Stage 2, The Emergence of “I”

Assagioli calls Stage 2, “control of the various elements of the personality.” Although the word “control” can be misunderstood, what he is pointing to here is that gentle and subtle second function of “I”—the will. As we have said, “I” does not only possess the function of consciousness, but has a directive and guiding capacity as well, an ability to cause effects in both the inner and outer worlds. This directive function of “I” is will.

Further, since “I” is distinct-but-not-separate from the contents of the personality, the will of “I” can operate distinct-but-not-separate from any contents as well. Thus, will is the source of our potential freedom not to be controlled by, but to interact with, the many aspects of the personality exploration stage.



Assagioli’s phrase “control of the various elements of the personality” can be understood in this light; it is the emergence of the human spirit, our true essence—“I”—with the functions of consciousness and will.

While in the exploration stage we become conscious of the different levels of ourselves, in the emergence stage we realize that we are distinct from all these levels and can take responsibility for them. We realize we can assist in the nurture and growth of these different aspects, and finally that we can guide them into a more authentic expression of ourselves in the world. This more full emergence of “I” involves then an active relationship with the material which has been uncovered in the exploration stage.