Adaption & Restoration, II: Elements

My previous post introduced the process of adaption and restoration. This post presents the basic elements associated with the movement of adaption and restoration.


The process of adaption and restoration involves four elements (subject of this post):

  1. Projection
  2. Quest
  3. Unity in multiplicity
  4. The persona;

and moves through three stages (subject of the next post):

  1. Differentiation,
  2. Confrontation, and
  3. Reunion.


PROJECTION is the involuntary, “indirect process” of making unconscious contents (in the form of symbols and archetypes) known to the conscious,[1] such that the unconscious material illustrates the psychic conflict for the conscious.[2] The autonomous archetypal and symbolic projections grasp hold of the individual and manifest as personality changes (i.e., those seen in schizophrenia or religious conversion).[3] An individual may only free her-/himself from the grip of projection through a numinous encounter that:

  1. requires the individual to employ “religious or metaphysical ideas” (in symbols and archetypes) to explain the experience,[4] and
  2. challenges the psyche’s conscious experience may release an individual from the grips of projection.[5]


One advantage of projection is that it reflects an individual’s decision (even if unconscious) to confront “painful conflict once and for all.”[6] To reach this state of confrontation, projection isolates an individual and transforms the previously known psychic landscape into the unknown.[7] Although projection necessary for achieving psychic wholeness (towards which adaption and restoration moves), projection does not cure the psychic conflict of opposites—projection only acts to prevent conflict from debilitating the activities of the conscious.[8]


Projections typically appear in the form of a QUEST narrative, which Jolande Jacobi calls: “a voyage of discovery to unknown lands” and/or a narrative of rebellion.[9] Edward F. Edinger describes the quest as: an “act of daring to acquire a new consciousness” in the face of authorities within an individual’s own environment.[10] Thomas F. Rogers describes the arc of the as separation from home, or from an individual’s native environment, that moves through a time of trial or initiation, and ultimately returns home.[11]


Jung calls UNITY IN MULTIPLICITY the “regulating principle” of individuation[12] that helps an individual “experience oneself as one.”[13] This element of adaption and restoration appears as an inner division (multiplicity)[14] that opposes a unity and results in the creation of a pair of opposites.[15] Multiplicity provides an opportunity for conscious integration of unconscious material by creating “tension, alienation, and conflict” within the psyche.[16] Over time, a thread of unity appears within this multiplicity, and motivates “self-collection” or the uniting of multiple elements to create a whole.[17] Once wholeness is achieved, unity again fractures and the cycle of collection begins anew.[18]


The PERSONA (meaning “mask” or “character”) is the public face we present to the world that does not necessarily match our inner and more private personality. Jung describes the persona as “that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is.”[19]


Because the persona is an autonomous aspect of the psyche,[20] the persona helps an individual deal with the outside world[21] by responding to societal demands as they relate to, and inform an individual’s social aspirations.[22] In contrast to other autonomous aspects of the psyche, the persona does not display qualities of individuality; such uniqueness belongs to the archetypes.[23] However, because the persona does respond to society, an individual is in danger of being led astray by the persona—s/he may seek to please society and adapt to society’s expectations rather than listen to her or his own inner voice.[24] The hazard of giving oneself over to the persona is very real since the persona is rewarded for its conformity, so, Jung writes, the “temptation to be what one seems” sometimes overrules what one is.[25]


Over the course of life, the persona is subject to multiple modifications depending on the ego’s (the decision-making center of the psyche) perception of, and interaction with, an individual’s environment.[26] The current persona dissolves in the wake of these adjustments and releases an “involuntary fantasy” that calls up unconscious elements an individual never suspects are present in her or his psyche.[27] Successful alteration of the persona involves integration of archetypal aspects that are antithetical to the persona at that time.[28]


Next time: The Three Stages of Adaption & Restoration: differentiation, confrontation, and reunion.




[1] C. G. Jung, Collected Works: Mysterium Coniunctionis: An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2nd ed., Vol. 14 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), par. 486.

[2] 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. 121; CW 14:129.

[3] 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. 110.

[4] Jung, CW 14:547.

[5] James Hollis, The Archetypal Imagination (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2000), 121.

[6] C. G. Jung, Collected Works: Symbols of Transformation, trans. R. F. C. Hull, Vol. 5 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), par. 93.

[7] C. G. Jung, Collected Works: Aion: Researchs into the Phenomenology of the Self, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2nd ed., Vol. 9.2 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), par. 17.

[8] Jung, CW 5:507.

[9] Jolande Jacobi, “Symbols in an Individual Analysis,” in Man and His Symbols, ed. C. G. Jung (New York: Dell, 1968), 331.

[10] Edward F. Edinger, Ego and Archetype (Boston: Shambhala, 1992), 26.

[11] Thomas F. Rogers, Myth and Symbol in Soviet Fiction: Images of the Savior Hero, Great Mother, Anima, and Child in Selected Novels and Films (San Francisco: Edwin Mellen Press, 1992), 6.

[12] 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. 96.

[13] Edinger, Ego and Archetype, 294. Emphasis in original.

[14] See Edinger, Ego and Archetype, 172.

[15] Jung, CW 8:96.

[16] Stephen Kings, “Jung’s Hermeneutics of Scripture,” The Journal of Religion 77, no. 2 (Apr., 1997): 242.

[17] Edinger, Ego and Archetype, 174.

[18] Edinger, Ego and Archetype, 294.

[19] Jung, CW 9.1:221. Emphasis added.

[20] Murray Stein, Jung’s Map of the Soul (Chicago: Open Court, 2009), 109.

[21] Jung, CW 9.1:221.

[22] Stein, Jung’s Map of the Soul, 115.

[23] Stein, Jung’s Map of the Soul, 139.

[24] Stein, Jung’s Map of the Soul, 118.

[25] Jung, CW 9.1:221. Emphasis added.

[26] Stein, Jung’s Map of the Soul, 120.

[27] Jung, CW 7:251.

[28] Stein, Jung’s Map of the Soul, 122.

[29] James Gollnick, “A Jungian Perspective on Religion and the Ideal Individual,” Dialogue and Alliance 10, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 1996):74-6.


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