The “daimon” or creative drive, a concept by Carl Jung

Life is a continuous flow of the decisions, Some with minor implications, such as everyday wear or the dish on a menu; I others who can change the meaning of our existenceLike choosing a career, a partner, a country of residence, whether or not to have a child. Sometimes even the smallest decisions can be a source of anxiety for many people.

Elections and circumstances

When we make a decision, we may be concerned about Ethical implications related, or what people may think of us if we perform certain actions, satisfactions or responsibilities around us. Often, too, what can even torment us is to think that the option we are not taking is better than the one we have chosen, or that deciding prevents us from opting for something better. that could arise. So (a couple, a job, a house). In the latter case, the saying “better bird in hand than a hundred flying” is reversed and the hundred flying birds are preferred to decide on something, often for afraid to make commitments which implies this decision.

In addition to being a continuous flow of decisions, our life is conditioned by multiple circumstances. Some of these circumstances precede us, such as the genetics that our parents bring to us, their expectations of us, the socio-economic and socialization context in which we operate. We are also faced with life circumstances, many of which do not give us a choice, but are presented to us (illnesses, job opportunities, dating, accidents). We therefore live together between what we choose and what is presented to us.

In various cultures and times in human history, it has been considered that in times of indecision, especially the most significant, a kind of “force” operates which prompts us to act in one way or another. . This force is also given the responsibility of proposing and inducing the circumstances which allow to express the “deepest being” of people. In many cases, the circumstances proposed or imposed by this force are neither tasteful nor part of the expectations of the ego, understanding the ego as the most superficial aspect. the most childish part of each.

This “force” can be viewed as an archetypal element, in that it has had many manifestations at different times and places in the imagery of humanity.

The Daimon and the destination

The Greeks called it Daimon, The Romans recognized him as the “peculiar genius, in Egyptian mythology may correspond to the ‘ Ba. In shamanic cultures, it was called “the free soul”, the personal animal, the nahual. He was seen as a connecting element between gods and mortals, with attributes both beneficial and destructive. In a heavenly hierarchy, they could be classified as demigods. In Christianity, depending on the light or dark connotation attributed to it, can correspond to angels or demons. These images can be related to what we currently hear when expressing the need to listen to our heart, our feelings, our intuition, our soul and from a more rational perspective of consciousness.

The existence of a “force” which leads us on certain paths, is in relation with the notion of destination; concept which also had and has multiple perspectives.

The phrase of the pre-Socratic philosopher is popular Heraclitus, For whom the fate of man is his character. This phrase can be interpreted as what we are used to doing, that is, our way of being, our habitual behaviors, are what shape the circumstances that we encounter in our lives.

In a somewhat similar way, by Sigmund Freud, the apparent fatal fate is an act unconsciously self-induced by the individual. He cites as an example those people whose friendships always end in betrayal, the philanthropists to whom their proteges return anger instead of gratitude, relationships that go through the same phases and end in the same way. In this perspective, people repeat over and over in an “eternal return” lived experiences which have not been sufficiently elaborated, and which have been repressed so as not to be compatible with conscious values. One of the premises of psychoanalysis is the “psychic determinism” of our actions and thoughts by unconscious contents.

In the same vein, Carl Gustav Jung considered that what was not agreed in the psychic domain was experienced abroad as a destination. However, for Jung, the “constraint to repetition” to live certain types of circumstances, is an attempt of the psyche to lead us towards the realization of our “deeper being”, towards the singular expression of our soul, of our potentialities. . It is in this last sense that James Hillman, the greatest representative of the archetype of psychology, continuator of the Junguianos approaches, takes up the myth of the acorn of the soul.

The myth of the acorn of the soul

This myth alludes to the fact that just as the acorn contains the oak motif, each individual already has within them their own potential for singular and unique possibilities.

Hillman highlights the presence in different religions, mythologies and current and past thought systems of the image of a unique soul “energy” of each individual, which seeks to unfold throughout life and which manifests itself as a “call”, a vocation, a “destiny”. This singular energy is a third factor that unites nature and education in compressing the growth of individuals. Hillman argues that to answer this call, you have to “push down” like trees do with their roots, and thus be able to reconnect with the “real me“, With the deep needs of the soul.

For Hillman, the motivation for self-actualization is not given by the outside but by the “daimon” inside of each one. The daimon manifests itself in the circumstances of life, in the opportunities that present themselves, in the doors that close, in the supports and in the ties, in the triumphs and in the defeats; in our fears, our phobias, our obsessions, our illusions, to synchronicities. In all this leads us to express our most authentic aspect, that for which we have been “called”, and which often does not go in the same direction as the expectations of our ego, which seeks security and recognition.

A privileged means that our daimon must express – are dreams, and that is why they are a fundamental part of the Jungian psychotherapy. There are times in life that dreams are common in which we lose or our cell phone breaks, or we try to dial and the numbers fade away. These images can be revealing of the difficulties that our soul experiences in assisting or making the particular “call” to the realization of our “deeper being”, of our vocation.

the vocation, This singular aspect which seeks to deploy our soul, manifests itself in our talents, in the most urgent needs, in what cries to be expressed and that we have been able to set aside for derision or not to accommodate of our conscious projects. Vocation may or may not coincide with a profession. Hillman points out that, for example, there are people who are born for “friendship” or for aspects that are not valued enough to not be productive in our society.

The conception of fate, depending on how it is approached, may be an idea of ​​toxic, crippling, and inhibiting action, but from a Hillmanian perspective it is a creative and stimulating idea. So, for Hillman, “capturing Daimon’s furtive winks” is an act of thought and reflection, of seeing beyond appearances, of delving into the depths of events, requiring reasoning. meticulous. For his part, he considers fatalism as a state of abandonment of reflection, which explains life as a whole from a broad generality. Fatalism, Hillman points out, raises no questions and is heartwarming as it exercises the need to examine how events are articulated.

Jungian psychotherapy and the daimon

Junguiana Psychotherapy promotes dialogue with our own “daimon” as a symbol of a factor that operates in us and leads us to be what we have always been, to deploy our best version. It is only to be able to feel truly satisfied when we listen to our Daimon, who takes care of us, sometimes slaps us, destroys our plans, facilitates meetings, offers us opportunities.

The myth of the acorns is taken up in Jungian psychotherapy, also in the sense that, like the acorns, it possesses a wisdom which allows it to build the tissues, leaves and fruits of the oak; the individual possesses a “wisdom” to develop his own singularity and his own potentials. Jungain Psychotherapy he does not seek to change a person or to adapt him to the socially accepted context, How not to ask an apple tree for pears. It is then a question of providing the best conditions so that each person can display their unique fruits. We cannot intervene in a seed to make it what it is not, but to promote its own potential.

Jungian psychology by referring to gods, daimons, soul, deep being, etc., does not presuppose the existence of metaphysical entities, nor does it reflect on their nature, which is the domain of theology or other areas of knowledge. In the context of analytical psychology, these terms are to be understood as concepts related to images or psychic factors, which can be observed in clinical practice, as well as in symbolic manifestations present in mythologies and artistic expressions of different places and times. Analytical psychology uses phenomenological observation and reflection for the compression of psychological phenomena, as well as for the application of such knowledge, such as therapeutic method aimed at the well-being and mental health of people.

Bibliographical references:

  • Freud, Sigmund. 1989. Beyond the pleasure principle; Mass psychology and self-analysis and other works. Buenos Aires: Amorrortu.
  • Hillman, James. 1998. The code of the soul. Barcelona: Martínez Roca.
  • Jung, Carl Gustav and Jorge Navarro Pérez. 2009. Symbolic life: various writings. Madrid: Trot.

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