The Real Alternative

Integration and the Orient: Implications of Carl Gustav Jung’s Concepts of Persona, Shadow, and Theory of Psychological Types


Lost Flame by stonethestone via Flickr

Lost Flame by stonethestone via Flickr


Just this morning I read that Asian countries are projected to ‘top richest list by 2050,’ so I thought it would be appropriate to post this essay, “Integration and the Orient.”

Things have changed a lot since the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung said that Asia was “at bottom” of the spiritual transformation of the West. Jung’s observation had elements of truth but there’s no way he could have seen how history would unfold after his death in 1961.

“Integration and the Orient” was written in July 1993, during a formative period as a grad student in the department of Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa. My thinking has matured since the 90s, so this is more a snapshot of what I believed in then, as opposed to how I see things today.

I post this essay, as germinal as it is, for its sound coverage of Jung’s ideas and also for several interesting asides. When referencing please use one of the standard citation styles for electronic information.


Integration and the Orient: Implications of Carl Gustav Jung’s Concepts of Persona, Shadow, and Theory of Psychological Types

© Michael Clark Ph.D

In this third in a series of short essays on the Collected Works of C. G. Jung, I will continue with the central concern of the preceding critiques: to ascertain whether Jung misappropriates religious and mythological data to support his theoretical constructs and philosophical reflections. Furthermore, an examination of his concepts of persona and the shadow will lead to an analysis of Jung’s theory of psychological types, and to his oft implied ideal of psychic integration, or, wholeness. From this, Jung’s rendering of Asian textual sources will be assessed within Edward Said’s poststructural analysis of western discourse and practice pertaining to what he claims is a somewhat artificial category, namely, ‘the Orient.'(1) Not only will Jung be assessed from the perspective of Said, however; it is valid to view Said’s thesis from a Jungian standpoint.

* * * * *

Jung’s concept of the persona is said to exist either unconsciously (2) or in conscious relation to the ego (3) and represents the various ideal social masks the individual evidently displays for “reasons of adaptation or personal convenience.” (4) Considering the important role this essential psychic function plays in uniting the individual to her or his milieu, simultaneously contributing to and thereby maintaining the status quo of implied social conventions, Jung gives scant reference to it through his work. (5) This perhaps contributes to the fact that most social and political theorists tend to ignore Jung’s work while giving considerable attention to Freud. (6)

Indeed, Jung and Jungians have often been charged as the latest panacea for idle and angst-ridden members of upper-middle and upper classes, who despite and yet as a result of success in material culture spend fortunes in costly analysis and workshops in hope of relieving their ennui. (7) Had they daily and relatively low-paid employment as required by members of the lower-class social strata, Jung and his system might appear superfluous. Freud, in contrast, has escaped if not popular devolution then to some degree critical reprobation, this being partly due to the confluence of his dynamic of internalization/repression with that of the neo-Marxist concept of “false consciousness” which dominated critical theory prior to the advent of Michel Foucault and poststructuralism. Moreover, Freud’s psychosexual stages of development, quite ignored by Jung, fostered acceptance of themes that later would be adopted and given further legitimacy via poststructuralism: for instance, the existence of childhood, gay and lesbian sexualities. Thus regarding scholarly theory and critique, Jung has suffered near oblivion until quite recently finding entrance into university departments of psychology and religion; yet in comparison to Freud, most social and political thinkers still find him either irrelevant, or perhaps fey.

