January 1, 2021
It has always seemed to me that I had to answer questions which fate had posed to my forefathers and which had not yet been answered, or as if I had to complete, or perhaps continue things which previous ages had left unfinished, (Carl G. Jung, 1961, p. 233)
What fate is posed as the sun rises in the desert? What life will emerge from the darkness of night to harvest the nutrients of the day?
The image of a barren landscape leaves room to cultivate imagination and curiosity of what the day will bring. Then I must ask myself what I bring to it. Just as the rocks are landmarks of history, I have DNA of my forefathers. Just as the sun above the horizon is a marker of the present moment in time, I have this moment to be here and now. Just as the potential of the day is open, I engage the possibilities within me. What I will contribute? What will I harvest from it?
The horizon of a new year Is upon us. It is time to reflect, be present, and imaginative of how I hold the future.
We hear often about staying in the Present – the power of Now. What does that mean. What is Now? Is it I in this physical space? Is it “I” in this space? Is it I in this space at this time? What are the dimensions of this I, this place, this space at this time? If we ponder this image, the answers seem simple initially, but if we stay in the Now, it becomes complicated? Let us try to explore.
Do I exist in the Now only in the physical space I can see, hear, smell or taste? If I use the mind’s eye, I soon see that I am in a desert in California, Rajasthan or Sahara. If I use a touch of memory and intelligence, I see with my inner eye that this desert is somewhere on Earth. If I still stay with the inner image, I realize that the Earth is in the Solar system. That Solar system is part of the Milky Way Galaxy, one of the infinite galaxies in our Universe. Now our Universe – one of the infinite Universes, is itself expanding – scientists are able to measure it – the CBR – Cosmic Background Radiation. (https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/docs/HowFast.pdf) Our Milky way is 200,000 light years in diameter and has 400 billion stars in it. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way)
Next, let us explore what time is it Now. Is it sunrise time in California or Sahara? Is this time independent of its past and its future? Is the past, present and future distinct? In Quantum Physics, and in Vedanta philosophy, these are considered arbitrary distinctions. Our soul lives simultaneously in all three realms of time and the fourth realm beyond temporal time into eternal time. The abundant Upanishad scriptures (Eknath & Nagler, 1988) outline the difference between our Earth Soul and our Star Soul – concepts for which we have emerging empirical evidence; and the time we are in in the Now is a function of our perception – do we perceive via the Earth Soul or our Star Soul?
The next dimension we may explore is whether I am experiencing the Now out there in the desert sunrise or the sunrise in my subjective, inner space. How do I experience the image of the sacred landscape of the desert sunrise inside of “I” – not just out there in the desert. Here, we need the power of Imagination. Just as thinking, feeling, intuition and sensate are the four functions of our Earth Soul, the Imaginatio is the function of our Star Soul.
Where does my imagination take me in my inner desert sunrise? What do I encounter there? A scorpion or a Rishi, a monk, the Anchorite, a Holy person? What do I discuss with the Soul guide who shows up? What are his instructions to me? How do I implement these prescriptions? In his Soul journey, chronicled in the Red Book (C. G. Jung & Shamdasani, 2009), Jung had an encounter with an Anchorite in the desert which was very instructive to him. In the Old Testament, Moses had his own desert moments. After the Ten Plagues, Moses led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land on Mount Nebo. Imagine, what Commandments did you receive in your inner desert sunrise? What is your image of your Promised Land? How will you live and conduct your life in your Promised Land?
There are infinite dimensions of the Now – but let me leave you with a glimpses of it. Engage it. Dialogue with it. Get your prescriptions from your Star Soul. Implement them. In the Hindu scripture of Bhagwad Gita, Arjuna had a dialogue with his Soul guide Krishna – called the wonderous dialogue – worth a look. (Miller, 2004)That is the power of NOW. May the Source be with you as you step into 2021!
Points to Ponder
- What does this transition from 2020 to 2021 mean to you?
- What is unlived in you that might to be brought out of its potential?
- What themes are yours and what themes are carried from history?
- What is unfinished and how will you treat it?
- How do you experience the image of a desert sunrise in the desert?
- How do you experience the desert sunrise inside of you?
- How do you experience the Now moment?
- Does your Now have extensions into time, space, memory, imagination?
- What do you encounter in your imagination in your inner image of a desert sunrise?
- How did you dialogue with entities and individuals in your desert sunrise?
- What did you learn about you, others, world and the future following this wonderous dialogue?
- What do you plan to do with the prescriptions and Commandments you received following this wonderous dialogue between your Earth Soul and your Star Soul?
Eknath, E., & Nagler, M. N. (1988). The Upanishads. London: Arkana.
Jung, C. G. (1961). Memories, Dreams, Reflections (R. a. C. Winston, Trans. April 1989 ed.). New York: Vintage Books.
Jung, C. G., & Shamdasani, S. (2009). The red book = Liber novus (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Miller, B. S. (2004). The Bhagavad-gita : Krishna’s counsel in time of war. New York: Bantam Books.
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