This article is written with my Psychosynthesis hat on. For those of you who may be unsure what P/S (as I call it) is all about, I will give you a quick overview.
It was developed by an Italian psychologist, Roberto Assagioli, who was the first non-medically trained person to be taught by Freud. His mother was a Theosophist, so was well versed in the spirituality of the East and by birth they were a Jewish family.
So one day, when young Roberto was in discussion with Freud and Jung, the great denizens of the psychoanalytic movement, he had the temerity to ask them “You talk a great deal about depth psychology – but what about height psychology? What about potential and spirituality?” We have no record of their thoughts on that idea.
So the P/S psychotherapy philosophy was born and developed in Italy through the 1950s and 60s. It resonated with the new thoughts that were coming out of Esalen on the West Coast of America during that time and many of the “names” in P/S started out there. I undertook my own training in London with Lady Diana Whitmore and Piero Ferrucci, who were both trained by Roberto in Italy. How lucky I was.
And that’s all folks about the history of P/S. Now a bit of theory. As a mystic, Roberto understood the ideas of “Qualities” or “Ideals”. They are similar to the Platonic Ideals that are taught by the Mystery Schools in the Western Tradition to exist in the world before/beyond manifestation.
Everything that is in manifestation exists to reflect and express these Universal Ideals. They lie behind , or are contained within, the material reality. And while these qualities are always positive at Source, they may not be expressed as such by an individual. Assagioli explained that distortions in our ability to express them positively results from our earliest years with our primary care-givers, but that behind every distortion there is a Universal quality trying to be expressed. For example, a disruptive child may be a pain in class, but the Universal Quality trying to be expressed is love that is being distorted into frustration, because that’s all the child knows to do to get attention.
And it’s the same with the Law of Attraction – hope you are still with me here – in that we could ask ourselves “What are the qualities within the LOA that are needing to be expressed by me in my life in order to manifest clearly what I want from my life?” And you might find that a somewhat mystifying question. So let’s start with that other much quoted Universal Law – Gravity. What are the qualities of gravity? Easy – it’s powerful, it’s weighty, it’s protective (keeps us on earth) and it is a huge part of manifestation itself. It also has variations, so that birds can fly, fish can swim and it keeps our feet firmly on the ground. And I’m sure you can come up with a few more yourself.
So, the qualities of the LoA – are many. Things like abundance – out there at the Universal level, there’s always enough to go around. Each time we worry that there’s not going to be enough, we diminish our ability to receive and gain. Then there’s willingness – are we willing to do what we need to do in order to have our desires met?
Gratitude was one that was mentioned a lot in the DVD of “The Secret”. Do we practice gratitude on a daily basis? Gratitude for what we receive, however small, and gratitude for the ability to give to others as well – so each time we perform an action, we can give thanks that we are able. Gratitude can also work through blessing and praising – finding a praising and positive way to teach a small child will mean less distortion for the wee person to wade through in adulthood – or at least, that’s the theory.
Allowing – do we allow ourselves simply to be ourselves, truly? Do we allow others to be themselves truly? Many of us have learned to survive by trying to be who we are not. It may be time to start allowing in our lives. There’s also a lot of letting-go implied in allowing as well – letting go of expectations that have never worked for us – and that were never ours in the first place. This implies that we can allow ourselves to be successful in whatever way we choose for ourselves – not to fulfill someone else’s dreams, but our own.
Discrimination is an important quality, I think, because without it we would “allow” much rubbish and negativity to be in our lives – we would allow others to treat us in a way we don’t deserve. For me the quality of discrimination is vital – and yes, you’ve guessed it – I learned that one at first hand. From this last we could then develop forgiveness – do we forgive ourselves for not being who we can be? And as we forgive ourselves, so we can forgive others. But don’t forget discrimination ……
Optimism and open-mindedness lead us to expand our horizons to include new ways of being. So, thinking positive thoughts is vital. When we catch ourselves being negative, a good exercise is to retrace the thought train to its beginning and start again, this time reframing it positively. This is a good way to become conscious of our thoughts all the time – eventually we will be able to be positive at will. And it is our thoughts that manifest – so it’s important to be on the ball with them.
The quality that follows directly from openness is generosity – do we give – do we take? Sometimes taking can be a problem – however, the generosity in taking is that we are allowing someone else to give. So we are giving, too. And sometimes, if all we have is a tiny income, it can be an act of generosity to give a fraction of it to someone else in need. This opens us up to the generosity of the Universe – we are mirroring its generosity and flowing with it by giving – behaving in its likeness, if you will – and who knows what manner of receiving we are then in line for? However, giving comes first.
This is spiritual “work” in the truest sense. It implies that we take time to think, to feel, to act and to be; that we give from our hearts, learn from our own stories; be willing to take the steps towards becoming our best selves; and thank the Universe or .. (fill in your own blank here) for the wonder of life in all its many manifestations. It also implies that we are loving and creative beings who are strong in our individuality as we express all those qualities in our personal lives.
Oh and by the way, Roberto suggested that the highest Universal Quality, closest to the Angels, was humour – so get laughing!!