Certainly Jung’s concept of the persona did not catapult him into the field of scholarly debate. Despite its almost comic-book ring, it is the ‘shadow’ which raises more interest, especially within our field of psychology of religion. For the shadow belongs to both the personal (8) and collective unconscious spheres, and being a concept that includes not just ontology but also morality, it may be applied to any human activity involving the perhaps eternal dialectic of good and evil. (9)

When it [shadow] appears as an archetype…it is quite within the possibility for a man to recognize the relative evil of his nature, but it is a rare and shattering experience for him to gaze into the face of absolute evil.(10)

Once the persona is recognized as being separate from ego, the subject (ideally) realizes that she or he has a negative ego personality that may indeed bear “painful and regrettable” results to self and/or others.(11) This shadow belongs to both the personal and collective spheres; it also exists consciously or unconsciously within each.(12) Like the anima, it is a bridge linking consciousness with the personal and collective unconscious.(13) Accordingly, the subject must endeavour to become conscious – in terms of ego becoming aware – of her or his various shadow aspects lest they rule private and social affairs. Thus by raising the negative shadow aspects to consciousness, one masters the demonic and “daemonic”(14) within. As Jung says:

Medical psychology has recognized today that it is a therapeutic necessity…for consciousness to confront the shadow. In the end this must lead to some kind of union, even though the union consists at first in an open conflict.(15)

While potentially confused with ego if indeed the subject’s ego is undifferentiated from the many shadow aspects, the shadow must be recognized as something “other” than ego to facilitate its integration within consciousness. As suggested by the term “daemonic,”* this process does not necessarily entail an encounter with the purely negative, for Jung says the shadow also contains positive qualities of instinct, creativity, insight, and socially appropriate reactions.(16)

The differentiation and assimilation of shadow into ego is a major step in achieving what Jung terms “wholeness.” While perfection is but an archetypal idea, and hence unrealizable in real, flesh and blood individuals, for Jung psychological wholeness is both attainable and accompanied by a momentary(17) feeling of grace.(18) To be whole is to achieve, although perhaps fleetingly, the goal of human integration and individuality. Jung calls this a process of “individuation,”(19) a term with theoretical implications which as we shall discover, may not be wholly justified.

In this regard, I must first outline Jung’s theory of types. Specifically, Jung devises and thus presents a four by two model of the psyche. Psychological functions of thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition rest on “x” and “y” axes; whereas psychological orientations of introversion and extroversion are on a perpendicular, intersecting axis.(20) The intuitive sensationist introvert, for example, would be one who perhaps prefers inner tranquility and solitary nature walks (e.g. Henry Thoreau), while the intuitive sensationist extrovert might be a charismatic sports figure (e.g. Wayne Gretzky). These vulgar examples should be taken lightly. Jung says every individual has some mixture of each of the four functions and two orientations;(21) we usually develop some to a greater extent at the expense of others, these neglected aspects becoming underdeveloped or even atrophied from disuse.(22)

Important to realize, however, is that Jung advocates the integration of all four functions, and claims that our orientation ideally changes – when the ‘natural’ teleology of psychic development is unobstructed – from extroverted to introverted throughout the course of the individual’s life span.(23) He bases this claim, as noted, on data gleaned from around the globe, throughout history, and thereby commits an inductive fallacy by applying numerous unrelated particulars (each unique and which must be properly understood within the cultural-historical location that generated them) towards the creation of a few general statements.

Considering much although certainly not all of the data used to support Jung’s “doctrine of integration,”(24) as I have called it, is garnered from the Orient (to include China, Japan, India and so-called ‘Arab’ regions), Edward Said’s stance that the western textual and political tradition in fact creates rather than reflects a “real” Orient must be considered. In a Foucauldian manner, Said claims Orientalism is

a distribution of geopolitical awareness in aesthetic, scholarly, economic, sociological, historical and philological texts; it is an elaboration…of a whole series of “interests” which, by such means as…psychological analysis…[create] a will or intention to understand…[and] a discourse that is…produced and exists in an uneven exchange with various kinds of power.(25)

Even more germane to our concern, Said says his work endeavours

…to show that European culture gained in strength and identity by setting itself off against the Orient as sort of surrogate and even underground Self.(26)

