Jung began to identify universal symbols that he believed represented aspects of one’s own consciousness and personality. As we experience these symbols and reflect on their meaning, we reflect on aspects of ourselves and grow our perception of reality. Through symbols we slowly merge the collected unconscious with our individual consciousness to become self-actualized and psychologically whole individuals, this process was called individuation. It is this process of individuation, that is at the root of all existential meaning and the hero’s journey in mythology.
Jung called these universal symbols archetypes and he expressed that every great religion incorporates these symbols to inspire psychological and spiritual change. Masonry is not a religion, and accepts men of all faiths into its ranks as equally deserving of its mysteries. So masonry adapts archetypal symbols into its own system of progressive morality. Jung writes that individuation “In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed and differentiated; in particular is it the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology.” (Jung, Psychological Types. Collected Works, vol. 6, par 757)
This process of individuation can be symbolically represented in the Entered Apprentice degree as the process of coming from darkness to light. Masonry realizes that Man is born in the darkness of ignorance, but has the capability for greater understanding of the light. Of his own free will and accord an initiate must seek the door of knowledge and knock to receive its virtues. The initiate must have a mind capable of wisdom, a heart capable of feeling, and a hand eager to pick up the working tools of life toward the greater work of an evolving society.