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Lecture 7 15 December 1939
We actually finished talking about the “Anima Christi” last time, but I’d like to say retrospectively a few more words about it today.
From our discussion, we were able to see the psychological significance of the Christ 6gure, at least in this prayer, as interpreted by authentic sources.
I would like to remind you of the invocations once again.
These are the “sanctifica me,” “salva me,” “inebria me,” “la va me” (sanctify me, save me, inebriate me, wash me). Then the “conforta me,” “exaudi me,” “absconde me,” “ne permittas me separari a te,” “defende me,” “iube me” (strengthen me, hear me, hide me, permit me not to be separated from you, defend me, bid me.)
If you now translate these invocations into Christ’s actions, the prayer would go, “Anima Christi sancti6cat me”—
“the anima Christi sancti6es me,” “he saves me,” “he inebriates me,” “he strengthens me,” “he defends me,” and so on.
These attributes clearly show the active significance of the Christ figure.
I have said several times now that the Christ figure is actually the self: that is, that higher figure that comprises both the individual and the whole of humanity.
Its corpus mysticum is the church, which is the body of Christ; it is Christ’s vessel in which he appears on earth, his continuing appearance.
He is therefore the conglomerate soul, to use the English expression, a conglomeration of the soul, like in India where the hiranyagarbha,328 the golden seed or the golden child, is described as a conglomerate soul. It is also called womb.
The âtman is also described as a conglomerate soul, as an activity that each individual unleashes in himself, because when, for example, in this meditation or invocation the believer enters into, is concealed, is hidden in the wounds of Christ, then he enters Christ’s body.
As Przywara says, he circulates with Christ’s blood, sees with His eyes, hears with His ears, touches with His hands, so to speak.329
If this happens, he is fully identical with the corpus mysticum of Christ, but of course only an approximation of it can occur in the mystical experience, or, it is assumed, after death.
Thus the believer is part of this absolute ruler who defends, bids, permits and forbids, punishes, heals, and so on. He then takes full part in the Godhead.
He himself is part of the divine epiphany.
This participation in the Godhead is in perhaps curious contrast to the teachings of the Church about the immortality of the individual soul.
The individual soul is a separate entity and it is difficult to postulate that it somehow ends in this way, that it is completely dissolved in the Godhead, because then it loses its individual immortality.
It is then no longer an entity in itself, but merely a part. I cannot give you any information about what they think
about that in the Church.
But what we do know is that in the East, the idea of the individual soul is largely repudiated: it is denied in quite another
sense. In Buddhism, at any rate, the individual soul is rejected as being an illusion.
Instead the Bud dha essence, the eternal Buddha, is understood as the only real thing, the only true transcendental reality.
He is himself the nirvâna in which one as it were dissolves into eternal nothingness.
That’s why in the sûtra about the death of the Buddha it says that Bud dha went into a state of complete non- existence from which there is no return or rebirth.
It is the highest aim of release, to attain that state in which one no longer exists.
Psychologically, a question remains open here: what actually happens with the individual soul and the corpus mysticum?
It seems that the consequence would be that the individual soul becomes part of the Godhead and rules with Christ.
That would fit quite nicely with our Western psychology, which is characterized by sharing in the fighting, conquering, and ruling whenever possible.
Now, in connection with our discussion of the “Anima Christi,” I would like to make a small detour eastward.
You will have already noticed how I described a meditation on the “Anima Christi”; in a way we meditated together on the “Anima Christi.”
Not, however, in the strict Catholic form, because it’s impossible for me to do that.
But I did at least, to the best of my knowledge and ability, present the meditation in a manner that closely resembled the way a Jesuit would perceive it.
I therefore used the work of Przywara as much as pos si ble, as he is the best authority in this 6eld.
But here and there I added certain explanations or points of view, such as comparisons with the East that we simply cannot ignore if we are at all interested in the East.
To my mind, one of the greatest sins of Europe and is that they do not have any intellectual interest in the East, or they have a false understanding of it.
