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Jung in dialogue with Freud and Patanjali: Instinct, affective neuroscience, and the reconciliation of science and religious experience.

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) considered depth psychology to be utterly revolutionary in its approach to understanding the human psyche. As a science of the unconscious, depth psychology aims at languaging the hidden, the secret and the repressed. Although a comprehensive analysis of Western philosophical history is beyond the scope of this paper, it is notable that the concept of the unconscious made its appearance in Western thought "simultaneously with and as the exact consequence of the concept of consciousness[1] (emphasis in the original). Objective knowing and representational metaphysics created the ground from which the concept, and affirmation, of the unconscious arose.

Jung's academic influences were broad. Ideas from Nietzsche, Kant, and Schopenhauer factored into his thinking, as did Eastern philosophy, world mythology, and quantum physics. His personal exposure to religious experience and parapsychological phenomena were underlying drivers to his sizeable body of work. Through studying the nature and structure of the psyche Jung intended to reconcile science and religious experience. In his view, religious structures and traditions are failing us, prompting the cleft between scientific materialism and religious fundamentalism, and consequently, leaving us with the imperative necessity of relocating religious experience into everyday life. Through postulating instinctual forms of mental functioning, and in turn following certain methods in an approach to the numinous, Jung observed the healing of mild mental disturbances, such as anxiety, stress and obsessive-compulsive behavior, in his patients. Although his scientific body of work remained incomplete upon his death, one of the most prominent aspects of Jung's legacy is his belief in the religious function of the psyche.

Science and religion, each in their own way, set out to describe reality. Science does so through observing the behavior of the physical world and studying the underpinning mathematical theories, while religious descriptions most often result through revelation or the reliance upon doctrine. While any connection between science and religion may initially seem cursory at best, or antagonistic at worst, today their relationship is becoming far more nuanced as a consequence of the field of consciousness studies. Interestingly, while fostering the on-going dialogue between science and religion, the field of consciousness studies also addresses many of the unsolved problems in science.

Science still knows very little about how thought is produced, correlated with our neuronal hardware, or is related to reality. Being highly interdisciplinary, the field of consciousness studies approaches these problems from multiple angles and perspectives. Within the field researchers from psychology, anthropology, biology, and neurology all argue for their respective views on the nature of consciousness in particular, and the nature of reality in general. The crux of the consciousness debate seems to center around the arguments that present consciousness as an abiding principle of awareness underlying all transitory mental states, versus the arguments for consciousness as mental activity. As of yet there is no consensus and the discussion is sometimes heated. Furthermore, the definition of consciousness seems to be elusive, with scholars in various fields defining it differently.

Conducting research that will allow for a contemporary science of consciousness within the Western tradition has proved challenging because the subjective and qualitative nature of conscious experience resists the objectivity of orthodox scientific inquiry. Orthodox science holds tight to the primacy of physical matter, the paradigm of mind matter dualism, and knowledge as objective and scientific--even though discoveries in quantum physics have challenged the orthodox view by revealing energy as the primary building block of the universe and the interconnected relationship between the observer and the observed.

Despite the fact that subjectivity poses a pivotal challenge to the experimental frame, several fields, including cognitive psychology and neurology, are flourishing as they unravel physical and biological mechanisms that correlate to conscious experience. Neurology undeniably provides us with information of clear value within a particular domain. Be that as it may, even if we find the neural mechanisms for perception, the neurobiological process of love, for instance, will never substitute for the direct experience of love.

Given the enormous prevalence of science and religion, and their influence in contemporary society, it is obvious that as a species we clearly seek to understand and make sense of our world. But if we want to truly understand consciousness in general, and the God experience in particular, then we must be vigilant about being aware in every moment of what we are doing and how we are drawing conclusions. Taking an in-depth look at the foundation of the beliefs and the processes of our empirical endeavors is vitally important. For instance, while neurology provides us with useful information, still, it should never be assumed that the neural pulse is the sole carrier of information. The spikeless neurons and gap junctions are providing us with equally valuable directives. [2] With too heavy a focus on the obviously visible, the subtle and invisible becomes neglected.

