What makes you, you? Are you a construct of your own ideas or fantasies? Are you what other people define for you or are you the tangible attributes you are able to identity yourself by, such as your job or interests? Let’s deep dive into my perspective on Carl Jung’s archetype of the Self.
In astrology and psychology this concept comes up frequently as we use the natal chart to assist us in defining our life experiences, deepest feelings, and unconscious desires.
As a psychological tool, the natal chart allows us to reflect on who we are in both actuality and fantasy. When we decide to embark on a spiritual journey of self discovery we are bound to encounter many different pathways to the Self.
Religions, belief systems, schools of thought, family experience, or even a complete rejection or absence of these aspects in life are present on the road to self-discovery. Every experience we have is an opportunity for an initiation further into ourselves and a deeper sense of knowing who we really are.
Carl Jung’s Archetype of The Self
Carl Jung defined the archetype of the self as the combination of our unconscious and conscious selves represented as our complete psyche or being. This can be interpreted as everything we do not know and everything we do know about ourselves met with our deepest motivations through space and time.
As we become ourselves in life, through a process of individuation, we evolve more and more into our ultimate potential. We also solidify the egocentric aspects of ourselves throughout life as well.
I often feel there is an inherent dislike for the ego aspects of our being; but I think it is an essential piece of our psychic puzzle towards wholeness. Is our ego/personality/identity not a huge part of our experience in life?
Our unique perspective in the grand schema of the cosmos can be physically understood through the concept of the ego. I like to think and I do not think I am alone in being okay with certain identifiers, labels, or other aspects that create interest, aesthetic, and creativity as parts of our identity and personality makeup.
The Role of Language in Defining Ourselves
Language is one of our tools as people, therefore, we have the opportunity to identity ourselves through this means if we so choose. We are also often subject to other people’s judgements of us, which many of us spend time agonizing, contemplating, and working through these aspects of conditioning and programming.
Part of life is relating and interacting through analysis or a labeling of ourselves and others through the use of words and language.
On the other side of this, we are limited by language and the words or concepts we have to describe the idea of the soul or self. I feel we can never fully describe what or who we are, because in many ways our existence is beyond words and description.
I honestly have trouble retelling or explaining any mystical experience I have had because I never feel the words will do them justice. The feelings, emotions, or divine place I am accessing and experiencing is far beyond the idea of “self” or “me.” Even though I feel staying attached to an idea of a separate “me” is an important aspect for maintaining a sense of grounded reality.
Questioning Existence or the Experience of Existence
I think it is important to questions Carl Jung on this idea of self in that I think it is important to question everything and come to one’s own conclusions. Every concept, doctrine, and dogma we end up subscribing to, even one’s as great as Carl Jung’s, deserves scrutiny in the process of applying it to our real lives and lived experiences.
Does this idea of self and discovery of the self throughout our life, the process of individuation apply to me, to you, and to life in our reality?
Getting the validation we need for our “self” identity is difficult because we are the only one with our self 100% of the time, in the physical and mental reality that we are aware of, therefore, no one can know us entirely. A sense of peace is met when we are able to sit with ourselves, alone, and be okay with the very powerful aspect of existence.
To witness our being existing and having awareness we are having an experience that we can observe. Depending on what conclusions you have drawn or are currently evolving with you may view your self as a divine being observing your physical/mental life or you may view this as a completely biological process of consciousness that happens through the creation of a physical body. Or maybe that consciousness does not precede the physical body.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to bearing witness to our own human lives and the existence of being “alive.” The Self is everything about us and part of our great work, I believe, is coming to peace and terms with the conscious and unconscious aspects of our being.
On a spiritual level and in the context of evolutionary astrology, we are all connected beyond space and time. The consensus reality that we know of requires the boundaries of space and time. How do we reconcile this? Our self may be here but it is also existing as a perfect being and god-self within. We have the honor of exploring, living, and expanding on our own evolutionary process through this journey of exploration of the self.
There seems to be something very self-centered about putting all of this time into knowing yourself better and I think that is okay.
We are in this life, our life, here now for reasons beyond my knowledge. I am happy to continue to explore why my individual journey is taking place in this present moment that I am consciously aware of.
What I have found is that most people enjoy reflecting on themselves and who they are. There is something magical about realizing what all had to come together to create the being you are. The conditioning you have, the conditioning you have broken down, to get you to this present moment here and now.
So no, I do not think, a continual exploration of yourself throughout your life is selfish in a harmful way. Instead I think it is simply a step in each person’s evolutionary life journey, wherever you may be or wherever you may be heading.
The Self Archetype in Astrology
When it comes to astrology I do not think we can inherently find who we are through the labels, chart analysis, planets, and signs; but I do think the chart can help by providing us keys to unlocking doors inside and outside of us.
I truly believe by studying, applying, and contemplating the symbols and archetypes that exist in astrology we are provided an opportunity for a deep examination of the unconscious and conscious aspects of ‘the self’ and our experience within and beyond the boundaries of space and time.