Myths-Dreams-Symbols

What is The Individuation Process



Individuation is a significant adult developmental process occurring throughout life. It is an evolving and continuing growing process to find our true individuality, and to allow our purpose to evolve, however most of us suppress this need for continuous growth, thus disallowing ourselves to become who we truly are. When this occurs our life becomes uncomfortable in different ways. Individuation must happen if we are to be truly who we are and to be able to authentically contribute to life. It means we are not just getting older we are becoming more differentiated and developed. It drives us to reach out to learn, to forge into the unknown, to shape us to what we are to become. Individuation is one of the premier psychological life forces that attracts change into our lives.

The individuation process is a term created by the famous psychologist Carl Gustav Jung to describe the process of becoming aware of oneself, of one’s make-up, and the way to discover one’s true, inner self. Although the structure is basic and simple, the contents require a much deeper understanding.

Individuation

Individuation means that one becomes a person, an individual, a totally integrated personality. It is a process of self realization during which one integrates those contents of the psyche that have the ability to become conscious. It is a search for totality. It is an experience that could be formulated as the discovery of the divine in yourself, or the discovery of the totality of your Self. This does not always happen without pain, but it is necessary to accept many things that normally we would shy away from. Once a person has accepted the contents of his unconsciousness and has reached the goal of the individuation process, he is conscious of his relationships with everything that lives, with the entire cosmos.

Individuation is a natural, inherent process in man. It cannot be stimulated by something external, but it grows from the inside. Just as the body can become deformed or sick by lack of nutrition or movement, the personality can be deformed by lack of experience or education. Jung stresses that our modern world does not give enough opportunity to experience the archetype of the Shadow. When a child expresses his animal instincts, generally it is punished by its parents. Punishment does not lead to the extinction of the Shadow (repressed tendencies, more about this later on), which is impossible, but it leads to the suppression of this archetype. The Shadow retreats to an unconscious state, primitive and undifferentiated. Then, when the Shadow breaks through the repressive barrier, and this does happen once in a while, it manifests itself in a sinister, pathological way.

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