The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga

12 October 1932 Kundalini Yoga Seminar LECTURE 1

Dr. Jung: Ladies and gentlemen, we have just had a seminar about tantric yoga, and as there are always misunderstandings in the wake of such an event, I am devoting some time to the discussion and elucidation of any questions that you may have.

Even those who were not there will be interested, I suppose, because I have spoken of the cakras before.

Moreover, in the pursuit of our visions we have now reached the stage where symbols analogous to those of tantric yoga are beginning to operate.

You remember, we have seen how our patient’s visions in their natural and quite uninfluenced development brought the first mandala.

In the last hour of our spring seminar I showed you a mandala that created itself, the mandala of the child within the circles, and the patient’s attempts to unite with the child.

That is entering the mandala, and there already the symbolism of tantra yoga begins.

So it is not irrelevant that we discuss this subject now; it fits in well with what we have done here.

As a matter of fact, our former seminar has led us up to the psychology of tantric yoga, what I have hitherto called mandala psychology.

I shall take first this question by Mrs. Bailward: “I understand that the klesa asmitâ ‘contains the germ of being a personality’ and the klesa dvesa ‘the wish to be two,’ or hatred.

Does Professor Hauer mean personality or individuality here? When it has built up the individuality, how would hatred be torn out by the roots?”

Well, there is the klea of dividing and discrimination, of becoming a personality, an ego, where there is also the aspect of hatred.

The klesas are urges, a natural instinctive form in which libido first appears out of the unconscious; that is the psychological energy, or libido, in its simplest form of manifestation.

Now, according to tantric teaching, there is an urge to produce a personality, something that is centered, and divided from other beings, and that would be the klea of discrimination.

It is what one would describe in Western philosophical terms as an urge or instinct of individuation.

The instinct of individuation is found everywhere in life, for there is no life on earth that is not individual. Each form of life is manifested in a differentiated being naturally, otherwise life could not exist.

An innate urge of life is to produce an individual as complete as possible.

For instance, a bird with all its feathers and colors and the size that belongs to that particular species.

So the entelechia, the urge of realization, naturally pushes man to be himself.

Given a chance to be himself, he would most certainly grow into his own form, if there were not obstacles and inhibitions of many descriptions that hinder him from becoming what he is really meant to be.

So the klea that contains the germ of personality can be called just as well the klesa of individuation, because what we call personality is an aspect of individuation.

Even if you don’t become a complete realization of yourself, you become at least a person; you have a certain conscious form.

Of course, it is not a totality; it is only a part, perhaps, and your true individuality is still behind the screen—yet what is manifested on the surface is surely a unit.

One is not necessarily conscious of the totality, and perhaps other people see more clearly who you are than you do yourself.

So individuality is always. It is everywhere.

Everything that has life is individual—a dog, a plant, everything living—but of course it is far from being conscious of its individuality.

A dog has probably an exceedingly limited idea of himself as compared with the sum total of his individuality.

As most people, no matter how much they think of themselves, are egos, yet at the same time they are individuals, almost as if they were individuated.

For they are in a way individuated from the very beginning of their lives, yet they are not conscious of it.

Individuation only takes place when you are conscious of it, but individuality is always there from the beginning of your existence.

Mrs. Baynes: I did not get where the hate, dvesa, came in.

Dr. Jung: Hatred is the thing that divides, the force which discriminates.

It is so when two people fall in love; they are at first almost identical.

There is a great deal of participation mystique, so they need hatred in order to separate themselves.

After a while the whole thing turns into a wild hatred; they get resistances against one another in order to force each other off—otherwise they remain in a common unconsciousness which they simply cannot stand.

One sees that also in analysis.

In the case of an exaggerated transference, after a while there are corresponding

resistances.

This too is a certain hatred.

The old Greek put phobos, fear, instead of hatred. They said that the

firstborn thing was either Eros or phobos; some say Eros and others phobos, according to their temperaments.

There are optimists who say the real thing is love, and pessimists who say the real thing is phobos.

Phobos separates more than hatred, because fear causes one to run away, to remove oneself from the place of danger.

I was once asked a philosophical question by a Hindu: “Does a man who loves God need more or fewer incarnations to reach his final salvation than a man who hates God?”

Now, what would you answer? I gave it up naturally.

And he said: “A man who loves God will need seven incarnations to become perfect, and a man who hates God only three, because he certainly will think of him and cling to him very much more than the man who loves God.”

