we “ place ” ourselves with a failing, a mistake, a fright or any personal emotion or thrust, we limit and paralyze ourselves. Every clip we admit “ I am discouraged ” or “ I am annoyed, ” we become more and more dominated by depression or choler. We have accepted those restrictions ; we have ourselves put on our ironss ( Assagioli, 1971:22 ) .

Once a individual has reached the phase where they are cognizant of the will and its topographic point in triping alteration they can so travel on to the development and preparation of the will. Once I reached this phase I began to pull off the alcohol addiction and finally turned away from drink because I had ceased to place myself with it. Sometimes we misidentify ourselves with things and this misidentification can besides take to an act of will. This was a immense measure frontward because it meant that I could remain in one topographic point. Finally I was able to work together with people and was so effectual in this that I managed to construct up my ain employment bureau I was able to get away the agony imposed my designation with drink, finally this transformed my life and moved me towards working with others. I am now working on a undertaking developing an action program to assist myself and others move beyond heartache and loss and to do new lives for themselves and transform their experiences through an act of will. It is at this phase that some experience what Assagioli footings religious manifestations, or religious experiences that lead to a transcendency of the state of affairs ( Wismer-Bowden, 1998 ) .

The Spiritual Will

Assagioli maintains that it is of import that the will works with our consciousness because it is helpful in assisting us to get the better of obstructions and to direct the energies released in the right manner. Aspects of our personality may nevertheless, acquire in the manner. There is therefore a demand to concentrate the will and this is frequently done through the usage of patterns such as speculation. For Assagioli the experience of consciousness, usage and development of the will was that it led to the find ofthe relationship between the I and the transpersonal or higher ego( Assagioli, 1973:13 ) .Recognition of the relationship between the ego and the transpersonal ego is an experience of transcendency. In Assagioli’s work this transcendency was at the same clip a religious experience and a distinguishable contrast to mundane experience therefore he wrote:

In contrast, the experience of the religious is a sense of freedom, of enlargement, of communicating with other egos and with world, and there is a sense of Universality. It feels itself at the same clip single and cosmopolitan( Assagioli, 1965:87 ) .

My ain experience of de-identifying myself with intoxicant led me, through Acts of the Apostless of will, to go successful in the field of concern. It besides showed me how my shame and guilt over my dependence to imbibe were non my enemies but my friends because they were the goad of alteration. What I have come to gain nevertheless, was that giving up imbibing and my concern success was a consequence of picks and Acts of the Apostless of will that occurred in the kingdom of my personality. They were first order alterations. In order to carry through these I had to reframe my experiences and repossess the kid within me. Once I went beyond that point and experienced a religious growing and a sort of synthesis between my personality and my true or higher ego, I discovered my true intent. This was a 2nd order alteration in that it had moved me to a higher degree and connected me with the transpersonal ego. I now know that in order to travel on as a religious individual I need to be able to assist others to cover with their ain jobs and to happen their ain intent and religious egos. I had realised the significance of enduring as the ego placing with fortunes. Once I had stopped placing myself as an alcoholic I had set the procedures of alteration in gesture which is why I now desire to assist ease alteration in others.


This paper has looked at Assagioli’s construct of the Act of Will. I have, through illustrations from my ain life tried to demo how psychosynthesis works. Assagioli’s work is non merely some psychological theory but a clear statement of how a individual may, through the will set up who they truly are. It is this cognition of my true ego that has given me the drift to walk off from a really successful concern to retrain so that I can work with others. This I hope, will ease greater alteration in my ain life and aid in my desire to ease alteration in others.


Assagioli, R. 1973.The act of will. New York: Harper & A ; Row.

Assagioli, R 1965PsychosynthesisNew York Viking Press

Assagioli, R. 1971Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic WritingsLondon, Macmillan

Assagioli, R. 1976.Psychosynthesis. New York: Penguin Books.

Assagioli, R. 1991.Transpersonaldevelopment: The dimension beyond psychosynthesis. London: Crucible.

Brown, M. 2001 “A Psychosynthesis Twelve Step Program for Transforming Consciousness: Creative Explorations of Inner Space”Reding and ValuessVol 45

Grosso, M. 2005 “Will Training and Philosophical Practice”Philosophic PracticeMarch, 2005 1 ( 1 ) pp.23-32

Wismer-Bowden ( 1998 ) “Recovery from alcohol addiction: A religious journey”Issues in Mental Health Nursing1998 19 pp.337-352


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