Through a Jungian Lens

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Individuation – Still a Part of the Whole

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Many individual strands standing together.

I am continuing the thread of individuation, the choice to follow a call that takes us apart from others. At least, that is how it feels. We separate and peel away the web of connections and contamination that has us wonder where we start in the messy web of relationships. We find that we have become enmeshed as though there is no separateness possible. As we begin to search for our unique self, others begin to worry knowing that somehow they are losing something vital to their own identity which is caught in the sticky webs of inter-relationships. There is a question of love and love abandoned. The choice to follow a call has ripples that flow through so many others.

Once on the path, the individual finds his or her inner spaces crowded and messy with powerful strangers as well as the ghosts of those who still live in the outer world. Following the call leads one into conflicts with these inner beings. One is forced like ancient heroes to conquer these inner beings and forces. And with these victories these presences become integrated rather than destroyed.  One learns that each of these gods and goddesses, demons, beggars, warriors, prostitutes, saints and mythical animals are really just lost faces of one’s self. One returns to the waking outer world confused and disoriented and looks about him or herself at those who stand nearby, people who are both strangers and yet intimately familiar.

These outer world people are strangers for projections that were really images of the inner presences had been placed on these outer world people.  With the projections withdrawn we see these same people with clear eyes, and we wonder why we had not seen them before. We begin to wonder about what had drawn us to these people and what remains that will keep us in relation to them. Some of these people are strangers in a way, but because they are our children, will remain with us in some fashion – willingly or unwillingly. Regardless, because we have changed in our own eyes, we truly change in the eyes of those others who are in orbit around us, especially those who are closest to us; the others are forced to change as well. We have stirred ripples and those ripples will challenge the old ways of being and relating.

The risk is to have others leave us because of the changes and their unwillingness to look beneath the surface. And if some do leave, there remains many who don’t.  We don’t live in isolation nor will we as we become more aware of who we are. If anything we become more connected consciously. The individual stands in relation to all others in spite of distance. Consciously or unconsciously we remain part of the whole.


One Response

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  1. I still feel quite a bond with people whom I haven’t seen in decades, who are dead, or encountered only once.


    October 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm

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