By presupposing an objective and subjective realm, empirical sciences base their research on reductionistic principles with the belief that "I" as a subject can "objectively" investigate independent objects. Interestingly, materialist science does not see the subject/object distinction as an assumption but rather wholeheartedly believes the distinction to be real. As a result the general public more often than not assumes the subject/object distinction without question. There is an awesome power to this official narrative as it continues to self-reinforce and construct the lens through which many, if not most, Westerners view the world.

Our worldview determines what tests we want to invest in, how we construct them, what results we look for, and how we interpret the data. If orthodox science deems itself capable of regarding (or disregarding) God experience as "simply" brain process then questioning the reliability of the scientific worldview is mandatory. Furthermore, there is such an abundance of research going on within different fields that often scientists from one field do not know what is happening outside the domain of their expertise. Merging disciplines, as neuropsychoanalysis and interpersonal neurobiology have done, may help to foster a much-needed vigilance.

For those working within the bounds of the empirical platform, dualistic scientific methodology is oftentimes seen not only as an adequate means of investigation, but also as the only one. This belief constitutes a major block for further dialogue and development across disciplines in the area of consciousness studies. It is a massive assumption that the subject-object relation is capable of accounting for life or of understanding it. For instance, when the orthodox empirical platform is challenged by nondualists, those who do not perceive the world through a subject object dichotomy, the disputes are most often met with scorn by the players holding the positions of power within the academic institutions. An alternative view of the world appears extremely threatening to scientific orthodoxy. Yet, an understanding of science is dependent upon knowing how the mind works. If the aim is to understand, disregarding descriptions of the world simply because they are challenging to conventional science is illogical and irrational, or in other words, contradictory to the tenets of science itself.

Both science and religion are not isolated systems. They exist within a much greater whole. Knowledge constructed through religious or scientific systems offer a part of knowledge, not the whole of it. They are constructed languages, constrained like any other, that attempt to form relationships. Relationships formed this way are bound by the very human thought processes that isolate and choose which parts to relate. As important as these relationships may be within a specific framework, they are context dependent.

How does one describe the infinite, unlimited, and immeasurable using language that is finite, limited and measured? The overall integrity of life is compromised when we are only focused on its parts. Yet, if the subset is in alignment with the set, or the measurable in harmony with the immeasurable, language may be able to offer us different ways to consider the undivided whole and, perhaps, help us realize deeper insight.

At the beginning of his career Jung worked very closely with Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Similar to Freud's conception, Jung believed the unconscious to be a natural object and aimed for the possibility of understanding the unconscious as an objective psyche. There was competition, however, around who could best map the terrain. [3]

Jung credited Freud for giving the unconscious its prominence in empirical psychology, yet Freud's orientation towards the personal, which went hand in hand with the individualism of the nineteenth century, did not satisfy Jung. Freud's view left no room for objective impersonal facts. In his research with schizophrenics at the Burgholzli Psychiatric Hospital, Jung frequently found reversion to archaic forms of association, and it was this objective fact, which first gave him the idea of an unconscious that consists not only of morally incompatible wishes and conscious contents that have gotten lost, but also consists of the mythological motifs of human imagination. In the view of the spiritually oriented Jung, Freud had not penetrated into the deeper layer of the unconscious that is common to all humanity.

In tandem with Jung's dissatisfaction with Freud's emphasis on the personal was Jung's frustration with the reductive causalism of Freud's view. From Jung's perspective Freud's view was oriented backwards, only concerning itself with where things come from, and not where things are going. By focusing on its teleological characteristics, Jung's work emphasized the compensatory function of the unconscious processes, holding that the unconscious is mainly composed of undeveloped and unknown parts of the personality that aim for integration in the wholeness of the individual.

Much of Jung's early work at the Burgholzli, in particular his research into word association, was conducted in parallel to Freud's work on dreams and traumatic memories. In these word association tests, Jung would speak a vague and ambiguous stimulus word, and calculate the time elapsed until his subjects responded with a single word they associated to the stimulus. Jung found the speed and quality of the reactions to be less important than the way the autonomous behavior of the psyche disturbed the methodology. For Jung, there was something in us more forceful than the associations themselves. Jung discovered that the word responses and reaction times were not arbitrary: we don't choose by accident but instead retrieve something from memory. Our reactions are therefore not a result of free will, but are predetermined to the smallest detail. In addition, Jung found that our everyday life events are association experiments on a major scale, where the external world is akin to the stimulus words, and to which we react according to what we are and have become. For Jung, association experiments were an empirical way of establishing unconscious complexes.

