Thoughts of the day
Mary Oliver famously asked, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The question is, probably, unanswerable.
Perhaps a form of an answer to Oliver’s question comes from one of Carl Jung’s letters, which you can read in today’s Brain Food, to a person he cryptically calls ‘Frau V.’ He simply states, “One lives as one can.”
Life does not come with a manual, and that is a well-known fact, but it can be lived with a mindset.
To Frau V.
Dear Frau V., 15 December 1933
Your questions are unanswerable because you want to know how one ought to live.
One lives as one can.
There is no single, definite way for the individual which is prescribed for him or would be the proper one.
If that’s what you want you had best join the Catholic Church, where they tell you what’s what.
Moreover this way fits in with the average way of mankind in general.
But if you want to go your individual way, it is the way you make for yourself, which is never prescribed, which you do not know in advance, and which simply comes into being of itself when you put one foot in front of the other.
If you always do the next thing that needs to be done, you will go most safely and sure-footedly along the path prescribed by your unconscious.
Then it is naturally no help at all to speculate about how you ought to live.
And then you know, too, that you cannot know it, but quietly do the next and most necessary thing.
So long as you think you don’t yet know what this is, you still have too much money to spend in useless speculation.
But if you do with conviction the next and most necessary thing, you are always doing something meaningful and intended by fate.
With kind regards and wishes,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 132-133