Posts Tagged ‘leaving home’


“Life calls us forth to independence, and anyone who does not heed this call because of childish laziness or timidity is threatened with neurosis. And once this has broken out, it becomes an increasingly valid reason for running away from life…”

C.G. Jung (CW 5, par. 461)

In 1776, we as a nation decided to leave home. We realized that staying under the influence of our parent nation was not healthy. We chose independence in order to develop our own character. A natural part of life is to leave home. If we remain too long or too close to our families, then we never find our own life. We may be attracted to the seeming security that home may offer, but there will be a price to pay for remaining in the orbit of our parents. Jung notes that, “It is not possible to live too long amid infantile surroundings, or in the bosom of the family, without endangering one’s psychic health.” If a person stays stuck in the family orbit, then, “He is incapable of living his own life and finding the character that belongs to him.”

Note that this effect arises whether the parents are ‘good enough’ or just the opposite. Either way we can be bound in their orbit leading to a state where the person is “always demanding love and immediate emotional rewards, [or] is so identified with his parents through his close ties with them that he behaves like his father or his mother.” In order to avoid these states of either perpetual neediness or parental identification, we need to proclaim our independence.

In the act of declaration we open ourselves to defining our own character. We become who we are meant to be. Such transformation is never easy or perfect, but always better than the alternative of forever remaining under the influence of the paternal powers.

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