All psychotherapeutic methods are, by and large, useless.

I merely want to stress the fact that there are not a few cases where the doctor has to make up his mind to deal fundamentally with the unconscious, to come to a real settlement with it.

This is of course something very different from interpretation.

In the latter case it is taken for granted that the doctor knows beforehand, so as to be able to interpret.

But in the case of a real settlement it is not a question of interpretation: it is a question of releasing uncon- scious processes and letting them come into the conscious mind in the form of fantasies. We can try our hand at interpreting these fantasies if we like.

In many cases it may be quite important for the patient to have some idea of the meaning of the fantasies produced.

But it is of vital importance that he should experience them to the full and, in so far as intellectual understanding belongs to the
totality of experience, also understand them. Yet I would not give priority to understanding.

Naturally the doctor must be able to assist the patient in his understanding, but, since he will not and indeed cannot understand everything, the doctor should assiduously guard against clever feats of interpretation.

The transcendent function does not proceed without aim and purpose, but leads to the revelation of the es- sential man.

It is in the first place a purely natural process, which may in some cases pursue its course without the knowl- edge or assistance of the individual, and can sometimes forcibly accomplish itself in the face of opposition.

The meaning and purpose of the process is the realization, in all its aspects, of the personality originally hid- den away in the embryonic germplasm; the production and unfolding of the original, potential wholeness.

The symbols used by the unconscious to this end are the same as those which mankind has always used to express wholeness, completeness, and perfection: symbols, as a rule, of the quaternity and the circle.

For these reasons I have termed this the individuation process.

This natural process of individuation served me both as a model and guiding principle for my method of treat- ment. Carl Jung, CW 7, Paras 186-187

Individuation means becoming an “individual,” and, in so far as “individuality” embraces our innermost, last, and incomparable uniqueness, it also implies becoming one’s own self.

We could therefore translate individuation as “coming to selfhood” or “self-realization.” Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 266

The aim of individuation is nothing less than to divest the self of the false wrappings of the persona on the one hand, and of the suggestive power of primordial images on the other. Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 269

Human beings have one faculty which, though it is of the greatest utility for collective purposes, is most perni- cious for individuation, and that is the faculty of imitation.

Collective psychology cannot dispense with imitation, for without it all mass organizations, the State and the social order, are impossible.

Society is organized, indeed, less by law than by the propensity to imitation, implying equally suggestibility, suggestion, and mental contagion.

But we see every day how people use, or rather abuse, the mechanism of imitation for the purpose of per- sonal differentiation: they are content to ape some eminent personality, some striking characteristic or mode of behaviour, thereby achieving an outward distinction from the circle in which they move.

We could almost say that as a punishment for this the uniformity of their minds with those of their neigh- bours, already real enough, is intensified into an unconscious, compulsive bondage to the environment.

As a rule these specious attempts at individual differentiation stiffen into a pose, and the imitator remains at the same level as he always was, only several degrees more sterile than before.

To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is. Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 242.

In the individuation process, it anticipates the figure that comes from the synthesis of conscious and uncon- scious elements in the personality.

It is therefore a symbol which unites the opposites; a mediator, bringer of healing, that is, one who makes whole.

Because it has this meaning, the child motif is capable of the numerous transformations mentioned above: it can be expressed by roundness, the circle or sphere, or else by the quaternity as another form of wholeness.

I have called this wholeness that transcends consciousness the “self.”

The goal of the individuation process is the synthesis of the self. Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 278

For the alchemists the process of individuation represented by the opus was an analogy of the creation of the world, and the opus itself an analogy of God’s work of creation. Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 550

This, roughly, is what I mean by the individuation process.

As the name shows, it is a process or course of development arising out of the conflict between the two fundamental psychic facts. Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 522-523

Animals generally signify the instinctive forces of the unconscious, which are brought into unity within the mandala.

This integration of the instincts is a prerequisite for individuation. Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 660

If the individuation process is made conscious, consciousness must confront the unconscious and a balance between the opposites must be found.

As this is not possible through logic, one is dependent on symbols which make the irrational union of opposites possible.

They are produced spontaneously by the unconscious and are amplified by the conscious mind.

The central symbols of this process describe the self, which is man’s totality, consisting on the one hand of that which is conscious to him, and on the other hand of the contents of the unconscious. Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 755

Individuation appears, on the one hand, as the synthesis of a new unity which previously consisted of scattered particles, and on the other hand, as the revelation of something which existed before the ego and is in fact its father or creator and also its totality. Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 400

Individuation is an expression of that biological process—simple or complicated as the case may be —by which every living thing becomes what it was destined to become from the beginning.

This process naturally expresses itself in man as much psychically as somatically. Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 460 The goal of psychological, as of biological, development is self-realization, or individuation.

But since man knows himself only as an ego, and the self, as a totality, is indescribable and indistinguishable from a God image, self-realization—to put it in religious or metaphysical terms —amounts to God’s incarnation.

That is already expressed in the fact that Christ is the son of God. Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 233

The metaphysical process is known to the psychology of the unconscious as the individuation process.

In so far as this process, as a rule, runs its course unconsciously as it has from time immemorial, it means no more than the acorn becomes an oak, the calf a cow, and the child an adult.

But if the individuation process is made conscious, consciousness must confront the unconscious and a balance between the opposites must be found.

As this is not possible through logic, one is dependent on symbols which make the irrational union of opposites possible.

They are produced spontaneously by the unconscious and are amplified by the conscious mind.Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 755

The difference between the “natural” individuation process, which runs its course unconsciously, and the one which is consciously realized, is tremendous.

In the first case consciousness nowhere intervenes; the end remains as dark as the beginning.

In the second case so much darkness comes to light that the personality is permeated with light, and consciousness

necessarily gains in scope and insight.

The encounter between conscious and unconscious has to ensure that the light which shines in the darkness is not only comprehended by the darkness, but comprehends it. Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 756