Psychology of Yoga and Meditation

The old alchemists—by which you must by no means imagine just any old crazy gold makers but rather natural philosophers—defined the term meditation as a dialogue with another who is invisible. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 7

Alchemy set itself the task of creating this body by chemical means. One assumed that it must be a kind of subtle substance. The yogi or lama thus experiences that, as Buddha, he is simply vajra-sattva, i.e., the diamond being, and as such he can now incorporate the entire environment into himself, rather as if I would incorporate you as a part of my own personality. So, he extends his personality over his entire environment. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 82-83

The mandala devatas, those divine figures that we have seen so often, are sambhogakaya beings.Sambhogakaya means embrace, relationship, unification, joy in connection. One might very suitably translate it with the alchemical expression of the coniunctio.  ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 143-144

I am hoping that when you think of alchemy you do not conjure up the art of gold making. That’s an understandable prejudice, a chronic misconception that one can count on. But it is quite doubtful that the making of gold has anything to do with it. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 152

Alchemy has existed since the first century BC, probably longer. It was a peculiar process of initiation, a form of practical yoga, but regarded superficially it can in no way be compared with Indian yoga. However, if one looks into the symbolism more closely, one sees the same initiatic intention. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 152Yet the procedure is completely different. In alchemy, substances were always worked with. In yoga it happens within the person. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 152

“Our gold is not common gold,” a saying that Arnold de Villanova (c. 1240-1301) in the Rosarium Philosophorum attributed to “Senior,” which was the Latin name under which the Arab alchemist Muhammad Ibn Umail (900-960) was known. ~Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 152, fn 369

One of the earliest alchemists who is well-known to us is Zosimos. He belongs in the third century. A series of Greek texts originates with him. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 153

Women played a great role in alchemy. That is something completely foreign to Eastern yoga, with the

exception of Kundalini yoga where the devotion of the community is also shared by women.  ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 154

An idea one also finds among primitives who differentiate the subtle body, the breath body, from the visible body. The subtle body is also described as anima. In Latin, animus, in Greek anemos, meaning wind or breath, thus a being of breath. This notation runs through the whole of alchemy. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 156

In the summer we will have the opportunity to discuss the exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the only official medieval form of yoga in the West. The unofficial Western yoga that concurs fully with that of the East is precisely this yoga of alchemy.  ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 164

Now for the symbol of the city of Brahman. In alchemy we have parallels with civitas (city) or castrum (castle). Mainly we find that civitas or castrum is a symbol of Mary, therefore feminine in meaning, because the city is the cherishing one. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 165The same idea was present in mediaeval alchemy, that the sapientia Dei was like four castles: one is crystal, the second silver, the third diamond (vajra), and the fourth beyond the domain of the senses, i.e., humanly indiscernible. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 165

What arises from the alchemical retort is the soul, and its ascent is called “blossoming.” Comarius, the archpriest, instructed Cleopatra that the dead who dwell in Hades, i.e., in chaos, will become spring blossoms by sprinkling chaos with the divine water.  ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 172

All researchers of alchemical history have overlooked the fact that the main point in what they said and thought was not the making of gold. The most important and most interesting thing is that it is a Western form of yoga. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 184

Now follows the holy enclosure, the house, the secret chamber. The monastery vihara corresponds to the mysterious vas hermetis in alchemy in which the conjunctio took place. In the Chinese Book of the Yellow Castle it is described as the “purple room in the Nephrite city.” ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 193

Now follows the holy enclosure, the house, the secret chamber. The monastery vihara corresponds to the mysterious vas hermetis in alchemy in which the conjunctio took place. In the Chinese Book of the Yellow Castle it is described as the “purple room in the Nephrite city.” ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 193

Then, at last, in the Tibetan text the lord of the whole appears, the personality, the end product: identification with the Buddha. This is where the identification with Christ logically follows. Alchemy compared Christ with the lapis. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 193

In the Greek alchemists, in particular with the philosopher Zosimos, a gnostic from the third century, we encounter the symbol of light: photeinos, i.e., of the luminous one or the man of light. This plays a great role in Gnosticism: the man of light is a spark from the eternal light that has plummeted into the darkness of matter (scintilla, i.e., the spark). Man is to redeem light out of the darkness. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 194

Alchemy has this belief in common with the East, as you will see: the individual works at what is necessary in order to deliver himself into the state of salvation. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 194

This division of a circle is not only found in Tibetan symbolism but also in alchemical philosophy where the work is first described as [a] rota (wheel), as a circulating operation or circulating distillation. Somehow a circle had to be produced in order that, through this, the gold, the primal image of the sun, would be formed. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 199

There is only one intuitive apprehension of totality. This is the symbol in both the Tibetan and the alchemical series: the lotus, or the golden flower as it is called in Chinese. This is a living symbolization of the quinta essentia. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 200

This Self is greater than the I due only to its wholeness and expansive nature, with the consequence that it has often been symbolized, as gods always are, as that circle which alchemical philosophy proclaims as the “Circulus aeternitatis symbolum.” ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 202

Alchemy says that the work should be undertaken in the shadow of the sun. That is the moon. The work must be done out of the sun and the moon, which psychologically means that consciousness and unconscious are yet to be combined. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 205

A woman is made: in alchemy the femina alba (white woman), the anima or soror mystica, in the Tantric text in the form of the yoni. These extracts of both the masculine and of the feminine are put together, and out of this emerges a true wholeness.  ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 207

Namely, this union has a remarkable consequence: in the Gretchen tragedy the biological union leads to a pregnancy and in time a child is born. This ordinary event becomes essential symbolism in alchemy, which is not present in the Eastern series. Such is the secret pregnancy, the soul pregnancy. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 211

The nature of science is knowledge; it does not recognize the piety of faith, but that of research and Knowledge. This side of modern science originates in ancient astrology and alchemy. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 267

If, in a certain sense, the Exercises delineate a high point of Christian determination to elevate human being, then in alchemy they are countered, by an equally far-reaching effort towards the unconditional liberation of the unconscious spirit, through a spiritual methodology that in every respect is dissimilar to the former. ~Carl Jung, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 268