Individuation

THE SELF

Individuation, therefore, can only mean a process of psychological development that fulfils the individual qualities given; in other words, it is a process by which a man becomes the definite, unique being he in fact is.  In so doing he does not become `selfish`in the ordinary sense of the word, but is merely fulfilling the peculiarity of his nature, and this is, as we have said, is vastly different from egotism or individualism

“In the vocabulary of the mystics this is the second stage of the Way, that of the “purification of the self,” when the senses are “cleansed and humbled,” and the energies and interests “concentrated upon transcendental things”; or in a vocabulary of more modern turn: this is the process of dissolving, transcending, or transmuting the infantile images of our personal past.  In our dreams the ageless perils, gargoyles, trials, secret helpers, and instructive figures are nightly still encountered; and in their forms we may see reflected not only the whole picture of our present case, but also the clue to what we must do to be saved.”     

Individuation is the consciously-directed journey into self, into the gradual understanding of one's own essence at its hightest level of functioning.  One's reality, seen this way, is subjective.  One becomes aware that whatever one experiences is affected by the self, and that there is a subtle difference between one's own experiences and those of anyone else.  This journey into Self requires a confrontation with one's darkest shadow, a unique suffering of the soul.  JewishViJP 30

Marie-Louise Von FranzAnyone who can enter into the innermost center of his own psyche, his Self, is safe against the assaults of the dark powers.  That is why, in Ock, the hero is saved in the form of a grain of wheat and, in "The Magician Tsar," in the form of a flint.  Both are symbols of the incarnate godhead or of what in Jungian psychology is called the Self. 

The possibilities of development discussed in the preceding chapters were, at bottom, alienations of the self, ways of divesting the self of its reality in favour of an external role or in favour of an imagined meaning.  In the former case the self retires into the background and gives place to social recognition; in the latter, to the auto-suggestive meaning of a primordial image.  (PERSONA AND ARCHETYPES)  In both cases the collective has the upper hand.  Self-alienation in favour of the collective corresponds to a social ideal; it even passes for social duty and virtue, although it can be misused for egotistical purposes.  Egoists are called "selfish," but this, naturally, has nothing to do with the concept of "self" as I am using it here.  On the other hand, self-realization seems to stand in opposition to self-alienation. 

“Is there anything more fundamental than the realization, ‘This is what I am’?  It reveals a unity which nevertheless is – or was – a diversity.  No longer the earlier ego with its make-believes and artificial contrivances, but another, ‘objective’ ego, which for this reason is better called the ‘self’.  No longer a mere selection of suitable fictions, but a string of hard facts, which together make up the cross we all have to carry or the fate we ourselves are.” 

When Apuleius was initiated into the Isis mysteries, he described how he was illumined not by the heavenly sun but by the midnight sun, which he met face to face when he descended into the underworld.  That would mean an experience which cannot be reached by intellectual effort, or exercises in concentration, or Yoga, or the Exercitia Spriitualia,  but rather an experience of the Self, which one can only have by accepting the unconscious and the unknown in life and the difficulty of living one’s own conflict.  TPoPA 152

In the psyche, where contrast of opposites gives the libido energy (stronger contrast creates stronger libido), it is the dissolution of the contrast of those opposites (so that they become ‘both and neither’) that provides progress in the discovery of the SELF. 

This true and un-obscured view of one’s Self and surroundings, brings about a personal Chrysalis, where one accepts one’s Self with appreciation.  The pettiness of me vs. not-me, etc. is replaced with the understanding of one’s unique place within the large collective and me vs. not-me becomes ‘we’.  

The synthesis from Self to Individuated Self follows this:

1.     Know your Self

2.     Love your Self

3.     Trust your Self

4.     Be your Self

Shubud vibrates into the being of Self – that’s the Soul – the Atma. The Atma then has the experience of that enlightenment to receive the gifts of the ParmAtma – the supreme soul – and Guru’s teachings are the bridge that we walk across that links us to the Parmatma.  It’s a feeling that we hold inside – that we know – that we are always surrounded.  Permeated in the being of light of God.  That it never separates itself from us.  That’s why we do our hymns each day.  Why we meditate each day.  So that our consciousness is set in that ‘Understanding’ and nothing can pull us from it.  The true devotion is when we hold that understanding and nothing can take us away from it.  Nothing can pull us apart from it.  Nothing can discourage our belief and our trust - And we can forgive each other.  We all make mistakes.  Judgments, intolerance, negativity, blame, complaint. 

