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Carl Jung on Nirdvandva and Liberation.

000 Liberation

Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961


My dear N., May 1956

My conceptions are empirical and not at all speculative.

If you understand them from a philosophical standpoint you go completely astray, since they are not rational

but mere names of groups of irrational phenomena.

The conceptions of Indian philosophy however are thoroughly philosophical and have the character of postulates

and can therefore only be analogous to my terms but not identical with them at all.

Take f.i. the concept of nirdvandva.

Nobody has ever been entirely liberated from the opposites, because no living being could possibly attain to

such a state, as nobody escapes pain and pleasure as long as he functions physiologically.

He may have occasional ecstatic experiences when he gets the intuition of a complete liberation, f.i. in reaching

the state of sat-chit-ananda.

It cannot make sense to you as it does not make sense to a Christian or any other believer.

On the contrary the believer will translate the psychological terms into his metaphysical language.

The Christian f.i. will call the self Christ and will not understand why I call the central symbol “self.”

He will not see why we need to know about the unconscious from A to Z, exactly like the Indian way.

He is like you in possession of the Truth, while we psychologists are merely in search of something like the

truth and our only source of information is the unconscious and its mythological products like archetypes, etc.

We have no traditional beliefs or philosophical postulates . ( . . . ) Analytical psychology is an empirical science

and ( . . . ) individuation is an empirical process and not a way of initiation at all.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 302-304.