October 25, 2020
A definite location in place and time is part of man’s reality. (Jung, 1968, p. 191 para 283)
The trees and flowers in the garden show me how life changes at this time of year. The leaves appear painted with yellows, oranges, and reds. There is a different kind of visual vibrancy and a touch of cool that has not been available all summer. For the past few months, the foliage has been consistent. One day looked much like the others. Nothing in the garden indicated change. Then suddenly, or so it seems, things have changed. Spirit of fall is painting the deciduous tree leaves to alert me to the last quarter of the year. Nature’s canvas has shown the passing and passage of time.
The external world beyond the garden is entering another season as well. It is the time of debates, campaigns, and the casting of ballots. It is a time of challenge to the current state of the country’s democratic process and a chance to promote a better future. It seems like a season of uncertainty where both darkness and light show themselves. This time of a normal life in the United States includes acknowledging all the struggles toward a better life for all, for some have not been equally included.
The metaphor of the seasons helps me remember life changes. Leaves start as buds in the spring, spend the summer in the sun, then fall in the third quarter before they leave bare branches for the winter’s rest.
While we exist in a certain time, place, and space, it is only when we move from the experiencing consciousness to observing consciousness that we get our true coordinates of our life’s purpose. So, what is this observing consciousness? I would call this our inner witness. It is that deeper part of us that can locate us not just in the temporal reality but the transcendent reality. Where do we and this moment fit in the larger, timeless flow of life? How will our choices play out not just in our homes, but in our society, community, and the world at large? What will be the impact of our behavior have not just in this moment but by the end of our lives, in the lives of our children and grandchildren? What justification will we give to the Yama – the angel of death for the rationale of our choices as we balance our Karmic ledger beyond this life? The inner witness will assess the impact of our conduct not just on our people but on all the peoples and environments of our small and fragile planet.
When we live our life, not just in the experience of this sacred moment but in alignment with the timeless continuum, we are aligned with the will of the Universe. Then we live, not just on the surface but from our depths. Then we become aware that we are not transient aberrations of evolution but timeless spiritual beings having a human experience. Then we move from our terrestrial illusion to our celestial potential.
When a first responder steps into a blazing fire to rescue a child, he is living out of his celestial self. When an individual donates her kidney to a friend or a stranger to save their life, they are living out of their celestial self. When you donate blood for a soldier or stranger, you are living out of your celestial core. When countless citizens make informed choices of vote in the anonymity of the polling booth, not from narrow self interest but to make a fair and just society, we are responding from our celestial potential. When we make a moral choice when we have no witness, we are in the presence of the inner witness – the Antar Yamin – the divine core in each one of us.
So, we invite you to look at your life and make your choices, informed by your two eyes, the one that looks at this moment and the other that looks at the eternity. Remember, we exist in both realities. The choices we make today may play out very differently in the larger frame of time, space, and history than in the little frog puddle we live in. While we must live in the puddle, we must remember that every puddle eventually becomes part of the ocean. Thus, is a truly lived life.
Points to Ponder:
How do you notice your location and time?
What influence do seasons have in your life?
In the photo, do you want the green to stay or the vibrant colors to dominate?
How receptive are you to change?
How active are you to promote change in your life?
What plans have you made to vote?
Are you aware of your inner witness?
How do you scan your life and your choices from the observing lens of your inner witness?
How do think your choices may play out 100 years from today?
What may be impact on the world of your choices 500 years from today in the world of your great grandchildren?
Jung, C. G. (1968). Psychology and alchemy (2d ed. Vol. 12). [Princeton, N.J.]: Princeton University Press.
Ashok Bedi, M.D., Jungian Psychoanalyst www.pathtotheosoul.com, www.tulawellnessllc.com
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