Jung and the East is a joint-project between the C. G. Jung Institute Zurich and the Alain Daniélou Foundation in which the connexion between Depth Psychology and Eastern thought is explored beyond common places and prejudices, following the spirit of Alain Daniélou, whose life-work consisted in finding a bridge between apparently incommensurable cultures and world-visions. This project has been integrated as part of the study programme of the C. G. Jung Institute, with subjects having a repercussion not only in the Western world but also in India and China.
The spirit of Alain Daniélou is in this sense very close to that of C. G. Jung, who developed a very special trend within the modern Western science of psychology leading to a critical position with regard to the reductive limits of that discipline when confronted with specific phenomena such as archetypal activity of the unconscious and its symbolic patterns.
The first seminar belonging to the project “Jung and the East” dealt with the question “Dimensions of the Self in East and West”. Different positions on the notion of the Self in East and West were discussed, not only Jung’s concept of « individuation » with regard to the question of self-realization, but also the relationship between brahman and ātman in classical Hinduism and the question of « change » (with its dynamics and patterns) in Chinese thought. Special attention was directed towards the psychological relevance of Eastern doctrines in the psychology of the XX and XXI century and of psychological theories in order to reconsider mythological and metaphysical patterns of ancient doctrines. Last but not least, a long and interesting discussion took place about the role of depth psychology and spiritual doctrines with regard to the question of human suffering and the problem of death.
Photos: Sarah Eichner