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The Self in Jungian psychology is one of the Jungian archetypes, signifying the unification of consciousness and unconsciousness in a person, and representing the psyche as a whole. The Self, according to Carl Jung, is realized as the product of individuation, which in his view is the process of integrating one's personality. For Jung, the Self is symbolized by the circle (especially when divided in four quadrants), the square, or the mandala.


What distinguishes Jungian psychology is the idea that there are two centers of the personality. The ego is the center of consciousness, whereas the Self is the center of the total personality, which includes consciousness, the unconscious, and the ego. The Self is both the whole and the center. While the ego is a self-contained little center of the circle contained within the whole, the Self can be understood as the greater circle.

Emergence from the Self.


Jung considered that from birth every individual has an original sense of wholeness - of the Self - but that with development a separate ego-consciousness crystallizes out of the original feeling of unity. This process of ego-differentiation provides the task of the first half of one's life-course, though Jungians also saw psychic health as depending on a periodic return to the sense of Self, something facilitated by the use of myths, initiation ceremonies, and rites of passage. 



Learn more about Carl Jung's Theory of Personality

One way to the experience of the Self is by means of our psychopathology, 

since an archetypal strand of the Self is found within it.

We can carry our own wounds with the realization 

that they both derive from the Self and are healed by the Self.

Our struggle now is for conscious participation 

in the process rather than for vicarious sacrifice; 

each individual must make his or her own sacrifice as demanded by the Self. 


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Depth Psychology


"The serious problems of life, however, are never fully solved. 

If it should for once appear that they are,

 this is the sign that something has been lost. 

The meaning and design of a problem seem not to lie in its solution, but in our working at it incessantly."

- Carl Jung