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000 Yoga

Psychology of Yoga and Meditation

15 NOVEMBER 1940 Lecture 2 Psychology and Yoga Meditation



Moon with lingam

Lotus (padma, yoni)







Last time we ended by discussing the synthesizing symbol series from the Shrî-chakrasambhâra tantra.

I want to repeat this one more time.

At the beginning of the synthesizing series of symbols stands the world mountain Meru.

On this mountain we have the symbol of the city, four-square, with eight towers and four colors: red, yellow, white, and green.

Above the city, at the next level, we have the vajra. In Tibet it is described as dorje.

It has four heads. I gave you a more detailed description last time.

Above the vajra there is another lotus, eight petalled, as a symbol of the consummation of wholeness.

As you know from the several times it has been mentioned, the lotus means the seat of divinity or the Buddha.

Above this comes the moon as a symbol of the spirit and above this the sun.

That stands for the essence of the physical, the quintessence of the body.

Upon this there is another lotus, this time signifying the feminine.

It is described as padma. padma means womb.

Then above this, the moon with the symbol of the lingam.

This actually symbolizes the unification of the masculine with the feminine: the moon is the symbol of the feminine, the lingam of the masculine.

Above this comes vihâra, the cloister.

This is a higher form of the city: a gathering of people who dwell in sacred community.

In this cloister there is a mandala.

In this magic circle there is an eight-petalled lotus, and in this lotus sits the yogi himself as Mahâsukha, as the lord of blessedness, which actually means: great blessedness, with four faces, representing the four elements themselves, also the four holy colors; with twelve hands, meaning the nidâna chain. This

is the chain of causes, which ultimately culminate in the suffering of the world.

One cause leads to another.

Thus, a chain arises, out of whose eternal and immutable promulgation rises the totality of suffering, which is to be abolished by the Buddha.

The yogi as Mahâsukha has three eyes.

Now, concerning the meaning:

The first image produced in meditation is a mountain, meaning increase or raising, coming forward like a mountain, for example, protruding into the landscape: something rises like a mound out of the surface.

It is as if the earth has been piled up on every side, a heaping-up has taken place of what was previously dispersed.

This is a very simple symbol of what happens in such contemplation: namely, all of the attention that binds us to the world through desire and fear is gathered in by the yogi.

By separating himself from the whole environment, he ascends by heaping together into a mountain what was previously scattered over the whole world.

In this way he steps forth as a form, his inner being; his inner man becomes visible.

And in this way he achieves a boundary with the external world.

This is represented by the city which is especially emphasized by the enclosing wall.

This is the fortified place which is protected by walls of four layers to the outside in which all the people who were previously dispersed are now drawn together.

All the former diffuseness which belonged to the yogi due to his brokenness and fragmentation in the world is now heaped together here within in this wall and in the center of this marvelous fortress.

In fact this is not only a Buddhist idea, but also ancient Hindu: the city of the Brahman, the city of the world being.

Within this is the great treasure, depicted by the varja.

This fortress is like a treasure vault.

I mention this name because it also plays a considerable role in mediaeval mysticism, the so-called gazophylacium where treasure is stored. In this city, in the center.

You can imagine a Western parallel being the Heavenly Jerusalem, for example, also in the sky and also the destination of those liberated from the earth, the redeemed.

There the nations foregather.

There is also a hill or mountain in the center, upon which the ultimate symbol of Christianity ascends: Christ in the form of the mystical lamb.

Here in the center is the four-headed vajra.

This symbolizes concentrated energy, being energy that the yogi had previously poured out over the whole world in a diffuse state.

Every faculty has wrested this energy from him through sense impressions.

Everywhere they adhere to one with awe and desire.

That is the cause of suffering, of the eternal and indestructible operation of the nidâna chain, which leads unerringly to suffering and death.

Such is the energy that he has withdrawn and concentrated here into the fourfold vajra.

The term vajra has two meanings:

“diamond” and “thunderbolt.”