We are not alone on the earth.
But that is of course the prerogative of those swaggering Europeans; they have always cted like buccaneers who believe they are God’s chosen rulers of the world and simply look down pityingly on all that is foreign to them.
I once asked a theologian, “What do you think about Buddhism?”
His answer astonished me: “We don’t need to think anything about it, it’s nothing to do with us.”
Of course one can understand this answer from the point of view of the Christian who is convinced that his religion is the one truth, but from the point of view of a human being I think one can scarcely say with full con6dence, “That is the eternal truth, of which I am convinced, my truth.”
Maybe it stirs you deeply, but if you really take other people seriously, you see that something also stirs them, and you must say, “We should listen to what it is.”
Because other wise we cannot relate to them at all.
That’s why I always felt obliged to learn as much about Eastern psychology as I could, because I cannot afford to simply overlook the teachings of the East and stick only with our Western beliefs.
We need to be able to take a critical look at ourselves, and we can hardly take a critical stance if we remain trapped in our Western psychological sphere.
How can we criticize Europe if we cannot look at it from the outside?
What do e know abowut Western people if we have never seen ourselves from outside, in particular through Eastern eyes?
People’s religions are the classic expression of their psychology.
What a group of people believes, that is the thing.
And if we in the West have the Christian religion, then that is the confession of our psychology, though naturally we do not regard it as such.
That’s a heretical view, but I don’t care.
But that’s precisely why it is characteristic, because we do not realize that it is an expression of ourselves.
And if we compare our religious ideas to those of the East, then we see that these statements are speci6c to us, and the Eastern ones to them.
Thus, if people here in the West say they are Buddhists, that doesn’t express who they are. It’s only a facade. Not real ity, just a label.
But if people in the West are Christian, then of course “anima naturaliter Christiana.”330
Yes, in the Western person. In the East, of course, the psychology is expressed by any of the Eastern religions, and the religious view fully expresses who a person is.
If we now see that the ideas in the East are quite different, then that must mean something, because at the
end of the day we all live on the same earth, and the earth is such a small vehicle that the Easterners are actually our next- door neighbors; we are actually not far away from them at all.
They are people like us.
They look a bit different, have a different skin color, but at base they feel the same emotions as we do and have a similar moral stance.
And nevertheless, their religious beliefs are not compatible with ours.
If we took it literally, we would have to say that the Eastern view is the utmost blasphemy.
Now I would like to read you a typical Eastern confession, speci6cally one of the old Upanishads and a section from the Atharva Veda.
In this regard, I must note that the religious forms in India today are of course no longer directly expressed by the Upanishads or Vedic texts.
These things are quite far from the experience of ordinary people, even though they are now being taught again in a considerable number of Indian colleges.
All these universities have Sanskrit colleges where Vedic texts are studied.
But quite apart from the fact that only a tiny fraction of the Indian population has read the Upanishads, the spirit of the religious teachings of the Upanishads is found across the whole of India; nothing in India is untouched by it.
There, every thing is permeated by every thing else.
Even the original Buddhism, which is a real Protestantism against the im mense pantheon of Hinduism, is based entirely on the philosophy and practice of yoga.
In the East philosophy has always remained grounded; it is only in the West that philosophy became a verbose intellectual altercation.
Nobody here thinks any more that a philosophy should 6rst be lived by ordinary people. In the East, every one is convinced of that.
An old Indian man visited me once after he had been at an international philosophy congress in Paris.331
It was his 6rst time in Europe, and he had highly inflated expectations.
He thought he would 6nd the best European minds gathered there.
He had prepared a good essay about what Indian people understood by truth.332
He presented his paper, and was met by shaking heads all round; no one knew what the old man was talking about.
I patted him on the shoulder and said, “Ah my friend, you don’t know Europe.
What you want is not understood here at all. You think what one lives is the truth?” [He said,] “ There is no truth that is not lived!” And I said, “Yes, philosophy.”
That’s how Indian people think.