That, in a way, is true; hatred is a tremendous cement.

So for us the Greek formulation phobos is perhaps better than hatred as the principle of separation.

There has been, and is still, more participation mystique in India than in Greece, and the West has certainly a more discriminating mind than the East.

Therefore, as our civilization largely depends upon the Greek genius, with us it would be fear and not hatred.

Mrs. Crowley: Yet in the cakras apparently the most important gesture is that of dispelling fear.

Dr. Jung: Yes, but the gods are always carrying weapons also, and weapons are not an expression of any particular love.

Miss Wolff: I have my notes here, and I think I see what caused Mrs. Bailward’s confusion. Professor Hauer said in German hasserfüllte Zweiung, but it does not mean to become two, exactly; it means to become a subject against an object—there are two things. The English translation is not so clear.

Dr. Jung: Entzweiung means separation. Now the rest of the question?

Mrs. Bailward: I mean, would the yogi consider the state of hatred a necessary condition in building up individuality?

Dr. Jung: Yes, he cannot help considering it so, for the whole yoga process, whether classical or Kundalini yoga, naturally has a tendency to make the individual one, even as the god is one, like brahman, an existing non-existing oneness.

The question continues: “And when it had built up the individuality, how would hatred be torn out by the roots?”

Miss Wolff: Professor Hauer spoke of the two aspects of the klesa. In the imperfect condition—the sthula aspect—the urge to be a subject over against an object is mingled with hatred. But in the suksma aspect the same urge is the power to become a personality.

Dr. Jung: Yes, it is an important and very bewildering thing in this whole terminology that one always must make the distinction between the sthula and suksma aspects.

I do not speak of the para aspect because that is what Professor Hauer calls the metaphysical.

I must confess that there the mist begins for me—I do not risk myself there.

The sthula aspect is simply things as we see them.

The suksma aspect is what we guess about them, or the abstractions or philosophical conclusions we draw from observed facts.

When we see people who make efforts to consolidate themselves, to be egos, and therefore resist and hate one another, we see the sthula aspect, and we are only aware of the klesa of hatred, called dvesa.

But if we go a step higher, we suddenly understand that this foolish kind of hatred, all these personal resistances, are merely external aspects of very important and profound things.

To quote a practical case: when a person complains that he is always on bad terms with his wife or the people whom he loves, and that there are terrible scenes or resistances between them, you will see when you analyze this person that he has an attack of hatred.

He has been living in participation mystique with those he loves.

He has spread himself over other people until he has become identical with them, which is a violation of the principle of individuality.

Then they have resistances naturally, in order to keep themselves apart.

I say: Of course, it is most regrettable that you always get into trouble, but don’t you see what you are doing?

You love somebody, you identify with them, and of course you prevail against the objects of your love and repress them by your very self-evident identity.

You handle them as if they were yourself, and naturally there will be resistances.

It is a violation of the individuality of those people, and it is a sin against your own individuality.

Those resistances are a most useful and important instinct: you have resistances, scenes, and disappointments so that you may become finally conscious of yourself,

and then hatred is no more.

That is the suksma aspect.

If a person thoroughly understands this, he will agree and not worry.

In other words, he knows when he loves that soon he will hate.

Therefore he will laugh when he is going uphill and weep when he is going downhill, like Till Eulenspiegel.

He will realize the paradox of life—that he cannot be perfect, and he cannot always be one with himself. It is our idea to be one, to have absolutely clear situations in life.

But it is all impossible—it is all too one-sided, and we are not one-sided.

You see, the analytical process tears up hatred by the roots by explaining the suksma aspect, namely, the aspect on the level of understanding, of abstraction, theory, wisdom.

And so we learn that what is a regrettable habit, for instance, or impossible moods or inexplicable disagreements in the sthula aspect, is something quite different in the suksma aspect.

Then a second question: “Is there a psychological equivalent to the tattva, and the sastkvra?”

Well, the tattva, being the essence of things, is psychologically again a suksma aspect of things.

The term libido, or energy, is a good example of a tattva.

It is not a substance but an abstraction.

Energy is not to be observed in nature; it does not exist.

What exists in nature is natural force, like a waterfall, or a light, or a fire, or a chemical process.

There we apply the term energy, but energy in itself does not exist, despite the fact that you can buy it at the electrical works.

