Stones Speak to Us!
Tuning into the Whispers of your Soul
In the Eye of the Storm
An individual response to the Global Crisis
May 20, 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.
Consciousness grows out of an unconscious psyche which is older than it, and which goes on functioning together with it or even in spite of it. (Jung, 1934/1954/1968, p. 281)
The image Is not changed to make the man look smaller. He puts context to the size of the boulder formation. Sometimes when I look at this photo, I think of the boulders as the chaotic elements of the unconscious, and the man as the ego. It keeps me humble regarding how much of the unconscious I know. And then, there is the collective unconscious….so much more to consider.
When I was a child, I played a game called, “Follow-the-Leader”. Playing meant everyone had to follow the leader and imitate everything the leader did. It was a lot of fun to do what everyone else was doing. Eventually, it would get to be my turn to lead, and I would try to something different, not just repeat what the other leaders would do. I not only made body movements, but also would include laughter, big belly laughs then end with falling on the ground. The game taught me a lot about the give and take in life. It taught me to follow as well as lead.
The man in the photo is taking the lead himself. He assesses what is immediately underfoot and looks to his destination. He ensures proper footing in the moment and decides which way to proceed safely. He uses experience and judgement to determine the course to be on. There is no audience to please. He is on the path of his choice and doing his best to navigate through so many surfaces and shapes. He cannot just hold one position, but needs flexibility, endurance, and strength to negotiate safely.
In this time of the pandemic, I am in uncharted territory. Just like the image, there is no clear path–only guidelines. There are so many opinions about what the facts are. I am somewhere in the pandemic, navigating my way forward. It requires the tandem between personal judgement and expert advice. It is a time for me to listen deeply to the personal and the collective (conscious and unconscious).
As we consciously navigate this treacherous domain of the pandemic, we have one advantage. The terrain we are navigating speaks to us – gives us signposts to follow. The stones speak to us, the rivers speak to us, the trees speak to us. Everything on the outside is mirrored in our Psyche. They take on a symbolic meaning. They create an inner image and context that is meaningful to us and our life story. Then they give us guidance as to how the navigate the terrain in ways that are relevant to our life journey; its meaning, purpose and destination. No two individuals may have the same destination in the same terrain.
We get this feedback from the conscious and the unconscious terrain via the symbols of our unconscious. They speak to us via our dreams, synchronistic events, accidents, medical and psychiatric symptoms, our complexes, our relationships, our fantasy and imagination. We will be well served in our life journey to its meaningful destination when we listen to these symbols of our unconscious – the whispers of our Soul.(Bedi, 2000, 2013)
I have a method I use to tune into the whispers of the Soul via invited Synchronicity. I pose of question to my Soul and then open a sacred text at random page – and it always guides me with a meaningful response relevant to me personally or my community generally. This morning, as our country is struggling with the decision to reopen, I asked for the Soul guidance. Here is what I got from Bible –
Matthew 12:25 New International Version (NIV)
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
This guidance has many implications and instructions for us as a Society. I invite each reader to reflect on what guidance it gives them.
Some Points to Ponder:
- How do you determine your path?
- What helps you determine “good” judgement?
- How does your unconscious reveal itself?
- How do you navigate the conscious and unconscious dialogue?
- What leader are you following?
- What does your sense of leadership take over?
- Are you tuning into the Whispers of our Soul?
- What guidance are you getting about the Path to follow?
- Are you following the guidance from the Symbols of your Soul?
Photo taken in Joshua Tree National Park, California
Bedi, A. (2000). Path to the soul. York Beach, ME: S. Weiser.
Bedi, A. (2013). Crossing the healing zone : from illness to wellness. Lake Worth, FL
Newburyport, MA: Ibis Press, a division of Nicolas-Hays, Inc.,Lake Worth
Distributed to the trade by Red Wheel/Weiser.
Jung, C. G. (1934/1954/1968). The archetypes and the collective unconscious (2d ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D.
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