Taoism and Jung: Synchronicity and the Self Author(s): Harold Coward Source: Philosophy East and West

, Vol. 46, No. 4, (Oct., 1996), pp. 477-495 Published by: University of Hawai'i Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1399493 Accessed: 09/04/2008 12:26
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Coward TAOISM AND JUNG: SYNCHRONICITY AND THE SELF Harold I exploredthe influenceof Indian Professor of Historyand In my book Jungand Eastern Thought,1 of the Centre Director the on and mandala such as buddhitattva, citta, karma, tapas, concepts in for Studies Religion developmentof CarlJung'snotions of "archetype,""psyche,"the "col- and Society, University lective unconscious," "active imagination,"and "circumambulation." of Victoria But the question of Easterninfluence on Jung'smost complex concept, "the Self," was given only very sketchy treatment.Followingthe lead of one of Jung'ssenior North Americanstudents,Joseph Hendersonof Stanford University,I suggestedthatthe notion of Atman,as found in the formativeinfluence in Jung's Hindu Upanisads,was the major Eastern concept of "the Self."2 Additional research, however, has led me to conclude that Chinese Taoism, ratherthan Hinduism,providedthe fundamentalformativeinfluence in Jung'sdeveloping notion of "the Self." This Taoist influence, I will argue, came to Jung's "Self" concept not directly, but by way of another of Jung's ideas, namely synchronicity. it will be shown, depends directlyon the TaoistChinese "Synchronicity," text the I Ching,with which Jungexperimentedfor a whole summer in to Jungthat there are meaningful 1920.3 His experimentsdemonstrated connections between the inner psychic realm and the externalphysical world. In his autobiography Jungsays, "Timeand time again I encountered amazing coincidences which seemed to suggest the idea of an acausal parallelism(a synchronicity,as I latercalled it)."4 It is this notion of correlativeparallels between the inner and the outer realmsof experience that is fundamentalfor understanding Jung's to recognizethe Taoistbackground complex notionof the "Self."Failure to Jung'sthinkinghas, I will argue, resultedin the mistakencharge that Jung is simply a gnostic in modern psychological dress. This mistake is made when the external half of the correlationof the outer world with the inner psyche in Jung's individuatedSelf is ignored. By highlighting the Taoistcontext of Jung'sthinking,this error,common amongJungians, is avoided. In addition,the analysisofferedwill show that in the case of Eastern influenceon his notionof the Self,Jungrejectssome aspectsof the Hindu atman,but fully accepts Taoistthinking.This articleis divided into three of Jung'sThinking,(2) Synchronicity sections: (1) The TaoistBackground and Individuation of Archetypes,and (3) Tao and the Self. In this essay PhilosophyEast& West I am explicitlyconcerned with Jung'sown reading,not the Chinesetexts Volume 46, Number4 themselves. October 1996
477-495 The Taoist Background of Jung'sThinking Jungwas led to Taoistand Indianthoughtin the period 1915-1920, ? 1996 while he was doing the researchfor his book Psychological Types.5 Of by University of this book Jungsays: Hawai'iPress


9 Correlative thinkingdrawssystematiccorrespondencesbetween various ordersof realitysuch as the human. (kan-ying).as well as opposites such as man-and-nature the receiver of all subsiding."12 Much of the groundwork for this theory of resonance or correlative classical Taoists. that they correspondwith one another in some basic respect.this notion of resonance is applied even in social relations.8 Henderson has that Taoism. is rooted in "correlative thinking.led him directlyto the Chineseconcept of Tao. judgmentmade by an individualis conditionedby how his or herpersonworld.. What caughtJung'sattentionin his Psychological Typeswas Lao Tzu's discussion of Taoas the middle way between and heaven-and-earth."10Underlying "correlativethinking" is the notion of cosmological resonance it is held. "Way"is the name thatwe give it. "It assumes that these related orders as a whole are homologous. In a mutualsympathy. in the Confucianconcept of filial piety.an idea based on music theory or harmonics.6 Alreadywe see here Jung'sinterestin correlatingthe inner psyche with the externalworld. it did much to create a context in which correlative thoughtcould develop."1 Chinese thought.the world of nature. Itstrue name we do not know. Extreme introverts or extroverts alitytype relatesto the surrounding sufferedfroma very limitedexperience of theirworld or themselves.This insightraisedforJungthe questionof how one could finda unityin which these opposite personality types would be balancedand theirnarrowness transcended. The identification of opposite personalitytypes introversion versus extroversion)gave Jung the insightthat every (e. of the individualto the therefore.said Jung.Jung the source of all and being arisings from the Tao Te quotes Ching: One may thinkof it as the motherof all thingsunderheaven.In attempting to answerthis question.along with John recentlydemonstrated most other traditionalforms of Chinese thinking. as.14 PhilosophyEast& West 478 . for it is one's psychological type which fromthe outset determinesand limitsa person'sjudgement. can interactat a distance by virtueof Correlations.This work sprangoriginallyfrom my need to define the ways in which my outlook differedfrom Freud'sand Adler's.and the divine."a sort of perennial philosophy of Chinese civilization. to people and things. In its most general form the theory of resonance is stated as "the principlesof the cosmos are the same as the principlesof my mind. even in some cases that their identitiesare contained one within the other.7 the idea of a middleway betweenthe opposites. for example. I came across the problemof types.especially Lao Tzu in was established the by thinking his proposalthat humans patternthemselves after heaven and earth.My book.13 While Lao Tzu's idea did not lead directlyto the pairingof the human with the cosmic.was an effortto deal with the relationship world.g.The search for an answer.

