Monday, April 10, 2006

What is life about?

Retirement opens up this question all over again, just like adolescence in some ways. For thirty-plus years of college teaching I knew my purpose was to serve students and the institution and to grow in my technical area. Now I don’t want the growth to stop, but it’s in different directions.

Joseph Campbell said these years are about enjoyment of the world. William Bridges, in Transitions, said they are about sharing our wisdom.

But I am most drawn to Jung’s expansive view of development, which he saw as continuing for the whole of a lifetime. He called it individuation—the long, slow maturation of the soul, flowering in creativity and integration of all the parts of a human, including the light and the dark, childhood and archetypes.

I guess, after about a year of retirement, that I feel this segment of life is about all three for me: enjoyment, sharing wisdom, and further integration.

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