The PelicanWeb's Journal of Sustainable Development

Research Digest on Integral Human Development,
Spirituality, Solidarity, Sustainability, Democracy, Technology, Nonviolence

Vol. 5, No. 10, October 2009
Luis T. Gutierrez, Editor

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This article is contributed by Dr. Ewa Bialek, founder and president of the Psychosynthesis Institute in Warsaw, Poland. It is highly relevant to education for sustainable development centered on integral human development. The world is becoming increasingly complex due to globalization and ubiquitous communication technologies. This in turn leads to interdependencies between nations, institutions, and individuals; and these interdependencies are both very strong and very fluid. At this point in human history, change is the name of the game.

The hectic pace of today's life is taking a toll on human health and, in particular, mental health. Psychosynthesis, introduced by the Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974), is a very sensible step forward beyond psychoanalysis. Whereas the intent of psychoanalysis is, as some would say, "to break people down into pieces," the intent of pyshosynthesis is "to put them back together." Psychoanalysis, while still valid, is both costly and time consuming, and is becoming increasingly unaffordable for most people. For the many people who suffer from anxiety and depression, pyschosynthesis may be a more practical answer going forward.

Psychosynthesis does include abbreviated analysis and psychotherapy, if needed. But the greatest emphasis is on preventive education to enable people to self-manage stress and stay mentally healthy. Thus it can become a very important and affordable ingredient in the journey toward integral human development. The journal is indebted to Dr. Bialek for taking the initiative to submit this paper for publication.

Integral Human Development and Health:
Psychosynthesis in Education for Sustainable Development

Ewa Bialek
Ewa Bialek, Ph.D.
Institute of Psychosynthesis,
Warsaw, Poland
Submitted 10 September 2009. Revised, 27 September 2009.

Abstract: A pivotal condition for introducing into life the principles of sustainable development, for protecting the environment against total destruction, and maintaining its invariable state “for the future” is to include all circles into activity for restoring it as well as for creating. To this end, a social education is very much needed. Social education is a condition for environmental protection against total degradation. It has been written in many international and local documents, presented to societies after the Rio de Janeiro Conference in 1992. But it is still a subject of theory, not practice.

The programs mentioned below need to take into consideration the reparation activity of the ecosystem, starting from the local level up to global level, and also teaching individuals (children and adults) new attitudes and values that promote healthy and peaceful life in harmony with the environment. In order to achieve sustainable development, sustainable individual person with balanced personality, healthy family, school classroom, work place, sustainable business and industry, sustainable administration, society and sustainable government are needed.

But first of all if we want to discover ourselves, our spiritual part and the spiritual dimension of the world, the primary imperative is to turn towards those psychological theories which include this aspect of human life in all fields related to human activities, especially pedagogy. An example of such theory, which at the same time is practice, is psychosynthesis. Psychosynthesis, based on the comprehensive view of the world and man, becomes the education of the sustainable development, beginning with our selves as people, our centre of consciousness and will, supporting our upward growth, reaching the higher level of individual development, our spiritual dimension, including respect for all life – nature and the whole universe, too.


The mechanistic assumptions underlying the science of the seventeenth century: Cartesian and Newtonian theories, changed radically the way the people look at themselves and their relation to the world. Cartesian philosophy wrenched human beings from their familiar, social and religious context and put them into an I-centered culture, dominated by egocentricity, “I” and “mine” pattern. Cris Clarke and Joan Walton stated at the SEAL Conference “Opening Mind into Holistic Learning” in Canterbury (2001): “there is a great difference between “the old world view” of Newtonian science and the new quantum world-view (physics of consciousness) and spiritual approach within the environmental movement. Our traditional modes of research are not adequate to explore the new hypothesis that there exists a transpersonal reality, which is of a different order to the reality described by traditional science”. The new quantum world-view stresses dynamic relations with everything that exists.