All of this confirmedJung'sintuitionof a connection that is potentiallypresentin each of us between our innerpsychic realmand to describe the external cosmos." Synchronicity was a concept Althoughone of his earliestnotions. but Callahan.and the goal of his psychotherapy. yin earth.Fromthe yang force arisesshen. This friendship led Jung to write commentarieson two of Wilhelm's first TheSecret of the Golden Flower. the earthly part.yin is cold.which Jung A few years later. and from yin force comes kuei. In his Forewordto the I Ching. Jung felt that his method of active imaginationwould achieve the same goal and was more appropriate for the modernWesterner.man is a reconcilerof the opposites. Let us now examine in depth the way in which Taoism and the I Ching influenced Jung's notions of "synchronicity"and its crucial role in the realizationof the "Self.femaleness.17 enter into the "Chinese mind" of the text requiresthat modern Westernersdrop for the momenttheirfixationon rationaland causal thought as the only valid thinking. neitherintrovert but a to use balance between the two.Jung tried out on himself with convincing results.light.refersto Taoistthoughtnot as irrational "arational.ButJungwas convinced that the goal of the I Ching. Jungsummarizes as follows: Yang signifieswarmth.Therewas also the centralTaoistteaching thatthe Taomanifestsin creation as a fundamentalpair of opposites. darkness.and laterthe I Ching translations: itself.FromWilhelmJunglearneda greatdeal about Chinese thought. arational. "synchronicity" that Jung struggledto express adequately throughouthis life. A.16 Wilhelm'stranslation of the I Chingand invitedWilhelmto read Richard Zurich. the celestial portion of the human soul. Yang is also heaven.'5 The aim of the Taoist sage is to live in harmonywith the Taoand nor therebyavoid falling into one extremeor the other. Jung coined the term "synchronicity" this correlationbetween inside and outside events.Jung notes that the coincidence or To correlationbetween the opposites is the chief concern of the work. yang and yin.20The I Chingoffered a traditional Chinese technique for reflectingon these correlations.maleness. namely a reestablishing of balance between the yang and yin in the Tao. striking Specificguidance towardthatend is providedby the I Ching. extrovert. were parallel processes.relationalexperience described in Taoist texts like the I Ching is a direct reflectionof naturalreality. When in Harold Coward 479 .This is why Jungrefersto the meaningfulcorrelationsof the I Ching not as chance but "acausal"18 and why W. namely a balancing of the psychic opposites in the experience of the Self. Jung'sterms."19 Both agree that the acausal. As a microcosm.in a recent article.

"22 chronicity"to Jung'soffbeatinterestin thingsoccult has helped to create a serious misperceptionof Jung'stheory as being almost totally inward.And it has paved the way for the charge to be leveled that Jung is nothing more than a modern-daygnostic who does not take the externalworld seriously."23 rial addressfor sinologist RichardWilhelm that Jungfirstclearly speaks about synchronicity: Thescienceof the I Chingis not basedon the causality buton a principle.In what follows we will show that all of these errorsare corrected if "synchronicity" is approachedfrom Chinese Taoism ratherthan from modern parapsychology. ThusI foundthattherearepsychicparanother principle allelismswhich cannot be relatedto each othercausally.it was generallyassumed that this was simplyJung'sattemptto explain odd psychic events such as a table splittingin half. it is usefulto remindourselvesof the main constructs East West of his theory. Einstein was developing his firsttheoryof relativity and this started of about the time and "and their psychic Jungthinking relativity space But in of it is the "Chinese orientation" a 1930 memoconditionality. chology of unconscious processeslong ago necessitated my lookingfor of explanation. a steel knife shattering.Itis Jung'sview thateach of us sharesin threedifferent levels & Philosophy 480 . Jung's earliest thinkingon synchronicitywas promptedby a conversationover dinnerwith AlbertEinsteinsometime between 1909 and 1913..for which he wrote a psychological commentary.with externalfactors misunderstanding being given short shrift. for example.24 Jung's sense of the existence of psychic parallelism or correlations between inner and outer events was stronglynourishedas a result of of the I Chingand a book on TaoistYoga. Michael Fordhamlargelyconsigns synchronicityto Jung'sattemptsto deal with the occult. not with I have unnamed because met which (hitherto amongus) principle called the with the tentatively My occupation psysynchronistic principle..or seances for communicating with the dead.. JolandeJacobi.1960 he finally produced a little monographon the subject.Ithas led to a of the process of individuation.. readingWilhelm'stranslations The Secret of the Golden Flower. Indeed..that synchronicityhas not been seen as a key concept in Jung's psychology.therefore..The difference this makes for one's estimate of Jung's thought and the understandingof his concept of "the Self" is enormous. focused on the collective unconsciousand the archetypes.21 It is not surprising. in her authoritativepresentationof Jung's psychology. in his "Editorial Preface"to the volume. containing an extended discussion of astrology. does not even treat it as a separateconcept and offersonly one ratherweak This consigning of "synparagraphunder the heading "archetype. To understandthe importanceof this notion of synchronicityfor Jung'spsychology.

