September 11, 2020

The curve of life is like the parabola of a projectile which, disturbed from its initial state of rest, rises, and then returns to a state of repose. (Jung, 1969, pp. 406, para 798)

The Twin Tower Memorial in New York City honors those lives lost in the 9/11 tragedy. This week has been filled with news that compounds the grief of that day and its aftermath; tapes of the president admitting he knew more about the virus but did not want to cause panic, deaths from the pandemic continue as well as the social injustice protests, financial hardships without a rescue package for the unemployed, wild fires in the western states burning millions of acres that is a result of climate change according to some sources, voting issues, etc. So many issues have lasting implications and problematic resolutions.

When I visited the site it was pouring rain, it seemed to appropriate. The sadness of the encounter brought reminders of how precious life is. Each of those names remains engraved in the place they lost their life. Their lives stopped on what started as an ordinary day. The incident reminds me of how valuable life is and each moment is precious in a way that asks me to live it to its fullest.

Now more than ever, I need to ensure healthy boundaries about how much I listen to the news, keep the quality of my conversations to maintain hope, get enough physical exercise to maintain strength, endurance, and flexibility. I ensure my spiritual life is interactive and guiding any healing to a full and enjoyable life. The external is just that, external. It is my responsibility to protect my internal life from danger as best as I can. I know I cannot take the external with me when I die, but my internal life goes with me.

In our world today, we are operating from the fear of scarcity as a toxic side effect of materialism that eclipses the dynamic of abundance that comes with spiritual communion with the grace of the infinite universe. It reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi’s quote –

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by the Isha Upanishad –(Eknath & Nagler, 1988), page 56

All this is full. All that is full.

From fullness, fullness comes.

When fullness is taken from fullness,

Fullness remains.

The cause of fear, insecurity and inequity in our society is related to our excessive reliance on materialism, thus disconnecting us from the faith in the wisdom and abundance of the Universe. This creates a reptilian; dog eat dog matrix where our higher angels are exiled to the hinterlands of our psyche and the raw self-interest overshadows the interconnectivity of our community. This means that we continue to rearrange the chairs on the deck of our Titanic than to navigate away from the iceberg of self-destruction. Our small human community of 7 billion tribe members is less than 30 trillion cells in every human body. We are a chain, with our destinies interlinked in the fragile necklace. Our human chain is only as strong as our weakest link. Altruism is not a virtue; it is a necessity if we hope to survive.

As we remember our brothers and sisters who sacrificed their lives on September 11 and the first responders and the nation that rallied in wake of this trauma, are we transforming into a grateful nation worthy of those sacrifices? Each one of us must answer that question from the depths of our soul so that we create a world where such terrorism and regression is redundant.

Points to Ponder:

  1. What informs you that you have had enough?
  2. How do you maintain balance between internal and external life?
  3. What can you do today to feel more emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically nourished?
  4. Do you operate out of fear of scarcity or gratitude for abundance in your life?
  5. Make a gratitude list for all the gifts bestowed upon you by the universe.
  6. Do you live out from a survival program or security and sharing program?

Photo taken in NYC.

Eknath, E., & Nagler, M. N. (1988). The Upanishads. London: Arkana.

Jung, C. G. (1969). The structure and dynamics of the psyche (2d ed. Vol. 8). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Ashok Bedi, M.D., Jungian Psychoanalyst

Robert BJ Jakala PH.D., Jungian Psychotherapist

In a storm, the safest place is in the eye of the storm. My colleague BJ and I will share our daily reflections on this centering process from an Analytical perspective, sharing from the repertoire of our personal and professional experience. BJ is a psychologist and a photographer and will pick an image of the day that catches him in this collective crisis. I will amplify it from a Jungian Analytical perspective. We hope that this may offer you a baby step on the path to your own unique response to this chaos.

© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH. D