It has, in fact, taken almost a century to find general acceptance of this theory, and even now the majority of scientists still fails to bring the old paradigm into the center of their personal experience and research. The principles of Newtonian science have permeated all our mainstream organizations and institutions to date. Our whole educational process is still deeply immersed in Newtonian ideas and values. Ken Wilber told about these two extremes: “eco” versus “ego” positions. But there is hope for a synthesis of these two approaches.

Since the new science shows that the context (or learning environment) that we create evokes the things that happen within it, we realize that current educational realities are largely determined by the classroom and its conditions. It is the core – how we experience ourselves, the others and the world and our relationship to it. It is a conflict between the world view – cherished in the hearths and the reality of human potential, the beauty of the world and society still soaked in the completely contradictory picture. The vision of the new world ruled by science is a key in changing our modes of thinking.

Quantum theory introduces the opposites of Newtonian physics: indeterminism and connectivity.

Call for New Awareness

Western psychology in general has largely ignored humanity’s relationship to the natural world. The new disciple of ecopsychology has begun to address this failure and study the human psyche within the larger system of which it is a part. We are beginning to see how our cultural alienation from nature engenders not only careless and destructive behavior toward our environment, but also many common disorders, such as depression and addiction. Sarah Conn writes: “ecopsychology invites psychotherapy practice to expand its focus beyond the inner landscape, to explore and foster the development of community contact with land and place, and ecological identity”.

We know now, that we are living in a world of relationships, entwined and sustained by interconnecting webs of dynamic interactions. And today we are awakening to that world, discovering the enormity of our past human folly along with the creative potentials within and around us. “Today it is not just a forest here and some farmland. Today entire species are dying - whole cultures and ecosystems on a global scale” – wrote Molly Young Brown in her article in “Ecopsychosynthesis: Meeting the Crises of our Time”. “Like “Alice in Wonderland” on the chessboard of the mad queen, we must run ever faster to stay in the same place” – she has added.

Social & Ecological Health Education

In this dramatic situation social education is a fundamental, indispensable condition for environmental protection against total degradation. It has to be put practice; it cannot remain just a theory.

This kind of education should lead to the repair of ecosystems from local up to global level, and also change social consciousness into new ways of life, teach individual persons (children as well as adults) new attitudes and values, that favor “healthy and effective life in harmony with the environment”.

A basic educational priority becomes understanding the concept of health – from individual health to healthy surroundings. It needs to search the interdependence between physical, psychological, biological and social health. It is impossible to think about health, health promotion, and a healthy style of life without psychoeducation. There can be no psychoeducation and health promotion without holistic medicine and psychology – we must see each person as a whole psychosomatic human being. There can be no ecological education – without seeing the need for holistic health (section 93 of Habitat II).

The road to holistic health concerns every one of us, men and women. It depends on us and our social consciousness of the effects of our words, thoughts, actions, also introducing new inventions – influencing the health of individuals, next generations and surroundings. From the other point of view, ecological education consists of: psychology, philosophy, medicine and ecology. Sustainable development refers to a wide approach towards the promotion of health, life and environment and their protection for future generations. This concept applies to everyone: children, women and men and emphasis, on the one hand, on “pro-ecological” attitudes and behavior, as a demand for education from the lowest level; and on the other hand the assurance, especially on children, of health protection and growth.

Thanks to them we can create a pattern of ecological education that takes into consideration individual human beings, gender balance and perspective, psycho-spiritual differences between the sexes, supporting harmonious development and health, building relations between people, communication language from the smallest group (family), via local community, to society and nations. It also includes relations with all beings and surroundings and sustainable development of ecosystems.

Harmonious Growth

Harmonious sustainable healthy child development refers to each aspect of change, which occurs in the organism and protects the child's needs. The most fundamental are security and love – the atmosphere at home/kindergarten/school, supporting creation of harmonious personality, especially her/his psycho-spiritual sphere. The main task for parents and teachers is to be very sensitive to the natural needs of the child, not ignore them, supporting his or her interior growth of integrity.

