Saturday, November 10, 2012

culture and individuation

Although the personal and the social cannot be sharply demarcated, it is often heuristically useful to separate them. Jungian individuation is a process of inner development in which persons confront their complexes (split-off and limited selfhoods) and expand the self-sense to include much of the unconscious and even the outer world. Because this process, as Samkhya shows, aims at the freedom and joy of Consciousness (cit, purusa), we can say that individuation is in the service of enlightenment but goes beyond it in that it brings enlightenment into ordinary, everyday life. This "inner" process parallels the work of culture, which as we have seen brings transcendent experience, of which Consciousness is the paradigm, into mundane life (and moves us from the mundane to the transcendent).  Thus individuation is culture within, and culture is individuation writ large.

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