Lecture VII 15th December, 1939
We came to the end of the Anima Christi in the last lecture and I shall only make a few more retrospective remarks about it.
We saw the enormous importance of the figure of Christ and how authentic circles regard this.
I will remind you of the invocations.
If we translate these invocations into the activity of Christ the prayer would run: the soul of Christ sanctifies me, saves me, makes me drunk, washes me, strengthens me, hears me, conceals me, keeps me with him, protects me, calls me as I die and bids me come unto Him, so that I may praise Him with His Saints, for ever and ever, Amen.
These are attributes which show distinctly what an active significance the figure of Christ has.
I have often pointed out that this is really the Self, that higher figure which contains the individual, as well as the totality of mankind, in its corpus mysticum.
This is represented by the Church whose body is the body of Christ, his appearance on the earth, his eternal presence.
He is, therefore, a conglomerate soul, just as Hiranyagarbha and Atman are conglomerate souls in India.
We saw in the Anima Christi that the believer asked to be hidden in the wounds of Christ, to enter the body of Christ; so that, as Przywara says, he can circulate with his blood, see with his eyes and feel with his heart.
He wishes to become entirely identical with the corpus mysticum of Christ which can naturally only take place as a mystical experience or, it is mostly assumed, after death.
So the believer becomes part of an absolute ruler, who permits and forbids, defends and commands, heals and punishes, etc.
He is himself part of the divinity, which is perhaps a peculiar contradiction of the Church’s teaching of the immortality of the individual soul.
The individual soul is a totality and one can hardly assume that it comes to an end, that it is entirely dissolved in God, or it would have lost its individual immortality, it would no longer be itself but only a piece.
I do not know what the Church’s attitude is to this point.
We know that the East largely denies the existence of the individual soul, though in a totally different way.
Buddhism regards it as an illusion.
The only transcendent reality is the eternal Buddha essence.
Buddha himself is said, when he died, to have gone where there is no return and no rebirth.
And this is the highest goal of eastern redemption, to reach a condition of non-existence.
But in the meditation on the Anima Christi the question remains open, the relation between the corpus mysticum and the individual soul is not defined.
But apparently, as the result of fusing with the divinity, the individual soul becomes part of Christ and reigns with him.
This would fit our western mentality [which is characterised by its belligerent attitude) rather well: to conquer and to reign.
We have now, so to speak, meditated together on the Anima Christi.
Naturally not in the Catholic form for that would be impossible for me.
But I have tried to show you how the Jesuits meditate and have used Przywara for this purpose, who is the greatest authority on the subject.
I have also brought in other points of view, such as comparison with the East, and this is inevitable unless we chose to ignore the eastern standpoint altogether.
In my opinion our attitude to the East is one of Europe’s worst sins.
We ignore it or notice it in the wrong way.
We are not alone on the earth.
But we Europeans are pirates by nature and it is, of course, the prerogative of pirates to feel themselves to be the rulers chosen by God and to look down pityingly on everything different from themselves.
I once asked a theologian what his attitude to Buddhism was and received the amazing reply: “We need no attitude to Buddhism. It is no concern of ours.”
One can, of course, understand such a point of view from the Christian standpoint: Christianity is the one and only revealed and eternal truth.
But from a human point of view one could hardly dare to say that what impresses me is the only truth.
We must surely want to know what it is that impresses other people, or we can be in no relation to them whatever.
We need self-criticism and how can we criticize ourselves if we remain in the western psychological sphere?
If we have not seen Europe and western man from outside, we cannot criticize them for we do not know them.
People are what they believe and the fact that Christianity is the religion of the West is the confession of what we are.
This is, I know, a heretical point of view, but Christianity is so characteristic of us just because we do not realise that it expresses us.
Religions are specific and cannot be imitated.
When a Westerner is Christian, he is natural; “the soul is naturally Christian” as Tertullian said, and if a western man becomes a Buddhist it is a mere outer label with no inward reality.
When we think how small the earth is, Indians are our next door neighbours; they are human beings as we are.
They look a little different but they have much the same emotions and even a similar morality, but in spite of this their religion is apparently irreconcilably different to ours.
What they say is really blasphemous from a Christian point of view.
I am now going to read you some passages from the Atharvaveda and the Upanishads which are typical of the eastern standpoint.
I must remark, however, that only a diminishing minority of the Indian people have read the Upanishads and the Vedic texts, but the whole of India is permeated with their spirit.
Buddhism and Hinduism rest on the common foundation of the ancient philosophy of Yoga.
As I have told you before, philosophy grows from the roots of life in India; it is in the West that it has become mere words.
Philosophy is truth that is lived in India, and here it is truth which is not lived.