But that is merely a metaphorical energy.

Energy proper is an abstraction of a physical force, a certain amount of intensity.

It is a concept of the natural forces in their suksma aspect, where they are no longer manifestations but tattva, essence, abstraction.

You see the Eastern mind is concretistic—when it arrives at a conclusion or builds up an abstraction, the latter is already a substance; it is almost visible or audible—one can almost touch it.

Whereas with us this process is rather spurious, as when a concept like energy becomes fairly well known, so that any workman speaks of it.

Then naturally people assume that this energy must be something one can put into a bottle—one can buy it and sell it, so it must be something tangible.

There that concretistic quality of the Eastern mind comes in with us.

For in reality energy is not substantial: it is a conformity of things, say, or the intensity of various physical or material processes.

In the East, when anybody speaks of tattva, they conceive of it as already in existence, and, mind you, a complete existence—as if a tattva really could become visible to them.

I don’t know whether anybody has had a vision of tattva, but that might be, for they can visualize any concept, no matter how abstract.

So the tattva, which is a concrete thing in the East, has with us a suksma aspect—it is an abstraction, an idea.

The concept of energy is a very suitable example, but there are of course other ideas of the sort, such as the principles of gravity, or the idea of an atom, or of electrons—these are the equivalents of tattvas.

In psychology, as I say, it would be libido, which is also a concept.

Then the samskara, if understood as something concrete, has really no analogy with us.

We are unable to concretize these things.

That is an entirely philosophical teaching, which for us has only a certain validity

inasmuch as we believe in the migration of souls, reincarnation, or any pre-existing conditions.

Our idea of heredity would be similar to the idea of samskara, as well as our hypothesis of the collective unconscious.

For the mind in a child is by no means tabula rasa.

The unconscious mind is full of a rich world of archetypal images.

The archetypes are conditions, laws or categories of creative fantasy, and therefore the psychological equivalent of the samskara.

But mind you, in the Eastern mind the doctrine of the samskara is so different from that definition that perhaps a Hindu would object to my attempt at a comparison.

But the archetypal images are really the nearest thing we can see.

Dr. Reichstein: I want to ask about the sthula aspect. I thought sthula was the more physical aspect, and suksma more the psychological, not only the abstract, aspect.

For it cannot be perceived by intellect only; it is a peculiar kind of being connected with things.

Dr. Jung: You are quite right, but the psychological aspect of things implies also a philosophy about them.

For instance, take the psychological aspect of a chair: it has both a sthula and a suksma aspect.

It is a physical phenomenon and as such it is obvious in its sthula aspect.

But in its suksma aspect it is not so obvious—the suksma aspect is the idea.

As in the Platonic teaching of the eidolon, the eidos of a thing is the suksma aspect.

But in Plato we can still see concretizations: he says that all things are derivatives, or incomplete imitations of the eidola that are conserved in a sort of heavenly storehouse, in which are the models of every existing thing.

So all the forms of our empirical world would derive from these eidola.

This idea is the suksma aspect, or you can say the psychology of things.

But for us, the Platonic ideas, which Plato understood to be really existing, are psychological concepts, or even mere illusions or assumptions.

For even if we assume that there is such a heavenly storehouse where models of things really do exist, we are not a bit sure of it; thinking  like that does not produce the thing.

If the primitive mind thinks a thing

it is.

A dream, for instance, is to them as real as this chair.

They must be very careful not to think certain things, as the thought easily might  become reality.

We are still like that—we say a mouthful, and at the same time we touch wood.

Mrs. Diebold: Would the suksma aspect correspond to Kant’s thing in itself [das Ding an sich]?

Dr. Jung: Yes, as would also his use of the term noumenon.

The noumenon is the idea, the spiritual essence of a thing.

You see, Kant was already a very critical man, and in his Critique of Pure Reason he says that the thing in itself, das Ding an sich, is a purely negative borderline concept, which does not guarantee that such a thing exists at all.

He simply makes such a concept to express the fact that behind the world of phenomena, there is something about which we can say nothing.

Yet in his psychological lectures he spoke of a plurality of noumena—that there are many things in themselves—which is a contradiction of his Critique of Pure Reason.

Mrs. Crowley: Is that not really an archetype?

Dr. Jung: Yes, the eidos in Plato is of course the archetype.

The term archetype comes from St. Augustine, who used it in that Platonic sense.

