Yes, I am back to day 4.
Last night I was re-reading different parts of a book I have long admired, “Care of the Soul,” by Thomas Moore.
Two relevant passages for me to think about:
Loneliness can be the result of an attitude that community is something into which one is received. Many people wait for members of a community to invite them in, and until that happens they are lonely. There may be something of the child here who expects to be taken care of by the family. But a community is not a family. It is a group of people held together by feelings of belonging, and those feelings are not a birthright. “Belonging” is an active verb, something we do positively. In one of his letters, Ficino makes the remark “The one guardian of life is love, but to be loved you must love.”
Most of us put a great deal of time into work, not only because we have to work so many hours to make a living, but because work is central to the soul’s opus. We are crafting ourselves — individuating, to use the Jungian term. Work is fundamental to the opus because the whole point of life is the fabrication of soul. . . . The trouble is, if what we do or make is not up to our standards and does not reflect attention and care when we stand back to look at it the soul suffers. . . . When it is not possible to feel good about our work, then soulful pride, so necessary for creativity, turns into narcissism. Pride and narcissism are not the same thing; in a sense, they are opposites. . . . Work becomes narcissistic when we cannot love ourselves through objects in the world. This is one of the deeper implications of the Narcissus myth: the flowering of life depends on finding a reflection of oneself in the world, and one’s work is an important place for that kind of reflection.