July 11, 2021,
Experience shows us that the sense of the “I”—the ego-consciousness—grows out of unconscious life.
As I watch the kite festival, I think of dynamic interaction of the wind and the kite. It feels parallel to the relationship to the soul and the ego. I think of the wind as the energy flow of the soul as it animates the ego. When conditions are right, the kite and wind let me see how valuable the invisible wind is for the kite to fly. When conditions are right, my soul shows my ego its higher purpose. My ego, like the kite, needs to be constructed of the right material to fly. My ego needs contact with my soul to engage the life I am here to live out.
Each one of us lives out of two realities: the Outer Ego reality and the Inner Soul reality. The center of our outer reality is the Ego or Aham in Sanskrit. The center of our inner, outer, total, past, present, future and timeless reality is our Soul or Atman. The task of our lifetime is to gain access to this deeper, transcendent, timeless, celestial consciousness. Every philosophical, religious, spiritual and psychological system offers a framework to cross that bridge from Ego to the Soul. Each system is like the blind men trying to describe the elephant. Each has a valuable perspective on the totality of his transcendent reality: they run into trouble when they claim to describe the totality, which is beyond comprehension for any mortal, any framework. Together, they give us a better but not a complete picture. Modern, personal spirituality uses these different systems as pieces of an infinite jigsaw puzzle. The process of accessing your Soul’s program may take several lifetimes in the Hindu frame of reference.
Source: Bedi, Ashok. Awaken the Slumbering Goddess – the Latent Code of the Hindu Goddess Archetypes. BookSurge, 2007.
The path from the Aham to the Atman is the central theme of the ancient Hindu tradition. Later traditions amplify different facets of this path. The Vedic system lays out the grand scheme of the human consciousness, the Samkhya Sutra offers a mythology of the creation of consciousness, the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra offers a 196 set of prescriptions to establish an Ego/Soul/Spirit axis, the Upanishads offer a detailed anatomy and physiology of the Soul and its bridge with the Spirit or Brahman. Carl Jung’s Analytical Psychology offers a contemporary rendering in psychological terms of this timeless wisdom. Our human consciousness is poised to make a Quantum leap in understanding and harvesting this final frontier of human condition.
Each one of us has access to the timeless wisdom of our Soul. The path is mysterious and beyond the scope of this brief discussion, but the main features of this path include:
- An intention to travel this path.
- A personal or a collective system to navigate this path.
- Creating contemplative space to travel the path.
- Assembling a spiritual toolkit as the vehicle to travel this path.
- Honoring the mystery beyond human consciousness.
- Humility to accept the limitation of human consciousness.
- Preparedness to implement the instructions of the higher consciousness.
- Dawning awareness that all of the objective reality has an overlay of our subjective Soul reality.
- Acceptance that a higher center of consciousness and the wisdom of the Universe has its plans for our place and purpose in it.
- Service to family, community and humanity as the highest goal of human consciousness.
Points to Ponder:
- What elements shape your ego?
- How is/was your ego constructed?
- What brings about ego transformation?
- How do you know engage your soul and/or how does your soul engage you?
- Do you have the intention of accessing your Soul’s wisdom?
- Do you subscribe to any personal or collective frame for your journey to your depths?
- Have you created some sacred space for your Soul journey?
- Do you honor the mystery beyond your limited consciousness?
- Do you honor the guidance you get from your depths?
- What is your Service output in this world?
Bedi, Ashok. Awaken the Slumbering Goddess – the Latent Code of the Hindu Goddess Archetypes. BookSurge, 2007.
Bryant, Edwin F., Patañjali, and Patañjali. The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali : A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary : With Insights from the Traditional Commentators. [in Text in Sanskrit (Devanagari and roman); with English translation.] New Delhi: Macmillan, 2018.
Eknath, Easwaran, and Michael N. Nagler. The Upanishads. London: Arkana, 1988.
Finger, Alan.: Newton, Wendy. Tantra of the Yoga Sutra – Essential Wisdom for Living with Awareness and Grace. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Shambala Boulder, 2018.
Jung, C. G. The Basic Writings of C. G. Jung (Modern Library). Edited by Violet Staub De Laszlo. Series: Modern Library ed.: Modern Library; Reprint edition, 1993. doi:ISBN-10: 067960071X ISBN-13: 978-0679600718.
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———. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. Vol. 8, New York: Pantheon Books, 1960b.
———. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Volume 8. Jung, C. G. (Carl Gustav), 1875-1961. Collected Works. 2d — ed. Vol. 20, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969.
———. Symbols of Transformation: An Analysis of the Prelude to a Case of Schizophrenia, Volume 5. Bollingen Series. 2 — ed. Vol. 5, Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1956.
Jung, C. G., and William McGuire. Analytical Psychology: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1925 by C.G. Jung. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. London: Routledge, 1990.
Kapila. A Lecture on the Sankhya Philosophy. Mirzapure, Benaras University, India: Wentworth Press, 2016 (1850). Culturally important knowledge base of civilization and reproduced from the original artifact. Printed for the use of The Benares College, India 1850.
Kapila, Vijñānabhikṣu, and Richard Garbe. Sâṃkhya-Pravacana-Bhâshya, Vijñânabhikshu’s Commentar Zu Den Sâmkhyasûtras. Leipzig: In Commission bei F. A. Brockhaus, 1889.
Radhakrishnan, S.- Editor. The Principal Upanishads. 32nd impression – 2019 ed. India: Indus / Harper Collins India; New edition (January 1, 1994), 2019.
Radhakrishnan, S., and Charles A. Moore. A Source Book in Indian Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957.
Satchidanada, Sri Swami. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Buckingham, Virginia: Integral Yoga Publications, 1978.
White, David Gordon. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali : A Biography. Lives of Great Religious Books. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.
Wilkins, W. J. Hindu Mythology : Vedic & Puranic. [in English] New Delhi: Heritage Publishers, 1991.
Jung, C. G. (1960b). The structure and dynamics of the psyche (Vol. 8). Pantheon 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