The spiritual philosophies of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the Bengali poet and Nobel Prize winner of Literature in 1913, and Roberto Assagioli are remarkably similar in their fundamental understanding of the relationship between the Infinite Self and the personal self.
While deriving from diverse cultural and linguistic inheritances, the spiritual philosophies of each man underwent a similar evolutionary process. To begin with, both men grounded their philosophy in the moments when they were able to touch the Infinite, becoming intensely conscious of it through the illumination of joy.
Tagore describes these personal experiences as “a sudden spiritual outburst from within me, which was like the underground current of a perennial stream, unexpectedly welling up on the surface.” From a psychosynthetic point-of-view, Assagioli refers to these moments of illumination as “transpersonal or superconscious experiences,” which he states are universally described as being accompanied by, for example, a sense of joy, harmony , peace, beauty, power, and/or enlightenment. Transpersonal experiences are how we occasionally glimpse and access our full creative, personal, and spiritual potential.
Tagore wrote that his first such experience happened at the age of eighteen, while watching the sun’s rays filter through the trees at dawn:
A sudden spring breeze of religious experience for the first time came to my life and passed away leaving in my memory a direct message of spiritual reality… I suddenly felt that some ancient mist had suddenly lifted from my sight, and the morning light on the face of the world revealed an inner radiance of joy… That which was memorable in this experience was its human message, the sudden expansion of my consciousness in the super-personal world of man.
Assagioli describes a similar first experience that occurred to him at the age of twelve:
I was in a boat, far out, in a silent expanse of water. I let go of the oars and just looked at the peaceful scenery. Out of the sky came the phrase: “I want to be always present to myself.” … It gave me a sense of joy.
Both men continued to have transpersonal experiences throughout their lifetimes, in which their souls, as Tagore aptly noted, had “touched the infinite” to become “intensely conscious of it through the illumination of joy.”
To learn more about the spiritual philosophies of Rabindranath Tagore and Roberto Assagioli, come to my talk
“The Eternal Stranger Calls.”
Friday 7 May at 11 a.m. Central European Time.
I will be speaking in English for about 20 minutes with time for questions afterwards. The talk is part of a conference on “Psychosynthesis and Literature” sponsored by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Budapest. Attendance is free.
Meeting ID: 953 6381 9064