The Heartfelt Self & the Challenging Mirrors of the Soul: Massimo Rosselli

Crisis and Transformation challenge us along the journey of life with suffering and breaking points but at the same time offer the opportunity for change. We are invited to face core issues, inevitably moving through impermanence and change. This process confronts every traveller also with the following key questions:

Who is going to bear so much impermanence, movement and change or remain at an impasse, obstructed by obstacles and difficulties?

Who is going to stay with all this while paradoxically being that change and obstruction and holding both?

Who is both the traveller and the journey itself, stopping, moving on, through the process of realization in relation to the inner and outer scenario of life?

It appears life moves in circles and that roundness is the basic form. In an evolutionary sense life is a spiral journey and we can realize that while we are the circle we are also circling. We may discover that a circle or sphere has a balanced and harmonizing center, a heartfelt core: the Self. And here indeed we meet the psychosynthesis hypothesis ‐ a challenging proposal of life with its journeying and circling in which a living heartfelt Self is much closer to us than we imagine, “en‐Souling” and “em‐bodying” our presence into the heart of life. The relationship between the core subjective Self and a multiplicity of forces also represents the story of each of us, accomplishing the project of the Self and its potentials through our wholeness as human beings, as global persons.

There is one journey composed of three journeys: the first is the journey of the Self ‐ the subject that travels, the center of beginning and ending, the transformer of forms and the journey itself, willing to realize and live its spark of light. Assagioli calls that Self the “Immovable Mover” (a philosophical Aristotelian expression), the essence, the ontological being who stays at the center and at the border of individuality and collective and universal vastness, affirming its transpersonal freedom. But that steadfast one, the Self, is also the mover, continually radiating that spark of white light in all directions yet facing the individual rooting into the earthy ground. In the second journey such a Self is also willing to set into motion the many colors emerging from the source of white light – the colors of the transpersonal forces and qualities that pass through the abode of the Self in the Heart, where the fully‐felt senses of bodily feeling and deeper pure mind relate to life. Here the Self, being so close to embodiment and the other vehicles of the personality, can be called Soul, meeting the “mud” and the boundaries of the earthy individual. The journey of the Soul is that of the manifestation of qualities and transpersonal energies, of rooting into the ground, where the centering of the Self can still be experienced, together with sensations, feelings, mentalization, “growing down” into the experience of its qualities and into further embodiment.

But there is also the possibility of being set back, wounded and denied in the manifestation of these core energies. This second journey opens up to and is stimulated by the third journey – that of the personality – moved and animated by the Soul. This third journey develops following the inner forces and the drive to unfold the inner potentials of the personality in order to “grow up”. This is a personal journey of deep contact with our humanness. Also along the path of the journey of the personality may we experience wounds and scars and obstacles, but harmony too with other dimensions, expressing together with the manifested Soul the fullness of a human passionate presence.
It is important to consider all three of these journeys which finally constellate and represent the intimate journey of our embodied Self. In practice, on the existential path along which our story unfolds we meet all three journeys. In the various stages of our life one of them may have a special meaning and importance.

This is particularly true if we consider our life as a healing process, giving dignity and honor to pathology and therapy, seeing them also in the perspective of the three journeys which have the right to be parallel all the way through and mirror each other reciprocally.
On one side the Soul is the mirror and messenger of a heartfelt Self, radiating consciousness, will and love together with the other transpersonal forces, from the center of the Heart into human realization. On the other side the Soul meets the mirrors of the personality in the manifestation of qualities which are also mixed and covered by the defenses brought out through the embodiment of its wounds. However such defensive structures still reflect the Soul(Self) core qualities, through their masks. Both outer masks and manifested core points are challenging mirrors of the Soul in the psychosynthetic process of transformation.

It is meaningful to experience the critical passages of Life as an opportunity to meet and use the “home of a heartfelt Self”, gathering together consciousness, feeling and will in a coherent action towards the purpose of the healing journey. The practice of the healing journey, according to my experience, offers an interesting guideline for therapeutic and self‐developmental work with what I have called “The Charter of the Rights of the Soul” (Rosselli). These are basic core characteristics (I consider 15*) which represent essential qualities and needs through full embodiment in relationship to the world. These qualities and transpersonal forces have the right to be celebrated and manifested as representative of the Self, mirrored by the Soul, in the fullest contact with the inner and outer environment. This contact also manifests relational needs, proclaiming those rights in full felt sense and willing action. The personal dimension, and the body in a particularly direct way, reflect and mirror the Self (Soul). This reflection takes place not only at the level of the center (personal self) but also at the level of vehicles of the personality (body‐feelings‐ mind) with the qualities being mixed within the sub‐personalities and multiplicity of the person. When the rights are not respected Soul wounds are inflicted and the relative defenses take on the mirroring function too, revealing some of the original qualities or rights through a picture or mask which is a compromise; or through a mask which is the extreme opposite of the wounded right (like the shadow or the dark side of the light of the Soul).

This perspective creates a map which is not the territory itself, but offers ways with which to work to meet the territories of life. How can we work with this? And in what way are the mirrors important and challenging? Sometimes the work is directed firstly at the defenses correlated to the rights; sometimes it is aimed more at the qualities or the needs or rights of the Soul, all of them, which we are longing to meet again. An essential point of the whole process is represented by a preliminary step, when we first call our center of consciousness and will (the personal self) to come into play through a feeling body to begin the reopening and blossoming of the heart. This is also a basic way to open a passage through defenses, healing the wounds and going towards the energies of the Self. So the healing journey will be a journey from here to here, with a heartfelt Self and Soul that will be the goal and the tool. Ultimately, the holding tender presence of the therapeutic/guiding relationship can allow our newly exposed vulnerability to be accepted and we can gradually realize a true human manifestation of a Heartfelt Self. Then, quoting Castaneda, we can affirmatively answer the question which becomes our quest: “Has this Path got a Heart?…”

*Charter of the Rights of the Soul.

The right: to exist, to be in a form, to be united and free, to be needy, to be alive and happy, to be truthful, to be related, to be unique, to be vulnerable, to be expressive, to affirm oneself, to see (to be seen), to belong, to love (to be loved), to hold (to be held).

This is a summary of a seminar from Massimo Rosselli from the EFPP Summer School in Sweden 2014.