November 7, 2020

The integration of unconscious contents into consciousness, which is the main endeavor of analytical psychology, is just such an alteration of principle, is of the utmost significance as regards our knowledge of the world and the picture we make of it. (Jung, 1969, p. 217 para 423)

The seal looks as though the eyes are open, but upon closer examination, they are not.

I identify with the position of the seal. I barely have my head above water. I want to close my eyes to get through these moments of the election. I want to avoid waiting and want someone to wake me when it is decided. This week has the potential of political change, depending on the results, but that decision is taking days. I relax, as best as I can in the moment, keep my head afloat, and hope for the best.

I identify with the position of the seal that lives in two worlds, as Jung describes in the quote, conscious and unconscious. There is the immediate subjective moment and a much larger collective one. There is a part of me I let the world see and another part under the surface. The unseen animates and mobilizes me as I navigate the upper world.

There are times I close my eyes to use my imagination or dream. There are times I close my eyes to shut the world out. At some point, I will open my eyes, evaluate the moment as best as I can, then use that information to decide if any action is needed.

The seal is at the threshold of underwater and surface. It is in the liminal space between the unconscious and awareness. The unconscious is a source of treasures and dangers. When we come to the surface of awareness, we bring the fears and possibilities from the unconscious into consciousness. What is in the unconscious must now be subjected to the test of reality and synthesis with the unconscious view of ourselves, others, the world, and the future. We have two choices at this point; we emerge with the information from the unconscious and then with the eyes wide open, we can integrate it the new situation of the consciousness and new realities, or we can hold on to the unconscious perceptions and keeps eyes wide shut to new and novel realities.

Unfortunately, the realm of the unconscious that is archetypal, timeless, predictable is very seductive and many are reluctant to let go of this romantic world and subject it to reality check. This means that our unconscious biases must be subjected to new reality. It involves challenging our perceptions of racial superiority of certain races, of misogynistic world view, of denial of climate change and subject these unconscious distortions to new realities of science and of racial, cultural, gender and individual uniqueness of each child of this universe, of promise of alternative energy, artificial intelligence, robotics, space travel, cross cultural exchange and a world where a mere 7 billion humans may work through archaic fault lines of their psyche and claim an equal place at the round table of fellowship of global brotherhood and sisterhood. Our fragile chain of humanity is only as strong as its most vulnerable link.

As the US elections are called out in favor of President Elect Joe Biden and vice President Elect Kamala Harris, let us emerge from the slumber of our unconscious prejudices, listen to each other and establish a Sangha – a community of citizens who can honor their differences, make sacrifices and establish a more humane union. Then we can reclaim our rightful role as beacon of hope, justice, and freedom for the rest of humanity. This is our moment to lead politically, strategically, and spiritually. As the East struggles with the issues of survival, the torch has been passed to the West for moral leadership. Carpe Diem let us seize this moment.

Points to Ponder:

  1. What effect has the election process had on you this week/today?
  2. How does the image impact you?
  3. What are you identified with or distanced from?
  4. How are you informed by your unconscious?
  5. How are you informed by the collective unconscious?
  6. How open are you to their messages?
  7. What do the close eyes of the seal represent to you?
  8. Are you conscious of your bias and prejudices?
  9. Do you see the promise of new realities?
  10. Do you believe in the fellowship of all humans and consider that every one of us is unique, irrespective of our race, gender, country, religion and other differences and is capable of contribution to the good of all?
  11. Do you feel love and honored by your fellow citizens?
  12. Do you respect and honor others as you wish they respected and honor you?
  13. Are you willing to make sacrifices to respect the legitimate rights and the needs of others?

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