Awareness of death can help us create an intentional life—one that serves the movement of soul toward wholeness. Jung realized that although we experience death as “a fearful piece of brutality,” the unconscious images death as celebration. On a night train, after his mother died, Jung reported that “during the entire journey I continually heard dance music, laughter, and jollity, as though a wedding were being celebrated.” Our limited capacities and the conditions of earthly life preclude certainty about life after death, but Jung’s recognition of universal mythic patterns led to his theory of archetypes and a psychic reality beyond our grasp. We glimpse it in dreams, visions, precognitions, and synchronicities, and it can inspire connection with the infinite, which Jung considered life’s decisive question. For Jung, death was “an archetype rich in secret life, which seeks to add itself to our own individual life in order to make it whole.”
C.G. Jung. Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
C.G. Jung. Collected Works, Vol. 8: The Soul & Death.
Von Franz, Marie Louise. On Dreams and Death.
Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers. The Power of Myth.
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