Assagioli, Roberto (1888–1974)
Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and parapsychologist. He was
born February 27, 1888, in Venice, Italy, and educated at University
of Florence (M.D.). As a young psychiatrist he became
disenchanted with first Freudian and then Jungian psychoanalysis.
Thus he turned his attention to the development of a new
psychology he termed psychosynthesis. Psychosynthesis assumes
that in addition to the conscious self, or ‘‘I’’, every person
also has a pathway to a ‘‘Higher Self,’’ which is a reflection
of the divine. The purpose of each human life is to participate
as fully as possible in self-evolution along that pathway. The
system was left open so that both individuals and any psychologists
could participate in developing psychosynthesis and incorporate
the various occult tools of transformation.
Assagioli founded the Institute of Psychosynthesis in 1926.
He met Alice Bailey during the early 1930s, and they became
friends; their organizations have retained a working association.
Psychosynthesis was suppressed during World War II, and
Assagioli was arrested. He spent his prison days exploring
meditation and altered states of consciousness. After the war he
revived his work and promoted the founding of institutes in the
United States, Greece, and England.
In 1958 Assagioli became chair of the Psychosynthesis Research
Foundation at Greenville, Delaware, and editor of Psiche-Rivista
di Studi Psicologici. During his mature years, he authored
a set of books which became the major statements of
psychosynthesis. He died in Capaiona, Italy, on August 23,
1974.
Sources
Assagioli, Roberto. The Act of Will. New York Viking
Penguin, 1973.
———. Parapsychological Faculties and Psychological Disturbances.
London Medical Society for Study of Radiesthesia,
1958.
———. Psychosynthesis A Manual of Principles and Techniques.
Rev. ed. New York VikingPenguin, 1971.

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