In the Eye of the Storm
An individual response to the Global Crisis
April 10, 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.
The basis of the opus, the prima Materia, is one of the most famous secrets of alchemy. This is hardly surprising, since it represents the unknown substance that carries the projection of the autonomous psychic content. It was of course impossible to specify such a substance, because the projection emanates from the individual and is consequently different in each case. (Jung, 1968, p. 317)
The rooftop nest provides safety from some of her predators. Instinctually, she knows to stay at home and incubate her eggs. She is alert and resting, quiet and working with her body warmth to give her eggs what they need now. I don’t know how developed the eggs are, how long she has been tending them. What she is sitting on was not visually revealed. It is what I project into the situation that gives it more life. I wonder if she gets tired of just sitting there.
(As a point of inclusion: Her mate is on the ground below, near the structure, guarding the home of his family. He honks at anyone who gets too close.)
Our instruction now is to stay at home to protect ourselves and those we love through social distancing. Our lives are disrupted from freedom of movement. It is time to tend our nest. There will be a future time when we can go about our usual business, but for now, sit tight.
The instruction to Stay in shelter at home towards Social Distancing and Safe incubation for ourselves and our families keeps us physically safe and healthy from the Corona virus. However, this is only one side of the coin in this intervention. The other side of the coin is the necessity for psychological and spiritual incubation. What are we doing to attend to our inner life? When we entertain this Soul Incubation, this shelter moves from a Medical to an Alchemic process. It becomes an opportunity for Transformation into our higher selves. It calls for adding a reflective and contemplative dimension to our sheltering process.
Perhaps the Healing Wisdom of the Universe, of the Collective, of the Brahman consciousness manifesting in this global crisis is for each individual, family, community, nation and our human community to reflect and contemplate how we got here, what we need to learn from this, what enduring we need to make in our lifestyle and priorities at each of these thresholds of our existence. But before we can have a collective dialogue, each one of us must contemplate on this question. For this Alchemic transformation, each one of us needs to create a vessel for daily Self Reflection and Contemplation. Every individual may establish their own CHECKLIST to engage this Alchemy. Here are some suggestions:
Daily Quiet time and Solitude
Daily Contemplative Practice of your choice: Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, Mindfulness, Centering Prayer,
Mandala making, Drawing, Sculpting, Sand tray
Attention to your Dreams and Synchronistic events
Divination method of your choice for specific inquiries: iChing, Tarot, Runes
Some Points to Ponder
What aspect of the photograph catches your attention?
How do you identify or distance yourself from it?
How do you identify the projections that inform your life?
How are you managing physical incubation for your personal safety?
What system are you using for safe incubation of your family and friends?
What paradigm have you constructed for Soul Incubation?
Do you have a COVAD -19 Journal for your daily reflections and insights?
Are you putting the current crisis to good use for personal growth and contributing to the meaningful community dialogue?
In your personal life story, is the current pandemic an occasion for despair or the Prima Materia for making the gold of higher spiritual awarenss?
Photo taken in La Cañada Flintridge, CA
Jung, C. G. (1968). Psychology and alchemy (2d ed.). [Princeton, N.J.]: Princeton University Press.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D.