Jung’s sixth task of aging, is “determining the meaning of one’s life,” is about gaining conscious awareness of one’s purpose for being. It is a profound dimension of human behavior mostly ignored by marketers. - Ageless Marketing
"We each have an experience that we are great, that we have a connection with everything, that we have potential. That is the moment of exultation captured by Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself":I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
- The Highest Goal, by Michael Ray
I think we all have an inkling that are bigger, greater, deeper than what's on the surface. In fact, that's what saved Bucky Fullminster from the brink of suicide -- the sense that he belonged to something greater than himself.
We have an urge to merge with that possibility. Perhaps unknown and infinite.
Among all my patients in the second half of life - that is to say over thirty-five - there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. - Carl Jung
Jung, whom lived from 1875-1961, viewed religion more in terms of this definition:
re-li-gion (ri lij' en) L. religio, religare, to bind back < re-, back + ligare, to bind, < bind together, to connect the lesser to the greater, the part to the whole
Albert Einstein had this to say about connecting and being part of the whole:
A human being is a part of the whole called by us "the universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical illusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. - Albert Einstein
Whitman's poem sounds woefully narcissistic if you focus on the title: Song of Myself. Full of Myself? Like many look askance at blogs - they're self-indulgent, narcissitic, "like having a conversation with myself" - so too do many people perceive self-awareness and personal development as incredibly self-indulgent and distasteful. In a world that has so much sorrow and needs so much help, what the heck do we think we are doing 'following our bliss' as Joseph Campbell advised.
Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. - Isaac Asimov
Self-awareness and personal development often gets jumbled in as do practically all self-help, New Age, spiritual, religious, metaphysical and even psychology and philosophy content (and nowadays even neuroscience and quantum physics) into one big massive soup. It makes the task harder to pick out the nuggets in the goopy broth, but they're there.
In the second half of life, developmental tasks have a less worldly and egocentric mien. More of a person’s focus likely turns toward needs of the group. This change in focus makes narcissistic ploys that have been a large part of marketing genre less effective in a marketplace dominated by people in the second half of life. - Ageless Marketing
The focus towards the group doesn't arise out of a sense of obligation or duty solely due to one's mature status. (In my experience obligation breeds resentment.) It has more to do with an intimate sense of belonging and unity, which I know sounds radically counter-intuitive but it does not necessarily arise out of a willful focus on the group or others. Note that by the third line, Song of Myself has shifted from self-celebration to empathetic unity.
Self-judgment begets judgment while self-love begets love. The merciless can show no mercy. An empty vessel has not a drop of water to pour forth to relieve anyone's thirst. I realized I couldn't give what I didn't myself possess after years of frustrated activism and trying to help (read: change...force) the world.
I recently wrote a comment on Ageless Marketing that essentially says that if one continues on an intentional path of personal innovation, in my own experience, the result is surprisingly quite transpersonal.
Love yourself and be awake -
Today, tomorrow, always.
First establish yourself in the way,
Then teach others,
And so defeat sorrow.
To straighten the crooked
You must first do a harder thing -
You are your only master.
And discover your master.
- The Buddha, adapted from the Dhammapada, translated by Thomas Byrom