Psychosynthesis Egg Diagram
Roberto Assgioli created the egg diagram to illustrate the multidimensional nature of the human psyche and how the various parts of one’s consciousness relate to each other. Like all diagrams it has its limitations – mainly because it’s a static representation of something that is a dynamic and ever-changing process.
Consciousness levels refers to the physical, emotional, mental and intuitive levels we can experience, there are a vast range of energies we can become conscious to. We experience these energies when we sense, feel, think, create and have intuitive flashes- and what we are conscious of represents only the tip of the iceberg. Psychosynthesis divides the diagram into three levels of consciousness in which we experience ourselves, though this is dependant upon on our general level of awareness and where our awareness is directed at any given time.
According to Assagioli, the Self is a transpersonal center, a source of essential being, an inner counsellor guiding us to truth, meaning, and purpose. The Self is represented as a star, and appears at the top and bottom at the top of the diagram.
In relationship with the Self is PCI (personal center of identity) which is the “inner still space that we experience as truly ourselves” The Self and PCI are ideally aligned as indicated by the light bar through the center of the diagram connecting them. One can think of PCI as a less dense reflection of the full potential of the Self. You’ll notice that in the diagram I have drawn, I have used solid lines, originally it was drawn with dotted lines to emphasise that these boundary lines are not rigid or static and actually blend with each other. I have chosen solid lines and shading to make it a little easier to visually represent. Please read below for a fuller explanation of various aspects of the egg diagram.
This generally corresponds to what is referred to in traditional psychology as “The Unconscious”. This part of our psyche coordinates autonomic process and intelligent bodily functions, drives and urges that we share with many living things. This part is often charged strong or deep emotions and is largely unlanguaged. It may be disregarded or treated with fear in some quarters, and such disconnection can result in phobias, obsessions, compulsive urges and delusions. More often it is what shapes us to act in ways we may not be conscious of choosing. The information here may be experienced through sensations or symbolism.
The psychological elements most familiar to our waking consciousness – easily retrievable memories, thoughts and feelings: what he had for breakfast, what you did for your last birthday. In a sense this is where most of our experience of the world takes place and is assimilated and developed in a kind of gestation process – not all of the experience will be brought into the field of awareness. This information can easily be imagined and is most easily translated into language.
The level of our higher aspirations and intuitions which lie outside our day to day consciousness. It contains high feelings such as altruistic love, energies sometimes seen as “spiritual” energies and states of contemplation in ecstasy. It is a state that we may access more readily when we begin to experience ourselves in relationship with, or part of, something greater than ourselves that speaks to our own sense of meaning and purpose -whether that “something greater” is understood as relationship, group, family, society, nature, art, religion or something else, the experience is one of profound interconnection. It is often experienced by way of what Maslow called “peak experiences”. The superconscious shapes our evolution by drawing us onto expressing more of who we are whereas the basic unconscious drives us from behind seeking expression.
Field of Conscious Awareness
That part of our personality and experience that holds what we are directly aware of at any time – a flow of thoughts, feelings, sensations, desires and impulses. These are held fluidly so that we are able to observe analyse and judge them, and then aligned choices. .We are not aware of everything we know at any given time, naturally, but we bring it to our attention in the field of consciousness when we need it. The field capacity may fluctuate depending on conditions in one’s environment.
Personal Center of Identity
Is an integrated and essential sense of ongoing being that is distinct from the changing aspects of ourselves, yet not separate from these. It is not always included with our field of awareness (I may not always be aware of being aware!). It is not absolute state, because as we integrate more of ourselves, our capacity to experience PCI increases. The more we know ourselves, the more we know we most essentially are. This is a dynamic experience that can be felt, not only a concept that can be thought. It can also be thought of as a space in which we can observe the contents of our experience, and not become over identified in any single experience, thus allowing us to hold multiple experiences at once. Called “the I” in some traditions and often referred to as PCI in psychosynthesis.
The source of all essential being, It is often descirbed as a profound sense of interconnectedness with life, of pure love and a purpose to benefit all humankind. PCI is seen to be a reflection and projection of self throughout the field of personality. To indicate the fullness of this, psychosynthesis includes a star at the top and bottom of the diagram. This seeming paradox makes sense if we think of the union between an object and its reflected image in a mirror, the analogy that Assagioli is using here: there is a complete union between an object and its reflected image such that any changes in the object are reflected in the image (but not vice versa); yet the image has its own relative independent existence at its own level on the mirror. Self is like the object reflected and “PCI”—with consciousness and will—is the “reflection of the Self, its projection, in the field of the personality.
This forms and ideas embedded in the contexts in which we live in, they may be experienced as a social pattern, myth or symbol. Sam Keen (1974) states “A person is always in a social context”. The collective consciousness is where we can access the collective ideas, images and experiences of humanity.
Piero Ferrucci - Quote
“It’s all really very simple. You don’t have to choose between being kind to yourself and others. It’s one and the same.”
Carl Jung - Quote
“What we are not conscious to we are ruled by. – Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Roberto Assagioli - Quote
“Psychosynthesis is a method of psychological development and self realization for those who refuse to remain the slave of their own inner phantasms or of external influences, who refuse to submit passively to the play of psychological forces which is going on within them, and who are determined to become the master of their own lives.”
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