In Alumni in Action, Essays & Poems, Voices

The Wisdom of the Source

Reaching out to the guidance of the Collective Unconscious


April 29, 2020


Ashok Bedi, M.D., Jungian Psychoanalyst

Robert BJ Jakala PH.D., Jungian Psychotherapist (2007 PhD Depth Psychology)


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.


Thus, in coming to terms with the unconscious, not only is the standpoint of the ego justified, but the unconscious is granted the same authority, The ego takes the lead, but the unconscious must be allowed to have its say too…. (Jung, 1960b, p. 88)


The firefighting helicopter draws river water up through a giant hose. Once its tank is full, it flies off to use the water on a nearby forest fire.

A forest fire is clearly an emergency. Such an occasion requires special equipment to remedy the situation. This helicopter is a magnificent water transport vehicle. Simply put, it is a flying big bucket getting water for a fire.

As I took this photo, the smell of fire is prominent. Off to the right, beyond the image, are huge plumes of smoke from the burning forest. The dominant sound of the helicopter blades diminishes as it flies off to drop its contents. I hope the ongoing mission is effective.

This scene is a concrete example of how to handle an emergency in the physical world. The dynamics can be used in all areas of personal life. When there is an emergency, the first thing to do is assess the situation. If there are not remedies close at hand, arrange for transportation to get proper supplies to ameliorate the circumstance.

There are times the personal conscious/unconscious resources are not enough. The collective unconscious will have an answer once a vehicle or pathway to and from it are made.

Water is a symbol of the Unconscious; both personal and collective. When Ego our consciousness has reached its threshold to deal with the crisis, it accesses the personal unconscious, the hidden, latent and potential inner resources to deal with the crisis. However, in certain crisis like the current pandemic, even the [more]

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