March 27th, 2021
The patient is unconscious of the fact that the obstacle to be overcome lies in herself: namely a boundary-line that is difficult to cross and hinders further progress. (Jung, 1953, p. 85 para 132)
In spring, there is opportunity to shape how the future will look in this garden. The structures we place can hold up what will grow in summer. They can also hold back overgrowth. The garden is cleaned. Dead wood. leaves and debris gone to the composting pile.
As we begin to anticipate spring within ourselves, what kind of clearance is going to give us a better self or better world to live in? What structures would be helpful going forward and what structures might be removed? Each frame in the garden image provides a way to focus yet is part of the entire scene. Each part of us is part of our wholeness and part of the collective.
The process of cleaning the dead wood is called Kenosis – Empty your Cup. Unless we empty the cup of the old structures, we cannot make room for the new beginnings. Often, we are excited and keen to launch new initiatives. However, to plant the new seeds, we must cull the soil of the psyche to prepare it for the planting process. So, what must we empty? In my clinical experience, this means letting go of our old ways of perceiving through distorted lens or character defects. These may include perfectionism, narcissism, suspiciousness, control, self-negation, etc. Then we must confront our Shadow; traits we attribute to our adversaries. Next, we must confront our complexes or hang-ups. All of us have complexes or rather, they have us. We may have a negative father complex or a positive mother complex etc. We then see ourselves, others and world through the lens of these complexes based on our personal experience of our parents. Then we must relinquish our dependence on our typical modes of perceiving, thinking, feeling, intuition or sensate attention to details. For thinking types, they may access their feeling function, for intuitive, attention to details. Ideally, all for functions must be accessible to consciousness to deal with challenges of life. Then we must let go of our redundant personal myth to embrace a new narrative. If you are stuck in the hero/warrior myth, you may need to move the realm of the lover archetype. For those caught in the lover myth, they may need to claim access to their own voice and self-assertion.
Once we have cleaned out this dead wood, with the guidance of our new myth as our GPS, we are now ready to plant the seeds of new life, initiatives, relationships and enterprise. Now, we get the tail winds of the gods via our creative potentials, our dreams and synchronistic events, and contemplative musings. The most important trick in our psychic toolkit is the power of imagination. The Jungian Analytical psychology offers a powerful method called Active Imagination to integrate this process. (Johnson, 1989; Jung, 1969), pages 67-91
Points to Ponder:
- How does the change of season effect your personal and world view?
- How will you create time for your personal spring cleaning?
- What structure(s), routines, meditations, devotions, will add to your spiritual life?
- What old attitudes are redundant in your life?
- What is your Shadow that you project onto your adversaries?
- What is your awareness of your complexes?
- What is your typological preference? Thinking, feeling, intuition or sensate?
- Are you able to access all four functions?
- What is your personal myth? Lover, Warrior, Push-over, Narcissist etc.?
- Have you made room for your new personal myth?
How do you plan to implement your new myth?
- Do you have access to contemplative space, imagination and Self-reflection?
- What is your image of your new life and a new world?
- Now, claim it!
Johnson, R. (1989). Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth New York: Harper & Row.
Jung, C. G. (1953). Two essays on analytical psychology (Vol. 7). Princeton New Jersey Bollingen Series/Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1969). The structure and dynamics of the psyche, Volume 8 (2d — ed. Vol. 20). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
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