Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Individuation - Jung's idea

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For CG Jung individuation was the purpose of life.

It is hard to be exact about what he meant by this - it was a lifelong process of self-creation and self-therapy - a project of re-making the worldly self in conformity with the inner self.

The inner self has an unique aspect - the individuality - and a common aspect shared with other people - the collective unconscious of archetypal forms and stories.

Well, all this gives people something to do with their lives - to 'work on themselves' - and it is quite possible that doing so makes people feel better than otherwise. But of course it isn't going anywhere and it doesn't provide any link with anybody else - life becomes a matter of 'memories, dreams. reflections'.

(Which is the title of Jung's purported autobiography - mostly a highly-selective work written by Aniela Jaffe with a propagandistic eye for Jung's posthumous reputation - it also happens to be far more enjoyable and interesting than anything Jung ever wrote by-himself!)

So, Jung's project is on the one hand radically inadequate - leaving all the fundamental problems un-addressed hence un-solved; and on the other hand, radically selfish (not to mention idle).

Yet Jung's project ought to be part-of a viable, satisfying, therapeutic, engaging religion in the modern world - partial for sure, but that part worth having. 

Lacking-which we have religion as social control; something external, coercive, alienating - something that boils-down-to do this: don't do that.

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