Through a Jungian Lens

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Individuation – Wings to Fly

with 2 comments

I took this photo yesterday while on a walk through the hills about seven kilometres from my home.  This particular magpie was perched on a rock on the side of a hill and I was able to get within fifteen feet of him allowing me to take a number of satisfactory images.  When I shewed him off, he went down to the valley allowing me to get this photo of him as I was then higher than him on the slope of the hill.  This photo was just one of a few that I have decided to include here as the day was perfect for revelling in the sunshine.

I have a serious start on my SoFoBoMo 2011 book project and have been busy with C,G. Jung’s Collected Works, Volume 9i, The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, as my reference source for the photo book project. As I envision my project, I am seeing the journey of individuation as a cycle, a circle within which one finds one’s self.  This is the opening quotation for the book:

Consciousness grows out of an unconscious psyche which is older than it, and which goes on functioning together with it or even in spite of it.”  (Jung, CW 9i, paragraph 502)

Imagine the moment when a human is born to a mother, the moment when the self leaves the waters of the womb in order to begin a journey in an outer world.  The journey is born out of the dark and wet womb.  The self, though existing within the womb has no sense of self.  In the light, with the passage of time and experiences, the self begins to differentiate from the environment, from the mother, and in the process learns about self as object, then as subject.  The journey is of the self becoming conscious.  But as one discovers, the journey cycles back towards the darkness and an apparent dimming of consciousness and finally death.  This is a one way journey that has uncountable numbers of experiences going in uncountable numbers of directions.  Yet, the final destination awaits.  The self has to be reclaimed from the world of light.

We are born out of darkness and return to darkness, but in between, we have wings to fly as high as we dare.


2 Responses

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  1. And throughout all of this, is the ageless problem of how much Self? Individuation always is at odds with the Tribes we were born into to be part of and be ‘good’.


    July 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    • Being part of a tribe and individuation seem to oppose each other when in fact they don’t. But try to get the tribe to understand this is nothing but a walk into the dark side of the tribe. Many give up on the journey because of a lack of courage to be set apart as some sort of curiosity.


      July 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm

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