The idea of the daimonic, though sometimes equated with the fiendish and "demonic" is more often used to indicate inspiration and motivation by a spiritual force or genius. It can also mean (as a literary term) the unrest that exists in us all which forces us into the unknown, leading to self-destruction and/or self-discovery, or can also mean the journey and transition from innocence to experience itself.
- The daimonic (unlike the demonic, which is merely destructive) is as much concerned with creativity as with negative reactions.
A special characteristic of the daimonic model is that it considers both creativity on one side, and anger and rage on the other side, as coming from the same source. That is, constructiveness and destructiveness have the same source in human personality. The source is simply human potential ... The more conflict, the more rage, the more anxiety there is, the more the inner necessity to create. We must also bear in mind that gifted individuals, those with a genius (incidentally, genius was the Latin word for daimon, the basis of the daimonic concept) for certain things, feel this inner necessity even more intensely, and in some respects experience and give voice not only to their own demons but the collective daimonic as well.
So they are kind of like little oracles of Delphi, or canaries in a coal mine, sensing the dangers, the conflicts, the cultural shadow, and trying to give it some meaningful expression. Who wouldn't be a little neurotic having that kind of responsibility? But, as Freud recognized, we're all neurotic to some degree. And as Jung once said, we all have complexes. That is not the question. The only question is whether we have complexes or they have us.
- Stephen A. Diamond, interviewed by Douglas Eby, in "The Psychology of Creativity : redeeming our inner demons"
- The organizing center from which the regulatory effect stems seems to be a sort of 'nuclear atom' in our psychic system. One could also call it the inventor, organizer, and source of dream images. Jung called this center the 'Self' and described it as the totality of the whole psyche, in order to distinguish it from the 'ego', which constitutes only a small part of the total psyche. Throughout the ages men have been intuitively aware of the existence of such an inner center. The Greeks called it man's inner daimon.
- The Greek words daimon and daimonion express a determining power which comes upon man from outside, like providence or fate, though the ethical decision is left to man.
- Carl Gustav Jung in Aion (1968), p. 27
- The daimonic (unlike the demonic, which is merely destructive) is as much concerned with creativity as with negative reactions. A special characteristic of the daimonic model is that it considers both creativity on one side, and anger and rage on the other side, as coming from the same source. That is, constructiveness and destructiveness have the same source in human personality. The source is simply human potential.
- The daimonic needs to be directed and channeled. ... Our age is one of transition, in which the normal channels for utilizing the daimonic are denied; and such ages tend to be times when the daimonic is expressed in its most destructive form.
- Rollo May, in Love and Will (1969), p. 126-130
- One uses depression as one utilizes anxiety: by blindly following its lead into -- and hopefully out of -- the daimonic labyrinth. Depression -- like anxiety -- does, when correctly related to, redirect the individual back toward his or her suppressed daimonic passions, and thus, to life.
- Diamond, Stephen (1999). Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: the Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity, Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 159