Carl Jung: Most People Are Not Individuated


There are personality tests everywhere. But the question is how accurate personality tests are. If most people are not properly individuated, but are rather caught in personas, masks, and stereotypes, how can they accurately determine their own behaviour? What would Carl Jung think of the MBTI and its process? Does it help individuation, or does it actually cement an inaccurate view of the self?

Individuation according to Jung is the integration of the conscious and the unconscious and the process of self-actualisation, becoming who you are, becoming an individual apart from society, in tune with their own needs and values, both those that they are conscious of, and those that they have repressed.

Archetypes and Individuation

As I worked on Jung’s archetypes I came to understand that many archetypes play a key role in the process of individuation and they let us know how far we have come in the individuation process. The warrior, the worker, the zombie, and the rival. They all alert us to our “weaker” or regressive sides in the process of becoming and following our journey.

They are archetypes that represent obstacles and issues that we need to overcome in order to become more true to ourselves. The zombie needs to awaken. The rival needs to stop fighting against themselves. The warrior needs to find peace. And the dropout needs to find out who they are.

What happens if we do not awaken?

If we come to identify more with these inferior archetypes than with ourselves as heroes – full – and in tune with our body, soul, and spirit, we may begin to look at ourselves as incomplete beings. We may say we are broken, we may say we are missing something, we may say we’re not good enough. We may fall in the grip of depression, anxiety, and we may lose confidence. This puts us and society at a huge risk.

Carl Jung has argued that repressive and dictatorial leaders are only able to emerge by preying on our shadow and on our darker sides. They speak to our lesser archetypes, archetypes that promote war, turmoil, chaos, or who put some of our needs at odds with some of our other needs. These dictatorial leaders are just as much at the hands of these dark sides. They are controlled by and argue that we should not live in a society of heroes or of ideals and virtues. We should live in a society of selfishness, war, chaos, and the powerful. Does that sound familiar? Haven’t we all heard someone speak like this?

The wise will understand that people who promote hate, anger, grief, depression, and vices. These are engaged in a cry of help. They’re sharing their grief and anxiety and letting their stress get the best of them. And they say and do things they do not mean, as they can not bear to be conscious. To be whole, or to be healthy.

These people need guidance and a way forward and an ideal to strive for. We need to remind people to be heroes, and not to settle for anything less than that. My work on the archetypes and on individuation is to promote and show people the way forward on the hero’s journey. Away from the common blocks where we all get stuck in the process of getting to know ourselves. Now, I don’t think Carl Jung would think that you were properly “typed” and he would likely find many issues and instabilities in your identity. Should he put you under his powerful analytical mind. In order to find out your true type, you need to identify these instabilities, and become conscious of your repressed nature.

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About Erik Thor

I am an INFJ and I want to combat the stereotypes and help promote personality psychology that doesn't limit or mistype you.