Posts Tagged ‘completion’


“… life calls not for perfection but for completeness…”

C.G. Jung (CW 12, par. 208)

“The [individuation process] is, in effect, the spontaneous realization of the whole man. The ego-conscious personality is only a part of the whole man, and its life does not yet represent his total life.”

C.G. Jung (CW 8, par. 557)

Our culture holds striving for perfection in high regard. Such a lofty goal places us in a difficult situation for perfection is ever receding. Try as we might, we never reach a state of perfection. Holding such beliefs create tremendous anxiety within us. We get on a treadmill to nowhere. Psychologically, perfectionism can arise from an unconscious part of us that continually judges our beliefs and actions and finds them lacking. This part pushes us onto the treadmill, which ultimately means we create very little in life for it never seems to be good enough.

Jung felt that our journey in life was not one of striving for perfection, but of completion, or wholeness. This is also a difficult journey for there is so much that we are called to integrate within ourselves. But there is an important difference here. On the journey towards completeness or wholeness we become more aware and more open as we travel the road. With each step along the journey we enlarge consciousness. Becoming conscious of the unknown parts of myself is beneficial to my ability to relate to others and to the world as a whole.

Striving towards wholeness is what Jung called the individuation process. It works through us whether we are conscious of it or not. If we remain unconscious of the process, then we find life more difficult to understand. We are at the whim of the Fates. If we consciously work to make the unknown known, then we are part of (CW 9i, par. 278), “the production and unfolding of the original, potential wholeness…”  within.

Jung argued that our original true self is one of wholeness and our task in life is to become aware of our innate wholeness. The image of innate wholeness is far more positive than that of perfection. What would our world be like if we held more to the image of wholeness rather than that of perfection?

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