Stage 4, Response to Self

The last stage of psychosynthesis Assagioli represents as a period in which we are concretely responding to the invitations of Self and working with our psychospiritual development within this context. We call this stage Response to Self or simply, the Response Stage.

Many stories could be told illustrating response to the call of Self. Perhaps we immediately think of famous people who throughout history responded to a powerful call and were led to great tasks, whether Moses, Jesus, or Muhammed; whether Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., or Mother Teresa. But many of us less famous can be seen following such a call to a fuller sense of ourselves and the world, whether returning to school, discovering a new career, or developing latent artistic gifts. There are also everyday responses which lead to holy orders as a minister, rabbi, sheik, or shaman; to friendship, marriage, and parenthood; to different forms of social activism; or to simply a more healthy way of being with ourselves and others.



Whether in the lives of the famous or the lesser known, it is easiest to see a response to call when it results in major life changes. However, there is a much more immediate dimension of call. Our relationship with Self is ever present, so hearing and responding to call can occur every moment of every day. This immediacy of Self can be experienced as an invitation in the moment to act from our highest values, our most cherished principles, and our deepest sense of truth.

It is important to emphasize that this relationship with Self is indeed a true relationship, characterized by respect, empathy, dialogue, and mutual response. Self-realization is not simply a matter of hearing the call and then obediently carrying this out. The essence of the I-Self relationship is an empathic resonance, an intimate communion in which individuality and free will—“I”—are respected and supported.