Assagioli was a student of Sigmund Freud. He introduced Freud’s teachings to the medical fraternity in Venice in 1910. Assagioli saw that there was a need for something beyond analysis. This was the need for a person to become whole – to be united in synthesis.
His most famous book is The Act of Will. What follows is a long citation from Chapter 7, pages 85-90.
“Many attempts are being made to replace Competition with Cooperation, conflict with arbitration and agreement, based on an understanding of right relations between groups, classes, and nations.
All this is basically a question of WILLING.
The individual has to discipline itself and choose the aims which as are consistent with the welfare of others and the common good of humanity.
There are two methods of accomplishing this task:
(1): The elimination of Obstacles.
(2): The active development and expression of a Good Will.
Selfishness constitutes the fundamental obstacle. Selfishness springs from the desire to possess and to dominate, which is an expression of the basic urges of self-preservation and self-assertion.
Self-centeredness. While less obvious and crude than selfishness, it is also a great hindrance because of its tendency to refer everything to the personal self, to consider everything from the angle of one’s own personality, to concentrate solely on one’s own ideas and emotional reactions.
Lack of understanding. With understanding comes the abandonment of the inclination to criticize, to judge, to condemn. With understanding is born the recognition that an individual “Is As He Is,” and in a certain sense has the right to be what he is.
For he is the product of an enormous number of collective and individual elements rooted in the past and the present, and all kinds of conditioning over which he did not have control.
The individual is not fixed and immutable but is in a continual state of becoming.
Everyone can direct and regulate his own “becoming” process to a certain extent; thus comes into play the Responsibility he bears for the beneficent or harmful influence he has on other people”
The most important capability to create a Good Will is to become Vulnerable, to allow others to Affect us.
If we do this we will not dominate others and others are incapable of dominating us.
Slave and Master play a simple game, the game of Control and allowing Control.
If we become vulnerable we can play the most satisfying Game of Creation.