ETH Lectures

It is by such paths that a psychic image of the body is obtained.

Prana conceives of the body as a sort of system of pipes, going into the limbs and connecting the centres.

These centres are not mystical but psychical centres of experience.

It is no wonder that eastern and western doctors can not understand each other’s language.

Our modern doctors are beginning to understand that these centres are not anatomical but are psychological centres of activity.

We say that certain things take our breath away, others feel like a pressure on the breast or heart, and other things lie heavy on our stomach.

So when we say body, we really mean our psychic experience of the body.

This has only a distant relationship to the anatomical and physiological structure of the body and nothing whatever to do with matter.

One cannot prove a Prana pipe scientifically, so we say in the West that it is ridiculous.

But this simply means that we are ridiculous not to be able to understand such things.

The body, therefore, is also a psychological condition, a peculiar form of consciousness. So when we think – we could just as well say function psychically – in the head, it is something quite different to doing the same thing with the heart.

These two things are so different that it is a tremendous discovery for a lot of people when they find they can understand something with the heart, for most people only function in the brain box.

A nigger has all his thoughts in his belly, he is only aware of the things which affect him down there. [Footnote 11]

And I have often told you of the Pueblo Indian who told me that the Americans were all mad because they thought in the head instead of the heart.

The old Greeks, on the contrary, lived in the diaphragm.

So we see that what we call spirit and body are psychic conditions, limited psychic functions, and the body tells us as little about what matter really is, as the spirit about the thing in itself which is behind the spiritual condition.

We only have our experiences of the spirit, we do not know what is behind these, what spirit is or whether it is a divine being, and we only have our own experiences of the body.

We perceive both with our consciousness. ~Carl Jung, ETH Seminar, 26January1940, Page 226

Footnote 11: 11 [This offensive term was not invariably derogatory in earlier British and Continental usage, and
definitely not in this case.]