Harmonious sustainable healthy child development refers also to each aspect of the natural bridge between the everyday world and the world of quantum physics. This closer look at the nature and role of consciousness will lead to a deeper philosophical understanding of daily life and to a more complete picture of the Universe, of which humans are a part. It is likely that the mutual influence between the state of nature and our state of mind will remain a central topic of study and a key area of any ecological action and educational input.

Harmonious development is a complex concept. I wrote in one of my articles:

Harmonious development – there exists a conscious supporting of the growth of the whole organism and protection of all the child's needs – natural/psychological, towards physical and psychospiritual necessities satisfaction. There is “education for the future instead of treating people after they start suffering the effects of our mistakes”.

Roberto Assagioli, Italian psychiatrist and psychotherapist, founder of psychosynthesis, once said:

“When something comes on time – it is education; when too late – it is therapy.”

So in order to avoid therapy for humans and restorations for the Earth, it is necessary to begin education early.

What is the meaning of sustainable development?

Sustainable means a harmonious, balanced, natural process of growth, related to all spheres of human functioning: senses, physical, emotional, intellectual, intuitive, volitional, and ethical, thus leading to a healthy personality of the child, adult, family, community, society, and environment.

This means that sustainable development is related to each human being. Education for sustainable development requires the inclusion of individual development and consciousness. A healthy environment starts with a healthy human being. We cannot talk about health and sustainable development without including a holistic view of health and growth of each human being and entire planet.

New Pedagogy

A new pedagogy should begin to be very tightly connected with the holistic paradigm, which concerns the individual and his or her space in the universe, stressing unity of beings: human and nature. This new pedagogy should include everyone, children as well as adults and be a life-long, never-ending process, because its goal is to create “a quality” of human being and his or her relations with others and the universe.

The natural world is an unexhausted source and foundation of senses experiments of human beings. In the traditional system of Western education, there is no place for the use of the senses. Furthermore, the traditional system pays attention into developing resources of information and knowledge from books. In these conditions a kind of deprivation appears, connected to a lack of natural stimulus. This is a typical manifestation of the human being cut off from the environment. As Ms Jawlowska shows, that overbalance of artificial surroundings was caused by breaking the most natural bond of human being and nature. It has caused disturbance of his/her mental balance. Traumatized environment either not deliver proper stimulus or menace of lacking humanity. If these tendencies continue, all humanity will risk of extermination in a sense of extinction of the species caused by biological and emotional impoverishment of human existence.

The quality of human life has been created through nature in its biological and spiritual sense. A lack of natural stimulus leads to progressive degradation of humans as well as nature. There is an urgent need to establish tight and intimate emotional contacts with the natural world.

We, as conscious human beings at the beginning of 21st century, are and have the natural bridge between the everyday world and the world of quantum physics. This closer look at the nature and role of consciousness will lead to a deeper philosophical understanding of the everyday and to a more complete picture of the universe, of which humans are a part. It is likely that the mutual influence between the state of nature and our state of mind will remain a central topic of study and a key area of any ecological action and educational input.

“We will not succeed in bringing nature back into psychology without bringing back the soul at the same time” – wrote Bill Plotkin.

Carla Brennan asks us to realize that the “ecological crisis is not inviting us to save this “external” planet …it is inviting us as a part of the planet itself, to awaken and see our true nature”.

What is in store for our children’s children? What will be left for those who come after? “Too busy running to think about that, we try to close our minds to nightmare scenarios of wants and wars in a wasted, contaminated world” (Joana Macy& Molly Young Brown, 1998).

The urgency of the situation we face on the planet today requires every philosophy and psychology to contribute to a “Great Turning” of consciousness – towards our essential interconnectedness, our oneness with nature. We should live in harmony and peace with one another and with the natural world. We can meet our needs without destroying our life support system.

The underpinning for holistic learning is the need for the learner to be fully involved – experiencing with body, mind, emotions and spirit. That way learning becomes incorporated into the psyche, changes behavior and helps determine our future paths.

Roberto Assagioli, founder of psychosynthesis, emphasizes the human body as “an ecosystem of great, even central importance in definition of humankind’s interrelationships with all the other ecosystems of the cosmos”.