that comprisethe personalunconscious."26This is what underliesJung'snotion that an archetype includes not only psychic equivalences but psychophysicalequivalences too. Then the charge againstJung of gnosticism or mere idealism could be made to stick. yet he could not reduce it to a form that he could communicate. an experience of synchronicitytook place.Jung said. AlthoughJung'ssynchronicityconcept saved him from falling into the gnostictrap.and the predisand repressions to universal humanreactions. the "archetypehas a tendency to behave as though it were not localized in one personbut were active in the whole environment. one needs to know the throughthe use of materials Chinese doctrine T'ien-jenchih chi ("the interrelation of heaven and In we use the term "correlative man").memories.the archetypes. then.this notion of Jung'sis not allegoricalor prelogical."28 Or."25 It remainsfor us.Jung indicatesthat the archetype mediatingthe phenomenaof synchronicityis embedded in the brainstructure and is physiologicallyverifiablethroughelectrical stimulationof certain HaroldCoward 481 . English might anthropocosmology. As is the case in Chinese thought.29 When this occurs one is taken out of one's small ego consciousness by experiencing contact with the largermeaning-wholeof oneself withinthe cosmos. IraProgoffsays: "His vision was so rich and essentiallyvalid. the archetypeis an "arranger" of psychic forms inside and outside the psyche into meaningfulpatterns..Jungneverdeveloped a theoreticalframework thatwould enable him to discuss this concept systematically. The deeper meaningwithinone's psyche was experienced in relation to a correspondingmeaning in the external reality. to rereadJung'snotion of "synchronicity" through his referencesto the Chinese texts so that the meaning intendedby Jung will be understood.thatcompose the positions collective unconscious. Without synchronicityboth of these processes could not take place. It is. the dreams. of course.27 Likethe Chinese doctrine of the interrelation of the individualwith the conceived of the as the meaning cosmos.of consciousness:the conscious level of the ego. It is the collective unconscious that is the trademark in the raisingof the archetypesto the conscious level and in the shifting of the center of gravityof the personalityfrom the ego to the Self that synchronicityplays a vital role. When the two connected.. In a letterto PastorBernet. as he put it in a letterdated August 1951. the notion of the archetypesand of Jung'sthought. for Jung'spsychology would be encapsulatedwithinthe innerpsyche and out of touch with the externalworld..but is based on the idea of an ordereduniverseinto which everythingfits harmoniously.About this failing of Jung. To be clear about the archetype and its creative individuation of the externalworld. Jung archetype interrelating content of the inner psyche with the meaning content of the external cosmos.

Jungquotes ChuangTzu saying the Tao(the whole) is obscured when one fixes one's eye on little segments of existence only. came to be regardedby Jung as a psychophysicalcontinuum present throughoutthe cosmos. According to Joseph Needham.When the two are the underlying patterns broughttogether a significantmoment of synchronicityis experienced.When we thinkof the unfolding of events in this interactionbetween humansand nature.37LimitaPhilosophyEast& West tions are not groundedin the patternof the whole of life.then. thought.. and the archetypalmeaning is revealed. and spiritual versusworldlythe potentialto become linkedin meaningfulacausal synchronisticexperiences. Thus the deepest levels of the collective unconscious were seen to participatein of the externalworld of nature.areas of the brain stem that produce mandalavisions.34 pointsstrongly organic whole.Westernideas of cause and effect are replaced in Chinese thoughtby notions of interdependence. This interdependenceis based on the idea of a simultaneous resonance between otherwise independent entities. "In so far . The individualparticipatesin the whole in accordance with its comprehensivepattern(the Tao).30But in a letter to WalterSchmid. In Easternreligion this is the revelationof the divine. of the idea of synchronicity In his discussionof the forerunners Jung a constitutes nature There to Chinese dynamic."36 Thingsbehave as they do not because of cause-effect relationshipswith other things but because of their intrinsicinterdependent relationshipwith the existentialpatternof all life.Jungwarns that even though the archetypeand synchronicityare rooted in the psychic realm. is the idea that a person is In summary.35As mentioned earlierit is more like a music theoryof resonancethan Newtonian physics. It is the Chinese worldview that startedJung in this direction. fied that both modalitiestranscendthe realm of the psychic and someThe inherentpatterningactivity how belong to the physical realm. It is this underlyingunity that gives opposites such as innerversusouter. as synchronisticevents include not only the conclusion is justipsychic but also physicalformsof manifestation.we should not take them to be only psychic. psychic versus physical. the key word in the Chinese "The symbolic correlationsor correspondences worldview is "pattern": all formedpartof one colossal pattern. Jung's"synchronicity" a participantin and meaningfullyrelated to the acausal patterningof The weakness in Jung'stheory is that he does not events in nature. Thusthe vision 482 .. under Chinese influence."31 by the archetypeis not only presentat the level of the collective unconscious but. and it is Jung's reading of Chinese thought that can renderhis thoughtmore systematicin relationto synchronicity.33 of the empirical clear is thatJungbecame quite sure thatthe multiplicity world restson an underlyingunity.32 how the synchronisticevent and its meaning demonstrate consistently What is are clearly relatedto the depth psychology of the individual.

fromthe Taoof Lao-Tzu to the coincidentiaoppositorum of Cusanus. it involves the study and classificationof events wherein meaningfulinterdependence transcendsspace. the paintingis said to reveal the potentialitiesof the "spiritual court.contact is made between the inner and outer forms of the pattern..and his mind will be absorbedby them.40The potentialitieswithin and without come together according to the divine pattern.While in Chinese culturethe throwingof the yarrowstalks in accordancewith the I Chinghelps the process of seeing the Taoalong. and synchronicity is complete. but from the Spiritual InJung'sview this is also what happens in the makingof the best mandalas. The Tao is revealed."38 harmonicsof reality"becomes a slave of passion and his naturewill be distortedby externalities. I see Tao. he said: "When I sense the vigor of Chang Tsao's painting."39 from consciousness of the eye and ear. time. night is wedded with day. in the West Jungfelt that his practiceof "Active Imagination" played a parallelrole in a way more suited to the modernWesternmind. There.. News of the externalworld is firsttaken into the psyche by the sensing function and then taken deep within the psyche by the intuiting function." Fromthe viewer's perspective."a term first used by Chuang Tzu to mean what Jung calls the depth of the unconscious. in which the extremeopposites unite. under the influence of the archetype. he observes.The work of individuationor symbol formationinvolves the creativeworkingtogetherof the archetypal formswith the interiorized contentsof the psychicalworld until a "synchronousfit" is achieved and the interdependentmeaning revealed (usually in a series of dreams ending finally in a conscious experience). In both cases the end result was an experience of the inner psyche and the externalworld coming togethersynchronistically in a meaningfulwhole.. His brushwill secretly be in harmonywith movementand quiesOne who is not in tune with the cence and all formswill issue forth.42 The Taoist approach is the synchronisticway. There-isa universalvalidity. and causality as the determining factor. So.when a Chinese artistis successful.of the successful artistis of one who "can follow Nature'sspontaneity and be aware of the subtletyof things. As in the I Ching. outside with inside. and male with female.4' In other places Jung describes this as the mysteryof the coniunctio. [T]hingsbroughtout are not Court. when Fu Tsai saw ChangTsao's paintingsof pines and rocks. Self Jung typically describes spiritualmaturityand psychological inteCoward grationas the shiftingof the center of gravityof the personalityfromthe Harold 483 .The archetypecontains the meaningfulpatternthat waits to resonate sympathetically with events sharingthe same patternin the external world. I no longer see a painting.

