Today is my birthday. With every year that has passed this day has become a day for deeper reflections on my life and the life around me. Today I am reminded how deep my concern has become for the land I grew to love as I was growing up and that has both challenged, nurtured and shaped me in so many ways. My concerns in these reflections circle around the questions of “How can we renew our national soul?” And “What can give us a foundation for hope for a better future?”. Through my decades of experience and in my heart I feel that Jung has given us the path to answering both of these questions.
As he was aging, Jung realized we were facing the end of an era in western history. We are now in a deep crisis time of liminality in our country. Liminality, in the mythical sense is a time of betwixt and between, between an old era and before a new one has been formed. The spirit, the moral foundation and value structures that defined and guided us, have rigidified and fallen into the mists of our history. The old spirit and values have lost their vitality and new ones have not yet been formed or recreated. This crisis, this reality lies beneath the symptoms of our polarized society, where we are also struggling, suffering, afraid and becoming alienated for many reasons.
In the most profound way I can imagine we are each faced with a personal choice. We can cling to what we think we knew, believed or imagined that made us feel secure, or we can pay attention to the value of Jung’s thinking about this situation. Aniela Jaffe (from The Life of C.G. Jung, p. 187) writes, “What Jung has to offer against the pressing dangers was not a recommendation for governance of groups or nations but always greater consciousness, painfully achieved and difficult to endure, on the part of the individual, or many individuals.” Jung (p. 187) is quoted, “a change in the attitude of the individual can bring about a renewal in the spirit of nations.” It is time for us to begin a deep reflection on transforming and recreating ourselves and our country.
In a world as depersonalized as our own, the very essence of transformation personally and collectively is a change of heart. From a change of heart hope becomes a state of mind. This hope comes from our ability to be working for a transformation that deepens the sense of the sacred within ourselves and the value of humanity. Then we discover real change begins when we can face and seek to understand ourselves, the truth of our reality and take action that is grounded in the honesty of who we are and the reality we are facing.
My hope is that sharing my lecture “Sacred Selfishness: The Path to Love and Authenticity” on YouTube will help you find or renew your path to living the answer Jung has offered and to finding the source of hope, strength and love within yourselves.
I am sharing these thoughts on my birthday, September the fourth, with love to all of you,
, authenticity, Carl Jung, Personal Transformation, Sacred Selfishness
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