Individuality is that critical human part of the self that is so unpleasant for many people that they suppress dreams and daily experiences to such an extent that it disappears beneath the very threshold of awareness. Revealing the mask of the personality causes in these people a panic-stricken dread, which is why they cling to illusions and let themselves be stupefied by the false face of personality. Once a person forgets his primal essence, individuality is temporarily severed from consciousness and the egoistic mindset places the false and unreal mask of personality on the individual. He then becomes a mere instrument of the ego. Yet even in such cases there is hope. A strong compulsion arises from the inner depths of everyone that I would characterize as the urge for realization. This urge is, however, greatly distorted in everyday life by what the consciousness of every individual holds. People therefore try to achieve certain goals on a material level – goals in which they constantly do not find content realization. One urge for fulfillment replaces another, and thus in the long chain of urges a person does not notice his suffering in the pattern of: I want that and I don't want that. This is why humanity will never achieve happiness in this world, no matter how technically equipped, even though it will be filled with the most amazing inventions.
The process of seeking individuality could also be called remembering the past, long forgotten state of divine essence. The past is linked to the roots from which we ourselves grew and from which the mythology of all nations evolved. It therefore is not difficult to say that a healing spring of mythology resonates with individuality. In ancient times, mythology was not merely a fairy tale, but a lived emotional and spiritual reality. It was only with the prioritization of personality (persona or mask) that the mythological experience of spiritual presence was pushed beneath the surface of the waking consciousness and the ever-growing ego pressed the only true individuality into the corner of a troubled soul. Mythology, as will be apparent from the other chapters of this book as well, is a powerful phenomenon, which in its unsuspected depth, permanence and universality is comparable only to the infinite universe.
If a person is vanquished by the representation of himself – by his persona, he resembles someone frozen in ice, someone who is separated by the frozen ice from all the beauty and joy on earth. Returning to individuality is painful, many sincere tears will fall before the salt of life and the warmth of love melt the ice's cold grip. The recognition that personality is not the human soul, is not paradoxically achieved, but, after setting aside all lies, appears in its entire natural beauty, since the truth was within all along, and only many insipid lies concealed it. Then the person will finally understand how the domineering ego chased it from fight to fight, forcing it to climb ever higher mountains and cross ever broader borders. So ceaselessly from the cradle to the grave did the ego employ the mind in achieving senseless goals and prevent an awareness of the truth, which was covered by new layers of fulfilled and unfulfilled desires. To discover one's real face, one's individuality is a difficult task and much courage is needed for the painful discoveries of the tainted individuality. A prerequisite is the rejection of all expectations by which the broad surroundings cover a person and with which he almost identified.
What leads a person to reject the ego of personality and toward a longing to find the true reality free of the pain of the human world? It is inevitable that only pain, sadness and suffering manage to break the carefully set mask of personality. When the arrow of "cruel" fate pierces deeply into the human heart, a unique situation arises to understand the pain that did not arrive in the name of desperation and despair, but in the name of awakening. It is this awakening that becomes the key to unlocking the shackles by which man unwittingly fettered his individuality. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche described the evolution of human consciousness in three stages. In the first, a person resembles a dull, sleepy camel satisfied with himself. The camel, like a person living in the captivity of the personality, lives in constant self-delusion that he is the mountain peak. In the second stage, when a person realizes the limitation of his life to that point, he becomes a lion. The roaring and defiant lion will begin to resist the restrictive demands of others, and emerge from the pride as a king to proudly defend the truth he had just come to realize. Yet like a bad king he forces the truth on others, which then necessitates the third stage, which the wise philosopher likened to an innocent child. The defiance of the lion and the truth forced on others dissolves in the child's untainted consciousness; the child's attributes include purity, innocence, love and freedom without signs of fear, with full surrender to being. The stage of the child endows the consciousness with a new dimension beyond which there is no longer anything to be found. He sees with a purified mind the beauty of the world, the infinity of the night sky, the bliss and sacredness of existence; he owns nothing and is everything.
Perhaps I should comment on the place of the archetype of Individuality in dreams. Like the Divine Child and Mother and Father, this archetype should be a model. Individuality would then acquire a numinous nature and the model would lead the person unwaveringly to the yearned-for realization of divine states. Yet the divine model that man carries concealed deep in his heart is contaminated under the power of the ego by characteristics excluding man from the Kingdom of God. This is why I cannot speak of a model, but of an essence. The archetype of Individuality is the essence that the ego conceals for negative qualities. The ego places the personality into the brighter lights at all costs and, unfortunately, someday each person will have to pay the price of the shining attributes. Individuality is thus the current state of the soul concealed behind the mask of personality.
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