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.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
In the end one has to admit that there are problems which one simply cannot solve on one’s own resources.
(Jung, 1934/1954/1968, p. 21)
I have been trying to find words to express how different life feels today. Language is insufficient to communicate how distorted everything is. The image above helps express what words would ordinarily do for me. On my own, I have not been able to convey how distorted life seems right now. Resources outside of myself, like the image above and the words of Jung, help me appreciate the impact of the external on the internal. I can then find a way to express my experience with word(s). I have hope to contain my feeling function and give my thinking function some room to consider coping strategies.
Perhaps in this deconstructed and twisted time, you can find a way to express the internal experience and move it into the world. I encourage the form that best resonates you:
Draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, sing, dance, sew, garden, scrapbook, tell stories, play, laugh-let the world hear you laugh, cry-the preverbal expression of so many feelings. It is a time that is as distorted as the bench clock.
The world I have rested on has changed. It does not hold or nurture me in the same way. The challenge is to adapt or adjust to the reality of this virus. How? The answer is tandem between one’s own and other resources. So, during this time I am giving myself more permission to look for answer’s outside myself to contain, inspire, nurture, and promote a process of becoming more of who I am. I connect with others and stay aware of how we resource each other.
I believe we are in the moments of Prima Materia. It is a time of chaos that requires our imagination to organize and develop a world beyond individual survival and into community connection with all our planet offers.
Time is not distorted. Our perception is distorted. The current crisis is the archetypal dance of Shiva. In our sweep of this fragile planet for material ascendency, we are caught in the Spirit of the time. This crisis is inviting us as part of humanity to reclaim our connection with the Spirit of the Depths; that eternal bond that connects us all since the dawn of time. We will only survive this effectively as a group or we will sink as a civilization. Of course, from the ashes of may rise the Phoenix of our New Beginnings. But we can make a new beginning without going through the destruction. The path to survival is to work collaboratively, stay emotionally connected to family, friends, neighbors and strangers, make personal sacrifices for collective welfare and we will emerge stronger and soulful.
Here are some Points to Ponder
- Is the bench approachable?
- What part of the bench are you on now?
- Are you alone or are you inviting other on your bench?
- How long do you stay there?
- Are you thinking short or are you in it for the long haul?
- What helps you change your position?
- Are you guided by self-interest or altruism?
- What is distorted?
- Are you responding to the Corona Virus emergency sitting alone on your bench, or do you feel the emotional presence of others, and the awareness of the wisdom of the Universe?
- What lets you know what time it is?
- Are you responding to the crisis from a narrow lens of your personal fears and wounds or from the trust in the timeless intelligence of the Universe?
Sculpture photo taken outside the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida
Jung, C. G. (1934/1954/1968). The archetypes and the collective unconscious (2d ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.