How do I live in the world effectively without doing violence to myself?
How do I live with myself without doing violence to the world?
Sooner or later we have to deal with both of these questions, regardless which one we start with.
In Analytical Psychology, these two questions confront us with the task of adaptation: adaptation to the "outer" world and adaptation to the "inner" world. Regardless of our level of development or personal growth, we always live between -- or in -- the world of people, relationships, responsibilities, places, tasks, temptations, work, and the world of thoughts, images, emotions, dreams, daydreams, memories, hopes, etc.
Our emotions are information. Happiness, satisfaction, success, and meaning tell us that the way we are living is authentic and suits us. Depression, confusion, anxiety, fear, anger, and meaninglessness tell us that we are not quite in tune with our essential nature and/or with the world around us.
From the viewpoint of Analytical Psychology, based on the pioneering work of C. G. Jung, we attempt to understand both outer and inner events -- and the emotions we experience -- as the result of causes (in the immediate or more distant past), and/or as pointers toward some perhaps unknown future. We can ask: "How come?" as well as "What for?" "To what purpose?"
How come I have this luck break? This opportunity? This persistent dream? This nagging hang-up? This chronic flaw? The same sort of relationship time and again?
To what purpose do I have this luck break? This opportunity? This persistent dream? This nagging hang-up? This chronic flaw? The same sort of relationship time and time again?
How well am I adapted to what I really am? Do I actually know what I really am? How well am I adapted to the world in which I have to live? How well does the life I am living really suit me?
If you ask yourself these and similar questions, you will find descriptions of several approaches to answering them on the next page in this website.