As we look forward to new beginnings in 2021, the narrative of the Rainmaker is one that we should all be thinking about. Carl Jung's favorite story, initially presented to him by sinologist Richard Wilheim, was the story of a small village in China which was stricken by the great drought. He loved telling this story in his lectures. Although it is a simple narrative, considering the chaotic and troubling circumstances in which we find ourselves, this article has a profound and beneficial lesson for all of us. The central idea of this article is how larger conflicts can be avoided if one is centered, grounded, congruent to the inner world and aligned to the field.
"Intrinsic security doesn't come from what other people think of us or how they treat us. It doesn't come from our circumstance or our position. It comes from within. It comes from accurate paradigms and correct principles deep in our own mind and heart. It comes from inside-out congruence, from living a life of integrity in which our daily habits reflect our deepest values."
The following is an excerpt from “The Earth has a Soul: The Nature Writings” of Carl Jung
There was a great drought where the missionary Richard Wilhelm lived in China. There had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions and the Protestants made prayers, and the Chinese burned joss-sticks and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought but with no result. Finally the Chinese said, ‘We will fetch the rainmaker’ and from another province a dried-up old man appeared. The only thing he asked for was a quiet little hut somewhere near the village and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day, clouds gathered and there was a great snow-storm at the time of the year where no snow was expected , an unusual amount, and the town was all full of rumours about the wonderful rainmaker that Wilhelm went to ask the man how he did it. In true European fashion he said, ‘They call you the rainmaker; will you tell me how you made the rain?’ and the little Chinese man said, ‘I did not make the rain, I’m not responsible’. Wilhelm not satisfied with his answer asked another question, ‘But what have you done these three days?’. To this the old man replied, ‘I come from another country, where things are in order. Here, they are out of order; they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole village is not in The Tao, and I’m also not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in town and then naturally the rain came.’
This story really illustrates the importance of being grounded, centered, aligned and congruent in our lives and it's almost kind of freaky that quite often when we get grounded and centered, it is like the law of attraction changes our circumstances. If we are upset about something external in our reality and we do something to get congruent, one of two things often happens, either the external circumstances change or our attitude about external situations changes. The act of getting congruent with the self, realigns us with The Tao and with nature. This was Carl Jung’s favourite story that throughout the rest of his life he repeated it as often as he could, sometimes annoying his audience with the endless retelling. This story must be like 100 years old, when there was no internet, no smartphones, and in our day and age, the story and this message applies like 100 times more because our age is just so chaotic for example, when we adapt too much to those around us, taking on their belief systems and behaviors (trying to be like Instagram models)—trying to be the person others expect us to be—we betray ourselves. We inevitably get conflicted and perplexed, which leads to sadness and worry. We're in an incongruent state when what we're experiencing on the inside—emotionally, mentally, spiritually—doesn't match what we're portraying on the outside. The message is if one is feeling incongruent and misaligned, just things like meditation, or going to a park or being in nature, going on long walks and even taking a long shower, sometimes we just need to get away from people. It is like suddenly we are much more at ease and comfortable with our external situations. It can be magical like a rainmaker just getting grounded and then it starts to rain. When we are congruent in ourselves, magically things start aligning and making sense.
There is wisdom in congruence and this wisdom is not thinking of external validation, not succumbing to external pressure but really standing up for something which we believe should be, that we will want to do. Consider the following scene from the film The Karate Kid (2008): What counts is what's on your mind. And in your heart, mind, and soul. What evidence do we have for this? If you haven't seen the iconic moment in which Daniel questions Mr. Miyagi about his belt, expecting it to be black, I'll tell you: “Daniel-san...” says Mr. Miyagi. He makes a tapping motion with his head. “Karate here,” says the coach. He presses his index finger to his heart. “Karate here,” says the coach. He then motions to his belt. “Karate has never been here. “Do you get it?” We all have a propensity to feel uneasy from time to time and seek external validation. Unfortunately, in this actual reality, titles, degrees, and experience do matter. But it's the light within that counts. Trust the process and have faith in yourself.
