Ontopsychology was born and formalized in 1971 with the publication of the book “Ontopsicologia dell’Uomo” (Ontopsychology of Man) by Antonio Meneghetti
Ontopsycology summarizes the thinking of Antonio Meneghetti who always emphasized the importance of education and research following the principles of humanistic ethics. For him the concept of humanism means responsibility, reciprocity, the ability to understand and serve the needs that humanity from time to time proposes. Its purpose is to train people, whose skills can lead to active solutions for the community. The concept of humanism is for him responsibility, reciprocity; it is the ability to serve and to meet the needs and demands that humanity shows from time to time. Purpose is to train leaders, whose skills generate the active intuition of solutions for the community.
The theories of Antonio Meneghetti have been developed essentially from the experience of the crisis of sciences (Husserl) and, above all, from the intuition that existence has a foundation.
After ten years of clinical activity (1971-1981), all Meneghetti research, studies and experiences were aimed at recovering the keys to the person’s In-itself (that is the nature’s basic project which constitutes the human being), and hence the keys to the person’s ethical self-realization and a functional relation with society. This is what gave the name to his school of thought: Ontopsychology; that is, knowledge of what you are, of your essence. The culture of humanism is functional in this progression, as it helps us to perceive, know and understand the nexus between our being and the world in which we live.
Starting in the early 1990s, Ontopsychology’s orientation shifted toward a more sociologically-oriented approach, stressing the important relationship between man and society and emphasizing – in accordance with his original intention – the psychology of self-fulfillment and creativity, with the leader who achieves his or her mission by serving human and social needs. This laid the groundwork for the application of Ontopsychology to art, science, education, politics and business, among others, allowing the leader to free himself or herself from stereotyped cultural models and to develop an ontic consciousness which is the foundation of full, historical self-realization.
In forty years of teaching and, most of all, demonstration activities carried out in Europe, Russia, Africa, China ad in the Americas, there have been over eighteen international congresses.
Meneghetti’s publications are available in Italian, English, French, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, German and Spanish .
(Extracts from: “From historical Humanism to perennial Humanism”, A. Meneghetti, 2010, Ontopsicologia Ed.)
“By humanistic ethics I refer to the values of the historical movement of Humanism as it appeared in Italy and especially Florence, which I regard as the highest point in the history of the development of humanist culture. Humanism encouraged the development of four values:
– Vital activity: to be active means to be valid; truth is not something that is believed in, hoped for or dreamt of, but something that is created through action within the present time. Man is made great by his achievements, not his thoughts.
– Social involvement: any individual, no matter how extraordinary, is a social being, and his personal evolution through life happens in the context of living with others. The deeper sense of social involvement has nothing to do with social welfare; it is not a matter of charity, but a matter of responsibility. Those in need must be assisted in their development; we should not replace them in their potential to be productive.
– Freedom: the limitation of freedom constitutes a great peril for the social involvement that every man has by nature.
– Dignity of man: this value is the foundation of all others. The authors belonging to the historical-civic movement of Humanism explicitly mentioned dignity as every man’s duty toward any other – a duty of respect, of sacredness and transcendence.
This is the foundational meaning of historical Humanism, and the reason why I believe that the Humanism that blossomed in Italy in the 14th to 16th Century contains what are still seeds for today’s future”.