JUNG, RAMANA MAHARSHI AND EASTERN MEDITATION
by Dr. J. Glenn Friesen
Revised notes from lectures given at the C.G. Jung Institute, Küsnacht (May 4-5, 2004)
Part 2 of Lectures
Jung and Iyer (See chart
Iyer's main difference from Ramana was that he emphasized practical ethics. Iyer was a follower of Vivekananda (1863-1902). Vivekananda was an Indian philosopher who was a also disciple of the Indian holy man Ramakrishna (1836-1886). But Vivekananda was also influenced by western thought. Hacker and Halbfass therefore refer to him as a "neo-Hindu"–a Hindu influenced by western teaching . Vivekananda wrote the book Practical Vedanta, in which he argued that Vedanta had ethical implications . Ramakrishna's disciples set up the Ramakrishna Missions, which emulated Christian missions in India with their emphasis on service to humanity and social involvement. And we have already seen how Jung was familiar with Ramakrishna, and makes reference to his ideas of involvement with the world.
Following Vivekananda, Iyer stressed the basis of ethics in our interdependence with others. He related this in Hindu terminology, and in particular to the Upanishadic identity of atman and Brahman. This is the tat tvam asi [that art thou] basis of ethics. According to this view of ethics, we do good to others not out of altruism, but because in some sense we and others share a common identity, so we are serving our true Self. Iyer interpreted Shankara from a Neo-Vedantic point of view. He found in the great Advaitin philosopher a validation of his own ethic of social service (inspired by Western influence), universalism (i.e. Neo-Hindu inclusivism), as well as Indian nationalist sentiment.
Iyer also presented Shankara as a rationalist philosopher, in contrast to the more traditional image of him as a theologian:
Thus Iyer interpreted Shankara's teaching as food for all humanity, the universal teaching par excellence; it is not just a religion, but the religion; not a philosophy, but the philosophy; not a science, but the Science of Truth; not a soteriology, but the path to spiritual liberation par excellence, wide and deep as the ocean which contains virtually all the water of the world and in which all particular forms ultimately dissolve.
It is unclear whether Brunton realized that in following Iyer, he was accepting a more western outlook on life. But it is interesting that Brunton found Iyer's emphasis on ethics to be too one-sided. Iyer rejected mystical experience and mystical feeling. For him, intellect alone was important.
Prior to going to India, Jung wrote to Iyer . When he visited India, Jung also visited the Maharaja and Iyer in Mysore (at that time a separate princely state). Jung refers to this visit with the Maharaja and Iyer in Memories, Dreams, Reflections .
After his visit to India, Jung continued to correspond with Iyer.
In 1938, a year after meeting Brunton and Iyer in Küsnacht, Jung made an expedition to India. Jung had the chance to meet Ramana at that time. As we have seen, he had been urged to meet Ramana by the German scholar Heinrich Zimmer, who was translating Ramana’s teachings. But Jung chose not to meet Ramana, although Jung was in Madras, quite close to Ramana's ashram. This certainly disappointed Zimmer. Some have wondered whether Jung was afraid to meet a spiritual master . In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung gives this explanation, that he could not “accept from others what I could not attain on my own, or make any borrowings from the East, but must shape my life out of myself."
But that does not seem to be a full explanation. After all, Jung had borrowed the very idea of the Self from Indian philosophy. And when Jung went to India, he visited Iyer at the Maharajah's palace in Mysore. Jung says that they had "searching talks" with Iyer (But not with Brunton, who was not in India in 1938). But Jung did not visit Ramana, even though he had the chance. Why did Jung visit Iyer and not Ramana? The answer must be that Jung was influenced by his meeting with Iyer and Brunton, and was influenced by Brunton's appreciation of Iyer's ethical stance as opposed to Ramana's ethical indifference.
Jung's Further Criticism of Ramana
We have already seen some of Jung's criticism of Ramana, contained in his introduction to Zimmer's book. And as I have mentioned some of these criticisms are not included in excerpts of that introduction that are included in book The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi (Boston: Shambhala, 1988), giving the impression that Jung agreed with Ramana. And we have seen that Jung did not agree with the practice of meditation divorced from practical life.
Jung's letters provide more information about his opposition to this kind of meditation.
