Not all those who wander are lost – JRR Tolkien
The individuation journey – which is at the heart of Jungian psychology – is a process of deep inner homecoming that is as old as humanity itself. This inherent transformation is an archetypal process that has been recorded in the form of myths and folk tales by many ancient cultures around the world, and is available to all of us.
The hero or heroine’s journey as it is often called, plunges one into the underworld within. The purpose of this inner quest is to discover, recover, integrate and realign us with our true nature, the deep unique truth and wholeness which reside at our core under the layers of wounding, conditioning and confusion.
It is a process of shifting from an ego-based life to a life that is guided by this true nature, our soul, our inherent core essence.
When we surrender and step onto this path consciously, we begin to live the life we were always meant to live. The life we were born to live. The life of our highest destiny, which infuses us with a sense of meaning, purpose and belonging.
This journey is often initiated through conscious seeking, when one is faced with a dead end stuckness, or a crisis which serves as a wake-up call.
Jung highlighted that it is the journey that is the goal – not the destination. There is nowhere to arrive to. The goal is to BE on the journey.
So how do you know when you’re on the right path?
The individuation journey beings when you listen to and act in alignment with your deep truth, with the voice that may be quietly or not so quietly nudging you. When you begin to turn towards the unknown … when the path in front of you disappears.
To give you a felt sense of this process, I’ve included below a poem from my journal which captures some of my own recent experience on this pathless path.
Image: fragment of soul collage by Agata
Wise Woman calling
The Unknown SHE
Portals of Grace open
As she enters me
I step on her path
A most sacred ground
A deepening darkness
With no seeming end
Bone crushing pain
Is there no other way?
I summon the courage
The strength not to fight
I fall into coming alive
The pleasure of death
The pleasure of birth
The yearning for love
Deep inner reaches
Of vast outer space
Rooting and reaching
Rooting and rising
To join the world