[Does individuation originate from the ego or the Self? This confronts us with the ego-Self paradox.]
[For the alchemis] . . . . it is not a question of a one-way ascent to heaven, but, in contrast to the route followed by the Christian Redeemer, who comes from above to below and from there returns to the above, the filius macrocosmi starts from below, ascends on high, and, with the powers of Above and Below united in himself, returns to earth again. He carries out the reverse movement and thereby manifests a nature contrary to that of Christ and the Gnostic Redeemers. ~Carl Jung, “The Spirit Mercurius,” Alchemical Studies, CW 13, par. 280.
The self, like the unconscious, is an a priori existent out of which the ego evolves. It is, so to speak, an unconscious prefiguration of the ego. It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself . . . [However] psychology must reckon with the fact that despite the causal nexus man does enjoy a feeling of freedom, which is identical with autonomy of consciousness . . . . The existence of ego consciousness has meaning only if it is free and autonomous. By stating these facts we have, it is true, established an antimony, but we have at the same time given a picture of things as they are . . . . In reality both are always present: the supremacy of the self and the hybris of consciousness. ~Carl Jung, “Transformation Symbolism in the Mass,” Psychology and Religion, CW 11, par. 391.
If ego consciousness follows its own road exclusively, it is trying to become like a god or a superman. But exclusive recognition of its dependence only leads to a childish fatalism and to a world-negating and misanthropic spiritual arrogance. ~Carl Jung, The Mysteries: Papers from the Eranos, Page 324.