1. Jung criticizes Ramana’s emphasis on trance and pure consciousness. Jung says that some ego, some consciousness, and some unconsciousness must always remain. He wrote to W.Y Evans-Wentz, a scholar of Tibetan religion from Oxford, who had visited Ramana in 1935 :
In this letter, Jung refers for support to the account of the Apostle Paul's conversion. He says that in his ekstasis, Paul assures us that an "I" has seen (Acts 26:13):
In the same letter, Jung says that it is impossible to know without a temporal ego:
Jung wrote an introduction to Evans-Wentz's translation of The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. In his introduction, Jung says
2. In a letter to Iyer, Jung says that to truly live beyond the opposites you would have to be unconscious or dead:
3. In his letter to Mees, Jung disagrees with the idea of trying to live a life in perfect balance:
Why does Jung oppose balance? This seems to conflict with his admiration
for the disciple of Ramakrishna, Raman Pillai, whom Jung praised for
living so harmoniously. Instead of opposing balance, would it not
be better to say that Ramana was in fact not living a balanced life?
As we have seen, that is Ken Wilber's criticism of Ramana.
Maya and Illusion
Jung's criticism of Hinduism depends on a very widespread view of Hindu thought. In this view, our true Self is ultimately identical with Brahman, and the world is illusion, maya. The goal is to be identical with Brahman. According to this view, meditation means a loss of individual consciousness and a kind of trance, the seeking a pure consciousness. Advocates of this view believe that meditation is seeking union with God, or Brahman, and that the world is to be left behind, or recognized as an illusion. See the following diagram:
And the idea of the reality of the world is more developed in the later Hindu tradition of tantra. Now by tantra, I don’t mean the caricature that many people have of tantra as a collection of bizarre sexual techniques and other practices. That side of tantra does exist. But tantra also emphasizes the idea that the world has reality in Brahman. In tantra, Brahman is not seen as a static being, the only reality. Instead, Brahman is dynamic, creating the world.
Now when Jung speaks of the Self and its relation to Brahman, he seems to be using this dynamic idea. Jung sees Brahman in dynamic terms. He says that Brahman coincides with a dynamic or creative principle that he calls libido . Freud had used the term libido to refer to the sexual drive behind human activity. Jung uses the term as meaning psychic energy in general. Jung refers extensively to Brahman and to the idea of uniting of opposites. He says that Brahman is the union and dissolution of all opposites, and at the same time stands outside them as an irrational factor .
Here are some emphases in tantra:
1. This tradition sees maya not as illusion, but as the creative power of God. In this tradition, the God Shiva is substituted for Brahman. See the following diagram:
The creative power of Shiva is beautifully portrayed in the sculpture of the dancing Natraj (Shiva as Lord of Creation):
2. This power, or energy or shakti, is often personified in feminine terms. There is a relation between Shiva and his feminine power, Shakti, between God and the Goddess. Here are some images of Shiva and Shakti.
3. Tantra holds that the world has a relative reality, in Shiva.
4. Tantra holds that there can be liberation in this life. One who is liberated in life is called a jivanmukta. Now this idea that one can be liberated before death is not at all universally accepted in Hinduism. Many Hindu texts say that liberation can occur only after death, when one escape samsara, the endless round of rebirth. Even those Hindu traditions that believe in the possibility of jivanmukti (living liberation) speak of liberation in death as a higher form of liberation.
5. Tantra is also the source for many practices of modern
Hinduism such as mantras, the emphasis on a teacher or a
guru, and a specific kind of yoga known as kundalini
yoga. We will talk about kundalini later.
Tantric influence on Ramana
Some of Ramana’s writings seem to reflect the viewpoint that Jung criticized–that the world is an illusion. But other teachings of Ramana reflect tantric teachings, and the reality of the world. These teachings of Ramana are not as well known. If Jung had known about them, he might have been more sympathetic to Ramana.
1. Ramana himself makes reference to later Hindu texts that were influenced by tantra. These writings include The Yoga Vasistha, the Vivekacudamani, the Ribhu Gita, and the Tripura Rahasya. Ramana makes these statements, which may be surprising to those who view him in the tradition that regards the world as an illusion.
2. Ramana says that the world has some reality. The world is unreal only when it is looked at apart from Brahman.
3. Illusion is only when we regard the world as existing apart from God (Brahman). The world comes from God and derives from God; it has no meaning in itself.
We may compare this teaching of Ramana to the idea of panentheism. In panentheism, God is not to be identified with the world as in pantheism and the matriarchal religions. Nor is the world illusion. The world is real, but it is included in God.