No 21st century educator would deny the existence of the unconscious mind and its vast influence on learning and behavior. But in the absence of a science that could describe it in a systematic and practically usable way, we continue to teach from conscious mind as if the learner was a learning machine, which is to say devoid of needs, emotions, imagination and intuition. This brings neurological distractions. Because we are conscious only of that we are conscious, we tend to assume that conscious awareness is all that exists.

The human being is not the center of the universe. We as humans have special gift – self reflective consciousness, our ability to look to the future, plan and strategize, creative genius, capacity to act out of conscious choice. Although humanity may have used these gifts in careless ways that have injured the living fabric of the planet, we can turn them now to the task of creating a sustainable future for all forms of life on Earth.

Psychosynthesis as a Holistic Approach Towards Human Development

When viewing the world, we usually proceed from the general to the particular, and, in turn, from seeing the whole of the world and the place of the man in it. We could also start the other way round – with the humans and then pinpoint their position in the whole world – the Cosmos. Nevertheless, this is a most difficult process, as it requires self-awareness, and this quality seems scarce in the contemporary world. It is often said that the macrocosm is the reflection of the microcosm, or, as the saying goes, “as above, so below”, but on the other hand it is so difficult for people to notice that which is the closest to them – themselves, from the inside. As A.P. Sperling once wrote, “among all of the mysteries of the sky, the sea and the earth, that has been explored by man, he himself remains the greatest mystery.” In order to discover what lies at the very centre of our self, and, in turn, what is its effect on the universe, we only need to turn to psychosynthesis – human-friendly and extremely practical – and begin to adopt it in our everyday lives with respect to both “the little ones” and adults.

Psychosynthesis dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when a young Italian physician, Roberto Assagioli, presented in front of his professors his observations featured in his doctoral dissertation devoted to psychoanalysis, which were the result of the sessions he had had with patients in the Bleuler Clinic in Switzerland. As it soon turned out, Assagioli lambasted psychoanalysis, which, in his view “dismantled the patients into pieces, without ever putting them together,” and set out the foundations of the new system, which he called psychosynthesis.

Psychosynthesis is the psychology of the human person as a whole or, in other words, “the psychology with a soul.” It creates a positive image of the person, during his development in the ever-evolving world. Assagioli rejected pathologism, and assumed the model of health which included all “parts” of self, and where all of these “parts” were arranged around the centre, “the core of the man”, which he referred to as “the personal centre.”

Psychosynthesis is a positive concept of the human being during the dynamic process of their development in the evolving universe. It aims at facilitating this process by making it more lively and balanced through aware cooperation with the laws and forces of nature, which are present in the human being. Above all, it focuses on the upbringing/education of each individual, according to its fundamental rule: “when it’s on time – it’s education; when it’s late – it’s therapy,” but it also helps in therapy (when such needs arises, and then in the re-education), in the etymological meaning of the word “educare” (Latin): “searching within” and bringing it out, as well as “going towards” fuller development.

The word “synthesis” derives from Greek and means “putting everything together.” Synthesis is a combination of various parts, which creates a cohesive whole. In theory, psychosynthesis combines psychology with philosophical and religious approach, although it remains neutral. A result of such synthesis is a comprehensive theory of human nature and, at the same time, a wide range of techniques, which can be applied in various fields of consultancy related to the human being, and which is, above all, extremely vital in upbringing and education.

Assagioli wrote: “man is not isolated from the world, but is a part of a net of connections – individual and social – with other people, a part of the stream of unfolding life. Thus, each goal, each individual task should be in harmony with a universal meaning of life.”

In psychosynthesis, man effects his own synthesis, with a view to becoming “homo faber” of his own self. The motto of psychosynthesis is: “learn yourself, transform yourself and create yourself.”

Roberto Assagiolli in his numerous works stressed the importance of education as a global way to heal the world. Education, or re-education rather, of oneself (one’s mind, heart, imagination, spiritual dimension, including intuition, moral imperatives and will), irrespective of one’s age, was in his eyes to become the source of renewable energy for the whole planet.