Certainly Jung does repeatedly portray Oriental peoples as markedly different from their occidental counterparts. And he misappropriates one of their most important symbols, the mandala, to indicate a representation of psychic wholeness.(27) While Jung is not so crude as to homogenize, for instance, the Indian and Chinese mind, the Indian, however, is repeatedly portrayed as somewhat primitive and childish,(28) while the Chinese person is apparently more cultivated.(29) Jung asserts Indians have left the thinking function underdeveloped, while the Chinese have succeeded in recognizing this, and the importance of the other three functions. Further, he contends the Indian lacks personality,(30) yet speaking on Chinese Taoism, Jung says “personality is Tao.”(31) Tao is usually translated as “The Way,” and in Chinese thought this means The Way not only of some static ground (such as the Indian Brahman), but of heaven’s dynamic relation to an ever-changing mundane earth.(32) Jung equates the active aspect of Tao (yang force) to the Indian Maya (illusory nature of all changeable phenomena); thus Jung claims personality is something almost despised by Hindus(33) , since like persona it is subject to situational alteration, and taken as essentially unreal.

But despite its apparent superiority to India, China did not escape Jung’s western gaze. As with India, Jung espouses alleged respect for the foreign civilization before proceeding to announce that the occidental represents the apotheosis of cultural achievement, a “civilization” that holds the additional distinction of bearing of maximum promise for continued psychic development (by “psychic” Jung means both “physical” and “spiritual” realms).(34) Now China, despite its apparent superiority to India towards the goal of integration, lacks the essential element of Christian morality that makes europeans best.(35) For in its union of the yin (passive force) and yang, China tends to accept the dynamic interplay of all pairs of opposites: thus good and evil, love and hate, flux and stasis, all such dualities represent essential modalities of human life.(36) When these polarities are differentiated into a quaternity of four psychological functions, so argues Jung, the next ethical step is to become aware of the intricate relation between each function, and moreover, to take command of the lesser “inferior” aspects to ensure optimum health of both individual and social realities. And China, he contends, fails to do so.

According to Jung, the west must develop its own unique synthesis of all pairs of opposites and he projects this will be done on the basis of Christian ethics. While not elaborating on what particular ethics will be instrumental in this process, we may assume Jung refers to that which – in doctrine but obviously not practice – distinguishes Christian from Indian, Chinese, and also Islamic and Hebraic(37) moral prescriptions, namely, loving one’s enemy.

Thus to apply this to shadow, Jung notes that like the Chinese, western persons should become aware of their lesser aspects, but quite unlike the Chinese view, Occidentals should control and utilize them for the greater good rather than passively accepting their expression as contingent to the great unfolding of a metaphysical yet immanent Tao. Christ’s command to Satan of “get thee behind me”(38) would seem to represent Jung’s view here, but in actual fact Jung says that as a symbol of Self, the Christ image is one-sided (i.e. ‘perfect’ rather than ‘whole’). And Christianity as understood and expressed within contemporary Christian practice is also skewed.(39) Much criticism is levelled at the Christian who in her or his attempt to imitate Christ ignores or represses the shadow within. Thus Jung’s solution to moral evil is based on his own psychological system, and he has succeeded to manufacture a new saviour for humanity: Dr. C. G. Jung.

Such a charge, however, may be a trifle unwarranted (or at least extremist), for although Jung provides a set of theoretical postulates that will apparently deliver humanity to a new level of moral and cultural attainment,(40) he notes within his theory that each person’s psyche must unfold according to their own unique law.(41) But difficulties with such an integrative view instantly arise, in both western and oriental culture. Within the west, if each person were a near 100 percent amalgam of the four functions and two orientations, would the various specialists in artistic, scientific, or indeed any given sphere – that make excellence a reality suddenly be replaced by legions of well-integrated yet essentially bland, faceless persons of mediocrity? Imagine, if you will, absent in the history of music, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Richard Strauss, Mozart or Beethoven, and instead, only the likes of The BeeGees, Burt Bacharach and Salieri.(42)