As the Bible says, "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever" (Romans 11:36). This is also what the word 'existence' means. It comes from the Latin ‘ex-sistere’, meaning ‘to stand out,’ or in French, ‘sortir de.’ This standing out is in relation to a background. Humans have a pre-given essence given by God from which they emerge into existence. They are therefore ex-sistent beings. I find some similarity to this view in the Dutch philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd, who denies that the world is made up of any substance existing apart from God. Instead, the entire temporal world, and even our own selfhood, exists only as meaning, pointing towards its Origin in God. When we look at the temporal world apart from God, we end up absolutizing it, and making it into an idol.
Jung says something similar–that our (temporal) ego tries to misappropriate what belongs only to the Self:
3. Ramana accepts the idea that one can be liberated in this world. In fact, Ramana is seen as a modern example of one who is liberated in this way, a jivanmukta.
4. Ramana says that when you are liberated, you see the world differently. You no longer act out of ego. And you see Brahman in everything. In his description of sahaja samadhi Ramana also says that you realize that nothing belongs to you as ego. It is therefore a state beyond ego-consciousness. And Ramana says that one realizes that everything is being done “by something with which you are in conscious union” (Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, p. 185). In some passages, Ramana seems to say that after liberation an ego remains, although it is an ego that has been expanded by its consciousness of inter-relation with others. It is an expanded awareness in the sahaja state. For example, Ramana says, "You must have been there during the void to be able to say that you experienced a void." (Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, p. 13). Now that sounds like what Jung wrote to Iyer, about the necessity of an ego for any experience.
5. Ramana discourages meditation, especially meditation leading to trance. Ramana says that trance is a state like drugs. "If you are so anxious for trance, any narcotic will bring it about." He also says that trance is only an absence of thoughts. That state prevails in sleep . Thus, if you want a trance, go to sleep! Ramana says that meditation strengthens the ego instead of liberating from it. "Meditation is possible only if the ego be kept up."  And he says, "Who is the meditator? Ask the question first. Remain as the meditator. There is no need to meditate."  And he says,
Instead of seeking this trance state, or nirvikalpa samadhi, we are to seek sahaja samadhi. Sahaja means 'natural.' And sahaja samadhi is the consciousness of the liberated person who returns to the world. That person does not live out of ego anymore, but lives through Self.
We have seen that Ramana's idea that the world has a relative reality was influenced by tantra. But it was also influenced by Christian teachings. I have already made the comparison to panentheism. But there were also very specific Christian influences on Ramana:
1. Ramana attended a Christian mission school, a fact that is important because he later drew parallels between his experience and Christian thought.
2. Ramana had extensive knowledge of the Bible. Scriptures For example, he says that the whole of Vedanta is contained in the two Biblical statements “I am that I AM” and “Be still and know that I am God.” He frequently refers to these Biblical passages. 
3. There are numerous comparisons to Christianity in the biography of Ramana. The first biography of Ramana was published in English in 1931 by B.V. Narasimha Swami, an early devotee . This biography makes numerous comparisons of Ramana to Jesus. Almost every chapter is headed by a quotation from the New Testament, including the following:
In this biography, Narasimha Swami also refers to Christian gospel hymns by Sankey, which he adapts to refer to Ramana instead of to Jesus. He says that when the baseness of the ego is lost, the survivor is the “Son of God.’ (p. 30). The ego is referred to as "the old Adam" (p. 65).
Narasimha Swami's biography of Ramana pre-dates Paul Brunton's book about Ramana . And Narasimha Swami's biography was later used for the subsequent biography of Ramana by Ramana's devotee Arthur Osborne . But Osborne removed all the references to the Biblical quotations!
We have seen that in tantra there is a dynamic relation
between Brahman and his creative power or shakti. We may
compare this to the Biblical tradition, where Sophia or Wisdom
is personified as feminine. And in Christian terms, we may speak of
Trinitarian theology. As interpreted by Abhishiktananda
and his successor Bede Griffiths (following Jakob Boehme), there is
a dynamism in the Trinity, where the Father is Ground of Being, the
Son is Logos, and the Holy Spirit is the loving relation between the
two. Within our own consciousness, there is a similar movement out
of the ground of our being into consciousness, and the relation between
this ground and our consciousness. Note: I am not suggesting that
the relation within the Trinity is the same as the relation within
our own consciousness. Jung has been interpreted that way by some
interpreters, who suggest that God needs man's consciousness in order
to fulfil himself. In my view, such a pantheistic interpretation of
Jung is debatable . In my view, the distinction
between the Trinity and our own consciousness that distinguishes Christianity
from the Hindu tantric tradition .