He was in that respect a Neoplatonist, like so many other philosophers in those days.

But with them it was not a psychological concept; the ideas were concretized—that means hypostatized, which is a very good word.

You see, hypostasis is not a hypothesis.

A hypothesis is an assumption I make, an idea I have formed, in order to attempt an explanation of facts.

But I know all the time that I have only assumed it, and that my idea still needs proof. Hypothesis means to put something which isn’t there under something; Unterstellung is the German term for it.

There is no English term, as far as I am aware, with exactly that sense. It might be an

assumption, or it could also have an unfavorable nuance of insinuation.

Now, hypostasis means that there is something below which is substantial, upon which something else rests.

Mr. Dell: From what root does hypostasis come?

Dr. Jung: Histemi is the Greek verb, to be standing, and hypo means below.

The same root is in the Greek word ikonostasis, which, in the Greek Orthodox church, is the background behind the altar where the statues of the saints stand.

The image or picture of a saint is called an ikon, and ikonostasis is the place upon which it stands, usually a pedestal, or a wall upon which are placed such images or pictures.

To make a hypostasis means to invent a subject which is hanging in the air.

It has no basis, but you assume that it has, and say it is a real thing.

For instance, you invent the idea of a tattva and say it is by no means a mere word, a

breath of air with nothing underneath it.

You say tattva is an essence; it is something substantial—something is standing  underneath that holds it up.

A hypostasis contains always the assumption that a thing really is, and the natural primitive mind is always hypostatizing.

I n our better moments, when we are a bit superstitious, we also have hypostases.

Mr. Dell: The hypostasis of gravity makes the apple fall.

Dr. Jung: Yes, you assume the thing is, and that makes the apple fall.

Or, for instance, Kant says, in his famous discussion of the assumption of God, that “God is, God is not”—that when anybody says God is, he just says so, but his saying so does not mean that he is.

He can say God is, but perhaps he is not.

But when you hypostatize, then by saying God is, you assume that God really exists.

You have made God, so that he is in reality.

One can bring about most unfortunate situations by simply declaring that a thing is so.

That is what the animus does and what one always objects to in the animus. “Oh, I thought . . .”—and then the house burns down because you thought you had put the fire out.

But unfortunately the house has burned down.

Mrs. Baynes: Don’t all heuristic principles tend to run into hypostases?

Dr. Jung: They run a risk, sure enough.

As soon as a hypothesis has given evidence of its applicability, it tends to become a truth, to become a hypostasis—and we forget entirely that it is only a hypothesis, an intentional, arbitrary theory on our part.

Dr. Kranefeldt: The sexual theory of Freud could be called a hypothesis, which then became a hypostasis.

Dr. Jung: Exactly: it proves its evidence by a certain amount of facts, and then one assumes it must be a truth.

Well now, this is merely about concepts, and in tantric yoga there were things which needed further explanation from the psychological side.

Mrs. Sawyer: When Professor Hauer spoke of the cakras, he called only the picture inside each a mandala. Could we not call the total cakra a mandala?

Dr. Jung: Yes, the cakras are also occasionally called mandalas.

Naturally Professor Hauer does not attach such a technical meaning to the mandala as we do.

He called the total picture padma, the lotus, or cakra.

Mandala means ring, or circle. It can be a magic circle, for example, or it can be a cycle.

There are Vedic sutras in which the series of chapters makes a cycle that is called a mandala; for instance, the third mandala, chapter 10, verse 15—the mandala is simply the name of the cycle.

Mrs. Sawyer: But he called a square a mandala.

Dr. Jung: Yes, he calls that a mandala, and naturally anything within is a mandala too, and this is exactly what you see in the Lamaistic pictures: the mandala, the lotus, is inside, as well as the temple, and the cloister with the square walls, the whole surrounded by the magic circle; then above are the gods, and mountains below.

The term mandala with us has taken on an importance which it does not possess in India, where it is merely one of the Yantras, an instrument of worship in the Lamaistic

cult and in tantric yoga.

And mind you, the tantric school is little known in India—you could ask millions of Hindus, and they would not have the faintest idea of what it was.

It would be as if you asked the honorable citizens of Zurich what they had to tell you of scholasticism; they would know about as much as the Hindu knows about tantric yoga.

And if you asked a Hindu what a mandala was, he would say that a round table, or anything circular, was a mandala.

But to us it is a specific term.

