Has an elusive voice sandpapered your dreams with incongruent pieces from the past? Has consolation or anger-induced rapid breathing flooded your waking moments?

Who or what is this inner voice? From whence does it come? How cultivate it, how heed its directives, especially since it seems to know us so intimately? There is one who has researched these questions for us.

The Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung explored this voice, teeming from his unconscious between 1914 and 1930, and he illustrated his findings in The Red Book (2009). Emerging within these pages are his central discoveries: the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation. Prior to this seminal study, no psychologist had ever mapped the terrain of the unconscious, and because of which, psychotherapy has become a means for the higher development of the personality, not just treatment of sickness.

Synchronistically, harrying dreams led me to the door of a Jungian analyst in 1988. Under her tutelage, I embraced the rigors of individuation: a risky engagement with my unconscious’ voice expressed in dreams, hunches, significant conversations, or art works. Slowly, the pull of my false self lessoned, giving way to discoveries of values and behaviors more in sync with my emerging self. At times, though, such stripping was awkward, even painful. But more disorders awaited me with the next dream.

As I reflect upon this thirty-year period I’m quietly amazed. I’ve learned to name this voice, Higher Power or God of my understanding. What had begun as a desperate venture has evolved in the actualization of my birthright—this I bring to eternal life, but not before still more work on my shadow before my last breath.