The Symbolic Life

“The psyche consists essentially of images. It is a series of images in the truest sense, not an accidental juxtaposition or sequence, but a structure that is throughout full of meaning and purpose; it is a ‘picturing’ of vital activities. And just as the material of the body that is ready for life has need of the psyche in order to be capable of life, so the psyche presupposes the living body in order that its images may live.” C. G. Jung

Our outer life needs an inner symbolic life for there to be meaning, and this inner symbolic life of the human psyche needs an outward human enactment in order to be fully experienced as real. When this symbolic dimension is missing in life we  experience our human existence as  banal and we can fall into depression, anxiety or other neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are so intolerably painful precisely because of their meaninglessness.  Our pleasures as well as our pains can be symptoms without meaning if they are not  serving and feeding this core inner necessity of our individual lives. It is this meaninglessness that is the disease of our age and  the greatest threat to our individual soul essence and our collective human existence. 

The symbolic life is a meaningful way of living.  It can reconnect us with nature and the lost source of our original totality. Our true Self is a great deal more than the consciousness of our little ego, and this symbolic way inevitably needs  to honor the possibility of an inner life with quiet reflection. Here a path uniquely ours can open up over time and reveal to us the sacred things hidden away in the once mundane events of our ordinary everyday life.