Honey – The Elixir and a Poison

In the Eye of the Storm

An individual response to the Global Crisis

ISSN 1939-3407


April 5, 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 and 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.

With the honey the pleasure of the senses and the joy of life went into the mixture, as well as the secret fear of the “poison,” the deadly danger of worldly entanglements.
(Jung, 1970, p. 493)

The drop of honey is about to return to the jar, but in this moment, it is noticeably separate. The unusual design of the spoon is functional for just such an occasion. It is used like a regular spoon to scoop things our of a jar, but then rests in a way that facilitates conservation. The spoon is placed in position so there is little or no waste of honey.

The image reminds me how important the right tool at the right moment is in life. We have been asked to follow medical guidelines, based on research, to protect our health. One of those guidelines is to wear a mask to help prevent the spray of droplets during conversation. We are not used to seeing people wearing masks in public. We don’t look normal. However, the mask may be like the misshaped spoon: It may let us go back into community.

Honey is medicine. In excess, especially if you are diabetic, it would be your poison. Socialization is the elixir of human relationships. But socialization should not be confused with attachment. Sometimes, to honor our attachments, we must relinquish social connection. Every parent must learn to let go of children, when they are ready to leave the nest. In the present pandemic, we must refrain from physical social connections precisely because of our deeper attachment to our families, friends and community. Too much honey of socialization can hurt us in the present environment. Like the image, the honey must return to the jar, to the soul and manifest in a contained manner. That is true love. By letting go of socialization, we are letting people we love deeper in our heart. We have numerous other ways of sharing the honey of love and attachment.

Some Points to Ponder

What do you do to maintain your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health?

What precautions are you taking to keep yourself healthy during the pandemic?

How do you stay connected to others, so when appropriate you can go back into community?

Like the unusually shaped spoon, what tools might you use/make for vitality?

What “worldly entanglements” do you miss? What coping strategies do you use?

Do you confuse Social Distancing with Soul Distancing?

Are you able to “take in” the feelings of love and attachment for those you crave to socialize with express in other creative ways?

Photo taken in Dungarpur, Rajasthan, India

Jung, C. G. (1970). Mysterium coniunctionis : an inquiry into the separation and synthesis of psychic opposites in alchemy (2d ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

© Ashok Bedi, M.D. and Robert BJ Jakala, PH.D.ISSN