An MRI Scan of the Mystery

In the Eye of the Storm

An individual response to the Global Crisis

ISSN 1939-3407


April 9, 2020

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.

The unknown falls into two groups of objects: those which are outside and can be experienced by the senses, and those which are inside and are experienced immediately. (Jung & Hull, 1959/1968, p. 2)

The day I took this photograph, I didn’t know the name of the subject. I lost my ability to understand and label what I saw. All my senses were active to witness this unusual moment but resulted in no categories or explanation of what I saw. I decided to stop the detective search of the exterior and pay attention to the inside life it created.

I was captured by the influence of light on the various surfaces. The colors, textures, spaces and shadows created amazing geometrics. The threshold invited my curiosity to witness and explore more fully what I was feeling. I was not able to clearly label my experience other than to leave it as unknown.

I am more comfortable when I can label something definitively. There is a beginning, middle, and an end to it. I feel in control when language is available to describe something inside or outside. So, for now, “unknown” is both inside and outside.

The COVAD – 19 pandemic is a mystery to most of us. Our consciousness cannot wrap around it. Most of us do not have a past experience to relate to it. We cannot experience it with our senses or intuition. Our logic is muddled and feelings in overdrive. To master the mystery, the invisible must be made visible. The concealed must be revealed. The psychic image of the virus’ impact on us in invisible. Each one of us has an unconscious image of this experience. Once an image is unconscious, it is contaminated by the demonic amplification by the dark side of the Psyche, until such time as we subject it to a dialogue with our consciousness. Then each one of us may come up with our unique response to this unconscious threat.

Whatever we consciously know about this virus from our sources of information, we are already deploying this information towards preventive measures. However, the deeper anxiety for most of us is a lack of an unconscious prototype for such an experience. An Analytical approach to remedy this problem is take an MRI Scan of this unconscious demon. This the MENTAL RECONNISCENCE IMAGE of this virus’ inner perception in our Psyche. Fortunately, we have a technique that might work.

I invite all readers to complete this exercise. Fill in the following Circle with your inner experience of the Virus emergency. This is your COVAD Mandala. Fill it with shapes, images, squiggles, lines, designs, scribbles that best capture your inner experience. Then let the image work on your consciousness. The feelings and fears stuck deep in the Psyche will now be accessible to your consciousness. Journal your reflections about your COVAD Mandala.

Some Points to Ponder

In this time of Covid-19, there is much unknown. How do you respond to unknown?

What certainties are resources of strength?

What helped you face the unknown in the past?

How do you connect with others to help you through this time?

Construct your COVAD Mandala by filling in the circle on this page as discussed in the Blog.

Once you have constructed your Mandala, Reflect upon it and journal your feelings.

Photo taken at Hansen Dam Recreation Area, Los Angeles, CA

Jung, C. G., & Hull, R. F. C. (1959/1968). Aion: researches into the phenomenology of the self (2nd ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

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