Modern Esoteric Spirituality by Jacob Needleman

Jung never saw himself as an “esoteric”; at any rate he did not want to be confused with those pseudo-esoterics who veil the mysteries of human beings and the world, nature, spirit, and psyche in a secretive way and declare themselves the ones who are “knowing” and “initiated.” ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 381

The fashionable trend as a result of which Eastern and Near Eastern spirituality has been revered in the West as a kind of substitute religion or as a substitute for a church proclamation that has become ineffective can easily mislead us about the deeper situation. ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 385

For preoccupation with Asiatic philosophies and methods of training in spirituality (Zen, Yoga, etc.) and religions, however intensive, cannot alter the fact that the Christian image of God has left clear traces in the unconscious of Western men and women. ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 386

Conversely, the Asian who is turning toward Western life-style and civilization should not succumb to the illusion that in this way basic attitudes of religion and worldview are done away with and that it is possible to become assimilated to Western men and women. ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 386

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections he reports on the “overwhelming variety of impressions of India” but also on how he was visited by a surprising dream in which he had to swim alone and unaided across a channel to get the “Grail.” ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 387

The Jungian way to individuation, which leads to the formation and knowledge of the human self, is contemporary to the degree that in the post-confessional age it guides both Christians and non-Christians, religious and nonreligious, to the reality of the soul and the spirit, without ruling out external-for example, church-forms of piety. ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 388

Here Jung went so far as to compare the psychology of the unconscious with an “incarnation or realization of the Logos” (that is, the pneumatic Christ). ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 388

I am aware of my unconventional way of thinking and· understand that it gives the impression that I am not a Christian. But I regard myself as a Christian, since my thinking is wholly rooted in Christian conceptions. ~Carl Jung, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 389

In it he [Jung] said that for any understanding of Asian spirituality and culture it was necessary to overcome existing prejudices and at the same time be open to alien spiritualities; that is, there was a need for an “understanding dedication, beyond all Christian resentment, beyond all European arrogance.” ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 389

The spirit of Europe is not helped merely by new sensations or a titillation of the nerves. What it has taken China thousands of years to build cannot be acquired by theft. If we want to possess it we must earn the right to it by working on ourselves. Of what use to us is the wisdom of the Upanishads, or the insight of Chinese Yoga, if we desert our own foundations as though they were errors outlived and settle with thievish intent on foreign shores like homeless pirates? ~Carl Jung, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 389

We need a truly three-dimensional life if we are to experience the wisdom of China as living. Therefore we probably first need European wisdom about ourselves. Our way begins with European reality and not with Yoga exercises which are meant to deceive us about our reality. ~Carl Jung, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 390

The split in the Western spirit therefore makes it impossible at the outset for the intentions of Yoga to be realized in any adequate way …. The Indian not only knows his nature, but he knows also how much he himself is nature. The European, on the other hand, has a science of nature and knows astonishingly little of his own nature, the nature within him. ~Carl Jung, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 390

In the course of the centuries the West will produce its own Yoga, and it will be on the basis laid down by Christianity. ~Carl Jung, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 392

Jung did not feel that he was called to renew culture or to found a modern discipline of initiation. ~Gerhard Wehr, Modern Esoteric Spirituality, Page 392

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