The Individuation Process

According to jungian psychology, individuation is defined as the most optimal path to personal transformation, personal development and personal growth. In layman terms, it's about becoming your ridding yourself of external influences to become your own unique person with your own set of unique beliefs and values.

Individuation is a process. It's a lot of actions that need to be done in a certain order to achieve success. One that requires a good look at the Self and its desires.

Individuation helps you create an identity that is uniquely yours that can help you face the trials of life in your own way. An identity that is able to renew you in mind, body, and soul. And one that is lost to more "modern" sensibilities, and exists at the very edges of the sciences.

The individuation process starts with the Self. With the fundamental truth that all of us, as people, are entities unique from one another. We have different wants and needs, and it is time to realize what those are. To initiate the journey of Individuation, a spiritual awakening must happen. A call to listen to the voice that dwells inside all of us and let it speak freely.

From there, we must take a good, honest look into the Self with questions and answers divorced from any reality beyond it. No distractions. No expectations. No demands. Just you, time, and the need to make a plan for yourself.

And to what end do we plan?

We plan for the journey, of course.

Individuation is an adventure across the mind and the world with you as its protagonist. There will be peaks. There will be valleys.

But we will soldier on with purpose. And that purpose is discovering your fullest potential. Individuation will show you that you can be more than what you think you could be.

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From there, the design stage can begin. What are we designing? The new 'you' personality, of course. We make this by piecing together parts of your life and your truest desires.

All processed through the perspective lenses provided by Individuation. You shall face facets and aspects of yourself that you've never noticed until now. And the brave uncharted territory of the Self.

Then comes the period of adaptation. You can’t fundamentally change who you are and what makes you who you are in an instant.

No, this must happen in increments, slowly but surely adding up until the change is completed. This will be a time of strife from within and without. Individuation is not without its difficulties, but there are ways and means within its framework to help you weather the storm.

This adaptation time will be a period of strife, but also one of healing. We heal all wounds inflicted by modern life. Especially those inflicted upon us by others, and the world we live in.

A holistic healing of the mind, body, and soul. Until we emerge at the other side reinvigorated and indomitable. Redefined beyond the expectations of anyone besides ourselves and armed with tools and knowledge that make us unstoppable.

Those who find their true, authentic selves are indomitable.

Individuation is a way to expedite that process by giving you set goals and objectives to achieve. It helps cut out the white noise of expectations from those around us and helps us focus on what we truly desire. It will unlock your fullest potential that’s far beyond your dreams!

Individuation Phase #1: Integration Of The Shadow Archetype

The Good Book once said that in the beginning, there was darkness. This is matched by mythologies and cultures from across the world that postulated that the beginning of all existence was in a void.

For the purposes of Individuation, we start in similar circumstances. Confronted by darkness and shadows, we've known and lived with all our lives.

What darkness? What shadows?

Those urges, desires, and needs. Long have they lingered at the back of your mind, waiting to be addressed. This darkness is also known as your shadow archetype.

And what other things lurk in that lightless abyss?

Those experiences made you who you are. The joys. The sorrows. The things you'd rather not talk about. They're in that darkness as well. For your sake, Individuation demands they be brought up once more and be looked at with an analytical eye.

And to what end?

Integration. Your darkness is yours. It is a part of you must never ignore or neglect again.

Individuation teaches that the disownership of our neglected self-truths, our experiences, or otherwise what you’d call your own darkness, is what contributes to the hollow and unfulfilled emotions we feel in our moments of supposed triumph.

This can be done through shadow work.

Bringing them back into the fold will make you a fuller, more developed human person for it. Satiating the secret hungers that we all possess. Individuation teaches us how to do so in a gradual and healthy manner.

Individuation Phase #2: Harmonizing The Anima and Animus

With the darkness within brought into the fold, or at the very least addressed. It’s time to confront your other half.

In his theories of Individuation, Jung presented the idea that within ourselves, may we be born Male or Female, we have components of the opposite gender within.

He called them the Anima and Animus. Essentially the Feminine component of a male personality and the Masculine component of a female personality, respectively.

In the old traditions that Individualism taps into, Masculinity and Femininity have certain virtues assigned to them based on what roles both genders served in in the old days.

Masculinity, for example, is associated with bravery, self-reliance, and independence. Femininity, meanwhile, is typified by generosity, compassion, and communication.

anima, animus, anima and animus, anima or animus

The Anima and Animus are part of who we are. There can’t be a Masculine without a Feminine, and vice-versa. Sadly on the pathway to the modern age, we’ve told both the men and women of our societies to conform directly and exclusively with the virtues of their own gender.