Now there is another area that we need to explore in order to understand Jung’s views in relation to Ramana and eastern meditation. That link is yoga, and kundalini yoga in particular.
1. The word ‘yoga’ is related to our word ‘yoke’ meaning "to link." The goal of yoga is union with Brahman. Yoga is a spiritual practice to link our ego to the Self and to God. 'Yoga' is rather like our word 'religion.' One of the etymologies for this word is re-ligio, a linking. It is interesting that Dooyeweerd accepts this etymology of the word religion.
Jung is less clear whether he accepts this etymology for 'religion.' As Edinger points out, there is another etymology–relegare, meaning "careful observation, and taking account of the numinous."  Jung accepts that etymology . It is the opposite of neglect, and means the careful consideration of the background of one's life, and source of being.
2. Not all yogas are the same. In the West, we usually associate yoga with exercise classes and calisthenics. But in India, yoga was not intended to become healthy; the practice assumes an already healthy individual who wants to progress further spiritually. The systematization of this yoga was first done by Patañjali (200 CE). This type is usually known as hathayoga.
3. Kundalini yoga is more recent. It is referred to in tantric texts after 300 CE. Kundalini yoga refers to union with God/Shiva or the Goddess (various forms). In Kundalini yoga, the body is represented as consisting of a series of cakras. See diagram:
Jung had detailed knowledge of kundalini yoga. In 1931, Jung gave a seminar on Kundalini yoga .
Shamdasani, the editor of this book on Kundalini, says that Jung himself practiced yoga before 1920. He used yoga to calm himself when he first confronted the unconscious around time of World War I. Now we do not know his specific practice; he did tell someone that in times of great stress, he lay down flat on bed and just lay there quietly and breathed quietly (Kundalini, p.xxv). Whether that counts as yoga may be debated.
The seminar in 1931 was given jointly with J.W. Hauer. See chart of relationships.
In his book The Jung Cult, Richard Noll tries to make a big issue of Jung’s association with Hauer . Hauer was a Nazi sympathizer, and proposed a new Aryan religion. The most that Noll can really says is that Jung’s ideas originated in climate that produced Nazism. But that is a kind of guilt by association. It is true that Jung made some unwise choices. He belonged to a psychology association associated with the nephew of Goering. And Jung also didn’t speak out enough against the beginnings of Nazi Germany. Jung wrote that he saw the tumult of the time as a necessary phase.
But Hauer was also an expert on yoga. Georg Feuerstein, who has written many valuable works on yoga, says that Hauer possessed a rich knowledge of Indian thought; we owe him a great deal in the study of yoga and Samkhya (Kundalini, p. xxxiii).
In his lectures, Jung gives a psychological interpretation of the
cakras. Jung distinguished between personal and transpersonal
aspects of kundalini. Remember that for Jung, our psyche
is both personal and impersonal. He says that the
cakras are symbolic depictions of our inner experience and
of our individuation process. Kundalini is the development
of our non-ego life.
If we look at the cakras in a personal way, then Jung says that we think of consciousness as located in our heads. In psychology there is therefore a descent to our unconscious levels.
Jung says that we begin in head, that is the ajña cakra (Kundalini, p. 63).
We clothe knowledge in words: that is vissuddha, the throat cakra.
But we experience feelings, the throbbing of the heart, the anahata cakra. Jung contrasts our head knowledge with our heart knowledge. We express this distinction when we speak of learning something "by heart." (Kundalini, p. 35)
Lower still, in the manipura cakra, we experience
emotions, such as irritation and anger. This is the area of the diaphragm.
We are the victim of our passions. Jung points out (Kundalini,
p. 107) that the Greek word for diaphragm, 'phren,' is also
used for disturbances of the mind, as in 'schizophrenia.'
The impersonal (transpersonal) ascent
Some people look only at Jung's personal interpretation of kundalini. See for example Harold Coward, who says that Jung turns the kundalini symbols on their head, beginning with the head and working down, the reverse of what Kundalini yoga actually teaches . But this misses the important point in Jung's lectures. For Jung says that this personal analysis, the descent, is only the beginning.