Psychological complex is a term used primarily in depth psychology, but today it can found in mainstream culture. Jung first borrowed the term complex to refer to a core pattern of emotions, memories, and wishes in the unconscious, which are organized around a common theme. It denotes an image of a particular psychic situation that has a strong emotional accent and is incompatible with our normal egoic orientation. Jung explained, "This image has a powerful inner coherence, it has its own wholeness" [4] Complexes originate with a trauma, emotional shock, or moral conflict, which splits off a bit of the psyche. For example, if we are abandoned in childhood we may have a mother complex. Complexes surface in the present without any assistance from the conscious mind and can be controlled by the conscious mind only to a limited extent. While painful, they do not indicate pathology but demonstrate the central role of emotion in human nature.

In Jung's view, at the heart, or affective core, of our complexes lie archetypes. As uniform autonomous elements of the unconscious psyche and a priori structural forms, archetypes are pre-existent to consciousness and condition it, in contradistinction to being conditioned by it. For Jung, "They represent the unalterable structure of a psychic world whose 'reality' is attested by the determining effects it has upon the conscious mind" [5] Etymologically Jung explained, the word "type" is "derived from (Greek), 'blow' or 'imprint'; thus an archetype presupposes an imprinter." [6]

Jung stressed the importance of acknowledging that the archetypes do not in any way "represent things as they are in themselves, but rather the forms in which things can be perceived and conceived." [7] They are ineradicable, unable to be grasped intellectually, and have a numinous quality that can induce fear.

Because they are in themselves irrepresentable, Jung interprets archetypes as modes of psychic behavior, equivalent to the pattern of behavior in biology. Jung felt archetypal forms are grounded on the instincts, and are the psychic expressions or manifestations of instinct. Just as instinct is a highly significant descriptor for biological sciences, Jung stressed that the fact that our conscious activity is rooted in, and derives its dynamism and ideational forms from instinct is highly significant for human psychology. Archetypes are such an important aspect of Jung's vision, he asserted, "the archetype as an image of instinct is a spiritual goal toward which the whole nature of man strives; it is the sea to which all rivers wend their way, the prize which the hero wrests from the fight with the dragon" [8]

As the affective core of our complexes, Jung found archetypal patterns to occur in highly emotional conditions and furthermore, he felt they often seemed to be the cause of them. Archetypes have mythological and etymological variants across epochs and cultures, but they can be found at all times, among all peoples. They are universal components of the unconscious psyche, which form a deeper stratum of a collective nature.

Although Jung felt psyche to have a process that seeks its own goal independently of external factors, he also described a relationship of correspondence between psyche and outward images or creeds. For example, Jung asserted that people who do not experience sacred images and their kinship with psychic structure encounter a spiritual loss. This relationship between sacred images and psyche is part of what Jung considers to be a "religious function" of the psyche. In his view, acknowledging this religious function carries significance. This is to say that, the emotional response we have to numinous events is a marker. Jung warned,

So long as religion is only faith and outward form, and the religious function is not experienced in our own souls, nothing of any importance has happened. It has yet to be understood that the mysterium magnum is not only an actuality but is first and foremost rooted in the human psyche. [9]

In Jung's view, by developing the religious function, we learn the art of seeing.

In Jung's work, the whole range of psychic phenomena, the unity of the personality as a whole, is represented by his concept of the archetype of the God-image, or the Self. The Self represents the whole human, which in addition to ego-consciousness also includes the unconscious. With the understanding that reality needs polarity, Jung asserted that the Self is a complexio oppositorium. [10] In his theoretical outlook conscious and unconscious complement one another: they don't necessarily oppose each other.

