- Type: NeTi
- Development: ll-l
- Attitude: Adaptive
“Let me try to propose a distinction, to show you what I mean:
Individuation: The process of coming into one’s own, as a normal process of human growth and life. Growing up, living one’s “true life” and becoming a man/woman.
Hero’s Journey: A specific mythical narrative involving a protagonist that is called to ascend to power, often taking his father’s place, is confronted with evil and has to fight it, is often killed and resurrected, and then ascends to kinghood.”
If we interpret the hero’s journey as you summarised it here in a more deeply symbolic way, I think it resonates strongly with the nature of individuation for all types. I interpret it in this way;
Ascending to power is taking responsibility for what we are, and beggining the shift from the domination of the psyche by the impulsive, fragmentary, self-focused and animalistic Id, and into mastery of ourselves as sovereign and self-determining individuals, what we might call the dominion of the Soul over the rest of the being. The Soul is the rightful king of our entire nature, it is the individualising principle of the logos, structuring, differentiatiating, binding, whose essence balances emptiness/potentiality and form/actuality in indestructible perfection. In the soul there is no attachment and aversion, there is perfect equanimity in its fundamental depth, for it is a fractal reflection of God – the umoved mover. Tenderness of the lover, will of the warrior. Infinite potency – Infinite surrender.
This is a potential realisation open to all humans, but due to the blows of life accumulating, and our incapacity to meet some of them, our lower nature becomes wounded and certain defensive reactions become fixated. Around these fixations (borne by form split from emptiness), limited identities calcify and embed. We become defined by the wounds we are unable to meet, and the compensatory structures that are unconsciously and uncontrollably deployed in attempt to suppress consciousness of them. In the fear of suffering, a being comes to fight with the principle of wholeness which is the essence of their Soul, to resist the awakening of pain so it can be met, healed, and transformed into significance and potency. In this fear of and resistance to suffering, is the loss of our sovereignty, and the fall of our divine purpose of individuating into a rigid unconscious network of resistances and compensating attachments. This network of resistances (which is ultimately resistance to Truth) is the meta-obstacle within all of us, and is invariably interconnected with a set of resonant blockages in ones outer existence. Because of this mobius-strip style enfoldment of the outer into the inner and unfoldment of the inner into the outer, all journeys of individuation ultimately and necessarily synthesise the opposites of these two poles of inner and outer, and going to the limit of one inevitably awakens the other pole. These are the two poles of existence between which all life dances, and the eternal impulse of the soul is to maximise the dance,vibrancy, joy of life, in a totalistic/cosmically intersubjective manner. To take the outer hero’s journey is to take the inner hero’s journey, and to take the inner hero’s journey is to take the outer hero’s journey. Whatever elements of life we make mental and behavioural contortions to avoid are those that dominate our existence and undermine our sovereignty in unseen but extreme ways.
In terms of overcoming evil, we can consider all that goes against the impetus of Soul to be evil. The forces of existence which are couter-evolutionary, and seek to enhance themselves to the detriment of the evolutionary current of the whole. Evil plays zero-sum games, where one of us must win and the other must lose, because it does not know the Truth of the infinite abundance of the Soul. Evil is not the unmoved mover, as God is, evil is a puppet of its possession by the consumptive and darkened ignorance which lies at its core. This evil exists in each of us, as our shadow nature, which has not yet turned to the light, and outside of us, as the parts of others that are endarkened and which perpetuate darkness when they undermine our sovereignty and act through us. We see again the fractal mirroring of inner and outer, and their inseperability. We cannot properly and balancedly overcome the evil outside us until we overcome and dissolve the evil within. If we try, we are likely to succumb to the Nietzschean warning, “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”, as our own shadow is enabled to hide in the self-image of oneself as righteous and good, because one is fighting the evil outside oneself. I would like to adapt the Goethian idea that “none are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who are falsely believe they are free” into ” none are so hopelessly dark as those who falsely believe they are light”. When we have finally met and defeated all the evil and ignorance within (symbolised as without in the hero’s journey), we awaken to our nature as the incorruptible and radiant Soul. This journey is profound and deep, but few ever make it all the way. Nonetheless we are all called to it, by the very nature of what we are, and what we could be, what existence could be. Our sovereignty awaits its claiming, Truth awaits our knowing, Love awaits our surrender.
