Carl Jung on living an authentic life

Living an authentic life…

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

By Jason E. Smith

Individuation and Authenticity

It could be argued that at the heart of Jungian therapy is the aim of experiencing and living an authentic life.

That is not the language that Carl Jung used, but it does express a central idea of his psychology, which he called ‘individuation.’ Put very simply, individuation is the process by which individuals become more fully themselves.

Individuation involves differentiating oneself from conformity with collective values, which does not necessarily mean rejecting those values. Rather, it means the ability to choose the values by which one will live instead of merely living out social norms in an unreflective and unconscious way.

In other words, the individuation process is a deepening and maturing of one’s individuality and sense of authenticity.

Discover Yourself

The authentic life begins, says Jung, with going within. This is not a popular undertaking, especially in a culture like ours…

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2 thoughts on “Carl Jung on living an authentic life

  1. Hi Von, I couldn’t leave a comment on Jason’s site so will leave it here if I may. What Jason says is so true, however … when I look inside myself I find that little newborn baby bereft of her mother (I call this place where she lives, Depression). I’ve learnt to listen to her, soothe and nurture her with the resources I somehow gained from mothering and loving my own children and grandchildren, without discounting her pain. I found out I was adopted when I was 43 – what hope did I have to reconcile the irreconcilable conflict happening in my mind, soul and body until I had knowledge. Moving forward slowly has involved a multimodal approach and being kind to myself so that I can now hold in balance the different parts of myself and their needs at any one point in time, understanding the effects of adoption, and navigating around my vulnerabilities, the sinkholes (to borrow a geological metaphor from the South East of SA) in my map.
    Take care and thank you.

    • Thanks for taking the trouble to comment Adoptee Moi and for sharing your insights and learning. Those of us who always knew we were adopted can only wonder at the way in which you Late Discovery Adoptees ‘reconcile the irreconcilable’ and are able to move forward. It requires a special courage and strength. I do like your metaphor! I visited the South East as a child and sinkholes made a huge impression on me.

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