Even within the frame of the tantric school the mandala has not the importance that it has with us.

Our idea of it would come nearest to Lamaism, the Tibetan religion, but this is hardly known, and its textbooks have been translated only very recently, hardly ten years ago.

One of the fundamental sources is the Shrichakrasambhara, a tantric text translated by Sir John Woodroffe.

Dr. Barker: Professor Hauer said that in the second cakra of the water region, one plunges into life without any reservations. But that region is still far above us. It is difficult to believe this interpretation, because when the adolescent goes into life without reserves, it is as if he were going from the higher to the lower.

Dr. Jung: You are playing the role of the world bewilderer in asking such questions.

Here you touch upon something really most bewildering, for when you try to translate that material into psychological language, you reach amazing conclusions.

Take the muladhara cakra, which seems very simple.

Its psychological location is in the perineum.

You assume you know all about it, but psychologically what is muladhara?

You think of it as that region down below in the abdomen, having to do with sexuality and all sorts of unsavory things.

But that is not muladhara; Muladhara is something quite different.

Perhaps we should look at the second cakra first.

The ocean with the sea monster is above in the system of the cakras, but in reality we find always that it is below in our psychology—we always descend into the unconscious.

Therefore muladhara must be something quite different from what we would conclude.

Have you ever been in Muladhara?

Some of you could say you have been in the unconscious, in the ocean, and there you had seen the leviathan.

Let us assume that you have really done the night sea journey, have wrestled with the great monster.

That would mean you had been in svadhi¡hana,, the second center, the water region. But then, have you been in muladhara, too?

Here is a great difficulty.

Perhaps you remember the picture which I showed of a patient, where she was entangled in the roots of a tree, and then above she was stretching up toward the light.

Now, where was that woman when she was in the roots?

Answer: In Muladhara.

Dr. Jung: Yes, and in what condition would that be in reality?

Miss Hannah: Was it the self sleeping?

Dr. Jung: Of course, the self is then asleep.

And in which stage is the self asleep and the ego conscious?

Here, of course, in this conscious world where we are all reasonable and respectable people, adapted individuals as one says.

Everything runs smoothly; we are going to have lunch, we have appointments, we are perfectly normal citizens of certain states.

We are under certain obligations and cannot run away easily without getting neurotic; we have to look after our duties.

So we are all in the roots, we are upon our root support. (“Root support” is the literal translation of muladhara.)

We are in our roots right in this world—when you buy your ticket from the streetcar conductor, for instance, or for the theater, or pay the waiter—that is reality as you touch it.

And then the self is asleep, which means that all things concerning the gods are asleep.

Now, after this startling statement we have to find out whether such an interpretation is really justifiable.

I am by no means sure. I am even convinced that Professor Hauer would not agree with me right on the spot.

In these matters one needs a great deal of psychology in order to make it palatable to the Western mind.

If we do not try hard and dare to commit many errors in assimilating it to our Western mentality, we simply get poisoned. For these symbols have a terribly clinging tendency.

They catch the unconscious somehow and cling to us.

But they are a foreign

body in our system—corpus alienum—and they inhibit the natural growth and development of our own psychology.

It is like a secondary growth or a poison.

Therefore one has to make almost heroic attempts to master these things, to do something against those symbols in order to deprive them of their influence.

Perhaps you cannot fully realize what I say, but take it as a hypothesis.

It is more than a hypothesis, it is even a truth.

I have seen too often how dangerous their influence may be.

If we assume that Muladhara, being the roots, is the earth upon which we stand, it necessarily must be our conscious world, because here we are, standing upon this earth, and here are the four corners of this earth.

We are in the earth mandala.

And whatever we say of muladhara is true of this world.

It is a place where mankind is a victim of impulses, instincts, unconsciousness, of participation mystique, where we are in a dark and unconscious place.

We are hapless victims of circumstances, our reason practically can do very little.

Yes, when times are quiet, if there is no important psychological storm, we can do something with the help of technique.

But then comes a storm, say, a war or a revolution, and the whole thing is destroyed and we are nowhere.

Moreover, when we are in this three-dimensional space, talking sense and doing apparently meaningful things, we are nonindividual—we are just fish in the sea.

Only at times have we an inkling of the next cakra.

Something works in certain people on Sunday mornings, or perhaps one day in the year, say Good Friday—they feel a gentle urge to go to church.

