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  Why Individuate?

Transcript: Individuation is the primary theme of Breakthrough U Module 1, but why would someone want to individuate? The author Sallie Nichols explains the concept of individuation in her book Jung and the Tarot (Nichols, S., Jung and the Tarot, p. 18-19):

From what has already been said, it is easy to understand why Jung chose to call this kind of self-realization individuation. By confronting the archetypes and freeing oneself somewhat from their compulsion, one becomes increasingly able to respond to life in an individual way. As we have seen, the behavior of those with little awareness of the archetypes is predetermined by unseen forces. It is almost as rigidly programmed as the instinctual behavior of the birds and bees who always react to certain stimuli in a preordained way, so that mating, nest building, migration, and so forth, are carried on in identical patterns throughout the generations. But when a human being has achieved some degree of self-awareness, he is able to make choices that are different from those of the flock and to express himself in ways that are uniquely his own. Having contact with his own true self he will no longer be prey to the chatter of other selves, inner and outer. What "they" are doing and saying will have less influence upon his life. He will be able to examine current social customs and ideas and adopt them or not as he chooses. He will be free to act in ways that fulfill his deepest needs and express his truest self.

It is important to note here that as a person gains the independence to be a nonconformist, he also gains the self-assurance to be a conformist. As Jung has often stressed, an individuated person is not the same as someone who is individualistic. He is not driven to conform to custom, but he is equally not driven to defy it. He does not try to set himself apart from his peers by affecting peculiar dress or by exhibiting outlandish behavior. On the contrary, because he so truly experiences himself as a unique expression of the godhead, he is under no compulsion to prove it.

Whenever we meet such a person, he is usually indistinguishable at first glance from others in the group. His overt behavior and dress may be in no way remarkable. He may be actively engaged in conversation, or he may be relatively quiet; but almost instantly some indefinable quality in his way of being may attract us to him. It is as if everything about him-his clothes, his gestures, his way of sitting or standing-belongs to him. Nothing about him is superimposed. Everything he says or does appears to arise from his deepest center, so that even his most ordinary remark shines forth with new meaning. If he is silent, his silence too, seems to belong. It a comfortable silence both for him and for us. Often such a person in silence will seem more present and active than those who are participating in more overt ways. Because he is in contact with his deepest self, our deep self responds, so that sitting in silence with this kind of human being can open up new vistas of awareness. Being at home with himself, he is instantly at home with us-and we with him. We feel as if we have known him forever. The communication between us is so open and easy that we understand him; and yet, he puzzles us. On the one hand, he is the most unusual person we have ever met, and on the other, he is just like us. He is a paradox.

You may have heard this before and you may hear it again because this is my highest vision for Breakthrough U… for you. To be such an extraordinary individual that you both perfectly blend-in and stand-out. You will be a paradox.

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