Psychologist James Hillman, who wrote the 1997 best-selling book The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling, speaks about "reading life backward." The intense study of a lifetime of choices and events, convictions, passions--the polar emotions of love and hate and everything in between that has given texture and shading to our lives. He calls these "symptoms" and urges people to use the study of these to discover the calling of your life. The one thing you're meant to be.
While others emphasize growth and nurture philosophy in determining the outcome of our lives and what we ultimately choose to give the world, Hillman adopts an "acorn theory of the soul." Like an acorn holds the pattern for an oak, he believes each individual owns, within himself, each soul's unique potential from the beginning.
He urges everyone to look back on their lives for clues to their calling. Trials, illness, accidents, obsessions and aversions all hold clues, when looked at through a larger scope of time passed, take on a more impactful stamp on our souls. It is a philosophy similar to an out-of-body experience, where the result is an increased sensitivity to the signs of our lives. A life lived with intention and awareness.
Do you believe our calling is a "seed" within our soul at birth we spend a lifetime trying to discover, or that the path of our lives determines our contributions to the world?