A far cry from the olden days, when men would express their emotions freely and be understood by those around them.

When women could act with autonomy and agency without judgment, unbound by the restrictions of a society that claimed to be serving their best interest while going against them at every turn.

This has had disastrous results on society. For women, it was the systemic erasure of their rights that has only just recently been undone with much conflict and strife. While men have spent generations growing up to be imperfect and hollow beings unable to express themselves as they should.

Individuation demands that these male and female aspects of ourselves be integrated into the new personality we create for ourselves. For it is through the male and female divide where the virtues of the Self and others are found.

Just as the bond between man and woman is the root of all new life, the harmonious union between your dominant male or female personality, and your feminine or masculine sides is the root of the whole human being. It can function as your "interior companion" or "the inspirer of life" according to R. Johnson. And help motivate you through the trials of life.

Unity. Cohesion. Perfection. Jung said that the integration of both the Shadow and the Anima or Animus was the "masterpiece" of the Self. Once a person achieved this harmony with these parts, they could move on to the next challenge on their journey.

Individuation Phase #3: Discovering The Self

The previous two stages were in service to the formation of the Self and the integration of all that we are into a singular entity that will be used from this point forward as the artifice and frame of mind that we will be using in perpetuity. 

In Individuation, the Self is what will take the most prominent and primary role in the drive of self-improvement and betterment.

Armed with every facet and aspect of your being that you possess, every good and bad, every masculine and feminine thought, every experience and goal you've ever had, the Self is more than suited for the task of finding and discovering your true and authentic Self. And the most capable component of you to help you achieve your apogee; your maximum potential.

discovering the self, self mastery, self actualization, individuation

It can be seen that the Self is the ultimate expression of who you are. A transcendent being within your own headspace. The closest anything on this earth can come to being divinity.

It is the Self that is in sync with the beat of life itself. The same beat that permeates the universe and never ceases.

The Self that is not blinded by the Glory, but sees beyond the blinding light and into the secrets of all that bask in its radiance.

The Self that does not burn at the touch of the fires of creation, but bears its heat and crafts from it a new reality to serve his whims.

To reach the Self, one must first transcend beyond the ego through a process known as ego death.

People who adopt individuation usually become more harmonious, mature and responsible. they promote freedom and justice and have a good understanding about the workings of human nature and the universe.

The three stages of the individuation process are facets of the 12 jungian archetypes. Once the first stages are complete, and you feel appropriately comfortable with who you are after the journey, Individuation encourages us all to explore and utilize the archetypes and experience their ideals and motivations. With the goal of learning which fit your Self best, and achieve greater actualization.

All 12 jungian archetypes come with their own quirks and foci. Learning which ones you prefer to use, and which ones are most appropriate for the situation, is an exercise that Individuation asks you to perform. 

The Caregiver

“Come to me, all you weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” This is the mantra of the Caregiver archetype. They are a font of love, similar but not the same as that found with the Lover. They tend, they protect, they give parts of themselves away for the betterment of the world.

Emergence in Individuation: The Caregiver is the archetype of Care in all of its forms. All upon your inner Caregiver when someone is in need of love and reassurance. Invoke it in times when you need someone as sturdy as a Leader, but with a gentle touch and an open hand. It is an archetype of sacrifice, but be mindful of what you give way, less you lose yourself.

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The Creator

The closest to the unhinged Freudian Id as one can get, the Creator archetype lives in places beyond imagination, and their head is always in the clouds. They take things that already exist and fuse them together to create something new. Much like the Outlaw, they need not conform, and it is this freedom that gives them strength.

Emergence in Individuation: The Creator is the one that stands at every new beginning. One should tap into their inner Creator to design and plot their course should they so desire. Expression is part of their watchwords, and Creators express themselves effortlessly. Control the wild Id, however, as their creations can be shaky, and their energy spent on thinking instead of doing.

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The Explorer

The Explorer archetype is the intrepid archetype. Their eyes are fixated on the horizon. They may not always have a plan, but they have a goal, and they will not stop until they reach it. Intrepid, steadfast, and ever curious. They will seek the new and exotic at every opportunity.

Emergence in Individuation: The Explorer archetype is one of curiosity and spur of the moment decisions. It helps one brave the vague questions of life. It helps you quench the thirst for knowledge through experience. And guides your hand when faced with the unfamiliar.

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The Hero

Shown in fiction as the indomitable spirit, sword drawn, and ready to face down the world ahead, the Hero archetype is power made manifest. The power within the Self. Power to change the course of history and life itself through sheer force of will. They are relentless and cannot be stopped.

