The Fiery Furnace of Ambition

Nov 4, 2021

a woman stands on a rock at sunrise, stretching out her arms to show her ambition.

Ambition is a fire whose flames rise in the first half of life when hopes and dreams are fueled by possibilities in the external world. It takes creative audacity to seize a dream, develop a talent, or commit to a calling. Ambition can also be fueled by narcissism, power-seeking, or striving to overcome inadequacy.

Too much fire can consume and corrupt us; insufficient heat forsakes potential for flickering fantasies. Jungian scholar and author James Hillman writes that each of us has an innate blueprint for becoming in The Soul’s Code. Ambition can best be the discovery of our authentic purpose in the world, a combination of character and call that provides the heat needed to find and pursue our destiny. Integrity is the true source of energy for pursuing a goal, persevering in its attainment, and allowing desire for distinction in the external world to serve development in the inner world.  

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I am in a contest to kill a baby by throwing a ball at it. I have to stand on a lawn chair while I throw the ball. I am moving the chair here and there, trying to get the right angle. The baby is very far away, hard to see. Many people are watching me, some rooting for me, some against me. Then someone brings the baby much closer because of some new rule. But now I can see its features. “It’s harder to kill a baby when you can see its features!” I cry. I consider quitting the contest. But finally, I do throw the ball – and miss. Everyone is disappointed. I was neither noble (by quitting) nor powerful (by winning).” 


James Hillman. The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character & Calling. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0399180141/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_5YHDGK5T26N1FH5T4RD1


Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:  https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/


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