“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve knocked from the inside.” — Rumi
All of our trouble flows from being separated from our instincts. C.G. Jung
Freud stated that “The price of civilization is neurosis”. Neurosis meaning being someone you are not, being split from your natural truth and being defined by an external definition of who you are. Living a life that is authentically yours; means being connected to your passion, using and developing your gifts and natural abilities in ways that are meaningful, useful and satisfying. This is what vocational integration is. To get to this place requires some reflection and being ‘real” with your self. Asking the larger and important questions can greatly help this process.
Below are powerful questions from James Hollis, PhD that can help ease access to deeper insights. Asking the “right” questions; stimulates our thinking to seek to find answers. We need to ask and be open and receptive to the messages we get. Having solitude and quiet allows us to hear and discern the answers that come. Each may take some time so you may want to choose the one or ones that resonate the most with you at this time.
- How do you know what is true for you? How did you lose your personal authority in the first place? Did you lose it through adapting to circumstances?
- What core ideas – are the defining ideas of my life?
- What has brought you to this point in your life? Fate? Family influences?
- What parts of history have framed your world? Are there repeating patterns that make us prisoners of our history?
- Which pieces or parts of your life are working for you?
- What constricts you?
- What messages did you internalize? i.e. We are here to make money; I have to be perfect, successful; have children and make them successful…
- Why does so much feel like a script that has been written for you?
- Am I choosing security over truth?
- Am I doing what my peers do?
- Do I change and grow and how?
- Why is so much a disappointment?
- Why do I hide so much from others?
- What gets pushed underground in my unconscious?
- Where do I experience the transcendent?
According to Jung, the highest calling is an appointment with our “self”. We have an appointment with ourselves and not all of us keep it. We need to mindful and discern where spirit is working in all areas of our lives. If the life we have lived has been too small and it may be too small for most of us; the task of recovering ourselves is opening to largeness of our journey.
There are two gremlins we face every morning.
Fear: I am too tiny it is too hard… I can’t do it.
Lethargy: – chill out tomorrow is another day…
Each will eat us alive… Fear and lethargy are the enemy, they are not out there they are inside. We awaken only to fall back into the comfort of our past life.
Jung also wrote: ” The Spirit of evil is the negation of live force by fear… only boldness can overcome that fear.
If the risk is not taken, the meaning of life is violated.”
We all have a task and it is; the recovery of personal authority and discerning the meaning of our lives. Who are we to stand in its way? We are responsible for finding meaning in our lives.
We can look at symptoms like depression, anxiety, addictions and compulsions as ruptures in our false self. James Hollis also writes this is the psyche or our “self” trying to break out of the confines of the acquired or false self. So welcome a symptom. The psyche which has been captive may have a different agenda than the one our ego or acquired identity is following. Symptoms may be the psyche no longer able to cooperate in going along the path we are taking. Similar to the reins of a horse correcting us when we stray.
Jung believed that every patient knew at some all level what they needed to do. We all need to become our own psychotherapists
and heal the bridge and split from our natural truth. The self knows you have always known. This is the knowledge of the head in service to the knowledge of the heart which gives insight and the courage to live our lives.