The Power of Individuation: Uncovering Your Authentic Self

& Relevant Book Recommendations
June 7, 2019
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In this article you will read about:

Defining the Individuation process

The Purpose of Individuation

The primary aim of the individuation process is to enhance an individual’s awareness level.

It entails a journey through which people can discover and unite the conscious and unconscious aspects of their minds, thereby achieving a unified and complete psyche.

As we progress through life, the initial phase is mostly focused on satisfying our necessities and developing a robust sense of self-awareness. In this phase, our attention is more focused on external factors and our ego development.

However, according to Jung, the latter half of life can be characterized by an inward exploration of the self, leading to a deeper level of consciousness. This transition prompts the individuation process, which involves a series of processes that an individual must undertake to reach a state of mental wholeness.

Tools for the Process

How do we proceed with our psychological development toward individuation?

Jungian psychology offers two related methods: dream work and active imagination.

Dream work

Dreams, Jung found, are the gateway through which the unconscious communicates with our conscious mind.

Our inner Wise Old Man or Woman (the Self) knows what’s best for us.

The Self, however, cannot communicate in language. Instead, it uses symbols and images.

The Self cannot communicate directly with our conscious mind. Instead, according to Jungian psychology, it sends us messages through our dreams.

As Jungian analyst Marie-Louise von Franz says in The Way of the Dream, “Dreams are the letters of the Self that the Self writes us every night.”

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Active Imagination

While in dreams, our dream ego interacts with the unconscious parts of our psyche, in active imagination this interaction takes place while we’re awake.

Instead of going into a dream, we go into our imagination, allowing the images to arise from the unconscious and communicate with us.

Refusing the call of Individuation

Although Jungian psychology and the individuation process can liberate us, it’s not a “safe path.” There’s no safety once we leave the everyday world.

Plus, to achieve success, we must strip away all of our false identities our egos have invested in creating. Doing so triggers fear from our ego.

That’s why most people resist their call to adventure and why, according to Jung (buy his books from Amazon), so few people individuate  or achieve psychic wholeness.

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