And on to the final piece of symbolism pointed to in aub’s summary, the death and resurrection of the hero. This is none other than the death of our congealment of identity around ego or shadow (identity in ego as denying shadow and living in passivity, or identity in shadow as identifying with and being possessed by darkness – typically with some chaotic/uncontrolled/unsovereign oscillation between them). This identity dies, this encrusted fixation around defenses against need and possessions by need. In the space of our openness when we do not cling or resist, the light of the Soul can be known, can be become. We just have to rest into it, give up the struggle against suffering, against Truth. But first we must die to everything we falsely thought we were, all the defenses and strategies we have accumulated to try to avoid this suffering, the ways of relating and not-relating to experience and existence associated with those. The ways we have defined ourselves in order to avoid contacting that which is opposite within us, and the tumultuous and transformative pain which follows. We have to allow that which is ready to be dismantled, the walking corpse of ego, to be dismantled, by the evolutionary Soul, so that our true nature can shine through. We have to face our essential pain, so we can find our essential joy.
My last point, is to point out connections between what I described above and the journey of individuation as framed by typology. What I described above transcends and includes the development of our function stack, which is why we see many people who have advanced spiritual development have most or all of their functions conscious. In our life we also seem to accumulate traumas around certain energetic-vectors/functions, such that one may have a pathological avoidance of touching awareness into the inner psyche (I) or a pathological avoidance of touching awareness and expressing out into the outer (E), a pathological avoidance of order/control (J) or a pathological avoidance of chaos/surrender (P). These are all dimensions of the Soul that appear to be able to be traumatised, a scaffold for certain traumas, such that when energy begins to accumulate in there (any specific function) through the natural expansion of the Soul into all its potentials (principle of wholeness), traumas in those zones get triggered and then automatic defenses arise to cut off that function from awareness/keep it unconscious. This happens sequentially but rapidly, and the reason that enhancing consciousness through practices like meditation and then applying it to our moment to moment psycho-somatic-energetic experience is that increased consciousness = increased clarity, resolution and stability of experiencing shorter and shorter time-scales of experience. This allows us to get awareness into the short timeframe between traumas being triggered and automatic defenses arising to shut down awareness of them, which perpetuates existing imbalances in the psyche and keeps us from manifesting our deeper potentials, which await liberation within our deep wounds. It is also my observation that people tend to use their dominant function (but can be other functions also) as an escape from the evolutionary and not-always-comfortable pressures of the Soul upon the conscious mind. We may use overuse (over-condense energy into) certain functions as strategies to avoid the ever-present call and impulse of individuation, which also relates to the requirement for death and rebirth of identification with specific movements of energy through the psyche, through limited function patterns, whose boundaries are enforced by defenses (like dissociation, repression, rationalisation etc – all manifestations of one-sidedness/avoidance of Truth). The Truth of what we are is our Soul, is the totality of our being, wounded and unwounded. This is the Truth from which we seek to escape, the living Truth that reveals itself within experience when we are sufficiently open. This is also the Truth which we so desperately desire, but do not know that it is the object of our restless desire. This is the home from which we have forsaken ourselves. This is the home which lovingly awaits our return. It is not reducible to any one cognitive function or pattern of functions – it is the indefinable and trans-functional essence from which all functions flow and to which they all return. It is the mandala of perfect harmony.
This is our journey – the journey of each of us, the journey home. I choose to read this myth symbolically as reflecting both inner and outer, and ultimately merging them into one, because this is the universalised and most enlightening perspective of its meaning.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Umbilical Sphere.