Drought in our life, goals and day-to-day affairs
Sometimes when a doctor informs a patient that ‘you are going to die’ and the person feels that he is going to die but 20 minutes earlier, the person never believed it because he never met the doctor 20 minutes before, and he was not going to die in his brain 20 minutes before. In this scenario, he was not internally congruent and therefore an external message just shook his ground. It is critical that we surf smoothly within so that external factors do not shake our ground; otherwise, the wave would entirely destabilize the stability. And if we are not getting the aligned messages from within then we are creating the confusion from the outside, we will seek validation from outside and we will rely on the outside information. We can't make the rain come down. Wishful thinking isn't going to help either. Rather, change occurs as a result of, or as an outward reflection of, our ongoing attempts to bring our inner and outside worlds into greater balance. We are inwardly and profoundly altered because we have taken the time and effort to become more attuned to our real selves, more centered, more in touch with our senses, instincts, and emotions, more aware, more conscious, and in closer contact with the unconscious. In a similar way, the outside world is subtle. Synchronicity is increasing. We become more intuitive, responsive, sensitive, and open to these synchronistic chances, which would have been rejected, discarded out of hand, or languishing utterly unnoticed in our previous state of mind. The whole thing is supposed to be at the service of the soul, not in service of the ego. Possibilities will emerge as a result of the decisions made.
Watching the constant news feed on Facebook and Instagram of how well others are seemingly having the time of their lives online takes away from what we are focusing on and doing. When we're unhappy with where we're at in life, we try to alter it. As a result, we go about changing our surroundings in the hopes of bringing about the change we desire. We buy stuff to feel better about ourselves on a material level. We go on vacation to get away from our issues. We want substances (Alcohol or drugs) to help us forget and numb our minds. But, of course, we return to where we began: dissatisfied with our current situation. As a result, the cycle continues. We shop, travel, and forget, always focused on the external factors that need to be changed in order to improve our situation. This occurs because we mistakenly believe that change starts from the outside. True, the environment can influence your circumstances, but it doesn't address the base of the problem (your thinking), which is the driving force behind how you feel.
When your car's wheels are out of alignment, it still works, but it pulls to the left or right, and the ride isn't always pleasant, right? That's just how life is. It is possible for it to become misaligned (psychologically). If you believe in the existence of a soul, you may also believe that our soul has a purpose or a life path that it must pursue. Of course, the soul might deviate from this road, but we feel most at ease and content when we are on it. If you go too far from your path, you will no longer be living in alignment with your purpose. We'll continue to experience duality as a succession of beginnings and endings, tranquility and turmoil, enlightenment and bewilderment throughout this year. Experiencing polarity is a necessary component of personal development and learning more about one's inner self. Living in the moment, staying centered, taking care of our body, practicing gratitude and embracing our talents can help us align with the Universe.
Need for synchronicity and the relationship between psyche and matter
The rainmaker allegory implies that there is some inexplicable linkage, or perhaps inseparability, oneness, between our inner and outward life. There's a difference between subjective and objective reality. There is a correlation, but not necessarily a causative relationship. Carl Jung used the term "synchronicity" to describe this seemingly purposeful occurrence. Surprisingly, positive things begin to happen externally as patients in psychotherapy get their inner home in order, modify their perspective toward reality, come into deeper attunement and harmony with who they really are and how they truly feel, identify and follow their Ariadnean thread. It has the potential to appear and feel magical. The long-awaited connection arrives out of nowhere. The ideal career opportunity appears. Other previously shut doors seem to open with ease.
Jung realized that reality encompassed not only the outside world but also the inner world. The fact is that we exist in two worlds: the objective world and the subjective reality world. Jung even went so far as to call certain components of our inner reality the "objective psyche," stressing both its independence from ego-consciousness and its intrinsic universal or archetypal reality. While the physical rules of outward reality differ from the psychological rules of inner reality, both are vital in daily living. People, whether in the areas of work, creativity, money, friendship, sex, or love, occasionally go through extended periods of "drought" in their life. Despite their knowledge, ingenuity, determination, and best conscious attempts, they are unable to force change, to break the wicked "spell." They believe they have been cursed, bewitched, jinxed, or hoodooed. This is, in fact, frequently what draws people to treatment. What they don't comprehend is that the "curse," or dry spell, is at least partially caused by them. (On the other side, some patients place too much guilt on themselves for what has occurred, is occurring, or is not occurring in their lives.) They don't seem to be in sync with themselves. The disparity in any field will affect the ecology. As a result, congruence and alignment are critical.
