Dear Friends and Members of the C.G. Jung Society,
Carl Jung said, “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest things without it.” Much of his writing is about humankind’s search for meaning. He says, “A secret unrest gnaws at the roots of our being, an unrest that yearns for the divine.” How would you describe the Divine? A person on facebook responded, “Friend, Comforter, and Mystery.” What comes to me is that the search for meaning and mystery are very much related.
In my work as a hospice social worker, one of my goals is for the patient to feel meaning in his life. How do you do this when you are becoming different than how you have come to know yourself? “Doing” is often how people judge their own importance. To experience “being” is to really know who you are. I do some life review with them; I listen and try to hear what each individual needs to feel meaning. I tell them that I am glad they are here and that their “being” here means a lot to me.
One lady had been a ballroom dancer. She was very angry about her condition and would hit, say mean things, and spit out her food. One morning I talked to her about her dancing. She smiled. I told her that as long as she can see it in her mind and feel herself dancing, she still has that, even when her body is not working. I asked if she could do that and she nodded “yes.” About 30 minutes later she motioned me to come hold her hand. I sat with her and noticed she was looking into the distance. I asked her what she was seeing. In a whisper I could understand “three women in white….” And I could not understand the rest. I asked her if they were angels. She nodded “no.” I asked if they were dancers. She smiled and nodded “yes.” I asked if she was one of them. Her whole body seemed to illuminate light as she smiled and nodded “yes.” She died peacefully three days later.
Pope Francis has said, “We need simplicity that speaks of Mystery.” We cannot predict when these moments of meaning will come. We must accept that it is part of the mystery and be prepared to accept it when it comes.
Look for and accept mystery as we search for meaning in our programs this fall. I encourage you to become a member of the Jung Society of North Texas to support our programs and our community as we share the many dimensions of Jungian thought.
Two years before his death, in an interview for television, Jung was asked if he now believed in God. “Now?” Jung replied, paused, and smiled. “Difficult to answer. I know. I don’t believe, I know.”
See you soon.
Jacquelyn Kelley, LCSW, CST-T
C.G. Jung Society of North Texas