Beyond the west, the doctrine of integration faces an even more serious charge. As Said has argued, western writers generate a scenario of the Orient, and then judge that very fabricated image to further their own projects, be they of an imperialistic or scholarly nature (or some interrelation among these and various other and artificially segregated ‘spheres'(44) of investigation). In this vein, Jung clearly devalues the relative strengths of oriental cultures by not only judging them from, but incorporating them in, his own terminology and framework of value, one apparently corroborated by a “wide experience”(44) of unpublished professional dream material. As a result, we are called upon to suspend doubt, even if Jung fosters a potentially injurious perspective of cultural supremacy, which when viewed clearly, is tantamount to global racism.

In regard to the idea of cultural ‘equality in difference,’ violinist Yehudi Menuhin employs the metaphor of indigenous music as a useful indicator of various weltanschauungen, and is worth quoting at length:

In music the difference between East and West begins even before the actual performance…Thai people can tolerate octaves that seem out of tune to us. An Indian listening to a Western orchestra for the first time might well consider the tuning-up to be the most promising and interesting part of the performance…although we may admire another culture…there is something at its core which is so particular, so unique…The music of such a culture remains forever beyond our ken.(45)

Paradoxically, on his “Commentary of the ‘Secret of the Golden Flower,'” an ancient Chinese text concerning mystical techniques, Jung says western readers should admit their inability to understand such esoterica, and yet proposes that occidentals are duty-bound to make sense of the east as a result of their invasion of it.(46) Thus it seems on first inspection that Jung’s culpability for the charge forwarded by Said is indisputable. Yet from a third perspective, Said is equally at risk of becoming yet another instance within a relatively long-standing tradition of Orientalists.(47) For nowhere does he mention the possibility – as Jung quite interestingly does – that the east may have been effecting affairs in the west, not only visibly, but moreover, invisibly.(48)

On this matter, numerous Indian gurus do, indeed, make claims seemingly implausible to the western mind. Regarding the alleged ‘invisible’ sphere of activity, Sri Aurobindo(49) writes that he assisted, by virtue of a meditative force, the Allied Forces in the Second World War to fight “for the Divine and against the threatened reign of the asura.”(50) But even on a more visible level, Said overlooks the profusion of so-called eastern(51) spiritual teachers whom both lecture and offer various apparently metaphysically-oriented services in the west, from Master Moy’s Taoist Tai Chi,(52) to numerous Indian hatha yoga(53) and purely contemplative ashrams and centres,(54) all quite salient throughout the so-called western developed countries. Is this not a type of “Occidentalism” in that exogenous ‘alien’ values are disseminated, and moreover, in many cases done so at a considerable profit (consider Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh).(55) Thus in regard to both ‘invisible'(56) and observable influence, Jung seems more aware – sympathizers might say enlightened – than Said as to the plethora of potential interactives regarding “east” and “west,”(57) especially those which have been forwarded by Orientals themselves. Such an observation cannot, however, wrest Jung from the racist supremacism made evident in his spurious – I would contend fallacious – claims regarding the felicity of psychic heterogeneity.

* * * * *

To close, western social theorists tend to overlook Jung and valourize Freud, for the latter’s triparate model of the psyche(58) seems to account for both psychological and social spheres in terms of a dynamic that does not resort to unscientific ‘mysticism’–usually a pejorative term for occidental social and political analysts.(59) In this regard, Said, a recent academic-politico luminary, provides but one passing reference to Jung. Considering Said’s primary topic is the Orient, this is surprisingly remiss, for as noted, Jung makes extensive reference to the Orient. Furthermore, Jung’s popular – if not yet academic – appeal is flourishing, this in part due to his use of the Orient as a foil for the psychic integration he forcefully advocates. Premised upon his theory of types, the doctrine of integration bodes well for all who apparently wish to assimilate but not be assimilated by oriental mores. For Jung, these foreign values emerge from a surrogate self,* a deep, bottomless pool of transcendental mystique that must be kept at a safe remove; more favourable is a centre of psychic gravity located somewhere between it and the inverse structures of ego and persona consciousness. While predicated on Christian morals, this supremacist view apparently surpasses Christian practice as the shadow, in place of being forcibly denied and thus unconsciously expressed or implied, is recognized, grappled with, and hence yoked under consciousness.