The self, according to Assagioli, is the only certainty of the human phenomenon, the space which allows us to experience the universe in full. Psychosynthesis enables us to experience the whole potential of the human-planet dimension, which represents the microcosm as in incessant development, being a part of the macrocosm. It also represents man taking responsibility for his awareness, which enlivens the essence of being human.

Assagioli formulated a hypothesis that can be verified by anyone through experiencing “the constant core”, or the personal centre, responsible for the awareness of who we are, where we are heading to and what we consider to be important – it is the so-called “self” (personal self). The personal centre is connected to the Higher, or Transpersonal, i.e. spiritual Self, which, alongside the personal centre, is also the seat of consciousness and will. The Transpersonal Self (the superconscious) is beyond the average level of consciousness, and is reflected, as if in a mirror, in the personal self, transferring to it higher energies, projecting them onto the field of consciousness.

In the personal psychosynthesis, the self is the integrating centre. During the synthesis of the subpersonality, the body, the mind and emotions become balanced and integrated, as a result of which our performance improves, and not only at work, but also in interpersonal relations, the final effect being a fully integrated personality.

During the transpersonal psychosynthesis, the focus of the centralized personality shifts from the personal self towards the Transpersonal Self. In this connection we begin to discern the real goal and meaning of life, by overcoming all the limitations of the personal self and discovering the profound connection with the universal.

The contact with the higher dimension affords the sense of solidarity with all living creatures and of being a part of a greater whole. The integrated personality experiences the feeling of a higher and deeper sense, of a deeper identity – the Higher Self.

Psychosynthesis originated as a universal, transpersonal psychotherapy, and is a phenomenon rooted in the 20th century Western thought. It is both the theory and practice of individual growth and development, as it possesses the potential to be widely put to social and global use, assuming that each individual is both a spiritual nature and a personality. Assagioli gave a more scientific face to psychotherapy. Psychosynthesis can, thus, be seen, firstly, as an important stage in the development of the scientific theories examining the human nature, particularly psychology and psychotherapy; secondly, as part of the centuries-long spiritual tradition; and finally as a part of the theory of humankind’s evolution. The idea and the experience of “synthesis” may be meaningful to every individual, on every level of understanding and in any historical era. Psycho-synthesis is said to be for people what photo-synthesis is for plants – it grants the enlightenment of the life’s path.

Two concepts were crucial to Assagioli’s thought: the therapy, i.e. the transformation of the way the patient perceives the world in time of illness, and health – meant as the quality of life, not just with respect to the patient, but also to a healthy person. Assagioli’s objective was first of all to create a philosophy of life, and more precisely, a set of exercises enabling students/patients to draw their own conclusions and create their own philosophy including the meaning of life, its goal, values, individual sense. It granted the patients the ability to go through existential crises intact, by supporting their sense of the meaning of life and their growth – not only regarding individual experiences, but also the evolution of mankind and the universe.

Every single exercise, by evoking in the patient the AHA experience (eureka), increases the motivation to broaden his/her awareness, to discover the meaning of his/her own experiences. It gives the patient the feeling that he/she is not standing still, that standing still means actually going back, relapsing into chaos, the state of meaninglessness. The more one understands, the more “balance” one acquires. Internal harmony puts metabolic processes in order, or rather they “click” in their right place – like cogs in a watch, which, once arranged properly, find their own rhythm organizing further rhythms of “the higher order.” The process resembles the working of a cell, which affects the functioning of a given organ, and, in turn, the organism as a whole. Particular systems are set in order on many levels. Owing to this an integrated individual begins to interact harmoniously with other individuals, who, as a result of resonance, begin to put themselves and the world around in order. In this way their surrounding begins to resonate, to harmonize, to vibrate in the same rhythm. Obviously, this does not mean homogeneity; quite on the contrary, a variety of tones, vibrations is activated, as in the case of the colors of the rainbow, or piano chords. The result is a tune made up of most beautiful, clearest sounds. It is tunes of this kind that were created by geniuses.

