Workshop: Awakening The Divine: Jung and Kundalini
According to renowned psychoanalyst Carl Jung:
"One often hears and reads about the dangers of Yoga, particularly of the ill-reputed Kundalini Yoga. The deliberately induced psychotic state, which in certain unstable individuals might easily lead to a real psychosis, is a danger that needs to be taken very seriously indeed. These things really are dangerous and ought not to be meddled with in our typically Western way. It is a meddling with Fate, which strikes at the very roots of human existence and can let loose a flood of sufferings of which no sane person ever dreamed. These sufferings correspond to the hellish torments of the chönyid state..." C. G. Jung, Introduction toThe Tibetan book of the Dead *
It is clear from the above quote, that Jung did not understand Yoga. While there is a thread of truth to his statement, creating fear of such a useful tool is comparable to never cooking on fire or flame as it has the potential to burn one’s house to the ground.
Kundalini yoga, also called rajah yoga, is one of the best soul cleansing tools availableto mankind. However, just as a surgical knife can kill if misused by the untrained person, or save lives if properly utilized by one so trained; yoga can accelerate soul cleansing to the point where the opened flood gates of unresolved issues surfacing overwhelms the practitionerand causes a shutdown of the normal flow of consciousness, that can lead to paralysis and/or death. This is the reason kundalini yoga was not taught outside the ashrams for centuries where atrained teacher could monitor the process of soul cleansing and release the imperfections in an orderly process, thus allowing for higher spiritual growth. This is the spiritual equivalent of removing an individual’s antipsychotic medications without providing therapeutic support to deal with resulting influx of chaos.
It is clear that Jung went through a profound spiritual crisis after his separation from Freud. In the normal spiritual awakening, consciousness strives to become whole by fully activating both the masculine and feminine aspects. If a person has followed one path exclusively, at the expense of abandoning the other, the spiritual crisis is accompanied by a shift in consciousness from the dominant aspect of consciousness to the undeveloped aspect of consciousness that often reflects an immature sub-personality abandoned at an earlier period ofdevelopment. The great difficulty Jung found was that he no long had his logical masculine aspect of consciousness that facilitated his academic learning through the extensive rigorous coursework necessary in order to become a medical doctor. After the shift resulting from the crisis, Jung would have regressed to embrace his undeveloped emotional aspect and feltlike the proverbial fish out of water in that his mind would no longer functionas it had in the past, supporting him in comfort through periods of emotional stress.
Jung blocked his emotional shift due to the fear resulting from his inability to utilize his logical masculine aspect of consciousness. In order to balance and remain functional, he immediately embraced his illicit relationship with Tony Wolfe, whom he often referred to as his “second wife” to provide the feminine aspect of consciousness as his personal crutch. This allowed Jung to feel “whole” without embracing his own feminine, resulting in a reversion back to the comfort of his logical masculine.
This is why Jung never fully understood the various spiritual experiences relating tothe awakening process and wrote about them by quoting translations of other person’s experiences, rather than his own first-hand experience which he had blocked. Jung’s commentary on RichardWilhelm’s translation of the ancient Chinese spiritual text, “The Secret of theGolden Flower” is a very clear example of his limited understanding of the spiritual development process. It’s ironic that Jung wrote to Wilhelm in 1929 begging him not to die as he was providing Jung with the spiritual knowledge he had been seeking. This period, from 1914 to 1929 is the period where Jung recorded his spiritual journey in the “Red Book” which included many of the full color paintings by Jung that he also included in his commentary on Wilhelm’s translation in the “Secret of the Golden Flower.” The termination of his writing the “Red Book” in 1929 was also the time of termination of his relationship with Tony Wolfe.
Coincidence? I think not!
Is it possible that Jung returned to the spiritual awakening process during his near death experience? That question, and many more, will be discussed in the workshop.
This workshop examines Jung’s lifetime spiritual development by examining the clues in his writings along with the events occurring in his life. Please note that while I may sound critical in my analysis of Jung, this does not take away from my respect for the greatness of this man who was the pioneer of writing on the spiritual development process across many religions that he experientially studied and his examination of them from a logical scientific perspective.