Opposites always come in pairs, and our suffering is sustained by our inability to experience and rise above those pairs of opposites.

The Sacred Mirror, Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy. Richard C. Miller

Opposite forces in ourselves

The experiences of opposing forces and the way they relate to each other plays an important role in life. In general and in our personal life in particular. The way we relate to these forces (both in our inner world and in our outer world) very much determines how we experience our daily life.

Life is duality

There are a lot of these opposing forces that we are all familiar with and that we generally take for granted. For example, the opposite movement of the inhalation and exhalation. Effort and relaxation, light and dark, pulling and pushing, day and night, etc …. Pairs of opposites that are connected in some way and complement each other. We cannot imagine a day without night and no inhalation without the exhalation following it. You could say that when these dynamics of the opposites stop, life stops. Life is duality.


The dynamics of these opposing forces are where most clients who apply for guidance in practice get stuck. Usually the client feels consciously or unconsciously ‘held hostage’ by one of the opposing poles. With a burnout you could say that the client is ‘held hostage’ by constant tensions, making the opposite of relaxation unattainable. A client with depressed feelings and thoughts is so taken over by the ‘heaviness’ that the ‘light’ still present is almost too painful to face.

Head types

Sometimes this inner movement between the different poles is evident in the client and really feels entangled in this movement. More often, I see clients get stuck in one pool with which they have identified the most. For example so-called ‘Head types’. Clients who have learned to control and solve everything with their head and have difficulty ‘descending’ to their heart and body, and then also let them participate. I am one of those types. That’s why I recognize so well. 😉

Where are you hanging out?

When you become so identified with one of these inner forces or qualities, and cannot balance it with a counterforce to restore balance, life turns into survival. When the exhalation does not balance with an inhalation or the dark night is not followed by the light of a new day, then we become sick and depressed, the “life” withdraws and the soul withdraws. When I start working with a client in practice, the first thing I ask myself is: Where does the client hang out? What is he or she most identified with? Which dynamics, which movement (both inner and outer) become visible in the story of this client? Where do we see the Will as the guiding mechanism of our human actions in action? Is the will free or is it occupied and held hostage by the will of someone or something else?

Fear and desire

One of the inner movements that I encounter the most is the movement between fear and desire. A movement that tends to withdraw on the one hand and reaching out on the other. A movement that can lead us to high heights and deep depths. A movement that is not foreign to me either. I always felt a great desire to connect and reach out to the other and to life itself and at the same time I felt that this was not safe. In response, I started to withdraw, isolate and close off from the other and life itself. And perhaps it is through the recognition and working through of my own experiences that I recognize the movement and the disturbances in it in the other.

Personal and collective experiences

Although they are very individual and personal experiences that we experience, it also has a universal, collective character. They are, like the experiences of the inhale and exhalation, experiences of life itself, which, as soon as danger threatens, is switched to the survival mode. By breathing we see that the breath sits very high and we can not breathe toward our belly. Just as the body enters the survival mode with, for example, breathing, our psyche also enters the survival mode and, for example, in the event of fear or uncertainty, we withdraw and repress our desire for the subconscious, with the result that we limit ourselves in who want or can be.

What will liberate us?

What gets us out of this movement in which we have become entangled. What frees us from this often unconscious inner dynamic?

…..The solution, clearly, is to remain conscious of both poles but identify with neither: we need to achieve a creative tension, a balancing between them. The method we can use is to identify with the Self, which is independent of both sides

Piero Ferrucci, psychosynthesis trainer and therapist

A free Heart and a free Will

Clients I have been working with for some time now know that I increasingly focus on simple and practical exercises where they can become familiar with the ‘place’ within themselves that (in the exercise) does not coincide with what is being observed. The place that I refer to as the place with a ‘free heart’ and a ‘free will’. A center of Freedom! It is the place where we are not occupied or held hostage by our minds, by our feelings of fear or by our obstructing beliefs. The place of our inner observer or in other words, the seat of our soul. The Self without stories. Mind you …. It is not about which words or concepts we use for this place or which meditative techniques we should use for this.

The personal experience

It is mainly about the personal experience. Your personal experience. The experience that there is an entire inner world to be explored with a whole playing field of opposing and complementary forces. And …. that there is someone in you who can become aware of this. To be able to detach oneself from what we become aware of and to connect with it at the same time. In more difficult terms, both Immanent and Transcendent is. Then we can experience that we have feelings, thoughts and experiences, but do not coincide with them and are more than what we perceive. An experience in which we can become aware that we are consciousness. An experience of unconditioned consciousness, a consciousness without stories. If we can allow that experience, then we have the key that opens doors to personal freedom. Freedom from and freedom to.

Psychosynthesis as a way to freedom

Psychosynthesis thus becomes a path to freedom. A path that invites you to face yourself and meet yourself in the game of opposites, in the duality in which life takes place in and through us. Because life is duality. How we learn to relate to this dance of opposing forces ultimately determines how we can live life. Psychosynthesis extends the process of coaching, counseling or therapy by emphasizing, at the right moments, not only on the personal consciousness content but also on ‘Presence’ (the Self) in which the content appears.

Dis-identification and identification

One of the most important exercises in psychosynthesis guidance is the exercise in which we become familiar with dis-identification of the content of our consciousness and then identification with our consciousness itself. Dis-identification shapes our ability to experience life without being reactive defensive, it frees us from the myth of separateness and shows that pure consciousness (Presence) is our true nature.

A loving and unconditional commitment and presence of the Self

When I am working with a client and we examine the inner dynamics between the different poles and make it visible in the room, it not only becomes an experience of the client himself but also becomes for me as a spectator and observer (facilitator) process visible how the client ‘moves’ between these inner forces and literally and figuratively comes to rest in the ‘middle’. A client I was working with recently in this exercise commented when, in the ‘middle’, he got away from the inner polarity for a moment: “I can even feel love now.” It was so beautiful not only to hear this, but also to see how this client, after examining the polarity of the different parts, could feel the love in his own midst. In this center, his body relaxed and a smile appeared on his face. I dare say this is the “healing center” where there is a loving and unconditional commitment and presence of the Self.

Psychosynthesis Amsterdam Herengracht 221

Do you also want to explore that ‘place of freedom’ in yourself and discover the play of the opposites in therapy? Then feel free and welcome to make an appointment for a no-obligation introductory meeting online or on location at Herengracht 221.