As a diamond, it is the supreme value, the greatest beauty, concentrated in a stone.

As a thunderbolt: a powerful magical force that can strike like lightning.

The thunderbolt is known as a missile of the gods, and this book, the Shrî-chakra-sambhâra tantra, also ends with a manual for the practice of magical powers that the yogi has accumulated in this state.

He is then like a highly charged Leyden jar that can suddenly radiate electrical


So all this was only a preparation—over this vajra now blossoms the lotus from this charged state.

This means the seat of the gods, or the birthplace of divinity or of the Buddha, who is

conceived as being in that place.

The lotus blossoms out of this state of tension.

As the lotus grows from the watery depths and the muddy abyss, gradually emerging from the world of darkness into the world of light, its marvelous blossoms forming on the watery diaphane that touches another kingdom, in the same way the spiritual man comes into energy or tension when he has withdrawn from the world and can endure it without discharging tension through a new reference to the world, then this blossoming begins within him, like a botanical process.

Then the inner spiritual life begins to stir, to find expression, like a plant.

Hence these many symbols, which we also know in the West: the tree with its roots on top and its leaves below: the tree of yoga.

This is a typically Indian idea.

However, you can also find it with Ruysbroeck, our European Dutch mystic who certainly could not have known anything of Indian philosophy.

So then we have the idea of the rose, a hidden root that sprouts.

Christ is such a shoot, also secretly growing out of one single root.

Mary is the rose, the rosa mystica.

She is the vessel in which divinity was conceived and which gave it birth.

For us, the rose is the equivalent of the lotus. If you think of the last verses of the Divina Commedia you also find the rose as a collective form of all that is holy.

The culmination of all that is holy is found in that heavenly rose.

So the circle of the lotus expresses a totality, a culmination of the whole, and the lotus also contains the idea of transformation.

Namely, everything beneath it: vajra, city, and mountain all amount only to rising.

This mounting is like the stem growing from watery depths and unfolding as a blossom.

First of all, out of this lotus arises the moon.

Now the moon initially has a feminine meaning.

We find the same in many mystical contemplations of this type, a feminine symbol and

thereafter a masculine one, produced through imagination for the purpose of conjunctio, the union.

The feminine and masculine are, then, symbols of paired opposites overall.

They are the opposites, and their union is the unio oppositorum, the coincidentia oppositorum, the union of opposites, and that is the precursor to the vision of God, in that He is a unio oppositorum as we will see with Ignatius.

So it is the same idea in the East.

The idea of the spiritual is also indicated by the moon.

In the Upanishads it says: “the moon is formed from its manas.”

Its stem also relates it to the word “mind.” The moon was formed from mind or spirit.

The moon represents the spiritual.

The sun, on the other hand, which follows here, corresponds to the masculine, therefore, for example, in alchemy you will see that the typical pairs of opposites, the epitome of opposites, are always portrayed as “sol et luna,” where the sun is always red and the moon white.

In China that is reversed, with white as the masculine and red the feminine.

Also there we find the same idea of conjunctio. In contrast to the moon, the sun represents not spirit but body, although not the coarse, material body, but the essence, the quintessence of the body, an extract of physicality.

One cannot reduce these concepts to something precise, but rather they are intuitive ideas—that the body is something coarse in its unfolding, and yet that in this unfolding an essence manifests itself, a principle, a life principle.

The primitives (including the Neolithic’s) have many ideas about this matter of a life force.

If you go into the Middle Ages or to the neovitalists, the body is a manifestation of the life principle disguised in matter, an abstract life of the body, as an epitome of the physical or physical existence.

This is typically Eastern as far as we distinguished from the physical, but this is not the case in the East.

There, the body is always included in the transformation, and it achieves the highest transformation along with spirit.

The spirit no longer takes first place.

That is why the forms of perception in the East are so extraordinarily plastic, concrete, because the East abstains from extensive abstraction as much as possible so that the incredibly important body is not lost to it.

