“In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it. And yet both have to deal with the same dragon. Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if he once saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing. Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the ‘treasure hard to attain.’ He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself.
“This experience gives some faith and trust, the pistis in the ability of the self to sustain him, for everything that menaced him from inside he has made his own. He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means. He has arrived at an inner certainty which makes him capable of self-reliance.

Carl Jung, Mysterium coniunctionis, CW 14

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  1. Perhaps the real hero is he who makes peace with the dragon; he who recognises that the dragon is no myth, but something that exists within himself and cannot be destroyed, so must, instead, be embraced and understood. To raise a sword to the dragon is to surrender to fear, regardless of the battle’s result.

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