Intro to Psychosynthesis: Integrating Our Subpersonalities

Psychosynthesis EggPsychosynthesis is a branch of Psychology that works with our various subpersonalities/roles in life with the aim of integrating them all into a whole. It starts from the premise that we are all healthy (as opposed to other therapies that aim to fix what is wrong).

 

 

Psychosynthesis Egg DiagramIt has been called “Psychology with a Soul”, as it integrates a spiritual dimension into the understanding of the Self for both personal and spiritual development. Psychosynthesis recognizes various levels of consciousness and two stages of development that often overlap: Personal and Transpersonal (Spiritual). A major emphasis is placed on the spiritual part of our identity—our Higher Self, or our personal experience of Spirit.

Psychosynthesis was developed by Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli in 1910 to merge the grounding, reflective process of psychology with the deeper, soul aspect of spiritualism. It is the forerunner of Humanistic Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology.

Some of the goals of Psychosynthesis are the following:

  • Create self-awareness and discover our spiritual nature and potential.
  • Enhance the full range of human experience and support our movement toward self-realization.
  • Make the subpersonalities/roles creative and helpful in our life.
  • Integrate personality through self-realization, self-actualization, and spiritual (transpersonal) development.

Working with our subpersonalities is a five-stage process:

  1. Recognition
  2. Acceptance
  3. Coordination
  4. Integration
  5. Synthesis

Psychosynthesis Star DiagramAccording to Psychosynthesis, we create our own problems. We must have awareness and will to change/get unstuck. Will, imagination, and intuition are all necessary. Wants are an external manifestation of subpersonalities that mask needs.

Subpersonalities want to transform/evolve themselves and integrate to become whole. Once all our subpersonalities are integrated, we are able to experience a new level of growth on our journey of evolution.

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Transcendent Man: Transhumanism and the Future of Human Identity

Transcendent Man Movie PosterI recently watched the documentary film Transcendent Man, which follows inventor, genius, futurist Ray Kurzweil in his life, accomplishments, and insights into the future of humanity. Kurzweil, an artificial intelligence scientist and winner of 24 patents, believes that by 2029 computers will have consciousness. In his book The Singularity is Near, he makes future predictions such as this based on exponential technological growth. Three areas he sees increasing in importance and advancement: genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics. He sees a point in roughly 40 years where artificial intelligence will take over from human intelligence.

Sentient RobotTranshumanism, or the transforming of humans through technology to eliminate aging and enhance intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities, is a result of humanity’s age-old search for the Fountain of Youth. It focuses on topics such as life extension strategies, mind uploading/uploading human intelligence into the Internet, and cryonics (preserving humans in cold states for a future period when  their disease/illness can be treated).

Michaelangelo AI Fusion PaintingArguments and controversy against a futurist/transhumanistic evolution of humanity include: impossibility/infeasibility, playing God with life, genetic divide between the “haves” and “have-nots” (e.g., Gattaca), dehumanization (e.g. Frankenstein), and an “artilect war”/security risks to humans where there is the potential for artificial intelligence to wipe out humans (e.g. Terminator).

How do you think humanity will be different in 50, 100, 200+ years from now?

Race as Identity?

Race posterI recently went to the Smithsonian’s Race exhibit and accompanying lecture on “The Story We Tell”—a documentary film and talk on how the concept of “race” came about in the United States. Sponsored by the American Anthropological Association, this exhibit and three-part documentary series examines why race is a myth and how 19th century science legitimated and continued this myth.

 

History

For the first settlers in the New World, class and religion were what were important identity-defining measures. However, when the United States was formed, a new measure of importance and equality emerged. The Declaration of Independence stated “all men are created equal”, yet many Americans owned slaves, including Thomas Jefferson, who wrote those words. Therefore, America needed a way to justify this apparent hypocrisy and instituted the concept of race and a hierarchy of advantage based on it.

The idea of race had taken hold in Europe even before this, and scientists aimed to prove it and classify people based on that proof. In 1735, Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus classified humans into four races:

  • American: Red, choleric, erect, obstinate, merry and free; paints self with red lines; regulated by customs
  • European: White, sanguine, muscular, gentle, acute and inventive; covered with close vestments; governed by laws
  • Asian: Sallow, melancholy, stiff, severe, haughty, avaricious; covered with loose garments; governed by opinion
  • African: Black, phlegmatic, relaxed, crafty, indolent, negligent; anoints self with grease; governed by caprice

In the 1800s, scientists used skull size measurements as their proof that different races exist. However, these results were later found to be false.

The myth of race was furthered by World’s Fairs, showcasing “savages” in their native environments.

In 1899, in The Races of Europe by William Z. Ripley, Europeans were classified into three races: Teutonic, Alpine, and Mediterranean.

The documentary and exhibit shows how the U.S. has used race as a justification for its Indian policy, particularly in regards to the Cherokee; war against Mexico; and annexation of the Philippines, and how the idea of race still exists today—decades after segregation. Other facts that have since been scientifically proven: race has no genetic basis, and most variation within people comes from within an ethnicity rather than between groups or “races”.

Further Info

Race—Are we so different?

The Hapa Project

Day of the Dead: Ancestral Identity Ponderances

ancestor treeWhat have you learned from your grandparents? How are you like your grandparents/ancestors? How are you different? What is your ethnicity? How has that shaped your personality and your life? What are your ancestral gifts? What will be your legacy to your descendants?