In light of this, the following excerpt from a letter Jung wrote to Pater Lucas Menz of the Monastic Order of St. Benedict of Nursia may be seen as baffling and/or justified, or perhaps neither. Jung writes to the monk: “For most people my Christian standpoint remains hidden.”(60) Is it possible for Jung to be a Christian and yet deny the universality of Christ as the actual and, moreover, singular son of Yahweh? After all, Christ for Jung is but an image spawned from archetype. Furthermore, concerning the central Christian tenant of “judge not, that ye may not be judged,”(61) surely Jung’s partial treatment of oriental cultures forsakes his membership to Christianity.(62) As to why he confidentially discloses a concealed faith, Jung certainly provides new meaning for the colloquial phrase: “only the shadow knows.”

1) Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1978: 5, 259, 350)

2) C. G. Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 7, 158.

3) C. G. Jung, Four Archetypes from The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 9/1 par. 220-221. For Jung’s definition of ego, see C. G. Jung, Psychological Types in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 6, 425.

4) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 6, 465.

5) Until the entirety of Jung’s work is studied, forwarded conclusions must be tentative. This critique is based mostly on C. G. Jung, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vols. 1-17.

6) Since 1986, the top ten authorities cited in academic journals of the arts and humanities are as follows:

1. Marx
2. Lenin
3. Shakespeare
4. Aristotle
5. Bible
6. Plato
7. Freud
8. Chomsky
9. Hegel
10. Cicero.

Source: Institute for Scientific Information as cited in The Globe and Mail (Toronto: Southam, 11/2/1993).

7) As testament to Jung’s burgeoning popularity a recent two page article in The Globe and Mail lauds him (and the veritable industry of services radiating from his thought) in favour of Freud, who as suggested in my first paper of this series, is often zealously deplored. See Alanna Mitchell, “Jung Inc.” in The Globe and Mail (Toronto: Southam, 8/5/1993: D1&D5).

8 ) C. G. Jung, Alchemical Studies in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 13, 348.

9) Discourse theory stipulates that this dialectic only arose when spoken or written as such. According to this dubious logic, the preverbal cave-person held no fear nor loathing for what was later to be termed ‘natural evil’ (e.g., roving predators and geographic catastrophes); deadly beasts, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes only became dangerous upon being labelled as such.

10) C. G. Jung, Aion in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 9/2, 10.

11) C. G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 12, 177.

12) World War II is given as an example where shadow is projected into social reality on the grand scale. See C. G. Jung, Civilization in Transition in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 10, 222-223.

13) Jung somewhat confusingly says shadow belongs in personal and collective unconsciousnesses, and also that it acts as a bridge to the anima, which in turn links consciousness to the figures of the collective unconscious. See, C. G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 14, 107n-108n.

14) Jung uses this term to refer to the jealous “spirits,” “gods” and “goddesses” of the archetypal unconscious than to mere evil (as in demonic). The shadow side of the daemonic “mother,” for example, is absorbing or controlling (personified by Snow White’s wicked stepmother) in contrast to the archetype’s alternately nurturing and transforming aspect. See Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 13, 36; and C. G. Jung, Mandala Symbolism from The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 9/1 par. 157.

15) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 14, 365.

16) Jung says a “distortion” of these natural facts leads to evil. Jung, The Collected Works, 9/2, 266-267.

17) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 12, 214.

18) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 12, 7,214.

19) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 9/1, par 234; C. G. Jung, Psychology and Religion in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 11, 390; C. G. Jung, The Practice of Psychotherapy in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 16, 234.

20) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 6, 482-483.

21) Ibid., 518.