For meditation originates entirely in the body and not at all from spirit.

Above these two comes the lotus of union.

Here a padma appears in the strict sense of the feminine organ.

This leads to the place where the spirit appears paired with the masculine: the moon with the lingam as an expression of the henceforth completed conjunctio, the union of the opposites.

So, the world-opposites described as masculine and feminine have now finally conjoined.

No separation remains.

As a consequence in fact, the process of the world now ceases, because no more fertility occurs, no tension of opposites remains, so no potential energy is at hand.

Now a stability, an incorruptibility, has emerged, signifying eternal existence, which

at the same time is closed to the world outside.

The Indians also conceive of the divinity of these principles, they are also personified there, for example, in tantrism—in a Hindu form, strongly influenced by Buddhism, a particular form of psychological union.

There the sun is masculine:

Shiva, creator and destroyer at the same time, and his feminine counterpart of Shakti, Parvati, his consort, who are always depicted in Tantrism, especially in Tibetan Tantrism, as eternally united, in actu.

Thus the highest level is completed.

The concentration comes to an end, and the city, which earlier signified a gathering together of people, has now gone over to the completed, transformed peace of the vihâra, the Buddhist cloister.

This is a spiritual city in which the community of the holy dwell, the perfected ones.

And the crowning is also on the other side of the holy community.

Unlike in Christianity, where the increase culminates in our sharing in the kingdom of God, and is transformed into the community of the saints.

Here it goes even further in that an ultimate fulfillment takes place in the mandala, in an unsurpassable magic circle, where this same person appears as the universal being himself.

The yogi has transformed into the world Buddha. He is the Mahâsukha, lord of blessedness.

He is here in the state of perfect knowledge, perfect awareness, and has three eyes.

The upright eye is the so-called âjna centre, the center of perfect knowledge.

With that, this meditation has reached its goal.

The yogi has arrived at the consciousness of himself as Buddha.

He has not become the Buddha; Buddha does not exist, he has passed into nirvâna.

In the West it is similar in mysticism: when someone identifies with Christ or God then his human being is lost, and he transforms into Christ, he goes over into the being of Christ and is no longer himself. In the East, on the other hand, this person has become the consciousness of himself as the Buddha.

He realizes in himself this Buddha-being, that he is in fact every Buddha.

This has its similarity in Hinduism, in the philosophy of the Upanishads, where the world being is called âtman and the yogi realizes that he is himself the âtman, therefore utterly in contrast to our Western concepts, despite many similarities.

This series naturally appears very foreign the first time you see it.

But there are similar ideas in Western mysticism, specifically in that form of mystical practice related to alchemy, and these same ideas are probable antecedents of our alchemy.

They originate in the school of Augustinian monks (or canons) of Saint Victor.

It was founded by Guillaume de Champeaux, the teacher of Abélard, who, in the eleventh century, near Paris, restored the small half-decaying cloister of Saint Victor of Marseille—the oldest monastery in Marseille, which was destroyed in the French

Revolution in the most terrible manner.

(That is why it was later called “the great revolution”!)

Guillaume de Champeaux invited monks to come from the Marseille monastery with the relics of Saint Victor and set this older cella back in motion.

At first he wanted nothing to do with science. Indeed, at the outset he wanted to renounce all science.

He withdrew from the world very angry and offended; his pupil Abélard annoyed him terribly with disputes about universalism.

But  he did not prevail, as his pupils soon took up science again.

They concerned themselves very much with nature, though in the main they were great mystics.

Three names became famous in the twelfth century: Hugh of St. Victor, Richard of St. Victor, and Adam of St. Victor, the famous sequences poet.

I’m sure you have already seen these medieval poems, these splendid, tender spiritual songs; they are by Adam of St. Victor. The figure who concerns us is Richard.

He left behind two important books with remarkable titles: Benjamin Minor and Benjamin Major.

