Be the Change
Change the world by changing you!
In the Eye of the Storm
An individual response to the Global Crisis
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.
Hence no culture is ever really complete, for it always swings towards one side or the other. Sometimes the cultural ideal is extraverted, and the chief value then lies with the object and man’s relation to it; sometimes it is introverted, and the chief value lies with subject and his relations to the idea. (Jung & Bollingen Foundation Collection (Library of Congress), 1971, p. 72)
This image of Lothal, an ancient city built about 4, 500 years ago, evokes my imagination to reconstruct a civilization. I think about life when what happened in the village was all that was known until travelers or vagabonds brought news from the outside. I romanticize those ancient times by thinking how much simpler life was back then. Of course, it does not take long until I remember no electricity, machinery, etc. so life was probably much harder.
Today, we have a lot of modern conveniences including a twenty-four-hour news cycle. We can know what is happening all over the world at any time of day. The community today is greatly extended from those ancient cities. The world, the planet, is our community now. Issues are more difficult, though not impossible to hide. I am grateful to be living in a time when most people carry a camera/phone to record the truth. It is more difficult to hide the effects of issues like the pandemic and racism. Images of a moment can dispel or prove the spoken word.
In the current civilization, it is easy to get information about the Objective world. With social media and global news conglomerates, we get an information overload about the outside world. However, this has obscured the information we need about the Subjective world. In the matters of our consciousness, the Objective psyche fed by facts and the Subjective psyche nurtured by feelings, thoughts, intuition and Contemplation are in a constant dance with each other. They are the Yin and the Yang of the same circle. When there is an overload of the Objective input, it may overwhelm the Subjective processing of the input and essentially, the Self-reflection hits a circuit breaker and shuts down. We stop processing information and become Zombies. We become numb and immune to the turmoil in the world. It becomes like a video game to people. We dissociate from the horrors and tragedies in the world. We sort of flip the channel from the darkness and the shadow to something more comprehensible and turn away from the confusing and ostensibly unmanageable.
The Objective Psyche comprehends the Self by projecting itself onto the outside world. The Subjective Psyche comprehends the Self by introjecting the world into the Inner life and assimilating it. Optimally, this is a Reciprocal process. It is alchemic; the two perspective intersect and create a Synthetic perspective- We then see the Soul in the world and the World as an extension of our Soul. The great value of this Alchemy is that when we change the Subjective Psyche – it changes the World. The change in the problems and challenges in the world then begin in our Soul and personal transformation. Each one of us has to take in a problem from the Objective consciousness and transform it in our own Subjective universe. It is then ready to the transplanted into the Objective outer world as a New synthesis, a novel perspective a unique solution to the old problem. Thus, when we change ourselves in relation to a major problem in the world, we change the World!
Some Points to Ponder:
- How do you discern what to read or look at to inform your world?
- What tells you to take a break from the news to restore yourself?
- How do you contribute to solutions in problematic situations?
- What impact has the combination of the pandemic and the protest had on you?
- What ideals inform your life?
- With the incessant news cycle and twin trauma dynamic of the Pandemic and the George Floyd murder- what catches your attention?
- How do you process this piece of information?
- What is your algorithm of making sense of this data?
- What new attitude have you crystallized in relation to this piece of information?
- What is your plan to implement this new insight into actionable intervention to better yourself and the world around you?
Photo taken Lothal, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Jung, C. G., & Bollingen Foundation Collection (Library of Congress). (1971). Psychological types. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D