Carl Jung on Nirdvandva and Liberation.
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.
C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 302-304.