In the garden at Casa Assagioli in Florence, the olive trees are flowering and bees are humming around the acacia tree. Recently, I and ten other guests had the opportunity to spend one afternoon with Piero Ferrucci, author, philiospher, and psychosynthesis psychotherapist, asking him questions about the five years he spent with Assagioli as a student from 1969 to 1974.
After Assagioli’s death, Ferrucci was the first person to work with Assagioli’s material, and he spent two years compiling stacks of paper into what is now part of Assagioli’s archives. Ferrucci recalled sitting at two tables in the kitchen of Assagioli’s home, surrounded by many folders. Many were in a mess. While working his way through them, Ferrucci sensed Assagioli’s presence and energy. He said that he could feel Assagioli blessing each small piece of paper, each a separate, distinct insight.
Here are seven insights that Ferrucci said about Roberto Assagioli:
- Assagioli had the ability to create an aura of love that you could cut through and take home with you, it was so dense. He would enter a room and everyone would become happy.
- Assagioli was nearly deaf at the end of his life. He could read lips, but he was also telepathic.
- Assagioli’s favorite question was: What are you doing? One time the person he asked was a sanitation worker who responded, “I take care of people’s garbage.” Assagioli said: “Well, I do the same thing as you!”
- One time Betty Friedman, author of the Feminist Mystic, came to meet Assagioli in Florence. She had a great time and during a guided meditation the image came to her of a rainbow uniting men and women in the world. She asked for some of Assagioli’s writings to take back with her. Despite Ferrucci asking Ida Palombi, Assagioli’s secretary and associate, not to give Freidman his controversial writings on the psychology of men and women, Palombi did. And they never saw Friedman again.
- Assagioli used to say: “We all have a capital of seriousness. And we tend to spend all our capital on the little things so that we don’t have any left for the real things.”
- Assagioli woke at 3 a.m. to meditate and then would go back to sleep. He would start working around 9 a.m. Towards the end of this life, it was difficult for him to get going. Ferrucci would often hear Assagioli talking to himself, “Adiamo! Adiamo! Adiamo! (Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!)” Stairs were particularly difficult for him to climb. The stairway in Assagioli’s house was painted brown, and Assagioli said that when climbing them he would think of chocolate. This image helped him to climb them. (My note: A perfect use of skillful will!)
- One time Assagioli said to Ferrucci: “The stars are living beings.”
Assagioli Appreciation Day
For those of you in the London area, please join us on Sunday, 3 July, for Assagioli Appreciation Day hosted by the London Wellspring Group. You can learn more about the man and his life, including a premier showing of a film about him. I will be one of the speakers and hope to meet you there.