An Aurobindian Perspective on Jung’s Psychology of Individuation

In this essay I concentrate on important foundational aspects of Jung’s psychology of individuation. I begin with an Aurobindian perspective based on the understanding of a Sri Aurobindo ashram psychologist and early sadhak of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Prof. Indra Sen. He also acknowledged the value of Freud’s discoveries for moral development and self-knowledge. More importantly from the point of view of this essay, his view on Jung is particularly favorable, including recognizing the central value of the psychic being in Jung’s approach to healing and the process of individuation. I then show how Jung not only had experiential knowledge of the psychic being or central Self, but that it is an integral aspect of his approach to psychology. Following that I discuss the dynamics of the individuation process, which involves integration of the shadow and the persona, and the anima/animus, which, in turn, forges a link to the archetypal psyche including the archetype of the Self.

I discuss dream interpretation and dreams, which, for Jung, is an important path of self-knowledge. I then go into some detail on alchemy as an important basis for Jung’s system of psychology, both in practical terms and as a spiritual phenomenon that includes the spiritualization of matter and the concretization of the spirit. I note how Arabian alchemy and Tantra had an important influence on Western alchemy, which, significantly, thereby imported the value of Eros to Europe. I end the essay by noting the similarities in Jung’s approach to psychology, its goal of increasing consciousness, its subjectivity in relationship to the objective psyche, the principle of synchronicity and acausality, and allowance for error and Sri Aurobindo’s indications on the science of psychology. I note that Prof. Indra Sen suggests that an important area of research would be a comparison between the psychic being of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and Jung’s central Self. I suggest that research on conscious attitudes, beliefs, values and practices, and the response of the unconscious through dreams and other products of the unconscious could be of interest as well.