Eudemonism, or "eudaimonia" in Greek, means having good fortune, wealth or happiness.This is an internal flowering that, according to Carl Jung, we should all promote first in contact with our owndaimon.It is an internal genius, an archetype that guides our passions and unconscious motivations, the one that defines our essences and that we should listen to more often.
The need to be happy abounds to excess everywhere (bookstores, social networks, printed messages on our clothes). Any television advertisement suggests that by drinking a soft drink or having such a mobile phone, we will experience new and wonderful sensations. The visithe current of happiness takes an almost imperative tone.
"The character of man is his daimon."-Héraclite-
We live a post-modernity where this obligation to be happy very often leads to misfortune itself.Remember, for example, what the mathematician and philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb says in his bookThe black swan : Individuals still believe that everyone is filled with white swans, that it is enough to make efforts to get what we want, that the promises that were made to us when we were children will come true someday.
However, according to Taleb, our world is extremely complex. So much so that when we see a black swan, we do not know how to react. We become vulnerable because we do not know how to handle unforeseen events and uncertainty. Therefore, we can not never find happinessif we look outside. We need to strengthen our character, our daimon, as Carl Jung would say.
Eudemonism and the importance of knowing oneself
James Hillman is one of Carl Jung's heirs.This Jungian analyst was one of the disciples who deepened the concept of archetypes, including the ideal ofdaimon. In his bookThe Souls Code, it reminds us of the importance of coming into contact with this inner genius or "demon" in order to build a full life, a true happiness. To better understand this interesting theory, let us carefully analyze what Professor Hillman reveals in his book.
What is a daimon?
- Daimon means demon in Greek. However, far from assuming a negative or malignantactually symbolizes the highest entity of the human being. In the ethics of Aristotle,daimon was virtue and wisdom in its most practical aspect.
- Carl Jung, meanwhile, explains that thedaimon lives in our unconscious. He guides a lot of our actions, he pushes us, he whispers ideas, he inspires us and gives a voice to our intuition. It is common, however, to move away from this inner voicein today's society and the pace of life we are leading today.
- An education oriented to train identical people and a labor market that does not value originality completely annihilates the opportunity to bring out this inner leprechaun.This entity is full of vitality. He has tremendous potential and calls for the release of his creative impulse. We dare not always give him his space.
Daimon and eudemonism: a question of courage
Dr. James Hillman suggests that few things are as decisive as learning to listen to that spirit, that magical and colorful entity that drives all of our motivations. Therefore,nothing can inspire us more than this phrase inscribed in the pronaos of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi: "know thyself ".
- The one who stops looking outside, looking at what others want, and finally commits himself to the journey of self-knowledge, will be able to reach hisdaimon.
- Embracing eudemonism is not always easy. Indeed, thedaimon sometimes wants things that our environment does not understand. A lawyer might not want to practice law but become an artist. It is possible that the famous and wealthy artist does not want to create anymore, that hisdaimon asks him to do humanitarian work. It may be that ourdaimon calls for greater independence, clean spaces and freedoms that we dare not ask.
Eudemonism undoubtedly requires large doses of courage. Even more, if we dare to listen to this inner voice, thisdaimon agitated and hungry to do things, he will subject us to various punishments.As Carl Jung reminds us, if we are not able to listen to the needs of thedaimonour soul will fall ill.Because going against our desires and motivations causes misfortune.
How to cultivate eudemonism?
We already know that nothing can be as decisive as fostering self-awareness. Making contact with our desires, our essences, our identities and our personal values is undoubtedly a way to embrace ourdaimon and recognize it. However, it is not enough to make contact with him, saying "I know you are here".We must give him freedom, creative freedom, freedom of expression.
Cultivating authentic eudemonism requires making changes. This implies leaving aside the schemas imposed by the outside and being able to create our own reality. We must also be fully aware of the complexity of our environment, where unforeseen circumstances, uncertainty and difficulties will be constant.Thedaimon wants things. But to reach eudemonism, we must also face scenarios where it is not easy to express oneself, to realize oneself.
Here we must remember what Emmanuel Kant once explained: to be happy, we must learn to be intelligent. In other words,we must be able to choose the appropriate means to achieve the greatest personal well-being. It is clear that such an undertaking, such an objective, is far from easy.
We always use Jungian therapy for this.This therapeutic approach is precisely oriented towards this end, to put eudemonism within our reach by helping us to discern our singularity and our potential to achieve the happiness we want, the one that suits us.