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Fate

Updated: Sep 5, 2021


“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - that profound and somewhat disturbing quote from Carl Jung

In the same vein "When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate" - this is even more unsettling. How does the universe know what we are up to?

This is article is an attempt to explain this quote according to Jing's own psychology.


Destiny is what we are meant to become and grow into. A seed grows in a plant, a plant grows into a tree, grows flowers and gives fruit. It is like there was an idea of a tree that it was meant to become and it was already born with that blueprint. In its lifetime, it tries to enact as much of this "plan" as possible by being the best tree it can be under the circumstances. This is a process that happens pretty much automatically, as long as we don't mess with it. We are born with a plan too and Jung called this movement towards what we were meant to be, individuation. This is an inner journey.


Fate on the other hand, is made by us. Fate is not the hand we have been dealt. Fate is based on our response to these circimstances, on the story we tell about the world and our place in it . And in turn, that will determine the choices we make and what we become in the outside world. This is an outer journey.


No-one can live in this world without a narrative, a myth as it were. Othello was a Moor in Italy, an outsider who he believed would never be fully accepted. Even outstanding success could not make him change this narrative, so mere hints were enough to make him believe that the woman that left everything to be by his side has betrayed him. After all, why would she accept and love this outsider when no one else could? This drives him to rage and madness. This becomes his fate.

The same thing would have happened to Jean Val Jean too, if a bishop had not ransomed his soul with silver candlesticks.


Maybe you have never felt a sense of completeness since the day you left home. The yearning and the sense of alienation is inside you, but everywhere you look, the world is a cold, hard, unfeeling place that will never really want you for what you truly are.This is the story you choose to tell and act on. It becomes your fate.


Maybe you miss the structure and stability of home from the day you left. The yearning and sense of not being able to contain all that is raging within is inside you, but everywhere you look, all you see is gigantic impersonal structures that will never give validity to what you truly are. This is the story you choose to tell and act on. It. becomes your fate.


Making the unconscious conscious is a process of withdrawing our projections. Anything that you have not made conscious will be projected outwards because archetypes seek containers and they can find none suitable inside. You have farmed out little pieces of you everywhere, and it is like you are made up of all these people, places and things. Any disturbance in any of these external things, none of which are in your control, can cause turbulence and instability. And you will call yourself a victim of your circumstances - not the circumstances you were born with, but the ones you chose to invest in emotionally. You will say that these circumstances are controlling your fate, without realizing that you handed them that power unconsciously.

If Othello had confronted this idea within him, made it conscious and realized how much of his being he had locked away within it, a terrible thing would not have happened. In the same way, whatever are your blind spots, be it love or money or math or trust, that is from where your fate will come at you. The choices and the actions will be your own, but you will call it fate.



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