The Primal Wound: A Transpersonal View of Trauma, Addiction, and Growth
by John Firman and Ann Gila (SUNY Press 1997)

The primal wound occurs when we are treated not as individual, unique human beings but as objects, thereby annihilating our authentic sense of personal self or “I.” Such treatment by significant others disrupts our experience of the primal connection between “I” and deeper Self—thus "the primal wound"—and thereby disrupts the relationships to our personality, to other people, and to the natural world.

Fleeing this wound and seeking to reestablish a spiritual connection, we become caught by addictions of all sorts—from sex, romance, and drugs; to subpersonalities and the “false self” or “survival personality”; to spiritual experiences and higher states of consciousness—building inauthentic lives which we know in our hearts are destined to crumble.


The Primal Wound elaborates core psychosynthesis thought in order to carefully examine the nature of primal wounding and its healing, drawing on insights from object relations theory, self psychology, developmental research, Jungian psychology, and transpersonal psychology. Through conceptual presentation, case material, and experiential exercise, the authors show how this wounding can be redeemed by healing our connection with Self, and so with our personalities, other people, and the world at large. Among the topics included are:
• the formation of the higher and lower unconscious
• the nature of the I-Self relationship
• a psychosynthesis developmental theory
• the object-relations substrate of subpersonalities
• disidentification, will, and synthesis
• a psychosynthesis view of wounding, healing, and growth
• psychosynthesis clinical theory and therapy
• the psychosynthesis therapist
• personal and transpersonal psychosynthesis
• Self-realization