Category Archives: In a Time of COVID

Guest post by Lois Wilkins

The Wisdom Found in Chaos

What is the meaning to be found in the midst of this current chaos?

For the answers and, yes, there are many answers to such a question, let’s take some guidance from the ancients—the Alchemists and the Olympian Deities. Chaos is from where all life originated and continues to be a part of our everydayness as seen here in this simple example. For our purposes let us look at a seed. When a seed in planted in the earth, the prima materia, it enters into chaos. By this we mean, chaos as the unordered energy of all potential. The seed must die in its seed form and, by letting go of its life as a seed, it surrenders to the new life of a plant with roots, stem, and leaves. Eventually, the plant will produce a blossom which ultimately produces another seed. In this way, the cycle of life-death-life evolves. This example can be applied to the Axiom of Maria Prophetiessa: From the one (seed) comes the two (roots and foliage) and from the two comes the three (the container of the earth with catalytic influences of air, wind, sun, and water); and from the fourth comes a (new plant) comes the one (another new seed).

How does this apply to us in this time of crisis?

As chaos embodies all potential, we are able to recognize its importance in the process of paradigm changes. Some of the attributes we can mine from chaos are both its sin-concealing and wisdom-producing attributes, just to mention the two most relevant in our times.

The purpose of chaos for us is, in part, to learn the discipline of discernment, which in essential for mining deep into the chaos in search of the order that can emerge from it.

We have all wondered and laughed at the obsession with buying toilet paper out of the fear of not having what we consider essential, forgetting that many generations of people have existed before without toilet paper. Knowing the influence of the chakra energy systems, we recognize the location of the first chakra, the energy center for survival, life-force energy, which is located at the base of the spine, (also the location of the anus. So our toilet paper issues may not be such a strange obsession after all.

During this forced time for self-reflection, we hope to enter into a place of discernment of what is essential and unique to each one of us. Unfortunately, this opportunity has, in many lives, been usurped by the mania of acquiring more and more knowledge and ignoring or defending against Wisdom. As we evolve in consciousness the pursuit of Wisdom becomes paramount over the accumulation of mass amounts of knowledge. Wisdom allows and directs us toward the divine within us, promoting the experiences of co-creation. Knowledge, for the mere sake of knowing, encourages our separation from the divine.

This is a time of much needed changes on our planet and within ourselves. We are all in an agonizing labor as we give birth to what will be a new world. How timely that we can use this much needed freeze-frame to embrace some reflections on what is essential. The inflation of the mania, that we know was being lived out throughout the world, must now give way to the deflation forced upon us by this freeze-frame, providing space for mining the meanings for each of us.

So, this time of a freeze-frame, in essence a world-wide time out if we allow, promotes an opportunity for the self-reflection necessary to unplug from the numerous enmeshments found to our unconscious submission to external influences. Most importantly, this time out provides the opportunity to discover both the enmeshment we’ve been involved in and what is unique about our own life.

Many are obsessed with the desire to return to how things were just a fews weeks ago. Unless we each realize that a return to what was in the past is a regressive move, we are destined to continue living out polarizations such as powerless/ powerful, have/have not, and dominion/surrender. Remember what happened in the Bible to Lot’s wife when she did not follow the command to not look back? She was immobilized, turned into a pillar of salt. Our task is to look forward, being grounded in the present, not to look back.

Greek mythology instructs us through the twelve Deities found on Mount Olympus with the archetypal energies found in each of them:

Hera—Family,Women, childbirth, and Marriage;
Hestia—Home, Hearth, and the State;
Zeus—Sky, Lightening, Thunder, Order, and Justice;
Poseidon—Sea, Storms, Earthquakes, and Horses;
Demeter—Harvest, Agriculture, Fertility, and Sacred Law;
Aphrodite—Love, Beauty, and Sexuality;
Hephaestus—Fire, Metal Working, Stone Masonry, Forges, the Art of Sculpture, Technology, and Blacksmiths;
Athena—Wisdom, Handicrafts, and War;
Artemis—The Moon, chastity, Wild Animals, the Hunt, and the Wilderness;
Apollo—Sun, Light, Oracles, Knowledge, Healing, Diseases, Music Poetry, Songs, Dance, Archery, Herds and Flocs, and Protector of Young;
Hermes—Boundaries, Roads and Travelers, Commerce, Thieves, Athletes, Shepherds, Psychopomp, and Divine Messenger.

Some have said that archetypes are the organs of the psyche, both the universal and the collective psyche. If so, then it is the function of evolving consciousness to bring the influence of archetypes into the everyday awareness of individuals. Only in this manner can we move into relationship with these archetypal energies and move away from being possessed by them. Extreme archetypal possession in individuals can be seen in psychotic behaviors, acting out in the realm of non-consensual realities. On the global scale, certainly in terms of destructive climate change to our planet, this acting out has produced great harm.