So never forget, when you are reading eastern texts, that blood is speaking, man, the man in the street, is speaking and not thinking.
The Indian never thinks in our sense at all, his thoughts come to him, they appear.
But if I told a western philosopher his book had come to him?
As a matter of fact I should never say so, for it did not come, he invented it, thought it out, by a great mental effort.
If you watched a Chinese and a European writing you would see the difference at once.
The Chinese is entirely relaxed, just using the two necessary fingers to make wormlike movements; whereas the European strains his mental processes, exerts his whole body and shows cramp in every member!
Our heads are always over-worked whereas the Chinese sits comfortably under a tree and allows things to come to him.
The words come like the ripe fruit which falls from the tree.
From the Atharvaveda 10.8.
1 2. ” The infinite is extended everywhere, Infinite and finite touch each other; The guardian of heaven wanders separating both, He knows, what has been and what will be.”
1 6. “Whence the sun rises, i n what it sets again, That, I think, is the highest, which no being ever surpasses.”
- “He spreads his wings over the breadth of thousands of days, When he flies to heaven as golden bird, He holds all the gods to his bosom; Thus he wanders, surveying all things.”
“The One, finer than a hair, invisibly fine is the One. And yet more all-embracing than this universe – the god is dear to
“Thou art the woman, thou art the man, The girl and the boy, Thou becomest, art born, art everywhere, Thou falterest as aged man with a staff.”
“Thou art the father of the people and their son, The oldest of all and the youngest, The one god, whom I carry in the spirit, Is first born and in the mother’s womb.”
Bridhadaranyaka-Upanishad. Fourth Brahmana.
“1. In the beginning this was the Self alone, in the shape of a person (purusha). He looking round saw nothing but his Self. He first said, ‘This is 1’, therefore he became I by name. Therefore even now, if a man is asked, he first says, ‘This is I ‘, and then pronounces the other name which he may have . . .
- He feared, and therefore anyone who is lonely fears. He thought, ‘As there is nothing but myself why should I fear?’ Thence his fear passed away. For what should he have feared? Verily fear arises from a second only.
But he felt no delight. Therefore a man who is lonely feels no delight. He wished for a second. He was so large as man and wife together. He then made this Self to fall in two (pat), and thence arose husband (pati] and wife (patni). Therefore Yagiiavalkya said: ‘We two are thus (each of us) like half a shell. ‘ Therefore the void which was there, is filled by the wife. He embraced her and men were born . . .
. . . . This is the highest creation of Brahman, when he created the gods from his better part, and when he, who was (then) mortal, created the immortals. Therefore it was the highest creation. And he
who knows this, lives in this his highest creation.
No wall this was then undeveloped. It became developed by form and name, so that one could say, ‘He, called so and so, is such a one. ‘ Therefore at present also all this is developed by name and form, so that one can say, ‘He, called so and so, is such a one. ‘ He (Brahman or the Self) entered thither, so the very tips of the fingernails, as a razor might be fitted in a razor-case, or as fire in a fire-place. He cannot be seen, for, in part only, when breathing, he is breath by name; when speaking, speech by name; when hearing, ear by name; when thinking, mind by name. All these are but the names of his acts. And he who worships (regards) him as the one or the other, does not know him, for he is apart from this (when .qualified) by the one or the other (predicate). Let man, worship him as Self, for in the Self all these are one. This Self is the footstep of everything, for through it one knows everything. And as one can find again by footsteps what was lost, thus he who knows this finds glory and praise.
This, which is nearer to us than anything, this Self, is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than all else . . .
Verily in the beginning this was Brahman, that Brahman knew (its) Self only, saying, ‘I am Brahman.’ From it all this sprang. Thus, whatever Deva was awakened (so as to know Brahman), he indeed became that (Brahman); and the same with Rishis and men. The Rishi Vamadeva saw and understood it, singing, (Rigv. 4. 26.1): ‘I was Manu (moon), I was the sun. ‘ Therefore now also he who thus knows that he is Brahman, becomes all this, and even the Devas cannot prevent it, for he himself is their Self.
Now if a man worships another deity, thinking the deity is one and he another, he does not know. He is like a beast for the Devas. For verily, as many beasts nourish a man, thus does every man nourish the Devas. If only one beast is taken away, it is not pleasant; how much more when many are taken! Therefore it is not pleasant to the Devas that men should know this.”
Seventh Briihmana. p. 133 ff.
- . . . ” ‘So it is, 0 Yagiiavalkya. Tell now (who is) the puller within.
Yagiiavalkya said: ‘He who dwells in the earth and within the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, and who pulls (rules) the earth within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the
‘He who dwells in the water, and within the water, whom the water does not know, whose body the water is, and who pulls (rules) the water within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal.”
