This Too Shall Pass

The Eternal underlying the Transient

In the Eye of the Storm

An individual response to the Global Crisis

ISSN 1939-3407

April 30, 2020

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.

Two opposing “realities,” the world of the conscious and the world of the unconscious, do not quarrel for supremacy, but each makes the other relative. (Jung, 1956, p. 218)

There is just enough first light to catch this shot. The storm passed but the deep clouds linger. Reality of yesterday is barely visible. Everything is dominated by the presence of snow. Only a few things play frozen peek-a-boo from under the white blanket. I am struck by the drastic environmental change. For now, the change is all that apparent. Yet both yesterday’s world and today’s vista are present in my mind.

As I look at this image today, I think about how the world is covered by the pandemic. Life prior to it is held in memory more than it appears evident. I must dig deeper to recall everyday life as it existed before Covid-19 dominated. Just as the snow will melt and leave traces of itself with damage and change, the pandemic will subside. We will know more once it is gone and the quality life can be assessed.

When embroiled in the present face of reality like the pandemic, it is easy to lose the memory of the underlying enduring reality. If we get caught in the Samsara or Maya of the present reality, we may lose contact with the Eternal reality, the enduring dynamic, the baseline of human condition and the equilibrium in the human consciousness. Eventually, the psyche has its’s own compensatory mechanisms for restoring the balance between the transient and the eternal. This is well exemplified in this quote in Bible

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 New International Version (NIV)

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

In this transient pandemic, we might well benefit from remembering our humanity, our interrelatedness, our brotherhood and sisterhood, our love for our neighbors and to take care of the vulnerable. That altruistic place in our heart is what defines our humanity. It is the eternal principle that echoes the underlying theme that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. Otherwise, we regress to our Reptilian Self. Each individual and society must make a choice between the Reptilian Survival instinct or the Altruistic Spiritual Drive.

Whatever we experience in our transient reality, we might remember that it is micro manifestation of the Eternal Spirit and its Mystery

Whatever you see as beautiful, glorious, or powerful, know it to spring from but a spark of my splendor.

Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 10, para 41

Some Points to Ponder:

  1. How does today look different?
  2. What parts of life prior to the pandemic linger? What parts do you miss?
  3. What do you yearn for?
  4. How will you blend personal protection and the need for freedom as the rules change?
  5. How do you characterize your personal response to the pandemic?
  6. Would you characterize your response primarily as Survivor, Altruist or both?
  7. How do you feel our society is responding to the pandemic?
  8. Would you classify our Societal response as every one for themselves or for the greater good?

Photo taken In Utah

Jung, C. G. (1956). Two essays on analytical psychology: Meridian Books.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 New International Version (NIV)

Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 10, para 41

© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D.