Statue of Lord Shiva in Bangalore, India, performing yogic meditation in the Padmasana posture.
The power of the yogi operates within limits acceptable to his environment. The European, on the other hand, can blow up mountains, and the World War has given us a bitter foretaste of what he is capable of when free rein is given to an intellect that has grown estranged from human nature. As a European, I cannot wish the
European more “control” and more power over the nature within and around us. Indeed, I must confess to my shame that I owe my best insights (and there are some quite good ones among them) to the circumstance that I have always done just the opposite of what the rules of yoga prescribe. Through his historical development, the European has become so far removed from his roots that his mind was finally split into faith and knowledge, in the same way that every psychological exaggeration breaks up into its inherent opposites. He needs to return, not to Nature in the manner of Rousseau, but to his own nature. His task is to find the natural man again. Instead of this, there is nothing he likes better than systems and methods by which he can repress the natural man who is everywhere at cross purposes with him. He will infallibly make a wrong use of yoga because his psychic disposition is quite different from that of the Oriental. I say to whomsoever I can: “Study yoga you will learn an infinite amount from it but do not try to apply it, for we Europeans are not so constituted that we apply these methods correctly, just like that. An Indian guru can explain everything and you can imitate everything. But do you know who is applying the yoga? In other words, do you know
who you are and how you are constituted?” ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion, Page 234