Self Realization

Psychological rebirth, also called self-realization or individuation, is the process of becoming an individual or whole person (Jung, 1939/1959, 1945/1953). Analytical psychology is essentially a psychology of opposites, and self-realization is the process of integrating the opposite poles into a single homogeneous individual. This process of "coming to selfhood" means that a person has all psychological components functioning in unity, with no psychic process atrophying. People who have gone through this process have achieved realization of the self, minimized their persona, recognized then anima or animus, and acquired a workable balance between introversion and extraversión, hi addition, these self-realized individuals have elevated all four of the functions to a superior position, an extremely difficult accomplishment.

Self-realization is extremely rare and is achieved only by people who are able to assimilate their unconscious into their total personality. To come to terms with the unconscious is a difficult process that demands courage to face the evil nature of one's shadow and even greater fortitude to accept one's feminine or masculine side. This process is ahnost never achieved before middle life and then only by men and women who are able to remove the ego as the dominant concern of personality and replace it with the self. The self-realized person must allow the unconscious self to become the core of personality. To merely expand consciousness is to inflate the ego and to produce a one-sided person who lacks the soul spark of personality. The self-realized person is dominated neither by unconscious processes nor by the conscious ego but achieves a balance between all aspects of personality.

Self-realized people are able to contend with both their external and their internal worlds. Unlike psychologically disturbed individuals, they live in the real world and make necessary concessions to it. However, unlike average people, they are aware of the regressive process that leads to self-discovery. Seeing unconscious images as potential material for new psychic life, self-realized people welcome these images as they appear in dreams and hitrospective reflections (Jung, 1939/1959; 1945/1953).

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