‘He who dwells in the fire and within the fire, whom the fire does as one finds lost cattle again by following their footsteps, thus one finds everything, if one has found out the Self. ”
not know, whose body the fire is, and who pulls (rules) the fire within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal. ‘
‘He who dwells in the sky, and within the sky, whom the sky does not know, whose body the sky is, and who pulls (rules) the sky within, he is the Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal. ‘
‘He who dwells in the heaven (dyu) , and within the heaven, whom the heaven does not know, whose body the heaven is, and who pulls (rules) the heaven within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within,
The immortal. ‘ . . .
Yagnavalkya said: ‘He who dwells in all beings, and within all beings, whom all beings do not know, whose body all beings are, and who pulls (rules) all beings within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within,
He is seeing not seen, hearing not heard, understanding not understood, recognising not recognised. There is no one who sees save him, there is no one who hears save him, there is no one who understands save him, there is no one who recognises save him. He is thy soul, the inner ruler, the immortal. What is different from him is full of suffering.”
- “And he is that great unborn Self, who consists of knowledge, is surrounded by the Pranas, the ether within the heart. In it there reposes the ruler of all, the lord of all, the king of all. He does not become Greater by good works, nor smaller by evil works. He is the lord of all, the king of all things, the protector of all things. He is a bank and a boundary, so that these worlds may not be confounded.”
This last passage shows how the great all-embracing Atman is thought of as a tiny being, a thumbling, a Purusha, living within the heart of man.
He is smaller than small in me, the great unborn Self, still in the womb.
He is the ruler of all, embraces the universe and is yet unborn in the heart of man.
Or we could use the Gnostic term and call him the Only Begotten, the Monogenes.
These passages show, far more clearly than I could tell you, the difference between the eastern and western point of view.
The world is an inner experience in the East, everything, even the world itself and the gods, originates in the smaller than small in one’s own heart, it has been created by this inner creator.
We think such an attitude must lead to megalomania, but Christ himself said things which are very illuminating in this respect:
“Jesus saith unto him: I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (St. John. XIV. 6)
“He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (St. John XIV. 9.).
He expresses something here which is absolutely in keeping with eastern wisdom.
But we assume that God is speaking, that is the orthodox view.
But if we move to liberal Protestant circles, that no longer uphold the divinity of Christ but regard him as a sort of Sunday School teacher, then such a text can only be a megalomania.
I cannot imagine any western man saying: I am the way, the truth and the life, or, who sees me sees God.
We come to the conclusion that either a god or a paranoia spoke those words, that is our western alternative.
But could we not say that Christ spoke in the Indian language?
An Indian would understand such words perfectly, even if he were sure of the humanity of the speaker.
He could say himself: “I am the truth, the light, the world” without it being any extraordinary claim.
He is all that and a horse thief or something of the kind at the same time.
That is the curious thing about India, you find these pearls of wisdom in the dust, they come from people who would be quite impossible from a social point of view.
These things are in the people, in their language, in their gestures, so that they have largely lost their meaning, but on the highest summits of Indian culture they gain their meaning again and one cannot deny them.
But one must really go to India in order to realise, for in our atmosphere such words mean nothing.
Christ was an eastern man, he lived in the Middle East, so why should he not sometimes speak in the Indian language instead of the Hebrew or Greek?
It is a case of fundamental human truth, we express it by entering the corpus mysticum of Christ and reigning with the Father, and the East says “I am Atman”, both statements come from the innermost core of the Self, from the psychological foundation of our existence.
I cannot tell you why this is, I can only state the psychological fact.
We will turn next to the “Fundamentum” written by St. Ignatius himself.
It is, so to speak, the second stone of the exercises, and we will consider it after Christmas as we have been considering the “Anima Christi”.
It is meditated upon in the same way, piece by piece:
“Man was crealed to praise, do reverence to and serve God our Lord, and thereby to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth were created for man ‘s sake, and to help him in the following out of the end for which he was created. Hence it follows that man should make use of creatures so far as they do help him towards his end, and should withdraw from them so far as they
are a hindrance to him in regard to that end. Wherefore it is necessary to make ourselves detached in regard of all created things – in all that is left to the liberty of our free will, and is not forbidden it, – so that we on our part should not wish for health rather than sickness, for riches rather than poverty, for honour rather than ignominy, for a long life rather than a short life, and so in all other matters,
solely desiring and choosing those things which may lead us to the end for which we were created.”
It is, as you see, a kind of philosophical anthropology, a basic attitude to existence; and it further gives advice on how to behave towards the world and life.
It is highly concentrated philosophy (which is characteristic of the exercises) and is the basic foundation of the whole exercises, so it must be meditated upon
with special care. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lectures, Pages 206-211