All of this personal analysis is only preliminary to the real individuation process. In the personal sense, the cakra system is like six cellars, one above the other (Kundalini, p. 68). We may descend to the sixth cellar, but we remain in the depths of the earth; the gods are still not awakened; we must awaken Kundalini, make clear the light of the gods to the individual spark of consciousness. Kundalini is the suprapersonal, the non-ego, the totality of the psyche. It is inner cosmic meaning, the subtle body.
Jung says that our conscious culture, despite all its heights, is still in the lowest cakra, the muladhara (Kundalini, p. 66). Some people are not even in the muladhara world. There are some who are not even born. “They are in the world only on parole and are soon to be returned to the pleroma where they started originally.”
Jung says that we must leave some trace in the world, complete our entelechia [goal] (Kundalini, p. 28).
The suprapersonal is an event outside of the ego and of consciousness. And what seemed to be the summit of our endeavor is merely something personal, merely the light-spark of consciousness. Personal life must first be fulfilled in order that the process of the suprapersonal side of the psyche can be introduced.
Kundalini develops the impersonal [suprapersonal] life. We awaken Kundalini to begin the development of the suprapersonal within the individual, and "in order to make clear to the individual spark of consciousness the light of the gods." Kundalini is the development of that non-ego life. And to do that we ascend to the other levels which are unconscious to us. [" In analysis the suprapersonal process can begin only when all the personal life has been assimilated to consciousness” (Kundalini, pp. 30, 66)].
Jung says that buddhi is personal consciousness; kundalini is the other; one must not identify the two. To confuse the two is the mistake of theosophy; inflation.
Jung says that the Kundalini is the anima (Kundalini, p. 22).
When we move in the transpersonal direction, there is an ascent through the cakras.
1. First Cakra: Muladhara
The situation of modern European consciousness is symbolized by the first cakra. Our conscious, waking world, where true self is asleep. This is a condition where humans seem to be the only power, and the gods, or the impersonal, non-ego powers, are inefficient, or sleeping (Kundalini, p. 14). I would say that this is the world of preparing tax returns, of competition, of concern about whether a certain football team will win.
Jung says that Hindus regard this world as transient. India: ego and consciousness as unessential parts of the self. Hindus are fascinated by the background of consciousness; we are identified with our foreground. But now for us, too the background of psyche has come to life (Kundalini, pp. 61,62).
Awakening Kundalini is therefore separating the gods from the world so that they become active; the world of eternity is totally different from our world; visions are nonpersonal, impersonal (Kundalini, pp. 25,26).
In this state, which is the rational viewpoint, we are not aware of the unconscious, although there is a "spark" which points to another conception of life. Our ajna is caught in this world; it is a spark of light, imprisoned in the world. This is anahata in muladhara.
We need to ascend from the impersonal to the transpersonal. From the suksma [impersonal] aspect, we ascend when we go into the unconscious, because it frees us from everyday consciousness. In the state of ordinary consciousness we are actually down below, entangled, rooted in the earth under a spell of illusions, dependent—in short, only a little more free than the higher animals. (Kundalini, p. 67).
Jung says that the concept of Kundalini has little use except to describe our own experiences with the unconscious, “the experiences that have to do with the initiation of the suprapersonal processes” (Kundalini, p. 70).
In the ascent, our consciousness is severed from its objects. Individuation begins with the self severing itself as unique from the objects and the ego. It is as if consciousness became separated from the objects and from the ego and emigrated to the non-ego—to the other center, to the foreign yet originally own (Kundalini, p. 83). This detachment of consciousness is a psychical experience, which in practice is expressed as a feeling of deliverance. It cannot be proved philosophically
Here we get into the unconscious, symbolized by the sea; it is encountered in analysis. And it is symbolized by baptism (Kundalini, p.15).
This is the area of the solar plexus, the abdomen, and navel. One
gets manifestations of light, intensity (Kundalini, p. 17).
It is the
But we also experience temptation at this level. At this level, desire, passions; the whole emotional world breaks loose “Sex, power, and every devil in our nature gets loose when we become acquainted with the unconscious” (Kundalini, p. 33).
In crossing the manipura, the threshold of the diaphragm, we realize our mystical identity with others:
In anahata you behold the purusa, a small figure that is the divine self, not identical with mere causality; it is our essence (Kundalini, p.38). This is the beginning of individuation (Kundalini, p.45). Individuation is not that you become an ego: you would then be an individualist. The one who the one who believes he lives in first and fourth centers at once is verrückt (Kundalini, p. 40). Here are some things that Jung says about this individuation:
5. vissuddha (the neck, larynx, speech)
This is the ether center; abstraction (Kundalini, p. 42).
