Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation

That is possible, but you must bear in mind that Zen is a philosophy and that I am a psychologist. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 1

It is the unknown that affects me psychologically, the unknown that disturbs or influences me, whether positively or negatively.

Thus I notice that it exists, but I don’t know what it is.  ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 2

The unknown disturbs or influences me in certain forms.

Otherwise I could not speak of it.

Sometimes I sense that a personal memory is bothering me, or exerting an influence on me; other times I have dreams, ideas, or fantasies that do not have a personal origin.

Their source is not the subjective; rather they have a universal quality.

For example, the image I have of my father is a personal image.

But when this image possesses a religious quality, it is no longer solely connected to the personal realm.  ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 2

One can only say that the collective unconscious is the commonality of all instinctive reactions found among all human beings.

The possibility of our speaking with each other intellectually rests on our sharing a common foundation.

Otherwise, we would be so different as to understand nothing.  ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 3

Of course, consciousness is necessary, otherwise we could not establish that such things exist.

But the question for us is: is it

consciousness that creates the klesas?

The answer is no;

consciousness is their victim.

Before consciousness, passions already exist.

One cannot ask a raging animal whether it is raging.

The animal is totally at the mercy of its rage. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 3

Consciousness refers to itself as ‘I.’ The self is no mere ‘I.’

The self is the whole personality—you as a totality—consisting of consciousness and the unconscious.

This is the whole, or the self, but I know only consciousness; the unconscious remains unknown to me.  ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 3

The German philosopher Schopenhauer once said: ‘Happiness is the cessation of suffering.’ We need suffering. Otherwise, life would

no longer be interesting. Psychotherapy must not disturb the problem of suffering too much in people. Otherwise, people would become dissatisfied. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 6

The concern of psychotherapy is in many cases to make patients conscious, through insight, of the nidana chain, of the unnecessary suffering fostered by lust, desire, and passion.

Passion ties us up, but through insight we are made free.

The goal in psychotherapy is exactly the same as in Buddhism. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 6

If someone is caught in the ten thousand things, it is because that person is also caught in the collective unconscious.

A person is liberated only when freed from both.

One person may be driven more by the unconscious and another by things.

One has to take the person to the point where he is free from the compulsion to either run after things or be driven by the unconscious.

What is needed for both compulsions is basically the same: nirdvandva ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 6

This self of which you speak corresponds, for example, to the klesas in the Yoga Sutra.

My concept of self corresponds, however, to the notions of atman or purusha.

This personal atman corresponds to the self insofar as it is at the same time the suprapersonal atman.

In other words, ‘my self’ is at the same time ‘the self’.

In my language, the self is the counterpart to the ‘I.’

What you call the self is what I would call the ‘I.’

What I call the self is the whole, the atman. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 7

So when I compare the self with atman, my comparison is an obviously incorrect one.

They are incommensurable because the Eastern way of thinking is different from my way of thinking.

I can say that the self both exists and does not exist, because I really can say nothing about it.

It is greater than the ‘I.’ The ‘I’ can only say: This is the way it seems to me.

If one were to say that atman either has or does not have substance, I can only acknowledge what the person says—for I do not know what the true atman really is.

I only know what people say about it.

I can only say of it: ‘It is so’ and, at the same time, ‘It is not so.’ ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 7

I cannot know what I don’t know.

I cannot be conscious of whether the self has attributes or not, because I am unconscious of the self.

The whole human person is both conscious and unconscious. I only know that I may possess a certain set of attributes.

What you say [concerning the ordinary atman and the true self of Zen—S.M.] is possible, but I don’t know if that’s really the case. I can, of course, make assertions.

I can state metaphysical matters until I am blue in the face but, fundamentally, I don’t know. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Hisamatsu Conversation, Page 7