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What We May Be
Piero Ferrucci. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1982

The Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli noticed several years ago that a great deal of psychological pain, imbalance, and meaninglessness are felt when our diverse inner elements exist unconnected side by side or clash with one another. But he also observed that when they merge in successively greater wholes, we experience a release of energy, a sense of wellbeing, and a greater depth of meaning in our lives.

Seeing that this process tends to occur naturally in all human beings, but that it often gets blocked, Assagioli devised techniques to evoke and facilitate it. After he had initially been involved with psychoanalysis (he was considered by Freud as one of its representatives in Italy during the beginning of last century), Assagioli grew dissatisfied and developed his own system, a practical psychological approach open to all contributions, that has since been applied in such fields as education, therapy and medicine. To that system he gave the name of psychosynthesis.

Assagioli's approach is not just a form of self-improvement (which promises more and more of the same thing: more energy, more concentration, more relaxation, etc.) or another form of therapy (where we only try to get rid of something). Rather, it aims to evoke wholeness and the dawn of a new and wider frame of reference in the human psyche. A woman having experienced psychosynthesis writes:"The internal process of psychosynthesis makes me think of a kaleidoscope. When the pieces of colored glass are being shaken up, they are just a jumble. Then you hold the kaleidoscope steady, and they form a beautiful pattern".