Individuation - Conclusion

The goal toward which the individuation process is tending is "Wholeness" or "Integration": a condition in which all the different elements of the psyche, both conscious and unconscious, are welded together.  The person who achieves this goal possesses

"an attitude that is beyond the reach of emotional entanglement and violent shocks - a consciousness detached from the world."

“Individuation is inherent in man and follows regular patterns”


Individuation involves a multidimensional union of opposites.  According to Western thinking, since the unconscious can never be made wholly conscious, the Platonic ideal of the perfect man is unattainable, yet wholeness is a balancing act that offers us something to work towards.  “Unattainability” is not a good enough argument against not pursuing the philosophy of continuous improvement towards such an ideal, because ideals are not the goals, they are only the handrails.

Individuation is a process that does not answer the question “Who am I?”, but gives some major progress in the understanding.

Inner work is about bringing the paradoxes of the psyche into consciousness and then untangling them.”

Individuation summarized is:  the process by which the individual progresses towards completeness within himself and becomes truly a man"

“Making motives and other contents visible and holding them still in the light of conscious.  The light sticks with the contents and although they are still the same, they can no longer hide in the dark."

The goal of individuation is individuality.  The individual is a ‘finite field’ neither conscious, nor unconscious, ‘but a bit of both’.

“Life demands adaptation.  Adaptation is never achieved ‘once-and-for-all’”

Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.  What concerns us here is only an excessive amount of them.”

Harmony is frequently the result of an ongoing creative process, whereby a new unity is discovered among concepts which had heretofore been disparate and disjointed.  JViJP 87

The achievement of optimum development is a journey that is continuous throughout life.  The path of individuation and the changes of attitude which take place are always accompanied by creative processes.  New ideas arise, and inspiration occurs during both one's waking and sleeping hours.  JViJP 87

The shadow, (…), usually has a decidedly negative feeling-value, while the anima, like the animus, has more of a positive one. Whereas the shadow is accompanied by more or less definite and describable feeling-tones, the anima and animus exhibit feeling qualities that are harder to define. Mostly they are felt to be fascinating or numinous. Often they are surrounded by an atmosphere of sensitivity, touchy reserve, secretiveness, painful intimacy, and even absoluteness.  The relative autonomy of the anima- and animus-figures expresses itself in these qualities.  In order of affective rank they stand to the shadow very much as the shadow stands in relation to ego-consciousness. 

The figure of the shadow already belongs to the realm of bodiless phantoms – not to speak of anima and animus, which do not seem to appear at all except as projections upon our fellow human beings. 

Now, instead of simply going into the forest when middle age hits and canceling the whole darn show, as in the Indian tradition, Jung says the Occidental approach to the transition from responsibility to old age is that of achieving wholeness, of individuation.  This is exactly the Greek idea.

1.     Individuation is a process and not an end result

2.     It is the unceasing confrontation between the Ego & Unconscious.