    Individuation - Self

Initially, in therapeutic sessions, the focus is placed on how strange the events and people are in the circumstances of life in which the client is the center.  As the sessions progress, the client realizes that life is ultimately the encounter with the self - which becomes transformed in the encounter into the Self - i.e., that which incorporates the image of God.  JViJP 90

The self, on the other hand, is a God-image, or at least cannot be distinguished from one. Of this the early Christian spirit was not ignorant, otherwise Clement of Alexandria could never have said that he who knows himself knows God. AION 22

For the alchemist it was clear that the “centre,” or what we would call the self, does not lie in the ego but is outside it, “in us” yet not “in our mind,” being located rather in that which we unconsciously are, the “quid” which we still have to recognize. Today we would call it the unconscious, and we distinguish between a personal unconscious which enables us to recognize the shadow and an impersonal unconscious which enables us to recognize the archetypal symbol of the self. Such a point of view was inaccessible to the alchemist, and having no idea of the theory of knowledge, he had to exteriorize his archetype in the traditional way and lodge it in matter, even though he felt, as Dorn and others undoubtedly did, that the centre was paradoxically in man and yet at the same time outside him. Aion 169

(The) self can appear in all shapes from the highest to the lowest, inasmuch as these transcend the scope of the ego personality in the manner of a daimonion. It goes without saying that the self also has its theriomorphic symbolism. The commonest of these images in modern dreams are, in my experience, the elephant, horse, bull, bear, white and black birds, fishes, and snakes. Occasionally one comes across tortoises, snails, spiders, and beetles. The principal plant symbols are the flower and the tree. Of the inorganic products, the commonest are the mountain and lake. Aion 226

The consciously realized process of individuation thus changes a person's relationships. The familiar bonds such as kinship or common interests are replaced by a different type of unity - a bond through the Self.

The symbol of the earth-altar points to the fact that in order to bring the individuation process into reality, one must surrender consciously to the power of the unconscious, instead of thinking in terms of what one should do, or of what is generally thought right, or of what usually happens.  One must simply listen, in order to learn what the inner totality the Self – wants one to do here and now in a particular situation.  M&HS 166

What Dorn calls the creative power of the Godhead, or that gold, would, in our Jungian psychological language, be the active emanation, the active psychological dynamism of the archetype of the Self.   AAI 48

To insert that into the body of reality would, in our language, be that we should watch the activity of the Self within ourselves and try to make it an influence in our actual life.  If for instance I have a dream that I should do something (since our hypothesis is that the dream is, so to speak, a message from the Self), that would be an activity of the archetype of the Self, and to give that to the dragon to eat would mean that I make it valid for the body of my actual physical life.  Having duly interpreted my dream, I will decide whether to do this or that, from morning till evening, according to that dream.  That is really the body and my real life in my surroundings, that is what I feed to what one could call my reality.  Then the dragon who hitherto has been restless and nervous becomes quiet and goes to sleep.  AAI 48

In the dreams and fantasy pictures of modern man (the Self) is occasionally depicted as a meaningful and numinous void.  There is one picture in which an egg-shaped void, from which rays stream forth, forms the centre of a world or of a mandala with an empty centre.  The words of Meister Eckhart beautifully express what is meant by this image:  “Everything must be lost, the soul must exist in unhampered nothingness,” or “Whosoever would come to God must come as nothing.”  Or, expressed in Eastern imagery: “In the purple hall of the city of jade dwells the God of Utmost Emptiness and Life.”  The Confucians call it “The centre of the void.”  A nothingness, a void, is therefore the inescapable condition for the emergence of the Self.  The Self is not already present from the beginning in a comprehensible form, but manifests itself only through the outer and inner realizations of a life lived to its end.  TGL 133

For this reason, Jung has likened (it) to the crystal lattice present as a potential form in a solution but which first becomes visible in the process of crystallization, although crystallization does not necessarily take place.  The Self is therefore not complete, but is present in us as a potentiality which can become manifest only in the course of a specific process.  Certainly, the Self is not invariably realized through the unfolding of the natural biological life processes.  There appear to be many lives where this does not come to pass.  TGL 133

   Then how and by what means can the Self become manifest?  It is realized to that extent in which it is lived in the experience of daily life.  It is not achieved, however, when it appears in symbolic form in dreams and inner images, nor is it when consciousness acquires a specific degree of clarity, nor yet when a psychological function has attained a high degree of differentiation.  Important as consciousness undoubtedly is – and rightly utilized consciousness is an invaluable means of help for the realization of the Self – it is not by itself the determining factor.

