Becoming Who You Are

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We are born whole and complete.





An infant is aware but not self-aware.







Personality Development

Midlife is built into our psychology. In the first half of life we must establish a personality and an identity. In the second half of life we are called upon to expand this identity. This is driven by individuation. Individuation is the process through which all living things strive to fulfill their potential.

Starting Out Whole

We are born into the world whole and complete. This is the psychological reality for all of us. We once lived in wholeness. Our psychological reality is also that this wholeness was lost and we want to get it back. The psychological and spiritual journey of life is that of regaining the wholeness we once knew.

Consider the psychological experience of an infant. The infant is conscious but not self-conscious. It is aware but not self-aware. It has no sense of it’s self. The infant lives in a magical place. We all lived there at one time. In this magical place the infant does not differentiate between itself and others. Everything seems to be ONE. If there is a need it is met without effort. What happens if the infant is wet and cries? Someone shows up to change it. If it is hungry and cries then food comes. If a toy falls to the floor or rolls away it mysteriously reappears.

Eventually, however, this wholeness is lost. The infant has a very common human experience. Frustration! One day when it cries nothing happens. No one comes. They are busy, preoccupied, or unconcerned. With frustration there is the realization that there is Me and Not Me. All is not One. The seed is planted for the beginning of self-reflective consciousness. This is the Capital letter "I" or the ego. It is the beginning of the experience of "me, my, and mine." With self-reflective consciousness the sense of wholeness is lost. We were unconsciously whole but with the birth of the ego the world has split into opposites of experience. We are thrust into the journey of life.

Life in the Garden

The world’s spiritual traditions tell us this same story of lost wholeness but in a different language. We are told in the language of symbols, myth, and scripture. The creation story of the Garden of Eden in the Judeo/Christian tradition tells us about lost wholeness.

The Garden is a place of wholeness and perfection. All needs are met and there is only one prohibition. One may not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eating from this tree will bring death. Such a temptation to knowledge proves too much and Eve and Adam do eat of the fruit. Their eyes are opened. They awaken to self-knowledge and to the world of opposites. They are thrown into the world of duality. Symbolically, the story tells us that when they eat of the fruit of this Tree there is the birth of self-reflective consciousness. There is the beginning of personality formation and the Ego. With the birth of the ego there is an expulsion from the garden of unconscious wholeness out into the world of individuality.

We all lived in the Garden of Eden. Our experience of it was childhood. We all "know" what it is like to be whole. While we all lost that state of unconscious wholeness we have an unconscious memory of what it was like. We all want to get back to that state but we can not return to it by going backwards. We cannot go back to retrieve the remembered wholeness so we must go forward. Thus life’s journey is to strive to regain our wholeness but do it consciously and with intention. Unconscious wholeness does not do you or anyone else any good but conscious wholeness can be made manifest in the world and shared with others.

Becoming Whole: The Ladder of Personality Development


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