In Jung's view, the Self also seemed to be the point of reference for the unconscious psyche. For Jung, "The beginnings of our whole psychic life seem to be inextricably rooted in this point, and all our highest and ultimate purposes seem to be driving towards it." [11]

Because of its unconscious component, the concept of the Self is only "potentially empirical and is to that extent a postulate." [12] Jung felt this transcendental postulate was justifiable psychologically, even though it does not allow for scientific proof. Jung viewed his moves as beyond science, feeling them to be the unconditional requirement of the psychospiritual development he sought to depict, because without it, he explained, "no adequate formulation of the psychic processes that occur empirically" could be given. [13]

While working to find empirical evidence of the religious function of the psyche, Jung studied Eastern liberatory traditions, in particular orthodox and nonorthodox Hindu philosophy. Here he found parallel evidence to what he termed individuation, the central process of human development and the spiritual maturation of the personality. Simply stated, Jungian individuation is a process of becoming whole, whereby unconscious contents are integrated into conscious awareness. Consequently he found Eastern philosophy and psychology, including Patanjali's Classical Yoga, to be of tremendous value to his psychological research.

Composed around the 2nd to 5th century of the current era, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is both a classic of Eastern and world thought, forming one the of six orthodox Hindu philosophies situated within the Upanishadic tradition. As a discriminatory science of knowledge, Patanjali's yoga methodology guides practitioners to direct experience of purusa, pure consciousness. In Patanjali's world purusa is the fundamental ontological reality, which is self-illuminating, singular, eternal, and absolute. He uses several notable terms interchangeably with purusa: perceiver, seeing and atman. In the Upanishadic tradition atman is the individual essence and localized expression of brahman, the Hindu term for God or the Absolute, and often rendered as Self. Clearly eluding a simple English translation, brahman is also variously described as ultimate reality and being-consciousness-bliss. Most notably, it is a term that does not allow for any metaphysical splitting of reality. Conscious, eternal, and irreducible, nothing can be marked out or set against brahman.

Never referring to brahman directly, another key Sanskrit term to understand in Patanjali's text isprakriti, nature or psycho-physical being. Mind for Patanjali is a part of prakriti, as is anything phenomenal, whether subtle or gross. Whereas other orthodox Hindu traditions refer to prakriti as nonconscious, Patanjali does not employ that term. He refers to prakriti throughout his text as the seen, or the seeable. When read through a nondual lens, the dualistic metaphysics of purusa and prakriti are seen as distinguishable, separable but not separate. [14]

One of the most striking aspects of the dialogue between Classical Yoga and Jung's depth psychology is that there is no unconscious in Patanjali's world. With brahman irreducibly one without a second, the underlying philosophy of Patanjali yoga remains clear and consistent by avoiding this term. The ontic reality, pure consciousness, can never go unconscious. However, there are unknown or invisible contents of consciousness relative to our human awareness.

The methodology in Patanjali's text revolves around, and resolves to, a crucial discernment between two orientations of consciousness. For Patanjali there is a discernable difference between pure consciousness abiding in its true essential nature, and consciousness when it is not resting there but rather assuming the modifications of the mind and its contents.

Aiming to steer clear of any metaphysical and ontological claims Jung designated the unconscious as an exclusively psychological concept. [15] In Jung's model, as we penetrate further and further into the unconscious, our God-image transforms. It is not just the God-image that transforms in Jung's model, however. Jung believed when unconscious contents come into consciousness, human beings make the Creator conscious of His creation. [16] In other words, Jung's Creator is not conscious, and his Self is not self-illuminating. It therefore requires a reflecting human consciousness to discover its own nature. So although not explicit in his theoretical writing, for Jung the unconscious is more than the unknown psychical, it is ontically real. As a result, for Jung consciousness is a secondary phenomenon, which requires the human "I" sense, or the presence of an ego, as it struggles to free itself from unconsciousness.

While Jung aimed to steer clear of metaphysics, he clearly did not. Hence his metaphysics are hidden. So although Jung claimed his Self mapped to the Upanishadic Self, it does not. It is pivotal to understand Jung's and Patanjali's differences here. [17]

Yoga is a term etymologically derived from the root yuj meaning yoke, bind together, or harness. As both the method that joins and the harnessed state, this Sanskrit term has a variety of meanings. Most often the connotation of yoga is to unite or connect. Although the union referred to in Yoga can be understood in various ways, one interpretation is the union of the individual psyche with the transcendent Self. The individual psyche and the transcendent Self are in essence the same and indivisible; however, the individual self, through misperception, becomes psychologically separated from the transcendent Self.

