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  • Jungian Counselling & Finding Your Life Purpose

    Jungian counselling

    Walking the Ninia Labyrinth

    Finding your life purpose is key in individual therapy, and Jungian counselling stresses the need to make a personal search for meaningful direction in life.  For many, finding life purpose is an essential journey to make, and Jungian counselling affirms that it’s a journey that we each can make.

    A while ago, I posted the short James Hillman video below on the Facebook page for my practice.  In it, Hillman raises some very important issues about creativity, work and our sense of life purpose.

    Several insights emerge from Hillman’s video.  They raise questions about life purpose that are not the type that are easy or quick to answer.

    Don’t Settle for “Secondary Reasons”

    Hillman talks about all the secondary reasons that people can have for doing what they do: doing it all for their kids, working to get a pension, and so on.  His point is that these things are good to work for, but, in and of themselves, they’re not enough.  We plainly and simply need something more to sustain us.

    What is Really, Fundamentally Meaningful for Me?

    That leads us to the question of what it is that fundamentally has meaning.  What are the things that so fascinate me, that so grab me (Jung would say that are so “numinous”) that they hold me?  The things that make such a claim on me that I could devote all my effort to them, and never tire?  They could be religious, or artistic, in some form or other — or they might be something quite different, unique and individual in character.  The key thing is: what is it for you?

    Can Serving Something be Perfect Freedom?

    The church I grew up in used to use a prayer book that had this phrase in it, referring to God: “Whose service is perfect freedom”.  I don’t think you need to use this phrase in a specifically religious context to sense its value.  What could we devote ourselves to in our lives, that, no matter what the hardships were, the service of it would feel like perfect freedom, and we would still want to devote ourselves to it?

    Something That I Have to Do

    Hillman explicitly raises a question in the video.  What is it that I have to do — that would be my unique contribution?  The answer to the question of life purpose stems from who I most fundamentally am.


    PHOTO: AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works  Some rights reserved by wester
    © 2011 Brian Collinson


    1. jamenta


      December 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm -

      I think it is Jung’s strong argument that reality and my own life is teleological and meaningful – that draws me to his psychological theories more than anything else. And it is not just that he makes the claim that life is purposeful – but how he makes the claim, and where he points too for evidence. He does not insist on blind faith – but rather personal direct experience.

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