The late James Hillman -- one of the foremost scholars in Jungian theory and thinking -- discusses the true nature of longing in this transcribed excerpt from his weekend seminar based on his book, A Blue Fire.
Realizing you are a creature of longing, the romantic said, “Tell me what you long for and I will tell you who you are.” Tremendous sentence. We say, “What do you do?” And you fill out your Social Security form, you know? Or your tax thing. Tell me what you long for and I will tell you who you are. They made a great deal of sehnsucht. That kind of nostalgia. I don’t know what other word to use for it. Longing. And it’s more than the desire that the French are using that is jouissance desire. I think it’s something much more than that.