February 5th, 2021
Reflection re-enacts the process of excitation and carries the stimulus over into a series of images which, if the impetus is strong enough, are reproduced in some form of expression. (Jung, 1969, p. 117 para 242)
The light in this image is all reflection. The moon reflects sunlight. The clouds and water all reflect moonlight. The ultimate source of illumination, the sun, is not seen but its effect is dramatic.
There are times in my life when I feel enlivened or enthusiastic about an issue and want to take full credit for the energy of it. I value my experience and with more careful exploration, I realize that I am not the source, but rather a conduit for the source(s).
As I engage this scene, the beauty resonates. There is quiet and calm in the clouds and the surface of the ocean. Beauty is not only this moment, but it is like many moments throughout history. The capacity to appreciate beauty is deep within. I am not its source but rather a receptacle to reflect it. Like the moon is to sunlight, I need to be in the right position to reflect beauty. It is often a matter of my ability to align myself with what occurs naturally. I must remove all the mind chatter and any preoccupation to be in the moment of reflection. It is then, that I embrace how I too am illuminated by moonlight. It touches me on the surface and if I open my heart, it gently lights the corridor to the feeling of eternity.
The most profound Mantra or prayer in the Hindu Veda scriptures is the Gayatri mantra. Here it is,
Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt
We meditate on the divine, Sun -the creator, whose light illumines all realms (physical, mental and spiritual). May this divine light guide our intellect and lead us onto our path.
Translation of Sanskrit words:
Om: The primeval sound.
Bhur: the physical body/physical realm.
Bhuvah: the life force/the mental realm
Suvah: the soul/spiritual realm.
Tat: That (God)
Savitur: The Sun, Creator (source of all life).
Bhargo: effulgence (divine light)
Dhiyo: the intellect.
Yo: May this light.
Nah: guide our path.
Prachodayāt: via illumination and inspiration.
The Gayatri mantra is dedicated to Savitṛ, a Vedic Sun deity.
Adapted from: https://www.sathyasai.org/devotional/gayatri
The Gayatri concept is that our life is illuminated and guided on its path by the creator (Sun, Holy Spirit, Divine). When we honor this inner light, the Antar-yamin (Antar=inner, Yamin=divine spark), we are aligned with the will of the universe, the UNUS MUNDUS; one world. When we align with this Dharmic or spiritual consciousness, our life becomes a meaningful spoke in the cogwheel of the Universe, we become part of the higher order and a purposeful part of it.
The right attitude is guided by the inner light. Then we step out of the way and become a channel for the work of society and the higher spirit. This attitude calls for taming our narcissism so that the will of the universe may flow through us; and not to appropriate our gifts and potentials for self-servitude but for service of our family, our community and for higher good. That is the way out of our current crisis to navigate our path; both as individuals and as a society – from darkness to light.
This does not preclude legitimate self-care, but rather to put the healthy, robust, vital and vibrant self in service of society. This is path from hubris to humility, from narcissism to altruism, from isolationism to community. If we do not act in this spirit, we are merely rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.
May the light of the Spirit guide our path.
Points to Ponder:
- What is the source of your illumination?
- How do you spend your reflection time?
- What opens your heart to be more fully in the moment?
- What expression(s) are easily revealed to the world?
- What facilitates your ability to express yourself?
- Do you have a noetic sense of your inner light?
- How does this Antar-Yamin, inner spirit instruct you?
- How do you implement this inner guidance to light your path to self-care?
- Once you have attended to self-care, do you put yourself in service of your family, community and higher good?
- What actions have you taken to follow this higher path?
- Do you talk the talk or walk the walk?
Jung, C. G. (1969). The structure and dynamics of the psyche (2d ed., Vol. 8). Princeton University Press. Publisher description
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