July 2, 2021,
The serious problems in life, however, are never fully solved. If ever they should appear to be, so it is a sure sign that something has been lost. The meaning and purpose of a problem seem to lie not in its solution but in our working at it incessantly.(Jung, 1960b, p. 394 para 771)
The image reminds me of the question, “How do I keep my head above water?” The frog in the photo is resting in shallow water of a creek. Its life requires water, air, and food. It absorbs water through its skin (does not need to drink) and breathes air through its nostrils. Its life must keep a balance of having a food supply and being able to get away from predators quickly. The food supply is often found above the water, so while it sits it is also looking for something to eat. Survival requires vigilance for nutrition and well as protection from predators. The vigilance is worked at “incessantly”.
Our human life also requires vigilance, perhaps not quite as dramatic as the frog, yet we must pay attention to what nurtures us and what threatens us. As humans, we also have another dimension of survival/flourish. It is the spiritual issues of life and what we believe/follow regarding after life. There are many options in philosophy, religion, etc., that might guide us in attaining a rich environment to feed the deeper part of ourselves. The question is how much we immerse and how much do we stay above—just like the frog.
For most of the civilized sections of our society – albeit, fast shrinking, the real dangers for most of us is not outer but inner dangers. For the enlightened sector of our society, the real nurturance also comes not from the outer, material world, but the treasures of our unconscious – provided we seek them out.
It is prudent for spiritually involved to be aware of their inner dangers and resources and method to map these out. That is the Opus of a lifetime. We must live one day at a time, acknowledging the risks and the rewards that may accrue from our own depths. The right attitude towards the risks to us from us is humility. The right attitude towards the gifts of our unconscious is gratitude. Unfortunately, most of us are caught in hubris and entitlement, which is quickest path to spiritual decline.
All the wisdom traditions, philosophy, psychology, religions offer collective path to navigating the gifts and the dangers of the unconscious and engaging the guidance of the Spirit and the Collective unconscious. Many are choosing their own, individualized spiritual path, deploying the best practices and principles of all religions and traditions in a path, unique to each one of us – guided by own soul’s code, connected with the Spirit and channeled into Service of the human condition and human quest for transcendence. The wisdom of our depths is calling all of us, but few respond to the calling. Let us hope that you are of the few who has RSVP’d to the invitation! When touched by our soul and guided by the Spirit, our inner frog becomes the prince and the princess in life narrative, in a script meant just for us.
Points to Ponder:
- What serious problem(s) are never really solved in your life?
- How do you keep working at it (them)?
- When do you take a break from problem solving?
- What nourishes your sense of spirituality?
- How do you engage the other realms—the realm beyond ordinary reality? (Dreams, active imagination, creative endeavors……)
- Do you have a sense of dangers lurking in your own unconscious?
- Are you tuned into your gifts?
- How do you work through the unconscious dangers and harvest inner potentials?
- What do you plan to do with your cultivated potentials?
- How conscious you are to the unique ways in which you may be of service to your family, your community and to undertake higher purpose?
- Do you talk the talk or walk the walk of a conscious, contemplative, spiritually informed and purposeful life?
- Do you struggle with hubris or exercise humility?
- Do you have a sense of entitlement or a sense of gratitude for the gifts of the universe?
Jung, C. G. (1960b). The structure and dynamics of the psyche (Vol. 8). Pantheon Books.
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.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH. D