In Patanjali's world when pure consciousness is not known due to misperception, the mind's reflection of pure consciousness takes itself to be the fullness of what it is reflecting, and we construct an egoic identity. To state this slightly differently, the egoic I-sense arises through the appropriation of pure consciousness--which is to say, in the process of appropriation the reflection of pure consciousness on the mind concretizes, mobilizes representation, and blocks out ontic reality as well as the limited nature of its function. A representation is a symbol for something else, an other. Any kind of representation is therefore a form of distance, a form of separation from pure consciousness. If pure consciousness could be represented it wouldn't be pure. Neither reflection nor representation can ever portray the actuality, just as maps will never be the territory. The actuality can only be lived, never re-presented.

Because this is such a crucial point, I will state it yet another way. For Patanjali, identification with an ego is part of a bifurcating psychological process, which obscures the Self. His whole methodology aims at quieting the mind and releasing the limitations, bondage, and fixity it produced, through grasping onto concepts such as "ego." The Self of Patanjali's view, which, again, allows for no metaphysical splitting of reality, can only be realized by releasing the fixity, by seeing through the concepts and intrapsychic images, and through mobilizing prajna, a clear experience of the nondual instrument of pure perception. Without seeing through, there is enmeshment of consciousness and the contents of consciousness.

Jung's ego Self relationship is starkly different. Although the ego can be understood to obscure the Self in Jung's model too, once the ego is relativized, it is given an impregnable position as the only content of the Self that we know. [18] For Jung "The ego needs the self and vice versa." [19] Furthermore, for Jung the Self is ontically inaccessible but epistemologically accessible. As a result, Jung conceives the relationship between the ego and Self as a continuous dialogue that is, therefore, a never-ending process. Reinscribing subject/object dynamics through the ego/Self relationship, Jung's model swaps external for internal phenomena. Jung's model is dualistic and therefore through his methodology we remain psychophysically split. In Patanjali's model we heal any splits through the total involution of thought form --which is why dualism in Classical Yoga is falsifiable.

Through Patanjali's lens, Jung has pure consciousness and the contents of consciousness enmeshed. This enmeshment appears to be Jung's blind spot in regards to his inability to reconcile duality, and science and religious experience, in a manner in which Patanjali succeeds. Because Jung's ontological arguments are not explicit, his theories and methods confuse ontological questions with epistemic issues. This is a critical problem, and one that has become more pressing in our time.

Although Jung has the ontic and epistemic enmeshed in a way that Patanjali does not, and although this is a major disagreement that results in significantly different worldviews, it is noteworthy that Jung and Patanjali both express their insights into human nature and the phenomenon of human suffering through the exploration of the religious function and teleological directedness of the psyche. For both scholars our psychological suffering has teleological directedness. In Jung's view, by taking on our suffering, as opposed to avoiding it, we move in the direction of wholeness. However, for Jung, a religious view of the world only helps us endure suffering, not overcome it. So although we may move in the direction of wholeness, Jung believed suffering can never be eradicated. Patanjali's soteriology, on the other hand, is based on the insight that we can retire suffering, and in particular sorrow, completely: Our wholeness is beyond any injury. When looking at Jung's ideas through a yogic lens, the question then arises: Can we be whole and suffer? Or is suffering an indication that there is still fragmentation, where unreconciled aspects of personality or psychic process remain?

We know that in Jung's world, the undeveloped, unconscious portions of the personality which strive for integration in the wholeness of the individual, is the compensatory function of unconscious process, giving the psyche its teleological character. [20] His individuation process brings the conscious and unconscious into harmony so the psyche can be directed towards the goal. But what if, as intimated in this paper, Jung's vision might have been obscured? After all, Jung pays careful attention to the unconscious and tries to find keys to understand it, but never manages to actually come to terms with it clinically. [21] Through Patanjali's lens Jung's methodology renders salvation impossible, and the divine incomprehensible, because the emergence of new images continually forces new splits within ego consciousness.

Patanjali instructs us to take a comfortable seat, breath in and out evenly, still the mind, see, and integrate any and all fragmented aspects of psychic process. While the instructions may sound simple, they are more often than not found to be quite challenging. The practice of Patanjali yoga demands the correct application of effort in order to fix the concentration of the mind. Furthermore, through a process of involution, all objects must be removed from the horizon of awareness. There is no alternative. The methodology is rigorous. The involution of thought forms radically empirical.