In psychosynthesis, which combines empirical, existential, humanistic and transpersonal approaches and methods, will is seen as the central element and as a direct expression of both the personal self – “I” and the Higher Self – “the Higher I”. It stresses not so much the conception of will itself, as “the volitional action” on different levels, and particular aspects and qualities of will, as well as practical ways of developing and optimally using of the will function.

One of Assagioli’s most important discoveries, previously tackled from a totally different perspective, was the comprehensive insight into will, which he imagined to be at the very centre of the human experience, to be the source of identity. Unlike his predecessors, he did not consider will to be “a suppressing and enslaving function, contradictory to natural human instincts”, but he thought of it as “constructive power, which manages intuition, intellect, emotions and imagination towards the full self-realization of an individual”.

Assagioli’s “Act of Will” is the first synthesis of the very concept of will, its kinds and levels. It introduces also the “Will Project” goodwill campaign for all humankind, which is concerned with exploring and using will with a view to peace rather than war, in line with the UNESCO constitution preamble, which says: “Since wars begin in people’s minds, it is in their minds, too, that the world peace should be created.”

This kind of approach is phenomenological. It is based on the experience of Assagioli himself, his patients, students and collaborators, gathered over decades of hard work. It is also the map of volitional acts, presenting them from the viewpoint of the latest findings in existential, humanistic and transpersonal psychology. However, one should remember that its roots are much deeper.

According to psychosynthesis, the will plays the central role in the human personality and it is directly connected to man’s essence – the centre. It is “the heart” of the self-consciousness, or “the Self”. It is closely related to the goal of human life and to the activation of all necessary means to realize it.

This experience of “discovering will in oneself” may radically change the self-consciousness, the attitude towards oneself, other people and the world. It is the experience of “the living subject”, with the will to choose, to associate oneself with others, the will to change his/her personality, other people and the environment; it also grants the feeling of trust, a sense of security, joy and the “wholeness”.

Owing to this, Assagioli’s philosophy, by including the “act of will”, becomes a living philosophy, life ethics – positive responsibility for the internal well-being, and, in turn, for the welfare of the world. It is the responsibility of each individual.

The Science of Spiritual Development

The science of spiritual development and of awareness arouses the respect for all life, the responsibility and dignity of man, by being directed towards internal transformation, the passage from the level of cognition, moralizing, egoism and prelogical and logical thinking to the superstandard level of cosmocentric and spiritual growth. It requires rising beyond the limitations of one’s personality, e.g. inability to love, lack of ability to develop positive energy in oneself, to transform aggression or unsatisfied sexual energy into creative acts, and the capability to boost one’s own self-esteem. It involves actualizing one’s own abilities, which are still dormant, present on the level of the unconscious only, with a view to facilitating creative accommodation to a new, more human reality. The main objective of education for the future becomes, thus, combining: the physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual aspects of a person in order to make up a more balanced whole, to guarantee harmonious development, including intuition, imagination, creativity and love for everyday life and relationships with other people and nature.

Such education is based on the comprehensive view of the world and man, as a result of which both the Higher Self (in psychosynthesis), or the Highest Wisdom in religious traditions, and everyday reality are closely intertwined, and the sacred becomes their infinite substratum.

In this united spiritual vision, one should find one’s own place, meaning and goal of life. Through broadening and “raising” one’s consciousness over everyday life, the spiritual nature of an individual begins to harmonize with universal energies and join the infinite and intelligent essence (the Higher Self, The Highest Wisdom). In this way each experience, choice, each human action becomes more valuable, as it refers to the whole universe and to the sacred as well, thus, establishing harmony in the individual and the world. One begins to experience not only internal freedom, as one unshackles oneself from fears and limitations, but one also begins to trust the Highest Power and Wisdom, as well as realize Universal Laws, which become one’s ethical nature.

