Adaption & Restoration, I: Introduction

My previous posts introduced the career and psychological methodology of C. G. Jung. This post introduces Jung’s process of individuation, which, for the sake of clarity, I refer to as the process of adaption and restoration (i.e., adaption to traumatic events and the restoration of psychological balance during and/or after trauma). The following posts will unpack the process of adaption and restoration more fully.

 

According to Mary Ann Mattoon, the end result of the process of adaption and restoration is not a state of being whole and individual.[1] Instead, Jung writes, the process of adaption and restoration is an inescapable phenomenon,[2] a process during which an individual becomes more of “what [she or] he always was:” a unique personality.[3] Adaption and restoration removes “the false wrappings of the persona” (an individual’s public face) from the individual’s unique personality,[4] such that the individual no longer seeks happiness and/or validation from external sources, but realizes their internal origins.[5] Separating the personality from the persona requires an individual to confront her/his personal inferiorities (in the form of what Jung calls the shadow archetype). The confrontation enables self-realization, self-reliance, and the integration of unconscious material (known as symbols and archetypes) into the individual’s conscious.[6] Once this reflective process is complete, the individual returns to activity in the world with a psychological outlook influenced by the assimilated symbols and archetypes.[7] While adaption and restoration causes a person to become “more individual and less conventional,” [8] the process does not create a completely different personality. Instead, Stein notes, adaption and restoration brings an individual to a higher awareness of unconscious concepts.[9] Assimilation of, and adaption to, this unconscious material leads an individual to listen more consciously to her or his inner voice during psychic conflict.[10]

 

The process of adaption and restoration is a difficult task that varies from person to person, and is rarely accomplished because of the difficulty of psychic requirements needed to complete the process.[11] Susan Rowland describes adaption and restoration as an uncomfortable, “deconstructive process” that reshape an individual’s personality and worldview.[12] However, movement through individuation comes at the expense of an individual’s suffering. To resolve the difficulties beset by this process, Jung writes, the individual must succumb to the notion that the “‘counter-will’,” or shadow, encountered during the process is an element of God.[13]

 

Next time: Elements of Adaption and Restoration

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CITATIONS:

[1] Mary Ann Mattoon, Jung and the Human Psyche: An Understandable Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2005), 173.

[2] C. G. Jung, Collected Works: The Symbolic Life: Miscellaneous Writings, trans. R. F. C. Hull, Vol. 18 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), par. 1641.

[3] C. G. Jung, Collected Works: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2nd ed., Vol. 9.1 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), par. 84.

[4] C. G. Jung, Collected Works: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2nd Edition, Vol. 7 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977), par. 269. Emphasis added.

[5] Jung, CW 18:377.

[6] C. G. Jung, Collected Works: Psychology and Religion, West and East,trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2nd ed., Vol. 11 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), par. 292.

[7] Murray Stein, Jung’s Treatment of Christianity: The Psychotherapy of a Religious Tradition, (Wilmette: Chiron Publishers, 1985), 66.

[8] Susan Rowland, Jung as a Writer (London: Routledge, 2005), 5.

[9] Stein, Jung’s Treatment of Christianity, 67.

[10] M.-L.von Franz, “The Process of Individuation,” in Man and His Symbols, ed. C. G. Jung (New York: Dell, 1968), 241.

[11] See: Jung, CW 11:292; Jung, CW 9.1:84; C. G. Jung, Collected Works: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2nd ed., Vol. 8 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), par. 430).

[12] Susan Rowland, C.G. Jung and Literary Theory (New York: St. Martin’s Press, Inc., 1999), 11 and 23.

[13] Jung, CW 11:292-412.

 

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