Let’s explore the tasks needed to be constructive both globally and individually in these tumultuous times:

  1. Let us be open to the chaos, moving away from the denial that has been most dominant in our recent history.
  2. Search out where polarizations exist, both globally and in ourselves.
  3. Identify where these polarizations have failed to be influenced by the catalytic forces, and thus, bringing about the purification (premature loss of containment) that we are now living.
  4. Bring conscious Wisdom, not mere knowledge, into our lives with the intention of living a more holistic life on a multifaceted planet that we can be in creation with, rather than the paradigm of domination over nature.

Pandora, the gift of the feminine given to humanity by Zeus due to his anger with Prometheus, could not conceal all the sufferings that would come into the lives of humanity. But, she did reserve the attribute of Hope. Now, as in no other time in our history is this attribute of Hope more important. Not whimsical surrender to blind faith, but Hope that emerges from the Wisdom found in each individual’s role in creating the new world—a world of emerging harmony and collaboration— perhaps the astrological Age of Aquarius.

Lois Wilkins, PhD APRN, is a Theorist, Depth Psychotherapist, Researcher, Consultant, and Owner of the Eagle’s Nest Holistic Mental Health, Inc., with offices in Lawrence and DeSoto, Kansas. She has published numerous articles and poetry. In addition to her private practice, she teaches classes, including but not limited to, Fairy Tales and Dreams and Jungian Analytical/Depth Psychology.

Guest post by Lisa Whitlow

Corona Virus Reflection

I have been asked to write some words about this strange and frightening time dictated by the corona virus.  What can I say that is not being said on social media and on the evening news?  Wash your hands.  Practice “social distancing.”  Hold your loved ones close.  Keep a regular routine.  But a few recommendations do come to mind:

Allow yourself to grieve.  This is a planetary crisis.  People are suffering and people are dying.  Our blue earth is struggling to breathe, to survive.  Do not pretend that everything is okay – it isn’t.  If we pretend, if we deny, if we avoid, the pain embeds itself in our bodies and darkens our souls.  Let yourself cry, let yourself rage – allow yourself to feel what you feel.  Light a votive candle for those who are suffering.  And then, go outdoors for a walk; cook a good meal; sing your favorite songs; connect with a loved one.

Find creative outlets.  Keep a journal, do some art (“artistic ability” not required), play with clay, write a poem, write a song, read your favorite literature out loud.

Celebrate. (But wait, didn’t I just recommend grieving?)  We also need to find ways to celebrate what is good and beautiful in our world and in our lives.  Have a “Zoom” cocktail hour or dinner with friends, set a festive table for your family and make your favorite foods, laugh and be silly together.  Glory in the coming green of spring.

Reach out.  Try to find someone who needs you – such as an elderly person who is isolated during this time – and do what you can.

It is strange to be considering our own mortality.  Perhaps because I am in that “vulnerable category,” I have been doing some reflecting.  Oddly enough, what I have found is that I am “good to go.”  This is not what I want, of course.  But I have been considering my life.  I have had my share of sadness and loss, but I have had such joy!  I have had music, and laughter; I have rejoiced in the great round of the seasons; I have delighted in a baby’s first laugh, the warmth of a lover’s embrace, the gifts of family … the list of great blessings is endless.  I am filled at times with a sweet and almost unbearable joy.  And this gratitude is not related to my accomplishments – all the things that at one time I thought were so essential are, in the words of Thomas Aquinas, “straw.”

One final suggestion: on a clear night, go out and look at the stars.  If you can, drive out beyond the city lights.  You may find, (in the words of one of my favorite pieces of music, “Sure on this Shining Night”), that you may “weep for wonder!”

Lisa Whitlow, M.A., D.Min., has maintained a private practice for 30 years as a depth-oriented counselor and spiritual mentor.  Dr. Whitlow is a frequent speaker for the Friends of Jung, and has led retreats and workshops in Kansas City, Texas, Idaho, Arizona, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

Guest post by Marty Dybicz


May we all stay deeply centered and be kind and creative in these challenging times.

Deeply centered. Aware, in the very center of our being. Feeling and flowing from there. The all-inclusive Self. The place of oneness, wholeness, life, love, peace, now.

Staying deeply centered. Abiding in Self. Resting there. Trusting. Returning to that Spacious Heart each time we notice the contracting, the small self rising, fearing, thinking, attempting to control this unspeakably vast, wild, mysterious process.

Returning to breath, to whole bodily feeling, to our senses. Opening again, beyond ego. Letting separateness dissolve. Leaving thoughts and fearful fantasies behind.

Kind. Open-hearted. Compassionate. Toward others, toward self. Soft and caring and strong. Showing this. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, together.

Creative. New. Never before. Letting Self lead the way. Letting images turn into action. Integrating. Innovating. Letting the energy flow freely, express itself naturally, now.

Challenging times. In need of light and love and courage, now. Calling forth Self, our depth, wholeness, truth, best.

May we all stay deeply centered and be kind and creative in these challenging times.

We can do this, together.

Marty Dybicz is a licensed psychologist in private practice and a long-standing participant in the Friends of Jung.