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Psychological Types

The Brahmanic Conception of the Uniting Symbol:

When it is said that Brahman was first born in the East, it means that each day Brahman is born in the East like yonder sun.

“Yonder man in the sun is Parameshtin, Brahman, Atman.”

“As to that Brahman, it is yonder burning disk.”

“First was the Brahman born in the East.
From the horizon the Gracious One appears in splendor;
He illumines the forms of this world, the deepest, the highest,
He is the cradle of what is and is not.
Father of the luminaries, begetter of the treasure,
He entered many-formed into the spaces of the air.
They glorify him with hymns of praise,
Making the youth that is Brahman increase by Brahman.
Brahman brought forth the Gods, Brahman created the world.”

In this last passage, I have italicize certain characteristic points which make it clear that Brahman is not only the producer but the produced, the ever-becoming. The epithet “Gracious One” (vena), here bestowed on the sun, is elsewhere applied to the seer who is endowed with diving light, for, like the Brahman-sun, the mind of the seer traverses “earth and heaven contemplating Brahman.” The intimate connection, indeed identity, between the divine being and the self (Atman) of man is generally known. I give an example from the Atharva Veda:

“The disciple of Brahman gives life to both worlds.
In him all the gods are of one mind.
He containes and sustains earth and heaven,
His tapas is food even for his teacher.
To the disciple of Brahman there come, to visit him,
Fathers and gods, singly and in multitudes,
And he nourishes all the gods with his tapas.”

The disciple of Brahman is himself an incarnation of Brahman, whence it follows that the essence of Brahman is identical with a definite psychological state.

“The sun, set in motion by the gods, shines unsurpassed yonder,
From it came the Brahman-power, the supreme Brahman,
And all the gods, and what makes them immortal,
The disciple of Brahman upholds the splendor of Brahman,
Interwoven in him are the host of the gods.”

Brahman is also prana, the breath of life and the cosmic principle, it is vayu, wind, which is described in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (3,7) as “the thread by which this world and the other world and all things are tied together, the self, the inner controller, the immortal.”

“He who dwells in man, he who dwells in the sun, are the same.”

Prayer of the dying:

The face of the Real
Is covered with a golden disk.
Open it, O sun,
That we may see the nature of the Real.

Spread thy rays, and gather them in!
The light which is thy fairest form,
I see it.
That Person who dwells yonder, in the sun, is myself.
May my breath go to the immortal wind
When my body is consumed to ash.”

“And this light which shines above this heaven, higher than all, on top of everything, in the highest world, beyond which there are no other worlds, this same is the light which is in man. And of this we have tangible proof, when we perceive by touch the heat here in the body.”

“As a grain of rice, or a gain of barley, or a grain of millet, or the kernel of a grain of millet, is this golden Person in the heart, like a flame without smoke, greater than the earth, greater than the sky, greater than space, greater than all these worlds. That is the soul of all creatures, that is myself. Into that I shall enter on departing hence.”

Brahman is conceived in the Atharva Veda as the vitalistic-principle, the life force, which fashions all the organs and their respective instincts:

“Who planted the seed within him, that he might spin the thread of generation? Who assembled within him the powers of the mind, gave him voice and the play of features?”

Even mans’ strength comes from Brahman. It is clear from these examples, which could be multiplied indefinitely, that the Brahman concept, by virtue of all its attributes and symbols, coincides with that of a dynamic or creative principle which I have termed libido.

The word Brahman means prayer, incantation, sacred speech, sacred knowledge (veda), holy life, the sacred caste (the Brahmans), the Absolute. Deussen stresses the prayer connotation as being especially characteristic. The word derives from “barh,” “to swell,” whence “prayer” is conceived as “the upward-striving will of man towards the holy, the divine.”

This derivation indicates a particular psychological state, a specific concentration of libido, which through overflowing innervations produces a general state of tension associated with the feeling of swelling.

Hence, in common speech, one frequently uses image like “overflowing with emotion,” “unable to restrain oneself,” “bursting” when referring to such a state. (“what filleth the heart, goeth out by the mouth.”

The yogi seeks to induce this concentration or accumulation of libido by systematically withdrawing attention (libido) both from external objects and from interior psychic states, in a word, from the opposites. The elimination of sense perception and the blotting out of conscious contents enforce a lowering of consciousness (as in hypnosis) and an activation of the contents of the unconscious, i.e., the primordial images, which, because of their universality and immense antiquity, possess a cosmic and suprahuman character.

This accounts for all those sun, fire, flame, wind, breath similes that from time immemorial have been symbols of the procreative and creative power that moves the world. As I have made a special study of these libido symbols in my book “Symbols of Transformation,” I need not expand on this theme more. ~Carl Jung, Psychological Types, The Type Problem in Poetry, Paragraphs 331-336.