Emergence in Individuation: Invoke the Hero when you need great inner strength that needs to be called upon in times of crisis and danger. This strength may take the form of physical might, or the unyielding tenacity to face down life’s trials in a moment of need. But do not lose sight of yourself and your role in the world. For a Hero’s ambition may be too great, and their desire for victory to blind them to the needs of others.

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The Innocent

The Innocent archetype embodies hope. They're inherently optimistic and carry their love and happiness like a torch to burn away the darkness of self-loathing and hatred. They see the good in everyone. They adapt to the world around them and face down the challenges of life with an unflinching smile. They're people-pleasers and will find a way to make you feel loved.

Emergence in Individuation: The Innocent is who you must be in times of trouble. A stout heart and kind words can calm the storm in a person with but a whisper. An innocent set of hands can stop a heated argument from escalating. And a soul full of love can connect with even the most jaded person in the world.

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The Jester

The Jester archetype makes you laugh. They bring joy and make life feel like less of a burden by being there. No wonder then, that they can break down people’s walls, humor them in even the darkest times, and bring joy to all those around them.

Emergence in Individuation: The Jester helps bring levity into the proceedings. It is stepping back from the madness of existence, to simply enjoy being alive with good company and love. Be as a Jester sparingly, however. Their humor may become inappropriate, and their actions may be read as disrespectful or outright scandalous at times.

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The Lover

Of all the Archetypes, the Lover archetype is the one who will understand the most. They embody compassion and intimacy. They are a font of adoration, affection, life, and preservation. They are a wonder of the senses and sensation.

Emergence in Individuation: Become the Lover when passion and love are needed. Use that love to shoo away the ceaseless uncertainties and anxieties of those around you. Use their senses and your body to impart upon them all the love you have to offer.

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The Magician

Ever shifting. Ever bright. The Magician archetype is a force upon man and nature itself. They take what is withered and rotten and transform it into something new and beautiful. Theirs is a font of energy few can tap into, fewer still understand.

Emergence in Individuation: The Magician is the archetype of adaptation, change, and nuance. Use this archetype to turn the dark and bleak sides of yourself into something positive, like spinning a delightful yarn from a sad story. Let the Magician remind you that you do not exist as a static being, but one of life and dynamism. One that can change adapt, survive, and overcome whatever challenges life can throw at you.

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The Member

The Member archetype is the one that the world and the universe itself have put upon with the greatest misfortunes and troubles. Brought low by forces beyond their control. They are familiar with the plight of the poor and heavily burdened. They are resourceful out of necessity and vicious when absolutely needed.

Emergence in Individuation: The Member Archetype is put upon us in our darkest hours. Their wit, resourcefulness, and tenacity are what's required to escape out of the worst binds. They're strong, but must be tempered. Greed is bad in times of plenty. And their resourcefulness and silver tongue can cause strife.

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The Outlaw

The defender of the individual in times of strife. The Outlaw archetype questions all in authority, and if found wanting, challenge their actions with righteous fury. They are not bound by the obligations of the world that molded them, and with that same freedom, they unshackle the world.

Emergence in Individuation: The Outlaw archetype is who you must become when faced with doubt and concern. Who you must become when the world judges you for acting and feeling the way you do. When one needs to be independent in thought or action, the Rebel is typically tapped. They're not without danger; however, as this same rebellious spirit must be kept in check, lest it destroys itself.

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The Ruler

This one has many names. King. Regent. Emperor. Pharaoh. Lord-Commander. The Ruler archetype, with the closest association to pure power, takes that power and uses it to its full potential. The ruler brings order, they organize and build. And if done correctly, it is followed by those who agree with their ideals.

Emergence in Individuation: Rulers are extremely sturdy. They provide a sense of order in a sea of chaos. They take command of a situation that may not be in their favor. They guide others along their own path. They are respected and loved for their actions. Be careful, however, as power can corrupt. Its need can become a want. And if left unchecked, it can turn one into a greedy and dangerous monster of a person.

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The Sage

The Sage archetype is a freethinker. They entertain ideas, thoughts, and concepts most of us wouldn't bother tinkering with on the daily. They use their intellect and logic to make sense of the world, restricted only insofar as which theoretical lenses or frameworks they need to work with, in order to perform this task.

Emergence in Individuation: The Sage is who you must become when you are confronted with the unknown and want to bring it to the light of understanding. This is not restricted to academic or “high brow” concepts either, becoming the Sage for mundane questions that confront you in life is a gateway to a more profound, intimate understanding of yourself and the world around you.

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The Archetypal Stages of Life

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