Psychosynthesis Experiences – 6

The synthesis of opposites (synthesis II)

In Psychosynthesis, another broader and more general type of synthesis is also considered: the synthesis of opposites. Like the tendency towards synthesis, the principle of polarity is detectable at every level of manifestation: in the physical world, in the three domains of organic life (vegetable, animal and human), in the field of emotions and feelings, at the intellectual level and at the level of the personality as a whole.

If we take, for example, the personality level, some of the main polarities which have been amply researched in modern psychology, include: soma – psyche; conscious – unconscious; higher unconscious – lower unconscious; passivity/sensibility/receptivity – activity/dynamism/will; extroversion – introversion; aspiration – inspiration: feeling/heart/Eros – mind/reason/Logos (Assagioli, The balancing and synthesis of the opposites).

Between the two poles there may exist different types of relationship.

  • Some individuals seem totally defined by (in Psychosynthesis we may say, they are “identified with”) a single aspect of their personality, at the exclusion of everything else: these are people who, for example, are constantly driven by their appetites, their emotions, and never listen to reason; or people who cultivate an ascetic attitude towards existence, disregarding or even condemning its more sensual aspects. The outcome of such attitude is stagnation, because there is no creative tension and the process of evolution is therefore blocked.
  • Even more common than stagnation is the oscillation between opposite poles. Oscillation often results from a repression linked to an either-or way of thinking (aut logic): either I follow what my feelings and emotions tell me, or I act in a cold and detached manner; either I rigorously adhere to a strict ascetic discipline, or I let myself be swept away by sensual pleasures. Any attempt to supress one of the two poles is doomed to failure and sooner or later, the rejected part will resurface on the field of consciousness with great force, thus perpetuating the oscillatory movement.
  • What Psychosynthesis recommends is to remain conscious of both poles simultaneously, without identifying exclusively with either, thereby producing a creative tension, a dynamic balance. This is rendered possible by virtue of disidentification, where the “I” is freed from each aspects of the polarity, so that both can be cyclically expressed in rhythmical and creative movement (both-and or et logic): I can both listen to my feelings and emotions, and take into accounts what my reason tells me; I can both pursue a path of spiritual inquiry, and enjoy the beauty and sensuality of life.
  • Subsequently, the activation of the personal self or “I”, which is none other than a reflection of the transpersonal Self, may bring about a rapprochement and subsequent fusion the two poles, their The new reality thereby created indicates a change in level, a moment of growth. In this synthesis, we can integrate heart and head (I am “rationally-emotional” and “emotionally-rational”); we can combine spirituality and sensuality (I am “sensually-spiritual” and “spiritually-sensual”). In reality, synthesis is more than the sum of its parts and displays some paradoxical or trans-logical characteristics which are best expressed through imagery and symbols rather than through language.

Furthermore, the process of synthesis is one of the most effective gateways to superconscious experiences, and is conducive to the, at least partial, realisation of the transpersonal Self.

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