Carl Gustav Jung’s Eudaimonia: The Key To Happiness

Carl Gustav Jung's Eudaimonia: The Key to Happiness

Eudaimonia means having happiness, health, or bliss. Carl Gustav Jung believed that we should promote it within ourselves. He said that to do this we first have to connect to our own “daimon”. Jung’s daimon is our inner genius, an archetype that controls our unconscious passions and motivations. It is the center of our being that we should listen to more often.

If there is one thing that we see abundantly almost everywhere, it is the need to be happy. Countless commercials tell us that if we drink a certain drink or have a certain cell phone, new wonderful feelings will arise in us. Nowadays the message of happiness reaches us in the tone of command.

“Man’s character is his destiny.”

Heraclitus

Ironically, in this postmodern world, the obligatory feeling of happiness leads to unhappiness. For example, remember what Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote in his book The Black Swan   : We all still believe that the world is full of white swans. We think we just have to try hard enough. Then everything we were promised in childhood would come true.

According to Taleb, however, our world is incredibly complex. So complex that we wouldn’t know how to react when we saw a black swan. We are vulnerable because we don’t know how to deal with the unexpected or the uncertain. So we will never find happiness if we look outside of ourselves. We have to strengthen our character, our daimon, as Carl Gustav Jung has already described.

Abstract figures that merge with one another

Eudaimonia and the importance of knowing yourself

One of those who inherited Carl Gustav Jung’s legacy was James Hillman. This analyst was one of those who became immersed in the concept of archetypes, and more specifically the idea of ​​the daimon. In his book Character and Purpose  , he reminded us of the importance of connecting with your inner genius or daimon in order to live a full and truly happy life. To better understand this interesting theory, let’s take a closer look at what Professor Hillman talked about in his book.

What is a daimon?

  • The word “daimon” comes from ancient Greek and means demon. However, it has no negative connotation. In fact, the daimon symbolizes the highest essence of a person. In Aristotle’s ethics, the daimon was effectiveness and wisdom in the most practical sense.
  • Carl Gustav Jung explained that the daimon lives in our unconscious mind. It controls our actions, motivates us, whispers ideas to us, inspires us and gives our intuition a voice. However, modern society and the rhythm of life distract us from it. It often happens that we distance ourselves from this inner voice.
  • Education aims for uniformity and the labor market does not value originality. This is not exactly encouraging to give space to your own mind. But the unified existence is without joie de vivre. Originality, on the other hand, has enormous potential and, more than anything else, wants to give free rein to creativity.
dancer

The daimon and eudaimonia: a question of bravery

Hillman believed that some things were as important in life as learning to listen to that spirit. To this magical, colorful creature that lives in our motivation. And in doing so, he took up age-old traditions, as the inscription in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi testifies: Know yourself.

When you stop looking for answers outside of yourself and worrying about what others want, you will finally get on the path of knowing yourself. Only then can you get in touch with your daimon. Accordingly, accepting eudaimonia is not always easy. Sometimes your daimon wants things that the people around you don’t understand. Perhaps a lawyer no longer wants to act as such. Maybe he actually wants to be an artist. Maybe a famous artist doesn’t want to create anything anymore. His daimon may ask him to do humanitarian work. Your daimon may want you to be more independent and find your own freedoms that you don’t dare ask for.

Eudaimonia takes a lot of courage. Your daimon is restless and hungry for new experiences. As a result, if you don’t listen to this inner voice, he will punish you. Jung reminded us of the following: If you are unable to listen to the daimon’s needs, your soul will become sick. Why? Because it makes you unhappy to act against your desires and motives.

Woman covering her eyes with her hands

How Can You Cultivate Eudaimonia?

You know that nothing is as important as knowing yourself. Connecting with your desires, your core, your identity and your personal values ​​is a way to accept and recognize your daimon. However, it is not enough just to say, “I know you are there.”  You have to free him so that he can surface and express.

Cultivating authentic eudaimonia means making change. It means putting aside what the outside world is forcing you. Instead, you have to learn to create your own reality. You must be fully aware of the complexity of your environment, where uncertainty and unpredictable difficulty are the only constants.

Your daimon has wishes. However, in order to achieve eudaimonia, you must be able to deal with situations where it is not so easy to make that reality.

Man in a field among numerous hot air balloons

So it is a good idea to remember what Immanuel Kant once said: “Have the courage to use your own reason.” In other words, you need to choose the best methods to maximize your wellbeing. It’s pretty obvious that this isn’t easy. But your advantage is that you can always use Jungian therapy to help. The goal of this therapeutic approach is to bring you closer to eudaimonia. It intends to help you realize your uniqueness, as well as the opportunity to be happy in your own way.

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