According to Carl Jung, the single, most important goal for any human being is the quest for individuation.
To Jung “individuation” means becoming an in-dividual, not-divided from the self, yet not possessed by either. We could call it self-realization. Individuation must not be confused with individualism, which over-looks collective factors and seeks some peculiarity valued by the ego. Jung sees individuation a never-ending process of differentiation and integration which repeats itself on higher and higher planes. Perhaps analogous to a spiral.
Over a weekend in November a few beautiful and brave souls joined me for an adventure I call, “How Deep the Rabbit Hole – Further Adventures in Neo-Ericksonian Hypnosis.” The class was held at an appropriately named space in Manhattan called “The Sacred Center.”
This weekend featured a variety of trance experiences and explorations, including Mandala drawing and contemplation, Shamanic Journeys guided by Dr. Laurie Nadel, Tai Chi explorations guided by Aruba Griot Roberto Sharpe, Poetry, Trance Dancing and advanced teaching on Hypnotic Language, Metaphors, Metafives and Multiple Embedded Metaphors.
Throughout it all was a direction toward individuation. Poems and stories illuminating this, readings from Jung, and quotes of Jesus, Einstein and other significant teachers.
If any one quote exemplified our weekend’s theme, it was from Jesus as quoted in the Gospel according to Thomas, from the Gnostic Gospels. In it, Jesus is quoted as saying the following:
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
Another beautiful quote from the poet David Whyte from his poem Sweet Darkness is:
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
And lastly, one of my favorite quotes, from Albert Einstein:
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all the art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it may be with fear, has given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.