Balancing and healing
The axiom "As within, so without" is found in several yoga and mystery school traditions. It's a word used to emphasize the fact that the substance of our "inner" reality, the subtle energies that make up our current Self structure, manifest in our "outer" experience. To alter our 'outside' reality, we must first change our 'inside' reality. The outward conditions of our Life will shift only once the vibrational content of our current lens of Self has shifted. Self is a physical structure that reflects its own contents onto reality, similar to a lens or a stained glass window. The various psycho-emotional patterns and realities of our manifestation are traced back to very specific textures within that lens of the Self, which are also frequently associated with the various physical systems of the body, such as the chakras, organs (stated in Hindu and Buddhist texts), and other aspects of our body-mind. Our bodily, spiritual, and practical well-being are all managed by chakras. If our chakras are out of balance or not aligned, we may experience difficulties. Chakras are a worldwide phenomena with over 100 chakras linked with each human, however the seven chakras situated in the body are the most important. There is a relationship between various manifest conditions and the contents of our body in such systems, illustrating the connection between ‘inner' and ‘outer' reality.
‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne which discusses the law of attraction urges people to imagine their stated goals clearly in order to attract it. It emphasizes that getting from where you are to where you want to go isn't always a straight line, and we can't always predict when things will turn around, but tenacity and self-confidence are essential. The fundamental advantage of this book is that it empowers the reader. It reminds you that, even if things seem hopeless, there is a lot you can do to improve your situation.
Psychotherapy and Solipsism
In existential psychotherapy, we employ phenomenology, a philosophical approach, to try to come closer to the patient's subjective truth or reality. To understand and feel the patient's subjective world more clearly, we must be aware of and set aside our typical assumptions and biases (or at least recognize them as such) as much as possible when we encounter him or her. One radical reaction to this awareness of reality's relativity and partial subjectivity is to reject all earlier claims to our ability to know reality, and in certain circles, to deny objective reality entirely. This is a form of psychological solipsism, in which one refuses to acknowledge the objective existence of reality outside of one's mind or psyche's subjectivity. However, the answer to this conundrum does not need or justify such a complete rejection of our ability to comprehend reality as a result of our growing awareness of its inherent unpredictability and complexity. The reality, on the other hand, is made up of objective or exterior occurrences as well as subjective, internal experiences that are continually acting on and influencing one another.
There are difficulties in life for which external remedies are ineffective, as the Rainmaker story illustrates. Here we have a country in severe straits due to drought. Water is essential for life, and fresh life is impossible without it. It's a wasteland out there. We can't fix this problem with traditional methods since they are no longer connected to life's principles. Traditional prayers have become nothing more than vocal exercises, and rituals have become nothing more than occasions for generating noise. People try everything but the essentials: running, pill-popping, going to the movies, shopping – all of these activities are only distractions and have no long-term impact. None of them provide a remedy to the drought problem.
Our spoken words, thoughts, and deeds must all be in sync if we are to achieve positive changes in our own lives. Thinking positively or longing for change in life is pointless if we aren't congruent. When we talk about congruence in life, we're not talking about the same mathematical word you studied in high school; we're talking about a far more complex style of existence. The best way to grasp it is to practice congruence in all facets of your life, act in a congruent manner, and inhabit it. Drought represents an absence of feeling, flow, connectedness, and vitality in mythic traditions. It alludes to a state of being out of sync with life's divine nature. When the rainmaker arrived at the drought-stricken community, he noted that "the entire environment and all the men and women here were terribly troubled." Isn't this a reflection of the current state of affairs in which we find ourselves?
Diamond, S.A. (2010, January 1). Redefining Reality: Psychology, Science and Solipsism. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evil-deeds/201001/redefining-reality-psychology-science-and-solipsism
Diamond, S.A. (2010, January 8). Redefining Reality (Part two): Psychology, Science and Solipsism. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evil-deeds/201001/redefining-reality-part-two-psychotherapy-synchronicity-and-the-rainmaker
Fae, P. (2018, January 30). As Within so Without – The Relationship between Inner and Outer Reality. Into the Mythica. https://intothemythica.com/as-within-so-without-the-relationship-between-inner-and-outer-reality/
Perluss, B. (2015, April 5). We Are All Rainmakers. Psyche and Nature. https://psycheandnature.com/2015/04/05/we-are-all-rainmakers/
This article on 'The Rainmaker and the Drought in Our Life' has been contributed by Anshu Yadav, who has completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Amity University, Noida. She is part of the Global Internship Research Program (GIRP), which is under the leadership and guidance of Anil Thomas. GIRP is an Umang Foundation Trust initiative to encourage young adults across our globe to showcase their research skills in psychology and to present it in creative content expression.
Anshu is extremely curious about psychology and wants to spread awareness about mental health problems to help those in need.
Anil is an internationally certified NLP Master Practitioner and Gestalt Therapist. He has conducted NLP Training in Mumbai, and across 6 other countries. The NLP practitioner course is conducted twice every year. To get your NLP certification