The remarkable title refers to a verse from the psalms that reads: “ibi Benyamin adulescentulus in mentis excessu principes Iuda duces eorum principes Zabulon principes Nepthali.” “There also is little Benjamin in the state of ecstasy.”

This is the Vulgate text, which historically is absolutely incorrect; there is no such

verse in the Old Testament; “in mentis excessu” is omitted from our Bible.

But this Vulgate text served Richard of St. Victor as a motto for his writing.

In this book he describes the “praeparatio animi ad contemplationem”

(“the preparation of the spirit for contemplation.”)

There he attempts something quite similar to what the Buddhists attempted in their way.

I want to read to you some literal translations from places in Richard of St. Victor, and you will then see for yourself what an extraordinary similarity there is in their construction.

He says:

The first and principal thing for the soul that strives to ascend to the height of knowledge must be the effort to know itself.

This could be the opening of the Shrî-chakra-sambhâra Tantra.

The great height of knowledge is to know the self perfectly.

The full knowledge of a rational spirit is a mountain great and high.

This mountain transcends the highest point of all mundane knowledges; from the height it looks down upon all philosophy, all knowledge of the world.

This is the elevation of the yogi.

What so excellent did Aristotle or Plato discover; what so excellent was such a crowd of

philosophers able to discover?

Truly, without doubt, if they had been able by the keenness of their natural ability to ascend this mountain, if their efforts had sufficed for them to discover themselves, if they had known themselves fully, they would never worship idols, never bow the neck to a creature, never raise up the neck against the Creator.

Here those searching failed in the search.

Here, I say, they failed and were not able at all to ascend the mountain. “Let man ascend to a high heart, and God shall be exalted” (Ps. 63: 7, 8).O man, learn to know; learn to think about yourself and you have ascended to a high heart.

The more you advance daily in the knowledge of yourself, the more you always tend to higher things.

He who arrives at perfect knowledge of himself already takes possession of the summit of the mountain.

O how few are those who ascend this far, either because they do not know or because they are not able.

It is very rare to ascend this mountain but much rarer to stand on its summit and to stay there for a while.

However it is the rarest of all to live there and rest in the mind.

Here comes the idea of dwelling upon the summit of the mountain.

Here, again a text from the psalms: “Who shall ascend the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in His holy place?” Admiration of joy is that exclamation: “Lord, who shall dwell in your tabernacle, and who shall rest on your holy mountain?” (PS. 15:1)631 O how great and what kind of fortitude, to ascend and stand; O how much and what kind of beatitude, to dwell and rest! Who is fit for this work, who is worthy to receive it?

“Lord, who shall ascend; Lord, who shall stand on your holy mountain?  Send forth your light and your truth; they have led me and brought me to your sacred mountain and into your tabernacle.” (Ps. 43:3)632

Or: on your dwelling, “tabernacula tua.” The title of the 78th chapter reads: “How much full knowledge of self is effective.”

I will read you some parts from it:

On the peak of this mountain Jesus is transfigured; …Here Christ corresponds to the Buddha, or to the yogi as Buddha. […] on it Moses is seen with Elijah and each is recognized without a sign; on it the voice of the father to the son is heard. Which of these is not marvelous? Which of these is not desirable? Do you wish to see Christ transfigured?

Ascend this mountain; learn to know yourself.

Do you wish to see Moses and Elijah and recognize them without any sign? Do you wish to understand the law and the prophets without a teacher, without an interpreter?

Ascend this mountain; learn to know yourself. Do you wish to hear the mystery of the father’s secrets?

Ascend this mountain; learn to know yourself. For he descended from heaven when he said: γνῶθι σεαυτόν that is, “Know yourself.”

Do you now see how much the ascent of this mountain is effective, how useful full knowledge of Self is?

This reads very differently, and one thinks it is an illness.

You must read the Schweizer Spiegel.

They had a nice article. Very educational!

The title of the 83rd chapter is: “That the mind is accustomed to remain in the innermost parts perceives divine showings.”

