The following post is part of a series of reflections by Jungian Psychoanalyst Ashok Bedi, MD & Jungian Psychotherapist Robert BJ Jakala, PhD. Dr. BJ Jakala is a photographer and Dr. Bedi and Dr. Jakala jointly amplify the image. The ongoing series is available on pathtothesoul.com.
We seek the effective images, the thought-forms that satisfy the restlessness of heart and mind, and we find the treasures of the East.Jung, 1934/1954/1968, p. 13
I was walking through a small village when I encountered this woman sitting on the wall. When I gestured to her to gain permission to take her photo. She nodded. As I raised my camera, she raised her hands to the namaste position. I pressed the shutter and lowered my camera but continued to look at her looking at me. I felt blessed. Her grounded soulfulness welcomed the moment of encounter with another. I felt her hospitality; without a camera she captured me. There was need for a polite smile by either of us. The gratitude of being recognized at a deeper level eliminated the idea of surface pleasantries.
Life in the United States has very few moments of stillness unless we make them. The pandemic, social justice, political upheaval, concerns about schooling in the fall leave little space for a full acknowledgement. Yet, we all need to be seen, heard, understood, and loved. I would benefit from creating and partaking in more moments with the woman sitting on a wall.
Most of us engage a lifestyle of horizontal engagement with the mundane, survival dimension of our daily, routine and busy existence. This calls for a balance with attention to a vertical axis of interiority, spirituality and the sacred dimension of our lives. When the horizontal, survival axis of our daily life intersects with the vertical, archetypal axis of our inner life, it forms a symbol of the Cross – a symbol of Wholeness. This calls for a sacrifice in the material/horizontal life to make room for the contemplative space to engage the sacred.