In the Eye of the Strom
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 and 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.
Ego…seems to arise in the first place from the collision between the somatic factor and the environment, and, once established as a subject, it goes on developing from further collisions with the outer world and the inner. (Jung and Hull 1959/1968)
The life force of this plant has allowed it to survive in an extreme environment. It does not stand upright like most of its species, yet its beauty arises out of its tenacity. It has survived the collisions that Jung describes in his writing about the ego. It continues its life as it accommodates and assimilates the desert world.
During this time of the pandemic of Covid-19 we are put to task to find out what we are made of, what gives us sustenance, and how we are to cope with our present circumstances. This plant demonstrates how vitally important flexibility is. If is had held a straight up course, it would have been uprooted and unable to obtain the nutrients it is grounded in. Instead, it kept is roots buried and leaned into a new life, one that looks like no other.
I look to my inner world and find not just what sustains me, but also what gives me real nourishment to flourish. I can look to the external and my accomplishments, but that is distraction. It is not true nourishment for me. What nourishes me is the stillness between the breaths, the moment where both and neither inhalation nor exhalation is present. I find the moment much like life in the desert. It lives because it listens to its survival nature and stays rooted in what gives it life.
What does not bend may break. In time of crisis and change, Ego must suspend business as usual and find inner resources to adapt to the adversity. When our Ego or usual way of responding is Resilient, then Trauma then does not lead to victimization but transformation of the personality. In the present COVAD-19 pandemic, each one of us has the susceptibility to be traumatized or transformed to a higher adaptation. When we are in crisis, our Psyche activates our deepest ancestral, archetypal and spiritual resources. Extraordinary times activate Non-Ordinary or Numinous potentials of the human Spirit. If we open ourselves to these inner potentials that lay latent in our Unconscious, we may touch the Mystical or the Numinous layer of our depths. Ordinary people than are able to delve into deeper potentials and rise to their personal best. We then connect with our inner Ubermensch.
We may claim these depths and heights by staying open to the whispers of our soul and guidance of the Spirit as manifest in our dreams and fantasies, accidents and synchronistic events. Fascinations and antipathies, relationships and adversaries, creative musings and images we may draw. If we stay open to our own inner mystery via a Reflective attitude to the Symbolic dimension of our lives by paying attention to these whispers of our soul, by Journaling, Meditating, Sharing, Praying, drawing Mandala: and put our insights into SERVICE, we complete the Spiritual Circle by returning the energy from the Spirit back to the Universe. This is the Uroboros of Transformation – a sacred serpent biting its own tail.
Some points to ponder
How flexible is your ego?
In time of crisis, do you respond with habitual reactions or respond from a deeper place withing you?
What would happen if you changed your usual response to stress?
Journal your novel responses to the present crisis?
What nourishes you? How available is it? How do you know when you’ve been fed enough?
How do you nourish other around you?
What guidance have you received from your dreams, fantasies, art, nature, relationships, stories, drawing a Mandala?
Do you make time to pray, meditate, journal, connect with nature, art, culture, journaling, exercising, reading your favorite scriptures, your favorite fairy tale or novel?