For it does not depend so very greatly on knowledge and ability or upon some degree of intelligence, but rather upon the use which is made of these attributes and above all, on the psychic attitude a person adopts in the face of the various circumstances of his life and fate.  As the threads of fabric are woven into a pattern, so the Self as the living garment of divinity is woven out of the many decisions and crises, in themselves possibly insignificant, by which we are affected in the course of our lives.  Such occasions present themselves at every level of life and intelligence and in every milieu.  Whether or not they lead to a manifestation of the Self depends solely on our own response.  TGL 134

Many of us have observed that children, even small children, when faced with some difficulty, possess an attitude which many adults could only envy.  That “something,” the lack of which we experience as soullessness, is a “someone,” who takes a higher position, who is accountable and who feels committed.  Where this higher, responsible ego is lacking there can be no Self.  Ethos and the Self are therefore mutually interdependent.  For this reason, too, an attitude of “beyond good and evil,” such as has been commended in many quarters in modern times and especially since Nietzsche, is the best way to prevent the emergence of the Self.  TGL 134

   Through disintegration (Badurn’s vessel indicates) that a lie was being told, and through unification it bore witness to the truth, as though to illustrate the way an individual’s soul is similarly affected by his words.  He who lies deceives himself and disintegrates in the process, whereas he who tells the truth “heals” his soul and makes it whole.  TGL 135

It is only when a man begins to have an apprehension of the Self behind the anima that he finds the foundation on which he can escape her pulling and tugging in contrary directions.  On the other hand, as long as she is entangled with the image of the Self, he cannot escape from her trickery, for she wishes to enmesh him in life and at the same time to pull him out of it, to enlighten and to deceive him, until he has found both himself and an inner basis beyond the play of the paradoxes.  TGL 262

… as soon as one wants to talk about synchronicity one has no language; our European language is all causal.  I wanted to say that the effectiveness of the Self increases through synchronicity, but effectiveness is a causal word.  Perhaps one could say that the archetype of the Self gets into a more and more excited or activates state, whereby more and more synchronistic effects happen outside and around it which relate to it.  A kind of experience takes place of the oneness of the Self with what one generally conceives throughout one’s life, to be the cosmos or the whole outer world. 

SELF MEETS EGO

   When the Self and the ego get in touch with each other, who is wounded?  As soon as they come together both are wounded because to get in touch with the ego is a partial damage to the Self, just as it is a partial damage to the ego to be in touch with the Self.  The two cannot meet without damaging each other.  For the Self, you could say that one way in which it is damages is that instead of being a potential wholeness it becomes a partial reality; in part it becomes real within the individuated person – in the realizing action and words of the person.  That is a restriction for the Self and its possibilities.  The ego, however, is wounded because something greater breaks into its life.  We generally think of that part, which is why Jung says that it means tremendous suffering to get in touch with the process of individuation.  It causes a great wound because, put simply, we are robbed of the capacity for arranging our own lives according to our own wishes.  TPoPA 113

  Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (800-700 BC)

This or that people say, “Worship this god!  Worship that god!” – one god after another!  This is his creation, indeed, and he himself is all the gods … He has entered into everything, even the fingernail tips, as a razor would be hidden in a razor case, or fire in a fire holder.  Him they see not; for as seen, he is incomplete.  When breathing, he is named the breath; when speaking, the voice; when seeing, the eye; when hearing, the ear; when thinking, the mind: these are merely the names of his acts.  Whoever worships one or another of these – he knows not; for he is incomplete in one or another of these.  One should worship with the thought that he is one’s very Self; for therein all these others become one.  But that thing, namely, this Self is itself but the footprint of this All: by it one knows this All, just as, verily, one finds [one’s quarry] by a footprint… So, whoever worships another divinity than his Self, thinking “He is one and I another,” he knows not.  He is like a sacrificial animal for the gods.  Verily, indeed, just as many animals can be of service to man, even so each single person is of service to the gods.  And if even one animal is taken away, it is not pleasant.  What then, if many?  Therefore, it is not pleasing to the gods that men should know this.  TMD  30