Many people instead have an urge to go to the mountains, into nature, where they have another sort of emotion.

Now, that is a faint stirring of the sleeping beauty; something which is not to be accounted for starts in the unconscious.

Some strange urge underneath forces them to do something which is not just the ordinary thing.

So we may assume that the place where the self, the psychological non-ego, is asleep is the most banal place in the world—a railway station, a theater, the family, the professional situation—there the gods are sleeping; there we are just reasonable, or as unreasonable, as unconscious animals.

And this is Muladhara.

If that is so, then the next cakra, svadhi¡hana,, must be the unconscious, symbolized by the sea, and in the sea is a huge leviathan which threatens one with annihilation.

Moreover, we must remember that men have made these symbols.

Tantric yoga in its old form is surely the work of men, so we can expect a good deal of masculine psychology.

Therefore no wonder that in the second cakra is the great half-moon, which is of course a female symbol.

Also, the whole thing is in the form of the padma or lotus, and the lotus is the yoni.

(Padma is simply the hieratic name, the metaphor for the yoni, the female organ.)

Mrs. Sawyer: Professor Hauer said that the crescent was not a female symbol; it belonged to Siva.

Dr. Jung: That is so for the East, and if you ask a Hindu about these things he would never admit that you could put muladhara above Svadhi¡hana.

Their point of view is absolutely different.

If you ask them about the sun analogy they would equally deny it, yet one can show that

the symbolism of the sun myth is there too.

Mrs. Crowley: Their symbolism can’t be the same as ours; their gods are in the earth.

Dr. Jung: Naturally. You see, a Hindu is normal when he is not in this world.

Therefore if you assimilate these symbols, if you get into the Hindu mentality, you are just upside-down, you are all wrong.

They have the unconscious above, we have it below. Everything is just the opposite.

The south on all our maps is below, but in the East the south is above and the north below, and east and west are exchanged. It is quite the other way around.

Now, the second center has all the attributes that characterize the unconscious.

Therefore we may assume that the way out of our Muladhara existence leads into the water.

A man I know who is not in analysis has had interesting dreams representing this quite frequently, and they were all identical.

He found himself moving along a certain road, or a little street or path, either in a vehicle or on foot—the dream always began with such a movement—and then, to his great amazement, all these roads inevitably led into water, the second cakra.

Therefore, the very first demand of a mystery cult always has been to go into water, into the baptismal fount.

The way into any higher development leads through water, with the danger of being swallowed by the monster.

We would say today that is not the case with the Christian baptism—there is no danger in being baptized.

But if you study the beautiful mosaic pictures in the Baptistry of the Orthodox in Ravenna (which dates from the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century, when the

baptism was still a mystery cult), you see four scenes depicted on the wall: two describe the baptism of Christ in the Jordan; and the fourth is St. Peter drowning in a lake during a storm, and the Saviour is rescuing him.

Baptism is a symbolical drowning.

There are certain sects in Russia that, in order to make it real, put people under the water until they occasionally do get drowned.

It is a symbolic death out of which new life comes, a newborn babe.

The initiates are often fed with milk afterward, as in the cult of Attis, where after the baptism people were fed with milk for eight days as if they were little babies, and they got a new name.

So the symbolism in the svadhi¡hana cakra is the worldwide idea of the baptism by water with all its dangers of being drowned or devoured by the makara.

Today, instead of the sea or leviathan we say analysis, which is equally dangerous.

One goes under the water, makes the acquaintance of the leviathan there, and that is either the source of regeneration or destruction.

And if that analogy holds true, then the analogy of the sun myth must hold true too, for the whole baptismal story is in the sun myth.

You see that the sun in the afternoon is getting old and weak, and therefore he is drowned; he goes down into the Western sea, travels underneath the waters (the night sea journey), and comes up in the morning reborn in the East.

So one would call the second cakra the cakra or mandala of baptism, or of rebirth, or of destruction—whatever the consequence of the baptism may be.

We also can say something about the details of this cakra. The fiery red is understandable.

Muladhara is darker, the color of blood, of dark passion.

But this vermilion of Svadhi¡hana contains far more light, and if you assume that this has really also something to do with the sun’s course, it might be the sun’s rays while setting or rising—the color of the dawn or the last rays of the sun are a rather humid kind of red.

Then after the second center we could expect the manifestation of newborn life, a manifestation of light, intensity, of high activity, and that would be manipura.

