Individuation – Being What God Meant Us To Be
Well, this is another photo that I took using the timer feature of my camera. At the time, I wasn’t too sure what the purpose was for it. Likely there was some background idea of the Vitruvian Man in my mind. Yet, the photo didn’t work well with that idea so I left it sit unused. Now, with this post, I see that it fits. Here I am focusing away from self and the camera toward something else. It is as if I am saying “this is me, take me as I am.”
“Individuation means being yourself, becoming yourself. Nowadays one always uses the cheap word “self-realization,” but what one really means is ego-realization. Jung means something quite different. He means the realization of one’s own predestined development [essentialism] that does not always suit the ego, but it is what one intrinsically feels could or should be. We are neurotic when we are not what God meant us to be. Basically, that’s what individuation is all about. One lives one’s destiny. Then usually one is more humane, less criminal, less destructive to one’s environment.” (von Franz, Geography of the Soul, 1993, p. 12; cited in Sharp, Jung Uncorked: Book Three, pp 107-108)
Marie-Louise von Franz puts it nicely indeed. This is what I am trying to do, be less destructive, be less criminal, be less harmful to others and to my self. I want to have my life mean something. And no, I don’t mean that I want to become famous. Meaning has nothing to do with public fame. It has to do with settling the inner contents into a state of balance so that even the shadows feel at ease with the outer self, the ego. In a way, it becomes an issue of teamwork that has all of the self become aligned. This work, this inner team work, is individuation.
As created beings, we can only be what is possible for our psyche. We are limited by our complexes, by biology and by our will to be “self.” It is rare for anyone, perhaps even impossible to fully realize what is possible as an individual. When we follow the collective, we move away from what is possible as an individual. Since we are never fully conscious, it takes courage to move past the doubt and trust in the SELF. Following the crowd is easier and in the process, we find safety in numbers – especially safety against the inner aspects of self that we define as demons.
In my mind, we only honour God by accepting and getting to know him through his creation within the “self.”