In an earlier article I had discussed the Personal Legend as described by Paulo Coelho within The Alchemist. The Personal Legend is basically an individual's destiny that may be discovered through a combination of listening to the inner voice, watching for omens, and observing the Language of the World.
Within Man and His Symbols, M.-L. von Franz provides an interesting description on how one may fulfill their destiny through a process of individuation. According to von Franz, simply fulfilling one's destiny is the greatest human achievement, but in order to do so our utilitarian notions must give way in the face of the demands of our unconscious psyche.
Von Franz states that in order to bring the individuation process into reality the individual must do the following:
"One must surrender consciously to the power of the unconscious, instead of thinking in terms of what one should do, or of what is generally thought right, or of what usually happens. One must simply listen, in order to learn what the inner totality - the Self - wants one to do here and now in a particular situation."
In other words, intellect must give way to intuition. Furthermore, von Franz provides a fascinating description on how the awakened individual should handle obstacles as they present themselves. This is described through the analogy of a tree:
"Our attitude must be like that of the mountain pine mentioned above: It does not get annoyed when its growth is obstructed by a stone, nor does it make plans about how to overcome the obstacles. It merely tries to feel whether it should grow more toward the left or the right, towards the slope or away from it. Like the tree, we should give in to this almost imperceptible, yet powerfully dominating, impulse - an impulse that comes from the urge towards unique, creative self-realization. And this is a process in which one must repeatedly seek out and find something that is not yet known to anyone. The guiding hints or impulses come, not from the ego, but from the totality of the psyche: the Self."
As the individual relies more upon intuition, they in essence grow into, or become their true self.
Within Man And His Symbols, there is also a discussion on how this process of individuation may express itself through individual dreams. Dreams are unique to each individual and have a tendency to meander. Through this meandering, recurring themes may emerge over time which may point towards self realization. Therefore, it is important to make note of dreams and to document dreams insomuch as possible. Emergent patterns may provide key insights, especially when coupled with other signs or symbols that become apparent through other avenues.
Man And His Symbols is an excellent book and the preceding is only a small portion of the insights that may be gleaned from a thorough reading of this book.
Image Credit: Man And His Symbols