July 18, 2020
We seek the effective images, the thought-forms that satisfy the restlessness of heart and mind, and we find the treasures of the East. (Jung, 1934/1954/1968, p. 13)
I was walking through a small village when I encountered this woman sitting on the wall. When I gestured to her to gain permission to take her photo. She nodded. As I raised my camera, she raised her hands to the namaste position. I pressed the shutter and lowered my camera but continued to look at her looking at me. I felt blessed. Her grounded soulfulness welcomed the moment of encounter with another. I felt her hospitality; without a camera she captured me. There was need for a polite smile by either of us. The gratitude of being recognized at a deeper level eliminated the idea of surface pleasantries.
Life in the United States has very few moments of stillness unless we make them. The pandemic, social justice, political upheaval, concerns about schooling in the fall leave little space for a full acknowledgement. Yet, we all need to be seen, heard, understood, and loved. I would benefit from creating and partaking in more moments with the woman sitting on a wall.
Most of us engage a lifestyle of horizontal engagement with the mundane, survival dimension of our daily, routine and busy existence. This calls for a balance with attention to a vertical axis of interiority, spirituality and the sacred dimension of our lives. When the horizontal, survival axis of our daily life intersects with the vertical, archetypal axis of our inner life, it forms a symbol of the Cross – a symbol of Wholeness. This calls for a sacrifice in the material/horizontal life to make room for the contemplative space to engage the sacred.
We make room for this sacred dimension via sitting still, silence and, solitude. This permits us to commune with the whispers of our soul and the flow of the Spirit all around us and within us. We then connect with the Antar-yamin (Antar = inner, Yamin= divine). When we create such a contemplative space, the Spirit whispers to us. Stillness, silence and solitude SSS are the password to login to the flow of the universe and our place in it.
When we cannot create such a sacred space, there is back door to the Sprit via another soul who is thus tuned in to the spirit via their inner work. Mirror neuron research has indicated that through Bluetooth(Bedi, 2020), p. 200 with such individuals via Interoception (an inner map of the other in our body feelings), we establish a Resonance circuit with them and can experience their bliss. Hence, the maxim in the 12 steps program, “Stick with Winners!)
Some Points to Ponder:
How busy is your life?
Are motivated to slow down or speed up?
How does the photograph impact you?
Take a moment to replace the woman with yourself. What would the photographer see?
How do you honor or welcome others in your life?
Are you able to make time for solitude, stillness, silence and spiritual engagement in your busy, daily life?
Do you engage with individuals who engage this contemplative space in their lives?
How do you feel when you resonate with such contemplative individuals?
Photo taken in Bowali, Uttarakhand, India
Bedi, A. P., Joseph A. . (2020). The Spiritual Paradox of Addiction: The Call of the Transcendent (Second edition (March 15, 2020) ed.). Lake Worth, FL, USA: Nicolas Hayes Inc., page 99, 200
Jung, C. G. (1934/1954/1968). The archetypes and the collective unconscious (2d ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
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.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH. D