Federico Fellini and the Giantess-- Individuation of the Monster

Sylvester Wojtkowski, PhD

The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends. [C.G.Jung CW 10, p. 304]


It is more meaningful to let the figures be what they were… namely events and experiences. [MDR, p. 182.]


“Open your heart. The movie you are about to make [81/2] is like a session with the psychoanalyst. You will discover more than you think. You have to make this film not so much for yourself as for art as an absolute.” [Kerner, a spirit voice, Federico Fellini: The Book of Dreams, p. 111.]


If left to himself, man can bring about his own salvation quite naturally; he has always produced symbols that redeemed him. So if we follow the laws [of fantasy] that are in our own nature, they will lead us to the right end. … You have got to trust yourself with your own experience, because according to the natural law, it will lead to the state of completeness. [C.G. Jung, Visions Seminars, p. 403.]


“Perhaps—who knows?—these eternal images are what men mean by fate.” [CW7: 183]


            Jung defined individuation as becoming “in-divisible” and one with “who we are.” In this process ego has to develop engagement with non-ego images. James Hillman thought of individuation as a “psychological perspective” and a “differentiation of imagination.” Henri Corbin emphasized the “individuation of the angel”. In my presentation I will focus on the individuation of the monster. But, first a few words on the process of individuation itself.



I. Jung’s view of individuation

            In 1939 in his Eranos lecture published as “Concerning Rebirth,” Jung describes eight human experiences that belong to the category of rebirth, or subjective transformation of personality. The last on his list is what he calls a "natural transformation or individuation":

“There are natural transformation processes which simply happen to us, whether we like it or not, and whether we know it or not.” [CW 9i, ¶234] Thus individuation is a natural, autonomous happening, that is an inborn capacity of the human subject, that can be conscious or not. Of course, when we are aware of it and participate in the process, we become conscious of change in our subjective sense of ourselves, and through our attention affect the process. Our conscious engagement comes about through dreams and active imagination, e.g., as depicted in Jung’s Red Book. Jung states that series of dreams over time can symbolize:

"the long-drawn-out process of inner transformation and rebirth into another being.      This 'other being' is the other person in ourselves--that larger and greater personality maturing within us, whom we have already met as the inner friend of the soul." [CW 9i, ¶235 emphasis added]

Jung amplifies these two figures with the pair of Dioscuri, one mortal--Castor, one immortal—Pollux, children of Leda, who was seduced by Zeus in the form of swan. Castor would represent the ego and Pollux the other immortal being.

Read Federico Fellini and the Giantess-- Individuation of the Monster in its entirety here.