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From System Dynamics to Soul Dynamics: My Journey to Becoming a Jungian Analyst

A group of workshop participants that are happy and waving to the camera
Photo with Participants in an international conference in Tehran after my workshop on Systems Thinking

After completing my PhD in Systems Science at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne), I began working remotely as a System Dynamics simulation expert for an international company. We were developing mathematical simulation models of complex and adaptive systems. The job paid well, with a high salary and substantial year-end bonuses. We had Christmas parties in luxurious Swiss hotels, and I had the privilege of working alongside some of the leading experts in the field. However, I was deeply unhappy with my work.


Six months into the job, I discovered meditation, sparking my spiritual awakening. The more I meditated, the more meaningless my job felt. I believed that mathematical models couldn't fully capture a system's future behavior due to important intangibles in every system that cannot be assigned a quantity or rendered algorithmically. My colleagues disagreed, and I found my work soulless.


Each day, I grew more demotivated. I tried to ignore this by focusing on my high salary, my status as a non-EU citizen working in Switzerland, and the difficulties associated with finding a new job, as well as by purchasing unnecessary items. Yet, my dissatisfaction grew louder, manifesting in digestive issues and back pain—I was burning out. Unable to continue, I took a leave of absence and returned to Iran for a vacation.


Trips to Iran are always emotionally intense, unpredictable, and profound. They reconnect me with my family, friends, and culture, and allow me to share knowledge and learn from my homeland's enthusiastic and passionate people. This trip was no exception. I delivered workshops and seminars attended by hundreds. The picture in this post is from one such workshop at an international conference in Tehran.


Upon returning to Switzerland, I often looked at photos from my seminars. I saw my happy, energetic self and the inspired participants. Remembering how quickly time passed during those sessions, I decided to meet with the CEO.


“I can’t do this anymore,” I said.


“Why?” asked the CEO.


“When I was in Iran, I didn’t miss my job or my colleagues,” I responded.


That day, I quit my job and expanded my teaching activities, which I had been doing one day a week even while working at the company. There were days when I taught three different courses at three different universities in person in Switzerland. Despite the demanding schedule, the work made sense to me and inspired my students. I realized why I the work at the company did not fit me when I began training as a Jungian analyst, aligning myself with my soul's calling and what life expected from me.

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls."– Joseph Campbell


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