Thus, when you read an Indian text, never forget that blood speaks.
The person speaks, the man in the street speaks; a thought does not speak. Indian people do not think at all in
the sense that we know it.
When something like thoughts happen, these come to them.
They are like signs that just appear, that the person does not cause. They do not fancy that they create the thoughts.
But if here in the West a phi los o pher writes a book, he wouldn’t believe me if I said to him that it came to him, that he didn’t make it.
But I would never say that, because it didn’t just come to him—he thought it up, in ven ted it, with
great intellectual effort.
If you watch a Chinese person writing some time, you’ll notice something. It happens without any struggle.
Not like here.
With us, writing involves a great strug gle, the whole arm is involved, we hold our breath, the whole body is stiff.
The Chinese person makes brushstrokes by moving only the brush with twof fi gers and using vermicular
movements, completely relaxed. Only the hand does it.
They are not so stupid as to write with their heads. That’s why our brains are so completely overstrained.
When an Indian person thinks, it is not with his head.
He is relaxed, sits cross- legged on a gazelle pelt under a tree.
It is terribly hot and the words appear to him, they place themselves in his mouth like ripe fruits falling from the tree.
The ideas in the following verses are also extraordinarily different from our Western beliefs. I will read from the Atharva Veda, 10.8:
- The infinite to every side extended, the finite and the infinite around us,
These twain Heaven’s Lord divides as he advances, knowing the past hereof and all the future.
- That, whence the Sun arises, that whither he goes to take his rest, That verily I hold supreme: naught in the world surpasses it.
This gold- hued Haiisa’s wings, flying to heaven, spread o’er a thousand days’ continued journey.
Supporting all the Gods upon his bosom, he goes his way beholding every creature.
- One is yet 6ner than a hair, one is not even visible. And hence the Deity who grasps with firmer hold is dear to me.
Thou art a woman, and a man; thou art a damsel and a boy.
Grown old thou totterest with a staff, new- born thou lookest every way.
- Either the sire or son of these, the eldest or the youn gest child.
As sole God dwelling in the mind, first born, he still is in the womb.333
You can 6nd these texts in a slim volume by Paul Deussen, Die Geheimlehre des Veda,334 well worth reading.
The other [text] is a philosophical text from the Bridhadâranyaka-Upanishad, First Adhyâya, Fourth Brâhmana:335
- In the beginning this was Self alone, in the shape of a person [purusha]. He looking round saw nothing but his Self.
He first said, “This is I”; therefore he became I by name.
Therefore even now, if a man is asked, he first says, “This is I,” and then pronounces the other name which he may have.
And because before [pûrva] all this, he (the Self) burnt down [ush] all evils, therefore he was a person [purusha].
Verily he who knows this, burns down every one who tries to be before him.
- He feared, and therefore any one who is lonely fears. He thought, “As there is nothing but myself, why should I fear?”
Thence his fear passed away. For what should he have feared? Verily fear arises from a second only.
- But he felt no delight. Therefore a man who is lonely feels no delight.
He wished for a second. He was so large as man and wife together.
He then made this his Self to fall in two [pat], and thence arose husband [pati] and wife [patnî].
Therefore Yâgñavalkya said, We two are thus (each of us) like half a shell.”
Therefore the void which was there, is filled by the wife. He embraced her, and men were born.
- [. . .] This is the highest creation of Brahman, when he created he gods from his better part, and when he, who was (then) mortal, created the immortals.
Therefore it was the highest creation. And he who knows this, lives in this his highest creation.
- Now all this was then undeveloped.
It became developed by form and name, so that one could say, “He, called so and so, is such a one.”
Therefore at present also all this is developed by name and form, so that one can say, “He, called so and so, is such a
He (Brahman or the Self) entered thither, to the very tips of the finger- nails, as a razor might be fitted in a razor-case, or as fire in a fire-place.
He cannot be seen, for, in part only, when breathing, he is breath by name; when speaking, speech by name; when seeing, eye by name; when hearing, ear by name; when thinking, mind by name.
