The Inner World and the Self in Psychosynthesis

Psychosynthesis Egg Diagram, formulated by Roberto Assagioli. by Graeme Wilson
Psychosynthesis Egg Diagram, formulated by Roberto Assagioli. by Graeme Wilson

This image represents a Spiritual Model of the Human Psyche, created by Assagioli (1973). Assagioli is a post-Jungian thinker. He focused on expanding Carl Jung’s method of the transcendent function, as well as the development of the Self and an archetypal path to wholeness. Assagioli’s model begins with the theory of depth psychology, and is inclusive of what Assagioli called the ‘higher Self.’

1. The lower unconsciousness
This is the part of our unconscious where our fundamental drives and primitive urges are stored. Here we find the “emotional complexes, charged with intense emotion” (p. 17). This is the place of dreams and imagination of the “inferior kind” (p. 17). The lower unconscious controls our bodily functions and the life of the body.

2. The middle unconsciousness
The middle unconscious is where we process easily accessible memories. It is in this space that our mental and imaginative experiences are assimilated, elaborated and gestated before they birth into consciousness.

3. The higher unconsciousness
This is the region from where we receive our higher intuitions and inspirations such as artistic, philosophical scientific urges to action. This is the source of higher feelings like altruistic love and genius. It’s also the space of states of ‘contemplation, illumination and ecstasy” (p.18).

4. The field of consciousness
This part of our personality of which we are directly aware: “a never ending stream of sensations, images, thoughts, feelings, desires and impulses that we can observe, analyze and judge” (p. 180)

5. The conscious self or ‘I’ (the Ego)
This part of the self is emerged in the flow of sensations and thoughts.

6. The higher Self
This is the Self behind the I. This is the aspect of Self that is not afflicted by the daily stream of our consciousness or our bodily conditions. This is the center of our consciousness. Assagioli states that the conscious self is merely a reflection or projection of this higher self.

7. The collective unconsciousness
Each of us are embedded in this larger field of consciousness. There is an exchange between the individual consciousness and world surrounding it. Assagioli referred to this as osmosis between an individual human being and the larger psychic environment.