According to Robert Johnson, a Jungian analyst and author, Carl Jung was often asked if humanity would survive. This is what Robert said in relation to this question, "People often asked Dr. Jung, 'Will we make it?' referring to the cataclysm of our time. He always replied, 'If enough people will do their inner work.”
Now, if the average person in the west was to hear, they might struggle to understand how doing “inner work” will help the planet. In fact, the term “inner work” might not mean anything to them.
Someone like this is likely to live in a society that is very extraverted; with it being primarily focused on what is going on externally. As a result of living somewhere that is like this, it will be normal for them to have a weak connection with their inner world and a strong connection with what is going on in the outer world.
When it comes to what is taking place inside them, this could typically be something that is a mystery. Further, it might not even occur to them that they have both a conscious and an unconscious mind, and that it is the latter that has the biggest impact on their life
A Natural Response
With this in mind, if they wanted to change the world, it would be perfectly normal for them to try to change what is going on ‘out there’. Focusing on and dealing with what is taking place inside them would be seen as a total waste of time.
What is also likely to play a part in this is that one will most likely see themselves as nothing more than an observer of their reality. Thus, if they are separate from everyone and everything and are not having an effect on what is going on ‘out there’, changing their inner world is not going to help the planet.
No Time for Games
Based on their outlook, the only way that they will be able to change the world is if they do something. Playing around with what is going on internally won’t have the same impact as getting involved in politics or being an activist, for instance.
There will be plenty of other people who are out there trying to change the world, which will validate what they believe. Throughout their life, there is also a strong chance that they have endlessly received the message that money and power are needed to change the world.
To someone like this, then, what Carl Jung said is not going to be of any use to those that actually want to change the world and to serve their fellow human beings. For people like this, they will need to get out there and to play their part.
Given the understanding that Carl Jung had of human nature, it is unlikely that a response like this would surprise him. After all, he did say that, “'People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.”
A Deeper Look
If human beings are merely observers and their inner world is not having an effect on their outer world, then changing their inner world wouldn’t have an effect on the external world. Doing “inner work” to change the world would, of course, be a distraction and prevent the real work that needs to be done from taking place.
However, what if this is nothing more than an illusion and that what takes place ‘out there’ is an expression of what is taking place internally? Not just in peoples conscious mind, though, but also what is taking place their unconscious mind?
Cause and Effect
So, if someone is actively having an effect on their reality and is not merely an observer, it will be essential for them to do “their inner work”. If they don’t do this, what is within them will continue to co-create, and sustain, the disharmony and dysfunction that is ‘out there’ and they, along with most of their fellow human beings, will see it as being out of their control.
As Carl Jung once said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” in this case, what humanity as a whole hasn’t made conscious will direct their fate and most, if not all, of them will see it as being fate, the wrath of mother nature, or an act of god, for instance.
Therefore, as a large part of humanity doesn’t understand the connection between the inner and the outer world, a large part of the population will continue to believe that someone or something out there is doing things to them. When in reality, the external world will be mirroring back what they need to resolve within themselves.
When it comes to the “inner work” that needs to be done to change what is taking place externally and to ensure the survival of the species, it will relate to working through the baggage that each person has picked up during their adult life, childhood years, whilst they were in their mother’s womb, what was passed down from their ancestors, and past life trauma.
The Warriors Journey
Going within and working through the layers and layers of pain that have built up is not easy; it is far easier for someone to try to change what is going on ‘out there’. The challenge with this is that although this can be done with the best of intentions, they will most likely be coming from a place of resistance, and what is resisted is what will often persist and even grow.
This is not to say that doing things in the external world is a waste of time, but if one doesn’t deal with their own baggage and is coming from a place of resistance, their actions are not going to be as effective as they would be otherwise. And if they have a strong need to make the world a better place, they will want to be as effective as they can be whilst they are on this earth.
With that said, even though “inner work” can sound a bit airy-fairy and appear to be nothing more than a distraction from what really needs to be done, it is incredibly important. Ultimately, it shows how much of an effect each individual on this planet has on the world.
Lastly, when someone does the “inner world”, they will have less of a need to avoid themselves. It will then be easier for them to do things that will actually serve the planet, as opposed to simply doing things that are really a way for them to keep their own pain at bay and to avoid themselves.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.