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Carl Jung and Sri Aurobindo

Robert Baird

Paranormal Maven
Carl Jung and Sri Aurobindo

Mr. Johnson tackles a huge task in his comparison and elucidation of Jung and the great intellectual Indian man who lived alongside him in time if not in place - Sri Aurobindo. In it he tackles Western traditions such as Hellenic philosophy and Plato as well as Aristotle's influence on Christianity. I enjoy seeing these influences expressed even though a fuller understanding would show Christians who truly follow in the footsteps of Christ are in fact alchemists just like Plato and Aristotle. I guess you also could say I disagree with any attempt to gloss over the fact that Christianity owes nothing to Paul as an intellectual and only as regards to Paul the Roman agent and assassin. He is no longer credited with having written Acts in the Bible and anything he ever did 'for' Christianity was in truth done against Christianity. Pauline Christianity is Romanism and Popery and many sects of Christendom have intuited this or even expressed it, but will they ever know it and why it must change?

"David Johnston

In this paper, I favourably compare the psychology of C. G. Jung and the yoga of Sri Aurobindo. In particular, I show where each of the two approaches to yoga/psychology fully accepts both the masculine principle and the feminine principle. In Jung’s case, the feminine principle of Eros is particularly evident in his study of alchemy whereas, in the case of Sri Aurobindo, one can see it in his high regard for Tantra and the feminine creative power, Shakti. Sri Aurobindo also extols the Bhagavad Gita with its Karma yoga, which involves devotion to the masculine principle, the Purushottama, the Divine Will. Likewise, Jung emphasises the Logos, the masculine principle of discernment, and the need to align one’s life with a superior Will.

I also discuss the nature of the ego and the incarnated soul from the point of view of both Sri Aurobindo and Jung and conclude that they are essentially saying the same thing. In both cases there is a need to disengage from illusory aspects of life and to find one’s true individuality. For the sake of putting things in perspective in relationship to mainline Western psychology, I then show how different Jung’s view is from other schools of Western psychology, which either undervalue what Jung refers to as the ego [and Hindu tradition refers to as the purusha/ego] or overvalue it.

Finally, I describe what I believe to be the key differences between Jung’s path and that of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. For one thing, when they were alive, the formers disciples were mainly Westerners, while those of the latter were mainly Indians. However, the principle difference is related to the fact that the disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother accept them as the Avatars for our time, whereas some of Jung’s main disciples consider him to be a prophet. Avatars embody the Word, whereas the prophet is compelled to announce to the people what he sees and understands the Word to be. This suggests that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother understand more clearly the nature of the new integral consciousness seeking embodiment, but that Jung also sees it, although a little less clearly. In the final analysis, in my personal experience, both paths converge and can contribute to one’s quest for understanding and psychological assimilation of the new consciousness incarnating today."

And Jung, the father of modern psychoanalysis and depth psychology is almost supplanted by Sri Aurobindo, in a book called Alchemy of the Soul by Arya Maloney.

"This book depicts the ever-widening circle of an evolutionary psychology which views the soul rather than the ego as the epi-center of human experience. The reader can observe this experience directly. Within the context of the author's therapeutic practice, trauma converges with the transpersonal.
The force that propels this work and redefines the boundaries of depth psychology is the Integral Psychology of the great mystic/philosopher, Sri Aurobindo. This ever-widening, yet clearly defined psycho-spiritual realm incorporates the fullness of the human psyche without ignoring the occult or cosmic. Beyond the theoretical, this book opens the office door as client and clinician experience the soul's alchemy."

Alchemy of the Soul (Blue Dolphin Publishing)

Carl Jung wondered if he might be crazy when he had visions of the World War before the first of these conflagrations in the 20th Century came to pass. This made him a lot more desirous of understanding from whence his prophetic visions might have come as he continued to become one of the most erudite and learned men of that century.

There are a lot of people who exhibit common sense (an all too rare thing) that understand it is what we DO that determines what we are; rather than what we say (!) we believe. Practicing random acts of kindness and sharing would go a lot further than trying to convince others that we know something we are only on the verge of beginning to see. This principle or law is encompassed in the saying of the Magi called 'Right Thought=Right Action'. The practices of Tai Chi and qigong (pronounced 'chee-gong') work with the energy that surrounds us and sustains us and our astral selves. In China it has a prehistoric origin that makes the government want to stamp it out. This is the kind of religion that focuses on personal transformation and healthful interactions with all around us. They say it differs from Yoga or Tai Chi in that it is less complex and requires less focus on breathing. This 'They' is Falun Dafa or Falun Gong. You should have heard about the attacks on it in China and maybe you know it is spreading in America. The Chinese government is trying to extradite the leader back to China. The heresy trials and Inquisitorial approaches of nations are still with us. 'Chhi', 'Qi', 'Pranha' and other names like 'cosmic soup' are really the same thing as what the limbo state and astral energy or auric bodies are made up of.

The benefits of looking inward for growth and purpose are much better than trying to get someone else to believe as you do. In his foreword to 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' with an Introduction by Lama Anagarika Govinda, Carl Jung made some excellent points. He says that we are visualizing these energies and spiritual dimensions according to our prevailing ethnic and cultural idioms. If we believe in Shiva or Jesus, Mohammed or Cernunnos then when we encounter the energy that relates to these cultural images, that is what our mind translates to our conscious brain. Science can prove the neurophysiological nature of these assertions now. It surely would cut a huge swath through a lot of ecclesiastical structure if everyone was to know we are all affected by the same 'gods' with simply different stories and names. Ecumenicism is not (as the Catholic Cardinal Biffi would like) just a dialogue between Christian denominations. It is a 'Brotherhood of Man' initiative that all of us must endeavour to bring to fruition. We are endeavoring to find the best way to show how the 'his'-story has stolen this once common perception that Falun Gong harkens back to, has taken us away from our soulful connection. The growth of man’s culture seems headed towards more of what is called connectivity or ‘Critical Mass’ through shared archetypes but the manipulation of thought and development of counter-archetypes is causing a lot of confusion.

Northrop Frye addresses this growth that Jung studied in this brief excerpt. “Jung believes, however, that the ordinary medical analogies of diagnosis, treatment, and cure are not adequate for the psychologist. The physical body nearly always matures in about twenty years, but in most people the psyche remains largely undeveloped throughout life, though it possesses within it a force of growth toward the ‘individuation’ which is its peculiar maturity {I posit Jung understood ‘PURPOSE’ in the same way Viktor E. Frankl did in what became Logotherapy. Jung understood that ‘individuation’ is aligned with all the forces and powers making each of us more whole when we know the ‘one’-ness.}. This growing force within the psyche is what Jung, in contrast to Freud, means by libido, {Freud was an ego conflicted individual who never understood the sexual drive to achieve ‘one’-ness.} and, being a biological force, it behaves teleologically, just as an acorn behaves as though intended to become an oak tree. {With many other acorns.} When a psychologist tries to help a neurotic, he is helping release the power of growth, and he ought to realize that any ‘cure’ is only one stage in the process he has started going.” (2)