Questions about fate and destiny have existed for millennia. Fate often refers to unalterable realities, from genes to future events, whereas destiny points to future potential.
An acorn’s likely fate is to die on the forest floor, but its destiny is to become an oak tree. Jung understood that “…when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as Fate.” Differentiating from family and collective values, and from the inner world of the unconscious, is what can enable us to change what appears to be external and autonomous: “fate.”
The process of making inner situations conscious, the task of individuation, is the central aim of Jung’s psychology. This is also imaged as the hero’s journey of finding and fulfilling one’s destiny — discovering one’s true purpose.
Jung said, “At bottom, therefore, there is only striving, namely, the striving after your own being.”
“I am at a lake with a female companion. It is somewhere in the midwest, maybe Missouri. We go to the public shelter that is at the lake, and notice that the bathroom doors have been bent and hang on their hinges. It is as if something has been ramming them from the inside. My companion gasps as she discovers there is a body behind one of the doors. There is a storm building outside, and it starts to get dark. I find myself next walking in Riverdale, NY and it is nighttime. The streets are pretty hilly and there are tall projects around me. The wind is picking up, and rain, like there may be a hurricane. I spot a werewolf crawling headfirst down one of the projects. It leaps in front of me and snarls. I realize suddenly that I know magick, and begin to shoot lightning from my fingertips at the werewolf.”
Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Amazon)
Hillman, James. The Soul’s Code (Amazon)
Bollas, Christopher. The Unthought Known (Amazon)
Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Amazon)