. Taoism thought. for it saves one from falling into the theosophical trap of much Hindu thought. It bringsa feeling of "oneness" and of reconciliationwith life. As Frieda Fordhamputs it: "[The self] consists . confirmed in Jung'smind that both sides were essential for the development of the self. is structured such that an overbalance on one side is necessarilycompensated by a stresson the other so that within the personalitythe two sides are always seeking to be in balance. The equal inclusion of the external world is of crucial importance. there is only a circumambulation lated to the center.and on the otherof our intimaterelationship with all of life. which is overbalancedon the externalempiricalconsciousness and virtuallycut off fromthe internalunconscious.. universal consciousness.as soon withoutqualities.and Taoismin particular..45Jung makes it clear that his concept of the self is not that kind of "universalconsciousness. but animal and plant. The Taoist insistence on a balance between inner and outer. in the awareness on the one hand of our unique natures. Ratherit is the universalBrahman. namely that the external world is mere maya and ultimatelydisappears.Jungfound his readingof Chinese to offera betterclue to the self. outer are fundamental In explaining his concept of self.48 Brahman Brahman. with the empiricalworld. In the Taoistbook.43 Jung's discovery of the self as the goal of psychic development occurredas a resultof his study of Taoism in 1918 while for writingPsychologicalTypesand in 1927 while writinga commentary of TheSecretof the Golden Flower. On the other extreme is the modern Western mind.. 484 .leaving a pure.in Jung'sview. as such. This is exactly Sankara's FromJung'sperspective. TheSecret of the Golden Flower. which speaks throughthe individual and so uses the individualas a means of expression.. between yin and yang.44And this circumambulationprocess of the self includes materialsfrom both the inner psyche and the external world in ever widening circles. is no longer in dynamic interrelanotion of nirguna tion with the physical world.Jung found for the first time an outline for the East & West Philosophy developmentof a balanced self."which he says is simply another name for the unconscious. not only human.47But the becomes one-sidedly identified dangerin Hinduthoughtis that Brahman as pure consciousness and. thinks. Jung points to the Hindu Upanisadic teaching that it is not the individualego that speaks.These Chinese Wilhelm'stranslation texts taughtJung that in the development of the self there is no linear in which everythingis reevolution. and even that of inorganicmatterand the cosmos itself. one is as one gets out of dynamic interrelation either unconscious or out of life altogether. and acts."46 The two Chinese notions of correand a balancedcenter lationbetween the innerand outer (synchronicity) so as to include both the innerand the that expands or circumambulates to Jung'snotion of the self.ego to the self. Because it balanced both extremes.

Yet the TaoistYoga of the text soughtout a point of balance or freedomthatwould take one beyond the clash of opposites without becoming one-sided or overbalanced. It is identified with yin and associated with the body and its sexual to the earthwhence it continually energy. Whetherarisingfromwithoutor within. in some cases.the new thing came to all those personsfrom a darkfield of possibilities. or. as Master Lu Tzu said.55 WhenI examined thewayof development of thosepersons and who. At death it decays and returns The of the as yoga taughtin the text is to arousethe sexual begets. Master Lu teaches that the one primordial whole is the Tao."56All this was accomplished Coward by doing nothing. midpoint opposites.52 What struckJungabout this Taoistmodel for the developmentof the self was that it never attemptedto force the pairsof opposites so farapart that all connection between them is lost. however. does not permitmechanical duplication. Junggoes on to say.Jungcomments: as if unconsciously. I saw that their fates had somethingin common. [l]n no case was it conjuredinto existence throughpurpose and conscious willing.. seldom corresponds to conscious expectation.adds thatthe book teaches a correlation of the innerspiritual principlewith the psychogenicforces of the cosmos so as to preparefor the possibilityof life after death in a transfigured bodily form. It seemed to me typical that.54 Problemscaused by being overbalancedon one side or the other can never be solved but only outgrown. is normal.. Jung..an expressionthat one could not imagine in a more complete form.50In the text.Charles San states that the aim is "an enrichment of consciousness which will unite the innerand outer worlds of reality. and in otherswithin.In his Introduction to the Causeway Editionof The Secret of the Golden Flower. Butit was neversomethingthatcame exclusivelyeitherfromwithinor fromwithout. grew beyond themselves. Growth into the self. the new thing was found outside themselves.quietly.which afterdeath rises in the air and flows back into the reservoir of life."49 The translator. equivalent the Tao. Hun dwells in the eyes and is bright and active.51 goal or of the and convert it into the lighterspiritualenergy of energy yin p'o yang or hun untila balance is achieved. To remain overbalanced and caught up in a conflict between the opposites is pathological.that it grew into some persons from without. This new thing. It is identified with yang and associated with the lighter. higher spirit.53 The said is the of the It is to self.The Tao phenomenalizes into a multiplicityof individuals in the formof hun and p'o. but rather seemed to flow out of the streamof time. the developing self.they accepted it and developed furtherby means of it. Richard Wilhelm.or rather. P'o dwells in the abdomen and is darkand earthbound. by wu wei (actionless Harold 485 . and into others from within. contradictsdeeply rooted instincts.and yet is "a singularlyappropriateexpression of the total personality.