Assagioli’s works, intended to provide the meaning and create the philosophy of life, are extremely crucial to science. On the one hand, they integrate wisdom, by affording the synthesis of knowledge of the Eastern and Western philosophy of life. On the other hand, apart from providing science with philosophy, they have practical application, translating philosophy into the practice of life, both individual and global. It is, one should bear in mind, a philosophy of positive thinking, the ethics of reverence for life and ethical values, searching for a sense, reflections, integration of experiences not only individually, but also looking for some social sense, the development of consciousness with respect to mankind and the world.

At the same time the philosophy involves evolution and revolution in the consciousness, passage from man and the world seen as a machine towards man and the world with a definite purpose, towards individual development, striving for one’s own evolution in the global context.

The Comprehensive Approach of Psychosynthesis - the Scientific Theory and the Practical Life “in Wholeness”

From the holographic and systemic perspective, psychosynthesis recognizes that man’s microcosm is the reflection of the macrocosm, that we are small, complementary parts of a coherent limited process. It enables us to reach our spiritual dimension, which requires not only the transformation and sublimation of the psychic energy, but also a definite direction. This is a task to be done by will, which combines parts into an organic whole. In this way holistic or a more universal education assumes a brand new dimension, as it involves the integration of all components of the personality, including the spiritual aspect, into a harmonious whole.

The latest scientific research, according to D. Zohar and I. Marshall, indicates the existence of the centre of the Self. It’s unifying effect on the brain and the heart is the source of the spiritual intelligence. Spiritual intelligence adds to the mind the transcendent level, which makes our roots surely reach the level of other living beings, including even single-cell forms of life. Our spiritual intelligence (subconscious) may stem thus from life as such, dating back to the beginning of the universe. This it turns out that we are supported by the cosmos, that our life has got a meaning within the cosmic evolution processes (D. Zohar)

R. Assagioli represented the Self as the central, integrating and transforming aspect of the personality, which is the synthesis of opposites. In his eyes, the Centre of the Self is the deep Self, which is the source of everything that we know and who we are.

According to the latest research in physics, the quantum vacuum is the energetic state of the background, the source of everything that exists, the last of the transcendental real beings that can be described by physics. It is out of the vacuum that the so called Higgs energy field emerges, which is the beginning to all fields and elementary particles of the universe. If proto-consciousness is the fundamental property of the universe, it is also present within Higgs field.

Psychosynthesis is supported by a wide context – as ecopsychosynthesis and ecophilosophy. It teaches us that healing ourselves is inseparable from healing the planet. In order to reach full humanity we must first, according to F. Capra and D. Bohm, experience the connection and relationship with the whole “web of life”, understand not only the ecosystem, but also spirituality in ourselves and in the world.

Given the aforementioned data, psychosynthesis, as well as education and self-education, become the education for sustainable development, beginning with ourselves as people, our centre of conciousness and will, supporting our upward growth, reaching the higher level of individual development, our spiritual dimension, including respect for all life – nature and the whole universe, too. This ecophilosophical approach is represented nowadays by numerous Polish scientists, including A. Karpinski, J. Gnitecki, W. Pasterniak, H. Romanowska- Lakomy, and H. Skolimowski.

Roberto Assagioli’s philosophy of life and the psychosynthesis of the individual created by him, develops “all levels of growth” – physical, biological, intellectual, mental, volitional and spiritual by linking them with the anima mundi. Individuality and universality as parts of a greater order become, thus, complementary, as individuality is part of universality.


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12. Bialek E.: Nowa pedagogika – edukacja siebie samego. VII Ogólnopolska Konferencja Naukowa. Edukacja wobec wyzwan kulturowo-cywilizacyjnych – Akademia Marynarki Wojennej, Gdynia 2002.

13. Bialek E.: U progu edukacji jutra. Konferencja Filozofia wychowania a wizje swiata. Edukacja a wizje swiata, Slupsk, 2002.

14. Bialek E: Nauczyciel przyszlosci – zastosowanie psychosyntezy w nauczaniu nowej kadry w: Materialy Konferencyjne. Pedagogika we wspólczesnym dyskursie humanistycznym. V Ogólnopolski Zjazd Pedagogiczny, Wroclaw 23-25 IX. 2004.

