Spiritual & Personal Growth
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Part 1: Overview          Part 2: Active Imagination
Part 3: Dreams & Their Interpretations
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Gerald's Approach To Personal/Spiritual Growth
Part 1: Overview

My method to achieving personal and spiritual growth is through the 'Process of Individuation'. Individuation is a process of psychological integration, having for its goal the development of the individual personality. "In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed and differentiated {from other human beings}; in particular, it is the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology." Here are the primary aspects of this process:
  • It is the procedure by which we become individuals. We claim our uniqueness -- our likes and dislikes, values, tastes, personality, viewpoints, interpretations, interests, goals, habits, idiosyncrasies, habits, purposes, philosophy of life, our place in the world, our way of doing things, and our style (even in mundane matters such as fashion and hairstyle). Individuation is essentially the same as 'ego development.'
  • It is the fulfillment of our potential and our destiny. When we come into this world, we probably have neither a totally "blank slate" nor a totally predetermined fate; instead, we probably have "tendencies" and "possibilities," which are like the features on a home's blueprint. Our personal decisions determine the extent to which we enact those tendencies and possibilities, in the individuation process. Our early life experiences and influences, beginning in earliest childhood, are also prime determiners of the possibilities/probabilities. Inherent aspects as well as early life experiences do not 'make us' who we become in later life but 'push us' a particular direction {these tendencies show themselves as patterns of behavior in our dreams}
  • It is a human process, not a religious process. We do not try to be perfect, nor do we try to conform to traditional religious ideals (such as "goodness"), although Jung said that we can examine the religious journey as an analogy and model in our psychological journey of individuation. Individuation is not a religious process, it is a spiritual process.
Religion vs Spirituality/Experience vs Belief. Religion usually entails adhering to a certain dogma or belief system. Spirituality places little importance on intellectual beliefs, but is concerned with growing into and experiencing the Divine consciousness

Individuation does not lead to total autonomy. On the contrary:
  • We discover our similarities with other people. As we define ourselves, we recognize the same emotions, longings, challenges, and archetypal foundations that occur in other people.
  • We learn that the various parts of ourselves do not exist in isolation; instead, they are parts of systems which extend within ourselves, and outward to society. For example, when we explore our individual emotional needs, we realize that many of them can be satisfied only through interactions and interdependence with other people. As Carl Jung said (in The Practice of Psychotherapy), "Individuation is an at-one-ment with oneself and at the same time with humanity, since oneself is a part of humanity." Individuation enhances the quality of relationships. Our relationships become more intimate, because we are reaching out as a distinct person, not from a position of vagueness and superficial role-playing.
  • Individuation enhances the quality of relationships. Our relationships become more intimate, because we are reaching out as a distinct person, not from a position of vagueness and superficial role-playing.
    Reference: trans4mind.com

CG Jung"the royal road to the unconscious"
-C.G. Jung

Part 2: Techniques for Individuation
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Further Reading {Opens in New Window}
JOURNAL OF JUNGIAN THEORY AND PRACTICE: The Individuation Process