Updated: Jan 21, 2020
According to Jungian psychology or also called analytical psychology (found by a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung,he is also known for theorizing about the human unconscious, including the idea that there is a collective unconscious all people share.), individuation is the process of transforming one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious.
The very basic meaning of psyche is the human soul,mind and spirit. According to Jung,he maintained that the psyche is a self-regulating system (like the body). The psyche strives to maintain a balance between opposing qualities while at the same time actively seeking its own development or as he called it, individuation.
Coming to collective unconscious, it is basically the part of the unconscious mind containing memories and impulses of which the individual is not aware and is common to all humankind.
Jung believed that dreams provided an important window into the collective unconsciousness and that many symbols contained in dreams had a universal and uniform
meaning to it. According to him, dreams of birth, for example, might represent the birth of a new idea or development of a new part of oneself. While individuation has become the property of the world of psychology, Jung’s intend for it, was to be much more than that. While we have discussed about collective unconscious, there are other parts to the theory involved in the process of attaining individuation.
Personal unconscious refers to all information that is present within an individuals mind, but not readily available to conscious recall, that is memories that have been forgotten.
And the ego according to Jung, represents the conscious mind as it comprises the thoughts, memories and emotions a person is aware of.
why did Jung call it individuation?
A Jungian psychologist Robert Johnson explains it in his book, inner work.
"Because this process of actualizing oneself and becoming more complete also reveals one's special, individual structure. it shows how the universal human traits and possibilities are combined in each individual in a way that is unlike anyone else."
Also Jung himself points out in his book two essays on analytical psychology that,"individuation means becoming "in-dividual" and, in so far as "inividuality" embraces our innermost, last, and incomparable uniqueness, it also implies becoming one's own self. We could therefore translate individuation as "coming to self-hood" or "self-realization."
A few enlightening quotes by Jung:
"A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."
"Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes."
"Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people."
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."
-Carl Gustav Jung