Monday, July 05, 2010

Listen to your daimon to find your life's work

"Who is the storyteller creating your biography?" — James Hillman

David McInerney opens his blog post, "The Calling: Discovering Our Soul's Work", with the quotation above. He then describes his moves from a well-paid corporate position to becoming a psychotherapist. McInerney quotes Thomas Moore's A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born To Do (2008) about the role of the daimon before writing:
"In addition, some family members thought my decision was misguided, so I was happy to see that at least Moore understood me when he said: "When you consider the spiritual aspects of work, you have to use a logic that is different than the world’s reasoning" (p. 158). Taking this bold plunge by defying convention and watching it all come to fruition is a deeply satisfying part of this journey. Many people are bound by cultural expectations and are therefore perpetually frustrated and unfulfilled.

Connecting to one’s daimon is perhaps the key component in extricating oneself from a soul-numbing job in order to embark on a meaningful path. Unfortunately, the tyranny of technology, religion, and materialism can conspire to cut us off from our innermost selves. Whether it is alienated teens in suburbia or alcoholic bread-winners high on the corporate ladder, many individuals often try to squeeze their souls into a cultural reality that does not allow them to be who they are. To connect to the daimon requires the courage to shine a light on one’s inner world, with all its unpleasant humanness. It takes practice and rigor to listen closely to one’s inner life so that the connection to one’s calling (or callings) can be recognized and teased out. If one lives in a culture which does not support or understand this kind of work, one may never make time for it."
McInerney has a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA.