The Principle of Individuation
Toward the Development of Human Consciousness
Stein suggests new approaches—on both personal and communal levels—for gaining freedom from the compulsion to repeat endlessly the dysfunctional patterns that have conditioned us. In this concise and contemporary account of the process of individuation, he sets out its two basic movements and then examines the central role of numinous experience, the critical importance of initiation, and the unique psychic space required for its unfolding.
Using psychological insights from C. G. Jung’s writings, from myths and fairytales, and from years of clinical experience, Stein offers a vivid description of this lifelong and dynamic process that will be useful to clinicians and the general public alike. As a movement toward the further development of human consciousness in individuals, in cultural traditions, and in international arenas where the relations among diverse cultures have become such a pressing issue today, understanding the principle of individuation has relevance for students and workers in many fields. The principium individuationis is a phrase with a long and distinguished history in philosophy, extending from the Middle Ages to Leibniz, Locke, and Schopenhauer. In Jungian psychology, it is brought into the contemporary world as a psychological principle that speaks of the innate human tendency to become distinct and integrated—to become conscious of our purpose, who and what we are, and where we are going.
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