We try to reach beyond our actual conception of the world (Kundalini,
p. 47). We experience psychical reality as the only reality, and psychical
essences as the fundamental essences of the world. All psychical facts
have nothing to do with material facts; this is taking a thing on
its subjective level; you find your worst enemy within ourselves.
You experience the world as your game; and people outside are exponents
of your own psychical condition. Whatever befalls you, whatever experience
or adventure you have in the external world, is experienced as your
own experience. The whole game of the world becomes your subjective
experience [But Jung says you can’t live at this level] (Kundalini,
Here the subtle body develops, the being that Goethe termed “Faust’s Immortal” (Kundalini, pp. 77-78). Jung refuses to speculate about this level, because one must experience it:
In this center, the ego disappears completely:
Jung describes the consciousness in this center. This consciousness includes all the former experiences; all the cakras would be simultaneously experienced:
Jung says that this center cannot be experienced. It is merely a philosophical concept with no substance; beyond any possible experience (Kundalini, p. 57). It is a mere logical conclusion from the premises before. It is without practical value for us. In ajna, we experience ourselves as distinct from God. But here we are not different from God, we are nothing but Brahman. There is no experience because it is one, it is "without a second”:
Jung therefore denies that a transcendental self would be conscious. We could not even know that we are experiencing it. The mystical experience achieved by Kundalini is transient. We cannot always live in meditation. There is still some ego left. The ego may be changed by our encounter with the unconscious. We may, for example, feel more related to the world. It is an individuated ego, one that is connected with the Self. We have integrated our ego with the unconscious. And just as there is a continuing ego, so some unconscious still exists. Even Ramana says that the sahaja consciousness has some vasanas.
Jung and the Transpersonal
Jung's use of the terms ‘unconscious’ and ‘archetypes’
are ambiguous: they refer both to the regression downwards in the
personal self, but also to the ascent upwards to the supratemporal
Self.  Sometimes Jung refers to archetypes
as 'archaic image,' or our 'phylogenetic heritage' stored in the collective
unconscious [instincts]. The archetypes are then archaic thought-forms
imbued with 'ancestral' or 'historic' feeling, and, beyond these feelings,
the sense of indefiniteness, timelessness, and oneness. These are
regressions uses of the term (for the descent).
For Jung also speaks of archetypes as the highest form of our potential. They are that which pulls us towards the Self. Jung believed that the archetype of the Self is itself such a central, unifying archetype.
But as Ray Harris points out, Jung was unable to distinguish in which direction he was looking. Jung says,
Jung says that his term for awakening of kundalini is "psychic objectivity." It is an impersonal psychical experience: strange because we think the unconscious is our own (Kundalini, p. 93). When the gods begin to awake they have the effect of an earthquake which shakes us and even shakes our houses down It is a non-ego experience (Kundalini, pp. 27-28).
3. This is a change of consciousness, a transformation. It results in our seeing differently.
Jung says that in the mystical experience, another subject appears in place of the ego. One sees differently. It is not a matter of seeing something else . It is a letting go of oneself, an emptying of ideas and images .
Jung says that a vision of light is common to many mystics; this vision has to do with an acute state of consciousness. Many ordinary sensations of the body disappear. He says this suggests that their energy has been withdrawn . The energy saved goes to the unconscious, and increases the readiness of the unconscious to break through into consciousness. He refers to the mystic Hildegard of Bingen. This brings into awareness areas of the psyche normally covered in darkness.
4. As already noted, Jung says that Christ is a model of one who did this.
5. Jung says that we are not to identify with the Self or God; rather, it is the experience of “Christ living within us.”
This is Jung's idea of "the directing psyche." Jung says that the Hindu purusha [or primal Person] is a symbol that expresses these impersonal forces that are other than ourselves:
6. Jung says that we should not seek to live beyond all opposites; we can only unite the opposites in a partial way (See letter to Iyer).
7. Jung discouraged yoga. He recommended the practice of active imagination:
Ramana and Kundalini
Let us now look at Ramana's teachings again. Here are some things that Ramana says about kundalini:
1. The cakras are to be interpreted symbolically
It is surprising to find that Ramana makes a statement very similar to Jung: The cakras are for concentration purposes and are interpreted symbolically. The current of kundalini is ourselves .
