The Flower of the Night
Integrating our Solar with our Lunar Consciousness
In the Eye of the Storm
An individual response to the Global Crisis
May 4, 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.
From the darkness of the unconscious comes the light of illumination, the albedo.(Jung, 1970, p. 179)
The Night-blooming cereus blossom with its majestic qualities opens just before nightfall, stays open all night, and dies the following morning. It beautifies the darkness and provides nectar to a variety of moths. It is in season for only one night. The delicate nature is fully revealed while most of the world sleeps. It is much like a dream that opens at night and stops its performance in daylight.
There is nothing wrong with it because it does not blossom in the daytime like most other flowers. Its time is in the darkness. I have always admired its springtime announcement, as well as its courage to fully show itself in one night. It reflects the idea of now more dramatically. There are no second chances, no second nights to show itself. Its full life is in unusual circumstances.
During this unusual time of the pandemic, I have more opportunities to look deep within. Perhaps there is something that has waited for this opportunity to show itself. My life has more stillness like the night, and I am receptive to what my unconscious will reveal, even if its only for a short visit.
A dream only blossoms in the darkness and unconsciousness of our sleep. It communicates to us the Lunar perspective on our life. It is Right Brain perspective on our life’s slow. It brings to bear the timeless wisdom of our Depths on our life and our world. It gives an emotional context to challenges in our life. It gives us a printout from the two million years old database in our Limbic, Archetypal Nervous System to deal with life’s crisis and opportunities(Stevens, 2005). It brings our ancestral wisdom into play in coping with the game of life. It is a gift from the depths of the personal and the collective unconscious and aligns the Spirit of the time with the Spirit of our Depths as Jung put it in his inner work as archived in the Red Book – Liber Novus(Jung & Shamdasani, 2009). It helps us rewrite the book of life with a new narrative; informed by the awareness of the Brahman or Spiritual consciousness(Finger, 2018).
This flower that blossoms at night is different than the flower that blossoms in the daylight. The flower of the daytime informs us of our Solar Consciousness. It is gifted by our Left Brain, our discerning, logical, Cognitive perspective. It splits, analysis, categories, differentiates, predicts based on research and evidence. It rejects the intuitive, the emotional dimensions of the Lunar, Right Brain consciousness. (McGilchrist, 2009) The Right Brain is our more primal brain, it is the guardian of the timeless memory of human existence, goes online in a child before the Left Brain matures to undertake its Cognitive discernments.
For optimal outcome, the Lunar Flower and the Solar Flower must integrate their perspectives. The Logical, evidence based, date driven, predictive, Left brain perspective must collaborate with the Intuitive, Emotional, relational, Spiritual, archetypal consciousness to deal with the problems and perils of our personal life and our civilization. Universe gifts us two eyes, two ears, two sides of our nose, two hands, two feet, even two brains! It intends for us to use both.
Each one of us needs to create an Alchemic Vessel, a sacred space for self-reflection, where these Lunar and Solar, Psychospiritual and Cognitive/logical dimensions may be integrated; a space for Complexio Oppositorium, where these opposites may be brought into alignment. This creates a Unique Third, which is greater than the sum of its parts. This transforms our dissociated, fragmented, split life into Wholeness and Wellness.
In the current pandemic, we will not be able to think our way out of this crisis. While we need be logical, science directed, experts focused, evidence based in our interventions but when all is said and done, it will be intuitive, creative, outside of the box, collaborative, human ingenuity and leadership that will be our guide out of this storm.
Some Points to Ponder:
- What surprise has shown up in your life during the pandemic?
- How do you respond to beauty?
- What helps you blossom into the fullness of your life?
- In your management of the pandemic in your personal life, do you subscribe to a logical, data driven, evidence-based approach?
- In your personal strategy to manage the pandemic, do you make room for your feelings, honor your intuition, trust your psychospiritual inclinations to respond?
- Do you have a vessel to integrate your thoughts, feelings, intuition, evidence and inner guidance from dreams and synchronistic events to engage a Wholistic response?
- Do you Journal this integrative process to capture the interaction of these valuable inputs into the decision tree?
- Do you feel that the leaders in your community have a lopsided response or a Wholistic response to the pandemic?
The photo was taken in Los Angeles, CA.
Finger, A. N., Wendy. (2018). Tantra of the Yoga Sutra – Essential Wisdom for Living with Awareness and Grace. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Shambala Boulder.
Jung, C. G. (1970). Mysterium coniunctionis : an inquiry into the separation and synthesis of psychic opposites in alchemy (2d ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G., & Shamdasani, S. (2009). The red book = Liber novus (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
McGilchrist, I. (2009). The master and his emissary : the divided brain and the making of the Western world. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Stevens, A. (2005). The Two-Million-Year-Old Self, (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology). Texas A&M: University Press.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D.