The Decisive Shift

A perspective change in personal, spiritual and professional practice

- By Diana Whitmore -


In late summer when I was delivering for the Trust a training module on self- realisation, and stressing the importance of the long held psychosynthesis value of ‘this is not the truth’, to my surprise I found this value taking on a new meaning.  Assagioli said that if we take the maps and models of psychosynthesis as working hypotheses, life could be an adventure; but if we think this is the truth, life becomes a tragedy’.  I had been teaching this for years and I know most psychosynthesis trainers/practitioners also hold this value.

So, what was different this time?  I found myself wanting intensely to empower the students to find their own truth regarding this mysterious, ineffable but deeply important concept of self-realisation.  We all also know that Assagioli said that ‘psychosynthesis takes you to the door of the mystery’.  This idea came alive and vibrant in that moment.  After over 35 years of psychospiritual work, where did I stand with the concept and how can each individual in their psychospiritual journey find their way? After many years of psychospiritual work, where was I in this journey?

Anywhere near self-realised? And then it hit me, gradually and somewhat imperceptive, that I had made a fundamental shift, the decisive shift was upon me without my conscious awareness – the ground that I stood on, the context had shifted.  A context is ‘that which illuminates and gives meaning to a particular set of circumstances.  The context that I found myself in, albeit imperfectly and there were many instances where I did not stand in this context, indicated that some degree of soul infusion or what we could call shifting from being a personality that has a Self – to being a Self that has a personality.  This seems to me a hard-won outcome of years of psychospiritual work.

This awareness led me back to the students on the self-realisation training, for they too were wholeheartedly, sincerely and actively engaged in their psychospiritual journey and I wondered how I could foster that shift in them.  I then understood why I had placed so, so much emphasis on the students defining the transpersonal and self-realisation for themselves with their own cosmology – of them finding their unique, varied and authentic way.  The starting place was not psychosynthesis models of self-realisation, or of them being right or wrong according to psychosynthesis theory but rather their voyage towards the decisive shift.  This shift in my experience is not something you can make happen or even aspire to, but is the outcome and result of the journey of sincere and faithful work on self.

Using the student’s own defining and elaborating the transpersonal for themselves as the starting point, opened up creative dialogue and interfacing of their ideas with psychosynthesis theory.  I think we all felt inspired and rejuvenated by this experience; I know I certainly did.  It also created, without fear or condemnation, an opening to look at our doubts, confusions, scepticism about Psychosynthesis and where we felt it worked and did not work.

Subsequently, I spoke with Piero Ferrucci about this and discovered that he too had something similarly congruent going on; and I peeked into Tom Yeoman’s new book, Holy Fire, the Process of Soul Awakening and found analogous thinking.  Were we ‘oldies’ in the psychosynthesis community plugging into the collective superconscious?  I don’t really have an answer to that question except to say that I felt profoundly touched and affirmed by this awareness, which led to the topic of our training offering on the Decisive shift.


We invite you to join our workshop

In the Decisive Shift, Evolutionary Practice weekend workshop hosted by The Psychosynthesis Trust and held on Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st November 2020, we intend to offer a space for those who would like to explore the change of perspective in personal, spiritual and professional practice.

Piero and Diana will engage with you on a journey of re-discovery in psychosynthesis, as an evolutionary practice that brings us towards a decisive shift. This workshop is for learning about changing mindsets, the psychospiritual journey that facilitates this shift, and how to facilitate it in ourselves and others.

We hope to see you there!

Sign up here via our Eventbrite page


Written by: Diana Whitmore