The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different…Whoever carries over into the afternoon the law of the morning must pay for it with damage to the soul.
Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst
“When I saw this simple statement it framed a stage of life for me. It framed my new book. In midlife we’re living a heroic tale, we’re building empires, families, careers, businesses. That is the law of the morning. We’re busy doing, providing, accomplishing. And it may be really enjoyable. But in the law of the afternoon [that activity is] going to change. If we continue those heroic efforts later in life, into the afternoon or evening, what happens to the soul? Can we hear the call of the soul in all that busyness? Can we connect with it? If we don’t have time for self-reflection, if we don’t allow ourselves to slow down, pick up a spiritual practice, do our life completion work, do our emotional repair, what happens to the soul? We see many, many people now who are capable of continuing that heroic journey into their 70s and even 80s. There’s something beautiful about it but there’s also something lost. Because without the tools for self-reflection, we don’t really become an elder. We don’t really make the shift from role to soul. That is what this quote means to me.”
Connie Zweig, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and author of
The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role To Soul