psyche vs persona
If individuation is that which one is set on the face of the earth to accomplish, then to find one’s dharma or vocation or individuation is the one criteria of success on the face of the earth. ~ Robert Johnson interview, 1995, with John van der Steur
Far too many of us are oblivious to the dangers that some of our behavioral patterns pose to our long-term well-being. Instead of facing up to our problems, we either try and convince ourselves that our issues are trivial and so can be ignored, or we pretend that the problems do not exist at all.
We can only delude ourselves for so long, as eventually what were once manageable problems turn into problems of unmanageable proportions. Carl Jung maintained that a crucial first step toward self-improvement is simply to become more aware of the reality of one’s situation.
Jung, however, is not unique in this respect as many philosophers and psychologists throughout the ages share in this view. His unique contribution is in his belief that not only do we have to overcome our ignorance regarding the reality of our external situation, but just as importantly we need to become more aware of what he called the reality of our psyche.
The task of striving toward completeness — or what is also referred to as wholeness of the personality — is imperative. Separating the true self from any persona — peeling off layers to get to the core of our being.
As with Jung, we too can dedicate ourselves to exploring this process we call individuation.