The Third Eye
The Inner Witness
In the Eye of the Storm
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 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.
The eye may well stand for consciousness (which is in fact an organ of perception), looking into its own background. It sees its own light there, and when this is clear and pure the whole body is filled with light. Under certain conditions consciousness has a purifying effect. (Jung, 1934/1954/1968, p. 337)
The London Eye (Ferris Wheel) lifts its passengers up in the air for an astounding view of the area. The experience grounds a new reality of the city. The perception of London and the river are changed forever. There is no denying what the eyes take in.
The number of Covid-19 cases and deaths are seen in news media. The impact of the pandemic on people of color is disproportionate in a way that makes the effects of racism more apparent. The video of the murder of George Floyd by police provides an eyewitness account of the event. It was not told as a story but seen by a camera phone on the news. The eyewitness shifted from one person to being broadcast around the world for anyone to see.
Our eyes give our minds information. The news reports and videos bring our attention in a way that has a “purifying effect” as Jung is quoted above. It has raised our consciousness that helps change minimizing or denial of the problem of racism. Our eyes seeing the first responders in the pandemic brought awareness to the medical issues that do not sit in any political party. Our eyes seeing the number of protestors around the world has raised attention to change laws or policies to guide a better democracy. Consciousness and action help clear the way to healing.
Each one of us will “SEE” the George Floyd Racial and Social Justice Protests and the Pandemic with our “OUTER EYES”. The real challenge is to see it with our “THIRD EYE”. Each one of us is gifted by three eyes; the two eyes for outer perception of images and the “THIRD INNER EYE OF IN-SIGHT”. This is the ‘SOUL EYE VIEW’ of the outer images. To take a soul eye view of the situation, there are several prerequisites.
Firstly, we must make ourselves or the most precious individual we love the protagonist of the image we are witnessing.
Secondly, we must feel that we are the villain in the drama we are observing
Thirdly, we must assume that the whole image is co-witnessed by the God of your understanding
Fourthly, we must catalogue how we would recalibrate the image based on the above three variables in the mix
Fifthly, we must now reimage a new picture: how is it now different from the original image?
This established a continuum between the Witness, the Witnessed and the Witnessing. When all three merges, we have the deepest insight into the image, a “SOUL EYE VIEW” of the situation.
The principles of this Inner Witness are outlined in the Sacred Text of the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.(Satchidanada, 1978)
For most of us, this involves a gradual awareness of the higher threshold of the mystery of the universe beyond our personal Self as well as the continuity of the Self with the absolute awareness and the mystery of the universe, the Brahman. It is a subjective state of awareness which is unique to each individual. One would consider this a variety of religious or mystical experience so well described by William James. The goal is to transcend all the transitional states of consciousness, move from personal to objective or absolute awareness where the distinction between the witness, the witnessed, the process of witnessing is blended into absolute awareness of Brahman and merger with it.
In midst of the global pandemic and global peace protests, each one of us has a golden opportunity to search for a Soul’s Eye View of the situation. Instead of being external witness, we may look at the current events with Insight and merge with the “WITNESSED”, project ourselves or our most cherished person into the victims of the pandemic or racial injustice and then decide how we think, feel and choose to ACT. That is a Path to Peace. This sentiment is reflected in the Holy Scriptures
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Ephesians 2 New International Version (NIV)
Some Points to Ponder:
What role do your eyes play in your experience of the world?
What do you need to see before changing your mind?
How do you ensure the right vision in your life?
What teachings, philosophy, religion, etc., guide where you look?
Are you witnessing the current pandemic and protests with your two eyes or your Third Eye?
Do you take the stance of the Witness, the Witnessed or Inner Witnessing?
How does your image of the current event change when you project yourself or your most loved person in the victim of the pandemic or Mr. George Floyd?
If you or the person you loved the most were the victim of COVAD-19 or your Neck was under the knee of a police officer for 9 minutes; how would you want the scene in the “REPLAY MODE”?
Photo of the London Eye, London, England
James, W. (1982). The Varieties of Religious Experience. USA: Penguin Classics.
Jung, C. G. (1934/1954/1968). The archetypes and the collective unconscious (2d ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Satchidanada, S. S. (1978). The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Buckingham, Virginia: Integral Yoga Publications.
Ephesians 2 New International Version (NIV)
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D