15. Bialek E. Ph.D.: Psychosynthesis – a Natural Way for Personality Integration and Peace in the World. W: Materialach Konferencyjnych: Nemzetkozi Konferencia Budapesten, 2004, October 21-23. Antologia 2004.

16. Bialek E.: Edukacja do zdrowia czlowieka – jako edukacja do zdrowia /ochrony Ziemi/Planety – materialy konferencyjne EKOFORUM – Krajowe Forum Pozarzadowych Organizacji Ekologicznych. Bydgoskie Towarzystwo Naukowe, Seria A, nr 24, Ciechocinek 24/25.X. 1998

17. Bialek E.: Edukacja ekologiczna w gminie – wyzwanie i szansa. Polski Uniwersytet Ludowy. Kwartalnik Towarzystwa Uniwersytetów Ludowych 1/44, 2000

18. Bialek E.: O co chodzi w harmonijnym rozwoju dziecka? O co chodzi w zrównowazonym rozwoju? Wydawnictwo RAABE, czerwiec, 2000

19. Bialek E., Stroganowski S.: Czynniki równowazenia w edukacji spolecznej do zrównowazonego rozwoju. Materialy konferencyjne Warszawska AGENDA 21, kwiecien 2000, Warszawa

20. Firman d., Klugman D.: Reflections on Ecopsychosynthesis. Conversations in Psychosynthesis: an AAP monograph, Amherst, 1999

21. Jawlowska A., Kulik R.: Jak ksztaltowac postawy proekologiczne, Katowice, 2001

22. Psychosynthesis: Honoring the Wisdom of Diverse Psychological Approaches, Midwest Psychosynthesis Conference. The Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis, April 2002.

23. Reiser O.L.: Synthesis as the Function of Philosophy, Psychosynthesis Distribution, 1961

24. Skolimowski H.: Ocalic ziemie. Swit filozofii ekologicznej. Wydawnictwo KS, Warszawa, 1991

25. Skolimowski H., A Sacred Place to Dwell. Element Books, London, 1993

26. Thomas H.F.: Education for Self-Awareness. Psychosynthesis Research Foundation, Psychosynthesis Distribution, 1985

27. Vargiu J.G.: Global Education and Psychosynthesis. Psychosynthesis International, 1985

28. Waloszczyk K.: Planeta nie tylko ludzi, PIW, Warszawa, 1997

29. Weiser J., Yeomans T.: Readings in Psychosynthesis: Theory, Process & Practice. Vol. 2, 1988

30. Zohar D.: The Quantum Self. Human nature and Consciousness Defined by the New Physics. Quill/William Morrow, New York, 1990

Copyright © 2009 by Ewa Bialek


Ewa Bialek is a Polish psychologist, a pioneer in introducing psychosynthesis into education, and the founder of the Psychosynthesis Institute in Warsaw. She was born and raised in Warsaw, where completed all schools and study. Since early age she showed interest in research, and searched for cure of ailments of the digestive tract, which she suffered from the earliest age as a consequence of being treated unsatisfactorily for many years by classical medicine. She holds advanced degrees in pharmacy, immunology, and psychology. After spending many years doing scientific work in medicine, she went looking for other areas. Finding in psychosynthesis an excellent recipe for health promotion, she included it in a model of education for the future, so as to overcome the effects of inefficient health education programs. After years of writing, publishing, and learning, she has 150 publications including 17 books (some of them are "Education Self Guides"). Her most recent book is Sustainable Development of the Child in the Light of New Challenges.

Comments can be sent to Dr. Bialek's email address: Ewa Bialek.

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Roberto Assagioli (Wiki)

Dr. Roberto Assagioli,
founder of psychosynthesis

Roberto Assagioli: Biography

Psychosynthesis Online

Institute of Psychosynthesis
Warsaw, Poland

The Synthesis Center
Amherst, MA, USA

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