But before we speak of that center we should exhaust this second cakra.

It is a peculiar fact that in the East they put these cakras not below our feet but above.

We would put Muladhara above because this is our conscious world, and the next cakra would be underneath—that is our feeling, because we really begin above.

It is all exchanged; we begin in our conscious world, so we can say our Muladhara might be not down below in the belly but up in the head.

You see, that puts everything upside-down.

Mrs. Sawyer: But in the unconscious it is the same.

Dr. Jung: Ah, now comes the unconscious where les extrêmes se touchent.

There everything is yea and nay, and there Muladhara is above as well as below.

We have an analogy in the tantric system of cakras.

What is the analogy between vjñv, the highest center, and Muladhara? It is very important.

Mrs. Fierz: The uniting of Sakti and Siva.

Dr. Jung: Yes, Kundalini is united with the linga in muladhara in the state of the sleeping beauty, and the same condition prevails up above in the ajna center where the devi has returned to the god and they are one again.

Again they are in the creative condition, but in an entirely different form.

As they are united below so they are united above. So the two centers can be exchanged.

You see, in adapting that system to ourselves, we must realize where we stand before we can assimilate such a thing.

With us it is apparently the other way around; we do not go up to the unconscious, we go down—it is a katabasis.

This was always so. The old mystery cults often took place underground.

One sees that in old Christian churches in the crypt below the altar—the under-church.

It is the same idea as the Mithraic spelaeum, which was the cave or the room where the cult of Mithras took place.

It was always a place under the earth, or it was a real grotto.

The cult of Attis also took place in grottos.

The grotto in which Christ was born in Bethlehem is said to have been a spelaeum.

Then you remember that St. Peter’s in Rome now stands where the taurobolia, the blood baptisms in the cult of Attis, had taken place before.

Also, the high priests of the cult of Attis had the title Papas, and the pope, who before

was simply a bishop of Rome, took on that title.

Attis himself is a dying and resurrecting god—showing the continuity of true history.

Mr. Baumann: Professor Hauer mentioned that man can go two ways to the unconscious—either to the left or to the right. In one way he faces the monster and is swallowed by it, and in the other way he comes from behind and can attack the sea monster.

Dr. Jung: Those are finesses in the Hindu system.

We must be quite satisfied if we succeed in digesting and assimilating this material in a rough outline.

Well, I have explained why in the East the unconscious is above whereas with us it is below.

So we can reverse the whole thing, as if we were coming down from Muladhara, as if that were the highest center.

Of course, we can put it like that. But then, we can also say we are going up.

Mrs. Sawyer: In all the visions we have been dealing with in the English seminar, first one goes down and then up. I don’t see how you can change that.

Dr. Jung: When you start in Muladhara you go down, for muladhara is then on top.

Mrs. Sawyer: But Muladhara is underground.

Dr. Jung: No, it is not necessarily underground, it is of earth.

This is a façon de parler. We are on the earth or in the earth.

That woman entangled in the roots is just entangled in her personal life.

As a matter of fact, she happens to have been particularly so, and therefore she represented herself as entangled in the duties of life, in her relations with her family, and so on.

For her, going to analysis was surely going up.

And going through the Christian baptism is going up, but that does not hinder its being represented by going down into the water.

Christ doesn’t climb up into the Jordan.

Mrs. Crowley: Don’t you think the Eastern idea of the unconscious is different from ours? It is a different kind of unconscious.

Dr. Jung: Yes, they have an entirely different idea, but it is no use discussing what their idea is because we don’t know it.

Mrs. Crowley: But you can get it from reading the Sanskrit things—the Vedic things.

Dr. Jung: I have read a good deal but it is not clear.

I know only that they see these things very differently.

For instance, I had some correspondence with a Hindu pundit about the mandala cakras.

He informed me that they had to do with medicine, that they were anatomical and had nothing like a philosophical meaning.

Such an idea did not enter his horizon. He was a man who had read the Sanskrit texts.

I don’t know him personally; he is a university professor at Dacca.

Mrs. Crowley: They are just as divided in their types over there as here.

Dr. Jung: Naturally—they have many different views, and the whole East has very different views from ours about these matters.

They don’t recognize the unconscious, and just as little do they know what we mean by consciousness.

Their picture of the world is entirely different from ours, so we can understand it only inasmuch as we try to understand it in our own terms.

