Your Satisfaction is not Your Identity
A brief piece on a meaningful life
Identity. Individualism. The downfall of the West. We have long been separated from something truly meaningful. We find our meaning through our outward projections of what we think is our entire self. But we are yet unaware or simply in denial about what is essential to human life.
In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Carl Jung ponders whether or not man is connected to something divine. He regards this question and the pursuit of its answer of utmost importance--essential. With knowledge of a link to divinity, one can avoid chasing unfulfilling goals--avoid wasting time and energy on a fixation that does not have real significance. I believe there is an implication here; fixation on our outward projection to the world is ultimately meaningless.
Not only do we project ourselves onto others, but we demand that we be accepted and recognized “for qualities which we regard as personal possessions: our talent and our beauty” (Jaffé, Jung 1963). Jung regarded these as “false possessions” and that further emphasis on these would result in an even less satisfying life. We notice trends and pick up on them. We give validity to large numbers of people sharing the same belief simply because many people share it. This speaks nothing of the content of the belief, why it truly exists, or its possible consequences.
I’m concerned about how many people find it necessary to assert their identity--that they be forcefully recognized as unique individuals with no mentions of their limitations. It seems to me that these strong assertions represent a lack of connection to divinity--the lack of a higher essential purpose. I’m worried that there are millions of people who are struggling and thereby living a less fulfilling life, when the answers are within reach. The answer is but a question, “Am I related to something divine or not?” The search for the answer is life’s essential purpose and that is what gives us true meaning, according to Jung.
Jung was truly ahead of his time; his statements then have incredible relevance now. In this new age of technology, we are enamored by our reflections. Constantly looping photos and videos in an endless sea of subsequent worthlessness--what have we truly become? What is our real goal?
The question of our connection to divinity is ever more relevant now because if we don’t develop this connection now, the consequences could mean our downfall. If we don’t discover who we truly are, then we are susceptible to those who would wish to control us. Our vulnerability is based on awareness--we must know simultaneously how unique we are and how limited we are. That will deliver us to consciousness.
A divine link needs no assertion. It needs no authentication or recognition. Our validity is tied to our link with the awareness of the unconscious. The unconscious provides us with the information we need to establish our divine link. It is vital that we learn to identify the patterns and symbols the unconscious uses to communicate itself. Pay close attention to your dreams. Don’t interpret them literally or as they show themselves. Think about what each person, place, or thing is associated with in regards to your experience. The more open to your own sensitivity, the more clarity in the messages from your dreams.
I believe we are trying to be limitless, that we are trying to break down anything that confines and restricts us for the sake of our “identity.” What we are not realizing is that we need to accept that we are limited. We are but human. We are born, we live, and then we die. We are all bound by this limitation. There is no excuse to disregard our limitations, lest we blind ourselves to what we can truly be and trade a meaningful experience for who we think we are.
Jaffé, A., Jung, C.G., (1963) Memories, Dreams, Reflections