"I had a dream about the center and the self which I A year representedin a mandalapaintingcalled 'Windowon Eternity'. Earlier(19181920). the man.62 PhilosophyEast& West 486 . as the words "self-conscious. Such symbols are mandalas. Eitherway. the mandala of the text. Jung comments that Atman.As was the case with Jung. What is meant by the self is not only in me but in all beings. It depends on their startingpersonalitytype-introvert or extrovert. and Christ are different culturalsymbolsfor wholeness that correlatethe innerself with the animating principle of the cosmos. [T]hisself is not just a rathermore conscious or intenetc. likewise a mandala. The union of these two.60In a later article. said Jung.59In the Taoist text. life and consciousness. when Jung read The Secret of the Golden Flower. like the Atman. an enlargementinto a self occurs by making present partsof one's inneror outer world that one had previouslyblocked out.says Jung. Chinese in character. findingone's own mandala symbol is crucial for the development of the self.some have to enlargetheir personality into a self by taking from without.In Chinese terms. mightlead one sified ego.57 As the Taoisttext makes clear.dala.this is the bringingabout of Tao.. the Golden Flower. InJung'sview.that was very with a golden castle at the center." In fact. says Jung. Later he was technically to designate the process as "active imagination.58 This expansion of the personalityand the union of the opposites throughthe process of lettinggo of the ego expresses itself in symbols. ambulation(the circling around)of the center. It is psychic totality. Some years later. The process involves an enlargementof consciousnessthrougha uniting or correlating of what was separated. others by expanding within." to suppose.. In Western terms this makingthe opposites consciously in harmonywith the largerpatternof life is "conversion"conversion from the ego as the center of the personalityto the self as center. We use the word "self" for this contrastingit with the littleego.The term implies a circularnature." laterJung painted a second picture. symbolizes the self in which the unconscious has become conscious in a harmoniousunion with all of life.action). Jung provides one of his clearest descriptions of "active imagination"as inspired by his reading of the Taoist notion of wu wei.""self-satisfied. This art of letting things happen-action in nonaction. which sees and comprehendsthe whole.... letting go of oneself-became for Jung the key to opening the door to the development of the self.. is the Tao.Mandalas pictoriallyrepresentthe harmoniousinclusion of both the inner and outer realmswithin the self.61 Behind the opposites and in the opposites is true reality.like Tao. the Golden Flowerof Heavenly Lightis the mandala. in 1927. Tao. at this point in his Commentary.he found and the circumconfirmationof his ideas about the self.

all the psychothe lightand darkforcesof humannature. religiousphenomena (in which the thought-fragments may be personifiedas spiritsor gods). The beginning formationof a self gives one a centerfromwhich to recognize these partialpsychic systems for what they are and. of whatever kind means elsethan opposites logical theymaybe.63 by which the self is Jung found the process of circumambulation.A circumambulatio prescribed.67 487 .says Jung. the Tao begins to take leadership. a symbol such as the sun.thoughtJung. a freeing of oneself from emotional or sensory entanglements. Psychologically. possessing being Jung comments that such are common in mental illnesses (like schizopsychic partial systems mediumistic and phrenia).64 For this circularmovement to take place.portrays about to rid himselfof his many small egos and pass over into the more complete objective state of the self.66Again the circular movementdominatesthe process.As it refocusesone's psychic energy from the ego to the self. claims Jung. the spiritualstate of the yogi who is The picture. as in this text. there is felt a heighteningand clearness of consciousness.The symbol is a visual image of the divine pattern. fully representedin the man. self-knowledge by tapas).the turningin ever widening circles about oneself engages all sides of the personality. The text offersvisual representations of such projectionsand describesthem as "thought-fragments" that are empty colors and shapes no in and of themselves.dala or circularcourse of development is Golden Flower. Newly activated unconscious contents are frequentlyprojected upon the outside world.struck by a In The Secret of the Golden FlowerJung was particularly with five human out of the of a top of his yogi drawing figuresgrowing head and five more figuresgrowingout of the top of each of theirheads.65 Jung observes that the Taoist text is aware of certain dangers that arise when such an expansion of consciousness is taking place. Thusthe circular movement hasalso the moral of activating all significance and withthem.Action is submergedinto nonaction. or. which gathers up and integrates fromthe unconsciouswith those of the externalworld received materials the of the God or through senses. That nothing means of self-incubation (Hindi. phenomena. a castle. a golden flower is necessary. and everythingperipheral is subjected to the command of the center.and a deepening sense of unityof being. in turn. This is not an easy or quick process but. As such the symbol is a manifestation self archetype. Through meditation. one that may engage one even beThe assimilation of such psychic projectionsthrough HaroldCoward yond one's death. makes possible their depotentializationand assimilationby the center. and text of The Secret of the built up. as the TibetanBook of the Dead (the BardoTh6dol)makesclear.