Therefore, I make the attempt to approach the thing from the psychological point of view. I am sorry to have bewildered you,  ut you will be more bewildered if you take these things literally.

(You had better not.) If you think in those terms, you build up an apparent Hindu system with the psychology of the Western mind, and you cannot do that—you simply poison yourself.

So if we deal with it all—and I am afraid we have to because of similar structures in our own unconscious—we must do it in this way.

We must realize, or take into consideration at least, that Muladhara is here, the life of this earth, and here the god is asleep.

And then you go to the krater—to use that old quotation from Zosimos—or to the unconscious, and that is understood to be a higher condition than before, because there you approach another kind of life.

And you move there only through the Kundalini that has been aroused.

Now, here we have to speak of Kundalini and what she is, or how she can be awakened.

You remember that Professor Hauer said that some instigation from above arouses Kundalini, and he also said one must have a purified buddhi, or a purified spirit, in order to arouse her.

So the progress into the second cakra is possible only if you have aroused the serpent, and the serpent can only be aroused by the right attitude.

Expressed in psychological terms, that would mean that you can approach the unconscious in only one way, namely, by a purified mind, by a right attitude, and by the grace of heaven, which is the Kundalini.

Something in you, an urge in you, must lead you to it.

If that does not exist, then it is only artificial.

So there must be something peculiar in you, a leading spark, some incentive, that forces you on through the water and toward the next center.

And that is the Kundalini, something absolutely unrecognizable, which can show, say, as fear, as a neurosis, or apparently also as vivid interest; but it must be something which is superior to your will.

Otherwise you don’t go through it.

You will turn back when you meet the first obstacle; as soon as you see the leviathan you will run away.

But if that living spark, that urge, that need, gets you by the neck, then you cannot turn back; you have to face the music.

I will give you an example from a medieval book, that famous Hypnerotomachia, or Le Songe de Poliphile, which I have quoted here before.

It was written in the fifteenth century by a Christian monk of a famous Roman family.

He got into the unconscious, as we say.

It is like the beginning of Dante’s Inferno but expressed in entirely different terms.

He depicts himself as traveling in the Black Forest, which in those days, especially to Italians, was still the ultima Thule where the unicorn still lived, as wild and unknown as the forests of central Africa to us.

And there he loses his way, and then a wolf appears.

At first he is afraid, but afterward he follows the wolf to a spring where he drinks of the water—an allusion to baptism.

Then he comes to the ruins of an ancient Roman town, and he goes in through the gate and sees statues and peculiar symbolic inscriptions, which he quotes, and which are most interesting from a psychological point of view.

Then suddenly he is afraid; it becomes uncanny.

He wants to go back, and he turns to go out through the gate again, but now there is a dragon sitting behind him that bars the way, and he cannot go back; he simply must go forward.

The dragon is Kundalini.

You see, the Kundalini in psychological terms is that which makes you go on the greatest adventures.

I say, “Oh, damn, why did I ever try such a thing?” But if I turn back, then the whole adventure goes out of my life, and my life is nothing any longer; it has lost its flavor.

It is this quest that makes life livable, and this is Kundalini; this is the divine urge.

For instance, when a knight in the Middle Ages did marvelous works, like the great labors of Hercules, when he fought dragons and liberated virgins, it was all for his Lady—she was Kundalini.

And when Leo and Holly go to Africa to seek She, and She urges them on to the most incredible adventures, that is Kundalini.

Mrs. Crowley: The anima?

Dr. Jung: Yes, the anima is the Kundalini.

That is the very reason why I hold that this second center, despite the Hindu  interpretation of the crescent being male, is intensely female, for the water is the womb of rebirth, the baptismal fount.

The moon is of course a female symbol; and, moreover, I have a Tibetan picture at home in which Siva is depicted in the female form, dancing on the corpses in the burial ground.

At all events, the moon is always understood as the receptacle of the souls of the dead.

They migrate to the moon after death, and the moon gives birth to the souls in the sun.

She first gets quite full of dead souls—that is the pregnant full moon—and then she gives them to the sun, where the souls attain new life (a Manichean myth).

So the moon is a symbol of rebirth.

Then the moon in this cakra is not above—it is below, like a cup from which flows the offering of souls to the cakras above, manipura and anahata.

You see, there is the sun myth again. ~Carl Jung, Kundalini Yoga Seminar, Page 3-22