A Review of Individuation: A Study of the Depth Psychology of Carl Gustav Jung

This is an exposition of the key concepts of CG Jung’s analytical theory with a special focus on the concept of ‘individuation’ — the harmonizing of the aspects of the self wherein the person comes to terms with himself thus paving way to maintaining a balanced relationship with his society.

This book was written by a priest, and he reviews Jung’s work within the Christian lens while battling with preconceived notions of religious bias and dogma.

CG Jung once issued a questionnaire to educated Protestants and Catholics asking to whom they preferred to turn when they were in spiritual trouble, the priest or the doctor?… Among the arguments brought against the priest were lack of psychological knowledge and understanding, preconceived opinions, dogmatic and traditional bigotry. The question is, what will my priest think of me if I tell him about the day-dreams which torment me, or even begin to tell him about the embarrassments in which my disordered instincts involve me? All he will see is the conflict of these situations with his own morality, and he will classify me accordingly without making any attempt to understand me. Doubt upon doubt haunts me in religious matters and the traditional religious set-up leaves me cold. The priest will condemn me even though he may not actually say so. These are the sort of misgivings that are expressed against consulting the priest.

Contact with the inner soul of the patient which gives access to the invisibly bleeding wounds and enables the doctor to minister to the quiet processes of the soul, comes about only through ‘unprejudiced objectivity’. Without prejudice, without fear of moral and dogmatic facts the ‘healer’ must ascertain the facts of the cause purely objectively. The patient wants to feel that the very things about himself which alarm him most are simply accepted by the doctor as sheer facts. This does not mean that he wants the doctor to take them for granted: that would be just as bad as condemning them. Acceptance of the facts of the cause is not a matter of mere words either, it is rather something human, something like respect for the facts, respect for the human being suffering from the facts, respect for the mystery of this particular human life. Such is the attitude of the truly religious man. He knows that God has created all kids of strange incomprehensible things and seeks to reach the human heart by the strangest possible ways. Hence he sense in all things the dark presence of the divine will. This is what I mean by an attitude of unprejudiced objectivity. It is the moral achievement of the doctor who must not be disgusted by disease and putrefaction. It is impossible to change anything one does not accept.