Modern Psychology: C. G. Jung’s Lectures at the ETH Zürich, 1933-1941

We see, therefore, that possession by a breath-like being is a primeval conception of a spiritual condition.

The man who unexpectedly speaks from an exalted or peculiar state is mana or tabu, if he speaks paradoxically then he is surely a sorceror.

All this shows us that the psychological phenomenon of the spirit is an exalted condition of life, or at least an unusual one, or, to formulate it still more carefully, it is a change in the personality.

You see it is something very different to the modern use of the word “Geist”, and I am convinced that these original forms are far nearer to its real nature.

We can only speak of it as a human condition; what it is in and for itself is a question which cannot be answered, we can only know how it is experienced.

This is equally true of the concept of matter or body.

We must say here that the body has nothing to do with matter.

Matter is an abstraction, nowadays it has become a philosophical and scientific concept, whereas body is the direct psychic experience of the body.

Here again there is danger of a misunderstanding.

If we ask modern man what is body, he describes the anatomical structure which he can
see with his eyes.

But that is no psychic experience, it is scientific experience of the body.

Psychic experiences is the image of the body which is reflected in the psyche.

How I experience the body from within is a totally different question.

I am inside the body as a psyche.

If we investigate carefully what that means we come on a lot of extremely peculiar experiences which have given rise to many of the strangest symbols.

If you want to know how the body can be experienced psychically you must turn to eastern Yoga; medieval philosophy also knew something of the matter.

If you contemplate the body from the point of view of the psyche, you will be able to locate a mental sphere of consciousness in the head, another centre of consciousness in the heart and one in the abdomen.

Our medieval philosophers discovered these, and such centres are highly differentiated in India.

Anatomical knowledge does not tell us how we fill our own bodies but psychic experience does give us information on this point.

We fill our bodies as if through inner streams.

The Indian teaching of Prana formulates this, it makes people aware that they can, so to speak, stream into certain limbs and, if one experiments on these lines, one finds it is possible to achieve very peculiar results.

One can, for instance, warm cold limbs in this way and enervate certain muscles.

Yogins have many stunts of this kind which are based on psychological Prana experience and have nothing to do with mysticism. ~Carl Jung, ETH, Pages 225-226

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  1. Jenna Lilla’s Path of the Soul

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  4. Lance S. Owens The Gnosis Archives