The Terrible Disease To Please, And How To Get Out
You will not be able to develop yourself, in a healthy way, as long as you are solely preoccupied with what or how you think other people think about you.
And trust me, you do worry, a lot.
The way in which you do this is by living a normal life, simply.
A normal person wants normal things. Like a good job, money, you know, success, in our classical modern sense. It could be called enlightened hedonism. But the thing is, that all of these things that you’re supposed to want and desire, fall into “the externals” section of life.
It’s totally fine to want them, it is natural. But it can also be harmful to just focus on them, for yourself, and for society at large.
“To be satiated with the “necessities” [of external success] is no doubt an inestimable source of happiness, yet the inner man continues to raise his claim, and this can be satisfied by no outward possessions. And the less this voice is heard in the chase after the brilliant things of this world, the more the inner man becomes a source of inexplicable misfortune and uncomprehended unhappiness in the midst of living conditions whose outcome was expected to be entirely different. The externalization of life turns to incurable suffering because no one can understand why he should suffer from himself. . . That is the sickness of Western man. . .” — Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion
Because no one can understand why he should suffer from himself.
It’s hard to comprehend how you can have everything you’d wish for, and still be unhappy. This unhappiness is a cry for inner self-development, and it needs to be addressed if what you’re looking for is to have a complete and integrated self.
Why is it that you should take heed in this inner search? Away from the crowds?
The first reason, and of paramount importance, is because you cannot be free while at the same time living obsessively concerned with the group’s perception of you (even though, nobody usually cares).
When I talk about inner development, I talk about ways of being. Things like courage, wisdom, or reflection. Inner development in the sense of “judging and…