[Carl Jung on Individuation and be “Bidden” to ones “Vocation.”]
What is it, in the end, that induces a man to go his own way and to rise out of unconscious identity with the mass as out of a swathing mist?
Not necessity, for necessity comes to many, and they all take refuge in convention.
Not moral decision, for nine times out of ten we decide for convention likewise.
What is it, then, that inexorably tips the scales in favour of the extra-ordinary?
It is what is commonly called vocation: an irrational factor that destines a man to emancipate himself from the herd and from its well-worn paths.
True personality is always a vocation and puts its trust in it as in God, despite its being, as the ordinary man would say, only a personal feeling.
But vocation acts like a law of God from which there is no escape.
The fact that many a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing to one who has a vocation.
He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths.
Anyone with a vocation hears the voice of the inner man: he is called.
That is why the legends say that he possesses a private daemon who counsels him and whose mandates he must obey.
The best known example of this is Faust, and an historical instance is provided by the daemon of Socrates.
Primitive medicine-men have their snake spirits, and Aesculapius, the tutelary patron of physicians, has for his emblem the Serpent of Epidaurus.
He also had, as his private daemon, the Cabir Telesphoros, who is said to have dictated or inspired his medical prescriptions. ~Carl Jung, The Development of Personality, CW 17, Page 175, Paras 299-300.
Only the man who can consciously assent to the power of the inner voice becomes a personality; but if he succumbs to it he will be swept away by the blind flux of psychic events and destroyed.
That is the great and liberating thing about any genuine personality: he voluntarily sacrifices himself to his vocation, and consciously translates into his own individual reality
what would only lead to ruin if it were lived unconsciously by the group.
One of the most shining examples of the meaning of personality that history has preserved for us is the life of Christ.
In Christianity, which, be it mentioned in passing, was the only religion really persecuted by the Romans, there rose up a direct opponent of the Caesarean madness that afflicted not only the emperor, but every Roman as well: civis Romanus sum.
The opposition showed itself wherever the worship of Caesar clashed with Christianity.
But, as we know from what the evangelists tell us about the psychic development of Christ’s personality, this opposition was fought out just as decisively in the soul of its founder.
The story of the Temptation clearly reveals the nature of the psychic power with which Jesus came into collision: it was the power-intoxicated devil of the prevailing Caesarean psychology that led him into dire temptation in the wilderness.
This devil was the objective psyche that held all the peoples of the Roman Empire under its sway, and that is why it promised Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth, as if it were trying to make a Caesar of him.
Obeying the inner call of his vocation, Jesus voluntarily exposed himself to the assaults of the imperialistic madness that filled everyone, conqueror and conquered alike.
In this way he recognized the nature of the objective psyche which had plunged the whole world into misery and had begotten a yearning for salvation that found expression even in the pagan poets.
Far from suppressing or allowing himself to be suppressed by this psychic onslaught, he let it act on him consciously, and assimilated it.
Thus was world-conquering Caesarism transformed into spiritual kingship, and the Roman Empire into the universal kingdom of God that was not of this world. While the whole Jewish nation was expecting an imperialistically minded and politically active hero as a Messiah, Jesus fulfilled the Messianic mission not so much for his own nation as for the whole Roman world, and pointed out to humanity the old truth that where force rules there is no love, and where love reigns force does not count.
The religion of love was the exact psychological counterpart to the Roman devil-worship of power. ~Carl Jung, The Development of Personality, CW 17, Pages 180-181, Paras 308-309.
In fact, the inner voice is a “Lucifer” in the strictest and most unequivocal sense of the word, and it faces people with ultimate moral decisions without which they can never achieve full consciousness and become personalities.
The highest and the lowest, the best and the vilest, the truest and the most deceptive things are often blended together in the inner voice in the most baffling way, thus opening up in us an abyss of confusion, falsehood, and despair. ~Carl Jung, The Development of Personality, CW 17, Page 185, Para 319.