The Secret Garden

In the Eye of the Strom

An individual response to the Global Crisis

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 and 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.

An archetypal content expresses itself, first and foremost, in metaphors.

(Jung, 1934/1954/1968, p. 157)

I could not resist taking a photograph of this sign. It invites me to know more yet asks me to keep its contents secret. It lures me into an imaginal space where I am the gardener and the garden. It is like my being the dreamer and the dreamed.

I purposely did not photograph any of the garden. I try to recall my experience of walking in it and the memories only reveal a feeling of being in a sacred space. There are no objects to picture in my mind. There is only a feeling of comfort, beauty, and nourishment to a deeper part of me.

I believe there are two archetypes (universal concepts) posted: secret and garden. Each of them touches us personally and collectively. They require work to be kept or harvested. They are open to the elements of the day and need protection when threatened by drought or inclement circumstances.

During this Eye of the Storm Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to follow the directions of good leadership. So, there are external guidelines to follow for health maintenance and illness prevention. There is also another world to take care of; the internal world that may or may not be revealed to the outside world. Perhaps your inner garden is kept secret or maybe you reveal it to the world. Either way, that garden needs a good gardener to maintain it and promote healthy growth.

Each one of us has a secret garden of our Soul. The nature and the collective consciousness also has a secret garden of its own. In it lie many treasures and perils. It has a demonic and numinous dimension. It is intimately connected to the outer world in a compensatory manner. This secret garden is the Spirit of the Depths. It compensates and balances the Spirit of the (present) Time. As the Spirit of our current time wounds and injures the nature for its material ascendency at the cost of our environment, our brotherhood and sisterhood, our sense of Communitas, a sense of global responsibilities of each individual and each nation, it activates the compensatory healing prescriptions from the Spirit of the Depth, the timeless wisdom of the cumulative human wisdom, its archetypal, ancestral memory. This wisdom incarnates in Tsunamis and Amazon fires, in global warming and viral pandemics as a Memo from the collective. We need to rethink our paradigm as a civilization. While I do not have a definite prescription for this New Paradigm of Global citizenship and consciousness, we need to urgently debate it. If we don’t swim together, we will sink together!

Points to Ponder

How does the metaphor of a secret garden impact you?

What is the story of your garden?

How do you treat your secrets?

Where are the resources for you to be nourished? How often do you replenish them?

A sense of control is helpful when we are stressed. What can you take control of to build up or maintain your resilience?

If the metaphors of secret and garden do not resonate with you at this time, what metaphors do you employ to help yourself?

How do you decipher the secret garden of the Collective Consciousness?

Does the present COVAD-19 pandemic give you a sense of the Demonic aspect of the Spirit of the Depth?

What are the prescriptions from Nature that you have deciphered in this present crisis?

What do you feel and think that you can personally do to restore the Numinosity and the Sacredness of the Secret Garden of your soul and collective World Soul- the Anima Mundi, the Unus Mundus, the Brahman consciousness?

Photo taken in Ojai California

Jung, C. G. (1934/1954/1968). The archetypes and the collective unconscious (2d ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.