Development of Personality

Yet the development of personality means more than just the fear of hatching forth monsters, or of isolation.

It also means fidelity to the law of one’s own being.

For the word “fidelity” I should prefer, in this context, the Greek word used in the New Testament, irians, which is erroneously translated “faith.”

It really means “trust,” “trustful loyalty.”

Fidelity to the law of one’s own being is a trust in this law, a loyal perseverance and confident hope; in short, an attitude such as a religious man should have towards God.

It can now be seen how portentous is the dilemma that emerges from behind our problem: personality can never develop unless the  individual chooses his own way, consciously and with moral deliberation.

Not only the causal motive—necessity—but conscious moral decision must lend its strength to the process of building the personality.

If the first is lacking, then the alleged development is a mere acrobatics of the will; if the second, it will get stuck in unconscious automatism.

But a man can make a moral decision to go his own way only if he holds that way to be the best. If any other way were held to be better, then he would live and develop that other personality instead of his own.

The other ways are conventionalities of a moral, social, political, philosophical, or religious nature.

The fact that the conventions always flourish in one form or another only proves that the vast majority of mankind do not choose their own way, but convention, and consequently develop not themselves but a method and a collective mode of life at the cost of their own wholeness. ~Carl Jung, CW 17, Para 296-297