Lots of work to do, got most of it done. What hasn’t been done can get done tomorrow.
That’s a good place to be in.
More weird dreams. I wonder if there’s a sort of Jungian “Once you find out the meaning, the dreams will stop” thing going on for me right now.
To establish ourselves in the world we do everything to appear as if we were established. (Maxim 56)François de La Rochefoucauld
One of the interesting things I’ve noticed in myself and in many students is that there’s a tendency to posture as if one is better than one is.
I mean, heck, I just got into grad school by using a writing sample that received probably the most editing of anything I’ve ever written in my life, and which took the usually freeing writing process and turned it into something a little bit painful.
I’m proud of it, but it definitely isn’t the sort of effort I can really put out reliably, which is half the reason I’m going back to school.
So there’s an irony there: the pressure to get into a spot where I can improve myself requires that I look good.
Of course, this has a positive side-effect. I’ve improved myself and forced myself into a sort of initiation on the road to further improvement.
But it does feel kind of silly.
There is a darker side to this, namely the use of posturing rather than actual improvement.
This isn’t actually unique to this field.
One of the ways to conceive our lives is as a heroic struggle, basically Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. I don’t think that this by itself is sufficient to cover everything, but it’s enough to really get one thinking about the role we play in our world.
If we look at life as a series of challenges that we must overcome on the way to something greater, we have three things that really need to happen:
- One must overcome their challenges.
- One must find the way (Way, perhaps).
- One must turn that into betterment.
There is room for deception at each of these steps, both self-deception (Jung’s Shadow) and deception of others for personal gain.
The problem with deception is that it’s very hard to keep your stories straight. Once one walks the way of deception they lose the way of the hero, or the Way. Let us not forget that Christ uses the terms “the way, the truth, and the life” in a strong statement of divinity, illustrating the importance of finding the right path for life as being equal not only to truth but also to life itself, and to an extent as a way of finding God. Note that this is something of a theological blunder, so don’t read too much into it. I just don’t have better words right now. The Way, understood as an archetype or otherwise, is just very important.
There’s something to be said for the idea that strength attracts strength. We desire the desirable, unless some charity works within us. For this reason we often try to posture and present our best face forward, trying to be that which we are not so that we can enjoy the privileges of that which we wish to be.
Be the real deal.
Find the Way and take it as far as it leads.