Courage to Act
Making room for the Whispers of your Soul
In the Eye of the Storm
An individual response to the Global Crisis
June 17th, 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.
Any change must begin somewhere, it is the single individual who will undergo it and carry it through. The change must begin with one individual; it might be any one of us. Nobody can afford to look around and to wait for somebody else to do what he is loath to do himself. (Jung, 1976, p. 261)
The image shows a man sitting with his arms resting on his cane. I watched him navigate the challenging landscape. When he got down those stairs, he took a seat and let out a grunting sound of relief. He needed rest for the moment and let go of “what will others think?” He has supplies in his backpack, some things in his pockets, and his cane to give him support to navigate the world today. Nobody else can do his walk in the world for him. He must do it himself.
The intersection of the pandemic and protests present a new world to navigate. The ability to engage the current challenges are each of our responsibilities. Both demand strengthening an internal sense of ethical and moral behavior to the external stressors. Each of them is an external threat to our health as an individual and as part of a nation/world.
His posture seems pensive in his stillness. I wonder what is in his mind. It is in this moment of stillness that we often get the inspiration and the instruction to navigate our next move. The moment of stillness creates the TEMENOS – the sacred space that makes time and room to make audible the gentle whispers of our Soul trying to nudge us onto our TELEOS – our path forward aligned with the will of the Universe in which we are invited to participate.
This inspiration from the Soul may come in form of a thought, an emotion, a idea, a dream fragment, an image or a fantasy. If we have the wisdom to dialogue with this emissary from the Soul, it yields it gold to us. Then we must display the courage to implement this guidance.
This process of dialoguing with this emissary from the Soul is called Active Imagination. This cultivates our Transcendent Function (Jung, 1969)para 131-193, sort of our climbing the Biblical Jacob’s ladder to the heavens. Interested readers may want to consult Jung’s excellent essay on accessing the whispers of the Soul via Active Imagination in the reference above. Eminent Jungian Analyst Robert Johnson has also rendered this process of Active Imagination accessible to readers (Johnson, 1989).
Thus, when an individual displays the Courage to initiate Change, one is never alone. We always have access to the guiding wisdom of the Soul: if we make room for it, incubate time for it and treat it with respect and gravitas. We have the timeless wisdom and absolute Brahman awareness as our companions and our guides.
This sentiment is amplified in Bhagavat Gita, (Miller, 2004)
Gita: Chapter 8, pare 3-4
Eternal and supreme is the infinite spirit;
Its inner self is called inherent being;
Its creative force, known as action,
Is the source of creatures’ existence.
Its inner being is perishable existence;
Its inner divinity is man’s spirit;
I am the inner sacrifice
Here in your body, O Best of Mortals.
A similar sentiment is amplified in the Holy Bible,
2 Corinthians 5:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
Some Points to Ponder:
What changes have you done during this time?
What projections are you aware of when you look at the photo?
How do you activate change within yourself?
How do you carry it through for the world to see?
What change is still needed? How will you begin?
Do you make time and space to reflect on inner guidance in time of change and crisis?
How do generally receive this Soul guidance?
How do you implement this inner guidance?
Do you feel support from the Universe when you display courage to initiate a Change?
Photo taken in Sydney, Australia.
Johnson, R. A. (1989). Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth (New Ed edition ed.): HarperOne.
Jung, C. G. (1969). The structure and dynamics of the psyche, Volume 8 (2d — ed. Vol. 20). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1976). The symbolic life : miscellaneous writings. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Miller, B. S. (2004). The Bhagavad-gita : Krishna’s counsel in time of war. New York: Bantam Books.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH. D