one is identifiedwith one's parentsor with one's affects."71).for that indeed is the aim: "To understandmetaphysiThe Taoists. one's sexual energy is transmuted. the participation mystique is transcended and the centerof gravityof the personalityshiftsits position.through yoga practice."69This is what is meant by the text.into the universalspiritualenergy of the self. attitudethat is invulnerable Jungagrees with the text that the time for this process to take place is in for death." the indestructible spirit not a in it is the Golden that Flower. "It ceases to be the ego. has been disentangled. and is located instead in what might be called a virtualpoint between the conscious and the unconscious. Jung's reading of the Taoist text highlighted another important aspect. LaoTzu: "TheTao that can be told of is not the eternal Tao. This new center might be called the self. Nor do the Taoistsmake the mistakeof takingthis breath 488 . In modernpeople this nondifferentiation takesanotherform."If by "psychologism"is meant the bringingof "metaphysics"withinthe rangeof experience. But when these unconscious projections are made conscious. therefore.when it speaks of "the diamond body. cally is impossible. then Jungsays he pleads guilty and is flattered. describing dogma develops body but a real experience. says Jung. thoughtJung.g. This naturally follows the second half of life as a preparation Inthe the focus of the firsthalfof life on "begettingand reproduction. people feel themselves to be magically influenced by things."70 second half of life."68 primitivepeoples the formof plantsand animalsbehaving like humansand vice versa.As Jungputs it.the process of circumambulation is an essential partof the individuation of the self from its entrapmentin either the inner unconscious or the external world.in Western religion metaphysicshas become the normand. which is merely the center of consciousness. They reallysymbolicalpsychologists. Jungthinks. Jung'sfollowing of Taoism on this point has led to charges of "psychologism.or one accuses others of things one does not see in oneself. The instructionsin The Secret of the Golden Flower.Levy Bruhldefines participation of non-differentiation between mystiqueas "theindefinitely largeremnant In and this nondifferentiation takes subject object.an obstacle to directexperience of the divine. the participation of consciousness mystique. The unconscious is not projected any more. says Jung.the primordial interweaving with the world.Whereas in Taoism any metaphysicaldescriptionis negated (e. which Master Lu Tzu has had and expects his & West East Philosophy pupil to have." Such an expression symbolizes a psychological to entanglementsin the outeror innerworld."72 are understand this well..it can only be done psychologically. namely the text's emphasis on direct experience and the refusal to attempt a metaphysicaldescription.teach the pupil how to free himselfor herselffrominneror outer bondage.and other people. In both kinds of nondifferentiation. circumstances. When the text speaks of the "diamondbody.

there is a feeling of reconciliationwith oneself and with what is happeningin the world. says Jung. sponded.' It is as if the leadershipof the affairsof life had gone over to an invisible center. to use the Christian context. This is why. the Tao. I know!"76 from with it a release the brings compulsion and impossibleresponsibility that are the inevitable results of dogmatism and the participation mystique.."74Jungadds: "In a certain sense. it is the tremendousexperiment of becoming conscious. "No longer do I live.Of centralimportancehere is the idea thatthe contentsof the innerpsyche and those of the external HaroldCoward 489 . As such it becomes a basic block for psyche building Jung's encountered in his dreamsand laterconfirmedand concept of self. the synchronicityis understoodto be a fundamentalprincipleunderlying and the in which the within and without the archetypes way opposites interact.77 Jung concludes his Commentaryon The Secret of the Golden Flower with the following words: "It is .or spirit"diamondbody" to be separatedfromthe physical."73This ultimateexperience can only be hinted at in words such as "Itis not I who live."78In his readingof but Taoism. spontaneous action centered not in the ego but in the self. synchroof nicity is seen as primarilyconcerned with the inherentinterrelation the inner psyche with the external world. Conclusion This study has shown that two of Jung'scentraland often misunderstood concepts." were stronglyinfluenced in their initialformulation by his readingof Taoistthought.an experience of Kant'sDing-an-sich. and strivingcommon to all civilized peoples."Do you believe in God?"Jungpaused and reThisdirect knowledge. There is no dualism here. What is experienced is a purifyingand correlatingof the physical and the mental into a balanced self symbolized by the "diamond body. It is not skepticismor agnosticismbut. in an interviewwith the BBC.the self. Jungdeveloped his notion of the self in a detailed reflectionon the Tao.Jungfound not only an adequateexpressionof synchronicity also a trustworthy to the of the self as the guide experience spiritual center. it lives me. When examined in relationto the I Ching. when asked. First explained in TheSecretof the Golden Flower.seeking. in Jung'sterms. which nature has imposed on mankind. but Christlives in me. One is released to live in wu-wei. Instead."75 The experience of this new center is the Taoor. the thing we are tryingto express is the feeling of having been 'replaced. and only secondarily as an explanationof occult events.When placed against the backgroundof Chinese correlationalcosmology.says Jung. the atmosphereof suffering.' but without the connotation of having been 'deposed.." or. "synchronicity" and "the self.the thing in itself. "I do not believe. unitingthe most diverse culturesin a common task.