22) Ibid., 540.

23) C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, revised, ed. Aniela Jaffé, trans. Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Vintage Books, 1961: 320).

24) As I have termed it elsewhere. See my unpublished paper for Dr. Reinhard Pummer of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, “Truth, Schizophrenia, and the Mystical Self.”

25) Said, Orientalism, 12.

26) Ibid., 3.

27) See my unpublished paper for Dr. Naomi Goldenberg of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, “Ego, Archetype and Self: C. G. Jung and Modernity,” 5.

28) He even says men’s dhotis (formal dress) are “effeminate and babyish” because they do not cover the backs of the legs. For this and other examples where the Indian is said to possess a “primitive thought process,” see Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 10, 521,527; and Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 580.

29) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 13, 8-9.

30) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 579-580.

31) C. G. Jung, the Development of Personality in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79) Vol. 17, 186.

32) Tao also denotes a formless and hence inexpressible “Source” of all Being.

33) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 14, 109. Jung here confuses ego with “personal atman,” two quite different concepts.

34) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 13, 51n.

35) Ibid., 48; and Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 11, 484,537.

36) Ibid., 9.

37) The complication arises: Christianity embraces the Old Testament.

38) Mark 8:33; Luke 4:8.

39) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 12, 150; Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 13, 96; and Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 17, 172-173.

40) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 13, 48.

41) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 17, 173.

42) The Beatles, however, complicate the issue. One could argue each individual member to be a near perfect example of one of Jung’s psychological types: The political John Lennon is primarily a thinking type; Paul McCartney who apparently reads only comic books is a feeling type; George Harrison who wrote meditative Indian-style and devotional songs and at one point donated his fortunes to The Hare Krishna Foundation is an intuition type; and lastly, the renamed and glittery percussionist Ringo Starr represents the sensation type. Together, the four create a ‘quaternity’ par excellence, attested to by their group genius and lasting societal appeal. If taken collectively as opposed to individually, one could interpolate the four as empirical support for Jung’s thesis.

43) Said, Orientalism, 50, 96, and 259, where Max Weber’s penchant for creating “ideal types” is also critiqued.

44) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 12, 46. Despite this, here Jung only provides dreams from a single subject.

45) Yehudi Menuhin and Curtis W. Davis, The Music of Man (London: Macdonald and Jane’s Publisher’s Ltd., 1979: 50-51).

46) Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 13, 55.

47) In commenting upon the Orient, I am not exempt from this problem.

48) On this Jung says:

Another thing we have not realized is that while we are turning the material world of the East upside down with our technical proficiency, the east with its superior psychic proficiency is throwing our spiritual world into confusion. We have never yet hit upon the thought that while we are overpowering the Orient from without, it may be fastening its hold on us from within. Such an idea strikes us as almost insane, because we have eyes only for obvious causal connections.

Jung also recounts (with cautious humour) the notion that a host of rishis, or spiritual prodigies, in the Himalayas are apparently regulating, through constant meditation, the balance of good and evil forces in the world:

The Theosophists have an amusing idea that certain Mahatmas, seated somewhere in the Himalayas or Tibet, inspire and direct every mind in the world. So strong, in fact, can be the influence of the Eastern belief in magic that Europeans of sound mind have assured me that every good thing I say is unwittingly inspired in me by the Mahatmas…This myth…widely circulated in the West…, far from being nonsense, is – like every myth – an important psychological truth. It seems the East is at the bottom of the spiritual change we are passing through today.

See Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 10, 90-91.

49) The California Institute of Integral Studies at San Francisco, founded by Haridas Chaudhuri, is based on Aurobindo’s philosophical system of “Integral Yoga.” Clearly Aurobindo’s usage of the term “integral” is quite apart from Jung’s notion of integration. See endnote 54.

50) The asura in Hinduism is tantamount to ‘evil’ forces; here Hitler is implied. See Navajata, Sri Aurobindo, third edition, in National Biography Series (New Delhi: National Book Trust, India, 1972: 74).

