Fate vs Destiny Part Two

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Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.      ~ Carl Jung 

Probably the most well-known axiom spoken by the architect of archetypes, Carl Jung’s quote is basically a one-step recipe for transforming your fate (who you became as a result of circumstances and conditioning) into your destiny (what your soul came here to do).

We are each born into specific, pre-existing archetypal landscapes at the moment our soul intersects with this earth plane. The topography we encounter is comprised of a group of fixed facts and circumstances over which we had no domain. For example, patriarchy, misogyny, racism, homophobia are still strong circumstances that have prevailed over many generations. We can now add to the list global warming, the threat of human demise, as well as the tortoise-slow dismantling of patriarchy, misogyny, racism, homophobia. All the huffing and puffing by the status quo is really the “desperate attempts of the last gaspers”.

Next, we look at the fixed circumstances of our birth: where we were born geographically; to whom; what those people were experiencing in their lives at the time of our birth; educational, economic, socio-cultural factors; gender, race, religion/no religion.

Finally, we layer on who we became archetypally in order to survive or navigate challenging childhood circumstances. For example, a broken home, poverty, addiction, domestic violence, neglect, abuse all work to recruit a vastly different archetypal team than someone born into a loving, supportive, nurturing, self-aware family system.

Now that you’ve defined the circumstances that made you who you are, go here and look around this list of 40 archetypes, compiled by Carolyn Myss (link is in Part One). Find at least 12 that describe you – the good, the bad, the ugly. You have to tell the truth because this is going to be your map to destiny.

For example, my main archetypes are the artist, the writer, the healer, the teacher, the gypsy, the adventurer, the child, the empath, the mystic. I would say that I came to earth to fully express these archetypes. However, coming from a broken home and plenty of childhood challenges, I’ve worked for decades to transform the shadowy ones – you know, the ones we don’t want to look at:  the saboteur, the addict, the shadow rescuer, the damsel, the pugilist, the pretender. (Neither of lists is complete, FYI).

But it’s the transforming the second list of the shadow archetypes and stepping fully into the others that set us on our path to destiny

Once you’ve prepared your list of archetypes, you can now shine a light on the present circumstances of your life.

Where do you keep repeating the same self-defeating patterns, even though you desperately want to stop? Where are you stuck when you want to be free? Where are you not fully self-expressed? Still dealing with the same problems and you can’t get ahead? Having a hard time saying NO? Having a hard time saying YES? You get the idea.

You’re going to use that list to define your archetypal landscape and do some serious forensic exploration on who you became and why.

Let’s look at an easy example. A person born during, and who lived through, the Great Depression (1929-1939) intersected with a vastly different terrain than that of a baby boomer born in the 1950s.

The Depression-born soul was either born into or endured a full decade of loss, poverty, fear, uncertainty, homelessness – all underpinned with the question: Will I even survive this?  And what do I have to do to survive?

All sorts of archetypes may have emerged during that difficult decade: The Hoarder, the Penny Pincher, the Survivor, the Thief, the Hobo, the Inventor, the Visionary, the Orphan. On and on it goes.

The life one creates when driven by fear is vastly different from the life one can create with ease, trust, and abundance. What’s possible when a human being is not bound by the archetypes of fear and survival?

We’ve all heard the terms, “generational poverty”, “generational wealth”. Many things are passed through generations: addiction, anger, talent, ingenuity, etc etc etc.

There are plenty of examples of people born into every privilege, yet they end up experiencing tragic and grueling life experiences not on par with that privilege. On the other hand, lots of people are able to sidestep the adverse circumstances into which they are born and go on to live their destiny with relative ease.

I’ve met several people over the years – wealthy refugees – who fled their countries, leaving everything behind to start new lives in the United States. Because they were imbued with the archetype of wealth, they quickly returned to that state within just a few years’ time.

I’ve also heard of the poverty-stricken or homeless soul to whom Providence imparted a winning lottery ticket – only to find themselves back on the streets in just a few years’ time.

Now that you’ve done a full-scale investigation, you’ll be able to see how your unexamined unconscious – if it remains unexamined – could lead you to your fate and possibly a deathbed of regret. Remember: the best way to predict your future is to look to your past.

The good news is that you have tremendous power to transform fate into destiny. But do you have the will to do the work? That’s the skeleton key: the will to do the work.

Shadow Work is not for the lazy, the feint of heart, or the willfully ignorant. And transformation doesn’t happen overnight, either. You might spend the rest of your life on the road less traveled, but I believe it’s the good work – the real work – of our lives’ journey.

Unless one is born into their destiny, and some are (consider Jesus the Christ, Martin Luther King, Joan of Arc, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa) I believe that our destiny – the fulfillment of our purpose on earth – is always at hand. But, for some reason, just like peace – it seems that it has to be excavated and earned.

As they say, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”

But once you start doing it, you won’t want to be doing it any other way.

That’s been my experience, anyway.

Happy Travels.

P.S.: I have barely, barely touched the surface on the subject of archetypes here. Head on over to Myss.com if you’d like a trove of resources on the topic.


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