2. Ramana says that we do not end with the top cakra, but we loop back down again to our heart center, from which we live
Ramana says that kundalini must be roused before realization (Talks 358). He says
Ramana says that the anahata is the cakra lying behind
the heart (Talks 392). After reaching sahasrara,
we must come down to the heart as the final step (Talks 450).
4. There is a more direct path to realization than kundalini:
The more direct path is the method of Self-Realisation. Ramana says
that we don’t have to worry about Kundalini. Ramana told K.K.
Nambiar that if the heart center was in anahata cakra,
why not go directly to it instead of to the other centers (why meditate
on the base of the spine (muladhara) or the tip of nose or the space
between eyebrows?). If you want to go to Tiruvannamalai from Madras,
why go to Benares first?  He says to search
for the origin of the ego by diving into the heart. Do not waste time
meditation on chakras, nadis, padmas or mantras of deities, or their
forms. Do not engage in Yogic practices or incantations.
Ramana says that rousing the kundalini has same effect as
when the jnani sends the life-force up the sushumna
and severs the chit-jada granthi. Kundalini is only another
name for atman or Self or shakti. We talk of it
as being inside the body, because we conceive ourselves as limited
by this body. But it is in reality both inside and outside, being
no other than Self or the shakti of Self.
Yes, Jung was a mystic. We have seen that he already knew about Hinduism before hearing about Ramana Maharshi. By 1921, when he published Psychological Types, Jung had obtained the idea of the Self from the Hindu Upanishads. And Jung certainly knew about Kundalini yoga by the time he taught the seminar with Hauer on Kundalini Yoga from 1930-31. By 1937 he had certainly received information about Ramana from Heinrich Zimmer. By the time that Jung went to India in 1938, he was probably already biased against Ramana based on his conversations with Brunton and Iyer.
Jung might have been more sympathetic to Ramana's ideas and experience
had he known about (1) Ramana's view of maya–that temporal
reality has a relative reality. This was based on both tantric
and Western sources and (2) Ramana's view of sahaja samadhi,
and Ramana's opposition to meditation that resulted in trance.
(1) Neither Jung nor Ramana Maharshi advocate meditation in the sense of seeking trance or “pure consciousness”
(2) Both say we can be liberated in the world. The world is then seen and experienced differently.
(3) Both refer to stages of consciousness.
(4) There are both personal and transpersonal levels of consciousness.
(5) We move from our individual ego to a transpersonal “being lived by” the Self in the sahaja state.
I have referred to ambiguities in Jung between the descent to the personal unconscious and the collective archaic archetypes, and the ascent to the transpersonal unconscious. Ken Wilber rightly calls this the pre/trans fallacy–confusing the pre-personal with the transpersonal. Joseph Campbell is an example of someone who makes this confusion. Campbell does not distinguish archetypes as to levels of consciousness. On the television series, Bill Moyers: The Power of myth: “Sacrifice and Bliss”], Campbell relates stories of a hero dying in order for life to appear. He refers to a ritual in New Guinea, where he says they really enact the myth of death and resurrection. In the initiation of young boys into manhood, there is a five day ritual of drumming and chanting. The rituals are boring, and wear you out until you break through into something else. Then he says comes the great moment. they build a great shed of enormous logs, supported by two uprights. Then a young woman, ornamented as a deity, is brought in and made to lie down. With drumming and chanting, six boys were permitted their first public intercourse. The last boy comes in, and with her in full embrace, the supports are withdrawn, the logs drop, and the couple are killed. He says this is the union of male and female as they were in the beginning, begetting and death. The pair are pulled out, roasted and eaten that evening. Campbell then says, “You can’t beat that. That’s the sacrifice of the Mass.” When I first heard this, I lost my respect for Campbell.
I hope that this comparison between Jung and Ramana Maharshi can help us to avoid interpreting Jung in this kind of a regressive way.
2. What are the implications of the distinction between pre- and trans-personal consciousness?
3. Can there be regression as well as progression in listening to the unconscious?
4. Are archetypes experienced differently at different stages of analysis?
5. We have seen the criticism by Brunton and Wilber of the under-development of Ramana's ethics. Are Jung's ethics also under-developed?