51) Also overlooked are prominent western advocates of eastern ideals such as Theosophists Annie Besant and Madame Blavatsky, psychotropic investigators Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary, naturalist Alan Watts and psychologist cum mystic, Richard Alpert (retitled by his Indian guru as “Ram Dass”).

52) As entitled by disciples, “Master Moi” emigrated from Korea to create the orthodox school of Taoist Tai Chi currently existing in North America, comprised of the non-violent ‘forms’ underlying the more active disciplines of Japanese Judo and Karate, and Korean Kung Fu and Tak-Won-Do, also commonplace in the west.

53) Hatha yoga is a specific type (among several qualitatively different Indian yogas) entailing the assumption of various bodily positions.

54) For example, the Bengali, Sri Chinmoy, resides at his Centre in New York City and controls a chain of vegetarian restaurants operated by disciples throughout North America. Like Aurobindo, he writes of abundant and invisible “death forces” that threaten disciples and which he vigilantly attempts to overcome by virtue of meditational practices. See Sri Chinmoy, Death and Reincarnation (Jamaica, New York: Agni Press, 1974: 28-29). Interestingly, at a meeting among disciples I witnessed an unsympathetic mother to a disciple claim that Chinmoy had “taken over” her daughter’s mind. Likewise, Aurobindo says the disciple must allow the apparently beneficent forces of the ‘supermind’ to “colonize” (i.e. overtake) one’s mind. Perhaps in response to claims from concerned relatives of disciples of self-avowed spiritualistic teachers, a Council for Mind Abuse has recently opened in Toronto.

55) Rajneesh died a multi-millionaire and was charged with having sexual involvement with wealthy and trusting disciples who also supported him. As gurus usually advocate celibacy, the allegations were clearly detrimental to his status as a spiritual-religious figure. Some followers claim he now leads them in spirit form. His best known publication is No Water, No Moon (London: Billing & Sons Ltd., 1977).

56) While the hypothetical possibility of ‘invisible’ initially a-representational influences acting at a distance from one human being upon another is nothing new to the cultural imaginations of both east and west, for Jung, such ‘magical’ effects are abrogated by representing their source and hence dispelling what are nothing but projections of psychic events which then exert a counter-influence on the psyche and put a kind of spell upon the personality. Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 13, 24-25.

57) Another issue overlooked by Said is the obviously visible economic domination Japan (as the only oriental and in fact first UN-rated of the “G-7” countries) now exerts over western countries, from cattle ranching in the U.S. to defining ‘state of the art’ technological utility and aesthetics in microelectronics (SONY Corporation) and automobiles (Honda, Toyota). Even extending to music, Canadian musician Bruce Cockburn – who advocates Christian ethics – gained international exposure by virtue of production and distribution by SONY MUSIC, instead of the former CBS of Canada. In contrast to Said who is alive today, Jung died during the germinal phase of Japanese economic growth in 1961, and was not historically positioned to comment on its current pervasiveness.

58) Freud’s id, ego and super-ego were first outlined in The Ego and the Id. See “Chronological Table” in Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, ed. & trans. James Strachey et al., in The Pelican Freud Library (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1975) Vol. 4, 29.

59) Also evident in the diagnostic criteria of medical psychiatry. See, for example, American Psychiatric Association, Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria for DSM-III-R (Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 1987:115).

60) C. G. Jung, Selected Letters of C. G. Jung, 1909-1961, eds. Gerhard Adler & Aniela Jaffé, trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984: 139).

61) Matthew, 7:1.

62) Also in heretical fashion, Jung blames God for the incidence of evil. Jung, Memories, 54-56, 58-59, 62-63.


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2 thoughts on “Integration and the Orient: Implications of Carl Gustav Jung’s Concepts of Persona, Shadow, and Theory of Psychological Types

  1. Pingback: Carl Jung’s Archetypes | Wired Cosmos

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