Sunday, April 16, 2006

Making plans

To make plans and project designs brings with it many good sensations; and whoever had the strenght to be nothing but a forger of plans his whole life long would be a very happy man: but he would occasionally have to take a rest from this activity by carrying out a plan - and then comes the vexation and the sobering up.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Assorted Opinions and Maxims.


Anonymous Arrowyn Craban said...

According to the alchemists, mortificatio, which means "making death" is an important part of the opus. Jung explains that mortifications in life are necessary before eternal factors can be manifested. In moments of mortification, you may discover that human intention and ambition are not always the best guides in life and work.

If we do not grasp this alchemy of failure, then we stand a good chance of never succeeding. Comprehending the mystery in failure and acknowledging its necessity—the way it works alchemically on the soul—allows us to see through our inabilities and not overly indentify with them. Being literally undone by failure is akin to "negative narcissism." It's a negative way of denying the divine or mysterious a role in human effort. The narcissist says, "I'm a failure. I can't do anything right." But indulgence in failure, wallowing in it rather than letting it affect the heart, is a subtle defense against the corrosive action that is essential to it and that fosters soul. By appreciating failure with imagination, we reconnect it to success. Without the connection, work falls into grand narcissistic fantasies of success and dismal feelings of failure. But as a mystery, failure is not mine, it is an element in the work I am doing.

~Thomas Moore - Care of the Soul

7:23 pm  

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