The Ethical Foundation of Peace
In the Eye of the Storm
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 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.
An attitude is governed and sustained by a dominant conscious idea accompanied by a so-called “feeling-tone,” i.e., an emotional value, which accounts for the efficacy of the idea. The mere idea has no practical or moral effect whatever if it is not supported by an emotional quality having as a rule an ethical value.” (Jung, 1976, p. 608)
There are signs that reminds me of qualities I feel inside or wish to feel inside. I know it is there to some degree, but not always kept in awareness. In those instances, it does meet the criteria of an idea that can be explained or thought about. When I see a poster like the one in the photo and take some time to ingest it, more of my senses begin to resonate with it. In fact, when it is a feeling tone, I believe I generate it. I am a source and a responder to its quality.
In this time of the pandemic and protests, peace is a quality that requires action and/or effort. It demands assertion and protection. It is a journey and a destination. It can be the heartbeat of a person and society. The beat of the heart is contraction/effort and rest/stillness, both working together to provide proper circulation for health.
In the Hindu scriptures, Peace and tranquility in an individual and society worthy of God’s creation comes from DO’S AND DON’TS. These are the Yamas (don’ts) and Niyamas (do’s) outlined in the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.
2.30 Self−restraint in actions includes abstention from violence, from falsehoods, from stealing, from sexual engagements, and from acceptance of gifts.
2.32 The fixed observances are cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study and persevering devotion to God.
When an individual and their community aspires to these principles of ethical conduct, there is self-reflection, insistence on truth, non-violence and fairness. Some of these principles informed Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful protests and civil disobedience to confront the colonial oppression of India by the British occupation and ultimately lead to freedom of India and establishment of a new paradigm for moral protest against oppression.
Some Points to Ponder:
How do you bring peace into your life?
Have the pandemic or the protests disturbed your peace? How?
What informs you of inner peace?
Do you see peace (perhaps paradoxically) in the pandemic or the protests?
What effort do you take to find or make peace?
How do you search for the truth in the current dual crisis: pandemic and racial injustice?
What scriptures inform you?
What is your self-reflection process?
Do you feel that your assessment of issues and your response is aligned with the values of the God of your understanding?
Photo taken in Puducherry (aka Pondicherry) India.
Jung, C. G. (1976). The symbolic life : miscellaneous writings. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Patanjali, B. t. (2001). The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Bongiovanni, Trans.). In (pp. 19). World Public Library Association, P.O. Box 22687, Honolulu, Hawaii 96823: World Public Library Association.
Satchidanada, S. S. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Buckingham, Virginia: Integral Yoga Publications.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D