metaphysicallyor otherwise. This is not a mandala. Following the lead of TheSecret of the Golden Flower.which is equallyreal. who have not seen Jungthrough his readingof Taoism Commentators have frequently chargedhim with being a gnostic-Maurice Freedman79 and R. that he has done away with God by psychologizingGod into an archetype.82 Basinghimself on Lao Tzu's teaching. basic to insight correspondingknowledge the and the self and effectivelysafeguarded Jung'sconcepts of synchronicity a For from Jung. When a sufficient number of projections has been made conscious and archetypesindividuated throughthis process. Zaehner80 have brandedJungas "a moderngnostic.though real.Jung'spsychologyrequires and extrovertin ever that we expand our personalitytypes of introvert widening circles until the opposite aspect is assimilatedand made conscious in the new whole of the self. the Tao. The Taoist background helps us to see that there is a balance between innerand outer in Jung'sthinking.the inner. a self in the form of will a be born. a fact that Jung himself recognizes in Aion.and that both are expressionsof the same fundamentalpatternor whole. but because it corrects some major misThe firstis thatJung'spsychology is so dominantlyintraunderstandings. or psychic inwardlyfocused that for him everythingcomes out of the collective unconscious. all theology. is always Jung becoming gnostic. is necessarilyone-sided because it engages in 490 . "The Name that can be spoken or described is that he is neithera skeptic not the true Name.world must be assimilatedand balanced to approximatethe Tao. usually voiced by ministersor theologians. The second misunderstanding relates to the same basic problem."Jungseeks to demonstrate nor an agnostic but a direct experiencer of the divine. again following his reading of Taoism. East & West All Philosophy dogma.81 The partof gnosticismthatJungaccepted was that there was knowledge to be found within the psyche. a letting go of ego in wu-wei or spontaneous action.the unconscious as the source of knowledge. The third misunderstanding relatesto suspicions. the Tao. All of this is importantnot just for our understanding of how Jung developed his basic ideas. symbol. But this was immediatelybalanced by with a his Taoist insightthat any inner knowledge must be interrelated This is of external world. in tensionwiththe outer.but simply experienced. however.Jungfinds that the self evolves by a process of circumambulation aroundthe center in ever expanding circles. throughout that the physical world is as important as the innerarchetypes.Jungrejectsmetaphysicsas havingany gripon reality." Gnosticism places a one-sided emphasison the subjective. but. Following his readingof Taoism. C.Thatthis chargebotheredJunga greatdeal is evidentfromthe attentionit receives in his Commentary on TheSecretof the Golden Flower. usually of the conscious process ego. that Jung is a skeptic or agnostic. The evolving self is not somethingthat can be described.

p. 11 -Ibid.. 373.whole.trans. Coward 13 .James Legge.pp. 8 ."83Jung seems to have been convinced that in Pauline theology Taoistand Christian thoughtcoalesce.Ibid.p.Jung. Chapter25. p. 7 . The Development and Decline of Chinese Cosmology(New York:ColumbiaUniversityPress. G. 3 .p. p.Reflections..ed. requiresnot metaphysicsbut a directexperienceof the whole-and that. Jung.vol.Dreams. Reflections. 1965).the Atman. the underlying of all back receives and existence. supports..Jungand Eastern Thought (Albany: of New YorkPress.1985]). in Harold 491 .p. will be happywith It is not likelythat theologiansor metaphysicians is But it something quite differJung'sTaoist experience of the divine. 9 . trans. tern in which all distinctionsinhere.Memories. [Cambridge: 10 . 214. G.any discussion of Jung's religion would be advised to begin with the Taoist backgroundand then to grapplewith his contentionthat in Paul'sexperience of Christ "the deepest religious experience of the West and the East meet. 1.is availableto us all throughthe Self. 6 (Princeton: 6 .. Jungmaintains. Aniela Jaffe. PrincetonUniversityPress.Ibid. 22..HaroldCoward.C. 5 .The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu. Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Vintage Books. 208.Memories.Ibid. which gives birth makingdistinctions.pp. providesthe cosmic patto. 154-155. 2 .To know God. G.1971).Jung. Henderson.p.If it is to hit the mark.C.. BenjaminSchwartzsuggests the term "correlativeanthropocosmology"as a more exact translationof the Chinese principle (The World of Thoughtin Ancient China Harvard UniversityPress.1985).Ibid.PsychologicalTypes. Jung. 207. the Tao.The divine. 374.in The Collected Worksof C.John B. 52-55. ent from skepticismor gnosticism. Jung. 4 . In an even more recent book. xv.1984). Psychological Types. 12 .Ibid.Dreams. NOTES StateUniversity 1 .p.

pp.Ibid. G. Richard Wilhelm (Princeton:Princeton University Press.C. (Princeton: 30 . G. GerhardAdler and Aniela Jaff6 PrincetonUniversityPress). vi.Jung. p. Synchronicityand Human Destiny (New York: Dell. 25 . Synchronicity. 8). G.Schwartz.p.vol.Memories. 31 . p. Jung (New Haven: Yale UniversityPress. 19 .1973) (see Collected Works.Ibid. 374. v-vi.1973). A. 216-217. 158. 1975). pp. 258-259.. 68.C. pp. Jung: Letters. p.. Synchronicity."Discourseand Perspectivein Daoism:A Linguistic Interpretation of Ziran.Civilizationin Transition.in Collected Works. 18.W. RichardWilhelm with Commentaryby C. 142. trans.C. 22. Forewordto The I Ching or Book of Changes. Callahan. 16 . trans. 1.p.The Textsof Taoism(New York:Dover Publications.Ibid. 452. Jung (New York:Causeway Books.see Jung." PhilosophyEastand West 39 (1989): 171.pp. G.As Robert Aziz has demonstrated. p.Jung.Jung. p.Jung.1962). Jung.. 2. 24 .JolandeJacobi. xxiv. 26 . p. 15.The Secret of the Golden Flower. Jung. 49-50. Synchronicity:An Acausal Connecting Principle PrincetonUniversityPress.Ibid. Psychological Types. 99.p. G.p. p. The Psychology of C.Jung.The Worldof Thoughtin Ancient China. in Collected Works."(b)the numinouschargeasso492 .10:45128 . Jung. xxiv.p. 1973). xxii.Reflections. 22 .Dreams. 1950). 17 . 32 .As quoted by Jung from Waley's translation. 27 . ed. 29 .6:214. 23 . 20 . 350..Ira Progoff.Foreword to TheI Ching. G. pt. (Princeton: vol. 14 . the "meaningfulness" Jungassociates with synchronisticevents consists in four interrelated layers state and the objecof deepening significance:(a) the intrapsychic &West East tive event as "meaningful Philosophy parallels. 21-C. 447.

