Piero Ferrucci

c. 1946

Italian Psychotherapist, Philosopher and Author

Author Quotes

The factors that contributed to my growth were many - finding someone who understood me, exploring the unconscious, awakening my latent love . . . but one star is brightest among all: the self. I found the source of livingness inside me, something I didn't even know existed.

Psychosynthesis brings the matter to a point of extreme simplicity, seeing the self as the most elementary and distinctive part of our beings - in other words, its core. This core is of an entirely different nature from all the elements (physical sensations, feelings, thoughts and so on) that make up our personality. As a consequence, it can act as a unifying center, directing those element and bring them into the unity of an organic wholeness.

I think there are cultural reasons why we are suspicious of anything that has to do with beauty. One is that many of us believe that beauty requires culture. You have to have read many books and you have got to have studied in order to understand and enjoy say music or a beautiful painting. And that is absolutely not true. Reading may help us deepen our appreciation of beauty, but beauty is for everyone. It’s true that we have a possibility of increasing our gamut of beauty, increasing our aesthetic intelligence, our ability to appreciate beauty so that we don’t appreciate it only in great works of art or only in nature or only in music, but we appreciate it also in everyday life. Some people appreciate beauty even in things that are very banal and obvious. They have a greater aesthetic intelligence in my opinion. And of course there is an enormous world of inner beauty. I think we can learn to appreciate not only outer beauty, but the inner beauty of people. The beauty of honesty, the beauty of kindness, the beauty of intelligence. Appreciating beauty that is not immediately evident may take some time, but once we tune into it it’s there to stay.

Giving kindness does us as much good as receiving it. . . . The true benefit of kindness is being kind. Perhaps more than any other factor, kindness gives meaning and value to our life, raises us above our troubles and our battles, and makes us feel good about ourselves.

To receive kindness does us good. Think of a time someone has been kind to you, in a big or a small way: A passerby gave your directions to reach the station or a stranger threw herself in a river to save you from drowning. What effect did it have on you? Probably a beneficial one, because if someone helps us when we need it, we feel relief. And everyone likes to be heard, treated with warmth and friendliness, understood, and nourished.

I believe that if we stop to think, it is clear that our very survival, even today, depends upon the acts and kindness of so many people. Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents; later in life, when facing the sufferings of disease and old age, we are again dependent on the kindness of others.

Since birth we have been able to resonate with other human beings. A newborn cries when in the presence of other crying babies. Bit by bit, empathy – which at first is only a simple instinctual capacity to resonate – develops and becomes the capacity to understand other people’s feelings and points of view, to identify with them. But if this capacity does not develop sufficiently or if it is thwarted, we are in trouble. If we are insensitive to the emotions of others, each relationship becomes an impossible charade. And if we see others not as living subjects but as things, on par with a refrigerator or a street lamp, we allow ourselves to manipulate and even to violate them.

It's all really very simple. You don't have to choose between being kind to yourself and others. It's one and the same.

If kindness has falseness at its base, it is no longer kindness. It is labored courtesy.

Generosity is, by definition, disinterested.

Carry out an action with complete attention and intensity, as if it were your last.

Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you feel insecure.

How often - even before we began - have we declared a task "impossible"? And how often have we construed a picture of ourselves as being inadequate?... A great deal depends upon the thought patterns we choose and on the persistence with which we affirm them.

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c. 1946

Italian Psychotherapist, Philosopher and Author