All these are but the names of his acts.
And he who worships (regards) him as the one or the other, does not know him, for he is apart from this (when qualified) by the one or the other (predicate). Let men worship him as Self, for in the Self all these are one.
This Self is the footstep of every thing, for through it one knows every thing.
And as one can 6nd again by footsteps what was lost, thus he who knows this finds glory and praise.
- This, which is nearer to us than anything, this Self, is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than all else. [. . .]
Verily in the beginning this was Brah man, that Brahman knew (its) Self only, saying, “I am Brah man.” From it all this sprang.
Thus, what ever Deva was awakened (so as to know Brahman), he indeed became that (Brahman); and the same with Rishis and men.
The Rishi Vâmadeva saw and understood it, singing, “I was Manu (moon), I was the sun.”
Manu is an old Indian lawgiver.
Therefore now also he who thus knows that he is Brahman, becomes all this, and even the Devas cannot prevent it, for he himself is their Self.
Brâhman is the world god. Âtman is also world god. This is a didactic discourse.
Now if a man worships another deity, thinking the deity is one and he another, he does not know. He is like a beast for the Devas.
For verily, as many beasts nourish a man, thus does every man nourish the Devas.
If only one beast is taken away, it is not pleasant; how much more when many are taken!
Therefore it is not pleasant to the Devas that men should know this.336
And now another conversation, a didactic discourse of the Yâgñavalkya, Third Adhyâya, Seventh Brâhmana:
- [. . .] The other said, “So it is, O Yâgñavalkya. Tell now (who is) the puller within.”
Yâgñavalkya said, “He who dwells in the earth, and within the earth, whom the earth does not know, whose body the earth is, and who pulls (rules) the earth within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal.”
“He who dwells in the water, and within the water, whom the water does not know, whose body the water is, and who pulls (rules) the water within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal.”
“He who dwells in the fire, and within the fire, whom the fire does not know, whose body the fire is, and who pulls (rules) the fire within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal.”
“He who dwells in the sky, and within the sky, whom the sky does not know, whose body the sky is, and who pulls (rules) the sky within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal.”
“He who dwells in the heaven [dyu], and within the heaven, whom the heaven does not know, whose body the heaven is, and who pulls (rules) the heaven within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal.”
Yâgñavalkya said, “He who dwells in all beings, and within all beings, whom all beings do not know, whose body all beings are, and who pulls (rules) all beings within, he is thy Self, the puller (ruler) within, the immortal.”
“[. . .] unseen, but seeing; unheard, but hearing; unperceived, but perceiving; unknown, but knowing.
There is no other seer but he, there is no other hearer but he, there is no other perceiver but he, there is no other knower but he.
This is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal. Every thing else is of evil.” After that Uddâlaka Âruni held his peace.337
And last of all another section. Fourth Adhyâya, Fourth Brâhmana:
- “And he is that great unborn Self, who consists of knowledge, is surrounded by the Prânas, the ether within the heart.
In it there reposes the ruler of all, the lord of all, the king of all.
He does not become greater by good works, nor smaller by evil works.
He is the lord of all, the king of all things, the protector of all things.
He( is a bank and a boundary, so that these worlds may not be confounded.”338
This last part shows how this great, all- encompassing âtman is thought of as a small being, purusha, a little man, a Tom
Thumb living in the cave of the heart, hidden inside me as the tiniest of creatures.
That is the purusha, the âtman, the unborn339 creature that still lives in the mother’s womb.
There it is a seed, a hiranyagarbha.
As the great being that covers and rules the whole world, the inner driver of all beings, it is the firstborn, or, using
the Gnostic expression, the monogenes, the only begotten.
These texts show more clearly than I can how greatly the outlook differs between East and West.
In the East, the world is an inner experience and not the external things we encounter; rather it is understood in the
deepest sense as emanating from this inner creator.
Even the world of the gods, even things that are greater than the creator, have emanated from this tiniest of creatures within each individual.