Jung.Reflections. e.Jung..Commentary on TheSecretof the Golden Flower.p. Otto..Chang Huai's "Treatiseon Painting"as quoted in Creativity and Taoism.Jung.Jung. Jung. p. 47 .8:488. 46 . The Holy Men of India.Jung. TheSymbolic Life. 38 . thesis. 43 . in Collected Works. 42 .11 :576586.13:6-7.D. An Introduction to Jung'sPsychology(Harmondsworth.in Collected Works. Potter. 45 . 40 . It just happens thatJungfound his help in this regardfromChinese Taoisttexts. 2:281. a feeling of "grace" is conveyed). 41 .FriedaFordham.Synchronicity. 35 .1-3. It should.14:166.Joseph Needham. subsequentlypublishedby StateUniversity 1990).ciated with the synchronisticexperience (from R. G. 1981).1956). G. Jung'sPsychologyof Religionand Synchronicity. pp.Mysterium Coniunctionis.in Collected Works. Introduction to TheSecretof the Golden Flower. 69 ff. Commentaryon The Secret of the Golden Flower. Chinese Alchemy: Preliminary Studies (Cambridge: Harvard UniversityPress. xii..CharlesSan. 76ff. p. an eighth-century Taoistadept. 1975).p. 5. 33 Ibid.See. Press.Nathan Sivin. 137. by Chang Chung-yuan (New York: Harper Colophon. of New York pp. 207. 37 .12.p. (c) the importof the subjective level of and (d)the archetypallevel of meaning(Robert Aziz. p. 44 . however.Synchronicity. 196-197. p. 49 .C.1968). 63.C. RichardWilhelm (New York:Causeway Books. be noted that HinduTantricsystemsshare with Taoisma balanced emphasis on the inner and outer worlds.Dreams.18:68-69.trans. pp. in Collected Works. Science and Civilisationin China (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress. England: Penguin. 1963). 34 . G.Ibid.Memories. 98-99. interpretation. Jung. G.Jung. Ph.Advaita VedantaUp to Samkara and His Pupils (Princeton:PrincetonUniversityPress. 39 . ChandogyaUpanisad6. The book is said to go back in oral form to Lu Yen. 206.pp. 36 .C.1957).g.in Collected Works. 48 . C. Harold Coward 493 . 110.See KarlH.

pp. like the many small egos of the drawingfrom The Secret of the Golden Flower. Jung quotes from an experience of EdwardMaitland:"Once started on my quest.Ibid.A PsychologicalApproachto the Trinity.pp. 104. It would be interesting to compare this Taoist notion of the transfigured body-spirit personalitythat survivesdeath with the Christian doctrineof a resurrected transfigured body-spirit entity.in Collected Works.15:126. in Collected Works. Jung.Ibid.p.. 52 ..p. 55 . Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology. 63 . the impression produced being that of mounting towardthe centerof fromthe circumference a vast ladderstretching the solar system. 58 .. of course.. 54 .pp. 53 . and a system. I found myself traversinga succession of spheres or belts . p.Ibid.. 60 . 102).Ibid. This is one of the few times Jung uses the term "conversion.Jung.Ibid.Ibid.Dreams.Jung.p. p.Jung." (p. A Monologue. xi. 51 .. G.11:156. Jung. in Collected Works. Jung.." 59 .Ibid.Ibid.Memories. on TheSecretof the Golden Flower. Jung. 62 .C.C. 56 . 65 .. 87.Commentary on TheSecretof the Golden Flower. East &West Philosophy 494 67.C. 57 . to represent on The Secret of the Golden Flower.There is no one characteror figurein the novel the self. 90-92. 4. the three systems being at once diverse and identical .Jung. 89. 96. "Ulysses": Jungsees the many figuresin JamesJoyce's Ulysses as many small egos. 10164 ..C. Two Essays on Analytical Psychology..p. pp. G. 90. G. p.50 .. p. 14ff.. p.10:463. Works.Reflections. usually rejected the Easternnotion of individual rebirth. the universalsystem.Ibid. althoughtowardthe end of his life he came close to accept- . 100.. As a modernparallelto this descriptionfromthe ancientTaoist text.Jung. 106-113. 197.7:221. 66 . G.Commentary 102.Commentary in Collected 61 .which was at once my own system.

ing it. p. Zaehner (New York: Hawthorn Books.vol. 74 .pp.Commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower. 68 . 322-323). Jung. 131 n.p. 76 . 71 .Ibid. 133. 79 . C. 1967). 12872 ..pp. 9. pt.Ibid. ed. 70 ." in A Concise Encyclopedia of Living Faiths. 132).1969).C.Ibid.. "A New Buddha and a New Tao. 73.Jung. 2. in A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. 75 .Commentary 129. G.. 83 . pt.."TheStoryof CarlGustaveJung.pp.Reflections. 223. p. trans. 78 .pp."interview. 81 . "No longer do I of the self within a live. R.Lao Tzu. 82 . 80 . 404).he toys with the idea that rebirthmight be conceived as a psychic projectionand offersevidence from his own dreams(pp. p.Ibid. 136. vi. 133134. 1959). 124. C.p. PrincetonUniversityPress. in Collected Works. 132. 69 .g. In Memories. Tao-Te Ching. 77 .p.TheSecretof the Golden Flower.Ibid.Jung. but Christliveth in me. on The Secret of the Golden Flower. 123. Zaehner representsJung as identifying God and the self with the collective unconscious (p.Ibid. 1.Dreams.R.Aion. 131-132. 1972.To Deny our Nothingness (New York:Delta..Jung. Commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower. Jung frequentlyquotes from Paul. p. Zaehner.p.Wing-tsitChan (Princeton: 139.Maurice Friedman. 128135.." as a manifestation Christian context (e. Harold Coward 495 .Ibid.p..BBCTV.

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