This is my eighteenth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.
R= Reintegrating With Our True-Self: In Psychology reintegration involves the unification of the various subparts of the psyche into a balanced and harmonious state. According to most psychological models, the human psyche is composed of various conscious and unconscious subparts, all of which fight for control of our conscious awareness. If these various subparts are not explored and reintegrated into a balanced state, various forms of psychosis may result.
The Swiss psychologist Dr. Carl Jung (1875-1961), who founded the field of analytical psychology, believed that reintegration, which he referred to as “Individuation“, was an absolutely necessary process for every human being. According to Dr. Jung, we are each born with a sense of wholeness, or completeness; however, as we grow out of childhood, our sense of wholeness is lost, due to various repressed memories, life events, societal expectations, etc. Therefore, for Jung, the process of Individuation (reintegration), involved exploring, correcting, and unifying the various subparts of the psyche, so that we can regain our sense of wholeness, which is our true-self.
While the science of psychology is a relatively new field, the various religions and spiritual traditions have long dealt with the process of reintegration. Most of the world religions, especially the Abrahamic religions, have a creation story that involves a peaceful beginning at the dawn of creation; however, each of these stories also involves a story regarding the fall of man. In the Abrahamic religions, there is the story of Adam and Eve, who originally dwelt in the Garden of Eden; however, after eating the forbidden fruit of knowledge, they were cast out of the garden by God. The creation myths closely mirror Dr. Jung’s theory, where we are each born with a sense of wholeness, which is basically a psychological garden of Eden; however, as we grow and develop we are cast out of the proverbial garden, and separation occurs.
“Men will lie on their backs, and talk about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up” – Henry David Thoreau
Since we are each born with a sense of wholeness, we each instinctively seek to regain that inner sense of wholeness, we each seek to re-enter the proverbial Garden of Eden. The underlying goal of every religion and spiritual tradition is to facilitate the return to the garden, where we not only regain our inner sense of wholeness, but we also reconnect with the divine that not only is the creative power of the universe, but which also resides within each of us.
The various spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, contemplation, rituals, public and privates rites and services, etc. all facilitate the exploration and reintegration processes. However, we must be willing to strip away and shed the various layers of prejudices, complexes, repressed thoughts/emotions, etc. that allow for separation to occur. We must undertake the process of reintegration, regardless of our religious/spiritual path or tradition, with an open heart and an open mind, and with an earnest desire to rediscover, to reintegrate, with our true-self.
Practical Tip: Each religion and spiritual tradition contains powerful tools to aid in the process of reintegration, whether they be prayer, meditation, or other contemplative practices. Take advantage of these tools, by using them with an earnest desire to strip away the numerous things that separate each of us from our true-self. By earnestly working on our psyche, we can begin to rediscover our childlike sense of wholeness, connectedness, and happiness.
I would love to see your thoughts and comments on what you have done, or plan to do, in order to use the process of reintegration in your life. If you wish to use reintegration as a point of reflection during the week, I would love for you to share any thoughts or insights that come up.
Please come back next week for the next installment of this series, and as always if you enjoyed what you read, please share on social network sites, subscribe to this site, and share this site with others!
Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)