From a Western perspective, one might object that such a view could lead to excessive megalomania.
We must answer that by remembering that there fire certain statements of Christ that are particularly illuminating in this
For example he says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”340
And in another place, “[H]e that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”341
With this he expresses something that corresponds substantially with Eastern wisdom.
But we assume a god is speaking. At least, that is the orthodox notion.
But if we consider it with that liberal Protestantism that342 no longer maintains the divinity of Christ,343 but sees him as a competent moral teacher who shows people how it goes and how to behave, like a kind of Sunday school teacher, then such a logion cannot be anything other than a case of excessive megalomania.
In this country, we cannot imagine a person who could nowadays seriously say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
It is too objectionable; of course this liberal Protestantism falls down at such logia.
Because if one refers to these things at all, one should take them seriously. Then one inevitably comes to the conclusion that this is either pathological hubris, or paranoia, or that a god is speaking.
Those are our Western alternatives.
But could we not say that Christ perhaps spoke the language of India?
An Indian person would accept such statements easily.
Someone from India would feel much affinity with such things, speci6cally with people about whose humanity he is completely convinced.
When he says about himself, “I am the truth,” “I am the light of the world,”344 he is not saying anything
Rather he is saying a person is that, and alongside he is a swindler, a horse thief, and God knows what else.
That is the curious thing,345 that you find these statements in the dirt and dust.
The most valuable pearls of Indian wisdom fall from the mouths of people who in our society would be shunned.
It is so much embedded in the population, in all their language and gestures; everywhere there is this basic conviction,
so much that it almost becomes meaningless.
But at the highest levels of the Indian mind, these beliefs take on a signi6cance that is hard to escape.
But for that one needs to be in India, as it were.
Our atmosphere doesn’t allow for that. Here it is not done to talk in such a way.
But Christ is a person who lived in the East.
Why shouldn’t he also sometimes speak an Indian language instead of Aramaic or Greek?
Then it is no longer so astonishing; rather it is the human truth which is expressed one way in the West and another way in the East.
Whether we believe that by entering the corpus mysticum we will also sit at the Father’s right hand and rule
with the Rex gloriae, or we say, “I am the âtman,” it ultimately comes down to the same thing.
It is a psychological predicate that in our innermost self we encounter a foundation that we perceive as the primordial foundation of existence, of the personality in general.
Why that is, I cannot say; we’d have to ask a theologian. I can only confirm the psychological facts.
This concludes my pre sentation of the “Anima Christi” meditation.
But I nevertheless still want to say a few words about the next part.
We still need to look at the part called the “Fundamentum.” That comes from Saint Ignatius himself.
The meditation on the “Fundamentum,” similar to the “Anima Christi,” is a second pillar of the exercises, as it were.346
Specifically, it is deconstructed into words and sentences.
The meditator considers each part very thoroughly, by looking at each sentence and allowing the sentence to crystallize,347 in order to fully absorb the meaning.
The “Fundamentum” goes as follows:
Creatus est homo ad hunc finem, ut Dominum Deum suum laudet ac reveratur, eique serviens tandem salvus 6at.348
The translation of the whole thing is: The human person is created to praise, reverence and serve God Our Lord, and by so doing to save his or her soul.
The other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created.
It follows from this that one must use other created things in so far as they help towards one’s end, and free oneself from them in so far as they are obstacles to one’s end.
To do this we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, provided the matter is subject to our free choice and there is no prohibition.
Thus as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one, and similarly for all the rest, but we should desire and
choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created.349
You see already from this text that on the one hand it is a kind of philosophical anthropology and a basic attitude toward existence in general, and on the other hand it also indicates a path, a mode of conduct, the attitude which one should take toward the world or one’s life, toward existence in general. Here we have a highly concentrated philosophy that is characteristic of the exercises and that must be thoroughly meditated on, as it is the foundation of the whole exercise.
We’ll see each other again on 12 January. No lectures until then. ~Carl Jung, The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, Page 123-137