Individuation – The Audacity To Carve Your Own Path

Let’s start with some juicy words from the man himself:

“This is not to preach “individualism,” but only the necessary pre-condition for responsible action: namely that a man should know himself and his own peculiarities and have the courage to stand by them. Only when a man lives in his own way is he responsible and capable of action—otherwise he is just a hanger-on or follower-on with no proper personality”. C. G. Jung – V16 – §42

I must confess that these words went directly to my soul and translated something that I’ve felt at some capacity my whole life, but have only been truly conscious of for the past 2 – 3 years.

As humans we crave certain answers, we don’t want to make mistakes, and have the tendency to look for systems, formulas, recipes, codes, shortcuts, and a step-by-step guide to life. 

That’s exactly what a religion, a political movement, or a philosophical system can give us.

Furthermore, if you pair that with a sense of belonging you have the perfect recipe for perpetuating immature adults.

Where fanaticism serves as a compensation for inner doubts, and by “converting” more people to your movement, these same gnawing doubts cease for a while.

The responsibility for one’s life is projected onto a “guru”, and the “community” also has a key role in this dynamic, by having an unspoken and unconscious pact to curb these very inner conflicts.

“The fact that the conventions always flourish in one form or another only proves that the vast majority of mankind do not choose their own way, but convention, and consequently develop not themselves but a method and a collective mode of life at the cost of their own wholeness”. C. G. Jung – V17 – §296

By engaging with something ready-made and making this your own truth instead of finding your own answers, you’re disowning the most important part of your soul and running away from psychological maturity.

The way of individuation is finding your own particular answers to life.

It means carving your own path. 

And slaying your own dragon, instead of taking pride in others’ deeds.

But don’t get me wrong here, I’m not anti-religion or philosophy, this would be just dumb.

We can certainly find inspiration from ancient traditions and this can serve to spark something inside of us, but that’s it.

The actual process of building our own cosmovision (weltanschauung) has to be done individually and is very lengthy and laborious.

It’s something Jung calls “moral confrontation”.

A highly important point here is to always remember that we live in a paradox between accommodating internal and external demands.

In other words, we have to find a way of expressing our individuality in the external world, without simply disregarding or forfeiting it.

On the contrary, this would be just an angry teenager rebellion or empty individuality as Jung points out.

It’s a fine balance between the adaptation of the persona and the demands of the individuation process.

However, listening to your inner voice and achieving freedom has a price.

You have to cultivate the courage to stand by what you believe in and have the audacity of going your own way.

Accepting full responsibility is imperative.

As you truly engage in finding your answers, for example, entertaining the problem of good and evil, you start noticing something emerging from the depths of your soul.

At first, it’s something amorphous in its embryonic stages.

And the more you allow yourself to question your foundations and sustain the paradoxes, the more solid your convictions become.

They emerge as a new synthesis, binding the extremes into new connections at a higher level.

Until you tap into a truth that can sustain you through the most difficult periods of your life.

Your own internal law.

Your pistis.

A solid inner foundation that propels you to become independent.

It’s something that inspires you, makes you feel at peace, and at the same time fuels you with creative power.

You’re no longer the effect, now you’re the protagonist co-creating your destiny.

“I was driven to ask myself in all seriousness: “What is the myth you are living?” I found no answer to this question, and had to admit that I was not living with a myth, or even in a myth, but rather in an uncertain cloud of theoretical possibilities which I was beginning to regard with increasing distrust. I did not know that I was living a myth, and even if I had known it, I would not have known what sort of myth was ordering my life without my knowledge. So, in the most natural way, I took it upon myself to get to know “my” myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks”. C. G. Jung – V5 P.30

Do you dare?

Read this one next – How To Do Shadow Work

Rafael Krüger 

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