One-way Patanjali recommends going about the purification and integration process is to meditate on the heart, which subsequently brings about knowledge of the mind. He also suggests meditative absorption on our natural inner luminosity, which is devoid of suffering and sorrow. Patanjali's methodology is a rigorous process of integration--rooted in a science of knowledge--which thereby addresses the distortions to our lens of perception. It is, therefore, not promoting spiritual by-pass. By eliminating distortion, Patanjali elucidates a way of being in the world in which suffering does not take place. Psychic integration and liberation go hand-in-hand.

For Patanjali psychological process is a composite. In his view imprints activate mental formations in a habitual way. This idea is comparable to Jung's complexes. Furthermore, in Patanjali's world, psyche, or mind, and the entire realm of phenomenal consciousness, or in other words, all objects, serve the purpose of pure consciousness.

This implies that pure consciousness correlates to the phenomenal world--so therefore, even when we personally have ontic reality confused with epistemic states, there is cosmic coherence. Although Jung did not view ontic reality as self-illuminating pure consciousness, his archetype as an image of instinct draws upon the idea that our epistemologies and epistemic states are driving us to understand the Self--whether we are aware of it or not.

For both Jung and Patanjali, at some point in everyone's life, the spiritual development of the personality is called for because the religious instinct lies at the heart of human nature and psychic development. If this is correct, then what phenomena might offer empirical science an opportunity to validate this claim? Given that life contains no ekstasis, it must be phenomena that cannot be controlled by the so-called conscious mind.

For depth psychology the understanding of the conscious/unconscious dynamic in the human psyche places affect in center stage. In affect, depth psychology found evidence of phenomena that cannot be controlled. Couple this with Patanjali's certainty of ontic reality as pure consciousness, which is a single unique power that always knows what it is doing--and our affective states then--may offer empirical evidence of life's power realizing itself over and above our knowledge construction and re-presentation. Contemporary research in neuropsychoanalysis may support this idea. Neuropsychologist Marks Solms has stated,

The brainstem mechanisms derived from the autonomic body are associated with affective consciousness, and the cortical mechanisms derived from the sensorimotor body are associated with cognitive consciousness...the upper brainstem is intrinsically conscious whereas the cortex is not; it derives its consciousness from the brainstem. [22]

A more lucid understanding of consciousness, therefore, may have less to do with reflective cognition than with instinct.

Using the representational schema of the unconscious, through phenomenology in general, and affect, in particular, depth psychology has been trying to piece together an inexpressible "something" or what Jung termed, an "Unknown x" In other words, depth psychology has utilized derivative consciousness to re-present intrinsic consciousness, which the discipline has done by formulating the unconscious. Patanjali does not make this move, which is why looking through Patanjali's lens, what is "Unknown" to Jung, is not only already together, and not in need of being pieced together, but unable to be ontically known through any kind of splitting.

Both Jung and Patanjali note affect and suffering states as symptoms with split off aspects of psychic process. If Jung and Patanjali are correct, then following the trail of affect leads us not only to the roots of our psychic splits but also as Patanjali further indicates, to the eradication of suffering in general, and sorrow in particular. Through the eradication of the symptoms of suffering, and the affect which accompanies them, we should then be able to rest in true nature, which is at the same time the experiential knowledge of pure consciousness. Hence a science of the eradication of suffering can also assist in paving the way for a science of consciousness. This is to say that the computational ethos may work to formulate a science of consciousness, but, perhaps, only if we are 100% involved. Therefore if we must persist on the road of reductionism in our efforts to understand consciousness, then exploring affect as it relates to sorrow and grief may very well be a fertile place of research.

Notably, much research has already been done in terms of affect regulation and the developing right hemisphere--where the right hemisphere is understood to contain the ability to grasp reality as a whole. Most of the results have been interpreted through Freudian derived psychoanalytic frameworks. [23] In these frameworks the right brain is understood as the neurobiological core of the human unconscious. These results have yet to be thoroughly interpreted through Jungian or Patanjalian frameworks.