6. We have seen that Jung says we cannot live beyond the opposites. Do Jungian analysts sometimes try too hard to reach this stage of beyond the opposites? Such a state cannot be experienced consciously. If ego remains, then we retain some awareness as a subject, and retain a subject-object relationship.
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 See Wilhelm Halbfass, ed., Philology and Confrontation: Paul Hacker on Traditional and Modern Vedanta (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995). Also Wilhelm Halbfass: India and Europe: An Essay in Understanding (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988).
 V. Subrahmanya Iyer: “Shankara and Our Own Times,” reprinted in his book, The Philosophy of Truth (Salem :Sudharma ,1955 ). See also Iyer's book, The Meaning of Life (self-published from 'Mysore Lodge', Madanapalli, A. P.). In the latter book, Iyer argues that the art of living consists in being in tune with nature and in tune with the law of life. It starts with self-enquiry: "Who am I? Whither do I come? What is the purpose and meaning of life?" It is based on self-knowledge, the principles of dharma and the law of karma.
 A record of the visit of W.Y. Evans-Wentz with Ramana from January 24 to 30, 1935 is given in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi (Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1994, first published 1955), pp. 9-19, para.17-20. Evans-Wentz had brought a letter of introduction from Brunton. As of the date of his visit, Evans-Wentz had translated The Tibetan Book of the Dead (1927), Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa (1928), and a third book on Tibetan Yoga and its Secret Doctrines (1935). Jung wrote an introduction to Evans-Wentz's translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. See C.G. Jung, "On 'The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation,'" Psychology and the East (Princeton, 1978).
 C.G. Jung: "Holy Men of India," Psychology and the East (Princeton, 1978), p. 179 para. 955. Note: Dooyeweerd would not use the word 'autonomy' with respect to our selfhood, for even our selfhood exists only as meaning in relation to God.
 Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi (Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1994, first published 1955), pp. 279-80, para.317. In this passage, Ramana distinguishes between two kinds of vasanas–those that cause bondage (bandha hetuh) and those that give enjoyment for the wise (bhoga hetuh). The latter do not obstruct realisation. Thus, in his view, not all vasanas need be destroyed.
 Ibid., p. 327, para. 338. See also p. 102, para. 106; p.106 para. 112, p. 140 para. 163, p. 155 para. 188, p. 187 para. 226, p. 323 para. 355, p. 401 para. 433, p. 424 para. 450p. 487 para. 503p. 556 para. 601.
 Arthur Osborne: Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge (Samuel Weiser, 1997, first published 1970). We must also bear in mind that Osborne was himself from the West, and may have used Western categories in interpreting Ramana.
 For example, I question Dourley's interpretation of Boehme, Eckhart and Jung. Dourley interprets them all as seeing creation as necessary for God to achieve consciousness. See John P. Dourley: “Revisioning Incarnation: Jung on the Relativity of God,” Shim-Song Yon-Gu: Journal of the Korean Jung Institute (2001) Vol 16, no. 1, p. 1-29, available online. I agree with Franz von Baader's interpretation of Eckhart and Boehme: that the dynamism within God's trinity is distinct from the dynamism within our own selfhood and creation. To confuse the two dynamic movements, and to say that creation is necessary for God, amounts to pantheism (instead of panentheism).
 I discuss Abhishiktananda's views in my thesis. Abhishiktananda discussed with his fellow priest, Jules Monchanin, the relation of Hindu ideas to the Christian ideas of the Trinity. See Jules Monchanin: Mystique de l'Inde, mystère chrétien (Fayard, 1974). Monchanin also argued that creation was not necessary for God's own fulfillment.
 Letter from C.G. Jung to Pastor Tanner of Feb. 12, 1959, Letters, Gerhard Adler (Princeton, 1973), Vol. II, p. 484. Cited in Edward F. Edinger: The New God-Image (Wilmette, Ill.: Chiron, 1996), p. 35.
 Ray Harris explores these and other ambiguities in Jung's thought in his excellent article “Revisioning Individuation,” http://184.108.40.206/~wilber/harris2.html. Ken Wilber says that the failure to distinguish between the two uses of archetype is the pre/trans fallacy: confusing the pre-personal with the transpersonal. Wilber also refers to forms that pull us towards the true Self. They are future structures attempting to come down, not past structures attempting to come up. He cites Ken Wilber: Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, (Boston: Shambhala, 1995), p. 249. Harris also quotes Wilber's The Eye of Spirit:
Revised Aug 22/06