Tag Archives: Higher Self

Walk along the Franciscan Way

DSC00755You are invited to join us during Journey to Places of the Higher Self when we plan to spend one morning walking along the Franciscan Way through the Umbrian countryside to Assisi. After about 4-hour hike and picnic lunch, we will arrive at the birthplace and home of il Poverello, The Poor Man of Assisi.

Assagioli directs our attention to Saint Francis as a model for willful conscious choice of a higher good and qualities such as appreciation, praise and gratitude. He quotes the verses of Italian poet, Vittoria Aganoor Pompili (1855-1910), who wrote eloquently of an imagined dialogue between Francis and one of his followers.

“Saint Francis, I’m frightened that I can hear snakes hissing in the bushes.”

“I hear nothing but the rustling of the pine trees and the song of the birds.”

“Saint Francis, a terrible stench is coming from the overgrown path and from the pond.”

“I smell thyme and broom. I have joy and health for my drink.”

“Saint Francis, we are sinking, the evening is coming on and we are far from our cells.”

“Lift up your eyes from the mud, man, and you will see the stars blossoming in the heavenly gardens.”

Saint Francis’ type of optimism is not meant to be naïve or Pollyannaish, but rather implies the ability to appreciate the positive aspects of life despite any negativity around us.  Such positive attitudes make life easier and more joyful. Assagioli emphasizes this when he writes:

“Joy, mirth, and benevolence are magnetic”.

Come join us in our search of this joy, mirth and benevolence as we Journey to Places of the Higher Self, September 17-23. For more information, see the itinerary and other details.

You can also read a more detailed essay by Catherine about Assagioli’s reflections on St. Francis of Assisi, published in the Psychosynthesis Quarterly.


Roberto Assagioli, Per vivere meglio, Istituto di Psicosintesi, Florence, Italy, 1965, pp. 20-21.

The poem extract is Assagioli’s translation from the Italian, as published in Roberto Assagioli, Transpersonal Development, The Dimension Beyond Psychosynthesis, The Aquarian Press, London, 1993, p. 253. A typewritten copy of the Italian text can be found in his archives in Florence, ID # 9432.

The only way out is up!

Assagioli wrote the motto of psychosynthesis as:

000193 the only way out is up

Motto of Psychosynthesis: “The only way out is the way up…”

During Journey to Places of the Higher Self, September 17–23, we will be doing just that… As we descend into the Frasassi Caves, some of the largest in Europe, we will have no choice… the only way out will be the way up!

grotta di frasassi

Frassasi Caves, Italy

Assagioli often wrote about how mountain climbing can be a symbol of ascent to spiritual heights… And we promise to bring you to 1000-year-old mountaintop churches in the Apennines. But he also wrote about how caves can be a symbol for “going deeper, descending to the ‘bottom/depths’ of our being.” Don’t worry, we won’t be too long inside the Frasassi Caves, just long enough to “get ready to transform”! Not to mention the promise of a delicious picnic lunch in the Italian countryside afterwards.

Places are still available for this special Journey to Places of the Higher Self. Why not join us? If you have any questions, please contact Catherine at:

A Spring of Poetic Inspiration


Only three months before we embark on Journey to Places of the Higher Self. We will quietly spend one afternoon wandering around a truly poetic place (literally and figuratively) – Fonti di Clitunno near the town of Trevi in Umbria. This natural wellspring has cast its spell on poets throughout the ages – from Pliny, to Giosue Carducci (who won the Nobel prize for literature) to Lord Byron. Why not join us? We still have spaces left.

Byron paid eloquent tribute to this enchanting spot with these words:

. . . Clitumnus, in thy sweetest wave
Of the most living crystal that was e’er
The haunt of river nymph to gaze and lave
Her limbs where nothing hid them, thou dost rear
Thy grassy banks . . .

You can read about Fonti di Clitunno and its poetic magic in this this New Yorker article by Paul Hofmann:

“A Fountain of Poetic Inspiration”

For more info about this special journey from September 16 to 23, see  Journey to Places of the Higher Self.