Furthermore, many studies focusing on the clinical application of mindfulness based meditation derived from the Buddhist tradition provide preliminary support for the effectiveness of meditation in the reduction of suffering. [24] However, much of these researched mindfulness based techniques have been recontextualized and secularized. [24] Because Buddhism understands mindfulness as a means to experience nirvana and Buddha nature, the spiritual components of the tradition should not be, indeed, ultimately, cannot be, dismissed. [24]

Without in anyway diminishing the important role the primary caregiver has played in the affective neuroscientific research thus far, neuropsychological and neuropsychoanalytic frameworks will undoubtedly benefit by returning to depth psychology's origins and the Freud/Jung rift, as well as to the origins of the Jung/Patanjali dialogue. By adding these additional layers of dialogue to the neuroscientific research on the phenomena of affect as it applies to human suffering --we may find a language, and the contemporary evidence needed, to bridge science and the instinctual nature of religious experience.


For both Jung and Patanjali our desire to understand "God" is as real as any other instinct. While Jung and Patanjali both emphasize the teleological directedness and the religious function of psychophysical phenomena, their differences in orientation lie here: Where Jung's psychology couples instinct with the transformation of the God image, Patanjali's psychology couples instinct with the evolution and involution of all objects of awareness. Furthermore, in regards to the human capacity to fully transcend suffering, for Patanjali, fully embodied Being free of suffering, and pure consciousness, resolve as synonymous.

Through the very broad strokes made through this research, the phenomena of affect appears to not only draw us back to depth psychology's past and the highly significant rupture of the Freud Jung dialogue, [25] but forward into formulating a contemporary clinical picture of the drive towards (or away from) religious experience. Thus, research on affect and states of suffering offers one possible foundation on which to forge a contemporary, global, science of consciousness.

Leanne Whitney PhD


[1] Michael Henry, The genealogy of psychoanalysis. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993), 2

[2] Freeman, W. Book review: "Karl H. Pibram (2013) The Form Within: My Point of View." Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 13(2), (2014): 429-433.

[3] Sonu Shamdasani, Jung and the making of modern psychology: The dream of a science. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

[4] C. G. Jung, Volume 8, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), [paragraph] 201

[5] C. G.Jung, Volume gi, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), [paragraph] 451

[6] C. G. Jung, Volume 12, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (New York, NY: Pantheon, 1953), If 15

[7] C. G. Jung, Memories, dreams, reflections (R. Winston & C. Winston, Trans.) (A. Jaffe, Ed.). (London: Fontana Press, 1995), 380.

[8] C. G. Jung, Volume 8, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), [paragraph] 415

[9] C. G. Jung, Volume 12, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (New York, NY: Pantheon, 1953), If 13

[10] C. G. Jung, Volume gii, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), [paragraph] 423

[11] C. G. Jung, Volume 7, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (New York, NY: Pantheon, !953X If 399

[12] C. G. Jung, Volume 6, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), [paragraph] 789

[13] C. G. Jung, Volume 7, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (New York, NY: Pantheon, 1953), If 405

[14] Whicher, I. Yoga and freedom: A Reconsideration of Patanjali's Classical Yoga. Philosophy East and West, 48(2), (1998): 272-322.

[15] C. G. Jung, Volume 6, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), [paragraph] 837

[16] C. G. Jung, Memories, dreams, reflections (R. Winston & C. Winston, Trans.) (A. Jaffe, Ed.). (London: Fontana Press, 1995), 371.

[17] Whitney, L. Depth psychology through the lens of Classical Yoga: a reconsideration of Jung's ontic reality. The International Journal of Jungian Studies, (2017): 17-27.

[18] C. G. Jung, Volume 7, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (New York, NY: Pantheon, 1953), If 405

[19] C. G. Jung, Volume 11, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), [paragraph] 961

[20] C. G. Jung, Volume 18, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), [paragraph] 1156

[21] C. G. Jung, Volume 8, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), pp. 67-68

[22] Solms, M. The conscious id. Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1), (2013): 5-19.

[23] Allan N. Schore, The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012)

[24] Bergemann, E., Siegel, M., Belzer, M., Siegel, D. & Feuille, M. Mindful Awareness, Spirituality, and Psychotherapy. In Pargament, KI (ed.) APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality: Vol.2. An Applied Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Washington, DC: APA, 2013): 207-222.

[25] Henderson, D. Freud and Jung: The creation of the psychoanalytic universe. Psychodynamic Practice, 21(2), (2015): 167-172.
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Author:Whitney, Leanne
Publication:Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy
Article Type:Essay
Date:Jul 1, 2017
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