Carl Jung: Journey to Self-Discovery
To know ourself, our authentic self, is to embark on the greatest journey of all. Author, Hermann Hesse and psychologist, Carl Jung were pivotal influences in my own journey of discovery and both continue to be touchstones for my path in life. Jung was the man who helped me with self-analysis and individuation.
Jung discovered that in our unconscious there are collective cultural influences from varying civilizations going back to the beginning of human experience in ancient cultures. Jung posited this collective unconscious drives much of human behavior. In our collective unconscious are remnants of type models that Jung first identified as archetypes. Universal archetypes such as the hero, the mother, the healer, etc., are easily identifiable. While we may tend towards a particular archetype, each person is different and will develop their own personality type. Jung helps us to understand that it is ‘ok’ to be different, that in fact, differences between human beings helps bring variation to the human race as a species and strengthens us as a whole. Individuation is a part of the human evolutionary process.
In self-analysis we stop looking outward and focus inward. In doing so, we begin to strip away the compressed layers of conventional attitudes we are taught as ‘reality’, or how we should be, and begin to think for ourself, as we are, with all variables in play and in doing so we come into our authentic self. We do this not in a narcissistic way, where we use the world and others to inflate and gratify an immature grandiose-self, but quite the opposite, in a whole, non-fragmented way where we are functioning on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We detach from the world, just as we detached from our birth mother when we were born, in order to find our true identity and thus embrace the person we are.