S & I : Healthy Individuation (Part 2)

and worth every step

PREVIOUS: Healthy I. (#1)

SITE: “The Way of Individuation”, by Jolande Jacobi, in article by Martha Blake

Review: Autonomy & Attachment

See ACRONYM Page for abbrev.

Field-INDEPENDENT (F-I) – having a reasonable amount of S & I  (opposite of Field-dependent = F-D)

HEALTHY / normal : Individuation is inner-directed, mainly providing a sense of identity & value from our own unique nature, not just from heredity & social training, nor from how others see us.   People become F-I gradually, finding out what they think & how to act, based on rigorous honesty, staying awake (mindfulness) & self-evaluation

• Being internally motivated gives overall psychological & physical health : (T.E.A.)
T: improved conceptual & creative thinking, superior memory recall
E: pleasant emotions (& ability to handle painful ones)
A: enhanced performance & willingness to engage in a wide variety of tasks.

There’s a significant correlation between F-I and IQ. The most original, creative & outstanding people ‘march to their own drummer’, but expressing one’s highest potential isn’t limited to an elite group – it’s available to all humans with the courage of their convictions

• Our True Self is a combination of F-I & F-D, grounded in self-esteem. Introverts are more naturally inner-directed, but most do not have a healthy Self. So Introversion & being FI are not synonymous

• While Extroverts are naturally outer-directed (not other-directed like F-Ds) they need to be emotionally healthy to be F-I . Since that comes from having good boundaries & permission to have all ones needs, it doesn’t limit or undermine the degree of Individuation anyone can achieve

• F-Is have the ability to focus on details in their environment in spite of the clutter of background ‘noise’, & can extract what they need from non-relevant items within the field (as in: “pick the item in this picture that doesn’t belong”).

• They’re able to create structure even when it is not inherent in a given situation, tend to be more efficient at retrieving items from memory, framing current experiences & info in the based on prior knowledge

• They learn more effectively by screening out distracting information, focusing on a task. Often favor natural sciences, math, engineering – but not exclusively.  ALSO, they can step back to see the whole forest (background) not just the tree in front of them

• F-Is have successful relationships with others in many different settings. They don’t wait to be chosen but are pro-active about who they want to interact with, & how. They can stay or leave, depending on what’s suitable for them, or not, rather than by people-pleasing (= passive) or being controlling (= aggressive)

Individuation is the development of the mind / spirit, which matures in much the same way as the physical bjoin oppositesody.  It unites opposites in ourselves – good & bad, light & dark, male & female. A number of Jungian psychologists list this process into 4 stages, each with its dangers to be avoided, & each with rewards:

Becoming conscious of the Shadow
Facing our ‘dark side‘ – things we’ve repressed or ignored. Just as the Persona is what we present to the world, so Shadow holds all the things we want to hide from others, but mainly from ourself

Becoming conscious of the Anima or Animus
This has to do with sexual wholeness.  Anima is the ‘inner femininity’ of men & Animus the ‘inner masculinity’ of women. Jung (1978) wrote that they represent “functions which filter the contents of the collective unconscious through to the conscious mind”, coloring the Ego’s perception of Self & others in many different ways

Becoming aware of the Archetypal spirit
This is about uniting matter & spirit, body & mind – facing both the good & evil we’re all capable of.  It’s also about liberating us from our same-sex parent.  For men the archetype is the ‘Wise old Man’, & for women the ‘Magna Mater’, the great earth mother.

Becoming conscious of the Self
Jung (1977) called this final step ‘self-realization’. Jacobi (1973) wrote: “For the conscious personality, the birth of the Self means a shift in its psychic center, and consequently an entirely different attitude toward, and view of, life”.  (MORE….)

NEXT: S & I – Healthy Individuation (Part 3)

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