Journey to the Land of Shiva through the Jungian Lens: January 9-22, 2015
Ashok Bedi, M.D.
B.J. Jakala, PH.D.
From January 9-22 2015, a group of soul seekers will travel in India to experience the land of Shiva through Jungian lens of Analytical Psychology. This experience is sponsored by the New York Jung Foundation. For the next several days, the faculty member of the group, Jungian Analyst Ashok Bedi and a Depth Psychotherapist Dr. Robert J. Jakala will compose a daily blog of their reflections about the experience. Other group participants have been invited to contribute to the blog and may join us from time to time. We are glad to share our experiences and reflections. Enjoy!
Shiva (portrait) by ChristasVengel on DeviantArt
Kathakali is a 17th Century highly stylized dance-drama of Kerala. The dancers require about three hours to prepare their make-up and costumes for the performance. The actors never speak but use hand gestures, facial expressions, and dance to tell the story. Prior to the actual performance, the lead dancer demonstrated a variety of movements to help the audience interpret the story as it was being danced. Traditionally Kathakali can last from dark until morning, although we were given a glimpse of it for about an hour.
When the performance was over, I noticed how my world had been transformed. I felt as though I was in between reality and imagination. It was much like a dream state that fuses reality, history, and potential of all possibilities. Something preverbal was awakened: the world was only images and feelings; the world did not need words to be experienced.
The dance of life is alive in me. I value language so much that it often takes priority in my mind. If I cannot explain something in words, I feel lost. However, dance performance animates life before words. The movements and postures activate that deep inner place where words are not needed for life to be experienced and expressed. I treasure and protect that innocent place, the place so ancient it feels older than time itself; a place so eternal it will last beyond time. I connect to a mystery that is not to be solved but held as the paradox of solving the unsolvable.
BJ Jakala, PhD is a participant in this year’s Journey to the Land of Shiva through the Jungians Lens led by Dr. Bedi.
Reflections by Ashok Bedi, M.D.
The most significant communication in life is the one without words. A mother communicates to her child via empathy long before the child has learned to speak or comprehend the spoken word. The lovers speak the language of the heart without words. We understand our friends or foe via resonance in our body without exchange of words. This is called Interoceptive Self Awareness of the other in our own body feelings. While the language is the most profound attribute of our human evolution and civilization, often it restricts rather than express our deepest thoughts and feelings because for these, we do not have discovered the words yet. Googling is a new word in English lexicon, yet we have been Googling our Soul via dreams for thousands of years. Now we have a paradigm to put it into words. The Indians have intuitively known this profound truth for thousands of years and embodied it in their dance tradition of Kathakali – the dance of communicating your feelings without words. We must all attempt to cultivate this inner dancer who can speak without language. Perhaps then different cultures, religions and countries may communicate without words getting in the way. During the Nixon Presidency, the two adversaries: China and America communicated peace and fellowship via a Ping Pong game!
Join us often to share in our experiences and images as we engage the Mystery of Shiva in India with our Jungian peers.
DR. ASHOK BEDI, MD
He is a Jungian psychoanalyst and a board certified psychiatrist who is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists of Great Britain, a diplomat in Psychological Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of England, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, serves as president of the Carl G. Jung Institute of Chicago, and is in private practice in Milwaukee (www.tulawellnessllc.com)
In addition, Dr. Bedi is the liaison for the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) for developing Jungian training programs in India, where he travels annually to teach, train, and consult with the Jungian Developing groups at several centers including those in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Bangalore. He leads the annual “A Jungian Encounter with the Soul of India” study group to several centers in India under the auspices of the New York Jung Foundation.
He is the Co-Founder of the USA India Jung Foundation (www.uijf.org). The USA India Jung Foundation promotes educational and clinical activities in India and USA based on the principals of Carl Jung’s analytical psychology and Eastern spiritual and healing wisdom and traditions. It fosters clinical, medical, and educational exchange between professionals of the United States and India. These activities include educational activities directed both to professional and lay organizations in both countries to promote mental health education and prevention activities based on principals of analytical psychology and Eastern Spirituality. To support this – A 501(c)(3) Foundation and its charitable activities, kindly make your tax deductible contribution via the website: www.uijf.org
Ashok Bedi’s fourth book, Crossing the Healing Zone: From Illness to Wellness, was published earlier this year by Ibis Press, a division of Nicolas-Hays, Inc. His previous books are Awaken the Slumbering Goddess: The Latent Code of the Hindu Goddess Archetypes (BookSurge, 2007), Retire Your Family Karma: Decode Your Family Pattern and Find Your Soul Path (Nicolas-Hays, Inc., 2003), and Path to the Soul (Samuel Weiser, Inc., 2000).
For more information, please see Dr. Bedi’s website, www.pathtothesoul.com
Robert “BJ” Jakala, PhD
Graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2007 with a degree in Depth Psychology. He has been in private practice as a Marriage Family Therapist in Woodland Hills CA since 1987. He has taught courses on stress management and self-replenishment for health care professionals for over ten years at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. This is his fifth trip to India with Mindful Journeys with Dr. Bedi.
To Support the Charitable Activities of the USA – India Jung Foundation, kindly visit our website – www.uijf.org and click under the DONATE link to make your Tax Deductible Contribution via check or PayPal
Ashok Bedi, M.D.