July 4, 2020
In addition, dreams can rely on subliminal memory traces that are no longer able to influence consciousness effectively. With regard to prognosis, therefore, dreams are often in a much more favorable position than consciousness. (Jung, 1960b, p. 256)
This wishing well was placed during the 1800’s. It sits off to the side of the property which allows privacy as I consider the wish I want to make. The scenery is tranquil. The air is fresh, My ears rest in silence. This opportunity feels like anything is possible. It feels like a dream. I am in the world of no restrictions, no movement, and yet in the world of potential.
The photo was taken in February 2020, when the world was so different. Sometimes it is hard to remember back then. It is like chasing a dream to journal before waking up too much. It feels elusive and remote. I am grateful to have the image to remind me of the gesture of the wishing well—the tossing of a coin into it. It is different than prayer that is tossed to the heavens. The coin is something of value I am willing to let go of to give me hope that my wish will come true. I have made an investment in my future.
In this resurge of the pandemic in the United States, the social unrest, etc., it would be valuable to find cherished moments of life to hold onto, and to still dream/wish for healing to happen and make needed changes in our democracy for social justice. The energy from those moments can be used to create action. The wishing well should say, “Make a wish. Now do the work to have it come true.”
In the pyramid of conscious discernment, when facing personal or collective crisis, trauma or change, we go through the algorithm of first looking at the conscious situation: The Reality. Then we consult the unconscious: The Dreams. Thirdly we create a Wish in consultation with the unconscious: Change and then we Pray for guiding energy of the Universe to support us via new images, symbols, synchronicities and support.
The process begins with first identifying the problem or the Crisis or Change. We may ponder the issues; Do I need to let go of the marriage? Do I need to get a new job? Do we need to deal with a Pandemic differently? Does our Society need to make major changes in Social Justice and Racial Equality for good of all?
In assessing the present reality and issues, it is crucial that we focus on the present and the future and consult the past not get stuck in it. It is not the fault of the present generation for the injustices of the past, but they have the responsibility to make things right in the present and going forward, which may necessitate sacrifice and change.
Then we need to consult our unconscious and its guidance on the issues that confront us. When we are caught in an extremely dysfunctional situation: job, marriage, social attitudes, collective response to crisis etc. the dream may instruct us to dissolve the present order and make room for a new personal and collective structures and systems.
A classic example of a dream instructing us to demolish the old to make room for the new is in the Book of Daniel:
13 “In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger,[c] coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field.
“‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times[d] pass by for him.
Daniel 4 New International Version (NIV)
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Tree
Here is Jung’s comment on this dream.
The great tree is the dreaming king himself. Its meaning is obviously an attempt to compensate the king’s megalomania which, according to the story developed into a real psychosis.
(Jung, 1969)page 251
Might we be in a similar predicament in our present collective situation? Is our king and certain sectors of our society in this megalomaniac impending psychosis of perceived Greatness?
Once we have united the reality with unconscious guidance, we need to construct a WISH for our future as an individual or a society. One may ponder one’s emergence. What will my life be beyond this job, marriage and cancer recovery? How do I wish to live differently? What kind of a Society I vision for my grandchildren? What will future Health Care look like in our Society? What system of immigration system be fair to our present citizens as well as potential immigrants? What are optimal systems for Women and Minorities in our Society to establish fairness and freedom in parity with the privileged sectors of society?
Once we have a Wish, an image of a New Beginning, we must ask for guidance from the Wisdom of the Universe to make these changes in a fair and spiritually aligned manner, with compassion for those who have wronged us, with fairness to the present protagonists whose ancestors have harmed us and wisdom to create a WIN-WIN situation. This may be in form of Prayer, Contemplation, Meditation or Psychoanalysis. This takes the guidance of the archetype of the Mediator, the Divine Trickster, Hermes or Krishna to guide our way. I have discussed this Hermetic paradigm in one of my publications. (Bedi, 2013), pages 66-70
Once we have our GPS for Change with Wisdom, then we need the Courage to Change. This may mean dissolving old systems, institutions, marriage, job, profession, attitude and make room for a New paradigm. This follows an Alchemic formula
“Solve et Coagula” Dissolve and Coagulate. The alchemists saw the essence of their art in separation and analysis (of the crisis or situation) on the one hand and synthesis and consolidation on the other hand (New Paradigm – New Deal- New Beginning).
(Jung, 1970), foreword, page xiv
In every individual, every family, every society, a time comes when the old systems must be dissolved in the Alchemic vessel of change and transformation and New systems and life-patterns must be coagulated and crystallized for Bold New Beginnings. I am privileged to engage in psychotherapy with individuals who are at the threshold of such Alchemic changes in their lives. We are the members of the human race: not Black race, or Brown race of White race, but Human Race, a Human Family. We are at the threshold of one such Alchemic transformation moment. Will we rise to the occasion with wisdom, courage and strength on this Independence Day?
Points to Ponder
How do you assess your present crisis or situation?
How do you assess our societies present crisis?
What do your dreams say about your personal or collective situation?
What is your Wish or image of a new reality?
How do seek support from the Universe?
Do you have a resolution to create a Win-Win situation to the extent possible?
What do you need to do to create a New System in your personal life and in our societies crisis?
Do you have the Courage to make the Change?
Photo taken in Kerikeri, New Zealand.
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.
Jung, C. G. (1960b). The structure and dynamics of the psyche. New York: Pantheon Books.
Jung, C. G. (1969). The structure and dynamics of the psyche, Volume 8 (2d — ed. Vol. 20). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1970). Mysterium coniunctionis: an inquiry into the separation and synthesis of psychic opposites in alchemy, Volume 14 (2d — ed. Vol. 20). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
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 WEEK 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