October 30, 2020
There I was concerned with the interplay between conscious and unconscious, with the development of consciousness from the unconscious, and with the impact of the greater personality, the inner man, upon the life of every individual. (Jung, 1961, p. 221)
The work of spring planting and summer tending is done. The results are in. It is harvest time. This pumpkin has been harvested from the field by a person and then by an animal. When I saw it, my imagination began a journey of practical curiosity: What happened? How did that hole get there? What would chew through it? Why are there seeds outside it? Is there some creature still inside? Then I started meandering from a more intellectual perspective. What does it symbolize? What does the discovery of this pumpkin mean to mean right now?
I encourage you, as a reader, to be active with this image. Develop your own story and questions about it before reading further. Explore the journey of your thoughts and feelings. Bring them to harvest.
Jung’s quote at the opening of the blog applies very well to the scene. When the shell has an opening, the seeds from the darkness within are brought out into the light of the world. Something in life chewed a hole in the pumpkin. The wound provides a way for the golden seeds inside to come out. What is inside provides more life.
One of the highest attributes of the human psyche is the capacity to fantasize. The process of imagination helps us fantasize and create an image or project the contents of our unconscious onto an available image. This makes what is latent manifest. This permits the wisdom of the unconscious a vote in the matters of conscious concerns. The consciousness is the source of our conscious personality. The unconscious is the source of our deeper personality. While the conscious personality helps us navigate the outside world and its challenges, the unconscious personality bears the seeds of our unlived potentials and our emerging destiny – whether as an individual or a society. When these two aspects of our personality collaborate, it crystallizes our unique individuality. It fosters the best version of us, adapted to the outer reality and a marching to the drum beat of our teleos or purpose in the world. Then we are transformed from a local being into a global being stepping into our rightful spot in the history of time. Many are called but few step into these shoes.
Such a move from our surface to our depth is not without enterprise and sacrifice. Each of our two personalities have equal relevance in our life story. But when the two establish a democratic dialogue than the sacred Third appears. This is our true Self. When we live out of this third position, we are aligned with the will of the Universe. Then we live a spiritual informed life.
The process of establishing a dialogue between these two parts of our personality is the faculty of imagination which is the creative function of our mental apparatus. When we create an image in fantasy to express our feelings or fantasize how an existing image speaks to us, it unlocks the symbolic value of the image. It speaks to us. It yields its treasure of our unconscious potentials that constitute our deeper personality. It gives us a transcendent paradigm to deal with temporal challenges. It transforms the crisis and trauma into the Prima Materia – the substrate to transform the lead into gold.
The current crisis is one such moment. Each one of us must take steps for survival and safety for ourselves and our loved ones, but to harvest the moment, we must fantasize a future and our place in it. If this pumpkin were you, what made the hole? How does the hole feel? What golden seeds are popping out? How will you sow and nurture these seeds? What plant, what world, what future would grow from your tending to the plant of these seeds? What role would you play in this drama?
Points to Ponder:
- What created an opening in you?
- What does that opening reveal?
- How do your conscious and unconscious connect?
- What have you harvested since the spring?
- What is your fantasy of how you will discern the value of your golden seeds?
- How will you plant and nourish these seeds?
- What do you fantasize the plant of these sees will look like for you?
- How will you use the gifts of these plants?
- How will the process change you, the world, and the future?
- What will your role and place be in such in evolved world?
Jung, C. G. (1961). Memories, Dreams, Reflections (R. a. C. Winston, Trans. April 1989 ed.). New York: Vintage Books.
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