Individuation Process

Personal psychoanalysis in writing, drawing and painting

"One does not alter place, but the place divides itself. This is incorporeal space where a thousand and ten thousand places are one place. One does not alter the time, but the time divides itself. This is immeasurable time when all the aeons are like a moment."                 

— The Secret of the Golden Flower

In summer 2019, I had an extraordinary psychic experience during the road trip to the Rocky Mountain in Vancouver, Canada. In Jungian terms, I experienced the final stage of the individuation process where the "totality of the whole psyche" manifested as The Self. It was certainly the prime manifestation of the Genesis Trilogy.

Looking Through the Anima, 2019

31" x 41"

acrylic and oil on linen

At first, I thought I died at some point but did not remember. Soon I was able to identify so clearly a strange feminine presence who seemingly dominated my body and psyche. I could still sense my consciousness as an independent entity but only tiny portion of the wholeness of my presence. The reality I looked through this psychic agent was absolutely beyond the comprehension of my rationality. This led to a phenomenal experience of sublime harmony with all surrounding nature for a short amount of time. Could this be the ultimate psychic balance that human can potentially achieve?

Looking into the Self, 2019

35" x 46"

acrylic and oil on linen

The whole material world synchronized with the world of energy, fluctuating all physical matters. In this fluid reality, I observed everything in a constant flux forming an intricate structure that inherited the infinite dimension within. My body was radiating blue aura making trails of every movement. The ego kept fading away and incorporated with the overwhelming unconscious psyche whose essence was void and silent, utterly idle and purposeless. After for awhile, I got too exhausted to stay awake, and fell asleep. Everything returned to normal when I woke up.

It was an extreme transformation of my psyche that felt like a miraculous rebirth of my consciousness in such hyperreality where the ordinary reality evaporated like waking dreams. Later I found out that this experience corresponds exactly to the Individuation Process of Jung's psychology — self-actualization through the interplay and synthesis of opposites: the conscious and unconscious, personal and archetype, human and divine, life and death. 

Annunciation, 2019

30" x 22"

oil, soft pastel and color pencil

Chapter II of The Legend

In the beginning of the experience, I was listening to music. I felt my whole body gradually becoming like an empty vessel synchronized with the delicate structure of the music to resonate every frequency. The complete integration with the music worked as a catalyst to initiate a deep individuation process. The music gradually became incomprehensible

sounded like backmasking. 

 

When the music turned off, my consciousness was extremely heightened with hypersensitivity

that I could be consciously awake in such an instant fraction of the present. With my mind racing faster and faster, the rest of the world was slowing down. At one point, I witnessed the whole world coming to a silent halt including my friends in front seat of the car. The enigmatic buddha Avalokiteshvara with thousands of arms was a realistic expression of the enlightened mind capable of doing infinite things simultaneously by mastering the illusion of time.

I continued to pursue more and deeper experience of the individuation process with extensive practice of paintings and "active imagination" triggered by LSD. By the end of 2019, however,

I got a disturbing neurosis due to the submerged ego. I was losing the light of consciousness under the shadow of my ego, the anima. I had unpredictable shifting phases of depression

and mania gradually losing control of my life especially the relationship with others. The anima had developed into a distinctive sub-personality of mine which led to the bipolar disorder

Gazing the Moon, 2020

18" x 14"

oil on linen

In January 2020, I decided to move to New York with my girlfriend after graduating SAIC. During the unexpected lockdown due to the Covid-19, I devoted myself in recovery.

I endeavored to find the way to harmonize my psychic balance again by taming the desires of my ego and cultivating power of the anima through artistic practices. I also began to research Jungian psychology in-depth to find out what happened to my psyche over the past year.

As a form of therapy, I produced roughly three drawings per day. I set my timer for 10 minutes for each drawing. This practice became intimate dialogues between myself and the unconscious. After two months spent on drawings, I started to make paintings in order to develop a deeper dialogue.

The Appearance, 2020

42 x 32"

oil on linen

Inspired by John Cage's chance operation, I took chance as a core discipline to experiment with painting. My aim was to make every aesthetic decision by chance, as random as possible to prevent the predominance of conscious intention. Nonetheless, consciousness was always interfering, helping, correcting, and negating on every decision. This psychological tension deployed a creative force to develop a progress in painting. From this approach, I looked forward to acquire not only an archetypal symbol like mandala, but also deeply personal like self-portrait reflecting the current state of my mind.

The Rebirth, 2020

64" x 48"

oil on linen

During the psychic experience, I could hear the extensive spectrum of noise that existed 

in "silence". The noise was somewhat meditative, but also very disturbing since it was absolutely inevitable. It penetrated through my whole body similar to the experience of conceiving the inner voice but in more abstract form as frequency. I feel that my paintings

inherit these frequencies creating an orchestral synthesis with colors and shapes. I wish to decipher these symbols in my paintings over time.

Walking God, 2020

48" x 36"

mixed media

Can human become immortal? Are there immortals somewhere on earth? Even if they do exist, can we (as petty mortals) have a chance to come across them? In the state of trance, I knew by instinct that the causality of reality was only illusion or placebo effect even life and death. The body I had in the hyperreality was the transfiguration which transcended the materiality impenetrable from the ordinary reality.

This extraordinary experience opened a whole new perception towards my life which I decided to embrace and pursue. I desire to find a way to access the hyperreality again by my own conscious will. While painting Walking God, I wrote my manifesto of 2020.

Manifesto, 2020

10.5" x 8.5"

soft pastel on cardboard

"Woke up from a dream that was a long endless dream. I totally forgot that I was in sleep; when and how I fell asleep. I don't want to go back to sleep. Someday I won't. I will be awake all time and not getting tired. People from dream will think I am dead, but I am finally alive."

© 2020 Hosu Lee. All rights reserved.