Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East

When, therefore, after many years of the hardest practice and the most strenuous demolition of rational understanding, the Zen devotee receives an answer—the only true answer—from Nature herself, everything that is said of satori can be understood.

As one can see for oneself, it is the naturalness of the answer that strikes one most about the Zen anecdotes.

Yes, one can accept with a sort of old-roguish satisfaction the story of the enlightened pupil who gave his Master a slap in the face as a reward.

And how much wisdom there is in the Master’s “Wu,” the answer to the question about the Buddha-nature of the dog!

One must always bear in mind, however, that there are a great many people who cannot distinguish between a
metaphysical joke and nonsense, and just as many who are so convinced of their own cleverness that they have never in their lives met any but fools.

Great as is the value of Zen Buddhism for understanding the religious transformation process, its use among Western people is very problematical.

The mental education necessary for Zen is lacking in the West.

Who among us would place such implicit trust in a superior Master and his incomprehensible ways?

This respect for the greater human personality is found only in the East.

Could any of us boast that he believes in the possibility of a boundlessly paradoxical transformation experience,
to the extent, moreover, of sacrificing many years of his life to the wearisome pursuit of such a goal?

And finally, who would dare to take upon himself the responsibility for such an unorthodox transformation experience—except a man who was little to be trusted, one who, maybe for pathological reasons, has too much to say for himself?

Just such a person would have no cause to complain of any lack of following among us.

But let a “Master” set us a hard task, which requires more than mere parrot-talk, and the European begins to have doubts, for the steep path of self-development is to him as mournful and gloomy as the path to hell. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Paras 901-902