What the Eyes cannot see
The Ultimate Source
In the Eye of the Storm
An individual response to the Global Crisis
May 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.
The unconscious, however, in its principal and most overpowering manifestations, can only be regarded as a collective phenomenon which is everywhere identical, and because it never seems to be at variance with itself, it may well possess a marvelous unity and self-consistency, the nature of which at present shrouded in impenetrable darkness. (Jung, 1954, p. 124)
This image helps me understand Jung’s quote. There is darkness in part of the photo that does not allow knowledge of what it contains. It is in front of me, yet I cannot see the contents. I can look around and beyond it rather easily. What is important is that I do not pretend it is not there.
There is darkness in this pandemic. There are parts I do not know or understand. The virus seems impenetrable in some ways, yet science and medicine are working at finding its consistency; the consistency that will hopefully facilitate an effective vaccine and/or treatment.
Individual consciousness is limited by our Ego’s capacity to embody and experience the infinite wisdom and intelligence of the Universe. This Universe and many before this and infinite parallel universes; each has their own wisdom and awareness. This awareness is in seamless, infinite continuum with past, present, future in multiple universes deriving their intelligence from the same omniscient, omnipresent, atemporal, eternal consciousness that the Hindus call the Brahman. Each Atman or individual soul is a mere, faint echo or fractal of this Brahman.
The telos or trajectory of every sentient being or all matter at that is to merge with this Brahman in a seamless manner. This process is unconscious, though contemplative practices like Prayer (Egolf, 1992; Pennington, 1982; Randolph & Byrd, 1988), Pranayama, Meditation, Mindfulness and Yoga(Bedi, 2013) can amplify this process.(Bryant, Patañjali, & Patañjali, 2018; Finger, 2018; Radhakrishnan & Moore, 1957; Satchidanada, 1978). These practices bring what is in darkness or Shadow into light or consciousness. But even when we are not conscious of these Archetypal forces, they are guiding us under the Radar of consciousness. This is the working of the Collective Unconscious, the UNUS MUNDUS, the soul of our world.
While human enterprise leads to faster recovery of these energies to guide us, fortunately for us, these Brahman Spirit continues to work simultaneously to protect and guide us until such time as it has other plans for us. Then of course, we will make a transition to whatever comes next in the narrative of our fragile civilization. Perhaps we will make room for a more advanced civilization just as the Dinosaur’s paved way for us!
Here is a glimpse into this Collective wonder in Lord Krishna revealing his Divine form to his protégé Arjuna
Arjuna, see my forms
In hundreds and thousands
Of many colors and shapes
See the sun gods, gods of light,
Howling storm gods, twin gods of dawn,
And gods of wind, Arjuna
Wonderous forms not seen before.
Arjuna, see all the universe,
Animate and inanimate,
And whatever else you wish to see;
All stands here as one in my body.
But you cannot see me
With your own eyes
I will give you a divine eye to see
The majesty of my discipline.
Bhagwat Gita, Chapter 11, para 5-8
(Miller & Copyright Paperback Collection (Library of Congress), 1986)
Some Points to Ponder:
What do you do when you encounter the unknown?
What if it is “shrouded in impenetrable darkness” as Jung says?
What part of the pandemic feels like the darkness?
What resources do you rely on to help you through difficult times?
Have you utilized those resources enough?
Do you perceive that there are hidden sources of strength, hope and guidance for you beyond your comprehension that are helping you in the pandemic?
How do you experience these spiritual forces manifest in your life?
How do these spiritual forces manifest in the matrix of your family and community?
How do you honor these spiritual whispers in your lived life?
Photo taken in Westlake Village, California
Bedi, A. (2013). Crossing the healing zone : from illness to wellness. Lake Worth, FL
Newburyport, MA: Ibis Press, a division of Nicolas-Hays, Inc.,Lake Worth
Distributed to the trade by Red Wheel/Weiser.
Bryant, E. F., Patañjali, & Patañjali. (2018). The Yoga sūtras of Patañjali : a new edition, translation, and commentary : with insights from the traditional commentators. New Delhi: Macmillan.
Egolf, B. (1992). (). “The Roseto effect: A 50-year comparison of mortality rates,” American Journal of Public Health, 82(8), 1089-1092.
Finger, A. N., Wendy. (2018). Tantra of the Yoga Sutra – Essential Wisdom for Living with Awareness and Grace. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Shambala Boulder.
Jung, C. G. (1954). The practice of psychotherapy : essays on the psychology of the transference and other subjects. London: Routledge & K. Paul.
Miller, B. S., & Copyright Paperback Collection (Library of Congress). (1986). The Bhagavad-gita : Krishna’s counsel in time of war (A Bantam Classic ed.). Toronto ; New York: Bantam Books.
Pennington, B. (1982). “Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form,” Image.
Radhakrishnan, S., & Moore, C. A. (1957). A source book in Indian philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Randolph, C., & Byrd, M. (1988). “Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population,” Southern Medical Journal, 81(:7), 826–-829.
Satchidanada, S. S. (1978). The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Buckingham, Virginia: Integral Yoga Publications.
© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D.