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Reply To: Missteps as a Redemptive Path to Destiny,” with futurist Kristina Dryža”


Kristina, it’s so good to have you back again, and the way you illustrate this subject I think is so important right now. So many of us don’t know what is pushing us from the inside, and indeed so often we are unaware as you and Stephen both talk about how the “misstep” can give us a clue. One of the ways Joseph addresses this is by his quotes about what a “personal myth” is; and that by looking back over our lives we can actually see these events that seem like catastrophes are really major clues that help point the way in revealing what our path is telling us.

Stephen’s moving account of his earlier life history is a great example where like for many of us we hit a brick wall before we get the message that our life is asking for something else and we must affirm, find, and follow that inner search for the answers. And also, as Tomcallahan8 mentions we can’t change the past but must use what happened as a clue when we start looking ahead to find our way forward. This grateful: “love of our fate” they both refer to I think could also be seen as our (call) to our inner destiny; and when Joseph mentions his research into the work of: Frobenius, Bastian, Frazer, and Spengler on various occasions; (as well as Jung); these themes seem to bear this out.

For instance, when he asks: Do you know what would sustain you in the face of a total catastrophe where you lose everything you have? And then he says it’s not the 5 values most people usually rely on for their main purpose or meaning in life of: survival, security, personal relationships, prestige, or self-development; but something deeper of more inward value. An inward zeal that drives you mad; something that you would sacrifice your very life for; not something that makes you comfortable, but something that gives you meaning and purpose, something that fulfils you to your very core and sense of existence. Something that pulls you out of yourself that tells you it’s time to leave and find out what this thing is that’s driving you crazy. “Do you know what that is? Joseph says that’s your “personal myth”, and it’s not your career, not your bio or your resume; but what fulfills and sustains you, and it’s not a destination, but a life changing and morphing journey that tells you: “this is what I need and who I am”.

Something I think that confuses us so often is that as our life stages change, we must change and go with it. In other words, as Jung mentions also, the life requirements must match this metamorphosis as we age from that of achievement to that of meaning. “He who looks outward sees; but he who looks inward awakens” Why is this so? Because as Jung also mentions: “we are in a constant state of becoming until we die”. And that is to say that what informs and sustains us must match what our inner world is asking for; not what the outer world deems as important. And that we are each unique individual human beings, and each one of us has a destiny; (if we can find it), and that destiny expresses this unique potential that lies within each one of us. We are not clones, we are not robots, and we are to resist the claims of the outward “wasteland”; with its system of requirements that it says are important; and it indeed is a hero’s journey that calls us from inside to live that life that we hear and feel to the very depths of our soul; even though at the beginning we may not know what that call to adventure really is; we only know we must go and find it.

One of the things I like that is helpful to me he said is we can construct our own individual inner sanctuary or “sacred space” that we can utilize to figure some of these things out. As a matter of fact, Joseph thought doing this was critical if the modern individual is going to have any kind of inward life that helps to provide the meaning and purpose, they may need to navigate with to find their way. What did you do as a child? he asks. There lies one of the clues in finding and constructing one’s own inner world and navigation system; and if they do this something will happen. “Symbols” are good too. If you can find some that help you to identify some of the problems you are having, then you can use these things as tools to help identify and turn them into references that help to point the way out of your dilemma. (One I like is the: “Ariadne Thread”); but of course, there are many others to choose from.

I really like the way you have framed this discussion because you have made it very easy to grapple with; and your clarity is unmistakable in a very warm, comfortable, and apprehendable way. Sometimes these topics can get all tangled up in mythological references with multiple meanings that can sometimes be difficult to unravel and identify the proper references and applications that are being discussed. Thank you for this, and I very much look forward to hearing your thoughts. (Stephen; btw, that was an extremely moving personal account you shared; and I very much appreciated hearing it.)