When can the mind that does not raise itself up to consideration of itself fly up on the wings of contemplation to those things that are above it?

The Lord descends on this mountain; Moses ascends.

On this mountain the Lord taught, and Moses learned about the construction of the tabernacle.

What is understood by the tabernacle of the covenant except the state of perfection?

Perfect city and finally vihâra.

Therefore he who ascends the mountain, who gives heed diligently, who seeks for a very long time, who discovers at last what sort he is—it remains that he learns from divine showing what sort he ought to be, what sort of edifice of the mind he ought to prepare for God, and by what obediences he ought to appease God.

Therefore, when do you think a mind that is still spread out through various desires, that is dragged this way and that by various thoughts, will be worthy to receive this grace? If it is unable to gather itself into a unity, if it does not know how to enter into itself, when will it be able to ascend by contemplation to those things that are above itself?

The title of the eighth chapter reads, “How the mind that eagerly strives for contemplation of celestial things ought to gather itself within.”

Let one who eagerly strives for contemplation of celestial things, who sighs for knowledge of divine things, learn to assemble the dispersed Israelites; let him endeavor to restrain the wanderings of the mind; let him be accustomed to remain in the innermost part of himself and to forget everything exterior.

So: by no means outwardly.

But today one thinks that it has to be found outside.

Let him make a church, not only of desires but also of thoughts, in order that he may learn to love only true good and to think, unceasingly of it alone: “In the churches bless God” (Ps. 68, 27).

It is absolutely not the gathering of the saints or a prayer chamber, because this gathering is a consolidation worked out by the individual.

He gathers his dispersedness, not that of others.

For in this twofold church, namely of thoughts and desires, in this twofold concord of efforts and wills, Benjamin is carried away into the height, and the divinely inspired mind is raised to supernal things: “There is Benjamin a youth in ecstasy of mind.”

He identifies himself naturally with this Benjamin who is chosen through divine destiny.

Where, do you think, except in the churches? “In the churches bless God, the Lord of the fountains of Israel. There is Benjamin a youth in ecstasy of mind.” (Ps. 68: 27–28)

Nevertheless each one must first make of his thoughts and desires a synagogue rather than a church.

You know well that a synagogue means “congregation.” Church means “convocation.”

It is one thing to drive some things together in one place without the will or against the will; it is another to run together spontaneously by themselves at the nod of the one who commands.

Insensible and brute beings can be congregated but they cannot be convoked.

Yet even a concourse of rational things themselves must occur spontaneously at a nod in order rightly to be called a convocation.

Thus you see how much difference there is between a convocation and a congregation, between church and synagogue.

Therefore if you perceive beforehand that your desires are becoming devoted to exterior delights and that your thoughts are being occupied with them incessantly, then you ought with great care to compel them to go within so that for a while you may at least make of them a synagogue.

As often as we gather the wanderings of the mind into a unity and fix all the impulses of the heart in one desire of eternity, what are we doing other than making a synagogue from that internal household?

But when that throng of our desires and thoughts, after being attracted by a taste of that internal sweetness, has already learned to run together spontaneously at the nod of reason and to remain fixed in the innermost depths, then it can certainly be judged worthy of the name of the church.

Therefore let us learn to love only interior goods, let us learn to think often about them only, and without doubt we make churches such as we know that Benjamin loves.

This is the idea of the ecclesia spiritualis.

Everyone must practice the inner gathering in order to be a part of a church that is an ecclesia spiritualis and not an external one.

You see that these monks from St. Victor have a very particular way of thinking which comes close in many ways to the Devoti we have discussed.

On the other hand, they have a different relationship to knowledge overall, to awareness, in that it represents a sort of school of philosophy.

This consideration may lead us now to the typical Western method of meditation or yoga method that we have already discussed in earlier seminars, namely to the Exercita Spiritualia of Saint Ignatius. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Depth Psychology, Page 277-290